I recently bought another KTM 300 exc dirt bike to get back off road. I’ve got the bug again, what can i say. This bike has come on hard times and was most definitely neglected by it’s owner. Every wear item on the entire bike is worn. The wheel bearings, steering head bearings, brake pads, sprockets, and chain are all worn. The pipe is dented up and a bit cock-eyed. However, it does run like a champ. This bike fires right up, has excellent compression, and runs well. So the motor is tight. I just have to tend to all the odds and ends to get it back up to snuff.
I was initially hesitant about buying a 1994 model when I had a 1999 300exc in the past. I was worried that a downgrade might make me feel like I was riding an old buffalo. This however, is not the case. The earlier 300exc’s like this one have inverted forks. KTM bounced back and forth a bit on the forks and have now in the 2000’s determined that conventional forks are superior, and I agree. However, I doubt I’ll notice a huge difference. All the KTM models also had a linked rear shock until 1998. The linkage basically compensates for inadequacies in rear shock technology at the time. Rear suspension today is much more adjustable and can be run effectively with a direct connection to the swingarm.
In addition the frames of the 300excs were lightened and narrowed ever so slightly in 1998. But truth be told, I’ll never notice the weight difference unless I ride the bikes back to back. The only real difference I actually notice right off the bat with this bike is that the fuel tank obstructs access to the carburetor and spark plug. That and the seat is a bit lower, but much more plush and comfortable.
I’ll give a full ride report once I get some fresh oil in this baby and the snow melts a bit.
Until then. Gear up, rubber down.