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Beta 300 vs KTM 300 engine character

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I've ridden a Beta 300 briefly for about 15 minutes and liked it.  Noticed it had more bottom end but felt like it didn't have much of hit or seem to pull hard on top.

I just sold my 2014 Sherco 300 2T which treated me great over 275 hours.  Only complaints are soft suspension and lack of a kicker(although the bike started every time).  This bike has more bottom end then my KTM and was similar on top (stock for stock).  Now you can get closed cartridge forks which should help in the suspension department.

I put on a PC pipe, shorty silencer, shaved  the head and added an SX CDI.  Now this 2011 KTM 300 XC rips and is a blast.  I've come to like the stiffer suspension as well.

So I'm looking at the race edition Beta.

Anyway to get the Beta to feel more like the KTM.  Shaving the head and adding a Fatty or PC pipe make it more lively.  My buddy had a 16 Beta and now has a 17 KTM 300.  Said the KTM feels like it has way more power.

I'm leaning towards another Sherco but would like a kicker.  Been riding in the snow with studs and cold starting with kicker works better.  Also would consider a YZ250X or TM 300 but I wish they had e start.

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33 minutes ago, FUHL said:

Where was the power valve set at?

Good point

The bike belongs to a novice rider so probably stock.

I run the red spring with the adjuster all the way out on my KTM

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If out rite HP is what you are seeking the KTM 300 with head mods, jetting,fatty and SX cdi is hard to go past, the beta 300 is aimed at smooth strong bottom and mid range...
IMO
super fast aggressive - KTM
Slower technical gnarly- Beta
I have not owned a sherco so can't comment but would like a test ride looking at the build quality alone..

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My 14 300rr stock with pv turned 1 1/2 from flush. Rode a 16 300xc with yellow spring and motors felt exactly same.
Rode a 17 300xc stock and my beta felt like it had a lot more grunt. Although the new ktm are so smooth its hard to feel what's going on down there.

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I rode a 300 XC with the head mods. PV springs, jetting etc against a 2016 Six Days XCw and 2016 TM300EN yesterday. The TM was the strongest, although a bit like an e-ticket ride in the hot map. The XC was rather unfulfilling ... nothing, nothing, nothing braaaaap. Of the three the XCw was the smoothest and easiest to ride.

That having been said, a Beta starts out higher and is more linear, albeit at a lower rate of power build. Snap can be dialed in with PV adjustments (or JD springs if they ever become commercially available) and a PC or FMF Factory pipe.

 

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IMO, the '17 Ktm's trade low-end snap for more top-end power. 

As far as the Beta, getting the squish set is a good thing...if you want more top-end power, I'd skip going with a high compression head. All of the 300's I've ridden with the high-comp heads have been absolute tractors, but didn't rev out too well. 

I'm not a professional tuner by any means, but I think the Beta's and the <'16 Ktm xc/xc-w's could pick up some extra mid-top power if the cylinders were raised with a thicker base gasket and milling the head to match. On my Beta and a couple Ktm's that I've had apart, the transfer and boost ports seemed especially low. Raising them should move the power a little higher.

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I rode my 2016 300RR and my friends 2017 300 XC-W(with keihin carb) back to back a couple if weeks ago. The power valve setting on the Beta makes a big difference and takes 5 secs to adjust. The KTM motor was noticeably smoother but it didn't have the low end grunt of the Beta. Mine isn't set up too aggressive either.

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23 hours ago, afm774 said:

I rode my 2016 300RR and my friends 2017 300 XC-W(with keihin carb) back to back a couple if weeks ago. The power valve setting on the Beta makes a big difference and takes 5 secs to adjust. The KTM motor was noticeably smoother but it didn't have the low end grunt of the Beta. Mine isn't set up too aggressive either.

Smoother as in less vibration or smoother as to how the power is delivered? 

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i rode a tx 300 husqvarna and a beta 300rr before buying a 300rr and my opinion is yes the tx300 was faster straight line and very very light but i found it too flighty and unstable which is fine if your a pro level rider but for the average racer/rider the beta is far superior much more stable and easier to ride and for more power just turn the power valve out 1 turn like i have done and it becomes an absolute rocket think 3rd gear wheelies off the throttle no clutch needed and for steep gnarly climbs it just launches you up them as if they are not there all while not getting out of shape.

