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4 stroke vs 2 stroke KTM?

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Hi guys,

 

I have been waiting for months for the 2014 300XC-W to come in and it has not arrived yet.

 

Of course I can't help to wonder if I would be better off with one of their 4-stroke counterparts.

 

For one, not having to worry about pre-mix is one thing.

 

But realistically, will I break the bank down the road with a 4-stroke, with everything that the maintenance schedules call for (partial, costly rebuilds at frequent intervals), and the potential for expensive break-downs (parts look so much more expensive on the 4 strokes)?

 

Are you guys following these maintenance schedules to the T's and do you experiment engine failures/breakdowns if you don't?

Thanks all!

Edited by hopla

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Hi guys,

I have been waiting for months for the 2014 300XC-W to come in and it has not arrived yet.

Of course I can't help to wonder if I would be better off with one of their 4-stroke counterparts.

For one, not having to worry about pre-mix is one thing.

But realistically, will I break the bank down the road with a 4-stroke, with everything that the maintenance schedules call for (partial, costly rebuilds at frequent intervals), and the potential for expensive break-downs (parts look so much more expensive on the 4 strokes)?

Are you guys following these maintenance schedules to the T's and do you experiment engine failures/breakdowns if you don't?

Thanks all!

Both 2 & 4 stroke KTM's are very reliable. Obviously the maintenance cost of a smoker is much less than a 4t. As long as you are cleaning the air filter regularly and changing the oil within 15-20 hours a 4 stroke should not have any major maintenance issues. Valves will stay in spec for many hours and pistons should last a couple of years. I was on the fence weather to buy the 300 or the 500. I chose the 500 for the plate and could not be any happier. I rode a 2 stroke 360exc for 14 years with minimal repair costs. On the other hand, I have many friends with KTM 4t that have had good luck with them. It all depends on your riding style, ability and terrain as to what bike will suit you best. I ride lots of tight single track and was sold on the 300. Because I live in California I went with the 500 for more riding opportunities and am amazed at how well this bike handles the tight trails.

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I second Pete's comments.  I've had two 500EXCs, my 2012 got ripped off.  I had a local dealer do all the recommended maintenance on the 2012 to keep the warranty valid for six months.  It did get kinda expensive and no warranty work was needed.  On the 2013 I have changed the oil and checked the valves myself at recommended intervals, checked spoke tension etc.  Now have 85 hours, I changed one exhaust valve shim .001" to stay in the center or the spec (an EASY job), that's about it for maintenance.  Installed Supersprox composite rear sprocket during new bike setup; rode 1200 miles in Baja followed by 400 mi dual sport ride and chain STILL does not need adjustment.  Bike burns almost no oil after initial break in, I think I added a few ounces after about 1000 miles in Baja.  Bike was so dirty I thought an oil change might do more harm than good.  Point is I think they've got the bugs out of the bike, it seems dead reliable to me.  If you race, or pile up lots of hard miles it will be more expensive to maintain than a two stroke.  Given less extreme use I think they will go many hours with basic maintenance.   Desmog/remap is pretty much mandatory on the plated models; I wouldn't buy one from a dealer that wouldn't do it. 

 

The other impressive thing about the 500 is how easy it is to ride, IMHO the bike practically rides itself.  I like tight woods and it doesn't seem bulky for this 220 lb rider. Smooth power and clutch make for great traction.  I confess that I am getting the urge for an orange 2 stroke for more extreme riding; but I would never sell the 500 to get one, it's damn close to a do it all bike.

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Like many I have both and certainly on the surface 2ts seem cheaper to own and maintain.  But when you add the cost of 2t oil and reduced fuel mileage as other items remain mostly the same i.e. tires, brakes, clutches, broken body parts, etc, over the longer term I'm not sure theres much difference.  And with the overall expense of the sport, I think you should ride what suits your style and ignore the after the fact amintainence cost, IMHO of coarse.

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And with the overall expense of the sport, I think you should ride what suits your style and ignore the after the fact amintainence cost......

Absolutely agree.

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Thanks guys. I wish I could ride the bikes first and then choose! It will be my first dirtbike so It's kind of difficult to establish my style. I may be patient for one more week for the 250/300 XC-W to arrive. Otherwise, there is a leftover 2012 350 XC-F that could potentially be interesting.

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If your working towards a first dirt bike why not buy something used and not loose all the depreciation if you decide its not the right bike for you. I understand wanting to have something new as i usually buy new myself but with over 20 years of riding experience i pretty much know what i am getting when i buy it. I have also worked in the motorcycle industry and have some insight on cost of maintenance.

 

2 stroke -  Your going to have to mix gas, not really an issue. Get the bike jetted right for where you are going to ride. Clean your air filter and change the trans fluid every few rides. After a year or two, depending upon how you ride and how often, replacing a piston and rings with some new gaskets will set you back under $200. if for some reason you score the cylinder wall you can have them honed and re-plated or purchase another one for a couple hundred more. yes there is the added fuel cost with the premix.

 

4 stroke - If it is carbed you still need to jet it right for where you ride. If fuel injected get a filter for the inside of the tank as well as a filter for your gas can. Plugged injectors do happen and new ones run about $70. You gotta keep that air filter clean and change the oil and filter every couple of rides. Too many times i have seen the repair bill at the shop i worked for be over $1000 because someone didn't keep the filter clean or seated properly or change their oil often enough. General upkeep is going to cost slightly more on the 4 stroke.

 

I go back and forth between riding a 2 stroke and a 4 stroke. 

I like the planted feel and traction of the 4 stroke and it's a bit easier to put around on. I like not having to mix my gas and since mine is fuel injected i don't need to mess with jetting. The down side is it is heavier, feels heavier, and doesnt handle the tight nasty stuff as easy as a 2 stroke.  When i  race the 2 stroke is my go to bike. It's lighter and doesn't wear me out as much in the tighter woods, easier to pick up and man handle when i put it on the ground or have to lift it over something, has more of an instant throttle response in my opinion but doesnt have the same tractable power of the 4 stroke, I have to jet it from race to race depending upon elevation and temps.

 

For a first bike i would recommend you stay away from the 350xc-f! If you really want a new bike then i would say the 250xc-w is a great bike. Lots of people praise the 300 and it is a great bike but not something i would recommend to a beginner, it can and will get away from you when you get tired on a long ride. With the cost of a new bike these days you could buy a used 250xc-w and a used 4 stroke, ride them both, figure out which one fits you better, and then sell them both for a new one if thats what you really want.

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