KTM400SX Ride Report

4 replies to this topic
  • Eric_in_WA

Posted September 12, 2000 - 10:52 AM


Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to ride a 2000 KTM400SX RFS [stock] back to back with my ’99 WR400F, [YZ timing, DVP needle, 180 main, 48 pilot, BigGun SDS exhaust w/Quiet core SA, Air box lid on w/o snorkel, WB air filter, IMS Tank, YZ Seat, Scotts Steering Damper, Dunlop 756F & 739AT R Tires]. The riding was on a relatively smooth, hilly track with lots of jumps in a very muddy condition. The mud was of a thick greasy consistency.

Starting is a no brainer with the auto compression relaese. (No e-start on the SX). Power wise I was not impressed with the KTM. It sputtered at low RPM. After that it had decent pull. My WR has a much broader, stronger power delivery, especially from down low – less shifting. I attribute that in large part to the BigGun exhaust. Overall, I would describe the KTM power as comparable to stock WR. On the plus side the KTM was much quieter even compared to the quiet core.

Unfortunately the rear sag on the KTM was set for about a 170 pound rider and I weigh about 240 with gear, so it sat a little low in the rear. This made for less responsive cornering on the KTM, but not a fault of the KTM, but rather set up.

The KTM feels way lighter and easier to maneuver. This is helpful when one is tired. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to try the KTM in real tight stuff.

I was impressed with the quality and detail of the KTM. Now I am waiting for another friend to get KTM520EXC so I can test ride that next.

Still blue, but looking a little more orange every day - the green is the only thing getting in the way.

Eric in WA

  • So_Cal_Erik

Posted September 12, 2000 - 01:23 PM


did the ktm have a pipe on it? was it jetted? I put a pct4 muffler and a p-38 lightning on the carb of mine and plugged the hole into my carb where the crankcase breather went in and put a little breather filter on the breatherline and it made a HUGE power difference on my ktm. Also, My suspension is set up for a 195lb rider and my 240lb friend MotoGreg thinks it's too soft and his roommate 140lb thinks it's too stiff.

So Cal Erik
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  • James_Dean

Posted September 12, 2000 - 02:30 PM


My same impressions of the 400SX. Down on power, suspension and steering was mixed, much lighter, easy to start. Too bad it's only a 4 speed with a small tank. In most respects it equals a 300/380 KTM 2-stroke MX bike.
The 520EXC was up on power and the 6 speed is too cool! The electric start penalized the weight but brings a smile every time you start it and ESPECIALLY when the bike stalls.

  • So_Cal_Erik

Posted September 12, 2000 - 04:35 PM


James, the sx's are true mx bikes and Ktm probably didn't originally see a need for more gears. They fixed the problem for 2001 though, and put the 6-speed in all the 4oo's.
I would have rather gotten the 520 for the sheer power, but the 400sx is plenty fast for me. The weight and (much quicker) handling of the KTM far exceeds the extremely slight difference in power of the WR. I'd say that the sx easily out performs the wr in tight woods also. As for me, my Yamaha is still sitting in my garage, collecting dust, maybe I'll take it out to the desert for some wide open whoop sessions when the weather cools down a bit.


  • MotoGreg

Posted September 12, 2000 - 05:04 PM


I think Erik is just saying he likes KTM's... I saw him riding TWO different Yamaha's on Saturday! :D Couldn't keep him off of them.... :)

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[This message has been edited by MotoGreg (edited 09-12-2000).]


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