Power XR650r/520EXC?

I curently own a 00 XR650r with all of the uncorking parts, pluss an E-series exhaust.

I will be getting a 520EXC in the future.

Has any one rode both of these bikes?

If so how does the overall power compare from the 650r to the 520EXC?

I know the 650 weighs alot more but I REALY like the power of the 650r, especioly the instant responce and torque of the engine.

I was riding with a guy on the weekend that had a 650. We swapped for a while and I couldn’t wait to get back on my bike. The 650 does have grunt, but the 520 also has plenty. The 650 is an absolute pig. It must weigh 30kilo’s more. Once he knew I wanted my bike back, I had to catch him, and through the tight stuff, that is not possible.

Go the 520, you will not regret it.

My riding buddy has a 650r 01. I ride 400exc 01. We traded bikes for around 30 minutes. He came with a big smile and I had my body all sore. He said my bike feels light and surprisinlly fast. I had no comments. We had numerous drag races, the little bike won all of them. In a large open area he has more top end, but thats not real world.

His bike feels like a tractor trailer with a heavy and wide load. Try not to fall, or you will have to kick start for long. just spoke to him, he went riding saturday he fell and the day was over.

if u want to spend all day herding cattle or sheep - stick with the xr650 - but if u want to enjoy bike riding and ride fast and risk divorce (cause youll ride every weekend) get a 520EXC or 400EXC.

I've riden both my stock 520 and the up 650

I felt it was no comparision..... of coarse

my buddy with the 650 though his had more- I think that was more of an owner pride issue than a realistic evaluation of the 2. The 520 real did feel stronger everywhere. Also as stated before the 650 is a bear to start! - I must watch him kick that thing an easy 50-100 times per ride, we won't even get into the weight. NO THANKS! You'll be glad you got the 520. Give us your evaluation once you get it.



"01" KTM 520 EXC

Mesa, AZ

TBob, A dealer about an hour from me has an 01 520 EXC on the floor, I don't know how much he want's for it.

My question is, If I could save $500 or $600 would I be beter off waiting for the slightly improved 02 520 EXC?

I own both a full HRC kitted 01 XR650R and a 02 520 EXC. The kitted Honda is more powerful and has better sustained top end. It pulls like very hard in the 50 to 80mph range. The KTM is better everywhere else. The KTM is much lighter the engine is more responsive (revs quicker) it handles better everywhere except perhaps high speed whoops (the Honda properly set up just eats whoops) the KTM is easier on you when riding you can ride it longer and not get as tired--probably the weight and its much quieter which also makes it easier to ride for long periods. The Honda to me feels more at home on the street (both bikes are fully dual sported and street legal). The KTM is by far a better trail bike probably just the weight again. I have to admit that Honda got the geometry correct as it steers very well and my KTM with the 18mm offset tripple clamps (SCOTTS) is in the hunt here also. In stock form the KTM is the hands down winner. That said both of these bikes have been modified / personalized for me and they are both great motocycles in their current state (read in the case of the HONDA heavily modified and the KTM modified to a lesser extent). On the trail you only need to stall the HONDA and flood it once--to go through the dreaded 50 to a 100 kick start to realize the true value of the "E" button on the KTM. The "E" button swings the tide completely to the KTM for me.


The XR is much more suited for desert running. Tried ridig my buddies in some tight woods around here and it over heated. Killer power, stable chassis, heavy, not good in tight stuff. Sure made me appreciate my 520EXC.

We may have to think about hp/Kg instead of just hp. For an example, if XR650 has 50hp and weigh 140Kg the power/weight ratio is about 0.36hp/Kg. and if 520EXC delivers 46hp with 117Kg the ratio is about 0.39hp/Kg. It means that 520EXC has more power for the weight than XR650 does. While there are several more factors which make better response, handling and speed, it give us many advantage and just two disadvantage as far as I know. Normally, heavier bikes have better stability at high speed and have better durability. Except these two, lighter bike gives me(short, getting old and losing power) many advantage, especially when we are getting old and when we are losing our power.

I really like XR's response, conering and durability but whenever I crash on trails even MX 250's are havy for me. What about XR650? Oh, my... I do not want to even think about it.

Originally posted by TwinSparXR:

TBob, A dealer about an hour from me has an 01 520 EXC on the floor, I don't know how much he want's for it.

My question is, If I could save $500 or $600 would I be beter off waiting for the slightly improved 02 520 EXC?

Well 500-600 is alot of coin - I don't think the 2002 upgrades are worth that. I've also heard of 02 already having problems with the new and improved water pump seal. Cam bearing failures on the 01 have been few and far between and the fix is no where near 5-6 hundred bucks. The only real apealing thing on the 02 is the high speed compresion circut on the rear - nice but even if it's great in stock trim and doesn't require a revalve a revalve doesn't cost 5-6 hundred bucks. Now, taking all this into concideration.... here is the catch, your buying a bike that is allready a year old and the fact that your purchesing it new a year old won't help you much in the re-sale

of the bike so keep that in mind. If it were me - I would spend the extra 5-6 hundred and buy the 02. :)

Good luck,



"01" KTM 520 EXC

Mesa, AZ

I called the dealer today he said $6400. for the 01 520EXC. That's just over the phone, he might come down some more, I don't know, I didn't try. He want's me to come up and ride it, because I've never riden a 520 before, but I might get a chance to this weekend.

Thank you guy's for all of the good advice.

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