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BETA 2018 MODELS: known issues & common problems

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I did a similar vid back in 2015 for the RR250 and RR300. Good to see some things are fixed, bummer to see a few haven't changed. A big thanks to Beta dealers Jody South and Cameron Graham for help with this. Please advise if you've found other issues, easy fixes or if any of this info is inaccurate. You can watch the vid here or read the text below...

When I talk about known issues on any bike, there are always guys who freak out and say "That bike sounds like a pile of shit, no way I'm buying that!" Well, don't watch the vid if you are a panic merchant. You can make a comprehensive list of small issues with any brand. 

THINGS THEY'VE FIXED FOR 2018
Rear shock mudflap: this used to slowly wear away the swingarm, now it's reshaped to avoid this. If you have an earlier model just trim it to suit.

New gear selector: this has cured the occasional false neutrals, at least in my experience.

More flexible plastics?: These were very prone to cracking instead of bending in even small accidents or just leaning your fenders against a tree. It's early days, but our experience with the 2018 models suggests they finally got around to using the nice flexible materials everyone else uses.
Softer seat: After several years of riders saying Beta seats feel like slabs of concrete, the 2018 models finally have a softer foam.... good news if you do like to sit a lot.

Lighter clutch: One area we felt Beta let themselves down was the heavy clutch. It wasn't bad compared to say cable clutches, but by European standards it wasn't good. The 2018 model is a big improvement. We've done a vid on clutch mods if you have an earlier model.

XTrainer inner tubes fixed? Another Xtrainer specific problem is up to 2017 at least the inner tubes have been known to split. There are no reported cases for 2018 yet so possibly they've changed to a better quality rubber. 

THE PROBLEMS
Electrics: Europeans could still learn a lot from the Japanese about good electrics. It's a good idea to remove your headlight and fuel tank then use a pile of zip ties to get your wiring loom neat and not rubbing on anything. There is a critical electrical connection which is easily corroded and can shut down the oil injection system. Apparently it's been fixed for 2018, but some 2017 and all earlier models had the capacitor and diode block mounted upside down allowing water to enter heat shrink. The wires going into the magneto can be snagged by sticks when riding. On 2018 models these are secured better but still it can still happen. Also the positive wire from starter to the solenoid runs over the frame backbone above the rear shock. Reroute under the backbone to avoid the tank rubbing the wire... some dealers fix this in pre-delivery. 

Plastic cogs for 4T oil pump: The four stroke models still use plastic cogs for the oil pump. These need to be replaced every 100 hours but most riders agree it would just be easier to make these steel. You can buy aftermarket steel cogs from Boano in Italy. 

Too much glycol in coolant?: The standard coolant appears to have too high a glycol content which can affect rubbers seals and lead to leaks such as the o-rings in two strokes. Drain and mix at something something between a 50:50 or 70:30 mix. 

Two stroke oil injection system: this works great for most riders, however there's a small but noticeable number of issues with bikes running too rich and fouling plugs. This is because the system defaults to something around 20:1 to avoid any engine seizures but of course it can foul plugs. Apparently the majority of cases are debris left in the system at the factory and a bit of carb cleaner will fix it. But if you can get some compressed air through it will be even better. Remember to always top up your oil. If your system stuffs up and defaults to the very rich mix it could be possible to drain your oil tank on a long ride if it wasn't full. Some riders are simply removing the system with parts from Beta that cost around $70. 

Pointy side stand: A small but persistent problem is that pointy-ended sidestand that just sinks into soft ground. The crazy thing is the 2012 side stand base was double the size and worked great. Why did Beta go back to the chopstick design. Who knows. A very simple fix but they've been ignoring complaints for years now.

Muffler/expansion chamber seal: The 2015 two strokes often sprayed black gunk over the engine due to a dicky rubber seal between the muffler and expansion chamber. It was meant to be fixed but it's still happening on some 2018 models. Ask me how I know. Easily fixed with some zip ties but hopefully they'll get it right next year. 

