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Will Beta ever get mainstream?

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Just a interesting topic to discuss, but curious what other's think about Beta's current image and if they continue to be a consistent player and keep building these great bikes, can they ever become more of a mainstream brand in the US market?

A couple of my thoughts. As a longtime dirt bike enthusiast who takes the time to research and keep in touch with what's going on in the market, not only here in the US, but worldwide, I have no problem with buying/owning a less recognized brand.  I have owned 4 Gasgas and now a Beta.  I would not hesitate to own a Sherco or even a TM given the right circumstances.  But, I am pretty hardcore in terms of keeping myself informed about the brands and bikes from sources all around the world, not just here in the US. For years, I would buy Euro magazines and read ride reports from Australia.  I was perfectly happy with my Gasgas bikes and found they were actually very well suited for the more woods oriented riders.  Beta was a easy transition with the bikes built on that same format of user friendly and well laid out for woods, trails type of riding.  Many times these bikes are much better suited for riders than, lets say a KTM, which for years have gone away from that format and more oriented to the racing bikes suited for harescramble or GP style of riding.

But, most folks aren't as informed about the entire market and simply choose their purchase based on what they see around them, aka, a sea of Orange.  The casual enthusiast will simply go by word or mouth or pop into the local dealership and make their decision based on that. Obviously, KTM make great bikes, I've owned 8 of them over the years and really have no complaints.  But, a KTM isn't always the right or best choice, and they have had their fair share of poorly designed bikes and missed the mark many times on technology and equipment.  I think KTM's huge rise to success was NOT planned at all, but rather, they captured lightning in a bottle.  As the internet exploded and Japanese manufacturers simply stopped their focus on enduro type bikes, KTM came out with their updated 2-stroke fleet and decent 4-strokes right around '99 and early 00's.  Guys started recognizing that a full blown motocross YZ400 was a terrible woods bike and why not try an orange 2-stroke.  KTM saw their window and moved all in with their enduro fleet. 

So, here we are nearly 20 years later and KTM dominates the market with Beta a solid performer, but still not recognized as mainstream.  I saw a post over on the KTM site where a KTM rider was looking for a bike that was really perfectly suited for a Beta 350/390 and I suggested that he might look at Beta.  The response was Beta way too heavy and that their brakes, clutch and controls were inferior to KTM?  He even said the radiator guards weren't on par with KTM?  I thought to myself, what? really? Beta has inferior plastic radiator louvers?  Beta uses the same brakes as Yamaha and the same clutch as the KTM.  This just shows how those outside the Beta world view Beta.  I mean, KTM makes no bike in their entire line-up to compare to the 390.  Their dual sport line-up appears to have huge flaws from the factory compared to the Beta's that are ready to go right off the dealer floor. Beta has back to back world enduro championships and has tons of endurocross podiums.  But, guys are drawn to the orange flame like a moth to a candle.

So, what does Beta need to do, if anything, to get the word out about how great these bikes are?  Or is it just going to take more time for Beta to become more mainstream and more recognized in the market?  Or, is Beta just going to stay where they are at in the US market and be happy with that?

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Interesting topic. I like the idea of Beta being successful, but that doesn't necessarily mean bigger is better.

I don't care how many bikes Beta sells. I only care that they support the one I bought.

I would like them to continue making good bikes and maybe I'll buy another one.

I hope they keep doing their thing. They don't need to be big or known by everyone.

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Very true. They certainly don't NEED to grow to be successful.  They are already successful in my book. 

I wonder if they'll ever be more recognized by the casual enthusiasts at some point.  

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From what I've read the Beta company is pretty maxed out producing all the bikes they can. To produce A LOT MORE bikes would require a quantum change in the company, and I'm quite happy with the way they operate now: Lots of free info on line re manuals, cheaper parts than most enduro bikes out there, and an amazing bike to ride, with ground up engineering that in many key areas leaves the competition behind.

Arrogance in a way sums up the Orange machine: Who would continue to produce a bike with known faults (i.e. starter motor) for the best part of a decade, and not  address the issue?

My Orange bike HAD to be fitted with a steering dampner: my RR300 is as stable as a stable thing at speed

Jetting the Orange was a continual work in progress: RR300, raised needle clip one line and have not interfered with it in 200 hours.

