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4RT to 200 Evo - thoughts?

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I’m about to get a new bike. I love my 260 4RT. I will most likely get a new 4RT or Repsol. But as a 50-odd year old just wanting an easy blast and pretty much zero maintenance (latter is really important) the 2021 200 Evo sounds a great option.

I’ve had loads of bikes over the years but only get out about 20 times a year as so stacked with other commitments. 

I know I’d find the Beta an easy ride, but (and please be honest) will it require a load more looking after than my Montesa? Is the build quality anywhere near Honda? What are the annoying niggles? And is it OK to road register? Should I go for a 250? So many questions!

Nb. Riding easy class these days - just an average potter!

Thanks for any feedback - much appreciated.

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I had a new 2014 Beta Evo 2T 250.  The things that I most enjoyed about owning that particular machine were the glass mudguards and jumping out of 1st or 2nd gear, mid section, without warning.  Beta may have now spoilt these particular delights of Beta ownership.  Or, they may not have.

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Surely a 200 Vertigo would be a more logical progression from a 4RT. I changed to a 250 Vertigo after 12 years of 4RT. I'm on my second Vertigo and seriously thinking about a new 200 this year as I've turned 60 and I think it may benefit me. I don't understand why any manufacturer still bothers with carbs on a trials bike (other than design and manufacturing cost). The Montesa is the best built trials bike available probably, but I would say the Vertigo is next and is a more forgiving ride if you're at the "Werthers Original" end of the age spectrum. 

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Short answer; maybe slightly lower quality but not to the extent that makes any practical difference, and different work but probably break even on maintenance.

 

I've never owned a 4RT but I've owned several Honda road bikes and worked on a few others and I've ran a 2012 Beta Evo for about 5 years.

Honestly Beta is not Honda made in Japan quality, Honda's made elsewhere are often noticeably made to lower standards and the Beta is more or less in that ball park, perhaps less well designed in some aspects but that's a difficult comparison.

Common Beta Evo niggles are weak mudguards and clutch drag, and the rear brake is far from the best on the market. Dropping out of 2nd is often reported, in my experience this was linked to the clutch dragging and has not occurred since shimming it correctly.

Expect the clutch to need shimming to the lower end of the spec from new and maybe again every few years depending on how much you use it. 

I've needed to clean the carb twice, once after submerging it and once when the end of an aftermarket idle adjuster wore and into little flakes. Just keep the air filter appropriately oiled and keep the fuel clean and you shouldn't have to touch it.

Bearings, fluids etc. related maintenance is probably no different to any other bike.

 

Edited by totty79

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13 minutes ago, totty79 said:

...Common Beta Evo niggles are weak mudguards and clutch drag, and the rear brake is far from the best on the market. ...

I would agree.  My wife has trashed her rear mudguard and the front one broke on its own (have a Bosi now).  The clutch is a nuisance but not so bad and (all) the brakes are poor compared to my TRS.

Yes the Beta can be road registered and Farley have one (200) in stock if you go that route.  I would like to try the Vertigo as well but we are not able to look at or ride anything at the minute so maybe another time.  Given how little we are all riding I don't much see the point in changing a bike if it is running OK.  I would love to buy the 200 in Farley for the wife to replace her 2014 250.  I figure the price is only going to go up as the pound goes down and importing gets more problematic.  However you are parking the bike up when it is under warranty.  Surely it makes sense to have the manufacturer's warranty when you are actually riding the bike?  That is my thinking anyway and so no intention of a change until the pandemic is not a factor.

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My Beta new 2020, 200 had poor brakes, the rear one was almost non existent, pathetic actually. It also jumped out of a lower gear without warning. Otherwise build quality was the average for most two stroke trials machines. Comparing a friend's new 250 to my 200 both Betas on the same sections I felt the 250 was actually easier to ride with a little more power, though I didn't tell him!.  Beta 200s get a fantastic press here on TC but I wonder how many of these 'fans' have actually owned one for some time and have ridden them in events regularly. Maybe they are good in rocky stream beds but on climbs, banks etc in my opinion they are harder work. Nothing against the make, but I would consider all the two strokes not just Betas.

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Thanks micm.  How were the brakes on the new 250?  I have wondered whether to try to improve the ones on our 2014 bike or if it just makes more sense to buy a new(er) bike.  The factory editions have Braktec masters and I have wondered about that route.  I will stop thinking about the 200 now (and have been told off about new bikes and "man" lust for new machines ? )

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What brake parts have changed since 2014? I only know of the rear master cylinder in 2017 and only noticeable improvement is a better outer seal.

