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Discussion Starter #1
I don't believe I can spend enough money on the TW suspension to bring it up to hard trail snuff. I feel like I am trying to wrestle a large wild boar while avoiding ledge, steps, large rocks, and broken toes.

The trails I am now riding I am following guys with obviously better bikes meant for hard trail work. What's keeping me from crashing a lot is my mountain bike experience and body position. I know how to balance at low speeds and avoid contact with low parts of the TW, but not every time. Sometimes, I inevitably whack something, and it's exhausting trying to wrangle the TW on rough terrain for long stretches of trail. I need more core exercise!!!

Started serious looking at some new trail bikes. i was sorting through them by seat height and suspension travel. I really don't care if they have more power or not, the 200cc seems fine. It's not that I can't go fast, it's that I CAN'T or I'll get hurt. I always catch up at the intersections, but sometimes it takes a minute. And then, zoom, we are rolling again, I can't catch a break and my quads are killing me from all the standing and absorbing of terrain.

So with my "woe is me" rant done with, what would a suitable trail bike be? Suggestions? Keep reading.... Also forget about price, I am willing to pay for success. And BTW, I am KEEPING the TW200 also. Just fun. Great dual sport for taking with me in the trailer.

I have looked closely at the KTM 250 EXC-F, Husky version 250 TE almost the same bike, and the Beta Xtrainer 300. It appears that the Beta CAN be plated which is a requirement for me. The trails around here are broken with town roads, especially Pachaug SF you must be plated.

So far, I think the Beta with the 26 inch seat height might be best. It's light(er), 2 gallon tank, and over 10 inches suspension, which seems great. It looks like it can get plated here in Connecticut. I am also checking the Adv Rider forum threads for others who have had success getting plate for their "almost" street legal bikes. Apparently the Beta Xtrainer has everything except turn signals. And it is wired for signals, it just doesn't have them.
 

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I have looked closely at the KTM 250 EXC-F, Husky version 250 TE almost the same bike, and the Beta Xtrainer 300. It appears that the Beta CAN be plated which is a requirement for me. The trails around here are broken with town roads, especially Pachaug SF you must be plated.


I know what you mean. I would love to have one of the bikes you listed above just for the suspension and light weight.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sounds like you need a street legal trials bike.
Right? Trials looks like crazy fun, but of course they have no seat to speak of and would never stand a chance of getting a plate. If I was 30 years younger and had the income I would do it right now, I would have adopted that sport.

When I was young, I only dreamed of power-sport. I never had a motorized anything when I was a kid. My first transportation after getting my drivers licence was a 1985 CB450SC Nighthawk. Then I received my motorcycle endorsement. I bought a car later that year for 5 month s of NE winter. Then I was back on the MC. Did that for 3 years during college.

I'm getting into this sport later in life, but better later than never, as the saying goes. I didn't even start mountain biking until I was about 41 yrs old!! Had to have a way to exercise and not go mind numb, I hate stationary exercise machines.

Now I am in love with riding in the woods. I really hope to make it out to MOAB this coming 2018 either in the Spring or Fall.
 

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It all depends were and who you ride with. My one riding buddy rides a modded Yamaha YZ250F (big bored to 290). Out on the trails locally I can't remotely keep up with him but there all sand high speed whoops and such. I still have fun there but can't elevate the pace due to lack of skill and the TWs limitations.

BUT when we both head north into the Really technical rock crawling trails we frequent a few times a year his YZ is MISERABLE. It overheats because of the slower pace. The trans stops shifting properly because of the heat. And the gearing is too tall causing many furious kick starting events lol. And on top of that he can't complete the trails due to running out of fuel mid trail.

My thinking is I may be slower on the fast stuff but I still have fun and get threw the trails fine. On the flip side when things get slow and technical the TW is the ONLY bike I'd want to be on. As a added benefit falling off a slow bike tends to hurt less too.

Just food for thought. Every bike has its limitations even the best MX bike can be left trail side on a trail best suited for crawling and such.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Wr250f is a fantastic choice to consider. Great suspension, reliable, 20% less then KTM and parts are more reasonable.
Made me look!! It's another giraffe as far as I'm concerned. Like a KTM , Husky, etc (all of them 38 inches). My 28 inch real world inseam (29-ish with boots), is a real safety factor. Consider too I am a NOVICE rider with barely a year of riding. And not a lot of hours either. It's a tough spot to get a bike with street legality, good clearance, good suspension, lower seat height, low weight. I realized I am asking for many things and had to forget about low price too.

I think my personal equation has become thus:

" Low Weight, Low Seat Height, High Clearance, Good suspension, Low Cost - pick 3 or 4.."

Great specs on the Yamaha, even the weight is relatively low, but with a static seat height of 38 inches, it would have to get down near 34-35 for me to have a safe shot of getting one foot safely down in the woods. And I would rather have the left foot on the ground and the right on a brake for a stop on a steep hill.This means that all that awesome clearance and suspension is now somewhat eaten up by lowering the motorcycle. Only little heavier too but not bad at 258 lbs. And the 2018 Yamaha WR250F costs MORE ($8099) than the 2017 Beta Xtrainer ($7300).

Actually I think I have already made up my mind what I really want, and was wondering if there are some other bikes I may have missed in my research, remember I have to get that street plating legality out of the way as well. It can't be a bike that has NO chance of getting through a DMV inspection lane.

I'd bet the Yamaha is better on fuel efficiency though. I have thought a bit about how long I could actually ride "off-road" without being extraordinarily exhausted, and would I outlast the tank of fuel. And I answered that one last weekend at Pachaug. I am beat tired and at some point I have to simply stop riding and not get hurt due to exhaustion. I only put 60 miles on the TW at Pachaug and went through a little over a 1.3 gallons of fuel that ride. Pretty good for some low speed off road. But I admit I wasn't wringing the crap out of the engine most of the time. But sometimes I was :D .

I was at that point about an hour before we finish riding last week. I was getting worried because of upper body tiredness and leg fatigue. In fact almost every single rider crash on mountain bikes I have ever had have been somewhat later in a ride when I am tired and drooling and unable to react fast enough. i just give up and let gravity take it's course.
 

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If you are looking at the KTM or Husky go for the 350. They are about the same weight, but have way more low end torque.

You could do what I did and find a used good condition Yamaha DT200. I still need to lower the gearing for the tough steeper trails.
 

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The Beta is a fine torquey 2-smoker that with their “Build-a-Bike” program might be configurable for a license plate in some states. However for about $7,000 less you can improve the TW’s suspension and come home from a ride not smelling like 2-stroke injector oil.
I purchased a TW from Forum member Gerry that addresses some of the serious suspension shortcomings via parts swapping from historical Yamahas. Tri-Z forks adapted for disc brakes adds ~10 inches of travel up front complemented with a rebound adjustable Blaster shock out back. Gerry balanced things out so there is no “stink-bug” attitude, bike sits a few inches higher than stock but settles a bit once in the saddle so my 32” inseam can still flat-foot dab.
This modification helps tremendously in the rough stuff while still preserving the Adventure Touring capability of cargo capable TW. None of the Betas, WRs, KTMs, Huskys, DTs, etc will accept as happily a full load out of camp gear, fishing gear, chain saws,farm tools, etc as the lowly TW.
The TW really is in a class by itself so to ride another bike is to ride a different class of machine. It is an apple that doesn’t compare to any of the oranges out there.
 

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I have a 30" inseam and fit fine on the WR stock, it is doable to get down an inch or so pretty easy from what I have read. I love 2 strokes (have a KDX200) but the smell and hassle of mixing gas is a detriment. I will tell you, riding hard single track is 100% less work on the KDX then the TW. The 50lb weight difference alone is night and day.i bought my KDX for $1500, easy to work on and reliable. I plan on replacing the piston this winter and making it my single track/guest bike. The TW is my hunting rig and my DR350 is my longer range dual sport. All three together. Less than $6k with basic mods or fixes to make them how I wanted them.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm 99.9% positive going to buy the Beta Xtrainer this Friday. It is a 2 stroke, but it has an oil injection system, so it's just gas in the tank like a 4 stroke, and fill the oil injection tank every few tanks. I'll have to carry a small bottle in a tail bag. Supposedly the 2 stroke oil lasts for a few fill ups. Read online that some people have had pump failures, it has a warning in the dashboard. Then you can pour the oil directly into the tank instead like a traditional 2 stroke. And it will definitely be higher maintenance than a TW. Transmission oil changes.

That's the only bad thing I have read about it. Everyone who either has one or has ridden one loves it for a trail bike. Some good riders prefer the Enduro 300RR version because it has a different power delivery and a better suspension. But the seat height is up there on the 300 RR. I can get the 300 Xtrainer down to 34 inches with a factory lowering kit. It will still have a pile of ground clearance. And maybe shave the sides of the seat foam, might get a half inch.

