Beta Rev 3 ... revisited !

Those with a long memory will recall that back in 2005 I purchased a nearly new Beta Rev 3 from John Lampkin's Beta UK store and then started a bit of a Beta love afair for the next 6 years !! I went on to have a 2006 and 2008 Rev3 (I think) and then moved on to a 270 Beta Evo in 2010. Although a bit heavier and "slower" than the Gas Gas Pro's of the time I found the Beta's always easy to ride and very stable in the rocky Welsh streams that I was riding at the time.

After my bad knee dislocation I had to sell the Evo and dip out of riding for well over a year, and my experiment of entering the twinshock world with an SWM didn't go as planned as I preceeded to dislocate the knee twice more before packing it in again for an extended period and taking up Golf ! Finally earlier this year, and with a fitter knee now supported every ride by a made-to-measure carbon fibre knee brace, I was given the chance by Steve Saunders to build up and then ride a lovely Jotagas to get me back into the trials life again ... what a stunning machine those Jotagas' are, very light weight and an engine performance more along the lines of the Gas Gas but with the stable alloy frame ride of a Beta.

The Jotagas had to be moved on and I took another couple of months out of riding, but this time I had something in the garage to work on.... enter a 2004 250 Beta Rev3. Once again, those with a long memory will recall our resident r2wtrials crasher Barry Baines. When he decided to move on into other things he sold his Rev3 to his mate Sam, who had the unfortunate issue after a while of a crank main bearing breaking apart and taking lots of bits of the engine along with it. Sam is a mechanic for a large motorcycle shop in Bristol and proceeded to take the engine out and strip it down to get the parts ... and that is about as far as it got for about 4 years! The new engine parts sat in a box along with all the other parts for a bike and got moved from one house to another when Sam relocated ... the crank was rebuilt and the crankcases rebuilt and that is where I come into the story.

Sam has a garage full of all sorts of motorcycle projects and the Beta was well down the list of those that he wanted to continue with. A chance conversation on Facebook 6 months ago resulted in him offering it to me at a good price but in many, many bits! I collected the bike in basically 4 boxes and knowing that some of the parts would still be somewhere in his garage but with the agreement that as he found them I would get them. So there it sat, in the garage like a huge jigsaw puzzle with a few bits missing! .. see images below.

beta rev3 bench

beta rev 3

 ... once again it was a good few months before I got the enthusiasm to start the task of piecing it back together. But I had an engine on the bench that needed the piston assembly put on and then barrel and head fitted. There was also the small matter of a large box full of shims, shafts, a flywheel and clutch parts to fit into their correct locations so the engine could be slotted back into the frame. At this stage the only items I knew i needed were a head gasket and a clutch cover gasket, so I could put everything inside the casings on ... easier said than done when you didn't take it apart. A quick call to Steve at SXSuk.com and the two gaskets were on their way.

It looked like I had far too many bearings, seals, washers, nuts and shims. As it turned out the good old iPad came into play here. Luckily my wi-fi is strong from the house to the garage so I was able to go onto the Beta UK site and load up the parts lists pdf to view ... using this as a guide I got everything that should be in there fitted and determined that, yes indeed, I did have two of many items! After a nice refreshing beer i sorted old from new and started the build. Seems the new parts bag that Sam had stored things in had spilled it's contents straight into the storage box for all the old items ... but at least everything was there. I had to raid my spare nuts and bolts box to complete the set but after some hours I had a complete engine sat on the bench that turned over without any crunching noises.

beta rev3

beta rev 3 engine

beta rev3 engine.

 ... the next installment will deal with the engine fit and discovery of a few vital parts that are missing !! .. here soon.