Hard decision, need some help, 200 or 250 xcw?

Okay gents, here's my dilemma. I'm currently riding a 92 KDX 200 with a 240 big bore kit. Been on the bike for 3 or 4 years now riding in the Coal Country area of Pennsylvania. Its basically more like a 4 stroke than a 2 stroke should be, geared low and with the 240 kit its basically always in the powerband or close to it. I'm just a trail rider right now, with aspirations to up my game next season, start training, improve my technique and try some enduro's or harescrambles. The terrain I ride currently varies greatly, we can have nice open haul roads, sandy/coal dust filled play area's, and veritable rock gardens coupled with tight and technical trails, as well as single track (which i have yet to try). I'm about 5'9 or 5'10 last i checked, weight about 205lbs right now. Short legs, around 29 or 30 inch long pants seem to fit me best. I'm looking to upgrade to a newer bike before spring hits next year. I love my bike, but I know its 22 years old and heavy and the suspension's dated (even with USD forks up front and KX500 rear shock). I've recently done some research online and also checked out a brand new 2014 KTM 200 XCW at a dealer in Coopersburg, PA. Sat on the bike, checked it out, its basically like friggin eye candy and seemed to fit me well, albeit the seat height was a little too high cause the suspension was brand new and hadn't settled yet. They didn't have 250 2 stroke in stock for me to sit on, but i did check the 300 out and it did seem slightly larger. Only so much you can tell by just sitting on a bike without riding it. I dunno that I'll be buying a brand new one ($7599 would require me to make payments and my credits not so hot), but I'd like to have one in the 08-2011 range. I'm probably 75-80% convinced that the 200cc bike is my choice but a few things worry me.

 

Being on the 125 frame, I'm told the 200 is generally set up for a 140-175lb rider. Right off the bat I know i'll need to change the rear spring to fit my weight, whereas the 250 I'm not sure but I'd imagine its designed for a slightly larger person. So there'll be that initial cost of changing the spring out and obviously having it set up professionally, unless I can find a used bike that was set up for someone near my weight range. My other worry is the power delivery and the luggability (sp?) of the 200 vs the 250. I know from what I've read 200's are best ridden harder and at a faster pace, one thing I'm not necessarily known for doing on the kdx with it being so torquey, so that would require a change of riding style on my part (honestly that would be for the better, as I said trying to step up to the next level and get better) but the ability to chug along in a low gear helps in tight situations. Can the 200 lug down low from the factory or does it require adjustment/modifications to do so? Is the 250 better suited to lugging down low with its larger motor? Is the difference in handling and flickability noticeable between the 200 and the 250? Being that a decent hill climb will more often than not present itself on the trail, will i miss the extra power and torque of the 250 in those situations where its needed? I know that with both bikes the power valve can be adjusted to change the delivery, but out of the box which bike would you say has the most controllable/tractable power out of the box? About the Electric Start/Magic Button, which years have it and would you say its a gods send or is it just extra weight?

 

Those are my issues, anyone with experience on one or both of these bikes please tell me what your thoughts are regarding my questions. Many thanks in advance to any and all people that respond. Looking forward to hearing your advice and making a decision. 

 

PS: Unfortunately I'm friends with only one person that owns a KTM and would let me ride it, and he has a 05 300 exc. Even he told me to get a 200-250. Although we still haven't switched bikes yet for me to ride his. 

Edited by BoogieMan84

the 250 is easier to ride but the 200 is far more enjoyable,a little more work then the 250 to get the power down smooth but it is great fun. if your on a 240 i would go with the 250

Thanx for the input masterblaster. I may be leaning a lil more towards the 250 but still dunno if I'd rather have the lightweight/flick ability of the 200 over the 250's extra displacement. I've never been on a bike with a lightweight 125 frame. I'll have to find someone with a 200 or a 250 that I can test ride.

I will add that at your weight that either bike will need to have the suspension set up. From your post I would say go with the 250 or even the 300. They both have very good low end and you can lug them all day long. Both the 250 and 300 are equally as happy on the pipe as well. The 300 however is a little better at lugging than the 250. I personally chose a 300 and haven't been disappointed. The bike continues to impress me every time I ride it. It really is a do it all machine.

