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  #1  
Old 12-01-2016
katokonvert katokonvert is offline
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Six months with a Beta

A few comments in another thread, so I'll post up here.

There have been few issues so far after 6 months ownership. That's the honest truth.

Parts - Gary & Roon are awesome. Gary reminds me of an old-school retailer, but online. Respectful, apologetic when a bit is unavailable, quick to respond. TOP service. Same with Roon. Stock 'bar, rear sprocket & piston kit (250) seem a little expensive but there are a/m alternatives.

Bike - chews front brake pads (but I hardly use the rear except hill starts & trying to slide in & downhills), threw a chain on Saturday & the FORK GUARDS ARE CRAP FOR RIDING & CRASHING IN ROCKS. They don't offer nearly enough side protection. Also, clearance for spark plug removal is very tight with the tank on.

Build quality, reliability, nuts & bolts, ease of maintainence, plastics - it's a great bike. Period. The fixes required so far (forks in particular) have been due to operator error.

KTM, Husqvarna, Gas Gas, Sherco, & TM are top bikes, too. All the Euros rock. All on par, imho. (Not bagging Jap bikes - just never owned or ridden a modern Nippon enduro bike).

Which is why there is absolutely no objective reason why an owner of another brand should be sniffy about trying a Beta. Some don't like the ergos - that's hard to live with, I get it. You've gotta be comfy on the bike.

My experience has been great. I would buy another without a second thought.

I'm trying not to sound evangelical (I am a frother, after all), just my 2c on owning a Beta for 6 months.
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  #2  
Old 12-01-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katokonvert View Post
...Parts - Gary & Roon are awesome. Gary reminds me of an old-school retailer, but online. Respectful, apologetic when a bit is unavailable, quick to respond. TOP service. Same with Roon...
I could not agree more. Gary is top-notch to deal with, he's quick, and he has made sure he actually stocks as much as possible so that he doesn't have to resort to ordering parts from Italy too often. The only time to date I have heard of him needing to order something from Italy because he didn't have it on hand was for a cylinder head... hardly a regularly use/turned over part, so very understandable imo. He is clearly more interested in ensuring the Beta brand is built in Australia, so he doesn't try and skimp on holding stock on hand. And you can see his philosophy reflected in the dealers he has too. Marty Wright in Yass has been very good about helping me out, suggesting things, and getting back to me quickly on queries. Even Roon has been good with dealing with me in spite of the fact that I didn't even buy my bike from him.

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Originally Posted by katokonvert View Post
...Also, clearance for spark plug removal is very tight with the tank on...
Yeah, getting into the spark plug on my 498RR is very difficult too. Even with the articulated spark plug tool that comes in the toolkit it is nearly impossible to get into the spark plug without removing the cylinder head cover (which is a pain to do as well!). My comment to Nutty this last weekend was that I don't think Beta gave a lot of thought to being able to work on the engine whilst it is in the frame, but to my surprise he said that it was actually easier than working on his old WR450 But given how infrequent you need to access the difficult parts of the engine to work on, it really isn't a deal breaker. Hell, on the KLX450 it is a mission just to change the oil filter because of the way the header is routed, whereas the regular routine maintenance on the Beta engine isn't too bad.

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Originally Posted by katokonvert View Post
...Build quality, reliability, nuts & bolts, ease of maintainence, plastics - it's a great bike. Period. The fixes required so far (forks in particular) have been due to operator error...
I agree on everything except the plastics I'm afraid. The plastics do seem to be pretty brittle, but fortunately they are pretty cheap to replace too.

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Originally Posted by katokonvert View Post
...My experience has been great. I would buy another without a second thought.
Ditto.
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  #3  
Old 12-01-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katokonvert View Post
KTM, Husqvarna, Gas Gas, Sherco, & TM are top bikes, too. All the Euros rock. All on par, imho.
Serious? A 5 speed, tiny tank, kick start, 9 year old frame, variable build quality TM is 'on par' with a KTM/Husky? If that's your 'honest opinion' then it kind of invalidates your (quite valid) assessment of the Beta.

