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Looking for 250 EXC Racing (2003) info before purchase

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I'm seriously considering the purchase of a new, leftover 2003 KTM 250 EXC racing as kind of a woods/trail/forest road bike for myself. I would intend to do minimum mods to the bike so I can license it in my state. All that is required in this regard is basically a mirror, horn and brakelight and license plate bracket. The competing bike that I'm considering is a Suzuki DRZ 400E. Both are priced about the same. Although I've seen the KTM's around for a few years, I'm not very familiar with them as to issues like reliability and general suitability for my intended use. 😢 They both meet my basic requirement as a short stocky guy: an electric start. Any thoughts on the suitability and reliability issues from all you mavens out there would be greatly appreciated. <font color="orange">

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I had a DRZ400S (heavier than the E) and I now have a KTM 250rfs. Different bikes. The first time I dropped my DRZ, I punched a hole in the left case with the shifter. Very fragile, but easy to fix with JB Weld. The DRZ needs a relly good skidplate that wraps around and additionnal protection from the shifter. I found the DRZ to be too big for me in the technical stuff (I'm 5'6", 130lbs) but okay everywhere else. I had no maintenance issue while I had it, 1.5 years.

I now have a 2003 250rfs. JD jet kit and HT Racing headers, plastic KTM skidplate. I had the seat shaved about 1.5 inch because of my short inseam. If you want to get from one trail to the other (one or two miles at the most) it will do just fine. More than that, I personaly don't think so. Oil changes are more frequent on the KTM but for me it's really worth it. It rides differently from my DRZ. I can take it anywhere, I'm not afraid of technical stuff anymore but that also has to do with me having more experience and riding with pros once in a while.

If I was shopping for a do-it-all bike right now, with a fair amount of road, the DRZ would be at the top of my list. If you are going to stay IN the woods, then consider the KTM. After market stuff is readily available for both bikes so you could modify them to your liking. Power wise, I'm considering a 351 kit for next year.

There is no bad choice here, just consider where you will be spending most of your time.

Johnnyttr 😢

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JTTR-Thanks for the info. One of the things I'm worrying about is whether the KTM is enough motorcycle to move my 225lb bulk around. I also have the possibility of getting a DRZ 400S, new, for the same price. I don't expect to do much road ridng, but the potential for a twenty mile stretch here or there is a possibility, and I get the feeling even that could be iffy on the 250. jioux

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