Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Need some advice from more experince dirt riders

Recommended Posts

Hello, first time posting here.

I am looking for some guidance from the more experience dirt riders about the following;

I got hitched pretty hard with "enduro" after 34 years of street bike riding.  I have owned suzuki's, yamaha's, bmw's and now a KTM ADV. All big bikes (1,000cc plus). Now, I went to a KTM dealer (where I bought the "street" KTM) and got a 2014 KTM 450 XC-F (it was a closed-out deal and got a nice discount).  I did not think too much about the cc's because, as I told you before, I'm used to big cc's.  Well, I went to my first two enduro competitions (yes, I am that entusiastic about it) and boom! first lesson: my skills as street biker ARE NOT transferable to dirt biking (that's ok, I have the motivation to learn)...second lesson: that bike I got it's simply TOO POWERFUL and it is not, to my humble and inexperience opinion, an "enduro" bike.  I put everything on it to try to control such "crazy horse": flywheel weight (helped a lot), rekluse, and other aftermarket parts, but it's still is kind of too much!!!  I know, it's the rider...not the bike what counts! but I am now wondering to what extent keep on riding/competing (even though I do it for pure fun...but in any case I want to be "competive") may make my learning process even more difficult.  Lastly, this past week-end competition my bike start having overheating problems in the more technical/difficult trails, very common to 4-strokes.  

Results, in both competitions I have been DNF because I just couldn't finish...the bike demands so much from me (phisically, as it is heavy) that I was simply too tire to control it then I started falling to the ground over and over again.

I am renconsidering my decision to keep riding enduro with the KTM and thinking about changing to a lighter bike (250 2 strokes perhaps?).

I would be very greatful for you views/comments .

Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

250-300 bikes are so much more manueverable.  I think you are on the right track.  2t or 4t, a lot of it is preference, but more modern 2t isn't as "pipey" as the old ones, a lot more civilized.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You fell into the common trap that a lot of beginning adult dirt riders experience- that of too much bike for skill level.

The best bike to buy as a beginner is too wimpy. You can learn skills without being overwhelmed by power.

The XC line ARE a proper enduro bikes-open class ones. Trade your 450 for a 250 and you'll be a lot happier and better able to learn the basics. You can take a look at the 250 XCF-W if you want a four stroke bike that is more woods-oriented.

Edited by sandlvr69
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like you need a 2T. Check out the 300s. The xcw suspension is very soft and you might want to look at the xc. The 300 is light, powerful, tons of torque and won't overheat. For your type of riding/racing, a 2T sounds like a perfect fit. :thumbsup:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To race, you have to be physically fit. You have to be skilled enough to ride the bike and not fight it.

While the bike you have is a lot to man-handle and is a common mistake people make because they are convinced (I am a big guy and NEED a big engine) it is a bike that should be doing the work and not you. Finesse

Do you have a physical training routine?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your comments.

Some thoughts/answers:

1) Yes, I did a mistake buying a bike that is not what I needed. Lesson learned the hard way! 

2) I have an inclination for the 2-strokes, though I have not ruled out the 4-strokes.  Need to think about it a bit more.

3) I'm 48 years old.  Although not on the top of my shape, I keep myself reasonably healthy: no smoking, eating good (or try to) and exercising (not as mouch as I would like to due to work/kids etc.)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your comments.

Some thoughts/answers:

1) Yes, I did a mistake buying a bike that is not what I needed. Lesson learned the hard way! 

2) I have an inclination for the 2-strokes, though I have not ruled out the 4-strokes.  Need to think about it a bit more.

3) I'm 48 years old.  Although not on the top of my shape, I keep myself reasonably healthy: no smoking, eating good (or try to) and exercising (not as mouch as I would like to due to work/kids etc.)

Well..... have you ridden 2 strokes before?  They are a totally different beast from a 4 stroke.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well..... have you ridden 2 strokes before?  They are a totally different beast from a 4 stroke.

Yes, a long time ago when I started riding (had a lot of fun by the way!).  To be more precise I have not ridden a "modern" 2-strokes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would look for someone who is ready to move up to a 450 and has a 250 that you like. Its cheaper to trade "down than up" find a bike that has been taken care of and trade, Since yours is new you could probrably get the bike and some cash for the trade.

