Saturday, December 1, 2012

KTM 350 EXC-F: A Conclusion

 

KTM’s “Ready-to-race” mantra sticks to the 350 EXC-F for sure - but this motorcycle is more than a race bike.

Every part of this motorcycle was designed to perform.  It sums up to a very agile, predictable and easy to drive off-road bike in all trail conditions.  Surprisingly, it also makes the 350 EXC-F an ideal motorcycle for off-road neophytes as it easily forgives mistakes.  However, there are fine prints: the bike does not fit everyone.  As an example, with my 5’9” frame, I had to adapt to the seat height.  But once you’re off, the experience is unique.

In 5 points, what I liked the most about this bike:

  1. lightness: at more than 10 Grand (Canadian), we may ask what exactly we are paying for.  The answer is rather unusual, but we are paying for something we don’t want: extra weight that would impact negatively the 350 EXC-F’s agility.  At only 240 lbs. (109 kg), this bike is the reference in the matter;

  2. the engine: I was surprised by the engine’s efficiency – a 350cc which has more punch than I originally expected.  This small mono is smooth at low RPMs and has enough torque to have fun.  There is also power in higher revs – I reached speeds that are way above highway limits.  On no occasion while riding the KTM was I under the impression that the engine was short on power or deficient – KTM announces an hefty 45 hp!

  3. ground clearance: it is huge, stratospheric, impressive.  The ground clearance on this motorcycle will let the rider go anywhere without the hassle of an impact with a big rock.  However you can’t have your cake and eat it too: because of the ground clearance, the rider must deal with a sky high seat;

  4. suspension: it absorbs obstacles on its path with disconcerting ease;

  5. narrowness: the bike is so thin that it sneaks in anywhere.  This was extremely useful on many occasions.

I could certainly add more items to the list, but it can be summarized to this: the bike has been engineered without compromise to excel in all off-road situations.

On the other hand, of course there are negative points.  So here is what I dislike in 5 points:

  1. seat: unless one rides nearby trails week after week, it is required to travel long distances on paved roads to reach new paths.  After a few experiences, the seat will gradually erode one’s enthusiasm.  There are aftermarket seats that could help in this area (SeatConcept manufactures one).  Towing the bike is an alternative solution;

  2. autonomy:  many bikes have an autonomy issue.  With only 112 miles (180 km) of autonomy, the KTM requires to carefully plan adventure rides according to the location of gas stations along the way.  Also, it runs on high octane fuel, some gas stations only offers regular – an issue I had to deal with on my test ride;

  3. wind protection: riding most dual sport motorcycles at 65 mph (110 km/h) for hours on the highway makes you feel like a fish out of water – it applies to the 350 EXC-F as well;

  4. maintenance: high performance parts of the KTM require rigorous maintenance.  As an example, the piston must be serviced after 105 hours of normal use.  Unless one is an advised mechanic, maintenance fees can escalate rapidly if the bike is used regularly;

  5. practical aspect: it is not possible to have a passenger and it is difficult to carry anything - this is simply not a bike designed with this in mind.

Despite the drawbacks mentioned above, riding the 350 EXC-F was a pretty satisfying off-road experience.  My only regret: I ran out of time due to circumstances out of my control and I could not ride the bike in all the trails I had planned…hopefully, the end of the world will be postponed again and I’ll get another chance.

I don’t think I exaggerated when I described the 350 EXC-F as the dual sport Ferrari.  The price tag is high when compared to other bikes in the same category, but considering this bike as the sum of KTM’s “savoir faire” accumulated over the years – just think about Dakar rally victories – it is possibly a bargain.

Thanks to KTM Canada loaning the bike and thank you for sharing!

DSAQ

25 comments:

  1. KTM has released their recommanded service intervals on all models here

    ReplyDelete
  2. I own this bike, and agree with everything you wrote. Like you I'm 5'9" When I used to ride motocross on a kawasaki kx I don't remember that bike being as tall as this one. The sky high feeling takes some getting used to. As for the maintenance, sure be religious with your oil, and filters. Adjust the valves regularly, but rather then buy parts willy nilly on schedule. Buy measuring tools to check the spec first. The Manual recommends replacing the valves at 100 hrs along with all engine bearings, and piston just to name a few. Ok piston I would do that along with re honing the cylinder. That's just good insurance, But the other stuff really?? If you went by the ktm maintenance schedule word for word, inside 5 years you will buy this bike twice again in just parts.

    The valves cost $189 a piece, there are four of them. I'd be damned if I don't check them before I replace them. I also bought a 4 year insurance policy on the bike in the event of catastrophic failure. If the valves cost near $800.00 imagine what the whole engine would cost. I'm thinking the schedule is more for the benefit of KTM, and their dealers then for the their customers.

    I've heard that the hydraulic timing chain tensioner is the weak link in the top end which can be replace with a mechanical one from dirt tricks. This mod is one I plan on adopting fo sho. Thanks for the write up it was a really nice read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Pat for this great comment! I'm sure readers will appreciate the extra input.

      Cheers,
      Marc

      Delete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good! Read also my conclusion about motosport. I hope it will be helpful for you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Today, there is a great number of websites that offer different paper writing services. These sites usually have the same terms and conditions as well as policies for using them. You may think that these sites are just all the same up to the paper’s quality. They’re not. If you seek information about “123helpme hack”, welcome to Scamfighter.

