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2011 250XC: Got it! Still the best motorcycle ever?


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Picked up my new 2011 250XC tonight! The new frame and plastic looks much better in person than the pictures. Totally different look. The new tank carries more fuel and allows a little better access to the carb. Looks a little more open around the upper shock mount and carb area. While I still prefer the look of black rims the new silver rims and shiny spokes look much better than expected. Still has easy no tools air cleaner access on the left side. The air cleaner has a new part number and looks a little different. The new plastic quick release skid plate from the 10 250XC bolted on perfectly. ECU is moved from the left side of the headset to under the seat. The wires are there for the headlight and tailight. Going to have to decide which tailight to use since there are no plug and play ones available yet - hope the rear fender is stiff enough to support one. The new plastic and ergos look different but feel pretty much the same - maybe the seat is a little flatter and thinner width wise and possibly a touch higher. Most friction free feeling showroom new WP forks I have felt to date. Did a brief test ride around an open field. Definitely more low to mid power compared to my 10 250XC and a touch more urgent throttle response but still great throttle to rear wheel connectivity. New silencer is quiet but I could hear lots more intake noise from the intake openings on the side panels - wonder if they will let more mud in? Going riding tomorrow afternoon so should have a full ride report tomorrow night. I have owned the 08~10 250XC's and really like these bikes. I am anxious to see how the new frame, engine updates, and 6 spd tranny work together. Some pics from tonight.....

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on the left side where the orange shroud meets the white side panel/fender....is that an air slot opening to the air box?

Joe

Yes - that is an opening to the airbox. The air does have to jog around a lip which should protect against direct water splashing on the air cleaner. You can really hear the intake noise more from this slot while riding the bike.

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Got a good initial ride in tonight on the new 11 250XC on both an old school moto track (i.e. no big jumps) and some excellent trails. My observations follow:

Power seems stronger everywhere, especially in the low to mid area. The throttle response is still very linear and easy to control along with being more urgent so it revs a little quicker. This improved power character makes it more fun to ride on the moto track. Great roll on power. Maybe no need for the SX head anymore for the power hungry 250XC riders. Jetting was stock and nothing stood out as needing changed (the temperature was around 82F and a little humid).

The new ergonomics and chassis layout seems to fit me better (I am 6’ 2” tall). I did move the bars into the #3 position and added a 5mm spacer to raise them up a little and now it feels really good in the standing position. The bike is a little narrower through the mid section and the seat is flatter so you can move easily and get really far forward if needed. The seat is much improved. The foam shape is a little more rounded and actually felt pretty good. Hope it stays that way.

The suspension was impressive. I left all the clickers in the stock position initially. The forks are the most friction free feeling WP units I have experienced to date. I did open the compression up 2 clicks when going into the woods. They just really worked well – very plush and controlled. The rear suspension was more lively feeling than my 10 model and seemed to have a more progressive feeling, especially near the end of the stroke. Better bottoming resistance. Even though it was moving it was not a wallowy feeling – felt well damped and progressive. The biggest thing about the new chassis from a suspension perspective is the improved compliance – little choppy bumps are not transmitted through the chassis into your body. There is a significantly more plush overall feeling from the chassis and suspension but still controlled movements. I really liked it.

On the mx track the 6 speed transmission seems to be an improvement. 2nd/3rd/4th gears feel very good. I usually put a 51T (+1) rear sprocket on my previous 250XC’s to help close up the gaps a little for mx riding but I think I can run the stock 13/50 gearing on the 11 250XC. I think 2nd and 3rd are perhaps a touch lower compared to the 5spd but the stock ratios were working fine for me in the woods.

Other observations: I struggle a little to get the air box side panel installed. Not sure how waterproof the breather slots on the airbox side panels are. Not sure how the plastic shock collar will hold up but normally once I set the sag I do not change it much. Access to the carb with the tank on is better. Still miss the black rims but the polished silver ones are growing on me. The bike looks much better in person than in the pictures and so do the silver rims.

For me the all new chassis, bodywork, and engine updates add up to much improved 250XC. The new chassis and bodywork feels slimmer and combined with increased power gives the bike a more agile and responsive feel overall. It is just plain more lively and fun to ride. I know the 350SXF is getting all the press and hype but this new PDS chassis along with the engine updates really liven up the 250XC. Looking forward to more seat time this weekend.

Is it still as Dirt Rider magazine's Jimmy Lewis once said “the best motorcycle ever made”? I think so!:banana:

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That bike, truly is beautiful! The colors, semi-transparent tank, bodywork, possibly make this the best looking bike to date........I'm really likeing KTM more with each passing year. They seem to understand what WE want, more so than any other company out there imo. Good luck, and i hope it treats you well.

