Before a 350 comes home....hey, that 450SXF looks good!

This is not a "which bike is better" but a re-evaluation on my part, and I was hoping to get input from others who may have been through the same new bike buying thought process.

Currently riding 250 two stroke after spending about 4 years on 450F and then a few on 250F (no KTM). Like many, felt a "middle ground" would be best for my 170 pounds and A level for trail riding, off road and all-around play riding needs (no MX racing, but practice once in a while). Currently getting along with a YZ250 two stroke very well: power is about middle ground and the weight is 250F-ish and it turns like a bicycle. It requires an aggressive riding style even though the YZ250 has a very 4 stroke-like powerband compared to my other 250 two strokes.

My next bike must-have list includes 4 stroke, e-start, a hydraulic clutch, two-stroke like engine braking (or lack of) and a very broad powerband which leads me to wanting a 350 XCF. At least I thought I did until reading how it needs to be revved quite a bit more and can't be ridden lazy like a 450F. Powerband and engine inertia/lack of engine braking almost sounds like my YZ250 but in a 4T version.

Which brings me to my rant/thought process: so many great things about the KTM 450SXF. The broad power with so much down low and in the mid without being a herky jerky fatigue fest, great brakes, it's not a pig weight-wise and of course e-start. If this was the route taken I'd wait for the FI version (yes, I know many do perfectly well with carbs), but I wanted to know if I'd be back in the same boat of riding a heavy tiring bike with too much engine braking ala my 450F from yesteryear and wish I'd gone with the middle-ground 350.

It'd be nice to have 450 power to ride lazily and turn with the rear wheel instead of carving a hard corner and blowing up sandy silty hills and corners without doing a tap dance on the shifter even on dryslick. But is there no getting around the fact that even the KTM 450SXF is a big gnarly bike and will quickly make me remember what it's like to be a superhero pilot for the first part of a race or ride and then having the engine inertia and weight have its way for the waning hours of an enduro or tight slick rocky rutted trail ride.

Haven't ridden a new 450SXF. I don't think I've even seen one. So for those who have been through this thought process I'd appreciate any objective input.

I have the 350sxf and the power is a middle ground compared to the 450 and the 250. I feel there is plenty of pull if you want to short shift and be lazy with the power. not as much pull as the 450 but you can ride in the lower rpm's without falling on its face. If the area opens up or on a mx track and you want you can run it like a 250f but you dont have to. I feel it is a very versitale motor.

I just read this online.

"For a racer, the stock KTM 350SXF’s usable powerband doesn’t start to work until 9000 rpm and up. It must be ridden like a 250F (albeit a very powerful one). It can never be raced successfully as a mid-sized 450. It isn’t strong enough below 9000 rpm to be short-shifted. This is an all-or-nothing engine. MXA test riders either hated this engine or loved it; there was no middle ground. "

I went from an 05 RM250 to a 350sxf.

There is less low down than my crf450's (05 & 08), but thats part of what makes the 350 good to ride.

I don't ride often enough to be able to hang onto a 450 for any length of time, but they area blast until I get worn out.

I've done a national enduro on the 350 and it's got plenty enough low down to torque through stuff, much like the 2T.

The 350 is at a disadvantage if you're trying to race with fast riders on 450's. But it would depend on the length of the race.

On a big open MX track at high level riding I can see what they are saying but for someone like me (Nationals supermoto level, 5 years MX practice) it is far from "too weak" in bottom and mid. It wont feel depressed on low rpms like a 250F does, it still climbs the RPM scale pretty quick. Theres no problem entering a corner in a gear higher than you thought you´d have for instance

When you take it to an enduro trail theres no doubt about if theres enough power or not

Well in the end its all personal but I know for sure which the next bike I´ll own will be! Suspension/chassie wise its pretty good too

If you plan to do any trail riding whatsoever, then the 350 is a much better choice. The 450 flames out easily.

