The new 2013 Beta 450 RR enduro 4-Stroke has been presented in Italy after a long development process from the 2012 model. All the R&D work for this new machine has been done together with their internal factory team throughout the year racing in the World Enduro Championship. In order to get a good opinion on the performance of the bike, we tested the 450 RR in a few different possible situations at a riding area in Northern Italy.
These 2013 models are completely revisited bikes with many minor but effective changes stemming from Beta’s main focus, which was weight reduction. For example, the new 450 RR has lost almost 6.5 pounds thanks to the alterations made mainly on the chassis. But the most evident changes are on the exterior with the introduction of a redesigned air box, a completely new 2.1-gallon fuel tank, making the bike slightly thinner compared to the 2012 model. The shrouds also have a new design together with the tank cap. The speedometer now has a bigger display that makes it easier to read also while riding. Further changes have been adopted on the wheels with a more rigid hub and brake discs. One of the evident changes is on the aesthetic of the bike with its now white plastics with red graphics. The 2013 RR is very similar to the 2012 in the motor department, as no changes have been made.
The location of the test was inside the walls of a giant castle in the North of Italy and the track consisted of a long 10km loop, which grouped most of the typical enduro characteristics. The course started with a fast section on grass with some jumps then went on a very technical section inside the forest with tight turns around trees and natural obstacles. Personally I was a bit doubtful about perceiving any change from the 2012 model since the basic engine of the bike is the same as last year. Unexpectedly right away from the first few laps you could really feel the weight reduction on the bike, especially in the tight turns in the forest where the new Beta felt less tiring. Beta already was known for its incredible easy chassis but managed to improve it, making the bike not only easier to change direction but also on the fast bumpy part of the track we could ride fast with the bike remaining stable. This aspect helps a lot entering inside corners at high speed with precision even in the presence of ruts, without losing control.
One of the most important achievements on the new Beta 450cc is the fact that the engine performance has been kept the same even though the exhaust had to be modified in order to perform inside the noise restriction laws which are obligating manufacturers to produce more silent bikes each and ever year. The engine feels extremely smooth and in particular when coming out of tight turns where you are hard on the throttle. The rear of the bike doesn’t slide or twitch, giving a pretty nice
sensation when riding on slippery surfaces thanks to the 2013’s better traction. Furthermore, the complete Beta 2013 range mounts Michelin Enduro Competition tires which are at the moment the best quality you can get and are the most used tire by the riders of the World Enduro Championship. The chassis felt responsive and predictable avoiding any strange reaction from the bike. This puts the rider in the position of experimenting riding on big obstacles without taking big risks.
Probably the best quality of the 450 RR are the brakes; we found them always precise, even at times when we were approaching too fast a turn and would have to slow down the bike in abruptly.
Beta 450 RR owners can finally adjust the compression of the front suspension from the top without tools thanks to the clickers mounted on the top end of the forks. The suspension settings are perfect for an amateur and adventure type of riding but for sure too soft when trying to race against the clock to bring down lap times. The rear suspension would bottom on little jumps and on big bumps. Another little defect we found was on the steering, when riding at slow speed over obstacles such as tree trunks; the steering was too loose and tended to quickly understeer. Obviously its very subjective on the type of riding one has, but if it was our bike we could quickly solve the problem by mounting a steering damper, which Beta has in its power
In stock form the 2013 Beta 450 RR is a perfect mount for the amateur racer and a good starting point for the pros.
One other thing we didn’t like too much is the operating temperature of the bike, which easily went up to boiling point in the extreme and slow sections of the track.
Beta has proved over the last few years to be significantly reliable but we must say that the quality of the bolts and little details is still not at the same level as the Japanese manufacturers and during our day test we got some of the bolts mounted on the plastics to come off loose. In our opinion, the 2013 Beta 450 RR has slightly improved its already high standards of the 2012 model. We would say this bike is perfect for amateur riders and is a good start for pro riders.