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2013

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 TWO-STROKE SHOOTOUT! THE 2013 KTM 125SX VERSUS THE 2013 KTM 150SX

Q: WHAT’S BETTER A 125SX OR A 150SX? A: The MXA wrecking crew can promise one thing with this shootout?KTM is going to win. But, we aren?t sure that there is an outright winner because each bike is designed and built for a different reason, consumer and purpose. Who you are makes a bigger difference than the performance of either bike. 2013 KTM 125SX: At 34.66 horsepower, the KTM 125S X is a classic shriek machine. Q: WHY DOES KTM MAKE BOTH A 125 AND A 150? A: That is a question that KTM asks itself fiv…

MXA TEAM TESTED: KREFT KTM 250/300 POWERDIAL POWER-VALVE ADJUSTER

WHAT IS IT? The Kreft PowerDial is an easy-to-install KTM 250/300 power-valve adjuster. It replaces the stock KTM system so that adjustments can be made in seconds. WHAT’S IT COST? $89.95 (black), $98.95 (Gold). CONTACT? www.kreftmoto.com or (970) 403-2715. WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Kreft PowerDial. (1) Function. The Kreft PowerDial makes it possible to adjust the spring preload on the KTM 250/300 power valve without tools. In fact, we could pull over to the side o…

WE RIDE KURT CASELLI’S STAGE-WINNING DAKAR RALLY KTM 450

Imagine going from racing a 240-pound KTM 450SXF to racing a 380-pound bike. And not just riding it around your local track, but for 5000 miles with nine gallons of gas strapped between your legs. Kurt Caselli did it?and he did it with just a short amount of time to prepare before starting the most prestigious and grueling offroad race on earth, the Dakar Rally. In 2013, d ecorated multi-time offroad champion Kurt Caselli answered the last-minute call to fill in for Factory KTM’s injured Marc Coma in th…

MXA TEAM TESTED: MILLENNIUM TECHNOLOGIES KTM 270 BIG-BORE KIT

WHAT IS IT? Millennium Technologies is making a 270cc kit for the 2013 KTM 250SXF four-stroke. This is a straightforward bore and re-plate project that doesn?t cost an arm and a leg. WHAT’S IT COST? $246.70 (bore/re-plate cylinder), $212.93 (Vertex 81mm piston), $60.84 (Cometic gasket kit). CONTACT? www.mt-llc.com  or (920) 893-5595. WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Millennium Technologies KTM 270SXF big-bore kit. (1) Problem. The MXA wrecking crew usually calls…

MXA TEAM TESTED: FMF FACTORY 4.1 WITH MEGABOMB KTM 450SXF EXHAUST

WHAT IS IT? The Factory 4.1 with MegaBomb head pipe is FMF’s premium exhaust system for the new 2013-14 KTM 450SXF. Several KTM support and offroad teams run the 4.1. WHAT’S IT COST? $949.99 (full system with MegaBomb head pipe). CONTACT? www.fmfracing.com or (310) 631-4363. WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with FMF’s KTM 450SXF Factory 4.1 exhaust. (1) Models. FMF makes three versions of the Factory 4.1 for the 2013-14 KTM 450SXF. MXA tested the RCT anodized full system with the …

MXA’s 2013 TM 144MX TWO-STROKE MOTOCROSS TEST: A RARE PRODUCTION BIKE THAT HAS THE CACHET OF ITALIAN EXOTICA

FIRST AND FOREMOST, IS THE 2013 TM 144MX BETTER THAN THE 2012 TM 144MX? A: Yes, in some ways, but in other ways, no. That might sound contradictory, but then again, so is the TM.   Q: WHAT CHANGES DID TM MAKE TO THE 144MX FOR 2013? A: The 2013 144cc, two-stroke engine gets a new carb manifold, reed-block location, air boot, air-filter cage, piston, power valve, HGS pipe/silencer and new crankshaft bearings. The TM 144MX and 125MX come with 48mm Kayaba forks, TM rear shocks, new brake calipers, shor…

