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300XC-W vs 520EXC

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Hey guys, new to posting here but I’ve been reading these forums for years. As the title states, I’m looking for input on which bike to pursue. 

Right now I ride a clean XR600 and have had the suspension reaprung and revalved for my weight and I like it a lot, but the bike is just too heavy. I’m 6’4” and about 220lbs, but the bike is a nightmare in loose terrain. I live in Northern California and have hundreds of miles of trails in my back yard, including the Rubicon. I’m also close to Nevada and ride Moonrocks and other OHVs quite a bit, so I’m looking for something to fit the mud, sand, and rocks. I never ride track, so I’m definitely looking for an enduro/trail bike, and have been very interested in the 300xc-w, but my friends are telling me that it’s too weak? They are saying the 520exc is the only way to go. Any input?

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I too live in NorCal & I had this exact thought process for the last month although I was a size or two "under" where you are. I was on a CRF450R but it was too heavy and setup for MX. I'm a trails rider from Clear Creek (When it was open) all the way up into Stonyford and into Smith Valley NV. I went and got myself a 2019 KTM 350 a couple weeks ago and I like it but it could sure use more pull in the engine department. That being said though, the 300/350's/450's/500's all have a very similar dry weight. However they all "carry" themselves very differently. I want light & "flicky" so my strategy was to get the largest "small" endro bike I can and then tune the engine to make as much power as I can squeeze out of it. Net/Net = I always seem to have to make a tradeoff between a light bike or a bike with power. I'd say pick something as small as you can go and mod it out to where it can deliver as much power as you can get from it. Hopefully that long-winded response helps!

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11 minutes ago, hsjosh said:

I too live in NorCal & I had this exact thought process for the last month although I was a size or two "under" where you are. I was on a CRF450R but it was too heavy and setup for MX. I'm a trails rider from Clear Creek (When it was open) all the way up into Stonyford and into Smith Valley NV. I went and got myself a 2019 KTM 350 a couple weeks ago and I like it but it could sure use more pull in the engine department. That being said though, the 300/350's/450's/500's all have a very similar dry weight. However they all "carry" themselves very differently. I want light & "flicky" so my strategy was to get the largest "small" endro bike I can and then tune the engine to make as much power as I can squeeze out of it. Net/Net = I always seem to have to make a tradeoff between a light bike or a bike with power. I'd say pick something as small as you can go and mod it out to where it can deliver as much power as you can get from it. Hopefully that long-winded response helps!

See, that’s my thought. The better the power to weight ratio, the faster your junk will be. I like the 300 for that, and then BRC makes the 500 kit for it so if I needed more power I could get their kit and I can’t imagine a 520 being able to sweep that setup. But are the 520s really as fast as they say? 

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I can't say for sure about the 520 since the biggest I've ridden is a 450 and that was more than enough for my 200lbs of rider weight but I sure do love the idea. If I could get a 520 power and "flickiness" of a 250 in a single bike + street legal I'd be all over that...lol.

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Afterthought; I also had a 1999 KTM 300 EXC and LOVED it. I think in a few years for my next bike I will go back to that model. Only reason I went 350 was for the street plates and I'm now used to the 4-stroke on the downhill control with the throttle instead of "coasting".

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Pine_rider,  I am from your area and have ridden years in all the places you mentioned. I am in Arizona now and ride a 500 because of the terrain here and fuel mileage of the four stroke.

Up there you will like the 520 but you will Love the 300. Especially Rubicon like terrain. Just my 2 cents.

Eric #33

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Hey guys, new to posting here but I’ve been reading these forums for years. As the title states, I’m looking for input on which bike to pursue.  Right now I ride a clean XR600 and have had the suspension reaprung and revalved for my weight and I like it a lot, but the bike is just too heavy. I’m 6’4” and about 220lbs, but the bike is a nightmare in loose terrain. I live in Northern California and have hundreds of miles of trails in my back yard, including the Rubicon. I’m also close to Nevada and ride Moonrocks and other OHVs quite a bit, so I’m looking for something to fit the mud, sand, and rocks. I never ride track, so I’m definitely looking for an enduro/trail bike, and have been very interested in the 300xc-w, but my friends are telling me that it’s too weak? They are saying the 520exc is the only way to go. Any input?

 

Are you talking new 300or older 300?. Just so happens, we were at the moonrocks last Saturday, me on a 99 husky wr250, one buddy on a 18 300 and another on a 17 ktm 350. At 260 with gear on, i did every hill climb they did pretty easy, I assume the husky has close to the same power as a older 300. So idk where a 300 would be to weak for you at only 220. The buddy on the 300 got rid of his ktm 505 because of the rebuild cost and weight. unless I'm mistaken isn't the 520 a older model? Will it need a rebuild soon? I think the 300 would be perfect for what your looking for. I feel your pain with xr6 my other bike is a xr4. 

