First Impression: 2002 KTM520SX

We already knew the KTM 520SX was an awesome bike, but our biggest complaint in the past about the big orange beast was its weak suspension.

To combat the problem in 2002, KTM installed a set of works-like 48mm forks to alleviate the flexing riders encountered in the past, while at the same time throwing on a new rear shock, complete with high and low speed compression adjustments.

Motorwise, the big valve-and-cam 520 stayed the same, which was fine for our tastes┬┐it’s as close to perfect as you can get already!

So were the suspension changes worthwhile? Yes! All of our test riders noticed a big difference in stability in the front end of the Katoom. Gone is the “pushing,” flexy feel. Charging into corners is a much easier task now, and the bike feels like it sticks to the ground with much more authority than it has ever had in the past.

Our only suspension complaint was the front end diving we encountered in rough braking bumps, which led the rear end to kick up a bit.

As always, ergos were great, especially for our taller testers. The roll-on powerband of the bike is amazing, and the newest member of the TWMX staff, Mike Basher, was quoted as saying, “this thing is so ridiculously fast that I can barely hold on down the Glen Helen’s start straight. Give me back the ’02 CR125!”

Look for a broader and more comprehensive test in the next issue of TWMX.