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Posted: 4/22/2013 3:37:18 PM EDT
Basically the title. I'm looking to get a new dirt bike sometime in the future.
Are 2 strokes as high-maintenance as everyone says they are?
I like them, but based on what people tell me I'm not so sure.
Link Posted: 4/22/2013 3:57:58 PM EDT
I have an 05 KX250
You will get both sides of the story. some are die hard 2 stroke fans and some are 4 stroke fans. Each will argue towards their own bias. For me, 4 strokes are a little bit more on the technical side when it comes to maintenance. Meaning I don't have one and haven't started turning the wrench to learn how to fix the darn things.

My 2 stroke, on the other hand is very easy to fix. there's just not a lot to the engine. its very simple.  

If you talk to mechanics they will tell you that early 4 strokes have more problems. but really....every dirt bike will have things break. its just in their nature. they either get rode hard or they have users that crash on them.

If you buy something. buy it for the way it makes you feel. Power, traction, suspension, ergonomics, etc. then when it breaks....learn how to fix it.
Link Posted: 4/22/2013 3:58:13 PM EDT
They are no more maintanance than a high performance four stroke. You need to run good quality premix and keep the air filter clean. The rings do need to be changed once a month as some might speculate. They are also less expensive to rebuild than a four stroke. For recreational riding a two stroke will last quite awhile before needing a rebuild. They are  also lighter and make more power per CC than a fourstroke. If you are riding in the woods alot at slower speeds a fourstroke may be better if you lack experience. A non high performance four stroke will be the most reliable, the easiest to ride for a novice, will most likely have less adjustable suspension and will also be the slowest and the heaviest. If you are going to race it, neither one will be reliable
Link Posted: 4/22/2013 3:59:30 PM EDT
Not nearly enough info to make a recommendation.  What kind of riding - how many miles on a tank do you want to go?  How much experience do you have?  

In typical arfcom fashion - "get both".  Seriously.

Link Posted: 4/22/2013 4:00:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SuperAir:
They are no more maintanance than a high performance four stroke. You need to run good quality premix and keep the air filter clean. The rings do need to be changed once a month as some might speculate. They are also less expensive to rebuild than a four stroke. For recreational riding a two stroke will last quite awhile before needing a rebuild. They are  also lighter and make more power per CC than a fourstroke. If you are riding in the woods alot at slower speeds a fourstroke may be better if you lack experience. A non high performance four stroke will be the most reliable, the easiest to ride for a novice, will most likely have less adjustable suspension and will also be the slowest and the heaviest. If you are going to race it, neither one will be reliable


Link Posted: 4/22/2013 4:07:12 PM EDT
I work over at Motosport.com and I get this question a couple times a week. There's benefits to both- it all depends on what you want to do and how you want to do it. Whoever above me said the maintenance levels are the same is clearly huffing exhaust fumes- 2 strokes do require a bit more upkeep but they also allow for a little more manipulation on the top & bottom ends. The power bands in the 2 stroke are higher on the torque side and more consistent throughout in the 4 strokes- that can vary my make/model/year as well- these are more generic statements.

What you really need to ask yourself is- what do you want to do- where do you want to do it- how much do you want to spend- and what are you most comfortable on?  Don't listen to someone telling you to go one way or the other just hop in the saddle and get some seat time in. Beyond that- you'll want to know if you're going to ride, red, green, blue, or orange. The variances between mfg is substantial- on top of that you can always give the guys @ motosport a call- we all ride and we can usually get you dialed in or at least pointed in the right direction.

Hope that helps.
Link Posted: 4/22/2013 4:11:24 PM EDT
Originally Posted By L_Smitty:
Basically the title. I'm looking to get a new dirt bike sometime in the future.
Are 2 strokes as high-maintenance as everyone says they are?
I like them, but based on what people tell me I'm not so sure.


You're bass-akwards.

Two strokes are relativity cheap to maintain.

Do you want a new dirt bike?
This is a simplified checklist for buying a dirt bike:

Four Stroke:
Are you the next SX star?
Then buy a 450 MX bike from Honda or Kawasaki or Suzuki or Yamaha or KTM.

Do you want to trail ride?
Buy a KTM 4 stroke that ends with XC-W or a Husky that starts with TXC.

You want a street legal dirt bike from the factory?
Buy a KTM that ends with EXC or a Husky that starts with TE.

You want a hard core trail riding bike?
Buy a KTM that ends with XC.

Two Stroke:
You want a MX bike?
Buy a KTM that ends with SX or a Yamaha that ends with 250 or 125.

You want a trail riding bike?
Buy a KTM that ends with XC-W or a Husky that starts with WR.

You want a hard core trail bike?
Buy a KTM that ends with XC.  

Toss in the odd Beta, Sherco, Husaberg or GasGas into the mix and you will see that there is a large number of "dirtbikes" to be had.


If I were to give advice I would suggest that you buy a used (NOT ABUSED) 06-13 Yamaha YZ250, install a JD Jet Kit, an FMF Gnarly pipe, a GYTR flywheel weight, lace up an 18 inch rear rime and ride the bitch until it's time to replace the rings or tires (and if you have the money a Rekluse Clutch).  






Link Posted: 4/22/2013 4:33:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By KA3B:

If I were to give advice I would suggest that you buy a used (NOT ABUSED) 06-13 Yamaha YZ250, install a JD Jet Kit, an FMF Gnarly pipe, a GYTR flywheel weight, lace up an 18 inch rear rime and ride the bitch until it's time to replace the rings or tires (and if you have the money a Rekluse Clutch).  


Austin Keys is competing in National Hare & Hound on an '01 YZ250 - and doing very well, the bike is pretty much bulletproof.
Link Posted: 4/22/2013 4:56:00 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Moosen:
Whoever above me said the maintenance levels are the same is clearly huffing exhaust fumes.


