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WE RIDE CHAD REED’S WORKS YAMAHA YZ450F

GETTING A CHANCE TO TEST RIDE A WORKS BIKE, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE AMA RACING SEASON, WOULD BE LIKE  FERRARI LETTING YOU TAKE MICHAEL SCHUMACHER’S FERRARI DOWN TO THE STORE FOR A QUART OF MILK ON THE EVE OF THE GRAND PRIX OF MONACO. Getting a chance to test ride a works bike, in the middle of the AMA racing season, would be like Ferrari letting you take Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari down to the store for a quart of milk on the eve of the Grand Prix of Monaco. Factory teams are protective of their mach…

WE RIDE MAXPOWER/RPM’S BIG-BORE KX315

    WITH TODAY’S METALLURGICAL CONFIGURATIONS, IT IS POSSIBLE TO MAKE AN ENGINE PRODUCE MORE POWER, ACCELERATION, SPEED AND SENSATIONS THAN THE HUMAN MIND CAN PROCESS OR HUMAN BODY MANAGE.             Formula 1 race car designers, from as far back as Colin Chapman, have understood that there is a delicate balance between weight and power. In truth, the never-ending pursuit of power has pretty much ended, and if it weren’t for computer mana…

MXA PRODUCT TEST: PRO CIRCUIT KX450F LINKAGE AND REVALVE

WHAT IS IT? An aftermarket shock linkage and shock revalve for the 2006 Kawasaki KX450F that alters the rising rate, lowers the seat height and mitigates bottoming.
WHAT’S IT COST? $184.95 (linkage), $149.95 (shock revalve) and $7.95 (shock oil)(951) 738-8050. www.procircuit.com     WHAT’S IT DO? Every MXA test rider has concerns about the rear suspension of the 2006 KX450F. In stock trim, it wallows (sways under acceleration), bottoms (so hard that it can break the rear fe…

2007 YAMAHAS

YZ450F New for 2007: Replacing the upper cast triple clamp with a light and strong forging, slightly reducing steering head rigidity, and the use of lighter outer fork tubes; lighter wheel rims and light wave-type brake rotors add up to super-accurate, super-responsive steering. Increasing the length of the rear shock by 1.5mm further sharpens handling. Replacing steel damping adjusters with aluminum ones removes even more weight from the four-way adjustable, titanium-sprung rear suspension unit. A more…

NEW BIKES: 2007 KAWASAKIS

  KX250F Kawasaki’s all-new four-stroke KX250F rose to the top to become one of last years best motocross bikes. For 2007, Kawasaki improves the championship-winning KX250F with a host of engine and chassis modifications designed to extend its performance advantage. Refinements to Kawasaki’s highly acclaimed KX250F make it an even more potent track weapon. The newest KX250F keeps the outstanding top-end power from last year’s bike, but adds a stronger pull from the bottom of its rev range. The upgr…

2007 SUZUKIS

RM 125  2007 RM125 Get ready for a shot of mid-range designed to help you blast past the competition. The RM125 has a wider powerband and more controllable power delivery than ever. Couple that smooth, strong power and refined suspension systems front and rear, and you’ve got the hottest one-two-five on the track. So get in on Suzuki’s winning tradition, with the 2007 RM125. RM-Z 250 2007 RM-Z250 The 2007 RM-Z250 is all new from the ground up and it is 100% Suzuki. The RM-Z250 features a compact, l…

WE RIDE SEAN COLLIER’S STAR RACING YAMAHA YZ250F

  IT’S NO SECRET THAT EVERY RACE TEAM LIKES TO THINK OF THEMSELVES AS THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE.  IT’S HUMAN NATURE TO THINK THAT EVERY MOTOCROSS FAN KNOWS WHO THEY ARE. As he’s a neighbor of Motocross Action’s managing editor Tim Olson, we’d love to say Sean Collier volunteered to let the MXA wrecking crew take his 2006 Star Racing YZ250F and thrash on it. Truth is, Sean was busy at the Yamaha Supercross test track in Corona, California, and wouldn’t be able to help us in our quest to try ou…

