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will I be happy with a 16' 350exc?

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hello all,

              I'm new here and I was hoping to get some opinions from you guys.

 

I've been a motocross guy the past 12 years, don't race much but love hitting practice days with buddies, I'm a very average amateur rider. I've always been a yamaha 2-stroke guy, starting on a 03' yz125 and now I've been riding a 08' yz250 since i bought it new. I live in upstate NY, and practice days are hard to come by compared to other parts of the country, and just pounding out laps is starting to get old. 

 

now this past weekend, I did a practice day at Broome-tioga and they opened up there GNCC loop. I did a lap and I am instantly HOOKED! it's been a long time since i had that much fun on a bike. 

 

My question to you is: would I be happy selling my yz250 and buying a 16 350exc to start doing woods and trail riding? I would use it primarily for tight GNCC type riding but I really like being able to legally ride on the street. I only need to go 55 down back roads so i thought a 350 would be perfect vs. the 500. I also have an OHV park an hour from where I live where I could get a lot more riding time in vs. what i get now with moto. 

 

also, coming off of a Yamaha with amazing forks, will the KTM front end feel like garbage to me? or is it just at home on off-road riding vs. moto? 

 

My yz felt too rigid and stiff on the trails. hard to control the motor on hardpack with low traction. I was craving a supple steel frame and easy to control 4-stroke motor.

 

sorry for the long winded post, but I want to cover my bases before dropping 10K. I appreciate any insight!!

 

Patrick

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hello all,

              I'm new here and I was hoping to get some opinions from you guys.

 

I've been a motocross guy the past 12 years, don't race much but love hitting practice days with buddies, I'm a very average amateur rider. I've always been a yamaha 2-stroke guy, starting on a 03' yz125 and now I've been riding a 08' yz250 since i bought it new. I live in upstate NY, and practice days are hard to come by compared to other parts of the country, and just pounding out laps is starting to get old. 

 

now this past weekend, I did a practice day at Broome-tioga and they opened up there GNCC loop. I did a lap and I am instantly HOOKED! it's been a long time since i had that much fun on a bike. 

 

My question to you is: would I be happy selling my yz250 and buying a 16 350exc to start doing woods and trail riding? I would use it primarily for tight GNCC type riding but I really like being able to legally ride on the street. I only need to go 55 down back roads so i thought a 350 would be perfect vs. the 500. I also have an OHV park an hour from where I live where I could get a lot more riding time in vs. what i get now with moto. 

 

also, coming off of a Yamaha with amazing forks, will the KTM front end feel like garbage to me? or is it just at home on off-road riding vs. moto? 

 

My yz felt too rigid and stiff on the trails. hard to control the motor on hardpack with low traction. I was craving a supple steel frame and easy to control 4-stroke motor.

 

sorry for the long winded post, but I want to cover my bases before dropping 10K. I appreciate any insight!!

 

Patrick

 

If you are fully accustomed to an mx bike , and intend to go to the mx track with a stock config'd exc, yes you will be disappointed. Poorly suspended for that.

 

If you are looking for the best dual sport config or enduro, then you are on the right track.

 

I owned a dual sport in the 70's, swore Id never get another. Then came the DRZ (and at that time best dual sport i ever rode).  The Ktm surpasses that in flight quality , weight and power.

 

I have the 500 cause it has the power for the street, and everywhere else, climbs straight up not much more than idle.

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If you are fully accustomed to an mx bike , and intend to go to the mx track with a stock config'd exc, yes you will be disappointed. Poorly suspended for that.

If you are looking for the best dual sport config or enduro, then you are on the right track.

I owned a dual sport in the 70's, swore Id never get another. Then came the DRZ (and at that time best dual sport i ever rode). The Ktm surpasses that in flight quality , weight and power.

I have the 500 cause it has the power for the street, and everywhere else

, climbs straight up not much more than idle.

Will the bike sufficient for aggressive gncc riding? Or is it set up too mellow for that even? Is it common or plausible to rework the suspension a bit for more aggressive riding? Is there a better way to go about this?

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Depending on what you weigh,  stock suspension may be fine for anything other than large impacts.  You should get better mpg on the 350.

 

 

My 500 , 85 miles im on fumes, but entire throttle range is heavily used, totally stock they'll get into the 90's to 100miles per tank, so 350 should do alittle better.

