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ENDURO TEST | 2024 BETA RR 480 | Bike Reviews

Beta’s 2024 Beta RR 480 is the ultimate multi-day, big boys trail hero with softer suspension and a more placid motor that suits trailriding better than any other bike.

Multi-day trailrides are awesome but they’re not easy for regular punters. Day one is usually the most fun as your body and mind have the energy to ride at 100 per cent. From day two or maybe day three onwards, fatigue sets in and the ride becomes progressively harder. Your brain starts to fog, your concentration wanes and your body may start to fall apart. Holding on and having to try hard just to ride is exhausting. Enter the 2024 Beta RR 480.

This is made even harder by a motorcycle that isn’t easy to ride. I’m a massive 300cc two-stroke fan (I never used to be, but that’s for another time) but two-strokes generally require a little more rider input to ride at a decent pace and therefore fatigue kicks in quickly. Small-bore four-strokes like 250cc-350cc machines typically require more rider input to get up hills and cruise along. 450cc four-strokes are generally quite racey and require a very fit, strong rider to go multiple days with no fatigue.

Then there’s 500cc four-strokes. Most 500cc four-strokes are not easy bikes to ride. KTM, Husqvarna, GASGAS and Sherco market their 500cc four-strokes at desert riders who want to go fast. They’re hard-edged when it comes to suspension and the motors, prefering to be run at race pace and they do that comfortably without any modifications. That leaves the 2024 Beta RR 480.

Beta has two ranges of motorcycles in the registered, enduro category: the RR and the Racing. The two are very different but all you really need to know is that the Racing is setup for exactly that, thanks to the firmer suspension among other upgrades. The RR is a significantly different beast to ride and that’s why I think they’re much better suited to trailriding. Most would think a big bike like the RR 480 is going to be a handful but I’m here to tell you, it isn’t.


There are plenty of differences between the Beta and the other brand’s big-bores. For starters, the 2024 Beta RR 480 is a 477.5cc motor while the KTM is a 510.9cc motor. It also has a bigger bore and a shorter stroke which gives the Beta a more luggy feel to the motor. It likes to be low in the revs and tall in the gears.

The motor isn’t the only thing that makes this bike different and better suited to trailriding than the others, it’s the suspension. The 48mm, ZF, open cartridge fork is the softest of any of the 500cc four-strokes. It and the GASGAS, are the only two forks left that are an open-cartridge system which are typically more forgiving than the closed-cartridge system. Most of the feedback through the body comes from the front-end. A bike that is firm up the front might be great for charging into corners on a race track but a regular trailrider who’s not likely to push through that firm part of the stroke, will find it too hard.

In years past, I’d say the KTM, GASGAS and even Husqvarna were soft enough up front to be better suited to trailriding but the new closed cartridge system in the KTM and Husqvarna makes them feel much firmer than they were. Plus the motors on all three of those brands are now more responsive and lively. Then there’s the Sherco with its KYB suspension and racey motor, the Sherco 500 SE-F Factory is a loaded gun. Point and shoot.

Beta RR is in a realm of its own. The softer suspension and more placid motor suits trailriding better than any other bike. Then there’s the dimensions, the Beta RR 480 runs less wheel travel than the KTM and sits 2.5cm lower in the seat at 940mm and it carries nearly three litres more fuel than the KTM.

For 2024, Beta fixed the only thing that made it hard for multi-day trailrides, the seat. It’s now softer and has more foam so it feels less like you’re sitting on a park bench and more like an armchair.


The difference to the other 500s is the main reason why the Beta RR 480 is the ultimate multi-day rider. I’ve done the Seven Deadly Sins ride through NSW and Victoria twice, a four day ride through Tasmania, dozens of multi-day rides through NSW and I’ve ridden from Cairns to Cape York over a week, twice. I know what it takes to get your bike and body through a multi-day trailride.

Most riders can’t stand for seven straight days. They typically end up sitting down for most of the ride meaning they need a comfortable seat. The 2024 seat has extra padding allowing you to stay planted when the body is too fatigued to stand without sending your arse numb.

It is even easier to paddle up hills thanks to the low seat. The Beta RR 480 has the lowest seat height of any of the 500cc four-strokes on the market so getting your feet on the ground when you’re fatigued is easier. Combine this with the softer suspension and the bike feels even smaller as it sags a little lower. Simply throwing your leg over the bike can be hard work on the last day of a multi-day ride so knowing there’s a few centimetres less height to have to throw your wet, mud-laden boot over is a nice thing.

