Congratulations, America. We lastly acquired the KTM 300XC-W TPI this yr. It’s been in Europe of over a yr, whereas we received solely a restricted run of the 250 model. We’ve been listening to about Jonny Walker calling the 300 a cheater bike. Cody Webb has gained or chewed on the gold for nearly a yr on one, and within the excessive enduro area, each prime KTM (and Husky) racer chooses to run the fuel-injected 300XC-W TPI.
Slim ergonomics, a 2.Four-gallon tank, a pleasant aspect stand that tucks up and a tidy plastic skid plate mate to ODI grips (good!), Neken bars, good hand shields and a side-access air filter.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Though this fuel-injected machine runs cleaner than any carbureted machine, it isn’t accepted as an EPA-legal machine. It was developed to satisfy the strict Euro Four requirements. This closed-course machine makes use of the identical 72mm by 72mm stroke and bore as final yr’s carbureted machine. The facility valve is actuated by exhaust gases that drive it open as they improve in velocity and push more durable towards the flap or valve. The objective is to offer the machine with usable energy that expands because the engine revs. The cylinder options two lateral domes that maintain the gasoline injectors and provide gasoline to the rear switch ports. The downstream injection supplies correct atomization of the gasoline with the upstreaming air. That is the place the bike is cleaner, as there’s much less unburnt gasoline, simpler combustion and fewer emissions.
The ergos, brakes, clutch ease, beginning and clean efficiency all make the 300XC-W TPI an off-roader’s dream machine.
The 300’s engine administration system (EMS) has a management unit that you simply’ll discover underneath the saddle. This unit ascertains the ignition timing and the quantity of gasoline injected, which is predicated on air consumption, throttle place and the engine’s fluid temperature. In layman’s phrases, there’s no extra jetting required to cope with altitude and temperature modifications. Like final yr’s TPI engine, it’s match with a 39mm Dellorto throttle physique with the airflow regulated by a butterfly that’s operated by a traditional throttle. A throttle place sensor offers airflow knowledge to the management unit, whereas a bypass screw lets you regulate the idle velocity. There’s a chilly begin, which opens a bypass supplying extra air. Keep in mind, that is an oil-injected machine (no premix), and which means the crankcase receives zero lubrication. With oil injection, there’s an oil tank (the filler is instantly behind the steering head), and oil is provided from the oil pump and mixes with incoming air to lubricate crankshaft bearings and the cylinder/piston. The oil-injection system is claimed to scale back as much as half of the smoke from the exhaust system over carbureted fashions and has a capability of zero.7 liters, sufficient for 5 to 6 refills of gasoline.
The oil-injection filler sits in between the fuel cap and the triple clamps. It holds .7 liters (23 ounces) of oil, which is sweet for 5 to 6 tanks of petrol. KTM’s triple clamps are tremendous adjustable for riders preferring totally different bar positions.
With the chassis, there are few modifications from final yr. KTM’s XC-W line comes match with the WP Xplor fork and shock, whereas the XC variations include the AER air fork, and their rear finish runs by means of a linkage system. The Xplor fork makes use of springs in each legs, options separate damping features for every leg (compression: left, rebound: proper) and changes are discovered on prime, the place entry and clicks could be altered with a flick of the dial. There are 30 clicks on every damping circuit. This yr’s fork has been match with new valving that wards off the surplus dive of final yr’s fork and has higher resistance to bottoming by way of the sealed hydro-stop function.
The PDS rear shock comes with a progressively wound spring, and the linkless system is very touted by riders who go for technical terrain over higher-speed racing. The plastic preload adjuster is a returning sore level. KTM stored the kickstarter on the 300, although we’ve got by no means used it.
The WP PDS shock mounts on to the swingarm—once more, no linkage. Damping is dealt with by way of a dual-piston design that targets a progressive arc to damping curve. A progressively wound shock spring aids within the gradual rise in damping really feel and motion. There are a number of benefits to the link-less PDS system. Ease of upkeep (together with removing) and floor clearance in ugly terrain are on the prime of the record. The chromoly metal body is a KTM custom and presents correct stiffness and good really feel (via power absorption elements). The body is tremendous mild and makes use of an aluminum subframe match with a side-access air filter. The saddle is agency and skinny, providing good mobility, and the two.Four-gallon gasoline tank retains good strains for rider motion. It carries an built-in gasoline pump and a fuel-level sensor that allows you to know when issues begin getting near the panic degree. The wheels are match with CNC-machined hubs and black D.I.D Dust Star rims. Tires are Dunlop. AT81s are mounted up each fore and aft. Brembo brakes and Wave rotors deal with the stopping duties.
On lengthy sustained climbs we received the 300 to boil over. We’re going to put in a fan. Each suspension ends are plush, the fork is just too divey and riders over 175 kilos will want stiffer springs.
THE ACID TEST
The 300XC-W, outfitted with enduro lighting, a pleasant little odometer and a skid plate (a tidy plastic unit), weighs 229 kilos with out gasoline. That’s about 5 kilos greater than final yr’s XC-W carbureted mannequin. Beginning by way of the button is instantaneous, and we by no means needed to fiddle with the cold-start button. It feels pretty skinny. The ergos are good, and the saddle-height-to-peg relationship is sweet for an average-sized human. Our over-6-foot crowd felt cramped and moved the handlebar mounts to the ahead place to offer them a bit extra room. Those with cranky knees screamed for a taller saddle.
