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    • cvdavis

      This Husqvarna 701 rally/adventure kited bike is serious bike porn for me. Anyone else out there wishing it was for sale at the local dealer? The KTM 450 Rally is maybe the only bike out there that can compete with this one though it's a bit too much of a racer to be a good adventure bike. Anyone have a pick of a better looking light weight adventure bike?

    • cvdavis

      This mock up model of a KTM 450 rally is the only other bike that has the potential to knock the 701 rally off the top sexiest dirt bike podium. Imagine this 450 with some custom decals. It has such sharp lines and just drools future. It's no wonder my girlfriend often wonders who this Katie-M is that I talk about so often :)

    • neduro

      Agree it is serious porn! I'm glad other people see it the same way I do.

      I'm lucky to have a 450RR and previously, I had a 690RR. You are right to lust- the balance of the bike is amazing. Most bikes can be gotten most places, but the rallybikes actually perform well almost everywhere, from freeway to trail. And they aren't delicate- even the 450 version is good for many thousands of miles with minimal maintenance.

      The stock 701 is pretty good, but it isn't much fun on the freeway with no wind protection, and the suspension is limiting in the dirt. All the twins make hardcore dirt more work than it needs to be. So I agree, that 701 rally would be the right bike for so many of us.

      I've got a 690cc rally motor to put in my 450 whenever I get around to it, the frames are the same. I thought the 450 would make a lousy touring bike, but the reality is, it works pretty well. Only the 5 speed gearbox is problematic- geared for technical riding (15/48 or so) it is happy at 60-65 rather than 70-75. I'm headed to Baja with it early in the year and really looking forward to a good wander.

      Here's a pic of my old 690 in Baja, that was a neat bike. It struck an incredible balance between agility and stability- it turned really well but went fast in a straight line even better.

    • cvdavis

      I think putting that 690 rally motor in the 450 would make just about an absolutely perfect hard core dirt adventure bike. I don't know how much vibration is in that 690 motor but I'm sure it's much less than my 690 Adventure motor and has a lot more power too. I guess the only thing that could possibly be better than putting a 690 motor in a 450 rally would be to put a 701 motor in there. What do you think about that?

      My first dualsport was a 1999 WR400 that I made street legal using a Baja Designs kit. I raced it with nothing more than removing the headlight and rear fenders/signal lights. I broke the occasional front signal light but that was rare because they were tucked in pretty well. That bike was bullet proof! I pulled the top end off at 1500km because I knew nothing about 4 strokes at the time and wanted to see if everything was okay. The next time I took it apart was after it had 10,000 miles on it!! The valves were still within tolerances! I still pulled the cases apart to change the crank bearing, rod, piston and bearings but overall it was in great shape. The piston wasn't even bad but I changed it anyway. I sold that bike and then bought a 2007 KTM 450 EXC and a 2003 KTM 690 Enduro. I then moved and had 3 dualsport bikes in the middle of a big city. It was too far a drive to get to the trail head (45-60minutes on pavement) so I sold the WR and trucked the KTM EXC to the trail head. The 690 was the right bike for the longer paved sections but it had no wind protection so I tore it down and convered it into a 690 Adventure. That made it great for long gravel adventure rides but the vibration issue detroyed the enjoyment on any rides that had more than an hour of pavement riding. I decided to keep the 690 in California and riding it in the desert was the perfect home for the bike. Last year I finally brought it back to Canada because it was having some issues (turns out it was a rear in the accelerator pump gasket). I'm going to try some triple clamp and handlebar vibration damping solutions but I don't expect it to get too much better. The bike is amazing off road but horrible on the highway. I'm looking for a new Adventure bike but nothing fits my requirements at this time. The 701 enduro has a smooth and powerful motor but no wind screen. The 450 EXC was just too much of a serious woods bike and not good for highway. The Yamaha WR400 would hit 100 miles per hour on the highway if I was tucked down and proved to be much more suitable for dual sport than the KTM EXC actually.

      I have dreamed of owning a 690 rally for years and almost bought one for $24,000 US before I decided to convert my 690 enduro to an adventure. The Canadian dollar had dropped and made the rally too expensive to justify. Since 2004 I've been waiting for a new single cylinder, light weight adventure bike to come out but none has so far. The CCM 450 was getting close to what I wanted and would have been great but the BMW motor was a bit of a question mark as well as a little underpowered from what I'd have prefered. Getting a 450 rally bike street legalized must have been a challenge and the price must be pretty crazy. So thus far the 701 Husqvarna with a rally/adventure type kit is the best bet. The thought of having to buy a bike then turn it into an adventure afterwards though is not that appealing to me. It should look factory and be cheaper than having to add a kit. Having a 450 rally would also really make me want a 6th gear. When you said minimal maintenance I wondered what that meant for you. I'm able to take 4 stroke motors apart but it's no fun and I still get nervous each time I do it. Nervous that I'll mess something up. I sometimes wonder why KTM doesn't throw a 525 motor in the rally, add more oil capacity and maybe a thicker base gasket to add some reliability and then sell it to the public. I guess it's just to niche and expensive but it's sure be a sweet bike. Rally Management in the usa (I think that's what they're called) used to modify their KTM's to last long events but I still wondered how reliable they'd be. It'd be nice to have a seriously light bike like a 450 but with maintenance intervals like a 701. Having been a MX and woods racer since I was 11 years old makes me want a light bike. I'm also only 150lbs right now so I can't handle a bigger bike when it falls over and I don't want a heavy pig of a bike when I'm in the deep sand in the desert.

    • cvdavis

      What do you think about the new 450 rally biks? They've sure shaved off a lot of weight and made everything look so sleek and purposeful. They are so amazing I want one like I used to want Cindy Crawford when I was 16 years old.

    • neduro

      Sexy!

      I haven't ridden the latest one, but a friend has and he says it is a huge step up on the last one. Lighter/ quicker/ more moto is his review, and with a supercross win on his resume, I guess he would know.

      Dakar is changing to become more technical, and the bike is changing with it. I couldn't be happier to see it. The only downside I see is that the bikes are becoming more focused and less applicable to adventure touring.

    • cvdavis

      Your last sentence hits the nail on the head. Every bike is a compromise but a new 450 rally with say a 701 engine in it would be pretty close to perfect don't you think? If only the 701 was around 100 lbs lighter :) haha.

    • Herb

      I saw a 701 with the Husky semi-rigid saddlebags at WSBK. It is a pretty awesome looking bike. I hope we see more of the mid sized dual sports offered with travel kits.

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