2018 390 RR-S, Newb review and jabbering

First, I'd like to start off by thanking Matgaz, Rider777, and vwprostock for their help and willingness to engage me in PM's to help me sort out what bike I should get.  

On to my long winded version of a review.

I've been into offroad vehicles for some time but they have always been 4x4's.  I built up a 80 Series Land Cruiser for expedition style travel with some minor rock crawling.  I later moved onto a full tube framed rock buggy (40" tires, LS motor).  I have mountain bike experience and lots of snowmobile experience.  This past spring my 10 year old daughter asked if she could get a dirt bike because she wanted to DRIVE in the dirt instead of just ride.  Some discussion took place and I got lucky, in April, bought a CRF125 Big wheel for her and got a KLX140G for my wife, got all the associated ATGATT.  My other daughter was just fine with driving the 4x4's, no need for 2 wheels.  

The only motorized 2 wheel machine I had ever ridden was a Honda Aero50 in college, so, I spent a ton of time on the KLX140G.  It was ridiculously underpowered and small for my 6'2" frame at 210 lbs, but it did allow me a nice safe way to practice skills, shifting, braking, gunning the hills, downshifting, riding higher and faster gears for flowing track.  I rode single track, sand, hills, dirt roads, and rocky mountain trails up to 11,000 ft.  Surprisingly, it was pretty capable as long as you planned ahead and wrung its neck.  Suspension and ergonomics were killing me and I was likely killing it, I just kept telling myself I was getting faster and stronger by staying on it.  I could do over 40 miles of single track on the "Jalopeno".  Don't get me started on my rides on the 125.  

I rode with some friends and got to try out a 2016 Sherco 300SEF 4t, 2013 GasGas 300 2t, 2015 Beta 350 RR-S, and a 2016 KTM 500EXC, and a 2016 Beta XTrainer.  My favorites were the Beta and the Sherco.  I live in the high desert of New Mexico at 6,000ft and spend a lot of time at altitude up to 13,500ft on mountain passes in Colorado. I wanted EFI and enough grunt to keep going at elevation and to run 55mph on roads.  I liked the idea of a street legal dirt bike for connecting trails.  After riding the Beta 350, I knew the 390 was the ticket for me. 500 seemed like to much for my newness, and I didn't care if I was the fastest guy between "those two trees" or on the open roads.  

I waited for the 2018's, put in a BYOB the first day it opened.  Added radiator and hand guards, and had the springs changed out front and back for my weight.  Then the wait was on.  It arrived shortly after the middle of October.

I looked the bike over, checked all the bolts, moved some wires and made sure the hose clamps were snug.  I checked the sag with the help of my girls.  Static was 30mm and race was 100mm.   After reading all the threads on ThumperTalk, I could not believe I hit the 30/100 ratio without changing a thing. 

Felt pretty scared on a new bike with a lot of power.  The test bikes I rode, with the exception of the Sherco, were more on dirt roads and not single track, and never for a long ride.  I headed out on my first ride for 40 miles of single track, flowy, whoops, with some sand wash runs and hill climbs.  I was so focused on not killing myself, I was exhausted immediately for the first third of the ride.  Soon, I settled in and wasn’t having to think so much, and then I got tired again for the last third of the ride.  Overall, it was a great ride!  I noticed the size and the suspension of the 390 the most.  Soaked up the ruts and bumps so much better than anything else I had ridden.  I could go faster into things and it just plowed right through.  The ability to ride in second with the 15/48 gearing and still just throttle up the steeps was amazing.

Got my second run a few days later, another 40 miles of single track with some ridge running, sand washes, slickrock, and loamy dirt.  I felt much better this time and my friend who coaches skiing and mountain biking said he could see my confidence and skill rise throughout the day.  I definitely felt comfortable on the new bike.  Still mostly in second gear, got into third some.  Seems to be fine lugging or revving it out.  I seem to be most comfortable lugging it.  

