Beginners bike or extreme enduro secret weapon?
Dirtpunk have bought ourselves a brand spanking new Beta Xtrainer and we’re going to be doing a long term test in both UK slippery, muddy, rainy, mizzling and drizzling conditions and Spanish technical, single track rocky madness. We’ll be doing all the usual stuff people do to new bikes… adding farkles, riding it, racing it, breaking it, loving the good bits and moaning about the bad bits, all here in our blog… SO YOU DON’T HAVE TOO!
For this intro we’ve decided to interview ourselves to get the lowdown on the thinking behind getting the Xtrainer (it also makes the blog seem more hip, street, dangerous and down with the kids… braap!).
“Yo Dirtpunk! Have you got anything you want to get off your chest before we get into the nitty gritty?”
Let’s get this out of the way from the start… the Dirtpunk team should be well known for being a pretty appalling race team, but maybe more embarrassingly we’re probably even better known for being (mainly) unashamed KTM sluts when it comes to our Enduro tackle… we’ve owned (read that abused) all manner of 2 and 4-stroke ginger dirtbikes from Austria over the years (in ALL the colours they come in)…
In the orange corner we’ve had KTM EXC 250 and 300 2-strokes, and 250, 350, 400, 450, 500 and even 690 four-strokes, in the blue corner it’s been the Husaberg TE300 2-stroke and FE501 four-stroke, and finally in the white(ish) and er, blue corner we’ve abused the Husqvarna TE250 and 300 2-strokes and FE250 and 350 four-strokes.
We also currently run a 2016 KTM 250EXC-F and 2014 350EXC-F for (shit) team racing duties.
“All of that stuff looks like serious Enduro tackle… what’s your thinking behind getting a ‘play bike’?”
Two words… extreme riding and short legs. Shit, that’s five.
“OK, short team is it?”
No, mainly the boss, only the boss actually, the rest of us are normal sized ‘proper’ men, he’s just a pussy boy who can’t get his feet down on proper enduro tackle… anyhoo, he entered an extreme enduro in Spain this year called Red Bull Nirvana Xtreme. Of course there were lots of very good/pro riders smashing it on full size KTM and Beta 2-stroke Enduro bikes, but half way through as he sat hunched over his bike, breathing hard through a minor heart attack/stroke, he noticed there were also some riders rinsing it on the Beta Xtrainer.
“A beginner’s/play bike had enough grunt to tackle an extreme enduro?”
And some! Ben Hemingway came 8th in the notoriously hardcore Hell’s Gate Extreme Enduro on the Beta Xtrainer ‘play bike’… if Ben can do it on this bike, then surely we can ;). Plus, there’s no two ways about it… even detuned, a 300 2-stroke (with a powervalve!) is never really going to be a ‘beginners bike’ is it?
“Wait a minute, if you wanted a smaller Enduro bike, why did you get a Beta Xtrainer and not a KTM Freeride (being the total KTM fanboys you are)?”
Because the KTM Freeride is not a smaller Enduro bike like the Beta Xtrainer is, and from what we’ve heard/read on the interwebs, Freerides don’t work properly (and from our experience, there is no way we’re riding a 2-stroke KTMs with only an electric start!). We also do the odd bit of trials (mainly badly, with teammate Rom “Rommel” Dobbs being the exception), but KTM don’t make trials bikes… so for that we have a Beta Evo 300 – and she’s a peach, so Beta has always been on the radar.
“What do the team think about the bike?”
Paul Castle (chief bottle washer): We only picked it up last night, and so far we’ve only had approx. 20 minutes on her in really wet and slippery UK winter conditions… so far, like the Beta Evo 300, she’s a peach!
Mike Homo: Looks quite nice to me, not seen any of these in Preston yet… might get one for Billy Doms for Christmas, ta-ra.
Cecil Debris: FFS, they’ll be wanting to ride PW50s next! Takes the f*cking piss.
“I’m really enjoying this interview format, can we do it next time?”
Really. It’s going to be hard facts from now on.
If you want to see more of the bike and what someone with skills (unlike us) can get out of it, check out this video from the great guys over at CROSS TRAINING, ENDUROCROSS & ENDURO TECHNIQUES
Want one? Got questions? Got one? Got tips? Leave us a comment…