Linkage vs PDS (XC vs XC-w) who has switched and ?


31 replies to this topic
  • Hawaii-Rider

Posted December 08, 2013 - 11:52 AM

#1

Question up front:  

 

  1. Anyone switched from the KTM PDS system to a linkage bike on the XC models here?
  2. If you have can i ask your feedback on handling, variability of terrain diff of the two?

 

Ive owned a few KTMs and put a LOT of miles on others.  Me, and this is me and I speak for "me" I could never get totally comfortable with the PDS, both in handling and the flexibility of it vs a linkage system.  Ive done the routine, suspension re-valve, proper springs etc etc but I cant come to a "wow I have to keep this machine no matter what" state with the PDS based machines from KTM.  

NEVER any other real issues that couldnt be addressed with the KTMs for me - motor etc nothing but top shelf gear - no questions.

 

Im plotting out a new smoker and wanted to see if anyone had gone from a PDS to a Linkage based KTM and what your thoughts were on the differences and how it impacted handling etc for you.

 

thanx in advance !!

 

HR

 

My own baseline requirements for a new ride are (at the moment):  Linkage, smoker, happy button and 300cc

  • KTM
  • Beta
  • Gas Gas
  • Husky (when they are released)
  • oh...im 6'3", 235ish before gear, riding-racing for 40+ years and sitting at 53 YO - if that makes any difference   ;) 

 



  • KX290F Pilot

Posted December 08, 2013 - 12:19 PM

#2

I have switched from PDS to Linkage.  I owned a 2000 200EXC and could never get along with the PDS on that bike.  I have ridden friends bikes with PDS from 2004 - 2010 and I still feel the same way about PDS.  For me the square edged hits on PDS make the shock bottom or rear end deflect.  I have had several bikes in between that all had Linkage and recently I bought the first year 2012 250XC 2 Stroke with linkage last year and the rear end to me is much more compliant and soakes up square edge much better.  I can adjust the suspension for varied terrain way easier too.  For example I was riding woods a few weeks ago and then went on a 4 day desert trip and was able to change just clickers to get the rear to work in the different terrain and high speeds.  To me the PDS was very one dimensional.  You  can set it up for one type of terrain and it will work pretty well, but if you want to do woods one day then MX the next it does not adjust as easily as the Linkage system.  Some guys absolutely love PDS and others like me can never get it to feel right.



  • Hawaii-Rider

Posted December 08, 2013 - 02:24 PM

#3

KX

Thank you!

:thumbsup:

exactly what I was looking for in terms of background and 'personal' observations.

Sounds like me, loved all my pumkins but I just could NOT get happy and comfy with the PDS...I know some folks just wont ride anything else....

 

Thank you!

 

HR

I have switched from PDS to Linkage.  I owned a 2000 200EXC and could never get along with the PDS on that bike.  I have ridden friends bikes with PDS from 2004 - 2010 and I still feel the same way about PDS.  For me the square edged hits on PDS make the shock bottom or rear end deflect.  I have had several bikes in between that all had Linkage and recently I bought the first year 2012 250XC 2 Stroke with linkage last year and the rear end to me is much more compliant and soakes up square edge much better.  I can adjust the suspension for varied terrain way easier too.  For example I was riding woods a few weeks ago and then went on a 4 day desert trip and was able to change just clickers to get the rear to work in the different terrain and high speeds.  To me the PDS was very one dimensional.  You  can set it up for one type of terrain and it will work pretty well, but if you want to do woods one day then MX the next it does not adjust as easily as the Linkage system.  Some guys absolutely love PDS and others like me can never get it to feel right.



  • sndmn2

Posted December 08, 2013 - 07:06 PM

#4

I'm sure its just me but I can't really feel the difference.

  • trailmeisterjoe

Posted December 09, 2013 - 11:53 AM

#5

18,000 miles on last 2 pds bikes ( 05 and 09 300's) and now an xc 300 with link. LOVE the difference. I would imagine if you are not a very aggressive rider it wouldn't show but for me I love the poise, balance and control at speed in the rough stuff ( open and tight). even at real tight tahuya trails at comparatively low speed it is noticeable ( to ME). anyways, my 2c


Joe

Edited by trailmeisterjoe, December 09, 2013 - 11:53 AM.


