I have a buddy looking at a new 04 or 05 YZ450F or a KTM 525, any thoughts?
The 525 feels lower, shorter, thinner and has great torque out of corners. Both have great reliability and with little upkeep will give the owner lots of trouble-free riding. I seriously wouldn't know what to pick, but am very happy with my 'ole '03.
The KTM MXC/EXC has a button and the SX feels lighter. The KTM (at least my EXC) has much smoother easier to use power, the YZ has more hit, more 2-stroke like. YZ feels faster, KTM is easier to ride and I can ride it longer.
I ride my KTM much more, but have fun on both.
I liked the great smooth power on my 525SX, it also felt slim and turned well. With the lighter flywheel in 2003 it was sometimes painful to get fired up. The engine looked like from an old russian POS, and if you open up one you can find the machining, bearrings etc. are not even close in quality with the japanese bikes.
I also did not like the headshake KTM gave and the '03 had terrible suspension, really!
Yamaha feels heavier but it is bulletproof in enginedept. and never gives headshake, but then does not turn so well. I also like the 450F throttlefeel better, the 525 had somewhat light and nervous feel (flywheel too?). Guess I just was too color-handicapped, but I and my friends only have good experiences with blue. I could have installed the '02 or '04 heavier flywheel and a Scotts steering damper on the orange and upgraded the suspension, but after she broke my ribs it was time to go for blue again. That time also the orange had the bad quality russian titanium valve problems as they said, and I was perhaps a bit scared about a possible valve job too... :excuse me:
I like riding many other bikes like CRF's and RMZ's. but guess I am blue in color rest of my life. We all are so different, so you need to get your own colour-handicap yourself, and that goes from trial to error and costs every time OUCH!
If you decide on the Yz it depends on what style of rider you are. I heard that the 05 has really mellowed out in the low end this year. I have the 04 and the thing is a monster in the low end. You really need an aggressive riding style to ride it to it's full potential. I'm curious about the 525 myself here in another year I may try a KTM also if they ever fixed those valve stem problems. But the 450 is the love of my life right now and wouldn't trade it for anything.
KTM's feel and handle weird to me. Maybe it's an acquired taste, but I'd pick a Japenese bike just b/c I prefer the way they feel.
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