 

 

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Go look at the starting grid of Erzberg and see how many 2T versus 4T bikes you see.  On technical terrain like the Con a light 2T bike is hard to beat.  In the open desert a 4T is hard to beat.

That said, I ride an '05 525EXC because I want a plate but I find the bike very capable in most terrain.  The bike is more capable than the skills I bring to the table.  The only time I wish for more power is in the sand or on the highway but I can still cruise at 65 with my single track oriented gearing.

'98-'02 520

'03-'07 525

'08-'11 530

'12-present 500

 

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2 hours ago, dlock5 said:

Are you talking new 300or older 300?. Just so happens, we were at the moonrocks last Saturday, me on a 99 husky wr250, one buddy on a 18 300 and another on a 17 ktm 350. At 260 with gear on, i did every hill climb they did pretty easy, I assume the husky has close to the same power as a older 300. So idk where a 300 would be to weak for you at only 220. The buddy on the 300 got rid of his ktm 505 because of the rebuild cost and weight. unless I'm mistaken isn't the 520 a older model? Will it need a rebuild soon? I think the 300 would be perfect for what your looking for. I feel your pain with xr6 my other bike is a xr4. 

 

 

Haha, I was there this last weekend too with a few friends of mine, all riding brand new exc500s. I’m talking a brand new 300xc-w. Fuel injection, selerate oil and fuel, all the good stuff. I’d like to not have to rebuild anything. I’m not worried about it being street legal, I don’t ride much street other than just a quick crossing or .5 mile run to a friends house.

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Haha, I was there this last weekend too with a few friends of mine, all riding brand new exc500s. I’m talking a brand new 300xc-w. Fuel injection, selerate oil and fuel, all the good stuff. I’d like to not have to rebuild anything. I’m not worried about it being street legal, I don’t ride much street other than just a quick crossing or .5 mile run to a friends house.
Well the new 300's have all the power you would need. I can't imagine you would be riding hills worse then Erzberg they work there, granted those guys are pro's. If you're talking open desert I guess that's different, but enduro/ trail riding they're crazy if they think the new 300's are weak

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6 hours ago, Pine_rider said:

Haha, I was there this last weekend too with a few friends of mine, all riding brand new exc500s. I’m talking a brand new 300xc-w. Fuel injection, selerate oil and fuel, all the good stuff. I’d like to not have to rebuild anything. I’m not worried about it being street legal, I don’t ride much street other than just a quick crossing or .5 mile run to a friends house.

You will have to do top ends occasionally on a 300 but 2T top ends are easy peasy and cheap compared to a 4T

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Easy. 300 XCW if you want to get into more technical terrain and push your skills there. Get the 4 stroke if you want to be on more open terrain. I've never heard anyone call the 300 2t's weak, and even if it was, brute power in a lot of technical terrain is not ideal when you need traction.

If you're afraid of doing rebuilds and the fear of doing a top end on a 2 stroke every year or so, depending on how often you ride, don't be. Seriously, it takes an hour and will cost $150 in parts. Watch a quality youtube video on it, and you'll see how simple it really is. I just bought a 2019 300 XCW six days to demote my YZ 250 to backup trail duty, and in just a few short rides I can say that 2 stroke technology has come a long way in recent years.

Like I said though, if you want to ride on the street or mainly hit fire roads, ATV trails or the desert a 4 stroke will be better equipped for that and ignore all my advice about the 300.

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I live in Nor Cal and own both a EXC 530 and a XCW 300. The 300 is easier to ride in the technical terrain then the 530. I’m 6’1 and weigh 210. Both bike have all the power I could even want. As for top end rebuild the 300 is way cheaper. The manual calls for about the same rebuild interval. The piston for the 530 (OEM) cost $400 dollars. With valves and piston your getting close to $1000. Where the 300 is only a couple hundred dollars in all.

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On 10/23/2018 at 10:21 PM, Pine_rider said:

so I’m definitely looking for an enduro/trail bike, and have been very interested in the 300xc-w, but my friends are telling me that it’s too weak? They are saying the 520exc is the only way to go. Any input?

If the 300 is too "weak" then the 520 is no better. Go big or go home! 690R Enduro KTM!!! 67 HP because you might need it! :rolleyes:

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the 300 XC would suit you best due to better suspension and power delivery, if you need a plate and most ca rides do get a new 500 exc and sacrifice the $$$ to get the 300's weight with a 500 power. I have a 2015 300xcw and its collecting dust since my 2017 500 purchase and mods. the new 300s with EFI is a way better bike than previous models so I,m trading mine for another

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