Suggestions for a new 2-stroke rider

firecracker22

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#1
I am in the process of getting a new KTM. I have been riding a XR 200 for the past year and am fully aware that I have a lot of bad habits I've learned on my thumper. Now I realize that the KTM E/XC 200 isn't like a mx 125 or 250, but what do I need to remember (besides not to twist the throttle so hard)? I don't want my learning process to be TOO painful!

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Between bikes at the moment--but a pumpkin is looming on the horizon!
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firecracker22

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#2
Ouch! The KTM won't be TOO bad. I bet my top end lasts a year. Plugs--I may foul a few of those as I learn to ride it. Earplugs--after spending time in the BBR shop, 2-strokes are quiet!! And I LIKE the smell. Nothing like getting high on the starting line. (J/K)

Besides, even though I'm a crappy rider, I LIKE that power hit! What a rush! And since the Yammie 250s are a bit heavy for me, and the BBRs out of my price range, I'll go to the dark side with a KTM. Just wait until I'm bustin' out some sick air and doing no-footed can-cans. :eek:

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Between bikes at the moment--but a pumpkin is looming on the horizon!
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#3
A blonde doin freestyle! Does it get any better?

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         Jake
      '75 XR-75
 Yeah, I can hit that jump. But oh look at the ant crawling on it!
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#4
dont listen to that kalitude! and WELCOME TO THE 2 STROKE WORLD! of course you had quite the fine answer for kalitude anyhow! ;) i wish i could tell you something good but i am no expert (yet)... i can tell you that you will become close friends with your clutch when in tight situations and hill climbing AND you are gonna love the quickness of a 2 stroke tearin ass through the power band!!!!

Have fun! :)

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John (o)(o)
'99 Suzuki RM 250
 
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#5
Originally posted by kalitude:
Don't forget to wear earplugs for that annoying sound...ping pa ping ping ping!!! And wear lots of perfume for that gagging smell.
And keep a few top ends handy...and lots of different gas mixtures...and don't come to California 8 months out of the year cause you won't be able to ride...oh, and it's just a matter of time before that hits Washington... :p ;)


Envy is an ugly thing. :)


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(formerly XR44ME) Rick

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'00 KTM 300 MX/C
 

bud

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#6
Congrats on the new bike. It's a pretty awesome feeling and will take a few crashes for it to wear off :). Speaking of that, wear all the protective gear you can fit on!

It's definitely worth getting the jetting right. Not so much because there's more power to be had but because it will make the power smoother and easier to handle. I'm sure there's plenty of guys in the ktm forum that can help with that.

Crashing: getting over confident will often cause a crash. Take little steps and you won't get hurt. As much. Have a blast!

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HiG4s

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#7
You don't know the power of the dark side.
Once you start down the dark side, forever will it rule your life.



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#8
Aaaahhhh yes, the thumper to stroker crossover. Been there, done that. Don't worry about it. I knew before I got my new bike that no matter what 2-stroke bike I had I was still gonna rip. It's not that big of a deal though. I got used to it. The thing that I like is the instant power, just don't twist the throttle instantly at a standstill... Asking for trouble there. Gas mixing might be a big deal to some people but I find it so easy. As long as you know EXACTLY how much oil to put in, you'll be fine. The last thing you want to be doing is running the bike a little on the lean side, could be a little pricey to fix. I found that if you keep the bike really wound up when climbing, that helps. I should know 'cuz I went out to ride the day after I got my bike and didn't know how much to wind it up so I bogged towards the top of this hill that had a lip at the top. I was mad, my dad took the easy way up and beat me! LOL. Anyway, have fun and be safe!

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Ridin Red
'87 Honda XR 100 (4 Sale)
'99 Honda CR 80 Expert
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#9
One thing that I am learning is the difference in the natural engine braking that the 4-stroke provided is no longer there. When i needed to slow down in the tight on my XR I would just kick down a gear. The 2-stroke will not lose little speed or momentum when you do this. You have to be careful with how much speed you are now carrying into your corners or you'll go right through them. You'll need to learn how to use the brakes a little differently.

Sure the hit and speed is a blast...but if you're not careful when you first start out then it might bite you. Take some time to re-adjust to the different riding style cautiously.

