Aug 12, 1999
Do any of you change your gearing to meet the conditions you're riding in? I love the stock gearing on my 300 EXC for the desert, hi reving rides. Does it make sense to drop a tooth on the counter sprocket when you're riding hard pack single track? Not that I'm disappointed with the grunt of the 300, but I noticed I never open it up in these conditions so I'm wondering if it makes sense to drop it even lower?


Sponsoring Member
Dec 6, 2000
I've found that the 14-52 gearing works for everything short of trials type riding. I've been thinking of trying 13-50 when I need to replace sprockets just to see how it does. If you tried 13-52 you could probably pull tree stumps if you wanted to. I haven't had to change gearing for any of the riding I've done from Oregon to SoCal.


Aug 8, 1999
I have run the 14/52 and would like to try something lower ('99 300E). In hand are a 13, a 14, a 52, and a new chain. I'll do a report after I play with them.


Mar 19, 2001
I run 13/52 on my '01 400 EXC and it is just about right for tight, rutted, rooted
trails here in East Tennessee. I had tried 14/52 but it was still too high. Stock
was 14/50.


Jul 28, 2000
13-52 is the KTM 300 EX/C final drive of choice up here. I rode the stock 14-52 sprockets for a couple of rides. I found it to be too high for anything other than fire roads. It is possible to use the same rear and drop the countershaft sprocket one tooth without altering your chain. Your chainwheels should be about the same relative wear if swapping back and forth. In a perfect world, two sets of chains/chainwheels would be better. You'll have to run the rear wheel way back there to get chain slack within spec. if you wanted to try out the 13T with your existing 52T rear and chain. I wouldn't want anything lower than 13 - 52.

Smokin Joe

Sponsoring Member
Apr 21, 2000
Don't be afraid to experiment!

Normally I run 13/52 on my 250EXC as it is a good compromise for the tight trails and deep sand that I ride in Meridian. But I have run 12/52 for extremely tight, hilly, offcamber switchback type terrain with good results. I know all the pundits say to never run a 12T C/S :silly: but I routinely switch back and forth when needed. Basically gives you a granny / escape gear for nasty hills, tightens up the wide ratio gearbox, lessens the need for clutch slipping and enables more use of third gear in the woods. The obvious downside is that your top end speed drops considerably. But if you're running tight trails all day with no fire roads you'd never miss it.


shawn sharp

May 14, 2001

I just sold my 300 exc. I ran 14/50 for the fire road stuff and dropped to 13/50 for the tight woods. Dropping one tooth on the counter shaft is like raising three on the back, it makes a noticeable difference. When I rode in the tight woods I could put the bike in second gear and just ride. If I rode the same area with the 14/50 gearing my arm would fall off working the clutch.


Jul 1, 2000
My 300exc as purchased geared 14/50, too high for woods riding, lot of speed into corners, trees, rocks etc. 13/50 is the ticket for woods and I will try 13/52 next, since I seem to be between first and second most of the time.


Jun 6, 2000
Lower gearing is great on hills, technical rocks, and in real tight stuff, but for bikes with a big midrange burst like the 300, it can make the bike more of a handful in the slick stuff, as it comes on the pipe faster in each gear. I tried 13/52 on my 300 EXC in a slick muddy HS, and fought for traction the whole time. You'll find you have to ride another gear higher to keep it from breaking loose. On my GG, I have a selection of rears and two different length chains, which I swap depending on conditions.

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