Saturday, 15 April 2017


So we now have two of the KTM 350 EXC-f's in the stable, Lucy's 250 EXC-f has found a new home, my 400 EXC is about to follow suit once I've finished servicing and putting it back to standard setup.

Lucy's is a 6 days and a 2015 bike, I've picked up a 2012 standard bike, so it's ideal to look at any differences and also compare the earlier model bikes. For the 2012 one, I've stripped it and changed a bunch of things, nothing major but it needed some additions and I also wanted some of the stuff I'd put on the 400 to test out which have worked out well.

First thing I've noticed about these bikes in comparison to the 400 carbed version is that there is more vibration, I can feel it on both bikes, more on Lucy's as the chain & sprockets need replacing urgently, but it's also on the 2012 too. The 250 was very buzzy all the time, so tiring to ride for a full day, it'll be interesting to see how we fare over time with the 350's.

Injection systems are still a little bit on/off, again on both bikes, but definately better on Lucy's. Carbs allow for the idle speed to be lower and thus the bike runs on at a nice level when you're playing in tricky stuff. The injected bikes both run the rev's higher and on the first couple of days out in Wales, I stalled mine loads as just not used to it as yet. Now 5-6 days later of riding, I'm getting more used to it, but I still prefer the carbs!

Fuel range is better, the 250 had a 7 litre tank, we got about 10 miles to the litre, 70 miles range, the 400 had a 9 litre tank, same mpl, so 90 mile range. The 350's both do around 120 miles to a 9 litre tank, so about 13 miles per litre.  This helps us to relax a bit, especially after the 250.

Suspension is lush on both bikes. On the older bikes, even after a service at a KTM dealer, they were both a little stiff and notchy, the 350 versions are just better, period. Lucy had hers lowered by 10mm through the yokes at the front and then softened off at the back, this means she can now 'dab' when she needs too and has booosted her confidence on the bike loads.

Brakes are better, both bikes have a smoother set of brakes, front and rear. Now to be fair this could be down to my shite servicing and also both the 350's are on soft pads rather than the syntered ones. These don't last as long but they grip better and don't wear the discs out on the bikes anywhere near as fast.

Engine braking is much stronger. When you throttle off, the bike stops. With both the 250 & the 400, they just rolled on, so that has taken some getting used too and I've almost gone over the handlebars as caught out faffing around!

Saddles - These are much softer than the old bikes ones, for the 2012 bike, I feel like I'm sat on the frame whereas Lucy says hers is too stiff, so we may well swap and see how that goes, if that doesn't work I'll get mine redone with a more comfortable bit of padding!

Things I've added so far are;
1. Zen Overland Garmin AMPS mount - I liked Lucy's so much I bought bmyself one too!
2. KTM 13 litre tank - I had an injected KTM tank in the shed, so fitted this for the trip, range now 170 + miles.
3. In tank fuel sock - to add another layer of protection to the fuel pump.

Things to add;
1. Long neoprene fork gaiters - hopefully these will make the fork seals last longer
2. Tank protectors to the sides of the 13 ltr tank - need to find these!
3. Trailtech sidestand - The stock one is shite again, even though I've added a stiopper plate, Lucy's is better but it's been used less too so far!
4. Trailtech X2 Headlamp unit - I want to try the stock one out first, then most likely make the change.

Other than this lot, I don't see the need to change much more on this bike for the upcoming trip, happy days, almost time to ride away for the summer!

Next up is to try a 3 day ride with the panniers etc and see how that goes, then full service, load the bikes up and bugger off to the sunshine!