Jump to content

Bam Bam of Marietta's Garage

2 vehicles

    • 6 images
    • 0 mods
    • 0 comments
    The bike: I loved my 2003 KTM 200 EXC so much, that after 3 rides I upgraded to a 2013 200 XC-W so my middle 50’s leg would have an easier time. It also came with a Rekluse clutch. Immediately I switched to a Tubliss twin chamber system with a Kenda Hybrid rear tire. <br /><br />The ride was improved a little from 2003 to 2013, but Tubliss and low airpressure reduced almost all the vibration types of bumps. The very stable XC-W went from very smooth ride, to unbelievable. What influence rocks and roots did have, was reduced about 80%. At my age energy conservation is about as important as riding skills. Because the bike is light & I am a reasonable 200lbs, I can get away with 5.5lbs in the front & 4.5lbs in the rear. I have had no rim hits at speeds up to 50mph. It is amazing how fast she can go over rocks with no rim hits. The suspension is very compliant. <br /><br />Steering is noticeably faster than the 2003, yet very stable. She is always light. With Tubliss and low pressure, I take lines over rock and roots including at an angle that I used to avoid. Straight is the more common path now. Fall leaves are down so I have had my first ride blind to what ruts, rocks, roots, etc… that I am about to hit. On the worst she moves around a bit, but she never scared me. <br /><br />KTM XC-W Power with the Rekluse is a PERFECT match. Friends, in jealousy, call it a scooter because she is twist and go. Yet even today one was saying he will have a Rekluse by Christmas, on my old 2003 200 EXC. So I can still do back to back testing. The marriage of Rekluse to the smooth KTM 200 XC-W powerband gives you absolutely smooth, very precise, and very predictable power for super gnarly everything. Trees, gullies, hill climbs, rutted out hill climbs, mud, rock beds, etc… For the first time my mind is 100% focused on riding because the engine will never stall, loose power, shudder, or anything negative. If the bike pauses, no problem, twist a little more and off you go. You can still use the clutch for drag racing your friends or surges for gnarly sections. Even without Rekluse, the 200 enduro motor is very controllable. It is like the PERFECT power to go very fast without it trying to kill you. For East Coast single track, you can find no better. A 250 or 300 will always have the grim reaper in the back of your head. Simply, you will go as fast or faster, you will use less energy, and for a long ride, that means any speed advantage will only improve on long rides against other bikes with less controllable power.<br /><br />Regularly we also have a KDX220R with a KX250 suspension system revalved for woods riding. It is a close competitor to the 2003 KTM 200 EXC. But KTM has magically built all the low end power of the KDX220R with the top end of a 125MX bike that is 100% usable, smooth, and most of all predictable.<br /><br />Some people claim the 200 is a beginners bike. Horse manure! In just the last year or two, a national champ finished off the season on a KTM 150 XC-W. Repeat that, “National Champ”. People used to ask me how I ride a XR250 for 6 hours hard till they road it. Then they realized that it does not wear you out. Simply, it not which bike is the fastest for 5 minutes on a MX track, it is which bike is fastest over 2-6 hours, that has not tried or succeeded into planting you into a tree. It also puts more smile miles per hour than any 250 or 300 could do. Controllability is a huge quality.<br /><br />One huge hurdle is trying to get a super light weight bike like this to perform superbly on slow gnarly sections and yet haul but on the highway. Even with 6 speeds, gearing is a MUST compromise. Beginners especially need a low granny gear for technical sections. However with expert clutch work, pro trials riders have proven the smooth power delivery of 2nd or 3rd gear in super slow sections is an advantage. But most do not have a Pro level clutch hand. I have switched from the stock 14 to a 13 and now with Rekluse to a 15 tooth countershaft sprocket. Yet this ONLY smoothed out 1st gear. I can still jump trees in either 1st or 2nd. Rekluse is my “Pro Level Clutch Hand”. It even does much of its magic when I rev up and drop the clutch. Rekluse still helps to put the power down. Because Rekluse does away with the need for a granny gear, even for a beginner, you are now free to put highway gearing on. It also broadens the gear spacing so I shift less, again less energy. Without over revving, I can hit 25mph in 1st. <br /><br />KTM’s Enduro motors have a great bottom end like a 4 stroke. So it is super easy to lug the motor through the woods. Even if you are a tad slow exiting a turn, Rekluse steps in for a ½ second helping you out without a gear shift. Basically it feels like you can ride 1 gear higher than you would with KTMs already excellent low end. The bikes are very quiet, the last step between them and an electric bike. Neighboring people will like. But if you rev it up MX style, noise ramps up too. Your choice as it has no affect on riding in a group through the woods. You will keep up lugging. This also save lots of wear and tear on tires, chains, and sprockets. This also makes this bike an excellent candidate for a hybrid tire. When things get gnarly, trials and hybrid tires as nice!<br /><br />Often you hear about people doing modifications, like heavier flywheels, etc… KTM is so good, I consider all that to be a waist. Just fuel her and ride. <br /><br />The brakes are very good. Clutch and front brake are 1 finger. However compared to the KDX220R, the KTM feels grabby. This is the only place the KDX is better.<br /><br />Advertised dry weight is 209lbs. However wet, with minimal tools, barkbusters, lights, and skid plate is 240lbs. If you don’t mind kicking, you could save several lbs removing the electric start, but that was the key reason I switched from a 2003 model to a 2013. <br /><br />Negatives going from 2003 to 2013? Aluminum spoke nipples may take a little more maintenance. Electric start is one more thing to go wrong, but did not add weight over the 2003 model. <br /><br />Again it is not a beginner’s only bike, though all of above makes it clear she is not trying to hurt you and is easy to ride. Yes, that helps beginners a lot, but also seasoned veterans. I have been riding since 15. Now in my mid 50s, Energy Conservation is as important as Riding Skills. The low weight is a huge advantage especially if you have to pick it up or push it, electric start is a huge advantage, the controllable power reduces energy usage, Rekluse reduces mental energy and lets you relax, and Tubliss removes most of the vibration helping KTM to provide a superbly smooth ride. All of this means I can ride a long time with little energy usage, yet with a downshift and a twist of the throttle, all that 2 stroke fun just pours out into a big grin. No, an XC-W set soft will not attack a MX track, but neither will this 50s body. Lol. Loading heavy bikes onto trailers and truck beds is totally weight dependent. But the number one thing this bike does to me and my friends who ride it, it puts a huge big grin on from riding a superb bike, so easy, so controllable, so smooth … again the smiles and shaking of heads in disbelief of what she is doing is a huge measure on the success of KTM’s engineering on this 200 XC-W bike that does everything well. <br />
    Bam Bam of Marietta
    Vehicle owned by
    Bam Bam of Marietta
    • 0 images
    • 1 mod
    • 0 comments
    Mandatory review to add a bike??? How? I just bought it and have to set it up. Rear sag was 5"+
    Bam Bam of Marietta
    Vehicle owned by
    Bam Bam of Marietta
×