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KTM 150xc vs 250xc vs YZ250?


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What's up guys,

 

I know I posted a topic like this before...but I got little feedback.

 

I am looking to buy a new bike. I currently have an 03 YZ450F which I absolutely love and will keep as a backup bike, but I have the two-stroke itch these days.

 

I am currently trying to decide on either a KTM 150xc, 250xc, or YZ250.

 

I am 23 years old, 6ft., 170 pounds and am pretty experienced in trail/desert riding. 

 

Obviously the KTM 250 is a sure choice for the type of riding I do (wide trails, open desert, occasional MX), but the 150 just seems like such an awesome little ripper and I have had a crush on the bike for a while now. The YZ is my other option because they are the only other company to continue making new models of two strokes, and I have been riding Yammys all my life.

 

Has anyone ridden the 150 in the same conditions that I ride? Maybe some gearing changes will help me get to 80+ mph without too much lag? Like I said, some desert I ride is wide open. I have 15:46 gearing on my 450 now and it flies.

 

Someone try and talk me out of buying the 150...my fears are not enough get up power and top speed (I'll mostly be riding with a ktm 300xc, 450xc-f, and some tuned Banshees). Will they just leave me in the silt no matter how hard I ride?

 

Also, how would you guys compare the YZ and KTM 250's? I know I wouldn't have to do much to the KTM other than suspension..but I'm not so sure about the rest.

 

Sorry for the long post! Any input would be most helpful. Cheers!

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I have ridden the KTM 150 and I know some guys love'um, but I don't get it.  It is a TON of work to go fast on that bike.  Sure you get to ring the piss out the bike and shift like a mad man, and maybe you feel all racy, but guys on other bikes are putting in way less effort/energy to go the same pace.

 

Russell won the Ironman GNCC on a 150, and he was at the front of pack even on the start.  So yes an expert rider can make it go as fast as other bike. Check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ss65ljjFupA    bur-raaaapppppp!!

 

Also here is a guy in the AZ desert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NwlH9NL4Hk

 

I'd rather not have that handicap. 

 

As for KTM vs. YZ.  I've had both these bikes.  If you buy the KTM XC, KTM has already done all the offroad stuff for ya.  A bit larger tank, 18" rear wheel, 6 speed transmission, not quite as hard hitting as their SX model, suspension settings more offroad focused but still ok for putting in some time on a moto-x track. 

 

With the YZ, you can do all these mods but the 6 speed.  And you have a close ratio 5 speed in the YZ.  There are some guys that are putting wide ratio 5 speeds (from 450 WR four strokes) into the two stroke YZ, but whew, why not just get the KTM with the 6 speed.

 

So for the riding you are talking about, I think the 250 XC would be the easiest bike to ride with the least amount of prep work.

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For that kind of riding I would not even think about the 150. I agree with above post ktm 250xc is set up for what you want. For me the type of riding you are talking about with a two stroke I would go ktm 250 xc. That type of riding I like big four strokes though. Ktm 500 would be on my list.

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Ahh man I know the 150 is a sick little bike, but take a look at where you're riding. I wouldn't use that 150 as my main bike.  You would be buying top ends every time you go get another quart of dominator from your bike shop.  id personally go with the KTM 250. I have owned a YZ and ridden a 250xc a lot.  The KTM has an insanely tractable and broad powerband.  It feels really electric.  Like when you're sitting on an airplane accelerating down the runway, you always expect the power to fall off and shift, but it doesn't. it just keeps on pulling and pulling until you are going 500 mph 30,000 feet above the ground. 

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Thanks for the replies guys...I guess the 150 is out of the question now. Simply too much of a handicap. My main complaint about the YZ450F I have now is it's too dang easy to ride. I can just keep it in 4th and flat track any corner all day long. I need a little more excitement in my life! 

 

One more question: Obviously KTM's are generally more expensive off the lot and from private owners, due to their "ready to race technology." Would it be worth buying the YZ and using the extra money I would save to tune the bike to my liking? I don't mind having to set up a bike to suit me. The short gearing doesn't bother me too much...I'll just throw a tiny rear sprocket on the thing and let her rip. How would you guys compare suspension between the two bikes? I've heard a couple people complain about KTM's suspension.