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now that there is my near perfect offroad bike, but alas, they don't bring XC's in australia, so i won't be getting one, i've had alot of trouble with the suspention on my 09 EXC (same suspension as the XC-w), even after having it revalved i could never get the plushness in the shock without destroying the high speed dampening deeper int he stroke, flaps around like an untrain seal if you hit something big at speed, i'm thinking prehaps an 11' 150 SX might be my ideal next bike

cheers' for the review, looking at the picks it's no where near as sleek as the old frame, the fuel tank really looks like it sticks out alot in the view from the rear, but as long as it handles well thats all that matters really, i think the SX's look alot better with the black tank.

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now that there is my near perfect offroad bike, but alas, they don't bring XC's in australia, so i won't be getting one, i've had alot of trouble with the suspention on my 09 EXC (same suspension as the XC-w), even after having it revalved i could never get the plushness in the shock without destroying the high speed dampening deeper int he stroke, flaps around like an untrain seal if you hit something big at speed, i'm thinking prehaps an 11' 150 SX might be my ideal next bike

cheers' for the review, looking at the picks it's no where near as sleek as the old frame, the fuel tank really looks like it sticks out alot in the view from the rear, but as long as it handles well thats all that matters really, i think the SX's look alot better with the black tank.

The new bodywork thinner at the top and more open - especially behind the radiators and the ECU was moved under the seat so the front of the bike from the riding position feels slimmer. The tank might be a little wider at the bottom section since there is no longer much of it under the seat and it also holds a little more fuel (I think now rated at 3.04 gals vs 2.9 on my 10 250XC). The new seat is much flatter and overall the bike feels pretty thin and agile when riding it.

The new chassis and suspension give the bike a more compliant feel over the bumps. The rear has a more progressive feel throughout the stroke - really takes away that somewhat wallowy feel the PDS has been noted for. I assume the 11 150SX over in your part of the world has the new chassis and suspension. You should test ride one and see what you think of the new chassis and bodywork. I think you will be impressed!

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The new bodywork thinner at the top and more open - especially behind the radiators and the ECU was moved under the seat so the front of the bike from the riding position feels slimmer. The tank might be a little wider at the bottom section since there is no longer much of it under the seat and it also holds a little more fuel (I think now rated at 3.04 gals vs 2.9 on my 10 250XC). The new seat is much flatter and overall the bike feels pretty thin and agile when riding it.

The new chassis and suspension give the bike a more compliant feel over the bumps. The rear has a more progressive feel throughout the stroke - really takes away that somewhat wallowy feel the PDS has been noted for. I assume the 11 150SX over in your part of the world has the new chassis and suspension. You should test ride one and see what you think of the new chassis and bodywork. I think you will be impressed!

actually i spoke to soon, it seems there mmust be a surplus of 2010 150 SX's becayse KTM australia isn't brining in the 2011 150, the wallowy feel in the rear end of my 09 300 is one of my biggest complaints about the bike, but particulary considering my other ride is an 09 KX250F with completly stock (read motocross) suspension, and i vastly enjoy riding on the KX more, yes it's aot stiffer, it doesnt absorb small trail crap anywhere near as well as my 300 does, and it wear you out more riding it, but i know how it's gonna reacte every time, i know if i hit a small root at speed the front will deflect and if i hit a section of whoops at speed or a washout it will smash through it and instantly regain it's composure.

the rear end on my 09 300 performs well on small iregularities under accaleration, however under brakes even small bumps unsettle it causeing the rear end to kick up and wander around all over the place, the plush fork's don't help with them diving half way through the stroke if you even tickle the front brake, but if you hit something at speed it only get's worse, hit a washout and it wallow's around for a good few seconds before regaining it's composure, sometimes it react's well, other times what seems to be an identical obstical has it reacting completly differant, stiffening up the clicks only seems to take away the initial plushnes to the suspension as well, doesnt seem to do much for the big hits at all, and unfortunantly i'm yet to find a suspension tuner within a reasonable distance that can get it performing how i want it to.

i really do wish we got XC's here, something right between an MX bike and most enduro bikes would be spot on for me offroad, for now i i prefer mx bikes though sicne ktm doesnt give us that option here.

