Jump to content

YZ125 vs KTM150 EXC

Recommended Posts

How would a 150 EXC/XCW engine differ from a 125? Yes, it will have more power, I get that. But does it have enough bottom end for the semi casual racer to justify the hassel of locating (used ones seem to not be commonly for sale) and spending the extra cash?

Or am I better off just doing a revalve on my mint '01 yz125 and calling it good. I would prefer opinions from people that have rode both. I have done lots of small bore two stroke off road racing...just not with a 150exc. I rode a friends 250 xcw and it was a dream, but I want something lighter...I ride harescramble in the rocky mountains and race mx. 5'7", 165lbs. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a hard call. The yz125 custom suspension would be way better then older standard ktm suspension.

IMO the yz is also more reliable.

I wouldn't spend the money on a big bore kit for the yz. It makes rebuilds more difficult.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I owned a 05YZ 125 and now a 2018 150 X CW. For woods and hair scrambles I much prefer the 150. It has tons more grunt and you don’t need to ring it out but it will run just fine at higher RPMs. Plus the chassis and suspension is pretty good. Probably not as good as stock YZ stuff but it works just fine.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, sasrocks said:

I owned a 05YZ 125 and now a 2018 150 X CW. For woods and hair scrambles I much prefer the 150. It has tons more grunt and you don’t need to ring it out but it will run just fine at higher RPMs. Plus the chassis and suspension is pretty good. Probably not as good as stock YZ stuff but it works just fine.

Do you mind me asking what weight range you are and what level you race at? I appreciate the comments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you mind me asking what weight range you are and what level you race at? I appreciate the comments.

I am 200 pounds, C Senior. I’ve had the suspension re-sprung and the explorer forks converted. Real happy with the suspenders now.

I should also mention this spring I was practice riding with some other guys including a fast A guy who had this year switched to a gorr 144YZ just to change things up. I let his dad Who is 30 pounds lighter than me hop on my bike and they drag raced. They reported the KTM was a little faster. For what it’s worth. I have it jetted and set up proper.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've not owned either bike but ridden several of each. All things being equal a 150exc (that's a newere model bike) is going to crush an 01 YZ 125 in every way. It handles better, has better suspension, and motor wise they're on different levels as well. 

Honestly not even really a fair comparison in my opinion. 

 

To the guy who said the YZ suspension would be better, he's likely thinking of 06+ SSS yamaha suspension which is very good. 01 YZ suspension vs. a newer 150exc in the woods, the KTM is hands down better. 

  • Like 1
  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/15/2018 at 1:40 PM, Lone Danger said:

How would a 150 EXC/XCW engine differ from a 125? Yes, it will have more power, I get that. But does it have enough bottom end for the semi casual racer to justify the hassel of locating (used ones seem to not be commonly for sale) and spending the extra cash?

Or am I better off just doing a revalve on my mint '01 yz125 and calling it good. I would prefer opinions from people that have rode both. I have done lots of small bore two stroke off road racing...just not with a 150exc. I rode a friends 250 xcw and it was a dream, but I want something lighter...I ride harescramble in the rocky mountains and race mx. 5'7", 165lbs. Thanks.

https://www.google.com/search?q=yz+125+144+big+bore+kit&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari

or get the 150 ktm or husky. Just shop around for best prices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've not owned either bike but ridden several of each. All things being equal a 150exc (that's a newere model bike) is going to crush an 01 YZ 125 in every way. It handles better, has better suspension, and motor wise they're on different levels as well. 
Honestly not even really a fair comparison in my opinion. 
 
To the guy who said the YZ suspension would be better, he's likely thinking of 06+ SSS yamaha suspension which is very good. 01 YZ suspension vs. a newer 150exc in the woods, the KTM is hands down better. 
I was thinking of 01 kyb suspension compared to older ktm suspension. I don't think op is comparing an 01 yz to a new ktm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought he was

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, KTMRider4Life said:

I've not owned either bike but ridden several of each. All things being equal a 150exc (that's a newere model bike) is going to crush an 01 YZ 125 in every way. It handles better, has better suspension, and motor wise they're on different levels as well. 

Honestly not even really a fair comparison in my opinion. 

 

To the guy who said the YZ suspension would be better, he's likely thinking of 06+ SSS yamaha suspension which is very good. 01 YZ suspension vs. a newer 150exc in the woods, the KTM is hands down better. 

I would disagree about the suspension.  I have both an SSS YZ125 (06) and a pre SSS yz 125 (03), both of which have be revalved for eastern hare scramble racing by the same tuner.  I find the 03 bike to be superior to the 06.  It's not a huge difference, but the 03 works better in the woods for sure, and if I ever sell one, it will be the 06

As for the comparison (yz125 vs 150) here are my thoughts after riding numerous examples of the 150.

