Saying Goodbye to my 2016 Beta 500-RS - Issue #9

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Adam Chandler on Motorcycles
Saying Goodbye to my 2016 Beta 500-RS - Issue #9
By Adam Chandler • Issue #9 • View online
July 11th, 2018 is the day a guy in southern New Hampshire posted a Beta for sale. These don’t come up for sale on the used market often and while I was going to purchase a KTM since there were more used out there, the connection I had with Beta started a year earlier at Dirt Daze Rally in New York when Gary from Barnstormers was running the Beta Demo Truck and I sat on a few of his bikes. Everything just felt fantastic and I loved the color scheme and I particularly loved that it wasn’t a KTM.
When Rob posted up his Beta for sale, the description was as follows:

2016 500 RS for sale. 1,381 miles. Only used for commuting. 95% pavement, 5% dirt roads. Never seen a trail its life. It included about $2000 in modifications on the bike or in a box un-used.
1st Ride Home
1st Ride Home
I was first to send a message and while many other people were piling on making offers, I was first. A week later, I picked up the bike and rode it home.
Sitting next to the GSA
Sitting next to the GSA
Quite a size difference
Quite a size difference
I moved the Beta into the garage because I was leaving for my Trans-Labrador ride on my GS so the modifications didn’t begin until I got back from that ride, 2 weeks later. It wasn’t until September 18th that I actually started riding the bike. After that experience, I swore to never buy a motorcycle in the Summer again. Fall/Winter is the only time to buy a bike. The bike was modified for pretty much all of the best riding months.
1st set of modifications complete
1st set of modifications complete
It was the week after my Beta was completed, that I totaled my R1200GS Adventure Triple Black and I was down to just one motorcycle.
1st off-Road weekend overnight
1st off-Road weekend overnight
2019 and 2020 were great years for the Beta and our adventures. In total, I put an additional 100 hours on the bike since purchase and about 2000 miles but the speed sensor stopped working so that figure isn’t accurate. The bike never consumed oil or had any issues until October 2020 when it finally stranded me but the valves were always in spec and any issues I had were always attributed to the previous owner where one of the 2 guys who owned it before me didn’t own a torque wrench or keep their fingers steady when screwing in a drain plug or fill and cross-threading things. I fixed this over time but it was always a small annoyance.
On the Hampster with Friends
On the Hampster with Friends
2nd set of modifications complete (Spring, 2019)
2nd set of modifications complete (Spring, 2019)
Dirt Daze 2019
Dirt Daze 2019
Full Exhaust + Tuning
Full Exhaust + Tuning
The last set of modifications I did was in Spring of 2020 when I added a full FMF exhaust + header to the motorcycle and of course replenished all of the fluids and put a brand new chain & sprocket on the bike.
Northeast Kingdom weekend with the guys (May, 2020)
Northeast Kingdom weekend with the guys (May, 2020)
The last day riding the Beta was in October of 2020. I took the bike with a new local rider on a CRF450L. We were doing some Class IV roads and had a blast. The bike was running great as always, so much power, so nimble and it literally goes anywhere I point the front wheel. That was seriously a great day. I’m glad I have a YouTube channel to sort of have these memories in mind forever.
KTM Six Days, CRF450L + Beta 500
KTM Six Days, CRF450L + Beta 500
Stranded
Stranded
…then I went out solo for a day of off-road riding in November and the bike stranded me. It started the day with a dead battery which I charged up. Then the clutch feel was gone and I came back to the house an hour later and topped off the DOT 4 fluid and headed back out. The clutch feel disintegrated again and then the bike wouldn’t re-start.
Beta USA replaced the wiring harness for free and the battery even though the bike was out of warranty citing this as a known issue that the wiring harnesses were faulty in this model year. Then, we took off the clutch slave cylinder and noticed the Rekluse gasket had failed so that was replaced as well along with a new horn.
The service was completed alongside me having the bike up for sale on ADVRider. I listed it for $7,000 offers, received over 30 private messages about it and finally, a user from Utah committed to buying it after he discussed the bike’s history with my dealer.
I spent $6,900 on the bike originally, put about $1200 in service into it and another $3500 in modifications and I sold it for $7,000 just under 3 years later. No, I didn’t break even but the next user is getting a truly amazing bike.
Part of the sale comes down to the emotional break that happens when a bike strands me, another part comes down to my riding style and the Beta being too much bike for me. I can’t ride it to the fullest capabilities and I want to do longer trip and the Beta is more at home on day trips.
The next owner is getting one Hell of a bike and it won’t depreciate much at this point if well taken care of. It may need a top end at 300-400 hours if he doesn’t race it but the clutch is in great shape and the drive is all brand new, new exhaust, tires and tubes.
If I had the space for it to just sit, I’d keep it but I don’t so off it goes. I will own another Beta motorcycle some day, probably an X-Trainer or 2-Stroke but until then, this bike has a lot of memories and I’m going to miss it.
The last photo I have of the bike as it was trailered to New York for service
The last photo I have of the bike as it was trailered to New York for service
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Adam Chandler

This is my weekly ramblings about motorcycling. For the most part, these will be editorials you will have seen in regional and national motorcycle publications or longer posts and ride-reports as seen on ADVRider.com. Occasionally, I will post content here that is exclusive to paid subscribers and eventually be made free for all. Thank you.

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