10 THINGS LEARNED FROM THE 2016 BETA INTRO
Beta have been busy getting ready for 2016. Here’s 10 things learned about the Italian manufacture at their 2016 enduro launch…
1. Three new bikes in the works
Beta are set to fill the missing spots in their enduro range with a 250 and 300 four-stroke A 125 two-stroke is possibly coming as well. A new 250cc four-stroke engine can be expected in the next two or three years with the 300 four-stroke basically following as a sleeved up version of the quarter litre thumper.
2. Oil injection isn’t fuel injection but has it’s benefits
The Automatic Oil Injection System is Beta’s oil pump of the 21st century. It basically sprays oil into the Keihin PWK carburettor. The system collects data from the engine’s revs and load to vary the fuel/oil mix from 0.7 to 1.2%.
It offers a dramatic reduction in oil consumption and exhaust smoke. It also reduces the chances of fouling the spark plug. The oil tank has a capacity of 300ml, which is enough for three full fuel tanks. There’s a light on the dashboard that displays when everything is working fine and a second one to let you know when the oil tank needs filling. You can also cancel the system anytime and mix oil in the fuel tank.
3. Four-stroke fuel injection gets the thumbs up
First seen in last year’s RR 350, the EFI that Beta developed with Synerject is now fitted to all four strokes. It’s probably the greatest upgrade to the 2016 thumpers. It brings smooth power delivery and a huge reduction in engine braking throughout the four-stroke range. It also gives zero fuel spills in the event of a crash.
4. Fuel injection considered for two strokes
Beta’s Head of R&D Department, Stefano Fantigini confirmed their current status on fuel injected two strokes…
“We are considering the option of installing fuel injection in our two-stroke range but haven’t actually tested anything yet. But to meet future homologation rules we will have to get serious about it soon.”
5. Racing models will arrive late September
2016 Racing models are set to arrive at the end of September. With Italian Marzocchi firm ceasing production, Beta turned to its trusty partner Sachs for a solution in the forks department. The 2016 Racing line-up will feature a brand new closed-cartridge set of forks by Sachs. The two-stroke Racing models won’t have the oil injector system.
6. Growing figures
Beta recently saw an increase of 35% in its enduro sales figures. In Italy – its biggest market – they currently hold 34% of enduro sales. Responding to the increased demand they plan to produce 15,000 units in 2016, which is 2,000 more than 2015.
The widely popular Beta Xtrainer will be increased from 500 to 1,150 units for 2016. The first batch of bikes will arrive at the end of July. Their only major upgrade will be a new CDI, similar to the one used in the 2016 two strokes.
Riding the Xtrainer only confirmed what’s been said about the bike. Compared to the RRs it lacks braking power and its suspension can’t handle the big hits that well. But it fits the needs of a beginner or someone with no racing expectations. We loved the engine’s torque from low rpm and the overall idea than almost anything can be done easily.
8. At last a new skid plate
It’s taken Beta a couple of years to figure it out but they’ve finally designed a skid plate that actually protects the sides of the engine in the four-stroke range. It’s a long-awaited upgrade that will make Beta owners happy. The new skid plate is made from tough plastic with its raised front part preventing mud from getting underneath the engine.
9. Good as gold
The new Sachs 48mm forks work better than any previous edition. Apart from their new looks, they’ve got new shims that improve oil flow, a better hydraulic brake and a new spring guide. Overall they give a more progressive feeling and a better bottoming-out response.
10. Better than ever
The 2016 Betas are the most complete enduro bikes we’ve ever seen from the Italian manufacturer. If we had to choose winners, it would be the RR 250 from the two-stroke range thanks to its updated performance in low and mid rpm. From the four-stroke line-up, we were mostly surprised with the big-bore RR 480 as internal engine updates and fuel injection have made it more usable than ever.