Well I guess you must be talking about me. Not looking for an arguement but I'm not sure I agree. A well maintained two stroke is plenty reliable. As reliable as a four stroke? Maybe. Maybe not. It really depends on the use and how you take care of it. I have had countless two strokes over the years that have been super reliable. I also currently ride a WR450 which has been great. I am also anal in my upkeep.

FWIW, its not like I'm talking out of my ass because I happen to have owned one dirtbike in my life. I am 42, have been riding two strokes and four strokes since 1978, I have been a technician in the motorcycle biz for almost 23 years and was the lead tech for 8 years at a three franchise dealer that catered to motocross racers. So I've seen a few things.

My reference about the rings in my first post was in jest, due to people not in the know who think 2 strokes need rings every 8 hours. You know those people don't you? The ones who come in to the shop and tell you they need to replace the powerband in their bike because it's worn out
Link Posted: 4/22/2013 5:04:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By L_Smitty:
Basically the title. I'm looking to get a new dirt bike sometime in the future.
Are 2 strokes as high-maintenance as everyone says they are?
I like them, but based on what people tell me I'm not so sure.


Do the people that say 2strokes are high maintenance consider mixing gas & oil to be maintenance?  How about carb jetting - both engine types require proper jetting for the conditions?  My personal experience has been that my 4stroke '99 WR400 is much less sensitive to altitude/temp/humidty compared to my KX500.  

Both engines have their pros & cons - it's up to you to decide what you want.  Both bikes require regular oil changes, air filter cleaning/changing, chain cleaning/lube - that's just basic maintenance.  Overall, I've found I spend about the same amount of time on either bike but it's doing slightly different things.
Link Posted: 4/22/2013 5:36:59 PM EDT
My favorite quote growing up "Four strokes are like tampons, Every pussy has one." this was during the big transition between 2 and 4 in the '00s. when 4 smokes got cheaper, 2 strokes started becoming out dated. They're starting to come back but as a mechanical view, anyone can rebuild a 2 stroke. Plus, there is nothing better than the smell of Klotz in the morning.
Link Posted: 4/22/2013 5:48:35 PM EDT
How much riding experience do you have?
Link Posted: 4/22/2013 6:25:00 PM EDT



Originally Posted By brian4wd:


Not nearly enough info to make a recommendation.  What kind of riding - how many miles on a tank do you want to go?  How much experience do you have?  



In typical arfcom fashion - "get both".  Seriously.





This. A 2-stroke might be entirely the wrong bike for you - it is for me. I ride dual sports and trails, but I need something that lugs and has a long fuel range.



If you're on the track, or racing enduros, then a 2-smoke might be the thing for you. Depends on your wants, riding style, etc.



Maintenance wise, 2-strokes are fussier but easier/cheaper to work on. Some 4-strokes have VERY long maintenance intervals, the race machines not so much.



I put 24,000 miles on a TTR250 4-stroke, with no engine work at all. Then again, my KTM520 didn't make it to 100 hours before needing a new cam and a valve job.



All depends.



 
Link Posted: 4/22/2013 7:25:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/22/2013 7:32:02 PM EDT by ti8589]
I started on a 2 stroke years ago then I moved to a four stroke in 2000.  I currently race a 2007 yz250 two stroke, get my point.  I race hare scrambles and ride trails other weekends.  So much lighter and easier / cheaper to maintain than a 4.  As far a "lugging" power.  My yz has a very very good clutch.  Eta.  I Chang piston and ring every 40 hours, $130 and 3 hours.  I don't know what that guy is talking about monthly ring changes?
Link Posted: 4/22/2013 7:37:18 PM EDT
Originally Posted By brian4wd:
Originally Posted By KA3B:
If I were to give advice I would suggest that you buy a used (NOT ABUSED) 06-13 Yamaha YZ250, install a JD Jet Kit, an FMF Gnarly pipe, a GYTR flywheel weight, lace up an 18 inch rear rime and ride the bitch until it's time to replace the rings or tires (and if you have the money a Rekluse Clutch).  

Austin Keys is competing in National Hare & Hound on an '01 YZ250 - and doing very well, the bike is pretty much bulletproof.


Steven Kirk is competing in the 250A class of the National Hare and Hound and is doing pretty well for a 19 year old college student.
He's on a 2006 YZ250.

The reason I say buy an 06-13 is because the bike has not changed in 7 years.  

Link Posted: 4/22/2013 7:41:42 PM EDT
The only thing more reliable than a KTM 300 XC / 300 XC-W is a stone.
Get the jetting right, figure out where you want to set your power valve at (spring / spring carriage) and what power setting you want (wire plugged in or out), jet it to suit your conditions and ride it.
After that it's a matter of what pipe and what reed you want to run.
Link Posted: 4/22/2013 8:23:32 PM EDT



Originally Posted By KA3B:


The only thing more reliable than a KTM 300 XC / 300 XC-W is a stone.

Get the jetting right, figure out where you want to set your power valve at (spring / spring carriage) and what power setting you want (wire plugged in or out), jet it to suit your conditions and ride it.

After that it's a matter of what pipe and what reed you want to run.


*cough*, water pump issues, overheating issues, Bendix problems. I've heard of all of this from more than one person...I researched the hell out of the 300 and I have friends that have them too.



They're great bikes, but they can be fussy mother fuckers even the 2-smokes.



For every person that tells me they've had axe-handle reliability, I have someone else who had a nightmare. My own experience with KTM has been very hit or miss.



But, if you want a sex machine then you have to put up with teh crazy.







