Going from yz125 to sx125 (2017)?

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8/20/2017 7:36 AM

I'm riding an 2006 yz125, and I need to get a newer bike soon because, well it's getting old. I have no issues what so ever with the yz125. I love the bike, only issue maybe is cornering, feels harder to knife in vs some other bikes I have owned, but I suck as a rider, so whatever. So I wouldn't mind buying a new one, but it feels weird paying 4k-5k for basically the same, and maybe a complete engine overhaul is really better, but then I start getting tired of wrenching, so again lets buy my self out of this crap. But then came the sx125, which I think is much cooler, and might give me the excitement new bikes gives, like I WANT TO RIDE IT BAD.

Since I don't know a person owning a KTM SX125 2017, which I can take for a spinn and compare (is there any Swede reading this, we can trade for a few laps in Stockholm) I need to ask those of you who went from from yz125 to the new generation of sx125/tc125, preferably the 2017 with the WP-air (input from 2016 owners is cool as well). I'm not that impressed by the reviews of the old CVS forks, and going from KYB SSS will probably be too much to handle, hence 2017 KTM.

So any input will be appreciated.

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8/20/2017 7:43 AM

Is there an actual question here?

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8/20/2017 7:58 AM

tcallahan707 wrote:

Is there an actual question here?

Sorry, I didn't thought it was that hard to understand. Going from yz125 to sx125 2016+ better, worse or the same?

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8/20/2017 8:03 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/20/2017 8:09 AM

YOU WANT IT BAD.....seems like every reason in the world to get the KTM.
If you are going to dish out money on a new bike get the KTM.
Only reason to buy a new yz is for die hard yamaha fans, sponsored yamaha riders, or if you are trying to race schoolboy at lorettas and that's what you are most comfortable on.
Everyone else gets the ktm, heck if you aren't planning to race amateur national events then get the 150 for that added power.
But buy what you want and don't let logic and reason and numbers get in the way. They are dirtbikes they are meant to be fun, slow or fast you will have the most fun on the bike you wanted vs the bike you settled for because xyz reasons.

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8/20/2017 9:35 AM

I haven't ridden the new two stroke KTM's, but I owned a new 2005 Yamaha YZ 125 (for a short period) and I'll say as kindly as possible it wasn't one of my favorite handling bikes. IMO, the engine and crank were too high in the chassis and the frame was way too stiff. After that debacle, I always look at the crank centerline location relative to the swingarm pivot. If it is at or below the pivot I consider that aok. Much above and a flag goes up. Only mentioning this because the new KTM two strokes cranks are very high in the chassis.

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8/20/2017 10:22 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/20/2017 10:23 AM

I think getting on a 10 year newer of a bike even if it's a newer yz the bike will feel better. I've ridden older bikes and they just have a shelf life. I bet you jump on a 17 yz and you would be amazed at how much better just a newer bike feels. I went from an 03 kx to a super low hour 13 ktm 150 and it's just so nice having a bike that much tighter feeling. No matter what I've done to my 02 cr's or my 03 kx they still felt lose. I gues the frames were passed their point. Everything stretches over time.

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8/20/2017 10:45 AM

I vote for the KTM, actually Husky especially if you are in Sweden! I wasn't in the exact same boat as you but I recently went from a 2014 Honda CRF250R to 2017 Husky FC250. I initially bought the Honda for its reliability and spring forks, things your Yamaha is known for. I was hesitant about air forks up to the last second I bought the Husky but I love this bike. The suspension is awesome and easy to set up and the bike looks great. I love the handling as well. I could only imagine how much fun the 125 would be. If money was no object I would definitely get a TC125 as a second bike.

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8/20/2017 10:49 AM

I've ridden a 2009 Yz125 and my 2016 KTM125. The KTM feels much newer and more modern. The weirdest thing about the YZ was it felt really small like a kids bike. The footage to seat height was crazy small. The KTM feels like a big normal bike with a 125 engine in it.

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8/20/2017 11:11 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/20/2017 11:15 AM

We had a new KTM 125 with a national level motor and it ran strong but even after spending almost $1k on the forks it had terrible headshake. I even bought a steering stabilizer and it was still really bad. I spoke to several suspension shops and they said the only fix was A-kit suspension or buy a YZ. I sold the KTM and bought s new YZ. Terry Varner built the YZ motor and it was the best decision ever! My son loves the YZ and hp is not an issue.

