Still not a 125 guy sadly! The last one I rode was last years model so my small bore 2-stroke skills haven't improved at all and I wasn't able to get the most out of this machine but even with that said it is an amazing power plant for an offroad 125 2-stroke. The power is all up top of course but it's a pretty wide spread all things considered and there certainly is something about throwing a 125 around that is too much fun.
Much like the 250 just below, my impression of this machine varied wildly from last year. This machine needed some jetting so as far as motor impression I would defer to last years writeup as that machine ran great and was very impressive. Handling was excellent, nimble, and able put it anywhere you want on the trail just like the 125.
I just happened to ride the 2020 250RR first based on line length, and it was a good start to the day. Our course was tight and slick; typical Ohio slippery I'm told! The last time I rode a 250 I wasn't overly impressed but this one must have been setup differently because I loved this machine. Responsive and lively power, yet linear and without the hit I didn't care for last year. As this was so early in the day the course was still quite slick but the power delivery was controllable and snappy at the same time somehow; very impressed.
I rode the 300RR second and the difference in power delivery and feel was noticeable between it and the 250. A bit more flywheel feel so more power than the 250 but even more controllable. I've never felt that the Beta 2-strokes vibrated badly and still feel the same with the addition of the counterbalancer.
300RR Race Edition
Next up was my first ride on a Race Edition with KYB forks. The course was still pretty slick and in these conditions there wasn't a whole lot of difference between the two, possibly a bit more planted in the front with the Kayaba AOS forks.
350RR Race Edition
Moving up the displacement range the 350RR Race Edition got more into my comfort zone as a 4-stroke guy. In the snotty conditions, and at sea level, the 350 was great. Easier to find traction due to power delivery and overall weight, in the slick Ohio conditions I really enjoyed the 350. Riding it a second time later in the day brought out the differences between the two forks, I still prefer the closed cartridge units for feel and bottoming resistance, whether Sachs or Kayaba.
I really love the 390 motor, my favorite powerplant of all the machines and this one was no different. The change to Race Edition spec just makes the RR-S motor even better. Still the "Mama Bears bed" of all the 4-strokes, just right. This machine still handled the slick terrain at sea level well but is also excellent is the more wide open western conditions at altitude that we ride locally.
By this point in the day most of the track was finally getting burned in so speeds increased a bit to where the difference between the open chamber and closed chamber forks could be felt. No change for me here, I still prefer the closed chamber forks out of the crate. My personal machine has open chambers that work quite well and either can be made to work very, very well when setup for you personally but there is a difference out of the crate. Same here in the engine department, all of the RR-S engines now have the same fuel injection system and equipment as the Race Edition 4-strokes and that just makes them even better. The RR-S is a great machine in any displacement if it fits your riding style.
The last 4-stroke to try was the 500. I should mention that this year all of the machines have updated dry/rain settings and while still not a huge difference it was definitely noticeable. I experimented with both on most every machine and with the conditions we were in the rain mode helped find traction regardless of displacement and 2-stroke or 4. Overjumping a little bit on this machine had me landing in a hole and this is where the difference between open and closed chamber forks is most noticeable. The open chamber forks have less bottoming resistance and a different feel in the last third of the stroke. Again, these machines were bone stock and were probably all at least one spring rate off for me so that's definitely a factor.
Scott (Sierra BMW & Beta Service Manager and XTrainer rider)-Pretty much the same machine as last year, just a bit smoother and the blue bodywork looks great. Always an easy to ride but impressively capable bike. Watching the other riders accelerating across the field before entering the woods section, you wouldn’t think of this Beta as “entry level” or underpowered! Still my favorite.
Evo 200 2T
This was the first of the trials machines I puttered around on. I'm no trials rider and had never ridden a 200 before but this machine was amazing. Plenty of power at sea level, and very light and agile feeling.
Scott (Sierra BMW & Beta Service Manager and actual trials rider)-First time I have been able to ride a 200. Nice nimble bike with very smooth power delivery. Easier to “move” the bike around than the bigger Evo machines. Very impressed with how easy it is to ride. Very fun bike!
Evo 300 2T
I rode the Evo 300 later in the day and not only does it have more power than the 200 there's also a bit different feel to it, quite a bit more flywheel if I had to guess. It felt to me as if there were just more inertia at work in general, both power and handling.
Scott (Sierra BMW & Beta Service Manager and actual trials rider)-Very familiar since this is what I normally ride. Suspension on this standard model felt better than my 2017 Evo did and closer to the 2018 Factory that I currently ride. Unfortunately the area we used didn’t have very many true trials obstacles so I couldn’t give it a thorough test. As always, the 300 has plenty of power!
Evo 300 4T
Scott (Sierra BMW & Beta Service Manager and actual trials rider)-Nice bike, very responsive but nice smooth power delivery. There is a different feel due to the 4-stroke motor and extra pounds over the 2-stroke making it a little heavier to “move” around, but it also makes it more stable. I personally prefer the 2-strokes but there isn’t anything negative to say about this bike. Different strokes for different folks!
Overall - Enduro
As always, Beta has made some really noticeable improvements over last years machines. The entire line has new bodywork with a flatter seat, new radiators, frame, and redesigned mid-section that really improves the bike/rider interface. The RR-S line now has twin injectors and Betas mass centralization efforts continue as the redesigned motor lost weight and moved it for better handling. The 2-stroke 300s and 250 got a counter-balancer to make them even smoother. Of course, another big addition is the Kayaba fork on the Race Edition machines and as expected it works excellently. Two more World Titles, an AMA regional title wrapped up early, and top 3 in a couple of other National championships for 2019 and the amazing 2020 machines mean that 2020 is shaping up to be an even better year for Beta!
Overall - Trial
Scott (Sierra BMW & Beta Service Manager and actual trials rider)-I like the new bodywork. The tail light is more integrated into the fender and it’s nice having the map switch near the gas cap and an LED to let you know what mode is set. It is good that the standard front fork can now be easily upgraded to have the “Factory” adjustability. Good, solid bikes as always.
If you have questions please feel free to hit me up at email@example.com and I'll certainly answer what I can about the new machines for you. Thanks for reading.