Rodney Smith drove down from up north this week to drop off a 2024 Beta 200RR for us to try. I was a big fan of 200cc two-strokes back in the day. Who wasn’t? They were left behind over the years. I believe that it was simply hard to convince European and Japanese manufacturers to make a bike that had no official class–especially in light of the fact that the EPA was forcing motorcycle makers to declare all two-strokes “closed course competition vehicles.” In 2019, the guys at Beta realized that wasn’t a very good reason not to offer one, so the 200RR was born. The engineers started with the then-new 125RR, punched it out to 190cc and added electric start with oil-injection. The result was a bike that was almost in a class of its own. We say almost, because Rieju also has a 200cc two-stroke. Right now, that Spanish manufacturer is just getting started–even Beta is a massive company by comparison.

Mark Tilley on the 2024 Beta 200RR.

We tested the Beta 200RR when it arrived in 2019, but frankly we forgot how good it was. The weight without fuel comes in at 223 pounds, which is essentially the same as the Husqvarna TE150 we tested earlier in the month. We just said the Husky is more 200-like this year, with more low-end power. But having said that, the Beta 200 is [really] 200-like (being a 200 and all)
The 200RR is an outrageously good trail bike. The low-end power is bottomless–you almost can’t stall it by accident. It has considerable flywheel effect and beyond that, the 200 produces thick usable torque. The jetting is flawless, too. It doesn’t load up even after long periods of partial throttle. There’s no detonation and it starts easily then warms up quickly. On top, the power output is respectable, too. After making such surprising low-end, we expected it to go flat on top. That’s not the case. The 200 revs out past 9000 rpm, just like most 250cc two-strokes. Peak power is decent, but no more than that of a good-running 125.

The 200RR has oil injection and electric start. The price is $9499.

The only place where the 200 surrenders ground to more competition-oriented bikes like the Husky TE150 is in between the two extremes. When you’re in the middle rpm range and you want to conjure a quick burst of acceleration, you expect a quick dab on the clutch to do the job. That’s not the result. The 200 more or less continues on its planned course regardless of clutch use. It gains power and RPM in a very linear fashion.

The 200RR’s overall handling character is steady, too. There’s nothing nervous or twitchy happening, even when the terrain is rocky and choppy. The 200 is lighter than most off-road two-strokes by a good 10 pounds, and that goes even further toward making one of the easiest bikes to ride in difficult conditions.
At this point we only have one ride on the 200 and we’re hoping to keep it in the fleet for a long time. Rodney dropped off an FMF silencer with a spark arrester as well as a tall seat, so we can start to make mild customizations. Look for a test in the November print edition of Dirt Bike.


Last week we got to visit Michael Leib at Canvas. Michael was a test rider for Dirt Bike in his amateur days. Then he rode for Factory Husqvarna in Europe, came home, did some Supercross and even won a Two-Stroke World Championship. Now he runs Canvas as well as its sibling Lucid. Canvas is a gear company that specializes in custom design work, while Lucid is a manufacturing facility in Murrieta–USA! You can dream up pretty much anything and Leib will make it into reality. One of the most impressive programs he has is partnering with guys like Ty Masterpool and helping him get to the races as a privateer. Rather than stand in line at a national to get Ty’s autograph, you can order his jersey, manufactured by Canvas and signed by Ty. Canvas designed a different jersey for each National. It’s good for everyone! That’s just one of the things that Michael has dreamed up. See for yourself at canvasmx.com.

Michael started his test riding career for Dirt Bike a year or two ago.
Canvas has partnered with Ty Masterpool among other riders to help them get from race to race. Privateer life is hard!
Yes, motocross gear can be made in the USA.



SX Global pulled off its first round of the 2023 season last month, but there have been rumors that the next three rounds might be in trouble. France (Round two) had already been cancelled and replaced with a later event in Abu Dhabi. That meant Singapore on September 2 was to be the new round two. Now there have been social media hints that it might not go as planned. In response, here’s what SX Global said Thursday: “We’re aware of rumours circulating over the past 24 hours regarding the FIM World Supercross Championship and its 2023 rounds. While we can’t provide specific information today, we will be sharing significant news soon regarding the 2023 racing schedule, together with positive future developments that support the championship series.We have been in consistent communication with teams and owners, who have been highly supportive. We look forward to the 2023 Championship rounds finishing strongly, with hotly contested racing determining who will be crowned the 2023 FIM World Supercross Champions this November in Melbourne.”



  • Play by PlayJason Weigandt
  • AnalystsJames Stewart
  • ReportersJason Thomas


Saturday, August 26
  • Pro Motocross Championship: Race Day Live
    • Peacock @ 7 a.m. PT / 10 a.m. ET
  • Pro Motocross Championship: Ironman National [LIVE]
    • Peacock @ 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET
Monday, August 28
  • Pro Motocross Championship: Ironman National Replay
    • CNBC, NBCSports.com, NBC Sports App
      • 11 p.m. PT [Sunday] / 2 a.m. ET


FMF KTM Factory Racing is pleased to announce a multi-year contract extension with defending U.S. Hard Enduro Champion Trystan Hart, which will see the pair continue their successful partnership in a long-term commitment together.
The highly-capable Canadian has established himself as the class of hard enduro competition in North America since joining KTM, capturing consecutive U.S. Hard Enduro championships with a perfect 2023 season for the second year in succession onboard his KTM 300 XC-W.

At 26 years of age, Hart also made it back-to-back victories in the Red Bull Tennessee Knockout (TKO) this past weekend, which doubled as the AMA Extreme Off-Road Grand Championship once again. In 2022, he was named the AMA Athlete of the Year as a result of his outstanding achievements.

Hart’s success has also extended to the world stage in recent years, currently ranked second in the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship standings, which will continue this weekend with round four of season 2023 at the Red Bull Outliers event in Canada between August 26-27.

In addition, after finishing runner-up in last year’s AMA EnduroCross series with several round wins to his credit, Hart will also be equipped with the KTM 350 XC-F when the opening round of the 2023 series takes place in Everett, Washington, on October 7.

Trystan Hart: “I’m super-happy and grateful to extend my partnership with KTM. We’ve had a successful three years together and hopefully these next few will be even more successful – that would be awesome!”

Tim Weigand – FMF KTM Factory Racing Team Manager: “We are excited to have Trystan as part of the KTM team for the upcoming years. He’s elevated his game tremendously these last couple of seasons, so I’m looking forward to seeing his progress and to see where he can take it for the next few years.”

Antti Kallonen, Director of Offroad Racing: “We’re really pleased to extend our contract with Trystan, who has been the staple hard enduro rider in our team for the last couple of seasons. We are really looking forward to supporting him, and his career, to aim for the highest achievements and to win more championships here in the States with him, but also to aim for that world championship. We look forward to the upcoming years together.”

See you next time!

–Ron Lawson

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