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Old 02-18-2015, 04:53 PM   #1
Geolander OP
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KTM 200ish bike? -General looking for new bike kinda thread-

Everyone's got their little background story, sorry for the TL;DR factor.

I'm looking for a new bike... Just wondering if I'm forgetting anything.

200XCWs are incredibly difficult to find, I'm almost positive it's what I'm after though, is there anything comparable to it? What about a 150SX with a flywheel weight? I understand it would have a smaller tank and closer ratio gearing with a cam, the porting and bore/stroke that would favor being higher in the RPMs obviously (MX vs Enduro) SX vs XCW..

Trying to get back to basics a bit and tighten my skills up again, that's just not going to be achieved on a heavier larger bore bike.

I'm about 5'8 and 150 pounds.

I rode 125 two strokes for a long time, jumped up to a 450X and while I loved the extra power, traction, on demand any gear wheelies and the ability to cruise it around town I fell into a common conundrum; A bike you actually want to ride on pavement to your favorite trails isn't going to be fun on the trails, and a bike that's fun on the trails isn't going to be fun to ride to those trails.

I just want a bike to be fun again, the 450 is just too serious and I figure if I really have the desire to ride on the road at some point again maybe I'll buy a weestrom, but the 450X doesn't cut it and it's too much to handle in the tight stuff where I want to ride it. You can tell it's bred for the desert, because it really doesn't like to do slow.

Bikes I've considered;

KDX 200/220 - a bit heavy still, ancient suspension
CRF230F - see above
TTR250 - see above
KTM 200XCW - impossible to find
KTM 300XCW - maybe too much still? Would it be like my 450X I wonder?
CRF150RB - I'm attempting to talk myself out of this bike.. I don't know if I want a full size scooter right now for the kind of riding I want to do..
KX100 - Cheaper and probably slightly more reliable than the 150RB, but pipey/less torque
KTM 105SX - bridges the gap between the 150RB and the KX100 probably, more difficult to find

Of course I've considered the XR200, 250, 400, ttr125l, 85cc big wheel "superminis" the overbuilt BBR style pit bikes and stuff, older Kawi KE stuff, Honda NX series, all kinds of things..

I'm not concerned about maintenance costs/frequency or parts availability.

Just wondering if anyone's gone through the same scenario and may be able to shed some light on anything here for me..

(I've been searching through forum threads for DAYS before posting this)
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Old 02-18-2015, 05:52 PM   #2
trailer Rails
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I have a 2013 200XCW I am thinking about putting on the market...

I really like the bike, I bought a Freeride and I don't see myself riding the 200 much anymore.
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:45 PM   #3
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I bought a 2014 150xc and had it turned in to a 200 before I even brought it home from the dealership. I wanted the lightest bike I could have with a close ratio gear box, no extra weight of a battery and starter... It's the frikkin ultimate singletrack assault weapon! I love the bike. I too, came from 400's, and 450's. The light weight is amazing and the low displacement it great for getting back to basics and developing proper technique.
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trailer Rails View Post
I have a 2013 200XCW I am thinking about putting on the market...

I really like the bike, I bought a Freeride and I don't see myself riding the 200 much anymore.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neepuk View Post
I bought a 2014 150xc and had it turned in to a 200 before I even brought it home from the dealership. I wanted the lightest bike I could have with a close ratio gear box, no extra weight of a battery and starter... It's the frikkin ultimate singletrack assault weapon! I love the bike. I too, came from 400's, and 450's. The light weight is amazing and the low displacement it great for getting back to basics and developing proper technique.
I like your style, figured there were some like minded folks here. That's exactly what I'm aiming for.

How many hours on that top end so far? What's your stature?
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Old 02-19-2015, 05:47 AM   #5
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There are a few guys around here who ride the 150's. They go pretty good, you can't be afraid of the rev limiter. I like not having the linkage on the 200 for crossing logs, it actually makes a pretty big difference. The 200 and 150's kick over pretty easy on flat ground but the electric start on the 200 is real nice when you are stuck on a hill or in a weird spot where you can't get your feet down right. I have even stalled the 200 and hit the button and restarted it without putting a foot down.
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:21 AM   #6
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After selling a kidney to buy a 690 and wrestling it around on single track last summer, I've abandoned the notion of a one-bike-to-do-it-all and am now looking for a cheap, light woods bike while the 690 gets a distance enduro makeover.

I've been looking at 200 XC-W's, but when they come up, have found that they are beat-down rattle traps and sellers are still proud of them. KDX's are well regarded, but I'm not really a Kawi fan nor am I willing to put up with the ancient suspenders.

I'm tempted to pull the trigger on one of the hundreds of $1500 YZ or CR 125's that pop up, but don't really need an MXer; just a light, tight woods bike to f#ck around on.

I'll be watching this thread intently
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:49 AM   #7
JDUBinCO
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A kdx200/220 motor in a 2000 era yz125 frame would be brilliant. It wouldn't be as fast as a ktm200 but it would have other strong points.

I had a kdx 220 and for the Rockies that motor was fantastic! as 4-stroke as a 2-stroke can get on the bottom with a nice hit. The problems were the front suspension (kx125 front end fixes that) and the ski jump seat. If you could swap kx parts to get more mx-style ergos it would be a pretty good ride.

I think a ktm250exc would be better still though. Soften the hit and enjoy.
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:31 AM   #8
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My experience with the KTM 200

Bear with me. This post is long but I hope it will help others considering the KTM 200. (This is also my first post on ADVriders, so go easy on me ).

I currently have a 2005 KTM 200 EXC that I purchased new in '05. Allow me to offer some background on my riding experience before I offer my experience on the KTM.

I have ridden since I was a young kid. In the '70's and '80's I raced. Mostly Yamaha since I had a local dealer that offered excellent support. I also raced Husqvarna. I got out of bikes for while to pursue an education, career and start a family. When my son's got riding age, we purchased several Honda XR's for them. I got an XR250R for myself.

My son's got into racing and that fueled the desire for me to find a more "complete woods bike". Enter the KTM. I zeroed in on the 200 EXC since the chassis size and the tough as nails engine seemed like just the ticket. I raced it a few times and it was my primary woods bike for about five years. Actually, I was too busy with my son's racing team to ride much.
For the last several years it sat in the shop while the XR400 got most of the riding. It was simple, easy and fun. It's hard to beat an XR in the fun factor department. Plus I could go days, weeks or months and go out and kick it twice and head for the trails.

This year I decided to "rebuild" the 200. Actually it is just a refresh, since it is in excellent shape.

So, what are my thoughts on the 200?

It is an excellent bike. Trail riding, racing, you name it the KTM 200 can do it and do it well. The light weight makes it a no brainer. Plus the engine can be short shifted and lugged all day long. A quick blip of the throttle gets it on the pipe without a stumble. My engine is stock except for jetting and PV adjustment. They are very well built bikes and easy to work on. There are a few tricks you need to know (such as properly bleeding the brakes) that make the maintenance process a little more pleasant, but you can find tons of information over at KTMTalk.

I have never had any major issues with the 200. Actually, I haven't had any issues with it (except for the suspension which $$$ will fix). It has been and continues to be a rock solid bike.

In my mind, the 200 is close to the perfect water-cooled bike. The only sore spot with me is the suspension. That is a big part of a bike, but stock the KTM suspension leaves a lot to be desired.
I have re-sprung the bike and had the shock revalved. Plus, I revalved the forks. It is MUCH better than stock, But I am considering having it all revalved again to try to get it close to perfect (or what I consider perfect). At this point, it is very good and a pleasure to ride. Prepare to spend some cash for springs at the very least and a complete revalve, depending on how serious you are.

OP, of the bikes you listed, it's hard to compare. It's kind of an apples to oranges thing. The XR, KDX CRF type bikes are excellent trail bikes. But, the last time a rode a friends CRF230, the suspension and lack of kick start instantly turned me off. The KDX 200 is getting a little old, and would probably need some work to get them up to snuff. You could go the YZ250 or CR250R route, but you would have to spend a bit to get them up to snuff as far as a competent woods bike.

The KTM 200 is a hard bike to find, still not perfect (suspension issues, but each newer year model is better to a point) but one of the best choices in my book. I'm glad I have the option of both the KTM and the XR.

If you want a light, simple two-stroke that can be trail ridden and/or raced, the KTM is the ticket. Just be prepared to address the suspension.


If you want a trail bike that is built like a bowling ball, easy to maintain and ride, and you are not going to be going fast, the XR is hard to beat. The XR (especially the 400 at your size) is heavy and if you drop it, can be a bear to get up, plus if not jetted properly & if you don't know the drill, can be difficult to start.

I hope this info is helpful. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:02 AM   #9
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200 fan

Good info above. I weigh about the same as OP, 160 #s.

