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2011 KTM 250 XC-FW SixDay Review


by Pascal Bastien ,

Raring to go – more than usual for some
The engine’s propensity to absorb and forgive rider errors becomes immediately apparent, as does the well modulated throttle linkage. This excellent combination allows you to tackle difficult trails, jumps and very “technical” sections with ease. Thanks to the smoothness of the 250 when compared to a 450, you can easily maintain a hint of throttle to get around and over boulders without putting yourself in a risky position. On rocky as well as open trails, you can always find the right gear for you, thanks to the engine’s wide operating range.

The SixDay’s user-friendliness is so reassuring that riding at your natural pace simply becomes almost too easy. You find yourself riding harder and pushing back your limits. Indeed, no trail seems to steep, too rocky or too muddy. The bike seems to fly over the quick stretches without needing any input, while you catch yourself going for jumps that seemed at first glance too high or complicated for your level. The thorny up- and downhill areas become child’s play and you handle them faster and without any extra effort, which bodes well for hours-long Enduro races.

The agility and precison of the SixDay turn more technical trails into child's play. (Photo: Philippe Champoux/

Talk about refined
The new SixDay version of the 250 XC-FW is a visual and sensory experience, and a stunningly efficient and high-performance bike, despite the smallish 250cc engine. Thanks to its oh-so user-friendly ride and breathtaking looks, it stands out amongst the excellent off-road machines produced by the Austrian manufacturer.

But there’s a catch, as the 250 XC-FW’s factory silencer is, in our opinion, way too noisy for recreational riding, to the point of making enemies, both personal and of motorcycles in general, wherever you happen to ride. KTM sells a silencer insert that quiets the beast, and not fitting it is simply irresponsible in my opinion, despite the purported drop in performance. As far as organized racing is concerned, I will gladly let organizers decide whether obtrusive noise levels are worth it, keeping in mind that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find sites that will host major events like Enduro and Endurocross events.

Efficient and nimble
Racing/recreational versatility
Exemplary race ergonomics
Great style

Way too noisy for recreational riding
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