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TLR200 Reflex or Beta 300

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I am looking for a dirt bike to hone my riding skills. I'd be doing mostly technical woods riding, real tight spots, nothing real wide open. There is a TLR200 (+2 parts bikes) 30 minutes from my house listed for $1,400. The bike starts but doesn't idle. I'm not afraid of getting hands dirty and fixing it up to ride, so I figure I may be able to get away with them for $1000.

 

There is also a 1994 Beta 300 in good condition a little over an hour away for $1,600. This one is at a dealership, maybe I could talk them down to $1,300 or so. I'm assuming most would go with the Beta, and it would probably hold up better if I decided to take it on longer trail rides? Are parts widely available for both of these?

 

Lucas

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Just throwing this out there for pricing, I just got a nice 94 GG jt25 with new tires, chain and sprockets,  a whole bunch of extras $1000.

I always say there's an ass for every seat and I've been that ass many times.  All depends on what you are willing to pay.

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Actually went with the three tlr200s for $1,100.

ImageUploadedByThumper Talk1450732036.095721.jpg

ImageUploadedByThumper Talk1450732049.346331.jpg

There's enough here for three complete bikes!

Lucas

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I've ridden TLR200s, and other more modern Trials bikes, and I own a Honda-Montesa 315R (a modern monoshock 250cc Trials bike with Showa suspension).

The TLR200 is a porky, heavy, gut less wonder. IMO not a very good Trials bike.

The Beta 300 is a more serious Trials bike

Have said that if you have a basket of three TLRs you can build something worth while. There are frame mods to improve the geometry for vintage Trials riding.  Lewisport in CA, and a shop in UK do the mods, and there is a light weight exhaust system available, check out Trials Central.

I have a friend with a late model XR200R using a TLR bottom end for the gear ratio and heavy flywheel, with a Powroll stroke and bore to 218, plus XR200 head and cam. It is a wonderful for technical trail riding.

Another advantage with the TLR is it was sold as a street legal bike so you can plate, the downside was weight, steel rims, short suspension, etc.  

I've considered using a TLR200 for my next project, let me know if you want to sell a bottom end. 

Edited by Chuck.

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Go with the Beta. a real trials bike. The Reflex is a horrible bike and a useless trials bike. I sold mine after I rode a 71 Sherpa and found out that even a crude old Spanish bike would do every thing better, That Beta has the advantage of 30 years of intense evolution on my sweet little Bul.  

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Done right in my personal opinion.

 

The 1994 Beta 300 trials bike (sometimes also called Synt) has some benefits:

+ much lighter,

+ better rear suspension,

+ allows more aggressive trial riding,

+ does big obstacles better,

+ more modern frame geometry.

 

o if the bike is in good state also the engine the motor can get quite powerful in mid revs

 

The back draws of the Beta Synth:

-- getting parts is very difficult and if so still very expensive,

-- it's warercooled and cases can be corroded which is often the case,

 

 

The TLR has some benefits:

++ parts are available and the bike is broadly used,

+ the TLR is much more competitive as the Reflex, so if one of them is a true TLR rebuild that one, (my personal advice)

++ TLR's are very after sought (at least in Europe and people are paying much money for them),

 

+ the TLR turns good, 

+ the engine is super smooth and delivers traction on slippery terrain,

+ for learning the basic stuff the better choice,

 

To the riding:

You can do terrific things with both bikes, the TLR is easier to handle especially in tight terrain,

while the Beta is more dedicated for big steps and obstacles.

 

To competition:

At least in Europe the TLR can and is used for classic trials while the Beta can only participate in modern trials.

 

So +1 to the decision, pic's of the rebuild bike please !

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Thanks for all feedback. I did go with the tlrs, and by no means am I intending to do hardcore trials with them. I saw a better resale opportunity with these bikes vs the beta, and something I can just ride around, practice the basics like balance, turning, etc. Just cleaned the carb yesterday, have new gaskets to put in and a new float on order since the current one has a hole and is flooded with gas. I believe the kick start is also shot so I'll try to salvage one from one of the two other motors. The bike also smokes quite a bit when bump started so I'm going to check out top end and possibly order a piston kit.

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Well I don't know what hard for trials riding is about.

In the US may be it's all about obstacles here in Europe it's all about the route inside one section.

Nevertheless high experienced rider try even modern steps on twinshock bikes out see here, (third attempted worked):

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But he is on a 250 not a 200, and look at how soon he needs to apply power to build speed for the climb. IMO a 250cc 2T trials bike has more power.

But the points in the previous posts are good regarding intended use and expectations of the rider. 

