Setting up my first snowbike , 300 2-stroke questions

jacmmaxwell

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2009
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Hailey, Idaho
I picked up a '14 kit over the summer and I've got it mounted up on my bike but have some finishing touches I need to work out. Hoping I can find some wisdom on here as the search brings up loads of useless info.


Carb heater ... I need one


Is the KTM electric enough ? I ride in central Idaho in the sawtooth's and it's pretty dry. I've never used a heated carb on my sleds but bike might be a little tricky. I like the electric as I can leave it in place for summer riding.


T-stat ... need on of those too , maybe?


My kit has a tunnel cooler in it and I'm leaning toward using it how ever is there a reason to stay with the radiators? I was going to run a KTM 990 T-stat as it's 175 degrees and has a bypass for heated bars or carb heat if the electric is not enough... not to mention they are 32 dollars.


Pre filter ... what are you guys using on the '14 style 300's ? I can't find anything other than universal stuff. My bike is a '14 Husaberg TE300 , pretty much a Husqvarna TE300 with pds or a 300 XC-w


Jetting... I know I need to rejet richer for temp but how much do you guys have to fiddle with the carbs on the 2 stroke snowbikes? The bike rides great from 6,000 to 9,000 in the summer and this is the same range I'll be flogging it in the winter.



Extra fuel .... I have the rails for the mountain addiction can but since they are 85 bucks I fabbed up a quick rack for a 2.5 gallon can I had laying around. How does your fuel consumption compare to the 4 strokes?










 

Ben 500RR-S

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Oct 18, 2017
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New England/East Coast
You are in the right place at least. The guys on here have been helping me since last winter.

I'm also setting up a KTM 300 and am waiting for a new SmartCarb, a PST carb heater, thermobob and velocity intake.

At least for the CRF 450X that my BIL runs, I just put in a JD jet kit with their blue-cold weather needle along with the recommended #165 main jet. It came with a #158 and I had then put in a #145 not knowing a thing about jetting.

Guys that know better than me will advise.
 

rhino89523

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Apr 18, 2016
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I'm not on a 300, I ride a CR500, and I'm in the Sierras so wetter and warmer and I am snowbike specific, I ride a 500AF as one of my main singletrack trail bikes but I don't switch back and forth.



I have a coolant carb heater and I think it's needed. I'm not sure if it's so much the cold as the velocity that makes it want to freeze up, but it works better with the heater. No idea on the electric heater.


I run a tunnel cooler and thats what was needed on my bike, it got real hot with just radiators. I still run one radiator with the tunnel cooler and a thermostat.


Your thermostat seems a little hot for a 2 stroke, most the 2 stroke thermostats pop around 130...I'm sure the housing is probably fine but you may want to lower the operating range. I like the motorcycle/snobike specific ones for the bypass function.


I don't fiddle much with my jetting, my bike can blow through a little richness, I would mess with it if I heard it get yingy lean. a little fat...no big deal for me it still seems to rip pretty good. Our temps don't fluctuate a ton, when it gets towards spring if it's supper blubbery I have dropped. I like my trail bikes and my snowbikes a little fat on the bottom end, the only bike I really fiddle with the jetting a lot is my sand bike...lean is mean, not too lean though.


My bike doesn't seem to go through substantially more fuel than my buddies on their 500 whatever 4 stroke KTM's but it does drink it. I run a 4 gallon volcano desert tank on the bike and the 3.5 or whatever it is mountain addiction kicker and one day I had to pull another tank at a friends cabin so I always bring extra 2 stroke oil.


Have a blast!!!!.
 
Last edited:

M5-

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Jan 14, 2004
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Electric heater is a POS and complete waste of time on a snow bike that sees powder. Been there done that.


M5
 

Ben 500RR-S

Well-known member
Oct 18, 2017
755
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New England/East Coast
Electric heater is a POS and complete waste of time on a snow bike that sees powder. Been there done that.


M5
I have not heard much good about the $60 plug/heater element either. It seems that is for riding around on the dirt in the winter and not for snowbike duty.

There has to be a good reason for all the clamp on-slide on coolant carb heaters along with carburetor jackets-they are just needed.

We found out the hard way last Saturday night as the KTM 300 kept on bogging/stalling due to the icing. Thankfully we were just on a hayfield and had the time to just chill while the heat would/could melt whatever icing had taken place and the bike could get started again.
 

2smokin

Member
Oct 17, 2018
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Bozeman MT
seems like the tunnel cooler would be nice for hotter low snow days, at least it would be consistent. my 18 300 wont get too hot if theres pow no matter how long you hold it wide. 130 thermostat works good leaves you some room to warm up without getting super hot. pst should have an intake for you. fuel use wise if im just lugging around it barely burn any but once i get into the deep and rev it up fuel goes pretty quick. can easily do a gallon an engine hour if running it hard.
 

jacmmaxwell

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2009
1,025
212
63
Hailey, Idaho
Thanks guys ,


So no to the ktm heater , coolant heated it is. Are you all running them all the time or just when you start to ice?


Fuel consumption doesn't seem too much of a difference from the 4 strokes, but might need a larger jerry can.


130 is a better temp than what I was looking at , I'll use the skidoo XP thermostat on the shelf they are right about 130 if I recall and I'll plumb in the tunnel cooler and run it.
 

jacmmaxwell

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2009
1,025
212
63
Hailey, Idaho
I'm not on a 300, I ride a CR500, and I'm in the Sierras so wetter and warmer and I am snowbike specific, I ride a 500AF as one of my main singletrack trail bikes but I don't switch back and forth.



I have a coolant carb heater and I think it's needed. I'm not sure if it's so much the cold as the velocity that makes it want to freeze up, but it works better with the heater. No idea on the electric heater.


I run a tunnel cooler and thats what was needed on my bike, it got real hot with just radiators. I still run one radiator with the tunnel cooler and a thermostat.


Your thermostat seems a little hot for a 2 stroke, most the 2 stroke thermostats pop around 130...I'm sure the housing is probably fine but you may want to lower the operating range. I like the motorcycle/snobike specific ones for the bypass function.


I don't fiddle much with my jetting, my bike can blow through a little richness, I would mess with it if I heard it get yingy lean. a little fat...no big deal for me it still seems to rip pretty good. Our temps don't fluctuate a ton, when it gets towards spring if it's supper blubbery I have dropped. I like my trail bikes and my snowbikes a little fat on the bottom end, the only bike I really fiddle with the jetting a lot is my sand bike...lean is mean, not too lean though.


My bike doesn't seem to go through substantially more fuel than my buddies on their 500 whatever 4 stroke KTM's but it does drink it. I run a 4 gallon volcano desert tank on the bike and the 3.5 or whatever it is mountain addiction kicker and one day I had to pull another tank at a friends cabin so I always bring extra 2 stroke oil.


Have a blast!!!!.

Are you running a pressure cap on your tunnel cooler? The one I have is currently setup with no filler or pressure cap and that sees like a risky setup. I have found some inline fillers with a cap that would work ... most are listed with a .9 bar and that's about half what my radiator cap is if I recall.
 

rhino89523

Well-known member
Apr 18, 2016
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My current and next set up both don't have caps. The one I will be running this year is one of M5's old ones. Fairly similar to what I ran last year but a little more surface area and the tubes out the front are longer and cleaner. I like the length of the tubes because I stack snow hard where they run so I should get some additional cooling. I don't see it as too much of a risk...if the cooler or lines fail I have enough tubing to shorten up a line into a loop and run it on the single radiator home...probably stopping a lot but I could make it. I ran mine last year on a stock KX500 cap which is rated a little higher than a stock CR500 cap on pressure. I didn't boil all last year, I saw 180 as the high on my gauge...would prefer to run a little more consistently at the thermostat pop temperature.

The first year on just radiators I boiled out everywhere and had a spot on my skidplate that drained off nice, I would melt snow off my pipe catch it in a gatorade bottle and dump it back in the bike...not ideal. We are getting close to a perfect setup. I am a big guy, without a 500 it wouldn't be nearly as much fun.
 

Revv Up

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Nov 26, 2011
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Revelstoke BC
www.revvup.net
I would think you would benefit from covering the motor somehow to retain its heat, especially if you can keep the pipe on the inside. That stoped a lot of carb freezing issues on the 4 strokes in the early days.

Anyone making decent engine covers for that bike?
 

wwillf01

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Aug 12, 2012
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Heber Ut
covering the engine is huge for carb freezing even with carb heat... Pipe wise it just moved the power around...

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
 

jacmmaxwell

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2009
1,025
212
63
Hailey, Idaho
Not alot of engine covers out there for the 2 smokers, that I can find... I have some coated canvas that I intend to make a cover out of and see how if it helps.

