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Ben500RR-S

Beta as a snowbike=incredible. (More pics), and another review

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It finally happened, it finally snowed again and a good one at that. 

I got an email this morning, from my nephew in law. He writes, "It snowed 18" up here.  Get your ass here so we can ride!"  

I left at 7pm and took a nice, nice 125 mile drive.  It was snowing on the way up.  Wet, to snow-covered highway and secondary highway-none of it a problem as I was in no rush and with full on winter tires and in a Cayenne Diesel with NO trailer, the drive up was sublime.  It is the first time I have ever had snow tires in my life.  

I had then on a 1996 Dodge Caravan that I think I may have been driving in 1997 or 1998 for a little while and the snow tires on that front wheel drive minivan made it a great truck to drive in the snow.  Now that I have then on my truck, if I had no trouble getting around on the snow with all season tires, now I will have even less trouble getting around on the snow on snow -tires.  

 

I'm going to try and get some good pictures and come back with a good story for tomorrow.  Time for bed.  

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The 500 RR-S was, once again, and as always, simply awesome.  

It was a bit colder for the first start of the day yesterday so it had taken 4 tries for the motor to fire but the engine was firing each time, it was just not staying fired until the 4th try when it fired, stay fired, kept the idle high until it was happy and then settled into its rock-steady rhythm that FI is known for and that is the Beta.  

I had thought about running the Twin Air foam air filter this season but then thought 'why take a chance when the Outerwears filter skin that I had just draped or hung onto the air filter cage, had worked so well last winter?'  

I had also installed the "cold-weather panel" from PST (PowerSportsTech) that closes off the engine area above the head pipe as I had read that engines do like to be run at 220F and for most of the day the engine was at 150-190F but the engine had never made oil last winter so I don't worry about the engine running too cold at all.  

12"-18" of snow was everywhere we rode and in some spots, more.  I have come to realize that all we really need for fun is 6-8" of snow and "The Float" will be there and just being able to carve from side to side and having both the front ski and the track gliding in the snow is all I need.  

Here is looking forward to the next ride as this upcoming weekend will feature highs in the single digits with a strong wind through Sunday.  Sometimes it can be too cold to ride.  

 

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My bike sat in its unheated trailer for two weeks. 

It was 25 degrees tonight.  I had turned the key to on.  Counted to three.  Pressed the starter button and after two turns-of something in the enigine, the engine started and idled.  Fuel.  Injection.  

 

Now with the Rekluse Radius CX, I don't have to wait for the engine to warm up to 140F.  After a couple dozen seconds, I can snick first gear and walk the bike out of the trailer and can then ride like I normally do after having just started the bike. The engine on this 2017 Beta 500 RR-S just runs so, so well.  Now that I had gotten the bike back from my dealer after 5 weeks as it had needed a new starter, but since, this entire bike has been clockwork.  Oh yea, save for the wiring harness but so far all has been working brilliantly.  

The forecast for where I'll be until maybe sometime on Monday is for 12-24" of snow, most all of the day on Sunday, so riding on Sunday/Sunday night is going to be, ok, ok, I'll say it just this once, "EPIC" should we get to ride on anywhere near 20" of snow and here is why;

 

There is already a good 7-12" solid base.  Call it ice even.  Then there is another good 6-12" of powder, everywhere.  Then another 12" to possibly 24"-plus inches of snow is going to be heavenly for us guys, with snow machines, snowbikes and snowmobiles, who love to ride and even ski in fresh, deep, powder.  

All our machines are running well.  Thanks goodness as there is more fun to be had all day, all night tomorrow and I can hardly wait.  More coming up friends.  

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This past Sunday gave us the most snow we had ever ridden in.  At least 24" fell overnight and for most of the day and even into the night. 

Because it was only 14F on Sunday afternoon, after having tried to fire the bike up a couple times on just the new, on-board  AGM battery and knowing that it would have taken a long-time, and that I'd be both wearing down the battery as well as hurting my starter-again, I got out the Weego JS12 and had just plugged it into the bike as I had added the "powersports adapter-harness" that I keep tucked under the portside handhold just behind the seat=perfect place, touched the starter button and the bike fired right up as always.  

The riding was incredible, the snow was light and deep and if anything, there was almost too much snow.  I had to keep an eye on the rpm as there were a few times where I had to hold the motor at 8,000 to 8,500 rpm to get up the biggest and steepest hills we have out there.  

