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Beta 09 vs 2010 RR


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2009 RR has RFS engine while 2010 RR has new Beta engine. If you had a choice between the two, which model (engine) would you choose? Has there been any issues with the new 2010 RR Beta engine? I am leaning toward ordering a 2010 RR 520, but I know the RFS engine is a proven design while the new Beta engine is unknown. What do you think?

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2009 RR has RFS engine while 2010 RR has new Beta engine. If you had a choice between the two, which model (engine) would you choose? Has there been any issues with the new 2010 RR Beta engine? I am leaning toward ordering a 2010 RR 520, but I know the RFS engine is a proven design while the new Beta engine is unknown. What do you think?

Probably all depends on whether your a racer or a trail rider. Want a proven reliable engine, or can take a little risk but get a little more state-of-the-art. Certainly marginal increase in performance due to the twin cams. Personally I value known reliablility, but that is not to say the new engines aren't, we just don't know. I'm also a little concerned about the reduced engine oil capacity, but since it doesn't share the transmission oil then maybe that is a big advantage? I also assume the new engine is a shim-under-bucket design, which is more time consuming to adjust, but typically don't need to be adjusted that often.

The '10s are supposed to be a little lighter and perhaps a little more refined in geometry and suspention? You also may have difficulty finding a '09. The good news is that either one you get you are really going to like it!

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I'm lucky and don't have to choose. I own a 09 525RR, 2010 450RR and 2010 520RR. If I had to choose one I would choose the 2010 450. I would tell you why but it would be a long list. I would be happy to answer any specific questions though. I have quite a few hours on both of the new ones and 1000's of miles on the older RFS bike.

Quick thoughts on each:

09 RFS - Very reliable bike and great trail bike. This bike can be ridden 1000's of miles with nothing more than oil changes and a valve adjustments. Tons of info on the motor weather it be to hop up, service, or trouble shoot.

2010 450- Beta addressed all the quirky things that were on the old bike. Easier filter changes. Improved exhaust design. Better air box design. Improved machining on the triple clamps. Large oil compacity (1600cc total). Huge improvements in the suspension valving and linkage ratio. This bike can be very enjoyable without a revalve. I love the motor, it revs quicker similar to a CRF or KXF but is still a tractor when it is needed. The bikes seem to get pretty good fuel mileage too.

2010 520- Same improvements as the 450. I might choose this bike if I was going to dual sport it or spend the majority of my time riding Baja type stuff.

Having said that I just spent a couple of days riding single track in Kennedy Meadows on the 520 and it never once felt like too much bike.

I think that the reason I choose the 450 is that the jetting might be a touch cleaner compared to the 520. The jetting on both bikes is great. I haven't even touched the carb on either bike.

I hope this helps

Craig

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Good writeup Craig, your opinion is valuable as you ride and race all these bikes so much and log 1000's of miles on them. That said, there are always some "bugs" in brand new models ('10 RR) where some prudent changes and improvements follow in the next year or two models. What have you found on your two '10 RR's that could be improved? Any problems at all?

Thanks

Scott

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The list is suprisingly short as far as problems or improvements.

- The throttle cables are the biggest problem. They are a little long and lead to a sloppy throttle. I have gotten a correct set from Beta so they are aware of the problem. I hear that there is also a KTM cable that solves the problem but I don't know the year or model.

- The radiator hose is close to the exhaust. If you are aware of it when you install either one then it can be placed a safe distance away. It is the person that is unaware and just throws it on that could find them selves with a problem.

- Some tires rub the airbox. This problem may disappear or not be worth worrying about once we get the suspension dialed. The new bikes come stock with really light springs which maybe the reason for the excess rubbing.

That is all that I have discovered so far.

Craig

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This list of "issues" is very short indeed. Sounds like Beta did their homework before releasing the new bikes. Almost all completely new models have some teething issues the first year, (dissapearing oil, oil transfer and backwards ADC come to mind).

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09 RFS - Very reliable bike and great trail bike. This bike can be ridden 1000's of miles with nothing more than oil changes and a valve adjustments. Tons of info on the motor weather it be to hop up, service, or trouble shoot.

I know the new bikes are better but I am still liking the reliability and all the rest mentioned above. The tried and true rfs motor was and is one of the reasons for getting this bike. I want to wait a little longer before upgrading. ..after all I am still in love with my 09 525 RS. The bug to upgrade has not hit me even though I like the 2010 and newer . I think I will upgrade my airbox to the boano racing carbon fiber kit and continue with little mods here and there until at least next year at the earliest. ๐Ÿ˜

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Its a pity KTM moved on from the rfs motor. it is a great enduro/trails motor, probably the best. The exc now have a race/MX motor-There are still reliability build quality issues around this motor now. I rode for about half an hour only a Beta with the KTM motor several years back and I found it very sweet to ride. Not quite the grunt of the Husky but she felt more flickable. I just sold my beloved Husky and am trying to work out what to get. The list is the new 450 Husky, Beta 400/450 Husa 390/450, (ktm400????) Sherco 450 or the new Husky 310. Sweet dilemma really all great bikes.

