TroutRunner

What speed does the Xtrainer start to fail?

42 posts in this topic

I've been researching bikes and I see over and over that the suspension on the Xtrainer starts to get overwhelmed at "higher speeds".  Knowing that one man's hard trail is another man's Sunday stroll, what speed (MPH/KPH) is it that the suspension starts to fail?

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It's hard to quantify with speed, the terrain has a lot to do with it. Any sort of whoop, g-out or air time will send it crashing thru the limited travel. After changing the fork oil and stiffening all the clickers up its good enough for the average trail rider.

The bike was built for slow speed trails and trials like riding. It's not a short man's race bike unless you swap components.

For its intended purposes or as a 2nd (in my case 4th) bike, it's pretty bad ass.

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Posted (edited)

For me handling started getting sketchy in 3rd gear mid-RPM and above on anything other than flat or rolling terrain.  Application of front brake made the nose dive suddenly and abruptly way before wheel lockup in almost any situation.  The problem in all situations was primarily lack of sufficient and/or adjustable compression damping.  I increased spring rate to accommodate my heavier weight but that didn't help with damping.  If anything it just made for a stronger pogo effect.

The bike comes out of the crate sprung for 165 to 175 lbs (rider + gear), so it's no surprise that a 100 lb rider doesn't bottom out.  With full riding gear the recommended spring rate is probably at least two levels below stock.

The only thing that limits the bike in stock form to "slow speed trails and trials like riding" is the crappy stock suspension.  I can't for the life of me think why Beta would pair a poor suspension with a high performance engine and transmission just for the sake of offering an "entry-level" dirt bike bike at a lower price point.  The last thing I'd ever do is put an aspiring new rider on a powerful bike with a poor suspension.  That doesn't teach them useful skills at all.  But once the suspension is sorted out the bike is an amazingly capable machine for woods, enduro, and even racing for some riders.

FWIW I'm 6'2" tall and 245 lbs. with full riding gear.  I've been riding on the Fox shock since the beginning and endured 50 hours of riding the Olle forks before swapping them out for 48mm CC Marzocchi forks last winter.  For me the difference is nothing short of amazing.  Last week that was confirmed when riding with a friend who has a 2017 Xtrainer with stock suspension.  We swapped bikes for a few miles and the suspension difference was night and day... for both of us.

I'm not saying you can't have fun on an Xtrainer with stock suspension, as many riders obviously are having a blast and I was too.  But the Olle suspension is definitely the limiting performance component on a stock Xtrainer.

Edited by wwguy
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1 hour ago, wwguy said:

For me handling started getting sketchy in 3rd gear mid-RPM and above on anything other than flat or rolling terrain.  Application of front brake made the nose dive suddenly and abruptly way before wheel lockup in almost any situation.  The problem in all situations was primarily lack of sufficient and/or adjustable compression damping.  I increased spring rate to accommodate my heavier weight but that didn't help with damping.  If anything it just made for a stronger pogo effect.

The bike comes out of the crate sprung for 165 to 175 lbs (rider + gear), so it's no surprise that a 100 lb rider doesn't bottom out.  With full riding gear the recommended spring rate is probably at least two levels below stock.

The only thing that limits the bike in stock form to "slow speed trails and trials like riding" is the crappy stock suspension.  I can't for the life of me think why Beta would pair a poor suspension with a high performance engine and transmission just for the sake of offering an "entry-level" dirt bike bike at a lower price point.  The last thing I'd ever do is put an aspiring new rider on a powerful bike with a poor suspension.  That doesn't teach them useful skills at all.  But once the suspension is sorted out the bike is an amazingly capable machine for woods, enduro, and even racing for some riders.

FWIW I'm 6'2" tall and 245 lbs. with full riding gear.  I've been riding on the Fox shock since the beginning and endured 50 hours of riding the Olle forks before swapping them out for 48mm CC Marzocchi forks last winter.  For me the difference is nothing short of amazing.  Last week that was confirmed when riding with a friend who has a 2017 Xtrainer with stock suspension.  We swapped bikes for a few miles and the suspension difference was night and day... for both of us.

I'm not saying you can't have fun on an Xtrainer with stock suspension, as many riders obviously are having a blast and I was too.  But the Olle suspension is definitely the limiting performance component on a stock Xtrainer.

One firing pan to another! When new the zokes worked really well,,,,, 10 hrs later they get hungry.

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2 minutes ago, weantright said:

One firing pan to another! When new the zokes worked really well,,,,, 10 hrs later they get hungry.

So far so good.  I'm about to take them apart for initial inspection and service.  I meant to do it at 20 hours but got carried away with springtime riding and now they're at 30 hours.

