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Hi,

Going into my 2nd season riding a bike (in the woods mostly). I was thinking of switching from my current bike(2003 Yamaha WR250F) to a 2008 KTM 300XC-W. The only thing im worried about is I have never ridden a two stroke bike before, and sometimes when going with my buddies I end up following up some fairly steep inclines that are kind of nerve wracking coming back down. The engine brake on my bike is the only thing that keeps me from getting too out of control on the way down (Im sure a lot of  this has to do with the fact that im not that good of a rider). Did some reading and the 300xcw seems to be a really good woods bike, but im worried about how it will be going down steep inclines. Anyone have one or have ridden one? Should I stick to a four stroke untill I get more riding under my belt? Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks.

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I've helped a few riding buddies who lacked confidence going down steep hills. I found it helpful to shut the engine off and descend in neutral using only the brakes. It's best to learn this while standing since it allows far more control/safety than sitting. You'll need to concentrate on having a loose handlebar grip supporting your weight on the footpegs while gripping your bike with your legs. The loose handlebar grip ensures your body is in the correctly balanced position. It's important to position your rear brake lever high enough (actuating the brake slightly above the top of the footpeg) so it can be used while standing rearward on the bike. Your body weight and braking forces should be supported by the footpegs, not the handlebars. You can feel the correct force while sitting on your couch and pushing your coffee table away with the arches of your feet. Keep your arms relaxed and your grip loose to force your body into the correctly balanced position, which will change as you alter your braking forces. You will be able to use your front brake much harder with this technique than when holding onto the bars for dear life. Doing this with the engine off allows you to hear what your tires are doing. You can hear them fight for grip as you experiment with ever greater braking forces eventually experimenting with locking each wheel and then releasing the brakes slightly to find your maximum braking point. I suggest starting with low speeds initially, braking to a stop to improve confidence as you see how much control this technique provides. This requires a lot of front wheel braking to keep your bike from becoming a runaway train. Also, start with safe descents, working up to steeper ones as your skill improves. Riding steep downhills this way isn't largely affected by two stroke or four stroke power since the braking forces required most often far exceed that provided by engine braking alone. KTM 300s do this just fine every day. Have fun!

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If your not using your brakes and clutch on downhills you need to learn to anyway. A lighter bike will always be easier to control on downhills, if you roll a golf ball and a bowling ball down the stairs which one is easier to stop? Go for it!

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Hi,

Going into my 2nd season riding a bike (in the woods mostly). I was thinking of switching from my current bike(2003 Yamaha WR250F) to a 2008 KTM 300XC-W. The only thing im worried about is I have never ridden a two stroke bike before, and sometimes when going with my buddies I end up following up some fairly steep inclines that are kind of nerve wracking coming back down. The engine brake on my bike is the only thing that keeps me from getting too out of control on the way down (Im sure a lot of  this has to do with the fact that im not that good of a rider). Did some reading and the 300xcw seems to be a really good woods bike, but im worried about how it will be going down steep inclines. Anyone have one or have ridden one? Should I stick to a four stroke untill I get more riding under my belt? Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks.

I've had Wr450 , Ktm450 , Xcw 300 and now a 300 XC . As far as down hills , you should just stand and lean back far , using front and rear brakes . If you need to brake really hard on a steep downhill, pulse the front brake ... I usually pulse squeeze it i donno 3-4 pulses per second continually ...this lets the front wheel roll a little so it doesnt pack and wont slide out on you. The 300 will also have a much lower center of gravity and be more stable going down hills...or anywhere for that matter. Talk to alot of the guys on here that have actually gone from a 4T to a 300 ... try to avoid the guys that wana debate 4T is better . Maybe ok for Mx , not so much for woods... Search TT for ktm 300 threads . One last thing, You can't ride a 2T for 5 minutes and make a decision . You have to spend a day on it, get used to it... by the 2nd or 3rd ride you'll be right at home

Good luck man !

