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What would you buy to supplement your 230F: KTM 150XCW or Beta xTrainer?

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Hey guys- Loaded question, I know. But I value what you all have to say.

I'd like to buy a bike to compliment the CRF230f. I haven't become good enough to warrant a full fledged enduro bike (stay with me here) but I want to get something that will be a step up in terms of power/weight/overall performance for the trail riding I do. I won't be selling the Honda so don't worry! I'll keep building the Honda into a better bike.

My question is, what would you all rather have- a Beta xTrainer 300 or a KTM 150XCW? 

both make similar peak HP but we all know the Beta will have the more tractable engine for trails, although I've seen good things about the low end on the 150XCW too. The 150XCW is clearly tuned for enduro races, not trails- but that means the suspension is way more premium and more future proof than the Beta's suspension is, the KTM might just take some tweaking. Most people end up spending about $1k on the Beta's suspension to fix it because no amount of tweaking makes it as good as the more expensive options.

So which would you prefer to have in your stable?

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Eh, don't think so. My riding buddy has a 350 XCF and I do not like it. Too stiff, too peaky. Clutch is heavy, stalls all the time. pretty much the opposite of a CRF230F.

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300xc/xcw. You can't compare a 350 4t to the 300 2t. Xcw will have slightly softer suspension than your buddy's xcf and the reason it seems stiff to you is because you're used to ridiculously soft suspension. The 150 requires a more aggressive riding style that I'm gonna guess you don't have to stay on the pipe. Rule that out. You can lug a 300 all day long

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29 minutes ago, xplodee said:

Eh, don't think so. My riding buddy has a 350 XCF and I do not like it. Too stiff, too peaky. Clutch is heavy, stalls all the time. pretty much the opposite of a CRF230F.

The new 17' 18' 500's are complete torque monsters. A new Vortex ECU is needed as well as de restriction. They come EPA lean due to they are plated. No stalling and double the low end torque of even the mighty 230. Very soft suspension.  The 350's are peaky little bugs in comparison as there is absolutely no comparison. 

Edited by stevethe
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9 minutes ago, JHensel said:

KTM Freeride

That's too trials oriented for me. Also, KTM isn't making it in 2018 at least for the US.

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That's too trials oriented for me. Also, KTM isn't making it in 2018 at least for the US.

Wife has one she uses for trail riding. It is a lot of fun.
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I can speak from personal experience since I have owned all of the above. I have a KTM 250 XC that I have detuned and lowered 1", also with rekluse clutch. This bike is awesome on every level, but can be a real handful. This is my primary bike used for hare scramble racing.  As I get older, I am looking to downsize and ride something that I can manage better. So in my quest to find the perfect bike I have bought and sold plenty.

I bought the Beta 300 XT last year as a replacement for my KTM. It is a beautiful and very well made bike. I spent about $1500 on suspension upgrades but I was racing the Beta in hare scrambles and enduro races. I never really felt comfortable at race pace on the Beta, but on trails it is awesome! It is a true light weight bike and feels like it everywhere. The motor is perfect, lots of low end torque and very manageable. It is taller than a 230 but still manageable. The stock suspension is Good for trail riding, way better than the 230 stock suspension, but no where near the KTM stuff. I put the big front tire on and a steering stabilizer, but the geometry was just not good for going fast. If you do plan to upgrade the suspension, check to see what is still available. Just like the 230, the stock stuff is not upgradable. I put a Fox podium on the rear and used KTM forks. They were selling upgraded forks at one time, but I don't know if this is available. Maybe you don't need to upgrade, and that would be a big plus with this bike. The parts available for these bikes are readily available and getting better all the time. I did spend many hours just looking at this bike, it is truly a work of art. I had to downsize my stable, so the Beta went away. I do still miss it. 

I also had a YZ125 with a 144 kit. Very light, very nice suspension, but no real power or torque unless you were on the gas near WFO. Very very tiring to ride and not good on trails or hill climbs. But, I felt like a pro racer until I got tired, which was very quick. I imagine the KTM 150 would be similar, but I have heard the 2018's have more torque. I have not ridden one, but I did spend time on an older 150 and it was the same as the yz144. I consider it a young man bike.

