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Dirtbike Mag Husqy 501 vs Beta 500

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Beta is in a very different situation. The U.S. government allows small companies to comply to more relaxed standards, so the 500RR isn’t that different from a full-blooded dirt bike. It still has all the proper equipment, reduced emissions, and it’s still very quiet. However, the concessions aren’t as dramatic as those that Husqvarna faces.

I've wondered about this. I've even asked the Beta people, and never got a straight answer. So, if this is true. KTM (or other big volume manufacturers) need to spin off or start up a new company. Say every 5 years or so. A small one. Just make a few bikes. So they can sell bikes that aren't all choked up. With these forward thinking ideas, I really should be the head guy at KTM.

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9 minutes ago, amgems said:

Beta is in a very different situation. The U.S. government allows small companies to comply to more relaxed standards, so the 500RR isn’t that different from a full-blooded dirt bike. It still has all the proper equipment, reduced emissions, and it’s still very quiet. However, the concessions aren’t as dramatic as those that Husqvarna faces.

I've wondered about this. I've even asked the Beta people, and never got a straight answer. So, if this is true. KTM (or other big volume manufacturers) need to spin off or start up a new company. Say every 5 years or so. A small one. Just make a few bikes. So they can sell bikes that aren't all choked up. With these forward thinking ideas, I really should be the head guy at KTM.

people would need to stop buying ktms for them to realize there is a problem. if they make them all choked up and sales numbers still increase doesn't sound like a problem to them. but i do not agree with the ruling for different makers same goes for niche auto makers as well

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First time KTM 500 owner. 

Amazing bike but sucks I had to put $4k plus into to set it up to work proper. 

My WR 450 was race ready for about $8500 total but no plate and gets less than half the mpg. 

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I’ve heard Beta forks are kind of garbage in terms of strength and reliability. Hopefully they’ve gotten better in the past few years because the Beta sounds like a pretty decent machine 

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I read another shootout test earlier this year that had a three way test on the KTM, Husky and Beta.  The KTM came in on top, the Husqvarna was just a hair below that and the Beta came in last.  I think that it depends on what criteria you use to describe what the "best" is.  Best overall performance?  Most powerful?  Best trail performance?  Ease of maintenance, availability of parts, where the near est dealer  is, reliability...etc.....

The test I read said that the Beta was the worst performing machine for single track, but the best for hill climbing.  I also follow a Beta owners group on Facebook.  A lot of those guys don't like how abrupt the power is on the Beta 500, and get a throttle tamer to make it more tractable on the trails.  I had wanted a Beta originally, but ended up buying the Husqvarna, because the dealer is two miles from my house, I have bought 4 other bikes from them and they offered to buy one of my bikes back for a trade in on the 501, I rode somebody's 501 out at McCain and liked it, and there are plenty of aftermarket parts readily available for the machine.  I had to shell out for a softer saddle, better tires, softer springs for my 501, but those would be the same things I would have to change out on the Beta also.

About the only thing I don't like about my 501 right now is that it has some ignition problem, and stops running at the dangedest times out in the dirt.....maybe a bad connection or loose wire, because it only seems to do it when the going gets rough, but not on the pavement.  The bike is at the dealership right now since it is new and still under warranty....but they have had it for a week and still haven't found the problem.

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4 hours ago, dirt dame said:

I read another shootout test earlier this year that had a three way test on the KTM, Husky and Beta.  The KTM came in on top, the Husqvarna was just a hair below that and the Beta came in last.  I think that it depends on what criteria you use to describe what the "best" is.  Best overall performance?  Most powerful?  Best trail performance?  Ease of maintenance, availability of parts, where the near est dealer  is, reliability...etc.....

The test I read said that the Beta was the worst performing machine for single track, but the best for hill climbing.  I also follow a Beta owners group on Facebook.  A lot of those guys don't like how abrupt the power is on the Beta 500, and get a throttle tamer to make it more tractable on the trails.  I had wanted a Beta originally, but ended up buying the Husqvarna, because the dealer is two miles from my house, I have bought 4 other bikes from them and they offered to buy one of my bikes back for a trade in on the 501, I rode somebody's 501 out at McCain and liked it, and there are plenty of aftermarket parts readily available for the machine.  I had to shell out for a softer saddle, better tires, softer springs for my 501, but those would be the same things I would have to change out on the Beta also.

