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IanMac138 IanMac138
12/6/2018 12:31 AM

I have a '19 150 SX and am in love (for the most part). Up until this bike I had been off a MX bike for 10 years after a very bad injury. Before my injury I had been riding and racing for 20+ years. Throughout my riding life I've had several 125's and 250's, and still to this day have never ridden a 4 stroke. Coming from an '07 YZ250 (last bike I owned pre-injury) I decided that I wanted to scream a 125 again but wanted some extra power and I'm glad I went with the 150. That being said, after 12 solid hours on the bike (3 hrs riding trail to break the motor in and the rest on legit MX tracks) here's my take on the pro's and con's so far. Again, I've been out of the MX game for a decade so my take on the 150 thus far is highly subjective although I've ridden and raced countless bikes in my day for which I'm basing the following on.

Pros:
- Weight: The bike is super light. Actually, amazingly light. Feels like I'm riding my Santa Cruz 5010 MTB if that makes any sense. So fun.
- Ergonomics: Incredible. I'm 5' 8" and 175 lbs and the bike just feels so tight, slim and easy to move around on and manipulate for any situation. In the air, it's the most flickable bike I've ever ridden. Compared to my '07 YZ250 and even my '05 YZ125 it feels light years ahead in this department.
- Power: It's true that if you don't ride this bike aggressively as it is meant to be ridden, it will bum you out. You have to be quick on your shifts and keep the bike in the revs or else it will eat you alive and make you feel slow. I'd go so far as to say that you better be well versed in riding a small bore 2 stroke, otherwise you will feel inept and be very frustrated. Fitness will also go a long way when riding the 150 especially if you're riding tracks or racing it because you better be ready to hang on when riding it to its full potential...when the power hits, it hits HARD. But to make the bike work to its full potential, you cannot be lazy. When riding trails, it's pissed off if you're just bogging around. It wants to scream.
- Suspension: I actually really like the AER forks and the easy adjustability. I took my time for the first few hours at the track to dial in the air pressure and settings. Do a few laps, come in for a minute and adjust, go back out and repeat until I got them where I felt comfortable and even more so, confident. The shock is feeling money to me as well once I got the sag set correctly for my weight and riding style. I ride the bike hard and aggressively so I like my setup to be stiff overall. That being said, my previous Kayaba SSS forks were incredible.
- Brakes: Nothing compares to Brembos. Holy sh*t. More than a few times I've gone way to hot into a corner and thought I was going to die but the brakes quickly gave me a lease on life. Love 'em.
- Clutch & Transmission: Abusing the clutch goes hand in hand with a small-bore when riding a 125 but the 150 not so much, as long as you are riding it hard. A simple tap of the clutch will get you into the meat of the power when needed. Grabbing gears feels effortless and sharp as well (although finding nuetral when pulling off the track has been a pain in my ass until I figured out I need to open the throttle with the clutch in ever so slightly to engage. Never had this issue with a bike ever so not sure what thats all about but I can deal with it now that I found that little trick).
- Design & finish: The bike came out of the crate looking factory to me. The quality of materials, engineering, attention to finish and machining of even stock parts makes the Japanese brands look second-rate. Austrian's. Go figure.

Cons:
- Mikuni Carb: Living in the Pacific Northwest we have seasons. I bought the bike in mid-September when the temperature was still relatively warm and living in Portland at sea-level the bike initially ran great. Even riding at elevations of 3,000 ft...no problem. As soon as the temps dropped I've been struggling. Yes, jetting the bike for temp changes is necessary along with the right premix is critical but I've experimented with both (race gas mixed with premium pump + jetting) and I'm still having a hard time getting the bike to feel like it did back when I got it. I'm still tinkering but am starting to get to the point of going all in on the Slavens Mule HV Lectron so I can stop bashing my face into the ground when I go ride and it's still not running like I want. Maybe I'm just a jetting idiot but I don't think I'm alone with the Mikuni carb frustration.
- Gearing: This is subjective like everything else, but I went from the stock 48 to a 49 rear and couldn't be happier. Going to a 49 tightening up 2nd to 3rd which I like much more, especially leading up to the face of a jump right out of a corner.

