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2009

MXA TEAM TESTED: HOT CAMS STAGE 1/STAGE 2 KX450F CAMSHAFTS

WHAT IS IT? The best way to modify your four-stroke’s powerband is with different intake and exhaust camshafts. Hot Cams offers two different KX450F camshaft pairs—Stage 1 and Stage 2. They fit 2009–2014 Kawasaki KX450Fs. WHAT’S IT COST? $179.95 (Stage 1/Stage 2 intake), $199.95 (Stage 1/Stage 2 exhaust). CONTACT? www.hotcamsinc.com or (515) 402-8005. WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a […]

MXA TEAM TESTED: NIHILO CONCEPTS KTM FENDER ADAPTER

WHAT IS IT? There is nothing worse for the racer of an older model than to have the factory come out with a completely new look for the latest production bike. It was bad enough that you were racing an old bike, but now the new model makes it look even older. This happened to KTM owners when the 2013 models came with the all-new I-beam front fender. It was instantly recognizable, which made the lack of it even more obvious. The Nihilo Concepts fender kit allows the new fender to retrofit onto 2009??2012…

FRIDAY’S USED MOTOCROSS BIKE GUIDE: HOW TO SETUP YOUR 2009 YAMAHA YZ450F:

1. Shock. This is the best production shock on the market. We don?t touch it. The spring rate is spec?ed for a 175-pound Intermediate, which makes it good for virtually everyone (save featherweights).     Spring rate: 5.5 kg/mm     Race sag: 100mm     Hi-compression: 1-1/2 turns out     Lo-compression: 11 clicks out     Rebound: 10 clicks out (12 clicks stock) 2. Forks. If you are very fast or very fat, you might want to go up to…

MOTOCROSS ACTION’S BITE-SIZE 2009 450 SHOOTOUT: RIDE ‘EM. RACE ‘EM. WRECK ‘EM. REVIEW ‘EM:

NUMBER ONE: 2009 KAWASAKI KX450F    Unlike the other fuel-injected bikes, which stumble at 8000 rpm, the 2009 Kawasaki KX450F keeps pulling to 9400 rpm. The ?09 KX450F has the second most horsepower in the class and decent suspension. Its handling is mediocre. It needs to go on a serious diet, because at 238 pounds it weighs 12 pounds more than a CRF450.    PLUSES: The only fuel-injected bike that can compete in the mid-and-up range.    MINUSES: Gappy gearbox, missed shifts…

FRIDAY’S USED MOTOCROSS BIKE GUIDE: HOW TO SETUP YOUR 2009 KTM 450SXF:

1. Forks. The stock 2009 KTM forks were acceptable (good spring rate and adequate damping), but we switched to Showa works forks (can you blame us?) and had Pro Circuit valve them to our specs. www.procircuit.com 2. Shock. On the stock WP shock we replaced the stock 7.2 kg/mm spring with a 7.6 kg/mm spring. This was a big improvement for riders above 175 pounds. We also tested an Ohlins TTX-44 shock (very good) and a Showa works shock (both with 7.5 springs). In the end, we elected to have MX-Tech reval…

FRIDAY’S USED MOTOCROSS BIKE GUIDE: HOW TO SETUP YOUR 2009 KAWASAKI KX250F:

  1. Triple clamps. Kawasaki switched to a 23.5mm offset (down from 24.5mm) for 2009. It wasn?t enough. We switched to 22mm offset triple clamps to sharpen the steering from center-out. www.procircuit.com 2. Gearing. The stock 48-tooth gearing is very gappy (especially between second and third gears). Changing to a 49-tooth rear sprocket strengthens the transition between gears. 3. Exhaust. At AMA sound test levels, the 2009 KX250F has a legal 94dB muffler. But, at speed, the KX250F exhaust is extr…

FRIDAY’S USED MOTOCROSS BIKE GUIDE: HOW TO SETUP YOUR 2009 SUZUKI RM-Z250:

1. Forks. If you?re faster than a Novice or weigh more than 150 pounds, then you will need to install stiffer fork springs. The stock 0.44 kg/mm springs are too soft. MXA switched to 0.46 kg/mm springs. Once the change has been made, your wrists will thank you. 2. Shock spring. Suzuki either missed the boat completely during pre-production testing or their test force is comprised of rail-thin riders. We drop-kicked the 5.4 kg/mm shock spring and jumped up to a 5.6. Those who are thick around the waist (…

FRIDAY’S USED MOTOCROSS BIKE GUIDE: HOW TO SETUP YOUR 2009 HONDA CRF250:

1. Forks. We didn?t like the 2008 Showa forks, and, surprise, we didn?t like the 2009 forks either. We dropped the oil height by 10cc to greatly reduce the midstroke harshness. This was a must-do. 2. Jetting. Bigger might be better, but that wasn?t the case with the CRF250’s 40mm Keihin carburetor. It bogs and coughs at the least opportune times. We have always preferred the older 37mm carb, but we have to work with what Honda specs. As a rule, we change the pilot, needle and leak jet. In addition, we r…

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…

FRIDAY’S USED MOTOCROSS BIKE GUIDE: HOW TO SETUP YOUR 2009 KAWASAKI KX450F:

1. Gearing. Swapping the stock 50-tooth rear sprocket for a 51 was the cheapest fix made to the 2009 KX450F. Gearing the bike down lessened the gap between third and fourth, moved third gear closer to second, and most importantly, moved second gear down so that short-shifting was more accurate. 2. Chain guide. Switching to a larger rear sprocket quickly turns the chain guide into shark bait for the chain to chew through. We ate through the bottom chain guide in three hours, so we installed a bulletproof…

FRIDAY’S USED MOTOCROSS BIKE GUIDE: HOW TO SETUP YOUR 2009 HONDA CRF450:

1. Fork springs . The stock 0.46 Kayaba fork springs are too soft. We switched to 0.48 or 0.49 kg/mm springs. 2. Fork valving. With stiffer fork springs installed, the midstroke valving was too light. We sent the forks to Pro Circuit to be revalved. www.procircuit.com 3. Shock spring. For riders over 175 pounds, the stock 5.4 kg/mm shock spring is fine (it will work for riders up to 210 pounds). Lighter riders (under 175 pounds) will need a softer 5.2 kg/mm shock spring. 4. Shock linkage . As it sits, t…

FRIDAY’S USED MOTOCROSS BIKE GUIDE: HOW TO SETUP YOUR 2009 SUZUKI RM-Z450:

1. Forks. The forks have issues. They have had spring-rate problems forever, and for 2009 they suffere from the same woes. Our best advice is to go stiffer on the fork springs. We changed the stock 0.47s to 0.49s. Once you have the correct springs, you can raise and lower the oil height to meter the midstroke. 2. Shock spring. Most MXA test riders could live with the stock 5.6 kg/mm shock spring (only the fast or fat went stiffer). 3. Gearing. Virtually every test rider felt that the RM-Z450 was properl…

FRIDAY’S USED MOTOCROSS BIKE GUIDE: HOW TO SETUP YOUR 2009 YAMAHA YZ250F:

1. Shock spring. Yamaha reverted to a steel shock spring in order to reduce the price tag on the 2009 Yamaha YZ250F. This was a good move for the consumer’s pocketbook, but it added 1-1/2 pounds to the bike. If you have a 2006 through 2008 YZ250F lying around, you can swap out the steel 2009 shock spring for a much lighter titanium spring (make sure to move the plastic spring clip along with the Ti spring to prevent coil binding).     Spring rate: 5.3 kg/mm     Race sag: 10…

FRIDAY’S USED MOTOCROSS BIKE GUIDE: HOW TO SETUP YOUR 2009 KTM 250SXF:

