KTM 250 XC (Weight, Top Speed, Horsepower, Height, Specs, etc.) – Worth Buying?

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If you are in the market for a 2-stroke cross-country dirt bike, the KTM 250 XC is one of the best options out there. I’ve compiled all of the specs including the bike’s weight, horsepower, top speed, seat height, and more in this review.

This KTM 250 cross-country is a great bike, overall dirt bike, however, it isn’t the right bike for everyone.

KTM 250 XC dirt bike

In addition to KTM 250 XC specs, we’ll also look at the pros and cons, the maintenance requirements, how much they cost new, and how much they are worth used. Basically, I’ll cover all of the need-to-know info about this motorcycle.

What is a KTM 250 XC?

As mentioned, the KTM 250XC is a cross-country dirt bike that is powered by a 250cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, 2-stroke engine.

Overall, this cross-country’s light and nimble frame, along with its high-performance two-stroke motor, is a serious dirt bike. It has an exceptional power curve that covers the low-end and midrange torque quite well for a 2-stroke. And yes, it still has a solid top-end.

The XC 250 model includes an electric start, an 18-inch rear wheel, a kickstand (side stand), and adjustable suspension. And even though it is not street-legal, it’s still a fun overall bike.

Who Should Buy?

Here are a few questions to ask if you’re considering one of these:

  1. What is my current skill level?
  2. What type of riding do you do most?
  3. Do I want a 4-stroke or a 2-stroke?
  4. Is a 10-hour maintenance schedule doable?

Current Skill Level

This dirt bike is made for experienced riders only. Honestly, if you’re a beginner, you should probably buy a different dirtbike, maybe even an automatic dirt bike. It’s not that these are “bad” or hard to ride, but there are a few better options out there.

On the other hand, if you have experience riding and are ready for a high-performance KTM 250 2-stroke, this is a solid option.

What Type of Dirt Bike Do You Need?

If you’re in the market for a street-legal KTM, this is not the bike you should get.

Instead, if you are looking for a -stroke, off-road dirt bike, this is one of my favorite choices. My buddy had a 2-stoke KTM that was awesome. Yes, it looked good and ran well, but he also really liked the handling and uniqueness.

What Type of Riding?

As mentioned, the KTM 250 XC dirt bikes are great all-around off-road bikes. The 250cc engine has a solid low-end torque and it can be lugged around adequately for a 2-stroke. Although, that doesn’t mean that these are designed to be “put-put” bikes like many of the 230cc dirt bike options out there.

In fact, if slow and tight, technical trails and is where you prefer to ride, you might be better off buying a trail bike, but these are still a decent option.

If you need a street-legal dual sport, this is not going to work. Not only does it not come with a headlight, but it isn’t geared or set up for comfortable street riding. On the other hand, here is a list of the best dirt bikes with headlights that might offer you a few more options.

In addition to your current skill level and the type of riding you do, here are a few more things to consider:

Reasons to Buy:

  • You do more cross-country and trail riding than motocross
  • You already know how to ride and have experience
  • Looking for 250 handling and 450 power (almost)

Reasons Not to Buy:

  • If you’re looking for your first dirt bike
  • It isn’t cheap
  • KTM dealers and service centers aren’t as common as other brands
  • These require a decent amount of regular maintenance
  • If you’re short (this bike is tall)

KTM 250 XC Specs

Here are all of the KTM 250XC specifications taken from the KTM website as well as from the owner’s manual. I also added some of the need-to-knows that were not listed.

