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Old 04-25-2012, 08:15 AM   #1
GravityDT OP
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Real world KTM 350 EXC impressions?

Anyone on one of the new 2012 KTM 350 EXC or XCW-F yet? Curious how it'll shape up as a lightweight DS/Adv rig vs something like a WRR... Not looking to load it up for week plus adventures. Max would be a GiantLoop bag for the lightweight overnighter

Currently own a 640 Adv which really hasn't been getting used they way it was meant for. With 2 small kids and a busy work schedule my riding has been much more local with 60-80 mile FS road daytours. With a ton of tight/twisty high Alpine single track only 4-5 miles from the house my 200 XCW has been seeing a large amount of my limited ride time.

If I sold off the herd and replaced the 2 bikes with a single bike would the 350 be the one? I'm looking for more of a single track friendly DS bike that'll still do OK on the slab for the occasional 50-100miles max speed 60-65. I know the larger 500 would be more suited for that but I'm concerned the 500 might be a bit much on the tight/technical singletrack. Am I on the right track by looking at either the 350 EXC or XCW(would plate it)

Thoughts?
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:04 AM   #2
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just did a 500 mile tx hill country ride on the 350 exc this past wk end.Can say the bike is the best ive tried on that ride,which includes a 950 se,a wr250r and a 1200gs.Exc cruses 65 very smoothly, will go on up to 80 easily.The only complaint is it popes on decel which tells me its super lean.other than that its a light weight dream.
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:21 AM   #3
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Haven't tried one - afraid I'll like it too much.
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:55 PM   #4
Mifune
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I know it is way too early to have any significant data, but I'm certainly looking forward to seeing what sort of maintenance experience we hear about from people who are using this bike as dual sport/trailbike.
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:44 AM   #5
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I road my 350 about 40-50 miles of single track, and same mileage on FS type roads last weekend. Same blackdog DS route I road with my wrr last year. The 350 power and suspension jump right out as the biggest advantages. Felt a lot more solid and stable at speed on the rutted and rocky sections. The bike can just flat out blast on technical terrain. It wants to go faster as the conditions get worse. Although the wrr does well, there really is no comparison when riding the real nasty stuff. Also nice to be able to blip the throttle and loft the front wheel over a tree or water filled hole, etc. I geared mine at 14/48 w/116 link chain (stock is 15/45, 114 links), which still felt a bit tall for the tight single track. Found myself going into 1st in some sections, would prefer to stay in 2nd. But this gearing felt about right for the FS roads. This is compromise gearing...

Comfort? Like all previous years with KTM, a seat upgrade is a must do mod. I installed the seatconcepts kit with carbon fiber fabric top and sides, it's much more comfortable (and cheaper) than the Renazco on my wrr. Although, looks wise the Renazco really is a work of art. Also the engine vibs are more noticeable on the 350 as your riding roads, so comfort wise not as good as the wrr.

For now, I'm still keeping my little wrr as a reliable, no fuss, long mileage bike. Different mission statement than the 350. I will not hesitate taking the wrr on a 7+ day multi-state off-road tour. The jury is still out as to the reliability of 350. Soon as the snow melts off in the north cascades, I'm going to put the 350 to a test with a 1000mi wbdr ride. It's close to home so much less risky than a TAT ride thru NV. I did this same route last year on wrr so will be interesting to compare.

Here's some pics to ponder w/many adv type mods. Acerbis just released their 5.1gal tank, but I may wait till the Safari 15L comes out this summer to install the bigger tank.





all hdb and sicass in the cockpit, with scotts submount


installed bright 5w led headlight bulb into factory receiver to save on stator output
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Old 05-05-2012, 11:14 AM   #6
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I'll add that choosing the 350 over the 500 was the right choice for me. I owed a crf450x for many years, which has similar raw power to the 500. For my style of riding, the 500 has to much throttle for a full day of riding the tight trails. I can ride much longer, smoother and safer on the smaller hp bike.

dvwalker screwed with this post 05-12-2012 at 06:19 AM
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:46 PM   #7
guns_equal_freedom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvwalker View Post
I'll add that choosing the 350 over the 500 was the right choice for me. I owed a crf450x for many years, which has similar raw power to the 500. For my style of riding, the 500 has to much throttle for a full day of riding the tight trails. I can ride much longer, smoother and safer on the smaller hp bike.
I prefer the EXC 500 over the 350 in the tight stuff.
It's a blast to ride.
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:11 PM   #8
mflora98ss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvwalker View Post

I was wondering about the heated grips switch in this setup? I wanted to get one of these but haven't been able to find one like it. Anybody know?
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:17 PM   #9
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I got a switch like that when I ordered my Symtec grip heaters, I actually switched it out for a toggle with a weatherproof boot. The round rocker is larger than the toggle, so if you are ordering an HDB clamp make sure you let him know which switch you are going to use.
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:05 PM   #10
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I found a few license plate mods. Trying to shorten it up but still need a light for state law. What suggestions are out there.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:21 AM   #11
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WRR vs 350-EXC

A year ago, dvwalker said:
"For now, I'm still keeping my little wrr as a reliable, no fuss, long mileage bike. Different mission statement than the 350. I will not hesitate taking the wrr on a 7+ day multi-state off-road tour. The jury is still out as to the reliability of 350."

