Power of 400exc vs 520exc

Hello everyone,

I am returning to trailbike riding after a long hiatus (15yrs). After reading these forums extensively I have decided the KTM 400/520exc is definately the way to go. The problem is - which one!? - no dealer will give me a test ride!

Basically I used to ride a 2 stroke RM250 but I was never a competition rider, mainly light trails and motorcross. What I really want to know is how the power of the 400 compares to the power of a 2 stroke 250 and secondly, how the power of the 520 compares to the 400.

I rode a DRZ400 and thought I could have used a bit more power, so how does the KTM400/520 compare to them?

Any help you guys can give me would be much appreciated. Seeing as I can't get a test ride anywhere I'm going to have to make a decision based on your comments. I will be buying in the next 2-3weeks

Thanks for your help

I was in your position 2 years ago when I came back to the sport. I started back on a YZ400. Since then I've had a CR500, CR250 and now the 520 MXC.

I'd go for the 520, if it's too much, selling it would NOT be a problem...I've seen more people going from a 400 to the 520 than the other way around. The power delivery is real smooth, easy to ride...you can limit your thrills with your throttle hand :)

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Chris in the Mojave

'01 520 MXC

'01 200 MXC

'00 CR250R

'01 KX85

[This message has been edited by Chris in the Mojave (edited 08-15-2001).]

The 520 is the most fun bike ever made.

The 400 is probably a little stronger than a DRZ400 with more bottom.

I bought the 520 sight unseen and never ridden one. This was the first new bike I have ever bought.

I do not regret my decision one bit. I can ride the bike as slow as I want and it is not intimidating at all. When I want to go or loft the front wheel, it is just a twist of the throttle.

I just can't wait to ride on a beach. Those long 3rd gear power slides are great fun.

I now want a job where i work less days, so i can ride more.

I have saddle time on 400s 520s and Suz 400. The KTM 400 has WAY more power than a stock SUZ 400. If most of your riding is going to be open or MX stuff go for the 520, but if tight trail riding is in your plans (probably not) the 400 is easier to manage. People who have not had a chance to compare the different bikes(Yam,Suz, KTM400&520)head to head constantly downplay the performance of the 2 KTMs because the power is so smoth and linear,but don't be fooled they are fast. I agree if you buy the 520 and don't like it you can easily swap it for a 400, or go the other way easily too. Be brave and spend the extra $300. Good luck

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400 EXC--stock&great

YAMAHA 250--sold

250 sherco

Thanks for your help fellas - 520 it is !

Buy the 400 to win the 520 for the grins!!

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TWIST&SHOUT

Originally posted by 400jy:

Buy the 400 to win the 520 for the grins!!

I like, and agree, with that!! At least for woods racing. Good one. :)

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John Brunsgaard

jejb@att.net

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

It appears to me that the 400 and 520 are identical in every way (including weight) except horsepower. If that is the case, why consider the 400? What am I missing here? Does the 400 have some advantage about which I am unaware?

Thanks,

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T Martin

The 400 seems easier to ride, not quite of a hand full as the 520.I have ridden both in an Enduro. You can go just as fast on the 400 but alot longer without getting tired.To me the 520 takes to much throttle control.

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TWIST&SHOUT

The 400 is actually a bit lighter than the 520 (I think by about 10 lbs). Also, the lighter piston means less gyro effect, so the 400 is more "flickable" if you like to fly. Less motor means better mileage (I get a max of about 50 miles to a tank on my 520) as well as less wear-and-tear on the rider. The big power of the 520 = more fun; not necessarily more speed. But I ride for fun and love my 520 and wouldn't trade it for a 400 because I'm a power freak. Take your pick...both have advantages and disadvantages over the other...but you can't go wrong either way...

Gyro effect? I understand what it means, but I this is the first time I have heard it used in this context. Are there any engineers (Chris from Mojave?) who can explain how significant the gyro effect could be in going from a 400 to a 520? How will it affect the handling of the bike and to what extent? What is better, more gyro effect or less gyro effect?

Thanks,

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T Martin

The 400 and 520 are within a pound of each other. The KTM specs say they weigh the same. The only difference is the rod and topend.

I'm no engineer but it's pretty common knowledge in dirtbikes that the bigger the engine, the more of the crank inertia/gyro effect you have. That means you have to break earlier into corners and that the bike feels heavier in handling. Less is better for tight woods or jumping.

This is a post I put out on a different forum today in reponse to someone saying the 520 can be hard to control the throttle on in the woods. The full thread is at: http://www.holeshotforum.com/ubb/Forum8/HTML/000459.html

Don't take this wrong, guys. It sounds like the 520 is a great machine and can be a real blast in the woods. I've never ridden one so take all this for what it's worth. This is just my experience with big bikes in the woods. My first KTM was a 98 380MXC. Loved the power. Could not get enough of it. I started racing at age 40 with that bike. C class hare scrambles which only run an hour in our district. The bike was fun but after an hour, I was getting pretty tired and the huge power started to hurt more than help.

I kicked butt in C and won state so I moved myself up to B the next year. That meant 2+ hours plus I got into enduros for the first time. Then the power really started showing it's mean side. As flea mentioned, bumps or just a little too much twisting made the throttle really hard to control. I was no longer having as much fun and races were largely survival although my results were still very good.

I finally went to a 99 250EXC and what a difference. The reason I actually went was vibration in the 380 that was numbing my hands. The upside was that I got faster and much more consistent overnight. Turns out all the power in the corners was making my front end light on the 380 and making it harder to be consistent. Plus, since I didn't have to worry about that huge burst of power, I was able to relax more and not ride so tight. All very important to me for going faster, longer in the woods.

And the milder power was so much better in long races. It didn't compound mistakes or hurt you when you got tired. It took a bit of getting used to as far as having to plan wheely's better but the benefits vastly outweighed any negatives.

The 400EXC I have now is similar to the 250. Plenty of power for anyone in the woods but not so much it tires you out.

I'm not telling you should trade the 520 on a 400. Just sharing what I've learned the hard way.

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John Brunsgaard

jejb@att.net

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

Originally posted by jeb:

The 400 and 520 are within a pound of each other. The KTM specs say they weigh the same.

The specs posted for these two bikes on KTM's web site says that the EXC400 weighs in at 236 lbs and the 520EXC weighs 246.8 lbs. Check it out at http://www.ktmusa.com/2001_specs/exc.htm

I just took their word for it. For me, the 10 lbs is worth it because it's all in the engine.

It's amazing that they don't have the 2002 bikes on their site yet given the fact that some guys already have them in their garage.

In the Mojave Desert and open country out west the 520 is the way to go. :)

Only trees around here are in people's yards. :D

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Chris in the Mojave

'01 520 MXC

'01 200 MXC

'00 CR250R

'01 KX85

I bought my 520 for the woods of Northern California and love it.

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AMA, Dist.36, BRC Lifetime Memberships

jeb is correct. The 400/520 EXC weigh the same (or at least within a few ozs.). The 400 is alot easier to ride in the tight stuff. The 520 sure is a hoot though!

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Mike Kruger

Cycle Zone KTM

Topeka, KS

866-843-7433 toll free

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