KTM 300 opinions

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by thump_co, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. thump_co

    thump_co ..ouch

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    So, I'm pretty close to springing for a 300xcw in the next few weeks, but really torn if I should spend the extra $$ for a 2012. The 2012 will run about 8.7K with basic trail & streetable bolt ons (plus Boulder Co tax&tags). Are the updates to the 2012s really worth the extra few grand over one of the used 09s floating around right now? Anyone ridden both? Did the '12 really deliver 3-4k worth of extra happy?

    Primary use with be technical singletrack and the occasional rmec race.
    #1
  2. HellSickle

    HellSickle Scone Rider

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    For those I've talked to, the 6 speed was a big improvement.
    #2
  3. thump_co

    thump_co ..ouch

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    Was that just in top end availability, or across the range?
    #3
  4. HellSickle

    HellSickle Scone Rider

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    Mainly the ability to loaf the engine when doing road sections, and not sacrificing trail manners.
    #4
  5. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junkie

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    I frequently wish I had a 6sp in mine. The XCWs (non 6sp) has some pretty big gaps beteween the higher gears and will tend to drop out of the band depending on the terrain (esp sand), you can gear around it but it looses some of it's legs. The 6sp doesn't do that. The conversion parts are about $750 if the difference between the 2 is larger than that.

    Resale value when you decide to sell it is going to be better than a bike with the last year of the 5sp also, consider it an investment. :D
    #5
  6. enduro-ince

    enduro-ince dirtslave

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    Thats what his 450 is for IMO. I've havn't really noticed a real need for the 6 speed on my rides on the 09 300. For me a two stroke=plan accordingly to avoid any long stretches of easy dirt roads and avoid pavement at ALL COSTS!! The 450's will go anywhere the 300 will and be better for faster dirt roads and acceptable on pavement. I could see maybe spending the extra dough on 2012 if it was your only bike.
    I did ride a 2012 300 xc and suspension in general was pretty amazing, after a Slavens surgery, but I believe 2012 xcw's have a different fork.? The power of the xc seemed comparable to my 09 but smoother.
    #6
  7. MeterPig

    MeterPig Meh

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    I agree.

    My experience running the 300 at speeds over 45 was that it was buzzy...but it's a two stroke..right? I had a top speed of 72mph.

    However, on pavement, it is nice to lug the motor so it isn't opening and closing the power valve. Is that worth the 2012 price plus all the other doodahs you will add on? To me? No. Like endurince said, if you are going to spend any length of time in 6th gear, either you are a desert racer or you need a 4 stroke.

    Want the ultimate 300?

    http://fortcollins.craigslist.org/mcy/2866934995.html

    Then again, if you want the cool factor of owning something new (which is very cool), go for it. I never regretted buying something new.
    #7
  8. mamacone

    mamacone Been here awhile

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    RideFreak I like your rationale. You can talk your self into anything, it is an investment. :clap
    #8
  9. silverboy

    silverboy Bunny

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    I dont think 6 gears is that important for single track and RMEC races.

    Id buy one a couple years old and spend the money on suspension and porting.

    What am I saying, that is what I am going to do....
    #9
  10. thump_co

    thump_co ..ouch

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    Damn.. that's nice. I'd seriously consider it.. not sure about the xc vs xcw?

    The one I'm considering is an '09 300xcw. ~20 hrs on a full (top & bottom) rebuild including port/polish/decking, pro-circuit/fmf exhaust, stillwell suspension and CF armor. Maintained by a guy I trust - for a touch over 4k. If I can convert to 6spd for ~750 then it sounds like I get rid of the downside and am still ahead.

    I will plate the bike, but just to get to the trailheads. The main intent is for daily abuse on the singletrack out my back door (west mag, 505, lefthand, etc) with less maintenance than the 450. I'll probably keep the 450 and just gear it up a little for desert / dualsport(ish) rides.

    Thanks for the feedback folks.. this is helpful.
    #10
  11. DirtDad

    DirtDad Green Chile Guru

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    I remember I said that when the 300 came with a 6 spd, I would sell my 05, and get the 6spd. I kept my 05 300EXC.
    I invested in the suspension, which really made the bike a whole lot better. And that is basically it so far. I really don't feel the need for a sixth gear for the conditions that I ride. I really don't like to cruise really fast on large dirt
    roads. So, it cruises along just fine at 45 mph. It will top out close to 80mph. I have not done that in a loooong time.

