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Hans Schmid

Observations

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Ok, got a few minutes to sit down and write my "observations" on this 18 Beta 350RR RE. 

Suprisingly the Beta exceeded my initial expectations. I guess breaking it down into 4 categories which include 1.) Motor 2.) Chassis 3.) Suspension and lastly 4.) Feel/Controls/Fit and finish. I understand the last category is a bit broad but hey, it's not my bike, my setup etc, so I do think have much more that what I have.. 

1.) Motor. Can't find much to complain about the motor. Yes, it does seem to rev a bit slower then the other Austrian 350s but when you're looking for traction I could see this being a hard bike to beat. Right off idle it feels slightly more torquey than my KTM and pulls smooth the whole way through. Due to it being a new motor, she doesn't seem to rev quite a far but a few more hours of wear and she should wear in good. I think in a flat out drag race the KTM is going to get you but when the condition demand precise throttle/clutch control, the Beta is going to have the edge... I never miss a shift, clutch modulation was light and more so cable 'feeling' than the KTM (less on/off). I never stalled even coming off a Rekluse equipped bike so the adjustment was quite easy. The bike started quick and easy too. A+ on the motor! 

2.) Chassis. Doing my best to eliminate suspension from the equation, the chassis felt more comfortable than the KTM. Though the seat was stiff, it felt better padded and wider. The frame overall felt really really good in the conditions we rode. The front felt a little lower compared to the rear so it handled like it was on rails. What I really noticed the most is how well the bike tracks in ruts. You just weren't banging off the side of the rut which made it really predictable. Direction change was equally as good as my KTM. 'If' the Beta is heavier, it sure didn't feel it, both while riding and lifting it on and off the stand. Even with my opinion on the suspension, the chassis never felt harsh or offered major feedback through the bars or pegs. The cockpit DEFINITELY felt small compared the my KTM. The riders triangle was smaller, BUT I actually think it might promote someone like myself to ride better and more upright (I hunch and ride towards the rear of the bike).  A on the chassis! 

3.) Suspension. Front seemed quite good and prompted you charge harder to feel better. Stiction was minimal. I could definitely see someone who is slower wanting something more plush which would warrant the complaint of stiff/harsh suspension. The rear didn't feel as good as the front. Seemed to blow through the stroke quickly and then kick hard. Spring rates were close to my weight but its the valving thats off. If you hit everything perfectly probably not going to be a issue. But you'll never hit anything perfect all the time. Suspension being subjective makes it near impossible to not offer up an unbiased opinion. No, its not as good as any stock Yamaha I've owned or ridden. Same goes for any current KTM. Coming to mind right now, the Beta suspension felt much like a stock CC 2007-2010 KTM setup. Not terrible by any means, just a little off. Still, with the already excellent chassis and the right set of hands working the stock suspension you could have super killer setup. B on the suspension

4.) Feel/Controls/Fit and Finish. Everything felt right and natural right away. Nothing felt oddly out of place or made you scratch you head.

The body had just the right amount of width from front to back, the shrouds felt narrow and nothing seemed to hook or hang up on my boots.

Brakes felt excellent front and back with good modulation, clutch was smooth and predictable and the bars are narrow but felt normal to me as I cut down my stock bars. 

The throttle pull felt tight and short. I would want a little more range and slack. The odo is a thing of beauty with lots of good information. And still without a doubt it's one of the nicest bikes I've seen. 

The bike does feel tall and IS tall when compared to the KTM/Husky in the group. 

I would give a solid A score for the rest of the bike. 

Where would I personally go knowing what I know now, with this information? If I had a choice between any Japanese manufacturer and a Beta, I would take the Beta all day. Even though the Yamaha and Honda offer limited offroad bikes, I think the Beta is going to be a better way to go.

Between a Beta and a KTM/Husky? And specifically to the 350? It's going to come down to price and dealer relationship. If you have a excellent relationship with your local dealership and/or the price of the Beta was competitive, I wouldn't hesitate on the Beta. I really think you can't miss with the Beta... 

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Nicely done. Thanks for the thoughtful observations. However, the  thread title might be a little clearer (like: "Observations: 18 Beta 350RR RE") to give us a clue without having to spelunk. Also, many folks talk up the Beta for its lower seat height, by about an inch or more, so where does the tall feeling come from?

