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2017 Beta 390: I'm in love!

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Just picked up a 2017 Beta 390RS last week and was able to put a couple hundred miles on it on an annual week long trip to North Central Oregon. 

Just a bit of background. I am a 47 year old vet A/B rider. No more racing, but put on about 1000-1500 miles of Oregon/Washington trails a year. Most of my riding is 2nd-3rd gear flowing singletrack or woods. I've owned a ton of bikes over the years including several Gasgas and KTM's. The bike I just sold to purchase the Beta was a 2009 KTM 300XC that I had built over the winter for our NW riding. I had been intrigued by the Beta 390 for a couple of years after Chilly White's reports and now that the 390 is factory plated, I was thinking it was time to pull the trigger. I've never bought brand new, so I did a ton of research and was nervous about the purchase. Luckily, my brother (HRR) has a '15 Beta 250rr and I have spent a ton of time on that bike and love what Beta has done in creating solid performers right out of the box. The Beta's just seem built for woods riding and are well sorted and unlike other brands, don't need much in terms of mods.

So, my initial impressions after 200 miles of awesome Oregon riding. One word: AWESOME!!!

This bike is so amazing in so many ways. It just performs so solidly right out of the box. I knew it would be nice, but I was honestly shocked at how nice it really is. 

The first thing that hits you is the perfect motor. The FI is spot on with zero hits, bogs, hestitations, etc. It has plenty of grunt and transitions nicely with a great linear smooth pull into the mid where there's some nice pop. It feels similar to a 300 2-stroke in the low end grunt but is so smooth and perfect electric like power delivery. It never hurts you, but isn't boring, if that makes sense. It's like goldie locks said "This one is just right". I did a couple of nice technical steep hillclimbs and the motor can tractor up anything you point it at and never flames out. I think I killed it twice over the 200 miles from simply riding 3rd into a downhill corner, then slamming on the brakes to an almost complete stop, without using any clutch. This bike does not need a Rekluse! There is also very little engine braking as well which surprised me and made the transition from my 300XC take about 10 minutes!

Next is the handling. I am amazed at how nimble and light feeling this 390 is. You can toss it around and change lines with ease. It isn't a 2-stroke, but it is a great handling bike that has great trail manners. Its very balanced and stable, yet flickable at the same time. This is not easy to accomplish, but Beta has done a fantastic job with the chassis and the bike handles terrific. I did some singletrack and lots of 2-track, and it handles both with ease. 

The suspension was a pleasant surprise. My KTM 300XC was equipped with Kreft worked closed cartridge suspension which was the best suspension I had ridden to date. I had read a lot of reviews on the Sachs and my brother's '15 forks were not that great out of the box. But, is was very surprised on how well the '17 Sachs suspension works. Its very plush and absorbs rocks very well. There's virtually no deflection from the forks which is a real surprise after riding the '15 250rr and experiencing quite a bit of deflection from those forks. The shock seems great with the rear end never kicking out. I am 225 lbs, so I am too heavy for the springs, yet I never had any bottoming. I adjusted the compression in the forks 2 clicks harder and that took care of the forks slightly dipping into turns. I think if I loose a few more lbs., this suspension is going to work just fine. 

Overall ergos. The bike is laid out wonderfully and feels comfortable right from the start. I put on Flexx bars before ever riding it, but the bike is extremely comfortable and balanced. I am 5'10" and the low seat height and slightly smaller feel of the bike suits me perfectly. 

Overall, I am so impressed with what Beta has done here with the 390. This is a great package and will work perfectly for my riding skills and terrain. I cant wait to hit more woods with this bike! Kuddos to Beta for creating the perfect middle-aged clubman level bike. Plus its plated, so Ill be enjoying some dual sporting locally as well with Mt Hood Nat'l forest literally 5 miles from my front door! 

Couldn't be more excited and very happy with my purchase!

Here's a short little video of my initial reaction:

 

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36 minutes ago, kawagumby said:

...and everything just gets even better with some more riding time....!

 

Rumor has it that these remap automatically at 1200 miles with a bit more power.  We'll see.

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Awesome man! If I was to get a 4 stroke, the 390 would definitely be the one!

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26 minutes ago, firffighter said:

Rumor has it that these remap automatically at 1200 miles with a bit more power.  We'll see.

Thanks for the review.  This is the bike I want to buy for 2018 and was concerned it was not enough motor.  As a former expert racer and riding 450s, I thought getting back after a 7 year sabbatical a smaller displacement would be fun, not to mention I'm 59 now; still fit though.  I know these new bikes with FI are so much better than my old pumper carbs that it's probably closer to my last KTM 450.   And my local dealer tells me they can re-map the RRS to RR specs.  In fact, at this years dealer demo day at Glen Helen, a friend of mine asked the Beta guys if there was any difference between the RR & RRS motors and they said only the mapping.

Edited by 4Kracing
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Great review!  I am currently on a 15 500RS but potentially looking to go with the 390.  Also considering the 350.  Very helpful.  Cool video as well, beautiful country up there in Oregon.

 

Ben

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Loving my 390 race edition also. You have some beautiful riding over there.

