Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

New '09 450 RS owner: looking for performance improvement recommendations

Recommended Posts

Just picked up a 2009 450 RS demo unit from a dealer w/ all of 15 miles on it (bday present from the spousal unit). Looking for a bit of help/advice dialing it in to what and how I ride.

 

What I ride: a lot of mountainous single track combined and forest service roads, with the occasional run across the desert. In the Pacific Northwet, so it’s a mixed bag of weather and altitude. On the tight stuff, this 50-year-old body can only handle 4-5 hours during which I’ll churn out 40-60 miles depending on conditions. On the longer dual sport trips (95% off pavement), I’ll go for ~8-10 hours and 250-350 miles.

 

How I ride: not well, but improving.;-) I am aggressive on the single track, working the clutch hard and spending quite a bit of time on the pegs – although in the two rides I’ve done since the purchase on Saturday, finding the Beta seems to like a butt on the seat to help shoot it out of the corners. On the forest roads, I’ll usually cruise between 45-60 mph with a fairly steady throttle.

 

While there are a ton of positives about the bike (almost everything), I’m concentrating this topic on what I can/should improve to get the bike completely set up and dialed in.

 

What I think I know: not much…but what I have observed  w/ the two initial trail rides are:

  1. Geared more for the road versus the trails. Well, it is an enduro afterall. That said, need more grunt down low.
  2. Bike doesn’t seem to have the quick power snap I like when hitting the throttle.
  3. Hitting the climbs, it doesn’t give me that “oh crap, I’m going to slide off the backend if I don't hang on for dear life” feeling.
  4. Radiator seems to come to a boil quickly and vent more than I would expect.
  5. Is that a seat I have under me or a solid board? Man, that stock seat is hard!

What I would like to know:

  1. How much will the removal of the emissions package improve performance? Power in the low end?
  2. Suggestions for recommended jetting changes (currently standard factory set-up);
  3. Any changes recommended for the sprockets? Currently a 15/45. Move to a 14?
  4. What mods, if any, are recommended to address the radiator issue above?
  5. Any recommended changes to the stock pipe?
  6. Any particular oil brand work better than others?
  7. On the longer trips, how big a deal/problem is it to go past the usual oil change time window?
  8. Any suggestions regarding the seat? Any shops out there that make one that is more appropriate for long stretches in the saddle?
  9. Any parts supply source recommendations?

Anything and everything else that would be helpful. After all, I don’t know what I don’t know.

 

Edited by Pgoyle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had an 08 525RS and installed the JD Jet kit and it really cleaned it up throughout the power band especially with the smog stuff removed. Much easier starting too and this kit came with a diaphragm spacer, jets, and a choice of two needles. I also added the Merge Accelerator pump spring to help with throttle response and it works. I also installed a Merge fuel screw but I never really had to tweek it like I did with my DRZ. If you are interested in serious improvements I would talk to Dave Hopkins in Kirkland, Wa. who happens to be probably the best KTM engine builder in the country...he has tons of mods available for that bike and newer Betas as well. With a Jet kit and stock pipe on Hinshaw's dyno mine did just under 48hp with supermoto wheels and I put a FMF open pipe on it and it seemed to help a little but not with the baffle in. Never dyno'd it with the pipe but I bet closer to 50hp. I ran Amsoil 20W50 and it eliminated the clutch squeal these commonly have...it doesn't hurt anything but can be annoying when it shreeks. You will know what I'm talking about when it happens but don't worry about it...it doesn't hurt anything. I would go with a larger battery when yours gets tired...stock is a 5 and a 7 fits and has much more cold cranking power. I put a Renazco Racing seat on mine and it was awesome...looks sic too. See my garage for pics. More questions PM me any time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A cheaper and IMO better jetting solution is a $ 8.00 sudco OCEMP needle, 45 pilot, 162 main and JD adjustable fuel screw. Dont waste your money on a exhaust system. The best upgrade for the 450 is to make it a 525. The bike will still weigh the same but make way more torque  through lower rpms's . Handling will be much improved due the reduction of rpm induced gyroscopic effect and shock loading, aka torque squat.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the great info. Good to know about a semi-local resource in Kirkland. I'll be giving Dave call. Be interested in his feedback on the jetting as I've read about a wide spectrum of options - from an OBDTR needle to the two mentioned here. I'll be interested to see if a change in the jet helps with the overheating/radiator issue.

 

The comments about the stock pipe seem to reinforce what I've seen elsewhere. Seems the factory option works well enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Carb re-Jetting is a must.  JD Jet kit, or go with ODBTR needle to soften the hit for mud trails.  