I also need to lower the new Hammerhead gearshift lever I had moved up as I had adjusted it too high and it makes it hard to pull up to get a higher gear.  

 

Oh yeah, it sure is nice having a snow cat to plow the driveways. 

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Edited by Ben500RR-S
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Another (Fri)Day and another awesome ride.  

The is a base of right around 30".  A solid base.  It had snowed 10" Tuesday night and underneath that was right around 20" of powder.  Conditions were perfect today.  No pictures as we are always just too busy to ride and just don't have much time to stop and set up for good action photos, besides, there has to be words to go along with the pictures anyway so here are the words, yo.  

It was 2-3 degrees this morning at 9am when I got to the house in Vermont, a 125 mile drive up the nicest roads in the US.  It helps that I'm in an awesome truck to drive in a Cayenne Diesel with NO trailer.  It makes the drive just so, so nice.

 

  It was 15 degrees at 3pm when I had left for home.  

 

I put the Weego JS12 on the harness and on the 2nd try, the bike fired right up and ran perfectly.  There is something odd after the bike is first started up and ridden around.  If I shut the bike down, the battery is/gets run-down and I need to keep jumping the engine on the Weego but once the bike has been ridden around and nicely warmed up, and the battery all charged up again, the bike will fire up on its own and not need the Weego to get it started.  I think that the engine, and even though the headlight is off and I am not running the handwarmers or even using the heated shield, the engine, in the cold, is using more battery power than can be returned to the battery.  At least once the bike is warmed up/hot and has been ridden around, it always starts on its own for the rest of the day.  

 

Once again, the bike is a joy to ride and the Rekluse Radius CX helps for the slow stuff and crawling, and for not ever letting the engine stall, and most of all, loading or unloading the bike from the trailer although the two other bikes with no Rekluse' are both pretty easy to load and unload all the same.  The Rekluse has solved the problem of "clutch-stick" when really cold.  I used to have to wait for the engine to get to 140F before I could try to get the bike into gear or  it would just stall and die from being slammed into gear with the clutch plates all stuck together, the Rekluse releases the clutch so the time needed to warm it all up is cut down some 75%.  

 

 

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I finally, after almost 2 weeks (boo-hoo) of not being able to ride, I got to ride on both Sat. and Sun(today), yay-me.  

I had to put my Weego JS12 on the battery again as I had tried a couple of times to get the engine started on just the new AGM battery that had been sitting for the past 2 weeks but no-go.  Once the jump pack got on, the bike fired to life with no fuss and it was only 10F this morning.  

The 2017 500 RR-S has continued its clockwork-like performance as a snowbike.  No flame-out, stalling, hanging idle, none of the nonsense that have plagued others' RR-S'/four stroke Beta motors/engines.  I am taking it home to give it some much needed love.  

I'll change the engine oil and filter and put some new 0W40 M1 Euro Formula in and also change out the x-mission oil and replace the 0W40 Mystic JASO MA2 oil and then check the chains on the DTS 129 kit.  I'll give the bike a good once-over as every time I go up and ride, I don't get around to making sure everything is as I like it and as perfect as possible but no matter, the Beta just keeps on chugging along.  It really has been an incredible bike. It is my M-F commuter all three of the nice-seasons.  Then anytime I want to go off-road, the bike can go anywhere and we know what anywhere really means.  Then in the winter, just by adding an engine jacket and the front ski/rear-track, and swap out the handlebars for the ones with the heated grips, the bike is good all-winter long and runs just as good as it did on the street/dirt for the other 9 months of the year. 

 

The Rekluse CX has been paying dividends, even just between loading and unloading the bike into and out of the enclosed trailer, that alone was worth the almost $900 for admission into the no-worries with stalling or needing to balance the clutch with an admittedly clumsy bike and the loading/unloading dance that one has to do when trailering.  Never mind that the bike never does stall, I hardly ever stalled the bike w/o the Rekluse as I'm The Man, but now with the CX in, until I drop the bike in the snow from the snow being too deep, the engine just can, not, die-and this is a positive developement.  

I get no slip, no drama, no negative from the Rekluse CX.  It just works and in the snow, with me almost always needing to be in the power(thank you 478 cc FI Betamotor), it is all so effortless with a Rekluse although I will admit as I'm an absolute creature of some habits, I still use the clutch with every up and downshift.  It is only when I need to crawl or do the slow speed-stuff where I even remember I have a Rekluse, but mostly I appreciate it the most when the bike is being loaded or unloaded.  

