KTM Owners Forum banner
1 - 20 of 106 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

So, before I begin, I know I could go trawling around the Internet finding lots of information regarding my query but due to my specific situation, your knowledge and experience I feel I'll hit the nail on the head, and, I love a good old chat with other enthusiast's before a purchase.

I've been riding for years, a mixture of things I.e track, quarries, woods and enduros more recently. My style of riding is very agile, fast but preferable through woods, trails and enduros as opposed to tracks. I currently own a 2006 Ktm sx125 and I'm now looking to upgrade to a proper enduro spec bike. I've always been obsessed with 2 strokes, not really sure why, maybe due to the cost difference regarding rebuilds.

Recently a few mates have picked up 4 strokes which I've had ago on and I do love the feel of them, more smooth, less aggression etc etc BUT this is where I'm having issues, I guess ideally, I'd trial run both bikes for a few enduros and be able to choose but that's just not possible so I'm trying to gather as much information on both bikes from people that have owned both, ridden both or had either of them and can shed some light.

Am I correct in saying the gearing ratios are different on the 300 exc 2 stroke to say another mx 2 stroke so the 300 feels closer to a 4 stroke, in which case what are the reasons for going for one or the other, why would someone choose one over the other?

A massive worry for me is a 4 stroke blowing up and it being thousands rather than a piston, con rod etc change for more like hundreds. I know that 4 strokes "are bulletproof" if looked after, I know the 300 exc's get a lot longer life out of there pistons than an mx bike but I'm still struggling to make a decision.

Another problem is choosing between carb or TPI if I go for the 300 exc. Is it just the 2018 TPI that had teething issues and 2019 up are fine? I read that the TPI setup means a lot more can go wrong and carbs are more simple in terms of repairs but TPI is more simple in terms of fuel mixing etc (not really an issue anyway) and the carb and TPI feel different?

Bloody hell this is hard choice. Hoping you guys can help me out.

I appreciate any replies and thanks in advance. Look forward to hearing from you.

Oh, I'm looking to spend around the £5000 mark, can maybe push a bit more but I've found I can pick up a decent 350, a 2019 300 TPI or a lovely 2017 300 carbed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,785 Posts
The boundaries between 2 and 4 strokes are blurred these days with 4 strokes revving super high and 2 strokes having loads of low down torque but both good in their own ways. if you are going to do forest work / hare and hounds / time card enduros then a 4 stroke will reward you with better results however a 2t will be far more playful and if you fancy doing any "hard enduro" thats the way to go. I had an 18 tpi and it was fine until i had a minor wiring fault that was a bitch to find and i jumped ship back to a carbed bike soon after ( beta) but many people have zero issues with them. No way would i pay £5k for a 17 bike, especially when as you say you can get a 19 for the same money, also the 17 was a 1 year only bike with a new bottom end but older style top end with a rubbish carb that took people ages to jet right with lots of people putting older carbs on !. There are no bad bikes out there but ideally you need to try a few and see what suits you .Happy hunting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The boundaries between 2 and 4 strokes are blurred these days with 4 strokes revving super high and 2 strokes having loads of low down torque but both good in their own ways. if you are going to do forest work / hare and hounds / time card enduros then a 4 stroke will reward you with better results however a 2t will be far more playful and if you fancy doing any "hard enduro" thats the way to go. I had an 18 tpi and it was fine until i had a minor wiring fault that was a bitch to find and i jumped ship back to a carbed bike soon after ( beta) but many people have zero issues with them. No way would i pay £5k for a 17 bike, especially when as you say you can get a 19 for the same money, also the 17 was a 1 year only bike with a new bottom end but older style top end with a rubbish carb that took people ages to jet right with lots of people putting older carbs on !. There are no bad bikes out there but ideally you need to try a few and see what suits you .Happy hunting.
Well, this is the issue though. Ideally I'd love to try both out before chucking all that money down but there's no way of me properly testing each bike unless knowing someone that actually owns one of them.

I'm in panick mode as I need a bike thats super reliable. Obviously 90% of bikes have issues but I just had to fork out £900 on my sx125 and now that's gone and I'm getting a new bike I can't be having any major issues.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,865 Posts
It depends a lot on the type of rider you are and what floats your boat, not just the type of riding. I had a 2017 300 and have had 2 350's and for me, the 350's are just more predictable and linear in their delivery. The 350's are easy to ride but are still plenty quick when you need it, but the 300's are more lively but that can catch you out unless you ride to a good standard. People counter that with the argument, 'oh just ride it in a higher gear', but to me, that's bollocks, if you need to do that you're over biked.

As far as repair costs go, personally, I wouldn't get too hung up on that. You never know what's around the corner and there's no point in worrying about stuff that might not happen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It depends a lot on the type of rider you are and what floats your boat, not just the type of riding. I had a 2017 300 and have had 2 350's and for me, the 350's are just more predictable and linear in their delivery. The 350's are easy to ride but are still plenty quick when you need it, but the 300's are more lively but that can catch you out unless you ride to a good standard. People counter that with the argument, 'oh just ride it in a higher gear', but to me, that's bollocks, if you need to do that you're over biked.

