[News]

2020 Beta Models: The Upgrades

4 weeks ago | Words: Andy Wigan | Photos: Beta Motorcycles

After releasing an all-new 200cc two-stroke a year ago, Beta’s design team has been busy. Really busy! Which is why the Italian manufacturer hasn’t been shy about blowing its own trumpet this year. And why would they? Because for 2020, Beta has unveiled eight new-generation enduro (RR) models: four two-strokes and four four-strokes. All come with a redesigned chassis and subframe, and radically different bodywork, tank and seat, while the engines in the four-strokes – which come in 350, 390, 430 and 480cc capacities and, according to Beta’s PR, four very different personalities – are all redesigned from the ground up. Ohh, and they’ve added a counter-balancer to the flagship 250 and 300cc two-stroke powerplants for the first time too.
Stayed tuned in the coming weeks for our feedback from the Australian media launch for the Beta’s 2020 RR range. But in the meantime, here’s a snapshot of the updates that appear on the new machines, plus pricing and availability details…

ENGINE UPGRADES

125cc Two-Stroke:

  • New cylinder with modified exhaust port and diameters;
  • New exhaust flange;
  • New exhaust valve system and new boosters;
  • New clutch cover with air purging system operated by the modified clutch mechanism;
  • Modified oil inlet cap position;
  • New exhaust valve drive opens at a different rate to improve power delivery;
  • New expansion chamber.

These modifications (derived straight from the 2019 Racing model) are aimed at achieving added torque at low rpm, more power at the high revs and, at the same time, a bike that is easier to ride.

250/300cc Two-Stroke:

  • Now with a counter-balancer to reduce vibration by increasing inertia and improving the power delivery curve. The counter-balancer improves the power delivery throughout the rpm range; and
  • Cylinder head redesigned (250cc only) to improve torque at low rpm.

350/390/430/480cc Four-Stroke:

  • A complete redesign, with the aim of reducing the weight and bulk of moving parts, achieved by raising the clutch and moving the crankshaft back. Moving the centre of gravity closer to the swingarm pivot makes for significantly better handling;
  • An overall weight reduction of around 1 kg;
  • A redesigned magnesium clutch cover redeveloped to improve the oil flow into the clutch assembly more efficiently;
  • Magnesium flywheel cover, redesigned in line with the rest of the engine, now with a more functional and modern look;
  • New water-pump system that improves flow rate and therefore the efficiency of the cooling system’s ability to transfer heat – keeping average temperatures lower, improving performance, and providing a more simplified cooling hose system;
  • Cylinder and head redesigned to match with the updated cooling system to lower engine temperatures;
  • Oil circuit redesigned to provide better heat transfer between oil and water in the front section of the crankcase in order to keep the oil temperature lower;
  • Clutch with redesigned plates that use a new material to ensure smoother and more modular gear shifting;
  • Redesigned gearing, now shorter and lighter;
  • New gearshift mechanism with lighter cam to improve shifting;
  • Gearshift lever redesigned in line with the new engine and frame layout;
  • Addition of a neutral sensor;
  • Shorter 430/480cc gearing compared to previous models; and
  • Updated EFI mapping.

CHASSIS & ERGO UPGRADES

  • New frame with redesigned geometry and rigidity for increased agility and stability. Weight is reduced and reliability boosted with the use of precision-cast components, while comfort is improved and vibration reduced, thanks to new head bolts. The frame is also narrower at the base, which improves handling over difficult sections and typical off-road tracks;
  • Modified swingarm, now longer for the four-stroke range and the 200cc two-stroke model, for better stability and traction;
  • Completely redesigned subframe. It’s stronger to reduce breakage during off-road riding, while all filter box components and related accessories are now housed inside it (electrical components and oil reservoir for two-strokes);
  • Completely new superstructure (front cowl, front and rear fenders, ducts and fairings) that improves ergonomics and the operation of all related parts retaining the Italian design Beta is known for;
  • Exhaust with new layout in line with the bike’s new rear section.
  • New air filter boot;
  • Improved cooling system with water hoses placed inside the frame and more efficient radiators. This improves heat transfer and allows engines to operate at lower temperatures, even in the most extreme conditions;

  • Larger capacity fuel tanks (9.1L for four-strokes and 9.5L for two- strokes). Besides providing greater range, the new fuel tanks improve ergonomics and ease-of-movement in the cockpit;
  • Wider handlebars for greater control;
  • Sidestand with bigger foot;
  • New precision-cast footpegs that are better at shedding mud and teeth to increase boot grip;
  • New chain guide is longer to suit new swingarm;
  • New brake pedal is more robust and with larger bearings; and
  • New filter mounting system, providing quicker and more accurate installation.

SUSPENSION UPGRADES

  • Improved fork design compared to previous version, with new inner cartridge to lower the centre of gravity, providing the perfect level of plushness while also improving the action of square-edge impacts.
  • Fork valving has been updated to work in-line with the new frame design;
  • New rear shock absorber with new top-out system – now a spring to improve grip and contact with the ground during hard braking;
  • New longer shock bumper with more progressive compression. This ensures good protection of the buffer and improves bottoming resistance;
  • New shock valving, to work in line with the new frame;

OTHER DESIGN UPGRADES

  • Front fender with variable thickness, which reduces weight and increases rigidity;
  • New tailpiece (and attachments) in techno-polymer;
  • New handlebar protector;
  • Redesigned seat is more comfortable when moving about on the bike;
  • New silencer protector (excluding 125cc);
  • New digital instruments and instrument panel;
  • Redesigned skidplate;
  • New rear light and licence plate bracket with integrated handles; and
  • New frame protectors.

PRICES & TIMING

The first shipment of Beta’s new-generation RR MY 2020 models arrived in Australia in late July, while the remainder of the model range is expected to be on dealership floors in early October. The Australian distributor for Beta Motorcycles, Lowry Australia, confirmed the following pricing* for all eight model:

  • RR125 2T: $11,495
  • RR200 2T: $12,295
  • RR250 2T: $12,595
  • RR300 2T: $13,095
  • RR350 4T: $13,295
  • RR390 4T: $13,595
  • RR430 4T: $13,795
  • RR480 4T: $13,995

* All prices include GST, but exclude on-road costs.

Lowry Australia will also be bringing a number of up-specced ‘Racing’ models into Australia (most of which have been pre-ordered). They’ll start arriving in January, 2020, at prices that are soon to be announced.

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