I am getting aggressive about my weight loss ( lost 6 pounds in 3 weeks already!! Shooting for 15.) and my core exercises and leg stretches. I really need to get more range of movement from my legs. My overused quads restrict how far I can lift my leg over the TW.

Nervous about buying a bike before ever having tried one, but most of my motorcycles have been this way anyhow. I figure it is so popular that if I decide in a year or two I don't want it anymore it will be no problem selling a plated 2 stoke with a clean title. I think I may bring both bikes to MOAB.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm 99.9% positive going to buy the Beta Xtrainer this Friday. It is a 2 stroke, but it has an oil injection system, so it's just gas in the tank like a 4 stroke, and fill the oil injection tank every few tanks. I'll have to carry a small bottle in a tail bag. Supposedly the 2 stroke oil lasts for a few fill ups. Read online that some people have had pump failures, it has a warning in the dashboard. Then you can pour the oil directly into the tank instead like a traditional 2 stroke. And it will definitely be higher maintenance than a TW. Transmission oil changes.

That's the only bad thing I have read about it. Everyone who either has one or has ridden one loves it for a trail bike. Some good riders prefer the Enduro 300RR version because it has a different power delivery and a better suspension. But the seat height is up there on the 300 RR. I can get the 300 Xtrainer down to 34 inches with a factory lowering kit. It will still have a pile of ground clearance. And maybe shave the sides of the seat foam, might get a half inch.

I am getting aggressive about my weight loss ( lost 6 pounds in 3 weeks already!! Shooting for 15.) and my core exercises and leg stretches. I really need to get more range of movement from my legs. My overused quads restrict how far I can lift my leg over the TW.

Nervous about buying a bike before ever having tried one, but most of my motorcycles have been this way anyhow. I figure it is so popular that if I decide in a year or two I don't want it anymore it will be no problem selling a plated 2 stoke with a clean title. I think I may bring both bikes to MOAB.
It DID NOT happen today. Bummed a bit.. But all is not lost. Yet.

I am not getting a good vibe from the owner. Some confusion concerning what his emails stated as far as accessory discounts.

Also got thrown a bit of a curve when he had a pre-owned (He could not stop saying NEW) 2017 Xtrainer which has been stored in the shop, with 5 original miles, (bought in April), already plated and registered by the original owner, but the original owner is now needing to sell his bike, knee problems and baby on the way. There's already some farkle on the bike, almost all of which I find tacky and useless, except for the skid plate. But it cost a bundle to the original owner (about $600 in stuff I'm guessing). BUT the "used" bike price is , exactly MSRP??... In my opinion NOT worth it. Rather have a new one that I mod myself.

New bike.. Problem... I need it dropped 2 inches, and shave the foam one inch and it's a WIN. I brought some 2X4 blocks with me (1-1/2 inch high each) I stacked 3 inches on each side, and mounted. I will "just" make it comfortably. Balls of feet down, very slight bent knees.

New issue. The fork CAN be lowered 2 inches with a factory kit , about $168 for a spacer kit, and shorter kickstand included. But will need new springs as well ($140).

The only possibility of lowering the rear seems to be a rear link (Kouba Link - $150) - about 1-5/8 inches lower, OR getting the shock reworked for a pretty penny ($600 seems typical).

All told it will cost a LOT more than I thought it would and now I am second and third guessing my decision.

If offered $6600 for the pre-owned bike. It has been registered and has the plate, I think it should be easy to get plated in Connecticut. A brand new one will need the turn signal kit, plate mount and illumination, mirrors, and pas inspection..

Almost about to give up on it. Opinions? Advice?
 

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It DID NOT happen today. Bummed a bit.. But all is not lost. Yet.

I am not getting a good vibe from the owner. Some confusion concerning what his emails stated as far as accessory discounts.

Also got thrown a bit of a curve when he had a pre-owned (He could not stop saying NEW) 2017 Xtrainer which has been stored in the shop, with 5 original miles, (bought in April), already plated and registered by the original owner, but the original owner is now needing to sell his bike, knee problems and baby on the way. There's already some farkle on the bike, almost all of which I find tacky and useless, except for the skid plate. But it cost a bundle to the original owner (about $600 in stuff I'm guessing). BUT the "used" bike price is , exactly MSRP??... In my opinion NOT worth it. Rather have a new one that I mod myself.

New bike.. Problem... I need it dropped 2 inches, and shave the foam one inch and it's a WIN. I brought some 2X4 blocks with me (1-1/2 inch high each) I stacked 3 inches on each side, and mounted. I will "just" make it comfortably. Balls of feet down, very slight bent knees.

