Check it out! Let me know your thoughts
2018 Shootout 450's BEHIND THE SCENES as a Test Rider
2nd week of ownership on my 2018 Beta 300rr and I have to say, so far I am loving this thing. Switched from a 2016 YZ250X which I loved, but this machine is a beast. The power comes on like a freight train and never stops.
Brought bike home - Took what looked like it needed attention off and addressed any lubrication issues. Either my dealer or Beta USA or Beta ITALY did a great job of providing adequate lubrication on all the necessary parts. Linkage, bearings, head, bla bla bla. Didn't have to add anything. However, the white goo I believe either to be silicone or lithium grease the bike was covered in was kind of annoying to clean off. I didn't want to do a full hose, soap, and dry so I opted for a roll of blue shop towel. It came off easy but was in every nook and cranny. Checked all the fittings and bolts and torque specs, which were so kindly stamped on applicable areas like the triples and such. Cool little touch. Everything was good and in spec. Motor had 2 hours on it from the factory/dealer and for whatever reason the pipe to silencer connection was kinda messy? Apparently this is supposed to be cinched closed with zip ties, and as such it kinda sprayed 2 stroke mix on the motor, not a lot but enough to be like "WTF mate......" Cleaned it off, checked the pipe and silencer fit, but not much available room to adjust the connection. Emailed Beta USA and they said to zip tie it, and they would be emailing/calling the dealer as they should have done this. So I will be zip tying this in the future. 1st tank of gas is mixed 100:1 even with the oil injection as "insurance" in case it faults. Set the suspension for 102mm race sag naked and it worked out to be 110mm race sag in gear. Woot. I don't think I need a new rear spring. The "Work Stress Workout Plan" in full effect, 10lbs down. Banged on a aluminum pipe guard, as no 18 products are out, but 2017 Bullet Proof rad guards fit. Threw them on. Installed on some Cycra CRM's that are beat to piss, because I assume this thing is going down once I hit the single track. Checked the skiddy......its like a food tray from McDonald's hahahaha. O well better than nothing. Dropped tires from 35 PSI (what the piss?) to 12 front 10 rear. Michelin FIM spec Enduro tires...... shorter knobs, and less knobs to be gentler on the trails. Save the planet I guess? VE33 110 rear and a M59 front are in the corner of my garage, begging to go on. Have not run a VE33 but hear good things. YZ has had MT16's on the rear and I love them, but alas I have ADHD and like to try new things.
Ride .5 - turned it on, warmed it up, did 2 laps of the house, giggled, and put it away. Neighbors looked confused, GF laughed at me, and asked when the YZ was going......I laughed and asked when she's going..........stern looks exchanged, dogs run out side and interrupt and I chase them for 15 minutes.
Ride 1 - 1 hour-ish Took the bike out on some local rail trail for about 25-30 miles breaking the motor in. First tank was meh, felt lean on the bottom, and a touch rich up top.....sadface. Good on the pipe, just really ring dingy off the bottom, surging. Didn't hammer it, but kept a good 35-40mph clip over sandy rail trail, whoops, and chop. Tracks amazing for a bike designed for the twisty gnarly stuff. Got home changed the transmission oil and saw lots of shiny sparkles...... but not to worry, as I have experienced this with all my bikes on the first ride. The drain plug with the magnetic tip is awesome. Thanks for the free security Beta. Changed the oil, checked the bike over for loose parts and found nothing. Man this kick stand tip is lame, its basically a javelin...... gave her a first clean, silencer was a little spoogey but now shes fresh to death. DAMN BOOTS! The aluminum that rubbed off the YZ on my boots, is now on my sexy Beta. Kill me. But I got it off. All is good in life. Zen.
Half way through this ride, the display started going on and off. Stopped, got off the bike and diagnosed it as a loose connection on the horn. Fixed it, but had me concerned might take all this street crap off.
