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2021 xcw or xc. What is best if it was only bike you can have?


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What’s up guys. I have a chance to buy either a 2021 250 XC or 2021 300 Xc-w. It’s gettting so stressful for my simple brain to take. Lol. I thought getting a new bike was supposed to be all fun. I grew up riding 250 2 strokes. I’m 33 and just started riding again after about 10yrs. I took a hard fall on street bike and now I’m back to riding dirt.  I’m currently on a 2005 450 exc. I live in Nevada so there are tons of wide open trails. But also a lot of technical canyons, rock formations and single tracks up in the mountains near Tahoe. I tend to like doing the slow and technical stuff more than wide open fast riding. Less chance of getting seriously injured I guess.  I am physically fit but have many injuries. Separated ac joint, jacked up shoulder muscles. I’ve broke both my wrists on two different occasions, actually just got my casts off from an fast electric skateboard fall. I think scar tissue is the only thing holding my ankles together. Torn hamstring. Just why I was kind of leaning towards the softer suspension bike. Any thoughts or opinions? I do and can still ride as hard as ever. Side note, the Xc for sale is 30 min from me. The xcw is a 13 hr drive away.. &%$#@!in California man. 

Edited by Brook Lynn Sweeting
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Thanks for the opinions. I’m sure they are both great, actually what makes it so hard. I was originally leaning towards the xcw I’m just reading too many mixed reviews it gets confusing. Do you feel the new xcw’s have enough snap down low to easily pop the front wheel up and over things? 

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Posted (edited)
57 minutes ago, pat22043 said:

Slow technical stuff says XCW, fast open desert says XC

 

Also what makes my decision harder. We have tons of wide open around me. Trails going for days. But I tend to play around on the rock formations and canyon hill climbs on my 450 exc  tank. I’m sure my mind is going to be blown on either one. I guess I’m just worried the xcw might feel to tame, some people even go as far to call it boring. 

Edited by Brook Lynn Sweeting
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The engine in the XC and XCW is the same. The transmission has different ratios, XCW is Wide-ratio.
I think my XCW has plenty of snap. Depends a lot on what you mean by "too tame". Its a lot more tame than my TZ750 was.
The engines are very linear, they don't have a huge "on the pipe" hit like two strokes of old. You can adjust that, of course,
with the power valve and the ignition map, and if that's not enough, with a high compression head and a hot expansion chamber.

But you really should ride them to know. Pre-Covid, KTM used to have demo days. Or go out with a group and swap bikes.

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11 minutes ago, pat22043 said:

The engine in the XC and XCW is the same. The transmission has different ratios, XCW is Wide-ratio.
I think my XCW has plenty of snap. Depends a lot on what you mean by "too tame". Its a lot more tame than my TZ750 was.
The engines are very linear, they don't have a huge "on the pipe" hit like two strokes of old. You can adjust that, of course,
with the power valve and the ignition map, and if that's not enough, with a high compression head and a hot expansion chamber.

But you really should ride them to know. Pre-Covid, KTM used to have demo days. Or go out with a group and swap bikes.

If it’s truly only the transmission, the snap should be the same as that’s in the engine. CNW’s comments, however, suggests there’s more than just tranny differences. 

I know what you mean about those Tahoe trails for miles. Nevada is California without all the rules. Long fire roads can lead to ghost mining towns and such. I think it matters how fast you need to be going when on them? I mean, if you’re not in a rush, will 10 mph less in top gear matter to you?

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7 minutes ago, Tahoe Gator said:

If it’s truly only the transmission, the snap should be the same as that’s in the engine. CNW’s comments, however, suggests there’s more than just tranny differences. 

Its only the bottom two gears being lower on the W, the upper four gears are identical. Top speed should be the same, no way 10 MPH difference. In years past, the XC had a carb after the XCW went TPI, but this year, both are TPI. The suspension is different, the XC has billet triple clamps. The ignition and TPI  maps could be different. Any parts list shows most of the engine parts are identical. The XC is a bit lighter because it has no lights.

There might be more, I haven't taken them apart.

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I would love to try them out. I hate this feeling of rushing into a decision.  I would like the option of riding a 2 stroke in CA since I’m right on the border. Otherwise I would wait. @pat22043 I think I saw your video on YouTube if that was your 2021 xcw. Good to hear from someone with direct experience with one if that’s you.  

 @Tahoe Gator have you ever rode stinger trail. It’s a trail in between spooner summit and Kingsbury grade. A 5 mile single track that used to be mountain bike only. It just opened up for dirt bikes last year.. one of the best I’ve found that is right on tahoe.. great views of the lake from up there. 

