My KTM 300XC....A Year in Review

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8/13/2019 8:06 PM

So today marks one year of owning my 2018 KTM 300XC. 51.2 hours later and I could not be much happier. This bike has been absolutely rock solid through everything I have put it through. Never did I imagine I would be able to ride a bike to work, leave work on said bike, proceed to ride to a Wednesday night track session, then ride the bike home....Without touching a single thing. I use this bike for all types of terrain, but it mostly sees technical rocks and woods. I have done 3 dual sport events, countless trail rides, and a handful of track days.

Still have plenty of life left on the stock chain and sprockets, brake pads, footpegs, etc. I left the yellow powervalve spring in and ended up about 1/4 turn out from flush on the adjuster. I've got the bike jetted very well with the needles and jets provided from KTM. Running Klotz at 40:1 with zero splooge...and the original spark plug cool. Clean and crisp on the bottom, and it never loads up in the tight stuff....and will still pull hard when you apply some throttle. I cannot believe how much you are able to tractor this bike....nearly impossible to stall.

Dialing in the forks took a fair bit of time and effort. It seemed to always deflect in rock gardens, but is now much improved. I am still not 100% happy with them, but they are as good as any stock bike I have tried. They are extremely plush, but still have a semi-vague feeling in certain sections. I believe there is something currently wrong with them, as well. They seem to be riding very low in the stroke, and blow through the upper part of the suspension travel very easily...will be shipped to Factory Connection tomorrow. This issue started last weekend during a dual sport, and I again confirmed it on a Monday morning ride.

I recommend this bike to anyone that wants to buy a bike that can do it all. It does not get much more versatile than a 300. The counterbalanced engine is an absolute dream.....

Add ons:
Devol skid plate
Fastway adjustable guarded linkage
OEM KTM front axle puller from a KTM Six Days
OEM KTM XC-W headlight
OEM front brake line for KTM XC-W's
Cyclops LED headlight bulb (highly recommended)
Trail Tech speedo and speedo mount
Moose front and rear rotor guards
Sicass integrated start/stop button
Sicass LED tailight, bracket, and plate holder
Tusk lighting kit w/ horn
Tusk light controls
Tusk front and rear LED blinkers

Consumables list:
3 rear tires
2 front tires
8 oil changes
Air filters as needed
Needs a set of grips badly

The broken list:
Right side radiator
Hole in pipe
Bent pipe brackets
2 front tubes
1 rear tube
1 (slightly) bent front rotor

When I bought it:

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How it sits today:

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Changing a front tube at a dual sport:

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A bunch of random pics of parts and such:

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

8/13/2019 8:21 PM

Good stuff Bob, pretty sensible list of mods as well, no fluff just what you need to make it yours. If I was riding offroad full time it would be hard to pick anything else, I've ridden a few and to say they're a dream in the tight stuff is an understatement. Still looks remarkably good for the type of riding you're doing tolaughing .

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Make Hillclimb Great Again

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8/13/2019 8:32 PM

Sweet post man. I’m glad your choice has worked out so well, and you’ve really been able to enjoy it. I’ve been debating on getting one for awhile now for the exact same type of riding you say you do, and seeing stuff like this really makes me think I should go for it.

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8/13/2019 9:05 PM

Livin the dream, nice post. That may be KTM's best bike, or best seller or both. Enjoy.

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2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart

8/13/2019 9:59 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/13/2019 10:00 PM

They’re stupid good bikes. I would buy mine again in a second. Here’s my 19 I’ve had for almost a year now. The combination off the counter balancer, electric start and 300 cc of 2 stroke grunt is hard to beat. I think I could improve my jetting in the 1/8-1/4 throttle area but it doesn’t hamper my riding or enjoyment of the bike at all. I’m very happy with my forks actually. I run less than the recommend air pressure and I’m way out on compression. I find it handles the rocks extremely well. It sounds like yours may have an air leak somewhere? I’m sure they’ll be a dream after FC does them.

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8/13/2019 10:02 PM

Whoops forgot the picture. The day I bought it. Photo

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8/13/2019 10:22 PM

Nice update! The ‘18 KTM XCs seem to be going down in history like the ‘08 Honda CRF450. Last of its generation and arguably still the best in a lot of ways.

