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Jimmy Lewis compares 300 RR-RE to 300 XC-W

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Jimmy is pretty good at what he does. Lots of nit picky differences, and he admitted they put a jet kit on the KTM. As much a Sachs keeps getting better, West coast testers will constantly complain of bottoming soft suspension if they don't go up on at least the rear spring rate. The same way they have for the last 10 years or so. Testers are never going to change them. There is not a chance a PDS bike could outperform a linkage properly set up in western desert whoops. Don't even try to convince me, I won't listen.

Interesting takeaways are the Beta feels lighter even though it is 20lbs heavier. In the end he says the difference comes down to the less vibration from the counterbalanced KTM. I'm kinda surprised that they didn't mention any additional flywheel effect like the old Gas Gas had. More moving parts might be why it feels heavier?

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Jimmy is pretty good at what he does. Lots of nit picky differences, and he admitted they put a jet kit on the KTM. As much a Sachs keeps getting better, West coast testers will constantly complain of bottoming soft suspension if they don't go up on at least the rear spring rate. The same way they have for the last 10 years or so. Testers are never going to change them. There is not a chance a PDS bike could outperform a linkage properly set up in western desert whoops. Don't even try to convince me, I won't listen.
Interesting takeaways are the Beta feels lighter even though it is 20lbs heavier. In the end he says the difference comes down to the less vibration from the counterbalanced KTM. I'm kinda surprised that they didn't mention any additional flywheel effect like the old Gas Gas had. More moving parts might be why it feels heavier?

Didn't he say the Beta felt roomier? I thought that would be the opposite...

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Didn't he say the Beta felt roomier? I thought that would be the opposite...


I actually agree with him. In the natural seated position the Beta feels pretty roomy and long to me. At least compared to my previous bike (yz250fx). Now when it comes to height that's a different story.
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2 hours ago, RhinofromWA said:


Didn't he say the Beta felt roomier? I thought that would be the opposite...

 

5 hours ago, Johnny Depp said:

Jimmy is pretty good at what he does. Lots of nit picky differences, and he admitted they put a jet kit on the KTM. As much a Sachs keeps getting better, West coast testers will constantly complain of bottoming soft suspension if they don't go up on at least the rear spring rate. The same way they have for the last 10 years or so. Testers are never going to change them. There is not a chance a PDS bike could outperform a linkage properly set up in western desert whoops. Don't even try to convince me, I won't listen.

Interesting takeaways are the Beta feels lighter even though it is 20lbs heavier. In the end he says the difference comes down to the less vibration from the counterbalanced KTM. I'm kinda surprised that they didn't mention any additional flywheel effect like the old Gas Gas had. More moving parts might be why it feels heavier?

Funny you should say that as about a month ago I briefly rode a 2016 SXF450 factory edition on a loop that I was very familiar with. Enough so that I felt plenty confident  in my ability to push really hard without worrying about wadding up which is exactly what I did after confirming that the orange bike wasnt going to do something totally unexpected as a result of poor rider setup.My immediate thought ,after jumping back on my Beta 450 was how much lighter on its feet and more neutraly balanced my bike felt in comparison despite a at probably a 20- 25 lb weight penalty.What struck me most about the KTM was how planted the front end felt in comparison to the RR.Whether that planted feeling would actually translate into faster times I'm not sure about because of the limited amount of time spent on it.In the final anyalisis I would have to say that I prefered the Betas neutral handling and mellow power delivary over the much more racier feeling KTM.I know we are talking two stroke here but I believe the brand pedigree distinguishes itself whether 2strk four strk all the same.

Edited by widebear
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He says both bikes have open cartridge forks, yet he is riding the race edition (which he doesn't mention until the end when he says the model he rode doesnt have oil injection.)  He should do a little homework before writing his review 

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Still I trust J L more than most but after Moto 9's weight thread and him being quite thorough plus all of the other info put out from a variety of sources so far from ktm, husky, Beta etc and counting and comparing.. i still don't believe there's a 20 lb weight difference.. ..  maybe  .. I mean it's possible .... but I  guess I'd have to just have to get a friends 17 ktm 300 and my Beta 300 rr  and put it on the same scale .. but how in depth moto9 went to get his 14 Beta 300 so low and log each and every thing gives credence to me .   The difference in vibration  makes sense with the counter balancer.. but then it's to what degree. .... Whatever good info to mull over.  

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26 minutes ago, kbro45 said:

He says both bikes have open cartridge forks, yet he is riding the race edition (which he doesn't mention until the end when he says the model he rode doesnt have oil injection.)  He should do a little homework before writing his review 

yea that was a little thing that shows that he is having some inconsistencies that should be checked personally. ..because yea.. that part should at least been proof read better. It is wrong just on that part for sure . He has ridden a lot of bikes..and more betas since 2010 than lots of testers though.. and of course a flock of other bikes..brands..models.. I think that little mistake also would have me double checking both bikes.. I know Beta better..but maybe ktm has some stuff I'd check if I were shopping between the 2 brands.

Edited by hawaiidirtrider
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13 hours ago, hawaiidirtrider said:

Still I trust J L more than most but after Moto 9's weight thread and him being quite thorough plus all of the other info put out from a variety of sources so far from ktm, husky, Beta etc and counting and comparing... i still don't believe there's a 20 lb weight difference....

I do too... and I don't either.

I have a lot of respect for Jimmy. He seems to be pretty much a one-man operation, with help from a few other testers. I think he does one hell of a website, far better than Dirt Bike or Dirt Rider, both of which are pretty useless most of the time, and totally junked up with intrusive advertising. I am willing to cut him some slack for lack of proofing, and do a little reading between the lines now and then. 