The 200 is also a great bike and quite a few guys I ride with have them. When the going gets tight and technical they have no issues what-so-ever. Like you mentioned you ride your kdx mostly on the pipe so you would likely be right at home on the 200. The 200 has a cult following, search here on TT and you should find more than enough info.

The bottom line is I think you'll be more than happy with whichever bike you choose. They are all excellent machines. There is no comparison to your current bike, the suspension will be leaps and bounds better. And if you get a newer model you will be thrilled with the e-start.

I will add that at your weight that either bike will need to have the suspension set up. From your post I would say go with the 250 or even the 300. They both have very good low end and you can lug them all day long. Both the 250 and 300 are equally as happy on the pipe as well. The 300 however is a little better at lugging than the 250. I personally chose a 300 and haven't been disappointed. The bike continues to impress me every time I ride it. It really is a do it all machine.

The 200 is also a great bike and quite a few guys I ride with have them. When the going gets tight and technical they have no issues what-so-ever. Like you mentioned you ride your kdx mostly on the pipe so you would likely be right at home on the 200. The 200 has a cult following, search here on TT and you should find more than enough info.

The bottom line is I think you'll be more than happy with whichever bike you choose. They are all excellent machines. There is no comparison to your current bike, the suspension will be leaps and bounds better. And if you get a newer model you will be thrilled with the e-start.

Great input hezzdown, much appreciated. I'm supposed to switch bikes with a buddy of mine with an 05 300, so that'll help me decide if I should consider that bike. We'll see what happens. I think it's too much bike for me honestly lol

I just sold an 09 250 xcw with Sx head and ignition box that I put 480 hours on and bought a 2014 200 xcw. The 250 is a great bike with great lugging ability and plenty of top end. The 200 is more fun and feels much lighter than it is. The older 300s are not anything like the new ones..the 200 will make you a better rider, it lugs super and rips.

I just sold an 09 250 xcw with Sx head and ignition box that I put 480 hours on and bought a 2014 200 xcw. The 250 is a great bike with great lugging ability and plenty of top end. The 200 is more fun and feels much lighter than it is. The older 300s are not anything like the new ones..the 200 will make you a better rider, it lugs super and rips.

 

That's great to hear from someone who went from the 250 to the smaller 200. Greatly appreciate you sharing your first hand experience with both bikes. I was worried that the decrease in engine size compared to my big bore 240 kdx might be a hindrance in the power department. The 2014 200 XCW I looked at in the dealership seriously just made my jaw drop to the floor, its just such a beautiful dirtbike that begs to be ridden. Your response definitely sort of seals the deal for me, if the 200 will make me a better rider vs the 250 I'm sold. Would you say your more comfortable going faster on the 200 than the 250 or is the 200 just that much easier to handle/maneuver? I guess the better way to word that is, what about the 200 do you feel makes you a better rider on it than your 250? Is the power more linear and controllable on the 200 vs the 250 in your experience thus far? 

I had a 200 XCW and without a doubt it has to be the most fun bike I've ever owned. For racing hare scrambles, in tight technical stuff, it's the right tool for the job. But, for open sandy or muddy courses, it gives up too much to the bigger bikes. I'm on a 250 now, and as much as I miss my 200, I'm faster on the 250.

Edited by Rsquared

I had a KTM 200 , I believe the older ones were on a shorter 125 frame but the new ones are all the same size , 125-300 2 stroke all same.

I also own a YZ 125 , raced it alot in the HS's last year so i'm familiar with small bores. I'm a Yamaha guy, but I rode a '13 250 XC early this spring

and I was sold. The '13 250 and 300 XC feel very light and very Jap to me.  I have the '13 300 XC and you can ride it like a 125 or you can lug it too. I would suggest

you consider the 300 XC. Once you get a taste of that low end torque, you're gonna like it and want more and it still spools up quick.