I'll post up some pictures tomorrow of the weekends past activities.  Mostly towed the kids around on their new snowtubes as they loved being "Tokyo Drifted" around the field.  

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Here we are, mid March and where I'm at, it will be close to 60 if not warmer and it is already almost 40F at the top of New Hampshire so the melting is happening as I type.  There is still a LOT of snow on the ground but-and here comes the butt, all the plowed areas, areas around parking lots/drop-off spots and gas/fuel/food will be dirt and mud, good for riding but not for the snowbike as the twin 8" carbides running down the center along with the two outboard skags on the front ski just dig into the asphalt/dirt/mud and no matter what, won't let the ski slide so getting stuck on the patches of dirt is just not fun.  

I might have to call it a season and use the time I'll have this weekend to put the wheels back on the 500 RR-S and start riding back and forth to work as it will be in the 50's all next week.  

 

The Beta was stellar once again as a snowbike with no issues other than the temp sensor going out, which I have not yet confirmed and will wait until the new temp sensor comes.  At least I know that taking the front ski off and the rear track, and putting the wheels/swingarm and all back on is a pretty easy job overall.  

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I got this 2019 Ski Doo Grand Touring Limited with the 600R E-TEC motor last month and it has been awesome.  I had/have realized that I still do love snowmobiling as it is a lot easier getting to legal snowmobile trails and that the trails are good for most of the winter where we need certain conditions in order to enjoy the snowbike.  Now my wife and I are thinking of getting another one so we can take the kids on trips with us all winter long and so next winter will be just awesome as this one was great.  

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20 hours ago, Robin Simpson said:

Any ideas how a Beta 390 would handle ski bike duty?

I think a 390/400cc Beta would make an awesome snowbike.  It just depends on how big/small/how much you weigh. 

 

I'm light.  160lbs, out of the shower.  My power to weight ratio is always superior to all those who weight more than me so with that said;

 

Most use a 450 mx bike and convert using one of the kits.  Some add tuners/exhausts for more power, but when I ride, I like to take it easy and just enjoy the "float".  That is, the feeling of just being on the bike, in the snow, and pointing and shooting, twisting and going, is the most spectacular part of the snowbike and of any machine-really.  There is nothing to me that comes close to how much fun riding a snowbike in the snow and in untracked-snow.  

At least for my size, a 390cc four stroke motor would work perfectly for a snowbike.  After having tried a 300 KTM two stroke snowbike this past winter, I know I could go with either a 300 or even a 250cc 2S and have the same fun as my 500 RR-S (477.5cc motor).  

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54 minutes ago, Ben500RR-S said:

I think a 390/400cc Beta would make an awesome snowbike.  It just depends on how big/small/how much you weigh. 

 

I'm light.  160lbs, out of the shower.  My power to weight ratio is always superior to all those who weight more than me so with that said;

 

Most use a 450 mx bike and convert using one of the kits.  Some add tuners/exhausts for more power, but when I ride, I like to take it easy and just enjoy the "float".  That is, the feeling of just being on the bike, in the snow, and pointing and shooting, twisting and going, is the most spectacular part of the snowbike and of any machine-really.  There is nothing to me that comes close to how much fun riding a snowbike in the snow and in untracked-snow.  

At least for my size, a 390cc four stroke motor would work perfectly for a snowbike.  After having tried a 300 KTM two stroke snowbike this past winter, I know I could go with either a 300 or even a 250cc 2S and have the same fun as my 500 RR-S (477.5cc motor).  

Thanks for the feedback. I'm around 180 to 185. Pretty much I'm trying to decide what engine size to get mainly for dirt. Being able to Snowbike as well would be awesome, but is secondary. 

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3 hours ago, Robin Simpson said:

Thanks for the feedback. I'm around 180 to 185. Pretty much I'm trying to decide what engine size to get mainly for dirt. Being able to Snowbike as well would be awesome, but is secondary. 

Between the track and the snow, up to 50% of the power of the motor is lost to the track and the snow.  

The snowbikes are also known as "slowbikes" for a reason, they are just nowhere near as fast as the bike will be with either the wheels on or, as fast as most every other full sized snowmobile out there.  

As the Beta motors are considered powerful for what they are, a 390 would have no problem taking me anywhere I'd need to ride in the powder.  Now, this is written with regards to the riding I do here in New England where we are riding at what is pretty much sea-level-up to 1,500' at the most.  Not out west where the 5,000'+ elevations suck even more power from the motors.

