Real world KTM 350 EXC impressions?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by GravityDT, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Navigate 2 Adventure

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    I feel fortunate to live so close to Pamo Valley......Lusardi Truck Trail, Black Mtn Truck Trail, and Santa Isabel Truck Trail are all ~15 minutes from my driveway along with a few side trails.......fun area to ride anytime......so I headed over there with my friend Ron around noonish to break-in the 350XCF-W and get a general feel for the bike/suspension modifications.....and just generally enjoy the day......

    Wow, that bike is rolling DOPE and I'm addicted already......very light, peppy and smooth fuel injection.......pretty apparent that it'll have plenty enough juice on the trails "for me".......(I haven't railed on the throttle yet.....was told to behave on the first ride)....just took it for a nice/short ~40 mile loop today and had a blast........time to dump the oil/filter and hit it a bit harder on the next ride.....

    I didn't notice any of the "popping" on decel that I've read about......maybe that's unique to the EXC version.....

    Definitely a much greater overlap between the 300XCW and the 350XCF-W as opposed to the 300XCW the WR250R.......the 300 and 350 both are very light and very fun whereas the WR was fun but also a bit porky......that said, the porkyness/beefy subframe/350 watt alternator made it a great ADV "traveler".........the 300 will likely be relegated to technical missions on mtn goat trails and/or heavy sand (dune) rides........slap in the right gearing and that bike kicks ass in either scenario........the 350 is replacing the WR as my new "anywhere" bike......the 350 is clearly more of a trail performer/true dirt bike than the WR and I wouldn't want to use it to go to Alaska or some other multi-week trip as I would on the WR ......but I'm confident it'll be a nice platform for short multiday exploration once I add on bigger tank or Rotopax mount.....probably not as comfortable as the WR for the inevitable/boring slab sections but it'll truly go "anywhere" once you're off the boring sections.....

    A few pics

    Up top on Black Mtn TT:

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    (you can see the trail winding up down below.....just left of the bike in the pic below)

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    Cruising through the trees on Santa Isabel TT before the traverse over to Black Canyon

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    Santa Isabel TT in the background......and fun traverse in either direction

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  2. Cyberg

    Cyberg Adventurer

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    What brand TT are you running?
  3. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Navigate 2 Adventure

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  4. MartiniUp

    MartiniUp Long timer

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    What brand handcovers are those, the big floppy ones? Thanks.
  5. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Navigate 2 Adventure

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  6. Eagerpooch

    Eagerpooch Been here awhile

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    the 350 exc is an amazing bike. loads of power and light. im going through the steps of trying to figure out what to do to maximize power and stripping unneaded DOT stuff. Has anyone done this magic mod from Best Dual sport bikes. Curious about it.

    http://bestdualsportbikes.com/dual-sport-bikes/2012-2013-ktm-350-exc

    Also, i want to beef up my front spring to a .48 from the stock .42. I got the spring and the wretch to open the forks but im really hesitant to do anything. Not sure how difficult it is. I did the rear spring and that was easy.
  7. little squirt

    little squirt Adventurer

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    If I can't get a new 500 here on the island, maybe this 350 would be a good ticket. I went from a WR250X to Husky SMR 450. Maybe this bike might be a happy medium??? My local dealer has a 350 on the floor and said he will not be allocated a 500 this year either from KTM. Reports say this 350 has all of 45hp, which sounds pretty close to last SMR. Bike will be used here on a island, not much anything over 55mph and mostly pavement duty. Looking at buying 17" supermoto rims for it as well to keep miles off the knobbies and sticky tires under me. I just don't want to buy the 350 and wished for the grunt of the 500 later down the road.....hmmmmmmm
  8. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Navigate 2 Adventure

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    I think it would be waste of $/machine to relegate this bike to mostly pavement.....that's not its mission statement.......just my $.02
  9. Cyberg

    Cyberg Adventurer

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    I think the 350 would be a blast with SM wheels. I own a 350 and they do haul ass. If you want more grunt it's 700 bucks for TR 390 kit.
    So I say do it.
  10. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Navigate 2 Adventure

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    Heading over to AZ tonight....I'll pop into the MVD in the morning and snag my street plate :D :1drink
  11. BanhXeo

    BanhXeo Been here awhile

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    Right on Crawdaddy :thumb
  12. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Navigate 2 Adventure

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    Just back from Bullhead City...... the KTM 350XCF-W is now officially broken in and I've adjusted to its handling/power after ~8 hours/~250 miles on the clock......simply put, the bike is a dream on the trails.......very light/responsive.........probably the best dual sport bike I've ridden/owned for "trail" riding.........seems more peppy/strong than my old 400 EXC.....especially when you bang hard on the throttle.......I was surprised (pleased) by the fun "hit" in the power band at mid/three quarter throttle.........uncharacteristic for a four stroke........they're usually pretty boring/flat/linear as you roll on the power...........sure, it doesn't have the bark/top end of my old 520 EXC/620 ADV, but there's plenty enough low end torque/top end speed "for me"......wicks up to 70 easily yet also very easy to ride in the tight stuff given its weight/smaller power plant.....

