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I love my 500 RR-S.... no, wait 300 RR

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I should start out by saying that I am 42 years old. I have about 3 years of off road riding experience (including the last year and a half with the Beta) in the last 24 years. Living in Kansas there is no reason to own a dirt bike if you can't travel. So as life changed and I met some guys that went on regular motorcycle trips to Missouri, Arkansas, Colorado, and Utah. I decided to take the plunge. After some research and some help from TT I ignored my KTM riding friends advise, and bought the 2017 Beta 500 RR-S. In a short amount of time I was easily keeping up with my friends who have been riding for many decades more than me. I am an aggressive rider (or so I am told), but I feel like my Beta constantly makes me a better rider than I actually am. It is extremely ridable, finds traction everywhere, and goes up anything you point it at. I am not talking about Kansas hills, I am talking about some of the best riding in America.  The bike got it's first real test @ Taylor Park Colorado. It went up everything from Star trail, to timberline, to Flag mountain. With a little clutch slip there was nothing that it wouldn't do, it just stayed under me and kept me side by side with my much more talented riding companions. I can't stop smiling. The 500 is amazing. It is what everyone says it is. I read all the opinions about other bikes but I couldn't imagine that another bike could be more fun or capable. 

This last winter with the bike tucked away in the garage I began to read more and more in the 2t forums and was confronted by a couple of 2t douche bags :goofy: that challenged me to not knock it till I tried it. So I found a used 2016 300 RR and bought it. 

To begin with it was WAY different. I could tell immediately around the house (30 acres) that I did not know how to ride a two stroke. I was slightly titillated but mostly terrified. I know it is not the hardest hitting bike made but it felt like it to me. This culminated in a loop out that required a new sub-frame, air box, plastics, and some ice strategically applied to several parts of my body. When the bike and I healed, we scheduled a multi day trip to Chadwick Missouri to learn a little about each other. 

I can only say, WOW. This bike is amazing. While the weight of the two bikes is similar the 300 feels much lighter. I don't know if it is the quickness of the 2t or the way the motor is set up, but it feels much more nimble. This does not mean that I felt the 500 was lacking. It did everything well, I can't explain it but the 300 was so so sweet. I expected to have to keep it reved out going up the steep technical trails and that was not the way it was at all. Many of the steep technical trails were easily dispensed with in second or third gear ( I know, you told me). All of this was done at low RPM"s. The bike making about as much nose as a sewing machine, just purring up the hills. This goes for hills like Dairy Queen, Strawberry hill, and many of the rocky climbs with large rock ledges. I was climbing things that my buddies wanted no part of. It was incredible. We met up with someone who rode with us for a while who claimed to be an intermediate B rider and the Beta and I were keeping up just fine and climbing hills that he wanted nothing to do with. This is not to promote myself at all. These bikes are amazing. With a little bit of practice of some of the skills from Barry's cross-training vids and the tips some of you gave me combined with these great bikes and you can accomplish a lot. 

At the end of the day I love my 500, buuuuuuut the 300 is stupid. I can't imagine grabbing the 500 unless I have some extended distance to cover at speed. The 500 is awesome for going 30 miles at 60mph to a technical trail..... but the 300 IMHO is so much more fun when you get there. 

In two weeks I am going  to Arizona and then to Moab for a week and will be taking the two bikes but unless it changes the 300 is getting the nod for the majority of the riding. 

Thanks for all the input from the TT community. These are just my observations if you disagree, you are wrong. :lol:  My opinion is just that, my uneducated opinion. 

Peace,

Gary

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300 2 stroke dude ... it's like a drug : the more you ride it the more you want it ! And Beta RR is so easy and funny , a lot of torque and power but always under your control - maybe you could transform your 500 RRS in a supermoto for street ridings and keep the 300 for offroad .

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3 hours ago, ged93 said:

300 2 stroke dude ... it's like a drug : the more you ride it the more you want it ! And Beta RR is so easy and funny , a lot of torque and power but always under your control - maybe you could transform your 500 RRS in a supermoto for street ridings and keep the 300 for offroad .

I see, super moto/snow bike! 

 

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Excellent review of both bikes! 

Interesting to hear that even with a few years on a 500 the 300 still tossed you to the ground :) I think dealers should have loaner 125s to give new 2 stroke owners for a month ;)

 

Would love to ride a Beta 300 some time. Hated my older KTM 300 because it was too aggressive. (Actually, I loved it in slow, slow technical stuff, or wide open. The on/off of everything in between wore me out.) I think my stegpegz could really help with this issue though as I have trouble gripping with my knees.

Hated my friend's newer ktm 300 because he neutered it with the power valve. He is super fast on it, but compared to the 500 it feels to me like it won't get out of its own way.

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2 minutes ago, basalt said:

Excellent review of both bikes! 

Interesting to hear that even with a few years on a 500 the 300 still tossed you to the ground :) I think dealers should have loaner 125s to give new 2 stroke owners for a month ;)

 

Would love to ride a Beta 300 some time. Hated my older KTM 300 because it was too aggressive. (Actually, I loved it in slow, slow technical stuff, or wide open. The on/off of everything in between wore me out.) I think my stegpegz could really help with this issue though as I have trouble gripping with my knees.

