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WE RIDE PRO-CIRCUIT’S RC REPLICA RM-Z450

    THANKS TO THE AMA PRODUCTION RULE, AS FEEBLY ENFORCED AS IT IS, MOST FACTORY RACE BIKES ARE FINELY TUNED VERSIONS OF SHOWROOM STOCKERS. What’s the difference between a works bike and a stock bike? Cubic dollars. Big bucks. Massive infusions of loot. Moolah. Filthy lucre. Greenbacks. What does all that cash buy? You probably think that it buys exotic one-off parts. Not true. Most of the trick parts on a modern works bike are obtainable on the open market. Thanks to the AMA production r…

WE RIDE PIONEER’S BIG-BORE SUZUKI RM-Z475

  NAMED AFTER THE EMBARRASSINGLY SHALLOW MTV SHOW, WHERE CELEBRITIES SHOW OFF THEIR  HOMES, SHOES, CARS AND SPAS, THE “CRIBS EFFECT” HAS SPREAD THROUGHOUT EVERY SOCIAL STRATA OF AMERICAN SOCIETY. Pssst! Wanna know a secret? Four-stroke buyers are bucks-up. They are better off financially than any group of motocross racers in the 35-year history of the sport. Suddenly, it appears as though everybody in America is rich?ostentatiously so. Modern racers are more than willing to spend beaucoup mone…

WE RIDE MB1/TOKYO MODS HONDA CRF450

  Einstein’s theory: Tokyo Mods’ engine formula is simple. Make the most power and make it right now. AS PART OF THE MXA FAITHFUL, YOU NO DOUBT REMEMBER THAT WE TESTED BOTH A STAND-ALONE MB1/TOKYO MODS HONDA CRF250 AND A CRF450 IN OUR INFAMOUS BLIND-TASTE-TEST PEPSI CHALLENGE. This isn’t the MXA wrecking crew’s first rodeo with the MB1 and Tokyo Mods boys. As part of the MXA faithful, you no doubt remember that we tested both a stand-alone MB1/Tokyo Mods Honda CRF250 and a CRF450 in our infamous bl…

2007 HONDA CRF450R

New for 2007 New larger 41mm Keihin FCR carburetor. New smaller exhaust valve for improved flow and smoother power delivery. Engine decompression system is lighter and more compact. New link-type front brake master cylinder improves front braking power by 15 percent. New Dunlop 742FA front tire for improved turning feel and traction. New subframe allows the muffler to be mounted farther forward for better mass-centralization. Lighter rear chain guide. Stronger clutch basket and clutch center for improve…

WE RIDE DR. D’S HONDA CRF450

Bullet train: MXA’s melding of Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki specialists produced a Honda CRF450 that is untouchable. You better be ready before you pull the trigger.   HISTORICALLY, FACTORY RIDERS MAKE BAD TEST RIDERS FOR ANYONE BUT THEMSELVES AND, UNFORTUNATELY FOR THE SALES DEPARTMENT, THEY DON’T PAY FOR THEIR BIKES. Test riders with the knowledge and gumption to tell the factory test engineers the truth are hard to come by. Don’t think that you can find them on the race teams?no way. Fast motorcy…

MXA’S 2006 KTM 450SXF TEST

Have you heard of Maico? Bultaco? BSA? Ossa? Montesa? CZ? Rickman? Sure you have, but they’re only discussed when the subject of defunct European motorcycle brands is brought up. KTM was a contemporary of those dear departed brands, yet it is still standing, still in business, and still fighting the good fight. The Japanese industrial juggernaut of the late ?70s wiped most European motorcycle companies off the face of the earth, but KTM withstood the onslaught. How did they survive when all those around…

INSIDE KTM’S 2007 450SXF: ALL ELECTRIC START

(All photos by  Ray Archer)    KTM has unveiled it’s next generation of motocross machines at the second round of the FIM World Motocross Championship at Bellpuig, Spain last weekend. Factory rider Jonathan Barragan rode the 450 SXF to fourth place on it’s debut. It’s understood that Sebastian Tortelli was given the opportunity to ride the bike but decided to stick to his regular mount.          “I am really happy with the new bike,” Barragan s…

MXA’S 2006 RM-Z450 TEST

Ricky Carmichael put an exclamation point on the 2005 Suzuki RM-Z450’s maiden voyage when he took it to the AMA 250 National Championship. But history has conclusively proven that “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” is little more than an old wives’ tale. In a sophisticated market, the product’s charms far outweigh its racing promotion. Previous Ricky Carmichael championship seasons on the Kawasaki KX250 and Honda CR250 were met with a collective yawn from the buying public (in fact, sales dropped on those …