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Thanks for the replies guys...I guess the 150 is out of the question now. Simply too much of a handicap. My main complaint about the YZ450F I have now is it's too dang easy to ride. I can just keep it in 4th and flat track any corner all day long. I need a little more excitement in my life! 

 

One more question: Obviously KTM's are generally more expensive off the lot and from private owners, due to their "ready to race technology." Would it be worth buying the YZ and using the extra money I would save to tune the bike to my liking? I don't mind having to set up a bike to suit me. The short gearing doesn't bother me too much...I'll just throw a tiny rear sprocket on the thing and let her rip. How would you guys compare suspension between the two bikes? I've heard a couple people complain about KTM's suspension.

Have you ridden a KTM? You might want to try one if you can.

I ride a YZ250 and find the KTMs weird. Had an 05 250 and rode my buddy's 13 300 for a good bit. The 05 did a lot of unpredicable stuff. My buddy's 300 with the linkage was better, but felt unbalanced, and I still find the ergos weird.

The one thing about my YZ that could be better is how quickly it tops out in the open desert. Or what I would call roads. It's outstanding in the tight stuff. And depending how fast you really want to hit the whoops, performs well there also. I don't tend to hold any bike WFO down a wide wash or road unless I'm in a race, but that is where my bike falls short. I wouldn't change anything like going to a WR trans though. If I want to be competitive on the stupid road sections, I'll get a 4 stroke. Or maybe a 300 if I thought I could get comfortable on a KTM.

If you want more excitement, you might like the YZ powerband better.

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Have you ridden a KTM? You might want to try one if you can.

I ride a YZ250 and find the KTMs weird. Had an 05 250 and rode my buddy's 13 300 for a good bit. The 05 did a lot of unpredicable stuff. My buddy's 300 with the linkage was better, but felt unbalanced, and I still find the ergos weird.

The one thing about my YZ that could be better is how quickly it tops out in the open desert. Or what I would call roads. It's outstanding in the tight stuff. And depending how fast you really want to hit the whoops, performs well there also. I don't tend to hold any bike WFO down a wide wash or road unless I'm in a race, but that is where my bike falls short. I wouldn't change anything like going to a WR trans though. If I want to be competitive on the stupid road sections, I'll get a 4 stroke. Or maybe a 300 if I thought I could get comfortable on a KTM.

If you want more excitement, you might like the YZ powerband better.

Ubu, I have not ridden the KTM's much. My buddy just bought a brand new 300xc and he let me put around on it but had some reservations about me tearing up the trails on his brand new $10,000 bike haha. He seems to love it but he has always had different preferences than me as far as bikes go. Therefore I haven't gotten a true feel of the bike in race conditions.

 

Why would you say your YZ falls short down a wash or open road? Is it because of the shorter gears? What rear sprocket do you have on there? I was thinking to go maybe 4 teeth down from OEM. I will probably revalve the suspension in any bike I choose to buy. Is your Yammy built up or are you running mostly stock? Would you recommend a steering stabilizer for fast whoops?

 

An exciting powerband is exactly what I'm looking for. My 450F is just too (dare I say) boring to ride. The KTM seems like it has a smoother powerband, but heck it has to be more enjoyable than my 450.

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Also, I was just thinking: If I were to go with the Yamaha, would installing a heavier flywheel work well with more of the open and sand riding or would I be wasting my time? Sorry for all the questions guys I am just doing as much research possible so I don't choose the wrong bike 🙂

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Also, I was just thinking: If I were to go with the Yamaha, would installing a heavier flywheel work well with more of the open and sand riding or would I be wasting my time? Sorry for all the questions guys I am just doing as much research possible so I don't choose the wrong bike 🙂

I don't think I would want a flywheel in sand. I like the power snappy so it can get on top of the sand quickly...

