To buy a 205exc or 520exc?

G’day all. I’m in the proces of buying a new (secondhand) bike. I have basically decided on either a 2 stroke 250EXC or the 4 stroke 520EXC but have no idea which one to get. I have experience with 250cc MX bikes but have never owned or riden a big bore four stroke for any great period of time. I’m an average and the bike will be riden mainly for fun with my mates/club days etc. and in the odd enduro.

In short:

Whick bike has the smoothest and most tractable power (ie. is the easiest to ride)?

Which bike is the easiest to handle in the tight stuff?

Whch bike requires the most time spent on mantiance?

Which bike is the most costly to maintain?

Which is the most relable (any mechanical flawws in these models)?

I will have to keep the bike for around 3 years no $$ to upgrade every year so which bike is the most likely to remain in good condition for longer (assuming good maintinance)?

I know that I would like the ligher weight of the 250 but I hear that the 520’s have a smooth, wide and easy to use power and and they sound so good.

Over here in Oz land a 2001 250EXC goes for about $7000. A 2000 520EXC goes for around $9000 which will require a visit to the bank manager – this a large factor in my decision.

I am 185cm (6”) tall and weigth about 92kg (210 pounds). My riding terrain consists of about 50% tight sigle trak with snotty steep hils and 50% open fire trails etc. with the ocasioal spin about the loal mx track for a bit of fun.

And just incase you a re still reading just two more questions. Are there any mechanical worries I should look for when buying either of these bikes secondhand? And what about the possibiloty of riding a 520SX in the bush – these are cheap to buy compired to the EXC’s but would the suspension be too harsh, and the 4 speed gear box?

Thanks in advance for your help people.

I've got a year 2000 KTM 520 exc for about a year and a half now and love it. I ride ROCKY tight single track trails in Pennsylvania with no problems. I trail ride for fun and ride Dual Sport events but don't race anymore. I'm 6'2" tall and 235 Lbs. The power is GREAT. No problems with the bike. Have about 2500 miles on it, most tough trails. Just the usual things - oil, filters, tires, chains. I would buy another one just like it if I needed another bike. Got an MX tank for it for added range and lowered the gearing to 13/54 for the tight stuff. It's a BLAST!!

The 520 is great with lots of easy power etc. It does push (understeer) into faster corners a bit. The push button start,great suspension, light weight, sound etc overcomes any littly niggly things like above. The 520 is a great bike.

The 250 is a bit lighter, you have to kick it to get it going, you have to mix fuel, it does steer a bit better and is a bit more common.

Hard Decision....but I think Im gunna buy another 520 :)

A friend of mine bought a 250EXC late last year and rode it trailriding once and sold it. Scared him - and he is a very experienced rider. Earlier this year he rode a 520MXC and couldn't wipe the grin off of his face. The 250 is an excellent race bike designed to go at 100% all of the time. If I were serious about racing enduros; that's the bike I'd get. It's lighter and it turns better than the 520; but it has a huge hit and just isn't the trail bike that the 520 is.

I like to play in the woods and mountains and I plan to race in a few enduro's this fall as well. My '01 520EXC arrived in April it's everything I could have hoped for and more. I'm about the same size as you are and it fits me well too. It's more money but I don't think you'd be disappointed.


Where in Oz are you from? I'm in Vic.

First up, I think you'll find you'll be paying closer to $10K for a good 520. An this is where the 'fun' of buying second hand bikes begins, particularly a 4 stroke.

Sorry, no time to write....back later

Im in Sydney and just sold my 500 odd km 520 in immaculate condition for $9000. I sold it to the first buyer for full price and I had 5 other buyers hoping the sale would fall through and I would call them, first time ever I had a waiting list to sell something to someone :). So maybe $9500-$10000 is more the price for a good one?


There was a 2000 mdl 520 in Vic that had 2800km on it for an advertised price of $8900 I rang 6 hours after the trading post came out and it was sold for that price!!

I just paid $9700 for a 2000 model in EXCellent condition with a heap of etras.

The only thing you'll get for less than that in good condition will be an SX model. They'll be around $9000 but are hard to sell with no Re. and a 4 speed.

Arrgghhh.... Its all so confusing. I think in the end i'll proably go with the 250EXC just due to the price - i can get a 2001 model cheaper than what i can get a 2000 520 for and i'd rater be out riding than saving pennies.

Although those WR's dont look to bad...mmm (just soooo heavy)

Anyway thanks for your input guys I still have a bit of time to think about it (ie. get myself even more confused)

P.S. In reply to you question Max i'm in Geelong

Me too!! (well work there live in Lethbridge) I've sent you an email.

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