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Husqvarna TE 125 vs KTM 200 XCW

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So, after a bit of a hiatus, I want to get back into riding. I had my first ride this past fall for the first time since 2012, and had a blast... but I'm done trying to make my CR250R work for me. I'm too slow, and it's hindered my learning for too long.  I like the rush that comes with the CR, but it's too much of everything.  For the rare times when the trail is smooth and open, it's fun to open it up.  But when it's tight and gnarly and I have to get going up a rocky hill from a stop, I'm not enjoying myself.  

 

So, I've decided to get a small bore 2 stroke enduro. I've got it narrowed down to the Husqvarna TE 125 and KTM 200 XCW. I was looking at used, but I've found new examples for both.

 

Me: 35, 5'9", ~170 lbs, had the CR since 2007, no other bikes in my adult life. Still in the novice stage, but feel with the right bike I could advance quickly. I want to be able to play with enduro/cross-training type obstacles. 

 

Where I ride: foothills for the Rocky Mountains.  Think: hills, trees, tight singletrack, clay on some slopes, loose rock on others, mud at the bottom of the hills.  The spring is soggy, and the summer is hard and dry.  No sand, no loam, but lots of water and mud holes in the lowlands and quad trails.  The singletrack is really nice, but punishing to heavy bikes.  Lots of small rocks everywhere.

 

The bikes: I see as a skill builder. I need to learn the clutch. I want something out of the box that'll work for me for the first couple years.

 

Husqvarna TE 125: $1000 cheaper for a new model, has a linkage (good and bad), lower power (means more skill building?), can be made into a 150 or 200 later down the road

KTM 200 XCW: More availability, E-start on newer models (meh, not a big deal), no linkage (good and bad), more torque/power, better resale

 

I know the small bore bikes will be challenging at times. I've ridden a few 200's, and felt OK with them (though the power hit felt soft, but that can be changed by PV adjustment). Will I be hating life on the TE, or will I like the scaled down hit?

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The 200 would be a better option for the type of riding you do. The places where you would open up your CR is where the 125 would be nicer. The 125 will have a similar power curve to your CR250 just much less and much more manageable power. The 200 will have a lot more torque down low but sign off sooner. The 200 is perfect for tight technical trails and much better than the 125 at climbs, clay and anything with less than ideal traction. The 125 is better suited for motocross and has a racier power band and the 200 is the ultimate enduro machine. This is why they don't make a 200 mx machine and why husqvarna is teh only brand to make a 125 trail machine. Teh extra torque of the 200 will make it feel just as light if not lighter than the 125. And on the models with electric start you can easily remove it if you want to shave off some weight and don't need it. Now linkage is 5 pounds heavier and gets in the way in any rocky technical situations (as it gets in the way when putting your bike on a stand). It also has tons of bearings that need to be constantly messed with and PDS is much lower maintenance. PDS has more travel but also a 1 inch taller seat height. The advantage of linkage is the adjustability (with longer/shorter links) and on whoops it's not as likely to want to slap down. But do you hit whoops very often in the riding you do? Also noteworthy that all 2017 ktm xcw's and husqvarna te's and fe's will be all new (see the MY 2016 updates for the mx modelrange to see all the updates) if you are looking into brand new. My recommendation is the 200 but it's your ultimate choice

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The KTM 200. Any 125's are way too peppy for woods riding. The 200 won't do too bad on tracks either, maybe some suspension tuning here and there but that is about all that you would need to do.

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Thanks for the replies. I was looking at new 2015 model years for both the husky and the ktm, so they are a bit discounted. I don't need the newest and greatest bikes, and was thinking about getting a used bike before I found these two bikes.

So it seems like the 125 is out. I was hoping someone would chime in and say that they are not as bad.... But that's not the case. I guess now I have to decide on new vs used for the 200

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Beta Xtrainer...  

 

Don't confuse small engine with easy to ride.  I tried to make a 125 MX bike work in the woods and it was TOUGH.  That bike would go from 6 horsepower to 35 horsepower in the blink of an eye.  Trying to climb slow technical hills was terrible.  It was bog, bog, stall, stall, bog, firebreathing dragon trying to kill me.

 

That's why I think the Beta Xtrainer is such a brilliant bike.  It's a 300 two-stroke that's been made REALLY mild.  So it has plenty of low end grunt to tractor around with, but the power is very linear and mild.  Also the bike has a lower seat height than most full sized bikes which will certainly help building confidence on tough climbs and obstacles.   But the bike is still plenty good to go out and win any enduro race.

 

Watch some of the youtube videos on it.  I can't imagine any other bike that would speed up someone's learning curve faster.  I wish I had bought one.

Edited by Doc_d

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Beta Xtrainer...  

 

Don't confuse small engine with easy to ride.  I tried to make a 125 MX bike work in the woods and it was TOUGH.  That bike would go from 6 horsepower to 35 horsepower in the blink of an eye.  Trying to climb slow technical hills was terrible.  It was bog, bog, stall, stall, bog, firebreathing dragon trying to kill me.

 

That's why I think the Beta Xtrainer is such a brilliant bike.  It's a 300 two-stroke that's been made REALLY mild.  So it has plenty of low end grunt to tractor around with, but the power is very linear and mild.  Also the bike has a lower seat height than most full sized bikes which will certainly help building confidence on tough climbs and obstacles.   But the bike is still plenty good to go out and win any enduro race.

 

Watch some of the youtube videos on it.  I can't imagine any other bike that would speed up someone's learning curve faster.  I wish I had bought one.

 

I had considered both the X-trainer and the freeride, but both are near impossible to get (order one months in advance) and both are being sold near or over the 10 grand range in my local market.  So while I would love an X-trainer, it's out of my price range.

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Vote for 200 because you said riding hills in the rockys. If you don't want e start 08-12 best 200 value IHO.  Fwiw the TE125 is tuned . trail bike, smaller carb,heavier fw, mellower ignition, than say a 125sx or yz or kx etc...  Susp really set up nice too for woods.

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I put a deposit down for a leftover 2015 ktm 200 tonight 🙂

Thanks for the help

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