KTM 500EXC and Honda XR650L – MotoGeo Review

Dual-sport motorcycles are one of the most versatile and fun bikes you can ride.

Pro motorcyclists Eric Bostrom and Jamie Robinson take two contrasting machines for a MotoGeo Adventure in the Angeles National Forest and then give you the lowdown.

Gear Featured:

Jacket: Alpinestars Durban Gore-tex Jacket http://www.motogeo.com/w012

Pants: Alpinestars Durban Gore-tex Pants http://www.motogeo.com/3bsx

Helmet: Arai XD4 http://www.motogeo.com/vxcu

Backpack: Kriega http://www.motogeo.com/t75i

Boots: Alpinestars Tech 10 Boots http://www.motogeo.com/gwdh

Gloves: Alpinestars SMX 1 Air Gloves http://www.motogeo.com/cio6


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Music by: Audio Network


Conner O'Brien says:

“What are the biggest differences between the two?”
Well, pretty much everything, about 50 lbs in weight, much much more suspension capability, about twice the horsepower, and far better brakes all in favor to the KTM.

Adam Alvarez says:

That $10,000+ price tag is great until you hit the road for any reasonable length of time. I’d rather be on my WR250R or the XR650L if I have to actually ride to the trail. There’s also the very huge difference of maintenance. The KTM is owner is going to spend as much time maintaining it (if you follow the manual) as he is riding it, whereas you can treat any of the Japanese bikes almost like a car maintenance wise.

Don’t get me wrong, the KTM’s are amazing, but Yamaha or Honda could just as easily slap a plate on a 450 and call it a day. But the bike would be impractical on the road and very unreliable, hence the reason the WR250R is a 100% different bike than the WR250F, same with the CRF250L/CRF250X, DRZ400 etc…

nicbleu says:

xr650l cant go wrong

ocharni says:

apples and oranges…XR compares to the 690, the EXC is a dirtbike, not a DS.

J says:

same old tired honda

ohaleceiffel says:

whats the make of the backpack the guy on the KTM is wearing?

g cragg says:

well its all about personal prioritizes . Isn’t it. I mean its obvious if you want a quicker lighter more nimble bike off road ( and you can afford it) its the ktm. If your more just back road riding and such the Honda would be great. Apples and oranges really. And thats good. Something for everyone.
The point the one guy was making at the end about wishing more companies would make a more off road worthy dual purpose was certainly spot on.

BloodstainedSinner says:

New, better batery, FMF full exhaust, smog equipment removal, XR400R tail light, and you can drop 20-25lbs off the XR650l, and gain 7 or 8 horsepower in the process.

Nick S says:

Sound level is at a whisper.  Appreciate a good review, but not if I cannot hear it.

Izom says:

after having a bunch of bikes – also excs- and after ridin over 30 years i would take the honda again- slower , heavier- but much more comfort and much less to worry about…just easy offroad fun- and with the money u save make a nice holiday! 😉

D. Alex Oprea says:

How’s the KTM’s reliability?

Patrick Elliott says:

Can you ride this ktm 2 up?

blake bouldin says:

haha ktm beats that pos honda anyday all day, screw reliability, take care of your bike and it will last. go KTM

Franco Vision says:

Why would anybody pay $5,000 for a 100 pounds when you can shave off 100 pounds off the Honda… Aluminum rims, lighter forks, etc… KTM is a good bike and honda needs to fuel inject the 650L… Fuel injection will bring the mpg up to 75 mpg…

John Munoz says:

KTM 500 EXC = Street Legal Dirt Bike
Honda XR650L = Dual Sport Bike
Also, performance seems to be related to reliability and maintenence costs.
You can’t compare a race bike to a low performance bike.
The XR holds 3 quarts of oil, so the oil interval is not every ride like a race bike.
Not to mention, top ends on modern 4 strokes are not going to go 50K miles like the old XR.

SteveSeiwald says:

Does Eric have an airbag vest?

Sportster06 says:

Good review. I currently have a CRF450x which is a great bike. However the KTM is an awesome bike. WHY didn’t Honda develop the XR 650R?. We want a powerful well suspended bike with great brakes, awesome wheels, sprockets , chain, handle bars, great range, great tyres, that is super reliable. AKA XR650R. Come on. Even Kawasaki could be killing the pig. KTM has the perfect bike being the 690Enduro R. Honda could build that for much less and I could ride it around Australia. Yamaha could use the Raptor 700 motor (which I’ve had) and kill the pig. What the fuck are these guys thinking. It’s all good building race bikes but what about the guys who just want to ride? You have to buy a pussa XR650L in the states or a pussa DR650 in Australia. Or spend near on 20g to have a KTM 690 that will carry your shit. At least there is a manufacturer called AJP from Portugal that is about to release something that would satisfy my needs. Only problem is no Cunt would buy it

Casa Del Amo says:

xr blows it away with reliability, no fuel injection or fuel pump, air cooled gravity fed fuel and carbs. equals more riding while the high teck ktm is in the shop or stranded in the back woods with no parts support

1966Hemi426 says:

Bought 2016 XR650L and love it. Performs awesome and is super reliable.