Edited by Spud786

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Thanks for the info! Hopefully I get to take one for a test ride before making a decision.

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I love my 350 XCF-W....same engine as the EXC but no smog gear and a better ECU map

 

There will be plenty of power and if you want to wind it out.... it can haul. The only thing that makes me fall behind the 450s my buddies ride is my skill level...I never lack for power.  It will have less low end lugging power than the 500...but I expect that's not so much your style anyway since your coming of a YZ. I came off a WR450...also a great lugger...but it didn't take me long to adapt.

 

I have a somewhat similar riding scenario...20 minutes at 55-60mph highway to get to trails (street legal) and lots of gnarly muddy technical stuff as well as single track, but no racing. The bike is fantastic in all that stuff. I have 143 hours and 3,600 miles on it....never had an engine issue of any kind.  Had the valves checked once at 125 hours...intakes were perfect...exhausts needed the smallest possible shim adjustment. This motor has an excellent reputation for reliability....it is a double overhead cam though (the 500 is a single overhead cam) so its somewhat more complicated to work on the top end....if needed.

 

There are a few things you will probably want to do to it if you get one...like re-map the ECU and adjust the TPS.  This is because the bike is set up to run very lean to meet EPA standards and by re-mapping and adjusting the TPS you will effectively run a bit richer which will improve starting, reduce the chance of overheating and will reduce decel popping as well as offering some performance increase.

 

It is also fairly easy to de-smog the engine...you save some weight and everything just runs a little better.

 

IMO its an excellent choice for the type of stuff you say you want to do....and you can still have fun on the track but you won't be doing any huge jumps (non linkage suspension) and you won't be competitive in any kind of real race situation.

 

With regard to suspension...I can offer no opinion on how the forks are in relation to the YZ 250....but if you weigh much over 175 lbs (without gear) you may want to look into a stiffer spring for the rear.  If you're buying new and know you need the stiffer spring...see if you can get the dealer to do it for you as part of the deal...would be quick and easy for a dealer to do.

 

By all means...try and track someone down who will let you borrow their machine for a while.  10 minutes of seat time is worth a whole lot more that everything everyone might tell you when it comes to figuring out if that's the bike for you.

 

 

 

 

 

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I love my 350 XCF-W....same engine as the EXC but no smog gear and a better ECU map.

There will be plenty of power and if you want to wind it out.... it can haul. The only thing that makes me fall behind the 450s my buddies ride is my skill level...I never lack for power. It will have less low end lugging power than the 500...but I expect that's not so much your style anyway since your coming of a YZ. I came off a WR450...also a great lugger...but it didn't take me long to adapt.

I have a somewhat similar riding scenario...20 minutes at 55-60mph highway to get to trails (street legal) and lots of gnarly muddy technical stuff as well as single track, but no racing. The bike is fantastic in all that stuff. I have 143 hours and 3,600 miles on it....never had an engine issue of any kind. Had the valves checked once at 125 hours...intakes were perfect...exhausts needed the smallest possible shim adjustment. This motor has an excellent reputation for reliability....it is a double overhead cam though (the 500 is a single overhead cam) so its somewhat more complicated to work on the top end....if needed.

There are a few things you will probably want to do to it if you get one...like re-map the ECU and adjust the TPS. This is because the bike is set up to run very lean to meet EPA standards and by re-mapping and adjusting the TPS you will effectively run a bit richer which will improve starting, reduce the chance of overheating and will reduce decel popping as well as offering some performance increase.

It is also fairly easy to de-smog the engine...you save some weight and everything just runs a little better.

IMO its an excellent choice for the type of stuff you say you want to do....and you can still have fun on the track but you won't be doing any huge jumps (non linkage suspension) and you won't be competitive in any kind of real race situation.

With regard to suspension...I can offer no opinion on how the forks are in relation to the YZ 250....but if you weigh much over 175 lbs (without gear) you may want to look into a stiffer spring for the rear. If you're buying new and know you need the stiffer spring...see if you can get the dealer to do it for you as part of the deal...would be quick and easy for a dealer to do.

By all means...try and track someone down who will let you borrow their machine for a while. 10 minutes of seat time is worth a whole lot more that everything everyone might tell you when it comes to figuring out if that's the bike for you.

Thanks for the info, this helps a lot! Edited by pfo186

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