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8/20/2017 11:45 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/20/2017 11:52 AM

Damn. Tnx for the input lads. The want to ride it bad feeling, is over with after a few rides, but would be nice to have that feeling, and if it transforms to, this is better. My buddy has a new 2015 yz125, and it was tighter no doubt, but still felt like same bike. Since I stick to my guns for ages, just want it to be a good choice. Can't go wrong with an yz, sure, but then maybe it's more fun on the KTM?

If others have experience of the two bikes, please share thoughts.

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8/20/2017 11:51 AM

Photo
Given your age, how versatile do you want?!... BTW where is your national pridegrin wink
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8/20/2017 12:20 PM

steed 2.0 wrote: Photo
Given your age, how versatile do you want?!... BTW where is your national pridegrin wink

Ha, I have an yz250 as well, way to much power for me, a 300!?!!? laughing

Those Italians, then Germans and now Austrians sort of took the spirit out of the former Swedish brand...

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8/20/2017 1:00 PM

steed 2.0 wrote: Photo
Given your age, how versatile do you want?!... BTW where is your national pridegrin wink

It's owned by an Austrian company and they even killed the gun sights on the logo.

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8/20/2017 1:10 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/20/2017 1:10 PM

kott0n wrote:

It's owned by an Austrian company and they even killed the gun sights on the logo.

Look at the front fork guards....

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Tomac and/or Anderson for 2020.....

8/20/2017 1:37 PM

I OWN and RIDE a 2015 YZ125 and 2017 125SX.

The KTM wins, hands down. The YZ is fairly highly modified and the SX is bone stock. Now that I have some hours on the KTM, it's not even close. It destroys the YZ in every way except upfront purchase price (in Australia anyway).

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8/20/2017 1:46 PM

DrSweden wrote:

Damn. Tnx for the input lads. The want to ride it bad feeling, is over with after a few rides, but would be nice to have that feeling, and if it transforms to, this is better. My buddy has a new 2015 yz125, and it was tighter no doubt, but still felt like same bike. Since I stick to my guns for ages, just want it to be a good choice. Can't go wrong with an yz, sure, but then maybe it's more fun on the KTM?

If others have experience of the two bikes, please share thoughts.

See my post, above. Trust me, going back to a 125 in general, the urge to ride is stronger than it's been since I was a kid. The SX just makes it that much better.

And I'll add, anyone who talks badly about the AER forks is either delusional, hasn't actually ridden the bike with a proper setting, or is faster than I can imagine. I pass a lot of guys at the track - inside, outside, outside then inside, it doesn't matter. I can go wherever I want. The handling is telepathic.

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8/20/2017 1:56 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/20/2017 1:59 PM

Barry_Smith wrote:

I OWN and RIDE a 2015 YZ125 and 2017 125SX.

The KTM wins, hands down. The YZ is fairly highly modified and the SX is bone stock. Now that I have some hours on the KTM, it's not even close. It destroys the YZ in every way except upfront purchase price (in Australia anyway).

Tnx, can you give me a few examples how the KTM feels better on the track? Jumping, cornering, engine, ergos, suspension etc? Is there any bad sides?

Did you consider the 150? I imagine the shorter powerband makes it harder to ride, and the few extra ponies means shit for us mortals.

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8/20/2017 2:29 PM

DrSweden wrote:

Tnx, can you give me a few examples how the KTM feels better on the track? Jumping, cornering, engine, ergos, suspension etc? Is there any bad sides?

Did you consider the 150? I imagine the shorter powerband makes it harder to ride, and the few extra ponies means shit for us mortals.

I owned a 2014 150SX and it was one of the best damn bike I've ever ridden. I don't race, just hit some tracks and a lot of trails and sand pits when I can, and the 150 was awesome everywhere. The thing pulled forever! Great low end torque for a smaller bike, and it worked itself all the way up to the top end where it finally tapered off.

Not sure about the newer years, but if I was to ever get a 125/150 again, it would be a KTM or Husky for sure.

