2023 Beta 300 RR Review [Single-Track to Desert Test]

If there’s ever been a cheater motor for trail riding, it’s a modern 300-class two-stroke. Rather than being rip snorting beasts, they are torque monsters that make it easy to ride anywhere at a wide variety of speeds. Updates are few for the 2023 Beta 300 RR, limited to new fork internals and narrower radiator shrouds sporting updated graphics, but that’s enough for us to get back on the 36.6-inch high seat. Testing the 2023 Beta 300 RR on everything from technical mountain trails to slaloming at high speed through the Mojave Desert revealed its many strengths, and a few weaknesses.

2023 Beta 300 RR Review: For Sale

The core of the success of the Beta 300 RR is its 293cc case-induction two-stroke motor. It features two power modes, a counterbalancer, oil injection, electric starting, and an adjustable power valve. The only item missing on our wish list is EFI, though it is difficult to complain about the fueling of the 36mm Keihin PWK semi-flat slide carburetor.

Although being carbureted limits the effectiveness of the power modes—Sun and Rain—the two settings are unarguably distinctive. The Rain mode pads the throttle response down noticeably, while the Sun mode lets things happen fast enough to remind you that you’re on an open-class two-stroke.

It was easy to determine when to switch modes. In technical conditions, put it in Rain. Everywhere else, just let it fly in Sun mode. Even when we didn’t remember to click out of the Sun mode when things got ultra-rocky or the trail tight and narrow, the 2023 Beta 300 RR remains manageable. Still, the Rain mode earns its keep in those challenging low-speed situations.

2023 Beta 300 RR Review: Power Modes

While the Sun mode is the high-performance setting, the 300 RR remains all about the midrange. There’s tons of overrev that you don’t need. If the motor is anywhere near screaming, shift up. The six-speed transmission worked flawlessly, as did the diaphragm-spring style clutch with buttery and consistent hydraulic actuation. We coaxed 80 mph out of the Beta—GPS confirmed—on a high-quality dirt road in California City. However, that taps out the counterbalancer’s capabilities, and the Beta is buzzing.

In the desert, the 2023 Beta 300 RR is magic when blazing new trails across wide-open valleys. Dodging creosote bushes couldn’t be easier, thanks to the nimble geometry and 243-pound weight with the 2.5-gallon fuel tank filled with pure gasoline—remember, you put the two-stroke oil in the oil injector tank under the seat.

Should you pick the wrong line and have to slow down quickly, the Nissin calipers work flawlessly and intuitively with the Galfer discs, front and back. If you’re not in a hurry, you don’t even need to downshift to get back up to speed. Still, if a friend is disappearing in the distance, a click or two down on the shift lever does the job. The motor is incredibly forgiving, and doesn’t require an expert hand.

2023 Beta 300 RR Review: Sachs Suspenion

Beta does provide for manual adjustment of the power valve. Our testing covered a broad range of terrain and with different riders aboard. Because adjustment requires getting off the bike and breaking out a tool, we stuck with the standard position.

The two power modes bring enough flexibility to satisfy everyone who got on the saddle. Regardless, an electronically adjustable power valve would be fantastic to have, though probably fairly complex to implement. No one liked that the power mode button is mounted on the frame near the steering head—we all would prefer a button on the left handlebar for fast switching. Beta tells us that racers don’t want it there. If that’s the case, don’t move it on the Beta 300 RR Race, but give us the convenience on this standard trailbike version.

When venturing into the mountains and taking on high-risk single-track trails, where an off-trail excursion could be catastrophic, I was thankful for the Rain mode. It pads things down, so I can ride more confidently. When the trail gets rough or the traction sketchy, the Rain mode is fantastic, and there’s still plenty of power to take on steep grades along the way—hey, it’s a 300-class two-stroke. In any gear at almost any speed, it’s easy to loft the front wheel over obstacles as needed, another reason to love the motor.

2023 Beta 300 RR Review: MSRP

The 2023 Beta 300 RR has geometry well-suited to the sweet motor. Agility is favored over stability, though not excessively. When you’re topping out in 6th gear, you’ll be wishing for a steering damper, certainly. The rest of the time, you’ll love how you can throw the RR around.

The front end sticks nicely on trails in various levels of maintenance. Mounted on Excel rims, you’ll find competent FIM-approved Maxxis MaxxEnduro rubber. Americans will want to instantly upgrade to something with taller knobs. In all conditions, we could put the Beta where we wanted it to be, though the tires didn’t offer the confidence we’d like to feel.