Engine Specifications

Engine Type1-cylinder, 2-stroke, liquid-cooled
Horsepower47 HP
Bore and Stroke72x64mm
Fuel SystemEFI (Electronic Fuel Injection)
Transmission6-speed, Wet, multidisc clutch, Brembo hydraulics
Chain520 X-ring

Chassis Specifications

Frame Design25CrMo4 steel central-tube frame
Ground Clearance14 inches
Front SuspensionWP XACT-USD, Ø 48 mm (11.8 inches of travel)
Rear SuspensionWP XACT Monoshock with linkage (11.8 inches of travel)
Front BrakeDisc brake (260mm)
Rear BrakeDisc brake (220mm)
Front Tire Size90/90-21 (Dunlop Geomax AT81F)
Rear Tire Size110/100-18 (Dunlop Geomax AT81)
Wheelbase58.5 inches
Seat Height37.5 inches
Max Ground Clearance14 inches
Dry Weight225 pounds
Fuel Capacity2.37 gallons


Model ID250 XC

As a recap, here are the most important and noteworthy specs:

Manufacturer: KTM
Model Name: 250 XC, 250XC
Dirt Bike Type: Cross Country
Years Made: 2006-2024 (present)

Seat Height: 37.5 inches
Dry Weight: 225 pounds (all fuel, fluids, etc.)
Top Speed: ~80 mph
Horsepower: ~47 HP

KTM 250cc Engine & Transmission

KTM is known for making quality, high-performance motors, and these bikes are a great example of that. The 250XC engines put out serious power.

Close up of a KTM 250cc engine

Essentially, these are the same motors as the motocross models. Of course, KTM has tuned this bike to be more of a cross-country bike, but it’s still got that racing spirit and punch.


A stock KTM 250 XC makes 47 horsepower, however, if you have modified one it could produce more.

Either way, 47 HP is quite good and certainly competitive for its class. By comparison, a CRF250RX makes 37 horsepower, a YZ250FX makes 38, and a Kawasaki KLX 230 makes only 17 HP.

Top Speed

The KTM 250 XC top speed is typically around 80 MPH. Here’s a video of someone getting theirs up to 77 mph.

Depending on the year, rider, and conditions, a stock 250 XC maximum speed is anywhere from 75-85 mph. Of course, this dirtbike could go faster with taller gearing, a big-bore kit, an aftermarket exhaust, etc.

However, a dirt bike’s top speed isn’t extremely important, especially for a dirt bike that is not street-legal. What is even more impressive than the max speed of this bike, is the overall engine’s performance. Again, it’s more about usable power than “top speed” or max horsepower.

And when it comes to being usable, this 2-stroke is awesome.


Now, before you head out and purchase one of these cross-country bikes, you should be aware that they do require regular, and consistent maintenance. If you keep up with the maintenance schedule, these 250s should last a while before needing to be rebuilt.

Below are the maintenance schedule items for these.

KTM 250 XC Maintenance Schedule

As you can see from this screenshot below, most of the “required” maintenance is done every 10 hours. The hollow circles represent a “one-time interval” which means you don’t have to do many of these items after every single hour of riding.

NOTE: There is another “recommended” schedule that outlines when to inspect and/or service other various parts.

Maintenance schedule for a KTM 250 XC
Once after 1 hour

Inspect the tire condition
Check the tire air pressure
Inspect the rim run-out
Check the spoke tension
Check the chain tension
Inspect the steering head bearing
Inspect all hoses and sleeves
Check the antifreeze and coolant level
Verify that the throttle cables are undamaged
Verify all screws and nuts are tight
Check idle

Once after 5 hours

Change the gear oil

Every 10 hours

Check the front and rear brake linings
Inspect the brake discs
Inspect brake lines
Check the rear brake fluid
Check for free travel of the rear brake lever
Inspect the frame
Inspect the swingarm
Check the heim joint for play
Inspect the shock absorber
Inspect tires
Check tire air pressure
Check the wheel bearing for play
Inspect the hubs
Check the rim run-out
Check the spoke tension
Inspect the chain, sprockets, and chain guide
Check chain tension
Grease all moving parts
Check the hydraulic clutch fluid level
Check the front brake fluid level
Verify free travel of the hand brake
Check the play of the steering wheel head bearing
Inspect all hoses and cables
Check antifreeze and coolant level
Clean air filter and box

Every 20 hours

Everything from the 10-hour list, plus the following:

Check and charge the battery
Change gear oil
Check the swingarm bearing for play
Change the spark plug and connector
Change the glass fiber yarn in the main silencer

Every 40 hours

Everything from the 20-hour lists, plus the following:

Service the fork
Service the shock absorber

After every race

Everything from the 20-hour list, except for the following:

Check and charge the battery
Change the gear oil
Check the swingarm bearing for play
Change the spark plug and connector
Change the glass fiber yarn in the main silencer
Service the fork
Service the shock absorber

What motor oil does a KTM 250 XC use?