2. Change front/rear sprockets; get rid of 15/45s if you have them.  This was only for C.A.R.B noise test.   

3. Guts seat foam and cover, a must.  The factory seat looks cool but way too hard.  Not fun on longer rides.  

4. Front & Rear suspension re-valving.  This was the best upgrade I did to my Beta after the carb, period.  

5. Bark busters to protect the hands if you woods ride.  

 

Enjoy your RFS Beta, I still like mine a lot.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm guessing the clutch work and the high gearing is helping you boil your bike. Get a 13 or 14 front sprocket and you shouldn't need to clutch so much. a 1.8 higher pressure radiator cap is a good cheap mod and an overflow tank. I got a fan. That's a must to me. Since you aren't charging super tight stuff that should be plenty for your needs. Look at the Beta crossreference threads..and just look through a bunch of threads and you'll find a slew of mods and info. It's nice that lots of guys have jumped in and shared. I like my gutz soft high seat with a hump for those long slow uphills in grooves.. but seat concepts has some great seats too. I love my 09 525 RS.. I punish mine and it is a great bike. Congrats on your purchase!.. You can check out some ktm rfs threads too but really for trail I've liked the motor manners as it is. I don't want it aggressive as it will be harder to ride in the trail at the end of the day..and at the beginning in the slippery wet stuff like what it is now. It's been raining pretty hard for a couple of days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amsoil is good stuff but expensive, got 10-12 hrs out of it before breakdown and change in color, riding was mixed use of fast fire roads and slow tech single track.

No experience in long periods of black top like you mention but you may consider the 4 bill aftermarket oil cooler which adds another 1/2 quart.

(Drawing a blank on the name).

"Wide bear"

I'm interested in the sudco needle and jet sizes you mention, what elevations does the work for?

Are you talking about the R&D flex-jet and what is the most noticeable improvement from stock.

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also agree on the big bore kit for this type riding.

I really want that big torque feel but money is tight, guess when it's time for a top end I'll sell one of the little bikes or kid to raise funds :)

But it's also crossed my mind to sell all my bikes including my beta and get a 2014-15 beta 520, decisions decisions

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amsoil is good stuff but expensive, got 10-12 hrs out of it before breakdown and change in color, riding was mixed use of fast fire roads and slow tech single track.

No experience in long periods of black top like you mention but you may consider the 4 bill aftermarket oil cooler which adds another 1/2 quart.

(Drawing a blank on the name).

"Wide bear"

I'm interested in the sudco needle and jet sizes you mention, what elevations does the work for?

Are you talking about the R&D flex-jet and what is the most noticeable improvement from stock.

Thanks.

Dallas the OCEMP needle is effective from sea level to 8000 feet maybe higher with just a clip position change. Some needles like the JD because of their taper are more main jet sensitive than the ocemp. I've used both  types but find the ocemp less finicky. I don't know about using a dial a jet on a FCR and don't know of anybody who has. The FCR is an expensive piece to replace if you mess up. When replacing the fuel screw with a longer one stick to a brass unit. Some of the cheaper ones can  seize into place resulting in a practically unrepairable carb.

Edited by widebear

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dallas the OCEMP needle is effective from sea level to 8000 feet maybe higher with just a clip position change. Some needles like the JD because of their taper are more main jet sensitive than the ocemp. I've used both types but find the ocemp less finicky. I don't know about using a dial a jet on a FCR and don't know of anybody who has. The FCR is an expensive piece to replace if you mess up. When replacing the fuel screw with a longer one stick to a brass unit. Some of the cheaper ones can seize into place resulting in a practically unrepairable carb.

My bike is running perfect in stock form, will I gain anything from this?

Also I was talking about the R&D flexible fuel mixture screw.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have started to check out some of the other Beta discussions as well – incredible amount of info, but fortunately not too many conflicting recommendations. Good to have the most important initial stuff surfaced in this thread.

 

The re-jet does seem like a must-do and is first on the list. The current sprocket set-up definitely doesn’t work on the slow, technical stuff so a change is in order there as well.

 

I’m going to approach this in increments – making key changes, seeing how it affects performance, and then making additional changes as needed.

 

My plan for this month:

  1. Re-jet: starting with the ODBTR needle to see how that works;
  2. Moving to a 14 front sprocket;
  3. Change to Evans NPG coolant;
  4. Add flex-jet fuel-mixture screw – had on my bike and looks like a good option for this one as well;
  5. Add bark busters w/ inset turn signals;
  6. Substitute LEDs for rear turn signals – figure it would only be a matter of time until I snapped the factory ones off;
  7. Hit the trails to test.