Did a dual sport.  68 miles, left from the house on pavement, rode 40 miles of single track, dirt roads to get to the highway, 55mph, then back onto single track to my house.  Very cool.  Loads of fun.  My fuel light started to flicker as I got home.  Guessing the 80 miles per tank estimation is about right.  

All in all, got over 10 hours on the bike in a few weeks, had a few drops but no major get offs.  Did the first oil changes and post inspections.  Bikes are so easy to work on compared to 4x4's and buggies.  Hope to get more riding time before it gets too cold, but it is snowing tonight in the mountains. 

No concerns about the bike, running flawlessly and is exactly what I wanted.  Someday, I’m sure I’ll whip it up to see what it really is made of, but for now, I'm please with having loads of fun, learning a new skill and getting out in the dirt. 

I'm lucky to get to ride desert single track right from my home and I'm looking forward to getting into the high country in Colorado next summer.  

Thanks Beta Section on ThumperTalk.

 

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Troutrunner, welcome! You are going to love your 390. I have a 2012 450RR. Been thinking of getting another bike and debated between the 300 2S and the 390. I ended up getting a 2013 300 and loving it. Where in NM are you? Our go to riding area is in Alcalde. Getting your family involved is awesome. Cheers!

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There is nothing better than playing outdoors.  You'll find that 390 is a very forgiving bike - I sure enjoy mine!

4 hours ago, taosX5 said:

Troutrunner, welcome! You are going to love your 390. I have a 2012 450RR. Been thinking of getting another bike and debated between the 300 2S and the 390. I ended up getting a 2013 300 and loving it. Where in NM are you? Our go to riding area is in Alcalde. Getting your family involved is awesome. Cheers!

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I live in Farmington and have a place up at Durango.  Best of all worlds, mountains and desert.

TroutRunner - Congrats on the new 390.  You are going to love it.  It's such a fun and easy bike to ride. 

Matgaz was very helpful and played a big part in helping me decide on the 390 when I was looking into purchasing my first Beta.

Good luck. :cheers:

Does anyone with the new 2018s have a real world weight vs the specd weight?

 

I have been looking for a lighter weight replacement for my KLX250 and the 390RR is on my radar but want to know the actual weight of said bike.

Another bike I was looking at had a specd dry weight of 247lbs but a real world weight closer to 270lbs

41 minutes ago, Iffykid said:

Does anyone with the new 2018s have a real world weight vs the specd weight?

 

I have been looking for a lighter weight replacement for my KLX250 and the 390RR is on my radar but want to know the actual weight of said bike.

Another bike I was looking at had a specd dry weight of 247lbs but a real world weight closer to 270lbs

Dirt Bike Test claimed a weight of 278lbs with heavier tires and a full tank in their recent 430rr-s review...don't know if I believe it weighs that much. I haven't weighed my '18 350, but just by lifting it on the stand, I'd guess it's probably about 15-20lbs heavier than my 300(that is 240 wet and guarded up.) On the trail, the 350 hides its weight well...with some suspension tuning, I'd have no qualms about taking it XC racing. The 350/390/430/500 are all pretty much the same weight. For what it's worth, the advertised weight of the Beta is around 50lbs less than the advertised weight of the KLX...

Dirt Bike Test claimed a weight of 278lbs with heavier tires and a full tank in their recent 430rr-s review...don't know if I believe it weighs that much. I haven't weighed my '18 350, but just by lifting it on the stand, I'd guess it's probably about 15-20lbs heavier than my 300(that is 240 wet and guarded up.) On the trail, the 350 hides its weight well...with some suspension tuning, I'd have no qualms about taking it XC racing. The 350/390/430/500 are all pretty much the same weight. For what it's worth, the advertised weight of the Beta is around 50lbs less than the advertised weight of the KLX...

278 is 50 lbs lighter than my drz lol. That would be nice.

Troutrunner,  

Congrats on your new 390! I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy mine! Looking forward to your impressions as you get more seat time. Great bikes!

