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KTM 300 model history

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I am thinking of buying a used KTM -300 exc and want to understand what important model changes happened since 1999. I know that the bike remained the same for groups of years but knowing which years had key thresholds would be great.

I am a 50 yr old intermediate trail rider with 20+ years of trail riding experience. I currently ride a 200 DRZ-400 that is plush but heavy. I tend to ride single track in the woods so max power is not as big of a deal. I want light weight, smooth power, and a suspension that can handle square edged whoops etc better than the DRZ when you pick up the pace.

I have ridden a '99 300exc and like it but the seat height is a bit low (I like to stand up 40-50% of the time but not 80%+ like some do). It rewards standing up - I would like to know if the 300 excs got taller seats at some point or if they are all the same.

So, any ideas of key features of model year changes would be great. Any other suggestions as to what to look for would be appreciated as well.

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Last year of the EXC in USA was 2005. 2006 & ups are XC-W models (EXC w/o lights).

Frame changes in 05-07 and then again in 08 and then again in 12? (not 100% sure about newer than 2011 models)

E start on 08 & up.

Significant plastics changes in 08.

If you want tall seat, no matter the model I would suggest an Enduro Engineering tall seat (soft or hard)

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99-03 pretty close really, 04 big change year motor was 8 lbs lighter, 08 big change new frame and shock angle, handled much better, 11 and up another big change frame plastics etc, so depending on how much you wat to spend, 04, 08, 11

minor improvements every year, Ive had a 96,99,02,04, 08 all 300's cant really go wrong with any get the newest one you can afford/find

Mike

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Thanks guys! I heard that in CA you can get a green sticker for '03 and older bikes, but an engine that weights 8lbs less for the '04 is pretty interesting.

I see a few '02-03's for sale for around $3k - is that a good price?

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Thanks guys! I heard that in CA you can get a green sticker for '03 and older bikes, but an engine that weights 8lbs less for the '04 is pretty interesting.

I see a few '02-03's for sale for around $3k - is that a good price?

Green sticker bikes in california are years 2002 and older. Not 2003.

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I came off a 2003 DRZ 400 kicker and went to a 2004 300 MXC. I liked the DRZ which we called the pig, for obvious reason. I love my 300, you wont be sorry.

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Thanks guys! I think I will look for a 2004 or newer unless I get a great price on a pre 2004.

Are there any near mandatory mods other than suspension tuning?

It might seem strange but since I so used to the linear power band of the DRZ it makes me wonder if there are reeds that smooth out the 2 stroke hit a bit.

I will probably re learn how to ride a 2 stroke in no time at all, but just wonder if there are options.

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Thanks guys! I think I will look for a 2004 or newer unless I get a great price on a pre 2004.

Are there any near mandatory mods other than suspension tuning?

It might seem strange but since I so used to the linear power band of the DRZ it makes me wonder if there are reeds that smooth out the 2 stroke hit a bit.

I will probably re learn how to ride a 2 stroke in no time at all, but just wonder if there are options.

Options to smooth out the power? a search will bring up hours of reading. MANY ways to change the power delivery of the 300 ( i thought everyone knows this is one of the best aspects of the bike). jetting, power valve settings,needle choice,map switch ( 07 and newer), exhaust choice, flywheel weights,and certainly movement of your rt hand:busted: ALL figure in on power delivery.

Joe

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I have been out of the two stroke world for 20 years so I didn't know. Thanks.

I always thought that the jetting and needle settings were set for altitude and to fix problems. The power valve is new to me - I will check into it.

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I have been out of the two stroke world for 20 years so I didn't know. Thanks.

I always thought that the jetting and needle settings were set for altitude and to fix problems. The power valve is new to me - I will check into it.

MAJOR differences over the last 20 yrs for the 2 stroke......especially the 300. You will be blown away at how manageable and UN pipey/easy to run way way low in rpm, yet still have gobs of torque . You are now able to "move around" the power characteristics using the methods I mentioned earlier. We call the 300 a three stroke for many reasons now. reams and reams of info available on here as well as on ktm talk covering this going back many years.:busted:

Joe

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MAJOR differences over the last 20 yrs for the 2 stroke......especially the 300. You will be blown away at how manageable and UN pipey/easy to run way way low in rpm, yet still have gobs of torque . You are now able to "move around" the power characteristics using the methods I mentioned earlier. We call the 300 a three stroke for many reasons now. reams and reams of info available on here as well as on ktm talk covering this going back many years.:busted:

Joe

+1 I used to ride 2 strokes, then moved to 4 strokes. I just switched back to a 300 xcw and couldn't be happier. These bikes are just a blast to ride!

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Cann't go wrong with a 300. I have had many other bikes and the 300 still is my favorite. My current bike is an 06 XCW. I'm 59 years old and keep up with guys half my age. The bike has over 6,000 miles on it with only one top end. Light weight, power delivery adjustability and later models E-Start. Its the best all around woods bike period.

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I have ridden a buddies '99 300exc a couple of times and that is what is driving me to heh bike - light weight and good low end power with the 2 stroke rush.