So far, that's my input for whatever it's worth. Only upgrades I've done is put on Flo levers, 49 tooth Renthal rear, and switching out the stock silencer for a FMF PowerCore 2.1 (leaving the stock pipe as is) The FMF definitely gave the bottom-end more grunt and gave the mid-range a bit more spread without noticing any sacrifice with the top-end or over-rev. But I can only make that statement based on riding tracks, both tight and more national style (Mountain View / Washougal).

Bottom line, this bike is so much fun and every time I drive home after riding it (aside from cold days where the bike runs somewhat shittier than I would hope, yet doesn't ruin my day), I have a giant smile on my face and am so f'ing pumped to be back riding again.

Pic of my bike below. All the best and cheers!

Photo



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AJ565 AJ565
12/6/2018 9:17 AM

^^ Your slide is whats messing with you on the '19

This is what worked as a starting point on the '18 150.
Pilot 30
470 main
slide 5.5
needle 42-71 3rd clip from a 2019.

This link will show you how to mod the slide.
Jetting the 150

2018 KTM 250sx
Instagram CamaroAJ

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HighPlainsSquid HighPlainsSquid
12/6/2018 9:52 AM

We picked up a '19 150SX last week and went straight to the track with it. It's my just turned 15 yr old's bike which... gonna brag a little... he wrote a check for with HIS money. He's coming off an '04 KX125 and took immediately to the KTM. We haven't done anything to it yet (1.8 hours) but I know there's some fork tuning coming up because to me (on the 2 laps he let me take on it... ) the fork felt harsh on big jump landings. Good everywhere else, though.

So... I'm keeping up with this thread.

For me, I swapped back and forth between my RM and his KX all day and I think I'm gonna inherit the KX and let the RM go down the road, with regrets and no hard feelings. I love the way the KX fits me.

2015 Kawasaki KX 250F
2015 GasGas TXT Racing 125
2015 Husqvarna TC 125
2018 KTM 150 XC-W

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IanMac138 IanMac138
12/10/2018 7:56 PM
AgileMike wrote:

I have the 19 SX150 with ...more

Any rides yet with the Lectron?

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AgileMike AgileMike
12/11/2018 6:40 AM
AgileMike wrote:

I have the 19 SX150 with ...more

#434 wrote:

Can you tell a little more ...more

I'm comparing a 17 SX125 vs a 19 SX150 here, so there is slight difference in year. Both are equipped with Lectron carbs.

The 125 pulls longer than the 150. After riding both, it almost feels like the 150 signs off a little earlier. There are a couple of sections of track where I could run the 125 between corners without shifting, but I had to shift the 150. I can see how some riders could feel that the 125 might be faster overall.

There is no doubt that the 150 pulls significantly harder, especially down in the lower RPMs. Both bikes must be singing to make power, but you can get away with a little more with the 150, and it lights up with less clutch.

Remember, that you can spend $700 for a 125 vs 150 cylinder/piston direct from KTM/Husky. So if you have one, you can switch to the other for $700. I believe many people forget this fact.

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AgileMike AgileMike
12/11/2018 6:48 AM
AgileMike wrote:

I have the 19 SX150 with ...more

IanMac138 wrote:

Any rides yet with the ...more

I put the Lectron on with 0 hours, so all the riding has been with the Lectron. As I said, I really struggled to get the jetting spot on with my sons 17 SX125. I didn't want the same struggles with my 19 SX150 so I ordered the Lectron right when I ordered my 150.

The Lectron runs extremely crisply, in my opinion they are about perfect. I wish every KTM came with one. It takes about an hour or less to install, and on both bikes they started first kick and only required adjusting the idle. My son didn't really like his 125 until we got the Lectron on it. The only gripe I could have with the Lectron is that the choke is awkward to get too, but I end up using only on the very first start if the bike hasn't been run in a few days. I had the Mukini (on the 125) jetted exactly per the book, and kept going leaner and leaner, and it still wouldn't run cleanly throughout the whole RPM range.

