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Sugestions for next trail bike. KTM 200 vs 450

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Hi guys,

I am looking for sugestion for my next trail bike.

I had quited riding for a couple of years and then got back to trail riding last December with a 2002 KTM 400 EXC.

I used to ride mainly 250 2 strokes at a track and on the trails.

The only 4 stroke that I had was a Yamaha Wr250.

My experience with it was a horrible one. The motor exploded it needed a new piston, rod and valves. It was horrible to start and I felt it heavy and underpowered specially in tight terrain, sand or mud.

Right now i am having fun on my KTM, I bought it fairly cheap. It is a very low maintenance bike cmpared to newer 4 stroke. So it was good to get me riding again but I am ready for a new ride

I don´t ride track anymore.

I´ll be doing 1.5 hrs rides twice a week on trails that range from open roads to tight singletrack. (nothing too extreme) I ride from my home to the trails and back.

Once every 2 months or so I go on group rides on 5 speed WOT offroad dirt roads/tight singletrack/ sandy rocky river beds. (These rides always turn into unofficial races)

I weigh 165 pounds and i dont consider myself a fast rider by any means. I consider myself a back of the pack intermediate rider.

Everyone here rides 450 offroad bikes. But I have been thinking of getting a Ktm 200 instead. I have read it is a pretty fun bike to ride, kind of a 250 in a 125 frame.

Everyone here is in the 4 stroke bandwaggon, yet they dont worry much about valve clearence, changing oil filters and so. surprisingly no one has had their bike´s motor blow up like my WR did. I am pretty anal about oil changes and air and oil filter changes, but i definetely don´t know how to check valves and don´t trust the local mechanics. So a 2 stroke will be easier for me to mantain.

They tell me that a 2 stroke wont last on the WOT dirt roads, and on the conecting roads from and to the trails. And that a 450 would be able to handle all the abuse I can give it since i am not a racer.

They also say that the 200 or 250 won´t be able to compete against their 450´s.

So my question is if you guys think that a 200 xc-w would fit the riding I do or if i have to look for a 450 or a KTM 350?

Thanks

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The 200 will be better in the woods, but also consider the EXC 250 and 300 if you're worried about speed. Same power band as the 200 just more power obviously.

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XC200W not happy on the road.

WR250s are usually considered pretty tough bikes. how'd you get one to go pop?

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In my opinion, you have a misconception about the 450 4 strokes based on a bad experience with a 250F. Go buy the latest Dirt Rider magazine. There is an article in there about a YZ450 that they rode 100 hours and disassembled, you may be surprised. Modern 4 strokes do require more maintenance than the older designs, such as the XR Hondas and TTR Yamahas, however the big bores arent really high maintenance unless you ride the hell out of them and dont check valve clearances, change oil, etc. If you are sold on a 2 stroke, but a KTM 300 EXC...but...never ride a 2 stroke WOT for any distance at all...that is when most sieze.

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In my opinion, you have a misconception about the 450 4 strokes based on a bad experience with a 250F. Go buy the latest Dirt Rider magazine. There is an article in there about a YZ450 that they rode 100 hours and disassembled, you may be surprised. Modern 4 strokes do require more maintenance than the older designs, such as the XR Hondas and TTR Yamahas, however the big bores arent really high maintenance unless you ride the hell out of them and dont check valve clearances, change oil, etc. If you are sold on a 2 stroke, but a KTM 300 EXC...but...never ride a 2 stroke WOT for any distance at all...that is when most sieze.

I agree with the statement about modern 4 strokes. I still ride my 2001 WR426 with somewhere around 8000 miles on it, and based on my average trail speeds over the years, it is probably around 500 hours. I did the first engine teardown and rebuild this winter, because I lost compression after submerging the bike in a creek and figured that plus the need for valve guide seals made for a perfect time. The inspection revealed an engine that barely looked worn. There was no blueing anywhere. The transmission components had no visible wear, and the piston/cylinder looked brand new. The only maintenance I ever did was check valve clearances each spring, and faithfully change the oil and clean air filters. I had to fix/adjust nothing in the engine/trans in the last 10 years. My valves are still in spec to this day. I ride trails only.

That being said, the KTM 300 seems to be quite the trail weapon and the guys here in Michigan seem to absolutely love them. We have lots and lots of deep sand on the trails.

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We race Hare Scrambles in Kansas and we occasionally race across fields where we see WOT 6th gear for considerable lengths of time. A 30 yr. old competitor told my 15 yr. old son that he could not compete with those big bore bikes in the open and he shouldn't race in their class. My son on his 200 XCW passed the 450 in the open running 72 mph and got a top 5 finish.

So the real question is, how big are your .....nerves.

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both bikes are very different have their strong points... see my sig

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Pooley

I also own a 2001 WR426 and Im glad to hear you got around 500 hours, that is incredible. Mine was a rare find that I bought last year...probably had about 40-50 hours of light trail riding. Just last week I picked up a 2007 KTM 300 XC..its scary fast, and light. I thought about selling the old WR, but I cant bring myself to do so..they are good bikes. I know a few guys with over 300 hours on KTM 450 EXCs. If those bikes and your WR arent a testament to big bore 4 strokes, I dont know what is.

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Thanks for all your answers guys.

I am really trilled about getting a 200 xc mainly for the fun factor.

I am not really into competing, and i really apreciate the lightness and quick revs of the 2 strokes.

Eventhough I find my 400 EXC easier to ride and to find traction, our trails aren´t that demanding.

My main worry is about blowing the motor because of the connecting roads or at the WOT sections found at the sporadic group rides.

Previously i did these same rides on 250´s 2 strokes, but not as often as im doing now. On paved roads I took it easy and went up and down through gears and on wot sections i made sure to pull in the clutch every now and then.

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Honestly, in what you describe above I would go with one of the below for that type of riding. 450's are great bikes but not always needed. And at your size and weight the below bikes would do a great job, keep up with the 450s for the most part, won't wear you out and are very little maintanance as they are not "full blown" mx bikes. Their suspensions are set up just for that type of riding. Both the Husky and the Berg are FI as well. The KTM, if you love 2 strokes like I still do as well, is great as well and the 300 will keep up with your buddies. Just gear it for a little more tighter trail riding and your good to go. All three come standard as well with an electric start so no more kicking your brains out, wasting all your energy before you even get to ride!

Husky TE310

http://www.husqvarna-motorcycles.com/_vti_g5_ver.aspx?IdVer=161&rpstry=198_

Husaberg FE390

http://www.husaberg.com/360-View.316.8.html?&bikeID=56&cHash=3d6b19316b

KTM XC-W 300

http://www.ktm.com/us/enduro/300-xc-w-usa/benefit//highlights/Product.html?tx_ktmproduct_pi1%5Bproduct%5D=&cHash=75dc7abbadb0e7232be10fd70701c814

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I ride the exact type of rides as you talk about here in Fiji and we have a range of bikes from a CR500AF, couple of 450F's, 250F's, a 400F, my 250 2T, and some 125 2T's.

I used to own/ride one of the 125s and not long after I bought it I seized the big end by wringing its neck on some wide open roads while keeping up with the others, however their maybe a few reasons for that. I was running sh!t fuel @ 50:1, winding it out for long periods in 6th and it had been thru a flood and not run for 12 months so i suspect the bearings were in pretty average condition not to mention I had no previous history on when the bike was last rebuilt. (learnt a few lessons on bikes and maintenance with that thing)

Anyhow I rebuilt it and a mate bought it and he rides it with us now and it has been running strong for the last 12 months. I ride it occasionally and have no problem keeping up with the others in the tighter single track and most of the time are hustling for the front spot or out in front. Sure there is no way I can keep up on the open roads as I wont hold it WOT for more than a few seconds at a time but I imagine a well maintained modern 200 2T with the right gearing will be more than up to the task, not to mention a sh!t load more exciting to ride and when the others on the 4 strokes are parked up with valve/top end issues you will still be out tearing it up!

I had the same sentiments as you when I purchased my new bike as the are no bike shops/reputable small motor mechanics in Fiji capable of maintaining/rebuilding a modern 4T so unless you are capable of doing it yourself then 2T all the way or stick with your 400 or a similar enduro style 4T

(Rant over)

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I guess your real question is what is a well rounded bike. KTM 300! run it a little rich so you can get though the WOT stuff. Some times guy's get the bike jetted perfect and it doesn't blow any spooge and that is fine but cleaning a little soot off the bike is better than blowing it up. It will likely have more power than you can handle anyway.

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I guess your real question is what is a well rounded bike. KTM 300! run it a little rich so you can get though the WOT stuff. Some times guy's get the bike jetted perfect and it doesn't blow any spooge and that is fine but cleaning a little soot off the bike is better than blowing it up. It will likely have more power than you can handle anyway.

KTM 300 or GG300 Perfect bikes for all conditions.

GHill

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Can i ask why the 200cc?? Its essentially same as asking 125 or 450?? I mean they arent even comparable machines.. which makes it a tough recommendation to make.

How big are you? How fast are you? If your feeling limited by the 400 the 200cc 2-stroke isnt going to be that much better..

The 450 is going to be a bigger, heavier beast for sure, but if u are a big enough to handle it, i would recommend it over the 200. Right in the tight woods in the 1st gear stuff the 200 would have the advantage with no engine braking and lighter weight and maneuverability, but if ur doing anything besides single track the 450 is gonna be better..

Literally probably nearly twice the power, and that is a BIG DEAL.. extra power makes a LOT of stuff easier, Hill Climbs, Obstacles, and the higher rpm torque would be a huge advantage over the 200... Being able to loft the wheel at pretty much any time in any gear is a pretty nice. It will be more stable at high speeds, and for every instance that you can make the 2-stroke turn better, you will find an instance where the 450 would turn better..

A more reasonable comparison would be 200 2-stroke or 250f, or 300cc 2-sroke and 450f.. I have noticed a trend regarding the latter.. If you came on this site a year or two ago everyone was wishing to trade their 450s for the 300's... Now that buzz is gone, and i am starting to see people making the switch back to the 450s because they didnt realize how good they had it with the torque until it was gone..

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