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Have I bought the wrong bike?


Hughie
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So I’m just throwing this up for discussion really… Those who have read my previous posts will know I’m new to the sport.

After research and deliberation I opted for a Beta  Rev 3 250, I tried finding a 200 but had no luck there. Initially I fancied a twin shock, poss an old TY175 or Fantic 200 but the consensus was that something modern would be easier to learn on. 
 

Most road bikes I’ve had have been 4 stroke, I’m a Harley lover and have had 5 over the years and as far as two strokes go I’m a fan of old Lambrettas of which I own one (1961 vintage with tuned motor).

The reason I mention this is that generally I am acclimatised to heavier slower revving torquey bikes in the road bike world, even the Lambretta isn’t a screamer.

I keep getting spat off the Beta and I find it very light on the front end. The clutch is snappy and although I’ve only done three trials I seem to have a habit of inadvertently giving it too much throttle and flipping it, coming off the back usually. I have fitted a slow throttle, doesn’t seem to make much difference to me. I’ve also ordered a stiffer slide spring to give the throttle more feel.

So, taking a view, I’m wondering if I’m using the wrong weapon? Should I have gone for something older, less lively and more sturdy or a modern four stroke such as a Rev 4 rather than the Rev 3?

I’m never going to be super competitive starting at 53 but I would like to plod around the sections on something a bit smoother and steadier than what I have - I just feel it’s a bit too much bike for me, strangely enough. Either that or I need to be able to calm it down a bit until I have a few trials under my belt.

I guess starting out when it’s cold, wet and slippy everywhere is more challenging than starting when it’s dry but I feel I would like to not be so wary of the throttle all the time and more sure footed.

Sorry for the long post. Does this make sense?

Would be great to hear from those who know better than I!

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Get a slow action throttle throttle tube, work on your throttle control, consider getting lessons.

The problems you describe are exactly why I often post here recommending starting on a 125 ... BUT, you already have a bike that works ok so at this point stick with it - trials is hard, hence the name.  If you can master beginner routes you'll already be a better rider than most people out there green laning ;)

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Given the age of the bike who knows what state of tune it's in, it could have a high comp head, it could even have had some porting changed. While those things would be worth checking I think it's more likely though that as you've pointed out it's just a large step away from what you're used to. The two posts above are also spot on.

Read the sticky thread regarding the clutch, a less snappy and more progressive clutch will make a massive difference and allow you to use it to smooth out the power delivery. You need 300V or ntrans oil and a reduced spring preload either by removing two (if you don't use 5th gear where it's likely to slip) or by using washers as spacers, you also need to have the pushrod correctly shimmed - manual says 0.2 to 0.8mm but as close to 0.2mm without going under it is best. It may take two oil changes to get the full benefit.

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We started with a (shared) Rev 3 250 and my missus used it all the time so I had to buy the TRS.  We upgraded the Rev to an Evo soon after.  The big difference I noticed was the older Rev 3 needed fork compression to de-weight the front compared to both the newer Evo and my TRS.  The Evo is lighter and more nimble but the Rev is not a bad bike.  A guy at the club has one and rides well on it (far better than me).

You need to slip the clutch a lot on a trials bike.  If you pop it then the front wheel will lift and if you are not far enough forward it will spit you off.  My TRS spat me off a few times when I got it as it was so much more powerful than the old Rev 3.  You don't need much revs most of the time if you are not climbing a steep slope.  Even then slip the clutch to keep the speed under control.

From your description I would say persevere.  If you can control a big road bike you can control a little trials bike.  My missus still struggles with the clutch (she has a Ducati Monster for road bike) and that, plus a lack of confidence are her issues.  Both Betas have spat her off at various times and this is the heart of the confidence problem.  If you pull in the clutch the bike will not spit you off the back.

I really doubt an old bike (with a cable clutch) is going to help you much if I am honest.

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Essentially your problem is one of two things: the bike or you.

At your next trial, ask someone (ideally someone who rides a Beta 250 2T on the easy route) to try your bike for a moment. They will soon be able to tell you if there's a clutch issue or the engine is unreasonably firey, or indeed if you have a quick throttle on (which makes quite a big difference). 

If the bike passes the test, don't give up. Practice, practice, practice. Lots of clutch slip and delicacy with the throttle will get you there. Enjoy!

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So I’ve definitely got a slow throttle in it, I fitted it myself. I did the recommended sticky clutch fix and have filled with Nano Trans and it’s about the same, maybe a little better. But I haven’t checked the above mentioned clutch issues.

I guess must be me then..

