When talking about real dirt bikes that come from the factory with license plates, there are only three brands that offer said machines. Out of those three, Beta is the newest to join the street-legal brigade, and it offers five models in its RR-S line: the 125 RR-S, 350 RR-S, 390 RR-S, 430 RR-S, and 500 RR-S. As you may have noticed, Beta doesn’t like to conform to the typical dirt bike displacements, yet, since it is an off-road brand, adhering to the strict 250 and 450 sizes that trickled down from motocross isn’t necessary; it can experiment with different-size motors and let the customer decide what works for them.
To keep things from getting out of hand with so many models, Beta’s model lineup has its mellower off-road four-strokes being street-legal, then its gnarlier Race Edition models, which are off-road only. The Race Edition bikes have a few different components and none of the extra street-legal components, or the weight that comes with them.
Speaking of weight, the '18 430 RR-S is claimed to be 8.7 pounds lighter than last year’s machine, but as our shop scales show, it is still a hefty 270 pounds. The 430 ditched the kickstarter, but the cases are the same as the ’17 and can be retrofitted with a kickstart backup if desired. Additionally, the clutch is all-new and is another place that the bike lost some weight. It also has a new frame that is said to be more rigid than previous RR-Ss. Other new items include a new gear change system, new fork slider, stronger turn signals, new Excel rims, and white plastics.