Husaberg or KTM

I have this fancy to get me a new(ish) Husaberg FE501. The old IT blue and yella scheme really catches my eye, my head however tells me the KTM 400/520 EXC is a better bet. Anyone got any take on the FE400/501/650 ?!

The latest issue of Dirt Rider discusses the new 'Bergs. They're not too keen on some of the features. I.E. The battery goes dead quickly, E-start only for emergencies, cough and die syndrome, etc..I had enough clams to get a Berg, DRZ, etc.. I bought the KTM! :)

I have a 2001 FE400 Husaberg and 2001 KTM520EXC so maybe I can offer a little input.

The Husaberg handling and suspension is way better than the KTM.

Obviously, the 520 is much stronger than the 400. Having said that, for tight enduro type riding, the power of the 400 with its 'low/high' ignition switch is awesome. There is no better hill climber on steep, slippery and /or rocky slopes.

The 520 is a better wheelie machine

The brakes on the Husaberg are better.

The KTM is a superior built bike. Jetting on the Husaberg is not right and i am still trying to get rid of a off idle stumble and the bike 'flooding' itself on steep downhills.

Material quality is very good on the Husaberg although I have not owned one long enough to comment on its reliability. KTM fourstrokes are almost bullet proof - i had a 2000 520 when they first were launched, no problems whatsoever.

The electric start on the Husaberg is as good as the KTM.

The KTM seems more fuel efficient although i think this is because the Husaberg jetting is not sorted.

Feel free to ask me any other comarisons.

I'd wait for CraigW reliability report on the Berg.... I'm sure you won't have to wait long.



"01" KTM 520 EXC

Mesa, AZ

I have been riding with a guy who has a 2000 FE501E for a couple years now. We do mostly desert riding in Baja and Southern California. The berg is an interesting machine. It has a low seat height comparatively, and a very "different feel". The motor has a lot of power and it is very smooth. The dam thing is very stable at speed, my GPS showed 97 MPH last year on top of it crossing El Diablo dry lake bed in Baja. Once you learn its quirk’s it turns well too. The reliability has not been the greatest especially when comparing it to my Yamaha yz400F. I would guess he has about 1500 – 2000 in repair bills over the last two seasons. The starter has given him the most trouble often engaging and not releasing (something I think the factory fixed in more recent models). This little problem has left him stranded unable to Estart or kick-start on more than one occasion. I get my KTM serviced at the same place my buddy gets the berg worked on, Ron Bishop Motorcycles in Escondido CA. Ron is a one man show doing all his own repairs. I don’t know if anyone has heard of him or not but he has raced in EVERY Baja 1000 since it’s inception, and just last month was inducted into the Motorcycle hall of fame. Now this guy sells Husabergs and when I was looking at one before I picked up a KTM instead he said to me, (paraphrasing) ‘ Husabergs are high maintenance, KTM is not like that at all’. One last thing…last weekend my buddy with the husaberg and I went riding, and after throwing a leg over my 520EXC he said “Dam I wish you hadn’t let me ride that!”


For me a double means getting both wheels off the ground.

'01 520EXC

'99 YZ400F

'87 LT500 Quadzilla (lots of chrome dune pimp)

'73 Yamaha 250 enduro

'92 Fantic 270

But, I do love those Husaberg colours. :)

I guess it will be the KTM then .... hmmm, will have to live with the colours .... or change the plastic !!! :D

I would go with the KTM, reason being that one of my friends had a 400 Husaberg and the engine case cracked on it twice. This was not because of abuse on his part, he is 54 years old and was the over 40 Texas enduro A class champion several years in a row. He ended up buying a KTM after the last failure.

Originally posted by BunduBasher:

But, I do love those Husaberg colours. :D

I guess it will be the KTM then .... hmmm, will have to live with the colours .... or change the plastic !!! :)

BB, I don't think you should completely make a decision based upon just what people tell you over a website, they are very different machines, some love them, some hate them. My boyfriend rode every big bore thumper out there, and he couldn't live without the Berg, none of the others did it for him. At the same time, there are a lot of happy KTM owners...there are a lot more KTM owners period. I had the pleasure of riding a 400exc, 400mxc and Berg FX470. IMOP Kevin's Husaberg made the KTM's feel like casual trail bikes. Or as our good friend (and KTM owner) put it, the Berg feels like a 'KTM on steriods'. For me, that would make me get the KTM (Kev;s Berg scares me). For others, it's just the kind of excessive power they are looking for :D . I would recommend riding both if you can before you make a decision (although I doubt you are making a BAD decision either way).

Besides the starter issue (which is a recall and fully supported by the factor, and fixed for 2002) the newer Bergs are on-par with KTM reliability, at least from our experience and the experience of the the Berg and KTM owners we know.

If your serious the KTM.


(AMA, Dist.36, BRC) Lifetime Memberships

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