Jump to content

Making a great trail bike - 2018 150 XC-W ??

Recommended Posts

Hey Guys-

I am an early intermediate rider and only ride trails. My current bike is a Honda CRF230F which has been heavily modified for higher quality suspension and more trail oriented power etc. It's a porker of a machine though despite its size, weighs in at 255lbs fully wet.

I'd like a more modern bike to add to the stable to use along with or in place of the 230F. However it still must be a very trail friendly machine, but perhaps a machine that can take me a bit further in terms of riding skills. I do not hit MX tracks ever and don't have a desire to at 35 years old.

Is it possible to start with a KTM 150 XC-W and tune the power delivery to produce more at the lower and midrange bands as well as reducing the seat height by an inch or so to be more trail oriented? I'm only really looking for 25 horsepower or so, but with torque delivered low. It wouldn't even bother me to reduce the suspension travel by an inch or so if that would help. The reason why I like the idea of a 150 XC-W is because the wheelbase is reasonably short at 58" and it is VERY light.

I'm also considering the Beta xTrainer 300 but that large engine and reportedly weak suspension kind of turns me off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can tune alot, but run the risk of neutering a pretty awesome bike. It won't be a 230 no matter what you do and will require a different mindset and technique. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How heavy are you? Take it from someone who bought an xtrainer for his wife and then we went to a 150 sx.... Hands down she loves the 150 no competition

.. xtrainer suspension is not suitable for a mountain bike... The 150 feels lighter

.. sits just as low and will give you room to grow... Power is more than adjustable via the power valve ... She only rides trails and loves the super tech... Hell I am 215 and it is still a ball for me to take spin... I find the KTM cockpit is good for a smaller person.. we also have a yz150 that I did is better for taller people ...I am 6 foot... My wife is 5-4 and 120... The yz has to be ridden way more agressive ..you can just grunt the KTM 150 ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, wwillf01 said:

How heavy are you? Take it from someone who bought an xtrainer for his wife and then we went to a 150 sx.... Hands down she loves the 150 no competition

.. xtrainer suspension is not suitable for a mountain bike... The 150 feels lighter

I'm about 140lbs without gear so figure 150-155lbs with gear. I'm about 5'8" tall. Short but not so short that I can't ride a full size bike- I just enjoy the low seat height bc it makes trail riding that much easier, especially as an intermediate. 

I really appreciate your feedback about the wife's experience. That's good news for me. If I'm going to have a second bike, it doesn't need to be exactly the same as my current CRF230F, some differences will obviously be desirable. Any I agree- everything I read about the xTrainer's suspension is kinda scary. I've spent a lot of time and money working on the suspension on my CRF. I'd rather just get a good suspension out of the box.

Can you talk to me a bit about what specifically she likes with the 150sx versus the xTrainer? What are the differences between the 150 XC-W and the SX?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She has a 15 KTM sx... So there are no lights and it has linkage... I have had pds and prefer linkage because we have desert and high mountain single track and it just works better... I personally think the sx gives you a longer rpm range...... I would peg my wife in the same boat as you... The tank is only 2 gallons which sucks... We went with the rekluse and smartcarb to avoid jetting woes... I also added a flywheel weight which did not really do anything... For sure put tubliss on that will make it at least an inch lower. It will be a huge upgrade from your current bike.... You need to get something that can handle riding faster than you are now so you can grow into it..... Now the new ktm might be better... But as far as the yamis we own it is hard for me to have any love for the suspension on the KTM... Way better than the beta... But I only can tune a KTM to work well in slow or fast without valving... Our yamis can do both without valving . The 150 is better in every fashion besides crazy crazy crazy low end grunt that the beta engine can produce at 300cc...



.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also the xtrainer pipe is garbage.. it will get destroyed so easy... The 150 is nice and tucked away

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two of my buddies that ride in PA have bought XTrainers this summer and love them. Yes, if you ride out West on open trails at high speed, its not the bike for you. But then a 230F can't reach high speeds (search the 150f/230F forum for my mods that made my 230 into a 247 with tons of power). But we ride tight trails in the East and the XTrainer is perfect for this type of riding.

The XT's 300 is a joy to ride, its not explosive, but it has a zillion tons of torque to grunt over rocks and roots

I thought about it, vs the 300 XCW that I bought. The XT was too small of a bike for me, I'm 6-2 and 260

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get the 150sx, it works better everywhere. Small bores and wide ratios trans don't mix. Also no need for the extra weight of estart on a bike that is so easy to start you can use your hand. 

You'll be able to shave the seat down for free to help with the seat height, just pull the cover and cut the foam down and reinstall the cover. 