Carb issues: Beta use the same very reliable carb KTM dropped recently. The only issue is they tend to overflow so easily will only a mild tilt of the bike. This is more an issue with the carb manufacturer as Gas Gas and earlier KTMs all had the same issue pop up.The seam of the float should be aligned with the carb base just as the needle is actuated. This gives a dribble of fuel at about a 45 degree lean angle. Carb vents? The two coming out horizontally are fine but the other two point up and loop over the carb. These need to go into the airbox as they can cause problems when you through deep water crossings. On the four strokes do the same with the gearbox breather hose. While we are discussing breather hoses, a small number of riders report their engine breather hoses have come off, just zip tie them into place. 

And before you put your zip ties away, put one on your carb if you have a Xtrainer. The rubber water seal for the throttle cable can be dislodged and will hang up on top of the carb throttle neck and cause high idle speeds. Cable tie the rubber boot at both ends. 

Seat fabric: If you thought the seat fabric on KTMs was thin and ripped easily, the Betas are even worse. Sometimes the fabric seems to rip even without any accident or impact, and you can't buy a replacement one. However there's a gripper seat cover that is much heavier duty. And grippier... surprise surpise. 

Lithium batteries in cold weather: All the 2018 models have lithium batteries which don't like cold weather. Use a short stab of the starter button to first warm up the battery so it can deliver the power needed for starting. This is NOT a Beta-specific problem, just lithium batteries in general. 

XTrainer radiator hose rubbing?: With the XTrainer, the thermostat housing can rub on the left hand radiator if it wasn't positioned carefully in the factory. Loosen off the cylinder head coolant hose and left hand radiator lower hose and twist gently. Remember to check all your hose clamps too, some aren't done up very tightly at the factory. 

Weak chain guide: If you are into hard terrain then the lower chain guide is flimsier than most and it could pay to fit a sturdy aftermarket one. Tim Coleman discovered this the hard way in the Sea to Sky Prolog unfortunately. 

Air filter alignment: Take care lining up the air filter and double check looking down through the intake with a flashlight. It can look snug and secure but not be fitted properly. This especially applies with the XTrainer where the airbox is even more cramped for your fingers. I wouldn't call this a real issue, just something to take care with. 

If you guys have more comments please add them in the comments. I'll be posting this on a few forums so I can update those posts with your info.

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Thanks! It’s good to see it on a page. It’s not very much but still identfied. The great thing is that there are so few issues and nothing significant. It’s all small tiny stuff.

Edited by hawaiidirtrider
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I just ordered a 390 RRS. Will update any issue I have that's not listed

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2 hours ago, dansrc51 said:

I just ordered a 390 RRS. Will update any issue I have that's not listed

Do yourself a favor and put on your favorite model of front tire before you even ride the thing. The "knifing" that a couple of mag reviews complained about is attributed completely to crappy Michelin that comes on the front of the RR-S.

Not so much as an "issue" on the RR-S, as you expect a factory plated bike to come with crappy DOT tires...but I believe the dirt only RR's still come with those crappy tires.

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Totally agree.. change tires on any and every new Beta and it’s a night and day difference. better . Wait I take that back for one model.. The Xtrainer front tire is great. The fatty  GT is good but all the other tires suck bad. 

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Your link for the video on the clutch mods doesn't go anywhere. I'd like to see that video!

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, cachunko said:

Your link for the video on the clutch mods doesn't go anywhere. I'd like to see that video!

Doh it's stuff up. Here's the vid: 

 

 

Edited by OZ DRZ
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53 minutes ago, MixinGasKickinAss said:

I read something about safety wiring the carb line to prevent WOT. Is this an issue with 2018?

I never heard that being a specific issue for any bike but it could happen with every bike but it’s usually just not putting the throttle cable in correctly. Ive never heard of any Beta with model specific throttle cable problems. 

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21 hours ago, dansrc51 said:

I just ordered a 390 RRS. Will update any issue I have that's not listed

thanks, this is my first dirt bike. I'm coming off an F800GS and an RC51 prior to that. I don't think my 1974 TC185 quite qualifies for a dirt bike... Anyways I'm looking forward to spending more time on single track and learning a new type of riding. 