We are at ~2500 elevation and ride in the 90s in the summer, so I don't feel we are at an extreme elevation or anything. We bought the 125 bike used with about 20 hours on it. The strange thing is the previous owner had his son riding it, and they didn't feel it had any jetting problems. Not sure if it degraded over time, or maybe it just never ran perfect from the start and they didn't have a good gauge of the bikes potential.

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AgileMike AgileMike
12/11/2018 6:57 AM
689 wrote:

Have an 18 and the forks ...more

There have been several riders knocking the forks on the 150. Here is my quick opinion:

The forks were changed to AER in 17, so models before 17 had the 4CS forks, which we all know were terrible. With the AER forks, I feel that they work very well for these light bikes with lighter riders on them. I am 5'5" 165lbs and my son son is 5'7" 140lbs. I am slow intermediate rider and my son is beginner/junior speed.

For those weights and levels I think the fork is just fine. If you are substantially heavier or trying to win Lorettas, the fork might not be the absolute best, but don't let the naysayers detract too much from the fork.

I now have Cone Valves on mine (moved from my 450), and while the Cone Valves are better, they are not night and day better.

Lastly, people knock the air forks for having to check fork PSI several times a day. I feel that if you want to race moto, and don't/can't check your fork PSI several times a day, you got into the wrong sport.

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racerx317 racerx317
12/14/2018 10:12 PM

Pros: great low mid torque, Shock excellent and forks just need a little help from Powerband to get it right.

Cons: top signs off way too early because it’s simply a 150 Cylinder on a 125 bottom end. It’s really not made to run on the bike making it a good woods bike and a pretty sucky MX bike.

If you want a solid 144 that is built to run like it’s supposed to run bottom to top, handles like a dream and has a shock better than KTM and forks better than Yamaha... buy a TM144.

#performanceedgeracing @tmracingusa @ride.prl @powerbandracing @vertexpistons @LS2helmetsus @hotrodsproducts @pivotworks @fmf73 @kendatire @mikametals @dt1filtersusa @sidimotousa @motoseat @dubyausa @xbrandgoggles @thormxofficial @g2ergonomics @tamer_holeshot_hookup @riskracingmoto @acerbisusa @nihiloconcepts @matrixconcepts @suzukiyamahaofdaltonga @mobiusbraces @sandboxkings @terry_varnermotorsports

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fraidahites fraidahites
11/20/2019 5:21 PM

Well, my 19 year old son , riding a 2016 125sx, went from winning about 50% of the 250 beginner and open classes to winning the next 8 at PIR on his 150sx and getting 11th out of 44 in the Amateur class at Washougal. This bike rips if you ride it correctly.


He is the on on the right trying not to loop out.

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MX558 MX558
11/20/2019 6:05 PM

A friend had a 16 150 and changed the gearing to 1 up front and 2 or 3 in the rear and it was amazing to ride . I wrote it and didn't like it much once he did that whole different bike

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HighPlainsSquid HighPlainsSquid
11/20/2019 7:13 PM
AgileMike wrote:

I'm comparing a 17 SX125 ...more

Since this IS VitalTheFountOfAllKnowledge, does anyone know off-hand, saving me the whole Google experience and all, if I can upgrade my '15 Husky 125 to a 150 via factory parts? Or do I have to do the traditional "send the cylinder off" thing?

2015 Kawasaki KX 250F
2015 GasGas TXT Racing 125
2015 Husqvarna TC 125
2018 KTM 150 XC-W

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RABnasty RABnasty
11/20/2019 9:39 PM
#434 wrote:

Can you tell a little more ...more

AgileMike wrote:

I'm comparing a 17 SX125 ...more

HighPlainsSquid wrote:

Since this IS ...more

You can buy everything from husky. Call us over at AEO powersports and we will take care of it

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erik_94COBRA erik_94COBRA
11/21/2019 7:22 AM
#434 wrote:

Can you tell a little more ...more

AgileMike wrote:

I'm comparing a 17 SX125 ...more

HighPlainsSquid wrote:

Since this IS ...more

The 15 and earlier have a different bore and stroke between the 125 and 150.

