• Forum membership has its advantages....

2020 KTM 500 XCF-W

cynicwanderer

Well-Known Member
anyone looking at this bike ? impressions for BITD/SCORE ? seems like it's just like the EXC, but without the turn signals/horns and green sticker (but still locked) ECU. how would you compare it to the new CRF450X ? granted both are too new to really know how reliable they will be over time, although the Honda has been out for over a year now and seems to do well.

I'm still riding a RFS, which is super reliable, but I'm tired of dealing with carburetors/jetting and am entertaining the idea of getting a new fuel injected bike to race BITD/SCORE with. As a reference, I can race a whole BITD season with my RFS, with only tire/oil changes and maybe a valve clearance check and wheel bearings and water pump seals... need to change those often.

I'm not super competitive, so a 450XC-F or CRF450RX is overkill for me and seem more of a maintenance queen because of the higher strung motors and all. I'm hesitant to get a more complex bike (I'm thinking trail side repairs) especially without kick start. how hard is it to get fuel injection dialed in on these bikes with the Vortex ECU ? any reservation on the new 500XCF-W ?
 
Last edited:

Dustino81

Active Member
Hard to beat the reliability of the RFS, great motor . However I feel these new FI are relatively low maintenance as well but that also depends on how hard you race them . The new 500 XCF-W looks like a killer desert bike , big Stator already, Pankl transmissions etc. I have not messed with the Vortex stuff , but I’m very happy with my ECU re-flash from Blais Racing on my 450 . Yes there is a drawback to no kickstart , however one way I have mitigated a potential dead battery situation is to carry a micro-start jump back (small, very lightweight)
 

BajaboundMoto

Well-Known Member
As a reference, I can race a whole BITD season with my RFS, with only tire/oil changes and maybe a valve clearance check and wheel bearings and water pump seals... need to change those often.
I'm not super competitive, so a 450XC-F or CRF450RX is overkill for me and seem more of a maintenance queen because of the higher strung motors and all. I'm hesitant to get a more complex bike (I'm thinking trail side repairs) especially without kick start
That all being said...
IMO the old carb'd 450X is dynomite. Totally bulletproof, super well known, super easy to make into a perfect race bike, super easy to have 1 standard jetting spec or a minor change if going from sea level Baja to VtoR.
Justin Morgan and team could still win on a carb'd X, Justin could still win on one of my rental racer carb'd X's (he's raced our bikes a few times).

Also, Justin has been doing his best to destroy his FI-X practice bike, but he can't. He's got over 300 hours of hard riding on it with only periodic valve adj checks, oil and air filter maintenance. The other day he was shaking his head at the bike with an expression on his face like he can't believe the abuse it takes and is still perfect.
 

mikefrick

Member
Different bike, but I’ve got a 2017 350xcf. 2 Baja 1000’s, pre ran another Baja 1000, 2 desert 100’s (WA desert race) and countless hours punishing it on brutal Washington single track. Fuel injection is unbelievably crisp. Only oil changes and air filters. Valves still in spec. Original battery, no kickstarter. I’d say that’s pretty reliable. 🤷‍♂️
 

Dustino81

Active Member
Different bike, but I’ve got a 2017 350xcf. 2 Baja 1000’s, pre ran another Baja 1000, 2 desert 100’s (WA desert race) and countless hours punishing it on brutal Washington single track. Fuel injection is unbelievably crisp. Only oil changes and air filters. Valves still in spec. Original battery, no kickstarter. I’d say that’s pretty reliable. 🤷‍♂️
Original top end still, how many hours you got on it ? Been nothing but happy with my 450SXF , 220 hours on it 👍
 
Top