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School me on the 2002 KTM SX 125

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More con's then pro's sadly. When looking back on the SX model range from the late 90's into 2000's, you see a lot of MAJOR changes made. From 03 - 06, that bike was a large step above the 02 in pretty much every department from the suspension to the motor. The 07-09 was an even greater step above that, with lots more refinement, especially in the suspension department. If you don't own the 02 yet and can't afford an 07+, I'd really think of buying a 03 - 06, just because it is THAT much better. I've ridden a lot of older KTM's and haven't found any in good enough shape to consider really ridable, where the 05's and 06's I've ridden have been stellar, just like my 07.

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More con's then pro's sadly. When looking back on the SX model range from the late 90's into 2000's, you see a lot of MAJOR changes made. From 03 - 06, that bike was a large step above the 02 in pretty much every department from the suspension to the motor. The 07-09 was an even greater step above that, with lots more refinement, especially in the suspension department. If you don't own the 02 yet and can't afford an 07+, I'd really think of buying a 03 - 06, just because it is THAT much better. I've ridden a lot of older KTM's and haven't found any in good enough shape to consider really ridable, where the 05's and 06's I've ridden have been stellar, just like my 07.

I appreciate your input, but you kind of failed to give me any Pros/Cons. You just told me "Newer is better", which in the sport is typically always the case. Can you tell me about problems, possible in comparison to another bike of the same year model? This would be my first KTM, so I'm not familiar with how other models or years ride.

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Well, I listed the con's of buying an 02, the 03 is a lot better. Would you notice the difference? Yes, absolutely. We're talking about an old dirt bike, there are no "pro's", its an old bike. So you've gotta look at the con's of buying an old bike.

One of KTM's weakest points is the steel frame and cast triple clamps. I've seen a few issues with the cast clamp at the bottom where the steering tube screws in, a crack forms and that doesn't last very long without going catastrophic. Same goes for the frame, I've seen the shock mounts rip off a frame and one of my frames even had a small crack right near the same spot. So on a KTM, the newer, the unused, the better. That pretty much goes for ANY bike however...

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Well, I listed the con's of buying an 02, the 03 is a lot better. Would you notice the difference? Yes, absolutely. We're talking about an old dirt bike, there are no "pro's", its an old bike. So you've gotta look at the con's of buying an old bike.

One of KTM's weakest points is the steel frame and cast triple clamps. I've seen a few issues with the cast clamp at the bottom where the steering tube screws in, a crack forms and that doesn't last very long without going catastrophic. Same goes for the frame, I've seen the shock mounts rip off a frame and one of my frames even had a small crack right near the same spot. So on a KTM, the newer, the unused, the better. That pretty much goes for ANY bike however...

Alright, so I need to watch the Triple clamps and just the frame in general? Done.

The Suspension itself seemed to be decent, although he mentioned something about it being rebuilt with RG3 springs, or something of that sort. Power definitely wasn't an issue, it's very quick for a lites class bike.

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Alright, so I need to watch the Triple clamps and just the frame in general? Done.

Yep and Yep.

The Suspension itself seemed to be decent, although he mentioned something about it being rebuilt with RG3 springs, or something of that sort. Power definitely wasn't an issue, it's very quick for a lites class bike.

Yep, its a good lil bike for sure.

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Says you!!! I could say the same thing about the Honda or Yamaha, I see them not running all the time.

Well you can't argue that older KTM's dont have a bad reputation for being un-reliable. Ive heard it from the mouths of KTM owners, yes owners as in plural, that they are getting rid of their KTM's because they are unreliable. they both switched to yamahas and were not dissapointed. I have also read in magazines several times that yamahas are the most reliable bikes. I owned a suzuki and a kawasaki both had way more problems and were slower than my yamaha. I do not hate KTM's at all, in fact, my dream bike is a 250sx. My current bike is a Yz250. But buying a KTM that old is by far not the best option in my experience, especially for that year.

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Let me go ahead and clear it up. Honda's are most likely the MOST reliable bike on the market. Kawasaki and Suzuki are also very reliable. My KTM ran great all day yesterday, so I have no complaints about it (yet). Yamaha aren't bad bikes either, but everyone says they go through valves fast. ALL are good bike if they're maintained well.

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I do not hate KTM's at all, in fact, my dream bike is a 250sx. But buying a KTM that old is by far not the best option in my experience, especially for that year.