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actually i spoke to soon, it seems there mmust be a surplus of 2010 150 SX's becayse KTM australia isn't brining in the 2011 150, the wallowy feel in the rear end of my 09 300 is one of my biggest complaints about the bike, but particulary considering my other ride is an 09 KX250F with completly stock (read motocross) suspension, and i vastly enjoy riding on the KX more, yes it's aot stiffer, it doesnt absorb small trail crap anywhere near as well as my 300 does, and it wear you out more riding it, but i know how it's gonna reacte every time, i know if i hit a small root at speed the front will deflect and if i hit a section of whoops at speed or a washout it will smash through it and instantly regain it's composure.

the rear end on my 09 300 performs well on small iregularities under accaleration, however under brakes even small bumps unsettle it causeing the rear end to kick up and wander around all over the place, the plush fork's don't help with them diving half way through the stroke if you even tickle the front brake, but if you hit something at speed it only get's worse, hit a washout and it wallow's around for a good few seconds before regaining it's composure, sometimes it react's well, other times what seems to be an identical obstical has it reacting completly differant, stiffening up the clicks only seems to take away the initial plushnes to the suspension as well, doesnt seem to do much for the big hits at all, and unfortunantly i'm yet to find a suspension tuner within a reasonable distance that can get it performing how i want it to.

i really do wish we got XC's here, something right between an MX bike and most enduro bikes would be spot on for me offroad, for now i i prefer mx bikes though sicne ktm doesnt give us that option here.

Why not have a suspension expert down under do the ktm 300 suspension the way you want it, something in between like the xc?

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actually i spoke to soon, it seems there mmust be a surplus of 2010 150 SX's becayse KTM australia isn't brining in the 2011 150, the wallowy feel in the rear end of my 09 300 is one of my biggest complaints about the bike, but particulary considering my other ride is an 09 KX250F with completly stock (read motocross) suspension, and i vastly enjoy riding on the KX more, yes it's aot stiffer, it doesnt absorb small trail crap anywhere near as well as my 300 does, and it wear you out more riding it, but i know how it's gonna reacte every time, i know if i hit a small root at speed the front will deflect and if i hit a section of whoops at speed or a washout it will smash through it and instantly regain it's composure.

the rear end on my 09 300 performs well on small iregularities under accaleration, however under brakes even small bumps unsettle it causeing the rear end to kick up and wander around all over the place, the plush fork's don't help with them diving half way through the stroke if you even tickle the front brake, but if you hit something at speed it only get's worse, hit a washout and it wallow's around for a good few seconds before regaining it's composure, sometimes it react's well, other times what seems to be an identical obstical has it reacting completly differant, stiffening up the clicks only seems to take away the initial plushnes to the suspension as well, doesnt seem to do much for the big hits at all, and unfortunantly i'm yet to find a suspension tuner within a reasonable distance that can get it performing how i want it to.

i really do wish we got XC's here, something right between an MX bike and most enduro bikes would be spot on for me offroad, for now i i prefer mx bikes though sicne ktm doesnt give us that option here.

I got some good moto'ing in this weekend on the new 11 250XC. The more time I spend on the bike the more impressed I am with the chassis and suspension especially the rear end. The new PDS layout and longer shock gives the rear end a much more progressive feel - especially near bottoming and it reacts consistently. I can relate to what are you saying about the rear shock feel on the previous PDS layout as I also ride a 2010 CRF250R. As I jump between the 2011 250XC and CRF250R the new XC feels "normal" in the rear suspension. And for me the new 250XC feels totally at home on the moto track. And I have not spun a clicker nor adjusted the sag nor have I felt the need to - it has worked really well out of the box for me. I did some quick measurement checks comparing my 10 250XC to the new 11 250XC and I found about 1/2" more room between the footpegs and seat and about 3/4" more distance from the footpegs to the handlebars. This combined with the slightly slimmer plastic and flatter seat really make the bike feel more agile and more open - especially for taller riders.

I know there is a lot of hype about the new linkage but this new PDS chassis and suspension is good. I am really really impressed with this new chassis. I hope you get a chance to try one out!

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Why not have a suspension expert down under do the ktm 300 suspension the way you want it, something in between like the xc?

i've had it revalved, and so far none of the suspension tuners down here seem to know what they're doing, i read on here the guy's in the U.S being able to get it to work well, but i'm yet to find anyone down here that can do that, one fellow's, steve powell, actually does good work with ktm's, but his setup still feels to soft and wollowy, but it get's rid fo the unsettled feeling under brakes and soak's up the trail crap very well, it's definantly better then stock but still not as good as i'd like, maybe it's just my riding style being adapted to riding motocross bikes offroad (read riding quite agressivly to get the bike to bounce off of and over obsticles instead of plowing over everything like ya can on more offroad orianted suspension) but i hate a soft bike.

i'm a bit nervous about the idea of a more open cockpit actually, going from my 300 to my 250, the 250's bars feel much lower and closer and all round tighter, which i prefer, i find it helps me get over the front of the bike to really dominate it in the corners, i'm 5'10 so fairly average hight, i currently have stock KTM bars on the KX250F, and pro taper Reed/henry bend on the KTM, origonaly the KX had charmichial bend bars on it which are lower with less sweep back again which i liked even more, but i managed to bend em like a banana after powersliding into a 2 foot di log at about 40 MP/h.

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