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2009 KTM 250SXF; Suspension Settings, Jetting Specs, Likes & Dislikes, Plus Much More

INSIDE THE MXA 2009 KTM 250SXF TEST    Finishing last in MXA’s 2008 250F shootout might sound like failure, but in reality, last year’s KTM was oh-so-close to moving into the top three. Close, but no cigar! The Austrians had a lot going for them in 2008. The KTM 250SXF made the most peak horsepower, and it was the lightest 250 four-stroke ever made. Yet, even with those two superlatives, it got a big goose egg from the MXA test riders. Why? Because the 2008 KTM 250SXF was poorly suspended, suf…

ASK THE MXPERTS: I Have Gasoline In My 2009 CRF450 Crankcase. Is This A Major Problem? Is There A Fix?

I HAVE GASOLINE IN MY 2009 CRF450 CRANKCASE IS THIS A MAJOR PROBLEM? IS THERE A FIX? Dear MXA,     I am a concerned 2009 CRF450 owner. I have read and trusted MXA’s input for over 20 years. Have you had any issues on your test bikes with gas in the engine oil? Is the EFI leaking fuel into the cylinder after it is shut down? I heard of this gas causing engine damage. Can I ride my bike without fear of it blowing up?     MXA talked to Honda several times on this matter and Ho…

2009 Yamaha YZ125 Two-Stroke; Suspension Settings, Jetting Specs, Likes & Dislikes, Plus Much More

MXA RACE TEST: THE NEW 2009 YZ125 MAY WELL BE THE LAST OF ITS KIND & THE BEST OF ITS KIND    Have you ever heard the phrase, ?Hoisted by their own petard?? Nothing better defines the 2009 Yamaha YZ125 than that archaic phrase. Why? And what does it mean? A petard was a military weapon that was used to blow holes in the walls of fortresses. The metallic device was filled with gun powder and used much in the same way as the modern ‘shaped charge? to direct force in the desired direction. It …

ASK THE MXPERTS: What Are The Available 2009 Honda CRF450 Clutch Fixes?

ASK THE MXPERTS: I NEED HELP WITH MY 2009 CRF450 CLUTCH Dear MXA,    I have owned CRF450 since 2006, but I have never had so many issues with slipping clutches as I have had with my new 2009 CRF450. I am on my third clutch. On my 2007 CRF450 I had the same clutch in the bike for six months. What is the problem, but more importantly, what is the fix? The stock CRF450 four-spring clutch is on the left, the Hinson six-spring clutch is on the right. The 2009 Honda CRF450 has the same basic four-sp…

ASK THE MXPERTS: What Is The Best 2007 RM250 Jetting?

LOOKING FOR THE BEST 2007 SUZUKI RM250 BRASS Dear MXA,     Can you tell me your corrected jetting specs for the 2007 RM250 two-stroke?      After years of horrible RM250 jetting, Suzuki did a fairly good job with the 2007 model.     It was a little rich on top, but nothing that changing the stock 168 couldn?t fix. On warm day we ran a 165 or 162 main and dropped the needle by putting the clip in the second slot from the top. Send questions to mxa@hi-torque.com

ASK THE MXPERTS: What Are The Best 2003 Honda CR125 Set-Up Tricks?

ASK THE MXPERTS:  2003 HONDA CR125 TRICKS Dear MXA,    I just bought a 2003 CR125 and am interested in what you recommend that I do to it.    Here is what we recommend for the 2003 CR125: Jetting: We ran a 430 main, 40 pilot, 6DGY22-71 needle, the first clip and 1-1/4 turns on the air screw. Pipe: Exhaust pipes were the most effective change that could be made to the 2003 powerband. We ran a Pro Circuit pipe. Head: We ran a 2002 CR125 cylinder head on our 2003 model. This increa…

Yamaha’s 2009 YZ250 and YZ125 Intro: The MXA Wrecking Crew Meets The Wolfman

TESTING THE ONLY JAPANESE BUILT TWO-STROKES ON A VERY SPECIAL TRACK Yamaha is the last Japanese manufacturer to make 125cc and 250cc two-strokes for the American market. It is fact that they are proud of. Yamaha is quick to point out that their two-strokes share all the same components as their four-strokes, are ten pounds lighter, easier to maintain, fun to ride and retail for up to $750 less than their comparable four-stroke brethren. John Minert roosts his way under the awning of an enormous oak tree…

2009 KAWASAKI KX250F

Race-ready performance that hammers the competition On the racing circuit, winners must constantly improve to remain on top. Kawasaki’s KX250F motocrosser is no exception. A leading performer in the 250 four-stroke ranks, the KX250F has successfully defended against challenges to its top spot for the last three years. However, there’s no resting on laurels in this group, not to mention the primary need of every racer on the starting line is a machine that can deliver wins yet remain highly reliable thro…

