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200 xc vs xc-w trans - worth a swap?

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Firstly, I'll preface this with: the search function here blows. And Google only yielded me with a bunch of Dirt Rider reviews, which if I had the paper copies, I would use to wipe my butt with.
 
As my riding slows and becomes more and more difficult (technical) I find my 1st gear to be a bit too tall. Even with a 13 tooth front sprocket. I'm gravitating more to rock gardens and actual woods riding, not nicely groomed trails. This sprocket has also created the problem of keeping up with my boy on his KX100 when were blasting out through the open areas. Even though he's up 2 teeth on his rear sprocket, I have to be on the pipe to stay with him even when he's below his power. All of this tells me maybe a solution would be to swap in a w trans?
 
I have 2 buddies with a 250 and 300 xcw's. Both have offered to let me ride theirs, but I dont like playing with other kids' toys. And wasnt sure it'd tell me much anyways, since mine is a 200. I'm not sure how they're all geared from the factory.
 
I've been toying with finding a used w trans to swap in when it comes time to do my crank. Would this be worth the hassle and money? Is it noticeable enough to make it worth it?
 
Thanks for any feedback. Looking for real world experience, and if possible maybe even some speed comparisons of the low and top gears?


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6 hours ago, Bron-Yr-Aur said:

Firstly, I'll preface this with: the search function here blows. And Google only yielded me with a bunch of Dirt Rider reviews, which if I had the paper copies, I would use to wipe my butt with.
 
As my riding slows and becomes more and more difficult (technical) I find my 1st gear to be a bit too tall. Even with a 13 tooth front sprocket. I'm gravitating more to rock gardens and actual woods riding, not nicely groomed trails. This sprocket has also created the problem of keeping up with my boy on his KX100 when were blasting out through the open areas. Even though he's up 2 teeth on his rear sprocket, I have to be on the pipe to stay with him even when he's below his power. All of this tells me maybe a solution would be to swap in a w trans?
 
I have 2 buddies with a 250 and 300 xcw's. Both have offered to let me ride theirs, but I dont like playing with other kids' toys. And wasnt sure it'd tell me much anyways, since mine is a 200. I'm not sure how they're all geared from the factory.
 
I've been toying with finding a used w trans to swap in when it comes time to do my crank. Would this be worth the hassle and money? Is it noticeable enough to make it worth it?
 
Thanks for any feedback. Looking for real world experience, and if possible maybe even some speed comparisons of the low and top gears?

 

I don't think it would help much. 1st gear on the newer w bikes was something like 2.6:1 . Your bike if its an xc is probably 2.42:1 . That just less than 10% . 6th gear is a little taller you might pick up 2 or 3 mph.

Are you stalling a lot in first gear? 

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I don't think it would help much. 1st gear on the newer w bikes was something like 2.6:1 . Your bike if its an xc is probably 2.42:1 . That just less than 10% . 6th gear is a little taller you might pick up 2 or 3 mph.

Are you stalling a lot in first gear? 

Great info. I had no idea they were so close in terms of ratio.

 

No, I'm not stalling much. It takes a lot of clutch work, though. I don't ride like that all the time, but when I do, I was just hoping to slow first gear down. I've been looking for more new trails, with tougher, rockier terrain. And I really have no desire for an auto clutch. You mentioned the newer bikes. Are the ratios on the older bikes much different?

 

Thanks for the info. At least you saved me a lot of money and time.

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Great info. I had no idea they were so close in terms of ratio.

No, I'm not stalling much. It takes a lot of clutch work, though. I don't ride like that all the time, but when I do, I was just hoping to slow first gear down. I've been looking for more new trails, with tougher, rockier terrain. And I really have no desire for an auto clutch.

Thanks for the info. At least you saved me a lot of money and time.

I was a long time hold out for the auto clutch thing. It would solve your issue.

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Glad you like yours. I can't take that away. But I will never spend $800 for a clutch. Ever.

Me neither. The Core is pricey, but the 3.0 works fine by me, and it's $200 less. I have been loyal to my dealer for years and years, 20% discount = $480.

We have one guy in our group who refuses to pay for a Rekluse, we wait a lot for him, stalls over log crossings, digging holes with the rear when climbing loose nasty hills, stalls resulting in tip overs.

I have been to Gary Bailey's MX School, he teaches the importance of clutch modulation, I finally admitted that the Rekluse feeds in the power much better than my two fingers.

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A 10% change in gear ratio is pretty big, thats about a full tooth on the front.  For me 1st gear on the W is so low, that I dont hardly use it.  It is a stump pulling gear.  I think you might like it for what you are looking for.

