Dude Guy Bub
Damn Yankees
Mar 31, 2007
Closly looking at the exc line-up recently there is one last aspect before I buy one. How reliable are these bikes? ( the 2T's in particular) If I were to compare an exc250 to a kdx 220r what would the reliability differences be? Any help appreciated.

dirt bike dave

Sponsoring Member
May 3, 2000
I've had both (1 KTM and 3 KDX's).

Stock components on the KTM are of higher quality than the KDX, so you would be ahead there. But the KDX is mildly tuned while the KTM is more race tuned.

Pistons tend to last pretty long on the KTM, in my experience. But they cost alot when you do need to replace them.

In summary, KTM - race capable bike with higher quality components. 2 strokes are very easy to work on.
KDX - Mildly tuned trail bike with some marginal components (chain guide, for example)

I would rate reliability similar, but the KTM has much better performance and costs more.


Sep 1, 2003
Comparison EXC to KDX

As DB Dave pointed out they are very different machines. I enjoyed my KDX for years and started seaching for more...more power, better suspension, etc. My KDX was very reliable and wasn't finicky about jetting (never ran stock though), but I just needed more.
The KTM would eat my KDX for lunch. My 300EXC has been very reliable and easy to work on. The KTM is more finicky about jetting than the KDX. As Dave points out some parts are more expensive for the KTM. I had my KTM suspension revalved, etc. to make it even better for me.
If you just want to ride and ignore your bike the KDX will tolerate that longer than the KTM, but with a little attention once in awhile the KTM will reward you with performance. :blah:


Mi. Trail Riders
Jan 1, 2001
dirt bike dave said:
Pistons tend to last pretty long on the KTM, in my experience. But they cost alot when you do need to replace them.

I think the KTM may have a forged piston vs a cast piston in the stock KDX which may explain the longer life. In either case, I would replace the stock piston with a Wiseco which would make the cost and service life roughly equal.

We own both a KDX (daughter's) and two KTM 2 strokes (one is my son's). I don't work on any of them very much, other than routine maintenance. The KTM's are easier to work on when you have to, IMO.

They are both great tools but for different reasons and intended purposes.
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