Franco Vision says:

KTM 500 mpg avgs… 41 vs the Honda 650 avg. 45 mpg 150 cc gives you as much power with better range. If the KTM was a 650 it would get 35… So KTM dumps fuel to get its power…

Jonathan Lachapelle says:

The XR is such a sexy looking bike, I want one so bad

Zsolt Lukács says:

air cooling the best endurance block.ktm nice light strong but all day repar,repair and repair…the really enduro is xr 400r and xr 600r..

aymerick messier says:

i like how a 23 year old bike can keep up with these i-tech bike

koch says:

The Xr can pull a wheelie? Hmmm

M773 says:

Xr all day anyday. Fuck that ktm

Spike Spikus says:

I like the honda because it’s like a retro bike really it hasn’t changed

Clete88 says:

The XR650L is the only thing that was stolen from me that didn’t really break my heart….because it was insured. The bike is a pig and is very top heavy, just plain heavy….too heavy for any real off-roading fun….and when you spill it, it’s not fun picking this pig back up either.. It comes jetted way too lean and takes a while to warm up from a cold start, but that’s fixable.
One good thing is that on the highway , it’s fairly stable at speed…..

I’m buying a KTM500EXC and a bunch of filters..

MarcusProductions says:

Decent reviews

Greencrayon says:

the 690 is a fitting comparison to the xr650

Paul Brian says:

Not sure that they are 100lbs apart. Did you weigh them? I have. You’d be surprised. Easy to lighten up, as well. Love the KTM, don’t love the maintenance. KTM is ready to go out of the box, XR needs a fair amount of love to make it really worthy. With that work, it’s lighter, faster, and still more durable than the KTM.

That said, I’m a KTM owner. LC4!

Brian Shaw says:

Not a good comparison. The Xr is a dual sport bike. The Ktm is a street legal dirt bike. The Xr is old technology, the ktm is new. The Xr is a low maintenance low compression bike, the ktm is the opposite. The Xr is set up for 50% road 50% dirt. The ktm is set up for 80% dirt 20% road. The xr is cheap compared to the ktm. If you wanted a dirtbike that can go on the street, the ktm is the way to go. If you wanted a dual sport, the xr is the way to go. This video kind of makes the xr look like a piece of shit because it is being compared to a new tech, faster, and more agile bike.

Charley Smith says:

review them after 30,000 kilometers

CalgaryDynastar says:

The XR still looks like a 1980s bike

Alec krueger says:

was this filmed in SD county? Ramona/Pamu valley specifically?

Tom Dilex says:

there is almost everything the same from 1989 lol HONDA

haggeo romero says:

I had an XR 650R and loved it but my 350 EXC-F is way more fun for me, my size and the terrain that i ride. the honda was way too heavy in comparison so a 150-200 mile ride in the northern california forests or the sierras was almost a survival situation by the end of the day. ideally i would still have the honda for death valley and baja but i slap my 13 liter tank on and it works out just fine. i keep the oil changed (not after every ride like some people imagine), air filter cleaned, chain lubed and it’s never failed me or even looked sideways at me even though i wring it’s neck.

Clint Strode says:

Funny, I rode a 650L for several years before upgrading to the EXC 500. Two completely different bikes with two completely different purposes. The 650L is a GREAT bike if you want low maintenance, don’t mind the weight, and are ok with 1980’s suspension. I rode the 650L for years in places like Death Valley and the Sierra National Forrest where I was confident it would ALWAYS get me home. It is a GREAT bike, and for reliability, it has no equal (KLR is close). The EXC 500, on the other hand, is a top of the line dirt bike that just happens to be street legal. It’s like comparing a fighter jet to a cargo plane. I loved my 650L, but where performance is concerned, there is no comparison to the EXC 500.

ᴊᴏʀɪᴄ says:

So basically the KTM shits all over the old piece of shit Honda?

Simon Petkov says:

I would like the looks of the ktm and the performance on the honda

Anthony Nganga says:

Great tank, great color, great..great…great..I’m done with mvlogz!

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