MXA’S 2013 KTM 65SXS MOTOCROSS TEST: LOOKING FOR A LOOPHOLE IN THE 65 RULES? HERE IT IS

FIRST AND FOREMOST, WHAT EXACTLY IS AN ‘SXS?? A: KTM’s SXS program essentially takes advantage of a loophole in the AMA Amateur rulebook, which reads, under Section 1.2, article A, part B, ?For a minicycle to be homologated, the manufacturer must apply to the AMA, register the machine’s specifications, provide photographs, an OEM parts list and provide that up to 100 identical machines of the same year and model are available for sale to the general public through a distributor network.? KTM’s SXS progr…

MXA TEAM TESTED: CRFSTUFF 2013 CRF450 OFFSET SPROCKET

WHAT IS IT? When Honda released the 2013 CRF450, every loyal Honda owner was thrilled by the possibilities of a new machine. What they weren?t thrilled about was that Honda moved the countershaft sprocket over 3.8mm, which required the rear hub to be widened by 3.8mm. True, Honda got more clearance between the chain and rear tire and everything lined up perfectly, but every Honda racer who owned an expensive set of Kite, TCR, Talon, RAD or Haan spare wheels was out of luck. He couldn?t use them on the 2…

WE RIDE KTM FACTORY SERVICES’ 350SXF: IT IS A FACTORY BUILT ENGINE FOR NON-FACTORY RACERS

Have you ever picked up the phone and called Team Honda to see if they would hop-up your CRF450? No? Well, don?t. They won?t touch your engine?and they won?t accept any future phone calls from you. The same holds true for Team Kawasaki, Team Suzuki and, most certainly, the nonexistent Team Yamaha. But, amazingly, there is one factory team that will hop-up your engine to full-race, high-tech, factory specs. And while KTM isn?t going to pull 2012 Mechanic of the Year Carlos Rivera off Ryan Dungey’s bike t…

HOW TO BUILD A RACE READY 2013 KAWASAKI KX450F BY JOHN BASHER

By John Basher This is a love story that began with innocent intentions. It was a romance that, like Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson’s relationship in Grease, happened so fast. By no means did I plan to fall in love with a motorcycle, but it was simply meant to be. Life would never be the same after the day I threw a leg over the Kawasaki KX450F. After several years of apprenticeship as a professional test rider?having been assigned to test, inspect, evaluate and learn about 250 four-strokes?I had earned my…

MXA MID-SIZED SHOOTOUT: WHICH IS BEST? A 125 TWO-STROKE, 250 FOUR-STROKE OR 250 TWO-STROKE

  Not every rider is alike. There are riders who like the snap of a 250cc two-stroke, those who prefer to wring the guts out of a wide-open 125cc tiddler, and a third group that craves the abundant vibes of a 250cc four-stroke. The MXA wrecking crew decided to round up all three of these bikes and compare them head to head. Now, you might be wondering why we didn?t include a 450cc four-stroke in the comparison. The answer is simple: very few riders are trying to decided between a 450cc bike and a s…

WE RIDE TOTAL PERFORMANCE / C4MX’S HONDA CRF250 AMATEUR WEAPON

Just a few short years ago, a rider with a two-stroke, pickup truck and helpful dad could be competitive at the highest echelons of amateur motocross, but alas, the world has changed. Today, whether you are aiming for the World Mini GP, Ponca City, Loretta Lynn or the local Spring series, it is all about getting the biggest jump on the competition, regardless of cost. Four-strokes and money have changed the game?especially in the 250 class. With big-name factory support teams like Geico Honda, Star Yama…

WE RIDE PRO CIRCUIT’S 60-HORSEPOWER HONDA CRF450

The 2013 Honda CRF450 is the most discussed bike of the year, thanks in part to a new model change and because, to put it bluntly, it’s red. Honda has long held the attention of the buying public. Honda is known for their dominance during the 1980s, with racing greats such as David Bailey, Johnny O?Mara, Donnie Hansen and Ricky Johnson, continuing through the ?90s with Jeff Stanton and Jeremy McGrath, and onward to a new millennium with Ricky Carmichael and Trey Canard. A reputation for quality products…

MXA’S 2013 HUSQVARNA CR125 TWO-STROKE TEST RIDE: IS IT THE LAST OF THE BREED OR THE FIRST OF A NEW SPECIES?