Jimmy gives the weight of the KTM as "224 with no fuel and 239 with a full tank of gas..." About the Beta he says, "236 empty and 249 full."

That's only a ten pound difference. Which weight do you believe?

Oh, and kbro45, the second line of the comparo reads: "Beta 300 RR Race Edition $8899 vs KTM 300 XC-W  $9099." And, yeah, he knows for sure that the RE has CC forks. Brain fart, probably. Typing fast to get it out.

Edited by Old Plonker
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2 hours ago, Old Plonker said:

I do too... and I don't either.

I have a lot of respect for Jimmy. He seems to be pretty much a one-man operation, with help from a few other testers. I think he does one hell of a website, far better than Dirt Bike or Dirt Rider, both of which are pretty useless most of the time, and totally junked up with intrusive advertising. I am willing to cut him some slack for lack of proofing, and do a little reading between the lines now and then. 

Jimmy gives the weight of the KTM as "224 with no fuel and 239 with a full tank of gas..." About the Beta he says, "236 empty and 249 full."

That's only a ten pound difference. Which weight do you believe?

Oh, and kbro45, the second line of the comparo reads: "Beta 300 RR Race Edition $8899 vs KTM 300 XC-W  $9099." And, yeah, he knows for sure that the RE has CC forks. Brain fart, probably. Typing fast to get it out.

Totally agree. Jimmy is a solid tester and being independent, hopefully he isn't being paid by any manufacturers so he can remain unbiased.  

The industry is influenced heavily by who will provide the most financial incentives and so I have a difficult time trusting anyone's reviews.  Chilly White was a terrific resource that we lost due to this.  

The Aussie and Euro reviews seem very solid and I actually dig up everything I can from those resources, and Traction E-rag as well. 

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Funny, I commented on the bad math, jet kit, and fork type almost as soon as the article was posted, but the post was blocked by DBT.

In any case the Betas are legitimate threats to the orange giant, so its good to see them being reviewed.

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12 hours ago, motoxgiant said:

Funny, I commented on the bad math, jet kit, and fork type almost as soon as the article was posted, but the post was blocked by DBT.

In any case the Betas are legitimate threats to the orange giant, so its good to see them being reviewed.

I did the same thing Steve.  Another thing is he didn't mention for orange owners is to check and see if the piston is hitting the crank or is the air filter cage actually sealing against the air box or does it have the updated cases so if you kick start it, it won't break the cases or the ignition wires rubbing on the flywheel or the faulty reeds or the exhaust pipe that's made from recycled miller lite cans or the suspension that needs revalved if you shift into second gear or the carb that pretty much needs the JD kit to run.  Just a few little things JL forgot to bring up.

Edited by motocrotts
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On 7/7/2017 at 2:52 PM, Johnny Depp said:

There is not a chance a PDS bike could outperform a linkage properly set up in western desert whoops. Don't even try to convince me, I won't listen.

 

Actually a properly setup PDS suspended bike is every bit as good as any linkage equipped bike. No convincing needed. You just need to swing a leg over my 300 and ride. It does not come cheap though. I had a hell of a time getting mine dialed in. It took good valving, bladder conversion, very stiff spring, and the telescopic needle to get it right. With the equal riders on board each bike, my 05 300 will keep up with any modern suspended linkage bike. 

Still, if it were me, I would get the XC and just re-spring and set clickers. PDS bikes are very hard to get tuned for guys that are used to linkage setups. 

 

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13 hours ago, motoxgiant said:

Funny, I commented on the bad math, jet kit, and fork type almost as soon as the article was posted, but the post was blocked by DBT.

In any case the Betas are legitimate threats to the orange giant, so its good to see them being reviewed.

And when you think about it, it really doesn't matter which one you buy. Either one can be dialed in to your liking. I have to say that the Beta or KTM do not even come close to being a race bike from the factory when compared to the TM. That bike is just swing a leg over and win races with nothing more than clicker adjustments. The 300EN I rode was amazing. It was actually too much bike for me. The TM is not a trail bike from the factory.

Both the standard Beta 300RR and KTM XCW are made for guys who like to just hit the trails and ride for fun. When you're racing for points those bikes need a lot of work to be competitive at expert level. I would like to see a comparison of Beta RR Race and KTM XC. 

 

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22 minutes ago, ballisticexchris said:

And when you think about it, it really doesn't matter which one you buy. Either one can be dialed in to your liking. I have to say that the Beta or KTM do not even come close to being a race bike from the factory when compared to the TM. That bike is just swing a leg over and win races with nothing more than clicker adjustments. The 300EN I rode was amazing. It was actually too much bike for me. The TM is not a trail bike from the factory.

Both the standard Beta 300RR and KTM XCW are made for guys who like to just hit the trails and ride for fun. When you're racing for points those bikes need a lot of work to be competitive at expert level. I would like to see a comparison of Beta RR Race and KTM XC. 

 

Thats bullshit.I've riddin the TM's and they require personalized suspension tuning just the same as any other bike.The lack of a sixth gear puts it at a disadvantage if the terrain reqires it. If the bike you allude to melded with you it was probably because you were confused and on that other blue bike,  RT 100------

Edited by widebear

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Ask yourself, how often are you in 6th gear.  My YZ 250X only had 5 and I never missed 6th because I was seldom in 5th.  

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2 hours ago, widebear said:

Thats bullshit.I've riddin the TM's and they require personalized suspension tuning just the same as any other bike.The lack of a sixth gear puts it at a disadvantage if the terrain reqires it. If the bike you allude to melded with you it was probably because you were confused and on that other blue bike,  RT 100------

Yea but with the KYB the TM comes with, you can actually personalize it, unlike anything WP makes which all you can do is make it slightly less of a POS than it started as.

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