 
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 4:54:11 AM EDT
Originally Posted By swingset:
Originally Posted By KA3B:
The only thing more reliable than a KTM 300 XC / 300 XC-W is a stone.
Get the jetting right, figure out where you want to set your power valve at (spring / spring carriage) and what power setting you want (wire plugged in or out), jet it to suit your conditions and ride it.
After that it's a matter of what pipe and what reed you want to run.

*cough*, water pump issues, overheating issues, Bendix problems. I've heard of all of this from more than one person...I researched the hell out of the 300 and I have friends that have them too.
They're great bikes, but they can be fussy mother fuckers even the 2-smokes.
For every person that tells me they've had axe-handle reliability, I have someone else who had a nightmare. My own experience with KTM has been very hit or miss.
But, if you want a sex machine then you have to put up with teh crazy.
 


I ride with at least 6 guys that have the 300 in either XC or XC-W versions.
The starter is not a "starter", it's a restarter.
After I installed an SXS head the starter will not start the bike unless it's warmed up.
That's OK, the kick starter works first kick every time.

It's not the bendix unit, it's the fact that the stater is not a sealed unit, so if you are not keeping the stater clean then you are going to have issues.
Jeff Slavin came up with the "wet mod" for KTM 300 starters, it works well.
In 2012 KTM changed the bendix unit and in 2013 KTM went with a starter that's twice as powerful.
The biggest issue with both the KTM and GasGas starters is that they are installed like an afterthought.
The new Beta has the starter under the engine and it's a direct drive, so there's no 90 degree gearing involved like the KTM.

Overheating?
Never heard of it.
Of course if they didn't install a coolant overflow bottle (KTM should do that) and run Engine Ice or Water Wetter then that's their fault.

You should come out to my neck of the woods, the Orange is strong out here.

I'll even let you ride my 300.
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 6:07:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/23/2013 6:15:45 AM EDT by kris55]
LOL, I love these type of threads, this is like asking which AR is best.

In my opinion you can't go wrong with either a 2 or 4 stroke, pick which bike feels comfortable, and will fit your need's best. Maintenance needs to be performed on any bike at a certain point, 2 strokes need clean air filters regularly, 4 strokes also need clean air filters, as well as valves checked, periodically adjusted if needed, but they will all need some type of work done eventually.

As for what brand, do as much research on the brands you might like, if it doesn't matter then just find one that is in as best condition as it can be, and fit's your needs. It does help to know what type of riding you will be doing, and your riding experience to narrow it down a little better, but not much.
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 6:27:16 AM EDT
Originally Posted By KA3B:
Originally Posted By swingset:
Originally Posted By KA3B:
The only thing more reliable than a KTM 300 XC / 300 XC-W is a stone.
Get the jetting right, figure out where you want to set your power valve at (spring / spring carriage) and what power setting you want (wire plugged in or out), jet it to suit your conditions and ride it.
After that it's a matter of what pipe and what reed you want to run.

*cough*, water pump issues, overheating issues, Bendix problems. I've heard of all of this from more than one person...I researched the hell out of the 300 and I have friends that have them too.
They're great bikes, but they can be fussy mother fuckers even the 2-smokes.
For every person that tells me they've had axe-handle reliability, I have someone else who had a nightmare. My own experience with KTM has been very hit or miss.
But, if you want a sex machine then you have to put up with teh crazy.
 


I ride with at least 6 guys that have the 300 in either XC or XC-W versions.
The starter is not a "starter", it's a restarter.
After I installed an SXS head the starter will not start the bike unless it's warmed up.
That's OK, the kick starter works first kick every time.

It's not the bendix unit, it's the fact that the stater is not a sealed unit, so if you are not keeping the stater clean then you are going to have issues.
Jeff Slavin came up with the "wet mod" for KTM 300 starters, it works well.
In 2012 KTM changed the bendix unit and in 2013 KTM went with a starter that's twice as powerful.
The biggest issue with both the KTM and GasGas starters is that they are installed like an afterthought.
The new Beta has the starter under the engine and it's a direct drive, so there's no 90 degree gearing involved like the KTM.

Overheating?
Never heard of it.
Of course if they didn't install a coolant overflow bottle (KTM should do that) and run Engine Ice or Water Wetter then that's their fault.

You should come out to my neck of the woods, the Orange is strong out here.

I'll even let you ride my 300.


My '08 300XC-W is a great bike, I owned an '07 525EXC before getting this as I thought I would do a lot more road/dual sport riding.

The 300 is a wonderful woods bike, the 525's only advantage was climbing steep hills, it would climb anything no matter what gear you were in.

My starter worked great up until last year, I cleaned it and greased it but it still doesn't work properly I actually wish it hadn't had one at all.

I'm selling it to get a '13 300 and everyone's first question is "Does the E-starter work?"

Link Posted: 4/23/2013 6:52:07 AM EDT
Which is better?

All I know is that I miss my old Bultaco 250, and that I've never ridden a bike that hit harder than my CR500
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 8:17:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/23/2013 8:22:59 AM EDT by swingset]





Originally Posted By KA3B:





Originally Posted By swingset:




Originally Posted By KA3B:


The only thing more reliable than a KTM 300 XC / 300 XC-W is a stone.


Get the jetting right, figure out where you want to set your power valve at (spring / spring carriage) and what power setting you want (wire plugged in or out), jet it to suit your conditions and ride it.


After that it's a matter of what pipe and what reed you want to run.



*cough*, water pump issues, overheating issues, Bendix problems. I've heard of all of this from more than one person...I researched the hell out of the 300 and I have friends that have them too.


They're great bikes, but they can be fussy mother fuckers even the 2-smokes.


For every person that tells me they've had axe-handle reliability, I have someone else who had a nightmare. My own experience with KTM has been very hit or miss.


But, if you want a sex machine then you have to put up with teh crazy.


 






I ride with at least 6 guys that have the 300 in either XC or XC-W versions.


The starter is not a "starter", it's a restarter.


