Beta Alp 4.0

A collection of information as it arises. There's not a lot out there!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Oil change

On purchase my Alp had 1200km, 1500km by the time it was home. I didn't think that the previous owner would have done the 1000km oil change so that was a priority.

The owner's handbook details the job pretty well, but it's worth pointing out that the sump plug is 17mm, frame plug 8mm, strainer plug 18mm and strainer hose clamp 7mm. The 'sump guard' mountings are 8mm too. I'd also add a few points:

1. Take care when draining the frame - have a jug present as the oil has a fair hydrostatic pressure and will squirt a long way as the plug comes out.

2. When removing the brass plug with gauze I would suggest removing the blue hose from it. Start it sliding by rotating a large, smooth flat-bladed screwdriver at the pipe's cut end. After starting it slid off readily. The manual seems to suggest undoing the clip and then letting the pipe rotate whilst attached. This works to a degree but does make it hard to withdraw the gauze.

The gauze had collected a bit of swarf and in the absence of an air line I manged to remove it using WD40 on a kitchen paper towel. The sump oil was carrying an obvious level of debris despite the paper oil filter so the job was essential.

The oil filter change was easy and exactly as described in the manual.

Including a 10km warm up trip the job took 75 minutes, some of which was cleaning up after the unexpected oil squirt!

Sunday, October 23, 2005


The side, or prop, stand has been mentioned in some online reviews as being too long. I can now confirm that it is! I had difficulty finding a good place to leave the bike on a short trip on saturday and then 10 minutes later a draft from a truck blew it over. Drat it! Very little damage as the leverguard took the impact. However that was then too close to the lever (I've already had to bend the guard on the clutch side as the PO had left the too close). A bit of bending sorted the guard as a temporary measure but this means that 2 jobs are needed:

1. shorten the stand by 1cm or so - but not too much
2. get a set of shorty levers or cut and lumiweld standard ones

Unfortunately I haven't had time for a proper trip out

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


OK, got my vehicle tax yesterday so now can take it on the road without concern. I also cleaned off some dust and polished the fork stanchions. That revealed a few tiny spots where chrome has been chipped off but nothing too severe.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Home time

Company picture of an Alp 4.0
So I rode home 300km on my new Beta Alp 4.0. Why is it a 4.0 when it's 350cc? Could be that it's a 4 stroke? No, the 200cc 4 stroke model is called a 200!

The seller was pretty surprised that I didn't have a van for the journey and said 'it's a trail bike'. Yes it is, of a kind, but I will want to do longish trips too. Anyway no problems once I'd got air in the front tyre.

Friday, October 14, 2005


OK, so I've committed to buy this bike and assummed that it would be cheap to insure. On calling my current insurer they wanted £220 to add it to my policy for 8 months. So much? "Oh, it's a group 8 bike, quite new, blah, blah blah".

A bit of research and I found a quote on line from ebikeinsurance with a lower excess, very similar terms & conditions, recovery etc for £130 for the full year including another bike. A big enough difference to make it worth canceling the other policy and losing 'administration fees'. The moral of this story is to keep shopping around. My previous insurers were a good deal for the bike I had and insured 2 years ago, but not just now.