About the only thing I don't like about my 501 right now is that it has some ignition problem, and stops running at the dangedest times out in the dirt.....maybe a bad connection or loose wire, because it only seems to do it when the going gets rough, but not on the pavement.  The bike is at the dealership right now since it is new and still under warranty....but they have had it for a week and still haven't found the problem.

I sure hope they find something for you soon. It's not fun when you ride doubting your bike even in the least. 

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20 hours ago, SoCalMule said:

I sure hope they find something for you soon. It's not fun when you ride doubting your bike even in the least. 

Luckily,, a loose ground wire on the coil is what it turned out to be.  The bike is home this evening and ready to greet the weekend with me.

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On 7/31/2018 at 12:41 PM, TexasDualler said:

I’ve heard Beta forks are kind of garbage in terms of strength and reliability.

Not so.  There is an issue with Sachs upper aluminum fork tube anodize on 2015-17(?) Betas.  If the inner wear is caught early enough only re-anodizing is needed.  If people lag on getting the re-anodize done then it can get expensive.  Other than this the forks are very capable.
George at Suspension 101 charged me $200 for the re-anodize on top of other tuning, and my weird gold colored forks came back a nice flat black.

I saved $2000 by buying a Beta (vs KTM) but had to spend $200 on re-anodizing.  It pencils out.

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On 7/31/2018 at 4:52 PM, dirt dame said:

The test I read said that the Beta was the worst performing machine for single track, but the best for hill climbing.  I also follow a Beta owners group on Facebook.  A lot of those guys don't like how abrupt the power is on the Beta 500, and get a throttle tamer to make it more tractable on the trails.

I can see how some might say this, same has been said of the 2016 FI.  The throttle response I find very handy lofting the front wheel over tree fall and trail trash.  I'd rather have too much of something to dial back... than wish I had more of it. 

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14 hours ago, dirt dame said:

Luckily,, a loose ground wire on the coil is what it turned out to be.  The bike is home this evening and ready to greet the weekend with me.

Excellent! 

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Nice to hear from the Beta riders. I've considered a Beta as my next bike.

I've seen a few of the fuel injected bikes with the same kind of failure as Mimi describes. Instantaneous, intermittent, over bumps or in turns. The ones that I have seen were just a wire. Either loose and rubbing on the frame or broken. Usually, behind the headlight. Otherwise these new FI bikes are reliable. There are just so many wires! My 2012 KTM had horrible wire harness routing. My brother in law has a 2018 KTM EXC and the wiring/routing is neater but still not great. I re-did some of the wiring on my bike and added lots of wire ties to secure things.

Haven't really had a chance to check out the Beta wiring and routing scheme.

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My (carbureted) 2014 Beta 498RR setup for Baja/desert (when I lived in SD) has 6,000 miles and 180 hours on it with zero issues.  Suspension was meh out of the box - reliability, engine, and fit for my frame are excellent.  George and a couple other tuners improved the suspension after ~$700 in work.

My 2017 Beta 300RR Race Edition now has 99 hours on it and all that's gone wrong (at 50 hours) was a leaky thermostat.  Yanked the t-stat and added silicon hoses.  No issues since then.  I can say that my 2017 suspension is light years better than the 2014.  Sachs rear shock might be unchanged since '14 (unsure), but the forks are WAAAY better.  The Race Edition has the CC forks.  No valving, no tuning, just re-sprung for my weight.  Very happy with the 300.  But a 2019 GasGas EC300 will be my next singletrack machine (if I ever wear out the 300RR)

Cheers from Idaho!

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2 hours ago, Sneeker said:

Not so.  There is an issue with Sachs upper aluminum fork tube anodize on 2015-17(?) Betas.  If the inner wear is caught early enough only re-anodizing is needed.  If people lag on getting the re-anodize done then it can get expensive.  Other than this the forks are very capable.
George at Suspension 101 charged me $200 for the re-anodize on top of other tuning, and my weird gold colored forks came back a nice flat black.

I saved $2000 by buying a Beta (vs KTM) but had to spend $200 on re-anodizing.  It pencils out.

It's very important to torque the lower triple clamp to 10nm and the upper to 17nm as well.  They are sensitive to over-torquing the lower, for sure.  My '17 CC forks have been serviced twice and look okay/"normal" so far...

