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  • Beta RR250 & RR300 known issues, common mods & setup tips

    A summary of known issues for Beta RR300, RR250 and Xtrainer owners. Most are the small problems that occur with any brand. Most of the guys in our group are riding Betas and we love them! The big issues? Main bearing failures (only a 5% failure rate according to Beta USA) and poor quality fork anodising.

    MAIN BEARING FAILURES
    This has been a problem with 2018 and 2019 two strokes especially, but thankfully rare on earlier models. We don't have a lot of details, but Beta USA advises that improper installation of the main bearings has caused up to a 5% failure rate, occurring anywhere between one to 100 hours of use. Chats with dealers indicate some have not seen the issue, others in up to 10% of their two stroke models.

    Unfortunately the factory has stayed very quiet about this. Beta USA have responded exceptionally well, even fixing bikes outside of warranty. Dealers and distributors in other countries have not always been as responsive, to say the least.



    POOR QUALITY ANODISING ON FORK INTERNALS
    For some years the Racing editions came with Marzocchi forks. The build quality, tolerances, and finish on the coatings is poor and many riders reported their fork oil turning to sludge very quickly and premature wear of internal parts.

    Unfortunately, Beta then changed the Racing edition forks to Sachs with the red uppers. The anodising on the inner tubes is extremely poor, and in some cases didn't even completely cover the tubes from new. It rubs off very quickly and many owners were finding their fork oil was turning to sludge again very quickly, just like the old Marzocchis... plus they were being charged hundreds to have the forks reanodised. Eventually some dealers/distributors realised this was a known issue and were fixing them under warranty.

    We have also had reports of this happening on some of the base model Sachs (black uppers) but thankfully it's quite rare.

    ELECTRIC START 2020 & 2021
    Quite a few guys are starting up their new bikes and quickly getting a crunch then the bike locks up... some on the very first start up. It's a problem Beta is a aware of, and probably a lack of proper heat treatment on the ring gear for the starter. Take it straight to the dealer for a warranty claim, don't attempt to start the bike!


    The small issues? Here was a first vid based on the 2015 Beta two strokes.



    But Beta seems to be dropping the ball more in recent years with quality control so here are our follow up vids. Feel free to go through these and make sure you've got these potential problems covered!









    THE SMALLER KNOWN ISSUES
    - For some locations the carby is set up too rich, consult Beta's excellent jetting chart to lean it out if needed after a run in ride.
    - Float level is a tad too high at 6.5mm (measured from body to floats, with the tang just resting) - extend it out to 7.5-8mm.
    - The seat base can rub on the positive lead to the battery, zip tie a bit of rubber or plastic for protection.
    - Frame protectors don't extend high enough, boots can rub paint off the frame - cut some rubber or plastic & zip tie.
    - Bigger-sized boots tend to rub the decals off the side panels.
    - A few report the two engine breather hoses can come off, just zip tie them tight.
    - Wiring behind headlight can rub on the head stem - just zip tie out of the way.
    - Side stand end is too small and sinks in soft ground, screw on a bit of plastic or weld an alloy plate on.
    - A few models had the wrong sized rubber join between the pipe and muffler - just zip tie it tight, or get the right sized one.
    - Swingarm/mudflap edges rub on swingarm, trim the flap (fixed in 2017)
    - If you ride in big rocks and/or gnarly terrain the chain guide is too flimsy and the chain derails easily, get something like the TDM guide.
    - Keep airbox drain clear, water can pool and get into the carb eventually
    - Six cases internationally of starters working intermittently, it's loose connection in the wiring loom (info here).
    - Is your speedo resetting itself regularly? Try zip ties on the incoming wires to anchor them more securely.


