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  #1  
Old 13-05-2018
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2018 BETA XTrainer 250 initial ride impressions

BETA 2018 XTrainer 250 first ride impressions

Setup: First ride, standard Shinko tyres with 12psi front and rear (rocky terrain don't want a pinch flat)
Standard jetting, standard springs with the front fork spring preload wound on to about 90% of max, rider weight with gear 95kgs, power valve wound in 1 turn from flush, dry map setting.
Temperature mid 20s, elevation 150m above sea level, dry sandy/rocky tracks with not much moisture.
As a BETA dealer I have been riding a XT300 since 2015/first delivery of XTs into Australia and I also predominately ride and favour the RR250 so I was curious to see how the lively nature of the 250 capacity would translate into the smaller XT frame and engine tune. My 2015 XT300 has been fitted with a Scalvini exhaust and silencer and a BPS-K9 fork kit and heavier shock spring and I find that has made the XT a very versatile bike with a stronger mid range and a bit of sting in the top end without losing any of the beefy bottom end that makes the bike so easy to ride in technical terrain. I also found the fork kit has made the bike more stable at speed and able to handle erosion mounds, jumps and sequential rock ledge drop offs more like a “normal” enduro bike.
First impressions of the XT250 is that the motor is absolutely linear, even more than the XT300 and that it feels somewhat lacklustre or lame or tame, there's no spike, hit, step or variance in the power delivery anywhere from idle through to WOT. So in short, the response to throttle inputs is completely predictable and there's not much wow or fun factor like you get in a normal two stroke, let alone the grin producing hit you get from a well tuned 250. As I rode the bike more on single tracks and along some fire roads my initial feeling was one of disappointment in the power delivery, yet every time I came to a technical section such as a log which required a double punch technique to clear, or a set of rock steps, or a greasy uphill, the bike just went up very easy with no wheelspin, no arm wrenching, no front wheel lifting or back wheel skipping, regardless if I was using hardly any revs or had the bike running a bit faster in the mid range. The predictability of the power delivery made pulling power/balance wheelies in 2nd and 3rd gear very easy. Due to one of the riders needing to get back to the cars in a short time we rode a fair bit of firetrails at high speed and I had the 250 cracking along in the upper reaches of the rev range in 5th and 6th for a couple of kms and the bike wasn't skittish or slow (hitting 110kph easy) but it wasn't very exciting either, it was hard to break traction on the hard dirt roads for some tail out action.
During the ride I swapped with a mate whose current circumstances meant he was riding his clapped out 1993 XR250 and whilst riding the XR250 it dawned on me that the XT250 is somewhat of a modern day XR250 in that the power is mild, yet entirely predictable and I also found I was riding the XR250 up all the rockstep/tree root/rutted hills without wheelspin or drama as all the power (what little of it there is) was getting to the ground, the low seat height and soft suspension helps to keep the wheels in contact with the ground just like the XTrainer. Those of you who have ridden XR250s or similar low power 4Ts (TTR225, XR200, DR250, KLX etc) you will know that they are very capable bikes in the right hands and that to go fast you have to keep them in gear and use a lot of revs and this is what kept going through my mind as I was riding the XT250. Whereas I find the XT300 climbs best using low rpms, I found the XT250 could handle low rpm climbs, yet also didn't break traction using higher rpms, so I kept amazing myself with how little effort it was taking on my part to get the bike through technical terrain.
It dawned on me that the XT250 is probably the ideal beginner's bike, even more so than the 300 version as the power is just so mild and predictable that you can focus on line selection rather than gear and rpm selection, at no point did the XT250 stall or not have enough grunt to pull me up a hill or over an obstacle. If you're looking for a two stroke buzz or hit, don't go looking for it in the XT250 in stock form.....I will fit my Scalvini system for the next ride and see what that does to the power delivery.

