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Hey all,

My name is Jay and i'm new to the forum community but not new to the sport. However I have reached my limit with my expertise and am hoping some of you may be of some help. Without further ado...

  I've stuck to a track most my life, I.E. Motocross, arena cross and outdoor national style tracks. I've made the difficult decision to leave to tracks to the young guns and ride more single track and trail riding up in the mountains. So i started by selling me Factory SLM racing 2012 Yz450F, yes i cried when he drove off with her. But i looked to greener pastures with hopes to have a KTM 500exc, Beta 500rr-s or a Husqvarna FE501. However, almost a year later and I still don't have a shiny new dirt magnet in my shop. I'm in the final deliberations and have narrowed it between KTM and BETA, with me leaning towards the BETA. This is where you come in.

I would like to know the following.
Is the Beta service intervals as daunting as the KTM's?
Is the cost of parts between the two noticeable? And are the just as readily available?
Those that have a 2017 of either bike, How are they holding up? Can I expect this bike to hold up like a 1985 XR250 (An almost impossible feat)?
What are any major concerns about either bike?
and finally what made you choose one or the other?

 

Thank you for your efforts and advice. I appreciate it.

 

 

Edited by Jay_112
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Hey all,

My name is Jay and i'm new to the forum community but not new to the sport. However I have reached my limit with my expertise and am hoping some of you may be of some help. Without further ado...

  I've stuck to a track most my life, I.E. Motocross, arena cross and outdoor national style tracks. I've made the difficult decision to leave to tracks to the young guns and ride more single track and trail riding up in the mountains. So i started by selling me Factory SLM racing 2012 Yz450F, yes i cried when he drove of with her. But i looked to greener pastures with hope to have a KTM 500exc, Beta 500rr-s or a Husqvarna FE501. However, almost a year later and I still don't have a shiny dirt magnet in my shop. I'm in the final deliberations and have narrowed it between KTM and BETA, with me leaning towards the BETA. This is where you come in.

I would like to know the following.

Is the Beta service intervals as daunting as the KTM's?

Is the cost of parts between the two noticeable? And are the just as readily available?

Those that have a 2017 of either bike, How are they holding up? Can I expect this bike to hold up like a 1985 XR250 (An almost impossible feat)?

What are any major concerns about either bike?

and finally what made you choose one or the other?

 

Thank you for your efforts and advice. I appreciate it.

 

 

Longer intervals on the Beta vs. KTM, twice as long to be exact. As long as you change the oil and clean the air filter either bike will last a long time before needing a rebuild. The main reason I went with my '18 Beta 500RR-S is because of less vibration than the SOHC KTM motor and that the mapping of the Beta right out of the box is way better in regards to linear power and no flameouts. The Beta also isn't a true 500cc beast, 478cc to be exact so it mimics qualities of a 450 but can also be the "gentle giant." I currently have 35 hours on my '18 500 and 850 miles. The bike hasn't skipped a beat, even after riding it 400+ miles in the famous LA-Barstow to Vegas ride back in November. Is it going to be as reliable as an XR250? That's a tough question but I would say if you keep maintenance up on it I don't see why not but you can't really compare the two since it's like comparing apples to oranges. I would suggest you try and get a ride on both bikes. That was the deciding factor for me.

 

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Here's a few pics of the bike in its natural habitat

FB_IMG_1514586312669.jpgFB_IMG_1511732895015.jpg
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Welcome Jay!

My Beta is a 2017 500 RR-S. I was in your same boat 18 months ago...looking between the KTM and the Beta. I much preferred the ergonomics on the Beta and the fit/finish over the KTM. It's the little details like the molded in grab handles at the back of the seat and Voyager GPS that ultimately won me over. I think parts cost is comparable, although I never owned the KTM.

The engine and transmission are separate (750ml each side) so I change them about every 20 hours and the color draining still looks good. There's a magnetic drain bolt and so far it has only collected very fine ferrous material. Nothing more than you'd expect. It's holding up like a champ. I checked my valves and 65 hours and they were still in spec. The intakes were on the tight end so I reshimmed them since it already apart, but it keeps running strong. 

