I traded my Honda CRF150RB and my Beta Evo trials bike in for a Beta Xtrainer.
and Cameron from Salmon Arm BC
I bought the Honda for back country exploring up here in the Chilcotin region where I now live, but after fiddling around with mods, I soon realized that it was a little on the small side finding that I could not get into a comfortable position for aggressive hill climbs and the little wheels spun so quickly that when I needed to pin it to get up the climb, it often slid out and or dug nice little holes to get stuck in!
On rubbly bumpy sections, the smaller tires also seemed to hit & bounce over rocks and or pot holes, making for a pretty rough ride. For a small bike though, it was pretty peppy, and gave me the confidence I needed to take the next step.
Being a smaller rider 5’6″ 115 lbs, it’s hard to find a bike suitable and truthfully getting on in my years, a full sized dirt bike is realistically too heavy.
I found out about the Beta Xtrainer, watched a few reviews on you tube and read up on the specs and quickly became very interested in the machine.
There aren’t many around as they seem to be snapped up pretty quickly, but I managed to find one at ShuswapXtreme Adventure in Salmon Arm BC.
Riding the Xtrainer:
The first thing I noticed was the snappy torque and the huge power this bike delivered!
The riding position is more like on the trials bike, being a little farther back on the seat as opposed to hugging the gas tank like on the Honda.
The gearing is super nice for technical terrain, as it doesn’t “get away” from you being easier to control the speed. 1st through 5th gear are low in comparison to a standard dirt bike and 1st and 2nd are super low like the trials bike.
In 2nd gear as I quickly found out, you’ve got to be gentle with the throttle as it pulls so much torque right at the beginning of the power band!
To give you an example, I decided to ride a steep short climb with a very short approach one day, and dropped the clutch as I had to on my trials bike to get up the climb, but on the Xtrainer when I dropped the clutch it literally shot up the hill almost leaving me behind!
I hear that some riders have installed a “throttle tamer” to slow the throttle action down a little.
I’m finding that 3rd gear with slipping the clutch works well for single track and technical hill climbs, using 4th for faster double track, 5th & 6th for longer stretches of road. Hold on when you twist the throttle in 6th gear though, as it has lots of power near the top of the power band!
I added the “Midwest Mountain Engineering “easy pull” clutch lever which works quite nicely for smaller hands (reduces clutch pull force by 50%) and works great with the Brembo hydraulic clutch system that the bike comes with.
The stock seat height is 35.8″, so being short I also added the KoublaLink (a lowering link) bringing the stand over height down by about 2 inches. ( I also adjusted the fork height just a touch to bring back a more responsive steering feel).
The bike also comes with a 260mm front brake disc with a double-piston caliper which prove to be super powerful brakes. So powerful that I only need to use one finger for sufficient braking while descending.
There are also four settings for handlebar setting options, making it easy for adjustments.
The bike also comes with decent dirt bike tires unlike the KTM Freeride that comes with trials tires.
(See the Beta Xtrainer vs KTM Freeride comparison notes below).
I suppose if I could complain about one thing it would be the weight.
To dead lift the bike when I drop it does feel heavy and takes all of my old granny strength to lift it back up.
- Dry weight: 218.258 lbs,
- Fuel Capacity: 2.25 gallons
- Weight: with fuel: 236 lbs.
I get about 140 km’s per tank on a mixed road/double track/single track cross country ride.
And last but not least, I must say that having the “e” start on the Xtrainer is definitely a big plus, being a huge energy saver!
Overall, the Beta Xtrainer’s strengths are the ease in riding technical terrain.
If you like to ride technical single track this bike will definitely be confidence inspiring, while also having enough power and stability to ride fast on the dirt roads that get you to the trails!
Beta Xtrainer vs KTM Freeride:
2015 Beta XTrainer Specs
Engine: Liquid-cooled two-stroke, BPV power valve system
Bore x Stroke: 72 x72mm
Compression Ratio: 11.3:1
Fuel Delivery: Carbureted, Keihin PWK 36mm
Clutch: Wet multi-plate, Brembo hydraulic
Front Suspension: 43 mm Olle USD fork, rebound damping and preload adjustment, 10.6 inch travel
Rear Suspension: Steel body shock with adjustable rebound and compression 10.6 inch travel
Front Brake: 260mm disc, double-piston caliper
Rear Brake: 220mm disc, single-piston caliper
Tires: GoldenTyre, 80/100-21, 120/80-18
Wheelbase: 57.8 inch
Ground Clearance: 12.6 inch
Seat Height: 35.8 inch
Fuel Capacity: 2.25 gallon
Weight: 236 lbs (with fuel)
2015 KTM Freeride Specs
Engine: Single Cylinder, 2-Stroke
Bore x Stroke: 66.4 x 72 mm
Fuel Delivery: Keihin PWK 28mm Carburetor
Clutch: Wet multiplate-disc
Front Suspension: 43mm WP-USD, Closed Cartridge, 9.84 inches of Travel
Rear Suspension: WP-PDS Rear Shock, 10.24 inches of Travel
Front Brake: 260mm disc, Formula Radial Mounted Four Piston Caliper
Rear Brake: 210mm disc, Formula Dual Piston Caliper
Tires: 80/100-21″, 120/80-18″ Maxxis TrailMaxx
Wheelbase: 55.8 in
Ground clearance: 15 in
Seat Height: 36.02 in
Fuel Capacity: 1.85 gallons
Dry Weight: 201.7 pounds