for '04 the stroke is the same, only the bore is different. i have yet to ride an '04, but can tell you that pre-'04, the difference is very noticeable. 300 has way more torque. the power is lower in the rev range.
I just rode both - new '04's - on Sunday. Both bone stock w/ the massive KTM spark arrestor. Neither had a hit - none at all that I could feel, but the 250 felt a lot faster (at least faster revving). The 300 had NO top end & felt a bit dull to ride (sleepy) but it did have plenty of torque. You could ride it all day & would be good for tough hillclimbs . The 250 was noticably lighter & didn't seem to have a lot of bottom. Power was good & more "exciting" feeling but I was expecting a hit.
KTM Ergo's feel weird to me after being on a GasGas so long so take that for what it's worth - a grain of salt. But I have to say honestly that I was unimpressed w/ the orange bikes. Maybe it's the stock SA's they were running....? The KTM guys can tell you if their overly restrictive. I didn't think either were nearly as good in the motor or handling as my GasGas XC250 or my friend's 300. Just my opinion. I LOVE the mid-snap of the GG250 & the overall prowess of the GG300.
BTW, I also rode a 03 YZ250 (stock). OMG that's a fast bike. I really liked it all around. It's too fast for me though. I'd have to change gearing & add a flywheel weight to run off-road (prolly still wear me down fast) but wow, what a nice, exciting bike.
Ask around for a quick blast to see how you like them. That's what I did (out of curiousity, not that I'm shopping). I ended up appreciating my bike even more. Good luck.
I ride the same bike as you. Do the KTMs compare in the mid range as the Gas Gas '01 XC 250? I'm saving for a new bike but have not decided on what to get. I really like the Gas Gas 250, it just wears me out though.
No, there's no hit, no GG XC *snap*. I'd always heard they were more aggressive. The '04's didn't have any hit - more like a GG EC model. It was a strong "electric" powerband. Really nice for woods riding. Apparently the 03's had a diff powerband w/ a hit, but I never rode one myself. I thought it was a nice bike overall though. But it just felt very weird - ergos & handling. Too weird for me. You just have to try it yourself. FYI, I can jump on a jap bike & feel right at home.
I assume you've got that snappy mid on your bike as well then? Have you tried a torque spacer? Doma pipe? Maybe you could try porting or a big bore? My hands wear out first from all the clutching & braking when I doing the big hills. The only thing I can think of to help that is the 300. That'll help out the clutch hand big time as it can just torque on up a gnarly hill.
My riding buddy has the 300. IMO it's the best do-all 2 stroke, but, I like the 250 better until I get to the hills. After I came back from the test spins I told him I didn't like either KTM as much as his or my GasGas. Just my opinion, not trying to create static here.
Here's the dilema: I absolutely love my XC 250 mid range snap but it works on me. I toned it down with a 10 oz flywheel weight and continue to run the boyesen dual reeds /gnarley pipe to get the quick jump on the pipe when I come around a turn and am staring at a !@#&^#%!@^ (something). I am going to need to go to a smooth torque monster with good strong mid range to fit my pokey riding style. Your right about the clutch hand. I noticed this weekend that my hand wouldn't let out the clutch a couple of times - a bad thing! I'll be asking some people for some rides on their new ktms and gg 300s.