KTM 520EXC or DRZ 400E

I just sold my 01 DZ 400S. While it was a great bike and I loved it I grew out of it fast. The weight really got to me while in the tight stuff also. I am now considering the E or a KTM 520ECX. Any help in making my mind up would be great. I can get the DR for about $4,500.00 and the KTM for about $1000.00 more. I just wonder if the KTM is to set up for just racing and not so good for you normal trail riding like the DRZ (if that makes any sense?) Thank you.

[ December 30, 2001: Message edited by: hudman ]

I've been tossing up between a KTM 400 or 520 and the DRZe also. What made up my mind was my experience with a 300exc. The forks just kept blowing seals and also I was stuffed after a couple of hours in the saddle (partly from being a two-smoke, granted. And partly unfit-ness).

Being realistic I finally decided on the 'Z, mainly for peace of mind knowing I'm not about to blow it up, plus I'm riding 6 - 8 hour hard days, where I reckon the Katoom will blow me away half way through.

Just my two cents.

- Steve

hudman, I own a KTM 520 EXC. It is a great bike. The KTM can be trail ridden with no problems. It makes monster power yet is very manageable in the tight stuff. It is lighter than a DRZE and bone stock will out perform it. So you ask "why wouldn't everyone just get a KTM"? The number one reason is cost. Compared to the KTM the DRZE is an easy keeper. The KTM uses two oil filters and they are pretty expensive. I wound up ordering the Scotts stainless filters to avoid the hassel. But, they were damn near 70 bucks a pop! KTM recommends that you use synthetic oil. In my Yamaha and Suzuki I can use regular 4 stroke oil and it works great! Next, you will need to buy a skid plate for the KTM(it comes with nothing). If you ride in rocky areas you will need to get a shark fin to protect the rear break disk at minimum. Of couse you will need to get some good bark buster hand guards. The stock tank on the KTM is only 2.5 gallons(EXC model). I go on reserve at about 45 - 46 miles. You will probably need to get a bigger tank. The stock Bridgestone tires suck in anything other than hard pack. The suspension is too soft and will need to be re-worked. The DR suspension has the same problem so that is a wash.

The DRZE is a great handling trail bike right out of the crate. You will probably feel like you need a steering stablizer for the KTM. The stock KTM exhaust is great. It is pretty quiet and does not feel too heavy. The bottom line. It all depends on your budget and the kind of riding you do. For the extra money you will be putting out for the KTM you could build a truely awsome DRZE and the parts would be easier to get and probably cheaper. Don't misunderstand me, I really like my KTM. But, I would really give the DRZE serious consideration unless money is no object. Hope this helps a little. P

[ December 30, 2001: Message edited by: PMAUST ]

PMAUST- So why would did you get the 520 if all those things were needed? Did you make the right choice?

I ride an 01 DRZ kicker one of my riding buds has an 01 KTM520EXC.If you can get the 520 for only a one thousand dollar difference it is a steal.My buddy paid just over 2 G's more than I did for his bike.The KTM is a powerhouse.My DRZ is a strong runner with many mods (full exhuast,jetting,Vortex airbox) I can accelerate by his side till about 55ish then he pulls away.His bike is 100% stock.The seat is hard,the motor holds a small oil capacity,there are NO grease fittings anywhere on the bike,and parts are sometimes hard to get and can be pricey.These are the shortcomings of the KTM.Wicked power anywhere anytime,USD forks,E and kick start (and still lighter than the kick only DRZ)Hydrualic clutch,Magura bars(pro taper styled),Chrome plated header that will never rust,Quite exhuast,the suspension felt fine to me i'm 165lbs and so is the owner these are some of the pro's.The gas tank on the EXC gets the job done as he has never ran out of gas before anyone else and afterall it is only 2 tenths of a gallon less than my bike.Basically a trade off here less mantainance or better parts/performance.After you ride a KTM 520 it is hard not to want one, a fine machine.My DRZ more than gets the job done it is more rider than bike in the woods I can put real estate between us when I want to.

[ December 31, 2001: Message edited by: weekendtoy98DR ]

hudman, I had the money and the KTM is an awsome bike. But, god help me if I ever need to take it into the shop. The nearest dealer is 20 plus miles away the only game in town and they know it and charge accordingly. :) Did i make the right decision? I think so. So far I am really enjoying the bike. It is not my intention to put the KTM down, just give you honest and unbiased food for thought. Good luck, P

P.S. The tank size issue depends on where and how far you ride. I have over size tanks on all of my bikes.

[ December 31, 2001: Message edited by: PMAUST ]

[ December 31, 2001: Message edited by: PMAUST ]

I plan to make the switch to a KTM 4 stroke with the button.(400 or 520, price will determine what I get.)

One guy I ride with has a 520 MXC. He has mentioned that if he had to buy again he would get the EXC for the wide ratio tranny.

If I could buy now I would get the bike you mentioned before it is gone.

Gofaster-those were good results for competing on a Dual-sport machine were it must have raised a few eyebrows.

If you had chose the 400E or Kicker model how much difference would tht have made?

Have you riden a 400E to compare?

Just wondered as i will probably go to a 400E at the end of next season and maybe keep my 400S aswell funds permitting.


It probally shocked some guys when I honked my horn to let them no I was behind them. They definantly could not hear me with my stock pipe.

I only saw a few S's and a ton of E's. The S is a fun bike to ride and can definantly compete. I'm a beginner and looking to move to B-class during this coming year. I've ridden a friends E and it felt much like my S's. Some noticible power but not the power of the KTM. The E felt just as heavy as my S even though I know it is lighter maybe that is because the motors weigh about the same and the steering is very much alike. The KTM felt light, hopped over ruts, lifted the front tire over water obstacles in any gear, rode on top of the sand. There is more effort to get my S to respond the way I want it too.

My friend has said his 520 has only tried to get away from him a couple of times. Also saying he felt that had to do with body position as much as power. My S has gotten a way from me but I must admit it was more because of body position and lack of experience.

Log on to www.ecea.org to check out the East Coast Enduro Associations web site. You will see the year end standings. There are a lot of E's placing near or at the top for each class. People are going fast on them.

I don't want to bash the DRZ, I just think the KTM is more suited for my interests.

Originally posted by hudman:

DRZ 2001 New $4,329.00

KTM 520EXC 2001 New $5,400.00


Read my post on the KTM board re. both of these bikes, but OMG, if you can get a new '01 520 for that price, just buy it! If you decide you hate it, you can sell it for that price without much trouble. That price is $2k less than MSRP!! BUY IT QUICK!! :)


Yes I'd agree RUN to the KTM dealer for that price it is steal.They sell for that used.


I know where you can get 02 52EXC's brand new for $6,300.00. Not bad. It so much less than you would expect. I may just buy the bike (KTM), and like you said I if I don't like it I can always get my money out of it. I may even make some :) Who knows... If you don't mind e-mail me your phone number I'd like to call you and pick your brain a little more. If you don't mind? Thank you for the help. csh6276@aol.com

Hudman, for the kind of milage you will be going I would definately get a bigger tank for the 520EXC as they tend to suck a little more gas. It is strange because they put the bigger tank on the MXC model which is strange. Others may get differenct results but, I find that I can only go between 44.5 and 47 miles on the stock tank before I have to turn on reserve. If you get the KTM go to that forum for more information. You can order paper filters through mail order and save quite a bit of money. The stainless fiters are reusable and should last forever with proper care and maintenance. Depending on how often you ride they will pay for themselves over time. Sounds like you can get some pretty killer deals. I got mine from Larsons and saved a lot but didn't get the green sticker that the CA "G" model gets. Thats the main reason I am hanging onto my WR400F. It has a green sticker. The KTM will put a smile on your face. Unless you are like me(total bike slut) in which case they all do! :) Good luck, Paul

PMAUST- Thank you for al of your advice. It really helps. I ride around 65-90 miles in one shot. Will the stock gas tank carry me that far? Also when we are talking about costly oil changes what are we really talking about. Is a filter $10 like the DR or is it $30? The dealer told me that they came with stainless filters that you could use again and again? Is that true? Or are they paper? I don't mind the money if it's just not crazy. I also like comfort while on my bike and the DR has that. I know the KTM seat is hard as a I beam so a seat job would be a must if I get the bike. I just really want to make the right choice and want to get all the information I can before I hand over the cash. I know theDRZ and what it can do I just don't know the KTM so I can only ask people who know both bikes. Thank you again for your help. :) I just want a bike.

DRZ 2001 New $4,329.00

KTM 520EXC 2001 New $5,400.00

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