Beta Motor has officially entered the 450 Motocross market with its brand-new offering—the Beta 450 RX in 2024. The 450RX has been in the MXGP circuit for the past few seasons.
Beta Motors will now have the bike available for general consumers in the Australian and worldwide market from early 2024.
Beta Motorcycles Australia has secured one of the limited pre-production 450RX models for testing, and Fullnoise had the privilege of participating in the media introduction. The 450RX is a brand-new motorcycle for Beta, designed from scratch with a primary emphasis on motocross track performance. The Beta Motors team is dedicated to advancing its “rideability” tagline and taking it to new heights in the motocross realm with the 450RX project.
Beta Motors has undertaken a comprehensive ground-up build, drawing upon its extensive knowledge of motorcycle design and the challenges faced on MXGP tracks in recent seasons. This effort aims to elevate their performance across all facets, beginning with the frame of the 450RX. In direct comparison, the frame of the 450RX exhibits significantly greater robustness than Beta’s current 300RX 2-stroke, the only other motocross bike in its lineup. This heightened sturdiness is particularly evident in the main spar. When out on the track, the 450RX, laden with the additional weight and inertia of the 4-stroke motor, delivers a more stable and planted feel compared to its 300RX counterpart.
The subframe has also been redesigned. for the 450RX the subframe is nothing like previous Beta models with its plastic composite subframes. The 450RX has a more traditional aluminium subframe and a 3-piece rear guard set up to improve the feel of the bike, along with improved airflow into the new airbox to allow the 450RX to have a stronger power delivery than the Beta Motors enduro ranges.
While the front plastics maintain consistency with the recently revamped RR models, the rear end undergoes a complete redesign, presenting a fresh and streamlined appearance. Additionally, the fuel tank sees a notable update, featuring a reduced overall size compared to other Beta models and boasting a 7-litre capacity.
The engine draws inspiration from MXGP competition, featuring a direct overhead cam with finger followers. With a five-speed setup, the gearbox is geared for performance. Notable improvements include an entirely new crankshaft, countershaft, cylinder, piston, and timing system, resulting in a 13.5:1 compression ratio. The diaphragm clutch offers three adjustable positions, enhancing rider customization. The bar pad hosts two engine maps, catering to both dry and wet conditions. With a total of four traction control options spanning the two maps, Beta Motors signals an exciting debut in the Motocross 4-stroke market.
Some other notable components on the 450RX. KYB suspension front and rear, Excel rims, Beta black Alloy foot pegs that are quite beefy for a stock peg, Nissin braking components, Maxxis Tyres are standard on the production models, Red anodised dual material rear sprocket and other anodised bolt-on parts across the bike as standard.
So how was the Beta 450RX on-track performance?
It was a scorching hot day in Lismore where we were able to try out the new 450. Not great conditions for rider or bike to turn lots of laps but we both put our best foot forward and survived the heat.
The KYB suspension that comes standard and is a bit of a cornerstone component these days across many bike brands gives you a familiar feel for anyone with KYB components already. The bike does sit in that very US position of a lower rear end and a higher front stock. But one thing to keep in mind with any new bike is that personalisation of settings and feel is easily achieved with a few simple tools to adjust fork height, sag settings and bar position.
The overall ergonomics of the bike is similar across previous Beta Motors models. The rider triangle measured slightly larger than the 300RX in general. Outside of a taller seat position on the 450RX and a slightly wider mid seat (think where your legs grip). These measurements lead me to believe that a larger frame rider would be more comfortable on this model.
On track, the bike has a planted feel in a straight line. the motor feels low in the frame and the are no concerns about any vibration in the hands or feet. The motor does its thing without being noticed at those typical feedback points which is a great thing.
On the power. It’s a 450. The motor has that low-end torque and simple delivery approach that the majority of consumers will feel comfortable with. Is it the fastest 450 I’ve ever been on? No. Its power fits the company’s line. Rideability is definitely how I would describe the 450RX’s motor.
Now, comparing across the Beta Motcorss range. The 300RX was available for us to make a comparison to the 450RX on the private track in Lismore. Unlike the 450RX. The 300RX is what we might call a build-on from model. Where it has been built on from the RR models to make the first RX model.
The 300RX has a larger tank, and the composite subframe and the main frame spar are much smaller than the 450RX. things that you can notice are different between the two models when on track on top of the bike. The 300RX is not as connected with the ground as the 450RX. A bit narrower to grip up at the seat height but a bit wider down around the lower tank areas when putting a leg out for a corner. Comparing motors is a pointless game 450 4-stroke to 300 2-stroke. But I’ve been a 300 rider for a while now. The 300RX had a familiar feel just in a motocross setting.
So how would you make your decision in the Beta RX range?
For a competitive rider looking to race club events and higher. The 450RX is where you want to be. The power. The frame. The ergo’s. Make this bike the option for you.
But if you are a vet rider not worried about a race win at every moto. Want to enjoy your track time and you’re maybe not built to hold onto a 450 for a full day of Moto? Want to be able to work on your own bike to save some money? The 300RX is the bike for you with its carby, strong power, and KYB suspension. The 300RX will give you everything you can handle.
The Beta Motors 450RX is available to pre-order and is expected to be on floors in Australian Dealers at some point in early 2024. Retailing from $14495 with a customised stand, and four different throttle pulleys to help you customise your throttle response.
To hear a bit more about the Beta Motors media day. Tune in to the Always Moto podcast to hear directly from David Hogan on his day, his feelings about the bike and more.