Then there’s the suspension and the motor. The suspension is now the softest, most forgiving in the 500cc range. When you hit trail debris, small tree roots and rocks, it simply glides over them without any feedback. Think old-school Honda XR but with more diving resistance. This is fantastic for multi-day rides because it means when you get tired and don’t have the strength or clutch control to pop small wheelies you can simply plough into it and hardly feel a thing, even sitting down!

When charging down a long steep downhill that had a hard 120-degree right hand turn at the bottom the fork sat really low in the stroke if I was charging in third gear as hard as I could. This meant it lost some of that plush initial feel but if I sat in the seat and cruised down the hill it was like sitting on a cloud. At the end of a multi-day ride you want a bike that rewards fatigued riders and the Beta suspension certainly does that. It doesn’t want you to charge hard into bumps and it won’t reward you for doing so either.

I can hear people saying “But a 500 must be a handful to hang onto, which would be even harder at the end of a multi-day ride?!” This might be true for the 500s of a decade ago but it’s not the case today. All modern 500s are pretty easy to ride so long as you run a gear tall. Where you’d be in second on a 250F or 350F, run third on a 500cc four-stroke.

The Beta RR480 feels like it has the least power of the 500s and that’s a good thing. Not many people on this planet can pilot a hard-hitting 500cc four-stroke. A more docile 500 is best for most riders and one that isn’t over responsive is the key when feeling fatigued. The Beta RR 480 still has gross amounts of torque, which is excellent for lazy rides because it’s so easy to manage.

When riding the Beta RR 480 on day five of a seven day ride, you just want to be able to sit down and lug around everywhere. You don’t want to be smashing through the gears thinking about getting your foot under the gear shifter and your cramping fingers on the clutch. You just want to leave it in third and meander along, something the RR 480 does best.


The entire Beta RR enduro range is designed for trailriders. If you want to race a Beta you pretty much have to buy the Racing version, an excellent piece of kit. If you weigh less than 85 kilograms you could probably apply the above theory to the Beta RR 390. It too has a motor that likes to lug (the RR 350 and RR 430 feel more lively) and a slightly more lightweight rider would still be able to carry third everywhere. For those pushing a tonne with all their gear on, the 2024 Beta RR 480 is the way to go.

Sure, there’s a little more inertia than the RR 390 but the extra torque and grunt allows you to be lazier. The RR 480 eats the open stuff but that goes without saying, even the commuter sections between trails are a piece of piss. You don’t even need to change gears, just crack the throttle and enjoy the ride.

Just remember, you’re riding a bike like this to make multi-day rides easier so don’t ride it like you stole it. Respect the power, run a tall gear, enjoy the plush suspension and take note of just how much more fatigued your mates on smaller capacity bikes that feel more racey are, come day seven of your next multi-day ride.

NEW FOR 2024

  • Seat: The seat foam has a different geometry and density to provide greater rider comfort.
  • Suspension: The MY24 bikes feature lighter upper fork tubes, particularly in the area of engagement of the lower fork sliders. The different machining of the tubes is designed to provide controlled flexibility, which results in smoother damping on rough terrain.
  • Radiators: Lighter and tougher radiators, featuring shaped reservoirs in the upper section allows a greater steering angle and better coolant circulation. It’s also equipped with a new non-plastic cap which is tougher and less exposed to potential impacts.
  • Brakes: The front braking system has received upgrades to the brake line. The protective sheath is now fastened with dual crimping (at the top and bottom, previously it was only crimped at the bottom).
  • Graphics: Completely new graphics.
  • Traction control: The traction control is now more precise in operation.
  • Airbox: The airbox sleeve has had its geometry overhauled for greater performance at medium to high engine speeds, while maintaining torque at low speeds which was obtained with the introduction of the current exhaust manifold.

2024 BETA RR 480

ENGINE Single-cylinder, four-stroke, liquid-cooled

BORE X STROKE 100mm x 60.8mm



STARTER Electric starter

FUEL SYSTEM Eldor dual electronic injection

CLUTCH Wet multi-disc clutch


FUEL TANK 9.0L with 2.3L reserve

WHEEL BASE 1490 mm



WEIGHT (DRY) 108.5 kg


FRONT SUSPENSION 48mm ZF USD fork, 295mm wheel travel

REAR SUSPENSION ZF Monoshock, 290mm wheel travel

FRONT BRAKE Nissin 260mm wave disc

REAR BRAKE Nissin wave disc 240mm



FRONT TYRE Pirelli Scorpion Mid-Soft, 90/90 – 21

REAR TYRE Pirelli Scorpion Mid-Soft, 140/80 -18

RRP: $16,895 Ride Away


WARRANTY: 6 months