WHERE DOES HUSQVARNA STAND NOW THAT BMW SOLD THE BRAND TO KTM? A: We wish we knew, but KTM will not reveal all its plans for Husqvarna until later this year. As for BMW, they bought Husky right before the recession hit, and then tried to recover some of their investment by turning the iconic offroad brand into a gimmicky street bike brand. KTM’s known plans for the Swedish brand are to bring Husky to Austria (keeping the Italian factory for parts supply for older models). Q: WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE HUSABE…

WE RIDE RYAN SIPES’ ROCKSTAR ENERGY RACING SUZUKI RM-Z250

Behind the glitz and glamour of the 18-wheelers, AMA Nationals and Supercross stadiums lie the not-so-pleasant realities of running a race team. In truth, support is limited, money is tight, expectations are high and the odds of winning are slim. With great risk and little reward, many teams are shrinking, going into debt or pulling the plug. It’s a sad state of affairs when Suzuki can only afford a one-man team and Yamaha doesn?t even field a factory effort. Amazingly, there is one team that is bucking…

MXA WRENCH TECH: HOW TO REPROGRAM YOUR 2010 THRU 2013 YAMAHA YZ450F EFI MAPS:

MXA has provided four maps (in the tables included in this article) that we liked during our testing (and we still make changes on a daily basis for different test riders). These maps don?t come with the GYTR Power Tuner. As it comes out of the box, all the fields in the GYTR Power Tuner are set at 0, 0, 0, 0, 0; which are the stock ignition and fuel settings. When you move the cursor to a specific field within the fuel injection grid, you can change the value to whole numbers between negative seven and…

MXA’S 2013 KTM 250SX TWO-STROKE MOTOCROSS TEST: BEST IN CLASS…YOU BET!

Q: FIRST AND FOREMOST, IS THE 2013 KTM 250SX BETTER THAN THE 2012 KTM 250SX? A: Yes, wholeheartedly yes. It is hard to keep track of all of the changes that KTM keeps making to the 250SX two-stroke. But, the changes they made for 2013 are all on the good side of the ledger. To understand the changes to the 2013 model, you need to trace the last four years of the 250SX’s development. Q: WHAT WAS NEW ON THE 2010 KTM 250SX TWO-STROKE? A: Equipped with no-link, single-sided rear suspension, the 2010 wasn?t …

MXA’S 2013 TM MX 450FI-ES MOTOCROSS TEST: THIS ITALIAN 450 IS THE RAREST PRODUCTION BIKE SOLD IN THE USA

FIRST AND FOREMOST, WHAT IS A TM MX 450FI-ES? A: Don?t you ever wish we could return to the good old days when bikes had names like Elsinore, Cyclone, Super Rat and Green Streak? They were descriptive and didn?t require a college degree in advanced acronym deciphering. The TM MX 450FI-ES is a tough nut to crack. First, the ?TM? stands for Thomas and Mirko. If you think those are the names of the two men who started the company, you are wrong. If they used their first names, the bike would be called the …

MXA’S 2013 450 FOUR-STROKE SHOOTOUT: SIX 2013 MOTOCROSS BIKES WALKED INTO MXA’S O.K. CORRAL, BUT ONLY ONE WALKED OUT (PLUS VIDEO)

The idea behind a shootout hasn?t changed much since the Earps and Clantons met at the O.K. Corral. The plot is always the same. The antagonists come face to face to settle a grudge, and the winner is determined by who draws the fastest, shoots the straightest and doesn?t succumb to nerves. Right or might isn?t as important as the technical skills required for gunplay. For the ?2013 Motocross Action 450 Shootout,? it is not a matter of who’s the fastest as much as who hits the target. A successful gunfi…

MXA’S 2013 KTM 450SXF-FE “RYAN DUNGEY REPLICA” MOTOCROSS TEST: SOME COMPANIES BARELY MAKE ANY BIKES, LET ALONE WORKS REPLICAS

There is an inherent ?hope gene? in every person that believes things will get better, that tomorrow is a better day, that good things come to those who wait, and that this year’s new model is better than last year’s new model. And so it goes with motocross bikes. Even when we have positive proof that a bike hasn?t gotten better, people still run out and buy the new bike because it must be better?it just must be. Take the 2009 Honda CRF450 as an example. It was not as good as the 2008 CRF450?or the 2007…