Beta sticks with Sachs suspension on its non-Race models, which we aren’t excited about. Yes, the front end is improved this year, though it’s still far from exceptional. We often had a 2023 Kawasaki KX250X along on test rides, and the KYB units on the KX are far superior. Note that the 300 RR Race gets KYB suspension, so there you go. The Sachs suspension is soft without being plush. Better action is what we’re looking for, rather than simply firmer damping.

2023 Beta 300 RR Review: Price

Beta’s Build Your Own Beta (BYOB) program allows various levels of suspension upgrades, all the way up to Öhlins units (just add $4290 to the MSRP). If we were buying a 300 RR, we’d look into the Factory package for $1327, which includes USA-designed factory valving. If your budget is tapped out by the 2023 Beta 300 RR’s $9899 price tag, you will still have usable suspension, but know that it could be noticeably better.

As good as the 300 RR felt almost everywhere we rode, no one liked the desert volcanic rock gardens. It was more of a two-stroke vs. four-stroke thing, as the Beta felt skittery, even in the Rain mode. In contrast, whatever four-stroke we had tracked much more confidently through this unpredictable terrain. As much as we still love all the advantages of a two-stroke, the rapid-fire power delivery does have a few places where it can’t match a thumper. Pretty much everywhere else, the ring-ding gave us nothing to complain about.

Ergonomically, the 2023 Beta 300 RR feels fantastic. Although we didn’t have a ’22 handy to compare the new radiator shrouds, we love the narrow feel of the plastic. The seat is Euro-hard. The longer you ride, the less comfortable it feels. The more you stand up, the more you’ll appreciate the seat’s unobtrusiveness. The 300 RR is easy to move around on, and the footpegs provide a good platform. The grips and handlebar are excellent; your hands will notice a lack of protection. The plastic skidplate is decent. As per tradition, the Arrow expansion chamber is just waiting to be dented by a rock.

2023 Beta 300 RR Review: Two-stroke motorcycle

As we’re in California and not Arizona, we’re not fans of the street-bike switchgear, though the horn is fun. Perhaps Beta can convert the turn signal switch to a power mode selector. An LCD dash delivers various bits of info, with your speed being in the largest numbers, followed by time and odometer—all good.

The 2023 Beta 300 RR is a great trail bike, buoyed by a superb motor and wonderful handling. Although more demanding riders will have to do some suspension work, everyone can appreciate the basic 300 RR package. The Beta BYOB program gives you countless personalization options—a great feature. The Italian-red RR looks cool in the back of the truck, and backs that up with plenty of fun to be had at your destination, regardless of what sort of terrain awaits.

Photography by Kelly Callan 


  • Helmet: Alpinestars SM5
  • Goggles: EKS Brand EKS-S
  • Pants + Jersey: Alpinestars Fluid Narin
  • Gloves: Alpinestars Full Bore
  • Body armor: Alpinestars Bionic Pro V2
  • Knee braces: Alpinestars Bionic-10 Carbon
  • Socks: Fly Racing Knee Brace
  • Boots: Alpinestars Tech 7 Enduro

2023 Beta 300 RR Specs


  • Type: Single-cylinder 2-stroke w/ counterbalancer
  • Displacement: 293cc
  • Bore x stroke: 73 x 69.9mm
  • Compression ratio: 11.6:1
  • Induction: Case reed
  • Fueling: Keihin 36mm PWK
  • Exhaust: Adjustable power valve w/ Arrow expansion chamber
  • Starting: Electric (kickstarter optional)
  • Lubrication: Electronic oil injection
  • Transmission: 6-speed
  • Clutch: Hydraulically actuated wet-multiplate w/ diaphragm-style spring
  • Final drive: O-ring chain


  • Frame: Double-cradle chromoly steel
  • Front suspension; travel: Fully adjustable Sachs Open Cartridge inverted 48mm fork; 11.6 inches
  • Rear suspension; travel: Linkage-assisted fully adjustable Sachs ZF piggyback-reservoir shock; 11.4 inches
  • Rims: Excel Takasago
  • Tires: Maxxis MaxxEnduro
  • Front tire: 90/90 x 21
  • Rear tire: 140/80 x 18
  • Front brake: 260mm Galfer rotor w/ 4-piston Nissin caliper
  • Rear brake: 240mm Galfer rotor w/ 2-piston Nissin caliper


  • Wheelbase: 58.3 inches
  • Seat height: 36.6 inches
  • Ground clearance: 12.6 inches
  • Fuel tank capacity: 2.5 gallons
  • Wet weight: 243 pounds

2023 Beta 300 RR Price: $9899 MSRP

2023 Beta 300 RR Review Photo Gallery