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Lefebvre

Trial bike for single trail riding

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Hi!,

1) Would a 2018 Beta Evo 200 be  quite good to ride in the single trails with a seat and larger fuel tank (Level would be: Novice to intermediate single trails)?

2) Would the OEM Trial's tire be good enough for trail riding or knobby is a must at the very beginning of this experience or if I should try with the OEM Trial's tire to see how they react. Mostly rocky trails with roots.

3) I have lost much physical capacity due to health issues and the +/- 75 pounds weight reduction compared to the X Trainer helps me a lot.

Thanks for sharing your experience

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Hi Lefebvre, your idea about the seat/fuel tank is good if you intend to ride for many miles at a time.

Most Trials riders change their rear tyre before it wears more than 2mm, but for Trail riding you can ride them down to 1/4 tread depth and still have lots of grip on forest roads.  Also the tyre pressures should go up from 6+4 F+R, to 12 all round for road work.

You may find that the trials gearing is quite low for fast road work, so you could try a larger gearbox sprocket, up from 12t to 15t would get you moving a bit quicker.

Have fun...

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Lefebvre,

  I use my TY 250A for trial riding like you mentioned you are thinking of doing.  The main things to consider for any trail riding (for me anyway) are:

#1 Can you stand flat footed on the ground when you are straddling the bike without your body touching the seat?

   In other words you need at least 1" of clearance for the bike to move under you when you are stopped.  If you ride a lot of rough trails and stop a lot then you will need more clearance than 1"

Also the TY 175 and TY 250's are built low to the ground.  Your Beta 200 says the seat height is 26".  Most new motocross and enduro bikes are way too tall for me, so that is why I chose the TY 250.  It looks like a baby when parked next to one of those, but as far as control you need the weight to be down low as possible.

Recently most manufacturers have been building bikes that you need a step ladder to get on.  Not for me at any price!

Weight-  the Beta you mentioned is super light weight and that is a plus.  There is an optional trails bike tank for it, so gas should not be an issue.

My TY 250 sips gas at a very low rate of consumption, so I would assume that you only need about 1.5 gallons to get you maybe 60 miles or so?

That would be another item to consider.  Since gas stations do not sell 2 stroke mix that I know of, your intended riding area needs to include some way of filling up the smallish tank if you want to go farther than 50-60 miles in one direction.

#3 High speeds - Power available

  For most of my life I have had bikes under 450CC's (that was too big) and the ones that I have been injured on were around that size or slightly less.

the 450 liked to kick back and needed a compression release which would have fixed that problem, but then I got a 360 CZ which was a screamer and handled like a dream, but I put it into a barbed wire fence and that was where I lost my love of that dual ignition system.

Another bike that was too big was the old Honda 360 dual sport.  Most of the weight was too high and if you dropped it you needed a buddy to help you pick it back up.  sounded great, but too heavy for trails.

Then there is the other extreme and that would be anything in the 100-175 cc class. Something under 200 pounds wet.

The Hodaka bikes are around 100cc and even though they are small, they are super nimble.  If you get in a tight spot you simply pick the whole thing off the ground and turn it around to the direction you want to go! 

And it was a steel frame!  And I think we are talking something less than $6-800 dollars US.  None of my buddies with larger bikes could catch me on the Hodaka Ace 100 and they had 250's and 360's  while we were running thru the jungles of North Florida.

At some point I bought a Husquavarna 250 moto crosser and immediately regretted the close ratio gearbox.  The Husky dealer helped me change it to a WR and it became my favorite bike as far as over all.  You could do enduros in the desert or you could go thru the woods.  I modified the piston and put reed valves in it and then it had a lot more grunt.

But while I had the Husky I used to run into a guy with a Penton 125 and he could always run off and leave me in the dust.  It was the light weight and low CG that was the difference.  Unless he missed a gear shifting that thing, there was no way I could get close to him in the tight stuff.

Another question for me was always cost.

I am retired now and every dollar counts, so I ended up trading a guitar for this TY250 A which I was happy to do.

I think in the states these go for between 750 and 1500 dollars in this vintage and if you find one that runs good, you can't go too far wrong.

The 74's are much more plentiful and easy to get parts for, so the 74 model is the one to look for if you go that way. The 75's and later are easier to get, but harder to find some parts for.  The production numbers dropped off sharply after 74.

The 175's are becoming much more in demand for trials use because of the shorter wheel base and lighter weight.  I don't know about parts for these, as I have only been looking at the 250 model A, but If I was going for another bike, I would try and find a 175 to test ride and see if it was something that would be fun.

You just have to ride it and see if it feels right to you.

My TY is set up for trails not trials, so it has knobbies on it from the previous owner. It also has a cushy seat and lights.  (another consideration if you are wanting to be street legal with a title in hand!)

This is a BIG question because without a title, there is no way to get street legal and drive to your riding spot on the street. But then again, with around 1.5 gallons in the tank, you may not WANT to drive the bike to the riding area??

However, I don't think there is such a thing as THE PERFECT Bike, so you have to make some compromises and choices.  Do you have a pickup truck or a trailer to get the bike to the riding area? Then you don't need to be street legal on the bike itself.

This will save you a lot of money if that is a consideration, and I think most cars and trucks can't see motorcycles very well anyway, so I stay off the streets with mine as a mater of safety.

Then there is the engine size and speed you are looking for.

If you need to go highway speeds, then look more at a 350cc  bike.  A 250 will do for short stretches, but not every day.  The trials bikes get squirrley to ride much above 40 MPH so that might make another difference to you. (Steering geometry is not right for higher speeds.)

The knobby tires are great in the mud or loose ground, but are squirrley on the highway especially when stopping fast.  Trials tires do better on the pavement than knobbies, and if you are "dual sporting" then go with the trials tires.

It all depends on how good you are with the wrenches and your pocket book.  If you can try it before you buy it then that is always a good thing to think about it first.

 

Good luck and happy riding!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Trials tires will find traction far superior to a knobby in every situation except deep mud or sand. Not even sure a standard knobby would fit the Beta’s swingarm anyway. The bike can be more comfortable with the accessory seat but you will still feel a little cramped as the footpeg position is further back than a standard woods bike. Shifter and rear brake are tucked in to prevent breaking on obstacles so they are a bit of a pain to get to sitting down. The short suspension and short wheelbase are great for tight trails but can be twitchy on faster trails. You may find trials gearing a bit odd as the first four gears are very close and fifth and sixth are spaced fairly far out. Top speed with stock gearing is very low and you can easily top out on a fire road. You can gear up fairly easily but a 200 may not pull a higher gear as well as a 300.

Much depends on the type of trail riding you are doing. Tight technical stuff the Beta will easily eat up and make you feel like a hero. If you are looking to go all day at a usual trail speed for a typical enduro bike you’ll find the Beta’s cooling system, brakes and suspension are not really designed for that type of application. If you just want to tool along with the occasional run at something technically challenging the Beta might be perfect.

If you buy one you’ll have fun but you may not have fun the way you think. 

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 Actually the Beta 250 gets great mileage and running a 39 tooth rear sprocket makes it more trail worthy. The 250 is a low compression motor, so very forgiving. The knobbies are not needed. Unless you require a seat, I would just use a fork mounted auxiliary  tank.

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I use a beta evo 250 for trials and a beta xtrainer for trail riding. 60 -70miles per tank with the  Xtrainer, great bike. 

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I've been using various Betas on trails for years. This is because there aren't many people in my area to ride trials with. I've done lots of trails with no seat (before Beta offered a seat) and gas bottles in my pack. Just this year I bought an Evo with a seat for the extra fuel capacity.

Most of the time a trials bike makes everything much easier. The only times I've been at a disadvantage with a trials bike is on big loose hill climbs and sand. However, the knowledge that I don't have to wrestle a 300 lb monster when I don't make a hill climb is priceless.

For trail rides I would buy an Evo 250 with a seat, trials tire, and higher gearing.

Edited by jrpettet

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I've got a Rev3 250 and have recently added the auxiliary tank and seat unit. The seat is quite low and frankly, a bit of a plank as far as comfort is concerned. The extra fuel capacity is pretty impressive though.

I'd say it gives you a bike that is still very useful on rougher, technical stuff with a handy place to sit rather than a pukka trail bike. It just feels too cramped for that.

I'm not keen on overly tall trail bikes either so for me, I reckon something like a good old simple XL185 would be better and that's why I'm rebuilding one. Obviously compromised in the other direction (trials) but it'll be a much nicer place to sit if mainly riding easy trails.

I'll be keeping both anyway so at least I'll be able to choose a bike that suits the day in hand.

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Ha, ha, this post was just what I was thinking about myself, although for different reasons.

I now have four bikes in my garage and what with tax, insurance, MOT, maintenance, the odd mechanical etc it's all getting to be a bit too much. Coupled to domestic pressure that I'm spending too much time and money on them all, I need to downsize.

So I will be looking to combine my Yamaha trail bike and Sherco trial bike in to one off-roader on which I can do both. Given that I barely even qualify as a novice at trials, I'm not too worried about the impact on my performance! So I've been thinking about the Gas Gas Contact ES. Gearing was the main thing that I was considering as needing some adjustment to get the best of both worlds; fuel should be OK and I can take my Fuel Friend in a haversack as extra.

Sounds like it's OK to up pressures on trials tyres for roads and longer trips, so that answers that one.