    ReplyDelete
  6. When it comes to getting into nursing school, a good admission essay is at the center of the decision. An admission essay can help or hurt students who wish to get into nursing school. The essay is not only about the content but about other important components that let the admission board know that students are serious about entering their programs and that they will be valuable assets as well. It is important for potential nursing students to know that there are important elements needed to write the perfect admission essay to get into nursing school. writing an impressive nursing entrance essay for those who need academic assistance.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Excellent blog thanks for sharing the valuable information..it becomes easy to read and easily understand the information.
    Useful article which was very helpful. also interesting and contains good information.
    to know about python training course , use the below link.

    Python Training in chennai

    Python Course in chennai




    ReplyDelete
  8. Woohoo! It is an amazing and useful article. I really like. It's so good and so amazing. I am amazed. I hope you will continue to do your job in this way in the future as well.

    Java Training in Chennai

    Java Course in Chennai

    ReplyDelete
  9. It is providing consumers with an easy to use, cost-effective and safe way of sending money worldwide. Xoom also pay bills. During transfer. it moves your money fast, and keeps your security a top priority.

    For more information visit site :- Xoom Login
    Amazon mytv
    Venmo Login

    ReplyDelete
  10. You may have refreshed your system to a more current form, or the more seasoned printer driver probably won't be helpful at the present time. Along these lines, to realize how to fix Epson printer error state, you should uninstall and reinstall the driver. You can utilize the plate which accompanied the printer to introduce the driver. Epson printer not printing error

    ReplyDelete
  11. It's a really good post. I’m definitely sharing your information with my friends. It's a valuable post for everyone. Sell my ATV

    ReplyDelete
  12. Movie-watching websites that are more than movie-watching websites Because we are the number 1 free movie site in Thailand for a long time, including new movies, Thai movies, Western movies, Asian movies, we have all kinds of ways for you Including new series Full of all stories without interstitial ads to keep annoying anymore. One place sa-movie.com.

    Android and IOS operating systems. Watch online movies, Thai movies, Western movies, Asian movies, Cartoon movies, Netflix Movie, Action Movies, Comedy Movies, Crime Movies, Drama Movies, Horror Movies, Adventure Movies, Crash Movies and still have many new movies to watch. You can watch for free anytime, anywhere 24 hours a day at see4k.com.


    GangManga read manga, read manga, read manga online for free, fast loading, clear images in HD quality, all titles, anywhere, anytime, on mobile, tablet, computer. Android and IOS operating systems. Read top comics, action dramas, comedy, adventure, horror and manga. New coming every day to watch many more. Can be read for free anytime anywhere 24 hours a day at gangmanga.com..

    It is no secret that football is among the most popular and widely watched sports. Everybody who likes football tries to find the best platform for free soccer streaming. So, what are the best free sports streaming sites? We are going to answer this question. On this page, you can find a detailed overview of the most widespread soccer streaming websites. Keep on reading and make the best choice for you live24th.me.

    ReplyDelete
  13. You have shared such a great post. I got some valuable information from this post. Thanks for sharing such a post. Keep Post. Sell My Motorcycle

    ReplyDelete
  14. With special privileges and services, UEFA BET offers opportunities for small capitalists. Together ufa with the best websites that collect the most games With a minimum deposit starting from just 100 baht, you are ready to enjoy the fun with a complete range of betting that is available within the website

    ufabet , our one another option We are a direct website, not through an agent, where customers can have great confidence without deception The best of online betting sites is that our Ufa will give you the best price

    หาคุณกำลังหาเกมส์ออนไลน์ที่สามารถสร้างรายได้ให้กับคุณ เรามีเกมส์แนะนำ เกมยิงปลา รูปแบบใหม่เล่นง่ายบนมือถือ คาสิโนออนไลน์ บนคอม เล่นได้ทุกอุปกรณ์รองรับทุกเครื่องมือ มีให้เลือกเล่นหลายเกมส์ เล่นได้ทั่วโลกเพราะนี้คือเกมส์ออนไลน์แบบใหม่ เกมยิงปลา

    อีกทั้งเรายังให้บริการ เกมสล็อต ยิงปลา แทงบอลออนไลน์ รองรับทุกการใช้งานในอุปกรณ์ต่าง ๆ HTML5 คอมพิวเตอร์ แท็บเล็ต สมาทโฟน คาสิโนออนไลน์ และมือถือทุกรุ่น เล่นได้ตลอด 24ชม. ไม่ต้อง Downloads เกมส์ให้ยุ่งยาก ด้วยระบบที่เสถียรที่สุดในประเทศไทย

    ReplyDelete
  15. Probably the most genuine football betting UFABET that's beyond description Find fun, excitement and excitement with slot video games, hundred totally free recognition, quick withdrawal. If you desire to have fun slots for money No need to deposit a great deal, no minimum, no need to share, squander moment for the reason that UFABET is in fact reduced, given seriously, many great offers are waiting for you. Prepared to ensure pleasurable, regardless of whether it's Joker SlotXo fruit slot, we are able to phone it an internet slot website for you personally especially. Ready to have fun Like the support staff which is going to facilitate slot formulas as well as techniques of actively playing So you will be certain that each minute of fun and pleasure We will be there for one to give your customers the best appearance as well as fulfillment.
    บาคาร่า
    สล็อต
    ufa
    แทงบอล

    ReplyDelete