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mxstate mxstate
11/21/2019 8:00 AM
AJ565 wrote:

^^ Your slide is whats ...more

+1,

Listen to this man and try his specs before spending a lot on any other carb
(I did in the past on my 17 TC with a Keihin swap)

My 19 with the Mikuni runs great and consistently now.

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AZRider AZRider
11/21/2019 8:09 AM

I have the Keihin on my 18 150 and it is much better than the Mikuni. I know the slide modification has been good for some. I didnt even try. went straight to the Keihin and very happy.

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Jeff_Crutcher Jeff_Crutcher
11/21/2019 12:17 PM

Guess I’ll chime in here as I’m past the statute of limitations.

I did two outdoor nationals this year on a 150. I chose the 150 for more torque over top end knowing I could get more top through bolt on mods. I lied on here and all over the web about it being a 125 but I didn’t want any problems at tech at Millville. I even printed off come badass “Wiseco Inside” stickers to cover the serial markings on the cylinder. I don’t think anyone cared to even look at the bike in tech beyond the ultra cool sticker kit and plastics livery, but better safe than sorry when I spent a few thousand for 3 practice sessions and an LCQ. I almost got in at washougal!

Things I highly suggest with the 125/150:
1. Lectron carb. I don’t care what anyone says about their ways to fix the mikuni carb. I had the JD jet kit in my stock carb and that made it less shitty but the thing was still a wet blanket. Lectron sent me their carb built to my demands and as long as I ride a two stroke (forever) I will have a Lectron. Even if they deem me a seven layer loser and ban me from even buying their product, I will go onto the black market/dark web and steal someone’s information so I can clear their system to purchase a carburetor. It’s that good.
2. Wiseco racer elite piston. If you’re looking for light switch engine revving- this is where the conversation ends full stop. Single ring and light weight this piston is a P O W E R M A K E R. Especially on the 150. Get that fucking junk stock Vertex out of that bike right now.
3. Premium premix oil. K2 or Motul 800. And a lot of it. 24:1.
4. Renegade PRO 110+ fuel no questions asked (and I paid full retail for it that’s how much I believe in it over VP)
5. Vforce reeds will further atomize the fuel in a more consistent and controlled way over the stock reeds. The finer the mist the better the burn
6. BR9ECMIX plug. This is one output cooler than the stock 8 plug- which you’ll want because you’re revving the fuckin piss out of these tiddlers. This is a mandatory plug for all two strokes.
7. Replace the DOT4 brake fluid with DOT 5.1. It’s a stiffer fluid with less water molecules in the fluid. Less water=less sponge=higher boiling point. It’s a two stroke. You’ll use the brakes. Replace the fluid now.
8. PC pipe and whatever silencer you wish. I prefer the BUD silencer. Don’t waste your time with anything but a PC pipe.

Like all stock bikes there’s plenty of room to improve the bike to your own tastes. This bike is a tap dancer on the shifter. Shift up and let the bike roar.

Photo

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IanMac138 IanMac138
11/21/2019 12:46 PM

@Jeff_Crutcher

Couple questions:

1. What gearing have you found gives the best spread of power? I'm currently running 13/49 on my '19 and have seemed to like it better than the stock 13/48 but am thinking about changing it up again. Interested to hear what you've found works.

2. PC pipe...have you tried an FMF and if so...why the PC over FMF? I'm still running stock pipe but have a FMF Powercore 2.1 silencer that I like. 

3. What bars are you running? I'm still running the stockers but at 813mm wide, I feel like they're too wide for me (I'm 5'8"). Thinking of cutting them down to 803mm. Keefer said 813 is too wide which I agree with, but also said the stock Nekens are too stiff. Not sure I agree with that but since the '19 frame is much stiffer up front, wondering if a less stiff bend would take away some of that harshness. 

4. Suspension...what did you upgrade or are you running the AER 48s? Definitely want to get rid of the mid stroke harshness and plan on getting some work done to them this winter. 

5. I'm running 40:1 motorex...but 24:1!? Thats gnarly...Wondering what the idea behind that is and whats the difference you noticed. 

