Sounds like the 250RFS will not be an 02 model. They cant get the power out of it that they had hoped for. I wouldnt be surprised to see the 400SX become a 450 and bigger forks on the SXs. I hope the 400EXC stays at 400cc though.
KTM sure isn't afraid to change things. They're putting a new cylinder on the 250 SX which got an all new design in 2000 and was competely reworked in 01 making it a great motor. Must be good stuff if they're willing to make the change.
Don't be suprised to see KTM sneak in anything. It wouldn't be the first time neat things in orange showed up earlier than expected. The biggest hangup I have with a 250 RFS is it being based on the 250 and up chassis and the 400/520 engine. It NEEDS to be a 125/200 chassis and a all new engine that is dimensionally smaller and lighter to be in the same class as the TM/GasGas/Yamaha.
I agree with Patman. What's the point of the 250 RFS if it weighs the same as the 400 and 520 but with much less power? My wife is very interested in a 250 thumper, but not with the current weight. KTM definitely needs to slim down the motor and use a chassis based on the 200. The hit the nail on the head with the 400 and 520, and I'm sure they'll figure out the smaller bore thumper too, in time.
While I agree that the 250RFS needs to be based on the 125/200 frame, I'm not as confident about KTM always doing the right thing. Not slamming KTM per se, look at my sig ;) . What I'm talking about is the now years old problem of not having an 80cc bike in the lineup. How blind can they be? They have a hugely successful program in the 50-65cc market and when the kids are ready to move up they say 'go away'. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Don't worry ! KTM have been testing the EXC 250 4T all over the place especially in Europe. Plans for it to be introduced next year have been laid for a while. It will be lighter, faster and better than the WR250F ( and have eletric start !) or I'll eat my hat ! Don't underestimate KTM.
Kali - Not to start an argument, but I disagree with your statement. For years Honda has catered to this (play-bike) market with it's Z, CT and XR line. There's quite a few of us out here that learned on a Z50 or an XR75 and worked our way up through the XR line. Granted, drum brakes and air-cooled engines are NOT cutting edge technology. For play-riding, though, it definitely serves a purpose, low-cost, low-maintenance, long-life. Yamaha just upped the ante in the play-bike market with the TTR line. As for the Euro brands, they usually don't cater to the "play-bike" market.