Has KTM Improved?

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#1
I hated my '94 KTM 250ex/c for 3 reasons:

1) Clutch drag. It was difficult to start in gear, and if you killed the engine going down a nasty hill the rear wheel would stay locked up, even with the clutch pulled in.

2) The brakes basically sucked. They had a fairly hard pull, but would lock-up at the most in-opportune time.

3) They didn't turn very well.

There was plenty I loved about the bike, but I was happier with XR's. Now I'm thinking I would like to sell my DRZ and get a 250 or 300 KTM. I think KTM has addressed the clutch problems, but I'm not sure about the brakes or handling. I would also like to hear opinions of which KTM (200/250/300) would make the best mount for technical, rocky, high altitude woods riding. (Colorado Rockies). In case your wondering, I'm getting tired of heavy 4-strokes, and difficult starting drills, and I just don't like the way they sound.

Mark
'00 DRZ400
'01 YZ267F
 
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#2
Answers:

1.) The magura clutch is oh so sweet. I've had no problems with it and man is it smooth. Starting in gear is No problem

2.) Brembo, I'm not sure what they had in 94, but I don't think you can get much better than Brembo Brakes with steel braided cables. They're not as "grabby" as some other brakes I've used, but they're very consistant and have GREAT stopping power when you need it.

3.) They still are a little slow on the steering side. Applied Racing clamps and drop the tubes a few mm's and your set. I'm riding a 300 right now and basically run it like you would a 4-stroke, utilizing it's low end power. It get's through the technical stuff pretty well though. It starts easy, but it IS a lot of motor to Kick. The best thing is they're just so light and nimble. I'd say they've come a long way in the last seven years. At least from the bike you've described. :)
 

Strick

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#3
Bill, good answer, I agree with you on all points. Bashn - Bill just gave you my answer also.
 
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#4
Thanks Bill,

"Grabby" was the word I was looking for in describing my '94 brembo's. Would you describe the 300 as difficult or easy to stall in technical situations? When it does stall, can you light it up with 1 good kick? My DRZ needs to be in neutral so I can manipulate the hot-start button with my clutch hand. Even then it takes 2 or 3 kicks with a very tall kicker. I'm beginning to warm up to KTM quite a bit now.


Mark
 

biglou

#5
Mark-Go Here. I just made the switch from the DRZ400E to a 2001 250MXC. I think you can modulate the brakes a little more on the 2001's compared to even teh 2000 models. Either way, I think you'll be happy. IMO-These bikes are works of art, as well as being high-quality and a blast to ride.
 
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Strick

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#6
Stalling is not an issue. You will need to use the clutch in the really technical stuff, more so than with most 4-strokes. If you install the Delta II reed cage, and have it on the low setting, the bike becomes a tractor. If it does stall it is one kick - in gear!
 

SPD

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#8
Sorry to but in on your ktm thread.Strick how much jetting changes did you have to do when installing the Delta? Just put one on my Husky.
Hi Bill Gonna try to go riding sat.
 

Strick

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#9
I dropped the pilot one, and the main one. I eventually had to drop the needle down one I raise the clip. When I first installed the Delta II, I also had just put in a new top end. I left the needle fat for the first 2 rides.
 
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#10
I know this thread is pretty much hashed out but I thought I would throw my hat in too. I ride a 300 exc in tight woods mostly and I love it. But I find the brakes on my 99 to be just "adequate". If you are looking for a used ktm I would go with '00 or newer to get the updated discs.
 

Timr

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#11
Originally posted by bashn
I hated my '94 KTM 250ex/c for 3 reasons:

1) Clutch drag. It was difficult to start in gear, and if you killed the engine going down a nasty hill the rear wheel would stay locked up, even with the clutch pulled in.

2) The brakes basically sucked. They had a fairly hard pull, but would lock-up at the most in-opportune time.

3) They didn't turn very well.

I had very similar issues with my '92 300 EXC. The clutch dragging led to stalling in tight enduro test sections, and when I was tired I had a hard time getting the 300 restarted.

The bike felt big and slow turning. It was very finicky when it came to jetting, and I couldn't get the suspension sorted out. My '92 had the upside down WP forks. A year or two later, they went to the right side up 'zokes.

Even at that time, many many guys were riding KTMs and liking them very much. I never came to terms with my bike.

Even though it seems like a step back, I sold my KTM and picked up a brand new KDX 200 in '96. I was immediately promoted to the B class the next year. I started getting top 5 finishes in really long tough enduros. I could ride my KDX faster longer.

Now, after 5 years on the KDX, when I get in the mood for a new bike, I think I'll be looking for a 200 EXC. I really like the 200 size engine and the 200 class. I really like the new 200 EXC and also hope that some of the issues that I had with my KTM have been solved.

