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Should I buy a KTM over a Yamaha?

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I'm trying to decide if i want a KTM or a Yamaha.

I'm looking for either a KTM 250sxf, or a Yamaha YZ250f. I really like the KTMs look, specs, and if the handling is anything like my friends 525, I like the handling too. It feels really crisp and flickable. Are KTMs as tried and tested as the Yamahas? I really dont know much about KTMs at all. I'm seeing many 2006 KTM 250sxfs on craigslist. Are there issues with that year or something?

How does maintenance and parts prices compare to Yamaha? I feel like KTM parts are probably less abundant and more costly.

Anything else I should look out for when searching for a KTM 250sxf? Any certain years that were worse than the others?

Thank you for any insight and advice!

Joe

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06 and 07 have bad cranks and the timing chain tensioners are noisier than hell. if you search all the ktm threads , youll see 06 comes up often. no matter , i purchased one and i also own a yamaha . the yz-f are die hard bikes imo and if you want a reliable bike , you might wanna ride blue. enjoy

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I'm a previous 2004 WR250f owner and a current 2011 350sxf owner. Although the bikes are significantly different i can say that i liked them both. I ride with a group of people that would be 95% Yamaha riders. I see very little issues with any of the Yamaha bikes from the WR to the YZF models. That being said I also love my 350 SXF as well. You see lots of people here saying how many problems they have had and i can honestly say i have had "0" issues with this bike and it handles like a dream. As far as getting parts I have found it to be no more of a wait to get KTM parts then any Jap bike but that might just be because the dealer works hard to get what i want. As far as price i find that the MOTUL/MOTOREX recomended oils and lubricants are pricey compared to others but hey...its a 10g bike and i have no issues spending the extra bucks on it to keep it from having issues on the trail! My best advice is to buy something the feels good, pick a color, take care of it and enjoy the sport!

If its got tires or tits its going to give you trouble!

Edited by snorbo

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No bike will ever be as reliable as a yamaha. Maybe those old 450 and 525 rfs motors can compare. But... nothing else.

that being said, after years and years of riding only yamaha's, I got a ktm 450xcf last year. Its a great bike with a unique feel. It took a little getting used to and you really have to have a suspension guy that knows what he's doing. After that, nothing but smiles. I plan on keeping one of each.

regarding parts, I do not really find the KTM parts to be any more expensive or less available than the Yamaha ones. Some are higher, some are lower. Its a wash. But, you will have to do more maintenence and upkeep on the KTM.

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Parts availability and price are a non issue nowadays. The KTM motors are pretty darn bulletproof. In fact if you look at the arenacross series you will see a growing number of KTMs out there.

Anyway the point is don't worry about KTM reliability.

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I thought '07 was first year of SX-F, and previously they were SX models. I also thought '07 was the big overhaul year with DOHC, etc.. I could definitely be wrong. If it is 4-stroke REPLACE tensioner with $80 Dirt Tricks tensioner and save yourself from $1,000s in top end repairs. KTM uses hydraulic tensioner and is a poor design IMHO. Our tensioner failed on our 450 SX-F. If you have "noisy tensioner", you have a loose timing chain and I can guarantee it is a WHEN, not an "if", that it will fail. The dirt tricks tensioner is a reliable fix and uses ratcheting design plus hydraulic. I would replace tensioner no matter what.

I agree parts availability are a wash and same for price. Parts should be a non-factor in your decision. Because i have more experience working on Japanese designed stuff, I found the KTM frustrating to work on ( I compare it to working on other Euro stuff like VW. Okay, VW is German engineering, KTM is Austrian..close enuf!! :bonk: ). Spark plug removal is a PITA and so is valve adjustment. I never found it got any easier. And these are both areas that need some attention.

When we ride, i see more orange than anything and all the riders rave about how much they love KTM. All have owned Kawi, Honda, Yamahas over the years and most say they like the KTM more. I just found the Japanese a bit easier to work on. That might change if I wrenched more on KTMs.

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have an 11 350sxf and a 12 yz 250f. ridden an 11 250sxf many times. the yz has a solid motor . incredible suspension for mx. to stiff for single track. it is as fast as the 11 ktm ith better susp. the 12 ktm is supposed to be heavier and slower then the 11. get the yz unless the electric start on the ktm gets you horny.

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Im i the same exact boat. I have a 06 yz250f. The thing starts so easy all the time and never has problems. But like everyone says. Its outdated.

Which gets me thinking that other brands are better.

I will never go green because thats all i seeat the tracks

Ive went honda once because i love them. But quickly hated it when the valves started moving.

Already had a rmz250 and it had problems. But that might be because it was a 04

So that leaves me with ktm. The 06-07 models from what ive read are not the best so id have to get a 08 or newer.just not familiar with these bikes and if they have problems

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Im i the same exact boat. I have a 06 yz250f. The thing starts so easy all the time and never has problems. But like everyone says. Its outdated.

