Cahaba

My new decked out 500 RRS - thoughts, impressions, learnings, many pics

14 posts in this topic

Ordered via BYOB mid August, the first day they opened it up - was hoping to have it the beginning of Oct.  I've had these supermoto wheels sitting in my garage for months - although that's about as good of a test on the tubeless Outex system I installed in them, because if they haven't leaked any air for 60 days, they probably ain't ever gonna leak.

The new clutch design changed the delivery timeline, and I finally picked this bike up from the dealer last week.  I hate I lost months of warm mostly dry early winter, but I'm the one that really wanted to try the Rekluse CX so I kept telling them I'd wait (if I has been willing to accept it with the factory clutch I would have had this months ago).

So far that is my only challenge.  Rekluse built their design based on what appears to be factory Beta specs of 1450rpm, mine won't drop beneath 1900-1950 even after riding it a while, so I'm currently waiting on the dealer to hear back from Beta on if they can use software to drop it down to the specs listed on the frame sticker.  We spent forever trying to adjust freeplay gain but if we got it so the bike wouldn't surge bad when stopped, then it slipped bad in higher RPM's.  I settled on proper freeplay gain, no slipping in high RPM's, and just have to use the clutch or neutral when coming to a stop (which was habit anyways).  I will say I've not been able to get it to stall yet, even when using the brakes to just crawl along and even occasionally stop.  It really wants to pull forward and bogs down but it has never stalled - which will be nice when crawling through technical stuff.  More to come - I'm hoping we can get this idle set to the 1450 spec and the Rekluse works with the springs they designed for it, worst case I have to crack it open as Rekluse said they will gladly send me additional springs to counteract that high RPM if needed.  I think they too are waiting on this update as this is one of the first 500's using their new CX clutch pack. 

You'll be able to see from the pics a lot of the BYOB options I went for, so I won't go into too much of those as most are probably familiar with them.  Here are some things I did after the fact myself and via my awesome dealer (S&T Cycles).

1.  Swiftkicker kickstand - all I can say is WOW, I love this thing.  I'm sort of doing some "Beta" testing for them as this is only the 2nd Beta to have one, but I'm super super impressed.  It is very sturdy and rugged.  It works EXACTLY like you see in their website videos.  I can flip it out no matter what the terrain height is, and it works perfectly as I change between dirt and supermoto wheels.  It uses a couple springs which are very strong and I can't say enough about how impressed I have been.  Was a small chore getting on (takes 2 people) but you want extra strong springs.  I rigged up a little extender for the offroad safety loop which is always a good idea with a kickstand if you are going to be launching or bouncing around pretty hard.

2.  Breather block off, rerouted to a small filter I can remove and clean easily if needed.  I have never been a fan of sending oil fumes up into the airbox - especially with some bikes where this goes on the engine side of the air filter.  Just seems like that would lead to extra junk building up over time on the throttle body area.

3. IMS 3 gallon tank, went ahead and dropped a simple fuel filter sock into the opening.  Just less stuff I have to worry about the factory filter cleaning out and sometimes when filling up in the wind I know I can get stuff trying to blow around and into the tank.  Low cost easy extra insurance of clean fuel.

4. AXP skidplate.  These things are beasts, and when they ran that black Friday special I had to go ahead and order one.  I'll say mounting it was not enjoyable.  The frame hook area on the right side of my bike was crazy tight, and after fighting it for 15min, I ended up shaving just a hair off that side’s hook.  Once I did this it still takes a firm hand, but it snaps up in there nice and tight and comes on and off now quickly.  I am not using the front facing frame hook, just doesn't seem at all like I need that, and it adds a good amount of PITA on mounting and removing each time.  Now that I can take it on and off quickly, I'm super impressed with this ... and it looks like it will survive anything. 

5.  Hyde Racing front rotor and pinch axle protector.  Very impressed by the quality of their product.  While not metal, this thing is strong and should work out well for a light but reasonably rugged form of protection.  Took me a little bit to figure out the mounting procedure and properly tightening up the axle so the forks are aligned, but now that I have the process down for wheel swaps it only adds another few minutes.  The right side protector I had to attack with my Dremel and a sharp razor blade so it would fit around my quick axle pullers, and so that I don't have to take it off every time in order to loosen and pull the axle.

