WR426 vs. DRZ400E vs. KTM400EXC

Originally posted by LC4Ryan2:

You are gonna pay more for a KTM because it comes with higher quality parts than Japanese bikes. Aluminum subframes on all models (not just motocross bikes), Tapered aluminum bars, hydraulic clutches, Brembo brakes, braided stainless oil and brake lines, aluminum silencers/mufflers just to name a few parts.

In the end, you may spend more money putting these parts on Japanese bike than you would buying the new KTM in the first place. KTM's do cost more, but then they are more race ready out of the box.

I don't think this is entirely accurate. The steel subframe on the WR is for durability - they are much easier to "shape" on the trail after a mishap too. The handlebars that come w/ the KTMs are good if they match your preference and fit your handguards - otherwise you are replacing those anyway. A $65 front brake line is all you will need for superb brakes. The clutch pull is not difficult at all. And some are swapping out the KTMs exhaust as well.

All siad, those KTMs are some pretty sweet machines¡

- Sean

Yeah and I dont know about that color dose not matter either, I mean come on, look at that pretty blue and white bike and then that goudy orange.

I don'tthink you can go wrong with either the WR or the DRZ. The DRZ will actually out rev the WR and makes better useable mid-range power. You will not get the hit with the DRZ that you get with the WR. My 01 DRZ kicker with a 15t counter shaft sprocket will out drag stock 426's. But I use a 13t for woods riding. But "IT's" the rider not the bike that makes you fast in the woods.

Now if I can figure out how to go as fast as the KTM 300 in the woods I will have it made.

Take a test ride and then decide.



01 DRZ400 Kicker

"When in doubt GAS IT"

Here's my chance to muddy the waters:

There are a couple of dudes on 2001 DRZ-Es whom I've ridden with a few times. They ride in jeans and work boots and are in their mid-40s. They are consistently hard to keep up with and their bikes are bone stock. I've never known anyone on a DRZ to have reliability problems. One of my regular riding buddies has a 520EXC and he runs in the front of the pack on a regular basis and has only been riding a year. His is also bone stock. We traded bikes last month for part of the ride and after just a few minutes, he was nowhere to be seen behind me. The motor was just too fast for him to keep up. I do a lot better staying with him on my bike than he did on mine trying to keep up with his bike.

We all know the virtues of the WR: best handling and suspension on the market and great top end power.

Here's my best-of-show list for the important factors:

Reliability- DRZ

Cost- DRZ

Handling- WR (although the DRZ could be just as capable with professional suspension work)

Starting- DRZ or KTM

Components- KTM

Weight- KTM

Riding position- got to give it to the KTM, very wide open feel and narrow

Overall appearance- WR (although the new neon yellow on the DRZ looks pretty cool)

Winning races- WR

Fun factor- KTM

It's up to you what's important but if I were buying a new 400-class bike...it would probably be the KTM, too. Unless I couldn't afford it, then it would be the Suzuki. (I've had a LOT of mechanical problems with my WR.)

[This message has been edited by Rich in Orlando (edited 07-19-2001).]

I'd like to know where all you guys are coming up with 20lbs???


<LI>Dirt Rider June 2000 400 shootout

<LI>Yamaha WR400 265lbs W/O fuel

<LI>KTM 400EXC 257lbs W/O fuel


Now of course keeping in mind the KTM has an E start and still weighs in less than a kickstart DRZ or WR is no doubt a big deal here but the 20lbs thing has got to stop.