    COMMON MODS ETC
    - Shorten & reroute radiator overflow tube to stop short of the skidplate (can then see if bike's overheating).
    - Like KTMs, the outer fork guard bolts can be hit by rocks, replace with dome head allen type bolts if a concern.
    - Seal up steering lock, or don't get water near it (can dribble down & rust lower steering bearing).
    - Some with smaller boots report hitting false neutrals with the long gear shift (use a shorter CRF250R 2004 to 2008 lever).
    - If your leg moves the fuel tap lever when riding then hacksaw the extended part off.
    - Trim the fuel petcock lever if your leg moves it, or reverse fuel tap (e.g. lever pointing inwards) & use a longer hose.
    - Rear suspension increased by 7mm using wish bone from 2012 450RR Cross Country model (part no. 020-331300-000).
    - Remove inner teeth of brake pedal, might punch a hole through the clutch cover in a stack.
    - You can add a mapping switch for more tuning options if you didn't buy the Racing version.
    - Better full lock turns - remove lock nuts an screw bolts in further, trim radiator guards so they don't hit the forks.
    - The Beta engine is already superb but some feel modding the power valve spring can improve it even further.
    - Clutch is just a tad heavier than the KTMs, consider Midwest Clever Levers or the superb Clake One Light clutch if you are cashed up.
    - Some dislike the stock kill switch and get the KTM-style one.
    - Consider a radiator fan &/or bigger radiators if doing slow technical terrain in warmer climates.
    - The Beta is bit smaller and lower than the KTM, if you are tall consider risers and Fastway pegs which are further back and down.
    - For slower technical riding many find an extra tooth or three on the rear sprocket works wonders.
    - Into wheelies? Unlike the KTM rear fender the Beta one will snap if you flip it so consider two small cuts either side to allow flexing.
    - One rider reported kickstarter touching underside of fuel tank, trim the tip if this is happening.
    - Reroute top carburetor breather tubes in to the airbox
    - To get more adjustment on rear shock preload, loosen both carburetor clamps then lever the air boot away from rear spring for more clearance
    - On 2016 oil injection models, cable tie the oil injection tube where it fits over the brass fitting just before the reed block (see this post).

    CHASING A LIGHTER CLUTCH?
    The standard clutch is very heavy, at least compared to a KTM. It was lightened on more recent models but it's still not great compared to the Austrian bikes. Here are three options if you do lots of technical riding and clutch slipping:
    - Budget option is a Midwest clutch lever, using extra leverage and a longer pull
    - Fit a larger master cylinder from an earlier Beta Factory model (details here)
    - For an incredibly light clutch, get the Clake ONE light clutch if you are cashed up.



    PROTECTION
    You can really go to town on this gear. Unlike KTM, Beta have excellent prices on most of their parts so check out all their bling and performance mods etc. This starts with the essentials and then on to stuff for more extreme riding...

    - Get some handguards or barkbusters on there as soon as possible!
    - The pipe needs a carbon fiber guard at the very least (P3 pipe guard is the toughest we could find and recommend it)
    - A good light weight bashplate is the P3 but the Force Accessories skid plate/pipe guard for heavy duty riding
    - If doing a lot of big rocks and logs consider a linkage guard (Fastway linkage guard is cool as it allows adjusting the linkage length too).
    - Case saver.
    - Stock lower chain guard may not be strong enough for extreme riding.
    - Radiator guards if you anticipate dropping the bike a fair bit (and who doesn't?)
    - Rear disc guard
    - Billet rear brake pedal (check out Boano).

    For an excellent set of tips for racing on the Betas visit this thread: http://www.betarider.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=797

  • #2
    Oh no so many problems, I better not buy one!!!!!
    2018 Beta 480

    Comment


    • #3
      Good list.

      I rekon Beta are almost impossible to boil the rads, even with all the Wildwood crashing I do.

      Rad fan seems a waste of $$$.

      Not a fan of a Midwest lvr. I couldn't get used to it.
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      2018 KTM & Husky 250/300 JD Jetting Kits now in stock!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Mescaline View Post
        Oh no so many problems, I better not buy one!!!!!
        that's the spirit!

        Originally posted by Keg View Post
        ...I rekon Beta are almost impossible to boil the rads, even with all the Wildwood crashing I do. Rad fan seems a waste of $$$....Not a fan of a Midwest lvr. I couldn't get used to it.
        agreed on the radiators keg. mine have been fine despite some very slow hard riding. must have been a death valley rider who suggested the fan.

        rethinking the midwest lever, they certainly have their fans but plenty didn't like them either.

        Comment


        • #5
          I've been riding KTM's since 2003. After reading that list I think I'll stay that way.


