Rode a 300 XC-W last weekend.

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8/31/2017 6:39 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/31/2017 6:44 PM

KTM Demo Days in Calgary, got 2 laps on the 250, 3 on the 300. The 300 was the only one I really wanted to ride, but it was leaving, and the Rep said to ride it, so I could compare it to the 300. Ok then. Good bike, a little soft in the bottom, with a surge, but I'm 255 plus gear, and want linear power, not hit. Suspension was REAL soft, hard to push on it, but overall, good bike. Put in the 2 laps, had the feel for it, and headed right back to the pits. If I was lucky, I'd get 15 minutes max in the 300, the test day was coming to an end.

Have 3 rides on the '07 Zook at Blackfoot, and a shitload of laps on my CR250's, so I'm really familiar with the terrain. Blues groove, with silt in the corners, big chop in some places. The 250 was a little difficult to get hooked up some times, and the lack of power was hurting me on some of the few jumps, so switched to the 450 once it was done. A good base of experience on this dirt, to draw a comparison between bikes.

Hit the track, at the face of a 70' tabletop. Could feel even on the way to the track, the suspension was stiffer, so I hit it hard. Not so much that if I came up short, I'd eat it, but enough to test the boingers on a flat landing. Cushy, would be the word I'd use. Didn't bottom hard, didn't hurt my wrists. Landed, and whacked the throttle wide open, to charge up the steep uphill, left handed 180, back down the hill again. Motor flat out rips, and is hooked up. Zero wheelspin, just forward acceleration. Track goes into a wide right hand sweeper, chop on the outside line, big marbles in the unused section. Forks worked well on the chop, for not being set up for my weight. I think maybe this bike might have had less time than the 250, Rep said it was brand new that morning.

Up a hill, across a straight, left hander into a tight right 180, almost went on my head with the front brake, using 1 finger. Phenomonal brakes on this bike. My Zook has a Galfer oversize and stainless line, not even CLOSE to this stopping power. Out of the 180, a short run to a 50' table, and a 60'+ step up double, depending on how far you want to flat land it. Think I was in third, pinned it. Cleared the table easily, pulled a gear, skied out the double, over jumped it huge. Again, no clutch slipping, just full on thrust, hooked up like I was on asphalt.

Long left sweeper follows, into a tight left handed, wet loam, uphill 180. Almost on my head with that front brake again, need to remember that. Right hand sandy loose berm after a straight, stuck the front wheel into the powder and it held. Awesome, couldn't do that on my 250. A drop off, into a right hander with ruts, one smooth line on the right left. Went for it, with minimum effort, the bike is just so light and turnable, not even an issue.

Next, short blind table, drops off into some ruts in a left hander. Hit it so hard, thought I'd overshoot the corner, after landing too far in. Nope. Front brake saved me, would've blown it on my bikes. Next up, high speed, uphill left hander with about 3 ruts, the inside one is hit it as hard as your balls allow you. I did, probably as fast or faster than on my own bikes. The handling and confidence this thing inspires is unreal. A couple more turns, followed by a whoop section. Bikes soaked up those whoops up like nothing. 2 more laps of the same thing, and against my will, brought it back in. Would rather have just loaded it into my trailer.

The engine on this thing is so hooked up, and so smooth. Never once dealt with wheelspin like my 250, and it had Geomax 81 tires on it, front and rear. Never heard of them, but they sure work on blue groove. Felt a little down on power for my weight, on the big uphills, but it was stock jetting, not set for 3500'. Some improvement to be had there, I'm sure.

Hydraulic clutch: So sweet, zero effort.
Brakes: You know that story.
Ergos: Thought it would feel weird, only thing off was lever height, and bar height. Easily fixed, and mandatory, at 6' 6".
Pegs. Beauty.
Shifting: clunky, but maybe that was the oil needing a change, the 250 didn't have that issue. I doubt they get any service during the day.

Overall: For whatever it's worth, this bike gets a 10 out of 10, from me. I've always found something on any bike that takes away from the package, but this thing is unreal. What's the expression you hear, "The 300 is the perfect do it all bike, no matter what you're riding"? Have to agree, and when I can jump on a bike, twist that throttle to the stops
the first time, and just ride, that's something. Crazy good package.

Got my Zook going, was having a lot of fun on it, and swore I was done buying new bikes. Never say never, I guess. If there was ever a bike that a guy could come off a 4 stroke, wanting less weight but keeping the tractable power, with awesome handling, this is it. Going to put my 500 up for sale too, after riding this thing. Haven't ridden it since 13, and I doubt I'd want to, after the Pumpkin.

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8/31/2017 6:50 PM

I have the 300 XC. It probably would have been even better for you with this type of riding.

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8/31/2017 6:57 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/31/2017 6:58 PM

What's the difference? Did notice it has the old No Link suspension, but I can't even find one listed for '18. Like the idea of the headlight, because there killer single track, 40 minutes from my house, in the foothills of the Rockies. Law says I have to have a headlight, on public land, though.

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8/31/2017 7:15 PM

scooter5002 wrote:

What's the difference? Did notice it has the old No Link suspension, but I can't even find one listed for '18. Like the idea of the headlight, because there killer single track, 40 minutes from my house, in the foothills of the Rockies. Law says I have to have a headlight, on public land, though.

The XC is the same engine, chassis, suspension (softer), as the SX. But has an 18" wheel, big tank, kickstand, etc.

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

8/31/2017 8:20 PM

The bike is the ultimate weapon. Check out Johnny Walker, David Kight rip some 300s thats a good time.

In Canada we have the XC and XCW model. From what I know, other than the standard 18inch rear, 10litreish oem tank, kickstand it comes with an odometer, headlight, rear brake light and a different transmission/lower comp motor? I remember some models come with linkages and some dont. The moto guys like the linkage and the more offroad heavy like the pds model for clearance and performance on offroad obstacles.

I could be wrong. However i think the most common thing here is to buy the XC brand new and get the dealership to street plate the bike so its the performance model with a legal street plate. Slightly more performance for the more aggressive racier riders. But the vet and average joe riders mainly just buy the XCW for the no fuss package.

Anyways, they are killer bikes and super reliable. It can turn out to be the best bike you ever own.I got a crazy deal on a 2013 sx250 back in the day so i converted it to offroad on the cheap. But i do plan on buying a 300 in a couple years once this fuel injection is refined.

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8/31/2017 8:50 PM

Went scratching yesterday, couldn't find squat on the '18 300 XC. Tonight, it pops up no problem. XC has the linkage, which is the one I'd buy. Got stung on my old 525, not going down that road again. Be better to buy the headlight after, and add it on. Thanks for the info.

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8/31/2017 9:21 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/31/2017 9:23 PM

for some more info on 300cc reviews and mods/info i look to these 3 channels (if you dont already know). im sure theres tonnes out there but this might point you in the right direction if you're a research heavy guy

1. https://www.youtube.com/user/kylebrothersen/videos

1. The Dirt Bike Channel - He reviews a lot of different bikes but the 300 KTM is his favorite bike

2. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqKpX1XNN4WL4dEf-sNh4yg/videos

2. ktm husky channel mainly concentrated on 4 strokes but a couple of vids pertain to the husqy 300 which is similar

3. https://www.youtube.com/user/slaverace1/videos

3. Slavens racing has a bunch of vids and info

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9/1/2017 5:24 AM
Edited Date/Time: 9/1/2017 5:27 AM


Revalve and Respring is key to make it more suitable for MX, gear ratio as well... great all round bike (300cc)
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9/1/2017 9:48 AM


Thought I'd leave this here, damn what a dream track...
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9/1/2017 9:53 AM

scooter5002 wrote:

What's the difference? Did notice it has the old No Link suspension, but I can't even find one listed for '18. Like the idea of the headlight, because there killer single track, 40 minutes from my house, in the foothills of the Rockies. Law says I have to have a headlight, on public land, though.

BobPA wrote:

The XC is the same engine, chassis, suspension (softer), as the SX. But has an 18" wheel, big tank, kickstand, etc.

XC also has an extra gear over the SX I believe

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9/1/2017 10:31 AM

Isn't the XC-W PDS and the XC linkage? If so, there's no way I'd buy the W.

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9/1/2017 11:24 AM

byke wrote:

Isn't the XC-W PDS and the XC linkage? If so, there's no way I'd buy the W.

They don"t show the XC on their website... think Husqvarna fills this gap? I don't know too much about the XC because they have never been sold downhere

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9/1/2017 11:27 AM

Unless you are a single track only rider...I'd get the 300XC.

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9/1/2017 1:15 PM

The W stands for "Wide", as in Wide Ratio gearbox.
It is a trail/single track weapon. PDS in the rear (no linkage) and historically, single chamber fork.

Not sure about the fork on 17 or newer models.

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man who runs in front of bus gets tired. man who runs behind bus gets exhausted

9/1/2017 1:23 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/1/2017 1:49 PM

scooter5002 wrote:

What's the difference? Did notice it has the old No Link suspension, but I can't even find one listed for '18. Like the idea of the headlight, because there killer single track, 40 minutes from my house, in the foothills of the Rockies. Law says I have to have a headlight, on public land, though.

You would prefer the XC. The nice thing about the KTMs is they're highly tunable. The XCW is more for guys who are new to riding, like extremely slow paced things etc. The XC is more than capable at the slow paced things but it's got the more racey feel to it. It's more aggressive I suppose. Essentially, the xc has linkage and the xcw has PDS. The XC and XCW have different gear ratios with the W being wider.

And no, the XC does not come with a headlight. If you're interested in a bit of a cross between the 2 check out the husky TE300. I believe the husky 300 has the XC linkage and the XCW gearing.