I have ridden TLR200s and more modern 2T and 4T Trials bikes, and while a TLR is not my choice, I can understand that the engine power delivery could be an asset for practicing bike control.

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I guess I should rename this thread "TLR200 rebuild" now since that's what I'm ending up doing. I tore into the one bike that is in the best condition. It's got 130 psi compression, and it smokes white when it's running. Going to disassemble at least the head to see what the deal is. Flex hone is on order and depending on condition, maybe a new piston and rings but we'll see.

Got the motor out of the bike tonight:

ImageUploadedByThumper Talk1451534139.238541.jpg

Set up on the crowded workshop.

ImageUploadedByThumper Talk1451534161.671121.jpg

This thing was definitely used. Lots of crud and gunk near countershaft sprocket:

ImageUploadedByThumper Talk1451534228.491135.jpg

Cam cover off and and sprocket removed. I'll take the cam out tomorrow and get rest of head off so I can see what I'm dealing with:

ImageUploadedByThumper Talk1451534274.593875.jpg

Lucas

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Got the head and jug off today. Valves will get a good cleaning and will lap the seats.

ImageUploadedByThumper Talk1451593216.320601.jpg

Valve springs look to be in good condition but haven't yet measured them to confirm they are still within spec.

ImageUploadedByThumper Talk1451593246.870074.jpg

A little bit of carbon buildup on the piston but otherwise it also looks fine. Looks like this bike was taken care of by POs.

ImageUploadedByThumper Talk1451593410.595954.jpg

Definitely need to de-glaze the cylinder wall. Flex hone came today so will try to get that done today or tomorrow.

ImageUploadedByThumper Talk1451593477.734127.jpg

Assuming top end all still measures within spec, looks like I'll have more money to spend on some other goodies like shocks and maybe new tires.

Lucas

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Good thread, thanks for the updates and pics- looking forward to the progress. I own a 1975 TL125, and think you did pretty well.

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Top end all looks good and the crank is tight. Everything looks almost new inside the motor - wouldn't be surprised if a full rebuild was done within the past 20 hours. Good news for me since I can now spend money in other places. Hoping the white smoking was bad carb and air/fuel mix and not something else. I have tires, tubes, and chain on order from Rocky Mountain that should arrive tomorrow. Existing sprocketse are in good condition so plan to keep those for now. A gasket kit was ordered off Ebay and should get here today. Hopefully this week I can finish cleaning up the top end, put new valve stem seals in, lap valve seats, and de-glaze cylinder wall. This should put me in good shape to re-assmble the motor by the weekend. Carb has already been run through the sonic cleaner, just need to spray out all the passages and polish everything up.

 

I am back and forth on getting new shocks. The existing ones are OK but I am tempted to get some Falcons. I know B&J has these for $340 but I contacted TY Offroad in the UK and they said they could ship me a pair for $245 (that includes shipping). These are steel-bodied (apparently there is also aluminum bodied?) Does anyone have experience with the Falcon shocks? The B&J site says the custom build them to my specs, so I'm not sure how that will differ from a pair ordered from TY Offroad.

 

Thanks,

Lucas

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Don't lap the valves or seats, the valves have a hard coating that the lapping compound will wear thru. 

Do all work on the seats and then check the seat by coating the valve with a black felt tip pen or Prussian blue and turn against the seats.  If you do use a compound to check only use the fine and only turn the valve about half a turn. 

 If the valves are bad buy new valves.

The XR/XL/ATCs use larger valves and have bigger ports.

Also the XR cams are the most aggressive of all of the two valve motor cams.

The TLR crank and rotor are unique to the TLR, the rotor is about 12oz heavier than a XR rotor.

 

I also recommend a new cam chain at any rebuild. 

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Don't lap the valves or seats, the valves have a hard coating that the lapping compound will wear thru.

Do all work on the seats and then check the seat by coating the valve with a black felt tip pen or Prussian blue and turn against the seats. If you do use a compound to check only use the fine and only turn the valve about half a turn.

If the valves are bad buy new valves.

The XR/XL/ATCs use larger valves and have bigger ports.

Also the XR cams are the most aggressive of all of the two valve motor cams.

The TLR crank and rotor are unique to the TLR, the rotor is about 12oz heavier than a XR rotor.

I also recommend a new cam chain at any rebuild.

Thanks for the heads up on lapping the valves. Out of curiosity is that something recommended for all motorcycle engines or just these small single cylinder motors? I have some Prussian blue so will go that route first.

 

Also - anyone have experience with the aftermarket cam chains? They are about half as much as OEM but I will get OEM if the aftermarket are just straight garbage.

Edited by lnb001

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