I know that there are some guys out there who think the YZ is the best and others who think the KTM is top dog. My opinion is that the bikes are even, it just depends on what type of power you like. The KTM is lighter and more powerful, but takes longer to get through the powerband. Also the stock steering geometry is off, so it has a hard time with tight corners. An aftermarket offset clamp fixes this. The YZ is heavier, and doesn't make as much power, but it makes its power in a hurry and revs very quickly. Try riding each bike and see which one you like.
Another thing to consider is the KTM is about 2K more than the Yamaha. You could put the YZ on quite a diet with 2k;) The KTM's parts are a bit more expensive than the YZ as well.
I've got a bunch of friends with the YZ's ( I race "oldtimer's" MX) and they like them. Funny I out of the 120 or so guy's there are only 1 or 2 KTM's. Sometimes I'm the only RED bike on the line! :confused: That's going to change with the CRF450R coming out!:cool:
krash133 is correct the bikes are pretty even, buy the one YOU like and RIDE!
Boy it is amazing how myths get started...2000 dollar difference! Give me a break. Out here a Yamaha guy need to spend close to 6500 buck to get on out the door. Then he has to spend another 300-400 buck to get all the hot goodies..and a new set of springs to make them stiff enough for the faster/heavier guys, pipe, etc. Total 6900bucks
Most of the KTM guys spend about 7000 and another 200 bucks for goodies/adjustments. 7200 bucks.
More like a 300 dollar difference.
From what I can tell the KTM is way more versitle with the way it makes power. Not quite as two stroke like but they don't lose too many dig-outs! Better power delivery for 90 percent of riders.
Also dig through the four stroke thread here to see who has the most problems....more dollars to assign to one side or the other.
Got to plug Husaberg and VOR. Those are also viable options. Those Husabergs are very light. The VOR's are very underrated. Awesome motor and so far very reliable. ( They are making waves in the World Enduro series with vitually stock machines.)
My advise is simply to find a way to ride a couple of these different options before you fall in line with the big blue marketing machine. Maybe blue is right for you...but you won't know until you take a few sample. What a GREAT time to buy a dirt bike. So many good options.:)
Most ktm dealers won't come off the price where more yamaha dealers will. I have ridden a ktm 400, a yz426 and I own a yz400. I think the ktm is much more refined in the suspension dept, but lacks the mondo hit that I like. I have heard that the 520 is a monster motor compared to the 400, though. Ride both and go from there. They are very different bikes in many ways.