KTM 350 exc-f 2012 – Long term review

I purchased this bike after owning a Yamaha WR450F 2007 for about 5 years. The WR was completely stuffed by the time I got rid of it. With 18,000km of trailing riding and racing, it was time to put it out to pasture.

KTM350NewEnter the KTM 350 2012 exc. It was the first year of this model after KTM’s limited success with the 400exc. What made the 350 attractive was it was not a sleeved 450, it was a whole new engine.

I got it from TeamMoto in Brisbane for A$13,500 with radiator guards.

It was light, nimble and enough power to get me into trouble.It did not have the raw power of the WR450F but with some clitch work it could do the same work with much less effort.

It was the perfect trail bike for me.

Enhancments

I have added a few things;

KTM Fan

The 350 often overheats when stuck on hills or even when winding slowly through dense scrub. The fan has stopped this ever happening. The fan comes with a thermostat but I did not fit the thermostat preferring to wire the fan to be always on. It was a little troublesome to fit as it required a pop riveter that I did not have.

Sunline MDX unbreakable levers

I was racing motocross for a while so could not use bark busters. There levers worked well bending forward, up and down. They say they come with a no questions asked lifetime warranty. However when I broke one after 18 months, TeamMoto refused to replace it as it. TeamMoto stated the lever was too badly damaged and was older than 12 months.

Mental note. TeamMoto do not honor accessory warranties. Better of buying from internet where things are cheaper.

Force Bash plate

Great product. Took and beating and never let me down.

IMG_1931Force radiator guards

They look good but do not offer as much side impact support as the set I had on my WR did. Since I got these in 2012 Force Accessories have changed to a better design with more side impact protection. That being said, I did flip the bike off a rocky ledge and the radiator took most of the impact. The radiator is not leaking and I have been riding with it like this for the last 3 months.

In the past, I have contacted Force Accessories regarding equipment I have damaged and they have shipped me replacement parts for free. Their products and support is first rate.

IMG_1933Force clutch guard

I never knew if this really worked. I have not thrown a chain or taken any big hits in this area.

Pivot pegs

I have a habit wriggling my boots when standing on the pegs. This results in me wearing through the soles of my Alpinestars Tech 10s very quickly. The pivot pegs really help with this. They feel solid to stand on and help grip the bike. The only issue I have with them is the bushings wear out and need replacing every 6 months. Its not a big deal given how well they work.IMG_1932

They also came with some plastic covers to help with the boot wear but in the wet these covers as slippery as ice.

IMG_1928
Acerbis hand guards

It may be hard to see in the pictures, but these guards have just bent inward. They are made of pretty soft material and offer very little protection.

IMG_1927I tried to save some money on BarkBusters and got these instead. Next time I’ll know better. Get Bark busters.

FMF Pipe

The pipe really transformed the bike. I usually don’t put pipes on bikes but this really gave it some good power.

IMG_1934KTM Step Seat

It looks good and does provide a little resistance to sliding back on the seat but I have used a foam seat insert step on my WR and that was much more effective.

3 years later

IMG_0776It is still a great bike. It has been ridden almost every Saturday and the odd Sunday for 2 years solid.

I have changed the oil every 300km to 400km and air filters every ride.

Thing that have broken or worn out

  • I replaced the bearing connecting the swing arm to the shock as it started to squeak
  • The reversing bearing in the kick start broke
  • Values we reshimed.
  • O’ring at the back of the carborator manofild broke causing fuel to leak out while the engine was running.
  • Timing chain jumped after the valves were reshimed which required me being towed home. Its still a mystery why this happened.
  • Rear sub frame bolt under the seat sheared off. This has happened to a friends KTM 350 also. It was replaced under warranty.

If I did get a new trail bike I would probably get another 350 exc-f. Although the 250/300 exc does sound exciting (ring-a-ding-ding)