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A known issue and common problem is I don't have one. :ride:

 Actually, my '15 300 is so well setup for me that I don't have any desire to build another bike to set up for me, I'm going to keep this one until there is a significant change in technology that would have me go significantly faster.

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1 hour ago, Baxter67 said:

A known issue and common problem is I don't have one. :ride:

 Actually, my '15 300 is so well setup for me that I don't have any desire to build another bike to set up for me, I'm going to keep this one until there is a significant change in technology that would have me go significantly faster.

Got a pic?  I kind of feel similar with my 15.

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13 hours ago, hawaiidirtrider said:

Got a pic?  I kind of feel similar with my 15.

Look at "My Rides"to see the list of mods, I need to update the pics in there, a few of the mods I've added aren't on them.

 

20180405_193658.jpg

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On 6/12/2018 at 1:56 AM, hawaiidirtrider said:

Totally agree.. change tires on any and every new Beta and it’s a night and day difference. better . Wait I take that back for one model.. The Xtrainer front tire is great. The fatty  GT is good but all the other tires suck bad. 

interesting point, i know a lot of guys don't like the stock knobbies but i've always happily used them till they wear out then usually put some goldentyres on after that. the stockers seem to work okay at least in our terrain but can't say i'd choose them as a replacement though....

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3 hours ago, OZ DRZ said:

interesting point, i know a lot of guys don't like the stock knobbies but i've always happily used them till they wear out then usually put some goldentyres on after that. the stockers seem to work okay at least in our terrain but can't say i'd choose them as a replacement though....

I only rode my stockers a few times and got them outta there, they don't work well on my dirt.

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5 hours ago, OZ DRZ said:

interesting point, i know a lot of guys don't like the stock knobbies but i've always happily used them till they wear out then usually put some goldentyres on after that. the stockers seem to work okay at least in our terrain but can't say i'd choose them as a replacement though....

That’s what I tried to do. It’s just wrong to take off new stock tires but after riding and racing with them I hated them. Putting decent tires changed the whole feeling of the bike. That’s for terrain here. The stockers had no grip.

Edited by hawaiidirtrider

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This is my 2017 500, it’s an awesome bike. After running around all over and wearing out the Michelin’s I switched to goldentyre fatty and m5b and thought I messed up the bike because it was so different then I got used to it and was stoked. Then I switched to the 333 dominator and was like YEAHH...

 

I hit those false neutrals too often. Can the new gear selector work on my bike?

and if it will could you explain it better to me so I can pull it off on mine. Apologies for not knowing more about these kinds of things.

 

I wiped out a few too many times because of the false neutrals and my buds were like what??? and I was like “f-ing betas transmissions more clunky than a RM!”. I’m more aware of it now but it still happens more than I’d like.

 

 

IMG_0797.JPG.f860af839cb3513306c856e95465434a.JPG

 

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My 17 300RR had a couple of issues that were known by and fixed by my my dealer.  The thermostat leaked and the the stock head o-rings were bad.

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9 hours ago, surfer-dude said:

This is my 2017 500, it’s an awesome bike. After running around all over and wearing out the Michelin’s I switched to goldentyre fatty and m5b and thought I messed up the bike because it was so different then I got used to it and was stoked. Then I switched to the 333 dominator and was like YEAHH...

 

I hit those false neutrals too often. Can the new gear selector work on my bike?

and if it will could you explain it better to me so I can pull it off on mine. Apologies for not knowing more about these kinds of things.

 

I wiped out a few too many times because of the false neutrals and my buds were like what??? and I was like “f-ing betas transmissions more clunky than a RM!”. emoji851.png I’m more aware of it now but it still happens more than I’d like.

 

 

IMG_0797.JPG.f860af839cb3513306c856e95465434a.JPG

 

You just may need the gear shifter adjusted or get a different length shifter. Different size feet and position of the lever makes a difference. 

Edited by hawaiidirtrider
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