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  1. #1
    I have e-start envy issues BULL's Avatar
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    300 2T Interesting Read

    2018 KTM 300 EXC – THE END OF AN ERA
    By admin - May 3, 2018
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    With KTM Australian announcing the MY18 range of carburetted KTM EXC two-strokes will be the last of their kind, we look at what made the carby-fed 300 such a dominant extreme enduro machine.
    This feature was first published in ADB issue #461 – February 2018.
    Words and Pics: Olly Malone

    My earliest memory of extreme enduro involves a few unlikely characters, Travis Pastrana being one of them. I was absorbing my daily dose of Fuel TV and on came Nitro Circus. Pastrana was at the 2006 Erzberg Rodeo and, despite having no extreme experience, he was attempting one of the world’s toughest on a Suzuki RM250 motocrosser!
    Pastrana didn’t finish Erzberg but, if anything, that made it more entertaining. Something about the toughness of the terrain and unbelievable skill of the riders got me hooked. It was like nothing I’d ever seen.
    In the 11 years since, the genre has exploded and extreme enduro riding now has its own pro riders with big-dollar factory contracts. The European manufacturers continue to pump out two-strokes designed for the toughest races on Earth, with the prospect of tougher emissions laws and obligatory fuel-injection the only cloud on the extreme horizon.
    In issue #451 we compared Beta’s 350cc four-stroke with their 300cc two-stroke as extreme machines, and concluded the 300cc two-stroke is the better extreme mount, but we didn’t delve into why. So we took this opporuntity to really analyse the two-stroke’s extreme capabilities and why they’re so damn popular!

    ORANGE ARMY
    Developing fuel-injection for two-strokes has been an engineering nightmare. When four-strokes started using EFI some lost their ability to lug down in the revs and flame-outs became a problem. ADB Ed Mitch Lees rode the new Transfer Port Injection EXCs at the international launch at Erzberg (ADB #454) and you’ll be happy to know that problem doesn’t appear to plague the KTM two-strokes.
    This is good news because the current crop of MY18 EXC two-strokes will be the last KTM enduro smokers available with a carburettor and as of 2019, EXC two-strokes will only be available in TPI spec.
    The 2018 300EXC is largely unchanged apart from a switch to lighter outer fork tubes and graphics. KTM responded to complaints about the jetting of the 250 and 300EXCs with a new intake manifold which rotated the Mikuni TMX38 carburettor by seven degrees to reduce overflow. It’s also claimed to be less sensitive to altitude and temperature changes.
    WEIGHT
    Every kilo counts when the trail gets tough, so weight is the main reason why two-strokes are the preferred weapon for extreme. The 2018 300EXC only weighs 100kg dry. Although the weight difference to the four-strokes is reducing, a 2T’s advantage goes beyond the scales.
    Two-stroke engines have less rotating mass, making them spin up faster and slow down more quickly. I get far less fatigued when wrestling a 2T compared to a 4T. It can be difficult to explain exactly why two-stroke engines cause less fatigue in gnarly terrain but, from my experience, 2Ts are more willing to rev-up quickly and are easier to stop without a huge amount of effort.
    The four-stroke engine wants to keep spinning due to its mass, which translates into it needing more energy to stop. You notice this most when launching a four-stroke up a steep hill. On approach you bring the revs up and pop the clutch to launch but when you get to the top the four-stroke engine wants to keep going and, if you need to suddenly stop, it takes more rider input.
    An EFI four-stroke can also flame-out, leading to all sorts of problems if you’re about to crest a rock ledge. Even the simple pivot turn, a crucial skill for extreme enduro riders, requires more effort.

