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  #1  
Old 24-10-2013
mtr mtr is offline
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Beta ride day impressions

Took me a while to get around to this, but I wanted to
a: say a big thankyou to Matt from Raceline, (and also Gary) for organising the test ride day last Sunday, and
b: give a brief (didn't end up that way) write up on my thoughts of the bikes I rode.

I was booked in to ride the 300 2 stroke, 350 and 400 4 strokes.

300

It was the first bike I took out and it just didnt click for me. I know everyone who rides this thinks it's the greatest 300 ever but I'm not a 2 stroke guy. I really just wanted to see whether the 2 stroke hype aligned with what I want. I'm sorry to say it did not.

I've been riding 4 strokes for over 20 years and I don't have a feel for what the rear wheel is doing on a 2 banger, so take that for what it's worth (not much). It's not you, it's me

I'm sure if I had enough time I'd adjust but a 10 minute test ride wont do that, so I was looking forward to the 4 strokes.

400

Very easy bike to ride, and surprisingly it felt a bit lazy considering it is a lower capacity than I'm used to. I really liked how it handled, and the power was very usable.

But I found it a touch boring.

I'm being pretty harsh, and I wouldnt have said that without the benefit of hindsight. It would be an incredibly forgiving and versatile bike for the less experienced, or for those who perhaps aren't as fit as they'd like to be (or used to be).

To be honest it only suffers in comparison to the others which suit me more.

498

I ended up riding this because someone was out on the 350 and frankly I like big bores. What a f***ing fun bike! So easy to steer on and off the power, it felt amazingly light for a bike its capacity (riding it, I didnt try and pick it up - I don't know nor do I care what it weighs).

It's almost criminal how easy it handled the tight stuff, it was light years beyond what I could get away with on my 2010 YZ450, and you could steer it with the power like a pro whether going fast or slow. Seriously impressive. If I did more high country rides this would be my pick in an instant.

350

This was the bike I was most interested in, and I was not disappointed. Within 15 seconds I knew this was the bike for me. I took off, I braked, slid it round the first corner and nailed it. Every rev of the engine equalled forward momentum.

I could hold the throttle open more. I could open it well before the apex on most corners and it would hold its line impeccably. It did EVERYTHING well, and it flattered me. I felt I could conquer anything on this bike.

Though (obviously) smaller, the engine was much more exciting than the 400, and a really involving ride. I don't know whether it actually is, but it definitely felt more powerful. The only thing I found is that I was shifting too early out of habit, but it wouldn't take long to cure me of that.

I've never felt so at home on a dirt bike, and that it happened immediately was even more impressive to me.

I want one.


My thoughts on:

Brakes
There weren't many places to really test the outright braking of the front (it was a pretty flowing track), and to be honest that wasn't top of my to do list, but I left feeling impressed with it.

Far more powerful than my YZ, even with an oversize rotor. But that's not really saying much, my YZ had shit brakes. Honestly though, I remember the husaberg 390 and 450 having better feel and power at the front.

The rear I could slide with precision, at will, on ALL of the bikes. Loved that rear brake.

Suspension
I really liked the suspension. Especially on the 350 and 498, they handled jumps (very small) and drop offs with ease, comfort and control, and I'm 100kgs without gear. I think this was mainly due to me riding these bikes better and enjoying them more, rather than a deficiency in the 300 or 400.

I'm not a pro, and have always just ridden what I've had to start with even with my weight. Unless the rear is kicking me in the ass (like the YZ) I just ride around it the best that I can. So having established my credentials, I thought all of the bikes I rode had a better starting point than any other dirt bike I've owned.

Build quality
Seriously, the build quality is fantastic and at least a match if not better than anything else out there.
And I've owned my fair share of bikes - Jap, Italian and Spanish (though only Jap dirt bikes). They look mechanically indestructable, and I love the new graphics.

Resale
If you think you are going to enjoy selling your second hand WHATEVER, you are in for a shock. I've got good or better than market prices selling every bike I've ever had (due to my obsessive upkeep), and it is almost always universally painful and expensive.

The way I see it is buy whatever the **** you want and enjoy it. Worry about the inevitable pain when you have to.


