In spite of the abandonment of two-stroke motors by the Japanese manufacturers, the simple, lightweight engine configuration is still alive and well in KTM chassis. Although KTM (www.ktmusa.com) has a virtual monopoly on the market, the Austrian company is still moving two-stroke technology forward. The new KTM 300 XC-W (e) has everything we want in an enduro bike—light weight, responsive motor, superb suspension—and now it has an electric starter, something virtually unknown in the two-stroke dirt bike world. It may seem unnecessary, but when tackling the most demanding terrain—which can result in frequent stalls—the ability to push a button rather than kickstart a 293cc motor can have a highly positive effect on rider stamina.
From Scorpa (www.scorpausa.com) in France is the new Yamaha-powered T-Ride 250F—a trials/enduro hybrid that trades long-travel suspension for a lower seat height and reduced weight (209 lbs dry). The motor is from Scorpa’s SY250F trials bike, which taps a modified version of the engine used in the Yamaha WR250F enduro (tested in our April/May 2007 issue). A short wheelbase, high ground clearance and ultra-soft Michelin trials tires gives the T-Ride the agility to make it the ultimate go-anywhere trail bike, with many of the advantages of a trials bike, but few of the disadvantages.
KTM adds electric starting to the 2-stroke canon. Photograph by Heinz Mitterbauer.