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Alternatives to KTM 300 xcw?

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I recently started riding again on my '99 xr250.  Looking to get a bike with a little more power for woods, hare scrambles, and recreational mx riding (no mx racing).  The xr250 is pretty decent for riding around the woods in 1st and 2nd gear but it lacks power on the track and is a little sluggish in the woods at times.  

 

I thought the 300 xcw would fit the bill but they seem to be a little too pricey / hard to find used. Same for the husky te 300... Would you guys go with maybe a cr250r or should I look into the crf450x?  Electric start would be nice but dont know if it is worth the extra 30-40 lbs the 4 stroke has over the 2.  I have never ridden a full size 2 stroke bike, experience has only been on xr250 and xr400

 

Would like to stay under 5k.  I am 6'2" 200lbs.  Fairly mechanically inclined and can handle most maintenance items.

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I recently started riding again on my '99 xr250.  Looking to get a bike with a little more power for woods, hare scrambles, and recreational mx riding (no mx racing).  The xr250 is pretty decent for riding around the woods in 1st and 2nd gear but it lacks power on the track and is a little sluggish in the woods at times.  

 

I thought the 300 xcw would fit the bill but they seem to be a little too pricey / hard to find used. Same for the husky te 300... Would you guys go with maybe a cr250r or should I look into the crf450x?  Electric start would be nice but dont know if it is worth the extra 30-40 lbs the 4 stroke has over the 2.  I have never ridden a full size 2 stroke bike, experience has only been on xr250 and xr400

 

Would like to stay under 5k.  I am 6'2" 200lbs.  Fairly mechanically inclined and can handle most maintenance items.

 

I think you would be happy with a crf450x.  That said, the 300's are great bikes, even older models, and can be had for cheap if you are patient and persistent.  I bought a '07 KTM300XC for $2,500 and I love it.  I was riding a crf450r before that.

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There is no real alternative to a KTM 300 xcw. There are other 300's. Husky, Beta .... but they are basically the same. You should be able to find a nice 300 xcw for under 5k.

You won't regret it!

When I first got back into riding I bought a crf450x. I loved the power delivery and it handled great. BUT... The weight of the bike was killing me! Looking back, honestly, it took a lot of the fun out of riding. I just didn't know it at the time. So I bought a YZ250f set up for the woods. Flywheel weight, sprocket, and suspension for woods. Wasn't happy with it. Missed the 450 power!

That's when I took the leap and bought my 2016 300 xcw 6days!

Holy cow! The power is awesome! It's one of the lightest bikes, if not the lightest in its class! I can honestly say it's the best riding bike I've ever been on! I've road a lot of bikes over the past 34 years. From Honda xr & crf, Suzuki PE & rmx, Yamaha IT & YZ, Kawasaki KDX's and now KTM XCW. I just sold my YZ450F yesterday. I hold no elegance to any brand! I've loved them all.

The only alternative I can see dollar wise is maybe an older kdx or rmx, but the suspension won't be nearly as good. And if you've never used a hydraulic clutch then you won't know what you're missing!

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If I wanted a good woods bike and not a KTM, I'd start with a steel framed YZ 250 and turn it into an X model as I could afford to.

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For East Coast riding, I don't think I'd want a 450X, they are a bit piggy in tight woods, mud, ruts, etc.  More weight than you need, more power than you need.

 

A CRF250X would be a nice step up from your XR.  Power is more rev-ie, and not as tractor like as your XR, but the 250X makes more power and revs up faster (than your XR).  Only problem, those bikes have had a lot of valve issues.  If you buy one that has never had the valves redone, you should mentally and financially plan on needing that.

 

The WR250F has a way better valve train, but guessing you are more of a Honda guy.  :)  

 

The CR250R would be a large change from your XR.  As a stock moto x bike in the woods it might really beat you up and be a handful.  But, if you add a flywheel weight (makes the bike rev up slower and less lightly to stall it) and have the front and rear suspension revalved then you could have some fun in the woods and still be good for some motox riding.  Comparing the CR250R to a KTM, you could also put a larger tank on the CR if you needed more range (KTM XCW tank holds more than the CR-R tank), but the CR is always going to be limited in gearing.  They have a close ratio transmission, so if you get first gear on the CR-R equal to the KTM XCW, then in top gear the KTM will have a much higher top speed.  No big deal if you are never going over 45 mph, but kind of a pain if your riding has you buzzing down a lot of dirt roads to get between trails.  

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Thanks for the replies... I would worry that the 250x is going to be too similar to my xr250.  They are listed to have about the same weight.  How much better are the modern 4 stroke engines with regard to power? I do intend to hang onto the XR since it still runs like new and really is a great bike for screwing around. 

 

I am not in a huge hurry to upgrade since I am still having fun re-learning my old skills...  I might keep my eyes peeled for the right deal on a ktm 300

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On 1/6/2017 at 3:13 PM, jwap said:

Thanks for the replies... I would worry that the 250x is going to be too similar to my xr250.  They are listed to have about the same weight.  How much better are the modern 4 stroke engines with regard to power? I do intend to hang onto the XR since it still runs like new and really is a great bike for screwing around. 

