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How much does bike weight affect trail riding?

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 I'm 6'4" 230 lb guy......This is my almost 300 lb pig with full tank.....It's a fast handful to throw through the tight sh!t, but is handles amazingly at 50 + here on michigan's sandy 2 track trail...So my question is....If I was on a KTM 450 XCF-W would I notice the 40lb less difference?......or is it all in how you ride?

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I cant offer any help to you, but I have the same curiosity myself..Thanks for posting the question, maybe someone will respond.....Im at 203 Lbs and currently ride a 2001 XR 400 (305 LBS with fuel)....I want to buy a Husky fe 350 2014 ktmhuskaberg when they are available in the USA in spring. I know it's a lighter bike...any opinions out there if the ktmhusky is a sweet transition? thanks

 

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I think it makes a big difference. I could always tell when I would go from my 250x, 269lbs ready to ride, to my friends KTM 200. I'm not a two stroke guy so I went back to the MX bike and got a '12 CRF250R. I haven't weighed it but its suppose to be about 235. When I take the X out, it feels like a heavy beast. A 200lb bike would be awesome. 

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So weight does make a difference. Your weight and the bikes weight. When I'm on the track with a younger lighter rider he can just fly over those jumps and rail those corners. Same rider with a few more pounds like me we pretty much well ride the same pace. These bikes are not sit up for guys like us 6 " + and 200 + you'll need to dial up your suspension. So yes you can feel the difference with a lighter bike but can't you just loose a few pounds?

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So my question is....If I was on a KTM 450 XCF-W would I notice the 40lb less difference?......or is it all in how you ride?

 

yes. i went from trail riding/hare scrambling a DRZ400 to a 450xc-w. lost about 50lbs in the process. the difference is HUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGEEEEEEE...especially on tight, technical single track. some of the difference is better suspension, better motor, etc. but the main difference is the weight.

 

i can't really put into words how much of a difference it makes. it is waaaaayyy, waaaaayyy less tiring/less work. i am not nearly as physically wiped out at the end of long days of riding as i used to be. i can go a lot faster, get over obstacles a lot easier. the bike is much easier to put where i want it. picking it up is way easier. everything is much easier and more fun.

 

light is right.

 

probably going to go with a 300xc next time even though i really like way my bike delivers power much better than the way a 300 does...but the weight loss outweighs all other issues on tight, technical single track, imho.

 

(btw, i'm 6"0", 225lbs and have lifted weights/worked out my whole life. it's not that i'm small or weak. btw, losing weight/getting in better shape yourself is always a good idea if you are not already in good shape. but 1lb of body weight does not equal 1lb of bike weight. bike weight still matters the same. put 20lbs of tools on your bike vs. on your back. having it on your back has much less of an effect.)

Edited by LittleRedToyota

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I went from a yz250f to a yz250 and felt an immediate improvement in the ability to flick it around the tight stuff. The 250 makes more power than the F, and at least feels 20 pounds lighter. Made a world of difference in my riding ability.

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Yes dirtclod. I am loosing weight. And I know power to weight ratio is a huge factor.

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Ride one and see.  I know that’s a cheesy answer, you’re probably saying “If I had one to ride,

I wouldn’t be here asking the question…”  But I think perceived “weight” is influenced a lot by bike

set-up and also the characteristics of the particular model.  I live in the Northeast, and trail riding

is all I do.  Terrain varies from very tight woods to more open lease and logging roads.  I have a

friend who has a side business buying and selling bikes, so I get to test ride just about everything.

Bottom line:  Whether it’s 450’s, 250’s, MX or Enduro, I can’t get any of them through the woods

any quicker than my XR650R.  That being said, the suspension on my “R” is custom spec’d front

and back for my weight (225lbs) and the gearing is spot-on for the riding I do.  I also retained the

stock rear tire size, rather than finding the widest tire I could cram into the swingarm.  The end

result is if a trail is too tight for the R, then I feel cramped on any other full size bike as well.  I’ve

ridden a bunch of bikes that don’t handle anywhere near as well and weigh a lot less on paper.

 

Oh, by the way, that's a fine looking WR you've got there.

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From my limited experience and from people I ride with who have a lot more experience, weight can be over rated.  My friends GasGas weighs a little more then my WR250F (my WR is completely stripped down and his bike has every gadget) and his bike feels lighter once moving but heavier on the bike stand.  The GasGas weight is really low.  I agree that getting the bike properly set up for your weight, height (your a little taller then the average Japanese Yamaha technician), and style of riding will make huge improvements. 

My last Hare Scramble I got blown away by someone on a 2012 WR450F with a license plate and blinkers.  I still can't figure out why he was signaling his turns, maybe its just showing off. 

I've never been passed by anyone on an XR650R in the woods, just saying. :p

Oh, by the way, that's a fine looking WR you've got there. +1   But needs some more scratches and bent plastic before being replaced.   Also KTM's wet weight is usually w/o gas and Yamaha's is with gas.  I doubt the weight difference is 40 lbs on the same scale.

Edited by toadl
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Just set your bike up properly and work on technique. The speed

will come. You don't need an eleven thousand dollar KTM to go

fast.

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ill trade you my kdx 220 for your bike, its much lighter then that heavy beast.

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yes it most certainly does.  I wish i didnt have as much money in my drz as i do or i would sell it.  I have been slowly stripping it down but its still at 300lbs right now(but ive added stuff to it like kick start).

 

Where the weight is makes the biggest different.  If you have 2 bikes that weight the same but one has a lot of weight up high and the other down low you will notice a big difference.

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Then current KTM is certainly lighter than the equivalent WR but nowhere near 40lbs lighter.

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Then current KTM is certainly lighter than the equivalent WR but nowhere near 40lbs lighter.

 

 

A WR ready to ride is somewhere between 285 for an fi version and 300lbs depending on what you have on it.  KTM is about 260.  my sxf is only about 10lbs lighter than an exc.  i think the 350 exc is around 245 ready to ride.  Thats a lot of weight.  In working on my bikes ive noticed that pretty much every part on a ktm is lighter than other bikes.  hardware especially but big items like exhaust and so on.  You can level that out by spending the money on light hardware, super light exhaust etc but that more than makes up the difference in price.  My factory suzuki Ti header is smaller and heavier than the factory ktm Ti header.  Ti footpegs are lighter and so on.  It all adds up... the only way to drop that kind of weight from my drz is to pull the motor and add pedals:)

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to be honest with you you cant do much better then a WR450 IMO. bigger bikes take a different style then smaller bikes, you got to use the torque.

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When things tighten up on the trail light is really nice. However in the faster rough stuff I prefer a bit heavier bike. Seems like the heavier bikes are a bit more stable at speed. However I'm not a racer so my opinion should be taken with a large grain of salt.

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Well. I want to get a second bike and keep my WR as a super Moto full time. Was thinking of getting another WR so the transition is good. And the price of a new 2012 WR right now is around $6000. So. Might just do that. Michigan is about 75% KTM. And I hate following the masses. Here is my bike as a Moto ImageUploadedByThumper Talk1383315691.599969.jpg

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When things tighten up on the trail light is really nice. However in the faster rough stuff I prefer a bit heavier bike.

 

i think that is a key point. how much weight matters to you will probably be somewhat a function of the type of trails you ride. on tight, technical single track, weight makes a huge difference. on more open, faster trails, not so much...in fact, all else being equal, a heavier bike can even have advantages.

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ill trade you my kdx 220 for your bike, its much lighter then that heavy beast.

 

 

That's a helluva offer! LOL

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