WE RIDE PRO-CIRCUIT’S RC REPLICA RM-Z450

    THANKS TO THE AMA PRODUCTION RULE, AS FEEBLY ENFORCED AS IT IS, MOST FACTORY RACE BIKES ARE FINELY TUNED VERSIONS OF SHOWROOM STOCKERS. What’s the difference between a works bike and a stock bike? Cubic dollars. Big bucks. Massive infusions of loot. Moolah. Filthy lucre. Greenbacks. What does all that cash buy? You probably think that it buys exotic one-off parts. Not true. Most of the trick parts on a modern works bike are obtainable on the open market. Thanks to the AMA production r…

WE RIDE PIONEER’S BIG-BORE SUZUKI RM-Z475

  NAMED AFTER THE EMBARRASSINGLY SHALLOW MTV SHOW, WHERE CELEBRITIES SHOW OFF THEIR  HOMES, SHOES, CARS AND SPAS, THE “CRIBS EFFECT” HAS SPREAD THROUGHOUT EVERY SOCIAL STRATA OF AMERICAN SOCIETY. Pssst! Wanna know a secret? Four-stroke buyers are bucks-up. They are better off financially than any group of motocross racers in the 35-year history of the sport. Suddenly, it appears as though everybody in America is rich?ostentatiously so. Modern racers are more than willing to spend beaucoup mone…

WE RIDE MB1/TOKYO MODS HONDA CRF450

  Einstein’s theory: Tokyo Mods’ engine formula is simple. Make the most power and make it right now. AS PART OF THE MXA FAITHFUL, YOU NO DOUBT REMEMBER THAT WE TESTED BOTH A STAND-ALONE MB1/TOKYO MODS HONDA CRF250 AND A CRF450 IN OUR INFAMOUS BLIND-TASTE-TEST PEPSI CHALLENGE. This isn’t the MXA wrecking crew’s first rodeo with the MB1 and Tokyo Mods boys. As part of the MXA faithful, you no doubt remember that we tested both a stand-alone MB1/Tokyo Mods Honda CRF250 and a CRF450 in our infamous bl…

2007 HONDA CRF250R

New for 2007 New camshaft and cylinder-head porting improve power output above 8000 rpm. New intake valve springs match new camshaft. New crankcase venting for improved engine power. New exhaust header works in conjunction with new camshaft. New carburetor features new-styled accelerator pump and linkage for improved throttle response. New clutch basket features increased thickness for additional strength. New ignition map with 13,370-rpm rev limit. New link-type front brake master cylinder improves fro…

2007 HONDA CRF450R

New for 2007 New larger 41mm Keihin FCR carburetor. New smaller exhaust valve for improved flow and smoother power delivery. Engine decompression system is lighter and more compact. New link-type front brake master cylinder improves front braking power by 15 percent. New Dunlop 742FA front tire for improved turning feel and traction. New subframe allows the muffler to be mounted farther forward for better mass-centralization. Lighter rear chain guide. Stronger clutch basket and clutch center for improve…

WE RIDE DR. D’S HONDA CRF450

Bullet train: MXA’s melding of Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki specialists produced a Honda CRF450 that is untouchable. You better be ready before you pull the trigger.   HISTORICALLY, FACTORY RIDERS MAKE BAD TEST RIDERS FOR ANYONE BUT THEMSELVES AND, UNFORTUNATELY FOR THE SALES DEPARTMENT, THEY DON’T PAY FOR THEIR BIKES. Test riders with the knowledge and gumption to tell the factory test engineers the truth are hard to come by. Don’t think that you can find them on the race teams?no way. Fast motorcy…

