So for the past 6 years or so I have been riding KTM 125s and more recently KTM 150s. I have always loved these bikes and they have held up great, but I'm thinking it is time for change.
You see, in ideal, loamy and grippy conditions this bike is a blast for me and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world, but in slick conditions and especially in sand (which is 80% of Belgium's tracks) I am just too tall and heavy for this bike (6'1 / 80kg).
So basically what I'm asking is: If I were to make the switch to a KTM 250 2-stroke, what can I expect? Will I be shocked by the power? Will it be easier to ride, or more difficult? Anything else?
I know the best way to find out is to ride one myself, but no one that I know has a 250 2-stroke! And there is no such thing as 'dealer try-out days' over here.
P.S. Do not suggest a 4-stroke. I would buy an ATC 3-wheeler before I'd buy a 4-stroke.
*Anyone but Reed or Webb Crew*
I would say it's a little easier to ride. On a 125 you have to work a lot harder to go fast, a 250 is a little heavier though..
Buy a KTM 200 EXC and convert it to MX. That'd be the pinnacle of fun for an MX bike I reckon. I don't think it would cost that much to convert to an MX bike. Odds are, you will get the suspension done anyway, so that shouldn't be an issue. Probably want to ditch the enduro exhaust system though.
You're gonna be a little shocked at the power when you first ride it, but once you get on a track, you'll get used to it quickly. It'll feel a little heavier jumping.
The power on the '12 250SX I rode was very strange. Coming from a 450 I felt like the power signed off way earlier and the thing just quits pulling up top, you had to shift more than I'd expect and earlier. I thought maybe it was just me being used to 4-strokes but MXA confirmed the same thing. It's not overly powerful, honestly my seat of the pants dyno wouldn't put it near the claimed 50hp. But MXA says there are ways to fix the dead spot up top where it will continue pulling, which would probably turn it into a real fire breather.
Easier to ride is entirely subjective and dependent on your style. Don't pass it up because you're afraid of the power characteristics though. Those can be woken up or tamed depending on what you feel is needed. For me it would actually need a lot of work because I wasn't happy with the stock package.
Fearo, I'm surprised you didn't remember your old pal Falcon has a 250 2-stroke. You should take another trip over to San Diego and I'll let you ride mine!
The power will feel ridiculous and uncontrollable at first when compared to a 125/150, but you will get used to it after a few rides. It's mostly about throttle control and when you get on the gas in the corners. I rode a 125 for years and years because my buddies' 250s always seemed too fast for my riding style. When I finally broke down and got a 250, it took a little time but now I am very comfortable on mine.
I'm going the opposite direction, from a 12' 250sx to a 13' 150sx. One thing to remember about the 250sx is to be sure you spend some time jetting it. A lot of info on ktmtalk about it. I could not get mine to run acceptably with any of the needles ktm provided. I put the suzuki necj in, and it was a whole different bike. MXA never mentioned any needle changes so I wonder how much they really got out of the bike. Generally I trust their opinions, but I don't see how they could modify a bike and miss out on something so obvious. The 250 once jetted properly is strong and smooth from bottom to top, it's nothing to fear either as there's no big hit anywhere. Have fun with it.
agreed, correct jetting including the necj and the red powervalve spring. the PC silencer also gives some more high rpm pull and weighs about half what the stock silencer weighs.
12 KTM 250SX
08 Ducati Hypermotard
83 Husqvarna 125XC
I am looking for a 150sx, so bring it over!
When I went from my rm125 to my rm250 I loved it!
I progressed so much faster. I was able to jump everything with ease and I actually thought it turned/handle better.
The 125 always felted too light and loss of traction to me.
I never had a problem with the power cause I always had great throttle control.
I raced 125's for a few years then had 10 years off dirt bikes. When i got back into them i bought an RM 250 and it is perfect for me (5'11, 85 kg). Now when i ride my wife's RM 125 i wonder how i did it. For me the 250 is so much easier to ride because you dont have to be wringing its neck the whole time, you can short shift it coming out of corners when you are getting used to it and it just pulls. I would not hesitate in buying one
Keep in mind that you have the two map ignition on the 250 as well. If you're a little timid of the power, unplug that wire to tame the bike down some. The stock silencer does slightly choke the bike back, but it's still very fast. Properly jet the bike and you'll be set. The Suzuki NECJ needle is a good improvement over the two that come with the bike.
Matteo, I did ride that KTM. It is definitely faster than my YZ, but very similar. I'd say there's more over-rev on top, so when you top out in any gear, it will go faster than a Yamaha would. Coming off the turns, my YZ has maybe a tad more bark. I think that may be gearing though.
The KTM feels very low in the handlebar area to me. Is it a KTM thing? The seat is low and flat and the bike feels small, but in a good way. Maybe the footpegs are higher or something. I definitely liked it and I'd consider buying one. It is the only "new" 250 out there, after all.
If you do come out here next year, look me up!