Next month:

  1. Move to JD kit if ODBTR option isn’t working well enough;
  2. Change to a 48 rear sprocket if needed;
  3. Look at suspension re-valving;
  4. Overflow radiator tank if boil over problem persists;
  5. Figure out direction I want to go with the seat;
  6. Ride, ride, ride.

Again, appreciate all the inputs. Great to see how active the Beta forum is and the straight-forward manner of the posts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Think about the fan. ..especially since you are going with evans. It wont boil but the temps will be higher than when it would be normally be boiling with water . You probably wont need the overflow tank with evans . ..enjoy!! The ODBTR works well !!

Edited by hawaiidirtrider

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My bike is running perfect in stock form, will I gain anything from this?

Also I was talking about the R&D flexible fuel mixture screw.

 

 

My bike is running perfect in stock form, will I gain anything from this?

Also I was talking about the R&D flexible fuel mixture screw.

  I'd say if your bike is running prefect , leave it alone. If your looking for a jetting solution that can be  altitude and temp adjusted simply by the clip  position go for the ocemp. I'm not familiar with the R&D srcew. as long as its all brass it should be fine

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seeing as you are in Washington you are in luck again for your suspension needs. Les at http://lt-racing.com/ is located in Port Orchard, wa. just over the Narrows Bridge. He did my Beta suspension and he is amazing. Does all the exotics but Marzocchi's and Sachs stuff is in his wheelhouse. He does work for people all over the world and has been in business for over 20 years. Give him a call. You will be impressed. I delivered my forks and shock to him and he had it done in just a few days. Cool guy too and will set it up for your skills and use...not guess work.

Edited by dirtwiz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dirtwiz - thanks for the source on the suspension. That always seems to be one of the bigger pains in the a$$ when it comes to getting a new bike dialed. The more guess work I can take out of the equation, the better. That will be time and coin well spent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My 09 450 is currently running 14-50 sprockets. It sounds like we ride about the same stuff. If I had to go one way or another I would go lower. Might throw a 13 on the front to see how it goes. Busted off the turn signals a long time ago, still haven't put them back on. I have a bigger tank (IMS) and actually like having a bit more weight over the front of the bike as well as the extra range. I put on a trials tire on the back and it surprises me how good it works and how long it's lasted. I beat the snot out of this bike and it just keeps going! I'm not fussy about the oil, change it every 1000 kms. It had the Beta rack on the back, but it broke off while I was in Mexico last winter. You're gonna love your new bike!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course start from the front of the cross reference threads and mod threads and take your time checking out potential mods that might seem interesting. You can justt look at this article that pretty much had a bunch of trick parts all in one bike.. There are more added on but an initial comparison is good. Some is more bling than purpose  but that's ok.

 

http://www.dirtrider.com/tests/off-road-bikes/141_0904_torture_test_2009_beta_540_rx_prototype/

 

When I look at this I think maybe the 540 kit seems interesting and something that I might like. Still it's not needed. Actually a guy on Oahu bought this exact bike after I got mine. I was a little sick. I would have loved to get this bike. He got a good deal too because it was a demo.. Damn  a demo with every mod available for below regular cost... Hey good for him. He came in at the right time.. It's all timing. He loves the bike. He actually lowered it a little. He wants to touch ground on some of the technical trails.

 

You can look around in here for ideas although I've not ever ordered directly to them.

 

http://www.beta.boano.com/index.asp?cat=8&sottocat=1

Edited by hawaiidirtrider

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hawaiidirtrider - got me completely sidetracked with the beta.boano.com link. That took be down the rabbit hole of www.probike-mongolia.com.

 

r_jackson - given the busted signals and broken rack, it does sound like we ride about the same. :jawdrop:  Have a new 14 on the front. Will see what that does for me and then look to make additional changes to suit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hawaiidirtrider - got me completely sidetracked with the beta.boano.com link. That took be down the rabbit hole of www.probike-mongolia.com.

 

r_jackson - given the busted signals and broken rack, it does sound like we ride about the same. :jawdrop:  Have a new 14 on the front. Will see what that does for me and then look to make additional changes to suit.

 

Yea you can get lost but it's fun investigating guys who ride Beta. You can go to Argentina , Austrailia, Czech Republic, Germany, South Africa, France..blah blah blah all over the world.. and Hawaii of course besides different spots all over the USA.. It's a fun trip just seeing guys liking these bikes. I don't know about mongolia though.. a little too remote for me. but cool to look at.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So one other question for the group - understanding the normal variability due to any bike's set-up (jetting, etc), what are people averaging MPG-wise on tight trails? on fire roads? on road?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×