Yes your right, older bikes have issues today. Most of that is the constant change of hands, an 02 probably has changed hands 3 times since its initial purchase. So the back story could be literally anything. People who buy "cheap" old bikes, usually abuse them as well, so instead of the 'recommended' 20 - 40 hours on a piston, they put over 100 hours.

If you buy an old bike, re-build the motor entirely, I'm fairly sure it will be reliable. It has nothing to do with the design, it has everything to do with hours. Next time you see a broken bike, ask'em when they did the last re-build... :smirk:

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Let me go ahead and clear it up. Honda's are most likely the MOST reliable bike on the market. Kawasaki and Suzuki are also very reliable. My KTM ran great all day yesterday, so I have no complaints about it (yet). Yamaha aren't bad bikes either, but everyone says they go through valves fast. ALL are good bike if they're maintained well.

Your confusing things slightly, in the world of 2 strokes, Hondas are pretty reliable for sure because out of the factory, they don't put out nearly the power of the KTMs which means they probably run slightly less compression, which helps with reliability. All the other brands are pretty equal in reliability, they're all fine if maintained correctly. And again, the KTM puts out substantially more power then its competitors. That means, they will for sure have less long-term reliability in the piston/ring arena.

But in terms of 4 strokes, the world is upside down. None of the 250F's are reliable, though the Yamaha seems to be the best of the bunch by a fair margin. The 450's all seem to be more reliable, mostly because you'd have to be a pro to abuse the motor enough for it to go pop. The newer Kawasaki's do have more problems and Honda still has its valve retention issues, Suzuki transmission and bottom end issues, where Yamaha still seems to be the most reliable. KTM's biggest issue on both 250F and 450F is the chain tensioner. They use a hydraulic system which doesn't work with low oil pressure, or the wrong viscosity oil. So to make KTM 4 strokes work without going pop, ya gotta throw in a standard spring loaded chain tensioner. Pretty simple fix. :smirk:

Edited by tye1138

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Your confusing things slightly, in the world of 2 strokes, Hondas are pretty reliable for sure because out of the factory, they don't put out nearly the power of the KTMs which means they probably run slightly less compression, which helps with reliability. All the other brands are pretty equal in reliability, they're all fine if maintained correctly. And again, the KTM puts out substantially more power then its competitors. That means, they will for sure have less long-term reliability in the piston/ring arena.

But in terms of 4 strokes, the world is upside down. None of the 250F's are reliable, though the Yamaha seems to be the best of the bunch by a fair margin. The 450's all seem to be more reliable, mostly because you'd have to be a pro to abuse the motor enough for it to go pop. The newer Kawasaki's do have more problems and Honda still has its valve retention issues, Suzuki transmission and bottom end issues, where Yamaha still seems to be the most reliable. KTM's biggest issue on both 250F and 450F is the chain tensioner. They use a hydraulic system which doesn't work with low oil pressure, or the wrong viscosity oil. So to make KTM 4 strokes work without going pop, ya gotta throw in a standard spring loaded chain tensioner. Pretty simple fix. :smirk:

I wasn't speaking specifically about 2 stroke, but the brands in general. Nor do I know the specific issues accompanied by each bike. But I've seen Honda's beat to no end (this coming from someone who doesn't ride them) and still start first kick.

I agree with what you said, all brand name bikes are reliable for the most part. Granted each bike may have a small flaw, but that's just part of it.

I think we're averting from the original subject though, fact is, I got rode my first KTM yesterday and it ran great! hahah

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Not a bad bike. The pro of that bike is the price. You should be able to pick one up for $1K to $1200 in good shape. I've seen some crazy part failures but not the same failure multiple times. The one thing that does come to mind is wheel bearings/seals. If you buy and older KTM replace the wheel bearings/seals day one. The engine has changed very little over the years. If the previous owner (s) have taken care of this bike it has many more years in it.

Joe........

IMG_9894.JPG

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The guy I bought it from had the whole thing rebuilt when he got it, it wasn't comfortable for him so he had RG3 springs put on it, and some sort of canister (I can't remember exactly what he called it). Said it still wasn't comfortable for him, so he rode it on some trails behind his house and the CDI unit goes out. He buys the updated CDI unit with all the wiring harnesses and stuff to go with it and had it put on.

This bike is basically been completely rebuilt from the ground up. The whole clutch was rebuilt (That's including the mastercyclinder) when the rebuilt the engine. New rod, crank, bearings, vertex piston kit, gaskets (naturally), etc etc etc. I rode it all day at Talking Rock Arena and it ran GREAT. It screams!

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