  • Hawaii-Rider

Posted December 09, 2013 - 01:14 PM

#6

Joe

Thanx for the input

I do slow plonk with kids or new folks learning to ride or race face as required and everything in between.

I am now at my age and the number of bikes I have gone through  - over the years, quite particular about what I like and how I set up my machines and honestly what I expect from them (even it if is eventually after some farkles and tweaks)

 

The ONLY PDS I could really come to grips with is the set up on my 2008 FE550 Berg - dont ask me why, but my pumkins, we just never agreed to agree over the vast range of stuff I like to do.  Get it sweet in the rocks/roots at Belfair, kick up the volume a bit on the ridge and higher speed etc and it wasnt the same - so to ME it was always a compromise.  Get it set for a focused ride and it was good, change that and you have to mod/adjust etc.  Im weird and old - oh well.

:thumbsup:

 

HR

18,000 miles on last 2 pds bikes ( 05 and 09 300's) and now an xc 300 with link. LOVE the difference. I would imagine if you are not a very aggressive rider it wouldn't show but for me I love the poise, balance and control at speed in the rough stuff ( open and tight). even at real tight tahuya trails at comparatively low speed it is noticeable ( to ME). anyways, my 2c


Joe



  • LukeBrinkerhoff

Posted December 09, 2013 - 06:22 PM

#7

 Can't complain about the PDS, I do feel like it needs work, from riding my rm250 the linkage feels more plush, but I like the idea of the PDS better, easy, and simple, no need to worry about destroying it, or replacing a million seals, and bearings. 

 

 If this guy can go as fast as he does without a linkage, then we should be able to as well(ye he is sponsored, and has better suspension)

 

Erzberg_2011.jpg

Edited by LukeBrinkerhoff, December 09, 2013 - 06:23 PM.


  • Hawaii-Rider

Posted December 09, 2013 - 07:56 PM

#8

Ryan Dungey is running a linkage bike and he is much faster !

...guess I will follow his lead.

 

HR

 

 

 

 Can't complain about the PDS, I do feel like it needs work, from riding my rm250 the linkage feels more plush, but I like the idea of the PDS better, easy, and simple, no need to worry about destroying it, or replacing a million seals, and bearings. 

 

 If this guy can go as fast as he does without a linkage, then we should be able to as well(ye he is sponsored, and has better suspension)

 

Erzberg_2011.jpg

 



  • trailmeisterjoe

Posted December 10, 2013 - 06:18 AM

#9

Joe
Thanx for the input
I do slow plonk with kids or new folks learning to ride or race face as required and everything in between.
I am now at my age and the number of bikes I have gone through  - over the years, quite particular about what I like and how I set up my machines and honestly what I expect from them (even it if is eventually after some farkles and tweaks)
 
The ONLY PDS I could really come to grips with is the set up on my 2008 FE550 Berg - dont ask me why, but my pumkins, we just never agreed to agree over the vast range of stuff I like to do.  Get it sweet in the rocks/roots at Belfair, kick up the volume a bit on the ridge and higher speed etc and it wasnt the same - so to ME it was always a compromise.  Get it set for a focused ride and it was good, change that and you have to mod/adjust etc.  Im weird and old - oh well.
:thumbsup:
 
HR



I may not have been clear ( after re-reading my post)....I am loving the XC with link over the last couple of pds bikes I had ( and rode for a gazillion miles).

Joe

  • BODIEFW

Posted December 10, 2013 - 04:26 PM

#10

I've had one of both.  Any PDS systems before 08' or the 07' SX models were crap.  Everything else from then on has been pretty good.  The problem with PDS is that there aren't a whole lot of people who really know how to make it work.  And the other problem is people are comparing it to 4T or a YZ 250 (which a KTM Linkage bike isn't even close to in performance).  Part of understanding how to tune PDS is understanding what they can and cannot do.  If you are chasing the YZ250 carrot....pack it in; you're never going to get there with a linkage KTM or not.  Anything offroad, I prefer my PDS bike.  Anything moto, I prefer my linkage bike.  Linkage is better are consecutive square edged braking bumps and acceleration chop, and better for peaky SX style whoops.  Anything else, the PDS system is just as good.

