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I'm aware some of you are experts in the history of the Beta and know about the various annual upgrades and I'd like to tap into that knowledge for some advice

 

I remember reading some years back the Beta offered a 300 in both standard and SS versions. I think the SS had flywheel weights and a longer throttle and was easier to ride for more 'novice' riders.  I've been out of the game for a while and don't seem to see anything about the SS - was is dropped? Did it work? 

 

Also - As an old guy returning to the sport, will a modern 300 be too much. I was going to opt for a 250, my last bike being a new 290 Sherco back in 2001. The 290 was fairly brutal and took the chance to spit me off when possible, however I hear the later 300 Beta is more forgiving.

 

It'll be good to get s a history lesson and some thoughts from you all. 

 

Cheers

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I think the ss also had a low comp head, unfortunately I've never ridden one.

Some modern 300s have a really nice power delivery, some are brutal so there's no easy answer. I had a go on two shercos that were very smooth and linear, and several gas gas that were a bit lively.

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There are ways to slow down a 300. Low compression head, flywheel weights, slow throttle tube... In the end it’s still a 300 and can be tiring to ride if you’re not in shape. Just kicking the beast can be a chore when it’s cold. The advantage of the displacement though is massive torque at low rpm. Does anyone need that much is the question. Typically no, as an old guy, you’re going to get your ass handed to you by kids on 125s. Having said that I’ve always had 270-300 Betas and love the bike I have now but it’s got some heavy modifications to keep it from trying to kill me. A low compression head and carbon fiber reeds have calmed the engine considerably. A modified clutch pack and less spring preload spacers give me super easy clutch pull and progressive clutch actuation and a custom shift cam has helped the shifting immensely. I have the fast throttle tube and no flywheel weight as I hate the “run on” that comes with heavier flywheel. Still hate kicking it over cold though.

So can you live with a 300? Sure. The same way you could live with a 22 year old supermodel. Is it a good idea? Probably not. One of the most popular options around here is the 200. I’ve ridden several and out of the box they’re wonderful sweet little bikes that are very capable and very forgiving. You have to be more deliberate with the 200 but that’s actually good for your technique and you’ll spend less time on the ground.

I expect a chorus of “Boo, don’t listen to him. Get a 300!” from the peanut gallery. Just remember all the times “friends” have talked you into things and how much help they were dealing with the consequences.?

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Owned quite a few Betas, all shapes & sizes.  Been riding  UK Yorkshire/NE trials  since the 70's & haven't really stopped. 250 wins it every time. So easy to ride.  A 300 can have you by the third lap, even a Super Smooth. Many tales of buyers going for a 300, then spending a tidy sum calming it all down.

200 also a very capable bike for the average clubman, but quite rare

Most modern bikes can seem a touch high geared for the less able, so down a tooth at the front is a quick way of steadying things up.

IMHO, 250 , you can't go wrong. Plenty out there. 

   

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I have had a couple of short rides on SS 300s, the last was a 2020 so they are still available.  They were both smoother than a 300 factory model I owned....very smooth.  In general I find the Betas 300s to be a bit slower reving and therefore a bit easier to ride than the 250s but can't explain why...unless you wind them up.  I did not wind up the SS so can not comment on that.  The most surprising thing about them is that they were very very easy to kick over, nothing like other 300s I have kicked, maybe even easier than 250s.  I looked up the specs and the compression ratios are the same so I can't imagine why they are easier to kick unless the listed specs are wrong.  The 2020 was also quieter than other Beta's even though the muffler looked the same.  Maybe there was something different about that one bike.         

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Possible the primary ratio is different but I suspect the flywheel helps as once you get that mass moving it helps get you over  “the hump” of the compression. Funny thing about my current 300 is some times I can stand on the starter and it won’t move and sometimes a quick stab spins it over. Usually when warm. At the end of the day though the electric start TRS looks better and better. I did add two teeth to the rear sprocket.?

Edited by dan williams

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I assume you could port an engine to make it easier to kick over.  Would raising the exhaust port make it both smoother off idle and easier to kick?  

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I own a 2017 SS300, it's easy to ride in that it doesn't take off like a bat out of hell, instead it's very torquey and you really don't need to use revs which is ideal for my sedate novicey type potterings, I feel it was an ideal choice for me, as far as I know compared to the standard 300 it has lower compression head, heavier flywheel, slow throttle, and a different cdi box (running less advance would be my guess.)

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Get the 250, i've had both & the 250 is the way to go unless you're battling for a national championship.

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250 or even 200 Beta for best results unless you riding some expert sections 

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All Betas imported into the UK are the SS (super soft) version.

The SS model is the UK spec bike ( flywheel & clutch weight, lower compression, different CDI mapping, etc).

I would agree with opinions that a 250cc is more than enough bike for the majority of riders.

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I tried both 250 and 300 at Inch Perfect test day. As stated above and confirmed by John Lampkin the UK 300 is to SS spec. 

I found the best way to assess them was to forget engine size and just focus on how well they rode for me. In doing this, I (old timer clubman rider) found that I couldn't really decide between them. Both were soft and forgiving, no sense of the 300 being too much bike. I did find, though, that the 300 needed more beef to kick start it, perhaps a factor for a not particularly fit rider during a tiring trial.

Edited by cleanorbust
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On 7/10/2020 at 12:34 PM, cleanorbust said:

I tried both 250 and 300 at Inch Perfect test day. As stated above and confirmed by John Lampkin the UK 300 is to SS spec. 

I found the best way to assess them was to forget engine size and just focus on how well they rode for me. In doing this, I (old timer clubman rider) found that I couldn't really decide between them. Both were soft and forgiving, no sense of the 300 being too much bike. I did find, though, that the 300 needed more beef to kick start it, perhaps a factor for a not particularly fit rider during a tiring trial.

Never had a problem with starting myself, if you are too knackered to work a kickstart you sure won't make it round a section, and I am a overweight 55 year old woman with very mediocre fitness levels.

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I think it depends how you ride.  My 2017 Super Smooth 300 suited me because I like to ride on low revs in higher gears and, if you ride it like this, the engine is incredibly flexible, grippy, torquey, predictable and, well... smooth. I think it is much easier to ride than an early (2001 era) 290 Sherco and easier than a 300 Factory. I'm in my late 40s and not particularly fit.  If your riding style is to rev a bike more in lower gears I think even the Super Smooth 300 would be much harder work than a 200.  If you wind the revs up a 300 SS still takes off like a scolded cat!

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