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Old 01-26-2005, 05:34 PM   #16
dirtrider
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As always, Ned covered the details very well.

I am on my 2nd 300 EXC with the first being a 96. The 96 recieved a piston every other year and the bottom end had never been touched when I sold it in 2002 and is still going strong.

I just put the first new piston in my 02 this summer. The original looked pretty good, but had some minor scoring. The bottom end has never been touched.

The spokes can be a problem on earlier models, but if they are checked once in a while they become a non issue. To check them correctly, spokes should be torqued with a tool like THIS. We purchased one for the shop and we check every new bike that is assembled. It's incredible how many new bikes NEED this done. I take it home to check both of my bikes often.

I've tried many different tires and for the type of riding I do, the Michelin S12's seem to work the best. They were also a top choice in either Dirt Rider or Dirt Bike magazine not too long ago as the best off road (not MX) tire available. The softer compound doesn't last as long as some others, but the traction they provide is worth it.

I've been using E-Line products for years and I've had excellent luck with their carbon/kevlar pipe guards and skid plates.


In 4 years of using their products, I've only cracked one pipe guard and the hit was so drastic that I had to replace the pipe too. At the time, I installed an FMF Gnarly pipe. The Gnarly is double wall so it's stronger and quieter than most aftermarket pipes and I found that it increased the bottom and mid range but hurt the top end. As the bike is ridden 95% of the time on technical single track, the loss of top end over rev was unimportant. I also run an FMF Turbine Core II silencer with spark arrestor as a crash took out my original. It is slightly louder than stock but lighter. If the original hadn't been ruined, I would still be using it as the improvement in weight or performance would not have been worth the money.

I've had customers complain about the seat height being too tall. I learned a quick fix from the KTM Supercross team. 10mm can be cut from the rear subframe than rewelded to lower the seat height. You can't cut out any more as the rear tire could contact the inside of the fender at full compression. For riders that like a taller bike, the SDG tall soft seat is awesome.

Ned had mentioned the slave cylinder guard already, but I would also like to mention that it is very important as a thrown or broken chain not only breaks the cylinder, but can also damage the crank case. I use a billet KTM model.


An axle pull is also a good idea as getting the axle out for a flat tire in the woods can be tough with limited tools.


Early on in my ownership, I broke one of the stock pegs. I switched to Moose pegs and have yet to break one. They also have a deeper serration and hold my boots better.

Gearing is a personal preferance and can be changed for different riding styles. For the tight woods we have here, I've found that 13/52 works perfect. It does limit my top speed to 72mph, but the low end response and lugability is perfect for tight switchbacks or obstacles in the trail.


Of course any serious woods bike is incomplete without hand quards and a rear rotor guard.

Like Ned, I ruined my chain guide right away and replaced it with a serious one from Fredette. It's taken a huge beating, but it's still there. I have had to straighten it a couple of times.

Although I'm not overly tall, I do prefer a taller bar for standing. I currently have FMF 909's on the bike which are taller than stock and very comfortable when standing.

The stock odometer on the 02 and earlier models was a carry over from an early 80's Can Am so I replaced it with a digital model from Trail Tech just like THIS one.

She's treated me well!
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Old 01-26-2005, 07:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neduro
I've got a bunch of time to kill, so I figured I'd get started on a thread I've been meaning to do for a while.
Thanks neduro, great stuff.
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Old 09-13-2006, 02:55 PM   #18
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Bump for the KTM RFS (RTS?) riders...
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Old 09-13-2006, 03:45 PM   #19
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300 for MX?

This is really great, useful information on these bikes. Do you guys do any MX on the 300? I am thinking about trying a 2-stroke again for MX (and some trial riding) and would like your opinion since you have allot of time on the 300.

I am a tall, over 40 (close to 50) vet. And I have a bitchen 72 CZ400 for vintage racing so I still ride 2-strokes.

Thanks!

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Old 09-13-2006, 03:58 PM   #20
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Nashua Stretch & Seal silicone tape works pretty good for the two stroke pipe connect. Takes a little effort, but no drying time and it doesn't leak even with a crooked fit. Wrap maybe 4 layers and then snug a loop of safety wire on it. I also put one layer along the edge of the female flange before assembly, or sometimes I'll assemble with ultra copper if I have time.

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Old 09-13-2006, 04:32 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trailsurfer
This is really great, useful information on these bikes. Do you guys do any MX on the 300?
A few thoughts:

1) the new 250/300 (since 04) is fantastic. Less vibes, same great reliablity, snappier power. It's based on the 03 250sx motor...

2) I don't ride MX much (if at all) on anything... but the 300 is pretty smooth in how it delivers it's power, which may not always be advantageous on the track. The suspension on the EXC is also very soft... which obviously can be easily rectified with springs and valving.

