Should Factory Editions offer WP's best suspension?

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2/14/2021 10:30 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/14/2021 10:34 AM

The limited edition concept has proven to have a market, and many feel there is better value in having the factory make the upgrades and not have a bunch of brand new parts left over by doing it yourself.

Should the factories take it further? Would you for instance buy a KTM/Husky with WP cone valves and trax shock for say $15k? Let's assume you will still save thousands over doing it yourself. Would there be a big enough market if Kit suspension was offered?

It seems odd to still have better upgrades left in the parts brochure.

On a related note, why don't we see a Factory/Works edition shootout?

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2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart

2/14/2021 10:48 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/14/2021 10:49 AM

It would seem rather logical... but probably would appeal to less people.
A niche into a niche.

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2/14/2021 10:48 AM

I was inclined to say no, but then I remembered that all a lot of folks care about is “what’s my monthly payment?”

Back in the days of 2500.00 125’s, everyone paid cash. Nowadays, people think nothing of getting a 72-month loan on an asset that depreciates 33-50% in the first year...

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2/14/2021 10:52 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/14/2021 10:57 AM

Nah. The buyer for the expensive special editions with blingy upgrades are often also the buyers for high-end kit suspension. Why sell a guy one set of forks when he will willingly purchase two?

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2/14/2021 10:55 AM

KTM exc-f 350 WESS edition costs 14600€ with taxes included. It has WP airforks and cool stickers. If you add Conevalve/Trax you will get Tesla car cheaper soon..

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2/14/2021 10:58 AM

Anyone remember the KTM SXS? That had quite a few of the parts catalog thrown at it, not bad price too as I recall

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2/14/2021 11:05 AM

Ive never really understood why Kawi & Mitch couldn't work together to do a PC package on a new bike where you could select exactly which components you want.

Have you ever looked at Trek's project one website?

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The above may be fact or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting. I am not sure, you have no chance.

2/14/2021 11:08 AM

Having the ability to option out your new bike would be ideal. If the bike came with the option of “factory” suspension then it shouldn’t be 15K because it would come with one set of suspension, that is subtract cost of regular suspension. Rough numbers, kit suspension 5K, subtract cost of stock stuff $2,500. So retail with kit suspension around $13K.

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2/14/2021 11:11 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/14/2021 11:12 AM

Thisusernameisavailable wrote:

Ive never really understood why Kawi & Mitch couldn't work together to do a PC package on a new bike where you could select exactly which components you want.

Have you ever looked at Trek's project one website?

Because until the recent spinoff, Kawasaki was a train and ship company that also made a few bikes. They are about as agile as one of their supertankers. Trek is a bicycle company.

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2/14/2021 1:14 PM

Johnny Depp wrote:

The limited edition concept has proven to have a market, and many feel there is better value in having the factory make the upgrades and not have a bunch of brand new parts left over by doing it yourself.

Should the factories take it further? Would you for instance buy a KTM/Husky with WP cone valves and trax shock for say $15k? Let's assume you will still save thousands over doing it yourself. Would there be a big enough market if Kit suspension was offered?

It seems odd to still have better upgrades left in the parts brochure.

On a related note, why don't we see a Factory/Works edition shootout?

I would be worried at some point you would be setting a standard for $15k+ bikes... And does the value of CV forks and Traxx shock really transfer over to your average or above average rider?

That being said, I look at what KTM did with the KR Edition and I cannot buy a standard 350XCF and add those parts for cheaper then what I can buy that bike for. An IMS tank alone, landed here in Canada is nearly $600, FMF slip-on another $600...

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2/14/2021 1:21 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/14/2021 1:22 PM

Dirty Points wrote:

Nah. The buyer for the expensive special editions with blingy upgrades are often also the buyers for high-end kit suspension. Why sell a guy one set of forks when he will willingly purchase two?

This is probably the real reason we won't see it.

While it appears I want to spend more money in the bike price, I'd actually be spending less..

