A Buyer's Dilema Part KTM 300 or 450? - Feature Review - Dirt Rider Magazine

Dear Dirt Rider,I read Karel's response to a reader about whether to buy a 2-stroke or 4-stroke in your "Letter of the Week" on the website. Karel made some good points and I would like to expand on the question a bit.I'm a 40+ B off-road rider in the Northwest. I compete in a handful of Hare Scrambles (4 to 10 depending on how long the "Honey-do" list is) and 1 or 2 motocross races each year. The rest of the time is spent trail riding. I currently ride an '00 YZ250 and I just had knee surgery to repair a torn ACL so I want to treat myself to a new bike in the Spring.I would really like to join the 4-stroke craze, but the motocross versions sound like they need some modifications to be a good off-road bike and the off-road versions seem to be really heavy because they all seem to come with electric start. I don't mind kick-starting a bike if it will save me 20 pounds. Because of this, I was really excited when I saw the new XC models from KTM. They seem to hit the mark for what I'm looking for but the 4-strokes still seem to be really heavy. I've never ridden a KTM but considering more than half of the people I race against ride them—they must be pretty good.If I decide to go to KTM, what are the pros and cons between the 450XC and the 300XC. In your opinion, which one of these bikes would best fit my situation? Is there another brand or model that would work better?Thanks,Jim Davies

Jim,You are looking at two good choices for the area you ride in and the type of riding you anticipate doing. You would probably be happy with either bike. For me it would come down to how much you ride in the mud. If the conditions are muddy and rutted the two-stroke is pretty hard to beat. If you are mostly riding in slippery, rocky, rooty conditions then I like the four-stroke.I always prefer the four-stroke for motocross and trail riding. In terms of weight, the 300 will be roughly 225-230 pounds stock and the 450 will be 250. I have often said the same thing you said about the electric start on a four-stroke, but I notice that I have never taken the trouble to actually remove one, or even take the battery out. Once you get used to the magic button, it is hard to go back. As I see it, here are the pros and cons of each bike:Like I said, there isn't a loser here, but we really can't tell you which to buy. I'd buy the four-stroke, Jimmy would buy the two-stroke. It just depends on what you like.Karel Kramer