I owned a 99 WR 400 and at the time, I thought it was an awesome bike, except for the fact that it WAS HEAVY and the starting drill got real old really fast, not to mention that it was so easy to stall too. Sure it was fast, but in the real world, it is the difference in the rider and the weight and handling of the bike that really matters, not the minute power differences of the bikes. All the way around, the KTM is the way to go. I rode my friends KTM 400 and his 520 also, and it was a done deal from that point on. I spent so much money trying to make my WR lighter and handle better, but it was in NO WAY as good as the KTM. You will have more fun on a KTM, GUARANTEED! it has all the

trick parts on it all ready, and it DEFINITELY feels 20 lbs lighter. My 400sx IS 20 lbs lighter and EASY to start. I can start it with my hand, so I didn't think that an E-start was a necessary option. I would definitely suggest that you ride a KTM before you make a decision to go cheap! Consider the fact that KTM owners aren't wishing they had bought a Yamaha or Suzuki instead. Just check out the KTM forums on the web. Not one KTM owner talks about the cost of parts being way over priced, or reliability problems, or any of that negative stuff.

Remember the old saying, you can pay me now, or pay me later. Erik

2002 Honda XR450R!!!

Absolute Honda quality. Just wait until it is magazine tested and released (if any are to be found).

Or maybe that overweight, underpowered, overpriced, over engineered (just to be fancy), American made CANNONDALE.

Just read Cannondale has lowered their manufacturing costs, fixed a buttload of stuff (fuel injection, suspension, air intake/filtration system, ergos) and have lowered the retail $ of the bike.


'99 WZ/YR (you choose!) with ALL YZ mods, de-octopused, DSP Doug Henry airbox w/ velocity stack, FMF PowerBomb header, Stroker SX-1 silencer, SS front brake line, OEM YZ tank, IMS YZ seat.

I have just been in the same dilemma as you. After a new bike, and will use it for the same purposes as you.

So with all the bikes available, I went with a KTM 520. And I have actually had to wait 2 months to get it. There are DRZ's and WR 4xx and 250's sitting on the dealers floor.

If I bought one of the other bikes, I would of ended up spending the difference to overcome the shortcommings.

There is plenty of information here and on Holeshot, although they are a little bias. But I think all bikes kick arse!!

I just can't take all the talk about the WR being hard to start! I think the reason for this is so many riders mess with their jetting. My stock jetting with an after market pipe is crisp. I also think many just can seem to get the starting drill down. Follow it and it lights on the first kick nearly every time. Dump it? Compression lever in, full throttle, 10 kicks, compression level out, piston 15-20 degrees past TDC, kick it ALL the way through, it will light. My buddy and I are always laughing at how easy these bikes are to start. We don't have a bunch of two stoke converts that are used to kicking their bikes like girls do we? :) Personally if I bought the Ktoon I'd love to have it w/o the magic button to save even more weight! These are dirt bikes, not street bikes boys! :D Regardless, its nearly all rider. I bet Ty Davis or Shain Watts could spank most of us on an XR 200! Enjoy!

[This message has been edited by Boschk (edited 07-19-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Boschk (edited 07-19-2001).]

[This message has been edited by sclaus (edited 08-19-2001).]

i can't say i wreck often but i wreck hard. my last 60 mph trip over the bars (1.5 months ago) still has me with little use of my arm. but in all cases my bike has started with little effort. 3 kicks at most. the drz's are nice at their pace but not mine. i have never found the wr's limit only my own. and now to piss you all off i would get the ktm. how much would it cost to put the button,a battery, full charging kit, take off 20 pound and have all the nice extras a ktm has. my 2 cents

the old 426 (01) didn't start one time. Kicked and kicked, (got a strong leg) but found fouled plug. Had been riding much >10,000 on my way home here in sunny NM. Changed the plug. Instant cure. If you're half a man, have half a leg, and SOME knowledge, you'll get it started...........

Had to add: would love to ride any bike. Love to ride!!!!!!!!!!!

[This message has been edited by John H (edited 07-20-2001).]

