KTM 400 exc vs WR 400. My first impression for the average rider

Today I rode my 2001 400 exc at Forest Hill. Brought my WR 400 as well. Here is my impression.

1. KTM is and feels incredibly lighter

2. E start. My knees are saved!!!

3. Easy to ride. My god it feels like a two stroke.

4. Power: Power is much more usable. Still has great burst of power. I was able to pull 3rd gear wheelies with no problem. 1st and 2nd gear are fantastic. Did not do a lot of balls to the wall riding (break in period and lots of tight trails)

5. E start My knees are saved!!!!

I loved my WR and still do, however this KTM is an easy bike to ride, great power, came from the factory ready to ride. The only addition I have made is a skid plate. KTM does it right. aluminum handlebars, hydrolic clutch, braided brake line, Aluminum swing arm. Pipe and exhaust are fantastic and comes with a spark arrestor. And did I mention E start. Oh yeah I did. Had one get off on a steep uphill, righted the bike and pushed a button "Awesome" I kicked over the bike a few times and no compression release is needed. "Awesome" Reminded me of my old KLX with auto compression.

I am a convert. The WR is a wonderful bike and part of me will bleed blue for a long time, however I must say Orange is looking good too. My next door neighbor has purchased my WR, so it did not go far.

Finally, I love this web site and will always read the wonderful tips, stories etc. I now wish this sight combined info on both the WR and KTM. It seems there are plenty of guys who are purchasing the KTM these days. Brian, what do you think. Is there room for both. I may get some slack, but I truely believe the comparisons and info on this page would be worth while. Enough people enjoy this sight why not include both. Maybe I am wrong if so so be it, but I will still visit.

Look forward to riding again soon.


I also rode a 400 exc today at the track, I also was impressed.

maybe in the spring I try one out....


I picked up a 2001 KTM 400 E/XC about a month ago. I was planning on the WR250F in February, and even had a deposit down. I really like the KTM and, although I spent more $ than I would have on the WR250F, I have the bike now and the performance is everything exceptional.

I'll continue to monitor this website as I like to read all the comments and stories from Kevin in New Hampshire, Mitch in OZ and all the other "Blue" riders. I especially like Taffy. He obviously hates KTM's, I don't think he's ridden, or sat on one lately though. His opinion would change I'm sure.

I hope that Bryan puts on a KTM Discussion forum for us Orange guys, but it won't stop me from coming to the WR400F page to see what's going on out there. The KTM forum will probably be pretty limited due to the lack of a need to do much in the way of "Hop Ups" though. :))

From the sounds of it, Bryan may need to start an RC450F Discussion Forum soon too, the guys from Honda are racing the RC450F prototype in Japan now. see the following URL: http://www.laassports.com/RC450.shtml

Happy Orange Trails,

Jeff Kimpson


your wrong. i like KTM's. i think they make brilliant bikes. go check my winde up. i don't actually condemn the bike AS A BIKE-go check & tell me i'm right-if you can tell the truth that is.

i'm an individual in britian so what am i going to be on an american website. you yanks don't understand how i & many others work.

the english especially say sorry & everyone thinks we're soft. brits enjoy self ridicule- nobody is too big to be pulled down. i doubt you understand that either.

so i've just mentioned things that you guys see as weak in us. now i'll tell you something that we colonials see as weak in you. you can't take the piss & give it. simple. you've had a sense of humour transplant. our idea's of a joke are so far apart that i don't even bother anymore because i know you just can't lighten up.

this site is dedicated to WR owners.

when, & it'll be soon, someone builds a better bike than the WR & it's descendents; we are going to have every tom, dick & harry saying that you don't want to ride that heep of **** you want to ride the new *******. & everytime it happens they think 'oh i bet nobody has mentioned this before'...

now we brits are a loyal bunch & we only respect people who back up what they say with what they do, we don't have a lot of spare cash so we become very resolute about our pride & joy's & low & behold anyone who denounces our bikes. it might be ten years old but we love it. you leave them to it. you go away.

the fact that it isn't the best makes you think you have the right to tell us. well you F******* don't.

the big picture is that if, as the bike gets weaker we get pulled apart by every cleverdick this place isn't going to be a lot of fun. i for one don't want to see it everytime i click on. pride in the bike, pride in the site. leave queitly when the bike ain't good enough. got it.

if the yanks want to roll over on their backs & take it laying down & up the arse as well, that's fine. but i think that every guy that comes on here to basically put our bikes down & say 'look how clever i am' ought to be told by all of us & i mean all of us to f*** off in no uncertain terms.

i welcome anyone who wants to say

met some of you fella's & enjoyed it...

do you guys have a cure for XYZ......

i welcome people with GSOH....

seen cheap tyres at...

michie's are **** on ours, how do you get on...

being sincere & honest about another machine being better than the wr ISN'T a repreive.

i don't want to sit here & listen to this absolute tosh every time a good bike comes out.

i've told you once & i'll tell you again, get your own website, don't keep making extra work for bryan do it yourself.

now mr 'mike in pigswill' you only registered on the 11th of THIS month & this is your contribution!!!! for f*** sake!!!


jeff, have you ever looked at yourself!!! "i wanted a wr250 & put a deposit down. got a KTM". so what are you going to be riding next month FF then, hey!

your bike was your choice, you've made it, now .......

i think i've got to make some decisions of my own & DEDICATED WR400 RIDERS ARE GOING TO HELP ME MAKE IT. i hope it's the right decision.