I am curious as to how dvwalker now feels about keeping his WRR, after a year of riding the 350-EXC? Would you take it on the 7+ day multi-state tour?

I'm also interested in comments from Crawdaddy (and any other previous / current WRR owners who now have a 350-EXC), who now have a good amount of time on your bikes. Is the WRR superior to the 350-EXC for rides like BigDog, 10Cup, and Basher have documented on their WRRs?

The Wolfman saddlebags fit / work well on the WRR, and haul all you could ever need. The only guy I've seen outfit his 350-EXC with Wolfman style racks is BanhXeo, but I haven't seen much posted about how he uses the bike for long trips, how the racks are holding up after going down, etc.

Also, the stator on the WRR appears to be almost double the capability of the 350-EXC. Can this be upgraded on the 350-EXC?

Why all the questions? I recently purchased a WRR after reading about the reliability of the bike and it's ability to haul a load and be a trustworthy steed for anything from the short 1 day out/back, all the way up to the multi-week ride hauling tons of gear. My initial impression? Very nice bike, but it's underpowered for my desires. With that said, I went on a ride up through some trails above Santa Barbara the other day and found that it had plenty of power to do what I wanted it to do. The one thing I noticed was that I had to shift up / down a lot to keep the power where I wanted it.

Sorry for all of the questions, but thought I should see what I can drag out of those who've had both bikes before I spend $2000 adding farkles to the WRR.

Thanks in advance guys!
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:36 AM   #12
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I'll Bite. I use both the Wolfman Saddlebags (Day trippers) and the rack from Globetrottin depending on where I'm headed. The rack from globetrottin is extremely durable. I have had more than one hard fall and they hold solid. Both sides are equipped with rotopax mounts. 1 for water 1 for Gas. I have not yet camped off the bike, it is fully set up to do so.

The stator IS very small. Dvwalker did a small write up on where your power is being used and it helped me get a better understanding of what little extra is available. There is a larger stator availble but I want to say it is in the 250w range. Not worth the extra bucks Imho.

The Wolfman dry expedition bags are great. They fit right on the globetrottin rack and have a lot of "dry" storage space...

Now, I just recently purchased a '13 F800 GS. This is going to fit the bill for me to do more long distance travel with dirt thrown in as I enjoy riding the 350 with as little "luggage" as possible as the weight on such a light bike is very noticeable no matter where you carry it. I have done 300 mile ride days on the 350 and will still do more, and have logged 6000 miles total on it but I don't enjoy riding it for extended periods on the pavement. Sorry I do not have any experience with the WRR but from all ride report accounts if your looking for the smallest bike that can go the furthest, that is definitely it. Hope this helps.

Where is Dvwalker anyway... I know the snow has melted up there

PS. You may want to shoot E-Ticket2 a PM. I believe he has experience with both if I'm not mistaken and he did this great write up if you haven't seen it already http://www.omraoffroad.com/forum/vie...p?f=40&t=11373
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:43 AM   #13
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'Fraid I won't be much help on that one.
My experience with Yamaha dirt bikes is limited to 2-smokers back in the '70s and '80s.

Cheers! E-Ticket
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:37 PM   #14
ViaADV
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Thanks for the quick reply BanhXeo. Glad to hear the good report on the Globetrottin rack. I'd prefer it if they would build me one with the smaller Wolfman style hoops just so when I'm riding w/o the bags they don't hang down so low. I've seen guys w/WRR's run the rotopax on the inside of one side of the Wolfman (opposite the exhaust).

If I get much more serious about jumping to the KTM, I'll need to do the stator math. I haven't heard anyone on here say they ended up w/a dead battery, so it might be fine unless I want to run aux lights, GPS, charge the phone, heated grips and suit. :)

I've been thinking about an F800 GS as well. I went riding a few weeks ago with some guys on KTMs. One of them had purchased a GS, spent a ton on farkles, etc., only to decide that it was too heavy for him to pick up riding solo, in bad stuff, etc. He ended up selling it and getting a 690 and he's happy now. Note: He doesn't ride from California to the Dempster and back on it, just multi-day mixed riding. Like California to Colorado and back. Bottom line, I guess we all need multiple bikes.

I'm still hoping to get feedback from others here re longer trips on the 350-EXC, camping, etc.

Thanks!
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by new2adv View Post
I'm also interested in comments from Crawdaddy (and any other previous / current WRR owners who now have a 350-EXC), who now have a good amount of time on your bikes. Is the WRR superior to the 350-EXC for rides like BigDog, 10Cup, and Basher have documented on their WRRs?
WRR superior? No. WRR is heavier, slower, with inferior suspension....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawdaddy View Post
By the end of the week I had ~1200 miles on the ODO......no issues/worries....
Either bike will work as short duration "Traveler".....I don't regret moving on from the WRR to 350F-XCW.......once the bags are dropped off at the campsite the 350F-XCW shines in technical sections that would be a bit more work on the WRR....doable, but a bit more work.....

It's all a matter of terrain....90% off road/some difficult terrain sections.....gimme the 350........ride to Alaska on pavement/fire roads??.......I'll saddle up the VStrom....
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