Originally posted by So Cal Erik:

...except for the fact that it WAS HEAVY and the starting drill got real old really fast

...sounds like you ought to learn how not to crash. KTM - the bike of crashers! LOL

That should get you KTM guys! http://www.thumpertalk.com/ubb/Forum11/HTML/000354.html


I Guys!!! This is Europe speaking... Portugal to be exact. Couldn´t resist to join this discussion. Gonna teel You a story:

I was on my way to buy a KTM, as soon as I got back from an all weekend ride. In that ride there were about 6 KTMs, 3 WR400 and others. Whell... 3 of the KTM hardly came back (1 2stroke engine broken , 1 400EXC impossible to start, 1 520SX with cooling problems), and what about WRs??? NOTHING AT ALL. That engine is indistructable. I freak out when some of you complain about starting a WR. It allways starts easy, ALLWAYS, just give her what she wants! That ride made me change my mind and I now proudly own a WR400 '00. Those 5 valves are something else. Stock DRZs ?!?! oh please... are you joking? Only for a beginner or someone who doesn't like to push the limits. Those KTMs are very nice (that frame is awsome), but the engine... I doubt it would resist to some of the (little but hard) road use I give my WR. Here, the price difference isn't very sgnificant but, parts price...KTM is way cheaper than yamaha. Some parts are even half price or so, but, then again, WRs reliability VS performance is something else, and gained my preference. Just to mess up: I bought my 2nd hand WR due to it's reliability but haven't seen anyone selling a KTM around here...

Just to confirm for --weekendtoy98dr-- While getting our bikes ready for an outing we weighed Cueballs 99 wr400 and my 400EXC. Both tanks drained completely dry,both with bark busters,skid plates and full lites. On the same electronic scale, on the same day, there was exactly 18 lbs difference between the 2 bikes. I never believe magazine figures for bikes,sleds, whatever. Scales vary(as do dyno's) so the only numbers I believe are the ones I see myself. I am planning to weigh a friends DR400 soon,just for fun. :)


400 EXC--stock&great

YAMAHA 250--sold

250 sherco

Tell us how much it weighed already!

Darryl, you and Randy are absolutely radical(Canadian) madmen. Do you guys spend much time on a scale, weighing things? :)

What were the weights now i'm really curious here.DirtRider also reported identical weights on the bikes as Dirtbike.The mag numbers I'd believe call me stupid but I do.The claimed weights by the respective companys now that is another story.I think they all weigh their bikes on the moon.I just find 18lbs hard to chew on but you weighed them and saw the numbers and I cant see you makin it all up.

Hello all,

Couldn't help but crash the party. Just some comments on the dual sport thing. First, do not get the street legal DRZ. Also, be thankful that you do not live in the People's Republic of Kalifornia. None of the outstanding bikes mentioned can be made street legal here. Consider the Honda XR650R which can be converted easily in all 50 states. There is no better dual-sport. More power than all (though straight line performance is probably a wash), and more mass for the highway. That said, unless you're WFO in the desert the other bikes are easier to handle. My two cents. Enjoy whatever you choose! Jon

I had to find my note-book with all my numbers. Yam WR400 279 lbs KTM 400EXC 261 lbs Both completely empty of gas,both with bark busters,and skid plates and full lighting. And yes I do weigh different bikes and snowmobiles when I can,sorts out a lot of BS. :)


400 EXC--stock&great

YAMAHA 250--sold

250 sherco


I was in a similar situation this spring. The KTM dealer did not impress me with his inflated prices and nonexistent inventory. The suzook shop had a bunch of carry over models that they were giving away, which I took as a bad sign. I decided to split the difference and go with an 01 wr426. I did the right thing.

The bike is rock solid and has a strong aftermarket. Take the money you would have spent on a KTM and make the bike exactly what you want.

I have $7100 in my bike including a few items: IMS 3+ gal tank, SDG YZ seat, YZ silencer, EKP based jetting per JD, Pro-tapers/scotts-stab/triple clamp, mich S-12s.

It has been rock solid reliable and starts first or second kick even after a crash or cold. It has great low end power, is difficult to stall, and rips up top. The suspension is top notch out of the box, a little stiff when new but near perfect for me once broke in.

This is by far the most versatile bike I have ever had and would make a great dual-sport if you can get it registered where you are.


01 WZ426

97 YZF1000

99 700RMK


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