Over the next week, we will roll out reviews of No.22 Jonny Walker’s KTM 300 EXC 2017 Factory bike, No.91 Nathan Watson’s 250F, No. 44 Laia Sanz’s 350F and No.33 Taylor Robert’s 350F!
Our Buddy Michael Zajc is a Designer by profession, but also an avid hobby Enduro rider. He is a Multi-time Romaniacs and Erzberg Veteran and after getting the chance to ride 4 KTM factory Racing enduro models in a row, he must also be one of the luckiest people on the planet!
Huge thanks to KTM for the invitation to test these factory bikes! Zajcmaster said he barely touched the surface on what they can do in the time frame of the test, so we are hoping for another invite next year where we can shoot a video and maybe get a little deeper into these factory models.
Anyway, enough rambling, all you really want to know is how good the bikes are right? Are they rideable by mere Mortals, or built exclusively for the skill level of the factory Enduro riders of the world? Zajcmaster sent us his thoughts on the bikes from Antoine Meo’s track in the South of France.
“Man I was so nervous walking up to the 22 machine of Jonny Walker… picking it off that nice titanium factory stand and pushing the starter button felt unreal to say the least. The first of endless differences to the stock bikes I am used to is the mega clean cockpit with only a start and kill button. There is no speedometer, instead, there is a single light switch and another one for the fan he uses on the road segments in between extreme sections for extra cooling.
So I started the bike and as I clutched in for first gear I noticed that he uses duct tape on both the clutch and front brake lever for extra grip which could really help in rough terrain and in the wet and mud. As we rode off to a little single trail loop in the forest at Antoine Meo’s house we took a little dirt road and I was running out of gears in no time… Walker is using a 5 gear transmission from the XC Model for more and longer lasting power in each gear. The Front brake is rather smooth and easy to use, while the rear seemed to lock up with the slightest touch on the lever.
The Suspension generally feels quite a bit stiffer than the stock version but in comparison to Worlc Championship enduro machines it’s rather soft and makes the bike handle incredibly well even at low speeds.
The power Kicks in really smooth but strong from the bottom until all hell breaks loose a little bit further down the cable. No matter how hard I tried I still felt like I bored the bike to death! I only got to ride it on a tight single trail track, but it was easy to tell that this 300 would be more at home climbing some mountains, and tackling some super technical terrain.
What later suprised me is when the mechanic later told me that Walkers 300 is pretty much all built from aftermarket parts available for everyone of us, he just arranges them in a way which best suits him using a mix of XC and EXC models, some powerparts and other aftermarket extras.” – Zajcmaster
Jonny Walker’s KTM 300 EXC 2017 Factory bike Technical Data: