250 or 350

I grew up on quads and the occasional dirt bike in the Midwest, and now I'm thinking about picking up the sport again. I'm in my mid 30's, 6'3", and about 240lbs. Haven't been on a quad or bike in about 10 years. Have been considering a 250 4 stroke, but keep leaning towards a 350 (like the KTM XCF-W). I live in SoCal, so most riding would be desert, high desert, and trails. Regardless of which one i get, I will have months and months to work on handling the bike, getting used to riding. I Just feel that going with the 350, might help me to grow into the bike a little bit more, and I see it is something I can hold onto for years to come.

Let me also say, but I will have a lot of learning to do. I'm used to mainly quads in the Midwest, and here I'll be on a bike in Southern California. This is not something I plan on just ripping right out of the box, but really taking my time to learn it. Given that I am closer to 40, but I am 230, and then I'm a kind of a toll and heavy dude, do you think that a 350 would be the way to go?

Yes, 350 all the way!

If you have any dirt bike experience at all go with the 350. I rode a 125 two stroke as a teen and just re-entered the sport last year after 25+ years off the bike (although I had street bikes during that time). The 350 is super easy to ride but has plenty of power to keep you interested.

You have to choose between the XC-F and the XCF-W. They are completely different motors in 2016. The XCF-W is quoted as 45+ horsepower. It's super linear with very little hit. It has a heavier flywheel and is more stall resistant when chugging at low RPM. The suspension is very soft which is great for soaking up root and rocks on the trail. The suspension has no linkage which is great for dragging the skid plate over logs, etc. the XCF-W has a few other trail friendly features like a fan to keep in cool in the slow technical stuff and a headlight for when you get caught out late. It has bothe electric start and a kick starter.

The XC-F has an all new motor this year which is 58+ horsepower. It makes more power then a Honda 450. But it's more mid-range and top end power compared to the XCF-W. It'll rip more like a motocross bike but won't be as happy tractoring through the slow gnar. The suspension is stiffer and leans more towards MX suspension which is great if you do a mix of trails and track. For some unknown reason KTM decided to delete the kick starter. That's a deal breaker for me since I ride solo and in remote areas.

If you ride trails (or race enduro) exclusively I'd get the XCF-W. If you are doing a mix of trails and track I'd get the XC-F. I own an XCF-W.


Edited by Doc_d

350 is the best got dang bike you can buy. 

I don't think the 350 is making 58+ HP when a 2016 sxf 450 only made about 55-56

I don't think the 350 is making 58+ HP when a 2016 sxf 450 only made about 55-56

Right on KTM's website for the 350 XC-F they claim "The peak performance is now at 58 horsepower". They don't specify crank vs rear wheel, so I'm guessing it's crank.

They tested the 350 sxf in the 450 shootout and it made 51.62 horsepower at the wheel on their dyno.


Edited by Doc_d

Thank you for all of the feedback. Though it has been years since I have been on a bike, I think I will follow my gut and go with the 350. I have a few projects I need to finish, then I think I'll make the purchase. My son turns 4 this summer, and I think that's when I will buy my bike. I want to have about a year to get to know it then I'm going to buy him a little 50cc bike when he turns 5 in 2017 so I can teach him how to ride.

I really appreciate the feedback and look forward to contributing to this forum once I make my purchase.

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