Web Impression: 2014 Stillwell Performance KTM 250 XC – An Affordable EnduroCross Weapon

Simply by Kris Keefer


Photos By Drew Ruiz and Shan Moore

2014 Stillwell Performance KTM 250 XC

EnduroCross is a discipline that takes more than just your average off-the-showroom-floor stock motorcycle. It takes some modification and set up to get the bike looking forward to what lies inside the EX industry. We called upon Alan Stillwell of Stillwell Performance to build us a special 2014 KTM 250 XC for your Denver round of the AMA GEICO EnduroCross series. This machine had been setup specifically for the demands of EnduroCross while trying not to break your budget. Look for a complete breakdown and check of this motorcycle in an upcoming issue of Dirt Driver Magazine.

2014 Stillwell Performance KTM 250 XC

From the very first lap of practice I knew the 250 XC was extremely capable of getting me through the obstacles more quickly and efficiently than any EnduroCross machine I’ve tried to day. I haven’t ridden a two-stroke since our last off-road shootout but I was surprised by exactly how well the bike lugged out of corners and how much traction the KTM 250 XC grabbed. Joe Stillwell went with a KTM 250 SX ignition box, boosting throttle response and helping to get over obstacles easier. I immediately liked this particular change and could basically use second gear in tighter situations instead of having to downshift to first like when the XC box was installed. With throttle response increased and also a healthy dose of bottom end power I felt confident within my starts and getting to the first part ahead of those other weird appearing non pre-mix bikes.

2014 Stillwell Performance KTM 250 XC

The electric motor built rpms slowly after the base end, which was a blessing within disguise inside the tight confines from the Denver arena. I didn’t want a great bottom end bike that pulled endlessly to tire me out on such a tight, technical racetrack. I rarely got to stretch the KTM’s legs inside the arena but since we were in Denver at 6, 000 feet, the KTM did feel more sluggish through mid-top end. However , even when I was in the mid-top it was only for a brief second. I used only first and second gear in Denver.

2014 Stillwell Performance KTM 250 XC

The suspension was revalved and jumped for my weight and capability. I thought the revalved 4CS fork was great in the rocks where I felt zero deflection. The 4CS felt soft on difficult landings and in the matrix, where I really had to hit logs with speed. I would have liked this to be a little firmer at the end of the stroke. The shock was excellent and I felt like it had damping all the way through the stroke. The rear from the bike squatted coming out of corners and gave me traction with minimal wheel spin. If I could have had a a bit more damping out of the fork it would possess kept the balance of the bike better.

2014 Stillwell Performance KTM 250 XC
2014 Stillwell Performance KTM 250 XC forks

I have to mention what things to me was the biggest advantage: the Goldentyre GT 216X “Gummy” back tire. This has to be the best thing to happen to extreme enduro riders since the fanny pack was introduced! We honestly felt like I could do simply no wrong jumping into huge stone gardens and even the woodpiles had been no match for this awesome sensation rubber. The Goldentyre flexes and grabs so much around rocks that spinning the tire and shedding traction is almost unheard of. Stillwell installed Tire Balls inside both front side and rear tires, which just added to my delight of how a lot traction I had over slippery obstacles. The only downside is that you have to watch exactly how soft you go with air pressure in the Tire Balls, as bending becomes an issue once leaned straight into corners. I could feel the tire rolling on the rim if I really began to push in flat corners. The Fastway/Stillwell performance linkage guard was also a nice touch especially when the rider (myself) is not the best at finessing his way around the track. I really could slam into rocks and records without getting hung up on the low hanging linkage.
2014 Stillwell Performance KTM 250 XC 2014 Stillwell Performance KTM 250 XC

It is nice to get a taste of what a good set up can be for the average guy who wants to go have fun and race an EnduroCross. This develop is something any blue training collar working man can afford to go have fun in the rocks, logs, and dirt. I mean, if you’re spending $8299. 00 on your new orange machine, wouldn’t you want to protect it from the elements all while gaining performance in making you ride faster? If the answer is yes, check out the 2014 03 issue of Grime Rider Magazine for your full test and parts list.

Click on www.stillwellperformance.com for more info.

2014 Stillwell Performance KTM 250 XC handlebar 2014 Stillwell Performance KTM 250 XC FMF exhaust 2014 Stillwell Performance KTM 250 XC seat

2014 Stillwell Performance KTM 250 XC suspension


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