6.  Supermoto wheels that I converted to tubeless via an Outex kit.  A slow, somewhat painstaking meticulous process, but I nailed it on the first try with zero leaks.  I warmed up some Contisport tires with hairdryers, smeared on some bead wax, and they went on super easy with my stubby tire tools - I'm still a rookie on tire changes compared to most.  I put in Ride-On just before taking the bike out to break it in, and have always loved how well that stuff works at balancing wheels.  My gps speedo shows I've done about 80mph on them and I've got to say, I never would have thought that.  Wow this thing was so smooth with those wheels/tires and there is no telling what the top end would be, as the bike didn't even seem to be trying.  I also put some black spoke guards on the supermoto wheels so they match the dirt wheels better - and they won't get junked up and such like those things do if you put them on dirt wheels.

7.  Sprockets - I don't want/like to do chain swaps, so I've left the 15T on the front and gone with a 45T on the moto wheels and a 50T CushDrive sprocket on the dirt.  I figure with the Rekluse and the power, there shouldn't be any slow technical terrain where I'm wanting a 13T.  I don't have time yet on the CushDrive sprocket, but am impressed with the build quality.  I know there will be times and stretches where I may dual sport or make runs with the dirt wheels on the bike, and I plan on having this for a LONG time so I wanted to start from day one with a little less drive train snap.  Probably overkill, but I budgeted for everything I wanted to do and saved up ahead of time to build this.  I'll say getting that factory chain on the 50T was a little bit of a chore, but I think that will come easier as the chain wears a little and feels like it is getting longer.

8.  Dealer ran 2 pairs of decent guage wiring for me along the backbone when he installed the tank, so I used one set of those to fuse in a setup that gives a pigtail I can plug into for keeping the battery charged, or I can plug my USB power out into if I want to provide power to my phone.  Which by the way, I used a RAM handlebar mount and fastened it to the flexx bars after manipulating it 100x different ways trying to get it down into the handlebar assembly.  That felt like trying to solve a rubix cube, but I finally got it, and it won't budge now as it is a very firm mount.

9.  Baja Squadron Pro headlight - this thing is incredible.  Not cheap, but it did plug and play just as described, low/high beam switch works perfect, and this thing is like an aircraft headlight when on high.  It really surprised me the first time I turned it on high power (even though it uses less amps than factory headlight bulb), must look like a train is coming straight at you.  For riding trails and at night, if there is no one in front of me, this will be outstanding and save me from having to clamp on auxiliary lights like I have with former bikes.  What's funny is my original headlight assembly & cowl got smashed during the crate transport from Cali to Alabama, but Beta already sent a replacement super quick (now I'm just waiting on the decal for the cowl).  Also this headlight setup is very easy to adjust the beam up/down to help accommodate my different wheel setups.

10.  Tusk led rear blinkers and self fender cleanup.  I pulled the lower plastic, trimmed it, installed the blinkers, fitted the wiring all back up into the original area, and screwed that lower plastic back into place.  Nice, clean, and essentially looks factory.  I don't technically have a white tag light with this setup, but I keep a simple battery coin clip light that takes 3 seconds to put on if I am going to do any extended riding at night on asphalt.  I used an old license plate frame and some thick black plastic to make a good tag mount, and just used those 3 dimpled areas on that fender for the bolts - that's what they are there for, right? :) 

11.  Seat Concepts low/wide seat.  From all the compliments people say on Seat Concepts, this thing is much firmer than what I was expecting.  Hopefully it will soften up with a little time.  Sure I ride standing up while on the trails, but while on the street I was wanting a little more comfort.  I had a Guts Racing foam/cover on my former bike and it was super soft and comfy.  Debating on if I want to wait and see if this one softens up with time or sell and swap for a Guts style.

12.  Acerbis Frame Guards and Steg Pegz - I already made a post regarding those.  Wasn't easy to get them on, but everything works.

13.  Couple grab handle loops front and rear.  These have been used a lot on a former bike, and to me are worth having when you or your buddy’s assistance is needed.

