Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Racing Section => Topic started by: High 5 on October 17, 2014, 07:01:05 am

Title: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: High 5 on October 17, 2014, 07:01:05 am
Hi Guys,

I have been looking into the whole Rallye Riding scene that seems to be taking off very nicely in SA, plus a mate of mine is doing the Amageza this year. With all the talk and training etc that has gone into his race, it really sounds appealing to me. So I decided to do a little research of my own as to what will be the best type of Rally bike to build, I am not as fortunate as my mate who has an ex Dakar KTM 660 to do the rally on, but I think most of my fun will be derived from actually building this bike myself.

I have narrowed down my choices to the following two bikes, I am going to highlight what I think are the pro’s and the con’s of each and would appreciate some positive input and opinions from guys who have done this type of build or who ride these types of races.  As we know real world experience from real riders is always the best advice.  Below are my two options:

(http://i1107.photobucket.com/albums/h391/sheldondavy1/ktm525rallye_zpsaf5c61ca.jpg) (http://s1107.photobucket.com/user/sheldondavy1/media/ktm525rallye_zpsaf5c61ca.jpg.html)

KTM 525 Exc Donor Bike:

Weight:                     113 kg
Power:              48 Hp
Oil Capacity:           1.3 Litres (HT Oil Cooler Might be necessary)
Gearbox:                   6 Speed


(http://i1107.photobucket.com/albums/h391/sheldondavy1/XR650RRallye_zps7e7e147d.jpg) (http://s1107.photobucket.com/user/sheldondavy1/media/XR650RRallye_zps7e7e147d.jpg.html)

Honda XR 650 R Donor Bike

Weight:                     131 kg
Power:              63 Hp
Oil Capacity           1.7 Litres
Gearbox:                   5 Speed

Putting the bikes side by side, I would say that the KTM has a better suspension setup and I would want to swap out the XR forks and replace them with a nice set of Showa’s off a newer CRF 450.  The KTM does not have a shush drive standard (R6,500 aftermarket option) where I believe the XR has the cush drive.  The KTM wins with the electric start, but I am also used to kickstarting a 650 thumper (left hand kick).

I know that we never build these bikes to ever profit from them, however the question must be asked as the KTM is cheaper to buy initially than the XR as the XR is a rare bike, however I have seen a KTM 530 Rallye converted bike recently on gumtree for R110k.  I am expecting to fork out between R65 – R70k on this build and wonder if I was to sell it which one would recover more of my money (opinions here most welcome)

I have many KTM’s in my garage but I still think the XR is a very special bike and with the rear tanks installed along with the big Acerbis and Desert Lizzard fairing its a one beautiful piece of equipment (just like the pic I stole of REV’s build) that would be how I want my XR to look.

I look forward to hearing the opinions of my fellow wilddogs, and thank you for reading my post.
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: BV on October 17, 2014, 08:03:06 am
XR's like petrol. .......alot.
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: LoopSoosStroop on October 17, 2014, 08:12:17 am
Easy.

WR450.
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: Gavin on October 17, 2014, 08:14:45 am
Both those bikes will be an issue for next year , I understand the max engine capacity for next year will be 450 cc
Check it out first
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: sidetrack on October 17, 2014, 08:20:03 am
Both those bikes will be an issue for next year , I understand the max engine capacity for next year will be 450 cc
Check it out first
If it's true then KTM 450, comes with 6th gear which helps a lot. Plenty of aftermarket support.
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: Sláinte Mhaith on October 17, 2014, 08:28:30 am
Why did you exclude the KTM690?

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Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: MaxThePanda on October 17, 2014, 08:38:27 am
I've done a 2013 KTM 450 FI bike this year which I picked up with 17hrs for R65k. It's a sensational bike. 1.6l oil and 6th, Cush in the clutch.
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: Bill the Bong on October 17, 2014, 09:16:26 am
Both those bikes will be an issue for next year , I understand the max engine capacity for next year will be 450 cc
Check it out first

FIM rules allow open class bikes, just the Dakar organisation that specifically prohibits it.  Not sure that Alex will want to eliminate 50%+ of his present entries, based on the number of return customers.
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: JonW on October 17, 2014, 09:21:41 am
Even though I love my XR and would never let it go, for your purpose I would definitely get either a KTM or Yammie 450.
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: Bill the Bong on October 17, 2014, 09:27:25 am
Oh, and in terms of an opinion: XR650R.  Thinking of getting one in the place of my 690.
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: adv on October 17, 2014, 09:28:15 am
525.


XR has no 6th, neither does a WR. 

Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: adv on October 17, 2014, 09:30:17 am
and then there is the suspension and brakes.

XR's dont stop. EVER.   :pot:

WR's are well rounded but have always found them lacking slightly in the power department. The are very easy to ride, but we always a tad slower than the CRF or the ATM's.

Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: Bill the Bong on October 17, 2014, 09:56:16 am
To me, the only requirements on a rally bike is that it must be mechanically simple, rugged/over-designed, have soft suspension for rocks and track straight on sand tracks naturally (without needing dampers to calm it).  The only thing I have against a 650R is the fuel consumption, and therefore, the need for serious tanks.  The numbers of gears are immaterial, as long as the gearing is well thought out and flexible.
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: LoopSoosStroop on October 17, 2014, 09:59:17 am
To me, the only requirements on a rally bike is that it must be mechanically simple, rugged/over-designed, have soft suspension for rocks and track straight on sand tracks naturally (without needing dampers to calm it).  The only thing I have against a 650R is the fuel consumption, and therefore, the need for serious tanks.  The numbers of gears are immaterial, as long as the gearing is well thought out and flexible.

Don't muddle this discussion with such logic.  ;D

Give the racers the XC-W's, and the leave the WR's for the finishers and privateers.
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: adv on October 17, 2014, 10:05:26 am
To me, the only requirements on a rally bike is that it must be mechanically simple, rugged/over-designed, have soft suspension for rocks and track straight on sand tracks naturally (without needing dampers to calm it).  The only thing I have against a 650R is the fuel consumption, and therefore, the need for serious tanks.  The numbers of gears are immaterial, as long as the gearing is well thought out and flexible.

Most of them will do around 10kml in racing conditions.
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: Buff on October 17, 2014, 10:18:25 am
I recon the new FI KTM 500 has to been the best option for a privateer Rally bike. Great suspension, light on juice,  bomb proof motor (if cared for) and easy to farkle  :thumleft:

I had a WR450 and that bike did nothing for me... and the front suspension was a dog  :(
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: Bill the Bong on October 17, 2014, 12:02:22 pm
I recon the new FI KTM 500 has to been the best option for a privateer Rally bike. Great suspension, light on juice,  bomb proof motor (if cared for) and easy to farkle  :thumleft:

I had a WR450 and that bike did nothing for me... and the front suspension was a dog  :(

If the 450 rule becomes a reality, then yes, a KTM 500 with a 450 sticker kit.
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: 2StrokeDan on October 17, 2014, 01:37:03 pm
XR650R in a proper enduro chassis, like the 450's.

But if the rule goes to max 450cc, then Yamaha WR. Their engines is simply better and tougher.
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: tour on October 17, 2014, 08:49:54 pm
or just ride a 950.... if you got da balls... >:D
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: Cracker on October 17, 2014, 09:48:15 pm
XR650R in a proper enduro chassis, like the 450's.

But if the rule goes to max 450cc, then Yamaha WR. Their engines is simply better and tougher.

Maybe not - my KLX450 has done 35000km and is still keen for plenty more - If I can source some long-range tanks for it, then it's gonna be doing an Amageza next year

With a little bit more effort Kawasaki can dominate so much more than WSBK and AMA Supercross  :pot:
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: adv on October 17, 2014, 10:38:43 pm
XR650R in a proper enduro chassis, like the 450's.

But if the rule goes to max 450cc, then Yamaha WR. Their engines is simply better and tougher.

Maybe not - my KLX450 has done 35000km and is still keen for plenty more - If I can source some long-range tanks for it, then it's gonna be doing an Amageza next year

With a little bit more effort Kawasaki can dominate so much more than WSBK and AMA Supercross  :pot:

Is that a typo? 35k?
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: 2StrokeDan on October 17, 2014, 10:51:51 pm
XR650R in a proper enduro chassis, like the 450's.

But if the rule goes to max 450cc, then Yamaha WR. Their engines is simply better and tougher.

