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Im new to supermoto and keep going back and forth on what bike to get. I think I really would prefer a lighter 450 but everytime I decide that I hear horror stories about maintence intervals and reliability. I would do slight commuting on the bike with maybe a little highway use. Also want to be able to go off-road and find bigger atv trails for fun. I’m worried the 701 is just to big for supermoto things (jumps, power slides, stairs off-road riding) but worried the 450/501 won’t last on the street. I don’t mind turning a wrench and changing oil every week but don’t want to go broke paying for maintence and burn out the bikes longetivity. Hoping to keep this bike for years to come. Any advice on owners of a 450 or 701 would be greatly appreciate, what do you like and dislike about your bike? Is the 450 reliable? Is the 701 to heavy?
 

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I’ve been doing the Supermoto thing for 2/3’rds of my life and I’m a old guy now.I used to race Maico’s in NESC motocross series all around New England.
I bought a very unusual 400 enduro off the shops owner, about 1974, it had a lighting coil electric ignition, so it had basic lights, and a wide ratio transmission, bigger fuel tank, just ran universal tires, was able to register it..
It was a dream back then, could do roads to get into more dirt .

Since then I’ve had MANY factory made SM’s
ATK 605 SM
TM Racing 540 Black Dream SM
Aprilia SXV 550 SM

and built a totally Custom Honda XR650 R Supermoto That I still have.

I’m a maintenance freak, Nobody does more oil changes, or keeps up with a motorcycle like me, but the last thing I want with any of my vehicles is to do major tear downs of engines to rebuild or replace parts, huge expense, no gain except keeping it reliable.

The 690 /701 engines are better than ever today, it’s got the most stock hp that anyone makes in a single cylinder motorcycle ( by far) and it’s very reliable, with great quality oil and above average maintenance it will easily go tens of thousands of miles before anything international needs replacement.

My friend knew the race mechanic who was building Aprilia’s US factory SM race engines in the day, they were getting 78 RWHP out of a 550, so Mark built his Aprilia 550 and it to was dynoed @78 HP, what we really didn’t understand at the time was yes it’s was totally exotic, but being a PURE Race bike it needed a full engine rebuild at 5,000 miles. And we were changing the engine oils/filters every 3-400 miles. I purchased it from him and one day
I brought it to the dealership for a health ck as they called it at 3,900 miles, some of the valve seats were slightly recessed, they readjusted the valves, it cost me $1,200. OUCH😩😩😩 didn’t like that at all.

I put 5,200 miles on it before I sold it too a millionaire friend as I didn’t want it to Grenade on me and it’ll still cost between $ 4-7,000 Dollars to get that engine rebuilt, the guy who bought it off me was made fully aware of what he was getting into, and of course I took a huge loss on it.

I’ll never go that route again. After I modded my Husky 701 Mark and I both agreed the Husky had similar power to the Aprilia, slightly heavier about 20 or so pounds, but the Husky will go a long time before it needs anything, and what it may need WAY down the line will be basic clutch plates, and a $250 forged piston and the accompanying gaskets, now that’s wat I’m talking about.

Life’s all about compromises, yes of course a SM derived from a 450 /500 motocross bike will be lighter, nimbler, ect. More fun to wheelie or drive over obstacles. But it will never go anywhere as long reliably or as inexpensively as a bike with a engine like the ATK 605, Honda XR650R or the KTM/Husky 690/701 bikes.
 

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2013 KTM 500 EXC 2018 Husqvarna 701 SM
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I currently have a 701 and a 500 EXC. It really depends what you enjoy doing more. The 500 doesn’t even compare to the 701 on street/canyon rides and commuting just because it has longer maintenance intervals and obviously it handles better but having said that the 500 is perfectly fine on the street and commuting as long as you aren’t ringing it’s neck all the time. The 500 is pretty powerful so I geared it a little taller and it can comfortably go 85 on the street without being at redline. The 701 has a lot more to give and I take it off-roading all the time. It is about 100 lbs heavier than the 500 but still does great off-road. Idk about stairs but for jumps it’s perfectly fine. Either way both bikes can do steeet and off road. The 701 will be doesn’t need maintenance as often but even the 500 is easy to handle with maintenance.
 
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