After I installed an SXS head the starter will not start the bike unless it's warmed up.


That's OK, the kick starter works first kick every time.





It's not the bendix unit, it's the fact that the stater is not a sealed unit, so if you are not keeping the stater clean then you are going to have issues.


Jeff Slavin came up with the "wet mod" for KTM 300 starters, it works well.


In 2012 KTM changed the bendix unit and in 2013 KTM went with a starter that's twice as powerful.


The biggest issue with both the KTM and GasGas starters is that they are installed like an afterthought.


The new Beta has the starter under the engine and it's a direct drive, so there's no 90 degree gearing involved like the KTM.





Overheating?


Never heard of it.


Of course if they didn't install a coolant overflow bottle (KTM should do that) and run Engine Ice or Water Wetter then that's their fault.





You should come out to my neck of the woods, the Orange is strong out here.





I'll even let you ride my 300.



I'm a KTM fan, I've owned them, but if you're going to boast about a bike being stone reliable don't hold one up that has a litany of little niggling things that need done to it to make it so. It's reliable for a KTM, but it's not stone reliable.





It's a race bike, and that means it's fussy...and KTM's are fussy, even the more reliable ones.





And, around here, every organized dual sport is a sea of orange - they're about 98% of what's ridden. I'm not unfamiliar with the brand and I've ridden the 300xcw and know 3 or 4 guys who own them. They have had little issues here and there too. Cause it's not stone reliable.









 
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 8:24:00 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Moosen:
I work over at Motosport.com and I get this question a couple times a week. There's benefits to both- it all depends on what you want to do and how you want to do it. Whoever above me said the maintenance levels are the same is clearly huffing exhaust fumes- 2 strokes do require a bit more upkeep but they also allow for a little more manipulation on the top & bottom ends. The power bands in the 2 stroke are higher on the torque side and more consistent throughout in the 4 strokes- that can vary my make/model/year as well- these are more generic statements.

What you really need to ask yourself is- what do you want to do- where do you want to do it- how much do you want to spend- and what are you most comfortable on?  Don't listen to someone telling you to go one way or the other just hop in the saddle and get some seat time in. Beyond that- you'll want to know if you're going to ride, red, green, blue, or orange. The variances between mfg is substantial- on top of that you can always give the guys @ motosport a call- we all ride and we can usually get you dialed in or at least pointed in the right direction.

Hope that helps.


Can you finally hook me up in the ultimate ride giveaway?? Pretty Please!!!!!!
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 8:27:16 AM EDT
OP,

You can always track yourself down a 2003 KTM 250SX!
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 8:29:05 AM EDT
Originally Posted By NoMoAMMO:
Originally Posted By Moosen:
I work over at Motosport.com and I get this question a couple times a week. There's benefits to both- it all depends on what you want to do and how you want to do it. Whoever above me said the maintenance levels are the same is clearly huffing exhaust fumes- 2 strokes do require a bit more upkeep but they also allow for a little more manipulation on the top & bottom ends. The power bands in the 2 stroke are higher on the torque side and more consistent throughout in the 4 strokes- that can vary my make/model/year as well- these are more generic statements.

What you really need to ask yourself is- what do you want to do- where do you want to do it- how much do you want to spend- and what are you most comfortable on?  Don't listen to someone telling you to go one way or the other just hop in the saddle and get some seat time in. Beyond that- you'll want to know if you're going to ride, red, green, blue, or orange. The variances between mfg is substantial- on top of that you can always give the guys @ motosport a call- we all ride and we can usually get you dialed in or at least pointed in the right direction.

Hope that helps.


Can you finally hook me up in the ultimate ride giveaway?? Pretty Please!!!!!!


HEY!! no way, it's my B-day tomorrow, I deserve it more!!!
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 9:45:31 AM EDT
Originally Posted By swingset:

Originally Posted By KA3B:
Originally Posted By swingset:
Originally Posted By KA3B:
The only thing more reliable than a KTM 300 XC / 300 XC-W is a stone.
Get the jetting right, figure out where you want to set your power valve at (spring / spring carriage) and what power setting you want (wire plugged in or out), jet it to suit your conditions and ride it.
After that it's a matter of what pipe and what reed you want to run.

*cough*, water pump issues, overheating issues, Bendix problems. I've heard of all of this from more than one person...I researched the hell out of the 300 and I have friends that have them too.
They're great bikes, but they can be fussy mother fuckers even the 2-smokes.
For every person that tells me they've had axe-handle reliability, I have someone else who had a nightmare. My own experience with KTM has been very hit or miss.
But, if you want a sex machine then you have to put up with teh crazy.
 


I ride with at least 6 guys that have the 300 in either XC or XC-W versions.
The starter is not a "starter", it's a restarter.
After I installed an SXS head the starter will not start the bike unless it's warmed up.
That's OK, the kick starter works first kick every time.

It's not the bendix unit, it's the fact that the stater is not a sealed unit, so if you are not keeping the stater clean then you are going to have issues.
Jeff Slavin came up with the "wet mod" for KTM 300 starters, it works well.
In 2012 KTM changed the bendix unit and in 2013 KTM went with a starter that's twice as powerful.
The biggest issue with both the KTM and GasGas starters is that they are installed like an afterthought.
The new Beta has the starter under the engine and it's a direct drive, so there's no 90 degree gearing involved like the KTM.

Overheating?
Never heard of it.
Of course if they didn't install a coolant overflow bottle (KTM should do that) and run Engine Ice or Water Wetter then that's their fault.

You should come out to my neck of the woods, the Orange is strong out here.

I'll even let you ride my 300.

I'm a KTM fan, I've owned them, but if you're going to boast about a bike being stone reliable don't hold one up that has a litany of little niggling things that need done to it to make it so. It's reliable for a KTM, but it's not stone reliable.

