2011 KTM 300 XC & XC-W differences

Can someone explain "all" the differences between the new 300 XC and XC-W for me. I am trying to decide which bike is best for 70% tight/technical single track riding. A friend of a friend swears by his '11 XC and says there's no comparison to the XC-W for tight single track? I never heard the reasons why, but he came off of an '08 (not sure XC or XC-W).


Loved my 09 300 XC, the semi close ratio was great for tight ST. That being said my '10 W is even better as hard as that might be to believe. The gap from 1st to 2nd was a little hard to get used to at first but now I like it even more. The best part however is the suspension. Personally I prefer to trail oriented suspension rather than the MX oriented one. Now if you really want your eye's opened take a look at the tranny spread on the '11 W vs the XC. Now there is no gap and you have a lower first and the 6th gears are the same, so where is the advantage with the XC. The simple answer would be the XC is ready for more aggressive jumping and MX racing, but for me it's still better on the W..............

if you want a strait answere.

xc= agressive trail riding and mx

xcw= long crosscountry riding. And more open trails.

this coming from a sponcored guy who rides both.

There was an identical thread a little while ago. Search and you'll find a list of all the answers. Short answer is get the XC unless you do a lot of highway transits.

I recently went through the 300 xc vs xcw debate. I wanted a do it all off road bike (not MX) and went with the xcw. It comes with the computer which would wind up being close to $400 to buy later, the xc does not have it. The xc 1st gear is too tall for the tight nasty single track I ride and my skill and fitness level. On the xcw you can still gear it up for an occasional Dual Sport and have a decent cruising speed, gearing up the xc would only make 1st gear even less managable. Both bikes have the transparent tank and the xcw can use the body work of the pre 11 bikes. The xcw retains the old style black wheels whereas the xc got the new wheels, not sure which is better but heard the new may not be as durable. The xcw is supposed to have more plush suspension than the xc, I'm not entirely sold on that. The xcw suspension is ok but I get a harsh spike in the forks now and then but I may be able to fix that with springs more suited to my weight.

All that being said the xc gets the new frame and closed chamber forks, I've heard nothing but praise for the handling and suspension. I think I would have loved either bike but the w seemed to be a better fit for me. Hope this helps.

The XCW is wider and oldschool feeling compared to the XC. With a 6 speed why do they make the XCW?

Thanks guys. I thought I heard there were more differences than just the transmission. Someone also told me the engines were not the same either, but I'll have to do some more research I guess, to verify this.

I am kinda leaning towards the XC at the moment. But I may be splitting hairs for my riding ability?? I don't consider myself a pro rider, but can get my current ride (Honda XR650R) anywhere my buds on their 450's are going, and sometimes further.

I'm looking for a woods weapon as I've fallen in love with the tight stuff over the last couple years! I love the linear abundance of torque the 650R offers, but I'm wanting to shave weight for flickability!

Engines: same







You say you want to shave weight so with either one you should ditch the e-start. Easy job and ditches 9lbs, more than half of which is up under the seat.

1st gear on the 11' 300XC is great for technical trails. i don't know what bike people are riding, but i was out in some of the tightest trail in the northeast a few weeks ago, bars barely fit between trees and you're hitting a switchback at every valley... the 300 has so much nut, and almost refuses to stall in any situation. unless you are crawling vertical and don't want to use the clutch, there's no need to ever have a lower 1st gear.

the xc has a modern suspension while the xcw has the closed cartridge deal that is more compliant for road use, but will not soak up the load of any jump over a few feet with ease of the xc's. i'll also add that at 175lbs+ gear, i'm almost at the max for recommended weight for the xc suspension. it's perfect for me, and it saved me a ton of money sending out my suspension for work. it is the best factory suspension i've ever ridden, and i'm sure 11' owners will agree.

xcw has the 10' frame and the older plastics. i still love the look of the black wheels on the xcw. i've heard that the new wheels are lighter, but can't confirm myself. i think the 10'xc is the best looking bike KTM has ever produced, but the feel of the frame under me and the suspension is what sold me on the 11'. i didn't get a test ride, but have ridden 09 xc, 10 xcw, and 11 xc. i wouldn't be able to live with making the wrong decision, and i haven't sold my bike yet!

i ride northeast trail, 175 lbs+ gear, and have 3.5 years experience on a bike. 32, and tend to be conservative in my riding style most of the time- family depends on me.

i also want to say that the bike is razor. it's VERY light, VERY fast, tunable, and will be in your stable for years to come.

I have the 11 300 XC....big smile...

Just got the first real ride on my 2011 300XC yesterday. Wow - I love it. It is a huge improvement in handling over my 2008 250XC. It is stable and tracks well through sand and loose soil, where the 08 was chaotic. Suspension is better than 08, especially the fork, but rear wheel still feels harsh and a little unsettled to me.

The W has with the previous generation chassis, though I don't know if it is exactly the same as in 2008...

IF your going to ride slow single track stuff I would go with the W. The W has the softer forks with the open chamber vavling and the 1st gear on the W is a life saver in the slow going tuff stuff. this is just my point of view I think you would be happy with either.

300 XC-W Open chamber forks, plusher valving front and rear, odo, bigger lighting coil, old body style plastics and frame, I think tammer engine specs, wide ratio 6 speed.

300 XC Closed cartrige forks, stiffer (racier) valving front and rear, close ratio 6 speed, no odo, snappier motor, new body style plastics and a whole new frame.

300 XC-W: bigger lighting coil, I think tammer engine specs.

300 XC: snappier motor

I think both bikes have identical engines and lighting coils.

I think both bikes have identical engines and lighting coils.

I could be wrong here, but I have a feeling the xc head is much closer to the sx head this year?

It would make sense, to match the racier suspension, but this is the first I've heard that and I researched them a lot.

I still think they're the exact same, but if I were in charge the XC would use a different CDI and stock PV settings than the XC-W for a more aggressive feel. A third head would be too much of a hassle to manufacture and stock.

FWIW, 1st & 2nd gear are the only differences between the two transmissions.

The W has lower 1 & 2, 3-6 is the same on both bikes.

I could be wrong here, but I have a feeling the xc head is much closer to the sx head this year?

xc and and xcw us the exact same head. part #54830306500....engines are the same, gear box is different :thumbsup:


xc and and xcw us the exact same head. part #54830306500....engines are the same, gear box is different :thumbsup:


Well! I was lead down the garden path!

Thanks for all the input. I'm sure I'd be happy with either one. But I'm leaning towards the XC at this time. I little more aggressive is up my alley!

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