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KTM 300 vs 450?

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I currently ride a 2007 KX450f. 95% of my riding is woods with a small amount of play time on tracks.

 

I've been considering trying a KTM 300 (Probably XC).

 

Anyone gone from a 450 to a KTM 300? Or vice versa?

 

How do they compare power wise? With traction? Etc...

 

I've only been on the KX450f for a year, but I really like it. I love the torque and the predictable traction. I have the bike geared lower for woods and running a 13oz FWW. It works very well for me and my style of riding.

 

Just thought that if I ever go back to a 2 stroke I'd want a KTM 300.

 

Before the 450 I was on a KX250 for quite a few years. So, I am very familiar with the differences in feel between 2 stroke and 4 stroke.

 

 

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why consider a 300 Ktm when you already really like your kx450?

 

I just figure that if I feel pretty good on a 450mx bike in the woods, I might feel really good on a purpose built woods machine.

 

I'm not dead set on going to a 300. But, they sound like they are made for the type of riding that I do.

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What you'll find on a 300 (I ride Beta) is that they handle A LOT lighter and flame out a lot less easily.

Power delivery is a lot different too- they tractor along at extremely low speeds and scream at high speeds. In between, you can dial in a powerful hit or a soft one with powervalve adjustments. By contrast, a 4 stroke feels heavy, flat and linear.

 

The 300 isn't for everyone but the majority of experienced singletrack riders prefer them.

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I switched from an 07 KX 450 to an 09 300 XC. The main reason that I switched was because the group I ride with was transitioning away from riding mostly fast desert terrain and moving toward more technical single track. For faster whooped out desert and big straight hill climbs the KX was awesome. On technical single track with lots of rocks and ledges the KX was a beast and required lots of throttle and clutch control to conquer the nasty stuff. The 300 really shines in the nasty stuff because it has extremely controllable power delivery at low speeds and is very forgiving if you make mistakes. I liked my 09 300 so much that a couple years later I upgraded to a 12 300. I love the 300 in the tight nasty terrain and find I can conquer obstacles that would have scared the piss out of me on the KX. When we get in open terrain I miss the broad torque of the 450. Nothing eats up whooped desert better than a 450. The other benefits of the 300 are the lighter weight, and hoe easy it is to tune the power delivery characteristics (power valve springs, jetting, map switch, dolly setting). The down side of the 300 is that you have to ride it harder to ride it fast. It requires a lot more shifting and can get a little "busy" in the bumps where a 450 can be ridden lazy and still be pretty fast. My opinion is: if you ride a majority of slower technical terrain go with the 300, and if you spend more time on the track or in open terrain stick with the 450.

CoKTM

Edited by coktm
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What you'll find on a 300 (I ride Beta) is that they handle A LOT lighter and flame out a lot less easily.

Power delivery is a lot different too- they tractor along at extremely low speeds and scream at high speeds. In between, you can dial in a powerful hit or a soft one with powervalve adjustments. By contrast, a 4 stroke feels heavy, flat and linear.

 

The 300 isn't for everyone but the majority of experienced singletrack riders prefer them.

 

I totally agree with this assessment, but have a more 4-stroke oriented description:

 

What you'll find on a 300 is that they handle A LOT lighter and flame out a lot less easily.

Power delivery is a lot different too- they ping along (tractoring is a distinctly 4 stroke trait imo) at extremely low speeds, and feel gutless but just keep going then scream at high speeds or with just a stab of the clutch. In between, you can dial in just how long until it rips your arms out of its socks ;). By contrast, a 4 stroke feels heavy, flat and LINEAR. At the extremely low speeds 4 strokes feel like they need to keep going, surging forward or flaming out.

 

My 300 and the others I have ridden were great going super slow. After riding big bores and 450s for a long time I just couldn't adjust to the hit again. I severely missed the torque, and the "turn the throttle and go feeling you get with a 4 stroke." With the 300 (depending on how your PV is setup) when you are creeping along, turning the throttle might not do much of anything.  It also might rip the bike from your hands. On 2 strokes I am always using the clutch to GET power. On 4 strokes (450 and bigger) your using the clutch to reduce power (in the techinical stuff).

 

If you love 2 strokes, are always riding in stuff so hard you mostly just creep along, or just like riding agressively - then you will love a 300. For me, I didn't do enough real techinical stuff, and the surging power (hit) when just trying to cruise was annoying ( probaby could have tuned to a better place in the power range but idn't bother) so I went back to a 4 stroke.

Edited by basalt
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I like both of those bikes and I sometimes feel like riding a twostroke and other times a four stoke. I'd keep it and save for the 300.

Here's why.

Used 450s especially Kawis are too common to get a lot of $ for it.

You might start riding faster terrain and wish you had a 450 too instead of letting it go for 2000-2500

I've never ridden a 300 but everyone who has seems to like them.

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On my bike, dialing out the hit is as simple as the turn of a screw. I don't like an aggressive powerband for singletrack so I have the hit completely gone. I shouldn't say GONE but so high in the rev range that you have to reach for it. Pretty cool and very easy to ride.

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On my bike, dialing out the hit is as simple as the turn of a screw. I don't like an aggressive powerband for singletrack so I have the hit completely gone. I shouldn't say GONE but so high in the rev range that you have to reach for it. Pretty cool and very easy to ride.

 

I rode a friend's 300 who had done that, and to me it just felt gutless. It just felt like you weren't really going anywhere. I'm sure it is great for the nasty stuff and traction, but everything we were doing that day it was boring. I tried the Red spring,  adjuster all the way out, just before I sold mine but that was the wrong direction.

