Last August, my good friend who is the local Beta dealer told me "Beta is coming out with a 2 stroke enduro! You told me you'd buy one when they came out!" I had just bought a 2013 200xcw so there was no way I would be buying another new bike right away. Not to mention, I wasn't going to buy a bike that didn't have some known history. In the beginning of March, my friend got his own 300rr. It looked just as I expected, but how would it perform? We went on a ride with a big group, and I got a chance to ride it for a moment. My very limited minutes on the bike showed me it performed very similarly to my 2011 300xc I was riding. The Beta was set up for a big guy, with heavy springs and the bars all the way forward, but I still felt comfortable on it. Enough to where I sold my 200 and my 300, to get a new Beta 2 stroke. 250 or 300? I let my friend decide for me, and he chose the 250rr since I weigh in at 155 lbs. I picked it up on Saturday afternoon, the bike looked great! I was happy to see that it comes with a headlight and a separate number plate; I always break headlights when trees jump out at me. I only had time to install handguards for the ride, back preload off of the shock, and lower the front end (just a tad) before the next day, but I figured that would be enough for the "break in" day. I immediately felt comfortable standing while riding, which means a few things; 1) I really like the footpeg to handlebar positioning, very comfortable for me and 2) the suspension works well for my type of riding and terrain. The front might feel a tad 'stiff' when it comes to the extra slow nasty stuff, but yesterday we stayed in the clean stuff. When I had a 350rr four stroke, I absolutely loved the power delivery. It would chug great down low with very smooth usable power, but would be plenty fast if you wanted, with a twist of the wrist. The 250rr 2 stroke is just like that; smooooth down low, with good power if you let it rev up. It would really chug and not stall which is going to be great for the sloppy stuff. My last 3 or 4 ride days were on a Rekluse equipped bike, yet it took all day before I got it to stall. That showed me how well it works at crawling speeds. The clutch actuation feels great as well. Oh, I got to mess with the powervalve adjustment a bit. The stock setting looks like it's at one turn in from flush. The bike felt as if it had more of a 2 stroke 'hit' than I wanted. So I backed out the screw one full turn, allowing the powervalve to open sooner. This worked out perfectly; more low/mid range with a predictable 'hit' coming onto the power. It maneuvers very light, in fact I swear it handles like a 200. Definitely lighter feeling to maneuver than my KTM300s were. Suspension-wise, up front it felt a bit harsh for the normal (slow) speeds that most of my terrain dictates; but to be honest all I did was back off the compression a couple of clicks and that was all the fiddling I did with the clickers. I'll probably be able to tune it further with the clickers, and/or it wil break in to become more to my liking. For the medium to faster stuff, it was perfect. On the shock, I had the preload backed off more than most people would so that it sits lower for my short self, but it didn't do anything unexpected. My initial thought is that the front brake doesn't have the bite of the KTMs, that might be just a brake pad compound thing. Seat is hard, even harder than a new KTM. Not much else to complain about! It could be just 'new bike syndrome', but I'm really happy with the Beta. the 250rr's power is just how I like it; a 300 has so much torque it often gets away from me, this feels more controllable. But it will still lug well, on my 200 if I wasn't in the right gear I'd be in trouble! but this 250 is more forgiving. Next week we'll hit the nastier stuff and I'll report back.