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Tune the powervalve a bit, change the pipe to an MX style pipe and with some headwork it'll be similar enough i think.  I did the JD powervalve mod on my 16 300rr and it woke it up for sure.  Power comes on sooner compared to stock.

I've only ridden a 15 KTM 300XCW for a short time but honestly the engine felt very very similar to the Beta stock for stock.  

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That great bottom power of the 300RR is very forgiving when you're in the wrong gear or pulling a hill. I love it. If you want it to come alive on top throw a fatty on there and adjust your powervalve. I I believe you're better off with sticking to the Beta or the Husky/KTM. So much support for the two. The beta support is ever increasing too. I have 250hrs and my my 300rr is running strong. I'm in the market for a second bike since I sold my TE250. So I've been reading a ton and the Beta race edition are very well priced for what all you get.

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11 hours ago, silver_fox said:

Smoother as in less vibration or smoother as to how the power is delivered? 

As in a lot less vibration. The 300RR is not bad at all, but you notice the difference when you hop on the KTM. I still prefer the 300R engine, but I did like the KTM's handling. The front end feels lighter and steers a bit quicker.

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I've ridden a 17 300 KTM, felt smoother off the bottom, more progressive, whilst the beta has more snap off the bottom and in the mid range. I ride with a few friends on a variety of bikes, 450s, a 150 KTM, some other 300s, everyone who I've swapped bikes with has said the beta is the sharpest powered bike/ most wild lol, that's 2.5 turns in from flush with the power valve and a throttle tamer on there! So not lacking in power stock.

 

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I had an 11 300xc and loved that bike. If I wasn't such a shorty I probably would have stuck with ktm. I don't care what the haters say. They all make damn good bikes nowadays. I haven't had a chance to ride a new ktm, but I like the idea of the counter balancer, plus they're quite a bit lighter than betas

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I've #$%^& on everyone I've ever drag raced on my '16 300RR. That includes TE300's WR450's KTM 300's of all varieties etc. That doesnt mean the beta puts out more horsies or is otherwise superior, but I only mention it to say that its perfectly capable of speed. I weight 160 lbs so that helps.

I think people have a misconception about beta's (300) in that because it has amazingly linear and smooth power delivery that its somehow slow or something. Just because it doesn't have a 125cc power valve hit doesn't mean it isn't fast. I have a 2016 TE300 in the garage right next to my 2016 300RR, the TE300 hits the power band hard and feels fast, but my beta shits on it every time I've ever raced the two. I've even raced both of them with me swapping to the other bike, beta still beat it. Maybe its better tires, or better rider, or the weather, ether way the point is the Beta is just as fast as the rest of them, the point that the only place you'd really see much difference is on a dyno.

 

Edit: They're all great bikes, none are so different from the other in any particular way that it totally makes the other inferior or obsolete. The only exception there might be the incredible power delivery characteristics of the beta, never ridden a two stroke with so much torque and low end power, I don't think its really comparable to any other off the floor two strokes.

Edited by gr4vitas

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More of what others had to say about the KTM.  I got a chance to ride my buddies 17 300xc the other day.  When i first got on it i couldn't help but think how lazy and soft it felt in the low - mid range.  It was very easy to ride and tractable in that range as the throttle is very forgiving.  It wasn't until i start really cracking the throttle more and getting into the upper revs that it came to life and even then the power came on very smooth and was hooking up not like i am used to.  

 Seemed like a decent woods setup, easy on bottom and mid but you had to make her sing to feel any kick in the pants.    Most of the mx bikes i have or have owned always have a big mid range hit.  I had an early 90's ktm for a while and that bike was very similar to the 17 ktm (go figure right?) smooth and lazy down low but would lay down some power up top.  

Would love to test ride a beta 300, wouldn't mind picking on up either.  

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Not even sure how you can compare a 2017 KTM/Varna 300/250, I have allot of buddy's with these's new bike and there cutting slides, heads, replacing reeds, swapping carbs, and Pi$$ing away money to get them to run decent, the Explorer forks have limited adjustment and the AER can be made to work decent but is not a great fork if most of your riding is rocks.

The Beta 250 and 300 can be made abrupt and real unappealing to ride with a turn of the PV and a shorty muffler.

              

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