I picked up a used Beta 525 enduro a month or so ago. This bike is to be my racer (Open A/ O-40A hare scrambles/enduros and Torcs) and my short run Dual sport bike. The bike came already set up for Dual sport.. blinkers, mirrors etc. I immediately took them off as I was heading to the woods and didn't want to damage the units until I was ready for inspection. The bike is Italian but comes with an KTM RFS engine and Linkage suspension. It's the six speed unit that came on the 04 to 07 exc. and yes... it has the magic button. Fit and finish on this bike is excellent though the aftermarket IMS big tank is a little wide at the seat junction (not beta's fault) but still...the bike is still very narrow. Bike comes with really nice parts and there's really no need for a lot of changing to make race ready. Bike came gear very tall (15/45) and needed to be geared down for woods (14/50) that gave it some low end grunt and torque. The 510 cc motor is very smooth and not arm yanking like a CRF 450. though it will torque or rev out when you tell it too. Jetting was off...I finally went to a JD jet kit. Using the 172 main red needle at the 4th down clip position...idle jet at 3/4 turns out. Seat...the stock seat was a stiff board. Beta must have been influenced by KTM as their seats are very comparable in firmness. Those Europeans must have different backsides than us Americans as I can't see why they like their seats so hard. A quick fix was ordering the Beat tall seat. Though not as hard as the oem. It's still pretty stiff but is breaking in well. Custom set up...to make the bike fit my style better I did some tweeks to the stock bike. See list. Riding impression: Woods: Wow...she can handle the tightest sections with ease. This bike can turn and is very neutral. Steering is very precise. Stock suspension is a tad soft but excellent in real tight technical rocky sections. After dialing in it could handle the bigger bumps very well and didn't do anything funny. Since the engine is very smooth...this bike really doesn't tire me out. It's very simular to my old CRF 270 big bore...with a lot more torque. Moto: The bike and and engine is great for turning. Handles any of the moto turns with ease. Jumps were a little hard as the spring rates are way too soft for airing the bike out but the bike handled well in the air and didn't kick or do anything to limit my ability to jump what I wanted. I was only limited in my mind of what I could do :) The beta would protest on flat landings by bottoming harshly. This problem is easily fixed by going up on the spring rates and a revalve of the forks. The rear sachs shock is great. It was a tad soft as well but really worked well in most situations. ---------------- Overall rating... I give the Beta an B+/A- right out to the box. Setting up the suspension is really the only thing that took a while to sort for for my type of riding and style. Most of the reason was my local suspension gurus have little experience with Marzocchi forks and sachs shocks and there is little data on the net with shim stacks to cross reference. I would highly recommend considering a Beta for your next purchase.
- Ken, Austin, Texas
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