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Woods/technical riding

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Is there really much difference in the feel or handling of the 400 vs the 520? I'm on the fence as to which of these models to get. I ride primarily technical, almost trials style stuff. I'm thinking maybe the 400 rejetted, geared down may have enough oomph off the bottom to do instant snap wheelies to make it up 3-4' rock steps? Maybe the 520 instead for the harder hit?

Does the 400 turn any better than the 520 on low speed switchbacks?

Thanks for the help...

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I ride a 400 mxc and love it! I weigh 170 so the bike is great for my size. You would want to gear down to 13-52 or 13-53 for those conditions. I rode up by your erea two weeks ago at Forresthill and my bike felt like it was made for those tight single tracks.A bit hot this time of year but jumping in the lake after riding was great. Good Luck

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Rick,

I can't speak for the 520, but the 400EXC has plenty of torque for trails and technical riding. I ride 80% mountain trails and what could be considered "UGLY" and "GNARLY" places in the mountains of central and Southern Idaho. Regearing to a 13/52 makes for a good trail machine on the 400EXC which has the Wide Ratio tranny. I have a hard time imagining needing more "OOMPH" than the 400 has available in any of the conditions I've been in during the last year of riding the KTM. If anything, it has too much "OOMPH" sometimes! :)

Remember, the SX and MXC models of both the 400 and 520 have the "Close Ratio" gearbox and the EXC's have the "Wide Ratio". The "Wide Ratio" gearbox would be the clear choice for the conditions you're referring to.

The 3'-4' rock steps are not a problem if you've got the "Coconuts" to hang on to the handlebars. Getting the front end up for jumping logs is also not a problem as long as the rider can keep on top of the bike to finish the log jumping maneuver.

I personally have had "ZERO" problems with overheating of my 400, but these bikes do like airflow through the radiators so be forewarned.

I can confidently say that you will notice no difference in turning on low speed switchbacks on either the 400 or the 520. The 400 and 520's have the same frame geometry. The only difference is the over-abundance of HP that the 520 has available.

I recently put on a Clarke 3.1 gallon tank as with my slow pace has resulted in fuel mileage of only about 55 miles per tank on the stock EXC tank which is 2.5 gallons. prior to this weekend I had hit reserve on 5 of my last 9 trail rides. Nothing like having to pack extra fuel (2 liters in the backpack) to make sure you can get back to the truck. :D

Hope this rambling lends some clarity to your selection making process. If you want any more detailed information e-mail me and I'd be happy to answer.

Jeff

------------------

No Brain, No Pain!

01' KTM 400EXC

01' Yamaha TTR-125L

01' Yamaha TTR-90

00' Honda XR50R

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So you think the wide ratio tranny is the way to go? I was thinking that close ratio would be optimal for technical trail riding. One of the things I like about my Beta trials bike is that the first four gears are really close together. The advantage is that you can find the "exact" gear you need for any condition, and don't need to feather the clutch and such. Maybe there is something I'm missing here. If the handling of the 520 and the 400 is the same on the twisties, is it just the extra throttle control needed (and potential power mistakes) on the big motor that you don't like? Since the FCR carb can be tuned for when the pumper kicks in, and you can slow down the throttle response via a Magura throttle assembly, I wonder if there are any other drawbacks I'm missing. Thanks very much for your insight

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I would think with the riding conditions you described a EXC would be best. The ECX has lower 1st and 2nd gears. I find the MXC to be a little too tall in the lower gears but gearing it down does help. IMO if you geared a MXC to do trials type riding you would lose way too much on top, where the EXC has the taller 5th and 6th gears to keep your top speed up.

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Originally posted by Rick O'Shay:

So you think the wide ratio tranny is the way to go?

Rick, from your stated use the Wide Ratio would definitely be a better fit for your application. As "mwespo" put it, first and second gear on the EXC is lower than on the MXC and fifth and 6th are there for running fire roads and two track when needed.

Originally posted by Rick O'Shay:If the handling of the 520 and the 400 is the same on the twisties, is it just the extra throttle control needed (and potential power mistakes)?

Rick, Commit this to memory, "Thou shalt use great restraint on the throttle when in tight sections of trail! :D" Without a doubt, in tight sections of trail, too much of a good thing will leave you sitting in the middle of the trail, your bike down the hill in the ugliest spot you can imagine, with you wondering what the hell happened! The 400 has "plenty O' power", the 520 has "GOBS" more to get you into trouble with improper throttle manipulation. :)

Originally posted by Rick O'Shay:Since the FCR carb can be tuned for when the pumper kicks in, and you can slow down the throttle response via a Magura throttle assembly, I wonder if there are any other drawbacks I'm missing.

I'm not qualified to speak of the tuning of the Keihn FCR as far as the pumper kicking in. I do know that even with the bike running less than 100%, it still runs pretty darn strong and can scare the hell out of you. :D Fuel range was an issue until I put on the larger tank.

Jeff

------------------

No Brain, No Pain!

01' KTM 400EXC

01' Yamaha TTR-125L

01' Yamaha TTR-90

00' Honda XR50R

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