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Ben500RR-S

Beta as a snowbike=incredible. (More pics), and another review

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4 hours ago, danketchpel said:

Nice! Maybe I could deal with winter if I ever move out of Kommiefornia.

Does the track add a lot of mechanical drag?

Just got back after another morning riding with the family and my 6yo daughter got totally hooked on riding the little yellow Mini Rev, so much so that her mom and my boy went home a little while ago while Jackie wanted to stay and ride some more.  She's loving it as am I.  

 

The top speed of most any stock, 450cc snow bike is from 50-60 mph so the track eats up about 50% of the bikes power.  If we had 100 mph top speeds, they have been cut to 50 mph or so.  So yes, the track, all the bogie/idler wheels, big plastic slider and track, all eat up power as the entire weight of the kit is about 145 lbs.  

Most of us don't mind the "slowbike" as we're out, shifting gears, floating around in the powder, using our bikes in the winter and going places we'd never be able to get to on any kind of snowmobile.  I'll be heading back out to ride with my little girl again after she takes a break and plays on her Kindle for a little while.  

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Snow is deep here, 4 feet bottomless powder and getting hard to ride in but man we're having a blast. Only pic from today.

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Edited by Danceswithtrees
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We had gone for what might have been my last snowbike ride yesterday and it was glorious.  It was in the 40's, sunny, and the snow was soft while the tracking from the front ski and the traction for the track were about the best they have ever been.  We had a great hill to play on and ran on it till we were tired.  

The bike ran great all winter.  The only issue was getting the bike started in single digit Farrenheit or below zero temps.  I have since learned that when it is really cold to just start with the jumper pack and the bike will fire right up.  Otherwise, the only other thing that one has to remember is to hold the clutch lever in and exercise the clutch lever until the bike gets up to about 140 or the plates will stick and when one tries to drop the bike into 1st gear the motor will just die.  This is even after I switched to a 0W 40 snowmobile oil, cold is just cold.  

I started to return the bike for dirt/street duty and am hoping to take the time I have after work to get the Camso STD, Snow To Dirt 129 kit off and the wheels, swingarm, shock, linkage and rear brake back on the bike and be riding come either Saturday or Sunday.  

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The track is now off, it is, after all, only held in by the top shock and swingarm bolt.  The brake lever and master cylinder as well as the countershaft sprocket come off and the entire unit is out.  

I have the swingarm and shock in place and when I get home I'll assemble the linkage and try and get the rear wheel back on as well as the chain.  

The handlebars will need to be swapped out but that, along with the front wheel are easy.  

Lastly, for now, at least based on my right leg compression tester, despite all the constant running at 6,000-8,000 this past winter on the snow, the compression still feels very, very good and the bike is still running awesome.  I'll see how it feels when I get the wheels back on the bike and road-test it.  

Edited by Ben500RR-S

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I'm happy with how easy everything is going back on the bike.  I had greased the linkage sometime in the late summer or early fall so it was already pretty clean when I had taken it all apart, same with the swingarm bolt.  

I got the countershaft sprocket on and re-used the Get Dirty concave washer to put it back on, got the rear wheel and caliper on along with the rear axle last night.  

 

I just need to bolt up the rear master cylinder and brake pedal and then bleed the rear brake as I had messed up and was taking, or trying, to take the rear caliper off the sliding mount and stripped the caliper going back in so I got a new rear caliper assembly and just need to connect the line and bleed it.  Afterwards, the rear should be complete and I'll move onto the front ski then the handlebars but compared to the rear, the front is super-simple.  

I realized too, that next time I tear down the rear I won't break the chain-unless I need to replace it and the sprockets, and I'll just remove the rear shock, the C/S, rear brake pedal and master, and swingarm bolt and take the entire rear out as one big unit to save time and if I need to grease anything I can do it while all the stuff is off the bike and then put it back together as putting it back on the bike as one big unit is also pretty easy.  

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The conversion is complete and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be, this big lego kits we have.  

What took me the longest time was trying to get the rear master cylinder to pump.  It was not until I took a big medicine syringe and pulled on it that fluid sucked out and I had pressure at the pedal to finish the very quick bleed as the volume of fluid is so small.  Otherwise, It was just the fiddly stuff like the handlebars, the controls, front brake and wheel and the air filter. 

