and still make their self-imposed price points. Instead, they
conceded the entire class to KTM.
The 200 always sold well, but it arrived right at the start
of the four-stroke age, and so it wasn’t promoted heavily.
KTM never paid a top rider to win any championships on
the bike (although many would have ridden the bike willingly), and the coming of the RFC four-strokes in 2000
overshadowed the 200. The little KTM currently exists in a
vacuum. The company doesn’t promote it, push it or even
talk about it, yet the subterranean demand persists year
after year. There’s still nothing like it.
The bike was originally built on the KTM 125 platform,
but was in a very different state of tune. It still has a wide-ratio six-speed gearbox, cushy suspension and various off-road goodies. It doesn’t have a headlight, but the lighting
coils are there just in case you want to put one on. In
2011, the bike got a warm-over with a new exhaust pipe
and silencer, altered jetting and a translucent fuel tank.
Larry’s company distributes about a zillion different, and
sometime competing, products. In true diplomatic fashion,
his bike a Maxxis IT rear tire and a Bridgestone M203 front
tire. There are no tubes within his tires; he uses the
Neutech Tubliss system, which seals off the spoke holes
with an inflatable dam, effectively making any rim into a
tubeless rim. The wheels themselves are perhaps the
biggest extravagance on the bike. TCR hubs are laced to
Excel wheels with Excel spokes, making them about the
strongest wheels on earth. Larry might be planning a
The motor’s only real addition is a Pro Circuit pipe and
silencer. This is a big improvement over stock, although it’s
not like Pro Circuit is really paying much attention to the
200 these days. The pipe that worked years ago still works
today, and the silencer is a little less quiet than stock, but
still well under U.S. forestry limits.
The KTM 200 hasn’t adorned any magazine covers in a long time. OK, never. But it’s a bike that
couldn’t get bad press anyway.