2022 Beta 200 RR Review [Off-Road Motorcycle Test]

I guess I’m a tweener, and that makes it hard for me to settle on the kind of dirt bike I think works best for me. I enjoy the power of DOHC 250cc four-strokes, yet milder 250 and 300 four-stroke trail bikes are so much fun to ride hard. However, in both cases, the four-strokes make for heavy dirt bikes. When you add in the height of high-performance 250s, my 115-pound chassis starts to get overwhelmed. Perhaps that’s why I also like small-displacement two-strokes. They have enough power to haul me around, the high-quality suspension that can handle rough terrain at high speeds, and a whole lot less weight. That brings me to the 2022 Beta 200 RR.2022 Beta 200 RR Review: For SaleEditor Don Williams and Associate Editor Jess McKinley were fairly hard on the last Beta 200 RR we tested back in 2019. Neither of them was thrilled with the Sachs ZF suspension, and they weren’t shy about it. Well, the 2022 Beta 200 RR is still outfitted with Sachs suspension, but the valving has been reworked at the Beta factory for 2022 to reduce the harsh feel. So I cleared my cache and went into this test with an open mind.I split testing time between the desert and the mountains. The desert provided high-speed slaloms between creosote bushes, plenty of deep sand, big hillclimbs, and technical trails through some of the rockiest terrain around. The mountains swapped between tricky single-track and fast sprints down dirt roads. That’s my idea of a fun motorcycle test.Let’s start with the mountains, as that’s the natural habitat for a 200cc light-equipped enduro bike such as the 2022 Beta 200 RR.2022 Beta 200 RR Review: Power ModesThe Beta 200 RR’s two-stroke motor power delivery can be adjusted in two ways—the easy way and the harder way. There’s a switch on the tank, just above the filler cap, that lets you choose between two power modes—Sun and Rain. That’s the easy way, even though it would be even better if it used one of the unused switches on the left handlebar—I’m not adding turn indicators. The more difficult adjustment is to the power valve, which means you’re off the RR and pulling out tools. On-the-fly adjustments are easier and certainly more useful on changing terrain. I made liberal use of this option on the mountain trails.Although the 2022 Beta 200 RR isn’t fuel-injected, the power modes are different enough to make a significant difference. After some experimenting, it was clear when to use each mode—and not really a surprise.When riding on single track, I rely on low-rpm torque rather than high revs to get me down the trail smoothly. The Rain mode makes the most of the 190cc motor’s grunt, such as it is. The power delivery is smooth, allowing me to focus on the terrain rather than managing the power. The six-speed transmission has well-thought-out gear ratios. With the wide spread of power in Rain mode, the motor never falls off the pipe.2022 Beta 200 RR Review: MSRPThe chassis weighs just 229 pounds with the 2.5-gallon fuel tank filled up. Along with the lack of flywheel inertia from the two-stroke motor, the 2022 Beta 200 RR is wonderfully agile. Just as the engine doesn’t overpower me, leaving me to ride my best, neither does the chassis intimidate. I can throw the 200 around confidently, and let it move underneath me without worry that it will get away.While the Sachs suspension isn’t up to the level of, say, the Yamaha WR250F’s KYB units, the ZF components aren’t bad. Beta has tried to make them plusher, but they still have a ways to go. Of course, given my light weight, lighter springs certainly wouldn’t hurt. Still, the action isn’t as smooth as other brands. Again, it’s not bad, and I’m not complaining like Don and Jess did about the 2019, but there is room for improvement.There’s no questioning the weight and chassis of the 200 RR. It’s fun to flick around on the trails, and it does nothing but inspire confidence. Also, the 200 doesn’t fatigue me the way a heavier four-stroke can, especially when the trails get difficult. The light feel of the motor plays into that. As much as I like the grunt of a 250cc four-stroke, this 190cc two-stroke motor’s zippy feel requires less physical effort to ride, even if it means I have to be a bit more aggressive on the throttle.2022 Beta 200 RR Review: Two-stroke motorOnce I get to the dirt roads, the 2022 Beta 200 RR’s already-high fun factor clicks up a gear as I hit the switch and move into Sun mode. I let the two-stroke motor sing, so the relative lack of responsiveness at the lowest rpm never comes into play. The hit doesn’t hit often, as I’m keeping the revs above the transition into the powerband.Accelerating down the dirt roads and trying to keep my faster-riding partners in sight, I did appreciate the predictability of the Metzeler MCE 6 Days Extreme tires. The short knobs don’t distort much, so the feel for the road is excellent. I can get on the gas without any surprises, and that means more confidence and higher speeds.The tires were fine on the trails, with the side knobs working well for cornering and the front tire aiding in effective braking. The 140mm width might seem daunting, but the short knobs make it work, so the front end of the Beta sticks nicely in turns with minimal weight transfer. Of course, the RR prefers bermed corners, but don’t we all?2022 Beta 200 RR Review: Dirt bikeHeading out to the desert, bermed corners are much less frequent. While it’s certainly not the natural habitat of the 2022 Beta 200 RR, there is plenty of fun to be had.Riding cross-country and dodging bushes is fantastic. With the power mode in the Sun position, the motor spins up fast, and that satisfying two-stroke score accompanies my sprint. Steering with the rear is the preferred method of riding, though steering with the front Metzeler works.Due to the constant changes in speeds and conditions, the six-speed transmission and hydraulically actuated clutch get a great workout, and neither disappoints. Again, the gear ratios match the power delivery, so all is well.2022 Beta 200 RR Review: PriceThe Sachs ZF suspension works quite well at desert speeds. Although it’s not a flying carpet, the ride is controlled and predictable, absorbing unexpected hits nicely. Whenever needed, the light front end can be lifted through whoops and over washouts, unless I’ve let the revs drop too low—rarely an issue. When it comes time to get air, the 200 loves to fly.The Metzelers aren’t the best for the sand, but their lack of absolute traction makes it easier to spin the 200’s motor up and stay in the meat of the powerband. All that’s needed is a willing throttle hand.When an open dirt road appears, the Beta 200 RR’s smaller engine reveals its limitations. We’ve had a long-term Honda CRF450X, and there’s simply no way to keep up with it on a fast, smooth dirt road. With a top speed of 60 mph or so, fast sections get old fast. The 200 prefers changing direction.2022 Beta 200 RR Review: Trail bikeRiders unfamiliar with the desert may not know that the terrain can be very rocky unexpectedly, and that may be mixed in with talc or sand. When those conditions appear, I flick the power mode switch into Rain to make it easier to work through the rough stuff. The fork takes care of its business, and the shock helps keep the rear rubber on the ground. Although the low-profile knobs of the Metzelers can struggle in the sandwashes and silt, the light weight of the 2022 Beta 200 RR is a saving grace, again.Hillclimbs in the desert are always fun. They range from smooth monumental ascents, to tricky climbs through a challenging mix of rocks, sand, and silt. I assess the hillclimb and choose the power mode accordingly. If it’s a smooth run, the Sun comes out. Should it look like the revs might be dropping, I tap the Rain mode. As long as I’m on my toes, the 200 RR responds.2022 Beta 200 RR Review: Racing motorcycleWe had the 2022 Beta 200 RR for a good run, and only the battery, which died a premature death, disappointed us—a kickstarter is optional. With a strong battery, the 200 fires up every time, though you want to wait until it’s fully warmed up before turning off the choke and heading out. The oil injection simplifies fueling if your friends are on four-strokes, and the little motor only sips out of the 650cc oil tank. Beta lets you add the handguards of your choice, so I missed the protection on the test bike. Ouch. Oh, and when I fell in the sand, the beautiful expansion chamber managed to find the only rock within sight and was mangled.When it comes time to pick my favorite off-road motorcycle, I’m always perplexed. I love the ease of use of the Kawasaki KLX230R S with its low seat height, yet the power and the suspension of the Yamaha WR250F are seductive. I spent a lot of time in the desert on the Honda CRF450X, which is incredibly fun. The 2022 Beta 200 RR is a step in yet another direction, and one I quite like. Weight matters, and the Beta doesn’t have it; plus, the motor is in my sweet spot for power. As author Rick Riordan wrote in The Throne of Fire, “The right choice is hardly ever the easy choice.”Photography by Don WilliamsRIDING STYLE 2022 Beta 200 RR SpecsENGINE