Which gets me thinking that other brands are better.

I will never go green because thats all i seeat the tracks

Ive went honda once because i love them. But quickly hated it when the valves started moving.

Already had a rmz250 and it had problems. But that might be because it was a 04

So that leaves me with ktm. The 06-07 models from what ive read are not the best so id have to get a 08 or newer.just not familiar with these bikes and if they have problems

Absolutely, postitively do not get an 08 ktm unless you first read up on it. It was a first year motor and had some teething issues. You will need to adjust the price accordingly.

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I had an 07 yz250f for 3yrs and steped up to a 12 250sxf. My yamaha had headwork ,cams, pipe and suspension work. I felt comfortable on the ktm straight away but I needed to be respring it as im 85kgs.it sits a lot higher than the yz and out performed it everywhere.Everywhere accept bottom end...... I feel i have to come in hotter or be ready with the clutch finger exiting corners. Ive added pipe ,map switch and put a 50t on to fill the whole. Its more of a revy motor wich my yamaha was not but im adjusting my riding style to suit and getting better everytime i get more seat timet. I have 12hrs on it and dont regret the descision at all. The more i work with the bike the more i love it.

I think the KTMs extra asking price over the japs is more than justified. Ive upgraded all my bikes brakes and they still dont compare to my ktms. clutch is amazing. I have put ASV levers on but will change back to stock when i can be motivated enough to do it as the stock has a lighter pull. I could go on for ages . I have 2 gripes ......the stupid petrol cap. Sometimes i need two hands to get that thing off .Another Small one but the clutch master cylinder .I had a get off on my 3rd ride and the levers were in the right position for me when i bought it but whoever assembled my bike tighten them up hard and it snapped off master cylinder side. $250. Who really carries a spare master cylinder. Not the bikes problem but its kind of in my mind.

My friends are forever giving me sh!t about riding euro but there all scared to change. Thats another negative i guess is 90% of people ive come accros wanna bash ktm as they really are becoming the bike to have.

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The bike to have is whatever you get on and feels right to you, whatever you feel comfortable and confident in.

I started on a '10 ktm450 3 yrs ago, hated it , then got a ktm 200 2T, loved it and was faster on it.

A year ago I got a 300 xc and was a little faster (lap times 7 mile loop) , I won my first C race on it . Then, Took it in for repair and on a whim decided to do laps on my sons stock YZ 125 . Strangely I am twice as fast on the YZ 125 . The loop has fast flat track, gnarly boulder laded hillclimbs, Boulder creekbeds, jumps, tight technical, good mix of everything and I'm able to run with "A" riders on the YZ 125 . I couldn't keep them in my sight on the 450, the 200exc or the 300xc . I'm 175 and 5'9" ...

go figure ... I since went and bought a new YZ 250 ...outdated doesn't mean anything, if the thing works then it works.....

I am a musician and I remember when solid state came out they tried to push it on everyone... in the last 10 years everyone realized that old 40's,50's and 60's tube technology was still the best way to go, almost anyone who's anybody now uses tube amps . Same with guitars, 1950's and 60's designs have proved to be the best , all though all through the 80's and early 90's they tried to push alot of new fangled BS on us and the old stuff is still the way to go. Moral of the story is that the new thing is not always the best thing. It doesn't matter if a YZ is unchanged since 06, it's because it's a great design. To put it in the woods, you get a Motion Pro Long Throttle tube, Ty Davis tank, bark busters, skid plate, brake snake , minor re-valve , find a used 18 rear or relpace it with an 18 . As for reliability, im seeing alot of people having probs with newer ktm's , I can get specific.... I have seen no probs with YZ's . Do a top end once a yr... if you can change brakes and a tire on your car you're mechanically inclined enough to do a top end ... and it's cheap ... Good luck

Edited by avocasingletrack
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KTM Ergonomics are different than all the Japanese bikes, so if you are over 5'10" you may not be able to get a comfortable fit, even with the peg/seat/bar changes.

I would not buy a KTM older than 2011.

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KTM Ergonomics are different than all the Japanese bikes, so if you are over 5'10" you may not be able to get a comfortable fit, even with the peg/seat/bar changes.

I would not buy a KTM older than 2011.

I have found KTM's to fit well (6'3") without having to change anything other than bars and seat. Older KTM's are short from seat to pegs. New ones are better. I still like a taller seat. On the YZ and WR's I have owned I had to do tripple clamp changes as well to even get close to fitting. The 12 ktm, just needed taller bars. I did the seat as well, but could have lived with the stock seat height.

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I have found KTM's to fit well (6'3") without having to change anything other than bars and seat. Older KTM's are short from seat to pegs. New ones are better. I still like a taller seat. On the YZ and WR's I have owned I had to do tripple clamp changes as well to even get close to fitting. The 12 ktm, just needed taller bars. I did the seat as well, but could have lived with the stock seat height.

