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KTM 350 EXC-F Long Term Update #8 | Back End | Bike Reviews

The eighth update for the ADB KTM 350 EXC-F long term test bike as printed in issue #457 - October 2017.

Hours: 50
Mods this month: Pirelli Scorpion tyres
Mods next month: none

FOR THE FIRST time since taking the KTM 350EXC-F off ADB Tech Ed Mat Boyd following my shoulder injury, I’ve relinquished control to a new potential owner. The suitor, known as Nudge, wanted a squirt before he handed over the big ones, so I’ve off-loaded the bike for a few weeks.

But before I gave him a taste of what he was about to buy, I flogged the crap out of it in all kinds of dirt. I’ve had a massive month of riding.

For the first time in years I haven’t had a major bike launch to attend or shootout to run for a whole four weeks.
I palmed them all off to contributors who liked the sound of a European soiree.

At the end of last month, I picked up a set of Pirelli Scorpion tyres. I’m a massive fan of the Mid-Softs and they would be my first choice. The compound does not wear as well as the hard, so in an effort to get a little more life out of my tyres I’ve opted for a Mid-Hard on the rear, and a Mid-Soft on the front. The combination is great.

In most loamy conditions it’s hard to tell if the hard compound is better or worse than the soft on the rear, and the same can almost be said for rocky wet sandstone.

I’ve ridden with these tyres through red clay in the Watagans State Forest, carved up some sandy conditions at the Letter A near Peats Ridge and even hopped some rocks at Redhill, and the mid-hard rear performed flawlessly in all of them.

You may remember two issues ago I complained about struggling for traction with the Bridgestone Battlecross X30s Mat fitted. I found myself screaming and cursing in my helmet when the rear tyre would lose traction, and while I found it frustrating, Digital Editor Olly Malone found it hilarious. The tables have turned.

On a recent ride at Olly’s favourite spot not far from Dooralong (you park at the tennis courts, you know the spot) Olly just had one of those rides. Even the most basic things weren’t going right.

We’ve all had them, and I’ve had my fair share, but I’ve never really seen Olly have a shocker.

He loves techo riding and for good reason, he is pretty handy at the slow speed stuff, but his neighbours’ driveway would have been a challenge on this day.

I was there to catch most of it on camera which quickly made its way to our social media pages. Of course he attempted to blame it on a chewed out tyre, but in the end he just said “I don’t know what’s going on today, I’m just not feeling it. Why am I riding like a goon!” You can hear me laughing on camera. It made me feel good.

I’ve ploughed through another two oil changes and an air filter clean and the 350EXC-F is as strong as ever. The ECU adjustments by Rex from Fuel Torque have improved an already impressive package.

Editor Mitch Lees