14.  Quick loop Velcro strap around the left handlebar area that takes only a quick sec to throw on the LHRB.  I know with a Rekluse I've got to be careful not to try and park or stop on an incline without using the brake.  If I need to get off to move the bike around or just relax a min, now I have a way to quickly engage my "emergency brake" via the LHRB - which is a first for me and I do like it. 

15.  I found a good place (or so I think) to store 14 wide extra strong zipties (140lbs I think?).  If you look at one of the pics you'll see where I slid them down into the airbox area from just behind the rear seat.  I can see them going under the airfilter in the bottom chamber, but not hitting or rubbing on the airfilter.  These are good insurance as I wear these factory tires out and will likely install a Tubliss system when it is time for a new set of tires.

16.  Mirrors, while I like these factory fold down ones, I like my used Ram mount Doubletake ones better.  Easier to move, stay tighter and do better in all conditions.  Problem?  right now I can only install the left side ... did Beta really use opposite mirror threads between right and left sides?  WTH?  So now I'm trying to find or track down some type of opposite thread adapter for the right side so I can put the other Doubletake on.  For now, I've got a super nice bike with some mismatched mirrors, so is life.

I'm sure I have forgotten about or missed something - but riding this thing puts the biggest smile on my face.  I was a bit nervous about going with a 500, as my last bike was 300 ... but I knew I would be doing some more asphalt riding so I wanted more power at higher speeds.  This engine is fantastic, and the power is so controllable and smooth from all my first impressions.  Zero twitchiness compared to prior EFI bikes I've ridden, just smooth very controllable power.  I did opt for the G2 tamer so I'm sure that is helping, I was just afraid I might launch myself up into the tops of the trees until I got used to a 500.

Now time for some pics for those that are still reading ....

 

Edited by Cahaba
Typos
6 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Super review and I like all the pics.  She is so, so . . . virginal.  

I also have the Squadron Pro and it is fantastic.  The output is just incredible and I do love how the light is easily adjusted up and down on the fly, but stays put while riding.  

I want those Acerbis frame protectors and the kickstand.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who here hasn’t gone through the virtual exercise of building their dream bike on Beta’s BYOB? Thanks for investing the time to share your vision and reality here - you actually did it!

It would be great if you could give us updates as you spend more time with the bike. Your photos are excellent, you have a clear and descriptive writing style, and you obviously put a lot of thought into your passion.

I’m particularly interested in how you ultimately like/don’t like two items: you’ve already mentioned the SC seat (especially if you take multi-hour DS rides), and also the G2 throttle tamer (I’d have thought it would overly dampen an already smooth Beta power curve). Granted, both of these are big personal taste things, but maybe living with these choices over the long haul ends up being a lot different that what you were hoping for in the planning phase.

Congratulations on the MA-CHEEN!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went with the G2 tamer more out of caution with learning a new bike, this much power-weight ratio, and knowing it will get used for plenty of trail riding - - yet I’ll bet it comes off in the near future. This power delivery is very smooth/controllable, infinitely better than my former light switch on/off twitchy Husky TE310 that was very nimble, but took a ton of clutch feathering to mask the constant snappiness.

The seat, time will tell. For standing I do like the very sticky/grippy feel of the side cover better than my prior Guts, combined with steg pegz I should have no excuses on controlling the bike and body position better with my legs. I’m sure I’ll still fail on occasion, but that’s why I put some guards on it to help hide those mistakes.

The kickstand is considered a beta for Beta, but it is a fantastic concept of simple but practical engineering. I’ve provided early feedback already on some tiny/picky items so I expect they will continue to refine it for Beta. I did shave down my acerbis frame guards ever so slightly to accommodate the spring angle better when fully extended. They’ve made these stands for KTMs and others a while so the concept should be battle tested. It really is super easy to use while on and off the bike, even easier than their videos show if that is hard to believe. Swiftkickers, like the squadron LED headlight, are somewhat premium items - but once experienced in their element, I will never go back to regular versions again - like DVR for the TV. Even if I didn’t have supermoto, I would quickly get this stand again. It was always a quick hassle before trying to park and use the kickstand while taking a break trail riding with all the uneven and potentially soft terrain. Not only does a bigger foot help, but you easily control the angle of the bike leaning over and how much pressure it is putting on the ground.

