When In Rome...

John P Burns
by John P Burns
I recently moved to Italy on a change of orders in March of this year. I am enlisted in the U.S. Navy & am serving as a Law Enforcement Specialist. Upon my arrival in Italy, one of my first priorities was purchasing a means of transportation. As most of you know, almost every person in Italia owns a scooter. These things are everywhere. I was considering buying one, because I did not have a Class M license, which the military requires in order to ride motorcycles above 50cc. Then I came across a little Italian shop on the island of La Maddelena that sold Beta Enduro's.

For those of you who are not familiar with Beta, it is a subdivision of KTM. Their motorcycles & scooters are mainly sold in Europe. The Beta RR50 Enduro Racing model is the one that I purchased, for about 3000 euro ($2800). But what the military doesn't know is that the bike upgrades to 80cc without a bore job. All that has to be done is change the piston and casing, and add a larger carbuerator. To make a long story short, I upgraded to 80cc with a 21mm carb, and put carbon fiber reeds in it. Also installed were Dunlop Trailmax Enduro tires and racing spec rims. The bike comes standard with Paioli suspension, which is nice, and Pirelli tires, but I felt that the enduro's would handle better on the pavement (cobblestone). This is a great bike to own. It is street legal with lights, mirrors, and blinkers all stock. And for a 80cc, it hauls ass. I have raced it both on the street and the motocross track, and it will keep up with the Honda CR80, Yamaha YZ85, Aprilia RS50 (upgraded to 80cc), and even the Suzuki RM125!!! It handles great, mainly because of the Paioli adjustable suspension. The acceleration is great for a 2 stroke, and wheelies last forever (if you can master popping the clutch). In January, I plan to buy the new YZF-R6. Oh yeah, baby, thats right! So my Enduro will have to take a break for a couple months, because me and the R6 have a lot of catching up to do. But when I change duty stations & come back across the Atlantic to the homeland, you had better believe that the Italian Off-Roader is coming with me! I will be the envy of all my friends. This bike is not easy to find, and for that matter, KTM discontinued the 80cc conversion kit 2 months ago, so I have one of the few that are left. Functional, that is. Anyway, if you get a chance to go to Italy, stop by a little store in La Maddelena called Moto Vacanze and take one home with you. For 3 grand, you can't beat it. If anyone needs specs, or other info, please contact me at my provided e-mail address.

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John P Burns
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