Opinions on purchase of YZ450 or KTM450.

Heres the story...my best freind is buying a used bike since his 2-smoke died (for the last time). Hes got a $4k budget and two bikes in his sights. Which one would you pick...heres the breakdown, wants 4 stroke,

Bike 1)

2003 YZ 450, heavier flywheel (either whole thing or added weights), TAG bars, lots of carbon fiber skid plates and disc guards. Red sticker (I think '03 is red).

Bike 2) This gets sticky...

2000 KTM 400 SX(?) 4 speed...that had a 450 kit put on it, broke some cam part, locked up the motor BUT, rebuilt top-end by KTM dealer with new 450 kit on it, and a 6 speed box. Scott's stab, TAG bars, some plates and guards.

I'm partial to the YZ, he likes the green sticker KTM but I hesitate on the KTM becuase of other possible engine damage due to the 'lock-up' and timing chain breakage incident...no matter if the top end was rebuilt (i.e. What about the bottom end? Cracked crank? Cracked case?).

The YZ will be cheaper to maintain and is light years ahead of the Katoom technology-wise...

I blew my 520 up with a cam chain busting.

2000-2001 KTM's had the auto decompression bolt work loose, which would fall down into the chain and jam it, snapping it like a twig.

If it was torn down and rebuilt, there is nothing more to fear with it. I tore mine down personally, and there is seriously nothing that would fail again as a result of that problem.

WHat locked the bike up was the chain rolling around, and balling up against the chain catch, which prevents damage to the cases or the ignition. Only the top end of the bike (head and cylinder) would have been damaged. As long as there is no external, visible damage, there is none that will cause any problems down the road.

The cases were most likely split to retrieve the parts, which most likely fell into two spots. BOth seem to be "catches" for anything loose, and allow them to be filtered by the bottom screen, again, preventing damage. It is a very good internal design actually....

Here is my engine and pics I took almost two years ago when I tore her down.

This is what it caused


This is what locked it up


This is where I found the parts, inside the cases. They must be torn down.


It looks bad, but rest assured - the problem will not cause any further issues.

I would go with the YZ. I have ridden a 2000 KTM 400 and was not very impressed with it. The power was not all that great and it didn't turn very well. The 04 KTM's are much better turning than the older ones. I had a friend of mine that had a bought a brand new 03 KTM and then in 04 he rode tne new 450 and had to sell is old one so he could get the 04. He said the 04 handle night and day better than the 03.

Bottom line go with the YZ.

What is he going to use it for. Some tell me that the four speed is not the greatest for woods riding other than that the YZ is the bike for sure.

Kirtwell has been beatin the heck out of his 01 YZF since he bought it new and yeah he has broken a footpeg or two. BUT he has ridden a friend's 525 twice and the first time he blew the tranny up and the second time he shattered the rear hub.

What does this mean?/ I have no idea.

Both are great bikes. Motor on YZ450 is very, very solid. For trail riding, KTM will be fine. Hard to go wrong.

If the bikes are similarily priced, I would definitely go for the Yamaha. Three years' difference in age does count for a lot as for the extent of being worn out.

Thanks for all the good responses...especially Death's...like the pictures!

Keep them coming, my freind is still waffling!

Go for the YZF I have ridden almost all the ktm fourstokes in the past four years they don't have any thing on the YZ's. Plus parts are a little cheaper.And theres more aftermarket parts available for the YZ's.

Thats the whole deal right there.

I rode a buddies KTM 400 for a lap and it was a lap to much. Slow, seat like a brick and handled wierd.

A 3 year old bike is worth than a 1 year old bike.

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