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Its a pity KTM moved on from the rfs motor. it is a great enduro/trails motor, probably the best. The exc now have a race/MX motor-There are still reliability build quality issues around this motor now. I rode for about half an hour only a Beta with the KTM motor several years back and I found it very sweet to ride. Not quite the grunt of the Husky but she felt more flickable. I just sold my beloved Husky and am trying to work out what to get. The list is the new 450 Husky, Beta 400/450 Husa 390/450, (ktm400????) Sherco 450 or the new Husky 310. Sweet dilemma really all great bikes.

I think there are no bad bikes made anymore unless you want to count some chinese. To me you have listed the top of the 4 strokes for offroad for sure. I still like 2 strokes alot but not so much for dualsport use. ๐Ÿ˜ For now I will be watching how reliable the '10 and newer Beta's run. I don't expect them to be bad but I have heard some horror stories about the newer KTM's so I'll wait and see.

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Hawaiidirtrider you are 100% correct re the 4 bangers. I too like the old smokers and look forward to the day they finally pop out an efi 2 stroke dirt bike. The Understanding is they give a much wider torque band (kindred to a 4 stroke), get close to 100% more fuel economy and pollute no more than a 4t. Hey given their lightness and ease of maintenance what is holding them back???????

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  • 3 months later...
I'm lucky and don't have to choose. I own a 09 525RR, 2010 450RR and 2010 520RR. If I had to choose one I would choose the 2010 450. I would tell you why but it would be a long list. I would be happy to answer any specific questions though. I have quite a few hours on both of the new ones and 1000's of miles on the older RFS bike.

Quick thoughts on each:

09 RFS - Very reliable bike and great trail bike. This bike can be ridden 1000's of miles with nothing more than oil changes and a valve adjustments. Tons of info on the motor weather it be to hop up, service, or trouble shoot.

2010 450- Beta addressed all the quirky things that were on the old bike. Easier filter changes. Improved exhaust design. Better air box design. Improved machining on the triple clamps. Large oil compacity (1600cc total). Huge improvements in the suspension valving and linkage ratio. This bike can be very enjoyable without a revalve. I love the motor, it revs quicker similar to a CRF or KXF but is still a tractor when it is needed. The bikes seem to get pretty good fuel mileage too.

2010 520- Same improvements as the 450. I might choose this bike if I was going to dual sport it or spend the majority of my time riding Baja type stuff.

Having said that I just spent a couple of days riding single track in Kennedy Meadows on the 520 and it never once felt like too much bike.

I think that the reason I choose the 450 is that the jetting might be a touch cleaner compared to the 520. The jetting on both bikes is great. I haven't even touched the carb on either bike.

I hope this helps

Craig

Thanks for the report. I am wondering how the 2010's are holding up and if there are any issues to address. No news is good news and whatever news I have heard has been good. ..wonderin if the 2010 and the 2011 are almost the same like the 08 and 09...I'll keep watching. My 09 is still doing great. got a scotts damper to throw on there. I keep looking for stuff to bling it out with and nothing is needed. I just made a record 3 times riding in one week. My wife is giving me the rolling eyes look but must be happy that I am doing this instead of some other bad behavior. I think I will get stiffer springs for my weight later. Gold valves? I see them on the racetech site now. They weren't on there before.

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There is a coupl'a lads here in OZ with `08' 450RR & they are changing up to 2011 350RR. I have a `09' 525RR & am thinking of getting a 2011 400RR. Your comparison is of much interest to us, cheers for that.

Why the 350 over the 400 for your freinds ( sorry , mates ) and why the 400 over the 350 for you ?

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Its a pity KTM moved on from the rfs motor. it is a great enduro/trails motor, probably the best. The exc now have a race/MX motor-There are still reliability build quality issues around this motor now. I rode for about half an hour only a Beta with the KTM motor several years back and I found it very sweet to ride. Not quite the grunt of the Husky but she felt more flickable. I just sold my beloved Husky and am trying to work out what to get. The list is the new 450 Husky, Beta 400/450 Husa 390/450, (ktm400????) Sherco 450 or the new Husky 310. Sweet dilemma really all great bikes.

Your body size and height also may play a factor on these bikes. I bought the 2008 Beta 450, along with two other friends and another guy we rode with bought the 2009 Husky TE450. I almost bought the TE450, until I demo'd the Beta in comparison. Demo'd both multiple times trying to decide. I noted a BIG difference between the bikes; how they rode, motor behavior with power delivery, EFI vs. Carb,. I have to say, hands down, once we did the JD Jet kits and some minor suspension revalving and adjustments for our weight - the RFS powered Beta was not only easier to ride, it was more fun to ride in comparison in woods, more fun for dual sporting, and just general overall feel and ergonomics. I like the TE450 alot too, but not as much as we all liked the Beta. For anyone 6'2" and under, the Beta is a no brainer. For someone in the 5'8 to 6'1" range, its the bomb. From there, anyone taller can do the "tall seat" option, and with some minor revalving and +1 on springs for 200lb+ riders, the Beta is an amazing bike. I let four friends ride my Beta, two already bought them, and a few others have their eye on them now too.

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Your body size and height also may play a factor on these bikes. I bought the 2008 Beta 450, along with two other friends and another guy we rode with bought the 2009 Husky TE450. I almost bought the TE450, until I demo'd the Beta in comparison. Demo'd both multiple times trying to decide. I noted a BIG difference between the bikes; how they rode, motor behavior with power delivery, EFI vs. Carb,. I have to say, hands down, once we did the JD Jet kits and some minor suspension revalving and adjustments for our weight - the RFS powered Beta was not only easier to ride, it was more fun to ride in comparison in woods, more fun for dual sporting, and just general overall feel and ergonomics. I like the TE450 alot too, but not as much as we all liked the Beta. For anyone 6'2" and under, the Beta is a no brainer. For someone in the 5'8 to 6'1" range, its the bomb. From there, anyone taller can do the "tall seat" option, and with some minor revalving and +1 on springs for 200lb+ riders, the Beta is an amazing bike. I let four friends ride my Beta, two already bought them, and a few others have their eye on them now too.

I think Beta riders are like iphone users. There's an almost sick owner loyalty.

I am still amazed. What first got me interested in Beta's was this overwhelming level of owner satisfaction by pretty much all Beta enduro riders....at least the ones posting. When I was first asking questions about the bike the online Beta riders (like kenaroo and a bunch others) were also very generous with info and helped give me the correct info. I kept reading TT and a bunch of other sites wondering where they passed the drugs to these riders. Most of the riders seem to be bike veterans that have been around riding for awhile too. I never heard straight bitching about the bikes . Sure there are a few problems like every bike but the vibe has been so overwhelmingly positive I thought it weird and it caught my curiosity as I was searching for a dualsport at the time. I got my 09 525 RS before labor day last year and I know what they are talking about. I rode 5 times in the last 2 and a half weeks and I am buzzing on my Beta. This bike is awesome . I have ridden it in super ugly stuff and the bike eats it up!!! I'm more hooked than ever!! The bike is so fun to ride!!!!! I am going faster in the trails with less effort and my riding buddies notice it. Ok my rant is over. ..just noticed that Decooney sounds like me and the other posts I read a couple years ago.๐Ÿ˜›:thumbsup:

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I think Beta riders are like iphone users. There's an almost sick owner loyalty.

I am still amazed. What first got me interested in Beta's was this overwhelming level of owner satisfaction by pretty much all Beta enduro riders....at least the ones posting. When I was first asking questions about the bike the online Beta riders (like kenaroo and a bunch others) were also very generous with info and helped give me the correct info. I kept reading TT and a bunch of other sites wondering where they passed the drugs to these riders. Most of the riders seem to be bike veterans that have been around riding for awhile too. I never heard straight bitching about the bikes . Sure there are a few problems like every bike but the vibe has been so overwhelmingly positive I thought it weird and it caught my curiosity as I was searching for a dualsport at the time. I got my 09 525 RS before labor day last year and I know what they are talking about. I rode 5 times in the last 2 and a half weeks and I am buzzing on my Beta. This bike is awesome . I have ridden it in super ugly stuff and the bike eats it up!!! I'm more hooked than ever!! The bike is so fun to ride!!!!! I am going faster in the trails with less effort and my riding buddies notice it. Ok my rant is over. ..just noticed that Decooney sounds like me and the other posts I read a couple years ago.๐Ÿ˜›:bonk:

DITTO - No regrets ๐Ÿ‘:applause::mad:

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Why the 350 over the 400 for your freinds ( sorry , mates ) and why the 400 over the 350 for you ?

The reason i wanted the 400 over the 350 is, i know i will end up doing some sort off m/x on it & it's hard to beat cc's off the start, lol. I had a `01' YZ250f for a coupla yrs & while they are great fun you have to work your arse of to make up for the lack of power. I'm too lazy now to ride like that again but i wanted something that feels small & light, i don't have to valve bounce it everywhere to get in to the sweet power spot, 6-speed box, e-start, 4st & rego'd.

I already have a 450, 525, 650 & a 950 so a 400 would suit my style more i think.

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thanks KTMWrench. I'm riding a400 exc now and was thinking of something smaller cause most of what i ride is tight technical but im 6'3" 200 + alil lbs a few of the guys I ride with ride 250's and there all beter riders than me so I like havn the extra cc's so I can catch up when it opens up. Thats why I was thinkin the 350 could be a good compramise but i heard the weight of the 350 is the same as the 400 so , so far nobody has been able to tell what advantage the 350 has over the 400 beta

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