I ended up with the MX Tech Lucky system on mine. Took two tries to get the valving right, but I couldn’t be happier at this point.

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8/13/2019 10:43 PM

I love mine as well! It is my absolute favorite bike I have owned! I have 63hrs on my 18. My parts list looks a lot like yours mostly consumables! My fork is still golden. I'm very interested to hear how you like your fc forks and what went wrong. My biggest repair so far, I busted my kick stand spring off. I gotta say though your 300 looks cleaner then mine.

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8/13/2019 11:32 PM

An older 300 will be my next project bike. They sound like fantastic bikes!! One of these days . . .

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8/14/2019 4:31 AM

Great report, Bob. Nice machine.

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8/14/2019 4:32 AM

Nice write up....I have had 3 Xc300”s...all great bikes, easy 100hrs without engine work if maintained. My last one was a 2016, I had exactly 100 hrs on it, all sand MX & GNCC type riding...cleaned up almost like new, sold it in 5 days for a very good price...my 16.5 450 FE with 100 hrs, I had to practically give it away..currently considering a new Tpi model, but want to make sure they have all the bugs worked out.

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8/14/2019 4:41 AM

I'm enjoying my '19 300xc, however, I was never able to get the mikuni to my liking so I punted and bought a 38mm keihin. I also just recently put some cone valves on. Mine has right at 30hrs on it.
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8/14/2019 5:22 AM

Ive got a 2018 300 XC-W. About 35 hours. Multiple trips to Hatifled McCoy and a couple local hare scramble races. She is tight and solid. No issues, still on stock plug @ 60:1 with Motorex premix and premium gas. Although i am considering a JD jet kit. Never been happier with a bike in my life. Im going to have Race Tech respring and service the suspension this winter.

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8/14/2019 7:56 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/14/2019 8:05 AM

i've done everything on my 300. i've raced moto, desert, ridden a couple thousand miles to LaPaz, had multiple 500+ mile offroad rides, threw a snowbike kit on it and rode it in the high mountains for 2 snow seasons.

now it's back to moto/offroad.

i threw a Lectron carb on and absolutely love it. i can ride the moto track and above 10k feet elevation in the same day and have no issue with jetting.

the bikes really are "Do It All" machines. best money i've ever spent.

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8/14/2019 8:01 AM

I know the KTM rads come with a sort of built in guard but do you not run a real rad guard?

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8/14/2019 1:41 PM

Great write-up! Sounds like a great bike.

I'm interested about this
Cyclops LED headlight bulb (highly recommended)

So that plugs right into the xc-w headlight assembly no modifications required the bike has enough wattage to pull it and does not draw too much amperage when the brake light is applied?

Thanks

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8/14/2019 1:43 PM

colintrax wrote:

I know the KTM rads come with a sort of built in guard but do you not run a real rad guard?

Yep that is one of the first mods on my bikes is put on Rad guards.

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8/14/2019 6:50 PM

Pumped everyone feels the same way I do about mine...They are really excellent bikes, amazing that a two stroke is this capable.

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

8/14/2019 6:57 PM

colintrax wrote:

I know the KTM rads come with a sort of built in guard but do you not run a real rad guard?

I had bought a set of Moose (Enduro Engineering) full coverage guards after I smashed the first radiator. What they do not tell you in the initial description is that they widen the shrouds an addition 1", and the shrouds are held by rubber bands...not bolts. Did not like any of that, so they went back.

What guards are you guys running? The radiator I ruined would not have been saved by any type of guard. The filler cap was made into an oval...and broke the cap clean off.

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

8/14/2019 7:10 PM

G-man wrote:

Great write-up! Sounds like a great bike.

I'm interested about this
Cyclops LED headlight bulb (highly recommended)

So that ...more

Yes, the bulb is meant to be a direct fit into the stock KTM headlight housing (H4 bulb base). The carbureted two strokes need the optional rectifier. The bulb only draws 38 watts total, which is less than the stock 5 candle power bulb that comes in the XC-W's.