The KTM manual recommends Motorex Top Speed 4T – 15W/50 (view on Amazon)

However, if you use another oil that meets the JASO MA2 standard (KTM manual states: JASO T903 MA2), and is SAE 15W/50, you should be good.

KTM 250 XC Handling

The KTM 250 is a great handling cross-country dirt bike. They do great on trails and hill climbs, and you can also charge the whoops and hit a few jumps on them.

Here are the main specs to know about their handling:


A stock KTM 250 XC weighs 225 pounds, dry. Even though that doesn’t include the weight of fuel, that’s still light. Generally, the “wet” weight is around 10 more pounds, plus or minus a bit.

By comparison, the CRF250RX weighs 238 wet, while the KX250X weight is 230 pounds dry, and 240 pounds wet, and the YZ250FX weighs 245 pounds wet. Of course, the KTM is a 2-stoke and they are usually lighter than four-stokes.

KTM 250 XC Weight Limit

Does the KTM 250 XC have a weight limit? Yes. The KTM owner’s manual lists the maximum weight limit of 739 pounds. This would include your weight, gear, and anything else on your person like tools, etc.

But that isn’t all. The manual also states that a rider should weigh between 165-187 pounds (75-85 kg) with all of his/her riding gear on for optimal performance.

Also, just in case you want to get into the weeds, there are separate weight limits for the front axle and rear axle loads.

  • Maximum overall weight capacity: 739 pounds (335 kg)
  • Maximum front axle load: 320 pounds (145 kg)
  • Maximum rear axle load: 419 pounds (190 kg)

Seat Height

From the factory, the stock KTM 250 XC seat height is 37.5 inches off of the ground. This is an “unloaded” weight, so that means it can (and will) squat down a bit when you sit on it.

KTM seat height of 37.5 inches

A seat height of 37-38″ is typically the ideal height for someone who is 5’10”-6′ tall. Even though this is only a 250cc, this bike fits taller people more comfortably.

By comparison, the KTM height is right in there. For example, the Yamaha YZ250FX seat height is 37.5 inches, the KX250X is 37.2, and the CRF250RX is 38 inches.

Of course, the exact fit will vary for each individual, so make sure to sit on the bike to see how you fit on it.

Can you lower a KTM 250 XC?

Lowering the XC250 can be done. In fact, they are essentially the exact same options for lowering many other dirt bikes. Here are a few options:

  1. Set the sag and spring rates
    Adjusting the sag and spring rates on your suspension can lower your bike and make for a more personalized ride. Whether you install a lowering kit or a short seat, it’s still a good idea to double-check that the sag and spring rates are correctly set. Once you’ve adjusted the suspension to your liking, then you can determine how much lower (if any) you need to go.
  2. Shave the seat
    Shaving down the stock seat is a common way to lower a dirt bike’s seat height without spending any extra money. If you’re like me, however, you may be hesitant. I don’t recommend cutting away on a perfectly good seat if you don’t have to. If possible, save the stock seat for when/if you sell the bike and buy a “low seat” as mentioned next.
  3. Buy a low seat
    Although shaving down your seat is free, you might want to look into buying a “low seat” instead. These KTM 250XC low seats are usually about .5″ shorter than stock. While this sounds like a no-brainer, just remember that they can be a little harder than you might like, so make sure to buy a quality seat. Here’s (a good low seat) on Amazon.
  4. Buy a lowering kit
    Another way to lower this KTM is to buy a lowering kit or lowering link.