The KTM's from 11 on have the pegs back 5/8" more than other bikes.

You may not care, but if you are like me with bad knees, it makes sitting down very difficult, because you can't put any real weight on the pegs.....and when you put on lowering pegs, it's even worse.

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ive never got on with the yamahas ive rode they just feel weird to me, i always owned hondas till recently and now have a KTM 350sxf

it handles amazing and the parts are easy to get these days with the interweb sites like KTMparts etc or your local dealer!!

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"Should i have a KTM over a Yamaha" is kinda dumb question to ask over here at KTM forum but since you did ask i´ll try to answer : There´s nothing sturdier than Yamaha. If you want a bike but don´t want to work/tinker with it and if service chores make you noxious then the YZF is your best bet this side of an XR 400.YZF also has the best out-of-the-box suspension compared all brands. That said the 250 YZF is slow,weird and boring and the 450 YZF is porky,wide,weird and too aggressive off-idle but lacks in the upper reaches. Suspension and reliability on both models is as stated top-notch.

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The KTM's from 11 on have the pegs back 5/8" more than other bikes.

You may not care, but if you are like me with bad knees, it makes sitting down very difficult, because you can't put any real weight on the pegs.....and when you put on lowering pegs, it's even worse.

One of the best things I did to my '08 chassis was to move the pegs back 1/2 inch (I'm 6'4" with a size 15 foot). I spent some time on my Honda this last weekend (I've been riding my pumpkin exclusively for the last four months) and it sucked not having the room that my KTM has.

On topic, the Yamahas are almost stone reliable. As with anything, there are always exceptions to the rule (I know of two YZFs that blew up in under 5 hours of use!) but for the most part the Yamahas are a very reliable mount. Then again, with proper maintenance the KTMs are darn close, if not equal (especially the RFS engines and the RF4s once the oil pumps were sorted after year 1).

Parts prices are pretty much a wash between them these days. Typically, OEM KTM pistons are uber expensive, but they are also a high end forged piston, stock. As for valves, etc... the OEM KTM parts are cheaper than some Japanese stuff and more expensive in others (but not drastically so in either situation). One nice thing is that as KTMs have gained in popularity, there are now more aftermarket parts available to pumpkin riders than in the past so you aren't stuck with stock if you don't want to be.

As posted previously, you definitely want to change out the cam chain tensioner on an older model. I am using the DJH manual tensioner; cheap and effective, plus it is another pretty chunk of anodized orange aluminum to have on my motor to piss all of my Yamaha riding friends off.

Edited by eastreich

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One of the best things I did to my '08 chassis was to move the pegs back 1/2 inch (I'm 6'4" with a size 15 foot). I spent some time on my Honda this last weekend (I've been riding my pumpkin exclusively for the last four months) and it sucked not having the room that my KTM has.

On topic, the Yamahas are almost stone reliable. As with anything, there are always exceptions to the rule (I know of two YZFs that blew up in under 5 hours of use!) but for the most part the Yamahas are a very reliable mount. Then again, with proper maintenance the KTMs are darn close, if not equal (especially the RFS engines and the RF4s once the oil pumps were sorted after year 1).

Parts prices are pretty much a wash between them these days. Typically, OEM KTM pistons are uber expensive, but they are also a high end forged piston, stock. As for valves, etc... the OEM KTM parts are cheaper than some Japanese stuff and more expensive in others (but not drastically so in either situation). One nice thing is that as KTMs have gained in popularity, there are now more aftermarket parts available to pumpkin riders than in the past so you aren't stuck with stock if you don't want to be.

As posted previously, you definitely want to change out the cam chain tensioner on an older model. I am using the DJH manual tensioner; cheap and effective, plus it is another pretty chunk of anodized orange aluminum to have on my motor to piss all of my Yamaha riding friends off.

You moved them how....with Fastway pegs?

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You moved them how....with Fastway pegs?

MSR and Moose Racing both sell cast stainless steel pegs with 1/2" rearset to them compared to stock or their own normal pegs. I currently have the MSR pegs (Tucker Rocky p/n 34-2769). They are okay, but did not stay sharp for very long. Granted, they are not all that great of an alloy (I have a degree in metallurgy, I know the differences); cheap is cheap for the most part and it isn't anything I can't fix with a little elbow grease and a file.

The only thing that I am not keen on with the Fastway pegs is that when you move them back, they also move down too. I don't want my feet any closer to the rocks than they already are.

Add on: The Parts Unlimited p/n for the Moose 1/2" setback footpeg is 1620-0762.

Edited by eastreich

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The KTM's from 11 on have the pegs back 5/8" more than other bikes.

You may not care, but if you are like me with bad knees, it makes sitting down very difficult, because you can't put any real weight on the pegs.....and when you put on lowering pegs, it's even worse.

Que ??? KTM´s have the roomiest cockpit of them all. :(

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