Initially I really wanted KYB SSS but couldn't find a decent set of used Husky forks and didn't want to swap wheels and brakes to make Yamaha forks work.  After reading several threads about Beta and Gas Gas riders having issues with the Zokes I considered spending more for a new set of Sachs forks, but it seems some riders are having issues with internals on those lately too.  And for every complaint about either fork there seems to be a few riders who still think they're the cats meow.

So for now I'll enjoy them for what they are... a vast improvement over the Olle forks.

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1 hour ago, wwguy said:

For me handling started getting sketchy in 3rd gear mid-RPM and above on anything other than flat or rolling terrain.  Application of front brake made the nose dive suddenly and abruptly way before wheel lockup in almost any situation.  The problem in all situations was primarily lack of sufficient and/or adjustable compression damping.  I increased spring rate to accommodate my heavier weight but that didn't help with damping.  If anything it just made for a stronger pogo effect.

The bike comes out of the crate sprung for 165 to 175 lbs (rider + gear), so it's no surprise that a 100 lb rider doesn't bottom out.  With full riding gear the recommended spring rate is probably at least two levels below stock.

The only thing that limits the bike in stock form to "slow speed trails and trials like riding" is the crappy stock suspension.  I can't for the life of me think why Beta would pair a poor suspension with a high performance engine and transmission just for the sake of offering an "entry-level" dirt bike bike at a lower price point.  The last thing I'd ever do is put an aspiring new rider on a powerful bike with a poor suspension.  That doesn't teach them useful skills at all.  But once the suspension is sorted out the bike is an amazingly capable machine for woods, enduro, and even racing for some riders.

FWIW I'm 6'2" tall and 245 lbs. with full riding gear.  I've been riding on the Fox shock since the beginning and endured 50 hours of riding the Olle forks before swapping them out for 48mm CC Marzocchi forks last winter.  For me the difference is nothing short of amazing.  Last week that was confirmed when riding with a friend who has a 2017 Xtrainer with stock suspension.  We swapped bikes for a few miles and the suspension difference was night and day... for both of us.

I'm not saying you can't have fun on an Xtrainer with stock suspension, as many riders obviously are having a blast and I was too.  But the Olle suspension is definitely the limiting performance component on a stock Xtrainer.

I've have not seen anything anywhere in Beta's marketing that suggests the XTrainer is targeted as an entry level dirt bike. The Beta 125 is built for that purpose. From what I can tell, they built the Xtrainer to fill the gap between trials and off-road, so as the name implies it's a cross-trainer. They had a great powerplant platform to work with in the 250/300 engine and chose the 300 over the 250 because of the smooth torquey nature. Because of the reduced size the general public sees it as a great entry level bike for ladies or lighter riders and in some ways it does meet those needs. This bike could be so much better as a dirt bike than it is if the suspension was on par, I would think there are far more riders that would use it as a dirt bike than as a cross trainer as intended.

 

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Posted (edited)

17 minutes ago, silver_fox said:

I've have not seen anything anywhere in Beta 's marketing that suggests the XTrainer is targeted as an entry level dirt bike. The Beta 125 is built for that purpose. From what I can tell, they built the Xtrainer to fill the gap between trials and off-road, so as the name implies it's a cross-trainer. They had a great powerplant platform to work with in the 250/300 engine and chose the 300 over the 250 because of the smooth torquey nature. Because of the reduced size the general public sees it as a great entry level bike for ladies or lighter riders and in some ways it does meet those needs. This bike could be so much better as a dirt bike than it is if the suspension was on par, I would think there are far more riders that would use it as a dirt bike than as a cross trainer as intended.

 

If what you say it true (see below) Beta screwed the pooch! Maybe the wording "entry level" was an excuse for the lower budget suspension??? When riders over rode the suspension Beta can say "entry level".

Didn't have to go far to see entry level associated to the XT. Still a good bike for an entry level riding.

http://www.betausa.com/sites/default/files/pdf/12pager11x6.BETAsm.pdf

Edited by weantright
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Thanks for the help, maybe comments on size of rider and where it fails would be useful.

 

5'10, 200 lbs. I changed the oil to 15 weight.

 

Fails on charging whoops, coming up short or casing jumps and high speed rough terrain. Even though it's not the best suspension, you can still ride at a spirited pace. High speed, it sketched me out a little bit just taking it up the road to run it through the gears.

 

Shines on rocks, roots, logs, ledges, hills and slippery terrain.

 

To say the suspension sucks is arbitrary.

Too many people want it to be something it isn't. Beta marketed the bike for exactly what it is. The magazines evaluate and review it for what it is. If you want a serious off road bike or racer there is the RR, race edition or suspension upgrades.

 

There are no shortage of YouTube videos that show what the bike is capable of.

 

 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, wwguy said:

Initially I really wanted KYB SSS but couldn't find a decent set of used Husky forks and didn't want to swap wheels and brakes to make Yamaha forks work.  