It's a race bike, and that means it's fussy...and KTM's are fussy, even the more reliable ones.

And, around here, every organized dual sport is a sea of orange - they're about 98% of what's ridden. I'm not unfamiliar with the brand and I've ridden the 300xcw and know 3 or 4 guys who own them. They have had little issues here and there too. Cause it's not stone reliable.


 


What the fuck do you mean by "fussy"?
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 9:48:08 AM EDT
Originally Posted By akethan:
What the fuck do you mean by "fussy"?


He likes men, what can you say.    

Link Posted: 4/23/2013 9:53:25 AM EDT
Originally Posted By fttam:
I've never ridden a bike that hit harder than my CR500


More fun than a barrel of monkeys!
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 10:25:20 AM EDT
I ride a KTM 2-smoke cause I ride a lot of tight woods.   If I rode farther distances where it was farther between gas stops or needed higher speeds,  I'd get a 4 stroke. If I rode through higher elevation changes,  I'd get afuel injected big 4 stroke.
As for maintenance,  you will spend a little more often with a 2 stroke but the 4 stroke will cost a bunch to repair when the time comes. It evens out.
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 11:15:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By KA3B:
Originally Posted By brian4wd:
Originally Posted By KA3B:
If I were to give advice I would suggest that you buy a used (NOT ABUSED) 06-13 Yamaha YZ250, install a JD Jet Kit, an FMF Gnarly pipe, a GYTR flywheel weight, lace up an 18 inch rear rime and ride the bitch until it's time to replace the rings or tires (and if you have the money a Rekluse Clutch).  

Austin Keys is competing in National Hare & Hound on an '01 YZ250 - and doing very well, the bike is pretty much bulletproof.


Steven Kirk is competing in the 250A class of the National Hare and Hound and is doing pretty well for a 19 year old college student.
He's on a 2006 YZ250.

The reason I say buy an 06-13 is because the bike has not changed in 7 years.  



I knew what you were getting at - I was just trying to help drive the point home.

Austin is a junior in HS - I gave up trying to keep up with him when he was ~12 y/o.  When you grow up in the Edwards AFB area you learn to ride at a very young age...........
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 11:38:01 AM EDT
Originally Posted By KA3B:

You should come out to my neck of the woods, the Orange is strong out here.

I'll even let you ride my 300.


AR15.com Six Days of PNW
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 1:04:44 PM EDT
For what it's worth, I've been riding the same 100 cc two-stroke for going on twenty years. It's had one top end and a clutch in the past fifteen. I think the spark plug is at least ten years old and I've been nursing off of a jug of premix that's at least four years old. I rode it a lot when I was a kid, was stored during college, and now that I'm old and married, it just gets dragged out of the garage and ridden hard for a few minutes once or twice a month. It always starts on the first or second kick.
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 1:30:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/23/2013 1:32:09 PM EDT by Pvt_Becker]
Originally Posted By akethan:
Originally Posted By swingset:

Originally Posted By KA3B:
Originally Posted By swingset:
Originally Posted By KA3B:
The only thing more reliable than a KTM 300 XC / 300 XC-W is a stone.
Get the jetting right, figure out where you want to set your power valve at (spring / spring carriage) and what power setting you want (wire plugged in or out), jet it to suit your conditions and ride it.
After that it's a matter of what pipe and what reed you want to run.

*cough*, water pump issues, overheating issues, Bendix problems. I've heard of all of this from more than one person...I researched the hell out of the 300 and I have friends that have them too.
They're great bikes, but they can be fussy mother fuckers even the 2-smokes.
For every person that tells me they've had axe-handle reliability, I have someone else who had a nightmare. My own experience with KTM has been very hit or miss.
But, if you want a sex machine then you have to put up with teh crazy.
 


I ride with at least 6 guys that have the 300 in either XC or XC-W versions.
The starter is not a "starter", it's a restarter.
After I installed an SXS head the starter will not start the bike unless it's warmed up.
That's OK, the kick starter works first kick every time.

It's not the bendix unit, it's the fact that the stater is not a sealed unit, so if you are not keeping the stater clean then you are going to have issues.
Jeff Slavin came up with the "wet mod" for KTM 300 starters, it works well.
In 2012 KTM changed the bendix unit and in 2013 KTM went with a starter that's twice as powerful.
The biggest issue with both the KTM and GasGas starters is that they are installed like an afterthought.
The new Beta has the starter under the engine and it's a direct drive, so there's no 90 degree gearing involved like the KTM.

Overheating?
Never heard of it.
Of course if they didn't install a coolant overflow bottle (KTM should do that) and run Engine Ice or Water Wetter then that's their fault.

You should come out to my neck of the woods, the Orange is strong out here.

I'll even let you ride my 300.

I'm a KTM fan, I've owned them, but if you're going to boast about a bike being stone reliable don't hold one up that has a litany of little niggling things that need done to it to make it so. It's reliable for a KTM, but it's not stone reliable.

It's a race bike, and that means it's fussy...and KTM's are fussy, even the more reliable ones.

And, around here, every organized dual sport is a sea of orange - they're about 98% of what's ridden. I'm not unfamiliar with the brand and I've ridden the 300xcw and know 3 or 4 guys who own them. They have had little issues here and there too. Cause it's not stone reliable.


 


What the fuck do you mean by "fussy"?


From a KTM owner, "fussy" to me means the following:

Piece of shit 1/4 turn gas cap always leaks fuel, Iv'e replaced the cap with various revisions over 5 times
Various oil leaks popping up here and there, like a leaky countershaft seal from the factory
Stupidly small number plates, scratch that, retardedly small
torque specs printed on triple clamps are completely fucking wrong and need to be twice as tight to prevent forks slipping in triple clamps
replacement parts can be a bit harder to come by, it ain't a Honda or Yamaha

I love my KTM 250SXF (for sale in the classifieds BTW at a great price) and I plan on replacing it with another newer KTM.

