WR400 to KTM400 impressions

MWEISSEN

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#1
I read a good thread on a guy switching from a CR250 to a KTM 400. I'm sure that similar impressions will be there between the WR400 and the KTM 400. If someone has experience, please let me know what they thought, especially in the weight-difference department.

Also I'd be interested in WR400 to KTM 250 impressions, as I may go that route instead.

New bike options for me right now, in this order KTM250, KTM400, KTM 200, YZ250F (already have one, would get one for woods-only and heavier setup), Honda CRF450.

Thanks ahead of time for your input.
 

jeb

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#2
Weight difference between your WR400 and the electric start KTM 400EXC is negligible. My buddy has one and we weighed the bikes with empty tanks back to back. Within a pound of each other. I have more junk on my bike (enduro computer, etc) so I figure the KTM is really 4 or so pounds lighter. No big deal.

In the woods, though, the feeling of weight is vastly different. The WR appears to carry it's weight high and it pushes the front end badly in sharp corners. The KTM feels 40 pounds lighter in the tight stuff.

The power is brutally in the Yamaha's corner. The KTM has a wonderful powerband for the woods where the WR is just too much for 99% of us. The KTM feels a little soft down low until you install the OCEMN needle, though.

I raced a 99 250EXC before I got the 400. Also a great bike which I loved to ride. 15 or so pounds lighter but I don't notice it in the woods. The 400, with 18mm clamps, turns better than the 250 did.
 

lawman

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#3
well, maybe i can help you out--i have a ktm 250 ('97 model), a 200 & a 400. i also have lots of time on a buddy's wr400 (sold to buy a ktm 200). the wr400 is a big, fast, top-heavy & heavy bike. the ktm 400 is noticeably lighter-feeling, & that button is nice! but it doesn't quite yank your arms like the yam does (imo it's easier to control, depends on what you like). the ktm 250 is of course lighter still, has nice smooth power, not alot of top end. the 200 is 10-12-15 lbs. (i've seen different #s) lighter than the 250, & the diff is very noticeable, esp. in tight woods. it doesn't have the bottom end of the 250, but the mid-range is ferocious. for trail riding, it's kind of buzzy & demands some attention as it handles quickly & can be a handful on slick hills & such. they are all very different bikes.
 
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yarbonwick

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#4
In this thread I posted some measurement from Dirtbike using their scales and dyno. Basically the 400EXC came up 8 pounds lighter, 4.4 horspower less at 1700RPM's lower. But ohhh it sooo much better than blue mule.

I do however, like you order better. The 250 is King!!
 
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MWEISSEN

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#5
Thanks for the tips, guys!:)

18mm clamps - are those a different offset of triple clamp or something??
 
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#6
I sold my 400wr to get the 400exc and it was the best decision for me. The bike definitely feels MUCH lighter and I was immeadiately able to go faster on the trails and at the track. All the above posts hit it pretty good. The only place I feel a disadvantage is in teh desert but I'll take that trade-off any day of the week.
Someone told me that the 4-stroke KTM had a steeper steering angle then the other KTM line-maybe that's the tripleclamp offset you're hearing about. I know it'll turn circles under the wr.(more head-shake, though...). Smooth power delivery is it's strong point. Oh, that and the happen button! I've passed moer than a few Yamaha's simply because tehy couldn't start their beast.
 
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#7
ive owned a 99 200 & curently own a 400 exc the 200 definatly need your full atention athough it is a great bike but you cant afford to get lazy on that bike 7 there is nothing beter than ridding that bike on the pipe but i would never swap it for my 400 the power is very usable allthrough the range
just anot on the wr they feel very bulky & that soft seat ????
just my .02cents worth
 
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#8
ive owned a 99 200 & curently own a 400 exc the 200 definatly need your full atention athough it is a great bike but you cant afford to get lazy on that bike 7 there is nothing beter than ridding that bike on the pipe but i would never swap it for my 400 the power is very usable allthrough the range
just a note on the wr they feel very bulky & that soft seat ????
just my .02cents worth
 

yarbonwick

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#9
Originally posted by PTCruiser
I've passed moer than a few Yamaha's simply because tehy couldn't start their beast.
I know what you mean. When I got back in the sport, I immediately went to one of the local Yamaha dealers to buy a tricked out YZ400. They pulled it outside and it took three guys to get it started. I passed.
 
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#10
Yarbonwick, What really frustrated me with the Yamaha's was that there was no rhyme or reason to the starting proceedure. You'd get it really hot and sometimes it needed the hot-start button, yet other times it wouldn't start till you pushed the hot button back in! You never knew what it needed.
I'm still amazed too, that Yamaha didn't incorporate some kind of automatic decompression into the kick-starter like Honda & KTM. I spent one whole day of riding my KTM using the kick-starter to fire it up just to prove that I could and had NO problems!
I was at the US Open last year and watched a few of those Yamaha's stall and not get started again, yet the KTM guy (who won) would stop after each moto win to get interviewed and then one-kick it and putt off afterwards.
 

NVR FNSH

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#11
hmm - my '99 WR400 starts 1st kick 95% of the time & 2nd kick the remaining 5% of the time. The button would be nice but for the 520 I sat on felt really, really small to me.

Brian
 
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#12
My '99 WR also starts 1st or 2nd kick everytime....except for the time I left the fuel turned off:silly:

I regularly ride/swap with a buddy who has the KTM 400, and they are quite different bikes. I can confirm the other observations already here, the KTM feels lighter (subjective), and certainly is easier to handle in the tight stuff. The toughest thing on the WR is 90 degree uphill corner on a tight trail, the KTM eats it up.

Get on more open terrain, and the WR shines. At 40 mph moving around to pick lines the KTM is twitchier. WR is rock stable.

Since I ride mostly single-track, I'll be making the move to the KTM this year (once I've saved up the $$)!! But I've got nothing bad to say about the WR, I'm sure that my arms are a couple inches longer for having it :)
 
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#13
I would tend to agree with Cueball's post. In more open terrain (aka fast stuff), the Yamaha will shine. The power, the suspension and the handling are all tailored for fast, hard riding. On the tighter, more technical stuff, the KTM will be the star. It truly depends on what kind of riding you do and the type of rider you are. If you ride in tight woods most of the time, odds are, you'll be cussing the blue bike. If you ride MX type stuff, really fast woods riding, or desert, then for sure the Yamaha is a dream machine. In my opinion, the KTM is probably a little more versatile of a trail bike and it won't tire you out as much as the Yamaha. Compared to the Yamaha, the KTM has a very flat power delivery but that electric power works great in the woods and you can ride hard for a long time without wearing yourself out. The electric start is obviously a wonderful convenience too, although I don't agree with all discussion that the Yamaha thumpers are a bear to start. I rode a '99 YZ400 all last year and never had a bit of trouble starting it, hot or cold. Starting is all in the operator. If you attempt to start it like a two-stroke, then you'll have problems but if you do it correctly, starting is a breeze.
 

NVR FNSH

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#14
One clarification that I think all YZ/WR riders will agree with:

A properly jetted YZ/WR is a 1 or 2 kick starter.

Brian
 

MWEISSEN

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#15
I agree, Brian. I find the WR much easier to start than XR250's and 400's I've owned and ridden. When the drill is followed, and it comes real easy after awhile, the WR or YZ is also an easy kick.

But, the button on the KTM 400.....can't beat it!

I appreciate all your feedback. I'm going orange after three years of thinking about it. 400EXC is my first choice now. If I can't get one, 250EXC or MXC is the second.

Thanks again!