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I've helped a few riding buddies who lacked confidence going down steep hills. I found it helpful to shut the engine off and descend in neutral using only the brakes. It's best to learn this while standing since it allows far more control/safety than sitting. You'll need to concentrate on having a loose handlebar grip supporting your weight on the footpegs while gripping your bike with your legs. The loose handlebar grip ensures your body is in the correctly balanced position. It's important to position your rear brake lever high enough (actuating the brake slightly above the top of the footpeg) so it can be used while standing rearward on the bike. Your body weight and braking forces should be supported by the footpegs, not the handlebars. You can feel the correct force while sitting on your couch and pushing your coffee table away with the arches of your feet. Keep your arms relaxed and your grip loose to force your body into the correctly balanced position, which will change as you alter your braking forces. You will be able to use your front brake much harder with this technique than when holding onto the bars for dear life. Doing this with the engine off allows you to hear what your tires are doing. You can hear them fight for grip as you experiment with ever greater braking forces eventually experimenting with locking each wheel and then releasing the brakes slightly to find your maximum braking point. I suggest starting with low speeds initially, braking to a stop to improve confidence as you see how much control this technique provides. This requires a lot of front wheel braking to keep your bike from becoming a runaway train. Also, start with safe descents, working up to steeper ones as your skill improves. Riding steep downhills this way isn't largely affected by two stroke or four stroke power since the braking forces required most often far exceed that provided by engine braking alone. KTM 300s do this just fine every day. Have fun!

I've taught a fair amount of riders and not once have I ever considered shutting the bike off. You should be using throttle TOO when going downhill. Especially in situations where they are obstacles in the way..... Ride a gear high and the faster you go, the better you are!

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I've taught a fair amount of riders and not once have I ever considered shutting the bike off. You should be using throttle TOO when going downhill.

Of course you are correct. I was describing a practice technique that really has worked well with riders afraid of downhills. I'm not sure how well telling a scared rider at the top of a steep downhill to just punch it would work out. I was addressing apprehensive newer riders. Yours is obviously the desired technique once a rider is more fully proficient.

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I like to ride steep downhills as fast as possible dead engine, it's quiet but exhilarating. I only do it on trails that I am familiar with of course. I take unfamiliar trails considerably slower, engine in gear but clutched. I have found compression braking to be of little value on proper steep downhills, I think it just gets in the way of the rear brake.

To the OP, I am a 4stroke fan but the 300 is something special. They are often referred to as a 'three stroke' due to the engine's greatly inceased torque over a regular two stroke's.

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You have some great advice already posted here. There is a myth that there is zero compression braking on a 2 stroke. It is not as pronounced as a 4 stroke, but I will downshift on downhills with my 300 to use some compression braking and to keep from overbraking and locking up the rear wheel - especially with a trials tire. If it stalls, pop the clutch and it is running again. If your downhills include navigating through twisty trails and trees on the way down, the 300 will be more nimble and open up more line choices.

 

I learned to ride on a KTM 250 XCW so I can't speak to transition issues. WRs are great trail bikes, but a 250 or 300 will be faster than a 2003 WR250 in most conditions. 2 strokes can be set up to run more mild than your 250f or like a motocross bike with minor tuning changes so you will have options to suit your needs.

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Hi,

Going into my 2nd season riding a bike (in the woods mostly). I was thinking of switching from my current bike(2003 Yamaha WR250F) to a 2008 KTM 300XC-W. The only thing im worried about is I have never ridden a two stroke bike before, and sometimes when going with my buddies I end up following up some fairly steep inclines that are kind of nerve wracking coming back down. The engine brake on my bike is the only thing that keeps me from getting too out of control on the way down (Im sure a lot of  this has to do with the fact that im not that good of a rider). Did some reading and the 300xcw seems to be a really good woods bike, but im worried about how it will be going down steep inclines. Anyone have one or have ridden one? Should I stick to a four stroke untill I get more riding under my belt? Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks.

It is totally personal preference.  Engine braking on the 4 stroke is the reason I ride one.  Back when I was serious about harescramble racing, I rode a 2 stroke and used the rear brake...

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Wow! Thanks for the replies everyone seems to have solid advice. Seems my problem is I'm relying on the compression braking to keep my speed stable so I can pick a line going down. I usually sit down back with my elbows up ready to stop a front wheel jamming from a rock or root. But when I first got the bike the brakes were really shot and would just lock up the tires every time I braked hard so I'm just now getting used to riding the line between max braking and lockup. I have almost zero skill with using my clutch and I'm trying to work on it. When hill climbing I can hear my one friend on his kx250f feathering the clutch to gain rpms. While the 450 riders seem to just throttle up it lol. The ktm sounds like it would be great, I'm a big guy so I don't find the wr excessively heavy but sometimes it's a little awkward in the tighter turns. If it works out I will get the ktm and just learn to use my front brake without locking it up and going ass over tea kettle haha.

