XR650R vs KTM520

Hey guys,

I was out for a ride last weekend, and my mate on his 520 pulled up and said 'give ya a drag?' so, of course, i said 'yes, yes i will'.

On the back wheels 1st-2nd, then off we went.

The 650 came out infront, he reckons pulling away every gear. Now i thought seeing as the 520 is approx 20kgs lighter (correct me if i'm wrong) and much more racier than the 650, that it would have won? I know the 650 is bigger, but often the cc's aren't all that matters. We worked out that bike+rider was roughly equal ratio, so it would come down to engine grunt.

Has anyone had the same result?

P.S. this is not intended to start a 520/650 war, but i won't stop you...


I checked into getting a 520 about 3 or 4 years ago. I looked at and rode one. It was a sweet bike. I can see the 650 be faster. People keep asking me why I ride a 650r in the woods and I keep telling them it is a very capable bike. I love the 650r reliability and power that is easy to use. The electric start and less weight of the 520 would be nice after a fall going up hill or stuck in the mud.

Not dissing the honda as I have one, but very over weight and undersprung compared to the KTM. The 650r is a tank compared to the KTM.

Not dissing the honda as I have one, but very over weight and undersprung compared to the KTM. The 650r is a tank compared to the KTM.

The KTM is a tank compared to a CR125 too...but these bikes don't compare to each other either. The 625 is KTM's comparable bike th the Honda, to which the XR compares well.

I can say that i have both a ktm 525 exc and xr650r the xr 650 has a lot more grunt.The ktm 525 has 510 cc compared to the 650 witch has 649 cc . I have noticed the ktm is easier for me to ride in the woods don't get tired out as much but of course i should be in good shape after riding the 650 for a couple of years. :)

wich 525 are you talking about?

2005 KTM 525 Exc

well all of this is interesting to know. So if that is true, then my KX500 should have no trouble wasting the heck out of any of the new four-strokes in a drag race, since it will already run off and leave my 650R like it's standing still. :)



Which bike are you guys talking about?




I own them both and it all depends how far your going in a straight line. The big XR is likely to win in the long run but I don't know how you pulled away in 1st 2nd and third. That should have been to the 520's advantage.

The big XR is very fast when set up for speed. I ride both bikes in tight trails and the 520 has an advantage there if your trying to keep up with the fast boys. The XR is more comfortable and I prefer it in the desert or for a liesurely trail ride.

I haven't got the guts to push either bike to it's limits. In the dirt when I hit 70 I let off the throttle.

There both great bikes. :)

Yeah, i thought the 520 would win at least in the lower gears - but then we don't race, so we're prob a bit unco at race starts. My 650 is set up for top speed around 145km/h , roughly 90mph, so maybe it has good take-off. Mind you, one drag race isn't the final word on this either...

I rode a few bikes before buying the XR650R and for me the important thing was dual sport ability, I ride a 100 miles on the freeway in summer to get where it's cool enough to ride off road, and cruise the superslab at 75 to 80 mph and it still pulls good to just over 100mph, the XR650R fits the bill. If anything I would like to see a XR750R with a 6 speed. You won't be taking many trips if all you can cruise is 60 mph on the seemingly endless hiways.

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