    TORQUE
    A huge part of why the 300EXC is suited to extreme enduro is the torque it produces right off idle. Where a 250F or 350F needs to be kept at higher revs to produce usable torque, the 300EXC will chug along on the verge of stalling and still have enough torque to pull you up a hill or pop the front wheel over a log. This again goes back to minimising fatigue, a slower revving engine is easier to control.
    However, open up the 300EXC and it’s devastatingly fast. Lyndon Snodgrass claimed the 2017 Australian Off-Road Championship E3 title on one and they’re raced at Finke and Hattah.
    Where the two-stroke can bite is in slippery terrain or if you’re riding with an average rear tyre. Because the engine produces so much torque and is eager to spin up, the rear wheel can break traction and induce a surge of power without even adjusting your throttle position.
    In this situation, the TPI bike might have an edge because of its smoother power delivery but it’s nothing a bit of clutch and throttle control can’t fix. Nothing about old-school two-strokes was smooth, they’d rattle the fillings out of your teeth and it was only in 2016 that KTM got this under control.
    The balance shaft has almost completely eliminated vibration through the bike and you can rev the 300EXC all day without pins and needles setting in.
    It makes long rides more comfortable and until you’ve tried it, you don’t know how good it is.


    EXC Two-strokes will only be available in TPI from 2019
    RESILIENCE
    It’s been a long time since I’ve been on a ride during which a four-stroke went pop, but that day spent dragging a 450F out of a gully seared into my memory. Two-strokes have a reputation for toughness because there’s less going on inside and that’s why they’re the pick when it comes to bike-boiling, torture rides. Despite flashy plastics and exotic marketing jargon, the 300EXC is a simple machine.
    When KTM announced it was installing electric start, keyboard warriors went to town, claiming anyone who needed electric start on a two-stroke shouldn’t ride. Those same people were quick to change their tune once they tried it for themselves.
    The first, magneto-mounted electric starts had dramas. Often on the side of a hill, balancing on the edge of a rut with no room for error the starter motor wouldn’t engage. It was always when the bike was in gear and at those critical moments when you’re a bee’s dick away from losing your balance you needed it to work.
    KTM also solved this issue for the 2017 model year, when it added the balance shaft, with an underslung starter motor and now the magic button works perfectly every time.
    SUMMARY
    The current crop of professional extreme riders aren’t using two-strokes just for the hell of it. For the difficult terrain they find themselves in, the 300 smoker is still the ultimate machine. The 300EXC’s 100kg dry weight, paired with the smooth but torquey engine, electric start and simple design, is one of the best choices.
    But the 300T isn’t a one-trick pony, if you find yourself riding fourth gear terrain more than walking your bike through rock beds in first, the 300EXC still caters for you. But for those moments when you wish you were back at the car with a beer in hand, but instead you’re wedged between a rock and a hard place you’ll be thankful you’re not hauling a four-stroke out of there.
    source:adbmag
    Quote Originally Posted by Husky33 View Post
    Lets see what they do with the x series in the future besides blue rims lol
    I had a few yz's back in the day and 1 thing I can say is they are strong as hell in terms of life span of parts. I have a husky now which I service religiously but not nearly as strong as the yammies


    Beer, so much more than just a breakfast drink.
    If I had saved all the money I spent on beer, I'd spend it on beer.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mitch's Avatar
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    Mitchell Hickey
    Thanks Jeff. Finally contributing to the forum.
    2015 Husqvarna TE300

  3. #3
    Tring Tring ozosborne's Avatar
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    Oz Osborne
    Lekker. Thanks

    Testament to why I love mine so much

  4. #4
    Senior Member Dean_E232's Avatar
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    Dean Van Der Merwe
    Quote Originally Posted by ozosborne View Post
    Lekker. Thanks

    Testament to why I love mine so much
    you have a TPI ?
    "If you’re going through hell, keep going " Winston Churchill

  5. #5
    The Old Ballie Tombstone's Avatar
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    Steve Lauter
    I think fuel injection in 2-strokes is fantastic innovation, but I'm a bit dissapointed about not being able to have a carb option for the next few years. I don't trust early versions of tech. Even KTM's!!! 2008 burned me.......
    "Bones heal. Pain is only temporary. Chicks dig scars. Glory lasts forever." - Evel Knievel

    Mechspec Racing: CBO
    Chief Beer Officer

  6. #6
    I have e-start envy issues BULL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch View Post
    Thanks Jeff. Finally contributing to the forum.
    Joumasehare.
    Quote Originally Posted by Husky33 View Post
    Lets see what they do with the x series in the future besides blue rims lol
    I had a few yz's back in the day and 1 thing I can say is they are strong as hell in terms of life span of parts. I have a husky now which I service religiously but not nearly as strong as the yammies


    Beer, so much more than just a breakfast drink.
    If I had saved all the money I spent on beer, I'd spend it on beer.

