Beta, in case you haven’t heard the news, is the newest
100-year-old company on the block. Over the last 20
years, Beta has become a key player in the trials world
and has more recently entered the off-road world with a
line of four-strokes. That history, perhaps, explains a little
about the company’s new two-strokes. Not only is the
motor mechanically similar to products Beta was already
making, but so is its mission. The two-stroke motor, in
both 300 and 250cc displacements, is a blend of what the
company learned from its RR off-road four-strokes and its
trials bikes. The chassis is almost identical to that of the
four-stroke, and the engine is a very traditional case-reed
design, with the exception of the electric starter that is
hidden within the cases.
The Gerston bike isn’t that far from a stock Beta 250.
The motor is pretty much stock, aside from an FMF pipe
and a specially made Q short silencer. Stillwell re-valved
the fork, and Max installed his Fox rear shock. Max uses a
Rekluse basket with a manual clutch, but the bike is a work
in progress. If he eventually uses the bike for EnduroCross,
it will probably get an EXP automatic clutch, which is what
he uses on his 350 four-stroke. It might also get Tire Balls
instead of the Dunlop mousse currently in the bike.
We expected to like Max’s bike since we loved the stock-
er that we tested a few months ago. The Beta is snappy,
like all two-strokes, but it has a low-rpm reservoir of clean-
running power that allows you to dip the motor to very low
rpm without worrying about stalling. Even if the bike does
stall, the electric starter can quickly remedy the problem. In
sheer acceleration, the Beta 250 isn’t as fast as a Yamaha
YZ250 two-stroke or a KTM 250, but it’s close. It runs
cleaner than either of those and is just as responsive.
Max had his own take on the bike. He had thought the
300 two-stroke he recently rode to fourth at the Last Dog
We visited Max on an Arizona
road trip where he gave us a
demonstration on Taylor Robert’s
private EnduroCross course.