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2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart

2/14/2021 1:21 PM

I think the FE KTMs should have the trick stuff. KTM makes a 790 and 890 Rally model, which has the high end suspension.

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2/14/2021 1:34 PM

It would be cool if they sold a model where they pulled out all the stops and just put the best of the best on it (wheels, suspension, etc). No idea if there is a market for a $20-$25K bike out of the showroom but it sure would get a lot of attention.

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2/14/2021 1:34 PM

If they did it like rcmx said, I would've bought a ktm over my WE..

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2/14/2021 1:36 PM

People would gladly buy them with CVs. There are people that swap out before they even ride the bike new.

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The older I get, the faster I was.

2/14/2021 2:35 PM

Best? Lol, the best suspension for an individual is tuned to the riders abilities and the terrain. Cove valves are for kids who buy $500 Jordan’s

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2/14/2021 2:51 PM

I would gladly take a stock ktm 450sx with kit suspension coming stock as a factory edition and give back all the bullshit they throw at the current FE bec to me, the most important part 0f a factory bike is the suspension.

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2/14/2021 2:56 PM

It would only be cool if it came valves and spring for you.

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2/14/2021 4:54 PM

You can buy a standard edition KTM 450 with WP pro suspension from a full line KTM/WP dealer for 15 K.

I'm not sure that putting advanced level suspension on any production bike is the way to go, because not everyone who buys the bike can use it without getting hammered.

Example - this past Friday, I saw TWO brand new 2021 450 FE's freshies at Pala, and the vet guys riding them looked like they were getting back into the sport after a long layoff, based on their speed and fitness - now if those bikes came with full on WP pro stuff, it would have made their day a lot worse because CV spring forks don't move a lot in second gear at 30 mph when you roll tables.

I talked to one of the guys and he didn't even know that you had to set and check pressure on the fork, let alone adjust the clickers. That guy didn't need advanced suspension. He said he bought the FE because it looked cooler than the regular KTM.

I made my own personalized 450 FE with the key performance parts I need to go faster with more comfort. Sure I don't have an orange frame or those obnoxious Red Bull graphics, but I ride for results, not how the bike looks on the stand.

Everybody likes different performance parts on their bike, and if I buy an FE or WE edition I have to take whatever exhaust or suspension is on the bike at a premium price, OR I can spend the same money and put on the stuff that works for me.

I think selling a REAL factory bike with factory level components would get a lot of riders in trouble.

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2/14/2021 5:10 PM

Its all relative really. If the manufactures came out with a "real" factory spec bike people would buy them. Probably not you or I but they would definitely sell. Hey, all bikes are selling right now. Think about going to a car dealership and building a vehicle you want instead of buying just one off the lot. Obviously the moto industry isn't like that however, a good dealership will normally get you most of the parts on your new ride at a heavy discount if you're buying a new bike. To sum this up, if kawi, honda, yamaha, suzuki, ktm, etc.. put out a true factory bike at limited quantities, they would probably sell no matter the price tag. There's always dudes out there that want the best of the best regardless if they sit in the garage or not.

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2/14/2021 5:15 PM

The problem would be mass producing A kit suspension, there is a reason why it’s so expensive.

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2/14/2021 5:20 PM

Brent wrote:

You can buy a standard edition KTM 450 with WP pro suspension from a full line KTM/WP dealer for 15 K.

I'm not sure that putting advanced level suspension on any production bike is the way to go, because not everyone who buys the bike can use it without getting hammered.

Example - this past Friday, I saw TWO brand new 2021 450 FE's freshies at Pala, and the vet guys riding them looked like they were getting back into the sport after a long layoff, based on their speed and fitness - now if those bikes came with full on WP pro stuff, it would have made their day a lot worse because CV spring forks don't move a lot in second gear at 30 mph when you roll tables.

I talked to one of the guys and he didn't even know that you had to set and check pressure on the fork, let alone adjust the clickers. That guy didn't need advanced suspension. He said he bought the FE because it looked cooler than the regular KTM.