'Berg 390

'Berg 390

a de stroked 450, with all the static weight that comes with it and the berg price tag to boot?

i was recently in the similar position, i'm 160 pounds, race at an a grade level offroad and do some mx for fun, i wanted a bike with efi so it wouldn't flood if i crashed, and it needed to be easy to start with plenty of torque, reliability and low maintenance were also big priorities for me since i do around 200 hours a year, after riding a very large variety of bikes, including a few mx 450's, two 350's (one with a few after market bits, one stock) a few 450 enduro's (including my 08 KTM 450 EXC) and two strokes.

i ended up choosing an 09 KX 450 with a rekluse EXP over a ktm 350 for a few reasons.

.1 alot cheaper initial outlay

.2 i cannot find a single post about bad reliability from any kawi 450's since 06 (it's first year)

.3 absolutely the easiest kick start bike to fire up, easier then my 09 KX250F was, when hot even after a crash on a hill (ie bike left upside down) it never takes more then 1 kick to fire from TDC, 3 kicks from dead cold

.4 it is an absolute torque monster, and with the efi there is no bogging, no funny buisness, with a FWW it would lug like an XR400 on roids, with the rekluse i feel no need for a FWW however.

downsides to the 350 are it feel abit heavier, picking it up is similar however, and the ktm has more bling.

as a bit of a comparison the bikes i currently own are an 08 yz 125, 08 KTM 450 EXC-r, 09 KTM 300 and 09 KX450F, and my previous bikes are an 09 kx 250F, 99 KX 500, 08 RM 250 and an 07 KTM 250 EXC-f

Thanks for the input. My 15 year old nephew races an 09 KX450F but no flywheel. He's about 140 pounds and does AA off-road and local pro MX. I have no frickin' idea how he, you and other lighter racers hang on to that bike! Helmets off to you guys. His starts first kick, too.

I rode it in the tight trees and the instant throttle response surprised me to the point I got fatigued the first time. Instant NOW power.

a de stroked 450, with all the static weight that comes with it and the berg price tag to boot?

i was recently in the similar position, i'm 160 pounds, race at an a grade level offroad and do some mx for fun, i wanted a bike with efi so it wouldn't flood if i crashed, and it needed to be easy to start with plenty of torque, reliability and low maintenance were also big priorities for me since i do around 200 hours a year, after riding a very large variety of bikes, including a few mx 450's, two 350's (one with a few after market bits, one stock) a few 450 enduro's (including my 08 KTM 450 EXC) and two strokes.

i ended up choosing an 09 KX 450 with a rekluse EXP over a ktm 350 for a few reasons.

.1 alot cheaper initial outlay

.2 i cannot find a single post about bad reliability from any kawi 450's since 06 (it's first year)

.3 absolutely the easiest kick start bike to fire up, easier then my 09 KX250F was, when hot even after a crash on a hill (ie bike left upside down) it never takes more then 1 kick to fire from TDC, 3 kicks from dead cold

.4 it is an absolute torque monster, and with the efi there is no bogging, no funny buisness, with a FWW it would lug like an XR400 on roids, with the rekluse i feel no need for a FWW however.

downsides to the 350 are it feel abit heavier, picking it up is similar however, and the ktm has more bling.

as a bit of a comparison the bikes i currently own are an 08 yz 125, 08 KTM 450 EXC-r, 09 KTM 300 and 09 KX450F, and my previous bikes are an 09 kx 250F, 99 KX 500, 08 RM 250 and an 07 KTM 250 EXC-f

the 09 kawi has a rep for being tiring to ride.

Not sure what "mauricio" is talking about ,my 11 450 SXF doesn't flame out at all...ever...

If you want a heavy 250 buy the 350, if you want a fun, easy to ride bike get the 450... and the 450 is a LOT of fun to ride...

I'm in the same boat.. But it's a pretty simple decision actually..

The 350XC

- Has a 6 speed

- 3 gallon tank

- Kick stand

- Back-up kick starter

- 18'' rear wheel

Although I know there's times, in the deep sand, I'd wish I bought a 450. 90% of the time I know I'd be faster on the 350, because I can ride it harder. It's more fun the ride a slightly slower bike fast..

Glad to read others are in the same boat! :smirk:

Without riding one I hope the 6 speed - referred to as "semi wide" - has no gaps. I've ridden a 250XCW and the tranny didn't get along with me. My 400XCW tranny is a better fit so I hope the 350's extra oomph and semi wide are a great blend. I presume it is since not one online report/review has mentioned otherwise.

