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My first KTM: The POS LIVES!

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First day on the trail with the old billygoat! Ran good but stalled it a lot on tight stuff, I'm more used to 2 stroke grunt and am lazy on the clutch. If any body is curious if an 02 400exc can still get down in the woods erase all doubt. Still have a lot of work to do on the handling, I did a complete rebuild on the forks and serviced the rear shock but the handling is still very vague and unpredictable over the rough stuff. 

Q?: it's currently sprung for a 250 pound rider but I'm sure its on stock valving, would this adversely affect handling and make the rebound unpredictable? I'm about 265 with full gear and it feels way too stiff, its fine at high speeds (3rd gear and up) but 1st gear putting around obstacles and the front end will dive and deflect over the even the smallest of rocks and roots. Thoughts?

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So, not trying to be a smart ass here....but are you running the correct tire pressure in the front??...13-14 PSI.

Also..have you zeroed out your adjustment clickers on the forks and then re set to "standard" as a starting point.

You're a pretty heavy rider....was the PO of similar weight?

You also may have too much oil in the forks. More oil means a stiffer ride...they should be filled for a plush enduro type setup for woods riding.  Maybe do a little research on oil level and check what yours are at before heading down the expensive path of re-valving.

As far as "grunt" goes....your comment really surprises me.  I ride all the time with a very good rider who has the same bike...but a 2006. He loves it for its low end grunt and linear tractability. His bike never stalls and we are in tight gnarly muddy conditions all the time.

He bought a brand new 300 six days three years ago and sold it after 2 months (taking a meaningful financial hit)...because it could just not deliver the great low end grunt that he was used to. He then spent the big bucks and had th 06 400 EXC completely rebuilt...still runs great today.

Maybe you're just not used to how the motor delivers the goods,,,and being a bit clutch lazy won't help....but based on his ability and commitment to his bike...I would say that as far as low end grunt goes...you have one of the very best machines for that. I expect with a little more seat time you'll come to like this aspect of the bike.

My $.02

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