No it isn't. It's about trade-off's, and the 525EXC has many. My friend has a 525EXC. It's an awesome bike, but too much power (for what we do), too much suspension, too tall, far too short service intervals. After a weekend last fall spent kickstarting the KTM (because the starter wasn't working well) and being stressed with modulating the power, flipping it on an uphill, crashing over railroad tracks, taking turns with all of us kickstarting it for 20 minutes more when it was stuck in the mud, riding back to the campsite in first gear because it wouldn't shift to second, and then finding half the oil leaked out the kickstart and crankcase seals, he borrowed a DR350 for the next day, trailered the 525 home, stuffed it in the back of his garage, ordered parts, waited, bought a WR250R, and keeps talking about all the work he has to do to sell it the orange banshee. There is no doubt rider skill is a huge factor, but the 525exc was unforgiving of mistakes, has high maintenance requirements (hey just like the german cars I've owned!) and (at least his) was unreliable. It was not the right bike for him, his skills, and where we ride. In contrast, he is over the moon with his WR250R (and for the record, he can easily fork over $12k for a bike).