Visordown's news man fires-up the longest-standing long-termer on the fleet
AS LONG-TERM test bikes go this is about as lengthy as it gets.
Having bought this 2002 KTM 200EXC (pre-mix model) in 2003, I've ridden the lightweight two-stroker less times than I'm happy to admit in seven years of ownership.
Like many of the bikes in my eclectic collection, which are mostly in various states of disrepair, the KTM rarely gets ridden; two small children, a full-time job and various other hobbies mean I've neglected this 100kg machine for the thick end of, ahem, three years.
So as many two-stroke owners will appreciate, a complete flush of the fuel system was needed before attempting to crack the bike into life, thanks to oily deposits in the petrol tank, fuel tap and carb.
The simple but fiddly job took a couple of hours, but was smattered, of course, with a liberal dose of the F word.
Complete with fresh litre of gear oil and a tank full of 40:1 premix, to my amazement the little KTM fired up on the very first kick. What a result.
Feeling rather chuffed with myself and the bike, I subsequently embarked on a four-mile 'clear-out' blast up one of the local country lanes. All went well until some oily cack gobbed up the carb, grinding the bike to an abrupt halt. Typically, as if I'd expected anything different, it conked out at the furthest point away from HQ on the four-mile route.
Following an enjoyable push back in the heat of the midday sun (at least I didn't need to go for a run later that day) another quick strip down was all it took to get the problem sorted.
So what now? Honestly, I've absolutely no idea. Maybe some trail riding, possibly a squirt on a local motocross track. I've even thought about chopping it in for modern trials bike.
Any (half-sensible) suggestions are welcome.
So what else is waiting to grace the Skilton workbench? A highly-modified (aka crash-damaged) GSX-R1100J, a Honda CB350K4 racer, a 1980 Bultaco 350 Sherpa trials bike and a rather ratty Triumph T120 Bonneville.
The only bike I've got that's road-worthy is a Metisse Triumph flat-tracker, which I'll be hoiking out later this weekend, so check back soon for a look at something a bit special.
No MotoGP this weekend but awesome weather, so enjoy it if you're out and about on two wheels.
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