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Old 05-01-2012, 12:26 PM   #1
ThrottleJock OP
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Joined: Sep 2007
Location: North Carolina
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Confirmation: Trials bikes ROCK as trail bikes

I was yearning for a good dirt ride this weekend but I didn't get moving 'til about noon which precluded me from driving across town to the storage unit to get the dirt bike loaded, trailer hitched, etc. if I wanted to get any riding in before dinner, so instead I just threw my gas gas on the hitch rack and headed for the (foot)hills.

I spent the first hour putting around up and down side-hills, trying to make a semi-challenging course out of the few large rocks and obstacles strewn alongside one of the gnarlier trails, then I sort of ran out of interested and headed back to the truck to refuel.

While sitting there, a group of 4 guys on "big" bikes (YZ250F, YZ250, Gas Gas EC250, YZ125) set up for woods (well they had bark busters at least and claimed race hare scrambles) pulled up and were predictably enamored with the Raga. Trials bikes always draw a crowd. Anyway, they were gassing up and going back and invited me to tag along. I aired my tires up to 9psi/6psi, emptied a 1 liter jug of water into my gullet and refilled it with VP, topped off the mighty .8 gallon tank and we were off.

Holy crap, the little Raga RIPS! I'm a competitive guy, have raced various forms of bicycles and motorcycles off and on for 30yrs, and even though something about it felt like I was abusing the bike and my transmission might break at any moment, I wasn't about to let those guys drop me in the woods. About half of the ride consisted of "black diamond" or "double black diamond" trails that were obviously beneficial for the type of bike I was on. Gnarly, tight, rooty, rocky, cross-rutty messes. The bike was a dream on that stuff, it was just STUCK. It's so light and torquey and easy to change direction with that it felt like cheating. Zero drama, I was able to maintain 5th gear down these trails, lugging it and clutching it. It just floated over the nasty stuff. The other half of the trails were smooth, bermed double-track which was open to ATV's and stuff. I was certain that in these sections I'd be hosed, smoked, roosted, out classed and under-biked. Not the case. We were ROLLING. 5th and 6th gear. That little bike just STICKS! I was feet-up (obviously) through the berms, pinned in 5th gear and wheelying out, bounding from section to section, lofting the bike over obstacles, doing 60mph bunnyhops over the big stuff... it was hilarious fun. I NEVER would have imagined these bikes were so capable at higher speeds. The only stuff I had to be careful on was big impacts. Obviously no big jumps to flat - if there wasn't a nice down slope to land on I tried to stay on the ground by "speed jumping" rollers like you would on a downhill mtn bike or bmx bike. The YZ and EC 250's were eating my lunch out of turns when I was in-between 4th and 5th gears (a huge step) and I'd have to maintain momentum and higher cornerspeed in order to stay on pace. Also, I wasn't able to skim across deep puddles as well as it seemed i would be able to if i were on a big bike. Again probably a factor of a big flywheel and slower-revving motor than I'm used to for aggressive trail riding. The suspension was surprisingly plenty adequate for 95% of the situations encountered, and it was easy to ride around that issue by taking it a little easier over the big hits. And the brakes... the brakes on these things are incredible even at pretty significant speeds!

"Light is right", haha. I'm hooked. My dirt bike is going to grow cobwebs.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:59 PM   #2
Shercoman
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One of the best days of my riding life was spent doing exactly what you just did.There was a little snow on the ground but it was soft enough for perfect traction.No ice.
I got to the burger place (right off the trail) long before the other riders.I was doing all the thing you mentioned and laughing the whole time.
Sounds like you had an awesome day....thanks for reminding me!!!


Will you do it again?
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:10 PM   #3
ThrottleJock OP
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Yeah for sure, I'm seriously going to ride this thing as a play bike now in addition to my regularly scheduled trials routine :). I've got hardly any money in it so if I kill it, I'll consider it a lesson and will have enjoyed every minute on it up 'til that point. To be fair, I am trying to be gentle with the tranny, using the clutch, deliberately and patiently shifting when necessary but mostly just leaving it in one gear and lugging/clutching... I ran 80:1 mixture that day but I may go to 70:1 for the next off road misadventure, and I change the tranny fluid every time I ride anyway so the bike may just survive the abuse.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:13 PM   #4
Shercoman
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Yes,go richer on the oil doing that. I was chasing a bunch of Jeepers doing the same thing and siezed mine on the road.It didn't lock up tight but was "getting tight" so I shut it off. Let it cool down and it started right back up.
That bike is still running and has never been rebuilt. Tough little sucker. 2002 Sherco 290
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:29 AM   #5
gybeman
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Yup, it can be fun.
I was going to say don't forget to richen it up a bit too. I use roughly 70:1 when theres longer trail riding involved or just add a splash of the leftover 50:1 enduro bike gas. Good way to clean out the exhaust but I've seen a friends pipe start a spooge fire inside the pipe when we came to a stop, so watch out for that after any prolonged fast sections. Its easier on the gear box if you can gear it to use either 4th or 5th and avoid the big gap clunk, and watch out for stumps with the lower footpegs !
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:05 AM   #6
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Baaah, did it again this weekend (trail ride on trials bike) and ended up cutting a rear tire sidewall on a sharp rock. Short ride. Still tons o fun.