I rode the bike into work this morning and was amazed at how little power it takes to get the bike rolling and up to any speed, like 4,000 to 5,000 rpm where in/on the snow, it takes a minimum of 4-5,000 rpm just to keep the bike going in the snow as about 1/2 of the power is sucked up by the track and the friction of the snow.  

9 more months until there will be enough snow and I don't mind.  The beauty of the seasons is that we now have a change and it is a nice one and the Beta was simply stellar this past winter and is ready for this spring with nothing but an oil and filter change that I'll do either tonight or tomorrow sometime.  

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It won't be long, probably by the end of next month, or sooner if there is snow up in VT to ride on, but the kit will be going back on and season number two of the RR-S going snowbiking will begin.  

This year will be better than last as I was a virgin to it last year.  Now I'm experienced.  

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Another snowbike season is fast approaching.  It was a year ago this upcoming Friday-the day after Thanksgiving when I picked up the Camso DTS 129 kit and then set to installing it. 

I had more than enough time today to get the kit installed and it was so much easier than doing it last year as it was the first go-round last year. It had also helped that I had taken the time a few weeks ago to swap the handlebars that I leave the heated grips on.  

Attaching the ski is easy. The fork guards just need to come off and I have to drop the fork legs to get the Seal Savers onto the fork sliders.  

I tried taking some shortcuts with  trying to remove  the swingarm and rear tire all at once and had come to the realization that there is no shortcut and removing the linkage(s) is just easier.  

I also bought my BIL's 2011 Expedition as he has too many sleds and the money I'd have given to him is going towards the Camso DTS 129 kit for his 2008 KTM 300 XC-W so I got an incredible deal on the sled.  I just need to wait for his kit to arrive so I can install it on his bike. 

Now to wait for the snow to pile up up north.  

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I had to wait for the new Hammerhead, Forged, gearshift lever as I had bent the clamp on the BYOB one that I had gotten from Beta. 

(Extremely) dumb-me, had taken off the clamp bolt, then decided it was a good time to pull the gearshift lever away from the engine just a tad as it had bent in from falling over on the lever, and when I pulled on it the soft aluminum clamp gave way and I had gouged up all the splines and rendered the shifter useless.  A new, forged shifter, only $31 shipped arrived, so I put it on, the skidplate and lastly the engine jacket.  

I got the bike out of the basement and garage, started it up and rolled it up and into the trailer.  I did the same with the KTM 300 as all it is waiting for is a t-bushing for the top strut bolt/top shock bolt and it too, will be complete and ready to ride for this upcoming weekend.

I got to snowmobile up in VT this past Sunday and it was great to be out there on the snowmobile again.  It has snowed 10" up there overnight and it is and will be, snowing all day up there and then a little snow will fall most every day this week so this weekend, with no wife or kids, should be awesome. 

 

My sister in law just sent me these pictures.  She says 1/2 of the state of VT has no power as it had been mising/raining all day Sunday and Monday and then the snow came and has weighed everything down, breaking trees and branches everywhere.  My nephew in law is in charge of breaking in the kids new sled as it needs 10 hours at 50% throttle with some bursts of full power, you know how it goes, right?  

 

I wish I could be up there today or tomorrow.  Just have to wait for Friday. 

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Edited by Ben500RR-S
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On November 18, 2018 at 5:15 PM, Ben500RR-S said:

Another snowbike season is fast approaching.  It was a year ago this upcoming Friday-the day after Thanksgiving when I picked up the Camso DTS 129 kit and then set to installing it. 

I had more than enough time today to get the kit installed and it was so much easier than doing it last year as it was the first go-round last year. It had also helped that I had taken the time a few weeks ago to swap the handlebars that I leave the heated grips on.  

Attaching the ski is easy. The fork guards just need to come off and I have to drop the fork legs to get the Seal Savers onto the fork sliders.  

I tried taking some shortcuts with  trying to remove  the swingarm and rear tire all at once and had come to the realization that there is no shortcut and removing the linkage(s) is just easier.  

I also bought my BIL's 2011 Expedition as he has too many sleds and the money I'd have given to him is going towards the Camso DTS 129 kit for his 2008 KTM 300 XC-W so I got an incredible deal on the sled.  I just need to wait for his kit to arrive so I can install it on his bike. 

Now to wait for the snow to pile up up north.  

