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OK, here is what I have learned...


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! WARNING !

 

All of the following statements are my own personal experiences.

 

There is no need to post up how wrong I am, that I hate KTM's, or how you have never experienced what I have: I post this information for those who might find it useful.

There is no need to tell me " jesus, just go ride the thing" cause that makes no sense to me. I need it to be what I consider to be 'right', in order to have any fun .

 

4th ride on the 2013 (new to me) 3.50 XCF-W:

 

OK, so this thing is pretty good. It's not good as in fast or incredibly amazing at one or all things, but because it is so darn easy to ride, all the time*

 

----------------------------------------------------

 

What I originally altered from stock ( not including protection items):

 

- FMF 4.1 + Powerbomb, BDSB exahust manafold, Euro #4 Map, no TPS changes from stock (unknown), stock tires, respring and re-valve for 270lbs rider with full pack and gear. Front sag 35mm, rear sag 30/115. Scotts damper consistently at 11 turns out.

 

Results at that time:  difficult to hold a line, any line, flat power delivery, forks flexing upon slap down to the point of fear to ride fast, lightswtich/over heating yet soggy front and rear brakes, knees bent to much all the time to provide any real cornering power (pressing down on the pegs). Subtle pushing in all corners regardless or rpm or thottle.

 

Changes since then, to now:

 

- Knight Designs 1" lower pegs

- Changed front tire pressure to 16 (!)

- increased front damping 6+, decreased front rebound -4 (unknown previous baseline settings)

- increased rear sag ot 38/120, decreased front sag to 30mm

- reduced rear high-speed compression by .75 turns out

- pushed forks down in clamps to nearly flush (yeah, I know)

- lowered the idle by 5 clicks (rpm unkown)

- rotated the bars to the -1 position

- Scotts damper at between 6 and 8 out (less damping for less speed)

- EBC carbon-X pads front and rear, Dirt Tricks Black solid discs front and rear (not really solid), Maxima 600 degree fluid

 

 

Results:

 

Better everything!....accept the fork flex, and the soft power.

 

While the power is still 'soft' all the time (kind of like when you add a rekluse, the delivery feels like traction control on a car), it is very, very consistent, so you can use it  to your advantge, as long as you don't try and steer with the rear wheel all the time. You end up going through corners very fast, with no fan-fair or noise or wheel spinning. It's odd....

 

Dunlop MX-51's must come with a free case of 'holy-crap's' built in, cause this tire is only good after it rains. Dry dust on clay it crazy sketchy, but it was much better with MORE air. THEY GOTTA GO.

 

LOWERING the forks in the clamps was done because I believe the suspension tuner over-sprung the rear, and I was getting 'stink-bug' weight transfer to the front everytime I used the front brakes, or stood up. More compression in front also helped this.

 

Running the Scotts damper stiffer than normal made the bike much easier to ride, without the feeling of being 'long and straight' all the time, like it does on my other bikes.

 

The idle had always seemed to fast to me, but everyone was telling me it would run better off idle if the idle was high. Poppycock!

The bike would push through every corner upon deceleration, making the already skate-y front end even worse. 

I lowered the idle to the point the full decel delivered full decompression braking. Waaaaay better, and now able to back to a higher gear

 

The brakes (while still a bit spongy front a rear) are now useable to the point of forgetting about them. They just work, don't fade, don't squeal, don't overheat. Whew!

 

The Lowered pegs WORK. Yes, they are too wide, and when you stand up you can 'feel' the bracket, forcing you to widen your stance a bit.

And yes, they are slightly (1/4") lower than stock at the lowest point, but they are also wider, so when you lean, the are closer to the ground than stock.........

I did not do any 'real' single track today (rock gardens, ledges) so how bad this will be is still unknown. 

The main thing is that now I can 'power corner', pushing down hard on the outside peg under full power, so the rear end does not wag or drift out of control.

 

So, do I still 'hate' KTM's ? 

 

Wellllllll..........no.  Not this one. 

The forks still flex to the point of being scary, and I would like a more 'robust' power delivery, but that is something I should probably get used to, rather than try and re-engineer.

 

The worst part is my 30 year old friend on a 20 year old CR250 that I can barely ride it is so stiff and old-school, can smoke me anytime, any place. Fvker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I bought a '14 350 XCF-W this spring to ride the forest and rocks in CO.

I had cold start issues and finally brought it into the dealer, who said the TPS

was not properly setup.  I have come to view the bike as a larger

displacement 250 rather than a smaller 450.  It loves to rev, but does not have

the torque of the 450.   Read the reviews on the 350, I find they are pretty informative.

