Jump to content

520 RS / 498 RR vs 500 RS / 480 RR

Recommended Posts

First, I must state that I love my 520 RS, but very much dislike Beta's misleading model/engine size designations on the RS models. Why on earth have the Italians designated my 498cc bike as a "520" or the newer 480cc RS models as a "500?"

 

But with that out of the way, this is what I am wondering about: Aside from cosmetic changes, are there any significant upgrades to be had in stepping up to the later 500RS models over my current 2013 520 RS? Obviously, I am fully aware of EFI on the later bikes - but is there anything else of significance in regard to the engine or handling characteristics? Are the 498cc & 480cc engines comparable in terms of power output & delivery? Does either have a clear advantage over the other in that regard? 

 

The 2013 520 RS, as many of you may know was the last year of the older body style. I love the bike, but I've come to a crossroads on whether or not to invest significant funds into getting the bike dialed in exactly how I've always wanted, or stepping up to a newer model 500 RS & dialing that in, instead. I oddly would kind of prefer to stick with the carb setup over EFI - but I'm certainly not dead set on either one, as they both come with their obvious advantages.

 

Advice or experiences from those who have ridden both models of Beta would be greatly appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My 1999 KTM 640 Adventure was just a run of the mill 625cc LC4 engine. Beta isn't the first to play with silly, misleading names for their machines. It's just the marketing dept. justifying their salaries.

I resisted the Fuel Injection Revolution as long as I could but my 2016 500RS has done nothing to disappoint me. I needed a foundation for a snowbike and the 500 fit the bill. I had a Husky 300 on a Timbersled the year prior and I don't miss the jetting hassle at all. In the dirt, the 500 is awesome for a slow vet until you have to pick it up.

 

IMG_5967.JPG

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would step up to the 498 I rode the 498 and the 480 side by side on the same track with a buddy. The 498 consumes less, behaves way better on the throttle and has way better suspension.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My buddy has the 520,  I have the 500. IMO the biggest difference is 6th gear. I was able to gear down and still do highway speeds no problem. He is reved out to keep up, and honestly, couldn't keep up at speed for long. His bike seems smoother, but I can gear up and go from here to Colorado 12,000 feet without thinking about it. I personally would wait for Beta's new 840 RR-S two stroke, it's a 200cc 4 stroke. :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Power characteristics of the 520 I rode and my '16 500 were very similar. I didn't ride the 520 enough to comment much more on the handling or suspension other than there wasn't a night and day difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/24/2017 at 9:19 AM, Krannie McKranface said:

Everything after 2015 is a big step up in all respects. 

 

Care to expand on that? Trying to decide between a '13 520 and a '16 500, there's about a $2k difference and I'm really at the top end of my price range, and right now other than fuel injection (which I prefer) trying to see what I gain for the extra dosh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/24/2017 at 5:53 AM, newk75 said:

My buddy has the 520,  I have the 500. IMO the biggest difference is 6th gear. I was able to gear down and still do highway speeds no problem. He is reved out to keep up, and honestly, couldn't keep up at speed for long. His bike seems smoother, but I can gear up and go from here to Colorado 12,000 feet without thinking about it. I personally would wait for Beta's new 840 RR-S two stroke, it's a 200cc 4 stroke. :) 

6th gear? Is it just a gearing thing?? They all have 6 speed transmissions, LOL!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For a $2K difference between a 13 and a 16, I would take the 16 and pay.  

Very rarely do the improvements make a bike worse.  I love my 17 even though I have less than 400 miles and 19 hours on it.  I can tell that the bike is going to be great for many, many years.  FI was totally worth it to me, even though I have never had to mess with a carb in all my years and all my bikes, they all ran perfect, all the time.  Then again, I don't have to deal with any sort of elevation issues.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I'd get over weird numeral designations, that's kinda silly, European automobiles have been doing this for about 30+ years.

In 1969 the landmark Honda CB750 was a 736cc, its been happening forever :p

If my memory serves me well

'14 RS got lighter stronger wheels, stronger frame, Sachs front forks on the RS, aluminum bodied rear shock, can use the oversized IMS (3.2 & 4.0)  tanks without modifications and the Voyager GPS

'15 RS got a revised oil pump gears 2 , Vs. 3 and revised Sachs suspension (both ends) 

'16 RRS got FI and changes to engine and revised Sachs OC suspension

IF you are looking at any of the ones I've listed the Sachs from 2014 are the same basic internal suspension parts just different valving on the OC forks and shock

I decided to wait during mid to late 2013 for a 2014 model because of the many changes I was informed about.

Every year Beta does do small tweaks, if you have financial limitations, upgrade what you got, :ride:

And if ya want to run the newer tanks/shrouds spend a few minutes modifying the 2013 frame, many have done this, pretty simple really....

Edited by Mark-us-B
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites



6th gear? Is it just a gearing thing?? They all have 6 speed transmissions, LOL!

