2023 350 DUAL SPORT SHOOTOUT
The definition of the be conscious “paradise” within the “Manchester Comprehensive English Dictionary,” 204th edition, sums it up perfectly: “An idyllic attach or yelp of being the attach the soil is and not using a waste in sight moist and reducing-edge grime bikes run ‘feely’ with out constraint from petty authority.” Undercover agent it up. Most folk procure that is impossible, however if paradise might perchance very successfully exist on earth, it would nearly indubitably be populated by 350cc twin-sport bikes. The Beta 350RR-S, Husqvarna FE350S and KTM 350EXC-F are heaven’s gift to grime bike riders. They’re light, legitimate, responsive and at ease. Easiest of all, they’re perfectly proper.
The timing used to be excellent for our 2023 350 twin-sport comparability. The grime used to be moist here in Southern California, and we had imprint-new variations of all three 350s. We rode them all inventory other than tires. We upgraded to Metzeler MC360 tires, that are categorised as mid-laborious terrain however amassed DOT permitted and boulevard-proper.
BETA 350RR-S FAST FACTS
The Beta 350RR-S is one in every of 4 identical-having a look Beta twin-sport bikes that regularly leaves riders overwhelmed. There’s a yarn about an indecisive donkey standing between two identical piles of hay. At final, the donkey starves to death. That’s a undeniable probability for Beta twin-sport riders. In actuality, the 350, 390, 430 and 500 are all monumental machines with varied personalities. Why doesn’t Beta skinny down the herd? They deliver it’s luxuriate in deciding between your childhood. The 350 has the identical chassis and loads of the identical motor facets because the others. It differs only in bore and stroke. The suspension is by Sachs, and the brakes are Nissin. As we talked about earlier, we place aside Metzeler tires on all of the bikes, however in actuality, the Michelin tires that come inventory on the Beta aren’t nefarious. We simply wore them out sooner than changing them.
The Beta presents traction preserve watch over and two varied maps on a tiny swap in front of the gas tank. That is a tiny irregular for a twin-sport bike. EFI maps can own to be authorities permitted, in inform that they’re customarily locked and tamper proof. It’s a tiny louder than most twin-sport bikes, too. When it involves noise and emissions, Beta can operate valuable nearer to the brink, whereas a monumental firm luxuriate in KTM has a lot more to lose if they catch in be troubled. There are amassed Volkswagen executives in federal detention heart for making Uncle Sam indignant.
The 350RR-S has a bunch of nice long-established aspects, collectively with handguards, a radiator fan and fold-up mirrors. Easiest of all, it comes with a Path Tech Voyager GPS. It amassed sells for now no longer up to the KTM or the Husky. The MSRP is $11,499. On our scale, it weighs 253 pounds with out gas.
HUSQVARNA FE350S FAST FACTS
Husky’s twin-sport bikes look like on nearly each and every off-boulevard rider’s “gunna rob within the future” list. They rob an esteemed attach within the hierarchy of U.S. twin-sport bikes. The FE350S has been unchanged since 2020. That is one in every of the few bikes within the Husqvarna line that didn’t catch a new frame and motor makeover this yr, though that also can come in 2024. For now, the frame is dazzling akin to the actual individual that Husky used to be racing in Supercross until the season sooner than final.
The motor is akin to the one within the KTM 350EXC-F, however the Husky’s frame, rear suspension and a different of system are varied. The rear suspension uses linkage. The triple clamp is machined moderately than solid, and the brakes are made by Braktec, as is the hydraulic snatch. The handlebar is ProTaper. The rims are D.I.D and the bodywork is distinctly Husqvarna. When this bike used to be being developed, it used to be clear that the engineers place aside excessive effort into making it aloof. In all probability the most options they employed used to be the placement of a reed valve between the filter and the throttle body. Noise used to be additionally one in every of the main reasons for the utilize of Continental TKC80 tires. These are very boulevard-oriented and plan very tiny noise within the run-by sound check. As a aspect point out, earlier units had a employ of the Continental tires, however that did now no longer have an effect on this explicit bike. As talked about earlier, we modified the tires with Metzeler TC360s, that were a mighty enchancment within the grime. As delivered, the Husky does now no longer own rim locks place aside in, however they arrive with the bike in a tiny tool bundle. With accurate knobbies, you no doubt need rim locks. It’s additionally a proper recommendation to balance the tries.