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I have 2 200XC's. I don't do rock gardens but Jersey Pine Barrens sand. I like the taller XC 1st & 2nd but dislike the XC 5th & 6th. I bought 2 used XCW transmissions and swapped out 5th & 6th and like the change. Already mentioned XCW 1st & 2nd is lower and I think would help in your situation but not as much as your smaller 13 tooth counter sprocket. For me it was the way to go. 

If your going to do the bottom end you have to remove the trans anyway so it would be foolish to NOT at the time replace 1'st & 2nd. I have an offer. I have 2 XCW trans with only 5th & 6th gears exchanged with XC gears. If interested shoot me a PM. I think we can make a good deal.

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I have 2 200XC's. I don't do rock gardens but Jersey Pine Barrens sand. I like the taller XC 1st & 2nd but dislike the XC 5th & 6th. I bought 2 used XCW transmissions and swapped out 5th & 6th and like the change. Already mentioned XCW 1st & 2nd is lower and I think would help in your situation but not as much as your smaller 13 tooth counter sprocket. For me it was the way to go.  If your going to do the bottom end you have to remove the trans anyway so it would be foolish to NOT at the time replace 1'st & 2nd. I have an offer. I have 2 XCW trans with only 5th & 6th gears exchanged with XC gears. If interested shoot me a PM. I think we can make a good deal.

 

Hmm, thats tempting. Although I really want the top gears too. I still plan on keeping the 13 tooth up front. My buddy with the 250 xcw also runs a smaller sprocket due to our riding. Stump pulling is exactly what I'm looking for.

 

I appreciate the offer. Lemme see where this goes. I'm only at 115 hrs on my cylinder, so there's a bit of time left on it. But I'm also planning for the future. PM me with your thoughts? Thanks.

 

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first gear on a w is almost too low unless at a stop on incline. If you do not do a lot of stop on the hills, you might try stock gearing again. I have better luck climbing with my w in 2nd gear through lots of rocks. 

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first gear on a w is almost too low unless at a stop on incline. If you do not do a lot of stop on the hills, you might try stock gearing again. I have better luck climbing with my w in 2nd gear through lots of rocks. 

That pretty much is the direction my riding is headed. Hills with rocks the size nearly of my front tire. Some bigger, but I'm not to the point of crossing those... yet.

I'll post a vid soon of what we're doing. I got it on my computer from the GoPro. I just haven't uploaded it yet.

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On 7/8/2017 at 8:15 PM, Jekel said:

first gear on a w is almost too low unless at a stop on incline. If you do not do a lot of stop on the hills, you might try stock gearing again. I have better luck climbing with my w in 2nd gear through lots of rocks. 

While my W is a 300, I agree. I have a lot of trouble with serious climbs in first that are easy in second with a bit of clutch slip. First is so low that any twist of the throttle wants to wheelie or light up the rear, neither is what you want when searching for traction.

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My 09' 200xc had a VERY low first gear. I almost never used it. I would be shifting into second gear on the starting line before i even got moving, and I used to run a 45T rear.

You should be able to find 1st gear ratios for your bike vs. the same year xc-w online pretty easy. Check the owners manuals you can get them on KTM's website. If it was me I almost feel like finding a good used xc-w motor would be easier than swapping the trans. Seems like a lot of work to go through just for a lower first gear. Not sure if they are widely available though at decent prices. 

Another thing you can try is adding a flywheel weight. It will help prevent stalling and increase luggability/traction.

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I never use first... Berg, xc-w motor. I'm old and no speedy guy anymore, but first is just too snappy, even for hillclimbs.

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7 hours ago, KTM_RIPPAH said:
My 09' 200xc had a VERY low first gear. I almost never used it. I would be shifting into second gear on the starting line before i even got moving, and I used to run a 45T rear. You should be able to find 1st gear ratios for your bike vs. the same year xc-w online pretty easy. Check the owners manuals you can get them on KTM's website. If it was me I almost feel like finding a good used xc-w motor would be easier than swapping the trans. Seems like a lot of work to go through just for a lower first gear. Not sure if they are widely available though at decent prices.  Another thing you can try is adding a flywheel weight. It will help prevent stalling and increase luggability/traction. 

 

 

Good points. But I do also want a taller 5-6 so that makes it a little more worth it. Honestly, swapping out a trans isn't a big deal to me. Although I've not yet taken this motor apart to that point. Close to it though. I love splitting cases for some twisted reason that I can't explain. Even so, I most likely wouldn't do it until I did a bottom end. (Although I might get a winter itch and split it just to do the trans) And I'm cheap, er... frugal, so a whole motor is pretty much out for me. I do keep forgetting about a FWW though. That really should be next before I think about cracking the motor open.  I guess my trials bike has kind of spoiled me. Those little billie goats are amazing.

