One look at the 2018 Beta 250 RR and 300 RR leaves us with same impression as any other model released by the Florence, Italy-based company: “Oh, you sexy Italian!”
For 2018, Beta’s 250/300RR two-stroke models boast a bunch of upgrades that, according to the manufacturer, are a result of the lessons learned during the company’s E3 Enduro World Championship victory with factory rider Steve Hoclombe, with additional input from Alex Salvini, who also helped lift Beta to the Manufacturers World Championship in the series.
Right off the bat, Beta has shaved a whopping 10.4 lbs. off the 250 RR and 300 RR for 2018, thanks to revisions to their engines, running gear and suspension. Beta says that the new models are more reliable as well as more rideable.
Much of the weight savings, a claimed 3.7 lbs., lies in the engine alone. First off, the oil-injected, electric start, two-stroke powerplant found in the 250 RR and 350 RR does away with the kickstarter for 2018. Beta engineers worked to make the electric starter more reliable, which has allowed the kick lever and gear to be removed for a significant weigh savings (the kick start can still be ordered as an option). The 2018 250 RR and 300 RR also receive an all-new clutch that is lighter and more compact. Beta says that the clutch offers an improved feel with more progression and more consistency as operating temperatures change. A smaller, more compact clutch cover shaves additional weight.
From a power perspective, the 250 RR and 350 RR receive a new cylinder design that is said to improve torque and horsepower output throughout the rev range while retaining the linear, controllable engine character that makes the bikes so easy to ride. The cylinder head profile is also changed on the RR 300, and mates with a rounded piston for smoother engine performance and improved tractability. The combustion chamber itself is changed on the 250 RR to deliver higher compression for more power. Both models receive a redesigned crankshaft that is stiffer to help reduce engine vibration. A new connecting rod with a revised lower bearing area is also claimed to increase reliability. A new power valve also ramps differently to better adapt to a new primary drive ratio for better power delivery.
The 250 RR/300 RR transmission has also received attention for 2018. Gear changes are claimed to be more consistent and precise thanks to an updated star wheel and detent mechanism.
Beta didn’t just stop with engine updates for the 250 RR and 300 RR. The 2018 RR chassis is new, and it features a completely redesigned front section that provides greater lateral and torsional rigidity while also being lighter than the previous-generation chassis. The subframe is also changed, designed to be lighter and slimmer while also cradling a new airbox design. Beta claims a chassis weight savings of 6.6 lbs.
Sachs suspension components are retained for 2018, but the 48mm Sachs fork features new sliders that save weight while also reducing friction and increasing fork rigidity. Both benefit from updated settings to work in junction with the new frame. The suspension settings of both the fork and the fully adjustable Sachs shock have been revised to work with the new chassis.
Other 2018 Beta 250 RR/300 RR updates include:
-A Lithium-Ion battery that is ligter, more powerful and more reliable.
-A new skid plate with easier-to-reach fasteners for quicker removal.
-A new muffler heat shield designed to better protect the rider from exhaust heat.
-Takasago Excel rims with a new black finish specifically designed for Beta.
-New colors and graphics
Better yet, the 2018 Beta 250 RR and 300 RR are the same price as the 2017 models. Both models share the same MSRP, $8499, and they will be available at Beta USA dealers beginning in August. For more information on the Beta 250 RR and 300 RR, visit http://www.betausa.com/.