I too looked for a ktm after selling my autoclutch KDX (just too dated at this point). All desert ridden 200s were tired and woods riders tend to hang onto their ktm 200s.

Wanted a 2012, last year with no button, but gave up finding a nice one.

Bought a '15 200 XC-W knowing I could take the batt/starter off if I thought it wasn't worth the wt. It is worth the wt. If your riding buddies are "always racing" like mine are, it is nice getting going again instantly after a tipover or the rare stall.

My favorite bike in the stable for tight stuff. When on fire trails it is a little lacking after 4th gear, but the rest of the time I see no reason for a 250 or larger with my wt.

I can compare it to my other bikes (I agree with others, no "one bike.") :-) Also have a '15 500 EXC, '13 690R, '14 Beta Evo 250 trials bike, 1198S Corse, '01 CR250R, Scorpa trials, etc.

The KTM 200 is the best in the tight stuff, like a long travel trials bike! And newer is almost always better/nicer if your budget can swing it.
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Old 02-19-2015, 10:15 AM   #10
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Another 200 Fan

Indeed, there is alot of good info above for you. I recently bought a 2007 200xcw and like most of the used ones everyone describes, it was beat up a bit. I spent most of November taking it down to the frame and putting it back together. I own this along side of my 2013 450 xcw that's plated with a rekluse, a dr650 and newly purchased WR250R. I absolutely love the 200 for all around riding. I have even ridden motocross on a vet track with it. I have had multiple offers to buy my 200 and I refuse to even consider selling this bike. Might be the most fun 2 stroke I have ever owned! My suggestion....pull the trigger and come join club. May very well be the best bike you'll ever own.
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Old 02-19-2015, 10:51 AM   #11
neepuk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geolander View Post
PM'd



I like your style, figured there were some like minded folks here. That's exactly what I'm aiming for.

How many hours on that top end so far? What's your stature?
I've still got low hours on it since I just bought it last year and have other bikes to ride as well. I'm sure it's going to hold up very well!

Another reason I bough the 150xc over the 200xcw is the xc comes with the new 4cs fork, the 200xcw cam with the older fork.

I'm 6', 180lbs and ride between 4000' and 12,000' elevation. The high altitude is why I insisted on turning it in to a 200 right away. A 150 might have been a bit small for my size at these elevations.
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:08 AM   #12
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I am 165# and I think my 200's suspension is perfect. I would not change it in any way. I think I put 1 turn on the rear spring. I am not a suspension guru but I have ridden some bad suspension (my DR650). I have never had suspension done for me, so I might be missing something there.
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Old 02-19-2015, 02:42 PM   #13
VxZeroKnots
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertRatliff View Post
After selling a kidney to buy a 690 and wrestling it around on single track last summer, I've abandoned the notion of a one-bike-to-do-it-all and am now looking for a cheap, light woods bike while the 690 gets a distance enduro makeover.

I've been looking at 200 XC-W's, but when they come up, have found that they are beat-down rattle traps and sellers are still proud of them. KDX's are well regarded, but I'm not really a Kawi fan nor am I willing to put up with the ancient suspenders.

I'm tempted to pull the trigger on one of the hundreds of $1500 YZ or CR 125's that pop up, but don't really need an MXer; just a light, tight woods bike to f#ck around on.

I'll be watching this thread intently

Hey Nick! I keep a pretty keen sense of what hardware is moving around here, ill pm you any deals I come across. A 250 or 300 woods bike will be a millon times more friendly than a 125 or 250 mx bike.
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Old 02-19-2015, 03:00 PM   #14
shrederscott
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Hi

I ride a ktm 530exc now, as I am into dual sporting


BUT

i owned 2 ktm 200s ....... wow GREAT single tract bikes .... so light ..... so flickable .... great motor.

I am 5 10 200 lbs ....... loved my 200s......

scott
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Old 02-19-2015, 03:16 PM   #15
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It has been a long week of waiting to pick mine up but tomorrows the day. We will be going to a dirt riding school for my wife Saturday morning and I am uncertain if I am going to even take it out of the truck for a spin around the place until I get it home and go over it. It's a SIXTEEN year old scoot and I'm sure it has been ridden a few times and put up wet too many times. A PO seems to have mounted a set of 50's on the front and I have always been a fan of the WP 50's. Should be interesting to get it in the tight woods with the TEXAS sized roots...
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