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Q's Regarding '17 350XC-F

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I am considering the purchase of a 17 350XC-F. If I do purchase, I will be selling my '14 FE350 and '!2 250XC. My only reservation is the weight accuracy on the specs. At 220.9 the new bike is lighter than either of my current rides, and would allow me the one bike for all my riding. Four stroke power delivery is what I prefer, and my FE350 motor is quite good. But, you can feel the weight, so I have the 250 for tighter riding. What are the experiences of those who own the 17 350XC-f? Is the weight as advertised and how does this bike handle in tight terrain (re: eastern Texas and Arkansas)?

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Yes it feels as light as they say it is. No it is not as flickable as a 250 in tighter singletrack. I have not ridden a XC-F 250. I came from riding a 250F to a XC-F 350 thinking it would be a tourqier 250 but it has a completely different power delivery which makes it feel like a bigger bike in the tight woods despite the light wieght.

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35 minutes ago, Brilloman said:

Yes it feels as light as they say it is. No it is not as flickable as a 250 in tighter singletrack. I have not ridden a XC-F 250. I came from riding a 250F to a XC-F 350 thinking it would be a tourqier 250 but it has a completely different power delivery which makes it feel like a bigger bike in the tight woods despite the light wieght.

Doesn't feel like a big bike at all too me... 

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18 minutes ago, Monk said:

Doesn't feel like a big bike at all too me... 

For me it's all about the power delivery. I can ride a WR450 smoother than my 350 XC-F because it has a much softer power delivery at lower throtte openings plus I can ride a gear higher because the toruque will pull me. The on/off feeling of the 350 at lower throttle openings combined with the mid to top power delivery makes it challenging to ride smooth in tight single track for me. The 13t sprocket helped but now I find myself wishing for another gear in between 2nd and 3rd. If I had deeper pockets I would try the 5 spd gearbox from the SX that most of the pros use.

 

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32 minutes ago, Monk said:

Doesn't feel like a big bike at all too me... 

Can you elaborate?  For reference, my FE350 is great.  It has KREFT suspension and a lot of personalization parts, but otherwise is stock.  I belong to a riding club that leases acreage close to San Antonio.  It's good dirt, tight trees and a lot of bluffs and ridges to challenge.  Comparing my 350 to the two stroke I have on this terrain: the 350 rides well but turns must be initiated sooner and you can feel the weight when transitioning in successive turns when compared to the 250 2st.  I am hoping to get closer to the 2st with the reduced weight.  

Another concern (maybe imagined since I haven't ridden one) is that the reports I have read lead me to believe that the low end power is weak.  My FE350 has good pulling power in the lower RPM range and still revs nicely.

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23 minutes ago, Brilloman said:

For me it's all about the power delivery. I can ride a WR450 smoother than my 350 XC-F because it has a much softer power delivery at lower throtte openings plus I can ride a gear higher because the toruque will pull me. The on/off feeling of the 350 at lower throttle openings combined with the mid to top power delivery makes it challenging to ride smooth in tight single track for me. The 13t sprocket helped but now I find myself wishing for another gear in between 2nd and 3rd. If I had deeper pockets I would try the 5 spd gearbox from the SX that most of the pros use.

 

That's part of the problem, you are trying to ride it like a 450...

Upon my first experience riding the 16/17 350 I was coming off my Yamaha 450. I couldn't ride the 350 worth crap. I wasn't sure what gear to be in, if I rode it low in the RPM it didn't have enough torque to get the front end up, but it made way too much power to ride it high in the RPM. The trick is to ride it right in the middle...You won't find a more effective tool available if you learn how to ride the 350 properly...

As for the on/off, yes it does have that tendency, but again, your trying to torque the thing around... Turn the RPM up a bit, use the TPS tool to richen it up and you can greatly reduce the jerkiness...

It's also a false statement when people say the KTM 350 motor is all mid/top...

It makes 54hp at peak RPM but 99% of the people out there dont ride there. The 350 has a nice manageable smooth bottom-end power that makes a seemless transition into the mid range and again into the top-end. Very few dirtbikes have ever that kinda curve... 

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32 minutes ago, Bigbird said:

Can you elaborate?  For reference, my FE350 is great.  It has KREFT suspension and a lot of personalization parts, but otherwise is stock.  I belong to a riding club that leases acreage close to San Antonio.  It's good dirt, tight trees and a lot of bluffs and ridges to challenge.  Comparing my 350 to the two stroke I have on this terrain: the 350 rides well but turns must be initiated sooner and you can feel the weight when transitioning in successive turns when compared to the 250 2st.  I am hoping to get closer to the 2st with the reduced weight.  

Another concern (maybe imagined since I haven't ridden one) is that the reports I have read lead me to believe that the low end power is weak.  My FE350 has good pulling power in the lower RPM range and still revs nicely.

Big difference between a older FE350 (which I think uses the first generation 350 motor) and a new 16/17 model... The current generation is smaller, lighter and more refined... 

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What do you think about the lower RPM power?  Can you compare it to a 250 2st?  My 250XC is fairly good, but I also have an SX head on it which helps a bunch.

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40 minutes ago, Monk said:

That's part of the problem, you are trying to ride it like a 450...

Upon my first experience riding the 16/17 350 I was coming off my Yamaha 450. I couldn't ride the 350 worth crap. I wasn't sure what gear to be in, if I rode it low in the RPM it didn't have enough torque to get the front end up, but it made way too much power to ride it high in the RPM. The trick is to ride it right in the middle...You won't find a more effective tool available if you learn how to ride the 350 properly...

As for the on/off, yes it does have that tendency, but again, your trying to torque the thing around... Turn the RPM up a bit, use the TPS tool to richen it up and you can greatly reduce the jerkiness...

It's also a false statement when people say the KTM 350 motor is all mid/top...

It makes 54hp at peak RPM but 99% of the people out there dont ride there. The 350 has a nice manageable smooth bottom-end power that makes a seemless transition into the mid range and again into the top-end. Very few dirtbikes have ever that kinda curve... 

What you are saying is exactly what I am experiancing. It has to be ridden higher in the rpm range but not too high and seems to require more shifting to keep it in the right rpm range.

Edited by Brilloman

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32 minutes ago, Bigbird said:

What do you think about the lower RPM power?  Can you compare it to a 250 2st?  My 250XC is fairly good, but I also have an SX head on it which helps a bunch.

I had a 2012 250xc...loved the motor, couldn't find a chassis setup worth shit. Considering it was the first linkage 2t KTM, not alot of setup information was available.

I have a new 17 250xc in my garage right now that I've ridden literally back to back with my 350xcf. The 250xc feels amazing (consider I hate the 300xc too), super light and airy, but the 350xcf has such a better 'overall' and cleaner motor... If you have an advantage if getting the 250xc deeper into the corner by getting later on the brakes, the 350 will make up any difference coming out. I much prefer the front end feel of the 350 over his 250xc...From bottom to top the 350 pulls and hooks up better.

The one big thing the 250xc has that I don't, that makes the bike feel lighter is the AER fork. I have coil spring. I got the same feeling feeling when riding my buddies TX350. I was curious to see if my motor was lacking some power after 140+hrs...NOPE! But the front of his bike did have that same lighter feeling over mine... 

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I run a 17 350 xcf for enduro and hare scrambles in mi. Works great, at race pace you don't get the on/off throttle feel and I have a 13 tooth front sprocket and the larger throttle cam in. I don't run a rekluse clutch, but would like to try one in the future..no stalling issues. 

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11 hours ago, Monk said:

If you have an advantage if getting the 250xc deeper into the corner by getting later on the brakes, the 350 will make up any difference coming out. I much prefer the front end feel of the 350 over his 250xc...From bottom to top the 350 pulls and hooks up better.

You've hit the nail on the head with this statement.  If you set up a corner on the 350 so that you can be hard on the throttle coming out, it is very effective.  On the 250XC(mine is a '12 also) the lighter weight allows one to make adjustments to cornering position more easily, but your best corner speed is to go as deep as you dare, pivot and accelerate.  With the extra weight of my FE350, it becomes more work at the end of a long ride or race and then you slow down whereas a good rhythm on the 2st can be sustained. It sounds like the newer 350's get much closer to the 2st's compared to mine.  Gonna have to go see the bike at my dealer. 

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1 hour ago, Bigbird said:

but your best corner speed is to go as deep as you dare, pivot and accelerate

Seems like this is not the most effective way to get around a corner as quick as possible. By 'pivoting' you'd be losing a lot of momentum, ultimately bringing yourself to a near stop than having to get yourself going again... 

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35 minutes ago, Monk said:

Seems like this is not the most effective way to get around a corner as quick as possible. By 'pivoting' you'd be losing a lot of momentum, ultimately bringing yourself to a near stop than having to get yourself going again... 

The descriptive "pivot" seems to conjure up a vision of almost coming to a complete stop.  Probably not an accurate usage of the word except in some situations.  What I was thinking as I wrote was an "A-line" turn or Late Apex turn where you go deep into the corner, but turn early and drive across the normal apex point.  I have found, for me, that this is a very effective tool in a lot of turns, particularly where you either don't want to or can't lean the bike over as much as you would in a normal apex turn.  You're right, it is just one style of turning and traditional apex turns should be smooth with the rider carrying as much momentum as they can.  In the late apex turn I don't come to a complete stop, but do drop more speed than a traditional apex turn.  Usually, it turns into a higher exit speed, and it works better with the more responsive two stroke motor and lighter weight of the 250.  On the 350, I look for the smooth/carry speed lines.  

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