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I love both the ktm 150sx and xc. I've ridden KTM's entire 2t lineup and the yz250 a few times and I still have more fun on my 150sx than any other bike I've ridden. But thats just me and the 150sx or xc probably isn't the best choice for you due to your riding conditions. Out of the 250xc and the yz250 I've ridden, I liked the 250xc more. It was a combination of e-start and the fact that I already was familiar with the ergos. The e-start on the newer 250 2t's for KTM would probably sell me on it versus the yz. I'm lazy.

 

I didn't notice any massive flaws that would turn me away from either the yz or the 250xc. I thouroughly enjoyed riding both bikes and If I was looking for a 250 2t right now I'd go for whatever I got the deal on. Buy it, ride it, and have fun.

 

 

Edit: The other benefit to the KTM 250 2t is the ability for the wide ratio gearbox. I'm guessing the 250xc-w would be a great desert bike due to the taller 6th. Every xc-w vs xc thread I've found list the w as the winner for open desert riding. 

Edited by ryanmcc555
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Ubu, I have not ridden the KTM's much. My buddy just bought a brand new 300xc and he let me put around on it but had some reservations about me tearing up the trails on his brand new $10,000 bike haha. He seems to love it but he has always had different preferences than me as far as bikes go. Therefore I haven't gotten a true feel of the bike in race conditions.

 

Why would you say your YZ falls short down a wash or open road? Is it because of the shorter gears? What rear sprocket do you have on there? I was thinking to go maybe 4 teeth down from OEM. I will probably revalve the suspension in any bike I choose to buy. Is your Yammy built up or are you running mostly stock? Would you recommend a steering stabilizer for fast whoops?

 

An exciting powerband is exactly what I'm looking for. My 450F is just too (dare I say) boring to ride. The KTM seems like it has a smoother powerband, but heck it has to be more enjoyable than my 450.

That's funny. My buddy got his 300, wanted to show it off, and let me ride it right away. When we stopped I told him it felt weird and I kinda wanted my YZ back. I told him I could see myself on a 300, I felt pretty fast on it, but it would take some getting used to. He was coming off a WR250 and agreed. It's just a different bike. He won his last race on it, FWIW.

 

I wouldn't say my bike is built up, but it's not stock. Previous owner had cylinder ported for low mid. I had the forks revalved (it;s an 05 and they were really harsh especially in breaking bumps). Rekluse clutch.  I have a ZipTy tank, but question whether I really need it sometimes. I had a stabilizer from my KTM and mounted it. Can't say if I really need it, but the KTM did. I run a 48 tooth rear and stock front. I really like the setup, unless we're in a super fast wash or on a road. I like those close ratio, but would like a 6th gear at times. If I was faster through tight sections, I suppose I could drop a couple teeth in the rear or go to a 13 front. I also don't rev the piss out of my bikes. It will hang for a while if I pin it, but I just don't do that. 

 

Why do you you think your 03 YZ450 is boring? Everything I've heard says that year was one of the most aggressive 450s. I had 08 and it was pretty easy to ride, could still scare me when really opening it up. More of a "holy crap, I'm going way too fast!" than a nice hit from the YZ250.

Edited by ubu
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Edit: The other benefit to the KTM 250 2t is the ability for the wide ratio gearbox. I'm guessing the 250xc-w would be a great desert bike due to the taller 6th. Every xc-w vs xc thread I've found list the w as the winner for open desert riding. 

Most of the KTM fanatics I'm my club choose the XC for the linkage rear suspension. The fast experts just said screw it and got 450s

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Most of the KTM fanatics I'm my club choose the XC for the linkage rear suspension. The fast experts just said screw it and got 450s

yeah to me desert riding is big bore land. Two bikes come to mind for me. Ktm 500 or kx500. Two stroke or four stroke I want a 5 hunny in the desert. Sounds like mx might happen now and then so for that I might get a 450. Pick your color.
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That's funny. My buddy got his 300, wanted to show it off, and let me ride it right away. When we stopped I told him it felt weird and I kinda wanted my YZ back. I told him I could see myself on a 300, I felt pretty fast on it, but it would take some getting used to. He was coming off a WR250 and agreed. It's just a different bike. He won his last race on it, FWIW.