MXA’S 2006 KAWASAKI KX450F TEST

One of the inherent problems with jumping on the bandwagon last is that almost everything that could be done has been done. The 450cc four-stroke technological hay wagon was almost around the bend before Kawasaki leapt on board. It’s been eight years since Yamaha single-handedly invented the modern four-stroke motocross bike in 1998. KTM got there five years ago, Honda four years ago, and Suzuki last year. Kawasaki is late to the party.   The downside of being last is that there are very few techni…

2006 HONDA CRF450 TEST

In our opinion, Honda took a quantum leap forward with the CRF450 in 2005. One year ago, Honda changed the frame geometry with a fourth generation twin-spar frame. They improved the shift drum, shift forks and shift fork shafts for more accurate shifting.

2006 YAMAHA YZ450F TEST

  If you are a fan of great moments in historythe Hindenberg explosion, Pearl Harbor, the Beatles at Shea stadium or the opening of Disneyland Paris, you need to pay close attention. Earth-shattering, world-changing and envelope-busting motorcycles are few and far between. They don’t happen every day, every year or every decade. If you are lucky enough to be alive, with cash in your jeans and free from worldly constraints when it happens, you get to buy one.   Well, this is your lucky day! The…

MXA’S 2006 HUSQVARNA TC450 TEST

Husqvarna is the oldest motorcycle company selling offroad bikes in the USA today. Founded in 1903 in the town of Husqvarna, Sweden, it started as a gun manufacturer (in fact, the Husky logo is a gun sight), but made its first production motorcycle before World War I. Husqvarna achieved fame in the mid-war years (1918-1939) for its high-tech four-stroke engines, road racers and 750cc V-twins. After WWII, they were one of the first companies to focus on motocross. Husky’s success in the offroad world was…

SUZUKI REVEALS COMPLETE 2006 LINEUP

2006 SUZUKI RM-Z450 The RM-Z450’s entry into the world of 4-stroke motocross has met with great success. The RM-Z has established itself as the 4-stroke machine that handles like a nimble RM, but with the type of strong, tractable 4-stroke power that all riders appreciate. The RM-Z450 engine is based around an over-square bore x stroke design, with liquid-cooling, four titanium valves per cylinder and double overhead billet cams. Suzuki innovations include the Suzuki Advanced Sump System (SASS), which p…

SEE THE 2006 HONDAS. ALTHOUGH THE TWIN-PIPER IS STILL A SECRET

CRF450R New for 2006 – Engine cases have been changed to tilt the engine forward and lower the crankshaft 5mm compared to the 2005 CRF®450R for improved turning and maneuverability. – Engine placement lowers center of gravity for improved weight feel. – Radiators are mounted 5mm lower for lower center of gravity and improved weight feel. – Newly designed water pump impeller increases water pump seal life. – New intake valve seat material improves valve durability. – New carburetor needle for better…

SEE THE 2006 KAWASAKIS. GUESS WHICH ONE IS MISSING?

Today is the day to be a happy Kawasaki owner. Not only does Kawasaki release info on their complete 2006 line-up they do so in style with two almost completely brand new models. There is a bit of sad news for all you two-stroke holdouts though, Kawasaki in a move that will surely be followed […]

2005 HONDA CRF450R

Honda’s race-proven superstar, the CRF450R enters 2005 with a wealth of refinements and a lighter weight that make this big four-stroke the overwhelming class favorite. Features & Benefits New for 2005  New fourth-generation twin-spar aluminum frame. Forged aluminum steering head and tapered downtube section are designed to optimize frame rigidity. In addition, tall swingarm pivot plates and thin frame spars create a narrow overall frame cross-section for superb rider comfort and maneuverability. …

2004 HONDA CRF450

Honda isn’t taking the four-stroke movement lightly. When they first released the original 2002 CRF450, it had all the fixings of a great bike, but was missing a dash of low-end grunt, a pinch of reliability and a smidgen of accuracy. For ’03 Honda’s engineers changed the cam, redesigned the frailest pieces (air box, chain buffer and radiator wing) and, most of all, they steepened the head angle to sharpen the handling. Good fixes. But were the mods good enough that Honda could sit pat with the 2004 CRF…

