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What I don't like about the 2017 350 XC-F

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I raced the bike for the first time today and here are my initial impressions-

1) The engine doesn't like to be lugged. I have installed the BDSB fuel rail and grunt manifold but on single track (it was very muddy) you can't put it in a gear high and lug it without resorting heavy clutch use. Maybe I need to change up the gearing so that second gear isn't too high for tight single track? Does TPS tuning make any difference? How about the Euro map?

2) The clutch pull is VERY heavy. Which really sucks when you are having to clutch it to keep it from stalling when riding a gear high. After a hour and a half qt starts to become a bitch to pull the clutch in. Is there any thing that can be done to a hydraulic clutch to ease the pull?

3) The air fork doesn't seem to provide the front wheel very good traction on flat corners. It's great if you have a berm and I agree that it is really sweet crossing roots but to me it doesn't offer very good feedback on flat corners. Is this purely an air pressure adjustment issue? Has anyone tried the WP AER spring kit? 

I'm trying to bad mouth the bike. It is a very fast and nimble bike. These are just issues that I need to sort out to make it work good for me on the type of riding I do. I'm just looking for advice from someone who may have already addressed these issues. I bought this bike to primarily ride east coast hare scrambles.

 

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14/50 gearing sucks... Drop down to a 13/50 and live happy... If anything, the bike needs some TLC and time set aside for testing... Unlike a Yamaha she is not "race ready"... Lol

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I've got a 17 on the way and I'm concerned about the clutch pull.  Why in the world would the 350 have a stiffer pull than the 450's?  Can you go to a softer spring without burning the clutch?  

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9 hours ago, mog said:

What weight and pressure did you run ? And enduro engineering make a clutch lever that is 50% lighter

I'm running the stock recommended 142 psi in the forks. My dealer installed a 5.0 spring on the shock which he surmised was the correct spring for my weight (I weigh 210ish) lbs but it seems to have created some issues with the shock as it rebounds way too hard. Sag was set at 105mm.

Do you have a link to the clutch lever? I couldn't find it on their website which isn't the most user friendly for finding what you are looking for quickly...  

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Sorry it's Midwest engineering , and the 17 needs more rebound damping on the shock , did you try more rebound on the forks?

 

 

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Drop the forks to the third line. That helps w front end traction

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On 5/21/2017 at 11:35 PM, Monk said:

14/50 gearing sucks... Drop down to a 13/50 and live happy... If anything, the bike needs some TLC and time set aside for testing... Unlike a Yamaha she is not "race ready"... Lol

Well it's a KTM so it is supposed to be "ready to race" ?

I will try the 13t before I make any other changes to the engine. Thanks!

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It is not the bike, it is the setup.  Just play around with it. I have very good front end traction.  Often that is the rebound setting or fork height.   5.0 sounds high for the shock, but check the owners manual.  As for the clutch, try sliding the pearch to the right a little, gives you more leverage.  And yes, try sliding the forks down a little. 

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The lack of low end grunt is why I got rid of my 350. I changed gearing, played with TPS settings, changed exhaust. Gearing helped, but never stopped the unwanted flameout while trying to ride a gear high at low RPM to make traction. I installed the MME clutch lever which helped a lot with pull. Gotta keep the 350 revs up.

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17 hours ago, FICEL said:

The lack of low end grunt is why I got rid of my 350. I changed gearing, played with TPS settings, changed exhaust. Gearing helped, but never stopped the unwanted flameout while trying to ride a gear high at low RPM to make traction. I installed the MME clutch lever which helped a lot with pull. Gotta keep the 350 revs up.

What bike did you replace it with?

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3 hours ago, FICEL said:

'16 450 XC-F

That's what I'm thinking. I don't want to spend a bunch of money trying to make the bike something it will never be. In theory one would think that the 350 would be the perfect balance between the 250 and the 450. Unfortunately, it makes the majority of it's power from the mid range to the top end with not much torque down low. The bike would be great on the motocross track or in the desert. 

I am going to change the gearing and try the clutch lever to see if it makes the power delivery more usable for the kind of riding that I do before I start spending money on the suspension. 

Edited by Brilloman
Grammer

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8 minutes ago, Brilloman said:

That's what I'm thinking. I don't want to spend a bunch of money trying to make the bike something it will never be. In theory one would think that the 350 would be the perfect balance between the 250 and the 450. Unfortunately, it makes the majority of it's power from the mid range to the top end with not much torque down low. The bike would be great on the motocross track or in the desert. 

I am going to change the gearing and try the clutch lever to see if it makes the power delivery more usable for the kind of riding that I do before I start spending money on the suspension. 

The 450 isn't going to give you the results you want, it's going to make you feel like you're fast but he ain't going to be faster. Gear the 350 down and ride it and you'll be live happily ever after... 

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On 5/22/2017 at 2:10 AM, mog said:

What weight and pressure did you run ? And enduro engineering make a clutch lever that is 50% lighter

The 350 clutch pull sux mogballs.  The 300 clutch pull feels like 1/4 the effort.

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1 hour ago, Monk said:

The 450 isn't going to give you the results you want, it's going to make you feel like you're fast but he ain't going to be faster. Gear the 350 down and ride it and you'll be live happily ever after... 

You put a Rekluse in your 350, correct?

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On 5/21/2017 at 10:19 PM, Brilloman said:

I raced the bike for the first time today and here are my initial impressions-

1) The engine doesn't like to be lugged. I have installed the BDSB fuel rail and grunt manifold but on single track (it was very muddy) you can't put it in a gear high and lug it without resorting heavy clutch use. Maybe I need to change up the gearing so that second gear isn't too high for tight single track? Does TPS tuning make any difference? How about the Euro map?

2) The clutch pull is VERY heavy. Which really sucks when you are having to clutch it to keep it from stalling when riding a gear high. After a hour and a half qt starts to become a bitch to pull the clutch in. Is there any thing that can be done to a hydraulic clutch to ease the pull?

3) The air fork doesn't seem to provide the front wheel very good traction on flat corners. It's great if you have a berm and I agree that it is really sweet crossing roots but to me it doesn't offer very good feedback on flat corners. Is this purely an air pressure adjustment issue? Has anyone tried the WP AER spring kit? 

I'm trying to bad mouth the bike. It is a very fast and nimble bike. These are just issues that I need to sort out to make it work good for me on the type of riding I do. I'm just looking for advice from someone who may have already addressed these issues. I bought this bike to primarily ride east coast hare scrambles.

 

I can identify with #1 and #2.  I "fixed" both issues by trading it in on a '17 300 XC.

My '15 350 XC-F seemed very lean off idle.    I didn't mess with the TPS but it can be adjusted to trick the ECU into being richer. That might have helped a bit with flame outs.

My 350 was already geared 13/50 and still didn't want to lug.  I'd say a Rekluse is the only thing that will truly fix it. 

As far as the high rpm nature of the engine, I don't think you're going to change that.  The 350 power is high rpm oriented similar to a 250F, just more of it.

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