 

I wouldn't say my bike is built up, but it's not stock. Previous owner had cylinder ported for low mid. I had the forks revalved (it;s an 05 and they were really harsh especially in breaking bumps). Rekluse clutch.  I have a ZipTy tank, but question whether I really need it sometimes. I had a stabilizer from my KTM and mounted it. Can't say if I really need it, but the KTM did. I run a 48 tooth rear and stock front. I really like the setup, unless we're in a super fast wash or on a road. I like those close ratio, but would like a 6th gear at times. If I was faster through tight sections, I suppose I could drop a couple teeth in the rear or go to a 13 front. I also don't rev the piss out of my bikes. It will hang for a while if I pin it, but I just don't do that. 

 

Why do you you think your 03 YZ450 is boring? Everything I've heard says that year was one of the most aggressive 450s. I had 08 and it was pretty easy to ride, could still scare me when really opening it up. More of a "holy crap, I'm going way too fast!" than a nice hit from the YZ250.

  Yeah my buddy's 300 felt a little off..but with some time on the bike I'm sure I could get used to it. I am leaning towards the YZ actually...I know the 250xc would be a better choice as far as being able to ride the bike with little adjustments, but I think I ride enough MX and sand to warrant shorter gearing. It's interesting and relieving that you did not seem to notice any benefit of having the stabilizer on your Yammy, because I really didn't want to spend the money for one...

 

I wouldn't say my 03 YZ450F is "boring." On the track with stock gearing it is an absolute beast and a blast to ride, maybe a bit too much power. However, geared how it is for the desert (15:46), and the fact that it only has 4 gears makes it...let's say "too easy" to ride. 1st-3rd are decently short gears, but 4th is taller than I thought possible. I can do 20 mph to 85 without having to change gears...that's pretty much my only gripe with the bike (other than it being out-dated). 

 

I'm also looking to build the Yammy 250 to have some extra kick somewhat comparable to my 450F (which I understand will be a difficult task), but it is a college graduation present to myself and I believe I deserve to spend the money on it (as long as crippling student debt doesn't consume my life). Obviously the powerbands will be completely different, but maybe I can get the 2-stroke to a comparable power output.

 

This way I can ride the YZ on days I feel like putting in work and ripping, and ride the 450F on days I feel a little lazier 🙂

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I ride a 150SX, 250XC and a YZ250. As for the 250s, both great bikes in their own right. It's tough to beat the YZ's SSS suspension. If you're not racing MX I'd lean toward the 250XC.

YamaLink, you believe the YZ suspension is superior? Would you recommend simply adjusting it off the lot or revalving altogether? 

 

And please give me a taste of how much you love that 150sx...haha

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YamaLink, you believe the YZ suspension is superior? Would you recommend simply adjusting it off the lot or revalving altogether? 

 

And please give me a taste of how much you love that 150sx...haha

 

YZ SSS suspension is generally regarded as the best in the business.

 

From what I've read, If you ride fast whooped out trails and MX, so long as its sprung for you it should work ok. If you currently ride on stock suspension on your 450 even the SSS should be amaze-balls to you.

 

But I've never ridden a SSS Yamaha. But after riding one, my buddy was in awe and immediately wanted to sell his 09 CRF and buy a YZ.

 

KTM suspension isn't as good. I believe the rest of the bike is better though.

Edited by BushPig
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YZ SSS suspension is generally regarded as the best in the business.

 

From what I've read, If you ride fast whooped out trails and MX, so long as its sprung for you it should work ok. If you currently ride on stock suspension on your 450 even the SSS should be amaze-balls to you.

 

But I've never ridden a SSS Yamaha. But after riding one, my buddy was in awe and immediately wanted to sell his 09 CRF and buy a YZ.

 

KTM suspension isn't as good. I believe the rest of the bike is better though.

people always say ktm suspension isn't good. I disagree. I have now and for a long time ridden yamahas with SSS suspension. I also have a ktm right now and feel the suspension is every bit as good as my yz. Maybe it is because I have a Xc instead of the sx but that is just valving. Both of my current bikes have stock suspension and work great.
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