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300, Tame ? Or Insane ?


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I have started with trials only a year ago; initially with an old 2008 Beta 270 rev3. After finding how much I enjoyed it, I faced the same dilemma. In the end I bought two months ago 2018 Beta Evo 300. Now, I cannot advise you on the capability of this 300cc bike as I am not jumping over high logs or boulders yet but: you can make it as fiery or docile as you want. I have not had a problem with bike running wild or scaring me. In my opinion as long as you have a good clutch and engine control using appropriate gear all bikes are easy ride.

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Changing the head insert can make a huge difference as well, my 2017 Factory 250 2T was a dog until i put the red s3 insert into it, best 90$ i ever spent. You can also add an extra base gasket as well to make it softer.

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I’ve had two of the 300s and my experience matches mcman56’s  most closely. They can be made softer off the bottom with modifications. Proper jetting, gear down a bit, low compression head and carbon reeds on mine. Purrs like a kitten and grunts like a pig. But... it is still a 300 and will remind you of that fact if you get sloppy with the throttle. Lose focus and you better have a quick clutch finger. I haven’t tried super smooth but I have had Betas with added flywheel weight and I just don’t care for the run-on you get with a flywheel. I also like feeling for traction with a more responsive engine but to each their own. 

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I had a 40 year lay-off from trials bikes (all motorbikes actually) and was no great shakes back then either. I then got back into it 2 years ago. Now a few years off 60.

Started on a '07 250 GasGas, then a '13 290 Sherco and now a '17 Beta 300.

I ride C grade (one up from Clubman in Oz), thinking I might have a dabble at B grade and see if I can not embarrass myself too much. I suppose I'd describe myself as always willing to challenge my abilities, but with a solid aversion to hurting myself.

Moving from the 250 to the 290 was noticeable but not much of a step. I found it easier to ride a lot of things because it lugged at low revs a bit better when I got it  wrong.

Moving to the 300 was way more noticeable. I was a bit nervous moving to a 300 and wondered if it was a sensible move, but as you say there's a lot of good deals to be found in that category. It feels like it's got almost the same acceleration from stall as it has when it's singing. Grabbing a handful of throttle close to stall and it would take off. I'm not sure I've used full throttle for more than a second or two in the past 60 hours on it, and that would have been on open fire-road climbs purely to see what it felt like! Definitely earned my respect! That said ...

After say 10-20 hours on it I came to love that low down torque. It's just so forgiving of rolling off the throttle a bit early or being too cautious to hit something a bit harder, I can chug it along and when I twist the throttle it just picks up and responds, no fuss or bother. It's almost stall proof! I rarely use first gear, it's lower than either of the other two bikes - good for tight turny sections only - I can't imagine gearing it any lower! I know some people gear the Beta lower, then completely forget 1st and use 2nd and up. I find stock 2nd good for just about anything with a bit of clutch. Starting takes a definite jump on the lever (I'm 70kg), but my bike starts and idles first kick, no choke, no throttle every time so it's not a big deal.

As was said, someone at my level doesn't need a 300, but I'd have to say that it feels a bit like cheating riding it, and I'm happy to rely on superior machinery to make up for inferior skills.

So my thoughts are: It's definitely got a lot more "scare" bottled up inside than a smaller bike when things go bad. However if you're reasonably decent with the clutch then there's a pretty reliable get-out-of-gaol card. If you can get comfortable with the 300 then it actually makes riding easier I reckon - it feels to me that you need more skill to make a smaller bike really work. I also know (and can well understand it) that for some people the power of a 300 is simply a handicap - it can be scary how quick it accelerates, but for me once I got used to that and got some confidence that I could grab a handful of clutch and everything settled down, then that extra low down torque just makes everything easier.

I've still got both the GasGas & the Sherco but when I hop on them now they feel harder to ride than the Beta. Everyone tends to suggest having a ride on one, but my experience is mixed about that - a 15 minute ride left me thinking, "Wow, that thing can bite", but after a some hours I became quite comfortable (it seemed too good a deal to pass up at the time, so I got it despite that first experience). If you can get a good deal I'd say go for it, but if it doesn't feel right after a good few hours on it, sell it on and get something else, I can't imagine really liking it with a heavy flywheel or a slow throttle.

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