This past weekend(10/19/2013) the National Enduro was held at Crosstimbers/Draper riding area in OKC. I wasn’t going to race but I had heard about DEMO RIDES!!! KTM, Sherco, and Gas Gas would be bringing bikes for anyone to come and test ride. This, I had to do. My friend Jon already had his toy hauler there, so in order to be first in line for the demo rides I packed up the truck right after work and headed to OKC. As with any venture, it was not without some adventure. First of which was missing my turn and driving around in the hood by downtown OKC for 20 minutes.
After finding my way back to the highway and making it to the toy hauler, it was home sweet home time. That was until I tried to start the generator so I could have heat, lights, and electricity. It would crank up for roughly 3 seconds then turn off. After much trouble shooting and talking with Jon he decided to go ahead and come on out. I had already resigned myself to it just being a really really cold night and deal with it and was putting back beers because, yeah what else was I going to do.
Jon arrived around 12:30 and we got to work on generator. Much cussing, many things tried, much beer and rum and coke was drank, and we finally just gave up and let the heater run off the batteries. As moto bros are want to do, we stayed up even later talking and drinking and before we knew it, 5am was here. Whoo! Jon had to be in a wedding the next day, super good times for him.
Wakey wakey! Hangover and head achey! Yeah we were up at 9:00am with Jon bailing out the door to get his tux on and go to a wedding. I debating going back to my bunk but opted out on that and figured the demo bikes were out, let’s get on it and ride! Even though I realllly didn’t feel like it. That all goes away though once you throw a leg over.
So let’s get down to the nitty gritty. I rode 7 different KTM’s, 2 of them twice, the 250XC-W and the 250XCF-W as those are the ones I’m currently thinking about buying. Anyhow, let’s get on with the reviews.
*disclaimer* Demo rides are great but honestly you can only take away so much from them. With the 2 strokes you can completely change the way the bike feels with jetting and adjusting the power valve. Also there’s suspension, it’s going to be base and not set up for you so you can’t really go off that either. Mostly just keep that in mind and ride and see how you like them.
The course was about a mile long open grass track with one little dip into 1 single track turn. It was really fun but I wish they would have tossed about a half a mile of true single track in there so you could get a feel for the bikes in the tight stuff. That’s pretty much my only complaint.
KTM 200XC-W: Coming from a 2004 200EXC this was my home turf, the 200. The 2014 model definitely feels lighter than mine, also it doesn’t feel like it has as much PUNCH when it gets on the pipe, mine is much more “whoa hang on” than the 2014. I was thinking I was dog slow on it, but after reviewing the video I actually think that was the bike I was fastest on. Fun bike, definitely peaky as 200’s normally are, and light. I liked it.
KTM250XC-W: This bike I’ve been thinking about putting in my shopping cart for a bit now. Either this or it’s bigger brother the 250XC. So it was my “bonus ride” so I could ride it twice. It was pretty much everything I expected. Little bit heavier than the 200 and more grunt in the mid range. Definitely dig this one for sure.
KTM300XC-W: This bike. This bike was amazing. I was unprepared. It had power everywhere, could hardly keep the front wheel on the ground. It was just a complete and absolute beast on everything. Didn’t feel heavy like a 4 stroke either but put the power down like WHOA. Hands down my favorite one that I rode that day. Amazing machine.
Now to the four strokes. I’m not a 4 stroke fan really, but hey they’re there and I’m gonna ride em damnit. Actually in debate on the 250 2 stroke vs. 4 stroke honestly.
KTM250XCF-W: Very nice bike, felt light, had good throttle response. I have to say though, definitely doesn’t have the punch that the 250XCF does, which is understandable. Good to ride it though as I know if I end up going 4 stroke it will probably be the KTM250XCF and will skip the XCF-W. Fun to ride.
KTM350XCF-W: This one was an utter disappointment. I’ve heard really good things about them but it just felt gutless. Lack of torque, and just yeah didn’t really have any excitement factor for me. Definitely felt planted and solid, but the power of it was very underwhelming.
KTM450XCF-W: This one kind of blew my mind. I was expecting to hate it. Stupid heavy dumb 4 stroke, yuck! But honestly this one came in right behind the 300 2 stroke for fun factor. It just felt soooo planted in turns. Good throttle response, tons of torque, and again just planted in turns and pinning it on the straights. Definitely second favorite.
KTM500XCF-W: Yep. Much like my buddies KTM500 this thing was a tractor heavy lug about. It was better than Noel’s as Noel has the street legal model so maybe that adds some weight. But this one while having tons of power and torque was just a little bit better than the 350. I wasn’t a fan.
So that’s the reviews. My basic newbie take on the various 2014’s that were available. Again, you can’t really judge them too harshly because a lot of things that you can change on them can make them completely fit you perfectly. So it’s ust to get a basic feel for them. Very happy I was able to come out and ride them, had a great great time. I also rode the Sherco’s and the Gas Gas models but figured I would keep this post and Video to Just KTM’s. Video of demo rides below. Enjoy!!!
My punch card:
And finally, the eats!!