First Ride KTM 300exc

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Aug 25, 1999
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#1
My arms are killing me!! I can barely type. It's probably a combination of a slightly different handlebar bend and the extreme Power. Overall I'm pretty happy. The bike definitely vibrates more than the KDX and feels a little more top heavy. The riding we did was in very slippery,technical woods with hills, roots, rocks, etc. I think if I can get the bike through this kind of terrain, I can ride it through anything. The Power is a Blast! In the tight stuff I would run it in second/third gear and use the low end grunt. Riding in first is a handfull. I found I can hillclimb better in 2nd as well. In first I would spin and lose traction. My poor buddy Rich is covered in mud from my roost. This thing moves a lot of dirt. It started very easily even when dumped. I did over heat it on one of the hills. I was stuck and working the bike trying to get it up a hill and could smell antifreeze. I'm not even sure where the overflow is! Under the circumstances though I can see why it overheated. Any straight section or open Hill is just a complete Blast. Hopefully my arms will get used to the bar and the extra power. The bike handles a Lot better while standing on the pegs as opposed to the sit and hang on you can get away with on the KDX. It's very stable and predictable. I've got the fork tubes raised about 5mm in the clamps right now. Does anyone else do this?

Basically I think this is a good all around bike. I'll be taking it to he MX track next week. If I were racing in very tight woods all the time I'd consider a 200 just because you don't have to dance around the extra power. But for the variety of riding we do I think this bike will be a lot of fun. Plus I will only get faster on it in the woods as I get used to the power. Overall I'm pretty happy with my choice.
 

Strick

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#2
You'll get even happier. The difference in power is got to take some time to get used to. You've increased somewhere between 12 to 15hp. That's quite a jump. With practice and gearing you'll get faster than the KDX in the trees.

You made a great choice!

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Strick '99 KTM 300mxc, AMA & BRC member
 

SPD

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#3
Well I was kicking myself in the butt for not going. Looks like your going to have to get the weights out and start lifting. Glad you had a good time.

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Dennis
99 Husky WR250
I refuse to grow up
 

TexKDX

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#4
Bill -

Welcome to the elite club of riders, you know the club that actually OWNS a 300 and RIDES a 300 and says you can ride it in the woods
.

You pretty well hit the high points. Here are a few comments that may help too. I almost never use 1st gear, other than pulling out of the parking lot. If I stall or stop on the trail while riding in 3rd, the bike will pull away from a dead stop in 3rd no problem. Just start it in gear with lots of throttle and pull away.

Also, you may not have overheated it. Since it was the first ride, you may have just been pushing out a little excess coolant. Mine normally pushes some out after I change the coolant. Even if you did get it hot, the proximity of the clutch to the water pump can boil some coolant too if you were using the clutch hard. That does not mean the motor was about to seize, just something that happens when you ride the bike really hard. The overflow should dump coolant on the pipe, that way you can smell it better as an indicator that the bike is spewing a bit. Where the down tube meets the engine cradle is where the overflow tube ends.

So you like the power, huh? Yes, there are places you ride where you don't get to use all of it, but if the terrain opens up at all then it is nice to have it. Also as you pointed out, the low end is great - something you'd give up on a smaller bore bike.

I am considering trying a 13 on the front to make 3rd a bit more usable in the woods. There are certain conditions, like more hilly and trying to maintain 18-20 mph, where the lower gear may be a plus. On the flatter stuff around here the 14 seems OK.

Just stay on top of the jetting to keep the power smooth. My air screw was rich when I started to ride last week because the last time I rode the bike it was about 20 degrees cooler, so the bottom end felt weak and the mid more of a hit. Cranking the air screw out 1.5 turns returned the bike to normal.

You sound like the maintenance-happy type, but go after those chain adjusters with some anti-sieze grease ASAP!! Axle nut too.

TexKDX.

[This message has been edited by TexKDX (edited 03-29-2001).]
 
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#5
Bill- I know what you mean! I did want to make one small point and that is if you question the 300 as to being over powered, just take a spin on a KDX again. The reason I mention this is because that first day I rode my 300 and then rode your KDX, I felt like the KDX was more forgiving but I knew that the KTM was a much more capable bike. Not to start any flaming but after riding the KDX200 and the KTM300 back to back it made the KDX seem like a toy rather then a race bike like the KTM.

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BenjaminPQ
1979 RM125 (long gone)
1995 CR125 (sold)
1999 KTM 300MXC!!!
 

dirt bike dave

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#6
Bill,
For woods riding some of the 300 riders adjust the power valve to open as late as possible. You still have gobs of low end power. Save the powervalve for the fire roads and straight aways.

After leaning the jetting out some and adjusting the P.valve, the bike has pretty good range if you ride it low in the rpm range.
 
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#7
Yea I was thinking about the gearing too. It would be cool to try a 13 up front just to bring 2nd and 3rd down a little more. I'll probably get used to it though. I pulled the plug and it was a little on the rich side. I'm going to be switching to a different oil which typically leans things out a little. I was pretty happy with the throttle response though. I'll dial it in a little more I'm sure. It's hard to put the jetting on the edge here because of the big temperature changes. It was 30 last weekend and it's supposed to be 60 this weekend. Ahh... Ohio.

I probably would have a hard time going back to a bike with lesser power. Especially on the straights. It's just so much fun.
I'm glad to be a member of the club. Again, the woods we rode yesterday we Very slippery. I can't wait to ride them with some traction! It's a little harder to turn but the bike feels more stable and predictable. Did I mention I'm happy with my choice?
 
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#8
Tex,

When I had my '99 300 EXC, I tried a 13T countrshaft sprocket for one race and went back to the 14T. It made the power delivery feel too harsh and tiring over the long haul in the woods, because the gear that was slightly high for a given situation was now slightly too low. For short races or trail riding it probably would be OK. I would go up a tooth on the rear first.

Glenn
'00 GasGas XC250
 

TexKDX

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#9
Originally posted by Bill Hibbs:

I probably would have a hard time going back to a bike with lesser power. Especially on the straights. It's just so much fun.
The grin factor on this bike is enormous! Riding is supposed to be fun, right? Yea, there may be places where the 200 is faster, but that 300 is just such a gas to ride.

One of the reasons I like offroad riding so much is you can twist it up to your riding ability and conditions and not have to worry about getting a ticket or denting an innocent bystander. 45 horses of throbbing orange between my legs in a light, nimble chassis really does it for me.
 
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#10
I like the 13T for the tight stuff (13/52). Try it to satisfy your curiosity. Not an expensive mod, might work for you.

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00 300 exc,00 ttr125l,99 xr100