There is a 95% chance my next bike will be the Beta 350, unless the ktm or husqvarna blow my poor little mind.


All nothing more than my opinion folks, hope you enjoyed the read.
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Old 24-10-2013
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burner burner is offline
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mate..good honest feedback.
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Old 24-10-2013
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smitty74 smitty74 is offline
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I'm happy to read your feedback...

I've put my name down on a 2014 RR350 Race at my local dealer......he's telling me the race versions won't be here till May ish though... I hope I can wait that long, and those new Husky's don't start calling too loudly!!
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Old 24-10-2013
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Arctra Arctra is offline
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Thanks for the review. I'm going to the NSW Beta ride day in a month or so to test them out for myself. Sounds promising.
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Old 24-10-2013
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Blulu Blulu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtr View Post
498
What a f***ing fun bike! So easy to steer on and off the power, it felt amazingly light for a bike its capacity

It's almost criminal how easy it handled the tight stuff, it was light years beyond what I could get away with on my 2010 YZ450, and you could steer it with the power like a pro whether going fast or slow. Seriously impressive.

.
hehe, stick a pipe on it, & let the good times roll

the 350 is a weapon , with a pipe. in the single its just awesome...

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Quote:
Originally Posted by panhead_pete View Post

If I was smart I'd probably buy a Beta.

.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtr View Post
498
What a f***ing fun bike! So easy to steer on and off the power, it felt amazingly light for a bike its capacity

It's almost criminal how easy it handled the tight stuff, it was light years beyond what I could get away with on my 2010 YZ450, and you could steer it with the power like a pro whether going fast or slow. Seriously impressive.

.
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  #6  
Old 24-10-2013
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Arctra Arctra is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blulu View Post
hehe, stick a pipe on it, & let the good times roll
...
Does it need a pipe? I thought they were pretty much "race ready" although they are no doubt jetted a bit on the lean side to pass ADR/emissions?
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Old 24-10-2013
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crf450 crf450 is offline
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When you ride one with & without a pipe .. its like night & day !!!

The simple slip on for about $349 or there about from FMF is the one priority for these bikes !!

You need to just ride one to see the difference
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Old 24-10-2013
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devans devans is offline
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Nice review. Not that I'm in the market for a new bike, but I would love to have gone for a test ride too. So many bikes to choose from, not enough money to buy.
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  #9  
Old 25-10-2013
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Blulu Blulu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arctra View Post
Does it need a pipe?
imo, yes, the stock 450 i rode was boring compared to the 350 with the pipe.


Quote:
Originally Posted by crf450 View Post
When you ride one with & without a pipe .. its like night & day !!!

The simple slip on for about $349 or there about from FMF is the one priority for these bikes !!

You need to just ride one to see the difference
+ 1

i could only get the FMF povo pipe for $250, the Q4 was out of stock at the time, turns out discobob got it for his 350. So i have one loud big bore, and i luv it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panhead_pete View Post

If I was smart I'd probably buy a Beta.

.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtr View Post
498
What a f***ing fun bike! So easy to steer on and off the power, it felt amazingly light for a bike its capacity

It's almost criminal how easy it handled the tight stuff, it was light years beyond what I could get away with on my 2010 YZ450, and you could steer it with the power like a pro whether going fast or slow. Seriously impressive.

.
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  #10  
Old 25-10-2013
mtr mtr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty74 View Post
I'm happy to read your feedback...

I've put my name down on a 2014 RR350 Race at my local dealer......he's telling me the race versions won't be here till May ish though... I hope I can wait that long, and those new Husky's don't start calling too loudly!!
I hear ya, I'm thinking the exact same thing. Though the boys last Sunday thought more Feb/March unless I misunderstood. They definitely did say Beta do them at the end of the production run though.

I'd be perfectly happy with the standard 350, but I'd definitely choose the upspec version if I had the option. More specifically - if I can wait that long!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blulu View Post
the 350 is a weapon , with a pipe. in the single its just awesome...
Yeah that's the general consensus! Can't wait to ride it with a pipe, cos it rocked my world standard.
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