[Beta]

2024 BETA RR300: PROTECTIVE PARTS FITTED

1 month ago | Words: Andy Wigan | Photos: Leroy Durer & BustaPhoto

At media launches, it’s always fascinating to test the different models in the range back-to-back-to-back; to identify their different character traits and single out your favourite(s). That process is especially interesting with Italian manufacturer, Beta, because they’ve got a smorgasbord of capacities to choose from. In Beta’s 2024 RR (enduro) range alone, there are eight options: four four-strokes and four two-strokes. And while the RR390 has consistently topped the sales figures for the brand’s four-stroke models in recent years, the RR300 two-stroke routinely outsells it.

The beneficiary of an all-new 300cc short-stroke engine that was introduced a couple of years ago, Beta’s RR300 offers a very attractive combination of torquey, low-rev tractability with high-rpm performance. And that means it’s just as home in tech terrain as it is on flowing grasstrack or fifth-gear fire trail. In other words, it’s the most versatile two-stroke in Beta’s RR range. And that’s precisely why we’ve had a 2024 RR300 as a Transmoto project bike for the past few months.

In our view, though, the RR300’s unique short-stroke engine configuration (its 69.9mm stroke is actually shorter than the 250’s 72.0mm!) offers other advantages too. Namely, it tends to run-on less during corner entry, and the engine’s reduced gyro effect makes the entire bike feel more agile than its 250cc brother in tight terrain. As a result, the RR300 tends to lure you into riding technical terrain; to tackle and conquer obstacles you never thought possible. Trust us, it’s a thing as we’ve been unintentionally throwing our RR300 project bike at plenty of extreme terrain of late!

But with tech terrain comes the added risk of bike damage. So, here are some tips about the best bolt-on bits to bolster the protection of Beta’s most popular two-stroke enduro model, the 2024 RR300…

PARTS FITTED…

CARBON FIBRE PIPE GUARD ($299)

What’s not to like about a carbon guard for your two-stroke’s expansion chamber? But there’s more to this thing than looking flash. Made by P3 Carbon, this quality specimen is both lightweight and strong and, with the assistance of two metal clamps (one of which is a bit long and needs to be cut down), it fits the Beta Factory pipe (made by Arrow) like a made-to-measure glove. Plus, unlike some lesser-quality carbon pipe guards, this unit comes with a few cleverly positioned vibration-damping pads (made from exhaust packing material) and a high-temp coating on the underside to resist heat. Yes, it needs to be removed from time to time to clean the dirt out, but that’s way better than the alternative: either no pipe protection at all, or one of those massive alloy bargeboards that weighs a tonne and looks like it belongs on a tank! It does take a while to get accustomed to the ‘cracking’ sound the carbon guard makes when slammed by a rock, but it’s proved to be super-robust after all sorts of abuse. And, most importantly, it’s safeguarded the integrity of the expansion chamber, and the power it produces.

AXP XTREME SKIDPLATE ($249)

The RR300’s standard plastic skidplate is pretty good, but to bolster and extend the underside protection for the bike’s engine cases, frame rails, footpegs and shock linkage, we fitted this super-tough AXP Xtreme unit. Made from 8mm-thick high-density Polyethylene plastic, it weighs 1200g (which is almost 1kg heavier than the standard skidplate), but we felt that added weight was a small price to pay for the added insurance it provides in technical terrain. Just be aware that the pressure it applies to the lower shock mount does alter the rear shock’s static sag measurement slightly.

AXP XTREME RADIATOR GUARD/BRACE ($229)

To fit the AXP Radiator Guards, it’s simply a matter of taking the seat and shrouds off and bolting the things in place. There’s no need to drain the fluid or redirect any plumbing. Again, these Xtreme AXP Radiator Guards add an extra kilo of weight, but they really amplify the protection for your radiators (which cost $372 per side to replace) from both crush and fold-back damage – thanks to the way they’re neatly braced back to the bike’s frame itself. The downside is that they make the radiator shrouds about 8-10mm wider each side and reduce the steering lock a bit. And with the black grills fitted, airflow through the radiators is reduced, but not enough for us to ever have an overheating issue – even in extreme terrain.

THERMO FAN KIT ($299)

Without a thermo fan, the RR300 has proved incredibly resilient to boiling its radiator fluid, even in the most extreme conditions. But because the AXP radiator guards we fitted reduce airflow (a by-product of the protective grills that replace the OEM plastic louvres), we figured it’d be prudent to also instal a thermo fan at the same time. If you fit the thermo fan directly (that is, without AXP radiator guards fitted), it does take a bit of dicking around – including dropping your radiator fluid and pop-riveting the fan into place via a couple of supplied brackets. But if you’ve already fitted the AXP Xtreme Radiator Guards to your bike, the good news is that the Beta thermo fan simply bolts straight onto the rear of the LHS guard itself and plugs straight into the wiring loom.