As far as repair costs go, personally, I wouldn't get too hung up on that. You never know what's around the corner and there's no point in worrying about stuff that might not happen.
I feel like the difference between the exc and exc-f is comparable to an automatic and a manual car. Ones easier to use and gives you a relaxed, leisurely and ease feel to it which is inviting and the other has a more lively and aggressive "in tune" with the machine feel which again is inviting. I guess like you say it's so down to the type of rider you are, I think the simple answer is, I'd enjoy both in there own ways, both have pros and cons, so yeah, I'm still no closer to deciding :LOL:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,432 Posts
They're both rocketships when you open them up. The 350 is easier to ride ob everything other than tight technical but even then it does a good job. The 300 can be a beast but is quite tunable.

In terms of reliability, I can't remember the last time I heard of a KTM 4 stroke with mechanical issues, let alone blowing up. There have been a fair few TPI issues.

I say, choose what type of riding you prefer and then pick the best bike for that. Then if you decide to go for the 300, consider a Beta as well.

Personally, I'm not interested in the TPI and won't ever be getting one but there are many people that are very happy with them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've just read a bit about the TPI's and I do feel there a little bit to involved for me and my wallet. Maybe if I had a bigger budget and could afford to go for the 2020 TPI onwards then I guess that would be my decision but it seems 2018-2019 had some complicated issues. Not all of them obviously but it's not really a risk I'm willing to take.

This leaves me swinging towards the 350 exc-f and for £5000-£6000 I guess I can pick up a pretty decent 2019-2020 example.

What's the power delivery like for example at the bottom of a tight hill when you need to snap it up there? It's not like a do seriously technical stuff but I also do like to push the my own boundaries a bit and therefor end up trying steep hills etc but it is mostly quite simple enduro stuff. Also what are they for overheating? The amount of 4 strokes I've seen absolutely steaming in a bush or on the side of the track at enduros is unreal (granted, mostly in the winter when it's boggy)

And what's a good maintenence procedure on keeping the 4 strokes in tip top condition I.e fluid changes, intervals etc?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,535 Posts
125 2t to 300 2t or 350 4t is an odd leap. Neither will be anything like you have now. It’ll be interesting what you choose and why you then like/dislike the new machine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
125 2t to 300 2t or 350 4t is an odd leap. Neither will be anything like you have now. It’ll be interesting what you choose and why you then like/dislike the new machine.
If you mean odd leap in terms of the bikes themselves then yeah I'm sure it's going to a shock to the system and I'll kick myself for not doing it sooner. If you mean odd leap in terms of what I need and why I'm changing then not necessarily. I've wanted a proper enduro spec bike for quite a while but wasn't really able to for financial reasons so ended up just getting a cheap sx 125 for less than £2000 to get started and after to going to quite a few enduros, understanding my needs and style more and watching others pinning it around on the enduro bikes has led me to getting one. When I say to get started, I've been doing the enduros and riding for years but then stopped for a year or so and picked it back up again.

The sx is obviously far from what I need, absolute pig riding that thing around an enduro course and I'll end up doing more damage to that than its worth. I need a bike that's built for it and I've got plenty of experience with bikes powerful or not so I feel its exactly what I require and I'll be shocked I'm sure when I finally get one because it's the right tool for the job, it'll allow me to expand and push it more whilst riding. It's just bloody finding one now lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,432 Posts
The 350 is almost the perfect all round bike. There's nothing it can't do and I'd say the only place it is 2nd to a 300 is really tight snotty technical stuff. It's got loads of grunt and absolutely flies when you get the revs up.

Yes, it will boil up much quicker than a 300 but a fan kit will help massively there if you're worried.

In terms of maintenance, they are very easy to live with. Just oil/filter change as per the manual and that's about it.

I don't think I've ever heard a bad word said about the 350. It's a bit much for a beginner but as you're experienced enough then it should be fine.

It will feel completely different to your 125 though. It'll feel like a bus to begin with but you'll find the torque and stability/traction will blow you away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The 350 is almost the perfect all round bike. There's nothing it can't do and I'd say the only place it is 2nd to a 300 is really tight snotty technical stuff. It's got loads of grunt and absolutely flies when you get the revs up.

Yes, it will boil up much quicker than a 300 but a fan kit will help massively there if you're worried.

In terms of maintenance, they are very easy to live with. Just oil/filter change as per the manual and that's about it.

I don't think I've ever heard a bad word said about the 350. It's a bit much for a beginner but as you're experienced enough then it should be fine.

It will feel completely different to your 125 though. It'll feel like a bus to begin with but you'll find the torque and stability/traction will blow you away.
Brilliant, think I've made my mind up now. I'll be trawling the Internet over the next couple of days and hopefully get one over the next week or two. I'll will update on the outcome
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Something else I've noticed that I wanted to try and avoid.

Electric start and no kick start. I'm sure people have a solution to this. I just found a very small, lightweight power pack called the propower volt but its quite expensive. Adding a kick-start kit, again like £250 so quite expensive.