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(formerly XR44ME) Rick

AMA Member
NETRA Member
'00 KTM 300 MX/C

[This message has been edited by Pumpkinhead (edited 04-18-2001).]
 

TexKDX

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#10
Looks like no-one bothered responding to your question, FC22. Here are a few 4-to-2 tips you might want to consider:

Clutch use and corners - there is a difference between "fanning" the clutch and using the clutch. You do not have to fan the clutch at every corner exit. It will help your speed and smoothness though if you don't shut the throttle entering corners. You want to keep the engine spinning at around the right RPM for your exit speed, clutch in, but don't close the throttle completely. Let the clutch out after you complete your braking and crank on some more power. No need to fan it on the exit, just match the needed RPM and gas it. This lets you roll the corner or brake slide it. This technique works for real tight and semi-tight corners.

More sweeping or bermed corners - again, keep the throttle open and don't be afraid to brake against the engine. Scrub some speed with the binders, but keep the engine pulling.

Climbing hills - this is the place the 200 will act most like a 125, when you need to be up on the pipe to get the HP you need for a climb. You will get to learn about slipping the clutch and keeping the throttle open, not manipulating both at the same time on/off. Keep the throttle pretty far open and in some cases WFO, then use the clutch to modulate the power based on available traction. The reason is if you drop the power off the pipe by closing the throttle, yes you can fan it and pin it but on a hill you are most likely to lose traction from excessive wheel spin by doing this. Better to keep it up on the power and use the clutch.

If I could make one comment on the mental approach to riding the 200 - try to turn your ears off. The higher RPM wine of the 200 and a 125 instills a certain amount of urgency in me. The simple fact is they make plenty of power, just at higher RPMs than your ear is tuned to. The 200 makes bountiful mid-range power, it just occurs at a few thousand RPM higher than you are used to. Just tune it out and ride based on feel. When I get on the 200 from my 300 it is like "oh holy mother of God" when the thing gets up and screaming in the tight stuff 'cuz my ear is tuned to the 300 saying the trees are about to turn into a green blur. It is just the way a 200 works. Gotta spin some R's to get into that fat usable midrange.

Can't wait to read your first ride report!

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TexKDX
 

WoodsRider

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#11
FC - Tex has some good advice, especially concerning clutch use and hills. Here's some things I do:

1)Ride a gear high. Due to the rapid throttle response, riding a gear high helps prevent that instant launch into a tree if you accientally twist the throttle open.

2) Blip the throttle. The engine speed I ride at is just before the powervalve opens, about 6500 on my GG. By blipping the throttle I keep the engine speed up and can have instant power when I need it. I prefer this method over fanning the clutch.

3) Use the mid-range and top-end power. The KTM200 does not have the tractor low-end of a KDX or your familiar XR. You will have to be in the mid-range to really power through obstacles. Keep the front-end light and set your suspension up accordingly.

4) Have the carburetor properly jetted for your conditions. The power advantage of a 2-stroke means nada if it's not properly jetted. Sluggish acceleration, plug fouling, spooging, overheating, piston scuffing/seizure are just some of the problems that can occur.

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MikeT

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#12
Kali, 2strokes are fun. You must have had fun on that KX80 last weekend..... come on admit it!

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WoodsRider

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#13
Kali - You're only as young as you feel! Tex and I are both Vet class legal, and slowly closing in on the Senior class.

After spending 3 years riding a 4-stroke, I've found riding 2-strokes to be much easier. You don't have to deal with the weight, sluggish response or starting problems.

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Strick

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#14
Firecracker, Suggestions for a new 2-stroke rider: Speed is your friend!!

Seriously, You've got to ride a 2-stroke, stand up and rail!! It's not a trail ride anymore.

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Strick '99 KTM 300mxc, AMA & BRC member
 
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#15
I hope you enjoy the switch like I did. I switched from a xr250 to a cr125 and I love the lighter more agile feel to the bike, and then there is the rush when you hit the power band. The only words of wisdom I can give you is hold on tight and be prepared for the sore mouth after that constant smile you will have on your face...enjoy.

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1984 cr 125, mine
1989 z 50, kids