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Woods bike: 2007 YZ 250 vs 2008 KTM 250 xc/xcw

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1. Provide your height, weight and skill level

5' 7", 160 naked, novice, been riding almost a year coming off a KTM 200 exc

2. Specify your price range if that's a limiting factor

$5k

3. Describe the terrain types & conditions the bike will be ridden in

Tight, technical east coast rocks and roots

4. If you're changing bikes, what do you want the new bike to do differently?

better suspension

Coming off a 1998 KTM 200exc and the suspension was really beating me up. I didn't want to spend the money to revalve on such an old bike, but overall I really liked the 200.

I have been looking for a 2008 KTM 250 xc or xcw because of the nice power delivery and the frame changes for 2008 that made the bike supposedly handle very well. Have had a really hard time finding one locally.

I am not a brand whore so I am open to other 2T woods bikes, looks like the YZ always gets glowing reviews in this area, there is a 2007 for sale locally at a fair price and in really good condition.

The YZ will be cheaper in the end after everything I have to buy to make both woods worthy but that is not really a big deal.

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i would go with the yz they are both nice bikes but i like the feel of the yz better. Since it will be cheaper in the end its a win win situation with the yz. i would definetly choose the 07 yz

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can you guys be more specific as to why the YZ is better besides price?

How does the power delivery compare between the 2? I know they are both very tunable, can the YZ be made to deliver power as smoothly as the KTM?

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The KTM has a smoother power delivery than the YZ, which can be tamed a little with a 13oz fww but it's still going to have more hit. YZ suspension revalved for the woods is awesome.

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The KTM has a smoother power delivery than the YZ, which can be tamed a little with a 13oz fww but it's still going to have more hit. YZ suspension revalved for the woods is awesome.

Is it that much better than the revalved KTM suspension?

Is the hit you are talking about when it comes on the pipe or all through out the power band?

Thanks for all the responses.

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Is it that much better than the revalved KTM suspension?

Is the hit you are talking about when it comes on the pipe or all through out the power band?

Thanks for all the responses.

Get the YZ but I'm horribly biased. Check my garage for a list of suggested mods. Note that all my mods including suspension fall under your budget.

Never ridden a KTM so don't listen to me but a woods-ified modded YZ from the right local trail specific suspension tuner works VERY VERY well.

The hit comes on once on the pipe - YES sweet mother of Jesus it hits but nothing too brutal IMO. Gear it up to lose snap (14/48 15/49) or richen the jetting to loose snap/hit too. A spark arrestor helps to a certain degree. An FMF the Q to be exact as the FMF TC2 feels like stock to me. :banghead:

While you're at it, add in the WR gearbox if you find yourself in open terrain which you said that you didn't. The one advantage to woods riders on this mod is that third is much lower and longer than the close ratio OEM gearset and you can even utilize fourth in some areas. Gears one and two remain the close ratio as the WR gears don't fit properly (but 3-4-5 do).

Don't listen to me though for I've never ridden one KTM ever. :)

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the hit is as it comes on the pipe.

if you like you 200, why not look at a secondhand 08 KTM 200? the bigger bikes really are quite differant, the 200 is a 125 with a big engine in it, and they really do handle tight woods riding a lot better then either a YZ 250 or 250 XC or XC-W, the 250 XC is however in my opinion a better bike then the are YZ stock for offroad riding, the YZ's (or any other jap, and most other euro bikes) don't have the asjustability of the powerband that the KTM's do, nor do they have the braided brake lines, or hydro clutch or a number of other things you get with a KTM, the XC-W transmition is a little wide for single track on the 250, however it works well with the 300's, and with the assistance of a suspention tuner the knows there way around WP suspention the KTM's suspention can be just as good or better then well set up KYB suspention.

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Both the YZ and XC are great bikes, you couldnt go wrong with either....

I ride a 300XCW, and like to ride steep tight rocky technical trails.

I feel the advantages of the 300XCW over a YZ250 is......

more low end power

taller 5th gear

bigger tank

lighting coil

hydro clutch

I know your asking about the 250XC so scratch the first two things off my list

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the hit is as it comes on the pipe.

if you like you 200, why not look at a secondhand 08 KTM 200? the bigger bikes really are quite differant, the 200 is a 125 with a big engine in it, and they really do handle tight woods riding a lot better then either a YZ 250 or 250 XC or XC-W, the 250 XC is however in my opinion a better bike then the are YZ stock for offroad riding, the YZ's (or any other jap, and most other euro bikes) don't have the asjustability of the powerband that the KTM's do, nor do they have the braided brake lines, or hydro clutch or a number of other things you get with a KTM, the XC-W transmition is a little wide for single track on the 250, however it works well with the 300's, and with the assistance of a suspention tuner the knows there way around WP suspention the KTM's suspention can be just as good or better then well set up KYB suspention.