I've ridden past a few people at the enduro who can't start there bikes because the batteries flat and no kick-start. Is this just because there wallies and having trickle charged them etc etc?

I'd imagine it's only the handful that are having issues but I'd like to understand the system a bit more and other people's experiences with just an electric start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,340 Posts
They're both rocketships when you open them up. The 350 is easier to ride ob everything other than tight technical but even then it does a good job. The 300 can be a beast but is quite tunable.

In terms of reliability, I can't remember the last time I heard of a KTM 4 stroke with mechanical issues, let alone blowing up. There have been a fair few TPI issues.

I say, choose what type of riding you prefer and then pick the best bike for that. Then if you decide to go for the 300, consider a Beta as well.

Personally, I'm not interested in the TPI and won't ever be getting one but there are many people that are very happy with them.
I would sign that, with no doubt!

I had both or let's say all three, 350F, 300 carbed model, 300 TPI. Though 99 out of 100 TPI owners say TPI is brilliant I would not recommend it. That I had one which was the worst lemon ever is not the main reason. I ride sometimes in the middle of nowhere (Croatia, Romania, Hungary, Italy...) and so one important point is reliability and the possibility to troubleshoot without needing a Ray supercomputer and a suitcase full of sensors.

The 350F is in my opinion, Al said it, the best all-round bike you can buy. I am a rather bad rider so my impression was that it was good in all kind of terrains and I was much faster with it than with my 300 smoker. Only downside was, it never ever made me smile or intimidated me.

The 300 two stroke is a pain when ridden fast on more open tracks, it is twitchy and unstable but it makes me smile in slower stuff. It also intimidates me as it is a beast sometimes. I don't race but if I did I'd take the 350F as I am not good enough to really use the smokers advantages to my personal advantage. I know many riders who say the smoker for the slower technical hard enduro like stuff and the 350F for the quick trails, but they are much better riders and can use the advantages of each type of bikes.

Spare part costs, service works? No doubt, the smoker is number one. Simple that even ham fisted c***ts can repair it and while you change the spark plug on the 350 F I change the gear oil, air filter and spark plug, walk across the street and buy a can of beer and the drink it while I watch you re-installing the fuel tank again.

Not easy to decide....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I would sign that, with no doubt!

I had both or let's say all three, 350F, 300 carbed model, 300 TPI. Though 99 out of 100 TPI owners say TPI is brilliant I would not recommend it. That I had one which was the worst lemon ever is not the main reason. I ride sometimes in the middle of nowhere (Croatia, Romania, Hungary, Italy...) and so one important point is reliability and the possibility to troubleshoot without needing a Ray supercomputer and a suitcase full of sensors.

The 350F is in my opinion, Al said it, the best all-round bike you can buy. I am a rather bad rider so my impression was that it was good in all kind of terrains and I was much faster with it than with my 300 smoker. Only downside was, it never ever made me smile or intimidated me.

The 300 two stroke is a pain when ridden fast on more open tracks, it is twitchy and unstable but it makes me smile in slower stuff. It also intimidates me as it is a beast sometimes. I don't race but if I did I'd take the 350F as I am not good enough to really use the smokers advantages to my personal advantage. I know many riders who say the smoker for the slower technical hard enduro like stuff and the 350F for the quick trails, but they are much better riders and can use the advantages of each type of bikes.

Spare part costs, service works? No doubt, the smoker is number one. Simple that even ham fisted c***ts can repair it and while you change the spark plug on the 350 F I change the gear oil, air filter and spark plug, walk across the street and buy a can of beer and the drink it while I watch you re-installing the fuel tank again.

Not easy to decide....
Thanks for all the info. All I can say is, bloody hell this is getting to complicated to choose :LOL: I thought I made my mind up but now I'm questioning myself. Now I'm thinking a 2017 carbed 300 exc, mint condition and recent rebuild? That falls in my budget, isn't the complicated TPI, has both kick-start and electric start (I think) and as you said easier to work on and maintain. I dunno, need to keep thinking I guess
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
829 Posts
The 350F is in my opinion, Al said it, the best all-round bike you can buy. I am a rather bad rider so my impression was that it was good in all kind of terrains and I was much faster with it than with my 300 smoker. Only downside was, it never ever made me smile or intimidated me.
Whether you’re a Sunday afternoon laner; or hardcore Enduro rider - is it not the experience, your skills improving or the time you’ve set etc that’s supposed to primarily make the day ? Not necessarily what’s between your legs…….

I understand the enjoyment of owning any tool in life. But when putting yourself to the test: isn’t the notion the bike you choose became almost forgetful actually a compliment to it ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You don't need a kick start, just maintain your bike correctly.
So what type of maintenence is required to keep a battery working consistently? Obviously with a car or a road bike they're used daily but an enduro bike may only be every two weeks, maybe less, maybe more but not every day so do they need to be on a trickle charger or something?

I don't understand why I've seen a few people stuck without being able to start there bike, surely it's not that difficult to ensure it's going be okay but seeing that's made me think is there some flaw to it
 
1 - 20 of 106 Posts
Top