2006 YAMAHA YZ250F TEST

  As much as a giant, monolithic, multinational corporation can be, Yamaha is a rebel. As a rule of thumb, Yamaha always takes the road less traveled. Need proof? How about the first single-shock motocross bike (Monoshock)? First Brake Activated Suspension System (BASS)? First power valve-equipped exhaust port (YPVS)? First aluminum-framed works bike (YZM500)? Or, the granddaddy of all firsts, the first modern-era four-stroke motocross bikes?   While the rest of the manufacturers were busy per…

MXA PRODUCT TEST: YOSHIMURA RS3 CRF250 EXHAUST

  WHAT IS IT? Yoshimura’s take on the Honda twin-piper.   WHAT’S IT COST? $1175.00 (carbon fiber), $1075.00 (titanium), $750.00 (stainless steel)(909) 628-4722. http://www.yoshimura-rd.com   WHAT’S IT DO? Honda’s new twin-pipe exhaust has been a mixed bag for the consumer. Everyone thinks the design looks really cool, but very few feel, hear or see any actual difference in performance. Most devastating for consumer confidence is that buyers are scared to death about what it will cost to r…

MXA’S 2006 KTM 450SXF TEST

Have you heard of Maico? Bultaco? BSA? Ossa? Montesa? CZ? Rickman? Sure you have, but they’re only discussed when the subject of defunct European motorcycle brands is brought up. KTM was a contemporary of those dear departed brands, yet it is still standing, still in business, and still fighting the good fight. The Japanese industrial juggernaut of the late ?70s wiped most European motorcycle companies off the face of the earth, but KTM withstood the onslaught. How did they survive when all those around…

INSIDE KTM’S 2007 450SXF: ALL ELECTRIC START

(All photos by  Ray Archer)    KTM has unveiled it’s next generation of motocross machines at the second round of the FIM World Motocross Championship at Bellpuig, Spain last weekend. Factory rider Jonathan Barragan rode the 450 SXF to fourth place on it’s debut. It’s understood that Sebastian Tortelli was given the opportunity to ride the bike but decided to stick to his regular mount.          “I am really happy with the new bike,” Barragan s…

MXA’S 2006 KTM 250SX DIRT BIKE TEST

KTM was the smallest of the Big Five. It didn’t have the massive output in scooters, golf carts, power equipment, automobile engines, oil tankers, airplanes and motocross bikes of Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki. But small isn’t necessarily a bad thing!

2006 HONDA CRF250 TEST

Buzz is a weird thing. Public attention is drawn to Ben Affleck when it comes to his personal life, but nobody goes to see his movies. New motorcycles aren’t all that different when it comes to buzz. Common sense would tell you that the all-new aluminum-framed KX250F and YZ250F would be the subject of all the pit chatter. Not so. The twin pipes on the CRF250 double-trump everything else on the public’s radar. How do we know? That’s simple. Every time we take our 2006 KX250F and 2006 CRF250 to a local tr…

MXA PRODUCT TEST: L.A . SLEEVE YAMAHA YZ272F KIT

      WHAT IS IT? Memorize this phrase: “There’s no substitute for cubic centimeters.”   WHAT’S IT COST? $1398.95 (pipe, cam, cylinder and piston kit)(562) 945-7578. www.lasleeve.com     WHAT’S IT DO? The 250F four-stroke craze has created a unique problem for your typical Vet racer. It’s a choice problem. They love that they don’t get as tired on a 250F as on a 450, but hate how they get beat on the track by their buddies on 450s. It becomes almost cyclical, as a guy will …

MXA’S 2006 RM-Z250 TEST

You’ve probably heard this story before, but we need to tell it as part of the background on MXA’s 2006 Suzuki RM-Z250 test. On August 29, 2002, Kawasaki President Masamoto Tazaki announced that Kawasaki and Suzuki were forming an alliance. The Kawasaki/Suzuki alliance is all about filling in product lines (by sharing machines) and lowering costs (by doubling their ordering capability for standard-issue parts).   In the first few years of the alliance, Kawasaki and Suzuki shared a large number of b…

