2009 Beta Off-Road Motorcycles First Look

November 27, 2008
JC Hilderbrand
JC Hilderbrand
Off-Road Editor|Articles|Articles RSS|Blog |Blog Posts |Blog RSS

Hilde is holding down the fort at MotoUSA's Southern Oregon HQ. With world-class dirt bike and ATV trails just minutes away, the hardest part is getting him to focus on the keyboard. Two wheels or four, it doesn't matter to our Off-Road Editor so long as it goes like hell in the dirt.

2009 Beta Off-Road Lineup
Beta dropped the supermoto version from the American manifest, but modified versions of the RR models will bring some new flair for 2009.

For 2009, Beta Motor Company is returning with the 400, 450 and 525 models, but not all of them. Unfortunately, the supermoto (RM) machines will not be returning, but the 50-state legal dual-sports (RS) are back in 450 and 525 versions. All the Betas use KTM motors, and the RS line is similar in purpose to the orange EXCs. These are dirt bikes with license plates – our favorite!

The list of changes for ’09 models is pretty slim and really constitute nothing more than some aesthetic updates and basic refinements. A new white color scheme and graphics give 2009 a fresh look and lighter wheels help shave some unsprung weight. The skidplate has been redesigned to aid in servicing and the fuel cap is also reworked. The biggest news in our opinion is softer seat foam – our asses are cheering!

It’s the RR machines that carry the big news this season. These straight-up enduro bikes are offered in all three displacements. However, buyers can now purchase modified versions of the two larger machines directly from the factory. Last year Beta offered a Rekluse auto clutch as a dealer-supported aftermarket item, but 2009 brings bikes already equipped with the Pro-Start model – the 450 RR-auto and 525 RR-auto.

2009 Beta RR in action.
The 450 and 525 RR are now available with Rekluse Pro-Start auto clutches already installed. Whether or not customers will shell out the extra money, we think this is an awesome idea.

Now get this; if that isn’t cool enough for you, there will be a version of the 450 with even more mods. Beta is only importing 20 of the 450 RR-race machines, but these bikes come with the larger (and better) 50mm Marzocchi fork, Leo Vince full-system titanium exhaust, racing wheels, billet triple clamps, frame guards, rear air scoop and a carbon fiber skidplate.

Beta must have done well enough it its first year importing enduro machines to the US. The well-established trials company tried its hand in America for the first time with the 2008 lineup. We tested them, liked them and are excited to see the company from Florence, Italy sticking with the North American market in these tough times. It’s too bad engineers weren’t able to reveal the 250cc or 350cc bikes that were talked about with excitement and hopeful anticipation last year. Even without a completely new addition or two in the lineup, Beta pays attention to its current bikes by using desireable components like a digital computer, electric/kick start, Nissin brake calipers and Braking wave rotors and Pirelli MX eXTRa tires.

2009 MSRP List:
Beta 400 RR – $8399
Beta 450 RR – $8499; (auto) $8899; (race) $TBD
Beta 525 RR – $8599: (auto) $8999

Beta 450 RS – $8899
Beta 525 RS – $8999

Check out www.americanbeta.com for more info on the enduro machines, or log on to www.usbeta.com, the importer for all Beta trials machines.