Like they guy above said, small bores are a blast, but in sand, silt, deep mud or long hills the bigger bikes will walk away.

Where are you at in PA , if you're up by scranton PM me if you wana try the 300 XC .  I think Canyon motorsports may have some left.

I made this vid a few weeks ago to show how the 300 will rev up quick kind of like a small bore, and although it lugs great, it's not just a torque monster...

and yes I know i lost a shroud bolt in the vid...

http://youtu.be/aJBZOhzqPxU

Edited by avocasingletrack

Back to my "better rider" thought...you will learn to use the clutch more on the 200. The 200 makes more power than you would expect, good power too. You want super fun AND light the 200 is all that. I would not go back to a 250 but serious A riders might want the 250. My 300 buddy rode my 200..said it felt like a mountain bike.

. I would not go back to a 250 but serious A riders might want the 250. My 300 buddy rode my 200..said it felt like a mountain bike.

Never say never, try one...I was in the same boat man  ... I love small bore bikes and the light weight ... I preferred them over a 250. I dont know what KTM did for 2013 , I think they changed weight distribution , ergonomics, geometry ... all I can say is the '13 XC 250/300 feels way too light and nimble to be a 250/300 .  I was on a YZ and I rode one this spring , darn thing feels like a 125 ...bought one the next day.  my poor YZ125 is sitting since spring gettin no love ... lol .

Avocasingletrack - thank you very much for your help with my dilemma. I greatly appreciate you're offer to let me try out your 300, I believe I will take you up on that. I tried to send you a PM but it won't let me send it, tried several times. I might not have enough posts yet or something. When you can the chance, send me a message with your name and cell number so we can get in contact easier. I live in NJ but I'm just outside the PA border near Phillipsburg. Scrantons only an hour away from me.

Thank you everyone for all your responses and input. It's greatly appreciated. I definitely just need to weigh my options, try out all three diff bikes (200, 250, and maybe 300 now) and formulate my own opinion on what best suits me and the kind of riding I'm looking to do, as well as what style I'm looking to emulate. I'm still leaning towards the 200 but have yet to have any seat time on any of these bikes.

You need to ride them and see what you like, not what someone else likes. Everyone likes what they ride..usually...Few years ago I went to a KTM demo day, thought I wanted a 250 or 300. After riding the 300 it was a no go liked the 250 better. Mark Hyde said try the 200, never considered that..man what a blast..anyway bought the 250 with estart..now the 200 has estart..got one.

At 205 pounds any bike you buy will need new springs.  Even so, I would go with a 200XC-w, a new 200 will have just as much power (most likely more) than your worked over 240, plus it'll be lighter and better handling than a 250 or 300. 

 

Based on your current ride and level of riding interest I would go with a 200 and not look back.

At 205 pounds any bike you buy will need new springs. Even so, I would go with a 200XC-w, a new 200 will have just as much power (most likely more) than your worked over 240, plus it'll be lighter and better handling than a 250 or 300.

Based on your current ride and level of riding interest I would go with a 200 and not look back.

You trying to say im fat zig? Lol just kiddin. I know I am. I'm working on shedding some weight, would like to lose 20lbs by spring time. Either way tho like you said I'll need to have the suspension set up for me. I need to ride these things, wish I had went to the demo days earlier this year. I'll check the schedule for next year see if there's any near by.

Edited by BoogieMan84

You trying to say im fat zig? Lol just kiddin. I know I am. I'm working on shedding some weight, would like to lose 20lbs by spring time. Either way tho like you said I'll need to have the suspension set up for me. I need to ride these things, wish I had went to the demo days earlier this year. I'll check the schedule for next year see if there's any near by.

 

Who me??, I would never call a friend chubby...  LOL    :rolleyes:

 

This summer KTM had a ride day by me at the Red Bud National MX track but it was all MX bikes, so no 200XC-w or 250XC, which means I passed.  A guy I use to ride with was about your ummm ~ girth ( :thumbsup: ) but was amazingly fast on a 2005 200sx.  Seriously, you really needed to know how to ride if you planned on sticking with him all day.  Once he did let me take it for a spin, at the time I was riding a '08 RM250, and I was completely amazed at what torque it had and how light it felt.  Not that it was faster than my 250 (it wasn't) but it was definitely lighter and it seemed to have just as much "low into the mid" kind of power.  That was the day that I started to take KTM's seriously.

