The Beta isn’t as quiet as a Japanese dual-sport bike or even
a CRF450X. But, it’s legal and much easier on the ears than a
Beta has new wheels this year. The Nissin brakes are outstanding.
Sachs suspension isn’t common, but the quality is
comparable to KYB, Showa or WP.
a new decompressor, a lighter swingarm, new wheels and
new Sachs suspension components at both ends. Perhaps
the biggest news of all is the instrumentation. The Beta
comes with a Voyager GPS instead of a simple speedometer. It gives you normal trip info, plus navigation capability and even coolant temperature. At this point no other
manufacturer has taken this step.
There’s no way you would know the Beta 450RS is
street-legal from an experience in the saddle. You might
accidentally hit the horn button or see yourself in one of
the mirrors, but from a pure performance point of view, the
bike seems to be 100 percent dirt. Even those mirrors fold
up so they don’t get in the way.
What’s better, it’s a very good dirt bike. The pow-
erband is outstanding. It runs smoothly off the bot-
tom with none of that on-or-off, toggle-switch throttle
response common on fuel-injected bikes. The Beta has
very light engine braking that transitions to mellow acceler-
ation with a little throttle. When you’re ready for big power,
it can be summoned in a hurry or metered out evenly. The
450 is no slouch. The power output is excellent, with a
happy little hit in the middle just for fun. But, it’s no 450
motocross bike. At high rpm, the Beta signs off gradually
without the crazy over-rev that most MX bikes have. It
still has enough power to hold its own on the track, but it
won’t outpull an MXer in full moto trim with a competition
muffler. The Beta comes with a reasonably quiet, Italian-
made spark-arrestor/silencer that’s easy on the ears but
still much louder than a Japanese dual-sport bike. If you
want to order the bike with an FMF Q, you can do that
through the Build Your Own Beta program. That’s legal
in this case, because the original pipe has no catalyst.