 

The good part is that Beta's are well set up out of the box, with FI and thermostats, along with Trail Tech Voyagers so about the only extra's that are needed are engine jackets.  

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3 hours ago, Ben500RR-S said:

Between the track and the snow, up to 50% of the power of the motor is lost to the track and the snow.  

The snowbikes are also known as "slowbikes" for a reason, they are just nowhere near as fast as the bike will be with either the wheels on or, as fast as most every other full sized snowmobile out there.  

As the Beta motors are considered powerful for what they are, a 390 would have no problem taking me anywhere I'd need to ride in the powder.  Now, this is written with regards to the riding I do here in New England where we are riding at what is pretty much sea-level-up to 1,500' at the most.  Not out west where the 5,000'+ elevations suck even more power from the motors.

 

The good part is that Beta's are well set up out of the box, with FI and thermostats, along with Trail Tech Voyagers so about the only extra's that are needed are engine jackets.  

Good point about the elevation - I would be up from 7k to 8k. Maybe the 430 is a good way to go, but I like the idea of a stroker with a light feel.

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Another winter is on the way up here and I'm psyched.  I'm even more psyched than usual as both my almost 8yo girl and 9 1/2 yo boy are also excited for the winter and all that can be done for fun once snow is on the ground and everything is frozen.  That they also relish doing everything fun that can be done outside in the freezing cold is so, so, much fun.  

With all that non-sense said, I have planned on using the 500 RR-S all this winter as my commuter-bike.  That for as long as the roads will be dry and nothing will come down and freeze on the roads, I will ride back and forth to work and NOT be converting the RR-S into the off-trail, powder weapon, and must fun machine that exists on this planet Earth.  

 

What really just needs to happen is I get a 2020 or 2021 500 RR-S to use as the new dual sport and leave this 2017 my dedicated snowbike.  

 

For those that will never get the chance to warm up their bikes, and then once warmed up well, to be able to dress up and unleash the full power in temperatures from 15-25 Farenheit, to feel what cold air intake does for combustion and how much more powerful the motors feel with the cold air being sucked in and combusted . . . perhaps it is the freezing temperatures and the WIND CHILL that when going from 15F-still air, then subtracting for acceleration up to 40 or 50 mph, the temp ends up feeling like -10 or about that=FUN!

 

The other, most awesome part that will make up for the fun that is a snowbike, is that my wife is buying herself a new Grand Touring Limited 900ACE and that both kids are also excited for winter to begin and doing all we had done last winter-at the very end when I had decided that my 2004 REV 600X-smoky, noisy, non-e-start, no heated seats or heated passenger grips . . . and upgraded to a 2019 Grand Touring Limited 600R and we all took to it right away.  To forsake the mostly solitary part of the snowbike as neither the wife nor kids can snowbike with me, and still being able to snowmobile with the family and ride around in circles through the forests(like we are all doing in life anyway)-is going to be fun again this upcoming winter.  

 

Who knows, maybe I will put in for a 2020 500 RR-S BYOB as a 36 month $400 monthly payment  at 1.9% . . .  

Edited by Ben500RR-S

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We just got about 7" of new snow last night and now, another 12-18" are expected through tomorrow. 

I had to break my streak of NOT having had to drive the truck into work today and now with all the snow on the way, I might not be able to resist NOT making the 500 RR-S into the snowbike kit with the Camso DTS 129 kit so I might take the night and remove the front wheel and also remove the rear wheel and swingarm and put the front ski and rear track back on for this upcoming winter.  

Decisions and one of the ultimate First World Problems anyone can possibly have.  

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We've got about 30" on the ground right now. First pic is 6 miles in on my road to camp where I gave up as it was getting worse and I finally got to a place where I could plow a turn around. That was Thanksgiving morning and I didn't want to spend the day stuck in the woods.  Second pic is from yesterday when we got another 16-20" of fresh.  Going to be a good winter for sledding and snowbiking.

 

 

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Love it!  

 

Early season snow is like some sort of blessing to me.  I love playing in the snow and cold as do my kids.  

I'm still undecided about putting the snowbike kit on.  

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I got home last night and even after we had spent an hour and 1/2 in the morning riding around the house, my boy had asked, "Ok, dad, what is taking you so long to get the snowmobile out of the trailer so I can ride it?"  

 

Pictures of my girl towing my boy on the Stiga SnoRacer.  They love pulling each other around.  

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