I am wanting a 520exc in a bad way after sitting on one in the dealers showroom yesterday. I currently ride a KLX300 but the 520 will be my next bike when I can afford it. It was the perfect hight for me (5'-8" with toes touching when sitting on it) I was considering the 400 but for a few hundred more and about the same weight I want the 520. I have not seen a DRZ but can't imagine it can compare to the 520 since both have the button and the KTM is lighter...and just looks better too :)
I wanted the Orange bike too but around my area there is one dealer (damn) and after talking to some people who owned them (they all loved it) but they all said soem parts were harder to get. I also did not like the prices on the orange bikes. I still like the 400 and the 520. ?
I went through the same choice, but with dual sports. It was the DRZ400S vs KTM LC4 640. I went with the KTM only because I got a great deal on a used one, that I couldn 't pass up. $4500 for a one year old machine with 170 miles.
I ended up not even test driving the DRZ400S, but I have to say that the KTM is a very special machine. It has that visceral feeling like a Harley Davidson on the low revs, and a smooth wind like a motorboat at the high revs. It's all quality, crazy fast, and gets a lot of compliments and looks.
Not even close -- KTMs are awesome. Pricing and parts are the only real issue since it all comes from Austria. I complain about KLX parts from my local dealer, but at least it's always a reliable 5-7 working days. My buddies who have KTMs love them but many times they find out a certain part is back-ordered, which means at LEAST 2 weeks, maybe much more. Still, a KTM 400 EX/C may well be my next bike.
Trust me on this-The yellow guys are currently the most expensive (of the big four) for OEM parts. Even my counter guy agrees that their pricing is outrageous. I am constantly amazed at what the list prices are for some of the replacement parts I've purchased.
Not that I've purchased every one of these, but here's a sampling:
Service manual, 2000 DRZ400E- $75
Air filter element- $55 (Foam only)
1999 RM250 front brake line clamp- $33
2001 DRZ400 "Z400" side number plate decals- $15.97 EACH!
I've been told that these are the highest going right now. Would I buy yellow again? It's debatable.
I have talked to several KTM owners at the Texas cross-sountry races and they all love their bikes but hate the parts availability problems and prices. Rumor has it that KTM is that parts meant for spares are being used to build new bikes due to the tremendous demand.I have test ridden both the 520 and the 400 and they are awesome and the E button is a godsend, I prefer the 400, but the parts issue has made me hesitate on going orange.
Well, I own a DRZE so you can see where I'm coming from. But I wanted a 520EXC bed. I couldn't find or afford one. I paid $4600 for thr DRZ and if I could have found one, a 520 would have been $7Gs. I have since ridden one and it is an awesome bike, but much higher mainenance than the Zuk. Minimal oil and 4 filters mean a lot of work quite often. I also know one owner who had his starter gear drive disintegrate, I'm told they suggest kick starting when cold and most of the time!
The parts prices, to say nothing of availability, are outrageous! My friend was just quoted $67 for a thermostat!?!? My Zuk is heavy and down on top end power compared to the KTooM and Yams, but it has the button and a wider power spread than the Yam. It also steers better than the Yam and I can afford the parts. BigLou, why would you by a factory air filter when you can get a better one from the aftermarket for $20?
Agrred. I just got a 2001 drz400BUTTON. For what I paid I could almost have 2 for the price of a KTM. Not going to play into the petty brand war thing. I see a 470 kit and some grafix and a few odds and ends making this bike real fun. Yellow red blue green.. who gives a crap..It's all local dealer quality issue. As for a 55 dollar filter, good advice from PeteN.
The only thing I will say about the KTM4strokes that is negative other than owning stock in a filter warehouse is.. And don't get rammy on me fellas. They sound like they have a million miles on them in a very short time. Maybe it's just an exhaust vibration problem, but thay sound really well unitight or junky. But we know that isn't the case. Just tinny and rattly...sorry especially if you paid 7k. Oh yea that front fender seems rather surf boardish. It is thrify though because the 3 thousand dollar hi-performance motor only requires a couple pints of oil. Other than that I guess the biggest problem is that you have to own them for life because you can't sell them, no one wants a used one because well, parts are so expensive it seems risky. Other than a few quirks, I'd own one in a heartbeat. I love the school bus Orange to and that 2 by 6 oak plank seat is somewhat comfy.;)
These are really two completely different bikes with different uses intended.
The DRZE is a TRAIL bike. Right down to the conventional forks and grease nipples in the linkage.
The Katooms are competion motorcycles with no compromises.
Define your use and make your choice.
And accept the bad that comes with the good in whish ever choice you make.
T-Dog, last year I was able to ride the KTM 400 exc and the Suzuki 400 DRZ 400 back to back. There is no comparison, the KTM is the best bike for woods or track if you ride hard and fast. If you like to cruise trails the Suz is Ok as long as you don' t push it hard, the motor is actually hotter than the KTM but soon as you start riding hard the Suz is wallowing badly due to inadequate suspension stiffness and/or bike weight, the KTM at speed is still wanting you to go faster. I bought the KTM, a year later... this is the first year in about 4 that I have not gone through 2-3 bikes looking for perfection. Then only one I would even consider is the new CRF450, but the e-button is so easy when you stall on a hill with the kick start on the hillside. Many will say the KTM is over priced, but truly the only things you have to add are barkbusters and a skid plate.
I currently own a 2000 DRZ400 kick start model and my riding buddy has a 2001 400 EXC, so I get to ride both. Orginally planned to get the DRZ as light as possible, Ti pipe, drop the lights, but found the Yoshi pipe too loud and the power all wrong for deep woods riding and the wieght thing not as big an issue as I thought, I wish I'd gotten the electric start. The KTM is a great bike, lighter, slimmer, better components and that e button is a godsend when you are stuck on a snotty hill if you stall the engine. The KTM does take a lot more maintenance than the DRZ, oil changes are a major, two filters instead of one and you should change it more often. Brakes aren't as good and bleeding them is a constant pain, shock collars crack, jetting is more critical and it does sound more "loose" than the DRZ. Bottom line is if you want a racer/fast woods bike, cost isn't a problem and you can find one, go with the KTM. If you want a comfy, easy to maintain, reasonably priced trail bike, go with the DRZ.
...I didn't buy that filter for $55, I got an aftermarket one for $18. I was just making a comparison of the parts prices. All the shops I deal with are in agreement that Suzuki is extremely proud of their parts for some reason. Anyone priced a spark plug for a 99 RM250? Made by NGK specifically for Suzuki. $22 is about the best you can do on that one. There may be others that will work but there are no numbers to cross over. There are times when an aftermarket replacement part is just not available. When that is the case, it's gonna cost ya. Not that the other guys are much better, but some of the yellow prices I've seen are unconscionable.