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2004

MOTOCROSS ACTION’S TWO-STROKE VERSUS FOUR-STROKE SHOOTOUT: 2004 CRF450 VERSUS 2001 CR500

First, let’s get one myth out of the way up front. It is common for modern critics of the 450cc four-stroke to claim that the AMA 500cc National Championship was terminated because bikes like the CR500 and KX500 were too powerful. Not true. Not even close to true. The reality is that the AMA dropped the 500 National Championships after the 1993 season under political pressure from Suzuki and Yamaha. No surprise there; neither Suzuki nor Yamaha built a competitive 500cc motocross bike. In fact, Suzuki ha…

2004 YAMAHA YZ125

We normally ignore doomsday predictions. They never come true. Do you remember the Y2K hysteria, or the Nostradamus hype? There is, however, a new end-of-the-world scare! It is the much-hyped extinction of the two-stroke. Are we scared? No. Why not? Because no self-respecting motocross racer would move from a two-stroke to a four-stroke unless it was better. Two-strokes will thrive as long as they are competitive. And, when the day comes that they aren’t up to snuff, we won’t shed a tear if they join th…

WE TEST THE 2004 KTM 125SX

For the record, the KTM 125SX has the best two-stroke engine in the class. It puts most Japanese bikes to shame on the dyno, in first turn drag races, and up hills.

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 …

KX250F REPORT – KAWASAKI ENTERS THE MIX

Riding the Green Machine By John Basher Everyone has been waiting with baited breath at the arrival of the new arsenal of 250 four-strokes, whether it is from Honda or Kawazuki. Wait, what’s that again? Kawazuki? Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the deepest and darkest caverns of earth (in which case you’re pretty far out of the loop), Kawasaki and Suzuki formed an alliance two years ago. By now you should be familiar with the terms of agreement between the two motorcycle manufacturers, and it …

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…