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Beta Xtrainer Suspension Upgrade

The ultimate Beta Xtrainer suspension mod?

It’s been a long time coming to our blog, but back in October 2016 we decided to go nuclear with our Xtrainer suspension. Although our fettling had made a big improvement on the Xtrainer forks, it still wasn’t enough of an improvement for our needs – so we pushed the button and went for a complete suspension change.

We managed to pick up a brand new set of WP 4CS forks on ebay for about £500… bargain! We’ve seen a lot of complaints about 4CS forks, but we’ve had them on our bikes for years now and we really like them… lightyears ahead of the standard Xtrainer forks anyway. The forks were revalved for us by Gibbs Performance to match the bike/us and we added the correct springs too.

Next we had to work out how to get them on the bike. The Xtrainer top triple clamp fits the WP forks, but alas the bottom clamp is too small for the bigger forks. Back to Ebay and we managed to pick up an as new KTM SX bottom clamp and stem for about £50. The KTM stem is too long for the Beta frame, so you need to have it pressed out of the clamp and replaced with the shorter Beta one – it fits perfectly. The black anodised clamp matches the Beta one visually really well too.

We decided to go with a Brembo front brake as we found a complete setup for approx £100 on Ebay again, but we’ve heard you can reuse the Beta/Nissin brake with a Gas Gas hanger but you’d need to investigate that yourselves. The speedo cable from the Xtrainer fits perfectly on the Brembo with no mods. Do note though that the Beta front wheel has it’s magnet in a different place to KTM so if not using a KTM wheel then it won’t work unless you swap brake discs (a simple swap of the Beta spacers for KTM ones means you can use the Beta wheel or a KTM front).

About another £60 will get the the rest of the gubbins you need from a KTM dealer… Axle, axle puller, end cap and brake caliper bolts.

With the front sorted we plumped another £650 for the Fox Factory Podium Shock from the UK Fox distributor.

It seems it’s usually used on 85 size MX bikes, but looking at it side by side with the original shock the size was spot on.

It’s super easy to fit, just remove the end can, undo the top two subframe bolts and pull the frame/subframe apart and you can pull the old shock up and out.

The shock comes with a spring for your weight and has high and low speed compression adjustment, as well as rebound adjustment. The shock is night and day better than the standard one… plusher but firmer… it feels like a ‘real’ shock.

Worth the punt?

We spent about £1400 to fully upgrade the Beta Xtrainer suspension but was it worth it? That’s enough to have bought a 300RR instead? Well we have a Beta 300RR too and have ridden both bikes extensively in the UK and Spain over the last 6 months so we can honestly compare them.

In our opinion the beta 300RR is an awesome bike, and for average sized riders would be the route to go. But for hard technical riding for more vertically challenged riders the Xtrainer is better, and the suspension on our Xtrainer is arguably better than our standard Sachs suspension on the 300RR too.

We’ll be testing the suspension to the limit in a few weeks when we take part in Red Bull Romaniacs as part of a 4 man Dirtpunk team… more on that in the next blog post.

Any suggestions or questions? Leave a comment

10 thoughts on “Beta Xtrainer Suspension Upgrade

  1. Only question is are the 4cs forks longer therefore throwing off the geometry of the bike?

    1. They are longer, we had the option to have the forks shortened by our suspension tuner but they said it would make the action harsher so it would be better to slide the forks up in the yokes if there was room under the bars. There was and so the geometry is spot on still.

  2. While the fox shock is better than the OEM unit, the Ohlins offers the same, if not greater improvement again. It’s is nothing short of brilliant (I ran both for over 50 hours in my XT)

    There are kits available for Sachs closed cartridge forks as well as marzocchi, KYB and Showa. All of these forks are better than 4CS in every measurable way and being closed cartridge, unlike open chamber or 4CS forks they can be lowered by moving the spring perch (without making them harsher).
    It’s also worth mentioning that Beta have recently released the “K9” upgrade kit for the standard forks comprising of a firmer spring and complete damping cartridge. The new cartridge includes rebound and compression damping adjustment (standard forks have rebound only) and they are receiving good reviews from highly experienced riders.
    The standard Xtrainer forks are approximately 1.5 kilos lighter than a set of full sized forks and this contributes to the XTs nimble handling and prowess in technical terrain. I run Sachs CC forks on my XT (and my wife’s) but will try the K9 kit on my next one for this reason.

    See you at Romaniacs! I’ll be the bloke in the bright green and gold Aussie gear on the XT with red forks, an RR pipe and a yellow shock with a big O on the side of it.

    1. Very interesting Owen – we had recently seen but discounted the K9 kit but it might be worth a try.

      A very good friend in Spain has Ohlins internals in his forks and an Ohlins shock on his 300RR and has had a lot of problems with them, in his words “they are like a prima donna ballerina – always breaking down!”… he’s had them worked on many times but can’t seem to get to a good place for technical rocky riding??

      Would be keen to compare cost of Ohlins internals plus a set of donor forks… vs our solution and also the cost of the Ohlins shock vs the Fox?

      Look forward to seeing you at Romaniacs – look out for four clueless blokes with Dirtpunk jerseys and an Xtrainer with Dirtpunk graphics!!

  3. Nice write up but I was hoping you would have chosen the AER forks for the weight savings. I know air forks have their problems but it would be an interesting combo.

    1. Would loved to have tried the AER forks and maybe we will sometime in the future, but we wouldn’t have been able to get a pair for anywhere near £500!!!

  4. Hey, how did you mount the starter panel? I have the Beta panel but to fit this i have to dismantle the speedometer.

    1. The number board is a KTM one so it attaches to the ktm front mudguard (which is connected to the KTM bottom clamp)… not sure on the Beta one

  5. Hi can anybody tell me if the fox factory podium is the same as the fox podium rc2 off the yx85 08-14

    1. Sorry, no idea… maybe Fox could help?

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