There’s no headshake, and it can even take a good tree hit
to the bars without going off course.
On the flip side, the Beta 350 is a big motorcycle.
Remember, it’s based on the same engine and frame as a
480, and so it feels big and a little heavy. Beta shaved off
a lot of weight this year, but the machine is still no featherweight. It weighs 257 pounds without fuel. That’s about the
same as a Yamaha WR450F and a Honda CRF450X, but
significantly heavier than a KTM 350XC-W. That couples
with the soft suspension setting to make the bike a handful at race speed. You can’t have the best of both worlds.
If you want to take the 350 racing, you’ll have to stiffen
things up and sacrifice plushness.
WHAT ABOUT THAT MOTOR?
We’re amazed by how well the new motor runs. Beta
truly did wait around until the fuel-injection system worked
as well as its carbureted bikes—maybe even better.
Throttle response isn’t jumpy or nervous, as with many
EFI bikes, and it’s still very crisp. We would never have
believed that EPA-approved fuel mapping could work so
well. There’s no popping, no hesitation and no hints that
the mixture is anything other than perfect. The Beta is a
sweetheart too. It’s very reluctant to stall, and the infamous
cough-and-die syndrome is never a factor.
In terms of sheer power, the 350 is about where it should
be. It has way more torque than a 250F, and that allows
you to ride it at low rpm and still go pretty fast without
much effort. If you’re feeling a little tangy, it will rev out
and really move. Peak power is better than a WR450F or
a CRF450X thanks to higher revs, but it’s not in the same
league as a KTM 350. The Beta simply doesn’t rev high
enough. The KTM’s secret to power is pure rpm, going
as high as 13,500 rpm. The Beta peaks about 2000 rpm
lower. Even so, the net powerband is very long, with usable
power starting very low and going for a long, long time
before urging you to shift. The six-speed gearbox has
wide ratios, so you go as fast as your nerve allows on flat
Beta’s attention to detail is a big factor in the bike’s
pleasant personality. Everything works well—from the
super-light pull of the hydraulic clutch to the clean shifting
BETA 350RR EFI
The fork is a Sachs, and
It’s very soft, emphasizing
the Beta’s trail-bike
That’s right, the Beta
350 sells for $9399.
Save your money and
stop making those
• Super-clean EFI
• Electric start with backup
• Excellent brakes
• Hydraulic clutch with light pull
• Push-button seat release
• Very soft suspension
• Slightly heavy
• Very hot muffler
• No handguards
• Yes, that’s a lot of money