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Just bought a 2012 KTM 300 XC. Never thought I would do it but man, the Japanese manufactures are just not keeping up. Wanted lighting capacity for night riding and 24 hr event plus the e-start and a bit different power curve.

Went for about an hours ride but really slipery and icy with snow so couldn't get confident. As well, the bars, shifter, and brake pedal are out of place for me. General ergos are a little 'wierd' for right now.

Am coming off of 7 years on 250 Mx bikes (RM 250 and YZ 250's) set up for woods riding so will be a transition for sure.

Jetting is messed up right now on the KTM but will get it dialed.

So, first impressions are extremely sensitive braking (ended up on the ground with front wheel wash out down hill). My YZ brakes are mush compared to the KTM. Power was OK but not explosive like I am used to. Jetting dialed in will crisp things up.

Handling felt a little nervous in the front with very light feel to it.

Starter sucked and would not light the bike up. &%$#@!? Why have it on there if you have to kick start it anyway!

Overall, not a great first ride but will need to get things set up and broken in. Sure hope the jetting fixes up the power and addresses some of the starting. I have been told now that when the KTM is cold, kick it but it will fire when warm with the kick starter. Hope so as that wasn't the case on Friday.

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"Am coming off of 7 years on 250 Mx bikes (RM 250 and YZ 250's) set up for woods riding so will be a transition for sure. "

Man I am right behind you, been thinking about the XC300. Let me know if you made the right decision! As we both are use to the convereted 250 mx'rs How is the power overall? I am wanting good smooth power.

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"Am coming off of 7 years on 250 Mx bikes (RM 250 and YZ 250's) set up for woods riding so will be a transition for sure. "

Man I am right behind you, been thinking about the XC300. Let me know if you made the right decision! As we both are use to the convereted 250 mx'rs How is the power overall? I am wanting good smooth power.

Power seemed good but still need to get the jetting correct. Smoother for sure than the 250's so you may like it. Having a little buyers remorse right now as the price for the KTM was about $1700 more than a new YZ 250. My YZ's recieved oversize tank, o-ring chain, guarding (same on both bikes), and a quick oil change to lighter weight in the forks which only adds up to about $400 extra.

KTM will need bars for sure and hopefully no suspension work. With the light front end maybe a steering damper (the YZ was pretty true at speed).

I think i will get it to work out but was expecting a little more based on all of the reviews and friends that ride them. Will have to wait and see.

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I'm in the same situation. Rode RM's forever but when it was time to get something new Suzuki just didn't (doesn't) offer a new 2 stroke, so I had to move on. The local KTM dealership is awesome and has even order several Suzuki parts for me over the years. So 2 weeks ago I bought a 2012 KTM 300XC-w. Haven't rode it yet, I do not ride in the snow and there's plenty out there yet. Although I did take it for a spin around the yard and for such a short ride I'm happy so far. The electric starter wouldn't spin the motor over fast enough to start it, so I had to kick too. I'm told that after a few break in rides the motor will free up and then the starter will be fine.

Most of my riding is single track woods or Hare Scramble racing so hard hitting MX power and stiff MX suspension doesn't excite me anymore. Overall I expect to be faster with less effort on my new KTM than I was on my extremely tricked out '08 RM250. I'll report back when I do finally get it broken in and fully tested.

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FYI, the starter thing is kinda hit and miss it seems although I've not really had to many issues. That being said, it will rarely start the bike cold unless the battery is fully charged. My bike being 1.5yrs old now, the battery will barely turn the motor let alone start it when it's cold, once it's warm though, it takes only a tap on the easy button and BAM she's up!!

As for the lack of explosive power, well what I really think your feeling is "smoothness" combined with a heavier FWW which slows the motor down a touch, gives better traction!!! As with all 2t's jetting is crucial and getting it dialed in the cold seems to be a little tougher. I think you'll find that with some real seat time you'll adjust to the ergo's and come to appreciate how much better that 300 works.

If not, well KTM's hold their value well and sell fast, so you can dump it and go back to a Jap bike.

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I went from an 07 YZ250w1 to an 09 Kx250XC back in 2009. The flat way forward bars on the KTM really took some getting use to. Also the steering did not feel right untill I got the sag set for my 6'2' 235 pound cheese burger loving self. The hit is not there like the YZ but overall just a much better woods racer than my YZ. Still do miss the slimmer feeling on my stock tank YZ but in 2 hour races you have to stop for gas the KTM has plenty of fuel for two hours

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Having owned a 2002 YZ250, a 2004 YZ250, another 2002 YZ250, a 2002 CR250, a 2004 KTM 300EXC and now a 2012 KTM 300 XC let me say these things to address your concerns.