    The behemoth 5.3 gallon Acerbis tank took a bit of getting used to in terms of width but I've adjusted........at 3 gallons the bike actually feels LIGHTER than the stock tank with two gallons since the weight is carried lower with the big Acerbis........speaking of low, I low sided once this weekend........nice to have the radiator protected from side spills in rocks........I filled it with 4 gallons yesterday morning just for kicks and the front end was STILL light/responsive........I have some big rides planned where the stoooooopid full tank range will be nice to have in reserve....glad I pulled the trigger and went big on the gas tank....

    It's definitely a bit more buzzy than the WR250R on the boring highway stretches between trail segments......that's where the porkiness of the WR pays off and why it would still be my bike of choice if my mission statement was a "traveler" for longer trips/baggage......I've already changed the stock 13T counter sprocket to a 14.........once I eat up the 52T stock aluminum rear sprocket I'll probably move down to a 50T steel sprocket....that'll address some of the buzziness at ~60+ mpg......I'm not there that much anyway......I'm a trail rider not a racer.....

    A few pics from the weekend:

    Nice to have stoooooopid range when you're out in BFE

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    Sunset high above Lake Mojave:

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    Did I mention there's a lot of fun single track out there?

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    See ya out on the trails!
  13. BanhXeo

    BanhXeo Been here awhile

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    Hell ya Crawdaddy! Lookin good.
    +1 on the radiator bash guards that hold fuel. They have payed themselves off a few times over already. I'm curious as to what some of you other guys are gearing yours for your types of riding. I left mine stock for now as I can comfortably not get run over on the highway when crossing the valley, but I'm finding it just a touch to tall on the trails lately. Thanks and have fun
  14. wizz

    wizz Up a creek......

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    You can run out to 85 with 14/50, 14/48 would be good for dual sport as well. I'm still running stock but am going to change to 14/50. Stock is way too tall for anything besides wide open off road.
  15. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

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    Slightly jealous crawdaddy, what an awesome time of year to be out in the Mojave, on a new ride no less. The rear mt43 looks perfect for those conditions.

    I geared mine down to 14/48 with 2 extra chain links so the axle blocks would be neutral. Good mixed use compromise gearing.
  16. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Navigate 2 Adventure

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    The riding around Laughlin/Bullhead IS really nice this time of year.......

    The MT43 is pretty much the only rear tire I use anymore.....solid "all rounder" and a "cheater" on slippery/rocky uphills: http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/392/1963/Motorcycle-Article/Pirelli-MT-43-Pro-Trials-Tire-Review.aspx

    That's what I was thinking......14/48 or 50.......the stock/aluminum 52 shows a surprising level of wear after only ~250 miles.......I might be replacing it with a steel sprocket sooner than I thought......
  17. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Navigate 2 Adventure

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    Dropped one in yesterday.......that thing really does kick out a lot of light for a 5W pencil beam........the XCF-W comes with a push pin shutoff for the headlight......it's mounted just to the right of the computer dash

    [​IMG]

    Also set up the dash panel......HDB hands guards/computer dash......replaced the stock grips and ran heated wire elements underneath the new grips......put in an "on/off" push button switch to activate grips (high or off).......also dropped in a Powerlet for misc. accessories (I have a SAE pigtail to plug into the Powerlet that I'll use to tie into whatever).......the third (unswitched) line will go to the GPS........just waiting on the Eastern Beaver 3 Circuit Solution to arrive so I can tie it all together

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  18. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Navigate 2 Adventure

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    I had a coupon laying around for Rocky Mtn ATV so I picked up a 50T steel sprocket ( http://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/p...-Rear-Steel-Sprocket/supersprox+rear+sprocket ).......might throw that on today.......14/50 oughta be a tad better than 14/52.....I don't need to go THAT low with the gearing for most of my riding.....
  19. calltrex

    calltrex Adventurer

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    I use 14/48


    2012 KTM 390 EXC-F
  20. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Navigate 2 Adventure

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    14-50 worked well this past weekend in the Bullhead City/Laughlin area.......up to ~500 plus miles on the bike now......loving it......

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