2023 350 DUAL SPORT SHOOTOUT
The definition of the word “paradise” within the “Manchester Entire English Dictionary,” 204th version, sums it up completely: “An idyllic space or narrate of being where the soil is forever moist and reducing-edge grime bikes fling ‘feely’ without constraint from petty authority.” Take into memoir it up. Most of us ponder right here is impossible, but if paradise would maybe maybe surely exist on earth, it would practically completely 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, legit, responsive and satisfied. Finest of all, they are completely dazzling.
The timing used to be supreme for our 2023 350 twin-sport comparability. The grime used to be moist right here in Southern California, and we had set aside-original versions of all three 350s. We rode all of them stock rather than tires. We upgraded to Metzeler MC360 tires, which will be categorized as mid-laborious terrain but peaceful DOT permitted and avenue-dazzling.
BETA 350RR-S FAST FACTS
The Beta 350RR-S is one in every of 4 the same-taking a explore Beta twin-sport bikes that time and again leaves riders overwhelmed. There’s a legend about an indecisive donkey standing between two the same piles of hay. At closing, the donkey starves to dying. That’s a positive menace for Beta twin-sport riders. In fact, the 350, 390, 430 and 500 are all huge machines with diverse personalities. Why doesn’t Beta thin down the herd? They are saying it’s fancy deciding between your kids. The 350 has the the same chassis and quite a bit of the the same motor plot because the others. It differs most effective in bore and stroke. The suspension is by Sachs, and the brakes are Nissin. As we talked about earlier, we keep Metzeler tires on the total bikes, but genuinely, the Michelin tires that approach stock on the Beta aren’t scandalous. We simply wore them out earlier than changing them.
The Beta affords traction help a watch on and two diverse maps on barely change in front of the fuel tank. This is barely habitual for a twin-sport bike. EFI maps want to be authorities permitted, so they are on the total locked and tamper proof. It’s barely louder than most twin-sport bikes, too. In phrases of noise and emissions, Beta can fair mighty nearer to the threshold, whereas a colossal firm fancy KTM has mighty extra to lose within the occasion that they accept in distress. There are peaceful Volkswagen executives in federal penitentiary for making Uncle Sam enraged.
The 350RR-S has a bunch of good celebrated gains, collectively with handguards, a radiator fan and fold-up mirrors. Finest of all, it comes with a Walk Tech Voyager GPS. It peaceful sells for no longer as a lot as the KTM or the Husky. The MSRP is $11,499. On our scale, it weighs 253 pounds without fuel.
HUSQVARNA FE350S FAST FACTS
Husky’s twin-sport bikes seem like on practically each and every off-road rider’s “gunna decide sooner or later” list. They bewitch an esteemed space within the hierarchy of U.S. twin-sport bikes. The FE350S has been unchanged since 2020. This is one in every of the few bikes within the Husqvarna line that didn’t accept a original physique and motor makeover this year, even when that would maybe maybe approach in 2024. For now, the physique is intellectual the same to the one which Husky used to be racing in Supercross till the season earlier than closing.
The motor is a related to the one within the KTM 350EXC-F, but the Husky’s physique, rear suspension and a different of plot are diverse. The rear suspension uses linkage. The triple clamp is machined rather then solid, and the brakes are made by Braktec, as is the hydraulic take hold of. 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 make certain that the engineers keep serious effort into making it aloof. One in all the ideas they employed used to be the space of a reed valve between the filter and the throttle physique. Noise used to be additionally one in every of the principle reasons for the usage of Continental TKC80 tires. These are very avenue-oriented and assemble little or no noise within the fling-by sound check. As a facet point out, earlier fashions had a fetch of the Continental tires, but that did no longer have an effect on this particular bike. As talked about earlier, we changed the tires with Metzeler TC360s, which have been a surely huge improvement within the grime. As delivered, the Husky does no longer have rim locks installed, but they approach with the bike in a little instrument bundle. With accurate knobbies, you unquestionably need rim locks. It’s additionally an even concept to balance the tries.
