We’ve been back over to Spain with a big box of farkles (that’s sparkly upgrades for our non-American readers) to create an Xtrainer on steroids.
As we prematurely ended our last ride by killing the standard pipe, first thing we bolted on was the Beta 300RR FMF Gnarly pipe and a carbon pipe guard from UK company Pro-Carbon Racing.
The Gnarly pipe fits straight on the bike with no mods, and the carbon guard fits the pipe like a glove. The guard looks to be of nice quality but it doesn’t offer the same coverage as other guards. It does look like it’ll protect from most impacts (being usually frontal) nicely though.
The Gnarly transforms the bike, turning it into a bit of an animal!
We managed to put a fair old dent in the left rad with just one off on our first Spanish outing so it was time to get some rad braces. The only ones we could find in the UK were surprisingly affordable from Meca System – the French company usually renowned for their ‘outrageously’ expensive Rally Parts.
The braces look nice and solid and aren’t hit by the forks on full lock – they do foul the non-standard Gnarly pipe though…
…but a quick bit of persuasion with the file on a Leatherman tool soon sorted that out.
We’ve warped enough brake rotors out in the rocks of Spain to know it’s worth getting some brake protection… Enduro Engineering make a nice machined rear fin that replaces the rear caliper hanger, it actually feels a similar weight to the cast hanger we swapped it with. We couldn’t find a Beta front disc guard in time, anyone know of one please holler in the comments!
In an effort to save our lady wrists out in the mega-rocky Spanish terrain we stole some KTM PDS bar clamps off of our rally bike. They fitted perfectly with no mods… niiiiice!
As 99KG for the Xtrainer was feeling a bit lardy we thought we’d stick in a Lithium battery that weighs just slightly less than air… saving kilos over the lead acid version. It was actually meant for our KTM 350EXC, but in a fit of greed I swapped out the Lithium for the Xtrainer battery instead. Strangely though, it just did not want to play nice on the first outing and seemed to make the starter not hook up properly? It then went completely flat in a rocky riverbed after numerous restarts… great with no kicker and no way of bump starting!
We’re not sure whether it was because it wasn’t the right model battery for the Xtrainer, but a quick swap of battery in the field meant the Xtrainer worked great again with the correct lead acid battery and the Lithium battery worked just fine in the four stroke KTM all weekend… weird.
We stuck a front hall loop on too from our friends at Kriega… (great for pulling bikes with flat Lithium batteries out of rocky riverbeds!).
But, probably the greatest upgrade cost less than £10… 15w fork oil.
The fork oil really did transform the bike into something you could ride really fast (and was proven in race conditions). The damping was improved no-end, but it did sometimes feel a little harsh on impacts from jumps. It was also a super easy upgrade, as only one of the forks needed to have it’s oil replaced (the other has only the spring and no damping).
Don’t get us wrong, the bike is still softly sprung compared to modern Enduro bikes, but the oil definitely helps. I think we’ll still be looking for a heavier front fork spring (and probably a shock spring too) in the future though.
So… Is it now the extreme enduro secret weapon we hoped it would be? Find out in the next blog post when we take it racing…