Proper out of the opening, the bike is silky, fast and fast. There’s virtually no vibration, and this reality alone makes it really feel quick. The clutch pull is good and clean, and the engagement permits for good modulation when the terrain will get tough. It’s crisp, feeling like a spot-on jetted machine, and the transition from roll-on into the mid meat of the powerband is linear but splendidly potent. If something, it feels perhaps a skosh lean right here, however as you transition into the higher pull, it yanks lengthy and exhausting. Once more, the shortage of vibration is large right here! With out belaboring the purpose, it’s clear. Pulling well, it craves brief shifting and lugs down, making very nice traction in ugly zones the place grip is restricted. Stalling was by no means a problem, and the nastier terrain showcased the robust bottom-to-mid energy, which is the guts and soul of the bike.
We additionally did some major-league hill-climbing, and right here the bike confirmed a robust mix of energy with sufficient on prime to maintain the wheel spinning on sand climbs. It additionally revealed that the center goes lean if you drop off the powerband and are pressured to clutch it and struggle to get the rear wheel to hook up. It’s not a detonation really feel, extra like a tinny lean spot that you’d usually journey round. However, each from time to time, it sits on the one chair left within the theatre. We’re engaged on a repair right here with a programmable ECU, however that gained’t occur till subsequent month. We had no drama with shifting. It’s clean, and the six-speed gearbox has very usable first via fourth gears. Fifth will get taller and sixth is an overdrive. Matted in sixth and also you’re haulin’ boots! We caught with the inventory gearing, which is 13/50 and really not often used first. Second and third are nice path cogs, and with hill-climbing, it trusted the lead-in to the mountain.
UPS — Clear and free-feeling energy • No glitches in energy movement • Six-speed gearbox is spaced splendidly • Nearly no vibration
Within the dealing with division, the 300XC-W TPI is concentrated but smooth. For the causal path rider, the suspension is plush. It loves rocks, roots and path junk, sending little again to the pilot. Quicker circumstances reveal that the Xplor fork is best on the large hits, nevertheless it dives and wallows far an excessive amount of for an aggressive rider. It’s sprung for a 170–180-pounder. Bigger riders and high-end aggro kids should go stiffer. Huge guys will want springs entrance and rear. However, be that as it might, the suspension is balanced and does many issues properly. We ended up going 4 to 5 clicks stiffer on the fork compression, added a quarter-turn to the shock’s high-speed compression circuit and ran the rear sag at round 105mm. There was a glug of chatter concerning the pluses and minuses of the PDS rear finish. Pundits who push linkage say that the PDS rides too excessive, gained’t squat in successive hits and makes for a springy/floaty journey. On the opposite aspect are the off-road aficionados who reward the PDS’ potential to deal with rocky terrain much better than any linkage bike. When you look intently at what the high-end KTM racers use, it actually is dependent upon the circumstances. Cody Webb runs PDS on his EnduroCross machine and his excessive enduro 300. Taylor Robert runs PDS on his two-stroke and linkage on his desert machines. Jonny Walker makes use of PDS know-how on all of his excessive racing machines.
In our off-road world the place our driving zones vary from exhausting and rocky to unfastened and sandy, the tires play an enormous position. Within the unfastened excessive desert, the Dunlop AT 81 just isn’t preferrred. The entrance wanders and pushes regardless of the enter. We switched to a Dunlop MX3 up entrance, and it was fantastic. Within the harder-packed, cobby check space, the entrance AT 81 does an honest job of sustaining entrance traction. Out again, the AT 81 works properly in roots, rocks and hardpack. Within the unfastened stuff, it’s common at greatest.
Right here’s the fast and soiled on different sides of the 300’s character:
Brakes: Tremendous robust mated to good really feel. Love the adjustability on the lever.
Footpeg: Good and broad. Good grip. They’re truly 6mm taller on the XC-W in comparison with the MX machines.
Bars/grips: The ODI grips are wonderful. No issues with the Neken bar or the bend. The testers favored it. Once more, KTM has good adjustability on the handlebar perches with inventory and ahead positions, so you’ll be able to dial within the ergos.
Pipe/muffler: The silencer is lengthy, the word quiet and the mounting sleeve is sort of cool. We’d wish to see a spark arrestor. The enlargement chamber is plated and should do a superb job with the facility, because it’s fairly adept. Nonetheless, it hangs in hurt’s approach, and ours has a number of good-sized dents in it from path abuse.
The beginning system is great. KTM has this dialed in by way of the lithium-ion battery and a tidy starter motor.
Just remember to use the right oil within the injection system. It should say two-stroke injector oil or two-stroke oil and injector-friendly. We used Motorex two-stroke oil, which is suitable with oil injection.
We aren’t large followers of the inventory rims. We put a number of good-sized dings within the again rim early on.
Gasoline mileage on the TPI is best than the carb machine. We’re getting about 52–58 miles out of a tank, operating within the excessive desert. With the two.Four-gallon tank, we’d begin getting nervous at 40 miles.
We solely obtained the 300 to steam arduous on one horrendously lengthy hill. Nonetheless, we’d wish to see a radiator fan on it.
HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE
There isn’t any doubt that in the event you’re a two-stroke devotee and off-road is your forte, then the KTM 300XC-W TPI is driving the bus to enlightenment. Is it good? No. In some purposes, the suspension shines, however, general, we’d like much less wallow and dive and extra precision. This doesn’t imply that we would like it stiff, simply stiff sufficient to remain up within the stroke and nonetheless retain the plushness that a versatile off-roader calls for. Energy-wise, we’re impressed. It’s robust down low, pulls extremely clear and yanks on prime with a lusty roar. However, it has a small chink within the armor within the midrange the place it feels lean. Subsequent month we’ll be testing some ECU mods and can move this info on, however general this machine sparkles. It’s mild. It handles. It makes brutally efficient energy, and it’s enjoyable. It will get an enormous wow.