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I went to look at the 2021 250xc last night. It is for sale by a private owner. He isn’t able to make is payments because of some financial trouble. Also he said the bike scared the hell out of him. Lol.... It has 3.5 hrs, started up and ran strong. It is getting a little complicated since he has a lien on it and I would need to finance the bike as well. I’m working with my bank to try and figure out what is possible. The 300xcw is up in Washington at a dealer. They said they can hold it for me for the weekend. 

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On 4/8/2021 at 1:14 PM, Brook Lynn Sweeting said:

 I tend to like doing the slow and technical stuff more than wide open fast riding. 

100% XC-W.

I've owned the enduro bikes (XC-W  and XCF-W) and also the cross country bikes (XC-F).  If you are not pounding whoops in 4th gear or hitting big doubles, but instead are riding through rocks and technical stuff, you'll be much happier with the XC-W.

I currently have a 2020 300 XC-W and a 2021 350 XC-F (4 stroke equivalent of the XC).    They are both awesome bikes.  They'll both do what the other can do.  But they just excel in different places.  The XC-W gearing and suspension is much better for slow and technical riding.  The XC / XC-F suspension is much better for faster riding, whoops and jumps.

 

2020 300 XC-W...

IMG_20190810_144327240.thumb.jpg.ca523521d24b6f4fdaf6f343f72ae533.jpg

xcw.thumb.jpg.8cd07289af1355d4c455ec3442063972.jpg

 

 

2021 350 XC-F (4-stroke equivalent of the XC)...

xcf.thumb.jpg.f6381312780b6acaee45d712e1d9a557.jpg

Doc

Edited by Doc_d
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I would take linkage over PDS all day long. The linkage is better in fast, and slow stuff. It’s more predicatable, and handles better in all scenarios. This is where the TE comes in. You get the XACT forks, W transmission, and linkage. It’s just better. 

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1 hour ago, 69fastback said:

I would take linkage over PDS all day long. The linkage is better in fast, and slow stuff. It’s more predicatable, and handles better in all scenarios. This is where the TE comes in. You get the XACT forks, W transmission, and linkage. It’s just better. 

Some people have a strong preference for one or the other.  But KTM wouldn't go through the trouble or expense of building both a linkage and PDS suspension for the same bike if linkage was just definitively better in every way for every single rider.   They both have their pros and cons.   There are fans of both on an enduro bike.  I have both PDS and linkage bikes.  There are things I like and dislike about each.  

But the preference for linkage or PDS aside, @Brook Lynn Sweeting should definitely be considering the Husky versions (TE or TX) as well.

Doc

Edited by Doc_d
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Those are some good looking bikes doc. I was hoping I could get you in on this. I’ve seen your past posts. Damn that TE does sound kind of perfect. I haven’t tried to look for one but I’m guessing it’s going to be near impossible right now, for this part of the country. 

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Posted (edited)

I went down so hard on a sport bike 4 years ago. 2014 Mv Agusta brutale.. went down going 115 mph, totaled the bike and almost died. After that I don’t mind taking it a little slower. Lol And I have always heard that you should get good at going slow before you try to speed things up. 

Edited by Brook Lynn Sweeting
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7 minutes ago, Brook Lynn Sweeting said:

I went down so hard on a sport bike 4 years ago. 2014 Mv Agusta brutale.. went down going 115 mph, totaled the bike and almost died. After that I don’t mind taking it a little slower. Lol And I have always heard that you should get good at going slow before you try to speed things up. 

If you're a previous racer the xcw will fall on its face after you put 50 hours in and get confidant carrying speed. If you get the xc you may not have to throw 1500$ at the suspension right away. Linkage is just better, you can tune it to be good on slow and faster stuff, the pds is not as widely usable. My friends who ride serious HE terrain never use 1st gear, they are all on 300 xc/tx bikes. I like the wide ratio trans, but would not take the pds to get it. That's one of the many reasons I bought a Beta 300.

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11 minutes ago, Brook Lynn Sweeting said:

Those are some good looking bikes doc. I was hoping I could get you in on this. I’ve seen your past posts. Damn that TE does sound kind of perfect. I haven’t tried to look for one but I’m guessing it’s going to be near impossible right now, for this part of the country. 

 

I think KTM cut production on their KTM and Husky's last year to free up production for their Gas Gas red bikes.   So it might be worth looking into the Gas Gas versions as well.  There are some small differences but they are basically the same bikes.  You might have more luck finding one in red.  I'd call every dealer within a 2 or 3 hour radius.  You might also want to consider a 300 unless you know you want a 250.  Not because I think the 300 is better (although I do like the 300s), but it might give you a better chance of finding a bike.

Doc

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