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Tough Choices KTM 200 XC-W VS 250 XC-W

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This seems like an odd thread to me... but I'll throw in my 2 cents since I'm also in CO and have (or have had) a 200, 250 and 300.  I'm not 6 ft tall though  ;)

 

Oddity #1 - It seems strange that you could have a 250 but not a 300.  I would almost say a 300 would be easier to ride... right out of the box... than a 250.

Oddity #2 - You are 13 and looking for the bike you "might" get when you turn 15 when you "might" be larger in stature.  Okie dokie then...

 

I ride at the elevations you mention and currently ride a 300 and a 200.  I also had a 250 for a while.  They will ALL do whatever it is you need them to do up here... even over 12k feet.  My 200 still had power to spare above tree line.  Was it AS powerful as the 250 or 300?  No... but it got me where I was going without a hitch.  And yes you have to climb some pretty freakin big hills to get that high in CO (no pun intended :) ).

 

Jetted properly you can't go wrong with any of them.  The 300 is the easiest to ride at altitude though... IMHO.  Next I like the 200 for alpine single track.  And... There's a reason I don't have the 250 any more.  Basically I just liked the 300 and 200 better for my style of riding.  FWIW.    :prof:

 

Good luck!   :thumbsup:

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Clearly it's individual preference. I've ridden all three extensively at high altitudes, in the sierras and in the idaho mountains.

 

I loved my 300 (put 15,000 or so hard miles on it), but most people find them to be finickier with jetting and easier to overheat, and they vibrate more, and at 170 lbs, I'm not really fat enough to need a 300 even at altitude.

 

I loved my 200 (i just sold it with 14,000 mostly singletrack miles on the clock), especially for the light weight in extreme technical terrain. The main drawback was when carrying a chainsaw in extreme terrain it would sometimes be a handful getting up something steep and technical.

 

For me the 250 is the perfect mix. it's got plenty of power, pulls from right off idle, handles the saw just fine, doesn't vibrate, and really has no downside.

 

FWIW, mrs llama (who has won national-level races, ridden 5MOH, and is otherwise a pretty decent rider) also prefers the 250 as easiest to ride and most versatile bike.

 

But we don't really do ANY 'hillclimbing', whatever that is. We strictly ride technical mountain singletrack as fast as we can safely ride.

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200 man. A 150 even. I will never understand why some people think more displacement is better. The only reason I can think of to go higher is if you are literally climbing mountains or ride in very high elevations (this reduces compression/ HP). In low elevations you can get away with low displacement machines. This teaches you how to ride and not just relying on torque/ power of the bike.

I had a 200, bought new in '06, my first KTM, kept until last year. Loved that bike most of the time.

That said, there are situations where I got caught off-guard in the thick woods, not knowing a particularly steep/gnarly climb was right around the corner.

 

My 200 almost pulled me up, but not quite, I was a gear too tall, in 3rd instead of 2nd, eventually stalled out - too low of RPM and no way I could downshift. And I'm a relative lightweight - 155 lbs.

My 300 on the other hand, WILL NOT stall out in that situation.:-)

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I had a 200, bought new in '06, my first KTM, kept until last year. Loved that bike most of the time.

That said, there are situations where I got caught off-guard in the thick woods, not knowing a particularly steep/gnarly climb was right around the corner.

 

My 200 almost pulled me up, but not quite, I was a gear too tall, in 3rd instead of 2nd, eventually stalled out - too low of RPM and no way I could downshift. And I'm a relative lightweight - 155 lbs.

My 300 on the other hand, WILL NOT stall out in that situation.:-)

No offense man but extra power in that situation is only a crutch to cover your mistake. :cripple:

Edited by LARGEUHNST
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No offense man but extra power in that situation is only a crutch to cover your mistake. :cripple:

Yup, I wouldn't down shift in that situation because you'd lose a bit of momentum making the down shift.

Clutch that sumbeech and open the throttle, you'll go over the top of that hill spraying roost six ways from Sunday if you want to and have the skills.

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I would say go with the 200. I'm 16, 6ft 3" and the 200 is a great machine. In 8 months of having a 200, I have far better clutch control than I otherwise would've, and it has made me a much better rider. Sadly my 200 was stolen last weekend, but I guess that shows how good they are (in a twisted kinda way). Once you've learnt to ride it, hill climbs aren't an issue, the clutch control you will learn from a 200 will benefit you the most. Sure some will say there is no replacement for displacement, but those are generally people who never learnt clutch control. Good luck with either bike anyway

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Yup, I wouldn't down shift in that situation because you'd lose a bit of momentum making the down shift.

Clutch that sumbeech and open the throttle, you'll go over the top of that hill spraying roost six ways from Sunday if you want to and have the skills.

Interesting point on the momentum. I also realized that opening up the throttle when she feels like she is bogging still brings on more power. Clutch that sumbeech (braaap) :banana: ! LOL Nice.

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300's do nice on all the rocky ATV/Jeep trails we have here in CO.  You loose so much power at altitude.... after riding my 300 stock, I did a bunch of stuff to make it run better at 10Kft.  Now I'm much happier with it.  Just twist the throttle to get the front wheel up.  So much of my local trails here are relatively straight, rocky climbs.  Having the torque to loft the front wheel at will is key.  Same with logs and rocks.  I don't have to mess with the clutch, just preload the suspension and give it some gas.  Clear that nasty section on the rear wheel.  Creek crossing, big puddle... torque that wheel up.

 

Plenty of open stuff where I'm WOT on the pipe, so it's not like you can't use all the power.

 

I still clutch out of corners or when I'm off the pipe and want speed NOW.

 

I will admit though, that it does make for an exhausting ride.  All the bursts of WOT are so much fun, but probably make me slower over the course of a three hour ride.  All that power is not useable on tight single track, but the torque is nice for logs.

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I vote 200 too, even if he is 6'1", he'll still probably weigh only about 140.  That is what my 6'1" 15 yo weighs.  Also the lighter weight will make up for loss of low end, plus it will teach all the stuff us old guys riding 250s and 300s already know!   :)  I'm 6'6" and 225 and ride a 250 XC-W.  I prefer the better top end over the 300 low end torque.  Maybe when I'm older yet?   :lol:

Edited by PeteN

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I would throw the free ride 250 into the conversation. Killer on single track and technical, mountainous terrain. Hill climb is relative, WOT hold on for life hill climb or gnarly, steep rocky single track hill climb would be the main thing as to whether the Freeride would fit. From someone that has a 2015 xcw,a 350 xcw and 250 Freeride that is now his favorite bike.

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Do you own one?

They are not well made (Vibration cracks in Radiators, crappy brakes, crappy rear shock) and so on. It's a marketing hype. Any other KTM will do better. Here in Europe they are around a bit longer than in the states and I can see no reason to buy one.

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Do you own one?

They are not well made (Vibration cracks in Radiators, crappy brakes, crappy rear shock) and so on. It's a marketing hype. Any other KTM will do better. Here in Europe they are around a bit longer than in the states and I can see no reason to buy one.

No, and the person referenced has a 2015 which I read somewhere that some of the problem areas were being addressed, but they haven't really had it that long so who knows.

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I own and ride both a 200 and a 250 and I can say that both bikes up in rm range are about the same however climbing rocky hills and technical trails when lower rpm's are the norm, the 300 is king and the 250 is close behind but the 200 is for me a little too much like the 150, (all or nothing) and I'm 6'2 225lbs, go with the 250 you won't be disappointed

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No, and the person referenced has a 2015 which I read somewhere that some of the problem areas were being addressed, but they haven't really had it that long so who knows.

Sorry i read my post again, and i felt it sounds a bit harsh. Reason is, i get upset about that people with little knowledge or beginners get lured into buying a Freeride and they spend an awful lot of money on it. What they get is simply not worth it. 

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I too think this is an odd thread but I'll throw my $.02 in. I think the logical choice is a 200, but a 250 isn't a bad hop either...depending how big said kid is right now. I rode my 200 yesterday and that bike constantly amazes me. My impression is that it best represents a mini 300 until the upper-mid range. Then it just becomes a pumped up tiddler after that. I bought a 200 the beginning of this year to teach me some things and it's been the smartest bike purchase I've made. But honestly is beyond me how some of you robust fellas can ride one. I'm not much of s hillclimber....and by that I mean I don't go looking for the biggest, baddest hills I can find. But on that same token I have yet to find a hill I can't do on my 200 yet. And I've done some pretty good ones. The only difference is my right hand never lets off and there's no margin of error. Those freeride bikes are worthless, and giving a teenager with minimal big bike experience a 300 is about as smart as the people who gave Obama a second term. They're nice and mellow until you get a good whisky throttle.

