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Beta or Fantic!


Hughie
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So today I had a days training with Alexz Wigg on my Beta Rev3 250. Well, I say a day, after a couple of hours I binned it into a rock and snapped the clutch hose union off at the reservoir - day over early (great!).

We’d been discussing bikes and I mentioned how I bought the Rev3  because I wanted a cheap entry to the sport but I was thinking of getting something newer and smaller, maybe a Beta 200 now that I had got myself hooked. I told him that what I really fancied initially was an old Ty175 or Fantic 200 as they were what I wanted when I was young, but that I’d been advised to get something modern as it would be easier to learn on. This is why I ended up with the Rev3, a tool for the job but not really a bike that speaks to the soul - every other bike I have (not trials) is old as I prefer classic machinery.

Anyway, he actually disagreed with that opinion and said that whilst modern bikes are lighter and have better brakes, an older twinshock such as above would be easier to tool around on without having to use the clutch all the time if all I’m interested in doing is novice/clubman stuff. Starting at 53, that really is all I’m interested in!

This intrigued me and got me thinking I might do what I originally set out to do and find myself an old Fantic (preferably) or TY. My question is, am I really going to find it that more difficult to learn and progress on an older bike? 30 years ago I’d have had no choice….. and there’s not enough tinkering to do on the Beta apart from when I bend it…! And it really doesn’t have the appeal of an older bike….

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9 minutes ago, tshock250 said:

Oh for gods sake!................😄

Was it something I said?.. What sort of a stupid response is that? I’ve asked a perfectly reasonable question in the correct part of the forum, if you haven’t got anything useful to add why don’t you keep your sarcy comments to yourself?

Forums are for discussion and information sharing I believe….. comments like that just serve to put people off using them…

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Tongue in cheek response Hughie, no offence meant. You have at the moment the perfect bike to learn the sport & progress through the levels, you should concentrate on riding & improving your technique on this bike for a while in my opinion. Getting lessons from someone like Alexz is an excellent idea as this will will steer you away from any bad habits which you may be picking up (as everyone does)

Bike choice, particularly trials bikes are a very personal choice, you really must try all the bikes before purchasing. Some people really love twinshocks or air cooled monos, but equally i know of more than a few who have splashed out on their "dream" bike only to find it bloody horrible to ride (for them). More time on the bike, then even more time is the priority here.

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36 minutes ago, Hughie said:

So today I had a days training with Alexz Wigg on my Beta Rev3 250. Well, I say a day, after a couple of hours I binned it into a rock and snapped the clutch hose union off at the reservoir - day over early (great!).

We’d been discussing bikes and I mentioned how I bought the Rev3  because I wanted a cheap entry to the sport but I was thinking of getting something newer and smaller, maybe a Beta 200 now that I had got myself hooked. I told him that what I really fancied initially was an old Ty175 or Fantic 200 as they were what I wanted when I was young, but that I’d been advised to get something modern as it would be easier to learn on. This is why I ended up with the Rev3, a tool for the job but not really a bike that speaks to the soul - every other bike I have (not trials) is old as I prefer classic machinery.

Anyway, he actually disagreed with that opinion and said that whilst modern bikes are lighter and have better brakes, an older twinshock such as above would be easier to tool around on without having to use the clutch all the time if all I’m interested in doing is novice/clubman stuff. Starting at 53, that really is all I’m interested in!

This intrigued me and got me thinking I might do what I originally set out to do and find myself an old Fantic (preferably) or TY. My question is, am I really going to find it that more difficult to learn and progress on an older bike? 30 years ago I’d have had no choice….. and there’s not enough tinkering to do on the Beta apart from when I bend it…! And it really doesn’t have the appeal of an older bike….

You will "progress" faster on the Beta but it sounds like you don't want to "progress" anyway.

Alexyz is right in that a TY175 or Fantic twinshock is a totally capable bike for novice/clubperson level competition and if you get a standard motor TY175, it is even easier to ride for a novice than a Beta 200 due to the gentleness of the standard TY175 motor response.

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Ok guys, thanks for the replies…. Maybe I’ll lay off the questions for a while, I don’t wish to repeat myself but I’m new and I’m a bit obsessed with wanting to know everything at present.

Im not in love with the Rev3, I find it can be a bit snappy and as parts like the rear shock and the rear seat/mudguard assembly are impossible to replace I want to change it whilst it’s good. So whatever happens, I will be changing the Rev3.

Its not that I don’t want to progress, of course I do, but I’m not aspiring to be ‘hopping and bopping’ any time soon. I thought in this part of the forum there might be objective comments from Fantic owners, I hadn’t realised I was asking a slightly different question to the same audience.

Thanks for humouring me, I’ll leave it alone now and do whatever I do, cheers.