 

Here's what we did last week. Disclaimer: I know it's boring. This was shot after over 50 miles of single track/quad trails. I went straight up the middle on the first loop, but this 2nd time around, I just didn't have it in me. Just wanted to show what I'm trying.

 

As most of you already know, the camera does NOT convey the steepness of the hill or the size of the rocks. But for this kind of riding, I actually do want to be able to wheelie easily and at a slower speed. As the rocks get bigger, I want to be able to double blip them without overshooting them. And btw, don't be jealous of my sweet Harbor Freight work gloves lol. They actually held up very well.

 

Edited by Bron-Yr-Aur

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I do not own either version of the 200, but I have ridden both many times, and I ride small bores (125s mostly) in the woods almost exclusively these days.  As a high rpm rider who likes to scream the motor silly, I find the low first gear of the 200 XCW totally useless, and second gear too tall.  From the looks of you video however, you really need that low first gear to ride those type of trails with the kids. The question of course is would that be a cost-effective mod?  I would say no, again based on the video.  I think you would be better off selling the 200 (they are going for crazy prices here in GA now as they are starting to get rare), and buying a 250 or 300 XCW (or Beta, GasGas, etc.)  I would also slap a trials tire on the new bike.  The larger motor has more power (of course) and more flywheel effect and chug chug rpms.  With a trials tire it would be unstoppable.  Yes, the big bores are heavier and not nearly as much fun, but they do handle the step and rocky stuff better than the little bikes.  The low gear of the XCW will help, but a 250/300 will still be better.

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Bron

Nice video, I enjoyed it. You have rock gardens and we have stick farms, LOL. You definitely would want the lower XCW 1st & 2nd. As mentioned some riders find 1st to low and use 2nd. The "problem" is 2nd on the XCW is a little higher ratio than the XC 1st. In a rock garden like in your video you certainly wouldn't be using 2nd. Go for the change, I can tell you it's NOT worth waiting for the time to do a bottom end as I think you'll have a long wait. I pulled my transmissions just for the change but also did the bottom ends. No they didn't "need" to be done but since I was already there and both bikes were used with unknown hours plus the time I put on them I did for piece of mind. In your case you know the bikes history and hours. Buying a used transmission is the way to go. You should be able to find one for around $150  - 200+/-. Buying all new parts to update your existing XC would be prohibitive as the only 2 gear sets you would use are 3rd & 4th. The idler shaft also needs to be swapped.

Your '09 is using the 2K3 FW and Stator. The bigger but only 1 oz heavier FW is already giving you more FW effect than the earlier 2K2 FW with weight. Stalling doesn't appear to be your issue although I know stalls happen. I don't think an additional 3 or 4 oz will make that much difference. Listening to your bike in the video, what jetting are you running, stock needle? For that type of riding as with me in the sand you DO want slightly rich off idle jetting, but clean. I can hear some loading up which would hinder the "wheelie" you say you sometimes need. Something else to consider would be getting a head mod designed for low to mid power. Not a night and day difference but certainly noticeable. I can suggest 2 tuners in a PM if interested.

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If you are comfortable with splitting cases, I would just do it over the winter.  Of all the bikes I've had, the 200 engine is the easiest bottom end to take apart.  

 

other things that will help-

 Im sure you already have one, since its one of the only pipes made, but the Gnarly pipe gives substantial low end chug

a 125sx CDI gives a huge low end boost, and doesnt really make the bike too fast feeling IMO.  I switched back to my xcw box on a slick day thinking it would help, and the bike felt like it had no low end.   I bought a pre 07 box with only one map for pretty cheap.

Head mod is good too, even if it is just a simple squish setting.

Make sure you reeds are good.  a chipped reed will really make the bike run like a dog down low.

Im sure you know all that info since its pretty standard, but I want to emphasize that a engine that runs good down low will pull taller gearing way better.

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From the looks of you video however, you really need that low first gear to ride those type of trails with the kids. The question of course is would that be a cost-effective mod?  I would say no, again based on the video.  I think you would be better off selling the 200 (they are going for crazy prices here in GA now as they are starting to get rare), and buying a 250 or 300 XCW (or Beta, GasGas, etc.)  I would also slap a trials tire on the new bike.  The larger motor has more power (of course) and more flywheel effect and chug chug rpms.  With a trials tire it would be unstoppable.  Yes, the big bores are heavier and not nearly as much fun, but they do handle the step and rocky stuff better than the little bikes.  The low gear of the XCW will help, but a 250/300 will still be better.