Motor wise adjust the powervalve to your liking. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/28/2017 at 8:19 PM, wwillf01 said:

How heavy are you? Take it from someone who bought an xtrainer for his wife and then we went to a 150 sx.... Hands down she loves the 150 no competition

.. xtrainer suspension is not suitable for a mountain bike... The 150 feels lighter

.. sits just as low and will give you room to grow... Power is more than adjustable via the power valve ... She only rides trails and loves the super tech... Hell I am 215 and it is still a ball for me to take spin... I find the KTM cockpit is good for a smaller person.. we also have a yz150 that I did is better for taller people ...I am 6 foot... My wife is 5-4 and 120... The yz has to be ridden way more agressive ..you can just grunt the KTM 150 ..

Did you build your yz150? Ive been thinking about doing that for for 13yr old son - buying a yz125 and when a rebuild is needed, making it a 150. Pretty tough to find a ktm150 locally, unless buying new.

Edited by GASKICKER

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
Personally if you are an agressive rider and 5-11 ish I think it is better all the way around than the sx... I had Derek Harris set it up and put the package together like he recommended for pump and it is awesome ... I am 215 and ride it it like I am going to kill it ... Change the piston every 40 and continue the abuse... It is a mid to top ride... For me though the suspension is freekin awesome stock ... At the end of the day it comes down to cockpit size... Yz seems larger the KTM seems to feel much smaller. Also the KTM can turn incredibly sharper...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 2017 150sx. I wanted the XC but didn't want to fork out the extra money. All I have done to it is adjust the suspension, lower the tire pressures, hand guards, enduro engineered seat, got the carb jetting lined out. It is an awesome Woods bike now. I wouldn't trade it for anything. It can climb big hills and it is light and nimble in the tight spots. I am 150 pounds probably 160 with gear, 5'8". I am old also. Lol thank you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 150SX feels shorter than the 150XCW because it is narrower at the seat and tank. The smaller, opaque fuel tank with no reserve on the petcock is not as nice for long trail rides, though. No headlight, either, but I don't find my light too useful in the woods at night (front wheel - and light - is never pointed in the direction of travel).

Don't write off MX tracks just yet. They are a blast. My first time on a mx track was at 50 yrs old. No racing, just having fun with other novices on track practice days.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no way you need to spend 150 XCW money to have a super fun small bore smoker for trail, track, and even racing fun.  I'm in my mid 50s and all I ever want to ride these days are my 125s (currently Yamahas, but I buy a lot of bikes).  In fact, I noticed yesterday that my 250sx has been sitting so long the tires have gone flat.  

Go out there and get yourself a clean, stock, 125 of any brand made after 2000 (two caveats: don't go older than 03 on KTM, and Honda 125 do have a very narrow powerband), and learn to ride it at high RPM like it is supposed to be ridden.  When you think you need to upshift, don't.  When you think you need to downshift, downshift twice.  Abuse the hell out of the clutch.  If you don't like this, or can't learn the new behavior patterns, you will be able to sell the bike for what you bought it for.  If you do like it, spend a little money on an offroad suspension revalve, and you will have a bike you will never want to part with for a bargain price.  

If you want specific details on any particular 125 for off road feel free to PM me--I've owned a lot of them over the years.  Good luck on your entry into smokers!

P.S. Since seat height is important to you, the older steel frame YZs (98-01) have the traditional curved seat, which gives a lower "real world" seat height, and make spectacular woods bikes!  After 02 they have the "flat" seat (which can be trimmed a bit).  I believe KTM has the highest seat heights of all bikes.  MY KTMs are the only bikes I have every actually lowered via suspension work.  However, 06 and earlier KTM 125/200s do have a dimensionally smaller frame. 

Edited by rpt50

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are looking for a light weight 230 style bike the 150 isn't it. It has great lowend-for a small bore but that is a big caveat.  

You would have to have the cylinder decked and head cut to match to change anything substantially.  Add a 36mm carb too. No options for a low-end pipe.

 Have you looked at a freeride?. The engine is perfect . Spend your money on the suspension , lowering and brakes . 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/30/2017 at 5:59 PM, cassidy250f said:

I have a 2017 150sx. I wanted the XC but didn't want to fork out the extra money. All I have done to it is adjust the suspension, lower the tire pressures, hand guards, enduro engineered seat, got the carb jetting lined out. It is an awesome Woods bike now. I wouldn't trade it for anything. It can climb big hills and it is light and nimble in the tight spots. I am 150 pounds probably 160 with gear, 5'8". I am old also. Lol thank you

Interesting your take on the 150sx. Im looking at getting a 2018 150sx. Some people say it has no low end grunt and that its like a light switch either on or off. 

Did you play with the power valve at all? Sounds like your loving it! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do like the bike a lot. I have changed out the stock power valve spring to the yellow spring and it is 2 turns in. I do not have the big power hit anymore.There is a lot on the power valve topic in another post. Look up 2017 150 XC-W Review post Ernie Allen. There is a lot of good stuff in this post. Some run red spring and flush with the case for more low end. I personally haven't tried it yet. I have also changed out the stock reeds to vforce 4 reeds. It now has better, smoother throttle response. As for low end it is still a 150. If you don't have enough low end start winding her up and she will go. I hope this helps. Thanks

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:


×