The bike turned almost as nice as my RMZ, but felt like an absolute bicycle between my legs. I loved it.

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If you're not mixing gas, you're not haulin ass.

8/20/2017 2:35 PM

DrSweden wrote:

Damn. Tnx for the input lads. The want to ride it bad feeling, is over with after a few rides, but would be nice to have that feeling, and if it transforms to, this is better. My buddy has a new 2015 yz125, and it was tighter no doubt, but still felt like same bike. Since I stick to my guns for ages, just want it to be a good choice. Can't go wrong with an yz, sure, but then maybe it's more fun on the KTM?

If others have experience of the two bikes, please share thoughts.

Barry_Smith wrote:

See my post, above. Trust me, going back to a 125 in general, the urge to ride is stronger than it's been since I was a kid. The SX just makes it that much better.

And I'll add, anyone who talks badly about the AER forks is either delusional, hasn't actually ridden the bike with a proper setting, or is faster than I can imagine. I pass a lot of guys at the track - inside, outside, outside then inside, it doesn't matter. I can go wherever I want. The handling is telepathic.

I just sold a 17 KTM 450 for a friend with the air forks because he hated them. They are better than the 16 4cs forks but no where in the same league as the YZ forks. He picked up an 18 crf 450 and loves it. I have yet to ride any of the air forks that work good. The kids around here either switched brands or bought A-kit with the trax shock.

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8/20/2017 2:43 PM

brocsdad wrote:

I just sold a 17 KTM 450 for a friend with the air forks because he hated them. They are better than the 16 4cs forks but no where in the same league as the YZ forks. He picked up an 18 crf 450 and loves it. I have yet to ride any of the air forks that work good. The kids around here either switched brands or bought A-kit with the trax shock.

You mean the Yamaha forks are not in the same league as the AER's wink . Everyone talks up the SSS stuff like some kind of miracle fork, feels like every other mediocre fork to me....A bunch of my friends went to the Austrian side after riding my 450 (some two stroke, some four stroke) and not one of them has any complaints on suspension.

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Tomac and/or Anderson for 2020.....

8/20/2017 3:06 PM

The 4-stroke Yamaha's are not the best handling bikes by any means but the suspension is still way ahead of the other bikes especially KTM. Combine that with the fact the KTM 125s and 250f's are loosing 2nd, 3rd and 5th gears. My buddy has been waiting on parts for 7 months! He had to go buy a new bike so his kid could race. Don't forget you need to shim the swingarm to cut down on vibration. Instead of fixing this KTM just beefed up the motor mounts so they wouldn't break. Our 65s were great but I'm not impressed with the big bikes.

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8/20/2017 3:55 PM

I like the WP air forks better than the yz KYB... I SAID IT!

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8/20/2017 4:02 PM

Also depends on skill level. I really think that the ktm is more for the fast guy. One who is in the power, hitting fast. The yz better for a slower person, that likes to cruise trails too.

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8/20/2017 4:25 PM

Barry_Smith wrote:

I OWN and RIDE a 2015 YZ125 and 2017 125SX.

The KTM wins, hands down. The YZ is fairly highly modified and the SX is bone stock. Now that I have some hours on the KTM, it's not even close. It destroys the YZ in every way except upfront purchase price (in Australia anyway).

DrSweden wrote:

Tnx, can you give me a few examples how the KTM feels better on the track? Jumping, cornering, engine, ergos, suspension etc? Is there any bad sides?

Did you consider the 150? I imagine the shorter powerband makes it harder to ride, and the few extra ponies means shit for us mortals.

To put this further in perspective for you before I answer, I am a second generation Yamaha fanatic. My dad raced Yamahas and I was brought up on Yamaha (and two Hondas). I have owned at least a dozen Yamahas. I type this sitting here having breakfast wearing a Yamaha crew jacket and throwback cap.

I had one KTM before this '17, a previous-gen 250SX with the 4CS. I cannot put into words how much I hated that bike. So I am no fanboy of KTM.

I am also mid 6ft 5ish, down to ~92kg (lean). 35B speed. I ride 2-3 x 30-35m motos when I go to the track. I also rode street/track bikes for years, and believe I have very good "feel" for a bike.