SUZUKI RM-Z450 MAKES ITS DEBUT

All Japan MX Championship Sports Land Sugo, Miyagi Prefecture(Round 10 of 10) 1. Takeshi Katsuya Hon 1-3 2. Stefan Everts Yam 4-1 3. Kazumasa Masuda Suz…3-2 4. Yoshitaka Atsuta…Hon…2-4 5. Takesi Koikeda…Yam…7-6 6. Taichi Kugimura…Yam…5-11 7. Ryuichiro Takahama…Hon…6-13 8. Masaki Hiratsuka…Hon…12-10 9. Kuraudo Toda…Hon…15-8 10. Hisashi Tajima…Suz…14-9 11. Makoto Ogata…Hon…17-7 12. Manabu Watanabe…Yam…8-16 13. Takuma Kojima…Kaw…11-14 14. Takase Tanaka…Kaw…10-1…

SUZUKI TO DEBUT RADICAL NEW RM-Z450

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE       BREA, Calif., Aug. 29, 2003 – Suzuki Motor Corporation has announced it will debut its all-new prototype RM-Z450 four-stroke machine in the All-Japan MX series in October and will continue development in the World Motocross GP class in 2004 with a firm commitment to reclaim the world title with the new machine. Full details of the radical new RM-Z450 have yet to be revealed, but Suzuki promises that it will be a major step forward as Suzuki’s flagship …

INTRODUCING THE 2004 HONDAS

2004 CR125R Changes for 2004 ú New electronic power valve for optimum valve timing and improved power throughout the range ú TMX-x carburetor gets new throttle position sensor (TPS) for improved linear throttle response ú New quick adjust clutch perch ú New clutch lever to improve feel and action ú New aluminum Renthal Bars (971 Bend) ú New “non-slip” seat cover for increased rider control ú New footpeg hinges prevent dirt accumulation for consistent footpeg angle ú New Dunlop 742 front and 756 rear tir…

2004 YAMAHA PHOTOS AND SPECS-

2004 YAMAHA YZ125 What’s new on the 04 YZ125? 1. The shape of the scavenging port and exhaust port is changed (the timing is also revised) 2. The setting on the YPVS governor spring is changed for better acceleration in the low to mid. 3. The carb setting at the bypass port is changed. 4. The exhaust pipe is increased in overall length by 5mm, mostly at the head pipe (not on European models). 6. The diameter of the stinger is increased 1.6mm (in front of the silencer) 7. The shift pedal is downsized 9mm…

2004 CRF450R: IT’S NEWER THAN YOU THINK–MAY 13

The 2004 CRF450R has more changes than you might expect. Here are the key new features and some top-secret photos for you to check out: (Scroll Down For More Photos) NEW FOR 2004 1). New lighter piston is reshaped for increased compression, quicker response and improved torque over entire RPM range. 2). New Ignition cover made from new magnesium material reduces heat build up and reduces weight 3). New lighter ignition mass for improved response and drivability 4). New ignition timing for improved driva…

WRENCH TECH: HONDA CRF450 TRANSMISSION UPDATE

One of the nifty features on the 2002 Honda CRF450 four-stroke is the separated oil cavities. Unlike a normal engine, the Honda has distinctly different oil compartments for top-end oil and transmission oil. This is a great idea, although by no means new. By separating engine oil from tranny oil, a CRF450 owner can use specialized fluids for each task. There is no cross contamination from sheared-off clutch particles, gear flashing and valve seats. What’s the downside? The available pool of oil is great…

2002 HONDA CR450F–APRIL 30

CRF450: 1. New third generation twin spar aluminum frame. (1.1 lb lighter than last years frame) 2. Redesigned rear brake system with integrated reservoir and master cylinder. 3. New Unicam valve train. 4. Pin-rotation type auto decompression release. 5. Hot start system. 6. Two 36mm titanium intake valves. 7. Two 31mm steel exhaust valves. 8. 96mm x 62.1mm bore and stroke. 9. Twin-sump lubrication system separates the oil supply for the crankshaft, piston, and valve train from the clutch and transmissi…

SEE IT NOW! HONDA’S NEW FOUR-STROKE

Honda is a strange company. Less than a month ago they refused to tell or show their dealers any details on the CR450 four-stroke at the annual dealer meeting in Las Vegas. Now, they bring the bike out in public at this week’s Japanese race and allow a hoard of photogs to snap photos at will. Strange marketing! Honda dealers could have used the promo material on next year’s CR450 four-stroke to increase floor travel (and been in the know before their customers). HERE ARE THE CR450 FACTS The CR450 engine…

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…