The buzz around OTB is the new KTM300 XC-W. The best reviews are by owners, real world owners who ride every day. Below is one of these reviews from South Bay Riders who recently purchased one. It speaks volumes – this is a great dirt bike that does it all!
I sold the XR650R and bought a two stroke! A long time ago (back in dinosaur times), I had a street legal Yamaha DT-175 two-stroke dual sport bike and an R5-350 (similar to the RD400), so I have very little experience with the newer two strokes. I rode a friends older 300 once or twice. I was hesitant to get the two-stroke, but I wanted something light-weight/easy to maintain. No valves to adjust, heads to rebuild, etc. I needed to put the fun back into my riding.
I have 3 rides on the 300 (about 3 hours) and I’m happy to report, this bike is everything people say it is, and more. Very easy to start with the button. Fires right up every time. The bike has torque at low revs. I can short shift it. I haven’t had a chance to try the red power valve spring, I’m sure it’s jetted fat/rich for break-in. I’m looking forward to getting it dialed in, getting more power out of it. Very mellow right now. Suspension is awesome, plush. No deflection off rocks like some have said. The suspension/frame were upgraded for this model year; I assume it’s better than previous versions. It’s so stable in rock gardens, I don’t think I need a stabilizer. I might get one anyway, I dunno. Bike is 40 pounds lighter than my old 525 and 100 pounds lighter than the XR650R and I’m hesitant to add any weight to it. No shark fins on this bike. It’s like a mountain bike with an engine. Easy to turn. Lands off jumps like a feather floating to the ground. I’m super glad I didn’t get the XC with the linkage, taller first gears and twin chamber forks. First gear is just low enough for technical riding and at 50 mph with the 6 speed it’s just getting a little buzzy. No way I’d want a taller first gear! I was glad when riding the suspension is so good/plush. The XC is probably better for Cross Country/Moto Cross. The XC-W was built for guys like me, who ride hard-core gnarly single track. I think I need to maybe go up one rate on the springs and with the open chamber forks, I can swap them myself. Stock, it’s sprung for a 160-180 pounder. I’ pushing 193 these days, been eating too many cookies! With riding gear/tools/water, I’m about 215-220. Need to get those springs ordered and get a bash plate, etc.
Mixing the gas is a pain, but that’s part of the deal with a two stroke. Good two stroke oil isn’t cheap. When the bike is warm, there’s zero tail pipe smoke. I like the smell since it brings back memories of riding in Grandpa’s fishing boat. Evinrude’s are two strokes too!
I’m very glad I got this bike. I’ve already climbed hills that gave my old bike (KTM 525EXC) fits. I fell over once, pinning my leg under the bike. I picked it up with one hand!
I couldn’t find one last year since they were sold out by February! There are waiting lists already for this bike! This is KTM’s best selling model, supposedly. High resale value. I completely understand why now. I think it’s probably true that this is the best all round dirt bike ever made. It makes the rider feel like a hero with much less effort expended. People keep bugging me to post pics, so here you go. Can’t wait for red sticker season to start!
Article Courtesy of South Bay Riders!
See you on the trails!