Our very own Dwayne Haskell recently had the opportunity to test out the Beta X-Trainer and compare it to his own KTM Freeride.
Here is his report:
Lucky me, I got the chance to test ride a 2015 Beta X-Trainer 300 with Rekluse clutch recently. I rode my KTM Freeride 250 and the X-Trainer back-to-back on my local 3 mile singletrack trail for comparisons. I put several miles on the Beta. Most of you know me well, but for those that may not, I’ve owned and ridden tons of dirt bikes, including many KTM models, of all sizes from little bitty to massive, and everything in between. I enjoy small engine light weight 2-stroke bikes as much as I enjoy monster power 4-strokes. They all have their place and something to offer.
First impression, it was very fun, and extremely well built! The X-Trainer is-what-it-is; an easy to ride enduro bike made for beginners and extreme riders alike. The bike is small, light weight, has a low seat height, mellow motor/power, runs very well, and has a low intimidation high confidence inspiring factor.
The Beta is NOT a direct competitor for the KTM Freeride 250, IMO. I am a true trials rider in addition to enduro style singletrack, and I make use of the trials nature the Freeride has to offer. The X-Trainer does not compare in that regard. Yes, I think if you have to compare the X-Trainer to another bike, the KTM 200 is the closest out there. If you removed the KTM and Beta stickers from each bike, I’d probably take home the X-Trainer.
Who do I think should buy an X-Trainer? Beginners ready to spend new bike money, for sure. This bike will teach you to ride, and will last you well into your learning curve. Personally I think beginners should buy a $2500 used bike to be sure they like the sport and not spend new bike money. But, if you must buy a new bike, definitely consider the X-Trainer.
Experienced riders who own a “serious” full size enduro bike, like maybe a 450, and want a smaller easier to ride bike to supplement on days they are not feeling like blasting full speed with their trail racing buddies, but want some extra play inspiration, or just want to work less hard that day, will want one too. I did feel like I could spend more hours on the X-Trainer than my Freeride, but only time would tell for sure.
Who might not want the X-Trainer? Maybe those guys in between that are in a competitive mode with their buddies every weekend, but are not quite at the point where they look for advanced obstacles to tackle, like large rocks, extreme rocks and roots, large logs to cross, muddy slimy off cambers where they are likely to high side drop their bike and have to pick it up, or the like. Probably not for hare-scrambles racers. I would race it in the Tennessee Knock-out (if I was younger, in better shape, didn’t own my Freeride, and if my wife hadn’t all but banned me from the Trials Training Center after breaking a big toe and 3 ribs there in the past…).
I have some sweet helmet cam video on both the X-Trainer and the Freeride on the same trail that I will post up when I get the time, so you can watch me ride each bike on the same ~3 mile loop and judge for yourself what you think the differences in the bikes are. Even my wife could accurately see the differences in the bikes when she watched the videos. For now, here’s some side-by-side pics for you to drool over.
Helmet cam from X-trainer ride:
Helmet cam of KTM Freeride:
Helmet cam KTM Freeride part 2: