Dirt test: KTM 300 EXC-E-News & Reviews-Motorcycle Trader

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11 Feb 2009 | Dirt Bike magazine farewells its long-term KTM 300

Parting is such sweet We’ve come to the end of our time our KTM 300 EXC-E long-term test and with a tear in our eye, we to say goodbye.

I have to admit I hadn’t spoken to anyone KTM for a while because I didn’t to bring up the topic of our 300 EXC-E. the 2009 models arriving I it was time to hand our 2008 300 back, but I just didn’t to face the music. To make it I can’t even go for a goodbye because I’m grounded by injury.

Oh, the of it all.

When we initially to KTM about the possibility of receiving a we weren’t overly fussed which bike we got, but was a real eagerness to get back on a We’re all fans of the 300 EXC from way and for some reason the Monkeys all at shared a deep desire to get onboard a dinger. Not even the of pre-mixing could put us lazy off.

It was, it seems, time to get to the roots of dirt riding. Not technologically, but to also back to why we all in this sport, which is to fun. Four-strokes are unbelievably these days and the sport has seen so many well-built and bikes.

But the arm-wrenching power of a 450 can be scary at times, and when followed up by 115kg of metal and rubber, the average rider can to treat the throttle like a grenade pin – one false move and mates are pulling Lantana out of nose like a magician a hanky from his hat. Add to the high cost of running a four-… and you’ve got to wonder why the has completely lost its appeal.

The is, it hasn’t. KTM sold out of 300s this year. TM and Gas Gas do very business with their dingers and Yamaha has said keep selling its YZs until stop buying them.

Elvis hasn’t left the


was a time when the idea of the being the dominant class was But times have changed and we now in an era where it’s possible for a attendant to get a pilot pregnant. no surprise then that all championships are now run and won exclusively by thumpers and freestyle the big exceptions), and the young no longer knows the sweet of pre-mix in the morning.

For us though, smell is a narcotic.

The idea the 300 was to ride it in stock form. No mods and only some gear attached. We also to contact dealers around to get some good tips on but after a few calls this pointless.

Nobody seems to do to these bikes.

Even Chris Birch rode was basically a stock 300 in the Romaniacs and Rallies. It just needs a and some fuel and you’re So, although we did ring dealers for some great tips for the 300, most of them they don’t do anything.


We did over 46 hours on the EXC-E and we have one second of downtime. The start worked every we never fouled a plug; the never leaked and the engine only once, after I put in some dodgy petrol I got a servo that looked like a Kebab shop a reputable fuel outlet. In I think you could get a free with every 20lt of

It’s had its fair share of and one big crash, but the bars aren’t bent. No levers were and absolutely nothing mechanical on bike has been repaired or You gotta love that.

But go thinking we babied this It got hammered at times. It’s through every imaginable from mud to rock shelf and to snow.

From 36-degree to below freezing at high

The best investments we made definitely the bashplate (which you never leave home and the Kenda tyres. I’m not overly when it comes to tyres, but the Creek Sticky front and rear have been After about 600km the is stuffed, but the front still has in it.


Their grip on any surface is and I’d recommend them to anyone listen.


So can we tell you about life a KTM 300 EXC-E?

Life is good. The is fun and the bike is as strong as an ox. It’s but manageable. It’s torquey, but it has plenty of poke.

It’s not as as the 250 EXC, but it has so much more down low that it hunts 450 thumpers on any hill.

The fork really loosened up to the point of plush and if I was to break our rule of no I’d have at least experimented some different weight oil to get some smoothness in the action. In the brilliant Marzocchi fork on the Gas Gas was the one area that separates two of the bikes on the market at the moment. aside, the shock was faultless and we spent more than an in total setting up the 300.

The fun factor is what the 300 is all about. light and unimposing, but the engine has spark and you find yourself for berms or banks to bang or jumps and logs to launch

Any time we were exploring a new or track, I’d prefer to do it on the 300 because I it could go anywhere and it’d me get there, without completely my energy, no matter how hard it

And so, KTM got hold of me and the 300 EXC-E is gone. of the Monkeys even rang to that I was okay because I had somewhat attached to the Austrian. what bikes do to you though.

Not all, just the good The 300 EXC-E is definitely one of the good We can all see how this bike would be the choice of so many riders and if given some consideration win back a bunch of 450F as well.

We will never to the two-… dominated past, but we turn our backs on it. The 300 isn’t a of yesteryear and is every bit as relevant as anything else on the market. parking one in your garage. be jealous. n

Words Pix: Ashenhurst


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