Here is the link. Curious as it says the bulb does not have the high/low beam function. That is the exact setup I have, and I do have high and low options.

https://www.cyclopsadventuresports.com/KTM-Husky-100-LED-headlight-bulb-kit_p_167.html

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

8/14/2019 7:13 PM

JM485 wrote:

Good stuff Bob, pretty sensible list of mods as well, no fluff just what you need to make it yours. If I was riding offroad ...more

I try to keep is looking descent...SC-1 does wonders haha.

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

8/14/2019 7:38 PM

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8/14/2019 8:05 PM

sam hain wrote:

I'm enjoying my '19 300xc, however, I was never able to get the mikuni to my liking so I punted and bought a 38mm keihin. I ...more

I have my eye on an ‘18 300 with 15 hours on it on Craigslist. It has a 38 keihin as well. How do you like the carb?

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8/14/2019 9:27 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/14/2019 9:29 PM

G-man wrote:

Great write-up! Sounds like a great bike.

I'm interested about this
Cyclops LED headlight bulb (highly recommended)

So that ...more

BobPA wrote:

Yes, the bulb is meant to be a direct fit into the stock KTM headlight housing (H4 bulb base). The carbureted two strokes need ...more

Okay thanks for the info I see one problem for me though on my 350 xc-w I do not have a high low beam function and someone else once mentioned some of these LED lights are really bright.

On a city street that would not be cool to NOT be able to use the low beam I would have to get a switch of some sort.

I use these radiator guards they are done nice and the price is not bad.
I got the ones without the color.

http://www.srtoffroad.com/srt-pro-armor-radiator-guard-pair-pro-08

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8/15/2019 12:54 AM

colintrax wrote:

I know the KTM rads come with a sort of built in guard but do you not run a real rad guard?

BobPA wrote:

I had bought a set of Moose (Enduro Engineering) full coverage guards after I smashed the first radiator. What they do not ...more

I am also running the moose setup. The wife bought them for me so I felt obligated. I didnt like the rubber bands at first either but after a few hundred miles I havent had any issues. It didnt seem to add any width back further on the tank where I grip with my knees.

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8/15/2019 5:42 AM

sam hain wrote:

I'm enjoying my '19 300xc, however, I was never able to get the mikuni to my liking so I punted and bought a 38mm keihin. I ...more

ktmdan wrote:

I have my eye on an ‘18 300 with 15 hours on it on Craigslist. It has a 38 keihin as well. How do you like the carb?

I like it a lot, bike is electric now. Before I had to constantly mess with the stock carb, seemed it was always something to adjust or change to keep it from drooling spooge everywhere or having to be cleaned out if ridden at low rpm's for extended periods.

I found some jetting specs on ktmtalk and tweaked them a little to my liking. I'm running 35pj, 170main and NECH needle. From the research I've done the 38mm carb likes a little richer jetting than the 36mm.

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8/28/2019 9:41 AM

JM485 wrote:

Good stuff Bob, pretty sensible list of mods as well, no fluff just what you need to make it yours. If I was riding offroad ...more

BobPA wrote:

I try to keep is looking descent...SC-1 does wonders haha.

Looks like junk

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8/28/2019 11:14 AM

sam hain wrote:

I'm enjoying my '19 300xc, however, I was never able to get the mikuni to my liking so I punted and bought a 38mm keihin. I ...more

Very nice Sam Hain. That could almost be a clone of my bike. Mine is a 250 with the SX head, Keihin Carb, AER CVs, Neken SFS clamps,FMF Fatty with Turbine Core. Bike rips and Handles awesome..

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Shout out to: Fly Racing, X Brand Goggles, Kenda Tire, Nuetech Nitromousse, ProTune Suspension, Motool, Sunstar Sprockets, and Rehmerts Kawasaki KTM

Instagram: WoodsRacer126

8/30/2019 8:49 AM

the gentleman that won my class here in MN in enduro also races all the harescramble series and practices allot...his 2017 has like 392hours on it with one new top end. Amazing!!

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8/31/2019 6:54 AM

grunkster wrote:

the gentleman that won my class here in MN in enduro also races all the harescramble series and practices allot...his 2017 has ...more

And the original crank, evidently?

That's impressive.

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2019 KTM 150 SX
2019 Husqvarna TX300
2015 Yamaha YZ 250