Why a 520MXC for woods? talk me into it!

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#1
If my local dealer does get a KTM dealership I will most likly get a 520MXC, why a 520? well, because every body else wants a 400, no not realy.
I have 3 dirt bikes right now,a BBR electric start XR400, a 97 XR400 also electric start and a 00 XR650r, I'm SOOO hooked on the power of the 650r, and even like riding it in tight woods, but it gets pretty harey sometimes.. I realy like the electreic start 400's also, especialy the light nimble feel of the BBR.
I don't ride 2 strokes, I ride 4 strokes, in the woods, sometimes open, sometomes tight and I like lots of power if I need it.
I'm thinking that the 520MXC will be like melding all of the bikes that I have into 1 AWESOME dirt bike.
I know it sounds like I've already made up my mind, but talk me into it anyway.

Kevin
 

jeb

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#2
Do you race in the tight woods or just trail ride? If the latter, get the 520 but make it an EXC. That big tank on the MXC makes the bike feel a lot wider and harder to keep your weight forward on. If you race hare scrambles or enduro's in the tight woods, you will probably find the 400 the better bike, IMO. It will be easier to control and not tire you out nearly as quickly. At least, that's my experience.
 

Shaw520

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#3
EXC520

Faster, lighter, norrower, and more manuverable than all those Hondas you mentioned,....Jeb is right about the tank on the MXC, you lose some of that slim, norrow feeling. :)
 

Jim Crenca

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#4
Hey JEB,

As far as tight woods & fire roading goes; does a 520 or 400 4 stroke beat you up noticeably more than a 250 EXC 2 stroke? I've got a modified KDX but will get another bike to play with & possibly Hare Scramble. I keep thinking that a 520 might make a cool Dual Sport bike as well. Your thoughts please.
 
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#5
for anything other than the tightest east coast enduros, the 520MXC is ideal. I also prefer the EXC gas tank but if you choose not to change the tank, you will get used to the MXC tank in time. You will love this bike!

Good luck.
 

jeb

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#6
Originally posted by Jim Crenca
Hey JEB,

As far as tight woods & fire roading goes; does a 520 or 400 4 stroke beat you up noticeably more than a 250 EXC 2 stroke? I've got a modified KDX but will get another bike to play with & possibly Hare Scramble. I keep thinking that a 520 might make a cool Dual Sport bike as well. Your thoughts please.
Beat you up? Quite the contrary in my case. The suspension on the 01 400E is much better out of the box than my 99 250E's was. And I'd had the shock revalved by EE on the 99. I've now put stronger springs in both ends of the 400 as I'm 205 in street clothes and it's just a magic carpet ride compared to any other bike I've owned.

For me, this bike is way better than my 250 for trailriding or racing. It's not that much heavier than the 250 and has a great powerband. However, a friend of mine has sister bikes to both my 99 250E and now my 01 400E. He's not as convinced at this point after a couple of hundred miles on the 400E. The 250 is a very nice bike too and he's just not as fired up about the 400 as I am. So YMMV.

The 520 would probably be a better dual sporter but tread carefully here. KTM is emphatic that the RFS's are not designed for dual sporting and they caution that it will not be good for the bike. Some of the reasons are low oil capacity, no oil cooler, no fan for stop and go driving, no rubber buffered hubs for pavement stresses, thinner 5th and 6th gears. Some guys have used them for dual sporting and seem to have no problems, though. But you should be aware of what KTM says about it. Your dealer should be able to show you the letter from KTM about the above.
 
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#7
The 520EXC is extremely easy to ride!!! The bike has very tractable power and doesnt beat you up at all. The suspension is right in the ballpark for woods riding (a little soft for desert though) and the weight of the bike is very deceiving. It feels lighter than it really is. IMO it feels 20 lbs lighter than the YZ426 I had. I was totally amazed at the bikes ability to chew up the nasty single track. Buy it, you'll love it, if you dont, you can resell it rather easily. My O2.
 
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#8
I just traded my xr 400 (600 before that) to a 520 MXC and i love it. I run about a 50/50 mix of woods and moto. I had a "set-up" day for both conditions and wrote the settings down. With a few clicks I can get it dialed in pretty sweet. My best riding bud has an XR650R and the power on the 520 is very comparable....smooth as you want or wick it and rip. I did put a 13t front sprocket on for the tight stuff. I also do notice the BIG tank sometimes (mostly on the moto track), but I'm coming off of an air cooled bike with a thin tank so everything is wide to me. We had a 70mph straight at this past weekend's hare scramble and I still had throttle left even with the gearing change. My bottom line is that if you like thumpers you will LOVE this one. Later,
Steve
 

Jim Crenca

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#9
Man I got to re-think this whole dirt bike thing. I've been so happy with light weight, smaller (200cc) 2-strokes for trail riding / play racing that I'm begining to fell like a cave man. You guys make it sound like the large KTM 4 strokes are the way to go. Are there any down sides other than a heavier bike?
 

Shaw520

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#10
I think there are better suited bikes for riders in the 130# -150#pnd range, but a strong aggressive rider over 180# will find the RFS's perfectly suited,......you find yourself doing things you werent capable of previous fourstrokes.
After tossing XR400/600's around for the past five years, the 520 feels and flicks as lite as a MX250, and with a bit more throttle control, can be whipped and tossed around as such. But grab a handful, and thats where the difference becomes evident.
 

jeb

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#11
Jim,
What 200 are you riding? If it's a 98 or newer KTM 200, the weight difference is significant. Some 33 pounds on the EXC's. I was racing a KTM 250E before I went to the 400E and I don't notice the difference in weight. But I'm 6'2", 205 and in pretty good shape. I will tell you that it's a bit more work getting it out of mudhole if you get stuck.

I'm faster on my 400 and throughly enjoy it. I was going to keep the 250E but I couldn't bring myself to even ride it anymore as I was having so much fun on the 400 and the suspension is so much better. When I do ride our 125EXC or 200EXC, I really do feel the difference in weight, though. Those bikes feel too small to me so there's no appeal for me but it's worth considering.
 

Jim Crenca

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#12
I'm 5'10", 175 lbs., 43 years old but in pretty good shape with decent upper body strength. Lately I've been riding a reasonably tricked out KDX 200. I was thinking about muscling a heavy bike up some of the muddy, tree lined hills, strewn with rocks we have here in the East; I would guess that & bottomless mud holes are everyones worst trail experiences. Of course endless torque might make getting caught in the above less likely as well.
 

jeb

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#13
That's a good point, Jim. The 400 seems to get through more mudholes easier than my 2 strokes did. Much easier to just chug right through while the bike magically finds traction.

We have a 96 KDX200 in the family that I've put some miles on. It's a top heavy bike with relatively low tech suspension. The KTM 400 would be good move in every way from that bike, IMO.
 
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#14
You said that you like power!

As the over quoted cliche go "there is no replacement for displacement" As competent as the 400 RFS are the 520 will never cease to amuse your desire for power. In the woods it might be an issue keeping it out of the trees for the first few rides until you relax your throttle hand. As far as really being a woods machine I think that all KTMs need a little set up to before they are completely intuitive. For me it was proper sag set up and less offset in the triple clamps before I was comfortable on my 520 in the single track.