Does anyone know if there were any suspension changes in the 2000 - 2003 range?

In CA a pre-2003 gives year round riding anywhere for around $2k.

As one poster said 2004 is a pretty big change in the engine weight. What other changes were there?

I figure if I can get a low hour 2004 that would be good. The next would be a 2002 so I can get the green sticker.

After that, it seems like some bikes are lowered or sprung for the wrong weight so I will look for bikes that have the guards and bars and suspension set for close to my weight.

Any other considerations I should think about?

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04 had lots of changes, the one piece rear end, new tank, and seat,some frame changes, much better ergos, than previous years, the one glaring issue on the 04 was suspension they had a top out spring in the shock and a 3rd bushing in the fork(both dropped in later years) kinda wierd most just ditched the 3rd bushing, a savy tuner will make the stock stuff very good, having had 5 300's i will tell you the single best thing you can do to any year is to have the head modded to meet yor needs, its the best thing you can do for under 100 bucks to most 2 strokes especially the 300.

Mike

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Check the compression before you do anything.

Any mods done to it?

Motor -

Pipe, jet kit, carb work, overbore?

Suspension -

Changed springs, valves, lowered?

Check the rims for dings and dents, spokes tight and straight.

Have someone pick up the front end, check for play in the wheel bearings.

Do the same for the rear.

Rock the bike back and forth holding the front brake and then the rear brake, check for steering bearing clunk and rear swing arm clunk.

Check the shock bushings.

Start the bike up, check for rattle and slap when cold.

When the bike is warm check for how fast it revs and if there are any unusual noises that go away or get louder.

Ride it, row through the gears using the clutch and then not using the clutch, check for clutch operation.

Look for mismatched screws and bolts and/or the use of nuts where there used to be frame or bodywork mounted anchor nuts.

Pop the cap off both brake reservoirs and the clutch reservoir.

Check the material condition of the bike and consumables, tires, rotors, brake pads, chain, sprockets, hand grips, transmission fluid.

Check free operation of the throttle.

Check the bottom of the frame for smashed frame rails.

Ask if the owner will pull the gas tank off so you can "check under the hood".

Any extras with the bike?

Spare parts?

Service manual?

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Excellent used bike inspection tips! I would have missed several of those. This should be a sticky! Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge.

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May I piggy back Norcal's thread here and ask, what are the big differences between an 07 300 XC vs an XC-W?

I currently have an 07 450 xc-w and it's perfect for where I ride (where a 450 xc would be less than perfect).

Is it a similar difference wih the 300's? I'm assuming the XC has 1 less gear, is tighter spaced, doesn't have lighting coil or plugs for plug n play lighting???

Thx for any advice. The 300 xc here in town is a smokin deal, but if it's the wrong bike for my riding style, then any price is too much. THX

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May I piggy back Norcal's thread here and ask, what are the big differences between an 07 300 XC vs an XC-W?

I currently have an 07 450 xc-w and it's perfect for where I ride (where a 450 xc would be less than perfect).

Is it a similar difference wih the 300's? I'm assuming the XC has 1 less gear, is tighter spaced, doesn't have lighting coil or plugs for plug n play lighting???

Thx for any advice. The 300 xc here in town is a smokin deal, but if it's the wrong bike for my riding style, then any price is too much. THX

You can go to one of the on-line KTM parts sellers and open up a parts page for each bike in a separate browser and do a side by side comparison on a lot of things.

They both have 5 gears, both have a stator, The XC does not have the wiring harness for lights, the XCW does, you can add the wiring harness to the XC, neither come with lights, but you could just buy the stock stuff from any KTM 4 stroker that does have lights if you want to go that way.

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Check the compression before you do anything.

Any mods done to it?

Motor -

Pipe, jet kit, carb work, overbore?

Suspension -

Changed springs, valves, lowered?

Check the rims for dings and dents, spokes tight and straight.

Have someone pick up the front end, check for play in the wheel bearings.

Do the same for the rear.

Rock the bike back and forth holding the front brake and then the rear brake, check for steering bearing clunk and rear swing arm clunk.

Check the shock bushings.

Start the bike up, check for rattle and slap when cold.

When the bike is warm check for how fast it revs and if there are any unusual noises that go away or get louder.

Ride it, row through the gears using the clutch and then not using the clutch, check for clutch operation.

Look for mismatched screws and bolts and/or the use of nuts where there used to be frame or bodywork mounted anchor nuts.

Pop the cap off both brake reservoirs and the clutch reservoir.

Check the material condition of the bike and consumables, tires, rotors, brake pads, chain, sprockets, hand grips, transmission fluid.

Check free operation of the throttle.

Check the bottom of the frame for smashed frame rails.

Ask if the owner will pull the gas tank off so you can "check under the hood".

Any extras with the bike?

Spare parts?

Service manual?

Damn Guns!!! I'm taking you with me when I buy my next bike :busted: I always think about this stuff AFTER I get it home.

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