The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame will welcome off-road racing champion Kurt Caselli and motocross champion Ron Lechien to the 2019 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony is part of the 2019 AMA Legends & Champions Weekend, December 6-7 at the Hilton Columbus Downtown.
Kurt Caselli, whose father Rich was an active member of AMA District 37’s Prospectors Motorcycle Club, started winning at an early age. In 1998, at age 15, Caselli won the desert championship in his class. In 2000, he won an amateur championship in three disciplines: enduro, desert and grand prix.
Caselli soon took his talents overseas, participating in the FIM International Six Days Enduro on the official U.S. team. He competed in the ISDE for 12 years. Eight times Caselli was the top-finishing American rider, and he won his class twice. Caselli was on the winning U.S. Junior Trophy Team in 2006, and he was on the U.S. World Trophy Team in 2013 when the team finished second, matching its best finish in the event at that time.
Riding for the factory-backed KTM team, Caselli committed full time to the AMA National Hare and Hound Championship Series in 2011 and won the title. In 2012, he successfully defended his title before repeating that performance in 2013.
Caselli’s focus then shifted to international rally racing. In 2013, he finished strong in Dakar and won the Desafio Ruta 40. His final race before making the full leap to rally racing would be the SCORE-promoted Baja 1000. Tragically, Caselli died in that race, colliding with a large animal while competing and suffering fatal injuries.
While Caselli is remembered for his incredible skill and talent on an off-road motorcycle, his most lasting impact may be his role, inspired by his father, in fostering a deep sense of team, dedication and patriotism among U.S. riders competing at the ISDE. Those efforts paid off in 2016 when the U.S. World Trophy Team finally won the World Trophy, an achievement that had eluded American riders since the event began in 1913.
El Cajon, California., native Ron Lechien competed against some of the greatest motocross racers in history throughout the 1980s, winning 26 nationals and the 1985 125cc AMA National Motocross Championship.
Lechien’s natural talent and smooth riding style made him unmistakable on the track. His seemingly effortless speed translated across classes, and he earned wins in 125cc, 250cc and 500cc motocross competition, as well as in 250cc Supercross, the premier class at the time.
Lechien, born December 13, 1966, won the 1985 125cc AMA Motocross Championship and was without question one of the era’s top riders. Lechien finished in the top three in national points 10 times out of the 18 series he contested full time. Lechien raced 158 races in his career and made the podium in 80 of them. Over half the time he raced, Lechien stood on the podium among some of the greatest American racers of all time.
In 1985, Lechien raced the 125cc class for the U.S. team at the Motocross of Nations in Germany and won his class with a 2-1-1 finish. At the 1988 Motocross of Nations in France, he raced the 500cc class and won both of his motos, beating the best in the world.
Lechien, who raced for the Kawasaki, Yamaha and Honda factory teams throughout his career, also competed in the 1984 and 1989 U.S. Motocross Grand Prix, collecting two wins.
While a severely broken leg in the 1989 500cc AMA National Championship Series ended Lechien’s career prematurely, he is remembered as one of the top riders from one of the most-competitive eras of the sport.
TWO-STROKE SPOTLIGHT: MICHAEL FRASER’S 1995 KAWASAKI KX250
“My bike is a 1995 Kawasaki KX250 that I bought for $1500 and restored over the summer of 2016. I completely disassembled the bike and replaced or re-furnished everything from the ground up. I did all the work myself except for the powder coating and the suspension rebuild.”
“The frame and sub-frame were sandblasted and powder coated with Kawasaki color-matched powder. The swingarm was also blasted and powder-coated a gun metal grey color. The front and rear suspension was professionally rebuilt and re-valved by Donny Ellis at Pro-Action Suspension located in Airdrie, Canada.”
“The engine was rebuilt top and bottom and fitted with an FMF Gold Series pipe and FMF silencer. New radiators and hoses were fitted as well. The graphics, sponsor style decals and seat cover were all from Evo-Mx.com. Front and rear brake calipers and master cylinders were re-built and also fitted with new brake lines and EBC brake pads. All the frame, steering and suspension bearings were replaced with Pivot Works and All Balls Racing bearings.”
Pro Taper handle bars with Emig V2 lock on grips and Cycra Racing hand guard deflectors, Hammerhead billet shift lever, Renthal sprockets with D.I.D Gold chain, Boyesen ignition cover, Acerbis plastics.
Editor’s note~Please keep those submissions coming. If you would like your bike to be featured in the “Two-Stroke Spotlight,” please email me at email@example.com. All I ask is that you give a breakdown of your bike and a detailed description of the build. Please also send a few photos of your steed. By submitting your bike for the “Two-Stroke Spotlight,” you agree to release all ownership rights to the images and copy to MXA. Please don’t email me spam or try selling me Taylor Swift concert tickets or email me spam. I already celebrate T-Swizzle’s entire collective, and there will be “bad blood” if you send me junk mail. See what I did there? Happy submitting your smoker.
FIRST LOOK | 2020 SUZUKI DR-Z400S
Riders will be impressed with the amount of torque coming from the 398cc, liquid-cooled powerplant, as well as the crisp handling from the adjustable suspension. This ultra-reliable bike is completely street legal, with an electric start and easy-to-read instrument cluster. The solid black bodywork with contrasting white graphics make the bike stand out on the road, on the trail, or even when parked.
Whether you’re on the highway or on a twisty forest path, the Suzuki DR-Z400S can’t be beat.
FIRST LOOK | 2020 SUZUKI DR200S
MITCH PAYTON | WHAT MAKES A GREAT RACER?