Lastly, I run the Slavens HV Mule Lectron and LOVE IT. Kicked the mikuni out of my garage once I got the lectron. Amazing difference. V Force also made a nice difference. 

Thanks for chiming in and answering my questions if you can... and that's AWESOME you ran a 150 in the nationals. Keep it up!

Cheers!

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HighPlainsSquid HighPlainsSquid
11/21/2019 1:04 PM
AJ565 wrote:

^^ Your slide is whats ...more

mxstate wrote:

+1,

Listen to this man ...more

I tossed the slide from our '04 KX 125 (6.0 ?) and TOLEDO!!!! It ran GREAT. Being cheap, I just hogged out the stock slide to get pretty close and it works good. When I get uncheap, I'll get an OEM KX slide and put it in.

2015 Kawasaki KX 250F
2015 GasGas TXT Racing 125
2015 Husqvarna TC 125
2018 KTM 150 XC-W

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SmokinJoe439 SmokinJoe439
11/21/2019 1:18 PM
IanMac138 wrote:

@Jeff_Crutcher

Couple ...more

You know that ktm used to spec a 14 tooth front on the 150 before the update in 16. I run 14/49 on my 06 yz144 with the stock 13 it would just wheel spin to easily and 1st through 3rd gears where almost useless. Changing it to the 14t on my yz brought it back into what it was like stock as a 125. Stock gearing on the yz125 is 13/48.

It's a pretty cheap to pick up a larger front sprocket and give it a try.

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Jeff_Crutcher Jeff_Crutcher
11/21/2019 3:06 PM
IanMac138 wrote:

@Jeff_Crutcher

Couple ...more

1. I preferred the 50 tooth- it pulled stronger out of the gate than stock gearing. There’s a trade off as it’s a little tall and you get a hair less top out on the track but if you’re quick with the foot that shouldn’t matter. The start is the most important part of the race and I wanted to get as much mud out of the bike as possible to keep with the 250f’s. I was very competitive locally with this gearing, and nationally too.
2. The PC is horsepower king. It’s also the heaviest gauge pipe tuned for motocross. It can take a beating.
3. Mika STV’s with the crossbar. I am a rare breed when it comes to hand controls because I literally do not hold on to the bike by the bars. My grips last forever. The Mika STV is the straightest tallest bar they offer. My levers are at 0°. Major key is I run the BRP top triple clamp with a 4 post rubber bushing bar mount- far superior to the stock 2 post that will slide out of position with the wrong gust of wind.
4. Factory Connection. I use their top of the line consumer products and lucky for me the Oklahoma office manager sees me ride often so Todd knows how to set up my bike. My forks are prematurely serviced and my shock is never serviced fast enough because I’m an over the back of the bike rider (I grew up on two strokes and it’s obvious when I ride them)- so my shock internals get beat up way before my forks need service. As for performance...unrivaled. I’ve ridden many many many brands of suspension revalve and nothing in my opinion is close to FC. they also test the absolute shit out of KTM’s.
5. I ride a lot of sand and a fair amount of mud/deep black dirt. The bike is always under load and I’m usually riding it above 11,000 RPM. Only one thing lubricates the crank: premix oil. I see no performance loss and am always more than satisfied with the longevity of my small bore cranks at time of replacement. Some would call it overkill. I call it safety net and peace of mind knowing I won’t be having any crank failures at 14,000 rpm. I also run my bikes just a cunt hair lean. It’s good to compensate for that with more oil.

Personally I think this 150 is one of the best motorcycles ever made. I used to think my 03 200sx was top- until I suited this 150 (which makes more peak HP than the 200 did) with all the aftermarket goodies to perform to my expectations.

Also a tip on the forks
Try running 135-138 lbs of air and stiffening the right fork up a little. The air is most pertinent in the mid stroke. Running less will soften that up- but you’ll need to compensate by running a stiffer clicker on the non air fork.

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mxstate mxstate
11/21/2019 5:40 PM
Jeff_Crutcher wrote:

Guess I’ll chime in here ...more

Jeff,

Did you have a Lectron when you were on the 250SX?