My 1984 KTM 250 M/XC was probably the best bike that I've ever owned. I loved that bike. I should've kept it. :)
 
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#12
I think I'm leaning strongly towards a '01 or '02 300 E/XC. The reed trick sounds like a good idea. Maybe even a little flywheel wieght. A friend has a '92 250 E/XC that turned into a virtual tractor just by adding a 10 oz flywheel wieght. He still rides that bike everywhere! Probly has 5-7k miles on it. Thanks for all the input. Your input has been very helpful. I better start schmoozing up the wife.:p


Mark
 

weimedog

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#13
Rocky Mountains? I chatted with a few folks just the other day about that question. (KTM300 vs. KTM200 and E/XC vs. M/XC) Here was THEIR concensus as I understood it. ( I know this third party stuff stinks...but you said Rocky Mts. and I ride/chat with a lot of folks on KTM's)

The 300 was better for the hills & altitude than the 200..obviously. But when it got down to the real difference they felt the 200 was better for the agressive types and the 300 for the more casual riders. No one recomended the 250. I have no Idea why. Seems like the 400 was equal in assesment to the 300. No one wanted a 520 in the single track stuff. So the racer types leaned towards the 200.

Also if Hare Scrambles was a part of the mix, the M/XC was prefered. If not the E/xc. Something about the fuel tank size.

My opinion? If I was to buy a KTM it would be a E/XC 400 four stroke for trail riding ( Racing might be a different answer...!!) around Colorado. The four strokes seem to be less sensitive to altitude changes than the smaller two stokes. We have really long down hills where you may go several minutes in a trailing throttle condition. Four strokes handle that better. Positive oiling and less finicky carburation in that special condition. On the long rocky single track steep (whew) uphills, I feel much more comfortable with a four stroke. Seem to be able to back off and pick around nasty conditions and go again without busting the rear tire loose. A four stroke thing. I just spent a bunch of time on a VOR 400 and it was perfect...MUCH better than my 503 for the single track stuff! The KTM should be similar and excellent for these conditions for the same reasons. ( Had a fellow with a KTM380 along as well) It also seems that the four stokes finds traction better than the two strokes I have ridden up in the hills. Sounds generic...but the fact is I don't feel the need to carry as much speed on the four strokes. Makes for a more relaxing day. And I still keep up with my kids...with a lot less effort. Last but not least is the E-start. Thats got to be a god send when you stall on a hill side where its just too damn steep or there isn't any easy way to get a bike turned around. Happens out here.

If I had to pick between 2-strokes it would be the KTM300 M/XC over ANY other 2-stroke on the market place. But I doubt I am as fast/aggressive as you. Have you considered a TM300? Based on your other bike (YZ) bet it fits closer to what you want.

(I also rode a DRZ400......nice trail but it was a LOAD! Any KTM anything will feel like a feather weight as compared to a DRZ when the pace picks up)

(Timr..we have an old 1989KTM M/xc 250 in the stable with a Keihen Carb and Dynaport pipe...but after the kids experience the light weight 4-Strokes we have around..NO one wants to ride it anymore. They say its too tall. Too top heavy. Not enough throttle control as compared to the other stuff we have. Front end doesn't stick as well in corners. Go figure.I like it):scream:
 
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HiG4s

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#14
Did your XR have disk or drum brakes? The last XR I had used drum brakes (the 200 still does) and not only would they not lock up, they would not stop the bike.
 
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#15
Weimedog, I think the 520 EXC is going to be just fine for Colorado single track riding, with some work. Can't say positively yet. At first, bike was positively terrifying, threatening to spit me off every pebble or wheelie on my head, or stall off the bottom. But it responded nicely to suspension adjustments on both ends. Bike has several problems for slow trail riding, but all seem solvable. Fan kit keeps temps under control. Too much compression damping at each end for crawling over rocks, and still geared too tall. Clutching the 520 is more work than it needs to be. A 13T countershaft sprocket was a big help. I think along with a 51 or 52 rear, throttle control in the gnarly stuff will be an option again. Getting the rebound settings matched to the lower compression settings lets the bike hop over rocks on the steep inclines, and keep the front wheel down. On steep downhills, the bike negotiates the rocks without kicking the rear or overloading the front. So...I'm happy with the suspension now. Two issues I'm still working on, seat height and tall gearing. Lower gearing multiplies the inertia (flywheel effect) as the square of the % change. So even the 13T countershaft makes a noticeable difference in reducing the stall tendency. The lower gearing tames the abrupt power delivery. The other issue, the seat height I'm leaning towards shaving the seat foam. Work in progress.