Quiet happy for the masses to ride Orange. Makes me feel special out there....especially when I'm leading the pack:ride:

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As a non beta owner I would love it if they're north American presence grew while still maintaining quality/bike selection. I'm only interested in riding trails and in rural Canada there's not much for euro bike dealers. I think theres only one or 2 ktm dealers in the province, and the nearest beta dealer(possibly the only one in Canada from a quick google) is over 1000km away in bc. Meanwhile honda/kawi/yamaha are all within a 30 minute drive. I realize it won't be expanding that close anytime soon but at least one in the nearest city would be nice. And that's still a 3 hr drive lol

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Beta is pretty mainstream now in the off-road scene as far as I can tell. I see them all the time on the trails, lots of mod choices almost every aftermarket company makes parts for them and the parts are now sold thru the big guys like Rockymountainatv. Pretty big presence at the dealers too. They sell enough of them in my area that they aren't willing to cut too great of deal..

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47 minutes ago, Albertasledder said:

As a non beta owner I would love it if they're north American presence grew while still maintaining quality/bike selection. I'm only interested in riding trails and in rural Canada there's not much for euro bike dealers. I think theres only one or 2 ktm dealers in the province, and the nearest beta dealer(possibly the only one in Canada from a quick google) is over 1000km away in bc. Meanwhile honda/kawi/yamaha are all within a 30 minute drive. I realize it won't be expanding that close anytime soon but at least one in the nearest city would be nice. And that's still a 3 hr drive lol

Ya, you need to brush up on your info. Lots sod Beta dealers all over AB and BC... 

Edited by Monk
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I agree that I'm more concerned with Beta having a really good quality dealership network and a well sorted supply chain than them becoming "mainstream" per se. I think they can up their game when it comes to wiring but otherwise I think the bikes are pretty dang solid overall. And I'm not a penny pincher when it comes to price. If that better wiring bumps the price a $200 or so do it, I'd rather pay the factory to use higher quality connectors etc. than me installing them.

But I think Beta overall has a good lineup of bikes. I'd love to see them get into the 650 light ADV class, something that competes with the 690/701 bikes but is more ADV compatible with a larger fuel tank that doesn't have a filler cap that gets covered with your luggage. 

I'm hoping to see Beta offer FI, SOLID dead reliable oil injection, and counterbalancing on the 2T bikes. Right now I'd probably buy a KTM 300 just to get FI and that all important counterbalancer. But I'd much rather buy a Beta 300RR or REALLY a 300 2T RR-S (in my dreams) with the upgrades.

But back to the question posed, I'd rather seem them work on QUALITY dealerships and excellent parts supply over banging out more bikes right now. I think more media exposure will help with public awareness. A lot of people tell me "I've never heard of Beta....."

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36 minutes ago, Monk said:

Ya, you need to brush up on your info. Lots sod Beta dealers all over AB and BC... 

Correct.

Several Beta dealers in B.C.

The closest motorcycle dealer to me actually is a Beta dealer.

The one and only motorcycle dealer in my small town was a Sherco dealer, but the importer to Canada has stopped bringing them in, so isn't currently selling anything.

As remote as I am located I have a Beta dealer 1.25 hours away and another Beta dealer 2.5  hours away. If i want to drive 5 to 6 hours there are several more.

But no need to drive that far as the two nearest ones are both excellent. 

In this area Beta is very popular and I see a lot when out riding.

 

Edited by RevyRoamer

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Depending on where and how you ride  - IMO Beta (and for that matter KTM/Husky/Sherco/TM/Gas Gas etc) get where the evolution of off road biking is going in NA and other than Yamaha, I think Honda might be getting it but......

Personally my next bike is a true street legal dirt bike which IMO will be a Beta cus again IMO they have the best options but KTM/Beta is close then if you don't need a street legal dirt bike you still have amazing options in 2T and 4T from Beta/KTM/Husky for all types of riding.

Then dirt biking is really a whole family sport and the companies that get that IE KTM and for that matter Honda are going to build long term loyalty/sales in NA and I think if Beta ever came out with smaller bikes they would become more main stream BUT honestly thats the last thing I look for in a motor cycle or for that matter anything.

 

 

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Main stream ?  they will if they ever build a big dealer network.  We have a good dealer and lots of guys ride them. The more you put out there, the more friends get to try them, the more you see at events, the more you'll sell.

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As a non beta owner I would love it if they're north American presence grew while still maintaining quality/bike selection. I'm only interested in riding trails and in rural Canada there's not much for euro bike dealers. I think theres only one or 2 ktm dealers in the province, and the nearest beta dealer(possibly the only one in Canada from a quick google) is over 1000km away in bc. Meanwhile honda/kawi/yamaha are all within a 30 minute drive. I realize it won't be expanding that close anytime soon but at least one in the nearest city would be nice. And that's still a 3 hr drive lol


Guessing from your screen name, but if you're in Alberta, your post is not correct. Off the top of my head, I can name 3 Beta dealers in the province, and the 2 in the main cities (Edmonton and Calgary) are both one of the larger dealers of each city.
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Guessing from your screen name, but if you're in Alberta, your post is not correct. Off the top of my head, I can name 3 Beta dealers in the province, and the 2 in the main cities (Edmonton and Calgary) are both one of the larger dealers of each city.



That's good to know. When I googled beta motorcycles Canada it only came up with one in kelowna. And from the main beta website it only listed the importer when I searched for dealers in Canada. This is all from my phone though and I didn't exactly spend a ton of time searching. Edmonton would work for me, that's the city 3 hrs away i mentioned.

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Just a few years ago it was almost all KTM's in our area and hardly anyone had ever heard of Beta, now Beta's are almost outnumbering orange.  Last Thursday ride we had 5 Betas and 2 KTM's.  In the two years I've been a dealer I've sold twice as many as I originally projected.  I keep a demo bike and my customers are always willing to let someone try theirs and I'd guess 80% that try one end up buying. 

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Ktm was not a mainstream brand in the U.S. 30 years ago. It took them years to establish a large dealer network and become mainstream.  Beta is where KTM was 25 years ago, the have a small dealer network in the usa. There are 3 Beta dealers that i know of in my state of Washington.  The closest one is 2 hours away in evil traffic and not opened on Saturday. Until Beta can increase the build numbers theres  no point in increasing the dealers they have. Beta will never become mainstream untill they build more bikes and increase there dealer network.  

Also for the non Beta owner parts availability looks like there harder to find. I can order anything for my ktms from 20 different places and have them in 2 days. Where do you order oem Beta parts from? This is an honest question, Im not trying to be a smart ass . Where do you guys get your parts from. 

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1 hour ago, djl2014 said:

Last year KTM sold over 200,000 bikes. BETA sold less than 20,000.

Are you sure? The problem with your statement, even if it's accurate, it doesn't paint a clear picture.

Beta doesn't sell mini bikes, Adventure Touring, street bikes or MX models..Those 4 groups make up a massive market share of what KTM sells.

If you took a cross comparison of each model respective to its class such as a Beta 300 vs a KTM 300xcw or a Beta 250 vs a KTM 300xcw I would guess the differences would be significantly smaller. An example would be Beta has never made a 125 offroad bike till 2018 either so it's just small areas that Beta hasn't or can't make gains in.

Also, that's 20,000 less bikes KTM sold. Throw in Sherco, Gasgas, Fanta, TM and whatever other odd balls in and it does chip away. 

Edited by Monk
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From Wikipedia:
"Since 2012, KTM has been the largest motorcycle manufacturer in Europe for four consecutive years.
Globally, the company is among the leading off-road motorcycle manufacturers.
In 2016, KTM sold 203,423 motor vehicles worldwide."

Beta is a small, privately owned manufacturer. They sell street legal models in Italy known as the Alp as well as trials bikes.

They would have to change their entire corporate structure in order to manufacture more motorcycles. Not that it would be a good thing.

My 2012 RS450 has been practically bullet proof.
I beat the hell out of it and it's never failed to start.

I could care less what kind of bike someone else rides. I just want my next Beta to be as dependable as the one I ride now.

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41 minutes ago, Danceswithtrees said:

Just a few years ago it was almost all KTM's in our area and hardly anyone had ever heard of Beta, now Beta's are almost outnumbering orange.  Last Thursday ride we had 5 Betas and 2 KTM's.  In the two years I've been a dealer I've sold twice as many as I originally projected.  I keep a demo bike and my customers are always willing to let someone try theirs and I'd guess 80% that try one end up buying. 

My last ride we had 4 betas and 1 ktm. Xtrainer, 2x300s my 250. 

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