KTM 350 or 250 xcf-w?

Hi all, long time stalker first time serious question.


A little back ground on me. I've been riding since I was about 12. I grew up riding an old twin shocker 2 stroke (indian ss-125 I think) until I was 15, when I got my first mono-shock yamaha yz125. After I got my license, dirt was history and I moved over to street. Over the years I had a cb450, yamaha maxima 750, and then (after a break due to 1st wife and kids) a 600 f4i sportbike. Which I tracked a couple of times and got pretty quick on, until I moved up to a VFR800  and retired from the track. Then I discovered all the fun of super motards. While never actually owning a motard, I raced in a few enduros with friends and played on practiced days. 


About a year ago the urge to go back to dirt was so strong that  sold the VFR and bought an 05 YZ450f and started riding trails with my neighbor. Yes, I know....it's an MX bike with stupid power and 4 gears and it wasn't made for single track or woods riding. I get that. But I've had a lot of fun on it and it makes me smile just playing around. However, we went over to Arkansas to do some trail riding at an OHV park and the bike just kicked my ass physically. So I switched up to the neighbors mid 90's 250 XR. Suddenly the day was a lot more fun and I wasn't nearly as tired. Not to mention, I wasn't stalling out all the time.


So over the weekend, I attempted my first hare scramble on that XR. The bike was more than capable, but I wasn't. I discovered I am grossly out of shape (working in IT and going to grad school will do that to you) and my endurance, needs more endurance. So now I am wholly committed to going back to that same race next year and whooping it's ass (finish).


Along with the physical fitness part, I realized I need a new bike. At 38, I'm 6'0" and 250....I'm looking at KTM's. Why....well...they have e-start and everyone I know swears they are a bad ass trails bike. I want something manageable power wise on the trails, a woods transmission, and yes I want the magic button because kicking a stalled bike just sucks. I'm specifically looking at the KTM 350 xcf-w because I like the idea of mid range bike that handles like a 250 but with a bit more power. But is the extra 9 hp really worth the extra money? One of my other training goals is to start cross-training to adapt my riding style to encompass trails bike techniques. 


So the question comes down to this. Is the 350 a better investment than the 250 for just a weekend warrior with intermediate/avg skills? Those with the KTM 350 xcf-w, dose it live up to the hype and does it make you smile? Given a do over....would you get the 250 or 350 agaiin?


Thanks for the input and sorry for the long post...



A 250 will be more than enough. I ride an 09 KX250f and it's geared for woods and I run a Rekluse auto clutch in it. Good bye stalling. But anyway I ride with my buddy who has an 02 wr450 and it's an absolute beast, but it weighs 260 pounds. So my point is, I can make it up anything he can I can keep up fine on the trail I usually pull away from him in the trails. 250s are very good in the trees. The light weight and manageable power is a deadly combo.

Try and ride both. They are both great machines. Also have a look at the Husqvarna FE250 and FE350. Very similar bike, but with some different features, like a linkage rear end

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