 

Certain CRF forks are a near perfect match. See my thread regarding swap.

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7 minutes ago, weantright said:

If what you say it true (see below) Beta screwed the pooch! Maybe the wording "entry level" was an excuse for the lower budget suspension??? When riders over rode the suspension Beta can say "entry level".

Didn't have to go far to see entry level associated to the XT. Still a good bike for an entry level riding.

http://www.betausa.com/sites/default/files/pdf/12pager11x6.BETAsm.pdf

Haha, I stand corrected. Entry Level in big bold letter yet!! 

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Thanks for the insight.  I'm 6'2" 205 lbs without gear.  Makes sense that a faster rider who weighs more would find the limits sooner.  3rd gear in rough terrain about sums it up.  Keeping my eye on the 300rr or the 390rs...

Thanks again for the help.

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5 hours ago, basalt said:

Certain CRF forks are a near perfect match. See my thread regarding swap.

Link please?

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It's like beta made the most awesome-est pie in the world and dumped a big pile of dog shit right in the middle of it.
It's bad enough that the stock stuff is severely limiting. It's also a horrendous design and extremely poor quality.
Too bad to because it could have easily been one of the best bikes ever built.

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I've noticed that most of the complaints about the forks come from heavier riders, presumably because the valving design is limited in controlling heavier springs.  I've also noticed that lighter riders, such as myself, don't seem to have the degree of disappointment that is often voiced.  I'm no beginner, and raced A level cross-country for years, and although I am old and tired, I can still push the bike at speed for shorter periods of time.  I'm at 150 lbs, and I can work the XT pretty hard through 6th gear in rough terrain without much issue.  I have changed the oil to 10 wt, and noticed on a hot day the damping is still a bit loose, so another upgrade to 15 wt (maybe with a bit more volume too) should cure that.  I also have the 390 RR-S, and the difference in fork action is apparent but more "different" than "better" in most situations as the heavier weight of the RR-S is an issue in of itself in rough terrain.  To those that consider the XT forks to be "junk" I say maybe you bought the wrong tool for the job - the vast majority of users will love the fork action for trail riding and tight enduro-type work.

I just had an epic ride yesterday...pinned under the XT for 15 minutes, looped out on an old dusty hill climb just at the top....sweated easily two quarts....worked every nasty trail I could find.  I had the time of my life.  I absolutely love the XT for what it is made for, forks and all.

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The XTrainer is a bit of a two-fold compromise in my opinion.  In the hands of a beginner who would be riding easier trails at slower speeds it's a perfectly fine bike due to it's light weight, low (relatively) seat height and good amount of low end power.   In the hands of a skilled technical rider on rocks, roots, ledges, etc it came be very competent.   Yes, it certainly has it's limits at speed but it wasn't designed to do that to begin with.  The folks who want a go-fast ride should choose the 300RR or one of the other bikes (KTM, Husky, etc).   I suppose you could do enough modifications to a XTrainer to make it go fast but you'd end up with a 300RR.  It's a great bike for me because I ride hard, technical slow speed trails, seldom above 3rd gear.   If I want to go somewhere more wide open then I take my KTM 300 XC-W.  The beauty of the XTrainer is that my wife can ride it too on easier trails.  It serves two purposes but one of them is not going fast on whoops or other high speed trails.

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I love reading bad reviews about the XTrainer.

Why? Because I think it's just a great bike.

I don't ride fast... I don't really do any real jumps, maybe end up 2-3' off the ground on occasion... I like more technical riding rather than fast singletrack.

It really is the perfect bike for my riding style and ability.

Don't give the bike shit if you're not using it for what it was intended.

It's like if I review a KTM 125 2-stroke bike, and wrote a review about how shitty it was on the local 200km dual sport route, and raged about how I have to carry so much fuel with me, and that it was buzzy on the highway sections, and the subframe broke when I loaded it with gear.

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Posted (edited)

 

21 hours ago, Old Plonker said:

Link please?

https://www.thumpertalk.com/forums/topic/1201001-fixed-my-fork-issues/

Note the CRF450R went to air forks in 2013, so the years that work are up to -'12 not -'13 like my initial post says. Forks of the 250R should work but I think they were Showas. Some think they may be the best spring forks ever mad

 

 

Edited by basalt
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You are exactly right!  I too use it for it's intended purpose, tight technical trails.  It cracks me up when people post questions like why doesn't Beta make a "racing version" of the XT!  They do, it's called the RR Race Version.   This bike is not designed for jumping table tops or doing a whoop section in 4th or 5th gear.  If you do want a little more power you can shave the head, put on a thinner base gasket, play with the power valve, etc.   But again, adding more power to go fast is going to overwhelm the suspension.  Sure you can change the forks, change the rear shock but you'd end up with a 300RR!   Why not just buy a 300RR if you want to go fast?  

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