Coming off a track bike to the RR-S, you'll notice very linear smooth power and a soft suspension. If you go the BYOB (Build your own Beta) route, you can choose to have the race suspension put on. I recommend that. The OC Sachs needs work, especially for a guy who is used to stiffer handling. The seat is on the stiffer side but it doesn't bother me - I'm usually standing anyways. 

Typically for new Beta owners, you'll want to go through the electrical connections and add dielectric grease and make sure they're tight.  Get rid of the massive rear fender hanger that is sure to rip off on the first ride anyways. And the OEM tires are pretty bad. Otherwise it's good to go! The engine loosens up considerably after the first 5-10 hours. 

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Like you, OP, I had also considered the same three dual sports and chose the Beta 500 RR-S, 2017.  If I were to do it again, I'd do the same thing and get a 2018.  

The bike is simply awesome.  I rode the heck out of it this past year as 02/22/2018 will be my one year anniversary and when my 1 year warranty will be up and I only had to have the dealer fix the kickstarter return spring otherwise, I have done nothing but oil/filter changes, air filter cleanings/replacements and both front and rear tire replacements as I'm' on my 3rd rear tire. 

 

The bike is now a snowbike and I plan  riding again this Thursday or Friday.  The 500 RR-S has also made an incredible snowbike and in another month or so, I'll be looking forward to taking the kit off, putting the wheels back on and hitting the dirt and riding back and forth to work once the weather warms up up here in New England.  

P1130348.JPG

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This is all great info! Keep it coming! as for Shrubitup is that a Beta build?

 

 

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Also what are the major updates for 2018? Cost wise i'm hoping a 2017 will go a little cheaper.

 

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As a fellow CO guy I have to ask why you're choosing the 500RR versus the 2T 300RR?

If you're truly going to trail ride and do singletrack, the 300RR would be my choice hands down being almost 20# lighter than the 500RR. Plated from the dealer, too. FWIW I am leaving a WR450F to go to the 300RR in a few months. 

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52 minutes ago, Jay_112 said:

Also what are the major updates for 2018? Cost wise i'm hoping a 2017 will go a little cheaper.

 

Lighter battery.  No more kickstarter.  Revised clutch for less or NO clutch creep when stopped.  New turn signals.  Bold new graphics with white plastics stock.  

 

I had also done the BYOB and would do it again if I could.  

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53 minutes ago, Ben500RR-S said:

Lighter battery.  No more kickstarter.  Revised clutch for less or NO clutch creep when stopped.  New turn signals.  Bold new graphics with white plastics stock.  

 

I had also done the BYOB and would do it again if I could.  

 

New frame too.

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Hi , first of all you need to know that ktm/husqy 500 4s are really hungry bikes , I mean they are so hungry that you need to focus every second on the bike in order to don't lose control , so you can't enjoy you riding , and they are heavy ... 

Try a RR 300 , you will be impressed , cheap bike ( if compared to others ) , beautiful graphics , well engineered structure and solutions , cheap maintanance , it works for sunday riders and also for pros , so easy to ride and control , and so much fun ! 

 

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Hi Jay.  This is my experience with Beta and Husqvarna that I just posted in another forum:

I am surprised someone hasn't initiated a class action suit.  I spent a bunch of money on a bike (2017 FE 501) that doesn't run right.  It runs hot, doesn't make a lot of power and it stalls at the worst possible time.  Could be dangerous on narrow single track ledge trails.  Spent a lot of money getting it to run right with a Vortex, which is brilliant, and FMF.  Bike now runs cool and makes great power.  Now I have to buy a clutch slave cylinder because the Magura OEM unit is unreliable.  I really don't want to dump hydraulic fluid into my motor and have a dead clutch in a remote area.  I talked to my dealer about Husqvarna having a fix for this Issue.  Their response was that they will fix it when it breaks.    

My son bought a new 2018 Beta RRS 500 at about the same time.  His bike runs much better than the stock Husky and has some nice features.  If I had it to do all over again I would go with the Beta.

I rode sweep for LA-B to V over the last two years and I don't recall ever having to help someone with mechanical issues on a Beta.  I bought the FE 501 a week before Thanksgiving.  I decided not to use it for the 2017 LA-B to V because I was concerned I would hurt the engine because it was running so lean.  I rode my XR650R which I have owned for 17 years and it performed brilliantly.     