There’s no longer such a thing as a scheme change, but the bike does approach with handguards, a skid plate and a radiator fan. It’s the most costly of the three at $12,249. The burden splits the variation between the KTM and Beta at 245 pounds without fuel.
KTM 350EXC FAST FACTS
KTM wasn’t the first firm to assemble a serious grime-necessary twin-sport bike, but that you simply can present the Austrian firm credit for making the concept that surely legit. The KTM 350EXC-F goes back to 2012 and used to be most no longer too prolonged within the past revamped in 2020. KTM’s off-road and twin-sport fashions continue to consume PDS rear suspension sans linkage. This is the most considerable incompatibility between the present KTM and Husqvarna twin-sports. PDS has the final word thing about being about 6 pounds lighter and providing elevated ground clearance than linkage designs. Otherwise, the two Austrian twin-sport bikes are the same. They each and every consume WP Xact forks with metal coil springs. The KTM uses a solid triple clamp to retain the fork on, and ought to you explore closely, there are a different of diverse plot that vary as effectively. The KTM has Brembo brakes and a Brembo take hold of grasp cylinder. It additionally uses a Neken handlebar and Excel rims. As a ways because the motors accelerate, the KTM and Husky have 6-inch gearboxes and double overhead cams with four valves and finger-follower valve trains, upright fancy the motocross bikes. The KTM uses a reed valve within the air boot, even when that boot has a diverse shape than the Husky’s since the PDS shock lets in extra keep. That and a diverse airbox assemble are among the top gains that would maybe maybe memoir for any incompatibility in performance between them. The KTM additionally comes with handguards, a skid plate and a radiator fan. The tires are Continentals, which we changed with extra aggressive Metzeler MC360s. The KTM sells for $12,149 and weighs 239 pounds without fuel.
TALES FROM THE TRAIL
Up front, you have to to maybe presumably like to procure that each and every three of these bikes are off-road bikes first and all the pieces else second. Whenever you’re trying to gain a commuter or a prolonged-vary, off-road adventure bike, explore in other areas. These bikes don’t have ample energy for wide-open roads. They aren’t satisfied ample for days within the saddle, and there are better, more cost-effective bikes for that extra or less stuff. They aren’t creep bikes, both. These are bikes made for technical off-road rides connected by short bits of road. Are they compromised in bellow to be avenue dazzling? Surely, but the compromise is most effective apparent in phrases of peak energy. In bellow to accelerate DOT and EPA rules, all three are very muffled and have barely modest energy output. Unlike EPA bikes within the previous, on the opposite hand, these three are freed from system faults equivalent to coughing, popping, stalling and overheating. All of them bustle neat and frigid. Of the three, the Beta is certainly the most necessary. It runs simply down low with none disorders and almost in the present day climbs to an even midrange. After that, it continues to rev where the diverse two taper off. On top, the Beta has a definite advantage. It’s additionally louder, even when we peaceful take into memoir it to be very aloof when compared to easily about any diverse grime bikes.
As you have to to maybe quiz, the KTM and Husky are the same in performance. The KTM has upright barely extra to offer within the middle and top, but each and every have huge table manners sooner or later of the rpm vary. They bustle so cleanly that it’s laborious to ponder that they meet the total emission requirements that after regarded so formidable. That peaceful, flawless engine performance lets in all three bikes to excel on tight, piquant trials. Whenever you don’t ought to trouble concerning the dreaded cough-and-die syndrome, it’s so mighty more uncomplicated to climb rock ledges and certain logs. All three are worthy in that regard.
On extra wide-open trails and in deep sand, all three are limited, even when the Husky and KTM bustle into their barriers mighty earlier than the Beta. You objective ought to shift the Austrian bikes extra, whereas the Beta affords you the option of staying in a single tools and the usage of its rpm advantage. None of these bikes are especially adept at wide-open desolate tract. They upright don’t have the displacement, and you accept bored almost in the present day.