Oh, and don't even get me started on my Husqvarna
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 1:48:47 PM EDT



Originally Posted By KA3B:



Originally Posted By akethan:

What the fuck do you mean by "fussy"?




He likes men, what can you say.    





I'd suck your dick for saying that.



Fussy doesn't need explained, btw, it's self-evident. If you have to tinker with a lot of shit to get it to a baseline of normal, repeatable and desirable operation...it's fussy. Race bikes are fussy.



This isn't a controversial viewpoint is it?



My 1980 2-smoke 175 Suzuki was not, in any way shape or form, fussy. I rode it for years and abused the living shit out of it, and barely turned a screw or nut on it. That was quite common for many bikes of that era. But, then it wasn't a fast 300cc Austrian bike that can win harescrambles either.



I have perspective, and I'm being honest. KTM doesn't make a bike that isn't demanding...I never argued the 300 is a piece of shit, as Katooms go it's probably one of the best, but it is what it is and it's not a stone axe.



 
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 3:27:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By swingset:

Originally Posted By KA3B:
Originally Posted By akethan:
What the fuck do you mean by "fussy"?


He likes men, what can you say.    


I'd suck your dick for saying that.

Fussy doesn't need explained, btw, it's self-evident. If you have to tinker with a lot of shit to get it to a baseline of normal, repeatable and desirable operation...it's fussy. Race bikes are fussy.

This isn't a controversial viewpoint is it?

My 1980 2-smoke 175 Suzuki was not, in any way shape or form, fussy. I rode it for years and abused the living shit out of it, and barely turned a screw or nut on it. That was quite common for many bikes of that era. But, then it wasn't a fast 300cc Austrian bike that can win harescrambles either.

I have perspective, and I'm being honest. KTM doesn't make a bike that isn't demanding...I never argued the 300 is a piece of shit, as Katooms go it's probably one of the best, but it is what it is and it's not a stone axe.
 


I have seen the pics of that old KTM, you must be making your judgment on it.

The newer ones are much better.
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 4:23:00 PM EDT
Originally Posted By swingset:
I'd suck your dick for saying that.  


You would have to beat-off TruckinThumper first....

Link Posted: 4/23/2013 4:24:02 PM EDT


Link Posted: 4/23/2013 5:51:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SuperAir:
Originally Posted By Moosen:
Whoever above me said the maintenance levels are the same is clearly huffing exhaust fumes.


Well I guess you must be talking about me. Not looking for an arguement but I'm not sure I agree. A well maintained two stroke is plenty reliable. As reliable as a four stroke? Maybe. Maybe not. It really depends on the use and how you take care of it. I have had countless two strokes over the years that have been super reliable. I also currently ride a WR450 which has been great. I am also anal in my upkeep.

FWIW, its not like I'm talking out of my ass because I happen to have owned one dirtbike in my life. I am 42, have been riding two strokes and four strokes since 1978, I have been a technician in the motorcycle biz for almost 23 years and was the lead tech for 8 years at a three franchise dealer that catered to motocross racers. So I've seen a few things.

My reference about the rings in my first post was in jest, due to people not in the know who think 2 strokes need rings every 8 hours. You know those people don't you? The ones who come in to the shop and tell you they need to replace the powerband in their bike because it's worn out



This is partly my fault- I missed the a key "high performance" line in your original post. Reliability is one thing maintenance is another. I ride red on the dirt and blue on the street- I've had a 1/2 dozen Honda 2 strokes and they're essentially bullet proof if you're smart enough to clean after moto, change oil, and keep filters clean. When I look at maintenance though and I start seeing $$$$ when it comes to 2 strokes and I factored that into maintenance- top/bottom end prices between the two can be astronomically different. Not to mention when you go from carb'd to injected. My original post came about out of frustration due to the fact that I just got off the phone with someone who wanted to blame Honda b/c the c piston exploded in his A cylinder... I shit you not. Of course when I asked for the pictures and what the back story was he's been riding since monoshocks were the cat's meow... yet he can't see that A+C= hit yourself.

Powerbands are awesome. You can pick them up at hardware stores right next to the board stretchers We actually ran a flier on April Fools that had "Free Powerbands" with every order with a picture of a bunch of different color rubber bands and you wouldn't believe how many people called to see if they could get a few extra added to their orders... SMH.The fail can be epic sometimes...

Back to the beginning though- OP: Don't listen to anyone who says one is "BETTER" than the other- only you can decide what you want to do. Best thing for you is to get some seat time and figure out what fits you best. Don't be afraid to hop on a 125 and rip around- or hop on one of those monster enduro KTMs. There's a million different options out there, you just need to find the one that fits you best.
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 5:58:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By NoMoAMMO:
Originally Posted By Moosen:
I work over at Motosport.com and I get this question a couple times a week. There's benefits to both- it all depends on what you want to do and how you want to do it. Whoever above me said the maintenance levels are the same is clearly huffing exhaust fumes- 2 strokes do require a bit more upkeep but they also allow for a little more manipulation on the top & bottom ends. The power bands in the 2 stroke are higher on the torque side and more consistent throughout in the 4 strokes- that can vary my make/model/year as well- these are more generic statements.

What you really need to ask yourself is- what do you want to do- where do you want to do it- how much do you want to spend- and what are you most comfortable on?  Don't listen to someone telling you to go one way or the other just hop in the saddle and get some seat time in. Beyond that- you'll want to know if you're going to ride, red, green, blue, or orange. The variances between mfg is substantial- on top of that you can always give the guys @ motosport a call- we all ride and we can usually get you dialed in or at least pointed in the right direction.