2009 SUZUKIS

First Look: The 2009 Suzuki Line-Up Suzuki will be the first major manufacturer to release its 2009 motocross models, with bikes arriving in dealerships mid-summer. There are very few changes to the RM-Z450 and RM-Z250, but that’s not surprising because the 2008 models were released very late in the season last year. The RM-Z450, in particular, arrived so late that it missed the major selling season. The 2009 version will have new centercases that are said to be free of the occasional breakage issue tha…

ALL THE 2009 BIKES: HONDA CRF250R

2009 CRF250R Innovative design has made Honda’s dual-muffler CRF250R a champion on the track as well as a multiple-time repeat-winner in magazine comparison tests. Features & Benefits New for 2009 – New cylinder-head combustion chamber shape improves power in the lower- to mid-RPM range. – New longer exhaust header is tuned to work in conjunction with the new cylinder head for improved power. – New four-dog transmission gears, revised shift drum and shift drum arm produce more positive shifting.&nbs…

2009 YAMAHA YZ450F SPECS

Key Features: The bike that started the four-stroke revolution benefits from chassis refinements that ensure the five-titanium-valved YZ450F remains at the head of the open-class pack. Subtle modifications to the suspension mean light, precise, confident handling at any speed. Head and exhaust design delivers stronger low- to midrange power without sacrificing top end power. Ready to race straight out of the crate VbCrLfwith a ProTaper aluminum handlebar in adjustable clamps, titanium shock spring, grip…

2009 YAMAHA YZ250F SPECS

Key Features: Ongoing refinement to chassis produce an amazingly balanced, light-handling machine with performance that’s accessible to all levels of riders. Five-titanium-valve engine with increased compression spins out even more torque and horsepower. A carefully tuned aluminum frame made up of forgings, weldings, castings and tubing means sharp, super-precise handling. Mass centralization provides fantastic overall balance and performance. A ProTaper aluminum handlebar …

2009 KAWASAKI KX450F

A leaner, stronger and EFI equipped racing thoroughbred Comprehensively re-designed with a new fuel-injected engine, chassis, bodywork and extensive durability enhancements, the 2009 Kawasaki KX450F motocrosser is sleeker, faster and more high-tech than ever. Although it has undergone the biggest makeover since its original 2006 debut, the new KX450F still shares a clear bloodline with its championship-winning predecessors.   The upgrade to Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) eliminates the need to adj…

2009 YAMAHA YZ250 TWO-STROKE SPECS

Key Features: Our legendary two-stroke Supercross winner is more potent than ever. A light, aluminum frame housing a patented YPVS Power valve-equipped ripper of an engine results in an awesome power-to-weight ratio. Ready to race out of the crate, complete with a ProTaper aluminum handlebar, titanium footpegs, gripper seat and Excel rims. New for 2009: Dunlop D742A front tire has an innovative knob pattern for excellent grip and handling. New seat cover has great grip and more durability, and it is eas…

ALL THE 2009 BIKES: HONDA CRF450R

2009 CRF450R For the full bike test click here   With continued talk of a slowdown in off-road motorcycle sales, Honda picked the perfect time to bring a heightened level of consumer interest and excitement to their deals’s floor. The new CRF450R has shed a claimed four pounds and reduces the amount of leftover parts from previous models to a mere handful. In the all-new and lighter 2009 CRF450R, a brand-new engine with electronic fuel injection, developed concurrently with an entirely new rolling …

2009 KTMs

What’s new on the 2009 KTM 450SXF? First and foremost, the 2009 450SXF almost got a five-speed transmission, but at the last second KTM decided to stay with the four speed box. The black anodized triple clamps feature 18mm or 20mm adjustable offset to hold the 48mm WP forks. As for the forks, they offer new bottoming cones, revised valving, less unsprung weight and improvised flex characteristics. Thankfully, all full-size KTM race bikes will come with white number plate backgrounds that are large enoug…

2009 YAMAHA YZ125 SPECS

Key Features: A light, aluminum frame housing an amazingly light and compact engine results in an awesome power-to-weight ratio. Ready to race out of the crate, complete with a ProTaper aluminum handlebar, titanium footpegs and gripper seat. A pure motocross machine, the light and nimble YZ125 is the perfect choice for riders stepping up from the 85cc class. New for 2009: Dunlop D742FA front tire has an innovative knob pattern for excellent grip and handling. New seat cover has great grip and more durab…

The “First Ride” Report That You Have Been Waiting For: The 2009 Honda CRF450

CRF450: IT’S ALL NEW, BUT IS IT ALL GOOD? By John Basher MXA test rider Dennis Stapleton and I winged into Texas on Monday to get a chance to ride the 2009 CRF450. This isn’t a formal test, just a starter course. The bike will be back in SoCal next week for the formal ridin’, racin’ and writin’ . However, Dennis and I knew we were onto to something important. How can you tell when everyone is anticipating the arrival of a radically new bike, like the 2009 Honda CRF450? It is blatantly obvious when we se…

