Why KTM over others??

Back to the orginal question...

Depends on your needs. If you are racing MX then a big 4 is probably a better choice. If you are racing off road KTM has lot's of great options, 2S and 4S that are better than the competition. All the parts are there, no need to buy an 18" rear wheel, ODO, suspension mods and stock components are superior. If you are trailing with the kids I would suggest a big 4 bike, they are cheaper and putt around just fine at a kids pace.

Husq, Husys, GasGas, Beta... make great bikes but when I see them on Craigslist, sellers have to give them away, resale (in most cases) is horrible. KTMs hold their value much better.


I wish that were true, I cant find any gasgas's cheap

I wish that were true, I cant find any gasgas's cheap

Exactly! they are hard to find in general, and have steep prices when you can find one.

The build quality of KTM is miserable compared to Japanese bikes. God bless them, because I fix them.

I haven't observed that. I own several brands of bikes. IMHO, ktm has some strong points, particularly in the durability and performance of their 2stroke motors. We ride 300-400 hrs/year, mostly in the way backwoods, so durability and reliability is pretty important to us.

This is an interesting thread since me and my friends have this discussion all the time. I really wanted to go Kawasaki when I first got in the sport, but couldn't find anything at the right price. We didn't have a KTM store local so I had never had heard of them at the time. When i found a new leftover 2006 CRF 250X for $4300 out the door, it was a no brainer. Everything else was $6500-$7000.

So I start riding in my local riding club and it was amazing how many KTM riders make a point to tell me how much better their bike is than mine. And I doubt that any of them have ever owned a 250X. Maybe a 250R sometime long ago and their opinion is formed from that. All of them try to get me to convert to what they call a "more superior bike". And maybe it is..I don't know. I've put tons of upgrades in my bike to get it how I want it....but KTM owners do the same thing but maybe not as much? I've ridden a KTM 300 XC-W two stroke and 250-W four stroke and I will have to say, the 4 stroke felt small and nimble compared to my 250X. Will I switch just because it feels a little different? No, not right now and definitely not for the cost. But the MAIN reason that I won't switch is that I really don't want to be associated with the crowd that feels they need to ridicule my bike. I don't understand where the arrogance comes from. I never feel the need to tell them how much their bike sucks (or how ugly I think the pumpkin color looks)...so I don't appreciate hearing it from them. So for right now, I'm proudly riding RED and still think that the rider makes a lot more difference than the bike...if its a newer bike. I'm pretty sure that any of the top riders could whip me on a trail with a moped if they had the chance even if I was riding an $8000 2011 KTM.

You're exactly right, the jap bikes don't seem to care about off road and new designs for the off road market. The 250X has been virtually the same since 2004 and it would be cool if they would come out with something new so I have an option of not getting a KTM one of these days. Time will tell. What really amazes me is how many models KTM has. I think they have 10 or more big bikes out....in all sizes 2 stroke and 4 stroke. I'm an engineer and it amazes me how they can have so many unique bikes with so many unique parts and still keep the doors open in this day and age. All the unique parts come with millions of dollars in extra tooling, etc, which has to be made up for somewhere. They only thing I can compare them to is DeWalt power tools.....who was a division of Black & Decker. Make things just a little bit better, give it a standout color, slap a cool brand on it and charge A LOT MORE MONEY for it. Like Black & Decker did for DeWalt. That extra bonus margin pays for all the unique parts and funds the R&D side to keep things on the cutting edge. Anyway, once you build the brand up and everyone raves about it, then there's no stopping it. My hat is off to KTM...they have done very well. But I'm still not buying one of their bikes until I have no other options.

Rumor has it, (via the latest Dirt Rider mag), that the KTM 450 and 530 are going FI in 2012. That will definetly be a real + to me as I am in the market for a new bike as we speak. Was leaning toward the Berg.....until I read that. Now I am just more hesitant to pull the trigger.... :smirk:

Excellent response. Non-emotional and factual. Sourcing parts from outside The suspension is my biggest gripe, and I know that they are coming around. Why the hold-up? It's the part of the bike that connects you to the ground.

Up through 2008 I think you have reason to complain about the stock suspension valving. Not a big deal for high-performance types that will get any bike revalved and customized (since all the competition needs suspension work too imho), but an annoyance for the casual rider. The 2009 bikes on up seem to be pretty good to me, for offroading anyway.

regarding the earlier whine about not being able to find clutch fluid, atf works great in a magura clutch, and plain old mineral oil is available at any drug store. If you don't know that, then that's a bummer I guess, but now you do know. :smirk:

I would venture to say (NOTE: No research to prove this, please dont ask for any) that 75-80% of KTM owners are woods guys. Their motocross line up just doesn't compare. Sure, it pumps out the power, but it cant get it to the ground. Maybe in a few years of developing this linkage, but as of now, it doesn't compete.

Another place you see KTM's is in the 50 and 65 classes in MX. The only other manu making a 65 is Kawasaki, and the KX65 is very outdated and lacks any new tech. However, we will not ride KTM anymore. Main reason being a 50 we used to own. That thing was a NIGHTMARE. Maybe the big bikes are different, but I refuse to spend $7000 to find out. The build quality was terrible. Cracked 2 frames, brakes were awful, and overall the bike did not stay together well, even with meticulous maint. Seat was garbage, and working on the motor was a nightmare, especially the water pump side. Bearings never lasted, especially the swing arm bearings, which were actually plastic spacers and didn't last maybe 2 rides.

I'm glad KTM still develops the 2 stroke, and gives riders a wide array of options, both 2 and 4 stroke. They come with some trick components, but for MX, they are still a step behind. That why we ride Jap bikes.

I would love to give KTM a try but with no dealer in town Im afraid of ordering parts and having no one to talk to.

Geeze, ya just can't please some people... ;-)


To say that the "build quality of KTM is miserable" is absolutely laughable. I ride in a group of about 20 people, mostly KTMs. There are 2 KTM 450 EXCs (pre 2008 RFS motors) with over 300 hours on the original top end. All that was done was regular maintenance, including valve adjustments, which was done with a flat head screwdriver on the RFS models. If 300 hours and still ticking is miserable quality, I would like to know what you consider a quality machine. Another guy in the group rides a 250 SX...he put over 100 hours on the bike before the first piston...in a motocross bike.

If your standards are low enough, 300 hours on a $7,000 bike is ok. If I needed to replace my car engine every 18,000 miles, I'd be unhappy. You state that you ride in a group of mostly KTM's. Is that because everybody is enlightened, or is a group-think mandate in place? If someone bought a non-KTM to the ride, would the other guys give him a hard time? I suspect yes, and this is where objectivity starts to falter. Lot's of MX bikes go over 100 hours on a piston. Every manufacturer know how to build a good engine, wheels are wheels, you can put whatever clutch on you want, so it all comes down to how the bikes feels-suspension! All of the KTM guys on here state that the suspension has room for improvement. That's all I'm saying, too. I don't dismiss the entire bike.

I'm not talking at all about bikes made in the last five years. It's too soon to tell. Which bike do you choose when you're stranded in the desert, and you have an XR600 and a KTM from 1990 to get you out?

Perhaps miserable is the wrong word? Considerable room for improvement? Is that more palatable? I could dissect the faults of every brand, because I've had them apart, but this thread is about KTM over others, and I'm staying on topic.

we get it, you dont like them but wont really say why other than suspension

like the juice clutch. I spent a few hours last month driving all of Grand Junction trying to find magic mineral oil .

Because baby oil aka mineral oil is so hard to find? :smirk:

Haha, this is good stuff. Yes, people do ride other brands in the group, including me on a Yamaha WR and a KDX 220 until 3 weeks ago. You may say, I became "enlightened". The KTM is leaps and bounds better in handling over the WR and better handling and much stronger power than the KDX, both very capable low maintenance trail bikes. There are many A and B class riders in the group and ages range from 16 to 64...I guess they dont know what they are talking about.

By the way, the 300 hour bikes are still running, so you should not assume they are due a rebuild...time will tell. I forgot to mention my old co worker who rides a KTM 530 EXC. He had a homemade baby bottle overflow on the bike...it was pretty cool until it rubbed a hole in it. It drained out all of the coolant and he ran it without coolant long enough for it to stall. It was scorching hot. He let it cool, partially filled it with water from a Camel Back, and it started and rode back to camp...that was a while back, it hasnt missed a beat. I know to you, these stories are hear say, but the fact is they are real and that is enough reason for me to buy KTM.

we get it, you dont like them but wont really say why other than suspension

Judging from your comments, the last thing you do is get it. Objectivity is not your strong suit. It is mine:thumbsup:

You state that you ride in a group of mostly KTM's. Is that because everybody is enlightened, or is a group-think mandate in place? If someone bought a non-KTM to the ride, would the other guys give him a hard time? I suspect yes, and this is where objectivity starts to falter.

Lol, you have a real inferiority complex of some kind. :smirk:

Many of the folks I know ride ktms, but there are plenty of other bikes represented too. They all seem to work, but many find the ktm's work better for our kind of riding because very few other companies make a 2-stroke offroad bike. If someone brings a different bike on a club ride, I ask about it and want to trade bikes to check it out. I find that most modern bikes work pretty darned well.

You're comparing handling from a WR, and power from a KDX 220? Now I know what your point of reference is. The overhearting story is inspirational. As I said, everyone knows how to build an engine.

Why do you infer that your group doesnt't know what they are talking about? I neither inferred or intended that. KTM riders tend to be fiercely loyal to their brand, and when it's time for a new bike, they shop for a KTM. Nothing wrong with that, but hardly objective.

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