Wow, this bike is lush, remind me why we’re riding full size Enduro bikes again?
Big disclaimer right from the off, I’m a 5ft 10″ rider who weighs 72 kilos in gear, so probably smaller and lighter than you reading this right now? I definitely think the bike makes sense for a rider of my size and weight, but I can’t say whether it would cut it with an ‘average size’ or bigger rider.
Size & Weight
Compact ergos… the bike is supposed to be 10-15% smaller than the Beta RR but a similar layout, it definitely still feels like an Enduro bike, just more manageable. At 99KG without fuel it feels incredibly light – like a 125 (but with torque coming out of the eyeballs) and is lovely to pivot turn on hairy single track in the mountains of Spain.
Obviously subjective, but it’s really grown on us over the last few days… Our 2016 KTM EXC plastics look positively lardy in comparison!
Everyday 4-Stroke practicality
The Oil injection system is very, very good. No more choking on 2-stroke smoke as you sit behind one at low speed… this system is ace, only adding the oil it needs based on the throttle position sensor… this IS the future. We haven’t had any smoke from the bike at all?!?
Plus, when was the last time you forgot to add oil to your refuel before ragging the tits off your bike? Oil tank under the seat means no more of that bollocks, and apparently the oil lasts approx. 3 refuels, so a pretty long ride before you’re going to run out of oil.
Totally on a par with KTM out of the crate… with decent brakes and hydraulic clutch, and a sweet seat removal system and integrated plastic handles. We’ll see over the coming weeks how she holds up though.
One minor niggle already though… first wash of the bike and the (Trailtech rebranded?) speedo is full of water? And no, we didn’t jet wash it!
Suspension and Brakes
The suspension is a bit of a weird one… it just doesn’t hold up next to the rest of the bike… definitely budget with a capital B. In contrast the brakes are very good – we’re going to go into more detail in later posts…
Really smooth, nowhere near as vibey as 2-stroke KTMs, and it has torque, torque, torque! You really cannot stall this thing. Feels more powerful/faster than our 2016 250EXC-F?!? I definitely wouldn’t give this bike to a frail elderly relative who ‘fancies a go’ at riding a motorcycle.
All this torque combined with the super linear power delivery makes it incredibly tractable in wet slippery muddy English conditions… it just chugs and chugs.
We haven’t had a chance to really open her up yet, but she’s due to leave drizzly, muddy England in a few days, for the warmer, drier and rockier terrain of her new home at the Dirtpunk training camp in the Spanish Pyrenees, so it’ll be very interesting to see how much go she has tapped out on the fast stuff, and just how nice she handles in the technical single track madness.
So, apart from the suspension, first impressions are very good… next posts we’ll be looking at brakes and suspension in more detail. Want one? Got questions? Got one? Got tips? Leave us a comment…