By Chris Barrett And Photos By Mark Kariya
Beta invited us out to the MotoVentures Testing Facility this past weekend for their 2013 dealer test ride day. They had an impressive turn out of off-road enthusiasts that were anxious for a chance to ride the all-new line-up. We were greeted with a cold, light drizzle in the morning that eventually turned into a full on rain/hail storm that would last for most of the day. The unusual Southern California weather was cold and wet, but it did have its benefits; it kept the dirt primo all day and also cut down a smidge on some of the long lines to ride the bikes.
Personally, I love two-stroke off-roaders. They feel light and they chug way down in the revs without the fear of stalling. These are big points for me when testing these bikes and the new Beta two-strokes covered both lightness and chuggability. Both the 250RR and 300RR can drop way down in the revs without any threat of stalling and that is a huge benefit in the tight stuff. I love how you can lug these bikes up hills or rocks with great feel and control of what the rear wheel is doing. The 250RR has a smooth power delivery down low that comes to life with a crack of the wrist. It is very easy to control in the tight stuff and has plenty of torque for any situation. Where the 250 is smooth down low and then revs quick when you twist the throttle, the 300 revs slower, but gives you more torque and instant power right off idle. This is a plus for the bigger riders, but does require a little more respect for throttle control. If you do want more of a hit or smoother power, the delivery can be changed by adjusting the power valve. We didn’t get a chance to try it out on this day, but look forward to playing around with it. Another great feature is the electric starter. Although some say it’s not necessary on a two-stroke, I hate riding without them. Nothing makes you happier than that little button when you stall in a sketchy situation. And it’s nice to see that it wasn’t an afterthought on the bike; they located it under the motor for better weight distribution. These Betas have that light two-stroke feel that we all love and makes them a blast to ride in the rocks. The hydraulic clutch has a great feel and the suspension worked decent with the settings everyone road with for the day. We only got a taste of the new Betas and it left us all wanting more.
Even though our main focus for the day was on the new 250 and 300RR two-strokes, we got a chance to ride most of the bikes including the freshly revised four-stroke off-roaders, which saw a major improvement in weight. We also spent some time on the dual-sports and even poked around on the newly designed trials bikes. The day was long and cold, but I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday. We will be logging a lot of hours on the new 300RR, so keep your eyes peeled for the full test in the near future.