Most of the parts on Burson’s Beta are in the Beta catalog. Up-Tite Racing is also a good source for Beta parts and information.
Riding the Purvines express is a blast. Elite desert racing
isn’t like motocross or most other forms of pro racing. If
you rode Ryan Villopoto’s KX450, you wouldn’t have any
fun at all. It would be harsh and unfriendly in every way.
Burson’s Beta, on the other hand, is a plush, easy ride that
would please anyone. The suspension is very soft and
comfy, at least in the configuration that we tried. It might
get stiffer in the future for some of the more whooped-out
desert courses on the schedule, but as of right now, it’s a
pillow of a bike, which suited us just fine.
Even the motor is happy and friendly. It has a long,
smooth powerband with massive torque. It seems to go on
forever, without any peaks or valleys, and it revs almost as
high as a typical 450 motocross bike. Most of Nick’s competition ride pure motocross machines in the desert. Kurt
Caselli won last year’s national title on the old, twin-cam
KTM MX bike, which is generally regarded as the fastest
motorcycle in the desert. Nick’s Beta is powerful in its own
right, but it’s not hard-hitting, and it doesn’t have a sharp
snap. It just pulls hard and smooth.
One big advantage Burson has in riding a true off-road
bike is that he doesn’t have to use a close-ratio,
motocross gearbox with tall gearing. In most races, he
runs stock gearing. That gives him a low first gear for
canyons, and he can still top out in the 90s in sixth gear.
We didn’t go that fast, but it was clear that the bike could
get up to top speed in a hurry.
Another advantage for Nick is that he can use the kickstarter and the electric starter in unison on dead-engine
mass starts. The guys with KX450s have to hope their
bikes fire up on the first kick, and guys like Caselli have to
rely on the slow-turning electric starter. Nick gets it both
Everything about the Purvines race bike makes riding
easy—from the low vibration level to the super-easy pull of
the hydraulic clutch. It’s one of the few pro race bikes we
have ridden that would work for virtually anyone—from a
rank beginner to a guy like Nick who races about 50 times
a year. Maybe that’s the secret to such a busy schedule—
riding the Beta makes you want to race every weekend. ;