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Cycle News Dual Sport Comparison

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I feel like I am about to ask a bunch of baseball fans, Who is Babe Ruth and why is she so coveted?


So seriously, what makes KTM such a popular brand? I see a lot of KTM bikes on the trails. Is it people just being brand loyal? Are people drinking some magic coolaid? Are they marketed better? Are they a social status on the trail? Or are they really just that good? I will say I have never ridden one. But from the reading I have done, they seem to be maintenance intensive and expensive to maintain. Wouldn't the better choice be something more affordable, something more reliable and something easier/cheaper to maintain?


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Been a Honda guy for many years; always on an XR (Bought first one-XR500R-in '82 and knew the owner of the Honda dealership and got it plated).  Continued on from there with the latest one I have being a 50th birthday gift from my wife ('08 XR650L).  I can say without fail that these bikes run religiously and require very little maintenance.  

Got my first KTM last October.  The thought process on my end was that I am getting older (will be 60 this year) and the Honda is heavy and getting harder to push around (I won't sell it as it has been set up for the desert and is a great dual sport bike).  The KTM is roughly 100 pounds lighter and came plated, just like my XR.  I changed the oil at 1 hour like the manual calls for and will do my normal maintenance; too soon to see if it is "expensive" or "high maintenance" but I am optimistic that it will run and perform with minimal attention (relevant term).

I think that it is possible that some of the other bikes listed in the article will start to chip away at KTM's dominance in this market, but KTM has been so far ahead for so long that it will take time.  The pricing of these other bikes listed are close enough to KTM's price that I think they will have to really shine to get people to pay that kind of dough to chose red or yellow/blue over orange.

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