:

 

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Why do you need a big motor for single track and trails? This type of riding typically involves more turning, tighter turns, more brakeing and more precise placement of the wheels. I've found large bore bikes to be significantly more clumsy and fatiguing on such terrain. If only I had a dollar for every big bore four stroke I and my 200 got stuck behind while on single track.

That said, all the Beta riders I have met are ex-KTM riders and none of them want to go back to KTM.

 

Edited by coconut_laden_spode
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If you are going to ride true single track, the 390rr race or rs would be the choice for a 4 stroke . The rr is street tag legal with additional accessories (dependant on state requirements) from either Beta or Sierra . BYOB is a great way to get any bike (Beta) from the factory exactly how you want to ride it without any effort on your part. As others have suggested the 300rr 2 stroke is awesome in the tight stuff. The only bike i have found better for tight woods with tough rocks, roots, etc is the xtrainer 300. I rode a 2015 300rr race in Colorado and tagged it in TN prior to going. It ran flawlessly with a JD jet kit. Much better than the Husky and KTM 4T bikes we were riding with. I thoroughly enjoy the ride on the 2018 xtrainer I have now. My fourth Beta since 2015. All have run flawlessly,  and maintenance, parts, and accessories are as easy (most are easier) than the other colors I have ridden.

Contact me if you have any other questions. Eddie 6152943612

20160803_092129.jpg

Edited by glide92
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4 hours ago, Carman said:

why not a 250 or 300 2t or a 350/390 beta? 500 can be a pig in single track

As a 350 owner, and LOVE IT living in Texas, and having a cabin in Fairplay, CO, I would not go 350 if I lived there again and rode 10,000 ft a fair amount, just a hit to the power that the altitude causes.

Now...I have never rode a 390, but my gut says its the best kept secret in the lineup, but is it enough UMPF for 10,000 ft? Doubt it.

I have a friend who is a dayum good rider and went X-trainer (300 2t) and LOVES it for Colorado mountains, Colorado Springs resident.

I must agree with most on here, go down to Apex in Colorado Springs and talk to those guys, but I would highly suggest at least a 430 4T, or the 300 2T for sure.

FYI that I "think" APEX was top volume Beta seller in the USA last year so they have a fair amount of experience in selling Betas for high altitude.

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Not going into the get this bike battle. The 4st Beta's are very good I have two Yamaha's and a Beta, the Beta is just as bomb proof as my WR250F and my YZ250F which are gold std for 4st reliability. Try to ride the range they are all different and serve different masters.  If your coming of a Yam you will need suspension work, the oc fork can be made ok std I think its a mush pile, the tc factory model is better. I'm not sure where you are but if you can get an RR with rego do that it has the twin injector set up  it is better than the older single injector injection. With a bit of suspension set up the bikes are better than most I think. 

MM 

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20 hours ago, Ben500RR-S said:

Lighter battery.  No more kickstarter.  Revised clutch for less or NO clutch creep when stopped.  New turn signals.  Bold new graphics with white plastics stock.  

 

I had also done the BYOB and would do it again if I could.  

 

19 hours ago, Sierra_rider said:

 

New frame too.

Clutch alone would make me get a 2018!

Jay, both brands would work out just as good and it comes down to ergonomics, price and dealer support/inventory. Each brand has their own issues, ones better at this the other at that. Why the removal of the Husqvarna FE501?? I would prefer this over the EXC for the linkage.

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I bought the 2017 500 RRS after not riding for 27 years. At 64 it was hard to tame at first. Learned to ride a gear or 2 up and slip the clutch when need and it is an unbelievable tractor. On the street or fire roads it has ample power to just lope along with tons more on tap. 

If I had to do it over again I would probably buy the 390. The only long stroke of the bunch with lots on the bottom and all the power you’ll ever need on top. The RRS is 50 state street legal. The 300 rr does not come with the street legal option. 

Between a 17 and 18 I would choose the 18. Mine was on close out for 9K. 

Problems. The seat is comparable to a 2x4 and the tank is only 2 gallons. Mine will guzzle 3 gallons around 90 miles. 

Theres a video that crosstrainingenduroskills. com did on all of the 2018 Beta 4t. Find it, very informative. 

Lastly. Good luck with your purchase. There’s one thing we can all agree on. Your going to have a ton of fun. 

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