The rocky mountains of Colorado call for a certain type of weapon in the form of a linkage-less 300cc two-stroke… in orange of course. Broken down in KTM terminology, we are talking about the 2012 KTM 300 XC-W, and no bashing the 2013 here, we just didn’t have one on hand in the square state. Jim Rios of BRP recently picked up this steed and offered to deck it out from head to toe with an outstanding list of mods that more than prepared our 300 for the trails; technical ones at that. Here, we’d like to provide you with a in depth look at the mods that went into this project KTM. For the full test, dive right into the March issue of Dirt Rider Magazine.
Tossing on an Enduro Engineering (EE) spark arrestor is like putting a cherry on top of a hot fudge sundae. It completes the picture, looks trick on the stock muffler and will keep the local Smokey’s slightly less interested in you.
Given the amounts of rocks this KTM 300 XC-W was going to encounter, we needed every bit of help we could get to keep the big expansion chamber on our two-stroke safe. This carbon fiber pipe guard from EE looks great and did its job well.
This little rear brake caliper radiator by System Tech Racing (STR) will pull heat from the brake fluid each time the rider gets on the binders. It’s a factory-bling piece and your bike appreciates its function.
The cleated brake pedal from STR was a nice addition, providing more grip than stock. The occasional creek crossing or stepping through mud was where the extra brake pedal’s traction shined, when stock would feel like a slippery moving target. And the clutch cover shield, also by STR, is a must have on any motorcycle, especially on the rocky trails in Colorado. The brake pedal is so close to the clutch cover and is often punched into the case, thus leaking oil and ending your ride. A trick orange piece of armor like this one greatly reduces unwanted failure.
You can never go wrong with some orange bling on your KTM. Orange oil filler cap, compression/rebound adjusters and air bleeders by STR.
This beautiful wheel set by Dubya remained round after a week and 600 plus miles of smashing through some of the rockiest trails we’ve encountered. We were very impressed to say the least, especially since we never had a spoke come loose on our brand new set. Orange hubs and black wheels are a deadly combination on a KTM.
Slavens Racing is well known in Colorado for its magical setup in rocky terrain. Getting through a rock garden isn’t always easy and finding a smooth line is another thing. Jeff Slavens has the balance between comfort and performance dialed. On the KTM 300 XC-W with Slavens Racing suspension, the fork was sprung one rate to stiff for my 165 lb frame, but the action of the fork was good. Once past the initial stroke and into the mid range of travel, the front end was planted and tracked well through tough rocks.
A little customization makes your ride feel a little more at home. The Cycra wrap-around hand guards kept my fingers from getting squished on the bars and pushed the trees out of the way… or maybe just nudged them… but I still have my fingers!
The SDG custom lowered step seat really came into play on tough rocky up hills and kept me from holding on to the bars so tight to keep my body from sliding to the back fender. The seat foam was a good compound, not overly stiff, and didn’t brake down so quick like the stock KTM seats will.
When you get past the boring stuff on a trail and the going gets tough, snotty or just plain slippery at the pegs, these IMS Big Foot pegs not only increase grip but have a wider platform to set your boots on.
The Renthal Twin Ring sprockets and gold O-ring chain drove the KTM’s rear wheel and added some style. The rear sprocket has steel teeth (silver) and an aluminum (orange) centerpiece to save weight. Durability and longevity are the name of the game here. The black piece by EE is a clutch slave cylinder guard that adds stylish protection.
Chain guards are a necessity from the aftermarket. Billet Racing Products (BRP) Ultimate chain guide provides better wear resistance than stock and less power-robbing friction from the chain. And it’s orange!
Another part that seems to weigh more on the factory scale than the average trail rider, the 7602 Racing carb vent filter. Believe it or not, dust can climb up through your carburetor vent lines and into the carb itself. The orange lines have a very clean, factory look and the filter keeps your bike’s lungs fresh.
Skid plates definitely hold their own on off-road trails. This orange armor is from Hyde Racing and it covers not only the bottom but your cases on either side. I personally am a fan of non-metal skid plates because they don’t bind up the frame and cause a rigid ride.
Double Take Mirrors has definitely done some research and testing with these highly popular foldable mirrors. For one they are hardly noticeable when riding, and two I was able to loosen my mirror, fold it down and tighten it into position while standing up on a single-track trail not even looking at what I was doing. And if you are using a GoPro, it is easy to fold the mirror back up and look into it to see if you are recording or not. The ease of use here is well above average.
The BRP Rubber Mounted SUB (stabilizer under bar) mount and hand guard mounts are built for the Scotts Steering Stabilizer and Mounting Tower. This is a very clean package that frees up some space on your handlebars so they don’t look like the cockpit of a 747 jumbo jet. And the rubber mounts are a necessity on long rides—effectively taking the buzzy feeling from your hands after a day in the saddle. All of you two-stroke riders know the feeling!
A black BRP gas cap? Yes! How factory does it get?
Another valuable bolt on accessory, the Enduro Engineering radiator braces are great for protecting your radiators from twisting, bending and all around abuse. Your side shrouds will even be easier to remove and install, because with a straight radiator, the bolts will match up a lot better than they will on some twisted chunk of metal.