Jumping

The Yamaha feels stable, small and agile, like a BMX bike. The KTM feels the same, but the steering feels slightly lighter, and it feels 5kg lighter in the air. Either bike can be scrubbed and whipped to insane degrees.

Yesterday on the KTM I overjumped a table flat out in 6th gear. I thought I was in 5th late in my last moto and I didn't scrub enough and landed about 5-6 bike lengths to flat. I had enough time in the air to think 'I am about to break my wrists'. The suspension soaked it up easily and I kept on with my moto. The Yamaha "magic" SSS would have punished that mistake with at least jarred wrists, if not worse.

Cornering

The YZ loves to rail a corner, and I can pass plenty of 250s and 450s on this bike, too. Either bike corners almost effortlessly. You know 125s, you have one.

The cornering technique is different on the two bikes, but it also depends to a degree on the surface. On a firm surface or skatey hardpack for example, I trail a lot of front brake on the YZ, right into the apex. The Yamaha has a very light feeling front end that is prone to knife or tuck if weight is not kept on the front wheel.

The front end feel of the KTM is far more planted, more like a 250 four stroke. I can come in very hot to sweepers or tighter flat turns and two wheel drift in, use minimal front brake, then steer out using the throttle. Sitting or standing, it doesn't matter. The YZ would knife the front end standing, 9 times out of 10.

Engine

No contest. The KTM has more power and a more aggressive, albeit narrower, powerband. The YZ feels easier to ride, but it is not faster. My YZ has VHM head, porting, VForce, pipe and silencer, etc etc. All the usual tricks for a race motor. I will take the KTM to get a Two Stroke Performance custom 150 kit done when it needs its 3rd or 4th top end. At that time, I will probably swap out the YZ for another new 125SX.

Ergos

Perfectly comfortable from the first ride. The SX feels roomier, the bar bend is perfect, the ODI lock on grips a revelation. Standing, the side plates keep your legs locked in place, whereas the YZ you really have to concentrate on pinching with your calves to prevent sliding back at full gas corner exits. Everything you touch on the KTM feels quality.

Suspension

I have probably covered this above, but I would add that, especially as a heavier 125 rider, the ability to adjust air "spring" rates from track to track, and morning to afternoon conditions is a great, great thing.

Negatives

About half of the stock decals started peeling back at the edges before I even rode it. KTM agreed to replaced these under warranty with no fuss. The front brake and clutch reservoirs had a small amount of fluid pooled on the little bottom groove on them before the first ride. Almost like there was a little bit of an overflow before the caps were screwed on, and it had trickled down to the lowest place on the reservoir and just sat there. Nothing noticeable since I have ridden it.

Typing this quickly so I may have been unclear/missed something you asked. Anything else you want to know, please feel free to ask.

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8/20/2017 4:37 PM

brocsdad wrote:

The 4-stroke Yamaha's are not the best handling bikes by any means but the suspension is still way ahead of the other bikes especially KTM. Combine that with the fact the KTM 125s and 250f's are loosing 2nd, 3rd and 5th gears. My buddy has been waiting on parts for 7 months! He had to go buy a new bike so his kid could race. Don't forget you need to shim the swingarm to cut down on vibration. Instead of fixing this KTM just beefed up the motor mounts so they wouldn't break. Our 65s were great but I'm not impressed with the big bikes.

The suspension thing is 100% opinion based...so there's that. All bikes have issues, but I believe you are talking about the 2016's with the tranny problems...As I recall, KTM has an updated part number. I do not see Yamaha doing anything about the plethora of broken frames (I have seen a few in person). Hopefully their 2018 chassis is no longer welded with Chinese soda cans.

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Tomac and/or Anderson for 2020.....

8/20/2017 4:50 PM

brocsdad wrote:

We had a new KTM 125 with a national level motor and it ran strong but even after spending almost $1k on the forks it had terrible headshake. I even bought a steering stabilizer and it was still really bad. I spoke to several suspension shops and they said the only fix was A-kit suspension or buy a YZ. I sold the KTM and bought s new YZ. Terry Varner built the YZ motor and it was the best decision ever! My son loves the YZ and hp is not an issue.