Hated my friend's newer ktm 300 because he neutered it with the power valve. He is super fast on it, but compared to the 500 it feels to me like it won't get out of its own way.

I have a policy, if you aren't crashing your not trying hard enough. That policy is changing as I am getting older. :cripple:The stegpegz are a must. I have them on the 500 and I want the desert king with 2 pucks on the 300. I grip way too tight without them, especially on steep hill climbs.

As far as the power goes I can't speak for KTM 2t's but this bike purrs like a kitten @ low rmp and is very quick (to me) at higher rmps. In the mid range I rode mostly what would of been a gear high on my 500 and it is quiet and easy. I found that if I rode on the pipe I was instantaneously on the rider in front of me so I was constantly braking. There wasn't much reason to be hammering it as most of our riding was under 30mph follow the leader style single track. 

I did get to ride it back to back with the 2017 300 Super Smooth beta trials bike. That was also awesome. It has at least 3 gears below first on the RR so it made rock ledges a breeze. The RR would do the same terrain, (see pic) but needed a lot of clutch skills that I am still honing in. Hence the dirt naps. I have ridden the x-trainer and it would be a nice crossover if this was the main type of riding that you do, however it lacked a bit of the trill factor that I still enjoy. The XT that I rode had the power valve all the way in which probably had something to do with it. 

In the last year I have been fortunate to ride 300 RR, 500 RR-S, 2016 KTM 350 EXC, 2017 KTM 500 ECX (one with custom suspension and one without), Husaberg 550, Beta X-trainer, Beta 300 super smooth, Gas Gas 300 trials, DRZ 400. If I could only have one it would be the one laying on the ground in the pic. It is a sweet bike. Even my KTM buddies (through clenched teeth) agreed. 

In two weeks we will be in Moab and one of the KTM guys has the 2018 KTM 300. It will be interesting to feel the difference. KTM's are awesome but I don't like the rake of the front forks. It feels like the front wheel is between my knees. I am sure that it is just what I am used to but dropping down off rock ledges I like the wheel out in front of me more. If I had never ridden the beta it would not bother me but it does now. That is true of all the KTM's I have ridden. Just preference but my Beta friends have felt the same way. 

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FE550 has to be one of the most fun motors ever!

 

If only it wasn't attached to such an awkward bike I would still have mine.

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Posted (edited)

My first Beta was a '15 350. That bike was awesome but it was sitting in the shop for engine repairs I bought a used '15 250rr-race. I really wished I bought the 2 stroke first since it's taught me much more about dirt biking than the 4t. I felt I could be "lazier " with the 350 and it would still perform. It was an awesome bike and I never really rode it to it's full potential. (I let a much faster friend borrow it, and that was immediately apparent).

I decided I couldn't keep both, and in the end the simplicity and reliability and ultimate fun factor of the 2T made it my clear choice. Perfect world I would have kept both.

 No RAGRETS!

Edited by OscarFox
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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, basalt said:

FE550 has to be one of the most fun motors ever!

 

If only it wasn't attached to such an awkward bike I would still have mine.

It was a LOT of bike! The guy that had it sold it and got the 2018 500 RR-S. He loved it but had a hard time finding parts and support. He also has the XT and loves it. 

Edited by newk75

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 I too was a die hard 4T rider, my favorite bike was my 2015 500RS..............and then my riding buddies all went 300 2T on me and would not leave me alone.   I caved in and bought a 2014 300 Race Edition with all new 2017 boingers.  I took a couple of rides and realized I had to change my riding style from years of riding big bore 4 strokes if I wanted to drink the 2T Koolaid and like it.  

I had the “aha” moment on my 5th ride, a mix of forest single track and some cool hill climbs, and that’s when I saw what all the fuss was about with these 300’s.  Granted, I miss the bottom end grunt of the 500, but this smoker with a little clutch action can do everything and at the end of the day, I’m not as worn as I would have been from horsing my 500 around.  The smoker does make you ride a little more aggressive because of the different power band, but it does not feel like you are working at all because of the lighter feel and the ability to flick the bike around easier.  At 60 years old, I like easier......

I gotta say, the 300 comes out more often than the 500 on our usual rides, but the 500 has a plate and will be doing a lot of DS rides from here on out, and will be the bike of choice when we do our desert ride this spring, no replacement for displacement...

Just thought I would join in the conversation, ride on.

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On March 26, 2018 at 9:49 PM, newk75 said:

So I found a used 2016 300 RR and bought it. 

 

I can only say, WOW. This bike is amazing.

Welcome to the dark side.

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22 hours ago, dyrtmon said:

Welcome to the dark side.

Sshhh, not so loud.....

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Sshhh, not so loud.....
Is there some kind of secret handshake?
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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, newk75 said:

Is there some kind of secret handshake?

Yup, plus that thing with the goat and a trampoline.....

Edited by hockdog
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45 minutes ago, cachunko said:

That's because Cali is stupid.

 

Hey Hey Hey, they do have that goat/trampoline thing going for them! 

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16 hours ago, newk75 said:

Hey Hey Hey, they do have that goat/trampoline thing going for them! 

Forgot about that part

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2 hours ago, cachunko said:

Forgot about that part

I'm trying....

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