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Also what should I be looking to pay? This 2008 300xcw is $5000 with 149 hours of trail riding. I live in British Columbia, Canada. So CDN$ of course. And to the ktm guys what about over heating when just crusing along at low rpm, I've heard you need to keep a 2 stroke wide open or your overheating it and changing spark plugs mid ride all day.

Thanks again

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Also what should I be looking to pay? This 2008 300xcw is $5000 with 149 hours of trail riding. I live in British Columbia, Canada. So CDN$ of course. And to the ktm guys what about over heating when just crusing along at low rpm, I've heard you need to keep a 2 stroke wide open or your overheating it and changing spark plugs mid ride all day.

Thanks again

That's too much for a 08 KTM.....

And as long as you jet the bike right you will have no issues idling around. You do not have to hold a 2t wide open.....

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Okay what is a reasonable price then? You gotta remember it's canada so everything is more expensive than in the us. It's a really clean bike looks like he takes care of it. Fmf exhaust skid plates and hand guards he's got owners manual and the factory took kit and some filters and stuff. Would 4000 be too much still? Id like to know at what point I'm still getting ripped off before I go in to negotiate. Also there isn't much for bikes as it's still winter here and you can't ride till spring at the earliest.

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I usually sit down

When hill climbing I can hear my one friend on his kx250f feathering the clutch to gain rpms. While the 450 riders seem to just throttle up it lol.

Don't sit down. You may have your butt slid back on the seat but your weight needs to be on the footpegs.

Learn to slip the clutch while climbing to maintain traction and keep the front wheel down.

Have fun.

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Okay what is a reasonable price then? You gotta remember it's canada so everything is more expensive than in the us. It's a really clean bike looks like he takes care of it. Fmf exhaust skid plates and hand guards he's got owners manual and the factory took kit and some filters and stuff. Would 4000 be too much still? Id like to know at what point I'm still getting ripped off before I go in to negotiate. Also there isn't much for bikes as it's still winter here and you can't ride till spring at the earliest.

 

Even $4k is pushing it. I know its Canada, I live in Kamloops. I do buy quite a few bikes here and there so I have a pretty good idea of what a bike is worth. And remember, just because they are asking a certain price doesn't mean they are getting that price.....

 

Any pictures of the bike?

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Kamloops? I live in Quesnel, four hours north! I was just there last summer and went to what some people were calling 'Bachelor Heights'. Thats actually exactly where I found some of the really steep hills(in my opinion) that we went up and down. That was an awesome place to ride. And heres the ad for the 300. It looks like its in really good shape to me, but much like sandlvr69 says, there just isnt that many 300XCs out there. That 250 looks a little more rough for wear from the picture to me...but anyways heres the link, the bikes in prince george.

http://www.kijiji.ca/v-dirt-bikes-motocross/prince-george/300xcw/552185189?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

 

Id love your opinion on this monk as you probably have way more of an idea of whats it worth than I do.

 

I havent done any research on the 250, is the motor as good as the 300? Thats all i ever hear is that the 300 is much like sandlvr69 said a 'three-stroke' and one of the best engines made etc etc... is the 250 the same? and the XC vs XC-W, the only difference would be a shorter range transmission correct?

Edited by KnockoutZxR

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Kamloops? I live in Quesnel, four hours north! I was just there last summer and went to what some people were calling 'Bachelor Heights'. Thats actually exactly where I found some of the really steep hills(in my opinion) that we went up and down. That was an awesome place to ride. And heres the ad for the 300. It looks like its in really good shape to me, but much like sandlvr69 says, there just isnt that many 300XCs out there. That 250 looks a little more rough for wear from the picture to me...but anyways heres the link, the bikes in prince george.

http://www.kijiji.ca/v-dirt-bikes-motocross/prince-george/300xcw/552185189?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

Id love your opinion on this monk as you probably have way more of an idea of whats it worth than I do.

I havent done any research on the 250, is the motor as good as the 300? Thats all i ever hear is that the 300 is much like sandlvr69 said a 'three-stroke' and one of the best engines made etc etc... is the 250 the same? and the XC vs XC-W, the only difference would be a shorter range transmission correct?

I'm from Williams Lake so I know your area quite well...

As for the difference in bikes, the XC has a closed ratio transmission which I like more. That year if XCW will have electric start. All XCWs have a wide ratio 5spd. 1st/2nd will be lower and 5th will be higher. The cool thing is if you can find a good 250, you can always add a 300 kit later on....

And why are you so set on a KTM? Any Japanese bike around those years will be equally of not better then the KTM.... Ive owned a 09 300xcw and went to a YZ which I think is twice the bike....

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