Come on now. I can smell your bullshit from here. Headshake so bad a stabalizer won't fix but A kit will?? I bet the guy telling you this has A kits for sale, but he'll have to charge you to spring/valve them.
I get headshake on everything because I suck. Even on the mtn bike. But a Scotts fixed it real quick.

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8/20/2017 4:51 PM

Barry_Smith wrote:

I OWN and RIDE a 2015 YZ125 and 2017 125SX.

The KTM wins, hands down. The YZ is fairly highly modified and the SX is bone stock. Now that I have some hours on the KTM, it's not even close. It destroys the YZ in every way except upfront purchase price (in Australia anyway).

DrSweden wrote:

Tnx, can you give me a few examples how the KTM feels better on the track? Jumping, cornering, engine, ergos, suspension etc? Is there any bad sides?

Did you consider the 150? I imagine the shorter powerband makes it harder to ride, and the few extra ponies means shit for us mortals.

Barry_Smith wrote:

To put this further in perspective for you before I answer, I am a second generation Yamaha fanatic. My dad raced Yamahas and I was brought up on Yamaha (and two Hondas). I have owned at least a dozen Yamahas. I type this sitting here having breakfast wearing a Yamaha crew jacket and throwback cap.

I had one KTM before this '17, a previous-gen 250SX with the 4CS. I cannot put into words how much I hated that bike. So I am no fanboy of KTM.

I am also mid 6ft 5ish, down to ~92kg (lean). 35B speed. I ride 2-3 x 30-35m motos when I go to the track. I also rode street/track bikes for years, and believe I have very good "feel" for a bike.

Jumping

The Yamaha feels stable, small and agile, like a BMX bike. The KTM feels the same, but the steering feels slightly lighter, and it feels 5kg lighter in the air. Either bike can be scrubbed and whipped to insane degrees.

Yesterday on the KTM I overjumped a table flat out in 6th gear. I thought I was in 5th late in my last moto and I didn't scrub enough and landed about 5-6 bike lengths to flat. I had enough time in the air to think 'I am about to break my wrists'. The suspension soaked it up easily and I kept on with my moto. The Yamaha "magic" SSS would have punished that mistake with at least jarred wrists, if not worse.

Cornering

The YZ loves to rail a corner, and I can pass plenty of 250s and 450s on this bike, too. Either bike corners almost effortlessly. You know 125s, you have one.

The cornering technique is different on the two bikes, but it also depends to a degree on the surface. On a firm surface or skatey hardpack for example, I trail a lot of front brake on the YZ, right into the apex. The Yamaha has a very light feeling front end that is prone to knife or tuck if weight is not kept on the front wheel.

The front end feel of the KTM is far more planted, more like a 250 four stroke. I can come in very hot to sweepers or tighter flat turns and two wheel drift in, use minimal front brake, then steer out using the throttle. Sitting or standing, it doesn't matter. The YZ would knife the front end standing, 9 times out of 10.

Engine

No contest. The KTM has more power and a more aggressive, albeit narrower, powerband. The YZ feels easier to ride, but it is not faster. My YZ has VHM head, porting, VForce, pipe and silencer, etc etc. All the usual tricks for a race motor. I will take the KTM to get a Two Stroke Performance custom 150 kit done when it needs its 3rd or 4th top end. At that time, I will probably swap out the YZ for another new 125SX.

Ergos

Perfectly comfortable from the first ride. The SX feels roomier, the bar bend is perfect, the ODI lock on grips a revelation. Standing, the side plates keep your legs locked in place, whereas the YZ you really have to concentrate on pinching with your calves to prevent sliding back at full gas corner exits. Everything you touch on the KTM feels quality.

Suspension

I have probably covered this above, but I would add that, especially as a heavier 125 rider, the ability to adjust air "spring" rates from track to track, and morning to afternoon conditions is a great, great thing.

Negatives

About half of the stock decals started peeling back at the edges before I even rode it. KTM agreed to replaced these under warranty with no fuss. The front brake and clutch reservoirs had a small amount of fluid pooled on the little bottom groove on them before the first ride. Almost like there was a little bit of an overflow before the caps were screwed on, and it had trickled down to the lowest place on the reservoir and just sat there. Nothing noticeable since I have ridden it.

Typing this quickly so I may have been unclear/missed something you asked. Anything else you want to know, please feel free to ask.

