[Beta]

FIRST LOOK: 2023 BETA RR RANGE

3 weeks ago | Words: Andy Wigan | Photos: Beta Motor

Having stunned the off-road world by releasing eight new-generation two- and four-stroke RR machines in 2020, and then refining them significantly in 2021 and 2022 (including the introduction of an all-new 300cc two-stroke engine for 2022), Beta’s 2023 RR models continue to underline the Italian brand’s intent to continuously evolve their bikes. And coupled with Beta’s ongoing title-winning success in the EnduroGP World Championship, it’s little wonder the brand has made huge market share inroads over the past few years – particularly in Australia.

For 2023, significant new features have been introduced across the RR range, along with upgrades specific to certain engine sizes, with Beta making the point that they worked in close collaboration with world enduro champions, Brad Freeman and Steve Holcombe, to develop both the powertrain and chassis package for these 2023 two-stroke and four-stroke models.

According to Beta’s engineers, the guiding philosophy for the 2023 RR range has been to, “not only increase the performance of the bikes, but to also make this performance even more accessible”.

In other words, rather than major changes, the 2023 models get a series of upgrades intended to consolidate the qualities of each individual model. Plus, there’s a new, all-red colour scheme and new plastics with a sleeker and more symmetrical design, which gives the RR models an even more of a minimalist, purpose-built aesthetic for 2023

So, let’s take stock of the most notable upgrades that these 2023 Beta RR machines receive – both the shared mods and those introduced to specific models…

SHARED UPGRADES

  • Suspension: In the quest for an even sharper, purer rider feeling, the internals of the ZF fork have been revised. There are mods to oil passages around the fork piston to create smoother and more progressive damping action throughout the entire travel. By creating freer-flowing oil return passages, this improvement opens up even greater possibilities for setting up the fork, as eliminating all impediments to the oil flow means that even small changes in settings produces a noticeable result. The result is improved rider comfort and a more effective fork support throughout the initial part of the stroke, plus a more composed and controllable feel from the chassis in rough terrain;
  • Radiator Shrouds: One of the changes over the previous generation (with an impact on both style and function) is the revised shape of the radiator shrouds. The new shrouds are narrower to give the rider more freedom of movement (and more room for their inside leg when cracked over in ruts), and with a more ergonomic shape, the new shrouds let the rider assume a snugger position on the seat. The sleeker new shrouds also contribute to the revised, simple new look of the bike; and
  • Graphics: All eight models now feature an all-red colour scheme. The style of the graphics is more minimalist than their predecessors, with bold, clearly defined forms and purer, more modern lines. Collectively, these changes emphasise the muscular shape of the bike and link the new shrouds seamlessly to the other components.

FOUR-STROKE UPGRADES

  • Traction control: The most significant new feature in the four-stroke range is the introduction of traction control (which made its debut last year in Beta’s up-specced Racing models) to make their performance ever more accessible to the rider in any situation. The TC function is selectable by the rider from a button in the usual position between the steering head and fuel tank. The rider can disengage traction control at any time (and in either of the engine maps available), while the TC function itself is calibrated differently for each of the two maps, offering the rider a choice of four different electronic control configurations;
  • Exhaust header: All four-stroke models feature a new exhaust header with a longer duct geometry than on the previous generation, improving engine response at low engine speeds and increasing torque at mid-range engine speeds. The result is a more tractable power delivery across the entire rev range, letting the rider get themselves out of trouble more easily or choose to use a higher gear than they normally would, for a more relaxed riding experience; and
  • Engine map: To take full advantage of the increased torque at low to medium engine speeds (made available by the new exhaust header), the four-stroke models now feature dedicated new engine management maps which spread the power curve out more uniformly across the entire usable range of the engine. This makes the performance of even the biggest-displacement RR models more user-friendly.

RR125 2T UPGRADES

  • Flywheel & crankshaft: The 125 two-stroke engine features a lighter flywheel and a smaller diameter crankshaft than its predecessor. Both of these components have been introduced to reduce the inertia of the engine internals. In terms of performance, this translates to a quicker throttle response as it allows the components of the engine to spin up more rapidly, and lets the rider make full use of all the power available, in spite of this model having less horsepower on tap than its bigger siblings;
  • Crankcase: The smaller-diameter crankshaft takes up less space in the crankcase. Beta’s engineers have redesigned the crankcase to compensate for the space freed up by the smaller crankshaft, optimising the interior volume of the component itself to ensure the air/fuel mixture flow needed to maximise the performance unleashed by the new components; and
  • Power Valve: The power valve has been recalibrated to effectively manage the more explosive performance of the new engine.

For the 2023 model year, the RR 125 two-stroke has received the most substantial and far-reaching modifications of the entire two-stroke range. The upgrades made to the little 125cc power unit have added that extra sparkle that younger riders look for when squeezing every ounce of performance out of their bikes. This suite of upgrades is geared to improve the performance of the bike and to the reduced engine inertia to make the RR 125 – which was already an agile, reactive machine – more responsive to throttle inputs than ever.

PRICING & AVAILABILITY

According to Beta Motorcycles Australia’s MD, Patrick Lowry, “We expect availability in Australia to be from September and pricing will be confirmed closer to arrival of the bikes.”

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