Next we took it out and rode it on a long, beat and fast outdoor track in central California that would be exactly what you'd come across in a WORCS race. The bike repeated its Elsinore excellence and put an exclamation point on everything we felt at the MX park. This track's bumps were irregular, and the dirt went from sand to hardpack from turn to turn. Traction was easy to find with the smooth power, plus it launched when needed but was always in control. The stability never came into question, and it was easy to keep the front end light with the long-winded power. These two riding stops confirmed that KTM hit the target it was shooting for with the XC setting. Brakes are the standard stronger-than-anything-else KTM issue; you'll likely get used to them and feel everything else is weak.Next we loaded up the bike and drove much farther north, all the way to Idaho to ride it in the St. Anthony Sand Dunes. Here, we'd be able to use every ounce of power and see what kind of legs the gearbox really has. Power was plentiful and would pull the bike anywhere and everywhere it needed to go. Due to the elevation, the bike was starting to get a little blubbery on the bottom and needed a slight jetting change, as we planned on going up high in the mountains the next day. On the dunes, we tortured the bike with repeated hillclimbs, and it never spit a noticeable amount of coolant, although we did get the gas to boil in the tank.Our next test was to push the design envelope of the bike and take it on trails. Jetting was in order as was the addition of an FMF Q4 spark arrestor. We dropped the needle two positions leaner, went from a 185 to a 175 main jet, went from a 42 to a 38 pilot and added a Scotts Performance (www.scottsonline.com) T-handle fuel screw averaging in the neighborhood of two turns out. This made the bike just a bit lean at 5000 feet, but it ran clean to nearly 10,000 feet. On faster, flowing and easier trails, the bike is just fine. It is plush, and you can use the power effectively. But as you get into the tighter and much more technical single-track, the bike is definitely pushing the limit. Compared to more of a trail-focused bike like the Kawasaki KLX, which we had along with us, the KTM isn't nearly as plush. The KTM is better than a full MXer on the trail since it has a midspeed soft spot that lets it blow through the stroke on just the type of hit where MX suspension would deflect and abuse you. Also, the gearing isn't low enough in first to easily (without clutch) get through the really nasty stuff. The KTM wants to go fast, sometimes too fast, so some fancy clutch work comes in handy. And this clutch abuse (the clutch took it) gives the cooling system a workout; the bike can and will steam on the really difficult and long trail sections. The power can be just a bit too much, almost getting snappy when you pick up the rpm any higher than just off the bottom. On the roads, we never really missed the sixth speed. Ask those who do the last time they were wide open in fifth. There was never anything the KTM couldn't do on the trail. In fact, the torque of the engine right off the bottom is really strong and impressive, but there are much better bikes for a more trail-biased rider.That trail-biased rider is below where KTM's 2008 XC-W line will aim, but we just had to find out. Even on a bike with no lights, no odometer and not even a kickstarter, we had to address the trail manners. At least the XC has a kickstand, now with a bigger foot, so it doesn't sink so easily in soft ground.The real test of the bike was when we loaned it to a local Idaho riding buddy to take to the MX track for a night practice. Impressed with the bike on the day's trail ride, he brought it back later that evening, after comparing it back to back with his 2007 450 SX, and said, "I'm buying one."