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8 minutes ago, Old Plonker said:

Nicely done. Thanks for the thoughtful observations. However, the  thread title might be a little clearer (like: "Observations: 18 Beta 350RR RE") to give us a clue without having to spelunk. Also, many folks talk up the Beta for its lower seat height, by about an inch or more, so where does the tall feeling come from?

The title wasn't really aiming to be the strong point... 

Yes, and all the data points to it being lower than the KTM. Maybe cause the Husky and KTM are broken in, and when the Beta is broken in too it will be lower. At this point it wasn't....

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Im curious about the height thing too.  First thing I noticed when I got my Beta was how much shorter it was than the competitors.  Especially my FX.  Glad you liked the bike though Monk.  Im really wanting to try one of these mid-size Beta thumpers.  

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2 minutes ago, NW_drZ said:

Im curious about the height thing too.  First thing I noticed when I got my Beta was how much shorter it was than the competitors.  Especially my FX.  Glad you liked the bike though Monk.  Im really wanting to try one of these mid-size Beta thumpers.  

In street clothes with a 185lb rider it was 35/95 on the sag (new bike). Sag would have been adjusted again yesterday down to around the 105mm mark so we would lose an additional 10mm of seat height on that too..

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Nice write up, very much underrated bike. At 185lbs try a 5.6 rear is the better, same weight as me. You would love the RR with the twin injectors it revs up faster. The rear shock is a good unit with just a bit of s shim shuffle it can be made very nice. Your right its not the most powerful bike but its so smooth it gets traction. 

MM 

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44 minutes ago, MartyMOOSE said:

Nice write up, very much underrated bike. At 185lbs try a 5.6 rear is the better, same weight as me. You would love the RR with the twin injectors it revs up faster. The rear shock is a good unit with just a bit of s shim shuffle it can be made very nice. Your right its not the most powerful bike but its so smooth it gets traction. 

MM 

Ya, I agree. Definitely a underrated machine. We've got nearly 10 weeks of riding/testing to get this bike dialed (well we have two of them). Unfortunately it's not my bike but I'll do what I can.

I've still got my own riding/testing to do too. I just picked up some 2018 AER forks for my KTM, RE linkage, etc. so lots of testing. Yesterdaw I worked through a Ride Engineering Honda HPSD setup on the KTM. Definitely a unit I would like to see adapted to the Beta. Irons out the micro adjustments one makes while riding... 

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22 minutes ago, Hans Schmid said:

Ya, I agree. Definitely a underrated machine. We've got nearly 10 weeks of riding/testing to get this bike dialed (well we have two of them). Unfortunately it's not my bike but I'll do what I can.

I've still got my own riding/testing to do too. I just picked up some 2018 AER forks for my KTM, RE linkage, etc. so lots of testing. Yesterdaw I worked through a Ride Engineering Honda HPSD setup on the KTM. Definitely a unit I would like to see adapted to the Beta. Irons out the micro adjustments one makes while riding... 

What are you using them for 10 weeks of testing ? Sounds like lots of fun. Not familiar with the "HPSD" do you have a link ? Few of the faster offroad guys here moved away from their AER forks with spring/SSS conversions as the air fork rode high and would not settle as well into turns, must admit the ones I rode I liked. Are you going to revalve the Beta? 

Shame you guys get the RRS not the RR it has improved over the single injector engine. 

MM 

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2 minutes ago, MartyMOOSE said:

What are you using them for 10 weeks of testing ?

Race season starts on April 22 so we have to get our butts in gear. 

Sounds like lots of fun.

Not familiar with the "HPSD" do you have a link ?

Earlier Hondas came with a little 20mm (later a 24mm) damper that sat behind the front numberplate. It was designed to help settle the chassis down a bit due to the aggressive head angle in the Honda. A few guys put them on their KTMs, Yamahas etc and really liked the results... 

Few of the faster offroad guys here moved away from their AER forks with spring/SSS conversions as the air fork rode high and would not settle as well into turns, must admit the ones I rode I liked.