Maybe not - my KLX450 has done 35000km and is still keen for plenty more - If I can source some long-range tanks for it, then it's gonna be doing an Amageza next year

With a little bit more effort Kawasaki can dominate so much more than WSBK and AMA Supercross  :pot:

Yes, Kawasaki's are excellent bikes indeed.
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: Dirt Junkie on October 18, 2014, 07:43:29 am
Contact Harald @ Angies G Spot someone he knows has a 525 that they are selling, were told it's spotless
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: High 5 on October 18, 2014, 09:00:26 am
Why did you exclude the KTM690?

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The 690 is a magic bike and probably the perfect machine for this application, the reason I excluded it is that by building a 690 I am in for about a R150k build and the majority of the work of building this bike would be done in somebody else’s workshop.  The main reason I want to build the 535 or the XR is because the cost will be around the R70k mark plus I can do all of the work myself.  This is the perfect little project to keep me busy in the garage as I have no projects on the go at the moment.

To me, the only requirements on a rally bike is that it must be mechanically simple, rugged/over-designed, have soft suspension for rocks and track straight on sand tracks naturally (without needing dampers to calm it).  The only thing I have against a 650R is the fuel consumption, and therefore, the need for serious tanks.  The numbers of gears are immaterial, as long as the gearing is well thought out and flexible.

This is also one of the reasons I was looking at these two bikes, the KTM has good suspension and very tuneable, the XR I would have put the CRF font end on and had a decent front setup.  The other nice thing is that there are two very nice tanks available for the XR and to me I also want a bike that looks the part.  To me this setup with the rear tank is just gorgeous!

(http://i1107.photobucket.com/albums/h391/sheldondavy1/AcerbisSeatTankDSC01845_zpsa7de462b.jpg) (http://s1107.photobucket.com/user/sheldondavy1/media/AcerbisSeatTankDSC01845_zpsa7de462b.jpg.html)

or just ride a 950.... if you got da balls... >:D


I am fortunate that I have a number of different bikes in my shed, I have a KTM 450 SX for the track, I have a KTM 380 EXC (@Tour this one takes more balls than the 950 to ride) for the Bush, I have a KTM 950 Adventure S for the trips and I have a Beta trials bike for playing around with and developing skills, I have a Maico 490 that I have restored as well as an IT 490 which I have fully restored, so this Rallye Bike would be another nice little project for me to do to keep me busy and have a nice unique machine in my garage that I have build an can be proud of.
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: MaxThePanda on October 18, 2014, 09:14:56 am
XR650R in a proper enduro chassis, like the 450's.

But if the rule goes to max 450cc, then Yamaha WR. Their engines is simply better and tougher.

Maybe not - my KLX450 has done 35000km and is still keen for plenty more - If I can source some long-range tanks for it, then it's gonna be doing an Amageza next year

With a little bit more effort Kawasaki can dominate so much more than WSBK and AMA Supercross  :pot:

Seriously?? What has been done to the engine?
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: Cracker on October 19, 2014, 02:40:30 pm
3rd set of valves went in recently, new cam chain - old one was stretched. I've done shims so many times now i can do it in my sleep  :thumleft:
One-way gear for starter wore out once
Original piston but I may have changed the rings at some stage - I can't remember - all moving parts are surprisingly still within spec.
still got the original clutch.

Previous owner did a top end rebuild in it's early life after his 'workshop' forgot to fit the air filter.

swingarm and linkage bushes and bearings have been replaced

Speedo went to heaven on about 32k so I assume it's about 35k now - oil changes are done every 500-1000ks with synthetic only. The bike is well maintained and whatever gets broken gets replaced.

The bike was used as a commercial vehicle in it's early life - planning, marking and riding various routes all over the country - hence the high mileage.

It's now used for racing and weekend warrior stuff - and unless I lie about it's mileage, which I can't do, I doubt anyone would ever buy it.

Oh, and just for you, 2SD, the guy who sold me the bike years ago replaced it with a WR ................................  which has now done 10s of thousands of kms.

I've nevr ridden the XR but the 525 just feels like a 450 to me, with a bit more power - what about the 530 or 500?