Handling wise the XT250 is a scapel, I thought the XT300 was nimble and flickable, but the 250 version is another notch above, much the same as this applies to the RR300 v RR250. I would rate the XT250 as one of the best steering bikes I have ridden, it never deflected and it only took small adjustments to peg weighting or bar inputs to point the bike in the direction I wanted. I put this down to 3 factors: the Shinko tyres, the minimal engine inertia of the 250 motor and the XRC steering stabiliser I transferred across from the XT300. Next I will set up the suspension with a revalve and springs to suit my weight and then report back....
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Old 14-05-2018
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Nice report. Motor sounds very similar to KTM’s Freeride 250. Although they lack wow factor, they can be fun as you hold it pinned along every track.

What Shinkos are you running? 505 Cheater and 546?
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Old 14-05-2018
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I had a 10min wazz on this ‘18 XT250 on that ride, too.

I have to agree with everything Roon has written. The steering in s/t is simply superb, very easy to ride motor with non-threatening yet poky power and willing down low. It chugged up one rutted, powdery & reasonably steep line very well. Probably the quietest dirt bike I’ve ridden, too - nice.

Just sayin’ - the fork is sh!tloads better than what I remember on Roon’s old XT300, imho

An absolutely brill beginner’s machine, but also plenty capable for the shorter-inseamed expert Ro-maniac.
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Old 15-05-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gibnut View Post
I had a 10min wazz on this ‘18 XT250 on that ride, too.

I have to agree with everything Roon has written. The steering in s/t is simply superb, very easy to ride motor with non-threatening yet poky power and willing down low. It chugged up one rutted, powdery & reasonably steep line very well. Probably the quietest dirt bike I’ve ridden, too - nice.

Just sayin’ - the fork is sh!tloads better than what I remember on Roon’s old XT300, imho

An absolutely brill beginner’s machine, but also plenty capable for the shorter-inseamed expert Ro-maniac.
Have they improved/changed the forks on the 18 Trainers ??
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Old 30-05-2018
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2nd and 3rd ride updates

For my 2nd ride I removed the spacer on the LH side power valve chamber and the bike was even more gutless, it struggled to climb hills at low rpm in anything other than 1st gear so I refitted the PV spacer after that ride.

For my 3rd ride of 75kms I fitted an FMF pipe from an RR, retained the standard XT muffler, fitted a 7.0 slide (Same as RR), NEDW needle on 3rd clip, 35 pilot and 158 main. ........WOW ! totally different power delivery...perfect idle, clean and crisp off idle with no stutter, a fat and snappy midrange and a nice over rev. Totally transformed the power delivery with no down side, the bike can now climb shitty hills in 3rd gear, then get on the pipe when the trail opens up all the while using less fuel than standard and revving up/down much quicker than the XT300.........

The Power Valve hasn't been touched from new and is pretty much flush (all the way out) and the power delivery is so perfect I haven't felt the need to fiddle with it.

The difference between stock XT250 and XT250 with pipe/jetting is night/day....the stock XT250 in my view is even better than the XT300 for a beginner as the power is so linear, mellow and predictable, very hard to get out of control with a whiskey throttle or unintended wheelspin etc
It also made technical riding even more of a "cheat" as the rear wheel doesn't break traction, even when using higher RPMs. Then the XT250 with pipe/jetting is even more fun than the XT300 as it has a higher lever of "playfulness" without giving anything away in terms of torque....and for us more mature riders the 250 "on the pipe" is so much easier to manage than a 300 going off its nuts...
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Old 30-05-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roon View Post
for us more mature riders...
Mature? Yeah, right..
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Old 30-05-2018
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Cheers

Sharkman ..

"Praise and Criticism are like chewing gum .. Chew it .. Just don't swallow it .."

KTM FREERIDE 250 GEAR FOR SALE:
Unused Scalvini Pipe + Carbon Silencer $590 Delivered ..
New rear guard .. $100 delivered ..
Freeride Bendix 18/30 (New Welded Variant) ..
Freeride Crown Gear to match 18/30 Bendix ..
Top Tripple $165 ..
Bottom Tripple on steering shaft $220 ..

All prices include postage to Australian Locations ..

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Old 30-05-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roon View Post
...and for us more mature riders the 250 "on the pipe" is so much easier to manage than a 300 going off its nuts...
except for kwakas....he keeps the 300 pinned
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