Is that true? My buddy with the '14 520 says he only has five.....? I've driven it but only in the driveway. Is this a haze the newbie thing? The first beta I've ever seen was mine. :) I'm questioning my friendship now, thanks a lot!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, newk75 said:


Is that true? My buddy with the '14 520 says he only has five.....? I've driven it but only in the driveway. Is this a haze the newbie thing? The first beta I've ever seen was mine. :) I'm questioning my friendship now, thanks a lot! emoji35.png

 

 

Tell him to stop smoking that sh*t ........LOL!!! :p

Year2013

ManufacturerBeta

Model520 RS

Engine TypeBeta-Built single cylinder, Titanium 4-valve, 4-stroke 

Engine Displacement497.4cc

Bore Stroke100 mm x 63.4 mm

CoolingLiquid-Cooled

Compression Ratio12:1:1

Fuel SystemKeihin FCR-39 mm

IgnitionDC-CDI with variable ignition timing, Kokusan

Starting SystemElectric start with back up kick starter

TransmissionSix speed

Final DriveO-ring chain, Regina

Rake TrailNA

Seat Height36.6 in.

Wheelbase58.1 in.

Front Suspension45 mm Marzocchi USD fork, adjustable compression and rebound

Rear SuspensionSachs shock w/adjustable rebound and hi/low speed compression

Front Brake260 mm rotor

Rear Brake240 mm rotor

Front TireNA

Rear TireNA

Fuel Capacity2.1 gal.

Dry Weight249 lbs.

Edited by Mark-us-B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The new generation motor built in-house by Beta in 2010 has undergone many changes, but 2010-2014 were very similar, decompression system changed in 2014?, they did change to pressure die cast cases in 2015?, but utilizing many of the same internal engine parts. 

IF I already had a 2013 I'd mod the top of the frame to accept the new body parts and fuel tanks, and NEVER look back, I'd change out the oil pump gears before you frag the motor. 

The Zokes OC chambered forks can be revalved by most anyone as there is soooo data out  there for them. Many here can help you with jetting and other detail sh*t about the motor, there are great engines and very reliable....

Then don gear add fuel and ride!! :ride: ride ride :ride:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the responses & your input.

 

& yes, my 2013 520 RS *DOES* have a 6th gear... Perhaps your friend is running lower gearing on his sprocket choices? That can make a significant difference. I'm running stock gearing & the engine revs have never bothered me at highway speed. My old XR650R used to be revved to the moon on the highway.

 

I too am in position where I could likely sell my bike & add around $2000 to pick up a 2016 or so used 500 RS - but I am uncertain that the step up would really be worth that investment.

 

I'd LOVE to make the switch to the later style bodywork, as that is one of the things that entices me to jump to the later model. - especially with the additional options now available between with Polisport plastics & several different graphics sets available. I almost did it awhile back, but ran into a significant hangup.

 

The older bikes also have a completely different set of side panels (airbox covers) & the lines do not match the newer rear fender assembly on the right hand side (if my memory serves correct there is an extra piece of plastic that juts outward you must trim off via dremel) - but even worse, there are no graphics available that will fit properly & cover those side panels. 

 

If anyone here knows in more detail the specifics of that mod, I'd be interested to hear further details. I found limited info before but abandoned the project fairly quickly after realizing I was never going to find a set of graphics that fit the bike properly if I did that....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, I should mention that my bike's suspension has been fully worked by Stillwell - so there likely isn't a lot to gain for me in regard to suspension unless I were to pick up a used bike with similar work already done.

 

Thanks again for all the responses. It's amazing how much more productive a conversation can be had within this section of the forum with the adults here vs say the Honda 2 stroke section of the forum... ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Mark & scorpion,
Great to learn about these bikes. I'm thinking that maybe my friend is just coming up with excuses..... I appreciate the info, I hope to learn enough to be able to wrench a bit on my bike. When I was a teenager I had an xr 500 that was pretty ratty, I lived in the Navajo reservation and we rode the guts out of it. Never changed the oil, never did anything but put gas in the tank and air in the bald tires. That was fun but didn't learn much. Now 25 years later messing with it in the garage is part of the fun. Thanks for the help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I upgraded from a '06 Husaberg FE550. The difference is significant in every way. Only the power difference isn't a good one! That said I would absolutely do it again. But if I had a 520RS, I would not unless I was having constant issues with the zokes (is that what is on them?).

 

My 0.02

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, basalt said:

I upgraded from a '06 Husaberg FE550. The difference is significant in every way. Only the power difference isn't a good one! That said I would absolutely do it again. But if I had a 520RS, I would not unless I was having constant issues with the zokes (is that what is on them?).

 

My 0.02

Mine is a 2012 498 and I think it's one of the most versatile bikes ever made. Properly tuned, the Marzocchi 45 forks are as good as any other OC fork made today. The carb never needs anything more than a small fuel screw or idle adjustment. It runs very clean and has gobs of horsepower at any elevation. 

I will sadly have to agree that the HP on any dirt bike will be disappointing compared to the 550 Husaberg. That slanted motor has sick horsepower! IMHO, it was one of the best engineered motors ever put in a dirt bike. The drawbacks were just not enough flywheel weight in stock condition. With the right pilot aboard not many bikes can touch it in the desert.

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

Reply with:


×