There are a lot of riders you will find that may like the offer and may just be the solution to both riders. :ride:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I say, since you already bought the bike new..... there is no need to sell it and lose money on the thing.  Keep it and just work on riding with it, seems like you just started out so don't be discouraged yet.  With enough time on the bike you will soon learn how to manage the beast and capture that checkered flag.  

 

So my advice is to be patient.

Edited by Cute2strokeBoy
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I say, since you already bought the bike new..... there is no need to sell it and lose money on the thing.  Keep it and just work on riding with it, seems like you just started out so don't be discouraged yet.  With enough time on the bike you will soon learn how to manage the beast and capture that checkered flag.  

 

So my advice is to be patient.

That's a good point and the "money issue" is also of consideration.  But just to expand a bit more on my thinking about 2-strokes: when I go enduro (practice or competition), the notoriously majority of top or very good  riders (Pro, AA or A Classes) ride 2-strokes, or at least that's what it seems to me.  It's kind of "when in Rome, do as Romans do".

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You do not start dirt bike riding and 'go pro'. Comparing yourself to Pro, AA or A riders is a huge mistake.

If you bought a bicycle, would you do the Tour of France? Of course not.

 

Ride your bike, with the goal on control and not trying to keep up. Trust me, it is not not the bike giving you a hard time.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a good point and the "money issue" is also of consideration. But just to expand a bit more on my thinking about 2-strokes: when I go enduro (practice or competition), the notoriously majority of top or very good riders (Pro, AA or A Classes) ride 2-strokes, or at least that's what it seems to me. It's kind of "when in Rome, do as Romans do".

Keep in mind that this advice came from the worst troll that ThumperTalk has seen in years. New username, same guy.

Not that it doesn't sound reasonable but trying to grow into the wrong bike could easily land you in the hospital with a life changing injury. Saw it happen just two months ago, a friend who had no business being on a 450 accidentally grabbed a handful of throttle and shattered his wrist on the landing. Your smartest move is to start over with the right tool for the job.

While it's true that many enduro riders prefer a two stroke, there are many who succeed on a 4 stroke. It's 99.9% rider.

If you chose to go with a nice two stroke, the 250/300 class is just like the 450 class in a four stroke bike. Meaning, not for beginners. KTM makes the 200XC and 200XC-W two strokes that are a lot more forgiving although just as competitive in the right hands.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I ride a 270 lb 450 and it feels nimble to me, but I have 700 hours on it.  I think you just need to put in some serious seat time before racing it.  That KTM 450 sounds like fun except the overheating. You probably need the fan kit.

Mine overheated until I got oversized radiators and a boysen water pump. I prefer lower gears to an autoclutch and learn good clutch technique. Autoclutches run hot when you run higher gearing and let it slip. 

 

That said, I have a 48 year old friend that rides the KTM 200XC 2T, and he is way faster than me because the thing weighs like 205 lbs. He competes in district 17 hare scrambles B class and is always top 3 or 4..

 

I hope you keep it, but good luck whichever way you go.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some good point on here but you should not be starting on a 450. Another thing you will have more energy once you quit falling over and picking bike back up. I speak from experience, drains me every time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would suggests working on cooling the bike. Then potentially getting a slower throttle tube. Find some guys to ride easier trails and build your confidence. If you do switch bikes then a KTM 200 or BETA 250 would both be excellent choices. No overheating, very usable power etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My vote is a KTM 150xc, they don't beat you up at all. At 51 dam near every old guy I race with wants one or has one.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My vote is a KTM 150xc, they don't beat you up at all. At 51 dam near every old guy I race with wants one or has one.

I was going to say this too.

The 150 is fun, light, fast bike.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jorge, did you also put a map switch on the bike and try the soft map?  That should help too.  But in the end, the 450XC is a pretty harry bike that was designed for more open racing like GNCCs and desert.  In tighter single track where you're in 1st and 2nd, it's a bit unruley for the average guy.  The 450XCW is much easier to ride in tighter enduro terrain.  A buddy recently ought a 450XC after years on 450XCWs and sold it after 3 rides and went back to his 450XCW.  Any of the XCWs from 250-450 will be more enjoyable and easier to learn on (but not so for the 500, the extra 60ccs do make a difference).  If you go 2 -stroke, any of the XCWs will work too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×