So now I am focusing on the 230. I am throwing everything I can at it now and plan to do some enduro racing soon. I blew my knee out earlier this year and have not been able to manage the KTM. Seems like no matter what, I keep coming back to the 230. As the old saying goes: it is more fun to ride a slow bike fast than it is to try and ride a fast bike slow. I still think I can do more on the 230 than I can on any other bike since I am the most confident. 

Hope that helps, also glad to talk just send me a pm...Jeff

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I did this to my 230 to see what sort of improvement I could make to the stock bike:IMG_1283.JPG

Upgraded suspension, uncorked, aftermarket exhaust etc, taller seat & off set bar risers and few other minor things.

Great trail bike much improved and I plan to ride it for next 6 months, then go get a WR250F, used to ride 4st YZs 10 years ago, so WR will suit my trail needs fairly well.

My 2 cents worth: Make a few mods to your 230 ride it to death and then buy the enduro bike you want if the 230 is unable to deliver what you want once your riding has improved. Try a range of machines to make your own mind up. What other people like may not be what you like.

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I went from Honda 230's to the KTM Freeride. It was hard to leave the cult. The Freeride as I have mine set up is not a high speed bike, but then I have never liked going fast. It would walk off from a 230 in a race and out run it top end, however the geometry..... It may be the front fork height. One way or the other will turn fast but become twitchy. I am set up for fast tight turning.  It's gearing is shorter than that of the 230. You change gears more if your changing speeds often. I usually don't change often on the trail, Only notice it on 0-50 takeoffs. Compared to the windup of my 230, There is no windup of the Freeride, that's partly why the gears feel short.  In it's stock form, it may not be as strong as bigger bikes but it is waaaaaaaaaaay beyond the 230 power. I say this knowing other bikes way out power my Freeride, but I am comparing it to the 230 to show it may be a bike you would be interested in. I detuned mine with the jetting and installed a throttle tamer in an effort to get it more like my 230 power delivery. Now it very much resembles the 230 power. However, I have more just waiting with the twist of the throttle. The front comes up for clearing obstacles so easy compared to the 230. I used to consider the 230 stall proof. It does not come close to the stall proof of the Freeride. My hills outback, the 230 requires throttle to keep from stalling. The Freeride can idle up it. The stock freeride suspension... I wish I had left mine stock. I had my suspension done before I had the experience to know  what I wanted. Climbing hills with rock, like typical extreme enduro, will cause the front to deflect and lift on normal suspension setups. The Freeride stock suspension would have been ideal for this. It's still much better as I have it now than typical setups. I hit things that I suspect will deflect me up yet the suspension takes the hit and goes on. I did not like the trials tires on the bike because they had extremely thin sidewalls, yet they would be optimal for roots off camber because they could hide a golf ball under the tire. The Freeride is not for everybody, but if you ever get a chance to ride one, take it, see what you think. They are set up in a broad range, from mellow to ripping. So if you do get to check one out, find out how it's set up. I took the rip out of mine. I don't like whisky throttle. LOL, never hear much about whisky throttle in the 230 forum. The Freeride is 2 inches longer than the 230 and the beta is 4 inches.  My highest engine temp ever is 180 and it averages 145 . It's the best bike for me. My search is over. I believe the order would be, from low end  to faster speed expectations ,  230, ajp, Freeride, 200 xcw, Xtrainer

Edited by 1gr8bldr
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20 hours ago, xplodee said:

That's too trials oriented for me. Also, KTM isn't making it in 2018 at least for the US.

very likely  a freeride 250 4 strokes will be available very soon in europe....

if available in your area i'd consider the new xtrainer 250 2 strokes . 

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4 hours ago, 30x26 said:

very likely  a freeride 250 4 strokes will be available very soon in europe....

if available in your area i'd consider the new xtrainer 250 2 strokes . 

we arent getting the 250 here unfortunately. why would you recommend the 250 over the 300?

