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Thoughts comparing a 520exc to a 2012 300xc or 500xc-w

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Hello all,

Current ride is a 2008 YZ250, set up for high speed off road conditions. Type of riding done is 3rd 4th 5th gear stuff. Bike is geared 15/47 so as to get more topend. Looking to upgrade to a KTM, ideal bike would be a KTM 300xc or 500xc-w because of the six speed and electric start. Also will be doing some night riding so the new 196 watt stator is apealing. Problem is stomaching the $10k price of a new bike (don't want to sell the YZ). Have a chance to buy a 2002 520exc in show room condition. Price obviously a lot cheaper at $2500. Has the 6 speed and electric start but I am concerned about the suspension and handling. Obviously, newer is typically better, but is it $7500 better?

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Answer: It depends. The older 520s were great bikes but as you can imagine, they evolved and got better and better each year. They had quite a bit of frame flex and the suspesion wasn't that good back then. Also the lights on the older models suck. The 300XC has no light, but can be added. Even though the 300 has a six speed, it runs out of breath fairly quickly at higher speeds. The new 500 is AWESOME! I bought one and sold everything else. (Including my '11 300XC). Pretty good head light bone stock, cooling fan (that really works), suspension is fantastic and this thing never runs out of breath. Tons of smooth power everywhere, feels very light, great on single track and high speed stuff. Your call if it's worth the money, but so far I loving mine and it's weird, but for the first time ever, I don't even look at other bikes.

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I have a Trail Tech 8" HID so I'm not worried about the light, just the ability to power it. I have the double Lithium battery kit but I would like to power it directly from the bike, plus have extra power for heated grips. I've been told that the 300xc really doesn't pull 6th gear all that well, waiting to see what MXA does to their 300xc to get more power out of it. I'm assuming that they wouldn't be wasting their time to make less horsepower than a stock 250sx. More like their project 300sx back from 2010 that made 51 horsepower. I like the idea of the 500xc-w, but I'm a little concerned about the fuel injection being able to handle cold weather riding, we run ice tires here and sometimes it can get down to -25 F. I also went back to two strokes because of two previous expensive 4 stroke catastrophic tranny failures that pretty much destroyed the engines.

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