One: I have been on this web site for quite a period of time but used another name "Mike" was the call sign. Changed it due to location. At any rate, I guess I do not understand the "brits" way or maybe it is just "your way". I offered some information regarding my new bike. I enjoy this bike tremendously as I did the WR. I don't jump on bike bandwagons, I go with what works for me. The novel you wrote is really uncalled for. For some the information provided can cause people to make good decisions regarding a new purchase in the future. You have to face the realty that 4 stroke bikes are going to continue to improve every year. KTM, Honda etc. You name it, it is the new waive of bikes in the future. This forum I believe was created for people of the same interest to discuss their bikes. Yes predominately WR's, however if you continue to read this forum, that face is slowly changing. Forums such as this should continue to evolve. I realize that Bryan may have other ideas and wants to continue to only have WR discussions which is fine. It does not mean we cannot add our 2 cents. Finally I don't get why you get so beligerent in your comments. I for one don't welcome it. You may state, like you did that we don't get it and it is a joke, well I can tell you I didn't make me laugh, it just got under my skin. Maybe that was your intent. If it was it worked.

Mike in Roseville

Formally just "Mike"

Whoa! opened up this thread & got a blast of red-hot!

For my part, as a relatively new WR owner (6 mos now), I come to this site for the incredible information about the WR400 & have appreciated every tiny bit. I appreciate the "other" associated banter much less, particulary discussions about which bike is better. As the title above implies, this is a WR forum & best suited, I believe, for those who embrace this model & are served by its CONSTRUCTIVE communication.

In order to preserve its present integrity, my personal preference is for this to remain a WR forum & for those who wish to discuss other models or would bash the WR, to create another forum. Better yet, share with me how to make mine better based upon your experience.

Mike, I lived in Taffy's homeland for 6 years so think I have a handle on his approach & all that he has offered the forum & I appreciate both. As a regular yourself, I'm sure you can acknowledge that. Taffy's a fine bloke & i'm sure you are too. Let's all relax...

From an ex-ktm pilot who went blue & has never looked back, please also know the blue vs. orange debate is already boring even though the 400 & 520 just came out! As Taffy intimated, you were blue, now you're orange & you'll probably be red next year! Who cares?

What the F#$%, let's all just ride! cheers, bobwombat


Good for you and your new bike. We need to go riding in the near future. I think what is being lost in all of this conversation is that it's not so much what you are riding but more importantly that you are. Every time I ride my WR I WISH it had electric start. That doesn't mean I don't love it though. Someday I'll buy another bike and it might not be blue. Then again it might. What I'm saying is I'll buy the best bike available at that particular time, whatever the color (I hope it's not that puke green).......


Some of these guys are just braggin' a little, others are young & naive. This site has always had a courteous membership. It serves no one to become imflammatory (When one takes it up the arse while laying down, does one lie on their stomach or on their back?). If you love your bike, and it appears you do, then what anybody else thinks is unimportant.

Let's all just lighten up!!! I have to say that I too get a little sick of the "Which bike is better" crap too. I look at this site for info on how to make my WR better,hence the "WR forum". I like to ride. PERIOD. I don't care what kind of bike. I just like to ride. But, I happened to buy a WR.I don't care if there's something out there better. I'm not riding that bike. I'm riding a WR.I agree with alot of what Taffy has to say. Maybe not to his extreme, but I agree all the less.

Mike, I agree with everything you had to say about your KTM. I don't see your statements as offensive. You have to understand that we WR owners get sick of hearing the "My bike is better than yours" all the time.Tell me something that you know will make your WR better.

Taffy is right ,especially, about one thing.We,as Americans, need to lighten up. Don't take every thing someone says as a personal attack. I catch myself doing this from time to time.Opinions are just that. I say we all just ride what we have and enjoy THE RIDE!!!!!

Mike in Silicone Valley,

You don't the E-button, you need longer legs :)


Taffy, I am amazed that you and maybe some others would get so worked up about other people who like their orange bikes better than their old blue bikes. I don't remember you getting all bent out of shape over the guys that bought DRZ'S. That's because there isn't a legitamate threat from their camp.

I think that you really need to drop the attitude and sarcastic comments and get back to talking about something constructive .

You know the old saying: "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all!"

Look, we like our orange bikes, and so what if we want to tell others. Opinions vary, I like my bike , you like yours, lets get out of the play pen and talk about things that really matter. These kinds of posts aren't the kinds that encourage or help anybody.

Enough said, Erik

Here goes, another unregistered comment. I think I have to agree with Taffy, yea right do all Brits have a garbage mouth? You sound like my grandfather used to when his downrigging would get hung up on the rocks costing him some major coin, but then he was old and cantankerous, so whats your excuse. Thumper Talk is just that we do need another forum added to the site no big deal eh? Taffy your points and views are well taken less the profanity would be nice unless you've heard any sheep jokes lately...


