The Beta RR 350 is a great mid capacity trail bike. It is an easy bike to ride which is well balanced with smooth power.
The Beta RR 350 gives you more grunt than a 250 but is not as heavy or as hard to handle as a big 500. Beta has deep roots in the trials industry and these tend to flow across to Beta trail bikes. The ergos are very comfortable and the bike is balanced well at low speeds while tipping through trees or even in the tight technical sections trying to climb hills or hop logs and rocks.
Unfortunately European electrics can be a little messy and I tend to see a lot of wiring issues on the Beta especially in the wiring loom around the steering head. If you are buying a Beta or are an existing owner then I would suggest taking some cable ties and tying the wiring loom behind the headlight so that it moves very little when turning the handlebars as the constant moving can lead to the wires in the loom breaking.
Another common problem I see with the Beta is the hard anodizing inside the fork tubes wears off very quickly which contaminates the fork oil very badly. This is usually noticed by an inconsistent feeling in the front forks but can be fixed by having the alloy fork tubes re-anodised with a stronger coating.
Inside the Beta engine is a plastic oil pump drive gear that is recommended to be changed every 100 hours as it wears and if it fails will lead to a drop in oil pressure which may cause catastrophic engine damage. If you are up to replacing one of these gears then there is alloy ones available which are much more reliable and don’t require any maintenance.
The Beta RR 350 is a comfortable bike to ride and if looked after then can run for a very long time. I recommend regular servicing. Dirty oil can prematurely wear a motor out much faster than necessary and four stroke engines can be costly to repair.
If looking at a second hand Beta then check that it starts and stops from the buttons on the handlebars. Turn the handlebars back and forth while the engine runs to see if the engine cuts out. This will be a sign whether the wring loom is damaged or not around the steering stem. Make sure the bike doesn’t have any rattles and that it doesn’t blow smoke or burn oil. Ride the bike and make sure the clutch and gears all work correctly and check over the bike for anymore visual damage.
Frame: The Beta has a molybdenum steel frame with double cradle split above the exhaust post.
Brakes: The Beta is fitted with hydraulic disc brakes both front and rear with a twin piston floating caliper on the front and a single piston floating caliper on the rear.
Engine: The Beta engine is a single cylinder, four valve, twin overhead cam, water cooled, four stroke engine with a displacement of 349.1cc.
Suspension: The front end is fitted with upside down 48mm adjustable forks and the rear a monoshock with progressive compound lever.
Weight: The Beta has a claimed dry weight of 107.5kg.
2018 $7,800 – $9,300
2019 $8,350 – $9,900
2020 $8,950 – $10,650
2021 $9,900 – $11,800
*Prices according to redbook.com.au
18 – 21 KTM 350 EXC-F | $8,050 – $14,100
18 – 21 Husqvarna FE 350 | $8,400 – $14,650
18 – 21 Sherco 300 SEF-R | $8,050 – $11,850
WORDS // MAT BOYD | PHOTOS // STEPHEN TUFF