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I'll give you my experience... I'm 67 years old and a lifelong enduro rider who was always around trials, but thought it was slow and boring. I lived in a trials rich area, with many National rounds, 5 World Rounds and a TDN all within 20 miles of my home. I attended many of these trials. In 2006 a member of my enduro club who is a trials rider, convinced me to buy a 1984 Fantic 300. I rode 2 local club trials and had a good time, but didn't really catch the bug. The Fantic was tall and heavy, with the flywheel of a locomotive, and poor brakes. I was busy riding enduros and XC events on my modern and vintage Husqvarnas, so the Fantic sat. 10 years later I thought I'd give it another go, so got the Fantic out, attended a trials school put on by the local vintage trials club. This made me realize that I liked trials, but had no attachment to old bikes that I never had competed on.

At the same time I decided to order a new Gas Gas 125, as I'd had enough of minimal brakes and heavy weight of the Fantic. I found I progressed much more  quickly and easily on a modern light bike, with good brakes and an easy to use clutch. I had an eager buyer for the Fantic, so let it go.  A number of friends started riding the vintage series, so I picked up a TY175. I rode it a bit, but wasn't a good enough rider to go between a modern and twin shock bike readily. I sold it to a local rider who has been riding since the 1970's, and he won the National Championship in the twin shock class last year on it. A couple years later while recovering from a hip replacement I attended a local vintage trial, and it looked like everyone was having a lot of fun. A couple days later a riding friend getting out of trials, called to ask if I knew anyone interested in his Fantic 240?  I bought it, but once again it felt too different from my modern bike, and I sold it on.

I upgraded from the 125 to a Beta 200 last year and find the extra power and torque makes it easier to ride. I'm very happy with it. The call of vintage trials was still strong, so I went for one more try. The series allows air cooled monoshocks up to 1991, so I decided to go for something that had front and rear disc brakes and a clutch that I could use like a modern bike.... I ended up with a 1987 Beta TR34 260. It's works well for it's intended purpose, riding 3 or 4 vintage trials a year and a little practice. I ride my 2021 Beta 200 Factory 3 or 4 days a week practicing and I'll ride about 15 trials this year. 

Alexz is a great rider, but I don't see him riding twin shock events. I just did a quick look at his IG account and one pic of a twin shock Greeves build by some friend of his. Did he let you ride his Vertigo?

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Hi nhuskys

Thats really interesting reading, thanks for sharing. It is the draw of the classic, I have no experience of riding one in a trial and not much more on the Beta.

No, Alexz didn’t offer me a go on his Vertigo but I don’t think I’d have wanted to if he had, it would be too much for me, the Rev3 is enough of a handful at my level.

Interesting what you say about the 125, that was something else I’d considered (I’ve considered/asked about everything!).

Alexz did say more than once, although my Rev3 is a good one, he thought I would do better on a 200 (meaning a Beta 200), this was before we spoke about older twinshocks. 

What you have said makes sense. I think I may be better to stay modern for now and look for a 200.

 

 

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My experience at 53 when started was modern two stroke, as I’ve mentioned to you before I went to 4 stroke and much prefer them, but that’s personal preference. I bought aBSA C15 and spent money on improving it. Big heavy old lump but my smile was twice as big when rode that.

Then a very well sorted 240 Fantic was next. Very good bike but never gelled with it, just wasn’t to my liking so sticking with 4 stroke I bought Honda tlr. Absolutely love it love riding on it working on it and just looking at it. From an enjoyment point of view it’s my favourite bike.

Plus points, fun factor and smile,love the look and feel of the older bike, call it nostalgia or mid life crisis I don’t care it’s all about fun for ME and I’m happy.

Down side, have to be selective which venues I would ride as some venues I would find too much on the twinshock. Better riders wouldn’t but I just want to have fun and not progress up the levels.Twin shock and classic trials are great fun and modern events where course is suitable. A lot might depend on where you are, are there many events where easy course is good for twinshock.

I would maybe suggest upgrade your modern bike get plenty of trials under your belt and just enjoy it for a while, then see how twinshock appeals and try it, after all 2 bikes are better than one. You might use both at different events but give yourself a chance to see what appeals most. 

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23 minutes ago, timdog said:

My experience at 53 when started was modern two stroke, as I’ve mentioned to you before I went to 4 stroke and much prefer them, but that’s personal preference. I bought aBSA C15 and spent money on improving it. Big heavy old lump but my smile was twice as big when rode that.

Then a very well sorted 240 Fantic was next. Very good bike but never gelled with it, just wasn’t to my liking so sticking with 4 stroke I bought Honda tlr. Absolutely love it love riding on it working on it and just looking at it. From an enjoyment point of view it’s my favourite bike.

Plus points, fun factor and smile,love the look and feel of the older bike, call it nostalgia or mid life crisis I don’t care it’s all about fun for ME and I’m happy.

Down side, have to be selective which venues I would ride as some venues I would find too much on the twinshock. Better riders wouldn’t but I just want to have fun and not progress up the levels.Twin shock and classic trials are great fun and modern events where course is suitable. A lot might depend on where you are, are there many events where easy course is good for twinshock.