First Ride: 2009 Kawasaki KX450F

By John Basher With all of the buzz circling around the 2009 Honda CRF450, it seems that many people forgot about the new Kawasaki KX450F. If you fall in that category, then shame on you! Kawasaki went whole hog on their 450 for 2009, utilizing electronic fuel injection, a new frame, different suspension settings, and even new styling. It is easy to understand that this is the biggest change that the KX450F has received since its inception in 2006. To introduce the bike, Kawasaki rolled out the red carp…

FIRST LOOK: 2009 YAMAHA YZ250F

The new bike season starts earlier every year. First to get the ball rolling for 2009 is Yamaha, with the first official photo of the 2009 YZ250F. Carburetor: If you were expecting fuel injection, you will have to wait, because the 2009 YZ250F still uses a 37mm Keihin FCR flat-slide carburetor with throttle position sensor (TPS). Shock linkage: This is a radical change for Yamaha. Already considered to have the best suspension, Yamaha not only came up with a totally new rising rate, but they mounted it …

2008 RACE TEST KTM 250SXF

It might seem like a distant memory, but KTM was the last of the ?Big Five? manufacturers to enter the 250cc four-stroke fold, introducing their 250SXF a year-and-a-half after every other brand. Coming into the market last has advantages and disadvantages. One advantage was that KTM could study their competition and go through every other 250F with a fine-tooth comb, learning and applying the knowledge gained to their own creation. One disadvantage was that KTM was behind the eight ball, losing valuable…

2008 RACE TEST:KTM 125SX VS KTM 144SX

125 144 If the MXA wrecking crew ran Yamaha, the only other Big Five manufacturer to produce a 125cc two-stroke in 2008, we?d order the R&D department to turn it into a YZ150 for 2009. Face it; the classic model of the 125cc class is broken. No longer competitive on the National circuit, abandoned by consumers, and suffering a torque gap to the new breed of 250cc four-strokes, the venerable 125 will soon reach room temperature unless the manufacturers find a new business model. Thankfully, AMA amate…

2008 RACE TEST: KTM 450SXF

KTM is the Rodney Dangerfield of American motocross. They get no respect. In sheer numbers, there are fewer KTMs on the starting lines than any of the other Big Five brands. In the psyche of American riders, KTMs are considered to be offbeat, unusual and different. When it comes time to plunk down cold hard cash for a race bike, KTM is rarely the first choice on the consumer’s wish list. The strange thing about KTM’s perceived position in the motocross world is that their status in European motocross an…

2008 RACE TEST KAWASAKI KX250F

It would be easy for you to assume that the Honda CRF250 has ruled the 250cc four-stroke roost since its introduction in 2004, but nothing could be further from the truth. The real winners in the deuce-and-a-half thumper sweepstakes have been Yamaha and Kawasaki. Yamaha invented the category in 2002 and owned it through 2005. When Suzuki, Kawasaki and Honda entered the fray in 2004, Yamaha steamrolled over the still-teething red, green and yellow competition. Then, in 2006, Kawasaki threw off the shackl…

2008 RACE TEST KAWASAKI KX450F

  If there is a cause celebre for the 2008 motorcycle manufacturers, it is the total focus on making the new engines easier to use, more controllable and smoother. Kawasaki has joined the parade. They gave up the horsepower advantage they had in 2007 to go for a broad, mellow and less violent power delivery. While engine management issues got the most attention in Japan this year, there was a secondary issue?frame flex. And we aren?t talking about eliminating frame flex, but feeding it back into th…

2008 RACE TEST SUZUKI RM-Z450

From a human standpoint, you have to feel for Suzuki. For the 2008 model year, they decided to roll the dice on a fuel-injected 450cc motocross bike. It was a bold move; one that could insure their place as the most adventuresome of the Big Five. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow was a massive increase in bike sales, fueled by the mystique of EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection). There were risks, but it wasn?t a ?Hail Mary? pass. It was an aggressive marketing ploy to leapfrog to the front of the pa…

2008 RACE TESTSUZUKI RM-Z250

We don?t expect you to remember the intricate details of RM-Z250 development, which is why the MXA wrecking crew is here to help. Released in 2004, the RM-Z250 started off as a clone of the 2004 Kawasaki KX250F. Developed under the short-lived Suzuki/Kawasaki alliance, the RM-Z250 wasn?t just similar to the KX250F?it was the 2004 KX250F. The RM-Z shared the cranky handling characteristics, overheating problems and low-to-mid powerband of its green brother. In 2005, the green and yellow twins got …

2008 HONDA CRF450 RACE TEST

There is a lot of speculation about the revolutionary new 2008 Honda CRF450, but let’s put that to rest right now. The 2008 CRF450 is not new or revolutionary. If we were betting men, we?d plunk down Junior’s college fund that the 2009 CRF450 is the one that the CRF engineers blow out the jams on. As for the 2008 model, it has been reworked, manipulated and freshened up. It has 15 changes, some minor, some unique, but none major. With the exception of the 2008 Suzuki RM-Z450, the majority of the ?08 450…