  • Type: Single-cylinder 2-stroke
  • Displacement: 190cc
  • Bore x stroke: 62 x 63mm
  • Compression ratio: 13.5:1
  • Induction: Case reed
  • Fueling: Keihin 36mm PWK
  • Exhaust: Power valve w/ expansion chamber
  • Starting: Electric (kickstarter optional)
  • Lubrication: Electronic oil injection
  • Transmission: 6-speed
  • Clutch: Wet multi-disc
  • Final drive: O-ring chain


  • Frame: Double-cradle chromoly steel
  • Front suspension; travel: Fully adjustable 48mm inverted Sachs ZF open cartridge fork; 11.6 inches
  • Rear suspension; travel: Linkage assisted fully adjustable Sachs ZF shock; 11.4 inches
  • Tires: Metzeler MCE 6 Days Extreme
  • Front tire: 90/90 x 21
  • Rear tire: 140/80 x 18
  • Front brake: 260mm floating rotor w/ 4-piston Nissin caliper
  • Rear brake: 240mm rotor w/ 2-piston Nissin caliper


  • Wheelbase: 58.1 inches
  • Seat height: 36.6 inches
  • Ground clearance: 12.8 inches
  • Fuel tank capacity: 2.5 gallons
  • Wet weight: 229 pounds

2022 Beta 200 RR Price: $8999 MSRP

2022 Beta 200 RR Review Photo Gallery


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