Likewise, they aren’t barely dazzling for prolonged stints on the toll road. They vibrate, and, if the wheels aren’t balanced, they leap. The KTM and Husky are extra satisfied than the Beta, which has a laborious seat and a huge tank.
SMALL AND TALL
The three bikes each and every have a diverse surely feel. The Beta is the most unfold out and looks to be fancy a bigger bike than the diverse two. It’s barely taller and affords you the feeling that you simply’re sitting on top, whereas the diverse two assemble you surely feel settled staunch into a cockpit. The Beta additionally feels longer and objective a little extra ranking. The suspension is at ease, of route, which is suitable for a twin-sport bike. It’s very objective correct in rocks and on low-inch, technical trails. Whenever you accept into deep whoops, though, it’s almost in the present day overwhelmed and inclined to like a flash chassis actions.
The KTM has a surely feel that’s conventional of PDS bikes. It’s barely level at lower speeds and would maybe maybe well even be among the top at keen rocks and path junk. But, because the path tempo picks up, it develops objective a little of a stink-worm attitude. The rear stop unloads and the front stop dives. It already has mighty faster guidance than the Beta, and that will get extra pronounced at elevated speeds.
The Husky is barely extra level in most instances. It’s very at ease, upright fancy the diverse two, and surely dazzling in rocks. It struggles with elevated speeds and better bumps, upright fancy the others, but it’s the least inclined to chassis motion. That’s conventional of linkage suspension. Also conventional of linkage suspension is an inclination to hold up on logs. The Husky’s linkage hangs down mighty lower than the Beta’s and is fashioned within the kind of mode that it’s extra inclined to live you in your tracks.
It’s not seemingly to have a dialogue about twin-sport bikes without talking about adjustments. That’s especially dazzling right here, because all three bikes would maybe maybe consume barely extra fire within the boiler. We simply ought to stress that motor mods are ineffective without first remapping the motor. That technically makes the bike staunch into a competitors vehicle. With that out of the formula, we additionally ought to claim that reflashing the stock ignition is amazingly piquant and would maybe maybe well accelerate very nasty. Contemporary ECUs from Vortex and GET will be found in but very costly. It’s most effective to talk over with somebody who has done it. We have got had intellectual dazzling success with the guys at Slavins and
Listed right here are notes from the path:
The Beta’s brakes are necessary but grabby. The Husky’s have an even surely feel but aren’t as solid because the KTM’s, which will be each and every necessary and revolutionary.
The entire bikes will be laborious to open on frosty mornings. Jumper cables needed to be former better than once. The Beta is the finest to jump since the seat pops off with the frenzy of a button. The Beta additionally has a provision for a kick-starter.
It’s not seemingly to offer a meaningful fuel vary because no two rides and no two riders will experience the the same results. We can most effective file that the three bikes made it to the head of a 60-mile path fling—all singletrack. There used to be little or no fuel to spare, and all three had been intellectual equally depleted at the head of the fling. The Beta’s fuel light came on earlier than mile 50.
We esteem radiator fans. All three have them and all three need them.
The Husky and KTM have tall mirrors that constantly accept within the formula. The Beta mirrors fold up but have a plastic hinge that can ruin.
All three have bouncy license-plate brackets. They’re going to sooner or later accept sucked into the rear wheel and torn to shreds. It’s most effective a topic of time. There are quite a bit of aftermarket which you have to to imagine choices for when that happens, but it’s most effective to tackle it earlier than you lose or injury your registration amount plate. Identical goes for the blinkers.
We esteem the Voyager GPS on the Beta.
Even with their quirks and imperfections, the 350 twin-sport bikes are extra fun than upright about something else that rolls thru the grime bike shop. Which one is the most fun? In stock assemble, the Beta ought to be regarded as the final winner. It’s the most necessary and affords the most price. If, on the diverse hand, you’re a form of riders who’s compelled to exhaust hundreds money, assemble hundreds adjustments and mildew a bike into your have personal creation, then the Husky and the KTM would maybe maybe have extra potential. Correct be positive that you simply attain an even job; Beta has dwelling the bar intellectual high.