Thought it was a 2.5 tank.

This will be my first off-road bike without a Pro Moto Billet sidestand. Whoa!

As of this posting the 350 XC-F is in my final 2 contenders. Thanks to all for the honest and friendly input.

I'm in the same boat.. But it's a pretty simple decision actually..

The 350XC

- Has a 6 speed

- 3 gallon tank

- Kick stand

- Back-up kick starter

- 18'' rear wheel

Although I know there's times, in the deep sand, I'd wish I bought a 450. 90% of the time I know I'd be faster on the 350, because I can ride it harder. It's more fun the ride a slightly slower bike fast..

What is the other bike your considering?

It's going to be a KTM, that much I know. We're waiting on a family friend/local dealer in Boise to finalize the paperwork with KTM (he's currently a Suzuki/Honda/Kawasaki/Victory/Polaris dealer), and go to the dealer meeting in June before we plunk the money down.

The 350 XCF is a finalist, and the other one, well, I don't know if it exists even though I've been reading through all the "will it be a 2012 or 2013 offering because Europe has it but I don't think the US will. Yet."

I've been enamored with the 250XC (not the W) since riding a friend's 08 when it was first released. His had the SX ignition. So my other finalist/ultimate dream bike is a 250XC with linkage rear suspension and e-start even though 250 two strokes are stupid simple to start.

I'm between a rock and a hard place: I like my 2009 YZ250 two stroke and it is relatively inexpensive compared to the 250XC and I think the overall feel won't be so drastic (my YZ 250 has been off-road modified quite nicely). Yet I like 4 strokes and the 350XC's lack of engine braking/e-start/linkage fits the bill. But I have not spent any time on one.

Thankfully I have time since the dealer won't have inventory for a month or two. And not to hijack my own thread, but you may appreciate this seeing your bike list in the signature: hoping KTM comes out with a 1200 Super Duke in 2013! Dealer friend would like nothing more than to rip me off the Triumph Speed Triple purchased from a competing shop, ha.

What is the other bike your considering?
Thanks for the input. My 15 year old nephew races an 09 KX450F but no flywheel. He's about 140 pounds and does AA off-road and local pro MX. I have no frickin' idea how he, you and other lighter racers hang on to that bike! Helmets off to you guys. His starts first kick, too.

I rode it in the tight trees and the instant throttle response surprised me to the point I got fatigued the first time. Instant NOW power.

it's all in the clutch, without the rekluse it was a bear that's for sure, even on the hardpack setting the pull from it at low rev's was immense, with the rekluse set to slip until around 2'500 rpm it's like a ***** cat (wel not quite haha), since putting the rekluse in i've had it mapped to the sand setting with a little extra ignition advance and a little more fuel between 3-6k rpm due to the megabomb header i have on it (crushed the stocker and was cheaper then an OEM) and it's awesome, more tiring to ride then a 350, but i couldn't justify paying double for a 350 over it.

also just so ya know, the 350 XC will be linkage, then the 250 XC (two stroke) will still have the PDS like the mxer, new frame but still with pds.

I currently have 2011 450SXF and a 2011 250XC. My buddy has a 2011 250XC and a 2011 350XCF. We both have tried really hard to like the 350 XCF but the motor just isn't made for off road. No real low end.

Perhaps the 2012 will have the motor that everyone is looking for, we'll see..

meanwhile nothing beats the 250 XC off road, its made for idaho City and more...

Funny , I hear all the 2012's will be linked, which doesn't really , matter as my linked bike works as well as my PDS...

Idaho City is where I spent the afternoon on that 250XC (and the 200XC). The suspension wasn't dialed in for my weight but the motor and feel had me effortlessly annihilating trails I've been riding/racing on for the past 25 years.

meanwhile nothing beats the 250 XC off road, its made for idaho City and more...

Funny , I hear all the 2012's will be linked, which doesn't really , matter as my linked bike works as well as my PDS...

I don't think the linkage matters either.. If anything, it's just another part to wear and require maintenance. I didn't realize you were considering a smoker.. I have the 2011 250SX and it's bad to the bone.

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