Oh, great, I’m off my rocker. How could I even say that the 2009 KTM 250XC is the best bike ever? With only one day of track riding under my belt? Yes, the headline might just be true. Allow the guy who gets everything motorcycle related for free to explain.I’m relying on nearly 30-years of experience here. I’m never going to be a one-bike-does-all kind of guy. But if I were, this is the bike to be looking at for the following reasons in no particular order.It has an electric starting, smooth and torquey two-stroke motor that has a bombproof reputation and is simple to work on as well(kick-starting included in case you ever need it). It’s light weight with all of the aforementioned features, has suspension tuned to do everything and suffer nowhere providing just enough off-road plushness without the pork and brings nothing you don’t need. It is just plain a great performer.I almost knew it before I rode it, but I had to ride it to finally say it.Starting with starting. If I have to explain to anyone else why I never want to kick-start anything again I’ll go nuts. I guess some people just won’t get it until they try it. This bike sounds like a jet ski coming to life and the push of the button never makes me tired or strained. What about that added weight? I could lose that around my waist just by quitting drinking beer, and I won’t do that either. Now that this added feature is on the XC, stock, it is really good. Especially at two-hours into anything, kicking is for kids.Then I must compliment KTM on the forks. Not only do they look good in their newer more-white appearance clasped by a trick black clamp (stuff of works bikes just a few years previous). But they really work well, too. No stiction, a plush feel on a light bike and they resisted bottoming just fine on a jump-filled MX track. I didn’t even touch a clicker up there and that is a first on any KTM. And from the chop on the track, which I hit at both moto and trail speeds, just for thoroughness, it seems that this front end will be just fine out in the sticks. I’ll find out tomorrow, I’m taking it to the trails.Out back the PDS linkageless shock does a fine job as well. It feels a little on the softer side when pushed at serious MX speeds, but again, not enough for me to even get the screwdriver out. It is, if anything, comfortable and gets traction with a lot of wheel movement. Complaints would be that it uses more stroke than a MX bike when really pushed to complain. That, combined with the 18-inch rear tire, doesn’t deliver the super superior bite when stacked up against strict MX setups.The handling can be summed up in one word: light. I’d use flickable, flingy, feathery and every other played-out F-word we throw around here and none of them would fly as far as this bike goes sideways with the simple turndown of the handlebar. When you can get away with this much action on a bike that has this kind of power, it is silly fun. And when a bike feels light the planted feeling usually leaves the description card. Not so much here. I’m feeling that the softer suspension plays into the more planted feeling, giving the bike ample stability along the way. It turns where you want it and even atop a set of older-generation and, compared to the latest offerings, mediocre performing Bridgestone tires that just do not wear out. Wear out quicker, damn you! I want’ to see what better rubber will do for this machine but I’m too cheap to change new tires.Then we have the motor. I know what a strong running 250SX feels like since I’ve been riding one all year. This XC takes all the snap, hides it someplace and adds torque and a reluctance to spin. So much so that I suspected the secondary “mellow” ignition map was engaged. So I disconnected the under-tank wire only to find what was a more aggressive curve. I guess I was in the mellow one. Now that I know which is which, I’ll use the mellow setting in my next extreme enduro. I think I’ll ship this bike to Kawai, Hawaii for a Hare & Hound at the end of August.I’m going to play with the included optional powervalve spring because I know there is a more moto setup lurking inside the engine. But in stock trim the torquey motor didn’t stop me from ripping around the track plenty fast, if not faster, because the bike sort of felt slow. It is so smooth that it just grabs traction and hauls. It sounds and acts muffled but you feel the torque winding up even at higher RPM. The pull is there just without the usual racket. But for off-road types of racing this is the power I’d want and it is way better than any MX oriented two-stroke for real trail work. I just love two-strokes these days.The checklist includes insanely strong brakes and the rear even had decent control. The layout is thin and sleek without stuff to snag on while packing nearly three-gallons of fuel. It is super quiet, though non-spark arrested since the bike is sold as a closed course competition model. And it has electric start. Oh, I already said that, but I really like it.I’ll come back and check myself if my trail riding reveals anything off-putting, but truthfully I don’t expect that. There is nothing worse than a MX bike in the trails, for me at least, I don’t need to suffer like that. Somehow I feel KTM has bridged the gap of all settings and options to make this XC exactly the full-featured yet minimally equipped machine that will get it all done. It won’t be cheap, but everything is expensive, especially imported from Europe, try a whopping $7898 MSRP. I’m going to bolt on my FMF Q Stealth now. Now, don’t hate me because I’m riding the best bike ever.