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I am sure I read the factory has a front Braktec MC.  Thanks for the feedback on the rear unit.

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Thanks all for such comprehensive feedback - much appreciated. My 4RT hasn’t missed a beat since new (Jan 2016) and the quality is awesome. Also, once you get used to a different way of riding it is great up steep hills/banks etc in the south. Some of those niggles on the Beta sound a pain - I will try one once we’re allowed and also the 250. And will also look at Vertigo. Cheers.

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The 200 evo does have some nice features.  It is very easy to kick and starts very easily.  (sort of like a TY175)  You never see someone struggling to get one started.  They are about 15 lbs lighter than the 4rt.  From what I have read they turn tighter and have more ground clearance than the Honda.  They are actually easier to care for; no valve adjustments, no oil filters, no expensive oils.  If you go back and forth between your modern bike and TY, it would likely be an easier adaptation with the 200 evo as opposed to a 4t.  

Evos do have weak rear brakes but some are OK so I don't understand.  Front brakes seem fine to me.  (average rider).  Hondas do have superior build quality but the Beta has good build quality.  I don't know anyone having issues due to Beta build quality.  I did break a front fender when the bike fell over on the stand but I don't know anyone who has had a lot of plastic breakage issues.  Then again, I generally ride with people who fall down sometimes as opposed to more aggressive riders who have wild crashes on a regular basis..           

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Thanks mcman56 - really good feedback. My gut feel is that I’d love the wee Beta. Maybe I just ride my TY175 for a while before a Beta and it’ll be like being beamed from the late ‘70s into the 21st century! And then think about my first Montesa which was a 172 Cota in 1978 and sweet to look at but was a proper nightmare on the reliability and maintenance front.

nb. One massive fault on the 4RT is the stand - terrible!!

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Ok guys here’s my two penneth, and I may be unpopular here. I’m just an average plodder,( higher end of easy course) been playing at it on & off for more years than I care to remember, and to be honest haven’t ridden for about 2 years now mainly due to house move across the country & then Covid. I have an 09 evo 250 sitting in the garage which I’ve had for about 5 years and really rode in anger for 3 years, and I really have no complaints about build quality, brakes or plastics. I’d say it’s better made than the gassers I had previously (last was an 05) so we’re talking older stuff here but who at grass roots level is so picky? I’ve never in the last 15 years of riding bust a mudguard, what the hell are you all doing ? I get that occasionally the bike might fall or crash awkwardly and that these things can happen, and I do think the price of parts is pretty huge. But, surely part of learning to ride trials is learning to fall off ‘safely’ as well ? I bought some secondhand plastics for the gassers but they ended going with the bike when I sold it. As for gearboxes & brakes, don’t they all occasionally jump out of gear ? Don’t you see a difference between each time you bleed the brakes, sometimes more successful than others ? Again part of learning is double checking when you select a gear to enter a section that you rock it and make sure it’s properly ‘in’, and also that you should be able to perform basic maintenance. (After all, trials was invented partly as a reliability event). Come on guys, stop blaming the bikes and being so picky, get real and see that they’re all pretty similar or they wouldn’t sell. God I wish I had funds to change the bike cos it jumped out of gear ! If you want a blue one buy it. If you prefer red buy that. But get back to the basics of enjoying the personal challenge that is the wonder of this sport. Sorry that this turned from a penneth to a quids worth ?

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That was a good tenner’s worth and thanks for extra views. I think I’m likely to stay Montesa. They are definitely different (not all trials bikes are the same) and so well built/reliable (mine has never jumped out of gear - whack it in bottom for nearly everything!). It’s obviously a different (& perhaps acquired taste) ride than a 2T but from the feedback so far is much better built. I’ll still try Beta & Vertigo when I can. Thanks again all for feedback to the original q - really appreciated. 

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Thanks micm.  How were the brakes on the new 250?  I have wondered whether to try to improve the ones on our 2014 bike or if it just makes more sense to buy a new(er) bike.  The factory editions have Braktec masters and I have wondered about that route.  I will stop thinking about the 200 now (and have been told off about new bikes and "man" lust for new machines ? )

The 250 seemed to have a better back brake on my 1/2 hour go on it, so maybe they are all a bit variable in quality as delivered, but perhaps the 'borrowed' 250 was the 'works' spec one. I did sort mine finally, at a cost of two new sets of pads and another rear disc. 

 

 

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