 

 

Having said all that, I like the linkage a lot because it is more adjustable.  You could go ride 1st-3rd gear woods one day and then hold it open on a beat to hell track the next with minor adjustments.  A PDS shock suffers a little more when taken out of its element in which it was valved for.  Buuuuut, having said all that......I ride A, and pretty much all my buddies ride in the A class, All of them pretty much say that for offroad riding, its a push between PDS and Linkage



  • Monk

Posted December 10, 2013 - 04:55 PM

#11

It don't make much if any difference to me.... I think the 2011/current XCW no-link is a fantastic design and when setup properly is as good as anything out there. I've bounced between lots of models from different years and they have just gotten better and better....

IMO, owning a 2011 250/300sx or xc is the Holy Grail of the non-link setups....

  • rebelbanshee

Posted December 10, 2013 - 05:10 PM

#12

As soon as I got rid of my WP fork, my no-link worked great.  I think the WP fork, specificly the older ones, made the no-link look bad.



  • rpt50

Posted December 11, 2013 - 02:20 PM

#13

I only ride woods these days, and I can't pin down any differences due to suspension design in my PDS ktm and my two J bikes (suzuki and honda smokers) with linkage.  All of them have been revalved for woods.  Sure, the bikes feel a little different by brand, but after a couple of minutes of riding you don't even think about it.  If there was some way to prevent me from seeing what bike I was riding, I'm sure I could not tell you if the bike had a linkage or not.  Nothing shows up in lap times either.  A few years back when I was racing seriously, my lap times were always about the same regardless of the bike.

 

Having said that, there is one big difference that I do notice---maintenance!  I freaking love the PDS.  I even have a shop press and I still had replacing, greasing, etc. linkage bearings.

 

I personally hope that the PDS continues to be offered, as I probably have one more new bike in me, and the lack of linkage is a pretty big selling point for me.


Edited by rpt50, December 11, 2013 - 02:21 PM.


  • mikes300

Posted December 13, 2013 - 01:15 PM

#14

humm first off you cant buy a 300Sx, and secondly all the XC and SX bikes are linkage bikes.




IMO, owning a 2011 250/300sx or xc is the Holy Grail of the non-link setups....



  • wheelie wood

Posted December 13, 2013 - 01:44 PM

#15

[quote name="mikes300" post="11229916" timestamp="1386969339"]humm first off you cant buy a 300Sx, and secondly all the XC and SX bikes are linkage bikes.



IMO, owning a 2011 250/300sx or xc is the Holy Grail of the non-link setups....


NO BUT you just put an SX head on the 300 xcw. Thats what I have a 300sxxcw :rolleyes::D

  • 7thirtyseven

Posted December 13, 2013 - 03:29 PM

#16

humm first off you cant buy a 300Sx, and secondly all the XC and SX bikes are linkage bikes.

IMO, owning a 2011 250/300sx or xc is the Holy Grail of the non-link setups....


Hmm mm 2011 both SX and xc were non link. Very very good. The "holy grail of non - link setups".

OP linkage seems better at the outer range of your set up. PDS narrower range of where it's really good.

  • Monk

Posted December 13, 2013 - 03:38 PM

#17

humm first off you cant buy a 300Sx, and secondly all the XC and SX bikes are linkage bikes.



IMO, owning a 2011 250/300sx or xc is the Holy Grail of the non-link setups....


I know you can't buy a 300sx....But you can buy a 300xc...

  • mikes300

Posted December 13, 2013 - 06:12 PM

#18

Hmm mm 2011 both SX and xc were non link. Very very good. The "holy grail of non - link setups".
OP linkage seems better at the outer range of your set up. PDS narrower range of where it's really good.


Yep my bad the 2 strokes got linkage in 12, the thumpers were 11

  • MrDieselTwitch

Posted December 13, 2013 - 06:17 PM

#19

+1 for PDS

 

If you get the right spring and valving you don't even. Ill admit that PDS requires more work to get set up right but I much prefer it over linkage bikes. 



  • zig06

Posted December 13, 2013 - 06:28 PM

#20

+1 to the guys that like their PDS.

 

The PDS just has a narrower range, if you nail it (or are close enough for you) then it's just as good as a link.  Just about any shop can dial a link into an acceptable range.

 

Love'n my PDS and the near zero maintenance.






 
x

Join Our Community!

Even if you don't want to post, registered members get access to tools that make finding & following the good stuff easier.

If you enjoyed reading about "" here in the ThumperTalk archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join ThumperTalk today!

The views and opinions expressed on this page are strictly those of the author, and have not been reviewed or approved by ThumperTalk.