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Enduro360’s KTM 250 xcw Bike Build Project
Resurrecting the KTM 250 XCW
Once upon a time there was a motorcycle that looked like this
I am a guy who has spent my entire life buying and selling bikes. It started with bicycles, but quickly moved on to ones with motors. I got pretty good at the process. I even went on to work in dealerships selling bikes. A big part of that job was evaluating and buying used bikes.
I am the master at spotting the gems. For example, with a KTM, I love to see that shiny clutch cover, especially if it still has the OEM Motorex sticker on it. Not like my own bikes where the plastic from my Sidi boots has nearly worn a hole in the side. Heck I can typically guess how many hours a bike has on it from a Craigslist cell phone pic.
So people call me asking for advice on bike purchases all the time. They usually want to know about the newest, greatest whatchamacallit 450XXy. I don’t know why, many of these people are smarter and faster than me to begin with. Typically they just want me to agree with what ever they have already decided to buy. Like a good motorcycle salesman I usually do. Well, except when they want to buy a _________, oh but I guess I shouldn’t say that here. (But you didn’t listen to me way)
So now I get a phone call from my buddy that goes like this; “Hey guess what, you know how I have been saying I want to get a two stroke? Well boy did I find a deal! The price is great. The seller says it is going to need a little love. They are done with it and it has just been sitting in the corner for a while now. Well no, I won’t get to see the bike, they have to ship it out to me. But did I tell you what a great deal it is?”
So I politely agree with my friend. He already has a stable full of bikes, so he is doing this on a whim. Besides, we are talking about a late model KTM 250 2t. Those things are super durable and don’t need much attention. So the bike arrives and we head out for a ride. My buddy seems pretty happy with his bike. I am busy shooting photos of the race that is going on, so I don’t pay too much attention. Now as it turns out, another riding buddy shows up the same day with a shiny new 2012 300 xcw. Funny how those things work out. The used 2010 250 looks ok on its own, but parked next to the lustrous shine of a new bike it pales.
So the conversation turns to “well, maybe I better send this into the shop for a little TLC, clean up that plastic and stuff, give it a good once over”. Without too much thought I volunteer my services, “just let me do it”. So as I push the bike over to my van I notice a clunking noise. I don’t think it is supposed to do that. Oh well, probably the lower shock bearing, they go bad easy enough. I throw it up on the stand and give the rear wheel a yank. No, that is not the shock, I think it is the swingarm bearings. Now that is a little strange, I have never replaced those, they are sealed up well on a KTM and typically last a long time. Not a good sign. I wonder what the odometer reads, 198 hours, wow!
I think you know where this story is going. As I get the bike home and start to take things apart, many of the pieces just sort of disintegrate in my hands. This is one very well worn bike. It has seen lots of mud and pressure washing. But the 250’s new owner is always looking for the silver lining. When I tell him about the general state of things, he says “well let’s do it right, besides I hear that you can take the 250 and convert it to a 300 pretty easy, in fact I hear that makes it better than a stock 300”. You remember the other buddy with the new 300, well this obviously the way to go one up on him and his shiny new bike.
So there it is. We now have the 200 hour 250 xcw spread across the shop in as many little pieces as you can imagine. But the good news it is going to get just about everything that can be imagined as a wish list for the ultimate enduro bike. Here is the first look at the project.
ps – This is pretty much exactly how the events transpired, but in proof reading it, I can’t help but feel that I have somehow plagiarized the whole thing from Ed Hertfelder somehow.
Like one of those Craigslist beauties
Have you checked your reeds lately?
Aren't there supposed to be some bearings in there?
E start gear, little end bushings destroyed
I already know what these are going to look like inside