Hope that helps.


Can you finally hook me up in the ultimate ride giveaway?? Pretty Please!!!!!!



You don't know how many e-mails we get a week asking for the same thing- what makes it worse... the assisted living communities AKA professional sweepstakers send in about 5k entries a week that have to be manually entered by the customer service team... I mean these people are literally 80, 90, even more than 100 years old and they want to win a bike- haha.

All I can say is make sure you enter on the website and via Facebook to make sure and check your e-mails to make sure you don't miss out on any other opportunities! (yeah I know that sounds corporate- that's b/c I am )
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 6:39:25 PM EDT
I put 13 years on the top end of a '90 YZ 250..... trail riding and practice days on an MX course. She was a little down on compression, but still started and ran good. One of these days I plan to go thru her, but I'm having too much fun with my '03 WR450F.

The 4T has so much wider a powerband, it's ridiculous..... She pulls from just under 3k to the rev limiter, ~11,7k. Makes a lot more torque, and just freakin pulls.... she has better bottom end than my '85 XR600R.

The 2T will be easier/cheaper to rebuild, and weighs less, the 4T has a much more usable powerband..... Toss up for me, get both!  
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 6:41:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By brian4wd:
Originally Posted By SuperAir:
They are no more maintanance than a high performance four stroke. You need to run good quality premix and keep the air filter clean. The rings do need to be changed once a month as some might speculate. They are also less expensive to rebuild than a four stroke. For recreational riding a two stroke will last quite awhile before needing a rebuild. They are  also lighter and make more power per CC than a fourstroke. If you are riding in the woods alot at slower speeds a fourstroke may be better if you lack experience. A non high performance four stroke will be the most reliable, the easiest to ride for a novice, will most likely have less adjustable suspension and will also be the slowest and the heaviest. If you are going to race it, neither one will be reliable




If you're a pro-level racer, this is true, otherwise.... NOT.
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 6:50:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By StealthCRF:
Originally Posted By fttam:
I've never ridden a bike that hit harder than my CR500


More fun than a barrel of monkeys!


A buddy bought a 1st-year CR500 new, that was one mean bitch to ride, but FUN!!  Honda kept de-tuning it for 3 years before the pros were happy with it.
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 6:53:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By akethan:
Originally Posted By swingset:

Originally Posted By KA3B:
Originally Posted By akethan:
What the fuck do you mean by "fussy"?


He likes men, what can you say.    


I'd suck your dick for saying that.

Fussy doesn't need explained, btw, it's self-evident. If you have to tinker with a lot of shit to get it to a baseline of normal, repeatable and desirable operation...it's fussy. Race bikes are fussy.

This isn't a controversial viewpoint is it?

My 1980 2-smoke 175 Suzuki was not, in any way shape or form, fussy. I rode it for years and abused the living shit out of it, and barely turned a screw or nut on it. That was quite common for many bikes of that era. But, then it wasn't a fast 300cc Austrian bike that can win harescrambles either.

I have perspective, and I'm being honest. KTM doesn't make a bike that isn't demanding...I never argued the 300 is a piece of shit, as Katooms go it's probably one of the best, but it is what it is and it's not a stone axe.
 


I have seen the pics of that old KTM, you must be making your judgment on it.

The newer ones are much better.


The 1980 SUZUKI????  
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 8:54:00 PM EDT



Originally Posted By akethan:



Originally Posted By swingset:




Originally Posted By KA3B:


Originally Posted By akethan:

What the fuck do you mean by "fussy"?




He likes men, what can you say.    





I'd suck your dick for saying that.



Fussy doesn't need explained, btw, it's self-evident. If you have to tinker with a lot of shit to get it to a baseline of normal, repeatable and desirable operation...it's fussy. Race bikes are fussy.



This isn't a controversial viewpoint is it?



My 1980 2-smoke 175 Suzuki was not, in any way shape or form, fussy. I rode it for years and abused the living shit out of it, and barely turned a screw or nut on it. That was quite common for many bikes of that era. But, then it wasn't a fast 300cc Austrian bike that can win harescrambles either.



I have perspective, and I'm being honest. KTM doesn't make a bike that isn't demanding...I never argued the 300 is a piece of shit, as Katooms go it's probably one of the best, but it is what it is and it's not a stone axe.

 




I have seen the pics of that old KTM, you must be making your judgment on it.



The newer ones are much better.


I've owned several over the years. I have the older 520exc right now, but I also had a 2010 250xcw, an LC4, and pretty much everyone I ride with has KTM's and I've been on most of them.



 
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 9:11:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/23/2013 9:15:01 PM EDT by Dipper]
Originally Posted By L_Smitty:
Basically the title. I'm looking to get a new dirt bike sometime in the future.
Are 2 strokes as high-maintenance as everyone says they are?
I like them, but based on what people tell me I'm not so sure.



Who ever told you that is full of beans. A 2 stroke is WAY easier to maintain than a 4 stroke.
I started riding in the 60's and grew up with and road 2 strokes for many years. I have owned more than a few 2 strokes and still own several.
A  "normal" rebuild on a two stroke is a new set of rings you can put on in your driveway in less than an hour...... no dam valves, valve springs, shims, cams, etc. to piss with. A rebuild on some of the 4 stroke race bikes is really expensive.... I've heard top end rebuilds of over $2500.00 on 4 stroke MX bikes and the intervals are pretty short.

Even IF you have a major problem with a 2 stroke, you get the cylinder bored next size over, get the proper size piston and rings, and reassemble and you are GTG........ WAY cheaper than a 4 stroke.

I love two strokes...... CC for CC they make WAY more power than a 4 stroke and are much lighter.

Get the 2 stroke, you won't regret it.  There is virtually NO maintenance on a 2 stroke engine.  Change oil and filters and run the piss out of it and rebuild it cheaply when the time comes.