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Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but are you standing on the pegs, leaning a little forward? I only ask because if you are sitting down or leaning back, the front may be a bit unweighted, causing control problems. Also if you give it a lot of revs and drop the clutch a bit quickly it will leave you behind (most modern trials bikes would too, I guess). Definitely worth trying the suggestions above (especially getting someone at your club to give it a try). In 1st gear you should be able to gently slip clutch and move off at idle speed without revving it. Maybe find a flat bit of land and practice this. It does take practice but if your bike is working correctly, I think it should be a good one for you, given your experience on big machines. Good luck!

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A flywheel weight really helps slow down the engine response.  I believe all UK bikes come with them but someone may have taken it off.  Pull the cover and take a look.  They look like the picture below and are mounted to the outside of the flywheel.  Also take a look at how many teeth are on your front sprocket.  It is counter intuitive but lower gearing (less teeth on the front) slows response by reducing the transition from clutch in to clutch out.  The bike will go slower in first gear.  Lower gearing also makes it harder for the bike to totally get away from you because it will run out of rpms before too long.  Many Betas come with an 11 tooth front.  I ended up with a 10 but a 9 is even better for the situation you describe.  A 9 kills come of the response to get over an obstacle but that may be exactly what you want plus you can always use 2nd gear.  Front sprockets are also cheap.  I also agree on comparison with another bike.           

 

 

Rev 3 Weight.png

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1 hour ago, Hughie said:

So I’ve definitely got a slow throttle in it, I fitted it myself. I did the recommended sticky clutch fix and have filled with Nano Trans and it’s about the same, maybe a little better. But I haven’t checked the above mentioned clutch issues.

I guess must be me then..

I am sure you will master it quickly.  Firstly just one finger on the clutch?  It is the #1 control device - not the throttle.  If you are used to road bikes it is a bit odd at first.  Second do not rev the bike very much.  A 250 two stroke is powerful enough to do most things without a lot of revs.  Listen to the engine tone on this -

 

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Wow, hardly any revs at all! He makes it look a doddle! I guess slipping the clutch goes against other types of riding so I better change my thought process! I think I’m going to go to Trials Day or Inch Perfect for a bit of instruction in the New Year, unless I can find anyone nearer. Alexz Wigg lives just down the road as well and I believe he’s starting a trials school. I could really use some coaching on the basics.. But I’ll watch that video again and give it a go at the weekend. Thanks 👍

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1 hour ago, markparrish said:

Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but are you standing on the pegs, leaning a little forward? I only ask because if you are sitting down or leaning back, the front may be a bit unweighted, causing control problems. Also if you give it a lot of revs and drop the clutch a bit quickly it will leave you behind (most modern trials bikes would too, I guess). Definitely worth trying the suggestions above (especially getting someone at your club to give it a try). In 1st gear you should be able to gently slip clutch and move off at idle speed without revving it. Maybe find a flat bit of land and practice this. It does take practice but if your bike is working correctly, I think it should be a good one for you, given your experience on big machines. Good luck!

Noted. One for the field this weekend 👍

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1 hour ago, mcman56 said:

A flywheel weight really helps slow down the engine response.  I believe all UK bikes come with them but someone may have taken it off.  Pull the cover and take a look.  They look like the picture below and are mounted to the outside of the flywheel.  Also take a look at how many teeth are on your front sprocket.  It is counter intuitive but lower gearing (less teeth on the front) slows response by reducing the transition from clutch in to clutch out.  The bike will go slower in first gear.  Lower gearing also makes it harder for the bike to totally get away from you because it will run out of rpms before too long.  Many Betas come with an 11 tooth front.  I ended up with a 10 but a 9 is even better for the situation you describe.  A 9 kills come of the response to get over an obstacle but that may be exactly what you want plus you can always use 2nd gear.  Front sprockets are also cheap.  I also agree on comparison with another bike.           

 

 

Rev 3 Weight.png

Yes, I have a flywheel weight fitted. Already checked that. I’ll check the sprockets though, thanks 👍

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16 minutes ago, Hughie said:

Wow, hardly any revs at all! He makes it look a doddle! I guess slipping the clutch goes against other types of riding so I better change my thought process! I think I’m going to go to Trials Day or Inch Perfect for a bit of instruction in the New Year, unless I can find anyone nearer. Alexz Wigg lives just down the road as well and I believe he’s starting a trials school. I could really use some coaching on the basics.. But I’ll watch that video again and give it a go at the weekend. Thanks 👍

Alexz is already running schools, a mate had a day of one to one with him last week. He did say that if he did it again he would do it in a group (plus it works out cheaper!) as he found the one on one a bit much to take in one go!

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