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...and giving a teenager with minimal big bike experience a 300 is about as smart as the people who gave Obama a second term. They're nice and mellow until you get a good whisky throttle.

 

Not to be argumentative, but my 2c.

 

I had zero motorcycle experience before I bought my 300 back in 2012.  At altitude I don't think they're that bad.  I learned to ride with mine stock (yellow PV spring at +10Kft), but at lower elevation you could put in the green PV spring and gear it up a little maybe.  I'm 6'1" and ~160-170 geared up.

 

After 100 hours I called Slavens racing looking for more power.... FWIW he referred to my stock 300 (at CO altitude) at a "gutless wonder". :D

 

My wife has a 105xc and IMO it's way trickier to ride than my 300 xc-w (when it was stock), since you HAVE to ride it on the pipe at all times.  Shes had a few bad crashes due to whiskey throttle. :doh:   If she fitted on a 200 I'd put her on one for the torque...  but she's been demoted back to her Honda 150rb until she quits the whiskey. :busted:

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My wife has a 105xc and IMO it's way trickier to ride than my 300 xc-w (when it was stock), since you HAVE to ride it on the pipe at all times.  Shes had a few bad crashes due to whiskey throttle. :doh:   If she fitted on a 200 I'd put her on one for the torque...  but she's been demoted back to her Honda 150rb until she quits the whiskey. :busted:

 

Stop  being a jackaszz to your wife. get her a real bike and get it lowered. My wife is only 5'3" and she found the 100cc minibikes to be MUCH more difficult and dangerous to ride than 250 2stroke. Riding that kx100 a few times is probably why she hates 200's as well. not enough torque, and too much hit, but the 250 is just right.

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You're right, altitude will take a little wind out of a bike's sails. Just out of curiosity, why didn't you try the red spring first before getting the head milled? Not that I knock your choice at all....both my 300 motors have a milled head. As far as a tiddler being harder to ride than a 300....I couldn't agree more. Unless I'm in super tight single track, polishing Pistons in deep sand, or riding long, steep(ish) rocky/technical uphills...I'm every bit as fast on my 200 then I am on my 250 or 300. Don't get me wrong, A 200 has great bottom end for a small bore...but for me it's just enough bottom end to hold me over till I get the opportunity to put it back on the pipe. That's really how you have to ride a 200 to go fast. Whereas I don't even have to be on the pipe to go fast on a 300 regardless of the terrain...and my 250 splits the difference between them. In hindsight, I should have bought my 200 2 years ago. But I got one now and it's awesome.

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Stop  being a jackaszz to your wife. get her a real bike and get it lowered. My wife is only 5'3" and she found the 100cc minibikes to be MUCH more difficult and dangerous to ride than 250 2stroke. Riding that kx100 a few times is probably why she hates 200's as well. not enough torque, and too much hit, but the 250 is just right.

 

At 5 foot nothing, she's to short, for a full sized bike... even a lowered one with a shaved seat.  Maybe once she's mastered riding, she'll be confident enough to handle a 200+ lb bike that she can't reach the ground on.  But she wants NOTHING to do a full sized bike for now.

 

She's so short, we had to lower her Honda150rb!  She wants to lower the 105xc as well, but after her last crash, I don't know if I trust her on that bike.  She LOVES it though.  150lbs, no engine braking and she can kick it easily herself.

 

But that last whiskey throttle had her flying 30ft through the air (off the trail).  She landed it, bounced back in the air, landed and ran into a bush, which pulled her off the bike.  Tore her MCL, but she could have killed herself (lucky it was in the desert).... I wasn't there and didn't see it, but I was VERY pi$$ed at her for riding over her head.  There is almost nowhere we usually ride that you can go 30+ feet off the trail and not hit a tree.

 

We've been through four bikes now, trying to find something suitable (she started on a TTR125).  I like the idea of the service honda  250 4t in the 150rb chassis, but she loves that 105...  we'll see how things pan out when she heals up.

Edited by Colorado^

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