The 2nd ride review from our resident Enduro hobby rider @zajcmaster, this time of Nathan Watson’s KTM 250 EXC 2017 Factory bike!
Nathan Watsons 250exc-f really blew my mind. Just when it was my turn to have a go they changed the direction of the little single trail loop we were riding to an amazingly flowy loop through the trees which allowed us to twist the throttle a little harder.
The handlebar, suspension setup and seat kinda felt like a 250f Motocross Bike in an enduro wrapping and while I was a little overwhelmed by Walkers 300 it didn’t even take half a lap for me to to feel fully comfortable and right at home on Watsons 250F. I quickly found myself doing what I thought was good for the bike…Revving hard, railing berms and breaking really, really late and really real hard with seeming ease. It felt unreal how that Works Suspension just handled any kind of terrain and situation I threw it into.
Just like Walker, Watson also uses a 5 Gear Transmission. I thought that 5 gear thing was really nice and helpful as less gears simply means less shifting which results in more drive. The motocross-ish brake and suspension setup in that all factory bike lead me to expect a very strong 250f engine, but no the Farioli 250f is really smooth and mellow, under high revs she only gets better and still finds tons of traction. It really feels like you could ride the bike for hours, if not days. I didn’t want to stop riding it.
On the way back to the pits we passed a rough rocky section and while I would have normally let off the throttle to look for the ideal line on my own bike, I could not resist but really give that Factory Ride a proper try, so I grabbed a good handful of fourth gear power to blow through the rough stuff and see what would happen… NOTHING!!! I was somehow expecting to find myself in the midst of some major drama but instead, it just felt like taking a hovercraft down a river.
I heard a lot of good things about the next generation of four strokes KTM launched earlier this year but I never got to try one until now. I would be very interested in trying one now as the factory version really impressed me and probably gave me the most fun I have had riding all year! It was really a great bike!