I dabble on other people’s bikes. enjoy them and always hand them back, returning to my beloved torquey, smooth four bangers.

The 250 EXC is the bike that may well have converted me.I have ridden the 300 KTM several times in the past, and remarked at its ease but never paid much attention.

This is truly a delight of a machine, in fact I find it hard to see how it can get much better.

It possesses that super easy, light handling that two-strokes have, but it feels just amazing.

So easy to turn, to stop, to change line, to put the front wheel exactly where you want too, it can’t help but be fun and isn’t that what we ride for?

It genuinely impressed me how little, for a two-stroke, these bikes skip around off rocks.The extra weight over the 125/200 makes a big and positive difference.

The engine is truly awesome on the 250. I fell in love riding up the tarmac road, it’s so incredibly smooth and tractable. It feels like cheating to call it a two-stroke.

Rolling throttle on led to the single easiest third-gear wheelie I have ever pulled.

The bikemakes good power, but crucially it doesn’t make too much, it’s never harsh and the powerband hit is there but it never rips your arms out of their sockets.

The engine’s smoothness also made this the easiest bike to ride in the technical going.

The 300, much in the vein of the 500, is actually a little bit too much. It has all the same characteristics of the 250, it handles just as well but the power it makes is a little too strong.

It has a bit more punch, the powerband kicks in harder and it was all a bit more ‘happening’ than the 250.

Some people like that, but for me the 250 was the far easier bike to ride and far more fun.