There’s no longer the kind of thing as a draw swap, however the bike does come with handguards, a skid plate and a radiator fan. It’s presumably the most dear of the three at $12,249. The burden splits the distinction between the KTM and Beta at 245 pounds with out gas.
KTM 350EXC FAST FACTS
KTM wasn’t the first firm to plan a excessive grime-principal twin-sport bike, however you can present the Austrian firm credit for making the idea that really legit. The KTM 350EXC-F goes lend a hand to 2012 and used to be most recently revamped in 2020. KTM’s off-boulevard and twin-sport units continue to utilize PDS rear suspension sans linkage. That is perchance the most predominant distinction between presumably the most modern KTM and Husqvarna twin-sports. PDS has the income of being about 6 pounds lighter and providing better ground clearance than linkage designs. Otherwise, the 2 Austrian twin-sport bikes are identical. They each and every utilize WP Xact forks with steel coil springs. The KTM uses a solid triple clamp to preserve up the fork on, and whenever you look carefully, there are a different of various system that adjust as successfully. The KTM has Brembo brakes and a Brembo snatch grasp cylinder. It additionally uses a Neken handlebar and Excel rims. Up to now because the motors scurry, the KTM and Husky own 6-velocity gearboxes and double overhead cams with four valves and finger-follower valve trains, upright luxuriate in the motocross bikes. The KTM uses a reed valve within the air boot, though that boot has a varied form than the Husky’s since the PDS shock permits more reputation. That and a varied airbox gather are the easiest aspects that also can legend for any distinction in efficiency between them. The KTM additionally comes with handguards, a skid plate and a radiator fan. The tires are Continentals, which we modified with more aggressive Metzeler MC360s. The KTM sells for $12,149 and weighs 239 pounds with out gas.
TALES FROM THE TRAIL
Up front, you own got to worship that every person three of these bikes are off-boulevard bikes first and everything else 2d. Whenever you happen to’re having a look for a commuter or a protracted-vary, off-boulevard race bike, look in varied locations. These bikes don’t own sufficient energy for wide-start roads. They aren’t at ease sufficient for days within the saddle, and there are better, more inexpensive bikes for that form of stuff. They aren’t bustle bikes, both. These are bikes made for technical off-boulevard rides connected by immediate bits of boulevard. Are they compromised in inform to be boulevard proper? No doubt, however the compromise is barely apparent in terms of peak energy. In inform to pass DOT and EPA regulations, all three are very muffled and own quite modest energy output. Unlike EPA bikes within the previous, nonetheless, these three are freed from glitches akin to coughing, popping, stalling and overheating. They all flee wise and icy. Of the three, the Beta is with out complications presumably the most extremely efficient. It runs simply down low with out any concerns and rapid climbs to a first price midrange. After that, it continues to rev the attach the numerous two taper off. On high, the Beta has a clear income. It’s additionally louder, though we amassed keep in mind it to be very aloof in contrast to with regards to any varied grime bikes.
As that you just can demand, the KTM and Husky are identical in efficiency. The KTM has upright a tiny more to present within the center and high, however each and every own monumental desk manners at some level of the rpm vary. They flee so cleanly that it’s laborious to procure that they meet all of the emission requirements that after seemed so formidable. That gentle, flawless engine efficiency permits all three bikes to excel on tight, hard trials. Within the event you don’t own to anxiety in regards to the dreaded cough-and-die syndrome, it’s so valuable less complicated to climb rock ledges and clear logs. All three are excellent in that regard.
On more wide-start trails and in deep sand, all three are restricted, though the Husky and KTM flee into their limitations valuable sooner than the Beta. You fair own to shift the Austrian bikes more, whereas the Beta provides you the option of staying in a single instruments and the utilize of its rpm income. None of these bikes are especially adept at wide-start barren reputation. They upright don’t own the displacement, and you lose pastime rapid.