I have a set of Dal Soggio Spheres. You want performance, these are the inserts to buy. I've tried AER forks on other bikes but never owned a set. Figured I would give them a shot. Only furthers my knowledge and now I have a complete 2nd set of suspension for my bike. 

Are you going to revalve the Beta? 

Yes, well get it good and broken in, play with clickers, fork and oil height, sag, etc. and then make internal adjustments when we've gone as far as we can. 

Shame you guys get the RRS not the RR it has improved over the single injector engine. 

We have a 2018 350RR Race Edition. 

MM 

 

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19 hours ago, Old Plonker said:

Nicely done. Thanks for the thoughtful observations. However, the  thread title might be a little clearer (like: "Observations: 18 Beta 350RR RE") to give us a clue without having to spelunk. Also, many folks talk up the Beta for its lower seat height, by about an inch or more, so where does the tall feeling come from?

They did what I did, lengthened the shock to get the front to bite.  The '18 2 strokes seem taller too, about time.

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On 2/15/2018 at 5:56 AM, betaboy350 said:

How long before we see you on a Beta Schmid?? :)

 

Ha!

A glowing review from one of the fussiest and most opinionated riders I have ever met! Helps reaffirm my decision to go with Beta. I love my (17-430RRS) and hope to hit up a few races again this season.

 

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On 2/13/2018 at 1:46 PM, GP said:

They did what I did, lengthened the shock to get the front to bite.  The '18 2 strokes seem taller too, about time.

I've seen you mention this a few times. Why didnt you just raise the forks?  Lengthening your shock adjusts your swingarm angle which changes pro/anti squat.  This really changes rear end traction and the way the bike finishes corners.  

 

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2 hours ago, kbro45 said:

I've seen you mention this a few times. Why didnt you just raise the forks?  Lengthening your shock adjusts your swingarm angle which changes pro/anti squat.  This really changes rear end traction and the way the bike finishes corners.  

 

Because you increase travel and can run normal sag numbers that improves the ride in the rocks.  Also, the small added ride height is noticeable in how much less the bike touches down.  Bottom line is I like it a lot, its a much better bike than the chopper that it was.  

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Thanks for the review. One little thing. Move your handle bar mount from the middle in the triple clamps to furtherest forward if you want to open the cockpit. That’s where mine is now on my 300 rr . Im 6’1”. Ive liked it but thinking of moving in the middle for the hell of it just to see for my 300. My 12 350 rr race is in the middle hole on the triple clamp I think. Gotta check again. Every Beta Ive ridden has been lower than other brands and thats all models comparing to comparable size bikes.  I guess the 18 might be different? I haven’t seen an 18 Beta yet. 

Edited by hawaiidirtrider
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12 hours ago, frdsrck said:

Ha!

A glowing review from one of the fussiest and most opinionated riders I have ever met! Helps reaffirm my decision to go with Beta. I love my (17-430RRS) and hope to hit up a few races again this season.

 

Me?

Opinionated maybe, but fussy? 

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Thanks for the review. One little thing. Move your handle bar mount from the middle in the triple clamps to furtherest forward if you want to open the cockpit. That’s where mine is now on my 300 rr . Im 6’1”. Ive liked it but thinking of moving in the middle for the hell of it just to see for my 300. My 12 350 rr race is in the middle hole on the triple clamp I think. Gotta check again. Every Beta Ive ridden has been lower than other brands and thats all models comparing to comparable size bikes.  I guess the 18 might be different? I haven’t seen an 18 Beta yet. 

I'm 6'5" and hated the furthest most position. I'm in the middle and it's sweet. I have 15mm of riser on the stock bar in neutral position.
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Thanks for the review. One little thing. Move your handle bar mount from the middle in the triple clamps to furtherest forward if you want to open the cockpit. That’s where mine is now on my 300 rr . Im 6’1”. Ive liked it but thinking of moving in the middle for the hell of it just to see for my 300. My 12 350 rr race is in the middle hole on the triple clamp I think. Gotta check again. Every Beta Ive ridden has been lower than other brands and thats all models comparing to comparable size bikes.  I guess the 18 might be different? I haven’t seen an 18 Beta yet. 

Ha, i did this on my yz today, feels way more open when sitting and much better standing, also lets me get over the front end more comfortably. Did a short ride and loved it.
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