1. Fork oil height. KTM did lower the oil height for 2009 over 2008, just not enough. We drained 15cc of oil to reduce the midstroke harshness. 2. Shock. For riders above 165 pounds, the stock 6.9 kg/mm spring works well. Lighter riders need a softer 6.6 kg/mm spring (found stock on the 2008 250SXF). 3. Gearing. Of all the 250 four-strokes, the KTM 250SXF is helped most by adding a tooth to the rear sprocket. We swapped the stock 48-tooth sprocket for a 49-tooth sprocket. For Supercross-style tracks we …

WE RIDE HINSON CLUTCH COMPONENTS HONDA CRF450 MOTOCROSS BIKE:

When somebody mentions a spring, you probably picture a standard coil spring that looks like a steel pigtail. Most motocrossers immediately envision the shock spring on a race bike. A spring, however, is any elastic object that stores energy. A lesser known type of spring is a Belleville washer. Belleville washers are a type of disc-shaped cup with an extremely high tensile strength. Originally developed in the mid-19th century by Julian Belleville, Belleville springs are used in a variety of environmen…

MOTOCROSS ACTION PRODUCT TEST: YOSHIMURA HONDA CRF450 DROP-IN CAM

WHAT IS IT? An easy-to-install, drop-in, single overhead Honda camshaft for the Honda CRF450. WHAT’S IT COST? $499.95. CONTACT? www.yoshimura-rd.com or (800) 634-9166. WHAT STANDS OUT? Here is a list of things that stand out with Yoshimura’s Cam Shaft kit. (1) Manufacture. The cam was designed, developed and tested in the USA, but made in Japan. The cam is CNC-machined from billet bar stock and sent to Yoshimura of Japan for special metallurgical treatments. The cam sprockets are also machined from a bi…

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…

WE BUILD A KTM 250SXS WORKS BIKE:

Imagine Team Honda selling its works bikes to the public. Okay, you are right, that isn?t going to happen. Guess what? KTM is more than willing to sell its high-end, big-buck, hot-rodded, factory Grand Prix bikes to Joe Racer. For the last couple years, KTM has offered special editions of their works bike to consumers (and last year even sold the actual race bikes of their Grand Prix riders). The price tag? It varies from $10,500 to $14,000. But there is a slightly cheaper way to get KTM’s Grand Prix te…

MOTOCROSS ACTION PRODUCT TEST: HINSON HIGH-TEMP CRF450 CLUTCH SPRINGS:

WHAT IS IT? Hinson’s high-temp steel clutch springs keep the 2009 and 2010 Honda CRF450’s four-spring clutch from slipping. WHAT’S IT COST? $49.95 (four clutch springs), $199.95 (springs, fiber and steel plates), $189.99 (CNC-machined pressure plate), $499.99 (pressure plate and inner hub). CONTACT? www.hinsonracing.com or (909) 946-2942. WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Hinson high-temp clutch springs. (1) Theory. Honda considered it a marketing coup when they introduced…

WE RIDE RYAN DUNGEY’S NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SUZUKI RM-Z250:

Sometimes moments pass so fast that you don’t have time to muse on them. The 2009 season was like that for Ryan Dungey. He not only won the 250 West Supercross Championship, but the AMA 250 National Championship and the 450 class at the Motocross des Nations.  Rather than let Dungey’s triumphant year speed by in a blur, MXA decided to take the bike he rode to two AMA Championships for a spin. Here is the test of Ryan Dungey’s Championship winning RM-Z250. The greatest advantage of a factory ride ov…

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 …

MXA PRODUCT TEST: APPLIED SST CRF450 TRIPLE CLAMPS: Is A Different Offset The Cure For The 2009-2010 Honda CRF450’s Handling Woes?

MXA PRODUCT TEST: APPLIED SST CRF450 TRIPLE CLAMPS WHAT IS IT? A 24mm offset triple clamp for the 2009-2010 CRF450.      WHAT’S IT COST? $395.95 (top and bottom clamps); $49.95 (aluminum steering stem); $39.95 (lower stem bearing). CONTACT? www.appliedrace.com or (800) 853-0555. WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with Applied SST (Super Short Trail) triple clamps. (1) Geometry. Honda’s goal was to make the 2009-2010 CRF450 as agile as possible. In comparison…