          Even my vintage Yammies have a to do list smaller 2
          NO WUCKIN FURRIES.

          Comment


          • #6
            funny, i felt the opposite way after compiling a brief list of known issues with the ktm two strokes here.

            all the beta stuff is niggling stuff and similar to prepping the kato, whereas that starter motor on the kato is major design flaw that saw me changing teams.

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            • #7
              I reversed the fuel tap on mine, so the lever points inwards. Then run a longer hose.
              Beta 200RR

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              • #8
                all very minor issues really that youd knock over in an afternoon & a 6 pack...or 2. hope they tame the brightness factor down for 16 though. bit too much red on the 15s. 14s were nice.
                '18 GG XC250!

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                • #9
                  Just got my 250rr bush-ready (adr bits now in a box under the house). Hanging to ride it!

                  I was setting sag & noticed if you need to use most of the preload on the shock (the standard rear spring is fitted currently) to achieve correct sag, the pre-load & lock collars foul on the air boot.

                  Anyone noticed this or had one wear through? I can imagine it wouldn't be pretty if you didn't keep an eye on it & it holed mid-ride, sucking in dirty water & dust..
                  2020 Beta RR300

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                  • #10
                    I had the shock out on the weekend and everything cleared fine.

                    Got any pics?
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                    2018 KTM & Husky 250/300 JD Jetting Kits now in stock!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by katokonvert View Post
                      Just got my 250rr bush-ready (adr bits now in a box under the house). Hanging to ride it!

                      I was setting sag & noticed if you need to use most of the preload on the shock (the standard rear spring is fitted currently) to achieve correct sag, the pre-load & lock collars foul on the air boot.

                      Anyone noticed this or had one wear through? I can imagine it wouldn't be pretty if you didn't keep an eye on it & it holed mid-ride, sucking in dirty water & dust..
                      Hey Christian, I just checked mine.

                      The lock collars weren't rubbing against the air boot,, but the rear spring was.

                      Easily fixed.

                      Remove seat & tank
                      Loosen both carby clamps
                      Lever the air boot away from the rear spring (to give clearance) with a large screwdriver
                      Re-tighten the carby clamps, and ithey should stay clear from each other.

                      Enjoy your new bike. the 250 is a hoot.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks, Chris - great fix, I'll do it.

                        I went for a spin a round the neighbourhood on the bike today - jee-zus!!

                        Snappy motor, nice jetting (stock, was idling a little high & the idle speed rose when I turned the bar right - gotta tighten cable into carby..), chassis feels like mountain bike, nice balance on the pegs, front wheel came up easily in 4th, good brakes, although front may need a bleed.

                        Will write a review after a ride or two - bring on the weekend!
                        2020 Beta RR300

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by katokonvert View Post
                          ...chassis feels like mountain bike....
                          cool hey? on paper they are 2kg heavier than the katos but the beta feels lighter and more chuckable.

                          put a P3 carbon fibre pipe guard on just a few days too late, got my first little ding in the pipe. -smile

                          it's $20 to $30 more than other guards but has few more layers of carbon fibre so is a lot less likely to break.

                          picked up their bashplate too, i think i'll run the force accessories one most of the time but will swap to the P3 when putting the beta into trials mode and trying to minimise weight.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mr bergman View Post
                            cool hey? on paper they are 2kg heavier than the katos but the beta feels lighter and more chuckable.
                            And more stable at high speeds... Everyone I know who owns one is amazed at the combination of agility and stability, they ride like a Honda in a lot of ways. Must have something to do with the colour.
                            Owen & Amber 2

                            Amber
                            2014 KTM FREERIDE 250R aka MOUNTAIN GOAT

                            Owen
                            2015 BETA 300RR

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Team200 View Post
                              And more stable at high speeds... Everyone I know who owns one is amazed at the combination of agility and stability, they ride like a Honda in a lot of ways. Must have something to do with the colour.
                              !psm

                              it is an awesome combination! i think the guys must be getting sick of me raving about the beta all the time. went a little bit nuts on the final leg home yesterday and was riding up the sidewalls of the tracks, stoppies down hill, flicking the rear out over little bumps.

                              the 250exc didn't seem to inspire the same silliness and had that well known head shake at speed. long live the italian princess.

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