520 EXC - First Impressions - Questions

Wow!!! I had no idea what I was getting myself into (or on to). The low end torque, the continuously building and never ending high end power. This thing is a rocket, with capabilities far beyond my ability to ride it.

First, thank you to all the people that responded to my request for information. The Thumper board was valuable in helping me decide on the KTM over the Yam WR. Friday night I found a 13 month old 2001 520 EXC for $5,600. Seemed like a good price, and a well cared for bike, so I bought it.

I thought because I could ride and jump a big KLR650 in the dirt that I be a natural on a big enduro. I’m not! I’m working harder than I’ve ever worked on a bike before. On my first ride yesterday I started thinking, ut-oh… what have I done… this fire breathing dragon is way beyond me. As the day rolled on I became more comfortable and finally started jumping it. It lands like a dream!

Fast… I find myself with the front end in the air in fourth gear, where did that come from? And can someone tell me why they put a 5th and 6th gear on this bike? I’m going so damn fast in 4th I can’t imagine I’ll ever get to those two.

Today was much better. A lot more comfortable on the bike. It’s still a hand-full, but I’m hoping at age 36 I’m not too old to get better.

A few questions for you experienced KTM guys.

1) I find it almost impossible to put the bike in neutral while the engine is running. Is that just me, or is that normal?

2) Several times now I have accidentally hit the starter switch with the bike running. It does not make a grinding noise, but I assume that not a good practice. Am I damaging my bike?

3) Are the lights known for breaking? The dealer put a new switch on it Saturday and it worked fine all day. Today it would not come on. Is this common?

Thanks to all.


KLR650, TTR125, PW80

Welcome to KTM. You will notice my name is YZ400Court. Only because I can not figure out how to change it to KTM520Court. The KTM is heads and tails above a stock YZ/WR. As for your questions, I'll answer from my experience with my '01 520 EXC.

1. I can't find neutral with the engine running and the bike standing still either. I can find it while still rolling or engine off. I have heard that a good bleeding of the clutch hydralics will fix this. I prefer to live with it. (also hear that of the shelf baby oil can be used in the clutch hydralic system).

2. Mee too, but I was assured by my dealer that it would not hurt anything.

3. I've got 2 desert races, 1 enduro, and approx 2000 trail/desert miles on my bike and the lights still work. As a matter of fact everything still works as new. The only problem I had was breaking the shock spring andjustment nut by overtightening the setscrew.

Just one other thing I think every new KTM owner should know. Before the '02 models, the compression adjustment knob on the shock worked backwards to the jap bikes. Clockwise is softer (the big knob at the top of the shock). Boy do I feel stupid after having my shock revalved just to find out ....well thats another story.

BTW...they made 5th and 6th for us desert guys grin.gif . 100 mph sandwashes, just watch out for the hidden rocks shocked.gif


Pretend it's flat and give it the gas.

[This message has been edited by YZ400Court (edited October 14, 2001).]

I had a hard time finding neutral up until the last race. I must have found neutral at the worst possible time at least 10 times during a 50 mile race.


01 400 MXC

00 XR400

Thanks for the info. Good to know that my bike is working as expected.

Now I just have to learn how to harness all that power and live up to the bike's potential. Not likely, but I'm gonna have fun trying.

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