KDX vs KTM??

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kx200
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KDX vs KTM??

Post by kx200 » 05:26 pm Aug 02 2016

I had a street legal 97 Kdx 220 go 7500 miles on a stock piston :shock: and the rings were at the service limit.
http://www.kdxrider.net/forums/viewtopi ... 86&t=15331
My KTM200 I have had 95 hr and the piston looked good the rings were good to.

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KDX vs KTM??

Post by hockeyboysomers » 09:26 pm Aug 02 2016

I have both, a 2004/2003 hybrid KDX 220 and a 2011 KTM 250XCW. The motor on the KDX is like butter. Low revving power, great mid range, but short top end. The KTM can have the same features if desired because of the adjustable power valve. It is quite adjustable turning the power valve screw in (less power), or out (more power). It can also be tuned into a much more powerful engine simply by changing the powervalve springs from green to red. The power delivery is dramatically different. The KDX stock forks are better at low speeds with very little deflection. I have KX forks on my hybrid. I could never get them to feel plush on the small rocks and roots. ( I tried just about everything). The KTM forks are better than the KX forks in every area, however they still deflected a bit more than the stock KDX forks. If i were trail riding in a wet root covered rain forest, I would pick the KDX. If I was racing HS/ ENDURO/ GP/DESERT and pushing the pace, I would prefer the KTM suspension. In terms of reliability, I can see no difference. In the 4 years I have owned my KTM I have never had to replace a single part other than oil, tires , wheel bearings and battery. On my KDX ( i've owned it since new) I had a similar experience, oil, tires, wheel bearings, Piston (220), and kick starter shaft. I enjoy riding each of them. But I think of them as different tools. I think they are similar but not equal.

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Re: KDX vs KTM??

Post by Bitteeinit » 01:54 am Aug 04 2016

Thanks for the info. Do you ride often? Every week?

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KDX vs KTM??

Post by hockeyboysomers » 09:59 am Aug 06 2016

I average about 2-3 hours every other weekend pretty much year round. Sometimes in the winter we get too much snow for about six weeks. But other years we get just the right amount and we put on our studded tires and get in some of our best riding of the year. When the snow is about 6 inches deep and the ground is frozen underneath is the best. We can go anywhere, we dont have to stay on the trail. It is the best time to scout out new trails because you can see through the forest because all of the leaves have fallen off. So, I would say I put on about at least 100 hrs on my bike a year. I ride my KTM almost exclusively since I have owned it.

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Re: KDX vs KTM??

Post by rocks2roots » 08:56 am Jun 07 2019

Hey everyone! Boy am I late to the party but better late than never. Here is my journey. I ride Pennsylvania coal country which can be defined as tight knarly single track with roots separating the rocks. I am a trials and trail rider back in 60's and 70's but got away from the dirt until 4 years ago. Started with what I knew, which was vintage and loved them but they just can't hang so I started 'modernizing'. I often rode my Bultaco Sherpa T on this stuff, not fast but I would pass up modern bikes on the nasty rocky hill climbs. But it's just not there to I bought a 87 KDX and modded it up. Loved the bike. Easy to start, easy to work on, easy to pick up or off yourself. But still I was missing the trials bottom end and nimble as a mountain goat handling. So I bought a Beta X Trainer as the modern KDX, which is probably is. But. It ain't no trials bike. Period. Full stop and it is not "trial like". It is about an inch bigger in every direction than the KDX. The electric start is pretty awesome and it has gobs of usable trail power and had a clear advantage on the hills. So KDX for $1500 vs Beta for $7500? You can carry spare parts for the KDX in your bag. For me, I could not justify the extra $6,000. If I could have, I would have. So I sold the Beta and used the 6 grand to buy a new Montesa Cota with a seat. But I still have the modern bike itch - what I wanted is a modern Alpina (which was designed here in good old PA). So I upgraded my KDX to a '94 - a nice step up from the '87 and it is street legal and under $2000. But still no trials bike. So I checked out the KTM Freeride. About 1/2 inch smaller than the KDX, electric start, and a drive mapping for "trials". You can ride a beginner trials section on this bike but so can my KDX. Again, the Freeride ain't no trials bike and it ain't close. It is a great bike and might be that one bike than you can dual sport, trail ride, and knarly on but again, you are shelling out 7 grand vs 2 grand for the KDX. I spent the extra and I have 2 bikes that can do whey they do as well as anything out there. Also, I managed to slip in a Ducati.

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Re: KDX vs KTM??

Post by doakley » 10:22 am Jun 07 2019

19Delta wrote:
11:36 am Aug 02 2016
Bitteeinit wrote:How many hours can a KTM 250 EXC do before needing a new piston? Around 100-200 hours for the casual rider? Or far less?
Good question. How long can a KDX go?

