Let me get this out of the way right now– building the ultimate bike and sticking to a budget do not go together very well.
2010 KTM 300 conversion project
If you did not get a chance to look at the “before” state of our 2010 KTM 250xcw project bike, make sure and do so. What we started with was a 200-hour bike that had seen a very hard life. It clearly had been through plenty of water, mud and pressure washing. Nearly every bearing on the bike was bad. Every exposed surface showed rust and corrosion. A rather sad state for what was once such a fine motorcycle.
Initially this bike was just slated to get a little tune up and some love where needed. As I began taking things apart, it just led to more and more things that needed attention. A rusted bearing, broken bolt and worn out parts were found everywhere. Next thing I knew, it was more or less down to the frame. What started out to be a small project quickly turned itself into a massive rebuild.
Interesting how use and care can affect the life of a motorcycle. After looking at the worn out reeds on our bike, I gave my dad a call. He has an identical 300xcw. I checked to see how many hours are on his bike. His has over 400 hours on it and has never had the top end apart! The only part of the motor that has seen a wrench is the Electric starter.
The motor was the first area that needed addressed. We decided it was probably due for a top end. The countershaft also showed a fair amount of wear. That meant taking it all the way down to the cases. If you are going to take it all the way apart, may as well do everything in between. Therefore, it got all new bearings in the transmission as well as a new rod.
The factory KTM 300 conversion kit is the heart of our build project. Over the years I have seen a couple of different articles that talked about how converting a 250 to a 300 makes a better bike than anything you can buy from your local KTM dealer. I have always wanted to build one of these. The nice part is that KTM sells the entire package as one part number, a true turnkey assembly.
The kit includes cylinder, piston, head, ignition, power valve and gaskets. There are two versions, one for an XC spec and the other for SX spec with a higher compression head and hotter ignition curve. We used the XC version. The whole package retails for $850. It is quite a bit of dough, but considering what is included, it is a reasonable value.
Our friends at Skeeter’s Motorsports in La Mesa helped out with the motor work. Mechanic Jim Tripp did a meticulous assessment of all the parts and gave us back a motor that is proving, perhaps even better than what rolled off the Austrian assembly line. Vey’s Powersports and Mike’s Cycle helped us out with many of the miscellaneous KTM parts. As usual, when we need a part that was out of stock everywhere else, Mike’s Cycle had it on hand and shipped it out the same day.
For the chassis, as I said, nearly everything we touched was either worn out or needed to be fixed. The decision was to just do everything. We rather shot the wad on the project. A few things are perhaps in excess. But I would have a hard time singling out any specific thing to remove. Each part makes its contribution to the whole of the project.
2010 KTM 300 Project Parts list
Collection of new parts for our project
-Pro Moto Billet / Fastway
Flak Shields – simple, durable hand protection
Sidestand – nice upgrade from the worn out stock unit
Billet axle blocks – avoid broken blocks
Aluminum Evo Air Footpegs – pure dirt bike jewelry
F3 stabilizer with under bar mount – clean mounting system to control the shakes
Rear disc guard – protect our new brake rotor
-Fasstco Flexx Bars -10 degree KTM bend to keep my wrists happy
-Seat Concepts foam and seat cover – wider and flatter perch is much more comfy than stock
-Clockwork 3.3 gallon tank – slim attractive design for extra range
-Rekluse billet clutch cover – much tougher than stock cover
-All Balls Bearings – we replaced every bearing in chassis, everything smooth and rolls like new
-FMF Gnarly pipe and Q silencer – tougher than stock unit, nice and quiet
– Kenda Washougal Sticky tires – good all terrain tire choice
-Bullet Proof Designs – radiator guards & swingarm protector, “I am Bulletproof” says Christina
-BRP chain guide – stronger, more durable than stock
-Ironman – indestructible sprockets, new brake rotors are a nice replacement for worn out stock ones
-Precision Concepts Suspension
Setup for 180lb trail rider, full revalve with .44 springs in front and 7.2 spring in rear.
As you might imagine with a project like this there were a wide variety of miscellaneous parts needed. Many small parts were replaced with new OEM items from KTM, including many corroded bolts (mostly for cosmetics) and plastic. As is my practice, I also just go to EBay for many of the small or unusual things. We found a near new set of KTM wheels there; these are silver with gold hubs from a 2005 model.