    What I would really like to do is have the Slaven's mule mod done. I feel if the bike had a little bit more torque down
    low, that it would be a even better single track bike. Everytime I ride this bike I love it. I drool over the newer models, but I don't really feel that they will make me a much better rider. I think if you invest in a good suspension
    tuner on a later model 300, you are really not losing anything to the 2012. The 300's are soooo easy and simple to
    maintain, it almost scares me. The dam bike just keeps on running. :D

    But, if you have the means and really want a new one, get the bad boy. :lol3
    #11
  12. MeterPig

    MeterPig Meh

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    For 08-10 the XC has higher quality suspension. Some XCW owners might dispute that, but it is what it is. Also, the XC has a closer ratio tranny (as was mentioned before) so for single track, it rocks (for me anyway). 4K is a deal for an 09 with the work you mentioned. I would go with that and maybe, just maybe, if you find yourself in the land of riding perfection and speed, then spend the time/money for the six speed. I don't think you will ever get that money back.

    And...the plating process can be hit or miss depending on your county. If your friend is the original owner with MSO, get HIM to plate it and pay the fees.

    One more thing, the 300 like you said CAN BE lower maintenance. However, the build quality can be less than fantastic as some have found. It's not a Yamaha. So the 09 may be a good deal in that what will break-already broke. Get the 4k bike, flog it and then see what you think. It's fairly easy to sell down the road.
    #12
  13. dillinger09

    dillinger09 Been here awhile

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    I have an '09 300 xcw. Bought it brand new and I'll never get rid of it. I've never said that about any other motorcycle hahahaha
    #13
  14. HellSickle

    HellSickle Scone Rider

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    Good thing I have one of each. :evil

    I'm keeping my 300 set up with an auto clutch and sticky radial tire that will not be used above 45mph on pavement. The 450 gets set up with a little taller gearing, better lights, and DOT rated tires.

    My '06 300 needs a bit of TLC. I've flogged it for the last 3 years with very little maintenance. On Saturday it gets a pressure wash before getting set up on the bench for an end-end inspection. I think a new top end is in order. At 340 hours, I've yet to do a bottom end. Maybe next year.
    #14
  15. silverboy

    silverboy Bunny

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    09 300 for 4k? Sounds like a deal.
    Id buy some extra wheel sets so you can have different tires for left hand, racing, 5moh, etc. Also a great light set up, pimp out the suspension, maybe get a good gps so we dont get lost so often.... There you go, just spent 8k!

    6spd is not necessary for our riding. with 5 it will do 80! And gearing will be better for single track.

    I would never buy a new bike, all they do is look worse and worse... Its depressing.
    #15
  16. HellSickle

    HellSickle Scone Rider

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    Doing 80 and cruising comfortably are two different things. When I gear my 300 for 5MOH in Utah, it's only comfortable crusing at 45mph on the dirt road sections.
    #16
  17. thump_co

    thump_co ..ouch

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    Thanks. I've heard the cartridge models are superior.. and likely believe it, but I've been very happy with the WP setup + Slaven's spec'd springs on my '06 so I'm sure I can get this dialed in. As you said, I'll use the 5 spd as it comes for a while and convert only if needed. This bike should spend most it's time in 1st - 3rd terrain.

    Yep.. If I go used on the 300 then I'm keeping the 450. It's spend the last 2 months getting an end-to-end rebuilt, engine, forks, new wiring, new plastics & graphics, etc.. I don't think I could part with it now.

    Extra wheels = yes. Prolly upgrade tanks on both bikes too. Going to use some $ on new boots and an Arai as well. Not going to waste money on more gps. I've been hauling around my HCx all summer and you've refused to admit navigational defeat and actually pull it out of my pack for me even once. :flip

    PS - funny hearing about lights from you.. I've been okay with my X2 setup, but it doesn't really matter how great my lighting is when it gets dark and you're sporting that f-ing number plate.

    Current owner says with trail gearing it'll pull a sustained 60-65 comfortably. Evidentially the '09 have 4th & 5th spaced a little further than previous years (downside being it can feel a little "gappy" above 3rd).
    #17
  18. DirtDad

    DirtDad Green Chile Guru

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    Nice thing about your 450 is you can switch wheels between both bikes. I used to do it all the time when I owned
    my 530. That is one thing I miss. I would like to get an extra set of wheels. :D

    That is if your 450 is a KTM. :lol3
    #18
  19. thump_co

    thump_co ..ouch

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    yup. 06 450exc.. hoping it's all compatible.
    #19
  20. MeterPig

    MeterPig Meh

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    One thing to watch for is bent or misaligned rims. I took mine over to woodies and found both rims and rotor were bent. I had
    few hours on the bike and felt like it had not been abused.
    #20