RIDING THE 2024 BETA 390RR RACE EDITION: THE WRAP

With all the excitement surrounding the new Beta 450RX motocross bike, you would think that Beta is a brand new company that just figured out how to make motorcycles. While a shocked motocross/Supercross media is trying to figure out how to pronounce the name of the company, off-road riders aren’t surprised at all. We’ve known that Beta builds great dirt bikes for a long time. This week we got to ride the 2024 390RR Race Edition, which–no surprise to us–might be one of the greatest four-stroke trail bikes available.

Pete Murray on the 2024 Beta 390RR Race edition.

Motocross guys listen up: Beta (pronounced Bay-Duh) has four different off-road four-strokes built on the same platform: the 350RR, 390RR, 430RR and 480RR. All of those models are available in three different configurations: standard, Race Edition and dual-sport. So there are 12 different four-strokes built on the same basic platform, and even though the new 450 has a different frame and new engine cases, we can see it has more similarities than differences. They all have different missions, but Beta is a company that knows how to divide the market and serve micro segments without reinventing any wheels. Externally, you can’t tell the motors apart on any of Beta’s off-road four-strokes. They have mix-and-match cranks and cylinders that result in the different displacements. The 350 and the 390 have the same bore, but the 390 bike has a stroke that’s 6mm longer (63.4mm). They also have different mapping. Feature for feature, a Beta off-road bike stacks up well against anything from Austria or japan. The clutch is hydraulic, the brakes are the latest Nissins, they have externally switchable maps and traction control.

The Beta 390RR Race Edition sells for $11,099.

The reason we love the 390RR Race Edition so much starts with the fact that it’s the premium configuration. The Race Edition has upgraded the suspension and other extras like handguards and some bling. The fork on the RE is essentially the same one that comes on the new RX; a closed cartridge KYB. It’s set up much more softly for off-road riding. The standard 390RR sells for $10,599 and the Race edition is $11,099.
The 390 motor is lively and powerful. It has excellent low end response and great top-end over rev. It doesn’t, however, have a big motocross hit. When you want to go faster, you just rev it higher. Smallish four-stroke motors (meaning under 450cc) have a way of feeling much lighter and more agile than they really are. Part of that is probably the gyroscopic effects of more crank mass, but more is probably due to your brain’s tendency to associate big power with big weight. Whatever the reason, the 390 feels like a 250F but has more low end and a much longer range of usable power.


This isn’t to say that the Beta 350 is too slow and the bigger ones are too massive. They all have their own personalities. We’ve said that many times, but we never got the chance to test all four back to back until last week. Rondey Smith brought us all four bikes and we found that each one has a specific type of terrain where it out performs the others. Stay tuned for that story and check out the May, 2024 Print edition of Dirt Bike for the full test of the Beta 390RR Race Edition.

THIS FROM MXA …


Motocross Action is heartbroken to announce the passing of one of our best test riders. He was an integral part of the MXA family. He was one of our most trusted and dedicated test riders, he changed all of our tires, he raced every weekend and rode at least once during the week, and he always lit up the room/track and put a smile on everyone’s face.


Randel Fout was killed when his motorcycle went over the edge of a ridge at a cross-country race at Glen Helen. Randel is the first-ever MXA test rider to die in a racing accident. Randel and son Josh (@atchafout) had raced the “Saturday at the Glen” motocross the day before, winning three classes between them, and camped out at the track so they could race a cross-country Grand Prix race the next day. As Randel’s race ended, he did not come around on the last lap. Five sweep riders were sent out to search the length of the long off-road course, finally finding Randel and his bike down the steep side of one of Glen Helen’s hills. Randel leaves behind three sons, Jake, Josh, and eleven-year-old Logan. MXA is devastated by the passing of one of the nicest guys in the sport.
For anyone feeling inclined to support financially, a GoFundMe was set up to benefit Logan Fout. www.gofundme.com/f/randel-fout-memorial-fund

TECH-AIR SYSTEM COMES TO OFF-ROAD

We saw all the rally guys at Dakar use the Alpinestars Tech-Air system, which is like an airbag for motorcycle crashes. Now it’s available for expanded off-road applications. Here’s what Alpinestars says:
Specifically conceived for off-road riding, the Tech-Air Off-Road when deployed, provides airbag coverage protecting the rider by delivering CE Level 1 – ACTIVE AIRBAG Full Chest and Full Back protection, plus coverage to the shoulders, neck, and collarbones in the event of a crash. The System is integrated with an Alpinestars’ Off-Road Protection Jacket equipped with a CE Level 2 – PASSIVE Full Chest protector and CE Level 1 – PASSIVE Full Back armor, as well as removable armor at the shoulders and elbows. This combination offers riders enhanced roost protection against rocks, debris, and other obstacles they may encounter on the trail. For more information on Tech-Air® Off-Road visit the alpinestars.com website:
https://www.alpinestars.com/products/tech-air-off-road-system.

DAYTONA!

Round 8 of the 2024 Supercross season at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, will begin live Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET on Peacock and the NBC Sports App, with a re-air on CNBC.

Qualifying will begin on Peacock at 1:30 p.m. ET. All 31 rounds of the 2024 SuperMotocross schedule will be broadcast across the NBC, CNBC, USA Network, Peacock and NBC Sports digital platforms with live coverage of all heats and features on Peacock.

 

SOLAR PANELS VS OFF-ROAD

The BLM is claiming 700,000 acres of solar projects are needed to meet the net carbon electricity emissions goals. That is roughly the size of the entire state of Rhode Island. If a project is within the 22 million acre Western Solar Plan it will then be eligible for a streamlined permitting process rather than the current variance requirements through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The BLM wants to fast track solar farms on public lands. Comments will be accepted on which lands should be suitable and prioritized for solar projects until April 18, 2024. You can learn more of the details of how this plan can affect riding on public lands by going to the Blue Ribbon Coalition’s website.

 

See you next week!

–Ron Lawson

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