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Ha ha! You'll have to ask Thirdgenxli how long a KDX200 top end lasts. I've lost track of how many hours (years) he has on his!

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Re: KDX vs KTM??

Post by doakley » 10:35 am Jun 07 2019

This a great thread. Since I'm actively racing my KDX220 (see KDX in National Enduro thread) I just can't keep my mouth shut.
Look, there is no question in my mind a newer model KTM is a faster, better handling, lighter, more nimble bike. Its a more modern, more updated race bike, period. But the question is would I really be any faster on a KTM than my very modified KDX and would I enjoy racing it more?
I think I might be just a bit faster, but I don't think it would be enough to move me up appreciably in the race results either in National enduro or local HS racing. I feel this same way about the YZ 250X too, by the way. I have to admit though, I'd love to give them both a try.

Would I enjoy it more? I kinda' like having an unusual bike on the starting line. A lot of people ask me about the KDX and just look over at the orange hoard as "just another KTM". Maybe it is "reverse snob" appeal, I don't know.

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Re: KDX vs KTM??

Post by thirdgenlxi » 01:06 am Jun 08 2019

doakley wrote:
10:22 am Jun 07 2019
19Delta wrote:
11:36 am Aug 02 2016
Bitteeinit wrote:How many hours can a KTM 250 EXC do before needing a new piston? Around 100-200 hours for the casual rider? Or far less?
Good question. How long can a KDX go?

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
Ha ha! You'll have to ask Thirdgenxli how long a KDX200 top end lasts. I've lost track of how many hours (years) he has on his!
LOL.... without going out and looking but going off memory, I believe I'm somewhere around 1131 hours and 18,350-ish miles. And that wasn't starting on a fresh top end either :shock:

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Re: KDX vs KTM??

Post by lucy » 08:41 am Jun 08 2019

From personal experience...if you want the newest, greatest, untested, unrefined, wonderfully designed but poorly executed race machine...buy a KTM! Just don't buy a pre-owned one. Think of them as the Harbor Freight of motorcycles. KTM sells a product with inadequate testing for durability and expects the buying public to eagerly test it.

A little background first...I started riding in 1972 on a Honda SL125 and then raced a '76 Husky WR360. I've owned 20-30 bikes since then.

I purchased a new 2001 KTM 300EXC in 2001. Drove 10 hours to central Alabama for the best price($5650 OTD) I could find. Then, I spent 15 hours trying to sort out the jetting...never got it right. The seat was so hard my butt hurt after 2 hours. The suspension was horrible...like riding on a 4 x 4 post. I stripped out the tank shroud screws in the first year. If I still owned it I would have difficulty purchasing some replacement parts...even from an online source. In fact, my local KTM dealer, Central Florida PowerSports(local KTM dealer) told me that they refuse to service a KTM model older than 10 years.

I sold the orange thing after a year of Hare Scramble/Enduro racing. I was very disappointed in the bike and I promised myself I'd never own another KTM. Bought an '84 Yamaha IT 490 for $1000 online and had it shipped to Florida from Michigan. That thing was way-dude fun to ride. The problem was that it pinged badly when it got hot. I live in Florida so you can see where that story is going. Sold it and ended up with 6 '83-85 KDX 200s. I converted one into a 240 cc grunt monster(that I could never get jetted correctly) and several into 220 cc wizards that I raced in Hare Scramble/Enduro. The 220s were great but the flywheel magnets weren't the most stable situation so I scrounged(and horded 6 more flywheels). I sold all the KDXs(in 2006) after a few years(shipped the remaining flywheels to Fredette) and recently tried to buy one of the KDXs back from the friend that I sold it to.

Fast Forward. Kids moved out and now its just me and wifey...look out world, I'm back. Started back with an XR350(because it was cheap)...too heavy. Drove 3 hours to pick up an IT465...too heavy, too old, and too much to crank for a 60 yo. Bought a '98 KDX 220 for $1100. It was pristine. Rode it a little and then saw a jug of orange KoolAid on the counter...sugar free. Sold the KDX for $2500 2 years ago. Bought a 2005 KTM 300EXC with 41 hours on it. Biiiggg mistake.

Got the KTM home and started following KTMTalk.com forum. Wow. So many KTM owners with widely disparate problems. I was more than a little concerned about the longevity of my new found baby. First time I took it out it sputtered. Played with jets for a couple hours then did a compression check...which turned out to be down a little. Did a leak down test...crank seal was leaking. I tore the whole thing down, replaced the crank seals, top end, did the head mod(supposed to make them run better and easier to jet), replaced plastic, replaced bearings...yada yada yada. It was a perfect restoration. Sold the piece of junk. It still only had 46 hours on it.