 

9 hours ago, 4Kracing said:

Thanks for the review.  This is the bike I want to buy for 2018 and was concerned it was not enough motor.  As a former expert racer and riding 450s, I thought getting back after a 7 year sabbatical a smaller displacement would be fun, not to mention I'm 59 now; still fit though.  I know these new bikes with FI are so much better than my old pumper carbs that it's probably closer to my last KTM 450.   And my local dealer tells me they can re-map the RRS to RR specs.  In fact, at this years dealer demo day at Glen Helen, a friend of mine asked the Beta guys if there was any difference between the RR & RRS motors and they said only the mapping.

I don't think this is true, I believe they both have the same map from the factory. No need to change anything they run great from the get go.

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30 minutes ago, hollywood_72 said:

Loving my 390 race edition also. You have some beautiful riding over there.

 

I don't think this is true, I believe they both have the same map from the factory. No need to change anything they run great from the get go.

In California it is due to carb restrictions.  They de-tune the plated and green sticker bikes.

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12 hours ago, firffighter said:

Rumor has it that these remap automatically at 1200 miles with a bit more power.  We'll see.

1200 miles? That is beyond ridiculous. Can a dealer do it before that?

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2 minutes ago, YHGEORGE said:

1200 miles? That is beyond ridiculous. Can a dealer do it before that?

Let me clarify.  This automatically remapping is just something I heard from a local dealer.  I have no idea if it's true.  The current mapping is spot on and the bike runs superb.  

I'm assuming that you can map it to the RR model, but can't confirm.

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In the with Steve holicombe he said the 390 was tye best of the 4/, when i quit woods racing I'll buy one

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13 hours ago, kawagumby said:

...and everything just gets even better with some more riding time....!

 

What he said ^ The more I ride mine, the more I love it!

The displacement is perfect not too little that you want more, not too much that you have to fight it. When I get better (skill wise), I might retire the Xt from racing duties and use the 390.

I'd be quite surprised there is a different mapping (maybe in Cali for emission purposes). On my '16 I could install a map switch, not sure if the '17 has the map switch. I know the '16 runs the aggressive map. I do find that after 30h there seems to be more power overall or it's me and I am using more throttle.

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3 hours ago, hollywood_72 said:

Loving my 390 race edition also. You have some beautiful riding over there.

 

I don't think this is true, I believe they both have the same map from the factory. No need to change anything they run great from the get go.

On the Beta dealer site there are separate maps for the 2017 race editions and 17 RR-S models.  2015 and 16 they all used the same maps. 

I've never heard of the bike remapping itself in 1200 miles. 

Btw the 390 Race is my favorite Beta, I absolutely love mine.

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3 hours ago, hollywood_72 said:

Loving my 390 race edition also. You have some beautiful riding over there.

 

I don't think this is true, I believe they both have the same map from the factory. No need to change anything they run great from the get go.

There are 2 different maps for north America, 2017 RR-S & RR..... Ask any Beta dealer

Edited by Mark-us-B

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3 hours ago, 4Kracing said:

In California it is due to carb restrictions.  They de-tune the plated and green sticker bikes.

I had a '15 KTM 350 exc-f...without a remap it sucked.  Ran hot, too lean, flameouts, etc.  Even after reworking the FI mixture, engine ice, oversized water pump etc, it still sucked for tight trails.  The CA 390 I have has none of that...it runs perfectly.  Whatever map they use, it is spot on.  I certainly can't find any rpm where the power isn't what it should be, it runs great on the nastiest of slow hot single track, absolutely rips through the midrange... and has John Deere tractor low-end.  I don't think this bike is detuned for CA (I believe this is a 50 state bike), maybe it runs a different map than the older RR, perhaps such as changing advance curve, but the fuel mixture is spot on.

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7 minutes ago, Mark-us-B said:

There are 2 different maps for north America, 2017 RR-S & RR..... Ask any Beta dealer

Doesn't Beta advertise that the RR-S replaces the RR?  Mebbe the map you refer to is for the race edition as noted above?  If so, that isn't necessarily an improvement for many riders.

Edited by kawagumby

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In California it is due to carb restrictions.  They de-tune the plated and green sticker bikes.

Damn California carb laws. I hate them. It's ridiculous. Green and red sticker BS. I mean do you really think stopping newer, cleaner running bikes from running half of the year is going to make a big difference? They should have an option where if you have some good muffler you can ride year round or something. That's my weekly rant. ;)
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1 hour ago, kawagumby said:

I had a '15 KTM 350 exc-f...without a remap it sucked.  Ran hot, too lean, flameouts, etc.  Even after reworking the FI mixture, engine ice, oversized water pump etc, it still sucked for tight trails.  The CA 390 I have has none of that...it runs perfectly.  Whatever map they use, it is spot on.  I certainly can't find any rpm where the power isn't what it should be, it runs great on the nastiest of slow hot single track, absolutely rips through the midrange... and has John Deere tractor low-end.  I don't think this bike is detuned for CA (I believe this is a 50 state bike), maybe it runs a different map than the older RR, perhaps such as changing advance curve, but the fuel mixture is spot on.

I here what you're saying, but my buddy who rode the 350 and 390 in both the RR & RRS said the RR was definitely faster due to more aggressive mapping.  The Beta mechanic said besides suspension,  the mapping was the only difference between the two bikes.

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Keep in mind the RR is a red sticker bike.

I will definitely re-map the RRS.

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