Old Plonker

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About Old Plonker

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    CRF150R Trail Bike Conversion
    Beta X-Trainer 300

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  1. Agreed that the 2018 FR250F looks really good: Unfortunately, KTM USA thinks that we yanks don't like the 4-stroke FRs (remember the 350?): http://www.ktm.com/us/e-ride/freeride-e-xc-2018-ng/#menu-1073744817 Click on the Freeride link: nothing. Click on the E-Ride link and there is the Freeride E-XC NG. That's what we get. Unless we move to Canada.
  2. ...and clean the inside of your airbox, grease the filter seat, and clean and oil your filter with that sticky xhit that feels like pine pitch on your hands. Make sure the filter is seated exactly. Those scuffs look like dust got through your filter. Shame to let it happen again.
  3. This is good advice. I got a sick feeling just looking at your pictures. But there's hope. To clean the threads, borrow or buy the proper die, and after wire brushing the debris out of the threads, run it carefully down the shaft to chase the threads. Then try it with a new nut, and if it binds at all, rechase the threads and try again. Repeat until the nut goes on smoothly all the way. Pray. On reassembly, be sure the threads where the nut seats are fully intact (no buggered threads under the nut). Pray some more. Button it up and enjoy the Rekluse. Good luck (maybe I should say blessings).
  4. ...or a bead of marine filled epoxy inside. (Done this a time or two.)
  5. HDR, my point is, that for the bikes you have, and the bikes you've ridden and where you ride, I don't doubt that 6 speeds are better, but that doesn't mean 6 speeds are better in all cases. mxGIANT actually spreads the ratios on his 5-speed to smooth out the power of his TM300. For him that's how he likes it for where and how and on what he rides. And mxGIANT, I had to laugh a how easy it is to turn a gappy 5-speed into a close ratio 4-speed!
  6. HDR, it's simply that the 300 and the 250 share the same cases and transmission ratios, but have different engine output. GP and others have noted that the 250 feels gappy. Choosing different ratios for each individual gear, and perhaps closing the spread of ratios overall (since the 250 might not effectively pull the same top-end) could make that sense of gappiness go away if it were significant enough. But that would add to the cost because of engineering time, inventory, and assembly differences. These are the compromises that manufacturers have to make all the time. Bigger makers like KTM can build close ratio bikes for speed oriented uses (SX, XC), and wide ratio bikes for events requiring greater flexibility (XCW), because it expands their (already high-volume) market enough to make it economically feasible. Here's a question for you: if six speeds is better than five, why not seven? or eight? or nine? Hell, lets go for ten. But really, why? Why not an infinite number of ratios that you never even have to shift? This is a reality in my newest car. It has a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), and it is great. The ratio spread is greater than my last car, so the lowest ratio is more than half a gear lower than its predecessor, and the highest ratio is almost a whole gear higher than the old one so it accelerates from a stop better than my old car that had more power, and it is more relaxed at highway speeds. I think this technology will be coming to our dirt bikes sometime soon (actually, my first two wheeler, a Cushman scooter, had a variation of this driveline back in 1948, with a centrifugal clutch and two conical "sprockets" that changed ratios as speed changed, with the engine just droning away at its torque peak. With cars, people hated the CVT when it first came out because of this engine droning sound, so now they program in virtual gears, so my car feels like it has seven speeds. Oh well. Some people go so much by their feelings that they can't appreciate the engineering that makes things work.
  7. Mismatched engine characteristics and gearbox ratios can be a royal PITA. I'm thinking of my '61 BSA C-15-S that had a close-ratio 4-speed transmission and a torqueless (and powerless) 250cc engine. It was my sole transportation so I rode the wheels off of it on the pavement and the dirt, with precedence to the pavement. Geared up enough to be useful as a street bike, it took significant clutch slippage to get going in first gear (this was standard gearing, by the way). BSA eventually poked and stroked it to 441cc, and with essentially the same gearbox it became rideable. Also in the early 60's, there weren't many ready-built racers available, so street bikes were seriously fettled to make them into racers. Many of those bikes had ill-conceived engine mods resulting in overly narrow powerbands but lots of top-end power. With standard ratio street-oriented ratios, they found they had built unrideable bikes with wide ratios and not enough torque to pull the spreads. In an ideal world, the choice of ratio spread, the number of gears, and gear-to-gear gaps would be engineered for each individual model of bike, but economics rears it's head in the real world, especially for a "small" maker like Beta. If the 250 were so gappy that if felt neutered, then Beta would probably have re-engineered the gearbox. There's a fine line between engineering excellence and economic reality.
  8. LMFAO.
  9. In my experience (over 65 years of riding an uncountable number of bikes) the question of how many speeds there are in the gearbox is only relevant in the context of the shape of the power curve of the engine and the spread of ratios in the gearbox. An engine with lots of torque over a wide spread of rpms combined with a gearbox with a wide spread of ratios can actually be better with fewer gears as long as the gaps are covered by adequate torque to keep the drive going (unless, of course, you want a super overdrive top gear for cruising on the pavement—but aren't we talking dirt bikes here?) Of course the opposite is true also (peaky engines like more gears). I'm thinking of some European 50cc ISDN bikes from the '50s and 60s that were so peaky the they had something like 11 speeds in the gearbox.
  10. "Plain and simple Betas are built tough and we have learned this by riding the wheels off of them and working on them as well." Read more at https://dirtbiketest.com/fresh-dirt/2017-beta-300-rr-race-edition-long-term-update/#LOF0uICv6JOELEL1.99
  11. The sleeping giant has awakened (Dated Nov. 10, 2017): https://www.dirtrider.com/2018-beta-125-rr-first-look Hot news indeed! Ouch! I bit my tongue laughing so hard with tongue in cheek. Seriously: they just found Beta's press release.
  12. Just received an email from Beta showing the 2018 XT. All about the engine (like the RRs with new clutch). No mention of suspension upgrades. Bummer.
  13. It really depends on the weigh and speed of the rider. I bought my bike from a racer who had outgrown the 150. He chose to resort to a Fox shocking and heavier spring in the rear, but just revalved and resprung the front. For a lighter rider who is really fast, the stock units seem to do very well, although a revalve by a competent service is a good option.
  14. Although you can't easily change the plastic, there are some really amazing graphics kits out there that make a huge difference. You can even design your own.
  15. ...and then there are the 200s, a magic number in dirt bike in my opinion (whether 2 strokes or 4, air head or wet) My '81 XR200 was slow (especially at 7-10,000 ft.) but it felt like nothing could stop it. My friend Bob had an IT200 of about the same vintage with serious suspension work and modest, but well chosen engine mods, and it was a ripper that chugged almost as well as my XR, and would flat run away from it when the trail opened up. For years I looked for a clean and affordable little Katoom EXC, 2005 or so, but all I could find was clean or cheap (but maybe not so affordable to get clean), so I have no personal experience of them except for a few test rides which stoked my appetite. I can't count the number of fine 125s I have ridden or owned, but the 200 is to the 125 partly what the 300 is to the 250: it feels a little heavier and less agile, but reverses the fun factor by being a lot easier to keep at a good pace without so much drama. If Beta does it right, keeping the weight low and the size modest, with typical Beta power—if in fact they do build it—I suspect the 200 will be another super hit much like the XT was, maybe more so.