Ride 2 - took her out to my local trails, Hopkinton Everett trail system in NH. Cool place managed by the Army Corp of Engineers, they practice flood control etc etc. Trails are maintained by several Dirtbike clubs. Some old dudes on track packers show up and make 12 inch deep double ruts when it rains, this is there version of "Train Maintenance"..........JK! They build bridges all the time, and bring plenty of beers. Cool dudes. Filled the tank up with some freshy fresh 93.....unmixed.......weird. Let the bike warm up, and went and banged out some loops on the double track. Holy crap, this motor is great, first gear is......for walking pace only. After that I took off from a stand still in 2nd for the rest of the day. This motor is just a different beast compared to the YZ. I love the YZ, I love the SSS suspension.....but damn girl, this Italian lady likes the pipe! For a supposedly mellow bike, that's designed to chug this thing can't wait for a fist full of throttle. Spent the rest of the day in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th....with 5th and 6th on the connectors. Did 1 loop of the double track, turns amazing, tracks amazing, but kinda rough on the trail trash and chop. Great pop off of the whoops, which was nice when I wanted to double/triple them. Came back to the staging area and went softer on the front compression and rebound by 4 clicks. Took it back out, more confidence on the bike so I was riding at a nice clip. Noticed a little difference, but didn't want to take away any of the quality handling characteristics. As far as trail trash, roots were still quite unpleasant, will have to dial this in. Have Stillwell on speed dial, They did Max and Cody's endurocross bikes......so they probably are dialed. If anyone has any recommendations for a tuner for Sachs let me know. Got a nice claw hand by the end of the 3rd loop. Probably because I'm not use to the bike ergos, or 300 nut. Slid back on the seat frequently, need more butt grip. Felt like a scrub with the arm pump but I was giggling all day. Tires are great, until you lean into a sandy berm, then they just kinda step out. Side lugs are weak sauce. Probably throwing the new tires on this weekend, but want to try these are the gnarly single gnar. Rock gardens and all. Finished riding and no spooge on the pipe, just a crisp small grey ring no lean surge and no rich fatness. Jetting was perfect, didn't even crack the carb open or touch the air screw.
TLDR - Bike is great. Awesome power. Handles great. Tires are not for me. Suspension rough on small chop/roots. Bars cluttered. No kicker makes me nervous.
Suspension/Handling - 7 right now, shock was probably an 8. FYI I have never ridden a 10 but my KYB SSS was a 8.5. Handles as good, if not better than my YZ. Very confidence inspiring, it does what you want when you want.
Motor/Power - 9.....10? Lean to start made me nervous, but cleaned up on second day. I didn't want to mess with jetting because I wanted to feel it out stock. For what I WANT the bike to do I couldn't ask more. The map switch didn't feel very different? Maybe I need to turn it off and back on in order for it to take effect. Both modes felt the same.
Ergos/Controls - 7-8 I don't like the rear brake. It feels very close to the motor, and I found it harder to hit. Getting into neutral was also a pain, but that is probably a GOOD thing because the YZ250X would go into neutral if a bee sat on it. Probably just me getting use to it. The seat is very narrow, and very hard. Don't sit down. I liked the bend of the bars, I liked the pegs, tank feels WIDER than the YZ but NARROWER than my friends 2017 300XC. Just right. Either my pant was bunching, or the plastics above the pegs was digging into my knee area when squeezing. Need to figure this out. HOLY CRAP I love hydraulic everything, but holy crap the bars are cluttered. Couldn't fit my EE bark busters, because all the stuff. I plated the bike so I can ride connectors/fire roads up north and turkey runs, but I will probably switch to a race loom IF I can keep the speedo/hour meter. E start, kill switch, map and SCREW the rest of the crap. Loved the kill switch. It turns it off and LOCKS it off, so you don't accidentally start it. E start and kill right next to each other is great too.
Looks - 15,000 - I might trade my GF in for a 4 stroke version, so i can start "Three's Company - Italian edition"
ME - 32 - 190 - C class? I don't race, but I chase my A/B rider buddies all day long. They are fast........lol. I want to race next year when schedule allows, So I will rank myself then lol. Don't ride any moto tracks, usually double or single track trails. Gnarly rock gardens, cragy hill climbs, flowing woods tracks with small lips and doubles and such. This is just my opinion as a bottom feeder. So take it for what it is, opinion.
Spelling/grammar/errors - Dont hate mate