 

That is what I like about 4 strokes. I can adjust the hit all day long! I just twist the throttle  :D

 

(I am also not a fan of 4-strokes with big mid-top end hits as you could imagine).

Edited by basalt

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I rode a friend's 300 who had done that, and to me it just felt gutless. It just felt like you weren't really going anywhere. I'm sure it is great for the nasty stuff and traction, but everything we were doing that day it was boring. I tried the Red spring, adjuster all the way out, just before I sold mine but that was the wrong direction.

That is what I like about 4 strokes. I can adjust the hit all day long! I just twist the throttle :D

(I am also not a fan of 4-strokes with big mid-top end hits as you could imagine).

Trust me, mine is anything but boring, it'll easily stand up just off idle. It's very much like a 450 you can't stall and with snappier throttle response. It's predictable, linear and very strong.

Of course, I have been through about 12 jetting combinations in the last two months and it's incredibly crisp. On top it can even be hard to find traction, just lights up the tire. That's what I'm trying to say I guess, it does the job of many engines.

I am a big 4 stroke fan too and still love my woods-modded CRF250R and 450R. They have a different attitude and I can be a little less careful with the throttle on them. Basically more fun when the trails open up and I can switch to MX style and slide the bike. The 300 wants to drive forward rather than be hucked off stuff, balance is more rear-oriented.

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While not a 450, I have ridden two 300's xc and xcw. Both have lots of bottom compared to the 350, but are done quickly, no rev. I felt like I was shifting a lot to keep it on the boil. A little lighter, but not 125 light. If I was to go back to a 2-at I would be on a 300.

The 350 is soft off the bottom in comparison, but pulls forever. Both bikes are close in overall power with the 300 slightly faster. If you could put the 350 top end on the 300 bottom end, that would be the best.

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So ive read some many of these threads, and always thought to myself, how hard can it be... I now find myself in the same situation, have a 08 RMZ450 EFI, which i love... But over the last few years my riding style has changed to the slower, more technical rock/log combination. I love the power delivery of the 450 and have been wondering if the 2014 KTM 300 XCW would be the same... And living in South Africa, the cost of owning a 2T is a lot cheaper than a 4T... So thats also a contributing factor... What would the thoughts of the 300 riders be? worth getting for the slower to mid speeds along rocks, trees and riverbeds?? 

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So ive read some many of these threads, and always thought to myself, how hard can it be... I now find myself in the same situation, have a 08 RMZ450 EFI, which i love... But over the last few years my riding style has changed to the slower, more technical rock/log combination. I love the power delivery of the 450 and have been wondering if the 2014 KTM 300 XCW would be the same... And living in South Africa, the cost of owning a 2T is a lot cheaper than a 4T... So thats also a contributing factor... What would the thoughts of the 300 riders be? worth getting for the slower to mid speeds along rocks, trees and riverbeds??

If you spend more time in the bottom 3 gears than the top 3 (2 on your RMZ)' you will be happy with the 300. I love my 300 and the riding I do is slow and technical (normally 1st, 2nd, and 3rd). If I was still riding fast terrain I would still be on a 450.

CoKTM

Edited by coktm
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If you spend more time in the bottom 3 gears than the top 3 (2 on your RMZ)' you will be happy with the 300. I love my 300 and the riding I do is slow and technical (normally 1st, 2nd, and 3rd). If I was still riding fast terrain I would still be on a 450.

CoKTM

Agreed... 

 

I was initially going to sell the RMZ, but decided to keep it... Rode the KTM 300 and loved it... Think it will suit my riding needs just perfectly... Cant wait to ride...  :ride:

 

Thanks for your input, appreciate it...  :thumbsup:

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If you spend more time in the bottom 3 gears than the top 3 (2 on your RMZ)' you will be happy with the 300. I love my 300 and the riding I do is slow and technical (normally 1st, 2nd, and 3rd). If I was still riding fast terrain I would still be on a 450.

CoKTM

So, the 300, it rocks... Done 2 rides on it and already love it... Forgotten that i own a 450... 

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So, the 300, it rocks... Done 2 rides on it and already love it... Forgotten that i own a 450... 

This is exactly what happened to me last year. I LOVED my 450 but hated it in the super tight singletrack, and I hated picking the heavy thing up even more. I bought my 300 with intentions of switching back and forth between it and my yz450f. Needless to say, 2 months later I hadnt even been back on the yz and I ultimately ended up selling it last month. If the 300 is set up properly, it will do everything a 450 will do and more. I find it lighter, more flickable, better suspension, harder hitting, and just overall easier to ride fast in the woods. The guys I ride with said they could tell that I was faster on the 300 my first day out on it. Now I blow their doors off in the tight stuff and slowly they're all selling their 250s/450s and switching to the dark side (a 300). 

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I'm currently on a xr650r and thinking about picking up a ktm300 with the possible idea of maybe putting a recluse clutch kit in it. Thoughts on a recluse set up on the 300? I just wish it was plateable.

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I'm currently on a xr650r and thinking about picking up a ktm300 with the possible idea of maybe putting a recluse clutch kit in it. Thoughts on a recluse set up on the 300? I just wish it was plateable.

I would most certainly want a Rekluse on a 650R but it's really not of as much value on a 300. They are so hard to stall and they hook up traction so well that they are like cheating already. I think a Rekluse would take some of the fun out of a 300. It would be ridiculously easy to ride though.

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Hadn't really thought much about putting one one my 650.. Till now

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If you like the Kawi 450 already just drop a few bucks on making it good in the woods. Suspension, guards, tank e/t/c...

 

I love my KTM, but don't drink the coolaid just because everyone else is doing it...

 

Pretty sure the guy who pulled the holeshot at Erzberg was on a KX450...

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