RIDING THE BETA 250RR RACE EDITION: THE WRAP

We didn’t get a chance to test too many Beta motorcycles in 2021. The factory was hit hard and early by the Covid 19 epidemic and there were no units for testing. Each year, though, Beta releases half-year models called the Race Editions, and we were able to score a 250RR for testing. This particular version differs from the standard version in a number of ways. First of all, there’s no oil injection. The bike takes old-fashioned premix in the tank, like God intended.

The fork is a closed-cartridge KYB and there are upgrades everywhere (footpegs, sprocket, graphics, etc.) The price is set at $9399, although supply is in such short demand, you might struggle to find one for that.
In 2021, all the Beta two-strokes got a new chassis, and the year before, they got a counterbalanced motor. The brakes are still Nissin and the clutch is hydraulic. This particular unit did not get the new diaphragm clutch design; that’s for the official 2022 models.

Mark Tilley navigates a poison oak patch on the Beta 200RR Race Edition.

It’s been so long since we had a Beta test bike, we were a little surprised by how well it runs. It’s really powerful! We also don’t get to ride two-strokes with Keihin carbs very often, and there’s no denying that it has more immediate throttle response than the KTM, Husky and GasGas TPI bikes that we’ve been riding lately. It’s probably not any faster or torquier, but it has a snappier, more immediate feel. We like it!

The Beta 250RR Race Edition two-stroke sells for $9399.

So far we only have a day of riding the Beta, but this one we will take our sweet time with. It will appear in the October 2021 print edition of Dirt Bike, and there will be a video appearing soon on our Youtube channel.

SILKWAY RALLY

The Silkway Rally is underway in Russia as we speak, and both Skyler Howes and Andrew Short are there. Both of them rode the Kazakhstan Rally last month. The life of a factory rally star is pretty busy! They both finished in the top 10 on the short first stage and are pretty enthusiastic.

Andrew Short: “It’s great to be back racing again and this rally is so unique. Riding through woods and fields is so different to what we’re used to with rally, so it’s nice to be competing at an event like this. The special was quite short followed by a long liaison, so quite a lot of time on the bike but it was the same for everybody. It’s a long race so I just focused on my navigation today and had a steady ride to finish seventh. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and seeing how this race develops for me over the remaining nine days.”

Skyler Howes: “Overall, the day went well with no crashes, and I rode really well. It’s good to get the rally underway and get the lay of the land here in Russia. I enjoyed the terrain through the forest, but the road book had several confusing notes that were tough to understand at first. I took a little time to make sure I didn’t get lost too badly and so my result isn’t quite where I would want it to be. Nevertheless, it’s good to get these things sorted on the first stage and get a good feel for the navigation at the event. There are still nine days to go, so now, with a little better understanding of the road book, I hope to be able to push on tomorrow and enjoy the rally.”

2022 BMW ADVENTURE BIKES

BMW just released photos of some of its 2022 models, including a handful of GS models. Here’s the official info:

2022 BMW G 310 GS

2022 BMW G 310 GS

Base MSRP: $5,954
Expected arrival: Q4 2021
New Cosmic Black 2 Style Triple Black ($250) replaces Cosmic Black.
Standard Polar White and optional Kyanite Blue Metallic Style Rallye ($250) are carried over.
40th Years of GS Edition has been removed.

2022 BMW F 750 GS

2022 BMW F 750 GS

Base MSRP: TBA
Expected arrival: Q4 2021
New Black Storm Metallic 2 Style Triple Black ($350) replaces Black Storm as optional color.
Light White is carried over as standard color.
San Marino Blue Metallic Style Sport ($260) is carried over as optional color.
40th Years of GS Edition has been removed.
Updated Select Package ($1,000) includes:
GPS Prep
Cruise Control
Ride Modes Pro
Heated Grips
Dynamic Engine Brake Control (new)
Luggage Rack (new)
Updated Premium package ($2,400) includes:
Select Package content
LED Style Elements
Gear Shift Assist Pro (new, previously part of Select Pkg)
Keyless Ride
Dynamic ESA
TPM tire pressure monitor

2022 BMW F850GS

2022 BMW F 850 GS

Base MSRP: TBA
Expected arrival: Q4 2021
New Black Storm Metallic 2 Style Triple Black ($350) replaces Black Storm as optional color.
Racing Red is carried over a standard color.
Racing Blue Metallic Style Rallye ($325) is carried over as optional color.
40th Years of GS Edition has been removed.
Updated Select Package ($950) includes:
GPS Prep
Cruise Control
Ride Modes Pro
Heated Grips
Dynamic Engine Brake Control (new)
Luggage Rack (new)
Updated Premium package ($2,350) includes:
Select Package content
LED Style Elements
Gear Shift Assist Pro (new, previously part of Select Pkg)
Keyless Ride
Dynamic ESA
TPM tire pressure monitor

2022 BMW F850GS Adventure

2022 BMW F 850 GS Adventure

Base MSRP: TBA

Expected arrival: Q4 2021
Light White replaces Ice Gray as standard color.
New Black Storm Metallic 2 Style Triple Black ($325) replaces Black Storm as optional color.
Kalamata Matte Metallic Style Rallye ($350) is carried over as optional color.
40th Years of GS Edition has been removed.
Updated Select Package ($1,350) includes:
GPS Prep
Cruise control
LED fog lights (new)
Ride Modes Pro
Heated grips
Aluminum side case holders
Dynamic Engine Brake Control
Updated Premium package ($3,100) includes:
Select Package content
LED Style Elements
Gear Shift Assist Pro (new, previously part of Select Pkg)
Keyless Ride
Dynamic ESA
TPM tire pressure monitor

RED BUD THIS WEEKEND!


Domestic television coverage from RedBud will be live with the opening motos of both the 250 Class and 450 Class on MAVTV Motorsports Network, followed by a tape-delayed broadcast of the second motos on NBC Sports Network. Be sure to check out the live results here at www.dirtbikemagazine.com

Saturday, July 3
Moto 1’s | 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET | MAVTV Motorsports Network | LIVE
Moto 2’s | 2:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. ET | NBC Sports Network | Tape Delay

HANNAH BACK IN THE DAY

Bob Hannah went testing with us when the YZ400F first arrived. We got to do a little flying, too.

Back in 1998, Bob Hannah was 42 years old and had been retired from professional motocross for almost 10 years. He was flying and racing unlimited-class aircraft and rarely responded to regular requests from the motorcycle world to show up to various events. He was done with racing on two-wheels, but he still loved riding. He owned a Husaberg 501, of all things, and kept it in Southern California. He would routinely fly down from his home in Idaho to ride with his buddy Bruce Lockwood, who was another accomplished aircraft racer. “I don’t race motocross for a living anymore. If I did, I sure wouldn’t ride a Husaberg, that’s for sure,” he said. “I ride for fun.”

Hannah could ride the heck out of Jawbone Canyon back then. Probably still can.

We asked Bob to go testing with us and weigh in on the subject of two-stroke vs four-stroke (with a current YZ250 as the measuring stick), expecting a decline as usual. He surprised us with an enthusiastic yes. But, he didn’t want to ride on a track, he wanted to go hill-climbing in Jawbone Canyon. That was how he started, and that’s what he loved best. What was his conclusion? “If someone were to pay me to climb hills, I would choose the YZ250,” he said. “That’s what bikes like that (two-strokes) are good for: competition. But I just want to have fun. That’s why I like the YZ400 better. I’ve never ridden a bike with a powerband like that. Any hill can be climbed in one gear. You would have to shift the two-stroke three times on the same hill.” Maybe it’s time for a rematch

See you next time!

–Ron Lawson

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