3) Since getting the 525, I'm even more enamored of the lack of maintenance required by the chainsaws. No oil filters to buy, no valves to adjust- just stay after the air filter and tranny oil, and ride the hell out of it.
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Old 09-13-2006, 07:18 PM   #22
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Good stuff, Ned. Thanks. I'm going to "reset" my front end alignment. It's feeling harsh, so that'll be step 1 before I go after the oil level.
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Old 09-13-2006, 08:48 PM   #23
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Great source of set-up info on the KTM's. One thing I have found that is great for cleaning 2stk exhaust spooge and even works well on cleaning out power valves is easy-off oven cleaner.

This thread should receive sticky status.
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Old 09-13-2006, 08:58 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tirebiter
Solve the kickstand problem with a Promotobillet unit..
I just received mine today! Amazingly trick & light. Got it from cyclebuy. I was on about my 3rd wonky OEM rebuild (broken bolts, worn spring, spinning pad) and I just came to the conclusion that it was nickel & diming me to death. So I bit the bullet and bought the pmb.
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Old 09-13-2006, 09:12 PM   #25
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Thanks mucho Ned! That front end set up procedure is the Shite! I can't wait to get into the garage and do that to the old 640 Adv.

Cheers!
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Old 09-15-2006, 08:31 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by neduro
First, let me start with why ride a 2-stroke, and why a 300 in particular.
Since someone bumped this thread, I went back through, and thought I'd update my thinking on the 300.

My last go-round, I couldn't get a 300 from the dealer I wanted to work with, so I went to a 250 (2005 250 e/xc). I've really enjoyed it, and it has definitely helped me become a faster rider.

The 300 is a lazy man's bike- it torques over everything. The 250 has great lug, but to really get with the program, you've gotta shift and clutch a bit more. I've read, and I believe (though I haven't verified) that the 250 makes more HP than the 300, just because it revs further and keeps pulling. For riding at elevation, I wish it had a little more spunk stock... so I put an SX piston and head in it and it's perfect. The motor is fantastic- it makes it easy to save energy, but it will really move if you ask it to.

The 04 onward motor is definitely an improvement. It's smoother, and the smaller carb makes jetting much easier- I can count the number of times my 01 or 03 300's were jetted perfectly on one hand. The 250 always is, and I never have to mess with it save summer/ high country vs. winter/ utah.

The 05/06 chassis is also much nicer- for whatever reason, it handles better and is more compliant than my 03 ever was. All those subtle changes add up eventually.

On my 250, it took about 10 oil changes before it quit dirtying up the tranny oil. Now, with 2 seasons on it, it's as perfect as it's ever been- it shifts perfectly, the chassis remains tight, and I love it.

One last setup note. I recently switched to Emig 22mm offset triples, and they are an improvement overall. The bike doesn't fight me as much in rocks and rubble- it stays on line easier. However, while there is a clear difference on trails and it's an improvement, there also seems to be a difference on high speed fire road stuff, and I'm not sure the front end is as confident in those situations. At some point, it gets hard to tell what's in the brain, what's in the conditions, and what's the bike setup.

Which brings me back to the original point... these bikes are great out of the box, and I'd be better off buying gas and tires and just riding it than worrying about these other "improvements".
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Old 09-15-2006, 08:45 AM   #27
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Have you ridden an 07' 250 XC-W yet Ned? Unreal, it is going to take a chunk out of the 300 market. It lugs like nothing I have ridden, then just keeps on singing. It makes my 03' a total dog. If you have not ridden one, don't.
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Old 09-15-2006, 09:16 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Mud
Have you ridden an 07' 250 XC-W yet Ned? Unreal, it is going to take a chunk out of the 300 market. It lugs like nothing I have ridden, then just keeps on singing. It makes my 03' a total dog. If you have not ridden one, don't.
I rode an 06 250 XC that was very much like my bike... is the 07 much different?
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Old 09-15-2006, 09:22 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neduro
I rode an 06 250 XC that was very much like my bike... is the 07 much different?
Yeah, it seams to pull lower quite well. I guess they redesigned the cylinder, but I thought it was just for weight, I guess not. It finds traction really well and the suspension is even better. I was rather impressed. Other than that it is the same.
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Old 09-15-2006, 09:24 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mud
Yeah, it seams to pull lower quite well. I guess they redesigned the cylinder, but I thought it was just for weight, I guess not. It finds traction really well and the suspension is even better. I was rather impressed. Other than that it is the same.
That's the KTM model- small incremental changes that on the face of it, don't seem like that much, but taken together, seem to make a significantly better product.

Hmm. Must avoid riding 07. Must avoid riding 07.
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