Likewise, they aren’t quite upright for long stints on the twin carriageway. They vibrate, and, if the wheels aren’t balanced, they leap. The KTM and Husky are more at ease than the Beta, which has a laborious seat and a huge tank.
SMALL AND TALL
The three bikes each and every own a varied really feel. The Beta is perchance the most unfold out and seems luxuriate in a elevated bike than the numerous two. It’s a tiny taller and provides you the feeling that you just’re sitting on high, whereas the numerous two plan you really feel settled right into a cockpit. The Beta additionally feels longer and a tiny more gather. The suspension is at ease, clearly, which is appropriate for a twin-sport bike. It’s wonderful in rocks and on low-velocity, technical trails. Within the event you catch into deep whoops, though, it’s rapid overwhelmed and inclined to rapid chassis actions.
The KTM has a really feel that’s current of PDS bikes. It’s quite level at decrease speeds and might perchance also be the actual at inviting rocks and slump junk. But, because the slump amble picks up, it develops a tiny of a stink-bug angle. The rear pause unloads and the front pause dives. It already has valuable sooner steering than the Beta, and that will get more pronounced at elevated speeds.
The Husky is a tiny more level customarily. It’s very at ease, upright luxuriate in the numerous two, and extremely proper in rocks. It struggles with elevated speeds and bigger bumps, upright luxuriate in the others, however it’s the least inclined to chassis motion. That’s current of linkage suspension. Also current of linkage suspension is an inclination to dangle up on logs. The Husky’s linkage hangs down valuable decrease than the Beta’s and is formed in this kind of capacity that it’s likely to cease you in your tracks.
It’s very now no longer going to own a discussion about twin-sport bikes with out talking about changes. That’s especially factual here, attributable to all three bikes might perchance utilize a tiny more fireplace within the boiler. We simply own to emphasize that motor mods are ineffective with out first remapping the motor. That technically makes the bike right into a contest automobile. With that out of the plot, we additionally own to deliver that reflashing the inventory ignition is extremely hard and can scurry very depraved. New ECUs from Vortex and GET are readily available however very dear. It’s most though-provoking to discuss about with somebody who has done it. We own had dazzling proper success with the guys at Slavins and
Listed below are notes from the slump:
The Beta’s brakes are extremely efficient however grabby. The Husky’s own a proper really feel however aren’t as solid because the KTM’s, that are each and every extremely efficient and revolutionary.
All of the bikes might perchance also be laborious to start on icy mornings. Jumper cables needed to be inclined more than as soon as. The Beta is the very best to soar since the seat pops off with the frenzy of a button. The Beta additionally has a provision for a kick-starter.
It’s very now no longer going to present a meaningful gas vary attributable to no two rides and no two riders will journey the identical outcomes. We are able to only file that the three bikes made it to the pause of a 60-mile slump run—all singletrack. There used to be very tiny gas to spare, and all three were dazzling equally depleted on the pause of the run. The Beta’s gas light came on sooner than mile 50.
We luxuriate in radiator followers. All three own them and all three need them.
The Husky and KTM own tall mirrors that constantly catch within the plot. The Beta mirrors fold up however own a plastic hinge that might perchance ruin.
All three own bouncy license-plate brackets. They’ll within the waste catch sucked into the rear wheel and torn to shreds. It’s only a matter of time. There are a couple of aftermarket selections for when that happens, however it’s most though-provoking to tackle it sooner than you lose or injury your license plate. Same goes for the blinkers.
We luxuriate in the Voyager GPS on the Beta.
Even with their quirks and imperfections, the 350 twin-sport bikes are more enjoyable than upright about anything that rolls throughout the grime bike store. Which one is perchance the most pleasurable? In inventory form, the Beta have to be regarded as the final winner. It’s presumably the most extremely efficient and presents presumably the most fee. If, on the numerous hand, you’re one in every of those riders who’s compelled to utilize hundreds money, plan hundreds changes and mildew a motorbike into your own personal introduction, then the Husky and the KTM might perchance need more capacity. Appropriate make certain you attain a proper job; Beta has attach the bar dazzling high.