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kingdavey

2017 KTM : MY MIGRATION BACK TO 2 STROKE

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Hi guys. I’d just like to relate my experience to help answer those persistent questions that just about every dirt rider asks sooner or later. Two or four stroke? Should I go to two stroke from four stroke or vice versa?  As forums around the world preach, there are good and bad with big bore, small bore, 2 and 4 stroke dirt bikes. So here’s a bit of info that might help a few people.

I’m a slightly overweight, slightly unfit 48 year old Level 2+, puffed out Level 3, who spent his teenage years thrashing around paddocks and bush in Western Victoria on old 2 strokes from KX80 YZ100s to PE400 KX500 IT465s and just about everything in-between. I loved my 2 strokes, I loved the way my 465 would leave the current model XR600 in its wake. But then…..Marriage, family, house payments etc. No time for bikes. Life got busy. And before I knew it, I was over 40. Then one day while 4WD with a couple of mates in Avoca, I met an older guy named Mal on an old big bore KTM. We got talking and during the conversation he urged that I get back in to dirt bikes, and that I wasn’t too old to follow my earlier passion. That next week I casually wandered into the local bike shop, and, nek minut, was the proud owner of a 2004 XR400. I thought I’d start cheap and actually see if I used it. I rode the old girl everywhere, just about every weekend. Then one day out of the blue the missus says, how about you buy a new bike….. I looked at buying a 2 banger again, so I went to the local KTM dealer, who promptly talked me out of it, saying the 300 was a young guys bike and steered me toward a 2014 KTM 350, which I bought. Even though it was lights years ahead of my trusty XR, I still felt it was sluggish and was disappointed in the hard starting, flame outs and soft bottom end. After it run in I decided to tinker. I purchased a BDSB big bottom kit, tweaked the TPS and fitted a 450SX muffler. Finally a bike I considered a good all-rounder…….But the grass is always greener and the 2 stroke calling beckoned once again. With the release of the 2017 KTM 2 stroke range coming, I sold my 350 and pre ordered a 250 exc. The $1300 price difference between the 300 and 250 is unacceptable I feel, and got my 250 for $12750 with full vic rego. Cheaper than the 2014 350 I purchased nearly 3 years ago! September 8th, bike arrives. I take it home and set my suspension all to standard, leave the yellow spring in and powervalve adjustment standard, just to give me a benchmark. I eagerly check the weather forecast for the coming weekend…… Four inches of rain fall in South West Victoria basically overnight. Will we risk it? We decide to go and decide we’ll run some easy 4WD tracks to test the waters, so to speak. After all, I’m supposed to run it in aren’t I?

The first thing I notice with this bike is the lightness, and it handles. I’m not a suspension expert, but to the best of my ability, I tried to make my 350 corner, but it seemed to push out whilst cornering and a couple of bad stacks at speed left my confidence shattered. Next I notice the smooth motor. Part of getting older has left me with a dodgy shoulder complaint that transmits into my right wrist to give me a carpal tunnel type numbness. On the 350, I was forever shaking my hand to try and get feeling into it. The 250 I could hang on with no drama. The 350, I felt, had vibes coming through the footpegs. The 250, very little. Next the power delivery. Forget about everything about the old 2 bangers in terms of power delivery. This thing lugs so low it’s unbelievable, the 350 would’ve stalled. The power transitions into a strong midrange to a ripping top without the nasty powerbands of old. I liked the power delivery so much I’m scared to tinker with the springs and adjustments, so I’ll leave everything alone for the time being.

 I put 2.5 hours over the weekend and so far I think I’ve made the right choice going back to 2 stroke, and quite frankly the only thing I feel I’ll miss is the fuel economy of the 350.

 

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Nice report Davey!

I've been pondering the same thing lately with my WR big banger! I think when I've got the coin together in a few years I'll definitely transition myself over to a 2 banga!

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I'm 63 and wouldnt ride any thing else but you should have brought a 300 thay are a old mans bike  enjoy the 17 model my son and his mat just brought 2 do some jetting change the power valve and you are good to go.

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I can relate to this mate as I too grew up on a broad range of 2t, then had kids at the age of 20 onward so the riding dried up and sold the bikes.
Aged 40 I bit the bullet and got a 14 WR450 which I still love but nearly 2 years on the Yammy the call back for the 2t was just to loud so I sold the yammy and watched gumtree and bikesales all day everyday in between shoveling dirt and got myself a 16 ktm250exc with 9hrs on it with not a mark on it for $8500 no rego and wow what a well put together machine, i have ridden the 300s but I like the ride style of the 250 and was so suprised how well it does tractor in the lower rev range and if you like being on the pipe it has more power than most will handle in that rev range overall awsome bike the only negative is a bit of peg vibration compared to the super smooth 4t but I'm used to it now after only 2 rides but dont recall my mx bikes peg vibration being so noticeable but maybe it was and I was just used to it.


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Great stuff. You should be able to jet the bike once you run it in to get 90kms from a tank and it still will be able to be ridden hard safely. If your just cruising around then you can get away with even leaner jetting and see 100km or more on a tank. some of the 17's are reporting to have horiffic jetting as delivered so good improvements are easily obtained. A jd jetting kit is by far the easiest solution if your not experienced with jetting as all the hard work and dynoing has been done for you.
Awesome bike,run a good oil at least 50-1 ratio and enjoy.

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Nice bike bud.

Just curious as to how much vibration has been taken away from the bike with the new counterbalance shaft in it?

 

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Nice bike bud.

Just curious as to how much vibration has been taken away from the bike with the new counterbalance shaft in it?

 


I really don't know as I haven't ridden a later model 2 stroke, buts it feels less than my old 350

Sent from my GT-I9500 using Tapatalk

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A bit further on the review: After my initial run, I gave it a full strip down and grease, service etc. Then removed my cylinder head to send to TSP to get the squish all sorted. I was a bit shocked to find this after 2.5 hours.

20160917_103916.jpg

Anyway, TSP reckoned it was normal and as long as wasn't scores I could feel with my fingers, it should be ok. Dave gave me some jetting specs, and I reassembled it all again.

The bloody thing flies!!!!  And did I mentioned this thing handles and stops !!!! Pretty sure I'm in love...Yet the grass is always greener, and I keep wondering if I should have got a 300.

Fuel economy is excellent, pretty much the same as my 350

So after a few hours of hard hills and good stuff, we decided to finish the day with a blast on some damp sand. Gotta share the sound.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Im pretty sure theres a Slavens 300 upgrade kit available if you want that extra 50...


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how wet is it down your way , was down this week without the bike , there are lakes where i have never seen water before, enjoy the new bike 

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I really don't know as I haven't ridden a later model 2 stroke, buts it feels less than my old 350

Sent from my GT-I9500 using Tapatalk


I can help you get a feel of an slightly older 2t of same lineage, mines a husky

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