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KTM 150SX VS. YZ144...request for comparisons

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Gents, thought I'd put this out there for public input. Contemplating another 150/144 bike.... I had a yz144 with a motor to die for....plenty of over-rev yet enough torque to pull cleanly out of corners...truly felt like a mini-250.  That bike wound up going to my son, who loves it. I've been riding a 250f this year, not sure if it's for me so I'm thinking about another 150/144.... I know the KTM has some updated components. hydraulic clutch and excellent brakes compared to the yz, but I'm a bit concerned about availability and cost of the KTM... they are obviously very popular and hard to come by.... building another yz144 would be probably cheaper and not that hard to locate, but they have great suspension out of the box, fit and finish is good. I know this is the KTM forum with rabid fans but I'm hoping for some honest input on how they handle, are suspended, is the powerband only in the upper rpm range or does it have decent torque, reliability...any info like that is welcome.

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You can't really go wrong with either in my opinion.  I love my KTM 150sx, and find that it is a great point and shoot kind of bike.  It was (and still kinda is) a weird transition from a 250f to a 150 because the 150sx will literally go wherever you point it.  I'm not saying my 250f won't do that either, but the 150sx is much easier to handle and feels almost effortless.  The bike handles pretty well imo.  Most people will advise you to get the suspension dialed in, but for me and my riding ablility (I ride purely for fun), the stock suspension works (only 150 +/- 5lbs with gear).  The powerband is awesome and the bike is pretty darn quick, although you need to rev it like a 125.  KTM's in my opinion are just as reliable as the Yamaha's (my family rides yamaha's, I ride KTM's).  Do the required maintainence as you would on a yamaha and the bike will last  :thumbsup: .

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I agree with everything Fretburner said. I built a YZ 144 and loved it. It was an 02, but I went through the bike with a fine tooth comb. New everything from rims and tires, to crank and complete suspension overhaul, bearings, etc. Where I stopped was stroking the crank to truly make it like the KTM, too much money for the return imo. I loved the bike, but had the opportunity to indulge myself in a brand new bike. I've always liked the 150's, and since the KTM is a factory package and the Yamaha was a buy it then build it, the KTM made more sense to me.

My 150 has been exactly what I hoped it would be. I'm 160-165 in gear, and just ride for fun too. I haven't adjusted a clicker, or changed a thing, other than fluids and filters since I bought it. It handles really well, and has the low end that I was looking for. I've done 60 foot doubles on fast moto tracks (I'm old :)) as well as 20 mile loops of single track and the bike has performed flawlessly for me, like Fretburner said, point and shoot.

I won't say anything bad about the YZ's, they're excellent bikes. The price for a 13 YZ 125 was within about 100-200 bucks of the price of the 13 150 in my area. If Yamaha made a YZ 150 I would have had a tougher choice to make.

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Gents, thought I'd put this out there for public input. Contemplating another 150/144 bike.... I had a yz144 with a motor to die for....plenty of over-rev yet enough torque to pull cleanly out of corners...truly felt like a mini-250.  That bike wound up going to my son, who loves it. I've been riding a 250f this year, not sure if it's for me so I'm thinking about another 150/144.... I know the KTM has some updated components. hydraulic clutch and excellent brakes compared to the yz, but I'm a bit concerned about availability and cost of the KTM... they are obviously very popular and hard to come by.... building another yz144 would be probably cheaper and not that hard to locate, but they have great suspension out of the box, fit and finish is good. I know this is the KTM forum with rabid fans but I'm hoping for some honest input on how they handle, are suspended, is the powerband only in the upper rpm range or does it have decent torque, reliability...any info like that is welcome.

I have a YZ144 and an linkage XC300 , i've rode the 12 and 13 sx 150 and 250's . The 144 engine depends on how it was set up, as you know it's not just a bolt on kit. When I rode them side by side, sx150 and yz144, my yz144 seemed to have a bit more mid to top pull ...could have been gearing . The 150 had very good low mids and a pretty broad power curve . One big difference is that the YZ is about an inch and a half shorter wheelbase. This is a good thing if you ride real tight stuff or maybe are a smaller guy ...idk ? I felt like the forks were pretty close with preference to the YZ but the KYB shock is much better than the ktm ...not even in the same ball park. After reading many threads and trying things I dont believe you can easily or cheaply get a KTM shock to the same level as a KYB shock. I went Ohlins on my XC and it's like a YZ rear end now.

Both bikes are a good bike, dont think you could go wrong with either. If you get another YZ you have 2 identical bikes, common spare parts.

Edited by avocasingletrack

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Thanks for the input guys, I appreciate it. Is that hydraulic clutch on the KTM really that much better than a standard cable version?

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Thanks for the input guys, I appreciate it. Is that hydraulic clutch on the KTM really that much better than a standard cable version?

I say yes. My YZ had a full Hinson clutch, billet basket and pulled like butter...but I still like the hydro clutch better.

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Both bikes are a good bike, dont think you could go wrong with either. If you get another YZ you have 2 identical bikes, common spare parts.

 I agree...  having to buy spares that covers both bikes is really a major plus. I have a 380 and my son rides a 300, the frame, wheels, levers, etc. are the same.  I've "borrowed" parts from one for the other to get a ride in when parts did not arrive in time.  It is really nice to have a "parts" bike for emergencies

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