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Ben, please post your thoughts on the 300 Katoom as a snowbike when you get a chance to ride it.My bro has a 09 300 XC he is selling, and I was thinking about buying it for a dedicated  snowbike

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6 hours ago, Mullet2Skullet said:

Ben, please post your thoughts on the 300 Katoom as a snowbike when you get a chance to ride it.My bro has a 09 300 XC he is selling, and I was thinking about buying it for a dedicated  snowbike

There is a guy I know on SnoWest, who has 2-2008 KTM 300 XC-W's, one for him and one is his son's, and they both have Camso DTS 129 kits on them and he has said that they have both been excellent snowbikes.  There are also a few others that use the 300 as a snowbike as well.  

Having spent time on my 478 and my BIL's Honda 450, and then riding the 300 this past spring and summer, I know that the 300 will be incredible as it is a lot lighter and the power will be all I would need in the snow as it has more than enough power but I will surely report back, probably on Saturday night as I should have what I need to complete the install of the track and we'll be riding the bike on Saturday as 12" of snow fell yesterday and they will be getting a little snow almost every day this week till the weekend.  

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We all bundle up or have the right cold weather gear, pants, bibs, monosuits, jackets, so by the time we are out there and riding, we are hot, never mind that we are used to the cold (I have read that it is our hormones that get changed that allow us to not feel the cold as much as others). 

I'm psyched for Friday night and then Saturday.  

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16 hours ago, Ben500RR-S said:

There is a guy I know on SnoWest, who has 2-2008 KTM 300 XC-W's, one for him and one is his son's, and they both have Camso DTS 129 kits on them and he has said that they have both been excellent snowbikes.  There are also a few others that use the 300 as a snowbike as well.  

Having spent time on my 478 and my BIL's Honda 450, and then riding the 300 this past spring and summer, I know that the 300 will be incredible as it is a lot lighter and the power will be all I would need in the snow as it has more than enough power but I will surely report back, probably on Saturday night as I should have what I need to complete the install of the track and we'll be riding the bike on Saturday as 12" of snow fell yesterday and they will be getting a little snow almost every day this week till the weekend.  

Cool, looking forward to your insight on the 300!

Have you seen a 350 running a Camso kit? In particular a Beta? Just wondering how they work? 

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13 hours ago, Mullet2Skullet said:

Cool, looking forward to your insight on the 300!

Have you seen a 350 running a Camso kit? In particular a Beta? Just wondering how they work? 

I am also looking forward to trying the 300 on the snow, hopefully on Saturday, provided Camso gets this one missing T-Bushing to me by tomorrow night. 

 

I have not come across anyone running a 350 4S with any sort of snowbike kit on it yet.  

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No pics, that I feel like getting the SD card for to upload right now, just the story of the first ride that the RR-S has gone on, for the first snowbike ride of the year. 

 

Conditions:  Just under 30 degrees Farenheit.  I'm in the USA, all the time, so my temperature is always in F.  Not really that cold at all.  The bike sat in its spot in the trailer and when I keyed the switch-strangely I don't get the sound from the fuel pump priming anymore rather, I pretend that the pump has run and thankfully, every time I have turned the key, the bike has been starting up and running flawlessly. 

I was so glad that I had rolled the dice, since the high temps for every day have been 40 and many days in the 30's.  No fun to ride back and forth to work in the cold, even though my roundtrips are 12 miles through shabby city streets, the bike needs to be made the snowbike sometime.  I'm still on the 2018 Camso DTS 129 kit from last season.  I have no idea how many hours I rode last winter as I just rode and didn't bother to remember the starting mileage.  This year I will record it right now, 3,311 miles and like 182 hours.  I have to make sure I power the Voyager or it does not automatically come on because the front wheel sensor is no longer there as there is no front wheel.  It is now the Camso ski, but it is a pretty awesome ski and I have very little wear on either the skags or the carbides.  This says that I got to ride in some fantastic conditions all last winter and this upcoming weekend has us in snow too since it was the 5th snowiest November on record.  I'll take it as I have waited since last spring to ride the snowbike again.  The snowbike, to me, simply rules.  

 

The 17 500 RR-S, with the Rekluse Radius CX in it, that is about it for mods, other than the G2 QUICK TURN THROTTLE and the Jimmy Twister, this bike hauls the mail.  The power that Beta's own Fuel Injection(by Continental), and 478cc four stroke, four valve engine is, and has been, spot-on.  I have never needed or wanted any more from this engine and other than my no-start condition for like 4 weeks this past September/October, the bike has never left me stranded and I have not had to do ONE-SINGLE-THING to the bike to have to repair it, yet.  

 

There are some that ride, and then there are some that ride and the riding is only going to increase now that there is a base of snow to ride on up here in East Central Vermont, USA.  We will go to the Hayfield tomorrow, 2 snowmobiles and two snowbikes and we will ride all around for as long as we feel like it.  First tracks, everywhere tomorrow.  

The Beta ran great tonight and I didn't expect anything less. As it was not killer-cold out, like single digits, there was no way to test if the Rekluse will solve the problem I had called "Cold, Stuck, Clutch."  

 

For those that will never know, when the engine gets cold, and sits overnight in single digit temps, sometimes below zero Farenheit, for hours, and in the morning it is still only one or two degrees Farenheit, and the wind is blowing, the snow is sugary because it is so cold, but one will have to get out the jump pack to help the frozen AGM battery get enough cranking amps to get the bike lit but, thanks to the awesome Fuel Injection, once the engine lights-up, it just stays running perfectly, even maintaining 160-180 degree running temps, thanks to the measurement provided by the nice Voyager-again.  

 

The Cold Stuck Clutch, CSC, happens when the bike warms up and one pulls the clutch in, steps on the gearshifter and places the transmission in first gear but the engine dies because the cold, thick-oil, doesn't let the clutch plates separate so the engine stops due to the friction of the clutch plates on the clutch boss and pressure plate.  The clutch is just stuck.  

I had learned last winter that I had to let the bike come up to at least 140 before trying to get into first gear and if it was cold out, it could take a little while for the bike to warm up and for the oil on the clutch plates warm up enough to get less sticky and allow the clutch to work so first gear can be engaged. 

 

Now with the Rekluse, because the bike can now be started in gear, since the Radius CX parts are so much better than the stock Beta clutch parts, the problem of the clutch dragging either due to the way the clutch was designed, or from the fluid drag of the clutch fluid, either hot or cold, I'm thinking that the problem will be solved. 

 

Even just loading and unloading the sled, the super-slow, molasses in the blast-freezer-slow, the Rekluse is just awesome.  Just having to worry about riding and NOT the clutch when in the snow, riding and having a ball, is a big deal.  Already having just done some slow laps in the backyard, it has been so much fun being able to just twist and go and not worry about stalling or being in the perfect gear or the clutch lever.  It is going to be another awesome winter. 

 

Side note number one.  I left the kids new Yamaha SnoScoot for my Nephew In Law, to help break in over the week and I'm so thrilled that he took the 50% throttle with some bursts to WOT ok, but the majority 50% throttle for 15-30 minute sessions, he did an awesome job this week as the engine has developed a "snap" that only a true 192cc four stroke, converted heavy-duty pressure washer engine-could have.  

When I rode the sled for the first time last Sunday, it had enough power to get me up the hills but it did not have any snap.  Of course, the engine was brand new and it was the first time anything on it had seen any sort of load.  Tonight, after having had a ball on it for the past 30 minutes, the engine has definitely broken in some and now has incredible snap.  Now, the max HP of this thing is only 9.5 HP.  But, I'm only a Wayne Gretzky 170 lbs and not a massive dude.  If this motor is showing me a great time with both the power and how it delivers it, my kids are going to have a BLAST.  

I want to write more about how much fun it was but will wait until I get to spend my day off having a great time, wrenching, riding, cutting/chainsawing, and then trailering back home sometime on Sunday.  Thank goodness for Friday night and that I already got to ride earlier tonight.  Life is good.  

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Oh, what a day it was today.  

Me and a worker-guy, set out, one of us on the Tundra with big Stihl chainsaw and fuel and me, with two small chainsaws, fuel and loppers on the Expedition to clear trail.  Once we got it done, we set out on the 121" tracked snowmobiles and had a good time on all the trails we re-broke. 

Then, we trailered to the hayfield to ride the snowbikes.  The Beta was flawless all day.  Starts right up. I have more confidence in the Rekluse as it seems to allow the transmission to slip into gear-even when it is cold and not cause any clutch-drag at all-this is one of the reasons why the Radius CX was worth the almost $900.  It allows me to walk with the snowbike and not have to deal with a clutch, just nice, smooth twist and go.  

