2008 KTM 200 XC and XC-W

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The 2008 KTM 200 XC and XC-W combine the performance of 250 XCs with the maneuverability of 125cc off-road bikes. It results two unique motorbikes that will not pass unnoticed by the motorcycling public. Reliability, power and easy handling are all keys to these bike’s successes.

 

Introduction

Riders who choose to go with KTM are searching for diversity and uniqueness and both these 200cc Offroad Competition XC models are meant to offer just that. Light and agile, the 200 XC and XC-W are the easiest bikes to ride if you’ve just finished your training days on the XC 105.

The Austrian manufacturer doesn’t draw a specific line between motocross and off-road, something that can be noticed in the entire lineup, with no exception on the bikes we’re talking now. Engine is a 193cc single cylinder, two-stroke while the transmission is a bit different for a more appropriate behavior to the type of riding preferred. XC’s gearbox has six gears with semi-close-ratio while on the XC-W six gears wide ratio are set.

History

KTM 200 XC and XC-W

KTM first produced and marketed what was to become the 200 XC in the year 2000 as the 200 EXC. A true motocross bike, the 200 EXC was introduced with a 193cc single cylinder two-stroke engine that came to life with the help of a kick starter. Color options were Orange/Silver.

In 2006, KTM made the smart move of replacing their old 200 EXC with the 200 XC and 200 XC-W, models that corresponded with the requirements of the EPA.

Competition

By doing so, KTM clearly showed that it went up against the best in the business and no mistakes were made there. It relied on the superior 193cc engine to deal with its competitors.

KTM 200 XC and XC-W

The Yamaha YZ125 is based on an aluminium frame housing a powerful and compact 125cc, liquid-cooled, two-stroke engine that compensates for being smaller with the reed-valve inducted. It also features a six speed gearbox for a better top speed, but this is where the KTM takes the lead. MSRP: $5,599

KTM 200 XC and XC-W

Up against the Yamaha and the KTM is the Suzuki RM125 which although not revised for 2008 model year it still proves awesome performing thanks to the 124cc two-stroke engine’s wide powerband. Suspensions are also reliable and efficient both on the race track and on the trails so the Suzy is a good alternative for whatever 125cc two-stroke bike you have in mind. MSRP: $5,099

KTM 200 XC and XC-W

Another competitor featuring a 124.8cc two-stroke liquid cooled single is the Husqvarna CR125 which also has w/HTS Power Valve for better grunt at any rpm levels. Also equipped with a six speed tranny and sold for $5,399, the Husky is ideal for this battle.

Exterior

KTM 200 XC and XC-W

Looking like true racers taken right off the motocross track, the subjects of this review manage to attract customers not only with the specs page, but with their looks too. You will find that both bikes look much alike as they are configured in the same way and by the same ingenious manufacturer.

Even though sold as off-roaders, no headlights saw their way on these bikes. The number plates were enough. Color combination for KTM motorcycles in general is Orange and Black and the XC and XC-W make no exception. The rims are also blacked out as well as the forks. A small difference is the fact that the mudguards of the XC are black and those of the XC-W are orange.


Test Drive

KTM 200 XC and XC-W

Through a leg over one and kickstart the two-stroke engine and you will never choose to go with another manufacturer again as the bikes are truly impressive thanks to their motocross and off-road abilities. The XC is more of a racer than the XC-W, but each bike feels well at home in the other’s environment.

It is all due to the versatile two-stroke engine that does nothing more but delivering great power all through its powerband. What immediately strikes you is the hard-hitting power that comes in the low and mid range, but when trying to win your palls on 250s the sixth gear will prove best valued only if the engine was revved to the maximum in fifth gear. If not, it would seem like you’re waiting for the 193cc to catch its breath.

But when it comes to climbing hills, jumping over lugs or passing through rivers, this is the ideal machine as it is very light and benefits of an extremely potent engine. Take the 200 XC to the track and your good impressions won’t change at all as your lap times will result more than decent and the fun will be without precedent. I most enjoyed to have it exit the curves in a very aggressive way and then accelerate even more and change third gear, if necessary, in order to gain speed for the big jump waiting in front of me.

The seat is narrow and accommodated me in the best zone possible in order to feel the way the bike performs and value its carefully-elected center of gravity. I wasn’t expecting to get off from one of these bikes and not get a muscle fever in only a few hours, but my hands feel like they’ve been mechanically stretched and they are not far from signaling a true fact.

Even though my hands were solicited, my bottom has not suffered as the seat is effective as well as the WP suspensions which soak up the bumps with great ease, providing a smooth and enjoyable ride out in the nature. On the track you won’t give them the opportunity to be harsh on your lower back as you’ll be pretty much standing on your feet on those courageous jumps and risky landings.

When I get on a dirt bike, I like to have the piece of mind that I can put an end to any dangerous situation with a single and powerful touch of the brakes, but when I hear about Brembo front (two pistons) and rear (single piston) brakes, things become clear to me and I start rolling the throttle without even testing the brakes first because the riding experience has thought me that THE best never give up and constantly develop their products in order to deliver the best braking feel ever. I use both brakes in most situations and when I need to stop and this is what I also recommend you, but this time I played a little with the rear end on wet grass. That was a situation that required my legs to go off the footpegs and on the ground very often.

Price

KTM’s goal was to deliver the awesome performing bikes at decent prices and with $5,499 for the 200 XC and $5,998 for the 200 XC-W it seems that the Austrian manufacturer manages to accomplish everything it sets its mind for.

Conclusion

Bulletproof built, reliable, powerful and easy to handle are KTM’s priorities when creating a motorcycle and that is what customers appreciate so much at this maker. It is being said that you will either love it or hate it, but I only met with people who adore their KTM’s and would never change them with anything else.


SPECIFICATIONS

 

Engine and Transmission

Engine type: Single cylinder, 2-stroke

Displacement: 193 cc

Bore x stroke: 64 x 60 mm (2.52 x 2.36")

Starter: Kickstarter

Transmission: 6 gears semi-close-ratio (wide ratio on the XC-W)

Carburetor: Keihin PWK 36 S AG

Control: TVC twin valve control

Lubrication: Mixture oil lubrication 1:60

Transmission lubrication: 15W50

Primary drive: 23:73

Final drive: 14:48

Cooling: Liquid cooled

Clutch: Wet multi-disc clutch, operated hydraulically

Ignition: Kokusan digital 2K-3

Chassis and Dimensions

 
Frame: Central double-cradle-type 25CrMo4

Subframe: Aluminium, removable (Aluminium 7020 on the XC-W)

Handlebar: Neken Aluminium Ø 28/22 mm (1.10/0.87")

Front suspension: WP USD Ø 48 mm (1.89")

Rear suspension: WP monoshock PDS

Suspension travel front / rear: 300 / 335 mm (11.81 / 13.19")

Front brake: 260mm (10.24") disc, Brembo double piston

Rear brake: 220mm (8.66") disc, Brembo single piston

Rims, front / rear: 1.60 x 21"; 2.15 x 18" Excel

Tires, front / rear: 80/100-21"; 100/100-18"

Chain: X-ring chain 5/8 x 1/4"

Main silencer: Aluminium

Steering head angle: 63°

Trail: Adjustable

Wheel base: 1475±10 mm (58.1±0.39")

Ground clearance (unloaded): 390 mm (15.35")

Seat height: 925 mm (36.42")

Fuel capacity: approx. 11.5 liters (3.04 gal)

Weight (no fuel): approx. 98.6 kg (217.4 lbs); 94.8 kg (208.99 lbs) – XC-W


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