All the 2016 Betas are belters but the new two-strokes might just be the cream of the crop…
So the big news on the 2016 Beta two-stroke models is the introduction of an oil injection system that basically delivers the premium fuel-oil mix at any engine speed and also saves riders from having to pre-mix fuel. So as well as being labour saving for us dirty dirt bikers the system reduces exhaust smoke by half which is good news for environmentalists too.
These technological improvements not only mean Beta are ahead of their rivals in terms of technology but are also offering their customers the optimum riding experience. Seeing this company advance is a good thing and the company as a whole are maturing in their attitude towards the enduro and trail riding world.
The management in this streamlined and hard working company seem to have changed their way of thinking to primarily offer an incredibly solid and reliable product which they hope will increase worldwide sales in due course. Of course, there is a maximum number of motorcycles that Beta can produce and so their market share can only reach so far. The Italians seem comfortable with this and the improvement in their products is clear to see and feel in the ride of the bikes.
The Betas of 2015 lacked some feel from the Sachs front forks and indeed the Sachs shock but the firm have worked to improve the feel and usability of the chassis as a unit. The forks with their improved flow are of course soft but with long days in the saddle this is something a test rider could easily forget in the shorter, sharper rides we get during these ‘impressions’ tests.
To truly test the chassis comfort the bikes need to be ridden for hours. The feedback from the chassis on the two-strokes is of comfort, good traction and stability at all but the maximum speed where some extra support would be required for the highest level of competition.
The 250 motor is fully controllable and although it is way off being the fastest motor out there its controllable nature will appeal to true enduro riders. This bike hooks up well but can lack a little finesse in its transfer from low-range to mid when the light nature of the bike will cause it to break free from the ultimate grip of the Michelin tyres.
This of course should be the case with any 250 two-stroke and control is easily found again. The 2015 250 felt slightly more meaty in its power delivery and this could point to the oil injection almost working too well to provide the perfect mixture at all throttle openings where sometimes pre-mix will give a ‘fatter’ feel to the jetting when rolling on the power in aggressive situations.
The 300 motor is sublime in its delivery and although it gives a similar feel to the 250 in its transfer through the power range at speed this is dulled down as the level of torque takes care of business.
Both these bikes feel comfortable and although there is a definite feeling of sitting up top due to the firm seat foam the comfort level is there in the ergonomics.
The Nissin brakes are almost a throwback when sitting on a European manufacturer’s bike as the Brembo systems have been the boss when it comes to supply. The progressive feel from the Nissin units bring a great level of rear wheel control and the feel for the front brake allows for very aggressive braking even on off-camber slippery dust turns.
Both the bikes will run approximately three full tanks of fuel with a full oil tank and the dashboard indicator light warns you when you are on your final tank full. If the oil pump system fails there is a warning light on the dash which will alert you of a pump failure and at this point you would have to block off the injector pipe and pre-mix your fuel. This is of course another thing which could go wrong but we were assured at the test that the firm have not had a failure and the system has run without any major problems on the X-Trail 300 model for over a year.
Faults are difficult to find with the Beta RR 2T Beta models as they are well balanced and fun machines to ride…