A Beta is well ahead of a TM in every department except front suspension spec IMHO. Very few things need addressing on a 300 Beta, the fuel capacity and the suspension spec are my only reservations. With WP suspension and a bigger tank they'd be a world beater IMO.
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Old 12-01-2016
katokonvert katokonvert is offline
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Nutty, positives can outweigh negatives with all dirt bikes, as you well know.

For example, a lot of TM owners can put up with no e-start and couldn't give 2 hoots about a 9 yr old frame because the motors appear extremely durable and the motor characteristic of the 300 puts the fear into people (in a 2-stroke, good kinda way!).

I rode my brother's (now Kwakas) TM 300 & it is still the most exciting dirt bike I've ridden lately. That's enough for some people to overlook it's "faults".

Not for me - I was close to buying one. Nate's new 2016 EN300 is a beautiful motorcycle.

I respect your right to criticize part of my review. Let's not turn this into a pedantic dissection of a technicality.
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Old 12-01-2016
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Tick, tick, tick...

FWIW I like the Beta. I'm all for a bit if variety with these things, and the Beta has proved itself well. The TM goes great and looks the goods too. Jury is out on longevity, but it's less than a month old, so whaddayawant?

Saturdays ride (Beta, Gasser, TM) had three of the best looking bikes you can get. All behaved, all riders had fun.

No Austrians were hurt in the making of this post.
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  #6  
Old 12-01-2016
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Originally Posted by katokonvert View Post
Nutty, positives can outweigh negatives with all dirt bikes, as you well know.
They certainly can but that's not the point. Your call was that all Euro 300s are equal. My view is that simply isn't true. I've done the factory PD course for both KTM and TM. I can assure you that you don't have to Dremel a KTM frame at PD to ensure it doesn't abrade the airbox open, nor do you need to check for rusty cranks ready to chew out crank seals. KTM chain buffers align perfectly and their PV segments don't dance sideways.

You're welcome to your view and I respect that it is one genuinely held, although knowing the two brands pretty well I could never concur.

Quote:
I respect your right to criticize part of my review. Let's not turn this into a pedantic dissection of a technicality.
A review of the Beta bike should quite obviously address its technical superiority over its competition IMO and to a fair degree you've done that already. I do agree that TMs are exciting bikes to ride, I've had a few of them BTW, but the equal of a Beta/Husky/KTM? I don't think so.

All good though, it'd be a boring old world if we all had the same tastes.
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  #7  
Old 12-01-2016
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It's rare that I'll say this, but...
I agree totally with Nutty on this topic.

I've owned three TMs - loved riding two of them, hated the third. The riding experience is personal, but the engineering of all three TMs fell well short of everything else I've owed (apart from the 1974 Montesa. Maybe).
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  #8  
Old 12-01-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katokonvert View Post
Six months with a Beta
So how long before you put a ring on it?
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  #9  
Old 12-01-2016
katokonvert katokonvert is offline
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So how long before you put a ring on it?
..knowing me, it'll be a "For Sale" sign, not a ring - ba ha!

Dremel a frame so you don't break the air box? That's bloody stupid!

Reminds me of an Alfa 33 I had once - *makes that noise Montgomery Burns makes when he is disgusted*
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  #10  
Old 12-01-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katokonvert View Post
Dremel a frame so you don't break the air box? That's bloody stupid!
Doing the job certainly isn't stupid, it stops the casting flash on the inside of the footpeg bracing from chewing out the airhorn.

Having to do it at PD certainly IS stupid...

Back on topic: the Beta 300 has a few great features IMO, the seat is the ONLY stock seat that is of the just right density, the PV controller works unreal, the chassis is super flickable yet still stable and the ergos are nice. Down side? As well as the fork and fuel range issues, I'm not a fan of the shifter ergos, the clutch is heavy, the seat's is a bit short/curvy, the starter motor access is ordinary...but that's it.

I could easily make a Beta 300 a near-perfect bike for me.
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