In the off road dirt bike world that I inhabit, there is KTM/Euro and there is everybody else. I am a very experienced "B" level (decently fast, can ride all terrain) rider that used to race a lot of desert on a 500cc two stroke back in the 90s and still races the occasional enduro or hare scrambles event now and then. Almost by happenstance, I wound up on a Suzuki DRZ400, which is not a highly regarded dirt bike. My DRZ had engine and suspension mods though, and even though it was a big fat pig, it was a big fat pig that could fly with the right loose nut (me) at the controls. It was also as reliable as your garden variety anvil. That machine had a friendly "just ride the shit out of me, it will be fine" quality to it, so I basically just rode the wheels off that DRZ and did not think much about it. The bike certainly had no status for me, it was a tool for a job. Was truly tired after a long hard ride though, she was a big girl.
I recall one time I was alone and at a staging area for a ride, and there was a group of guys on nice KTMs there. The bikes were pretty, with all the anodized orange farkles and graphics kits money can buy. I asked if I could tag along on my semi ratty DRZ, and got a derisive "if you can keep up" response. Well, that fired up the latent competitor in me. Made it a point to smoke each and every one of those bastards on my lowly DRZ, usually with the front end in the air. Their comment at the end of the ride was "God help us if you ever get a KTM!
In the end, I sort of did get a KTM in the form of a pair of Husabergs (in 300cc two stroke and 450cc 4 stroke flavors, they are basically confused KTMs). I have a nice group of mostly KTM mounted guys to ride with now that probably would have had a hard time accepting me if I was still on the DRZ. Getting a bit older too, the lighter/better bike is nice to have. Really loving my 300cc two stroke these days.
In the end, it all comes down to human nature - we all belong to tribes. It is much easier to join a tribe than to beat them from outside of the tribe. While it is not really a long term solution, it was kinda fun to kick some smug and superior asses from the outside though
That was then...
This is now, 450 and 300 Husabergs. It is all good :)