Good question about the 200. I am looking at the 250 because I have been told the transition onto the pipe on the 250 is smoother and it has more torque.

If I were to outfit the YZ for woods riding it would still be cheaper than the KTM but I would still not have all of the nice things the KTM comes with stock (larger tank, hydro clutch, 18" rear wheel, braided lines, odo/estart(on xcw)). I did not want to mention these because I wanted an unbiased opinion as possible but it is something that I thought about.

Because I am a novice I think power delivery is more important than suspension because I am not fast enough to really overwhelm a well setup suspension. I would however struggle with a big hit trying to get up a rocky, rooty hill that has mud on it. Once I get better with clutch/throttle control I think I would be able to handle and enjoy the snap from an untamed YZ.

If an xcw comes up for sale soon I think I will pick one up. If not, it seems YZs are more readily available locally and I can snatch up one of those. I think you guys are right, I would be happy with either one.

So many bikes, so little time and money.

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IMO, the YZs power delivery will give you fits unless you install a Rekluse auto clutch. I had two YZs before this one and was bucked off many a time without it. It changes the motor's output to emphasize torque. It could also be that my skills improved right around the same time as the auto clutch came on. I've said before that it gave me ability for my skills to improve because I could focus on riding technical terrain rather than wrestling with the bikes power delivery. :)

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Is it that much better than the revalved KTM suspension?

Not really, although some people may have a particular preference for one or the other. IMHO, both bikes will need a revalve for serious woods racing. I have a 250sx (2004) and a kx250 (2007) both revalved for desert/woods racing. They both work very very well. The forks are a little better on the kx.

The yz will probably be considerably cheaper, but if a kickstand, or big tank or 18" tire or lighting coil or odometer is important to you, then you have to factor those things in too.

If you are a skilled and aggressive rider, you may prefer the power delivery of the yz. It's supposed to be very similar to my kx, which I like alot (with a 13oz flywheel weight)

The yz will have a narrower ratio gearbox. that is good sometimes and bad sometimes. I prefer it for racing, but in the dez i have to choose between high gearing for high speed sections or lower gearing for super-technical rocky stuff. The faster you can ride through super-technical stuff, the less of an issue that is.

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IMO, the YZs power delivery will give you fits unless you install a Rekluse auto clutch.

Can't the power delivery be tamed with a fly wheel weight, jetting, or gearing?

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Can't the power delivery be tamed with a fly wheel weight, jetting, or gearing?

Yes, absolutely but neither of them change the power output as greatly as the Rekluse or perhaps engine porting.

Whatever you do, don't jet lean, install a Wiseco piston, 8 oz. FWW, 14/52 gearing, and an FMF Gnarly on a 04 YZ. Whiskey throttle redefined. :)

To me, it was the Wiseco and Gnarly pipe that gave me the trouble. I run OEM on both now which helps emphasize torque too. Got the same gearing, no FWW, a bit fatter jetting, and the Rekluse now which is great. Add some suspension in there and it's perfect. YMMV.

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The reason the rekluse smooths out the power more than a fww is becuase its so heavy. I don't know how much it weighs but just to throw out a random number it'd be like say, adding a 20oz fww, which they don't make. Beyond the weight of it and slowing the hit, it saves arm pump hugely because you aren't feathering the clutch to keep the engine alive in tight situations, just roll the throttle on, the bitch will never stall. Pretty expensive though.

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Beyond the weight of it and slowing the hit, it saves arm pump hugely because you aren't feathering the clutch to keep the engine alive in tight situations, just roll the throttle on, the bitch will never stall. Pretty expensive though.

Agreed. But, it was cheaper than a new bike for me and turned it into what I wanted.

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Try a fmf fatty pipe with the stock silencer. Tames the hit and gives you more low end power. Best mod for tight woods and roots in my opinion.

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Buy a newer KTM 200. It is the best woods bike for a guy your size... and yes I have owned one.

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The reason the rekluse smooths out the power more than a fww is becuase its so heavy. I don't know how much it weighs but just to throw out a random number it'd be like say, adding a 20oz fww, which they don't make. Beyond the weight of it and slowing the hit, it saves arm pump hugely because you aren't feathering the clutch to keep the engine alive in tight situations, just roll the throttle on, the bitch will never stall. Pretty expensive though.

Flywheel weight is additional 6oz with the Rekluse.

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