The only bummer of the night, I had to leave my snowmobile on the trail and hope that it was just flooded or the spark plugs were fouled as the sled had died during one deceleration to make a sharp right turn to get onto another trail and after many pulls, it finally started with the choke on but I could not get my stuff on fast enough to get on the sled and ride it before it bogged down and died.  I'll have to go up in the morning and see if I can get it pull started.  If not, I'll have to tow it back to the trailer and into the trailer and then see if I can figure out what might be wrong with the engine.  It could be fouled plugs as the spares I had kept were used plugs.  

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We now have three snowbikes, all with Camso DTS 129 kits.  I like the Camso.  The front ski is nice and holds well in all conditions-never an issue with the front ski, it has "stick" and I have yet to find its limit as I have never washed-out, either on hardpack or in powder.  We have a CRF 450X with a 2018 kit and the same with the 500 RR-S.  The KTM 300 has a 2019 kit and Camso has said to have improved the 2019 ski and skid so the ski works even better on hardpack and the rear monoskid has been improved so it rides even better on the trails.  

 

First, the 2017 Beta 500 RR-S.  I'll cheerlead this bike for as long as it runs well and with 3,200 miles and 185 or so hours, it is working perfectly as a snowbike for its second year as I had it out tonight and have been shaking it down and it is flawless.  FI is huge as the other two bikes have carburetors and the warm up for them is different than for FI.  

The KTM and the Honda often need to be kicked for the first start cold but after that, they will both start easily once warm/hot.  The Beta, as long as it has the amps from the battery-and it is not too cold out, will always just fire up and will do so reliably and with no fuss.  FI is just so, so sweet and it is proven by going from hot to cold without a hiccup.  

The Rekluse Radius CX has been awesome in the snow so far.  No stalling.  Twist and go and point and shoot.  It also makes loading and unloading the bike so simple.  There is no need to fan the clutch and worrying about stalling when going up or down the ramp as the auto-clutch does it all.  

 

Then the 2008 CRF 450X.  The FCR carb got cleaned, rebuilt and rejetted correctly for the full Yoshimura system that came with the bike.  The bike now starts, idles and runs beautifully.  My BIL got used to the bike last year when it was running crappy so now that the carb has been overhauled with a new hot start nut-the old nut had lost its plastic threads and had fallen out.  A new R&D adjustable flex jet has been installed as the old fuel screws were impossible to get at, one had fallen out and the one I had put in was on the way out as the alloy/aluminum would not stay in the aluminum carb.  Then the jets were all wrong.  Now with a JD jet kit and all the other orifices plugged up with all the correct screw-in devices, the old CRF 450X is now tuned and running to perfection.

 

 

The shocker is the 2008 KTM 300 XC-W.  I had ordered a new 38mm Smartcarb, a PST carb heater, Thermobob, carb jacket and finally a Velocity Intake which is just a length of tube with a cage on the end-see the pics-and an Outerwears filter on the end as the airbox has been removed to get the Smartcarb and PST carb heater to fit.  I got it this morning, special delivery from PST and I got it on and it works awesome on the engine.  No more leaking Keihin carb, no need to worry about jetting.  The carb came tuned from the mfgr. and so far, other than the bike having a sort of low idle-which we can fix by tuning one of the two screws, it is allowing the engine to run the way it should in the cold. We just need to take the time to install the Thermobob which I will do sometime tomorrow.  

Just from a short ride around the hayfield for the shakedown-run today, I know that a 300 two stroke is all I would need for riding around.  On the dirt, the bike is so much lighter than my 500 RR-S and the CRF450X.  The 450's are heavy.  The 450's just have all the power all the time where the 300 has the same power, it just comes just a little later but the trade is that the bike is so, so light.  It feels 100 lbs lighter but it must be at least 50 lbs lighter so it is a nice treat coming off the 450's.  

 

In the powder it is going to be incredible.  That much I know.  Now we just wait for the powder to come. 

 

All I could have hoped for is patches of white, enough to ride on.  Thankfully where my BIL had decided to have his home, there is a good 1" to 6"-9" base and once we chop it all up with the sleds, that all have nice-studded tracks, we'll be able to ride all our loops on rideable-snow.  

 

There will not be any magazine-online magazine-worthy photos, not when there is no powder to ride in/on, but at least we have something to ride on at all is the good news for this holiday weekend.  

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Edited by Ben500RR-S

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