MXA’S 2006 KX250F TEST

What a difference a year makes. After spending all of 2004 and 2005 on what were essentially clone machines, Kawasaki and Suzuki decided to go their separate ways in 2006. It isn’t a divorce of equals, though. Kawasaki’s divorce lawyer was better than Suzuki’s. How so? Suzuki will be selling the same-old 2005 RM-Z250 (with a few engine improvements), while Kawasaki dealers will get all of the engine improvements, along with a new aluminum perimeter frame, Showa suspension (front and rear), Renthal handl…

HONDA CRF230 TEST

BASIC INFORMATION: Retail Price: $3,599.00. Transmission: Standard (six-speed). Engine type: Four-stroke.   CRF230 PURPOSE The CRF230 was designed, developed and tested to hit a home run when it comes to fun for nearly everyone in the whole family. While Honda didn’t engineer the CRF230 to fit an average-height sub-teenager, they did make sure the bike fit everyone else quite comfortably. The 230 is best mated with beginner and novice trail riders, although it can also be considered a play bike for…

2006 YAMAHA TTR50 TEST

BASIC INFORMATION Retail Price: $1149.00. Transmission: Automatic (three-speed). Engine type: Four-stroke.   TTR50 PURPOSE Let’s not sugarcoat it. Yamaha developed the TTR50 with one purpose in mindto get a major cut of the sweet money that Honda has been making for years with their CRF50, XR50, Z50 and Q50. No harm. No foul. The purpose of any manufacturer in developing a new bike is to achieve market share. The off-road 50 market has been dominated by Honda since day one and, truth be told, the C…

MXA’S 2006 RM-Z450 TEST

Ricky Carmichael put an exclamation point on the 2005 Suzuki RM-Z450’s maiden voyage when he took it to the AMA 250 National Championship. But history has conclusively proven that “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” is little more than an old wives’ tale. In a sophisticated market, the product’s charms far outweigh its racing promotion. Previous Ricky Carmichael championship seasons on the Kawasaki KX250 and Honda CR250 were met with a collective yawn from the buying public (in fact, sales dropped on those …

MXA’S 2006 KAWASAKI KX450F TEST

One of the inherent problems with jumping on the bandwagon last is that almost everything that could be done has been done. The 450cc four-stroke technological hay wagon was almost around the bend before Kawasaki leapt on board. It’s been eight years since Yamaha single-handedly invented the modern four-stroke motocross bike in 1998. KTM got there five years ago, Honda four years ago, and Suzuki last year. Kawasaki is late to the party.   The downside of being last is that there are very few techni…

2006 HONDA CRF450 TEST

In our opinion, Honda took a quantum leap forward with the CRF450 in 2005. One year ago, Honda changed the frame geometry with a fourth generation twin-spar frame. They improved the shift drum, shift forks and shift fork shafts for more accurate shifting.

2006 YAMAHA YZ450F TEST

  If you are a fan of great moments in historythe Hindenberg explosion, Pearl Harbor, the Beatles at Shea stadium or the opening of Disneyland Paris, you need to pay close attention. Earth-shattering, world-changing and envelope-busting motorcycles are few and far between. They don’t happen every day, every year or every decade. If you are lucky enough to be alive, with cash in your jeans and free from worldly constraints when it happens, you get to buy one.   Well, this is your lucky day! The…

MXA’S 2006 HUSQVARNA TC450 TEST

Husqvarna is the oldest motorcycle company selling offroad bikes in the USA today. Founded in 1903 in the town of Husqvarna, Sweden, it started as a gun manufacturer (in fact, the Husky logo is a gun sight), but made its first production motorcycle before World War I. Husqvarna achieved fame in the mid-war years (1918-1939) for its high-tech four-stroke engines, road racers and 750cc V-twins. After WWII, they were one of the first companies to focus on motocross. Husky’s success in the offroad world was…