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Glad to have my man ...the mtn man check in. Luv ya brother Seth!!!,

PS- Nantista jr. my daughter is Bozeman bound in weeks. she's hooked on fly fishing, shooting, and that big sky air....told her and her guy to get dirtbikes on the menu also

I just think about these KTM/Husky and Beta model street legal dirt bikes as any street legal machine that you will mod for hardcore use.....say if you bought a "offroad" model pick up truck...if you really want to pound the baja cali with it you need to remove stuff and add stuff.

what you buy off the floor  is a regulation compliant vehicle, if you want it to be the race version.....you gotta drop some cash to make it so. Example: When, I mean if, I go to the FE501...she will need quite a lot of $$ thrown at it for my taste, to be a "real" 501 for off road hammering, with a license plate. high dollar stuff includes suspension mod, ignition ECU, and at least a slip on muffler...add all the other blu anodized bling, Flexxbars, footpegs, TMD  , seat etc etc and you are seeing dang near 3k or more in add ons. That's just the nature of the game.

We are still in the bargain basement for such robust vehicles, we are way in the cheap side of the offroad capable spectrum even at 15k for a fully loaded (race level) street legal dirtbike

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Robert. I’m at least 4K ito my KTM 500 but damn it’s good now. 

Worth it to me. 

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I was kind of surprised to read this in the article:

After that you get into a gray area that varies state by state, but in most cases motor modification will make these bikes into closed-course competition vehicles. If you go down that road, both bikes could benefit from a piggyback fuel modifier like the one from JD Jetting, particularly the Beta.

I was under the impression that the Beta's didn't need JD Tuners, modified ECU's, remapping. I thought they didn't need that kind of thing because of the relaxed restrictions on the Beta's.

Maybe just the new ones?

Any of the Beta fuel injected folks here had to do tuners or ECU mods? And of course ....if you did...the bike would ONLY be ridden on a closed course.

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37 minutes ago, amgems said:

I was kind of surprised to read this in the article:

After that you get into a gray area that varies state by state, but in most cases motor modification will make these bikes into closed-course competition vehicles. If you go down that road, both bikes could benefit from a piggyback fuel modifier like the one from JD Jetting, particularly the Beta.

I was under the impression that the Beta's didn't need JD Tuners, modified ECU's, remapping. I thought they didn't need that kind of thing because of the relaxed restrictions on the Beta's.

Maybe just the new ones?

Any of the Beta fuel injected folks here had to do tuners or ECU mods? And of course ....if you did...the bike would ONLY be ridden on a closed course.

Even my Yamaha 450 benefited from a tuner. A lot  

Didn’t have to but...

 

 

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On ‎8‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 6:15 PM, dirt dame said:

Luckily,, a loose ground wire on the coil is what it turned out to be.  The bike is home this evening and ready to greet the weekend with me.

Check the ground wire from the battery to the frame, at the frame.  I think it was on Vans bike that we had that exact problem.  The connecter needed a washer under it to allow the bolt to cinch down tight enough to not work loose.  The battery has to stay connected for those bikes to run. 

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On ‎8‎/‎2‎/‎2018 at 6:33 PM, Cosmo said:

Check the ground wire from the battery to the frame, at the frame.  I think it was on Vans bike that we had that exact problem.  The connecter needed a washer under it to allow the bolt to cinch down tight enough to not work loose.  The battery has to stay connected for those bikes to run. 

Just being sure that you hooked the current path terminal lug directly to the circuit point (ground plane burnished point), the current path is on the flats. washers or spacers under the screw head or nut holding the lug, is no issue just keep the current path as clean and simple as possible, lug to chassis, lug to lug, etc.

We've Seen a few washers in between current path routes lately....worse thing its been on high current circuits installed with well intentions I hope, but lack of knowledge, added stainless steel washers are like resistors in the current path.

 CRES washers are about 40% higher in resistance than the tin over copper lugs we normally use. Nothing like adding a resistor into your circuit that likes to heat up under load and/ or create high resistance to ground . 

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6 hours ago, Bagstr said:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_resistivity_and_conductivity

Everything you wanted to know about about conductivity

Very cool.  Bought a multimeter and am trying to learn how to use it.  This stuff confuses the $%^# out of me!  I can see leaking water in a plumbing fitting but can't see electricity and it frustrates me!!!

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Basic DC circuit theory is "sort of" like plumbing. The electrons flow like water.

Here is a tutorial on DC theory I Googled up, There are tons of 'em on the internet.

https://www.electronics-tutorials.ws/dccircuits/dcp_1.html

It's interesting how this thread morphed into a discussion on electrical theory. With the bikes these days we do need to know a bit more about the sparky stuff.

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" electrons flow like water"    Is that a book title?

One thing to remember is this:  The electrons travel in a circle, they return to the source.  Without at good return connection, the electrons dead end and  no power us consumed.

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