  7. #7
    Member Ten Bar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tombstone;580534[B
    ]I think fuel injection in 2-strokes is fantastic innovation, but I'm a bit dissapointed about not being able to have a carb option[/B] for the next few years. I don't trust early versions of tech. Even KTM's!!! 2008 burned me.......
    Have to agree, A carb model should also be available- The TPI has now stopped the average technical guy from being able to tune his bike without the KTM computer/hardware/software, what happens to riders that live far away from a dealer and need the latest map upgrades that seem to be coming thick and fast - ? Also it becomes way more difficult to conduct a track side repair if the bike breaks down. 2T should be simple and carbs made it that -

    I for one will miss the old carb bikes but i suppose its all about the $$ and emissions and if we can keep on riding 2t's we will have to live with TPI, It wont be long untill the okes in the USA are converting TPI's to carbs. Those yanks cant leave stuff alone

    Goodbye Mr Carb I will miss you
    NO SCUM ALLOWED - You know, Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants.
    Billy the KId

  8. #8
    I have e-start envy issues BULL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ten Bar View Post
    Have to agree, A carb model should also be available- The TPI has now stopped the average technical guy from being able to tune his bike without the KTM computer/hardware/software, what happens to riders that live far away from a dealer and need the latest map upgrades that seem to be coming thick and fast - ? Also it becomes way more difficult to conduct a track side repair if the bike breaks down. 2T should be simple and carbs made it that -

    I for one will miss the old carb bikes but i suppose its all about the $$ and emissions and if we can keep on riding 2t's we will have to live with TPI, It wont be long untill the okes in the USA are converting TPI's to carbs. Those yanks cant leave stuff alone

    Goodbye Mr Carb I will miss you

    My son downloads settings from the internet and maps his YZ 450 via his smartphone. I reckon this will be the norm soon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Husky33 View Post
    Lets see what they do with the x series in the future besides blue rims lol
    I had a few yz's back in the day and 1 thing I can say is they are strong as hell in terms of life span of parts. I have a husky now which I service religiously but not nearly as strong as the yammies


    Beer, so much more than just a breakfast drink.
    If I had saved all the money I spent on beer, I'd spend it on beer.

  9. #9
    NotSoDangerous, Dave!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ten Bar View Post
    Have to agree, A carb model should also be available- The TPI has now stopped the average technical guy from being able to tune his bike without the KTM computer/hardware/software, what happens to riders that live far away from a dealer and need the latest map upgrades that seem to be coming thick and fast - ? Also it becomes way more difficult to conduct a track side repair if the bike breaks down. 2T should be simple and carbs made it that -

    I for one will miss the old carb bikes but i suppose its all about the $$ and emissions and if we can keep on riding 2t's we will have to live with TPI, It wont be long untill the okes in the USA are converting TPI's to carbs. Those yanks cant leave stuff alone

    Goodbye Mr Carb I will miss you

    Think of it as a chance for the average tech guy to learn a whole bunch of new skills with his computer etc.
    If you have the technical incling you will most likely figure it out easily enough.

    Also if you have to buy stuff to update yourself, remember, he who dies with the most toys wins...
    It never gets any easier, you just go faster...

  10. #10
    FINGERS!!!!!!!!
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    Im just gonna leave this here

    the magic button works perfectly every time.
    The brave may not live forever but the cautious never live at all.

  11. #11
    My name is Coco thebob's Avatar
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    Please talk to me but DO NOT feed me!
    JD Jetting already has a fuel controller available for the TPI, super easy to use as well by all accounts. Athena and PowerCDI making new ECUs as well for the TPIs which include the ability to tune your own maps as well as adding traction control.
    2017 KTM 250EXC Six Days - Dal Soggio XP-One, VForce4, MME levers, a Keihin, Mitas & Tubliss

    Check out my YouTube Channel

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