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Rode a 2009 KTM 300XCW

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Last weekend I got to ride a 2009 KTM 300XCW. It was interesting to compare it to the XR since it's entirely on the other end of the XC bike spectrum with the CRFX's, WR's, XCF-W's, etc in the middle. I rode it on some intermediate level singletrack. The KTM was mostly stock and the XR I'm comparing it to is my 2000 XR400 with lowering link, suspension tuned/stiffened, jetted, uni, snorkel removed, exhaust uncorked, oversized bars w/riser, handguards, skidplates, stock gearing, etc.

Here's what I thought:

KTM vs Honda

fast & light steering, slower heavier steering

nimble race handling, trail cruiser handling

crisp throttle, smooth linear throttle

quick power, linear power

not as tractable, tractable as it gets

touchy brakes, strong brakes

toss it around feel, cruise and enjoy feel

feels like horsepower, feels like torque

stiff suspension, soft suspension

Feel every pebble, soak up every pebble

stiff seat, comfortable seat

I think they are both great bikes but in very different ways. Has anyone else here ridden one? I think my final conclusion is that the XR is a great fun trail bike and if I ever got bored with it I'd probably do a woods CR250 or YZ250 before I dropped major $$$ on the KTM. For now the XR stays!

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Enough to convince me, my bike is on craigslist already

Haha just joking ill keep it for many years:banana: :p

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You should keep it! You can get almost 5 xr400's for what the new KTM costs!

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well if you ever want a inbetween bike between a cr 250 and xr im sure the ktm is the way to go

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I've ridden an older KTM 300EXC. I called it a "3-stroke". Lots of torque with the ability to get up and scream like a 2-stroke. Going up a hill was a matter of how fast did I want to be going. Fast, faster, too fast! Plenty of power. The suspension was re-valved and it just ran over rocks. My friend was on my KTM 200SX. That bike is light and flickable. Uphills was about dodging around the rocks and changing lines. The front brake is so touchy, it scared my friend. He didn't last long before he wanted to trade back.

Later, I took out my XR400 for a ride. It really is the easiest bike to ride ever. It was great for just cruising and relaxing.

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I own both an xr4 and a KTM 300exc(05). Have for years. By far the KTM is a more capable machine for a more capable rider. I have always been faithfull to the xr and told myself and many others I'd never give it up... but I am thinking twice. The XR just sits. My type of riding is just more fun on the 3 stroke than the 4.

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ive riden both..its pretty much like comparing a toyota camry to a ferrari enzo as far as performace goes.

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ive riden both..its pretty much like comparing a toyota camry to a ferrari enzo as far as performace goes.

:) I was thinking BMW 5 series with an automatic compared to a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

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I own both an xr4 and a KTM 300exc(05). Have for years. By far the KTM is a more capable machine for a more capable rider. I have always been faithfull to the xr and told myself and many others I'd never give it up... but I am thinking twice. The XR just sits. My type of riding is just more fun on the 3 stroke than the 4.

I wonder if I'll end up in that boat some day as well. Being a mountain biker, a nice light tossable bike sounds good to me.

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For me, I have much more fun riding my 02 XR400 versus my 08 KTM 200XCW. JMHO.

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For me, I have much more fun riding my 02 XR400 versus my 08 KTM 200XCW. JMHO.

Any specific reasons?

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I think my final conclusion is that the XR is a great fun trail bike and if I ever got bored with it I'd probably do a woods CR250 or YZ250 before I dropped major $$$ on the KTM.

The YZ can be built to whatever your need. :) I have read that the CR can do the same. IMO, either of those are simply fantastic trail bikes with an auto clutch and a trail suspension rebuild/respring performed by a local trail specific suspension tuner. :banghead:

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The reasons I prefer the Honda is that the XR will get traction where the 200 won't, especially in technical sections. The power is so much smoother on the XR. On a ride of any distance (3 or more hours) I feel much fresher on the XR. The light weight of the KTM is a big benefit in whoops though. Here in Arizona, I ride singletrack and desert and the XR just works better in these conditions. I think if I were riding nice loam in the woods the KTM might be the ticket. And the biggest factor is probably that I'm old and I like my bike to be as easy to ride as possible.

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Red Dog you should find somebody to trade you a 300xcw or a rfs based 450exc for your 200xcw. Sounds like it would fit your bill alot better. Maybe Creeky will chime in? He was a long time xr fan and went over to a 450exc and was really happy with it and he is in his 70's.

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I still haven't got 15 hours on it yet. I keep hoping that it will win me over.

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I bought an '09 KTM 200 XC-W last year and sold my XR. I had modded my XR to make it as easy to ride as possible, but I work about half as hard riding the KTM around. The XR has it's place, but for the kind of riding I do, the KTM works better for me.

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