16 hours ago, Sierra_rider said:

Dirt Bike Test claimed a weight of 278lbs with heavier tires and a full tank in their recent 430rr-s review...don't know if I believe it weighs that much. I haven't weighed my '18 350, but just by lifting it on the stand, I'd guess it's probably about 15-20lbs heavier than my 300(that is 240 wet and guarded up.) On the trail, the 350 hides its weight well...with some suspension tuning, I'd have no qualms about taking it XC racing. The 350/390/430/500 are all pretty much the same weight. For what it's worth, the advertised weight of the Beta is around 50lbs less than the advertised weight of the KLX...

The advertised weight is what I am worried about, My 07 KLX has a advertised dry weight of 262lbs not

I had read that Dirt Bike Test of 2017 278lbs with 2gals of fuel.

Another 2018 review gives 270lbs with 2gals fuel which would be consistent with Beta claimed 8lb reduction in weight.

Allowing 6.5lbs per gallon that would put either bike appx 11lbs over Betas claimed weight.

Edited by Iffykid
3 hours ago, Iffykid said:

The advertised weight is what I am worried about, My 07 KLX has a advertised dry weight of 262lbs not

I had read that Dirt Bike Test of 2017 278lbs with 2gals of fuel.

Another 2018 review gives 270lbs with 2gals fuel which would be consistent with Beta claimed 8lb reduction in weight.

Allowing 6.5lbs per gallon that would put either bike appx 11lbs over Betas claimed weight.

 I ridden a klx, the beta will be and feel much lighter.

4 minutes ago, Sierra_rider said:

 I ridden a klx, the beta will be and feel much lighter.

I am sure it is, I just want to know by how much before I drop $10G to find out its way heavier than advertised.

I don't know what it weighs.  From my looking around most of the bikes are pretty close to each other for the same spec and engine size.  If you want it to feel lighter then go 2 stroke.  

My new 390 felt heavy compared to the play bikes I was used to riding.  Now that I have some time on the 390 it feels much lighter when riding and is now more an extension of me instead of me riding on top of it. 

Cursed myself.

Went to take a ride today and the stupid engine light would not go off.  Noticed it as I left the house.  Went home, looked for the usual culprits of loose plugs but didn't find any.  

Under warranty, might as well take it in on Tuesday, unless someone knows a quick fix.  I'll get checking the engine plugs as has been mentioned in threads here. 

Presently riding a XTrainer for single track use, I am considering a 390RR for use as a D/S but wanting to stay as light as possible.

Great review and pics.  

It is so nice seeing more and more guys who have chosen a Beta, and a dual-sport to boot, and are loving them. 

I can see, someday, getting a smaller motor than the 500 I have now.  Someday I might want as light a D/S as I can get, but till then . . . 

Street legal is fun.  

Glad you are liking the 390, it is quite an underrated motor in the Beta range. For an all around bike, I have not found better.

If you have not ridden the 390 try to. You will be shocked how light it feels. Been riding mostly 250f for years. 450 felt to much. The 390 is an amazing compromise!

I just test rode two 2018 Betas at my local dealer, 390 RRS and 500 RRS.  I was able to ride them around the streets and get on the gas.  I will tell you that the 390 is a hoot and it has great pull through the gears.  Now I realize I was riding with perfect traction on the street, but that 390 would dial a wheelie in 4th and 5th gear with stock gearing NO PROBLEM!  I am a former expert racer and haven't ridden in 7 years, but I know a bitchen bike when I ride it.  I have always rode and raced 450s and would have no problem riding the 390.  The 500 i.e. 478cc felt too much like a tractor with lees fun factor.  Sure it has more torque and power, but I would be faster on the 390 in everything except open desert and big loamy hill climbs.  But at the end of the day, most people ride mixed terrain and having a bike that excels in one or two areas isn't worth it to me. 

So I'm going with the 390 RRS. That bike left an indelible smile in my brain that I know will only grow wider each time I ride it.  I have some saying I should get the 430, but I have not ridden that bike so I have no frame of reference. 

4K, one of my riding friends purchased a 430 last year after riding the 500 and 430 - his reason was that it was just more fun to ride. I'm quite sure he did not have a chance to experience the 390.

 

 

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