1. older 150s (pre 2016) just feel a little more powerful across the rev range.  I find the Yamaha chassis superior

2. Newer (2016 on) KTM/Husky bikes are a different animal.  They have better brakes, more power, and feel lighter than either of my YZ 125s (steel 03 or aluminum 06).  Now how much of that translates into lap times, I do not know.  But I suspect that it would not be a big difference.  Is it worth it?  That's what I've been wrestling with the last couple of years since I rode a 2016 Husky TC 125.  The new 150 is unmistakably more powerful than a yz 125, but again, that's out on a fire road or other open area.  Not sure if it would really make a difference whipping through the trees.  

3. I do know that if I buy a new small bore KTM/Husky, it will NOT be the XCW model.  I am a high rpm guy, and to me the gear ratios are all wrong on the XCW.  1st is way too low, and 2nd is too tall.  The ratios just don't work for me.  If I buy, it will be a TC or SX to get the close ratio transmission, and I will pay for a revalve.

There's a guy who posts in the Yamaha section that goes by "Tuner".  Check out his posts,  He has both a YZ 125 and a Husky 150, and has discussed many times how they compare.

Feel free to check in with me over the next few weeks.  I just picked up a low hour (really low!) KTM 200 (04), and the first real ride will be this weekend. I will be glad to let you know how the bike compares with my YZs.  I have been looking for this model bike forever.  Before 07 the frame was a little smaller on the 125/200, so it fits me a little better than later model KTMs I have owned.  This bike also has the really low 1st that I hate, but I think it may have enough torque to allow me to effectively use 2nd at race pace in the tight stuff.  

 

  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, rpt50 said:

I would disagree about the suspension.  I have both an SSS YZ125 (06) and a pre SSS yz 125 (03), both of which have be revalved for eastern hare scramble racing by the same tuner.  I find the 03 bike to be superior to the 06.  It's not a huge difference, but the 03 works better in the woods for sure, and if I ever sell one, it will be the 06

As for the comparison (yz125 vs 150) here are my thoughts after riding numerous examples of the 150.

1. older 150s (pre 2016) just feel a little more powerful across the rev range.  I find the Yamaha chassis superior

2. Newer (2016 on) KTM/Husky bikes are a different animal.  They have better brakes, more power, and feel lighter than either of my YZ 125s (steel 03 or aluminum 06).  Now how much of that translates into lap times, I do not know.  But I suspect that it would not be a big difference.  Is it worth it?  That's what I've been wrestling with the last couple of years since I rode a 2016 Husky TC 125.  The new 150 is unmistakably more powerful than a yz 125, but again, that's out on a fire road or other open area.  Not sure if it would really make a difference whipping through the trees.  

3. I do know that if I buy a new small bore KTM/Husky, it will NOT be the XCW model.  I am a high rpm guy, and to me the gear ratios are all wrong on the XCW.  1st is way too low, and 2nd is too tall.  The ratios just don't work for me.  If I buy, it will be a TC or SX to get the close ratio transmission, and I will pay for a revalve.

There's a guy who posts in the Yamaha section that goes by "Tuner".  Check out his posts,  He has both a YZ 125 and a Husky 150, and has discussed many times how they compare.

Feel free to check in with me over the next few weeks.  I just picked up a low hour (really low!) KTM 200 (04), and the first real ride will be this weekend. I will be glad to let you know how the bike compares with my YZs.  I have been looking for this model bike forever.  Before 07 the frame was a little smaller on the 125/200, so it fits me a little better than later model KTMs I have owned.  This bike also has the really low 1st that I hate, but I think it may have enough torque to allow me to effectively use 2nd at race pace in the tight stuff.  

 

I have an 01 200 that started life as an exc and has morphed into something of its own.  I've experimented with so many 125/200 parts its ridiculous.   I have a huge pipe/spark arrestor collection and a few motors.   If you've got any questions about pipes, power valve springs, carburetors  36,38,39, jetting etc shoot me a PM. Ive played with it all. 

If you're riding woods or cross country there's no comparison in early model KTM vs yz's, the yz is like bringing a knife to a gun fight. 

A few folks struggle with the suspension setup but that mostly has to do with sag setup heres the tip 105mm.  The early small chassis KTM's can turn as well as a yz125 all day if you set them up right. 

I was the Vet B champ in a very competitive district a few years ago on my 01 200 when most considered it a vintage bike.   Those early 00 KTM's are competitive to this day . 