 

I am not in a huge hurry to upgrade since I am still having fun re-learning my old skills...  I might keep my eyes peeled for the right deal on a ktm 300

There is no comparison between the two Hondas. The CRF has much more power (change pipe, open airbox, re-jet etc), but the biggest difference will be in the suspension and handling.

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I recently started riding again on my '99 xr250.  Looking to get a bike with a little more power for woods, hare scrambles, and recreational mx riding (no mx racing).  The xr250 is pretty decent for riding around the woods in 1st and 2nd gear but it lacks power on the track and is a little sluggish in the woods at times.  
 
I thought the 300 xcw would fit the bill but they seem to be a little too pricey / hard to find used. Same for the husky te 300... Would you guys go with maybe a cr250r or should I look into the crf450x?  Electric start would be nice but dont know if it is worth the extra 30-40 lbs the 4 stroke has over the 2.  I have never ridden a full size 2 stroke bike, experience has only been on xr250 and xr400
 
Would like to stay under 5k.  I am 6'2" 200lbs.  Fairly mechanically inclined and can handle most maintenance items.

YZ 250 is excellent. 2006 or newer.

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It maybe slightly out of your price range but a beta 300 x trainer would be perfect. Light weight electric start lower seat height super low end easy to ride and very reliable

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Shoot look at GasGas. Resale is low on them. Can get fantastic bikes in the $3k-$5k range.

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6'2" and 250 pounds here. Rode all bikes mentioned here except Beta 300. Have a CRF450X and ride it in extremely tight very very slow woods riding first gear all day along. Love it. Those who don't like the weight typically weigh less than 200 pounds - no judgement given either way.

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For a 2 stroke: 

any other euro 250/300 woods two stroke

yz 250 with wr gears swapped in and other mods, although you'd have to get it cheap to avoid ending up at Ktm price. You could get away with a pipe and flywheel weight probably if on the cheap

theres some older two strokes such as the rmx and yamahas wr250z, both kind of hard to find but out there. And they're dated, which I don't care about I find them just as much fun

woods conversion on other jap bikes

for four strokes:

wr450, yz450x, crf450x, 

id spring for a two stroke, PERSONALLY,since that was what you were after and from my preferences. I have a kx250 with some trail mods I love

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I've been looking at local CL for xcw and xcf-w KTMs as well as older Kx. I seriously don't understand why there are so many sx-f for sale in my area. For every 10 clean late model sx-f there is maybe 1 exc or similar (at least 10 yrs old if not more). Hard to believe the Raleigh/Durham NC area really has that big of an MX community. Woods and enduro makes much more sense?! Found 1 dealer w a 2015 xcw for. 5999 before tax and fees. Don't know enough about the 2015s to know if this a good deal or not. Also considering leftover wr250f.

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@shrubitup

yep i have a 99! I have other things to ride that are nicer  but I find myself gravitating towards the 99kx250 when its ride time.It's just a fun bike and the engine works honestly well. No faults except for the 1st gear, which is seriously high. The 94-98 first gear swap may be in my future..

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I've been looking at local CL for xcw and xcf-w KTMs as well as older Kx. I seriously don't understand why there are so many sx-f for sale in my area. For every 10 clean late model sx-f there is maybe 1 exc or similar (at least 10 yrs old if not more). Hard to believe the Raleigh/Durham NC area really has that big of an MX community. Woods and enduro makes much more sense?! Found 1 dealer w a 2015 xcw for. 5999 before tax and fees. Don't know enough about the 2015s to know if this a good deal or not. Also considering leftover wr250f.

Because a lot of people, mostly kids, think the W bikes are"old man bikes". They think (as I'm sure you're already aware) that a faster bike makes a faster rider. Ultimately, IMO most don't really know what the woods bikes are capable of. In another thread here, a KDX rider had a guy tell him to "ride it like a 2 stroke." Then all the subsequent posts followed about how they wondered if a KDX can even be ridden like that. They have no idea.

Continuing the thread, my buddy is getting rid of his 450 XCF in favor of a 2017 300 XCW. He said there's no comparison for woods riding. He's actually much better on the W in tech stuff because the 450 (efi) would flame out so much quicker than the 2 stroke. And that comparison was made to a 250 XC-W. Don't feel tied to a 300 OP. The 250's are more than capable, and most likely will handle whatever you can throw at it.

I actually went the 200 route, but I'm a runt. Wish I had bought a W, but my little XC is very capable, too.

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6'2" and 250 pounds here. Rode all bikes mentioned here except Beta 300. Have a CRF450X and ride it in extremely tight very very slow woods riding first gear all day along. Love it. Those who don't like the weight typically weigh less than 200 pounds - no judgement given either way.


I hit in around 200 but even lighter I think it's as much about height (specifically inseam) as weight. Dabbing a foot when your bike is 10 degrees off vertical is a heck of a lot easier than 20 degrees.

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