New Bike!

After weeks of painful consideration of various 400-class dirtbikes, I bit-the-bullet last night and bought a 2001 400EXC. I'm a 34-year-old rider with 20+ years of experience riding hare scrambles, trail riding, and very little motocross.

I'm a little nervous, because I'm a 2-stroke rider, and the idea of going back to a 4-stroke (my last one was an XR200 in 1982), seems a little scary, but I'm looking forward to my first dual sport ride in September.

Any advice you can give me about setup, or starting problems, or etc.?

Regardless of what everone else says the EXC makes an awesome D/S bike, just keep stop-&-go to a minimum and change the oil reguarly.

I have a '01 520 EXC & have not had any problems.

Thanks guys! I didn't know about the other link (to holeshot). Good stuff.

I've heard some negative comments about dual sporting the KTM. What is the argument? How can a dual sport ride be any more abusive to the bike than an enduro race?

Any help on this?


KTM put out some documentation when the RFS's came out. It instructed the dealers to NOT sell the bikes to people who want to dual sport them. Some of the reasons they stated that the bike is not suppose to be used for road use are: Low oil capacity; no oil cooler; no radiator fan for stop and go driving; thin 5th and 6th gears may not hold up to extended road use.

However, as was stated here and I've read elsewhere, some have no problems DSing them. I think most still try to keep them off pavement as much as possible, though.


John Brunsgaard

01 400 EXC, 99 250 EXC (gone), 99 200 EXC, 98 125 EXC, 98 380 MXC (long gone)

Just did a dual sport ride with EXC400. It performed great, was better than more suitable D.S. bikes(yam 400& suz 400) in the tough dirt sections, but more surprising was the great performance on the road sections. The wide ratio gear-box gives you a low first gear for the technical stuff, and you still have a higher top gear for cruising than the Jap bikes. The only caution I took was to use the clutch for shifting when on the road to cushion the shifts. With the MXC tank 120 mile stretches were no problem.


400 EXC--stock&great

YAMAHA 250--sold

250 sherco

I had the KTM dealer dual sport my Y2K 520 exc before I picked it up from new. Works great - no problems after about 2500 miles of mostly dirt riding. Changed gearing to 13/54 for tight Pennsylvania woods and love it. Still have about 95 mph top end. No problem riding at 55 to 60 mph motors happy RPM (but I don't take it on the freeway). Great Dual Sport bike. Just change the oil. Like it MUCH better than my 1997 KTM 620 RX/Ce Dual Sport bike. I would do it again, even if the trans blows up! Didn't hear of ANY problems with 5th or 6th gears.

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