First and foremost, it’s important to understand Beta’s vision for the Explorer. This bike is the result of a collaboration between Beta and Chinese motorcycle manufacturer Apollo, known for their RFN model. While Beta’s specifications were incorporated into the Explorer, it is crucial to recognize that this is a joint effort between the two companies.
According to Beta, the Explorer is designed as an entry-level play bike to introduce riders, both new and experienced, to the world of e-Moto. Beta explicitly states that this is not a performance model, which helps to set realistic expectations and comprehend the motorcycle’s purpose.
With these expectations in mind, let’s see what makes the Explorer tick.
Beta Explorer Quick Specifications
The Explorer has three modes: Turtle, Rabbit, and Rocket Mode. In Rocket Mode, the bike can reach a peak power output of 12.5 Kw, but unfortunately, this mode only lasts for 10 seconds at a time. For the majority of the ride, the bike operates at a more familiar 5kW of nominal power.
Key features of the Explorer include a removable 74v 35Ah Battery, KKE fork and shock, 19″ front and 18″ rear wheels with Kenda tires as standard, a seat height of 33.8″, and a weight of 150lbs with the battery included. As for the price, it is subject to change, but currently stands at $5,200.
Noteworthy additional features include a flip-up seat with storage capacity and adjustable pegs. On an aesthetic level, the Explorer stands out in its category, earning it significant style points. However, looks alone do not determine the quality of a bike, so in the video, we take the Beta Explorer for a spin and assess its performance.
If your intention is to use this bike for recreational purposes, such as riding it around camp or as a play bike, then there isn’t much to debate. It is an affordable Chinese-made eMoto, and it should be ridden accordingly.
However, we understand that many riders, including ourselves, see the potential for the Explorer to be used as a genuine dirt bike. So, despite its intended purpose, we will evaluate it more critically.
Riding the Beta Explorer
When riding in Rabbit Mode, which is likely where most riders will spend their time, the power output is fairly comparable to other bikes in its class. However, we wish the power delivery would be smoother and more refined. Currently, there is some play in the throttle, resulting in noticeable throttle lag and a slight disconnect from the bike.
Another observation is that at low speeds or when encountering obstacles like big rocks or steep inclines, the power delivery experiences resistance, making it challenging to get the bike going in slow or challenging terrain.
While these issues can typically be resolved with controller and throttle tuning, it’s important to remember that we are discussing the stock version of the bike.
In terms of ergonomics, the Explorer excels with its shrouds and seat, allowing riders to grip the bike comfortably. Unlike some competitors, it offers a larger surface area in this department, providing a more authentic mini dirt bike experience rather than feeling like you’re riding a mountain bike.
How We Would Modify The Beta Explorer
One characteristic that stands out with the Explorer, and one that we noticed with the RFN, is the low feeling front end, which is a common trait among bikes in this weight class. However, the Beta seems to suffer the most from this pronounced stink bug effect. To mitigate this, an upgrade to a 21″ front wheel or an aftermarket fork with a drop crown could help get this bike feeling a little more balanced.
The swing arm on the Explorer has a noticeable amount of flex, even visibly so when pressure is applied to the rear end. Despite this, numerous skilled riders on the ECR team have tested the bike, and while they all acknowledged the flex, it didn’t significantly impact their experience. In fact, in some ways, the compliance of the swing arm helps get traction.
It would be interesting to stiffen the swing arm and observe the difference, but it’s crucial to remember that this bike is primarily designed for play riding.
One major gripe with the Explorer lies in its brake sensors. Even after utilizing the digital shut-off technique, they tend to reactivate and come back to life. We attempted to disconnect the sensors entirely, but this prevented us from powering the bike on. Finding a solution for this issue seems to be crucial, as it significantly affects the riding experience.
A Play Bike With True Potential
In a previous video, we mentioned that the RFN felt more like a play bike or a toy, which aligns with Beta’s positioning of the Explorer. However, we also stated that despite not being marketed as a high-performance model, this bike possesses the potential to be a true contender in the lightweight eMoto market. With a few modifications, the Explorer could truly shine as a performer, and we still stand by that statement.
Ultimately, if you’re looking to use this bike for recreational purposes or simply want to have some fun on an eMoto, it will fulfill those needs perfectly well.
Beta Explorer Specifications
Peak Power: 12.5 Kw
Speeds: Two plus Rock mode – Reverse gear
Battery: 74v35 AH-One Minute to Remove
Frame: Forged Aluminum with steel upper structure
Brakes: Hydraulic 210 mm disc, front & rear
Max Speed: 40 MPH
Charge Time: 2-3 Hours Standard 115v outlet
Warranty: Chassis: Six Months
Warranty: Battery, Charger, Motor: Two Years
Wheels: Aluminum rims with machined hubs
Tires: 90/100-18 Kenda knobby (rear)
70/100-19 Kenda (front)
Front Fork: USD Adjustable
Rear Shock: Adjustable compression, rebound and spring preload – with linkage
Speed One: 50-100 Miles
Speed Two: 30-60 Miles
Seat Height: 33.8”
Weight w/ Battery: 150 lbs
Maximum Load: 265 lbs
Storage: Water bottle/other under the seat
Display: Digital meter – shows range, mode, mph, with total miles