Possibly one of the most common mods on all off-road bikes across the board, an IMS oversized tank will keep you from carrying gas “just-in-case.” At 3.3 gallons big, the extra weight of a full tank wasn’t really too big of an issue, definitely not enough to complain about, and increased our range by about 30 to 35 miles.
Enduro Engineering helped us gain our street-legal status in Colorado with a very clean, almost stock-from-the-factory-looking headlight and taillight/license plate holder. When a ride runs long you need something to guide you back home. And while they aren’t the brightest lights on the block, the EE headlight offers decent illumination at night.
Pirelli rubbers both front and rear. Up front we used the Scorpion Pro F.I.M. and a MT-43 trials tire on the back. The trials rear paired with any front tire offers crazy amounts of traction and grip over rocks, as well as what feels like the plushest initial impact. The Scorpion Pro F.I.M. had a bit to stiff of a carcass for the rocks that we were smashing into and we’d have liked a tad more feel, but nonetheless, the stiffer sidewall didn’t allow any pinch flats for 600 miles of rocky trail.
I’m very picky about my grips and after spending upwards of eight hours in the saddle for four days straight, my hands were happy holding onto two Spiders. The Spider M1 Grips are cool and look like the tread pattern on an aggressive off-road truck tire. The grip is soft and doesn’t feel like you’re holding a metal bar. No blisters here!
A quick thanks to the sponsors. From top left to bottom right: Dubya, 7602 Racing, Enduro Engineering, Shorai, System Tech Racing, Hyde Racing, Dirt Digits and Pirelli.
Top to bottom: BRP, Scotts Performance, Cycra Racing, IMS Products, Dirt Digits and FMF.
Slavens Racing gave our fresh KTM 300 a head and cylinder mod as well as a thoroughly tested Mountain Jetting Kit, designed for riding about 8,000 feet of elevation. We know how gutless a motorcycle can seem when the air gets thin. All of the bikes were affected by the lack of air when we reached 14,000 feet, but those of us with the Mountain jetting kit were a little better off. The motor wasn’t as slow to rev and kept more of a predictable off-idle delivery. And for the motor modifications, power was boosted in a broad range. From low-end torque to mid-range pickup, our 300 just had more power.
Billet Racing Products has the moto bling that will make you want to wash your bike every single time you ride it just so you can see it shine. Confidence boosters or just good, clean looks? We’ll let you decide.
Parts List And Company Contact Information
BRP 800-834-9363 / brpmoto.com
BRP Rubber Mounted SUB
BRP Hand Guard Mounts
BRP Custom Graphics from Dirt Digits
BRP Chain Guide
BRP Reservoir Cover
BRP Billet Gas Cap
Clean Speed Engineering 480-216-1791 / www.cleanspeedeng.com
Clean Speed Engineering Cable Guide
Cycra Racing 800-770-2259/ www.cycraracing.com
Cycra Hand Guards
Cycra Custom Hand Guard Graphics
Enduro Engineering 517-393-2421 / www.enduroeng.com
EE Spark Arrestor End Cap
EE Radiator Braces
EE Head Light
EE Tail Light
EE Brake Light Switch
EE Clutch Slave Cylinder Guard
EE Carbon Fiber Pipe Guard
Double Take Mirrors 888-501-0599 / www.doubletakemirror.com
Double Take Mirror
Dubya 714-279-0200 / www.dubyausa.com
Dubya Black DID Dirt Star Rims and Gold Talon Hubs
Hyde Racing 763-263-9835 / www.hyderacing.com
Hyde Racing Skid Plate
IMS Products 951-653-7720 / www.imsproducts.com
IMS 3.3 Gallon Tank
IMS “Big Foot” Foot pegs
Pirelli Tires www.pirelli.com
Pirelli MT-43 Rear Trials Tire
Pirelli Scorpion Pro F.I.M.
Pro Taper 951-736-5369 / www.protaper.com
Pro-Taper RM Low Bars
Renthal www.renthal.com / 877-736-8425
Renthal Twin Ring Sprocket Kit and O-ring Chain
Scotts Performance 818-248-6747 / www.scottsperformance.com
Scotts Steering Stabilizer
Scotts Shark Fin
Scotts SUB Mount Tower
SDG Seats 949-752-5227 / www.sdgusa.com
SDG Custom Lowered Step Seat
Shorai 408-720-8821 / www.shoraipower.com
Shorai 14 Amp Hour Lithium Iron Battery
Slavens Racing 719-475-2624 / www.slavensracing.com
Slavens Racing Mountain Jetting Kit
Slavens Racing Head and Cylinder Mod
Slavens Racing Suspension
Spider Grips Call your local Tucker Rocky Distributor / www.spidergrips.com
Spider Grips M1 Grip
System Tech Racing 303-794-5095 / www.systemtechracing.com
System Tech Racing Brake Pedal Tip
System Tech Racing Oil Filler
System Tech Racing Fork Bleeders
System Tech Racing Clutch Side Cover Guard
System Tech Racing Rear Brake Radiator
7602 Racing 719-274-0606 / www.7602racing.com
7602 Racing Carb Vent Filter