I made my own personalized 450 FE with the key performance parts I need to go faster with more comfort. Sure I don't have an orange frame or those obnoxious Red Bull graphics, but I ride for results, not how the bike looks on the stand.

Everybody likes different performance parts on their bike, and if I buy an FE or WE edition I have to take whatever exhaust or suspension is on the bike at a premium price, OR I can spend the same money and put on the stuff that works for me.

I think selling a REAL factory bike with factory level components would get a lot of riders in trouble.

So what, Ford sells plenty of 700 horsepower GT500 to people who can't drive.

Everyone needs to get over the old guys buying FEs and trading them with 3 hours on them. its good business for dealers, good for the used bike market and besides, they have the disposable income which make $15K a year irrelevant to them. Let em buy whatever the hell they want..that's what makes life awesome!

And guess what, when you're old you're going to be one of us so stop making fun of yourself!!

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2/14/2021 5:28 PM

Brent wrote:

You can buy a standard edition KTM 450 with WP pro suspension from a full line KTM/WP dealer for 15 K.

I'm not sure that putting advanced level suspension on any production bike is the way to go, because not everyone who buys the bike can use it without getting hammered.

Example - this past Friday, I saw TWO brand new 2021 450 FE's freshies at Pala, and the vet guys riding them looked like they were getting back into the sport after a long layoff, based on their speed and fitness - now if those bikes came with full on WP pro stuff, it would have made their day a lot worse because CV spring forks don't move a lot in second gear at 30 mph when you roll tables.

I talked to one of the guys and he didn't even know that you had to set and check pressure on the fork, let alone adjust the clickers. That guy didn't need advanced suspension. He said he bought the FE because it looked cooler than the regular KTM.

I made my own personalized 450 FE with the key performance parts I need to go faster with more comfort. Sure I don't have an orange frame or those obnoxious Red Bull graphics, but I ride for results, not how the bike looks on the stand.

Everybody likes different performance parts on their bike, and if I buy an FE or WE edition I have to take whatever exhaust or suspension is on the bike at a premium price, OR I can spend the same money and put on the stuff that works for me.

I think selling a REAL factory bike with factory level components would get a lot of riders in trouble.

100% this. Stuff feels really harsh when you are just riding around and to be honest majority of people would be better off just using stock. Can be difficult to find places that will work with them too outside of CA. I got cone valves/trax on my 14 (just to get rid of 4cs) and its can get super harsh if you’re going at a slower pace or getting tired. I try not to ride that bike if I’ve been off for a while.

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2014 Ducati Monster 1200
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2003 Kawasaki KX500
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2/14/2021 7:01 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/14/2021 7:01 PM

Virtually every pro puts on new suspension 1st thing. There are plenty with disposable income that most can't imagine that would find it convenient to buy a bike built up to the top level, even if it is for C level Vet racing or never hits the track.

The fact that Cone valves aren't comfortable to many is for a different thread, this is not about those details. There are plenty of Kit forks out there that work fine for a variety of riders and conditions. The Cone valves are probably a bad example, but they are what KTM offers so..

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2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart

2/14/2021 8:22 PM

nickm wrote:

So what, Ford sells plenty of 700 horsepower GT500 to people who can't drive.

Everyone needs to get over the old guys buying FEs and trading them with 3 hours on them. its good business for dealers, good for the used bike market and besides, they have the disposable income which make $15K a year irrelevant to them. Let em buy whatever the hell they want..that's what makes life awesome!

And guess what, when you're old you're going to be one of us so stop making fun of yourself!!

I just turned 60. Am I there yet?

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2/14/2021 11:33 PM

Brent wrote:

You can buy a standard edition KTM 450 with WP pro suspension from a full line KTM/WP dealer for 15 K.

I'm not sure that putting advanced level suspension on any production bike is the way to go, because not everyone who buys the bike can use it without getting hammered.

