Mauricedorris, while I agree that it's always nicer to get the true review versus "sunshine", I for one think there is a little bit to the statement that Dirt Rider is in the tank for KTM. And don't get me wrong, KTM builds a good riding motorcycle finally after several years of poor design and thinking. But one thing that gets me is while my friends KTM's ride well, my anecdotal maintenance
history with them isn't very good. None, say it again, NONE, of my friends have had good maintenance experience with their KTMs. I've seen two engine failures, one of them catastrophic at highway speed, another ate it's cam chain guide with less than 20 hours on it, plugged all the oil galleys and blew the motor up, two with wheel bearing issues, both should have had the hubs replaced but only one of them did, another one of my friends decided to sell his two year old 525 because it was getting too old and he was worried about it blowing up, etc, etc, etc.
I'm kind of with whoever said they should grow a pair as far as the clutch pull goes. No argument that the KTM clutch pull is buttery smooth
and a five year old could probably ride it all day because the pull is light. But I've also seen guys sitting by the side of the trail on more than one occasion because they had a clutch fluid leak at one end or the other. Of course you could always break a cable on the Yammie, but when is the last time you heard that happen?
As far as a new bike goes, sure, the Yamaha tends to be a bit cheaper but you make up that cost setting it up for dual sporting so I kind of view that as equal. One of my buddies and I have both bought new bikes within a month or so of each other in both 2008 and now in 2012. He pretty much rode his off the lot while I had to add some farkles and bits to make mine street legal. Sure it's a little more work but it's not that much work. And I personally like the time spent with my bike because that means I get to look it over and learn about it before something happens on the trail that I need to deal with.
As far as accessories and OEM
replacement parts, KTM has a great thing going there. They have a great assortment of hard parts available and their philosophy of reusing most of the basic parts on as many different models as they can is a great decision. When you make a gagillion rear fenders because they cross over to 25 different models, it keeps the cost down for the dealers so you are more likely to find the part you need on the shelf at the dealer. And it will most likely be cheaper than any of the big 4 Japanese brands or at the most, similarly priced.
Overall, I'll stay away from the kool-aid thank you. Good bikes, but I guess I'm just not a joiner.