After looking at my stock T-stat I think I'm going to use it, after all one could assume its the correct engine temp for the bike. I will still need to add a bypass circuit and temp gauge. Stocker is 70C or about 158 F

If I want I can throw a 55 degree in the same housing and get it down to 131


With the lack of a pressure cap on the tunnel cooler I was just worried about blowing a head gasket but it sounds like even your big 500 doesn't get that hot.
 

eric82930

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Dec 20, 2007
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I've had good luck with the electric carb heaters on many bikes. Mine is the ktm 20 watt version my buddy has a 30 watt from a Yamaha. Always used with a good wrap and tstat.
 

tek9tim

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2010
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Entiat, WA
I only have a couple of things I can speak intelligently about here. (Or anywhere, for that matter) When I rode with a group of guys, I didn't put fuel in until just before the ride back to the truck, lots of socializing and some watching. When I rode by myself (with tons of people around) on the backside of Stevens, I went through fuel surprisingly fast. I got the mountain addiction 3.3 gallon can, and I'm glad I did. Stupid expensive for a gas can though.

FWIW, I did really like having the Lectron on the snow. It was nice to be able to easily and precisely dial in the top end fueling.

That being said Josh, you know what direction I went with for a bike this year. I really did love how the 300 was on snow, I just didn't want to put a ton of stuff on my 300 for snow that I'd have to take back off in the spring. Plus, I like to take off to Arizona with the bikes in the winter.
 

jacmmaxwell

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2009
1,025
212
63
Hailey, Idaho
Tim,


I'm trying to keep my 300 as close to summer status as possible while getting a taste of the Snowbike thing. The 300 is the best single track bike I have ever ridden and don't want to give that up. I'm already looking at 450-500 thumper for next year as I have no doubts that its going to be a blast.


Have not ridden in AZ yet ( inlaws bought a house in Kingman AZ so will spend more time there now ) but if your up for a blast we spend 3 days in Southern UT in the spring riding the 5 miles of hell trail area. Group of 4-5 guy comes over from randle too... be a blast to have you along.
 

chumbilly1

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Dec 7, 2007
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I would think you would benefit from covering the motor somehow to retain its heat, especially if you can keep the pipe on the inside. That stoped a lot of carb freezing issues on the 4 strokes in the early days.

Anyone making decent engine covers for that bike?
Hey, You should make a good set of engine covers for 250/300/BRC500 that cover the pipe as well. You would sell a **** ton of them. pipe needs to stay hot to run properly plus the de-icing attributes already mentioned.
 

jacmmaxwell

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2009
1,025
212
63
Hailey, Idaho
At least on a KTM an traditional engine blanket that wraps the pipe would hang pretty low. I have a Hyde skidplate that covers the pipe as part of the skidplate and it works awesome but costs me a 1 1/4" of ground clearance at the pipe ( that already hangs below the frame on KTM's )


How much would this loss of clearance effect a snowbike? Since the ski plows a path ahead of the pipe it seems it would not have a huge negative impact on performance.


I was thinking engine cover , leave the pipe out and header wrap from the cylinder to the end of the cone. But will it even hold up? I'm sure I'm not the first to try this.


I have 2 pipes , the FMF woods pipe ( low end power ) that's on it and a somewhat beat up stocker ( little better top end ) I would not mind wrapping the stocker and trying it out as a winter pipe with smaller skid plate. Saving my FMF and Hyde for the summer rock rubbing duty.
 

rhino89523

Well-known member
Apr 18, 2016
236
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43
I only have a couple of things I can speak intelligently about here. (Or anywhere, for that matter) When I rode with a group of guys, I didn't put fuel in until just before the ride back to the truck, lots of socializing and some watching. When I rode by myself (with tons of people around) on the backside of Stevens, I went through fuel surprisingly fast. I got the mountain addiction 3.3 gallon can, and I'm glad I did. Stupid expensive for a gas can though.

FWIW, I did really like having the Lectron on the snow. It was nice to be able to easily and precisely dial in the top end fueling.

That being said Josh, you know what direction I went with for a bike this year. I really did love how the 300 was on snow, I just didn't want to put a ton of stuff on my 300 for snow that I'd have to take back off in the spring. Plus, I like to take off to Arizona with the bikes in the winter.
Where in AZ do you ride in the winter? I go down every year for a couple weeks. I usually end up riding with some local boys up in the Bradshaws and then I have a bunch of guys I know that ride at the milemarkers. AZ is awesome and some of the nastiest singletrack I have ever seen. I love it!!! my 500AF does quite well on all those rocky step up's etc....seems most everyone is on a 300 now.