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250 GRAND PRIX SHOCKER

Ryan Hughes won the second moto of the Spanish 250 Grand Prix, but was not allowed to start the first moto after failing to get his bike into the pre-race impound area 15-minutes before the start of the race. Under FIM rules a rider’s bike must be in the parc ferme or the rider is excluded from the moto.  So who won if Ryan didn’t. Gordon Crockard! Who? Gordon Crockard! Who? Enough already! Irish Honda rider Gordon Crockard went 1-4 to win the first 250 Grand Prix of the year (and his first ever GP …

NO SHOCK AT THE 500 GP

Joel Smets dominated the Australian 500cc GP opener as expected. Smets, now mounted on a KTM (instead of his traditional Husaberg), won both motos handily beating Yamaha mounted Marnicq Bervoets (2-3). Darrell King (6-2) was third, Local hero Andrew McFarlane (3-9) fourth, current 500 World Champion Andrea Bartolini (7-4) fifth and vacationing (from the AMA Supercross series) Shayne King (5-7) was sixth.

2001 SUZUKI RM125!

Want to know what next year’s RM’s will look like (about six months before they release them)? Look no further. The 2001 RM’s will feature a totally new gas tank, new radiator wings, side panels, fender and front number plate. Insiders report that Kayaba will get the suspension contract for the 2001 RM250, but MXA’s spy photos reveal Showas on the 2001 RM125. Look for an external water pump, which will require new cases on both the 125 and 250. The 2001 engine is totally redesigned. The most noticeable …

FOOLPROOF STARTING TIPS FOR YZ-F OWNERS

There is no doubt that the Yamaha YZ-F will encourage lots of new riders into the four-stroke fold. The rite of passage for any neophyte four-stroke rider is starting one of the beasts. The golden rule–tattoo this on your forehead is: “Thou shall not touch the throttle at any time during the starting process.”  If you are smart, you will do exactly what we tell you. If you’re not smart…good luck.  Step one: With the transmission in neutral, turn the gas on and pull the choke out.  Step…

TO GEAR UP OR TO GEAR DOWN….THAT IS THE QUESTION

Early last year, when the manufacturers first started testing the ’00s, the bikes were run by many different skilled riders on secret courses throughout the world. The end result is that the gearing on your bike is a compromise ratio that is best suited the entire group of test riders. As soon as the bike is taken out of its element of average conditions–either by rider style, terrain conditions, track design or engine tune–the gearing might no longer be able to effectively hook the engine up to the g…

JEFF WARD’S FABULOUS DAY AT INDY!

click picture to make bigger Former 80cc, 125cc, 250cc, 500cc and Supercross Champion Jeff Ward Finished fourth at the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday. Ward, who started sixth in the 500 mile race, moved into third at the halfway point and was never out of the top five for the rest of the day. At several points during the later half of the race, Jeff was in second place, behind eventual winner Juan Montoya. With ten laps to go, while running third, Jeff was blocked momentarily by a lapped car and lost his dr…

CARMICHAEL WINS HIS FIRST!

 This year’s Daytona Supercross might well be remembered as a watershed moment in Supercross history. The younger generation, as represented by Ricky Carmichael in the 250 class and personable Travis Pastrana in the 125 class, held sway in the white sands of the Daytona infield. It was the first major win for both riders and has thrown a wrench into the prognostication of the upcoming AMA 125/250 National Championships. Carmichaels win at Daytona moves him to the head of the chart as a favorite for…

2000 MOTOCROSS GUIDE!

125cc MOTOCROSS BIKES Brand: Yamaha Model: YZ125 Suggested retail: $4899 1. Motor changed to deliver more mid range and over-rev 2. Exhaust port enlarged 3. YPVS valve enlarged 2mm to 29.3mm 4. Ignition timing and carburetor setting is changed 5. Drive axle spline changed from hexagonal to involute to improve shifting (YZ400 style) 6. Gearbox stopper lever has upgraded bearing and design for smoother shifting 7. Clutch pressure plate totally redesigned 8. Rear frame is 10mm lower 9. Rear frame is now al…

RACE RUMORS, INSIDER INNUENDO & BLATANT BALDERDASH

  WORLD VINTAGE CHAMPIONSHIP The World Vintage Championship will be held on June 24th and 25th at Glen Helen raceway in San Bernardino, California. The event will be sponsored by Yamaha and hosted by Vintage Iron. Last year’s event was a major success with Ron Lechien, Gary Jones, Mike Bell, Rex Staten and Scott Burnworth racing. This year, Bruce McDougal, Bob Hannah, Danny LaPorte, Marty Moates and Broc Glover are also expected.  During the two-day events, there will be a special three moto ev…

ON THE DISABLED LIST

Greg Albertyn: Greg’s chances of defending his 1999 250 National Championship were seriously damaged when he broke his femur in practice at the Atlanta Supercross. Greg claims he will be ready to race the first National at Glen Helen.    Donovan Mitchell: The young California rider had just signed his first pro contract with Team KTM (for the 125 Supercross series) when he was injured in a 15 bike pile-up at the December Day in the Dirt Grand Prix. Mitchell, Ernesto Fonseca and Rodrig Thain we…

JIMMY BUTTON WALKS

During his rehabilitation at an Arizona medical facility, Jimmy Button, who was injured at the San Diego Supercross, was able to walk with the aid of a walker. After Jimmy left the hospital, to move into his parent’s house in Arizona, he improved to the point that he can now walk unaided. This is great news and signals that Jimmy is on the road to full recovery.  Will Button race again? This is not a question that Jimmy has an answer for. There is little chance that he will return to action in the 2…

WHO’S RIDDEN THE MOST RACES

  If good judgment comes from experience and most experience is the result of poor judgment, then isn’t a long racing career like getting a trophy for casing doubles, missing berms and forgetting to turn the gas on? If that’s true then motocross is not a sport that anyone could engage in for a long time. By the time you learn all the mistakes, you have paid the price for them. The average American motocrossers races for less than five years before family, employment, education and wear-and-tear take…

AMA RULES YOU NEED TO KNOW

  What would happen if the AMA enforced all of its rules equally and with due diligence? Good question, but one that will never be answered. Have you ever read the AMA Motocross Rulebook? It’s light reading that will keep you in stitches for hours. The MXA wrecking crew spent a long road trip thumbing through its pages — looking for the steamy parts. Instead we found lots of AMA rules you need to know about. NO IV NEEDLES  “At no time during a meet will a rider receive any type of intravenous …

MXA’S MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ONE: WHO GETS TO BE AN MXA TEST RIDER? There are three levels of MXA test rider: (1) In house; (2) MXA Race Team; (3) Photo Session. “In house” test riders have been testing bikes for years. They have ridden virtually every bike made, including factory works bikes and high-dollar exotics. These are the most experienced test riders in the world, because unlike manufacturers test riders, they aren’t bound to one brand or one engine size. No MXA test bike is evaluated by any single rider but will be ridden…

THE 20-INCH TIRE REVOLUTION

Why are so many of the factory riders testing 20-inch front tires? Are they guinea pigs? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the new tire size? Is the 20-inch actually smaller than a 21-inch tire? Are consumers going to have to dig into their pockets to pony up for a 20-incher next year? What’s all the hype about?

RULES AND REGS OF LEGS

Have you ever seen the photo of Roger DeCoster at Carlsbad cranking his works Suzuki through the Mechanic’s Turn? It is an awesome depiction of motocross prowess. The Man has his bike laid down so far that the clutch lever is pushing dirt and his left leg looks like a snow ski carving through brown powder. “Foot out and sliding” is the epitome of motocross coolness, but it’s really not how a motocrosser’s legs should be used. Any rider can get away with using his leg as a prop, ski or tripod if the trac…

MXA’S SECRET JETTING SPECS, 2003 And Back

We can’t tell you how to jet your bike. It’s a big world out there (and we don’t know you all that well). However, we can tell you what jetting we run in the MXA test fleet. Take into account that we race in a Mediterranean climate, near sea level, within sight of palm trees and never far from a Double Latte. We also run fresh 92-octane gas, work on our bikes every week, clean the filters, change pistons and rings regularly, are alert to pinging and haven’t changed oil brands in over a decade. This is t…

WINDHAM’S STARTING SECRET

The hottest buzz in the pits is about Jeremy McGrath’s secret starting technique. Or was that Ricky Carmichael’s starting secret? Or could it be Kevin Windham’s? The MXA test crew first heard the rumors about the new technique from Alpinestars (the makers of Carmichael’s, Windham’s and McGrath’s boots). We laughed at the idea, but the Alpinestars rep showed us a knob built into the back of Alpinestars’s new Tech 6 and redesigned Tech 8 that is suppose to facilitate the tricky maneuver. We still doubted …

SECRETS OF BRAKING

Repeat this. You can only go as fast as you can stop. Motocross tracks have lots of low-speed corners, where the ability to slow the bike down quickly translates into getting it back up to speed when exiting the turn. Anyone can go fast on straightaways. Straights are one place where there is no difference between Jeremy McGrath and you. However, there is a big difference at the end of the straight. Jeremy can go faster longer and still make the turn-you have to coast. But, if you learn the secrets of b…

WAS TRAVIS PASTRANA PLAYING RUSSIAN ROULETTE?

One team manager called what Team Suzuki, the Pastrana family and Travis himself did in the second half of the 125 National Championships “child abuse.” That’s harsh, but Pastrana’s string of head injuries has made him the poster boy for Post-Concussion Syndrome (replacing Ezra Lusk). By most observer’s accounts, Travis Pastrana has suffered at least five concussions during the 2001 season-and that does not include ones that happened during mid-week practice sessions that went unreported. In the opinion…

DYNO DAZE: IS COLD GAS A SPEED SECRET

The gasoline in your bike is hot. Not when it burns, but as it sits. Exposed to direct sunlight, in a black gas tank or red gas can, premix can reach temperatures in excess of 100-degrees. Even at its best, your gasoline will have the same temperature as the outside air (on a 95-degree day that means 95-degrees). It has been proven in Formula 1, drag racing and airplanes that cold gas produces more power than warm gas. But, would motocross be different. The MXA wrecking crew went to the dyno to find out…

HOT BIKES AND HOT TEMPS!

Horsepower is heat. The spark plug fires 200 times per second. The piston approaches sonic speeds. The exhaust pipe hovers at the melting point of steel. The radiator water could poach an egg. The more power that a modern two-stroke engine makes the hotter it runs. Paradoxically, even though horsepower is heat, the cooler the engine the more power it will make. How can that be? It’s simple. Metals have melting, fatigue and expansion points that eventually bring the escalation of ponies to a screeching h…

DYNO DAZE: THE TRUTH ABOUT SPEED DENTS

Fate is a twisted gremlin lying in wait for you to feel good-and then it zaps you. Imagine that you just plunked down big bucks for a new exhaust pipe. You show up at the track with it looking good, sounding good and running good. All in all, it’s too good to be true. After practice, you are admiring your bike from the luxury of a lawn chair when you first spot it. A dent! A big dent! In your brand new $190 exhaust pipe. You scramble over to the remnants and rub your hand in the egg-shaped concave. A ro…

RACE FUEL FOR YOUR BODY

You’ve spent hours dialing in your bike for race day, all your gear is packed, and the cooler is stocked with goodies. Stop! Before you reach for Twinkies, sodas and chips, think about how many hours you spent measuring fork oil, bleeding brake fluid, flushing the radiator and mixing your secret ratio of oil and race fuel. Now is not the time to gum up the internal parts of the most important part of your racing machinery-your body.    A fast, good-handling and perfectly jetted bike won’t…

LEAD WITH YOUR FACE!

In the early days of motocross, riders kept their body weight as far back as humanly possible. Viewing old race footage reveals that some of the greatest stars of the sport sat on the rear fender and guided the bike around by the rear wheel. It wasn’t until the ’80s that riding styles began to change. Why did riders stay so far back for so long? The ergonomics of the bike demanded it. With limited suspension travel, riders from the early ’70s sought the safety of the driven rear wheel. As suspension tra…

BE FASTER BY NEXT WEEKEND

Have you stagnated? When was the last time your riding improved? What would you give to be faster by next weekend? Fret no more! The MXA wrecking crew offers you ten quick and easy ways to be faster before your next race. TIP ONE: THE JOHN FORCE APPROACH Too many riders patty-cake around a track. They think they are going fast, but they aren’t. How can you tell if you are a pantywaist rider? Take this simple test: When another rider tries to pass you, do you dig down deep, twist your right wrist and giv…

SHOULD EZRA LUSK BE BANNED?

Should Ezra Lusk be banned? That question was raised after Lusk was knocked unconscious at the ’99 Daytona Supercross. Lusk was out cold for one minute…….When you add in the fact that Ezra also rang his bell the week before at Dallas (even though he denies it), is it possible that Team Honda, the AMA and Pace are unknowingly allowing Lusk to endanger other riders and himself? Based on current medical knowledge, the answer is yes. Why should Ezra be forced to sit out a few races? Three reasons:…

BIRTHDAY’S OF THE STARS

JANUARY Jan. 1…Larry Brooks-’67 Jan. 2…James Dobb-’72 Jan. 3…Nathan Woods-’78 Jan. 4…Kelly Smith-’80 Jan. 6…Georges Jobe Jan. 8…Mike Craig-’69 Jan. 8…Shawn Wynne-’68 Jan. 11…David Pingree-’75 Jan. 13…Mike Kiedrowski-’69 Jan. 15…Austin Squires-’73 Jan. 15…Hakan Carlqvist Jan. 16…Ryan Mills-86 Jan. 17…Donny Schmit Jan. 21…Micky Dymond-’65 Jan. 23…Isiah Johnson-’79 Jan. 23…Kevin Crine-’74 FEBRUARY Feb. 3…Guennady Moisseev Feb. 5…Jimmy Lamastus-’79 Feb. 6…Tony DiStefano…

WHO SOLD OUT THE SUPERCROSS SERIES?

 It’s true. The Supercross series has been bought (at least 15 of the 16 rounds have been). What was the asking price? Would you believe $1.1 billion dollars? The buyer was Clear Channel Communications and the seller was SFX Entertainment (the parent company of Pace Motor Sports). Clear Channel owns approximately 700 radio stations and a large number of outdoor advertising venues (billboard companies).  According to CBS news, Clear Channel will pay off $1.1 billion in SFX debts and give SFX cla…