Turning Radius

I'm interested in purchasing a Ktm for trail riding. I met a guy while trail riding who just bought a 2009 200xcw and says the bike has no turning radius compared to his YZ and even hits the radiators! Is this true?

Probably, my ktm sx 125 from a few years was like that. You could only turn the handle bars about 3/4 as much as a japanese bike. It doesn't really effect rideablility though. Pain in the ass when moving the bike around your garage.

It's a PITA in the woods too.

My 2003 was like that when I got it and I had to move the CDI from the steering head to the air box (under the tank works too), shim the radiator mounts out and back, reposition the cap, adjust the stops, remove the jam nuts on the adjusters, and grind the top of the hex head to a radius on the stop bolts. That fixed everything and it's as good as a Jap bike (at least my sons '98 RM250). I thought they fixed all this on the newer models.

I find that in the tight woods I still hit the stops sometimes. It was always an issue after a fall, repositioning around rocks and trees after and off trail excursion, changing your mind and turning around, etc. I am very happy with it now, but I do go to the stops in tight woods on any bike. Even after the modification, with bark busters and tight woods I hit trees and the stops sometimes simultaneously while under way. I would do that on any bike, I am just saying I use all of the turning radius and like to have as much as possible.



I have a 09’ 200XC-W. Yes the wider turning radius is noticeable in the garage. Do I notice on the trail? No.

As far as the forks hitting the radiator goes. It is true that if the stops are removed or incorrectly adjusted the fork will hit the radiator.

Buy one. It will be the best bike purchase you ever make. Well…It was for me anyway.

As far as the forks hitting the radiator goes. It is true that if the stops are removed or incorrectly adjusted the fork will hit the radiator.

+1; they are adjustable for a reason :banghead:

Thanks very helpful Gary.

I'm interested in purchasing a Ktm for trail riding. I met a guy while trail riding who just bought a 2009 200xcw and says the bike has no turning radius compared to his YZ and even hits the radiators! Is this true?

There is mounts to move your radiators back. tipped the flanged back so our radiators on our 85 and 105SX race bikes will clear the forks and moved the stops inward. They not turn as sharp as any other bike. I'm not sure on the company that makes the mount. You can get quite a bit without buying the brackets.

Funny, this has never been an issue with me. I guess my trails are too easy.

Never a problem on my 09 300xc , must be to old and slow.

The 250's and 300's have a different frame and do not have the same issue as the 125-200. I wish my 09 had more turning radius, because even on the trail I can feel it and it really can add a few seconds a lap and it hurts, if someone does find a company that has those mounts pm me because I am very interested in finding a product that would work.


I run a 05 cr250 and a 06 ktm 200 in the woods and single track. Never noticed any significant difference in turning capabilities.

My brother-in-law has a 03 200sx though and that had very little turning radius in stock form. After getting some radiator spacers off a newer bike and relocating the CDI, it turns just as sharp as my newer 200.

It sounds like there is some misunderstanding of the problem.

The '03 250's, and many others, definitely had the problem. I think at some point they fixed it.

I agree it is not a problem if racing on a track like MX. Many suggested that I could just lay the bike down and spin the back tire doing a half donut to turn around in the woods. That doesn't work so well if your back tire is between to big rocks, trees or you need to go forward and back a couple of times between things to get turned around or back on the trail.

After getting on the KTM the first time, and just coming off a Jap bike, the first time I tried to turn around in the pits and go the other way. I was expecting to have a much tighter turning radius, hit the stops and almost fell down. I was only going a few mph and had to put my foot down and stab the ground once or twice and gas it to keep from falling over. I can't imagine how someone would not notice that in the woods, but I guess woods is a general term and riding styles are different. I still hit the stops all the time, but I am happy with the angles now.

In order to get the turning radius you want, compared to other bikes, you need to violate KTM's design, so saying "if the stops are removed or incorrectly adjusted the fork will hit the radiator" is true, but may come across as non productive and the first thing that will hit is the CDI on the problem models. The problem lays in KTM's design in this area so thses suggestions are for a redesign and modification, not just adjusting the stops to get more travel on the problem model years. The stops and turning radius, as it comes stock from KTM, were (or could be) set differently left and right do to the left side having the CDI. In other words if you adjust the stops trying to get a tighter turning radius without modifying anything the first thing to interfere will be the CDI on the left side and you will break it when the fork tube hits it. The right side could be adjusted to turn tighter with no modification and probably came that way. If you move the CDI you can adjust and get both sides the same. If you want the full travel you need to move the radiator back and adjust some more. Otherwise the fork tube will hit the radiator reservoir on both sides and the cap on the left side. In order to get a reasonable radius you will probably need to remove the jam nuts on the stops.


Edited by Gary jp4
Added detail

It's a terrible design and honestly the only flaw I have found on these bikes. One problem in moving the radiators back is the frame holds part of the radiator hose. The frame has a hole in it which then has a hose that connects both radiators together. I don't see any way of moving the radiators back without compromising the hose.

Yes, that is the reason I moved the CDI to the air box instead of under the tank in that area. The radiator hoses didn't allow me to move the box far enough forward in that triangle area in the frame without rerouting the hoses. There is certainly enough room in there without the hoses.

I was able to get the needed clearance on the radiator back shimming it out on top, using a smaller rubber grommet to allow it to move back, and holding it back while installing the bolt in the shroud (taking up all the tolerances and stacking them all toward the back). I thought about making an eccentric grommet for the radiator to frame mount, but it wasn't necessary. If I did I could get more clearance allowing the stops to be adjusted down further and getting an even tighter turning radius. I wasn't going for a Trials bike just a good trail bike.


If you ride in the woods,this is such a minor issue I wouldn't let it deter you from getting a KTM. As stated, you will notice it when moving it or loading it, but not while you're riding.

I've noticed it by riding, maybe out West someone won't but when some of the trails I ride are really tight 1st gear corners with switchbacks in them, you cannot tell me I don't notice it. Is it enough to not buy the bike HELL no. Still the best woods bike ever.

Some of the trails in the west are tight. It's not all desert out here :banghead:

No, it sucks. However, it is only on certain models as mentioned or got better later. If you have the ones affected you will notice it riding unless all you ride on is wide open places or a track. I could ride it that way but I sure as hell noticed it. The good news is it is easy to fix. I am not saying don't get a KTM.

My big arse pig of a Honda XL500 dual sport turned tighter then that.


The CDI box was redesigned for more clearnace in 05 so they don't need to be moved like the earlier ones. Swede is right that the 08 and newer radiators can't be relocated because the top connecting hoses go straight through the frame.

I'm on my 11th 200 since 99 (#12 on order). On the older bikes the forks hit the radiator cap and/or the CDI box, not much you could do about it.

On the newer bikes, the rad cap has be relocated (inboard) so it isn't the limiting factor, now the forks hit the louvers and have a slightly better sweep angle, but still not very good.

I have solved the problem by using Flatland Racing radiator guards. They sit pretty close to the rad, I have my adjuster bolts almost all the way in, big improvement on the sweep angle.

Oh, and out here in the West, the trails aren't tight, its all those big rocks right next to the trail that are tight...

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