Breather filter was just an eBay or amazon purchase. They are cheap (sub $5) and I chose plastic over metal to minimize any wear on wiring/hoses if ziptie snaps and it ever shifted around. Just search for oil breather filter or crankcase breather filter and you’ll find a gazillion choices. Just remember to seal the hole in your airbox, Beta sells a plug or you can probably make your own for cheap.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice bike I also have a 18 500rrs byob. I was less than impressed with my sc tall seat, it just didn't seem that comfortable. Now that I have 500 miles it has broken in and is much better. Good idea on the zip ties I have tubliss and was cramming zip ties into my charcoal cannister compartment today.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for brightening my Christmas reading. What a wish list bike you have there! Awesome build with some great ideas. You may think it's boring, but I'd like to see your BYOB choices too?

Edited by Johnny Depp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got a couple hours of trail riding in today. My cheeks hurt from smiling so much. Goodness. Wife is already calling my Beta the other woman.

Nothing too crazy as I was alone, many times without cell coverage, and learning a new bike, but climbing a couple rocky trails that have occasionally given me trouble in the past were a total breeze. Probably a combination of the clutch cheat letting me focus more on other items, maybe the Flexx bars and the steering dampener helping to control rock deflection. While the idle still has to be figured out so I can stop without it pulling bad, I’m already getting spoiled by this clutch in the technical stuff. Never owned a bike with Flexx bars or steering dampener, so it is a little harder for me to specifically always tell what parts are contributing when ... but I swear climbing up and through some areas on this bike felt like I breezed up a nice smooth trail, yet I know otherwise as my handguards were tested harshly a few times in those spots on other bikes.

Yet this all performs nicely if I need to snap the clutch/throttle to lighten the front end as I bounce it to get over obstacles or short gulleys. Been playing with the clickers some too as I had it fairly stiff while doing supermoto riding on initial break in. I’m getting addicted to this smooth power delivery, but am very pleased with how much flexibility there is to also control it for front lightening power snaps when needed, low end torque on climbing technical stuff, or trying to see if I can blow the visor off my helmet as it jumps to 50-60mph almost instantly if the terrain is safe enough to yank that throttle past halfway.

I am really enjoying the LHRB, but have noticed that when I use it much, then my foot brake seems mushy and I have to push it further to engage reasonably or pump it first. If I use the foot brake some, then the handle brake is mushy until I give it a quick pump. I sort can feel the fluid push back and forth (push down on the pedal and I feel the LHRB handle move out some). Not a deal breaker or major disappointment if this is just the way it is as I’m really quickly learning and picking up the LHRB use and have flipped back and forth between it and the clutch lever very quickly - and dare I say naturally with only a few hours ride time on this setup.

Anyone know if this is typical/normal type behavior - or do I need to try and give it all a good bleeding?

Pushed it on some soft jumps (just a couple feet of air) to see if the kickstand wanted to come down at all and it never did that I noticed, as well as bouncing through some rocky areas. I used the safety strap most of the day, why not as it only takes a sec, but I did want to test those springs out to see how they did and was pleased with the results.

Today was a good day. Here’s a quick pic earlier into the ride from one of the gas lines where I can really play with the power. She was still pretty clean at this point!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thought I’d relay an update to this thread as it pertains to the Rekluse CX item.

Essentially the 2018’s (at least the 500 series for sure) idle higher than the spec sheet and the early “sample” bike that Rekluse built their 2018 series clutch from. Factory spec sticker on the frame says 1450, but proper idle from Beta USA technical is ~1850 (mine seems closer to 1900 if the voyager tach is accurate).

Rekluse continues to fuel their great reputation as they have been super responsive the whole time and immediately sent me additional stronger springs that will help tune mine to the right setup (when I get around to swapping them out)

They appear to have already updated Beta on this from similar issues that were reported, have created and given Beta a new chart of what springs to use going forward on BYOB, and probably won’t hesitate to help anyone else out that got one of the first ones off the line and is in the same boat.

I will say while it currently surges/drags aggressively when trying to stop, it doesn’t ever stall. Even using brakes to hold it still and ignoring the clutch lever. I also can crawl through slow technical stuff with really little to zero throttle! Though I will probably swap the springs soon so it is better tuned.

These really are outstanding machines.

1 person likes this

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: