I've been looking around for a leftover KTM and found several 450 XC-F (08 and 09s), 09 530 XC-Ws and 09 and 10 250 XC-Ws. All are around the same price. I'm bikeless right now and have been for the last 3 years. Been spending all my money on snowmobiling. Just sold my quad that I had for 2 years and now I'm looking to get back into bikes. I consider myself a beginner/novice rider and I'm 6'3" and 180 lbs (so seat height isn't an issue). I had a 95 YZ 250 and 98 RM 250 for about 4 years but never did a ton of riding or have ever been on a track. I'm lucky that here in Bozeman, Montana we have a ton of riding. Lots of mountain single track plus forest service road and ATV trails. Plus only 3 hours to the dunes (ridden once). So basically I have a wide array of terrain. So, whats the best option? Some guys here tell me they hate the W wide ratio tranny. Some really prefer 250/300 2 stroke while others really like the four stroke. I never had any problem with my 250 2 stroke in the mountains, so I know what to expect from the 250 XC-W, but I've spent almost no time on a four stroke. Ridden an 05 CRF450R for about 5 minutes. Power seemed smoother but geared really tall. Is the 450 XC-F going to be too nasty on the trails? Is the 530 XC-W going to be smoother but have a heavier feel? I have no problem gearing down or installing a heavier flywheel if I need to. Another thing I am considering is possibly doing the Timbersled Mountain Horse track kit in the winter. I was leaning towards the 450 XC-F right now. Mostly for the 5 speed tranny and versatility. I figure better for the dunes, open terrain and track kit. Maybe gear down and put a heavier flywheel in to control it better. Possibly put a Rekluse clutch in? I'm kinda split on the 530 and 250. Both are probably better trail bikes then the 450 but at the expense of the wide ratio tranny, durability (2 stroke), and weight (530). Any input is helpful.