WP FORKS. The stock air pressure recommended by Husqvarna on this bike is 10.7 bar with the compression and rebound set at 12 clicks each. Being that this was my first ride on this bike, and I am on the lighter side, the first thing I did was lower the air pressure to 10.5 bar because typically the stock air pressure is just too much for me. Within the first 10 minutes of riding I quickly realized that I ad made it a little too soft. I went up to the stock 10.7 bar air pressure and got the feel I was looking for— plush initially with good bottoming resistance. I felt comfortable with the compression set at the stock 12 clicks out, but I felt like the fork was not following the ground as much as I would like it to. I opened the rebound to 14 clicks out (from the stock 12 clicks out) and that was better, but still not quite enough. So I went to 16 clicks out and found the comfort that I was looking for. Don’t let 16 clicks out on rebound scare you, it may seem like a lot—but for a lighter guy like me it gave me what I was looking for.
WP SHOCK. The 2020 FC250, FC350, and FC450 all come with 4.2 N/mm shock springs. That is down from a 45 N/mm spring last year. This was good news for me because I wasn’t able to get the sag numbers I was looking for on previous model with the 4.5 N/mm spring without having to loosen the shock spring all the way so that it had little to no preload on it, which in turn gave the shock a “dead” feel and made it harder to set up.
With the updated setting and 4.2 N/mm spring, I was able to get 103mm of sag while keeping a good amount of preload on the spring. For my base setting I had the high-speed compression set at 1.5 turns, low-speed compression set at 12 clicks and rebound also set at 12 clicks. With this setting I felt the rear was a little harsh on high-speed square- edge bumps and didn’t follow the ground well. I couldn’t push to my limit while still staying in my comfort zone. The first thing I did was open the high-speed compression 1/4 turn to bring it to 1-3/4 turns out. This helped with the harsh feel and alowed the rear of the bike to squat under acceleration, which helped the bike drive forward through the bumps. I also opened the low-speed compression 2 clicks, bringing it to 14 clicks out to help with this. As far as rebound goes I felt comfortable with it at 12 clicks when I made the changes to the compression settings. The rear end settled well and was comfortable at speed.
LOST BUT NOT FORGOTTEN | JEFF EMIG’S CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING FACTORY 1998 KX250
MXA YOUTUBE CHANNEL | HIT THAT SUBSCRIBE BUTTON
AIMEXPO SIDEWAYS SATURDAY PROMO VIDEO
2020 YAMAHA WR250F & WR450F
MXA FIRST RIDE | 2020 YAMAHA YZ250 TWO-STROKE
MOTO | TRIVIA
“STRONG, THE DESTRY ABBOTT STORY” TEASER
MXA TEAM TESTED: DUBYA CERAKOTE KTM WHEELSET
What is Cerakote? Cerakote is a polymer-ceramic composite coating that can be applied to metals, plastics, polymers and wood. The coating enhances abrasion resistance, corrosion resistance, chemical resistance, impact strength and hardness. It is a spray-on compound that is applied in a sterile environment and baked in an oven between 250 and 300 degrees. There are two types of Cerakoting—H-grade and C-grade. Dubya uses H-grade, which is the most popular coating for firearms, knives, and other such items that require hardness and corrosion resistance. C-grade is generally used for high-heat applications. Cerakote creates a thinner layer than anodizing or powdercoating, which means that it doesn’t change the tolerances of the bearing pockets; however, Dubya bead-blasts the hubs, removes the bearings and seals, and tapes off the hub’s interior surfaces before applying the Cerakote. Additionally, unlike anodizing, which produces mixed results on cast aluminum compared to billet aluminum, Cerakote delivers a clean finish on cast hubs. It should be noted that Cerakote doesn’t have the bright-dip look of shiny anodizing. The colors are more muted.
Dubya can take your stock hubs and Cerakote them in magnesium, white, charcoal, titanium or desert sand colors. There are actually 90 different Cerakote color options, but Dubya specializes in the four that most racers request.
Dubya USA offers Takasago Excel rims in black, silver, blue, yellow and gold, or D.I.D rims in black or silver. The MXA wrecking crew selected D.I.D ST-X rims in black. This is D.I.D’s strongest rim. Dubya can build up your wheels in whatever combination of spokes, rims and nipples you choose. The Cerakoting is a service that is applied to your stock or aftermarket hubs to change their color.
MXA selected Bulldog spokes and traditional box-style nipples, but spline-drive nipples are available for the same price (although colored nipples do have an upcharge). Dubya USA uses full-length spokes that allow the threads to get a full purchase on the nipple. This reduces the odds of a nipple snapping at the stress riser caused by a short spoke.
We would love to say that having our hubs Cerakoted added 2 horsepower and dropped our lap times by a full second, but that isn’t what Cerakoting does. Although there are corrosion, abrasion, chemical and UV-light advantages to Cerakoting your hubs, there are no pragmatic reasons for doing it. The primary motive is that it makes them look more “factory.”
DIGITS? $200.00 (Cerakote two hubs), $428.00 (two D.I.D. ST-X rims), $99.00/$95.00 (silver Bulldog spokes with spline drive or OEM aluminum nipples), $80.00 (lacing and truing) — www.dubyausa.com or (714) 279-0200.
MXA RATING: Cerakoting your front and rear hubs is several hundred dollars cheaper than buying Talon or Kite hubs, but when you are done getting your hubs coated, rimmed, laced and spoked, what you have in the end is a fancy stock hub.
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