New issue. The fork CAN be lowered 2 inches with a factory kit , about $168 for a spacer kit, and shorter kickstand included. But will need new springs as well ($140).

The only possibility of lowering the rear seems to be a rear link (Kouba Link - $150) - about 1-5/8 inches lower, OR getting the shock reworked for a pretty penny ($600 seems typical).

All told it will cost a LOT more than I thought it would and now I am second and third guessing my decision.

If offered $6600 for the pre-owned bike. It has been registered and has the plate, I think it should be easy to get plated in Connecticut. A brand new one will need the turn signal kit, plate mount and illumination, mirrors, and pas inspection..

Almost about to give up on it. Opinions? Advice?
My advice. Take that $6600 and purchase 3 used TW's that you can allow your friends to ride and then slow down a bit and enjoy the sounds and smells of nature. Life goes by so fast why blow past all of natures beauty on your time off?




Tom
 

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What to buy?

An interesting dilemma.
As an owner of several bikes I wouldn't spend money trying to make my TW faster.
It is excellent for the leisurely smell the trees rides and does fine on the more difficult terrain.
Other bikes make a much better start if you want to modify a bike to have better suspension, more power, and lighter weight.
Or just pay the price and buy a real dirt bike from Beta, KTM(Husky), or similar.

I recommend that you make sure any offroad bike you are looking at can be licensed in your state, here in Alaska it is almost impossible.

Many Beta dealers have demonstrator bikes so that you can try one offroad.
I guess the one near you doesn't?
Where is the closest dealer who does?

The only things I have heard about the XTrainer are from the excellent cross training videos on YouTube and he raves about it.

 

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The XTrainer looks like a horse of a different color, but oh what a truly fine color! Such a different experience from a touring TW....25 mpg, a two gallon tank and a thin saddle will translate into shorter rides. Once purchased the pain of the original cost might well be soon forgotten as one re-calibrates one’s thinking as to what are reasonable maintenance, repair, operating and accessories costs. Once comfortable with idea that twice the bike comes with twice ( or thrice) the costs then all is good. Just think how much you will save on front tire costs if you ride around on the rear tire most of the time.:p

I say get the Beta and never look back.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
$600 to install a spacer in a shock? My local suspension guy installed spacers in my new KTM 250xcw for about half that...and that included the forks too! And he shortened the forks springs as well.... I went down 1.5" and cut the seat foam as well for a just under 35' seat height.
Rear spacers jobs are cheap. A real shock modification with appropriate valving costs much more.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I know I have said this before, but I do have an honest 28 inch inseam. So testing "any" brand stock bike is IMPOSSIBLE, they are too tall.

If someone is over 6 feet tall with a 35-36 inch inseam, and I ask that person to sit a motorcycle with a 43 inch seat height maybe they would comprehend why I cannot "test" a bike. It has to be modified for me.

Even the TW was a bit too high for my liking and I trimmed the foam in the Seat Concepts seat to get about an inch lower. This made for much less anxiety and also preserved the case clearance.

The TW is great, but not for the trails I want to tackle with other riders here. Thomaston Dam (very close to me) and Pachaug State Forest (60 miles away) are the only legal places in Connecticut to ride. Everything else is farther. Both of these places are HARD. I would love to have 8-10 inches fork and rear suspension travel. It would be far safer and less exhausting. The TW suspension is absolutely dual sport and built for a price point. No amount of money spent can make it what it simply cannot be.

The TW is a billy goat, I've ridden it in Thomaston and Pachaug, it can be piloted through these places, but it is SO much harder than if I had a trail bike.

For me anyway, it is NOT always about the money. That time is past, over 20 years ago. House is paid for, debt is low, a good time for toys before age and determination beat me down, which WILL eventually happen.
 

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I'm having a blast on my DT200, just need to gear it down a bit more. Stock 13-43, now 14-50 will be going to a 12-50, but will likely go back up to 13-50. (the stock 13 was too worn to use with the new chain)
All the trails I rode today I have done on the TW at a slow pace and in many areas with my ass on the seat and my feet in the air to get through the rutted out trail - Not Fun.
Today my feet were on the pegs and I was going about twice the speed of the TW and the brain was working hard to find the best line. Exhilarating! There were sections where the TW would have been a better choice - Traction and low end torque.

The TW is a great bike, but I still feel young and like the nimble handling of the DT. I also enjoy the great rides I have had with members of this forum on the TW.

Hope you find the bike you are looking for.
 
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