Kickstarting the XR may not be hassle but doing it on an incline or off-camber might be - and an electric start can pull you out of trouble sometimes, even if the bike doesn't fire up.
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: 2wdrift on October 19, 2014, 04:56:07 pm
I am interested in this as I have a XR650R that I am considering using for the next amageza. Not to be competitive just for kicks.
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: sidetrack on October 19, 2014, 06:33:09 pm
3rd set of valves went in recently, new cam chain - old one was stretched. I've done shims so many times now i can do it in my sleep  :thumleft:
One-way gear for starter wore out once
Original piston but I may have changed the rings at some stage - I can't remember - all moving parts are surprisingly still within spec.
still got the original clutch.

Previous owner did a top end rebuild in it's early life after his 'workshop' forgot to fit the air filter.

swingarm and linkage bushes and bearings have been replaced

Speedo went to heaven on about 32k so I assume it's about 35k now - oil changes are done every 500-1000ks with synthetic only. The bike is well maintained and whatever gets broken gets replaced.

The bike was used as a commercial vehicle in it's early life - planning, marking and riding various routes all over the country - hence the high mileage.

It's now used for racing and weekend warrior stuff - and unless I lie about it's mileage, which I can't do, I doubt anyone would ever buy it.

Oh, and just for you, 2SD, the guy who sold me the bike years ago replaced it with a WR ................................  which has now done 10s of thousands of kms.

I've nevr ridden the XR but the 525 just feels like a 450 to me, with a bit more power - what about the 530 or 500?

Kickstarting the XR may not be hassle but doing it on an incline or off-camber might be - and an electric start can pull you out of trouble sometimes, even if the bike doesn't fire up.
The plus on the 525 over the 450's is torque. Tractors well on uphills
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: Beserker on October 20, 2014, 11:52:55 am

This is also one of the reasons I was looking at these two bikes, the KTM has good suspension and very tuneable, the XR I would have put the CRF font end on and had a decent front setup.  The other nice thing is that there are two very nice tanks available for the XR and to me I also want a bike that looks the part.  To me this setup with the rear tank is just gorgeous!

(http://i1107.photobucket.com/albums/h391/sheldondavy1/AcerbisSeatTankDSC01845_zpsa7de462b.jpg) (http://s1107.photobucket.com/user/sheldondavy1/media/AcerbisSeatTankDSC01845_zpsa7de462b.jpg.html)


I think you would be lucky to source those rear tanks, and if you do, it is not all plain sailing - they are known to crack.
The XR does not have a cush hub, but they do have some funky circuit in the carb that enriches the fuel mix on gearing down that takes the strain of the gearbox.

The XR is heavy on fuel - not sure what your minimum range should be.

On the suspension, swopping out the forks with a USD setup changes the rake, and with it high speed stability - speak to Superfoxi on the forum for the lowdown on the tripple clamps required, or take your current setup to a suspension specialist. The Baja teams, with money not an option, chose to run the stock forks rather than swopping them out for USD's after extensive testing.

For my money, I will go for the Honda CR450X - out of the box more HP than the WR, simple and field maintainable SOHC engine, suspension that was developed with desert racing in mind, the top Baja teams as well as the top privateer Dakar teams use them:

http://ghrhonda.dirtbike.com.au/ (http://ghrhonda.dirtbike.com.au/)

Also, lots of over the counter components available that does not cost an arm and a leg.
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: Beserker on October 20, 2014, 11:59:18 am
But if the rule goes to max 450cc, then Yamaha WR. Their engines is simply better and tougher.

Still playing piano? How is the arthritis in your wrist?

Yes, Kawasaki's are excellent bikes indeed.

Good engines, good ergonomics, but shitty quality components (cheap rims, levers etc.) - that is why they are cheaper than other 450's
One does need to be willing to pay and upgrade some of the components to race spec, or run the risk of them failing.
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: High 5 on October 20, 2014, 01:30:48 pm
@Beserker, thank you for your reply, there is some solid advice there.  It is for all these reasons that I am asking guys with the relevant bikes to put forward their opinions.

I was also told by a mate of mine who is a very well respected bike tuner and mechanic that the stock suspension with some tweaks is better than swapping it out with the USD forks.

Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: Beserker on October 20, 2014, 02:18:00 pm
@Beserker, thank you for your reply,

 :thumleft:

Just another thing on those rear tanks - it does not take the stock seat, you need to buy the seat as well, and according to rumor, some riders prefer a solid piece of wood as it is more plush than the seat.

Have an XR650R as well, and should the opportunity arise whereby I can compete in an Amageza, I will use the 650R for no other reason than the rock solid reliability of the bike. The power and everything else I consider bonus.
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: Beserker on October 20, 2014, 02:25:34 pm
XR650R in a proper enduro chassis, like the 450's.

Out of interest, what about the chassis would you want to change?

It is super easy servicing the whole bike, including the carb, without the need to remove any plastics.

Setting valve clearances you need to take the tank of, but look at the upside - no shims.
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: voorvel on October 21, 2014, 03:49:59 pm
15L extra fuel on the 525 has a huge impact on handling. I hated my 525 with a full 25L tank.

Thing is, with the XRR, you have to carry twice as much fuel to get the same range as the 525. To a certain degree, the extra fuel does not make such a dramatic difference to the heavier by nature XRR, but it still sucks!

XRR pros:
Torque of note
It is red  ;D
It is a Honda  ;D
Stone reliable

Cons:
The 15 year old ergonomics of the XR doesn't compare well to the much slimmer and trimmer 525. You seem to sit deeper in the seat and too far away from the front wheel.
Clutch feel/modulation

525 pros:
It is cheaper
It is easier to obtain
It has a better selection of gears.
It needs half the amount of fuel
The hydraulic clutch is streets ahead of the CRF's clutch and most likely the XR's. You seem to have a wider range through which you can "slip" the clutch. Modulating the CRF's power in technical stuff was a challenge.

525 cons:
The 525 doesn't have the level of torque of the XRR.
It is orange

Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: adv on October 21, 2014, 09:00:16 pm
15L extra fuel on the 525 has a huge impact on handling. I hated my 525 with a full 25L tank.

Thing is, with the XRR, you have to carry twice as much fuel to get the same range as the 525. To a certain degree, the extra fuel does not make such a dramatic difference to the heavier by nature XRR, but it still sucks!

XRR pros:
Torque of note
It is red  ;D
It is a Honda  ;D
Stone reliable

Cons:
The 15 year old ergonomics of the XR doesn't compare well to the much slimmer and trimmer 525. You seem to sit deeper in the seat and too far away from the front wheel.
Clutch feel/modulation

525 pros:
It is cheaper
It is easier to obtain
It has a better selection of gears.
It needs half the amount of fuel
The hydraulic clutch is streets ahead of the CRF's clutch and most likely the XR's. You seem to have a wider range through which you can "slip" the clutch. Modulating the CRF's power in technical stuff was a challenge.

525 cons:
The 525 doesn't have the level of torque of the XRR.
It is orange



In motard trim, my XRR got shat on by my mates 525. I could not keep up with him over 130kph. The torque on the 650 is awesome, but its also a big bike that you need to learn to muscle around. The XR does nothing delicately. Its like a bull in a china shop. If you are under 100kg's consider the 525/530.

Biggest issue with the 650 is the gearing. To tall and you dont have a usable 1st gear. To low and you will wheelie everywhere.  The suspension alone is enough to turn me the orange way. Pity its orange and the dealer networks are so shit.

Btw, XRR parts can also be an issue.
Title: Re: XR 650 R or KTM 525 Exc for a Rallye Build - All Opinions Wanted
Post by: Beserker on October 22, 2014, 05:32:56 am

Biggest issue with the 650 is the gearing. To tall and you dont have a usable 1st gear. To low and you will wheelie everywhere. 

The suspension alone is enough to turn me the orange way.

Btw, XRR parts can also be an issue.

Gearing, for offroad, long distance: 14/45

Suspension, get the springs for your weight, and have Tom Borgenhausen or Martin Peatzhold revalve it.

Never had an issue with spares, even funny stuff, ex-Japan, never took more than a week.

But it is a bull, and it does flatten the rough stuff and tracks straight at speed.
Yes, it does not have the 2014 ergonomics but long days in the saddle is not such a huge issue.

If I had to get rid of my Zaar, I'll prefer the KTM 500 over the 690.