The third update for ADB's Beta Xtrainer 300 long-term test bike as published in ADB issue #454 - July 2017.
Mods this month: High-volume coolant pump, iMX graphics, Barkbuster handsheilds
Mods next month: Pipe guard, taller seat
I was excited about heading to Canberra for the Kowen Forest Ride with the new Beta Xtrainer 300, keen to see how the nimble machine would fair in the never-ending pine forest singletrack. Kowen has been off-limits to the public for years (except when the DSMRA comes to town once a year) and the last time I had the pleasure of riding in it was about 10 years ago.
I was on a clapped-out Gas Gas 200 with linkage bearings held together with duct tape. Ten years later I was back on a bike designed for tight, technical trails like Kowen’s.
There was work to be done though. I needed to prepare the stock Xtrainer for two days of bush bashing. Early rides on it confirmed I needed hand protection.
Vines and branches were grabbing the brake and clutch levers way too often. It was getting dangerous and I knew it would be worse at Kowen. I didn’t want wrap-around handguards so I went for a pair of Barkbuster VPS Motocross Handguards.
They are an open-ended shield that mounts to the ’bar with one alloy clamp. If you’re familiar with Barkbuster products you’ll know that the build quality is incredible. The clamps, fasteners and plastic foils are all made from high-quality material and are built to last. Fitting was easy and, once installed, they felt sturdy on the handlebar.
They have much less flex than other handguards I’ve used because of the alloy clamp but the plastic shields and nylon brackets are malleable so won’t crack.
The Xtrainer was due for an oil change, as the manual says to drain and replace the gearbox oil after the first three hours. It was a 10-minute job and anyone with two-stroke experience will have no problems. GRO Gear Extreme 75W is the oil Beta Australia recommends. Due to the smallish radiators on the Xtrainer, the thermo fan is occasionally forced to work overtime if you’re riding in slow, techy terrain. A fix is to increase the size of the coolant pump impeller and it’s a simple job.
Beta’s online parts store has a high-volume pump kit that includes a larger impeller and spacer to increase the volume of the housing. It improves coolant circulation, keeping the engine temperature down.
The Xtrainer attracted some attention parked under the ADB pit tent at the Kowen Forest Ride, despite being next to the #42 machine of Tye Simmonds. Most people were drawn to its size and tiny expansion chamber but I wasn’t the only one repping the Xtrainer. There were a handful of blokes on the three-hunge and plenty of other Betas getting around.
Kowen is slow-speed riding and suited the Xtrainer well but on a few high-speed sections with snaking tree roots littering the forest floor the deflection was noticeable. It’s relatively low mass and 43mm fork legs do mean you get some front wheel deflection but it’s a point to work on down the track. Beta brand and promotions manager Ben Grabham has told me about a new cartridge for the fork that helps solve the problem.
I found the Xtrainer easy to manage through the 70km plus of singletrack even as I got tired towards the end of the day. The Xtrainer has also been treated to a fresh look from iMXaus. It does custom graphics and has a selection of awesome designs ready to go for any make and model plus it offers free shipping.
Next on the agenda is a pipe guard and I’m going to look into a taller seat to raise the perch closer to the RR level.
Digital Editor Olly Malone