 

As for bike setups, according to my manual even my 300 comes setup for a 175 pound (give or take) rider.  When I bought it I was going to go 200 for the light weight or 300 for the eStart and the low end torque, if the 200 had eStart in '12 I would have bought that instead.  To me the 250 was never an option as it doesn't have the 300's torque or the light weight of the 200.  One of these days I really do see myself buying a 200.

Appreciate the kind(ish) words lol and the example of your buddy on the 200sx that was "of similar girth" hahaha You're mention of the lack of E start on the 2012 200's reminds me, what years did KTM XCW's have electric start?? I know 08's and 09's did and the 2013-2014 do now. But how bout the years in between and should I not even bother with the E Start on the 08's and 09's? I hear they had some issues and would just stop working after a while. I'd like to have a 2 smoke bike with a working, reliable E Start (or magic button as I call), it's been a dream of mine for quite some time.

My 300 is a '12, and off the dealership floor the eStart really didn't work that well.  In '13 KTM redesigned the starter (faster with more power) and that really helped, after installing that, plus re-jetting with a JD jet kit (EASY install ~ big difference), plus keeping the battery on a tender (plugged it in when ever I'm not riding) then my bike will start stone cold with just the starter.  Never did that before.  The new starter comes on the 200, 250 & 300.

 

For the older eStart 2 strokes I really can't say, it was new in '08 so there's lot's of shade tree fixes out there, some good some not so.  Guess the big deal on '08's was that they had some issues with the intermediate gear and the factory grease wasn't doing much, not sure about the rest.  I believe the newer starter will bolt onto the older bikes.

 

If you can swing a new '13 200XC-w then you will have the better starter and that'll be about all you need, besides the battery tender.  Just incase you considered a 4 stroke, maybe a 250f-XC-w, the electric start on all of those models actually works better.  They use a different starter setup and 4 strokes with automatic decompression tend to start easier (hope I didn't open a can of worms there).

Thanx for the solid info in the E Start situation zig. Sounds like even if I was to get an 08 or 09 there's been enough people modifying or updating them to work better that I could figure something out. The 2013 or 14 really is sounding like, if I can afford it, my best option. And no you didn't open up a can of worms mentioning the 4 stroke starters working better. I learned on 4 stroke XR's and switched to my KDX bout 4 or 5 years ago, I told myself I'll never own another 4 stroke dirtbike again. Atleast not in the foreseeable future lol Quads I don't mind 4 stroke cause 2 stroke quads are getting rarer and rarer, but on two wheels it's 2 strokes for me.

I had a KTM 200 , I believe the older ones were on a shorter 125 frame but the new ones are all the same size , 125-300 2 stroke all same.

I also own a YZ 125 , raced it alot in the HS's last year so i'm familiar with small bores. I'm a Yamaha guy, but I rode a '13 250 XC early this spring

and I was sold. The '13 250 and 300 XC feel very light and very Jap to me.  I have the '13 300 XC and you can ride it like a 125 or you can lug it too. I would suggest

you consider the 300 XC. Once you get a taste of that low end torque, you're gonna like it and want more and it still spools up quick.

Like they guy above said, small bores are a blast, but in sand, silt, deep mud or long hills the bigger bikes will walk away.

Where are you at in PA , if you're up by scranton PM me if you wana try the 300 XC .  I think Canyon motorsports may have some left.

I made this vid a few weeks ago to show how the 300 will rev up quick kind of like a small bore, and although it lugs great, it's not just a torque monster...

and yes I know i lost a shroud bolt in the vid...

http://youtu.be/aJBZOhzqPxU

 

Still can't seem to send you a message buddy, it says you can't accept any new messages or something. Please send me a message at your earliest convenience so we can stay in contact. 

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