LIQUID INTELLIGENCE COOLANT ($65/Litre)

Glycol-based coolants raise water’s boiling point to 115º, but Liquid Intelligence MX 115 – a fully synthetic waterless coolant – gives you boil-over protection up to 190º! Aside from boosting performance by helping your engine run cooler, it gives you the confidence of knowing that your coolant won’t boil, no matter how snotty the terrain. Just note that it’s important to properly drain and flush your cooling system of all water before filling with Liquid Intelligence. But even if you do have to mix the LI with some water, your coolant’s boiling point will still be around 115ºC.

BILLET ALLOY REAR DISC GUARD ($289)

If you ride a fair bit of technical terrain and/or deep ruts filled with rocks, then you’ve probably bent or scarred a rear brake disc or two in your time. Fitting a shark fin-style disc guard is a cost-effective way to minimise the risk of a rock damaging your rear brake disc (which costs around $200 to replace). This Billet Alloy Rear Disc Guard (a Beta Genuine Accessory from AS3) is beautifully made, super-strong, and comes complete with its own rear brake calliper carrier for added strength.

BILLET ALLOY FRONT DISC GUARD ($229)

To match the rear disc’s shark fin, we fitted this Billet Alloy Front Disc Guard (a Beta Genuine Accessory, made by Force Accessories) up front. By using 6mm Allen-head bolts to replace the front axle’s hex-head pinch bolts, it creates a nice and neat finish. Though that does mean an extra tool is required to remove the bike’s front axle. In any case, that’s a compromise we’re willing to make for the added protection it gives the all-important front brake disc.

CLUTCH & IGNITION COVER PROTECTOR SET ($119)

To fit these tough, high temperature-resistant plastic guards to both clutch and ignition covers, you simply remove all the 8mm hex-head bolts, install the snug-fitting covers, and then reuse the same bolts (paying attention to where each bolt came from, as they’re all different lengths!). Aside from preventing your boots from prematurely wearing the crankcase’s coatings, these bolt-on covers also offer a lot more protection for the water pump, clutch slave cylinder and the lower crankcases. Conveniently, you can still access the oil filler cap and pre-load adjuster for the power-valve with the clutch-side cover in place (though it’ll need to be removed if you want to change power-valve springs). To maintain the existing alignment between the (now slightly wider) clutch cover and the tip of the rear brake pedal, we simply bent the pedal out by about 4mm.

BETA HAND GUARDS (RED) ($89)

Hand guards don’t come as standard equipment on Beta’s RR models. At first glance, the ones that came fitted to our project bike (a $90 Beta genuine accessory) seemed like flimsy, brush guard-style units. But we soon discovered that, because they’re designed to spin on their plastic mounting bracket in a crash, they’re actually surprisingly resistant to busting.

AS3 BRAKE & CLUTCH BAR CLAMPS (BLACK) ($45)

With the Teflon lining only inside the AS3’s half-perches, we weren’t sure they’d allow the entire perches to spin on the bars in the event of a crash – but they do. Also, the 5mm Allen Key bolts (which replace the 8mm hex-heads) are recessed for a much neater look up on the bars. When you consider the cost of busted levers and/or damaged master cylinders, we reckon $45 is insurance money well spent.

PLASTIC SWINGARM PROTECTORS ($89)

We dig the look of the black coating on the 300’s swingarm. But if you ride a lot of rocky or extreme terrain, that black gets scuffed up pretty damn quickly – which is why we fitted this set of plastic swingarm protectors (made by Acerbis). They simply clip on over the swingarm and are secured by a couple of cable-ties. Beta recommends they’re removed to wash the bike, which takes bit of extra time. But, again, if you like the idea of ultimate swingarm protection, that’s a small price to pay.

LIQUI MOLY OIL & BIKE CARE PRODS

Call us superstitious, but we’ve always been disinclined to change the brand of oil our project bikes have been run-in with – especially two-strokes. Thankfully, the boys from Lowry Australia (who distribute Beta Motorcycles in Australia) flowed us some Liqui Moly 2T Synth Off-Road Race oil and transmission oil and a few bike care products from Liqui Moly.

PARTS TABLE…

Here a list of the parts we fitted (including a few consumables we’ve used) and what they cost…

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