Link Posted: 4/23/2013 9:18:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By RichBaker:
Originally Posted By StealthCRF:
Originally Posted By fttam:
I've never ridden a bike that hit harder than my CR500


More fun than a barrel of monkeys!


A buddy bought a 1st-year CR500 new, that was one mean bitch to ride, but FUN!!  Honda kept de-tuning it for 3 years before the pros were happy with it.


This is true. The computer readings where showing that the 250's where lapping within 1 sec. on most tracks and on some tracks were actually faster than the 500's.  It was shown that no matter what pro rider was on the 500, they never used full throttle for more than ONE second.
Way to much power.

Link Posted: 4/23/2013 9:23:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By RichBaker:
I put 13 years on the top end of a '90 YZ 250..... trail riding and practice days on an MX course. She was a little down on compression, but still started and ran good. One of these days I plan to go thru her, but I'm having too much fun with my '03 WR450F.

The 4T has so much wider a powerband, it's ridiculous..... She pulls from just under 3k to the rev limiter, ~11,7k. Makes a lot more torque, and just freakin pulls.... she has better bottom end than my '85 XR600R.

The 2T will be easier/cheaper to rebuild, and weighs less, the 4T has a much more usable powerband..... Toss up for me, get both!  


Wide power bands are for sissies and those that don't know how to ride!!  LOL!  ( just kidding ).     I'll take the hard hit of the 2 stroke and the acceleration anytime.  You do have to learn how to ride a little differently on a 2 stroke.
I grew up on em and that's what I like and what I'm used to.
Nothing makes me smile more than when my H2 hits the powerband......hold the hell on and make sure it's pointed in the right direction.

Link Posted: 4/23/2013 9:41:39 PM EDT



Originally Posted By Dipper:



Originally Posted By RichBaker:

I put 13 years on the top end of a '90 YZ 250..... trail riding and practice days on an MX course. She was a little down on compression, but still started and ran good. One of these days I plan to go thru her, but I'm having too much fun with my '03 WR450F.



The 4T has so much wider a powerband, it's ridiculous..... She pulls from just under 3k to the rev limiter, ~11,7k. Makes a lot more torque, and just freakin pulls.... she has better bottom end than my '85 XR600R.



The 2T will be easier/cheaper to rebuild, and weighs less, the 4T has a much more usable powerband..... Toss up for me, get both!  




Wide power bands are for sissies and those that don't know how to ride!!  LOL!  ( just kidding ).     I'll take the hard hit of the 2 stroke and the acceleration anytime.  You do have to learn how to ride a little differently on a 2 stroke.

I grew up on em and that's what I like and what I'm used to.

Nothing makes me smile more than when my H2 hits the powerband......hold the hell on and make sure it's pointed in the right direction.





I can ride either, grew up on 2t but have owned plenty of both. 4t power is just different - it's more forgiving, but it's more linear. Sometimes that translates to faster on a given section or trail. Sometimes not.



I don't get too worked up about which is "better", they're different and sometimes the best tool is the one you're comfortable with (and fastest with).



It's the indian, not the arrow.





 
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 10:58:04 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/23/2013 11:01:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Dipper:
Who ever told you that is full of beans. A 2 stroke is WAY easier to maintain than a 4 stroke.
I started riding in the 60's and grew up with and road 2 strokes for many years. I have owned more than a few 2 strokes and still own several.
A  "normal" rebuild on a two stroke is a new set of rings you can put on in your driveway in less than an hour...... no dam valves, valve springs, shims, cams, etc. to piss with. A rebuild on some of the 4 stroke race bikes is really expensive.... I've heard top end rebuilds of over $2500.00 on 4 stroke MX bikes and the intervals are pretty short.

Even IF you have a major problem with a 2 stroke, you get the cylinder bored next size over, get the proper size piston and rings, and reassemble and you are GTG........ WAY cheaper than a 4 stroke.

I love two strokes...... CC for CC they make WAY more power than a 4 stroke and are much lighter.

Get the 2 stroke, you won't regret it.  There is virtually NO maintenance on a 2 stroke engine.  Change oil and filters and run the piss out of it and rebuild it cheaply when the time comes.


Just curious - when was the last time (what bike) you over-bored a 2 stroke cylinder?
Link Posted: 4/24/2013 2:39:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/24/2013 2:46:05 AM EDT by Dipper]
Originally Posted By brian4wd:
Originally Posted By Dipper:
Who ever told you that is full of beans. A 2 stroke is WAY easier to maintain than a 4 stroke.
I started riding in the 60's and grew up with and road 2 strokes for many years. I have owned more than a few 2 strokes and still own several.
A  "normal" rebuild on a two stroke is a new set of rings you can put on in your driveway in less than an hour...... no dam valves, valve springs, shims, cams, etc. to piss with. A rebuild on some of the 4 stroke race bikes is really expensive.... I've heard top end rebuilds of over $2500.00 on 4 stroke MX bikes and the intervals are pretty short.

Even IF you have a major problem with a 2 stroke, you get the cylinder bored next size over, get the proper size piston and rings, and reassemble and you are GTG........ WAY cheaper than a 4 stroke.

I love two strokes...... CC for CC they make WAY more power than a 4 stroke and are much lighter.

Get the 2 stroke, you won't regret it.  There is virtually NO maintenance on a 2 stroke engine.  Change oil and filters and run the piss out of it and rebuild it cheaply when the time comes.


Just curious - when was the last time (what bike) you over-bored a 2 stroke cylinder?


A couple of years ago....... 1972 Kawasaki G5 100 Enduro.. that was the last one. Not mine although I own one.   Not all 2 strokes had/have the Nickosil coated/ Chrome coated cylinder bores that you can't bore if that's what your thinking.  

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