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Bike Tests

2014 KTM XC & XC-W

September 10, 2014 // 141 Comments

It’s always exciting when the KTM XC and XC-W 250’s are fielded at the same time for an evaluation.  The general perception of these two bikes is that they are fairly similar, save for a few key differences.  And at first glance, that would appear to be the case.  Off the showroom floor however, these two bikes really are quite distinct.  Given that we’ve already covered the XC-W earlier in the year, and that the changes to the XC aren’t too comprehensive, we thought [Read More...]

2014 KTM XCF-W 250

September 10, 2014 // 215 Comments

We recently added a new section to the Trail Rider test loop.  The highlight is a steep, rocky climb preceded by a hard left turn that leaves no running room.  Ten feet into the ascent there is a collection of medium sized, awkwardly angled rocks that will derail the front end if it hit straight on, so it’s best to get the front end up and over the rocks and hit the initial climb on the back wheel.  After that, there’s about 15 yards of loose soil and rocks covering a flat bedrock [Read More...]

2014 GasGas XC 300

September 10, 2014 // 0 Comments

The Many Faces of GasGas I have been testing the GasGas line since 2010 and each year I experience a different side to its personality.  Last year the open terrain of Colorado exposed the bikes’ abilities to handle chopped-out double track at speed.  It also dispelled the notion that the GasGas was only good in the technical terrain.  After we dialed in the jetting and adjusted the Marzochi fork, the 2013 GasGas ate up the faster double track.  My brother Keith went on to ride the GasGas [Read More...]

Sherco Comes Out Swinging With Their Impressive 300 SE-R 2-Stroke

September 10, 2014 // 14,991 Comments

Doesn’t it seem like there is no longer a grace period for new entrants in the off-road motorcycle market? Right now the norm is for a new entrant to be immediately effective when the rubber meets the dirt. Sherco achieved that last year with their new 300i 4-stroke as did Beta with their 2013 2-stroke. Last year’s 4-stoke 300i impressed us in a lot of ways; it was light and agile – on par with or lighter than many 2-stokes. We even hailed the Sherco 300i as the Most Impressive Bike of [Read More...]

2014 Beta 450 RR

February 28, 2014 // 49,927 Comments

In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock the last few years, there is this company out of Florence, Italy making some of the nicest off-road motorcycles on the planet.  Beta (the name is derived from the initials of Enzo Bianchi and Arrigo Tosi) has been making motorcycles since 1948 with production of off-road motorcycles beginning back in the 70’s.  In 2004 Beta decided to seriously throw its hat into the ring of competitive off road motorcycling and enlisted the help of the KTM to [Read More...]
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