Has anyone here compared the ktm to the yamaha?

I am looking for someone that has ridden BOTH the 03 ktm 450 exc and the 03 yamaha wr 450 in tight trails. I read the test in dirt bike, and they rated the ktm quite a ways ahead of the yamaha in agility. Agility is the biggest item I am looking for in a new bike. I compared the wr 450 to my 00 yz 426, and it was like comparing a jet ski to an ocean liner in terms of handling. Does the ktm feel that much lighter, or is db just a little biased? thanks :):D

Chris :D

Indy_WR450 has you might want to PM him. I don't want to quote him without his permission.

My 10c worth, is the WR is lighter, but the KTM can turn quicker. Combine the two though and its still a case of the best rider will win, not the best bike.

Of course the best bike is the WR450, but then what would I know :)

I have ridden the WR450 and the KTM 525EXC (Which is the same as the 450 with the exception of the bore). I felt that the KTM was a handful compared to the WR. My brother now runs a Scotts Dampner on his KTM and it is much better. He also had Race Tech mod his suspension. I think that the KTM will have smoother power and will run well out of the crate. The WR will need some mods (Much info here on the free-mods) to make it run well. For what it is worth, both my brother and I fell that the WR handles better. I think thatit all depends on what you are used to and if you bought either one, you would be a happy guy as they are both nice bikes.

BTW, I live in So-Cal and may be selling the WR due to the REd/Green sticker issue. If you live in CA, I would suggest that you buy the KTM.


I am specifically refering to tight, twisty trails with lots of rocks type stuff. Turning ability is very important. thanks :)


I have ridden both and they both had Scotts dampers on them. Mine was moded as per my signature. The KTM was stock except for the bars and Scotts damper. WR has more grunt down low and a heavier flywheel. The KTM turns quicker and feels lighter even though the Yamaha weighs about the same it feels top heavy. (Note: I even have my forks set 15 mm up in the triple clamps for quicker turning) Mid range and up they feel the same but the KTM revs slightly quicker. Suspension. Hands down Yamaha is superior stock valving front and back is better. The KTM suspension feels softer but the front fork dampening feels harsh over sharp roots. You cant beat the front fork set up on the WR's in the nasty technical terrain. Now comes the bad news. The KTM electric start is superior period. It does not care what temperature it is outside it just starts. Stock jetting I might add. It was 32 degrees one morning at the campground and mine took a good 10 to 15 attempts to get started. The KTM just fired up. Go figure this would happen every morning for 3 days straight. My bike can start OK in the cold when I have winter jetting in it. But when it is going to be 75 degrees out that day you dont want to rejet just because you got an early start to riding. The KTM is a great bike to flick from side to side. Yamaha is more of a deliberate point and shoot type riding since it is top heavy. Yamaha is better at hill climbing (we were both running new S12's at the time). I would be happy with either bike set up for me. But the KTM seems less sensitve to cold starting. The KTM is a serious choice to consider. :)

How about price? What is the best deal going for a ktm 450 exc?

You should pay about $6,500 for an 03 KTM 450 EXC from a good dealer. Shop around. They are in high demand and you may be able to get the 525 for less but don't they are different! It will be a little more expensive than the Yamaha but by the time you mod them out they are close to the same. :)

Thanks indy! I ride all sorts of terrain, but the things that always bugged me about my yz were the ocean liner turning, the stiff suspension and whe close ratio tranny. I think that both bikes will have good gear boxes, although the 6 speed might be nicer. The suspension will probably be a lot nicer for trail riding on both. But the one thing that might be in question is how light they both feel. A lighter feeling bike would be most welcome. :)


i agree with indy on the starting.....when the wr is cold, the button just doesnt get it.

I dont want to through you off track, but you might want to wait for the Honda CRFX version next year the CRF450 motocrosser is the cats meow for turning and flicking around! If that is what you really want you should check out Red! I have ridden them many times and love the low center of gravity feel. :)

I not patient enough to wait for the crfx. I'm bikeless right now, and I will go nuts if I don't get something soon. :)

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now