Next time I'll bring my enduro bike as a backup!
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:45 PM   #7
AteamNM
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We set a trials for a few years in conjunction with a Hare Scrambles in Angle Fire NM. We met up with the big bike boys to ride their loop and check out the terrain. I was wondering if we would be able to keep up. The open ski runs going up hill they ate our lunch. But coming back down the mountain and riding tight technical single track, they could not even keep up, especially when crossing logs. We stopped about half way down and they killed their engines as we did. But we just stood there on our bikes with no kick stands. Track stand - balance. After a few minutes they realized we were balanced. They were very appreciative of our riding and the quickness of the trials bikes. Limited fuel range and not the power, but no issues at all shredding the nar. Sort of hate to wind out the Gas Gas but dang it was fun. They included a trials class in the C class for us to ride. Many in our club beat a lot of C class riders. Maybe a 8 mile loop and the mud bogs were a breeze with exception to getting around the stuck bikes. Change out the sprockets, change the fuel mix, add a bit more air and grip it - rip it.
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:47 PM   #8
Mabuhay
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Did the same here. I've been riding my KTM 450 EXC for a couple of years and got a BETA EVO 2T 250 for trails.
It's a great trail bike and only have two issues with it, the gearing and fuel range.
I fixed the range issue by installing the Beta Long Range Tank/Seat.
Since the foot pegs are closer to the rear, I have to take my foot off the foot-peg to change gears. I guess this was done to prevent trials riders to accidentally hit the shifter.
Also the ratios of the gears were not selected for high-speed riding. My guess the 1st gear of my KTM is equal to the 3rd gear of my Beta. But it's all good. When I park the two bikes in the garage, the beta looks like a bicycle :)



Quote:
Originally Posted by ThrottleJock View Post
I was yearning for a good dirt ride this weekend but I didn't get moving 'til about noon which precluded me from driving across town to the storage unit to get the dirt bike loaded, trailer hitched, etc. if I wanted to get any riding in before dinner, so instead I just threw my gas gas on the hitch rack and headed for the (foot)hills.

I spent the first hour putting around up and down side-hills, trying to make a semi-challenging course out of the few large rocks and obstacles strewn alongside one of the gnarlier trails, then I sort of ran out of interested and headed back to the truck to refuel.

While sitting there, a group of 4 guys on "big" bikes (YZ250F, YZ250, Gas Gas EC250, YZ125) set up for woods (well they had bark busters at least and claimed race hare scrambles) pulled up and were predictably enamored with the Raga. Trials bikes always draw a crowd. Anyway, they were gassing up and going back and invited me to tag along. I aired my tires up to 9psi/6psi, emptied a 1 liter jug of water into my gullet and refilled it with VP, topped off the mighty .8 gallon tank and we were off.

Holy crap, the little Raga RIPS! I'm a competitive guy, have raced various forms of bicycles and motorcycles off and on for 30yrs, and even though something about it felt like I was abusing the bike and my transmission might break at any moment, I wasn't about to let those guys drop me in the woods. About half of the ride consisted of "black diamond" or "double black diamond" trails that were obviously beneficial for the type of bike I was on. Gnarly, tight, rooty, rocky, cross-rutty messes. The bike was a dream on that stuff, it was just STUCK. It's so light and torquey and easy to change direction with that it felt like cheating. Zero drama, I was able to maintain 5th gear down these trails, lugging it and clutching it. It just floated over the nasty stuff. The other half of the trails were smooth, bermed double-track which was open to ATV's and stuff. I was certain that in these sections I'd be hosed, smoked, roosted, out classed and under-biked. Not the case. We were ROLLING. 5th and 6th gear. That little bike just STICKS! I was feet-up (obviously) through the berms, pinned in 5th gear and wheelying out, bounding from section to section, lofting the bike over obstacles, doing 60mph bunnyhops over the big stuff... it was hilarious fun. I NEVER would have imagined these bikes were so capable at higher speeds. The only stuff I had to be careful on was big impacts. Obviously no big jumps to flat - if there wasn't a nice down slope to land on I tried to stay on the ground by "speed jumping" rollers like you would on a downhill mtn bike or bmx bike. The YZ and EC 250's were eating my lunch out of turns when I was in-between 4th and 5th gears (a huge step) and I'd have to maintain momentum and higher cornerspeed in order to stay on pace. Also, I wasn't able to skim across deep puddles as well as it seemed i would be able to if i were on a big bike. Again probably a factor of a big flywheel and slower-revving motor than I'm used to for aggressive trail riding. The suspension was surprisingly plenty adequate for 95% of the situations encountered, and it was easy to ride around that issue by taking it a little easier over the big hits. And the brakes... the brakes on these things are incredible even at pretty significant speeds!

"Light is right", haha. I'm hooked. My dirt bike is going to grow cobwebs.
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:21 PM   #9
Bultaco206
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Is the seat in the Beta kit a decent piece? I'm trying to justify the expense.
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:55 PM   #10
Mabuhay
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Nope, it's US$450.00
But it's perfect for its purpose.

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Is the seat in the Beta kit a decent piece? I'm trying to justify the expense.
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:40 PM   #11
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Hey ThrottleJock, where in NC are you riding? I ride a Sherco 2.5 at Uwharrie a lot instead of my 300xc-w, they'll surprise you on the trails!!
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bashed View Post
Hey ThrottleJock, where in NC are you riding? I ride a Sherco 2.5 at Uwharrie a lot instead of my 300xc-w, they'll surprise you on the trails!!
I'm in Charlotte so I ride around here, mostly Carolina Adventure World (I bring my woods bike too and make a day of it) for my trail riding, or for trial-specific riding I ride out at Lake Houser in Shelby or up at a spot in Thurmond, NC where Metrolina Trials had their event a few weeks ago. I'd forgotten all about Uwharrie! I need to check that place out again.
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:23 PM   #13
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I saw Cody Webb absolutely freakin flying through the trails last weekend! He got to his pits and the bike was smoking! He had a big grin on his face!
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