Either way, I've ridden both and absolutely love them both. As I stated above, they're so tunable that you can't go wrong with either. I just prefer the XC because it's more of an all around bike and I like the linkage. I can hit absolutely any terrain from the extreme enduro type of riding to motocross. I would not want to take a stock XCW on a motocross track or even faster wide open trails. If you do purchase one definitely mess with the power valve. I was so amazed at how much of a difference tuning the power valve and swapping out the springs can make.

And you're right, I checked KTMs website and don't see the XC line. Someone else will have to chime in, maybe they aren't making the XC models anymore and simply replaced them with the husky TX's?

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9/1/2017 1:58 PM

I've seen XC and XC-F's in showrooms. Not sure why they aren't on KTM's website.

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9/1/2017 2:29 PM

steed 2.0 wrote:


Revalve and Respring is key to make it more suitable for MX, gear ratio as well... great all round bike (300cc)

I'm sold. Dang that thing BARKS!

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9/1/2017 3:03 PM

W stands for wide ratio gearbox so lower 1st for very tight sections and taller top for road sections and fire trails with suitable spacing in between. I notice the larger spacing between gears way more on a MX track on my KTM200 way more than the PDS which is revalved to work in both MX and off road although there is an acceptable compromise for both to do that, just as it would require for a linkage based system.

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9/1/2017 4:26 PM

scooter5002 wrote:

What's the difference? Did notice it has the old No Link suspension, but I can't even find one listed for '18. Like the idea of the headlight, because there killer single track, 40 minutes from my house, in the foothills of the Rockies. Law says I have to have a headlight, on public land, though.

BobPA wrote:

The XC is the same engine, chassis, suspension (softer), as the SX. But has an 18" wheel, big tank, kickstand, etc.

FreshTopEnd wrote:

XC also has an extra gear over the SX I believe

Correct

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

9/1/2017 4:28 PM

agn5009 wrote:

You would prefer the XC. The nice thing about the KTMs is they're highly tunable. The XCW is more for guys who are new to riding, like extremely slow paced things etc. The XC is more than capable at the slow paced things but it's got the more racey feel to it. It's more aggressive I suppose. Essentially, the xc has linkage and the xcw has PDS. The XC and XCW have different gear ratios with the W being wider.

And no, the XC does not come with a headlight. If you're interested in a bit of a cross between the 2 check out the husky TE300. I believe the husky 300 has the XC linkage and the XCW gearing.

Either way, I've ridden both and absolutely love them both. As I stated above, they're so tunable that you can't go wrong with either. I just prefer the XC because it's more of an all around bike and I like the linkage. I can hit absolutely any terrain from the extreme enduro type of riding to motocross. I would not want to take a stock XCW on a motocross track or even faster wide open trails. If you do purchase one definitely mess with the power valve. I was so amazed at how much of a difference tuning the power valve and swapping out the springs can make.

And you're right, I checked KTMs website and don't see the XC line. Someone else will have to chime in, maybe they aren't making the XC models anymore and simply replaced them with the husky TX's?

My friend picked up an '18 300 XC Tuesday....So they are definitely making them.

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

9/1/2017 7:09 PM

scooter5002 wrote:

What's the difference? Did notice it has the old No Link suspension, but I can't even find one listed for '18. Like the idea of the headlight, because there killer single track, 40 minutes from my house, in the foothills of the Rockies. Law says I have to have a headlight, on public land, though.

agn5009 wrote:

You would prefer the XC. The nice thing about the KTMs is they're highly tunable. The XCW is more for guys who are new to riding, like extremely slow paced things etc. The XC is more than capable at the slow paced things but it's got the more racey feel to it. It's more aggressive I suppose. Essentially, the xc has linkage and the xcw has PDS. The XC and XCW have different gear ratios with the W being wider.

And no, the XC does not come with a headlight. If you're interested in a bit of a cross between the 2 check out the husky TE300. I believe the husky 300 has the XC linkage and the XCW gearing.

Either way, I've ridden both and absolutely love them both. As I stated above, they're so tunable that you can't go wrong with either. I just prefer the XC because it's more of an all around bike and I like the linkage. I can hit absolutely any terrain from the extreme enduro type of riding to motocross. I would not want to take a stock XCW on a motocross track or even faster wide open trails. If you do purchase one definitely mess with the power valve. I was so amazed at how much of a difference tuning the power valve and swapping out the springs can make.

And you're right, I checked KTMs website and don't see the XC line. Someone else will have to chime in, maybe they aren't making the XC models anymore and simply replaced them with the husky TX's?

BobPA wrote:

My friend picked up an '18 300 XC Tuesday....So they are definitely making them.

Glad to hear that. Definitely weird they're not on the website.

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9/1/2017 7:16 PM

Couldn't find the XC on the Canadian site Wednesday night, but found it last night. Weird.

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