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The Kdx requires much more clutch work yet has more low end than any other 2 stroke I have ever had. That being said it still prefers to be on the pipe. The Kdx shines more in the open areas the suspension on the Kdx is much better factory than the 230 but with Hagon on the rear and Bruce's rods up front they are pretty close now. In tight single track the 230f is a tractor just put her in third gear and ride. So in the tight stuff the 230 is easier on me and on hills the 230 is a Billy goat, it will go up hills you can't climb on foot. I've also become real accustomed to the magic button on the Honda.

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2 hours ago, Confederate said:

The Kdx requires much more clutch work yet has more low end than any other 2 stroke I have ever had. That being said it still prefers to be on the pipe. The Kdx shines more in the open areas the suspension on the Kdx is much better factory than the 230 but with Hagon on the rear and Bruce's rods up front they are pretty close now. In tight single track the 230f is a tractor just put her in third gear and ride. So in the tight stuff the 230 is easier on me and on hills the 230 is a Billy goat, it will go up hills you can't climb on foot. I've also become real accustomed to the magic button on the Honda.

Good review! I would say the same in engine wise comparison. Kdx's are good bikes but don't have CRF230 grunt if that is what is needed. 

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XP, maybe you can ask this same question 3 more times?

1 thing I haven't seen mentioned that could influence your decision is availability. The Xtrainer is Beta's most popular model. Unless you put a deposit on one you may have trouble finding it.

In regards to their suspension, stock it is delivered pretty soft but very ridable for single track and trials like antics. Simply switching to 15 weight fork oil really improves the dampening and makes it more capable at higher speeds and better for experienced riders. Beta also offers a cartridge upgrade with adjustable compression dampening(stock is rebound and preload only). I read alot of chest puffing and people saying the how bad the stock suspension sucks, which is mostly exaggerated. It's not top of the line, but it's not that bad. I certainly don't have any issues riding and doing things with my XT that other won't do with there "Superior" suspension.

If I could own only 1 bike would it be the XT? Nope. Since I already have a MX bike, supermoto, and pitbike, the XT fits the role perfectly for street legal ( in Ohio anyhow) trail bike. If you buy it I guarantee you won't be disappointed.


Sent from my XT1650 using ThumperTalk mobile app

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3 hours ago, ohiodrz400sm said:

XP, maybe you can ask this same question 3 more times?

1 thing I haven't seen mentioned that could influence your decision is availability. The Xtrainer is Beta's most popular model. Unless you put a deposit on one you may have trouble finding it.

In regards to their suspension, stock it is delivered pretty soft but very ridable for single track and trials like antics. Simply switching to 15 weight fork oil really improves the dampening and makes it more capable at higher speeds and better for experienced riders. Beta also offers a cartridge upgrade with adjustable compression dampening(stock is rebound and preload only). I read alot of chest puffing and people saying the how bad the stock suspension sucks, which is mostly exaggerated. It's not top of the line, but it's not that bad. I certainly don't have any issues riding and doing things with my XT that other won't do with there "Superior" suspension.

If I could own only 1 bike would it be the XT? Nope. Since I already have a MX bike, supermoto, and pitbike, the XT fits the role perfectly for street legal ( in Ohio anyhow) trail bike. If you buy it I guarantee you won't be disappointed.


Sent from my XT1650 using ThumperTalk mobile app
 

Really no comp. adjuster? No cartridge in the fork? Seems crazy a modern/expensive bike has old world forks. With a MSRP over $7000 I would be pissed to have to spend more to get what has come with a MODERN bike for over 25 years. What else needs added or replaced to bring it up to par?

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Really no comp. adjuster? No cartridge in the fork? Seems crazy a modern/expensive bike has old world forks. With a MSRP over $7000 I would be pissed to have to spend more to get what has come with a MODERN bike for over 25 years. What else needs added or replaced to bring it up to par?

It is an open cartridge fork design, it just doesn't have a compression adjustment. The $380 upgrade fixes that.

The bike is around $1400 cheaper than the RR version. It's still electric start, hydraulic clutch, Gafler brakes with stainless lines, so on and so forth. They just used the Spanish company Ollie for suspension rather than Sach to save money. If you want a racer, buy the RR version. For the average trail ride or someone looking to ride really technically terrian (as the Xtrainer was intended) it's hard to beat.

Sent from my XT1650 using ThumperTalk mobile app

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