KLX 250S from a KTM 200?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by RatchRacing, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. RatchRacing

    RatchRacing Adventurer

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    I've been thinking alot recently about trading in the KTM 200XCW on a new KLX250S. I want one bike to do it all. It would be nice to ride the 10km to work and hit up some of the many forest tracts minutes from home without having to haul the KTM in the back of the truck. I love the KTM in the woods, its a weapon. I know the stock KLX is heavy and underpowered but it sounds like alot of the "free" mods will wake it up a bit. From what I've read the KTM makes mid 30's horsepower and the KLX is about 18. I'm sure I'm not using all 30-something HP the KTM has though.
    The low cost of ownership is another attractive thing about the KLX, especially with the costs associated with having kids and my ever shrinking bike expense budget.

    Not sure if I'm thinking crazy though. Has anyone else made a change like this and been happy with it?
    #1
  2. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    You own the very best woods racer ever made. You will be disappointed in its performance, but you get side benefits. Too bad you couldn't get a 350exc-f. Not quite as great a woods bike as your 200 but it wouldn't be such a step down. You could ride it to work just as well as any other DS.
    #2
  3. RatchRacing

    RatchRacing Adventurer

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    Thats how I feel as well, I'm not sure that selling it to buy a compromise bike is the right answer. I'm torn between both options right now. I've been reading lots of threads about the KLX and the choice is still as clear as mud.

    I should also add that I don't ride the KTM to its full potential, most likely never will push it that hard.
    #3
  4. Pauls2ndblessing

    Pauls2ndblessing Adventurer

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    I've not ridden the KTM200 but I can tell you, I just got a new to me 09 klx250s and I absolutely love it. I came from a drz400s, people thought I was crazy but I needed a bike that fit me better. I'm 5'11 and the klx fits like a glove, I've only owned 3 bikes, but I can't see myself ever getting rid of the klx.

    There are some great options to get more power out of the little mole as well. Bill Blue makes a 351kit that has been used by many with amazing results.

    I just have airbox mods/filter, free mods, fmf q4 exhaust/fmf megabomb header, and Dynojet kit... the little bike it loads of fun and I did all of it plus a head cover gasket replacement, valve check, by myself and I've not turned a wrench more than changing oil before this bike. It's fun, easy to work on, parts aren't overwhelmingly expensive, and there are lots of options to make it fit your style of riding.

    Cheers,
    Paul
    #4
  5. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Ive had 3 previous 200KTM's and just got my 4th,a 2009 XC-W,I never rev the 200's out much but they are the easiest bike to ride in the woods Ive ever tried and seem to last for years.
    A KLX250 is like all japanese dual purpose bikes,heavy and cheaply built to a price and will run forever most likely.
    They are apples and oranges and I would keep the 200 and get the KLX for putting around and commuting .
    You will find your self spending buckets of $ to try and make the KLX into any sort of dirtbike and every dollar spent will make it a worse streetbike.
    Ask me how I know this.
    #5
  6. Drilldogger

    Drilldogger Been here awhile

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    Hey Ratch,

    I think I've seen you on the Scorra forum haven't I?
    Anyways, I started in Scorra w/ an 07 KLX250s w/ the free mods, and FMF pipe. I was using it for commuting duty from Elmvale to Orillia and riding the trails in between on the way home from work. Whenever I rode the single track with the club guys I was always ringing it's neck to even keep the other riders in my sight.
    I ended up blowing out the rear shock. I had it rebuilt and set up at Mission, and Todd was the 2nd mechanic to tell me I was expecting too much from the bike. The biggest downside for me was the suspension, not the power. I switched to a plated KLX450R, and it's a whole new ball game. It's way better in the dirt, but it costs more to keep going. If I had the money I'd be looking at a 350EXC today.
    Your post says you have a xl250r project bike. It'll be as good a trailie as the KLX250, can you plate it and keep the 200 for weekends?
    #6
  7. cjbiker

    cjbiker Nobody's Robot

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    I own both a KTM 200XCW and a KLX250S. The KLX250 is a great bike for what it is, but as others have said, it's an apples-to-oranges comparison. Don't expect to get much more out the KLX in terms of power with the free (or cheap) mods. A big-bore kit and pumper carb will get you closer to the KTM power, but still a ways off. The big difference is really the weight and suspension. The KLX is 60-80 pounds heavier and while the suspension isn't bad, it's not KTM quality.

    I say go for it, in fact mine is for sale :evil

    Keep the KTM for banging off trees, and use the KLX when you want to ride from home, hit some trails and ride back home.
    #7
  8. RatchRacing

    RatchRacing Adventurer

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    Yeah I've lurked on there from time to time :lol3

    The suspension is something I definetly love about the 200, I've had it revalved and dialed in quite nice for myself.
    I'm leaning towards keeping the 200 and using the old Honda for dual sport duties but it tough to afford maintenance and insurance on two bikes with young ones at home. Maybe I should just hope for the best that once the Honda is rebuilt it won't need any repairs :wink:

    I think everyone is right thinking that I'll be expecting too much from the little KLX. Perhaps I'll ride the Honda for a year and think about the KLX next year in addition to the KTM.
    #8
  9. DirtDad

    DirtDad Green Chile Guru

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    I have owned a 06 KLX250S, and I have owned a 07 KTM200XC, I currently own on 05 300EXC. I would highly recommend you keep your 200, and look for a used Dual Purpose bike. The KLX, is a great bike, but even with
    all the mods, you just cannot compare to the KTM200. The weight is the mian reason. You can increase the power on the KLX, but it still has to haul around the extra weight, versus the power to weight ratio of the KTM!