I can see the humor there, maybe Hick humor and Brit humor are alike. I doubt a smattering of ANSII zeroes and ones across the internet could offend me. Suggesting that I take it in the arse (assuming I have one of those) to my face would be even funnier. I’m a rancher, I use what works and what I understand. For me that is Chevy trucks and blue bikes. What that means is I know something about their relative shortcomings, and they are many.

So, for a lesson in Western American attitude, you should realize that I reserve the right to call my YZF a flaming piece of unreliable crap and the greatest dirt bike on earth in the same sentence. I agree with both statements and consider myself qualified enough to have formed the opinion.

Out here the country is rough and equipment is necessarily abused. If you haven’t discovered a machine’s shortcomings that’s admitting that you haven’t figured how to get the most out of it and likely have more money than brains. Out here any fella that has nothing but praise for the horse they’re on probably ain’t much of a hand…

So Cal,

Where have you been hiding that sense of humor? :)


Thanks for the ride report. If I ever get a new bike you can bet I’ll be flaunting it here on Thumpertalk, at least once or twice, regardless of what kind it is. Because there’s nothing like having a new scoot sitting in the garage is there? I don’t have many riding buddies to gloat with. You should post a pic or two. IMO the more the merrier (well, not ALWAYS).


How ‘bout a KTM side to thumpertalk? It looks like there is growing demand…

[This message has been edited by Hick (edited 10-23-2000).]

This is the last comment I will make regarding this topic. I owned my 98 WR since it was new. It was and still is a fantastic bike. I will never discredit that bike. I was looking into new bikes and the KTM caught my eye. Truthfully the E start and weight was probably the biggest appeal for me. With shot knees every time I would kick over the WR my right knee would swell. (Two many soccer (for Taffy, futbol),and riding injuries over the years Created a hard day of riding. I needed the change to continue riding. I have met and ridden with some great guys through this forum, Monty, Howard, Mike in Silicon, John in Granite Bay, Brian in Long Beach or Santa Rosa or Texas or whatever his given name is for the week. That is what it is truely all about isn't it? Meeting up with people of the same interests. I enjoy the banter here and their and for Taffy, I will try to understand the "Brit" sense of humor. I guess I would probably enjoy it more without the language. No need for it, but I will try to understand. My original post here was to shed some light or give input that others may not have on what I felt were valid diffences between the two bikes, that is all. It does not matter the bike, color etc as long as we all enjoy. So to Yamaha, KTM, Honda, Kawas, Hussies etc, enjoy.


hey Bryan, why don't you change the name of this web site from 'wr400' to the 'condersending KTM elite' then wr owners like myself can criticise and find fault with the German junkers. I agree with Taffy, sling your hook if you've left the wr camp, for there is nothing here for you now, this is a site for sharing information on wr's not ktm's. If there is no need to do any mods on ktm's because they are so good,do something constructive with your spare time like:

1. learn to knit

2. spend more time with your wife

3. or perhaps go that extra distance with your neighbours poodle

But don't come here to tell us how much better your new bike is compared to a WR, because we all know what else is out there and most of us are quite able to decide for ourselves the best suitable ride for our needs.


Some of you folks need to get a grip.

I've own or owned an '88 XR600, '92 XR250R, '90 KX500, '99 WR400 & an '88 Suzuki Katana 1100. Each bike has it's advantages & disadvantages. I wish I had the money & time to keep them all because each one fits a particular need.

Get off your high horse & enjoy riding with whoever on whatever. find something more constructive to bitch about than new KTM owners posting on the WR site that they have contributed to in the past.

Bryan/Jake - any possiblilty of a KTM forum? Would be kinda nice to see how folks that own the KTM really like it & what their doing to them.


This is hilarious,....at best. I came off of a KTM300 EXC to my 2000 WR400 and i love both bikes. My best buddy rides the KTM 420. In our group of riders we have KTM's, Honda's, Yamaha's, and Suzuki's, all of them have their good and bad points. We ride in some of the rockiest, sandiest, hotest terrain that you can find on the planet, and you know what? We all have a great time and a lot of laughs ripping each others bikes. All in good fun. When a new guy buys an older bike of any make we ALL! jump in and help him out in any way we can. We just have fun riding, not complaining or gloating. Sorry for those who dont agree, but thats what it's all about to us. Leave the ego's at your last wipe out! That said, of course blue is best:P

KTMS are nice but i bought a 98 wr400 with hydrolic clutch and ready to ride

used of course for $2000 AND it was street legal in WI

I dont think you could buy the KTM plastic for 2 gs


This thread is only 8 years old, funny to read though........

This thread is only 8 years old, funny to read though........

Yes, it is funny. Back then there was no comparison. The KTM had it in SPADES over the WR.

One day out riding I rode my buddy's '99 YZ400 and another friend's KTM 400 SX. The KTM blew me away.

Today I'd probably be more likely to buy a WR450 over a KTM.

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