How much do you weigh?  What kind of riding?

I barely push 160lb with gear on and so set the suspension

soft which works great for rocks.  This is a great trail bike.

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The stock clamps are cast, but they seem fine. 

The flex is not axial (twisting) it's lineal (bending out, like the front wheel is moving away)

It holds a line good enough in the really rough corners and g-outs until you push it, then the forks bend in and out, and bind up ,and pack very quickly.

If you raise the front wheel up a few inches before going though a whoop field it's not too bad when you come back down, but if you 'slap' it back down, which sometimes you have to do, the forks just stop working.

You can actually see them bend just putting on the front brake and rolling the bike forward.

 

In SoCal, all the trails have whoops..............

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I understand. My problem is exactly what what your describing... Something like hitting a log of rock at speed made them flex back and forth like crazy....

 

Yeah, my SXF was better at not flexing, but still no Showa or KYB. 

 

I see guys that have converted the forks/wheel/brake from the CRF line with great success. 

 

Something about German/Austrian enginneering.....VW's and BMW's have the exact same problem with their shock shafts bending....

 

Just more crap to go through.......seems never ending !

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The 350 is always going to be down on power, especially for someone your size.  They don't start making real power till waaaaay up there.  At the place offroad guys tend to stay away from.  KTM's are notoriously busy up front.  Can't get away from it.  You HAVE to run the damper stiff.  Fork flex....meh, probably works to my advantage as I weigh 155-160 without gear.  The brakes should not be bad.  Sounds like they just need to be rebled...sounds like you already did that.  How was the "rocking" thing?

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The 350 is always going to be down on power, especially for someone your size.  They don't start making real power till waaaaay up there.  At the place offroad guys tend to stay away from.  KTM's are notoriously busy up front.  Can't get away from it.  You HAVE to run the damper stiff.  Fork flex....meh, probably works to my advantage as I weigh 155-160 without gear.  The brakes should not be bad.  Sounds like they just need to be rebled...sounds like you already did that.  How was the "rocking" thing?

 

Yeah, the thing is that there really is not power on the EXC or XCFW 'way up there' like it show on the dyno curves, because the torque curve is done so early.

It's only making 50hp with 13 ftlbs of torque, which is meaningless. 

Doesn't matter, I'm not going to mess with trying to get more power.....better power maybe, but no cams/porting/R&D thottle body......etc

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Yeah, the thing is that there really is not power on the EXC or XCFW 'way up there' like it show on the dyno curves, because the torque curve is done so early.

It's only making 50hp with 13 ftlbs of torque, which is meaningless. 

Doesn't matter, I'm not going to mess with trying to get more power.....better power maybe, but no cams/porting/R&D thottle body......etc

Set your TPS voltage at .60 with the Euro map. Should make it slightly more crisp on the throttle if it's set higher. The 350 responds more to momentum style riding.
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Yeah, the thing is that there really is not power on the EXC or XCFW 'way up there' like it show on the dyno curves, because the torque curve is done so early.

It's only making 50hp with 13 ftlbs of torque, which is meaningless. 

Doesn't matter, I'm not going to mess with trying to get more power.....better power maybe, but no cams/porting/R&D thottle body......etc

 

FMF snap.  Relatively cheap....heard it does good things

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Yeah, in that case you're pretty much tapped without going inside the motor.  If this is just going to be a technical trailbike for you then I would just tailor the bike for that and play with the gearing to liven up the bottom end

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Set your TPS voltage at .60 with the Euro map. Should make it slightly more crisp on the throttle if it's set higher. The 350 responds more to momentum style riding.

 

I have read that as long as my TPS is near stock it shoudl be good with the Euromap, but I will experiment.

 

 

Forks/tired/brakes first.

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I have read that as long as my TPS is near stock it shoudl be good with the Euromap, but I will experiment.

 

 

Forks/tired/brakes first.

.60 is the stock setting. On the US maps, especially on the exc, it's generally needed to set it up a bit.

For whatever reason on these bikes usually if your slightly towards the lean side you get better throttle response.

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I have read that as long as my TPS is near stock it shoudl be good with the Euromap, but I will experiment.

 

 

Forks/tired/brakes first.

 

I still think you need to tear your front end down and make sure everything is ok here.  Doesn't take too long and you have the potential of jacking something up if something in there is loose

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Yeah, in that case you're pretty much tapped without going inside the motor. If this is just going to be a technical trailbike for you then I would just tailor the bike for that and play with the gearing to liven up the bottom end

That's what I plan on doing with my EXC. Really more of my Summertime bike.
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