I love the way KTM makes adjusting the suspension so easy. From the factory, you can adjust the front and rear suspension with relative ease.

Screenshot of the adjustable suspension settings

As you can see from the image above, if you need to adjust the suspension from one type of riding to another, you can do that with a few clicks. Here are the different settings for each riding style:

Front Suspension Settings

Compression Damping
Comfort – 17 clicks
Standard – 12 clicks
Sport – 7 clicks

Rebound Damping
Comfort – 17 clicks
Standard – 12 clicks
Sport – 7 clicks

Rear Shock Settings

Compression Damping
Comfort – 17 clicks
Standard – 12 clicks
Sport – 7 clicks

Rebound Damping
Comfort – 17 clicks
Standard – 12 clicks
Sport – 7 clicks

Is the KTM 250XC a Good Dirt Bike?

Absolutely. If you’re in the market for a 2-stroke cross-country dirt bike, this is a solid choice. Even though finding a nice 2-stroke is hard these days, KTM makes it easy.

However, that doesn’t mean that it’s the right dirtbike for everyone.

KTM 250 review

Here are some of the positives and negatives of owning, riding, and maintaining one of these:

Positive Reviews

  • It’s a TWO-STOKE!
  • Good at all speeds
  • Lightweight
  • Great, adjustable suspension
  • Reliable motor
  • Good torque for two-stroke
  • Electric start
  • Fuel-injected
  • One of the best batteries on the market
  • Light and narrow chassis

Negative Reviews

  • A bit expensive ($10,999)
  • Requires frequent maintenance
  • Too tall for many riders
  • Limited local dealers (compared to Honda, Kawasaki, or Yamaha)

Overall, these are great dirtbikes. Even though there isn’t just one motorcycle out there that can do it all, this KTM is a step in the right direction.

Buyers Guide (Best Year, Pricing, etc.)

If this is a dirt bike that sounds good to you, here are a few more things to know:

  • The best year to buy
  • What they are worth/cost
  • Where to buy
  • Who to buy from

Best Year

Picking a KTM 250 XC best year isn’t too difficult… and overly not critical. Of course, the newer the model, the more performance and fine-tuning go into it, but that doesn’t always transfer to reliability. With that, I do think that any of the years are good bikes.

How much does a KTM 250 XC cost?

BASE MSRP: $10,999
Destination Charge: Contact a local dealer
Freight Surcharge: Contact a local dealer

Without talking to the KTM dealer near me, I’m guessing it would be around $11,500 to take one home.

How much is a used KTM 250XC worth?

If you are planning to buy a used KTM250XC, you should expect to pay somewhere around $6,500.

Are you wondering how I came up with that price? I found as many of these for sale on Facebook Marketplace and Craiglist as I could. Sadly, there weren’t any on CL and not too many on FB, but there were a handful.

Here are the four listings I found on FB Marketplace:

2019 KTM 250 XC – $6,300
2018 KTM XC – $6,300
2016 KTM XC – $7,400
2009 KTM250XC – $4,800

As you can see from the list of KTMs for sale above, the prices range from $7,400-$4,800, but there weren’t a lot of listings. If you add these prices up and divide by four (yeah, my daughter’s homework is rubbing off) you get an average price of $6,200.

With that in mind, here’s a screenshot from the JD Power website that shows a few different prices:

Screenshot of the JD Power Price for a 2019 KTM 250XC

As you can see, here are the three different values for this KTM:

Suggested List Price: $9,399
Low Retail: $5,665
Average Retail: $7,455

After searching for a KTM 250 XC for sale, and comparing it to the JD Power value, it looks like the $7,400 price might be more of a common average for these bikes in different locations. As mentioned, there were only four for sale in my region, which makes it a little harder to pinpoint an accurate price.

Where to Buy?

All you have to do to buy a new KTM250XC is head to your local KTM dealer near you and place your order. Done.

What if you want a used one? All you have to do is head over to Facebook Marketplace, Craiglist, Cycle Trader, etc., and start searching.