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Need New Bike for Single Track

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Greetings. I am looking at getting a new bike and need some advice.

Currently I ride an 04 XR400 that....has...been....ridden. Not just by me but from previous owner so it’s time to replace it.

I ride 95% single track in western wa. I'd argue more tight than open and a good number of hill climbs and deep descents thrown in. Rarely some double track and even less often (read never) road.

I love the XR's power delivery for the trails as I always know that if I need it I can have a handful of torque. But the weight is getting me down. So is starting it. It has a stock suspension which is more or less terrible. I do not like its tendency to plow through corners, but love that the bike stands up in a corner when I get on the throttle.

Where do I go? KTM XC-W 250/300? CRF250X? A 400/450 KTM 4 stroke? I am not afraid to try a two stroke but it MUST HAVE some low end torque. I need it to be 4-stroke ish and forgiving of my mistakes. I just road a KTM 150XC, immediately did not like the lack of bottom end and how hard it hit on the pipe I do not see the benefit of such a setup in tight woods.

I would place my skill level at intermediate with about 2 years of riding experience. My budget is around 5k.

Any help would be appreciated!

1) your physical size: 6'2" 185

2) How physical / aggressive are you: Relaxed rider but enjoys challenging terrain (more hard trails not fast trails)

3) what do you plan to ride: Single Track

4) Do you have any riding experience: 2-3 years

5) Do you think you will race: No

6) Are you mechanically inclined and will you be doing your own bikeicon1.png work?: Yes

7) Do YOU have a preferance to a brand/ motor choice (2 or 4 stroke): Looking at KTM currently and I have only ridden 4 stroke but looking at both

8) Do you have a dealer close by your home that you might use and what brand(s) does he carry: Honda, Kawi, Suz, KTM

9) How much ($) do you plan to spend on a bike: Max $5000

10) Do you live in California: NO

11) Your age:25

Edited by jtschmitz

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If you go 2 stroke, you would probably really like a KTM300 XC or XCW. The motor can be set up to be very tame and pull like a tractor on the bottom end. It will have plenty of lugging power and be great if you find yourself at higher altitudes.

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Thanks for all of the comments!

I ended up with a 2006 KTM 300 XC-W.

3L33J23Nb5Ga5H65M7d4a1c8ff85d951d1e15.jpg

Basically stock except for full FMF pipe and Boysen reeds.

First ride was yesterday... I will admit I was a little scared and initially hated it. I was scared of the power. It lugs, for sure, but it also has oodles of power. Amazing. I hated it while trying to ride it like my XR (old habits die hard). But by the end of a 10 miles trail ride I was in love. Climbing hills has never been easier. Control is so much easier, I got completely sideways twice and never for a minute felt out of control. Things that would have scared me on the XR the KTM just glides over.

Once issue that I need to resolve on my end is getting up on a wheelie for a log cross. Rolling on the throttle like an XR does not work. I can stand the bike up but not as smoothly or quickly as I was able to on the XR and I need to be moving faster. Ill get over that.

Thanks again guys!

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GasGas, KTM, etc. 300 2 stroke. My personal preference is the GasGas, I just like their chassis best and the engine pulls every bit as well if not better than a KTM.

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Once issue that I need to resolve on my end is getting up on a wheelie for a log cross. Rolling on the throttle like an XR does not work. I can stand the bike up but not as smoothly or quickly as I was able to on the XR and I need to be moving faster. Ill get over that.

You might try experimenting with powervalve settings once you get some more seat time in. See what the 3 different PV springs do and see what you like and don't like about each one. You can also vary the preload on those springs for even finer tuning.

The red spring will allow the powervalve to open sooner giving you more snap on the bottom.

The yellow spring will let it open more in the mid range

The green spring will let it open at higher revs

Everyone has their preferences to fit their style. If for some reason the previous owner did not include the additional PV springs, they are only about a $1 each from most online OEM parts places.

Edited by dhdrider

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You might try experimenting with powervalve settings once you get some more seat time in. See what the 3 different PV springs do and see what you like and don't like about each one. You can also vary the preload on those springs for even finer tuning.

The red spring will allow the powervalve to open sooner giving you more snap on the bottom.

The yellow spring will let it open more in the mid range

The green spring will let it open at higher revs

Everyone has their preferences to fit their style. If for some reason the previous owner did not include the additional PV springs, they are only about a $1 each from most online OEM parts places.

I will take a look. As you said first I want to get some seat time in and see how it feels before I make any changes. The whole system is so much different than my XR it could just be me adapting to the new system.

Thanks for the comments.

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