ktm 520exc vs wr426 which wins?

sfc crash

Human Blowtorch
Jun 26, 2001
i've been considering a wr426, but lo and behold there is this (new to me) ktm thing, e start and all, hydro clucth and reported smooth power band, price and all, which would be the better bike?:think


Sponsoring Member
Mar 8, 2001
Here we go again. "Blue is better than Orange. Orange is better than Blue. LALALALALALALALA" If you are considering these two bike then by all means go see if you can ride them each. The money spent on a new bike is a lot and you should feel comfortable about it. Listen to what people say, this site has alot of people who have alot of experience on the subject, just remember that you're getting opinions on the subject.


May 4, 2001
I wish you luck. This will be a hard decision. I have not ridden a WR426. I owned a YZ426. I was very, very surprised when I got my 520EXC. I really didnt think I would like it as much as I did. My 02 is that you ride them both if possible, that is the only way you can really decide. If you are not able to, your decision will be tougher because of the unreal number of opinions on the two bikes. GOOD LUCK.;)


Dec 15, 2000
I like you could of bought either bike and I bought the KTM 520 EXC. Both great bikes but the 520 EXC won IMHO. I think a better comparison would be the KTM 400 EXC vs Yamaha WR426.


Mar 12, 2000
I owned a 2000 WR400 and I have a 2001 KTM400EXC right now. I my opinion the KTM is the better bike, but that is my opinion only. The KTM feels a lot narrower and although it doesnt weigh much less it carries the weight a lot better and lower. Lets not forget the e-start either. Good luck on your decision.


Mar 7, 2001
As mentioned above, both bikes are excellent choices (I REALLY like both). The WR is cheaper initially, but the price rises quickly if you start customizing, whereas the EXC comes with all the needed hardware (minus hand protection) installed. The WR is a formidable weapon with the YZ tank/seat (or aftermarket) installed and a set of aluminum bars (possibly forward mounted with the aid of thumper raciing), and removing the factory restrictors to suit your riding style. You should definitely ride both first and take serious consideration your local dealers that you will have to deal with.

Aust 520exc

Jun 19, 2001
sfc crash - obviously I ride the KTM and am more and more impressed by it every time I ride it, whether on a motocross track or in the bush it is a joy to ride. I recently had a ride of both the WR426 and the YZ426 - great bikes, great power but after 10 mins riding both I was screaming for the orange beast (not just for the button) hill climbing on either just wasn't as easy (or fast) the YZ was difficult to keep traction, WR not as bad but the suspension did not handle sharp hits like the KTM. I'm sure a few bucks on the forks would make it as good but for straight out of the box the KTM has my vote, let alone all the trick extra's: hydraulic clutch, electric start, cauliflower discs... once again KTM leads the rest of the field :cool: :cool:


Jul 6, 2001
exc ver.exc

ok first off i love yamahas,its my opinion that they have consistently been one of the most quality japenese off road bikes and as motorcycle manufacterer altogether.the wr has a wide seat tank junction and is much harder to get your weight forward .i have ridden both and own the 520exc,but dont want to sound biased here.i considered both for a time but chose the 520 simply because it has everything.the major deal for me was watching guys everywhere i went kick and kick and kick those yamahas,some times it would pop the first kick but sometimes it just wouldnt start at all.this is the truth not fiction and not based on any bias towards what i own are ktms.i dont want to start any arguments here as i love yamahas as well,they are fine machines


Feb 16, 2001
I am in the unique position here of actualy owning a Wr426.
My riding buddies include a KTM 520, VOR 503, Husaburg 501, and a fully built Stroker KLX 300.
I love the quickness of my bike. Handling, suspension, and power delivery are abrupt and fun.
I have ridden all of the other bikes and for a tree banger like me the wr is right.
The power delivery on the euro bikes feels sluggish, like the cranks are wrapped in mollasses.
When I used to ride my Huky 610 and Husaberg 501 I thought they spun quick though.
I was ready for the japanese parts availability and warranty options after blowing up my esoteric beauties and not being able to get parts.
Riding as many bikes as possible is definitely the ticket. You really can't go wrong.


Oct 3, 2000
I have ridden the WR426 and it is an outstanding bike. The power is not as abrupt as the YZ, and the suspension is more trail
oriented. The only problem I had with the bike was starting it. The kicker came up too high in a sitting position, and would not always
start. I know about the drill. I purchased the 400EXC after riding one, have not tried the 520 yet. I felt the KTM was a better deal for $1000 more since it already has all the goodies on it stock. The magic button has been worth it alone many times. If you must have instant acceleration, go with the 520 MXC. It has the close ratio trans. BTW- I got a 4 1/2 year warranty on my bike from the dealer covering everthing for an extra $300.

Lee in Hollister

2001 KTM 400EXC
2001 TT-R125L
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