The purpose of this thread is to document a wide array of the technical and experiential aspects of the 2019 (and many years) of Beta off road and street legal off road motorcycles. I typically do multiple edits on posts, so when a new addition pops up and looks unfinished, it will get updated usually within a day. Some ideas presented will be 'different', arising from many decades of riding and competition with a heavy technical and technique component. I hope whatever dribbles out below will do some good or at least be entertaining ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Why did I choose Beta? Why not KTM or Husqvarna or Sherco or GasGas? Certainly they all have great bikes with the latest technology. Lots of followers. Why not one of the very solid Japanese brands? I've much experience with Japanese bikes, particularly Kawasaki, and Yamaha. I have nothing but respect for them. Beta got my business for several reasons. There are lots of reasons that can get complicated, but basically I needed a street legal 4 stroke, which knocked out Sherco and GasGas, and I determined after much thought and demo-ing that I wanted 350-400cc displacement. I also wanted to directly experience machines and various displacements, and Beta was the only one to make that easier for me early in the year. Thirty-five years of trials competition after motocross, enduro, and cross country racing years was critical. Trials altered my preferences and techniques greatly! Beta, being one of the top trials bikes manufacturers has had some trials influence cross over into their off-road bikes. So I'm a Sherco trials guy and wanted a Sherco. But 300 was a bit small and I learned through demos that I definitely did NOT want a 450. The street legal part could have been forced with Sherco, but they did not offer the size I wanted. Beta had a tour of demos going on and I signed up for one in January. I could feel and appreciate some attributes of Beta's trials connection in the demo rides. A Beta RR or RR-S is NOT a trials bike by any stretch! If anything, less aggressive power and more total rotational inertia (more flywheel effect), even lower seat height, a r e a l l y w i d e ratio transmission... all would suit me better. The Beta design I found worthy and refined. Great quality, stability, and proven reliability. Quality The engine design is top notch. The top end is DOHC, dual overhead cam, and a little larger than KTM/Husqvarna, Honda, and others. The design stresses the valve train less than SOHC or compact Uni-cam designs. The bottom end is robust and very well made. Frame and suspension components, and finally, the plastic are top notch. Beta gets some criticism in wiring and connectors, and while that has some justification, some easy setup steps can reduce potential problems to being a non issue. Stability & Reliability The basic design has been improved in many details, evolving to better and lighter. It is now into 9th year after the intro of the Beta-designed-and-made engine. Mature means stable and reliable. Engine Size It is significant that Beta is the only manufacturer left that offers a 400-size bike in the 390, which is a stroked 350. The crank stroke on the 390 is the longest of all the sizes: 350: 57.4mm 390: 63.4mm 430/480/500: 60.8mm The 350s were my favorite for single track and technical riding. It just has power everywhere, including right off the bottom. I did the least amount of short shifting with the 350. The 390 pulled the head strings, however, offering more torque for more relaxed mid- and high-speed riding than the 350, and is not as insanely powerful or torqy as a 430-500cc bike. The 390 feels a little heavier and less 'flickable' than the 350, but it feels lighter than any bike over 400cc, including the 430. But of course so much depends on the loose nut behind the handlebars, you and me. Each size has its fans and justifications. Why a street-legal version of an off-road bike? For $11,000 I don't want to be limited to off-road! There is so little difference between an RR and an RR-S. The RR-S just adds some nice-to-haves, like a fan kit and street legal hardware. In a blindfold test it's hard to tell the two models apart. I had several people insist it isn't a big deal to street-legalize an off-road bike. I've spent a lifetime doing stuff like that. If I was going to spend the big bucks, I decided that though I could, I did not want to. And why a 4 stroke? Though I prefer 2-stroke trials bikes by a wide margin, I prefer the power characteristics of 4 strokes for everything else. Of particular benefit is not having to use the rear brake much. Long story, but given some right-foot issues, the added engine braking I do not see as a negative. I did a number of test rides on 4 strokes and found I could haul butt and hardly ever touch the rear brake. Then I'd try a 2 stroke and HAD to use the rear brake a lot to not blow through corners. Though the BYOB (build your own Beta program) is highly successful and I did investigate and choose a number of expen$ive options, when it came time to order the bike BYOB, delivery was 6 weeks out. I needed a significant setup period before a scheduled ride, so I changed my order to no options and outside of BYOB. That cut off four weeks of wait time. I picked my 390 up April 5, 2019. Very pleased! The bike has a great personality and no major flaws like excessive vibration or weird noises. Now I am deep into my usual very detailed setup, with modifications, which usually exceeds a hundred hours of work with frequent test rides. I've made a long string of changes already, some of which are documented in a larger thread on the Betas, starting about page 208: https://advrider.com/f/threads/beta-rr-rs-4t-enduro-thread.310439/page-208 My propensity for technical detail in a more general subject matter forum was not welcome by a few so I decided to shifting the greater level of detail here. Stay tuned!