 

FB_IMG_1537142202628.jpg

FB_IMG_1526663483956.jpg

FB_IMG_1539573564278.jpg

  • Like 2
  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the tips on the 200!  Setting the sag is on the "to do" list for today, so I will start 

3 hours ago, KTMRider4Life said:

I have an 01 200 that started life as an exc and has morphed into something of its own.  I've experimented with so many 125/200 parts its ridiculous.   I have a huge pipe/spark arrestor collection and a few motors.   If you've got any questions about pipes, power valve springs, carburetors  36,38,39, jetting etc shoot me a PM. Ive played with it all. 

If you're riding woods or cross country there's no comparison in early model KTM vs yz's, the yz is like bringing a knife to a gun fight. 

A few folks struggle with the suspension setup but that mostly has to do with sag setup heres the tip 105mm.  The early small chassis KTM's can turn as well as a yz125 all day if you set them up right. 

I was the Vet B champ in a very competitive district a few years ago on my 01 200 when most considered it a vintage bike.   Those early 00 KTM's are competitive to this day . 

 

FB_IMG_1537142202628.jpg

FB_IMG_1526663483956.jpg

FB_IMG_1539573564278.jpg

Thanks for the tips on the 200!  Setting the sag is on the "to do" list for today, so I will start with 105mm.  I'm sure I will have lots of questions as I sort this bike out.  Motor seems fine as is for my conditions, so I will probably be focusing on suspension.  First real ride will be this weekend.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/19/2018 at 6:12 AM, rpt50 said:

Thanks for the tips on the 200!  Setting the sag is on the "to do" list for today, so I will start 

Thanks for the tips on the 200!  Setting the sag is on the "to do" list for today, so I will start with 105mm.  I'm sure I will have lots of questions as I sort this bike out.  Motor seems fine as is for my conditions, so I will probably be focusing on suspension.  First real ride will be this weekend.  

If you don't care for the gear spread ( I have had several 200's, none were the exc/xcw as I hate the gearbox) you can swap them out with the xc, or sx gears to get it how you want it.  Some are the same, notable are first, 5th and 6th.  I actually bought a gearset for the W version and was going to put 5th and 6th in my bike (200sx).  I would run out of gears on the fire road connectors in the races I was doing.  I never did the swap as I moved up to a 250 and sold the 200.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was thinking of 01 kyb suspension compared to older ktm suspension. I don't think op is comparing an 01 yz to a new ktm.
Suspension wise that would be a fair comparison.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎10‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 10:32 PM, hawaiidirtrider said:

Get a big bore top end for your 125. Check eric gorr. Cheaper upgrade. Then there’s the new Beta 200 rr and I don’t know if Gasgas has a 200 coming out. Thought they did?? 

That's a valid option...however I'm not sure I want to go that route. I'm with speedtoad on this one, the rebuilds would be more difficult. I'm not that good of mech.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎10‎/‎18‎/‎2018 at 4:11 AM, speedtoad said:

I was thinking of 01 kyb suspension compared to older ktm suspension. I don't think op is comparing an 01 yz to a new ktm.

I guess I didn't specify. I was thinking in terms of the older models because the brand new ones take an arm and a leg and your first born as deposit. But I am also interested for comparison sake. I didn't realize the '10 models would be that much different than the new ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

01 WP suspension wasn't good

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for the great info. Hearing from experience is the way to go. I was originally leaning toward doing suspension on the yz125. I know the old steel frames have more give and are supposed to be the best out of the yz's for offroad (that's why I bought it), and I really love the low weight. I was turned off of the ktm 250 xc because of weight...it wasn't a 'no-go' but, I just prefer something lighter. It's more fun for me.

I think the 150 is maybe a better option (although more expensive) for me. So I am going to have to weigh that. However, you guys have peaked my interest in the pre-2007 ktm 200. Less weight and lower seat height. I think I'm going to look into that first. I'm not a tall man, and even my yz seems tall in most situations beside the mx track.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎10‎/‎18‎/‎2018 at 7:55 PM, rpt50 said:

Feel free to check in with me over the next few weeks.  I just picked up a low hour (really low!) KTM 200 (04), and the first real ride will be this weekend. I will be glad to let you know how the bike compares with my YZs.  I have been looking for this model bike forever.  Before 07 the frame was a little smaller on the 125/200, so it fits me a little better than later model KTMs I have owned.

Please feel free to update! This is the direction I seem to be heading. There is an '04 200 8 hours from me for sale and I would love to hear your take. The smaller frame is peaking my interest.

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:


×