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Ethan454 Ethan454
11/21/2019 6:33 PM

After putting 20 hours on my 2020 125sx I just got a chance to spin some laps on a 150 at the KTM demo day and it was a night and day difference. The 150 pulled like a mule out of corners compared to its little brother. After reading tons of forums I went with the smaller of the two and instantly regretted my decision as soon as I threw a leg over that 150. A cylinder, piston, CDI kit will be my next big ticket item.

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IanMac138 IanMac138
11/21/2019 8:54 PM
IanMac138 wrote:

@Jeff_Crutcher

Couple ...more

Jeff_Crutcher wrote:

1. I preferred the 50 ...more

Thank you Jeff!

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Jeff_Crutcher Jeff_Crutcher
11/22/2019 5:16 AM
mxstate wrote:

Jeff,

Did you have a ...more

Yes sir, that’s what I am currently riding and I am running the newest Lectron H series which shares the same outer housing as the previous generation- but with improved and redesigned internals.

Namely the H series offers a 30%+ finer fuel atomization rate than the previous generation. The finer the “mist” the more cleanly the fuel burns.

Also a major perk of the Lectron is tuning. I live in Kansas City and a common saying amongs locals is “if you don’t like the weather- wait an hour”. Yesterday it was 67° and humid. Today the high is 39° and dry af. I can set up my Lectron for both days as easily as it is to adjust a normal air screw. Tuning the power jet on the intake side of the carb is a breeze. Before with the stock carb it was a guessing game and the 7 step process to pull a main jet. That’s all gone.

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Rickyisms Rickyisms
11/22/2019 12:15 PM
Stuntman949 wrote:

Which silencer makes it ...more

PC R304 with works pipe makes mine bark, Granted the help of a top to bottom PC built motor helps as well.

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Average Joe Average Joe
11/23/2019 4:10 PM
AJ565 wrote:

^^ Your slide is whats ...more

mxstate wrote:

+1,

Listen to this man ...more

I'll be buying a small bore 2 stroke very soon. The 150 SX is the what I think I'll buy, but I will say it really baffles me that KTM specs a carb that is essentially a piece of shit right from the factory. I thought all this stuff about not being able to get the bike to run right might be another fake news moto story...Like the RMZ's being bad bikes. However it seems universal, NOBODY can make the stock carb work.

So, I can either buy a YZ and spend the money on a 144 kit, Or buy a new KTM and be forced to spend another $600(?) to replace a brand new carb. I'm starting to doubt my decision.

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Bruce372 Bruce372
11/23/2019 4:17 PM
AJ565 wrote:

^^ Your slide is whats ...more

mxstate wrote:

+1,

Listen to this man ...more

Average Joe wrote:

I'll be buying a small ...more

The mikini isn't too bad, the keihin is just over $300.

If you do a yz144, it won't come close to the ktm125, let alone the 150

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Bruce372 Bruce372
11/23/2019 4:22 PM

Btw. The yz125 comes with the same mikuni carb as the ktms

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racerx317 racerx317
11/23/2019 6:03 PM
Average Joe wrote:

I'll be buying a small ...more

Biggest problem we had really was never the carb issue it was the crappy PV design oof the KTM. They had a tendency of sticking. We had to polish them and clean them constantly to be sure they didn’t stick. We bought a TM... problem solved.

#performanceedgeracing @tmracingusa @ride.prl @powerbandracing @vertexpistons @LS2helmetsus @hotrodsproducts @pivotworks @fmf73 @kendatire @mikametals @dt1filtersusa @sidimotousa @motoseat @dubyausa @xbrandgoggles @thormxofficial @g2ergonomics @tamer_holeshot_hookup @riskracingmoto @acerbisusa @nihiloconcepts @matrixconcepts @suzukiyamahaofdaltonga @mobiusbraces @sandboxkings @terry_varnermotorsports

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Average Joe Average Joe
11/23/2019 6:34 PM
Bruce372 wrote:

The mikini isn't too bad, ...more

I appreciate the info. The difference is that noticeable between the YZ (144) and the KTM?

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