 

The trans wouldn't be cost effective, but buying a new bike would? Lol.

 

Just razzin' ya dude. Actually, I agree with you on virtually all points, were I in a normal situation. But unfortunately for me, I'm not.

 

I'm 5'3", 28" inseam and 130-135 lbs. So every pound matters for me. I can easily pick my bike up, even upside down on a hill. But after a day like on the video, with the 200 I'm at my limit. I can't imagine trying to lift a 250 or 300. Believe me, what I wouldn't do to be bigger and handle the bigger bore bikes!

 

I just did a top end about 15 hours ago. And I had the suspension lowered and revalved for me. So selling this bike, well, I just have too much invested at this point.

 

Bron

Nice video, I enjoyed it. You have rock gardens and we have stick farms, LOL. You definitely would want the lower XCW 1st & 2nd. As mentioned some riders find 1st to low and use 2nd. The "problem" is 2nd on the XCW is a little higher ratio than the XC 1st. In a rock garden like in your video you certainly wouldn't be using 2nd. Go for the change, I can tell you it's NOT worth waiting for the time to do a bottom end as I think you'll have a long wait. I pulled my transmissions just for the change but also did the bottom ends. No they didn't "need" to be done but since I was already there and both bikes were used with unknown hours plus the time I put on them I did for piece of mind. In your case you know the bikes history and hours. Buying a used transmission is the way to go. You should be able to find one for around $150  - 200+/-. Buying all new parts to update your existing XC would be prohibitive as the only 2 gear sets you would use are 3rd & 4th. The idler shaft also needs to be swapped.

Your '09 is using the 2K3 FW and Stator. The bigger but only 1 oz heavier FW is already giving you more FW effect than the earlier 2K2 FW with weight. Stalling doesn't appear to be your issue although I know stalls happen. I don't think an additional 3 or 4 oz will make that much difference. Listening to your bike in the video, what jetting are you running, stock needle? For that type of riding as with me in the sand you DO want slightly rich off idle jetting, but clean. I can hear some loading up which would hinder the "wheelie" you say you sometimes need. Something else to consider would be getting a head mod designed for low to mid power. Not a night and day difference but certainly noticeable. I can suggest 2 tuners in a PM if interested.

 

Thanks a lot, man! That's really good info. So basically you're saying to buy a trans instead of piecing one together?

 

And I'm running a Lectron, so the fine adjustments are not really possible for me. I assume I have it jetted well. Which part of the vid do you hear it loading up? One of the reasons I got the Lectron is I think I'm tone deaf when it comes to understanding the characteristics of bikes. I feel obvious lean bogs, or when the jetting is so rich that it gets blubbery. But the more slight stuff, I'm horrible with. If you don't mind, tell me the time of the vid? I'm trying to get better at that stuff. I would love to have not bought the Lectron, simply because that's a few top ends for what I paid for the carb.

 

If you are comfortable with splitting cases, I would just do it over the winter.  Of all the bikes I've had, the 200 engine is the easiest bottom end to take apart.  

 

other things that will help-

 Im sure you already have one, since its one of the only pipes made, but the Gnarly pipe gives substantial low end chug

a 125sx CDI gives a huge low end boost, and doesnt really make the bike too fast feeling IMO.  I switched back to my xcw box on a slick day thinking it would help, and the bike felt like it had no low end.   I bought a pre 07 box with only one map for pretty cheap.

Head mod is good too, even if it is just a simple squish setting.

Make sure you reeds are good.  a chipped reed will really make the bike run like a dog down low.

Im sure you know all that info since its pretty standard, but I want to emphasize that a engine that runs good down low will pull taller gearing way better.

 

Yep, just picked up a Gnarly before the ride on the video. The other mods I've considered, and am open to them. I'm slightly apprehensive of the head mods, simply because I do NOT want to get into having to run racing fuel.

And as I mentioned, I've got a fresh top end.

 

To all you guys, I probably wasn't quite clear in what I'm searching. Power isn't really the issue. It's the speed. For the rock crawling, even at low rpms and the clutch fully out, it creeps too fast. And connection between the trails, it's too slow with the 13 tooth sprocket.

 

But if I get the speed down in 1st (or the rpms up a little at same speed) the power will be there even more. On this ride, I intentionally climbed some inclines in too tall a gear, nearly idling. The bike easily climbed with me on board, and even accelerated in 2nd and 3rd. It lugs well and has no problem. So, although I hate my size when it comes to riding, my light weight does come in handy!

 

Thanks all for the help so far. You guys do have me thinking about some other mods, too.

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