buying a used KTM 300, what are the best years?

scar tissue

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#1
I've heard nothing but rave reviews about this bike. So I decided to look into buying a used one as a secong bike. Can any of you tell me the best years? or when/ if the last major revision to the design was made? All I've heard is about the new ones, How long has this new design been out? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

DanS

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#2
Depending on who you talk to most people say the '99 was the best year. But then you are talking about the best of the best. The '98 was the first year with the PDS shock and needs to worked on to be good (at least that's what I've heard). The '00 was the first year with inverted forks and a lot of people feel the 50mm conventionals on the '99 are better. Personaly I think it would be hard to say any of the 300 KTM's are "bad". You can find real nice '99 300's in the $3000 price range.
 

scar tissue

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#3
Dan,
Thanks for your info thats exactly what i was looking for, I noticed you have and XR600, A KTM 300, a CR 500. I sold My CR500 and Currently ride a XR600. and am looking for a a KTM 300. So our bike history seems Identical. Of the three which do you like better and why? A was thinking of keeping the xr for duel sport rides because it semi street legal. (ie it has a plate) and the 300 for everyhting else. Your opinion would be great. thanks
 

Strick

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#4
I agree with DanS. - '99 best year. '98 - rear shock issues, no juice clutch. '00 - '01 43mm forks have gotten mixed reviews at best. If KTM would step up and put the 48mm forks on the MXC's in'02, I would get a new 300.

Once again you really can't go wrong with a 300 unless you go too old, and get one of the years that had stator issues.
 

scar tissue

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#5
Dan,
Thanks for your info thats exactly what i was looking for, I noticed you have and XR600, A KTM 300, a CR 500. I sold My CR500 and Currently ride a XR600. and am looking for a a KTM 300. So our bike history seems Identical. Of the three which do you like better and why? A was thinking of keeping the xr for duel sport rides because it semi street legal. (ie it has a plate) and the 300 for everyhting else. Your opinion would be great. thanks
 

DanS

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#6
My XR600 is a '96 and is dual sport. Lately it has been a daily comuter to work with gas prices where they are. The CR500 is an '87 and has been a bit of a rehab project the past few months. The 300exc has been my main ride in the dirt since I got it a few months ago. It doesn't have the brute power of the 500 or the torque of the 600 but is so light and nimble it doesn't matter. Don't get me wrong, the 300 has power. It's got good low end torque and really moves out when you get on the pipe. The thing I like about it vs the 500 is that if I give it little twitch of the throttle by mistake because of a bump in the road it's not going to launch me into the next state. I had new brake rotors for the CR500 that sat on the bench for 2 months because I've been spending all my time riding the KTM. The 500 still has a place but the 300exc is without a doubt my main bike. My first CR500 was an '88 I bought new that year. Sold it to get a '94. That got stolen and I picked up the '87 for real cheap. Never thought I would end up on a smaller bike and be happy.