    I would rather have an older dual pupose bike, and not sacrifice anything for my off road only bike. :evil
    #9
  10. cjbiker

    cjbiker Nobody's Robot

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    Good plan :deal
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  11. TNC

    TNC Candyass Camper

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    I'm from a similar background as yours, Ratch. I've owned and raced several different engine sizes in enduro competition, but I loved the 200-class about as much as any I competed in...even won a long course, 2-day event once on a KDX200. The KDX and KTM are probably the best 200-class 2-stroke trail bikes ever built. I would highly recommend that you do everything you can do to keep the KTM and find a good used KLX or similar bike.

    I have an '06 KLX250S with all the possible mods for both engine and suspension. It will take a very special bike to come along to replace it. Yes, one of those street legal KTM350's would be great, but I can't go that amount of money all at once. I'm looking into finding a KDX200 at a good used price, and I've found a couple at $1500 in excellent condition. The KDX could never replace my KLX, but it will be an awesome compliment for riding out at our club's singletrack riding ranch. I go out west to all kinds of venues where you have to have a plated bike that gets some really decent fuel mileage and bulletproof reliability. I bought my KLX used and have put money into a big bore kit, pumper carb, Race Tech suspension upgrades, and other mods over time. The only other bike I'd consider as a candidate for this application is the Yamaha WR250R, but the '06/'07 KLX has 11" of travel. The KLX is really based on the off road model KLX300R, so it's got better off road roots than many of the other Japanese DS bikes. When modded properly, it's a darned good DS bike even for a guy who's used to real race bikes.

    If you have a place to ride that KTM on a regular basis, I suggest you keep it and buy a used KLX or WRR.
    #11
  12. Lutz

    Lutz Fuzzy Rabbit

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    Funny you should post this, because I frequently entertain the exact opposite thought: ditching my KLX250S in favor of a 200xc-w.

    It's not that I don't like my KLX, it's a pretty good bike...but I would like a better dirt bike...better suspension, lower weight, better ergonomics, better shifting, more power, etc...plus I miss the two stroke world. Though I would miss the fuel economy and presumably longer time between internal engine work. On the other hand, I do prefer the two stroke maintenance ritual over the four stroke version.

    I have done some basic exhaust and intake mods to my KLX, but so far I've always stopped short of any more serious mods, such as a big bore and suspension swap - even though I've had the parts in hand. With this bike, I just have not been able to get over the thought that if I start modifying, it's still not going to be what I want, and I'll probably be better served by continuing to leave the KLX as it is...a cheap, solid all around dual sport with decent off road capability.

    If you can afford two bikes, or your Honda works out too...well you already know those answers. :wink:
    #12
  13. TNC

    TNC Candyass Camper

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    Yeah, but Lutz, this points out the extreme differences between these bikes. This really has to come down to how the bike is going to used if you're going to be spending nearly all your time in one category of use.

    A KTM200 will not work very well at all for some commuting like the OP was requesting from what I can see. Even plated, a 200 2-stroke really tends to suck for much of any driving on pavement. I've done it on a KDX, and it wasn't pleasant...well...actually it just sucked. And for taking a KTM200 to Moab and Colorado for many of the great riding venues in those areas, even plated, you have to make huge loops that often have pavement sections and great distance. While it's doable in some limited capacity, it's where dirt worthy DS bikes tend to shine.

    I still go back to the issue that if your riding preferences cover a fairly wide array of interests and needs, you really need 2 bikes. If not...one bike...but you have to be honest with yourself about where and how you'll ride. As a bike budget starts to get bigger with more bucks, something like a brand new or at least newer street legal KTM350 is probably one of the few bikes that can make the best compromise.
    #13
  14. Drilldogger

    Drilldogger Been here awhile

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    I'm in the same boat Ratch. I'd really love to have two bikes, but I've got 2 kids and just can't afford 2 bikes right now.
    On top of that I live close enough to the best county trails that I want to be blue plated so I don't have to truck the bike all the time. I don't think there is an easy solution for us. The KLX450 has been the best compromise for me, but it's a bit of a heavyweight. I figure I only have about 10 more years till the kids are out on their own!
    #14
  15. RatchRacing

    RatchRacing Adventurer

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    You guys have convinced me that I should keep the KTM. I'll use it for regular dirt duty as usual. I'll commuter / explore on the Honda once its finished until I can afford a more modern second bike. Maybe one day I can save enough to own a KLX or even a KLR in addition to the KTM. Wife also says its silly to sell a bike I love so much, that we will find away to afford the old Honda too. Love that gal.

    So now I'm faced with not just restoring the XL but turning it into a capable pint sized commuter / adventure bike on a limited budget. Challenge ...... accepted.
    #15
  16. JensEskildsen

    JensEskildsen Long timer

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    Sounds like a good choice.

    Is there a build-thread for the little honda? :ear
    #16
  17. RatchRacing

    RatchRacing Adventurer

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  18. Royal Tiger

    Royal Tiger Sd Kfz 182

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  19. RatchRacing

    RatchRacing Adventurer

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    Yeah, some people shouldn't be allowed to buy wrenches :lol3 I got real lucky and there was no damage done except a light scuff to the piston.
    #19