I'm not fast on trails anyway and have no wish to keep up with enduro wannabes, so was interested to hear other people's experiences of using trials bikes on trail byways.

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37 minutes ago, v1nn1e said:

 

I'm not fast on trails anyway and have no wish to keep up with enduro wannabes, so was interested to hear other people's experiences of using trials bikes on trail byways.

A twin shock would be perfect IMO, 5 litres or more fuel capacity, decent height seat makes them reasonably comfortable. Certainly much more comfortable than a modern bike. Something like an swm is very reliable generally, and with 6 gears is capable of keeping up with traffic.  You still have the capability of a trials bike so pretty versatile too. Something like a Pirelli mt43 on the back would wear a bit better, and not be so exciting going round corners at low pressures. A twin shock should also hold its value reasonably well. 

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I’ve been using trials bikes for trails for a number of years.    My OSSA Explorer is the best I’ve ridden for that- but I’m not riding it as much since no longer available and I dont’ Want to put a ton of hours on it.

Currently I’m riding a Beta 300 4T with the long range tank/seat.  The 4 stroke gets great fuel economy, super easy to start (as long as you don’t kick it hard or fast) and very similar engine response to the 2T.  Except for the engine braking- wich I quite like on the steep descents.

I can barely ride it sitting down- the only time I use the seat is on gravel road sections or in something with a ton of brush (so I can’t see obstacles) or something where I have to ‘paddle’ (low limbs with gnarly terrain combined).  I find the trials tyres work great in almost all cases- deep, loose gravel isnt’ very fun (but not too great with knobbies either) and if the skid plate isn’t hitting, it does well in the deep mud.  I run around 3-4 psi rear and maybe 5 psi front.   Same on all my off-road bikes.  My AJP ‘Ultrapasser’ came with trials tyres F/R, once I ditched the Pirelli on the rear and installed the ‘Tubliss’ system so I can run super low pressures- it works great.  But I ran a front/rear trials tyres on my KTM 300 also.

I would consider the 4T for trail riding- it is a bit heavier, but still pretty light for a trail bike. One part I don’t like, is the low air filter.  Deeper water crossing can be an issue.  The OSSA has a very high air filter- right behind the headstock. So it has much more depth and also stays a LOT cleaner.  But that is the nature of the beast.

I’ve put almost 100 hours on the Beta since I got it- I very rarely ride a trials event (too far away from where I live, I did one last year) but great for tight single track.  Still works well for smoother two-track, but not very fun trying to go quickly on rough stuff.  

Mark

Edited by lotus54

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Key thing to keep in mind is speed.  If you're simply trail riding, fine.  If you're riding fast, trials bikes don't really have the brakes or suspension like a woods bike would have.  Very small rotors, less stopping power, higher wear on the brakes.  Small fork tubes, lighter suspension components, a lot of bottoming on the suspension.  All by design for trials purposes. 

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On 8/8/2018 at 1:21 PM, Lefebvre said:

Hi!,

1) Would a 2018 Beta Evo 200 be  quite good to ride in the single trails with a seat and larger fuel tank (Level would be: Novice to intermediate single trails)?

2) Would the OEM Trial's tire be good enough for trail riding or knobby is a must at the very beginning of this experience or if I should try with the OEM Trial's tire to see how they react. Mostly rocky trails with roots.

3) I have lost much physical capacity due to health issues and the +/- 75 pounds weight reduction compared to the X Trainer helps me a lot.

Thanks for sharing your experience

 Trials tires are superior to knobbies. 200cc should be fine as long as you're not at high elevation.

 You should try to get a ride on a Trials bike with seat on it to make sure it will work for you. The seat is clearly an afterthought and not that comfortable or practical unless you're on a smooth road, although it might work better for someone with short legs. The effort to lift yourself up to standing position from the seat will probably me more than you're used to.

 Do whatever you gotta do to keep riding.

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I re-read your original post and missed the ‘novice to intermediate level’.

   Do you mean trails that are similar to a novice or intermediate trials section? or just novice/intermediate trails (if you know what I mean).

On the easy trails, it may get a bit tiring standing all the time and at least for me- I riding on the seat very much is not easy.  I also put bar risers on mine, because when standing, it would hurt my kneck after several hours of riding (and standing 99%) of the time.

If you want to sit and ride it...well I would highly suggest a much taller seat than the factory long range tank/seat.  Even then I personally dont’ Like riding it sitting much at all. My OSSA Explorer has an excellent seat- but even that is hard to steer compared to standing.  Does that make sense?

If you were closer you would be more than welcome to come try my Beta and see how it would work for you.

 

Mark

 (I’m right across the Straits from Victoria, BC)

Edited by lotus54

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