Test and previews Wed 19 September 2018

Comparison between Beta - 300 vs 390 my 2019

Beta was founded in 1905 and has always belonged to the Bianchi family. Today, it is managed by a group of motivated and passioned young people that have exponentially increased production and, consequently, sports results, in these last years.
The balance-sheet for 2017 reports about 20.000 vehicles made, which is twice as more than only five years earlier when the two-stroke models were introduced, and a turnover of 78 million euro. Even foreign markets are appreciating the quality of this Italian product. In Italy Beta has its own network of dealers, and a double-digit increase in export is not a coincidence and is certainly a result of excellent workmanship and a “right price” campaign, with a price-list that virtually hasn’t increased for two years now.
The sale of adventure motorcycles in Italy sees the Florentine company placed between the two spearheads of the Austrian giant KTM and Husqvarna.

We already presented the Beta my 2019 range after we attended the press lunch held at “Il Ciocco” in June (go to the article). At the time, we promised to delve deeper into the qualities and characteristics of the two- and four-stroke that we appreciated most.
It is well known and agreed that the two-stroke 300 is the spearhead of the adventure production, while the awareness that the 350/390 displacement is most appealing in the 4-stroke segment is constantly growing. Weight and characteristics being equal, we chose the 390 cc for this test because this was the bike with which we had more feeling during the minutes spent riding it during the presentation.
We already talked about the technical setup and tuning adopted in the 2019 range in our previous article, so now it’s the testers turn to describe drivability and sensations.

Walter Tardani tester of the 4-stroke Beta 390
The test was rather interesting even because I was looking forward to comparing it to the 2-stroke 300. Aesthetically the motorcycle is beautiful and captivating. Once on it, I immediately felt its great maneuverability. The engine is powerful and steady, it never gives you hard time even if it promptly revs up doing so in a steady way without lurching. The last evolution of the frame combined with the new ZF suspensions – that reached very high-quality standards – instill a sense of security on any terrain as it seems to always have the best traction in every circumstance. The redesigned gas command is much more manageable when opening it a little which I found very useful on mule-tracks. I especially appreciated how easy it is to ride this bike despite its displacement and my not fully developed physique given my young age; this year I raced with a 2-stroke Beta 125 and, in view of a displacement upgrade, the possibility of testing this displacement helped me to clarify matters. The 4-stroke Beta 390 is the perfect synthesis between the maneuverability of smaller bikes and the powerfulness of bigger engines and after using the handy external gauges to adjust the suspensions to my riding style, I can’t deny I’m attracted to it!

Mattia Giulietti, tester oft he 2-stroke Beta 300
Even if this year I didn’t participate in any race for work/study reasons, I readily accepted the invitation to this comparison test.
My motorcycle was the 2-stroke 300 that immediately presented itself as maneuverable and light. At first, I rode on a rather fast dirt track that had a few rocky bends, and I must state that I felt immediately at ease with the bike.
I moved to a mule-track with many loose rocks and the engine was linear and progressive greatly helping output in difficult situations. I appreciated this characteristic of the engine which is linear at low rpms, progressive at medium rpms and pushes as it should at high rpms. Unfortunately, time wasn’t enough to adjust the valve (from this year the bike is supplied with a kit of springs to customize the relief valve) so I didn’t have the possibility of configuring engine response to compare variations. This handy system is surely useful when racing when one is looking for an engine response customized to the type of race.
I was surprised by the clutch that, besides being light, bites well and is very accurate; braking turned out smooth and progressive but at the same time ready for late braking. Things are slightly different for suspensions, from this year they are perfect for nonprofessionals, but I reserve my judgement for races since I would need much more time to delve into the matter. In any case, it is a very good product, that runs excellently, and which offers a wide range of setups while sitting on the bike and without using any tools.

My personal final opinion can only be more than positive and I’m really happy to see an Italian company achieving such important goals and results. 

Text: Pietro Bartolomei
Testers: Mattia Giulietti – Walter Tardani
Photo: MBfotopress

Questo sito fa uso di cookie, anche di terze parti, per migliorare la tua esperienza di navigazione. Accettando questa informativa dai il consenso al loro utilizzo. OK Voglio saperne di più