BETA 350, 390, 430, 480 Face Off: Recap of StopWatch Nationals and Beyond

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BETA 350, 390, 430, 480 Face Off
BETA 350, 390, 430, 480 Face Off (Credits: Dirt Bike Magazine)

Ever pondered over the strikingly similar appearances of Beta’s four off-road bikes? Well, we did too. The 350, 390, 430, and 480 are said to possess entirely distinct characteristics. To put this claim to the test, we requested Beta to provide all four models for us to ride and judge firsthand. To our surprise, Rodney Smith arrived at our doorsteps with four brand-new Beta four-stroke off-road bikes.

All four were the Race Editions, distinguished by their KYB suspension and the newest generation frame enhancing rigidity in the 2024 models. With notable upgrades in detailing and aesthetics, including front-axle grab handles, aluminum footpegs, and anodized parts, each bike presents a different handling experience owing to its motor’s power output.

The Beta 350RR Race Edition, priced at $10,999, emerges as the true trail bike among the group. Despite its decent bottom end, it demands revving and clutch use for swift acceleration. Impressively versatile, it can seamlessly transition from idle cruising to high-speed dashes, albeit requiring more effort to maintain full gallop.

BETA 350, 390, 430, 480 Face Off
BETA 350, 390, 430, 480 Face Off (Credits: Dirt Bike Magazine)

Retailing at $11,099, the Beta 390RR Race Edition boasts a longer powerband due to its long-stroke motor, offering continuous power delivery across a wider RPM range. Though faster and suitable for racing, it feels slightly heavier than the 350, echoing a recurring theme of increased weight perception with higher power outputs.

Priced at $11,199, the Beta 430RR Race Edition emerges as the race-oriented bike in the group, with an aggressive powerband and a noticeable power advantage over the others. Despite its controllability, it occasionally exhibits a temperamental nature, especially at low RPMs or with clumsy handling.

Lastly, the Beta 480RR Race Edition, selling at $11,299, shares similarities with the 500RS dual-sport bike, offering a torquey and smooth power delivery with a more gradual acceleration. Unlike its counterparts, it feels more suited for leisurely cruising than aggressive racing.

Ultimately, each Beta model excels in slightly different terrains, with the 350 and 480 leaning towards trail riding, while the 390 and 430 lean more towards racing. For a comprehensive review, refer to the June 2024 print edition of Dirt Bike.

In addition to the bike review, the article provides details about the Stopwatch Nationals event at Glen Helen, where pro riders can showcase their skills against amateurs, along with updates on Skyler Howes’ performance in the Rally Raid de Portugal and Paul Buckley’s induction into the Legends and Heroes Moto Museum. Lastly, it shares the 2024 Pro MX National race schedule, commencing with the Fox Raceway National at Pala, California.

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