Here are just a few examples of KTM issues that I've experienced or heard about:

Models after 2004 came with inner clutch cover gaskets that would blow out, cause loss of coolant, and lead to overheating. You can replace it with a Cometic brand gasket and the problem is resolved. But why? Manufacturer should have fixed this problem.

The exhaust flange on some models cracks/breaks with a hard hit to the expansion chamber. The flange is not available for purchase so you have to buy a new cylinder. Some aftermarket companies sell an aluminum ring to help prevent the problem. Seriously? Aftermarket to fix design problem?

Jetting. Have you ever run into a KTM owner who didn't have to mess with the jetting to get their bike to run correctly? Many people have discarded their Mikuni carb and purchased a Lectron or Keihin in an effort to fix a manufacturer's issue. Many have invested in a modified head to fix the problem.

Gas tank petcock. The petcock lever is cast pot metal. It snaps off with pressure...fall in the woods or set it down on the petcock when its off the bike and you have to buy a new one. No individual parts are available.

Kickstand. I'll let a KTMTalk post say it all:
"It took me all of about 0.0002 seconds of owning my first KTM to realize that the stock stand is about as useful as a twig held on by a twisty tie. Aftermarket ones run somewhere in the range of "One Hundred Billion Dollars!" and is not the sort of money I want to spend on a rotating metal stick So I decided to do something else. The problem is the kickstand flexes and bends and ultimately slips off the bracket as it wears down. The idea is to get more rigidity in the mounting bolt by way of more surface area on kick stand, and giving the kickstand less leverage on said bolt to help prevent twisting". You would think that the engineering department could figure this out.

Suspension. KTM changes suspension components more frequently than I change my...well...let's just say "often". Talk to KTM guys. Many are unhappy with OEM suspension and spend up to $1000 trying to prevent being beat to death while riding.

Parts. Some parts have become unavailable for purchase. 4 stroke RFS guys can no longer buy a countershaft. This a wear item and once it becomes too worn to drive the countershaft sprocket your bike is toast. "Recycle", I think, is what they call it. Part out your bike.

Its not just old bikes that have problems. The 2017 electric start bikes were released to the public with an engineering flaw. If you try to use the kickstarter on your electric start bike you may crack the case...I assume that the kickstart lever must only be there for good looks. Problem is in the engineering...the bolt that holds the kickstart idler gear doesn't have enough support and frequently broke out of the case. The fix requires new crank cases. Good luck with that one. KTM re-designed the case after enough complaints.

KTM starters are not the best for reliability. Current problems surfacing include the thickness of the bushings and access for rebuilding.

Fasteners. Gas tank shrouds are attached with coarse thread sheet metal screws type screws that are inserted into polyethylene plastic. How many times can you run that screw into the plastic before you're gonna' strip the hole? Lots of poor solutions are available to that one. P-Tex ski repair may be one of the best...but, why should you have to fix it? Again, engineering flaw.

Oil reservoir on TPI bikes. Some tanks developed cracks in the oil reservoir.

Subframe cracks. Many KTMs get cracks in the aluminum subframe from the screw hole to front edge where it attaches behind gas tank. One guy on KTMTalk even went to his dealer and found that all the new bikes on the floor had this same defect. I paid "a guy" to TIG weld the crack.

Recent models went to TPI/fuel injection. One problem is that the ECU was not designed to adjust for atmospheric pressure. KTM had to add a sensor this year to compensate. Owners of previous models are stuck with this problem. If I don't quite describe the problem, someone can correct me...I don't understand it and didn't make an effort to find out.

Overheating. A chronic problem on the 300 is overheating. It frequently requires adding coolant scavenging tanks or an aftermarket radiator fan if you are gonna' run difficult terrain.

Well, those are just a few examples of issues with KTM. I didn't go into detail on some of the issues because I didn't experience all of them. Some guys have great luck with their KTM and love them to death. However, if you want to read more go to the KTM forum...its all documented there. Use the search function to bring up threads related to each of the aforementioned problems. There are many more that I haven't touched on.

To make a long story even longer, before you even LOOK at the orange KoolAid, think long and hard about buying a bike that is well designed but poorly engineered and executed. They are engineered for light weight and high horsepower, sold with inadequate testing for longevity and function, and are purchased with untested technology and marginal suspension. I would never buy a used one with more than an hour total time on it. Ok, that may be hyperbole.

Many people start with a KDX...and many of those individuals move down to Orange, white, or Gasgas/Beta. The smart ones stay with green. A few move laterally...to blue. I'm stuck, colorless at the moment. Looking for green(waiting for doakley or John_S to sell) but may, like Vossman, go blue if nothing pops up...may even buy a 2T and a 4T. I refuse to ever buy non-Jap in the future. Been there...dun that.

I'm looking for a KDX 220. Why? Longevity. Sure, they have some issues but they are fun. And, they last. Read thirdgenlxi's post above. That crazy guy rides his 200 on the street and has 18,000 miles on it. He can take single track lines between trees that no KTM rider dares attempt, leaps tall buildings in a single bound, can ride uphill creeks without dabbing, and has even beaten a girl in at least one race. Sorry, Jared, had to slip that one back in. Look at Doakley(I'm talking about the longevity of his KDX not his personal chronologic issue). He's older than, well, me but still hauls his KDX around the country to go bouncin' off trees.

Sure, I wish the cases didn't have to be split to change crank seals, the KIPS didn't rattle, and I wish the front susupension was a little better, but the KDX is a great little bike. It may use old technology but, hey, Fredette won ISDE medals on them...they can't be all bad.

Wish I had one.

Footnote: In order to avoid the implication of fabrication of fairy tales, the following videos are presented as evidence of any statement that seems farcical(starring our own thirdgenlxi):


Last edited by lucy on 04:30 pm Jun 09 2019, edited 12 times in total.

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Re: KDX vs KTM??

Post by KDXGarage » 04:28 pm Jun 08 2019

WOW! It sounds like you have a wild ride with the orange bikes!
kdxrider.net forum member doakley participating in National Enduro series: (current class standing, 4th!)
viewtopic.php?f=136&t=23217&sid=e6a86d8 ... 9&start=40

Thank you for participating on kdxrider.net. :bravo: To post pictures here: "Full editor", "Attachments", "Add files", select the picture, "Open", "Place inline"

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Re: KDX vs KTM??

Post by rungrandpa » 02:33 pm Jun 09 2019

I have a 1990 KDX 200 and a 2005 KTM 300. The KTM is taller and tips easier. The KDX is superior for slow technical riding and weaving in and out of trees. The KTM has superior brakes, suspension and the engine is like a tractor that can be set up to go as fast as anyone wants to.
The KDX has to be revved to ride fast. The KTM can be ridden in a higher gear and lugged around. For racing sand washes or long muddy hills the KTM is superior. If I can hang on to the bike, the KTM engine will pull me through anything. For riding trails and riding with the grand kids, the KDX is very enjoyable.
Both bikes are very reliable.

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Re: KDX vs KTM??

Post by lucy » 04:33 pm Jun 09 2019

Its been 3 years since you asked the question, 19Delta.

How 'bout an update?

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Re: KDX vs KTM??

Post by tman » 11:29 am Jun 11 2019

lucy - were your fingers bleeding after that dissertation?

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Re: KDX vs KTM??

Post by tman » 11:42 am Jun 11 2019

The KDX is a way better "value" than a KTM. It's a great trail bike. Way cheaper to maintain and fix. KTM's are nice. But they are overpriced.

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Re: KDX vs KTM??

Post by TwistedRoot » 03:42 pm Jun 11 2019

My .02 cents but I have owned my KTM for 7 years, bought it with around 60 hours on it. Never had any issues (Yes I replaced the kickstand lol). Last year I installed a CW 280 kit and like it even more. It could use a little more in the lower end but it rips when it starts breathing. Sure its a bit older, a bit heavier, but in no way am I down on the bike. They all have their good and bad. KTM was not known for the bikes they produced in the early 2000's anyway. The orange started dominating after the 2008 (and up) bikes came out.
2002 KDX 200
Jetting Guide

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Re: KDX vs KTM??

Post by Vossman » 04:44 pm Jun 12 2019

Don’t forget about the improperly “installed” oil pump gears that strip out and cause engine seizures.

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Re: KDX vs KTM??

Post by Parney » 09:11 am Jun 13 2019

I have a 2016 ktm 450 too much in woods and deep mud got kdx to enjoy the lanes and climbs. Let’s put it this way ktm will climb anything and does not care if it’s thrown you off half way up it will be at the top of hill even if your not on it KDX MUCH more easier to control and enjoy

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Re: KDX vs KTM??

Post by Parney » 09:14 am Jun 13 2019

For what it’s worth KDX for pure fun and enjoying what it does it does well.KTM FOR loosing weight sweating and fighting it different fun

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Re: KDX vs KTM??

Post by Vossman » 11:16 pm Jun 13 2019

Parney wrote:
09:11 am Jun 13 2019
I have a 2016 ktm 450 too much in woods and deep mud got kdx to enjoy the lanes and climbs. Let’s put it this way ktm will climb anything and does not care if it’s thrown you off half way up it will be at the top of hill even if your not on it KDX MUCH more easier to control and enjoy
That was well stated! :bravo: I’d love to try a KTM 450 one day.

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Re: KDX vs KTM??

Post by rungrandpa » 08:16 pm Jun 14 2019

My son had a KTM 530. I thought it felt too heavy and it felt top heavy too, but it sure had a lot of power. No need to shift very much. It would blast up any hill. Not that much fun to ride for me. Much preferred my KDX.

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