The Beta is a very sexy looking bike and I lust for one but from an availability of parts and support standpoint I think the Monty is a better choice. Hey it's HRC and while it may not be the lightest fly weight bike it's a very good design that has aged well with minor tweaks. I'm holding out for a 4 stroke so my 2000 315R will have to carry me around for another 18 months or so. Not a bad thing considering it's been very reliable and still has more ability than I do :)
Ken, the key is having a good dealer that you like to deal with. All the manufacturers have very good representation in the US and parts for any new bike are not going to be an issue. As far as popularity goes, that would have to go to GasGas :eek: as there are far more of them sold than any other brand.
Bottom line is they are all great bikes. You cannot go wrong with any of them. If you have a good dealer in your area, buy from him or the brand he sells. If you have several good dealers to choose from, consider yourself very lucky ;) and see if you can take a few for a spin around the parking lot, then pick the one you like the feel/looks of best.
I had a Sherco and really liked it (would buy another without concern). In fact it would be MY second choice.
I've ridden the Montesa and feel it's likely one of the best, if not THE best built bike....just not for me. The Betas are very nice and appear to be very well built, but I haven't ridden one to give an opinion.
I now have a GasGas, largely because I have a local dealer, but also because I absolutely fell in love with it the first ride. :yeehaw:
Going on you physical size I think that the Monty would probably be better for you as they are a physically larger bike (comparitivly speaking). The Beta is smaller and lower with much less ground clearance when compared with the Monty, which would probably be important to you when dealing with lots of rocks.
As above the dealer relationship is very important, as that will be your first call of support and supply.
These is nothing wrong with any of the current bikes, but they do have their strengths and weaknesses. The best thing is to find out what is on offer in your area, and then try each model until you find one that you like. One of the brands will fit your riding style and will just feel right to you. The most important thing to do when trying them out is to try and make sure that the handlebar set up is not too weird - its pointless trying out a bike with completely bent bars or levers at an extreme angle as you won't feel comfortable. So try and adjust things a little bit until you are comfortable and can give a truly objectional view of the rest of the bike.
Theres also the lust factor to account for........ thats why I got the REV3 :)
Seriously standing my y2k Rev3 next to friend's 2002 Monty - you can see a fair bit more air under the monty (theres at least 3" of difference).
It may also be because my bike is set up really soft for getting traction rather than being set up for 10' splatters. I have purposely done this and also backed off on my rebound dampening so it doesn't hop so well, but does stick to the ground a bit better. At my level I'm not hitting very big obstacles, but do more tight turning on off-cambers and smaller river stones in wetter conditions than you guys are probably used to - which all makes some sense I hope. ;)
The ground clearance thing is correct as we had a small hump to ride over at a trial on sunday, and the Monty's easily cleared it with the bashplate whereas my Beta made a nice crunching noise!! I was riding with a 2002 Monty, a 2003 Sherco and a 2002 Sherco (Which also missed the hump). I also watched several other Rev3s (2003's and a 2002) have exactly the same problem in the same section.
I would have to agree that they are all excellent mounts-and dealer support is really nice to have, as there simply aren't alot of dealers out there. I have an 03 gas gas pro, and I absolutely love it. Being a portly person, I was shocked to learn how good the suspension is on this thing-I did have to go up on fork spring weight, but the shock spring works with some preload. Spend the time, check the websites and try to find a dealer you can work with. As far as parts support goes, even the worse trials system seems to be better than the ones for other dirtbikes...just know you will have to order just about everything and it takes 3-5 days to get it. The folks that ride trials are super, super folks...something that will realy endure you to the sport.....
The Beta and Monty have the highest quality frames out there in the current trials market, being monocoque aluminum jobs made by Verlicchi in Italy. This makes them good mounts for the heavier rider who does not have asperations or winning the champ line.
The beta motor gives you one more gear on top (6 in it vs 5 in the monty), but has the left side kicker. Not a big deal, just pointing out the difference. Both make great linear power and are rather neutral handling bikes. The Beta, being Italian, is a bit sexier bike than the rather staid Monty. Look a the beta from the riding position - the tank and frame area are shaped like a woman's body.
I "feel" better about riding the Honda made product, but would take a Beta as well no problem. Maybe one day if I move up to the Advanced line I may look at a Sherco or GG Pro, but not until then. I'm 5'11" and 165 BTW, just (legitamately) moving up to the Int line.
Good luck with your choice! Even if you do ride all the bikes, it is hard being a beginner to really feel the differences and what they mean to you if you are a new rider. If going used, focus on Condition, not price. Also on the Monty I'd say get an '00 or later and the Beta an '01 or later. There is a hardly ridden '01 Beta sitting over here at the local dealer in Colorado Springs (Apex) BTW for $3300.
Holy cow. I started this thread in 2003 and STILL haven't bought a trials bike, but I'm ready to pull the trigger now, finally. Really.
Came across a '00 Beta Rev3 for $2k and an '02 Montessa Cota 315 for $2,500. These are both in my price range for a first trials bike (wanna try this wobbley stuff first on a used bike before buying new).
All things being equal, I'm thinking the Monty. What would you do?
(6'-5", 200 lb, 41 year old "B" level desert racer who has never ridden a trials bike)