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2008

MXA TEAM TESTED: BRAKING OVERSIZED CRF REAR BRAKE CALIPER

WHAT IS IT? It’s a complete replacement rear brake caliper for the modern CRF that does away with Honda’s small caliper and brake pads. WHAT’S IT COST? $299.00. CONTACT? www.braking.com . WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with Braking’s Honda rear caliper. (1) History. In 2002, Honda’s engineers, in an effort to save weight, downsized the rear brake caliper and swapped to 50-percent smaller brake pads. Many Honda riders had trouble with the new rear brake. The smaller brake pads re…

WE BUILD AN L.A. SLEEVE YAMAHA YZ270:

If you own a 2006 to 2010 Yamaha YZ250, consider yourself lucky. You have one of the best motocross bikes ever made. It weighs less than a comparable four-stroke, costs less to repair and produces more horsepower per cc. And most importantly, it comes stock with Kayaba SSS suspension. It is a sweet motocross machine. However, there is a but. If you are racing your YZ250 against 250cc four-strokes, you have a superior motocross machine; but if you race the 450 class on your YZ250, you are giving up a bun…

MXA PRODUCT TEST: DIRT TRICKS KTM CAM CHAIN TENSIONER:

WHAT IS IT? Dirt Tricks? automatic KTM cam chain tensioner uses oil pressure, combined with a mechanical ratchet system, to maintain constant pressure on the timing chain (and avoids the possibility of the cam tensioner collapsing during oil pressure fluctuations). WHAT’S IT COST? $69.95. CONTACT? www.dirttricks.com or (775) 267-6361. WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Dirt Tricks automatic cam chain tensioner.      (1) Oil pressure . The stock KTM …

THE BEST USED BIKES! WHICH 450’s TO KEEP FOR ANOTHER SEASON? Which Used Bikes To Save And Which Ones To Jettison; We Name Names

CAN MY OLD 450 MAKE IT ANOTHER SEASON OR TWO? THE MONEY YOU SAVE CAN FINANCE YOUR RACING CAREER    Let’s take it for granted that your trusty, but rusty, old bike isn’t leaking fluid out of the shock, making clunking noises at low rpm, suffering from terminal rust behind the ignition cover, cracking down the head tube like old concrete or oozing tranny oil that looks more like chocolate milk than 30 weight. If your bike is sound and air worthy, your next questions should be:  …

WE RIDE THE ROCK’S RACING STEALTH YAMAHA YZ450F:

The funny thing about slow bikes is that everyone who races them goes just as fast as on their fast bikes, save for the pros.    Some race bikes are easy to test. Everything goes perfectly and all the MXA wrecking crew has to do is show up, throw a leg over the bike and go to the starting line. If the bike is James Stewart’s, Chad Reed’s, Ryan Villopoto’s or Travis Pastrana’s, we don?t even have to bring gas, lunch or tools. Such was not the case with Rock’s Racing’s Project Stealth YZ450F. &n…

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 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 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 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 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 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…

2008 HONDA CRF250 RACE TEST

As with the most popular girl in school, the lucky stiff who wins the lottery jackpot three times, or the couple that decided to vacation in Miami instead of Phuket, the Honda CRF250 has led a blessed life. Not the best-suspended bike, not the fastest bike and not the best-handling bike, the mid-size CRF has been the best selling 250 four-stroke since it was introduced in 2004; outselling the competition by almost two to one. Don?t think that Honda hasn?t tried to spice the CRF250 up with technical inno…

2008 RACE TEST YAMAHA YZ125

There will come a time when every manufacturer, race promoter, rider and AMA functionary will rue the day that the AMA allowed 250cc four-strokes to compete against 125cc two-strokes (not to mention the stupid unleaded gas rule that administered the coup de grace to the 125 two-stroke on the AMA circuit). We will all miss the 125 two-stroke when it’s gone. And, unless you are a uniquely independent individual, you probably have no intention of buying a 2008 Yamaha YZ125. You may think that the MXA wreck…

2008 TEST RIDE YAMAHA YZ250F

Don?t let anyone pull the wool over your eyes. The most significant 250 four-stroke in the short history of the mid-size thumpers is the Yamaha YZ250F. Released back in 2001, years before the competition even considered deuce-and-a-half thumpers to be a viable proposition, the YZ250F owned its market segment. Without the YZ250F’s incredible reliability, bulletproof durability and awesome power, we?d all still be riding 125 two-strokes. It was that good. It held onto its tactical superiority in 2002, 200…

2008 TEST RIDE YAMAHA YZ450F

The AMA’s Steve Whitelock has ordained that 450cc motocross bikes are too powerful. If he gets his way, they will be banned. Once rid of them, he can move on to detuning those pesky Formula 1 cars, F22 Raptors, and that thing that John Force drives. According to the AMA, all will be right with the world when political correctness controls the racing world. But Steve does have one point that Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki and KTM agree with: racing motorcycles isn?t all about horsepower. The perfect bik…

2008 250 TWO STROKE SHOOTOUT: YZ250 versus RM250 versus 250SX

  My, how the mighty have fallen. Many years ago, an MXA 250 two-stroke shootout would have included bikes from Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, CZ, Kawasaki, KTM, Husqvarna, Maico and Bultaco. Today, modern motocrossers only have three 250cc two-stroke choices (and one of those players has announced that 2008 is their last year in the class). Many racers have given up on two-strokes, but not the MXA wrecking crew. We grew up on them, and while we see the writing on the wall, we don’t want to go down without…

2008 Suzuki RM-Z450 Intro

Yesterday was the day that every magazine editor was impatiently waiting for – the arrival of the 2008 Suzuki RM-Z450. To say that Suzuki’s flagship motocross bike is all new for 2008 would be a severe understatement. There are very few parts that the 2007 and ?08 model share, such as the air filter and oil filter. Beyond that, the fuel-injected RM-Z450 was built from the ground up.   The MXA wrecking crew met with Suzuki personnel at Perris Raceway in southern California to sling a leg over t…

Applied Racing’s New CRF Triple Clamps

Press Release- ?Applied Racing is excited to announce a brand new triple clamp design for 2008 CRF 250R/450R/450X.   As usual, much time and effort was made by engineers and testers at Applied to make this our best triple clamp yet. The most noticeable difference is the weight (or lack of)! Compared to the stock upper and lower clamp set, our set is still almost 5/8 of a pound lighter!  And, don?t worry.  You can still keep your Honda dampener.  The set is completely CNC machine…

Two New 2008 Bikes From Yamaha (WR and WRX)

 Yamaha is introducing the all new WR250R and WR250X.The WR250R is a dual purpose machine that blends a mixture of love for both the street and the dirt. The WR250X with it’s 17″ wheels is nothing short of SuperMoto inspired. Both bikes feature an all new DOHC four valve 250cc four-stroke engine, with a six speed transmission and FUEL INJECTION, a first for this class.   Directly descended from our YZ motocrossers and WR off-road machines?even the original Yamaha YA-1 of 1955?the all-new WR250…

2008 Honda CRF450R Unveiled

  First Look: 2008 Honda CRF 450R Although the MXA wrecking crew have been racing their 2008 Honda MX bikes for a few weeks already, it wasn’t until today that we could officially release the information. While we’ve already gone over the bikes with a fine toothed comb, new to us was the limited release black version (for both the 450 and 250).  ? New tapered exhaust head pipe improves low-end and midrange power. ? New lighter counterbalancer shaft and drive gears. ? New works-t…