I would maybe suggest upgrade your modern bike get plenty of trials under your belt and just enjoy it for a while, then see how twinshock appeals and try it, after all 2 bikes are better than one. You might use both at different events but give yourself a chance to see what appeals most. 

Thanks Timdog. Thats pretty much the conclusion I've come to. On the lookout for an Evo 200 to keep me out of mischief for a while   👍

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Bike weight is a killer when you're learning, not because of the difficulty riding it, more the difficulty retrieving it from where ever you've got stuck. When I went from a Gas Gas 321 to an Evo 250 the main improvement in my riding came from being less knackered and from being more willing to have a go knowing that retrieving the bike wouldn't be that bad, and the 321 wasn't even that heavy it's basically only one generation old.

It took me about 6 years of riding before I reached the level where many of the things that were still challenging were also a bit higher risk than what I was up for and a less capable classic bike to make the safe stuff harder seemed a good idea. Unfortunately I've regressed back to spending half the day dragging the bike about again so I'm pleased I stuck with the Evo.

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7 minutes ago, totty79 said:

Bike weight is a killer when you're learning, not because of the difficulty riding it, more the difficulty retrieving it from where ever you've got stuck. When I went from a Gas Gas 321 to an Evo 250 the main improvement in my riding came from being less knackered and from being more willing to have a go knowing that retrieving the bike wouldn't be that bad, and the 321 wasn't even that heavy it's basically only one generation old.

It took me about 6 years of riding before I reached the level where many of the things that were still challenging were also a bit higher risk than what I was up for and a less capable classic bike to make the safe stuff harder seemed a good idea. Unfortunately I've regressed back to spending half the day dragging the bike about again so I'm pleased I stuck with the Evo.

Thank you. My mind is made up! Might get an old classic for garage tinkering when I've got some spare pennies but stick to modern for learning the art!

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in very short the answer is the older bikes make trials riding more complex as you need more physical and mental power to do the same things with a twinshock compared to a modern bike, thus you learn common trials riding with them better and faster if you want to improve!

That was the failure of all the posters before that they did not bite the bullet and tried harder, instead anted better results with less effort.

Still you can't ride modern riding style and sections as well with a twinshock then with a modern bike.

Then you have to think about where you do will find yourself in the way you improve.

With 53 you don't will be the next world champion and also not the national master so you will stay in modern riding in the advanced rider class, as modern trials is a bit acrobatic which you should have learned when you where younger, now you are sadly too old to learn that as easy as other much younger trials rider that start with as little knowledge and skills as you. That you can not improve as easy and as good as younger riders will get you embarrassed, if you like to punish yourself go one with it, if this is enough for you and what you want then get a 200cc modern Beta and all is fine.

With 53 riding twinshocks or pre 65 you can improve further to the expert class with challenging sections for twinshocks to me that sounds a little bit more interesting, but too needs more effort in the beginning, then a Fantic 200 or 240 is a good choice.

Or get a aircooled mono if these bikes have an own class where you live and here the Beta TR34 would be a bike just in between the modern and the old twinshock world.

I personal ride classic trials on Twinshocks and Pre65 and do long track trials in the mountains with aircooled monos, the modern stuff is cool but with 57 I don't see a long future in that department.

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Then there's that!

Did you/do you ride a modern bike or have you always ridden classic? I have always had classic bikes on the road and that is the appeal. I'm generally a fan of older bikes and very much a garage tinkerer...... Plus when I was a kid the trials riders all rode Fantics, etc, it was the early 80's. I think the answer, ultimately, is going to be to be greedy and try to have both at some point. Currently, I will be happy be able to get around the Novice route reasonably competitively - although with a classic you can be in a whole separate class. I think on balance ( see what I did there?) I'd be better off sorting out the basic riding element on a forgiving bike first, a classic will doubtless follow before long  😊

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I believe the answer is related to your talent level and type of stuff you ride.  I'm an average 65 year old with a modern Beta and a TY175. On any modern bike, I am constantly on all of the controls; throttle, front brake, clutch and back brake.  My TY is geared quite low so I get some engine braking and can mostly ride with just the throttle.  I find it much much easier to manage one input vs. four.  (For a talented rider this probably does not matter.)  Brakes are weak so when you do use them you don't have to worry about stalling the engine with the back brake or easily washing out the front wheel with the front brake.  Power is soft so you don't have to worry much about using too much and things happen slower so reflexes do not have to be so sharp.  (This may be the definition of forgiving.) It is short so some people say they can turn tighter on a TY175 than they can on a modern bike.  Overall, it can be much easier to ride in many moderate sections.  However, there are a few situations where there is no comparison.  Due to lack of suspension, the TY feels like the ball in a pin ball machine in anything like a rocky creek bed.  The lack of abrupt power makes it difficult or impossible to get up bigger obstacles if there is no run at it.  (Riders skilled with firing the clutch would not have this issue,)  The third thing I notice is that the TY clutch out riding style sort of commits you to a certain line in a tight turn.  If that line does not work out, there is a dab.  On a modern bike, I can pull in the clutch to regroup and make corrections mid turn.                 

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