1) Ergos need to be set up on any bike.

2) There is a jetting chart in your manual. Generally if you go one box leaner for your elevation you will still be safe and it should run better. KTM jetting is conservative to account for variables that some owners may impose on the bike. Jap jetting in my experience has never been right stock either.....remember the YZ engine ping at low rpm under a load?

3) KTM brakes are better. Its a good thing!

4) The front end is light but a damper should fix it if you really need one.

5) Starter works fine if you keep your bike on a tender and then plan to start it cold each time with your foot and use the button thereafter.

6) The 300s are smoother than the 250s. Thats their appeal. They have heavier internals so the rev slower and they make torque across a wider rpm range. If you prefer a 250, I am 100% positive that you would be able to easily find a 250 rider on KTMtalk.com who would like to swap his barrel and slug for yours. In the end through powervalve spring changes (think red) and adjusting the screw flush with the case, the 300 will rip!!! Too much for the woods IMO.

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Having owned a 2002 YZ250, a 2004 YZ250, another 2002 YZ250, a 2002 CR250, a 2004 KTM 300EXC and now a 2012 KTM 300 XC let me say these things to address your concerns.

1) Ergos need to be set up on any bike.

2) There is a jetting chart in your manual. Generally if you go one box leaner for your elevation you will still be safe and it should run better. KTM jetting is conservative to account for variables that some owners may impose on the bike. Jap jetting in my experience has never been right stock either.....remember the YZ engine ping at low rpm under a load?

3) KTM brakes are better. Its a good thing!

4) The front end is light but a damper should fix it if you really need one.

5) Starter works fine if you keep your bike on a tender and then plan to start it cold each time with your foot and use the button thereafter.

6) The 300s are smoother than the 250s. Thats their appeal. They have heavier internals so the rev slower and they make torque across a wider rpm range. If you prefer a 250, I am 100% positive that you would be able to easily find a 250 rider on KTMtalk.com who would like to swap his barrel and slug for yours. In the end through powervalve spring changes (think red) and adjusting the screw flush with the case, the 300 will rip!!! Too much for the woods IMO.

Thanks Bambislayer. A few words of encouragment always help. Your right about the smoothness and once I get onto tough technical single track I'm sure I will recognize the advantage. That is infact why I did purchase it as I am getting a little longer in the tooth (42) now and felt a bit more torque and less wide open throttle to get up/over things would improve my riding. I just need to set things up is all. The starter is a little dissapointing but in talking with my dealer yesterday he assured me the same thing. Said honestly they don't work well cold but after the engine is broke in and the bike is warm it will stab to life if you happen to stall in a corner etc. Swaped out the orange front fender for white which seems more appealing to my mind!

Too much snow to get really out there for the next few weeks but plan on heading down west to the coast to get some trail time and set up time in before racing starts in April.

Thanks all!

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Hey Kantoniak, nice to see your on orange now! Your brother get his bike straightened out after his big crash climbing the bunny hill?

Anywho, your bike is too new. It took me the better part of 15hrs for my motor to free up. Remember you rode my 250xc and it felt slow. Even when you took it for a boot it wasn't broken in. Just give it some time. The 300 is a torque monster compared to your YZ 250. The motor is going to feel slow compared to you YZ but thats just power being put to the ground, not useless spinning. Obviously coming off a familiar YZ to a unfamiliar bike like your KTM is going to have its quirks.

Get the jetting dialed at this point doesn't help to much. The motor is just so tight. Throw the damper on, I'm running the GPR V4 under the bar unit. It was a was between that and the Scotts. Either work great though! As for suspension, your pretty close in the ball park. You might need a tweak here and there but I should come around. Get the linkage skid, that should be number 3 on your list, saves you from a bashed up linkage that looks like hell.

Last but not least, get a Rekluse. Im not sure if your YZ had it but I just put one on a couple days ago. Been out twice now it and man, it is gnarly. It will be my number 2 mod right behind suspension. I can't believe I have rode this long without one. Bachelor becomes a play riders dream with one and at this point I haven't stalled the bike. I can't, and I have tried very hard to.

It will get better, just give it some time.

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For sure on all points. Have the Rekluse but want to break the clutch in first. The clutch is so nice compared to the cable on the YZ.

As for my bro...he has his bike apart but trying how to straighten the sub frame, exhaust etc. Has new bars as well. I think he is still sore too!

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