I have not ridden a yz125. But as a 2017 Husky tc125 owner, I can attest to pretty much everything stated here. Truly a hell of a 125. Especially if you're going to buy brand new definitely get a KTM or Husky.

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8/20/2017 6:32 PM

brocsdad wrote:

We had a new KTM 125 with a national level motor and it ran strong but even after spending almost $1k on the forks it had terrible headshake. I even bought a steering stabilizer and it was still really bad. I spoke to several suspension shops and they said the only fix was A-kit suspension or buy a YZ. I sold the KTM and bought s new YZ. Terry Varner built the YZ motor and it was the best decision ever! My son loves the YZ and hp is not an issue.

colintrax wrote:

Come on now. I can smell your bullshit from here. Headshake so bad a stabalizer won't fix but A kit will?? I bet the guy telling you this has A kits for sale, but he'll have to charge you to spring/valve them.
I get headshake on everything because I suck. Even on the mtn bike. But a Scotts fixed it real quick.

i had the KTM revalved and setup for my son who weighs 115lbs. Coming into the corners it shook like a wet dog. I adjusted clickers, sag and everything and my tuner said because he was so light I would need a Honda Stabilizer. So I bought one and it helped a little but the problem was still there. I called numerous other companies and they said they could install their kits or whatever and it would be on par with the Yamaha. Though I was going to need to spend another $1000. After several companies suggested I just buy a Yamaha rather than give them my money I did just that. Several local kids went back to the YZ after not feeling comfortable on the KTM. When two of my friends list trannys I decided to sell the bike while I could. One of them is still waiting for parts from February. So what good is a warranty if they don't have parts. The frame issues seem to only be on the YZFs which I have no intention of buying right now.

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8/20/2017 6:45 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/20/2017 6:46 PM

brocsdad wrote:

The 4-stroke Yamaha's are not the best handling bikes by any means but the suspension is still way ahead of the other bikes especially KTM. Combine that with the fact the KTM 125s and 250f's are loosing 2nd, 3rd and 5th gears. My buddy has been waiting on parts for 7 months! He had to go buy a new bike so his kid could race. Don't forget you need to shim the swingarm to cut down on vibration. Instead of fixing this KTM just beefed up the motor mounts so they wouldn't break. Our 65s were great but I'm not impressed with the big bikes.

BobPA wrote:

The suspension thing is 100% opinion based...so there's that. All bikes have issues, but I believe you are talking about the 2016's with the tranny problems...As I recall, KTM has an updated part number. I do not see Yamaha doing anything about the plethora of broken frames (I have seen a few in person). Hopefully their 2018 chassis is no longer welded with Chinese soda cans.

The 17's were still having tranny issues but they are supposed to have a new supplier in 2019. Either way there are lawsuits and pissed off people waiting for parts. It's also a pain to shim the swingarm to keep fown vibration and you must red loctite the sprocket bolts or they come loose. Also the PV is a terrible design and is prone to sticking. I had a bad experience and spent a lot of money. 65s were killer but the 125 not so great.

Believe me I wanted the KTM to work! I lost several thousand dollars buying the KTM and building it to only sell it.

Anyway I was just sharing my experience

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8/20/2017 6:50 PM

brocsdad wrote:

i had the KTM revalved and setup for my son who weighs 115lbs. Coming into the corners it shook like a wet dog. I adjusted clickers, sag and everything and my tuner said because he was so light I would need a Honda Stabilizer. So I bought one and it helped a little but the problem was still there. I called numerous other companies and they said they could install their kits or whatever and it would be on par with the Yamaha. Though I was going to need to spend another $1000. After several companies suggested I just buy a Yamaha rather than give them my money I did just that. Several local kids went back to the YZ after not feeling comfortable on the KTM. When two of my friends list trannys I decided to sell the bike while I could. One of them is still waiting for parts from February. So what good is a warranty if they don't have parts. The frame issues seem to only be on the YZFs which I have no intention of buying right now.

The Honda stabilizer is a piss poor excuse for a stabilizer, just look at it. No way it does anything for the first couple degrees off center. Little late now, but next time get a scotts.

BTW if your suspension guy suggested the Honda damper, I suggest you find someone else to handle the suspension duties.

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