Example - this past Friday, I saw TWO brand new 2021 450 FE's freshies at Pala, and the vet guys riding them looked like they were getting back into the sport after a long layoff, based on their speed and fitness - now if those bikes came with full on WP pro stuff, it would have made their day a lot worse because CV spring forks don't move a lot in second gear at 30 mph when you roll tables.

I talked to one of the guys and he didn't even know that you had to set and check pressure on the fork, let alone adjust the clickers. That guy didn't need advanced suspension. He said he bought the FE because it looked cooler than the regular KTM.

I made my own personalized 450 FE with the key performance parts I need to go faster with more comfort. Sure I don't have an orange frame or those obnoxious Red Bull graphics, but I ride for results, not how the bike looks on the stand.

Everybody likes different performance parts on their bike, and if I buy an FE or WE edition I have to take whatever exhaust or suspension is on the bike at a premium price, OR I can spend the same money and put on the stuff that works for me.

I think selling a REAL factory bike with factory level components would get a lot of riders in trouble.

nickm wrote:

So what, Ford sells plenty of 700 horsepower GT500 to people who can't drive.

Everyone needs to get over the old guys buying FEs and trading them with 3 hours on them. its good business for dealers, good for the used bike market and besides, they have the disposable income which make $15K a year irrelevant to them. Let em buy whatever the hell they want..that's what makes life awesome!

And guess what, when you're old you're going to be one of us so stop making fun of yourself!!

Brent wrote:

I just turned 60. Am I there yet?

Why do people with perfectly strong, working arms have cars with electric windows??

If you can answer this, then you also know the answer to why amateur riders buy super-trick bikes.

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The above may be fact or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting. I am not sure, you have no chance.

2/15/2021 5:26 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/15/2021 5:26 PM

Brent wrote:

I just turned 60. Am I there yet?

QUICK!! Go buy an FE and make sure you shine up the tires like the rest of us :D !!!

See you Sunday!

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2/15/2021 6:42 PM

Cars come in various trim levels, so should dirt bikes.

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2/15/2021 6:46 PM

13k out the door vs 19k out the door........... at that point whats the difference. By time my kids are 20 bikes will be $30,000.

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GP740
Since 1987

2/15/2021 6:47 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/15/2021 6:48 PM

RCMXracing wrote:

Having the ability to option out your new bike would be ideal. If the bike came with the option of “factory” suspension then it shouldn’t be 15K because it would come with one set of suspension, that is subtract cost of regular suspension. Rough numbers, kit suspension 5K, subtract cost of stock stuff $2,500. So retail with kit suspension around $13K.

KTM could do it; but, the metrics are a bit diffenent than your calc's...and I realize you said "rough numbers"...so, what if we sharpen the pencil and take a harder look at it?

The stock stuff is made in the THOUSANDS...
The CVs/Trax are made in the HUNDREDS...
(That's an educated guess...& that's qty of units annually. Again, that's an educated guess based on observing the industry and KTM/WP closely)
So, the credit your giving for the stock stuff is less and the price you'd add for the WP Pro stuff is more. This is based on the assumption of KTM doing a Red Bull SXS Edition...at say...400 units (Homologation minimum if I'm not mistaked...?).

I'd estimate the 450 would be $14,999 (Current Red Bull Edition is $11,299)
That's $3,700 more & I'm assuming it would have better triple clamps and linkage (Factory Billet parts) and select Ti bits or other lightweight/factory goodies and all the best electronics.

Like others were saying, this would be kind of like the earlier SXS bikes.

I think they should do it.

All the while...and it's kinda funny...the new shock I've seen in testing for the next gen SXF is huge and looks A LOT like the Trax.

Honda oughta do the same thing with the CRF-R WE...what would they call it..."Team Replica" or "HRC Edition"? People would lose thier minds (and there wallets) for actual Kit Showa on a CRF.

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I ripped a start from Egypt and I was happy about that.