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Old 01-03-2018
mr bergman mr bergman is offline
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Beta Xtrainer suspension tuning: budget to ultimate mods

Thanks to 01Moto and Owen Lock for some Beta Xtrainer suspension ideas. And FFRC for using me as a lab rat for experimenting with the suspenders. Keen to hear any ideas not covered here.



The Beta Xtrainer uses Olle suspension, a Spanish mob with a long history in trials suspension. So the Xtrainer's forks and rear shock have a strong trials influence in terms of spring weight, valving and light weight design. And of course it costs less. But once you start to use the Xtrainer as a normal enduro bike you'll progressively run into trouble the faster and more aggressive you get.

BUDGET MODS
Drain the standard 5W fork oil and refill with 500ml of 15W fork oil. Wind the rebound in (this also increases the compression damping) and put some preload on the spring in the righthand leg. On the rear, play around with the damping but the suspension guru at FFRC recommends not maxxing out the compression damping, as you could wind up damaging the piston on really big hits. Then see if you need to go for stiffer springs or not. A cheap fix which some riders find acceptable but there is a very quick trade off between the original plush feel as it becomes better for faster riding.

RE-SHIM THE FORKS
Some guys mess around with shims, here's a fairly typical example courtesy of Dirt Punk. More details here.
Buy these KTM shims: 1x 48600213 1x 43570120 2x 48600214
Insert these to the rebound stack, NOT the compression stack.

Plenty of riders find this works okay, or at least better than heavier fork oil. But you still have the inevitable trade off with losing that plush feel as you beef things up. To experiment with this, FFRC did a basic revalve on my Xtrainer forks. It was a lot better for faster riding but it lost all that plushness. More on that issue further down.

CARTRIDGE FORK KITS & REAR SHOCK REVALVE
Beta have the BPS-K9 cartridge kit for AUD$640 which includes a stiffer spring too. I rode a bike set up like this and found the Xtrainer did feel a lot more controllable at speed - it worked a lot better on big hits and jumps. But as with previous options, there was still a trade off with losing that plush feel over small bumps, and not being able to weight and deweight the bike over obstacles as much. There are other cartridge kits like the Andreani X-Trainer Fork cartridge Kit but at AUD$1000 but I've heard some guys say they lost the plush feel with those too. Plus the more you spend the closer the Xtrainer cost gets to the RR300.

So what about revalving the rear shock? To experiment with this, FFRC did a basic revalve on the shock. I noticed some improvement but not much.

CUSTOMISED FORK & SHOCK INTERNALS
FFRC use their dyno and found the existing suspension mods only partial fix the trials setup of the suspension - compression damping and rebound are almost identical. For an enduro setup the compression needs to be almost double and tailored a specific way - until the internals are modified a simple revalving won't fix it. A custom piston in the shock, modified fork internals along with valving to match. Great results. At both ends that original supple feel is back in spades, and yet the bike feels so much better with aggressive riding too. Swapped bikes with two guys on 2017/2018 RR300s and we all agreed the Xtrainer was almost as good now as the RR - and possibly only the smaller suspension travel was causing a slight difference. This costs AUD$695 not including springs.

ULTIMATE XTRAINER SETUP?
Is there an ultimate suspension setup for the Xtrainer? For me this would have to now be close. But of course you can adapt suspension from another bike or get aftermarket forks and shock - just remember though other forks will increase the weight and lose some of the benefit of buying a Xtrainer. Some guys have reported excellent results with the 2017 to 2018 forks and shock from any Beta RR model - for everyday riders the Sachs have really started to hit the mark in those years.

Sachs RR300 forks US$1500 so I figure about AUD$2000?
Ohlins forks US$2900

TFX plug and play shock
Ohlins TTX shock
Fox RC2 (no longer available).

GET YOUR OLLE SUSPENSION SERVICED ON TIME
One final tip from the FFRC guys. They usually recommend getting your suspension serviced every 50 hours, although many of us leave it much longer than that. They did say it's more important to observe this with the Xtrainer because it is light weight suspension, you will want to be bit more diligent. Mine looked fine at 40 hours but then I ride like a pussy. If you are riding your Xtrainer hard make sure you get it serviced at 50 hours to play it safe.
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