MOTOCROSS ACTION MID-WEEK REPORT BY DARYL ECKLUND

#WHIPITWEDNESDAY

Rider: Austin Forkner
Date: May 27, 2017
Location: Glen Helen National
Photographer: Daryl Ecklund
Lens: 70-200mm
Exposure: 1/2000 sec.
F-stop: 5
ISO: 320

TWO-STROKE SPOTLIGHT: MORTEN LARSEN’S 2007 HONDA CR125

“Back in 2008 it suddenly got real for me that the future fun with Honda two-strokes was over. I have raced and modified so many Hondas over the years. A few of them were a 1993 CR250,  1999 CR250 (which was scary) as well as a 2000 and 2001 CR250.

I raced a lot on a 1995 CR125 up to 2002 and it was still competitive. The 2005 CR125 showed a little hope. It had no top end power, the bladder forks where crap but the feel of the bike was there. We all were on 250F’s in 2005, but suddenly in 2008 it became real for me that all the two-strokes from Honda would not come back. I contacted my dealer contact in Germany and said that he really needed to find me a new one. After a few months he got me one home from California.

I was super happy. The same day I got it home I took everything apart. The engine cases got modified as well as  blueprinted. The cylinder and top end got modified. The ignition timing was changed, a 270mm front disk was added and we threw on a Pro Circuit exhaust system. Of course, I also modified the suspension with all the best we could do from MX-Tech. Two days later I was at the track!

What a blast! When I arrived at the track, I got many comments; Why do you ride a CR 125? They a weak, they have no top end power. They are slow, and no mach to a CRF, etc etc. After 14 days we had the little Honda dialed in. We killed the low end curve (but who cares), but now it had lots of mid and top end power. You could punish the daylight out of it and smile all the way around the track. You could beat the 250F´s just by less breaking and hammering it into the corners, and I nearly forgot that I was a Vet rider every time I got behind the starting gate. Even all the stupid comments about weak Honda’s was gone.

But after 20 hours on the bike I was too busy working and sold the bike. As the years went by, I missed my little CR125. All the time I wondered what happened to my two-stroke treasure.

I knew it sold it to one of my old youth school students, but no one had seen it on the track in years. Then a friend called me 6 months ago; Hey Morten, you gotta come now, your old Honda, I know where it is! The guy will sell it to you!

My old Honda CR125 was a 100% the same as when I sold it. It only had another 5 hours on it because he got hurt in an accident and never rode it again. I made the deal instantly.

Of course I took it apart again. I put on 47mm Showa MX-Tech Element 7 fork, with all the upgrades we have learned since 2008, and the shock was replaced with a KYB factory shock that we upgraded and modified with MXT parts.

I am 48 years old, and too fat and slow for a 125. For sure I ride much better on my 450SXF. But who cares? It is so fun, and inside the helmet I feel like a 14 year old kid every time I ride it. Just the sound makes me smile.

The Japan manufactures may never bring back two-strokes.  I love that KTM and TM are keeping the smokers alive. In Denmark the two-stroke movement grows bigger every day. The average rider can afford to race again. The future of motocross is starting to look better again with the revival of two-stroke.

Will I ever sell my CR 125 again? Never!”

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 darylecklundmxa@gmail.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.

FACEBOOK PHOTO OF THE WEEK: 2018 HONDA CRF250

VALENTINO ROSSI RECOVERING FROM MOTOCROSS INJURY

Valentino Rossi rides all things with two-wheels. 

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team rider Valentino Rossi was involved in a motocross training accident at the Cross Club Cavallara in Mondavio (Pesaro Urbino, Italy), on Thursday, May 25th. The 38-year-old Italian rider was taken to a local hospital for a medical check-up, where he was diagnosed with mild thoracic and abdominal trauma. No fractures have been detected in any part of the body and no serious traumatic pathologies were found.

THEY SAID IT: GLEN HELEN NATIONAL

Cole Seely: “There were positives from today but also a lot of things I need to work on. I’m still having some trouble with my hip from last week’s crash, so I was in some pain from that throughout the day but worked through it. I got a good start in the first moto and was feeling good for the first half or more but then faded back. I got a terrible start in the second moto and just spent the rest of the race trying to make my way by as many people as I could. We did some fine-tuning on my bike this week and on Thursday press day, so I was really happy with that. I just need to work on myself and try to keep improving.”

Christian Craig: “Glen Helen was pretty positive for me overall. I felt awesome all day and was excited for the day in general and motivated more than ever to show where I belong. In the first moto I got a great start and was running third almost the entire moto until Eli [Tomac] got me. I finished fourth, which is my best finish in a 450 moto. I was pumped with how I rode and where my fitness was. Knowing I’m able to run up front with the best in our sport is a good boost to my confidence. The second moto started out great too. I pulled the holeshot, led four laps, and then was passed by [Blake] Baggett and [Jason] Anderson. They were charging hard but I kept with them for a while. Twenty minutes in, my front end tucked on a jump and I went down hard. I punched the dirt with my hand and ended up getting a ‘boxer break.’ Luckily the break isn’t nearly as bad as it could’ve been. I’ll be getting it plated on Monday and hope to be back on the bike within a couple weeks. Although my day ended with an injury, overall I’m pleased with my riding today and happy I was able to put my bike up front. I can’t thank the entire team enough for always being positive and supporting me through the good and bad. I’m looking forward to getting back out front!”

Marvin Musquin: “I’m just tying to be smooth and safe, but fast at the same time. At a track like this today it’s really easy to make mistakes. It may not have looked like I was out of control, but I was nervous out there and trying to keep it on two wheels. To come out of Glen Helen with a win is really good. We also have the points lead, so I’m just going to keep trying to be consistent and not make any mistakes.”

 Zach Osborne: “I woke up feeling under the weather a bit today. I had a sore throat from allergies, so was a little nervous because this isn’t one of my best tracks. To come away with another win is just icing on the cake. I just need to keep putting myself in a position to win and keep getting better. I’m happy to come out of California with strong results and I’m looking forward to heading east where I feel more comfortable.”

MXA PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: POLISPORT IGNITION COVER PROTECTOR

The Polisport Ignition Cover Protector is the easy solution to an age old issue; wearing out the ignition cover. Rocks, roots, ruts, and rubbing of the boots or shifter plague the ignition case with scuffs and scratches. This strong and stylish plastic guard excels in rocky terrain and protects the ignition cover from impacts and scratches. The hardened plastic polyamide shell is heat resistant and offers a precise fit in many colors for a variety of makes and models. It also preserves the looks of the ignition cover, giving your ride a stylish accessory while also preserving resale value.
Price: $34.99. Website: www.polisport.com

PHOTO OF THE PAST: DAVID VUILLEMIN & JEREMY MCGRATH IN 2001

In the 2001 Supercross series, Jeremy McGrath got dethroned by Ricky Carmichael. David Vuillemin missed 4 races that season and only finished outside the top 10 twice in the 12 races he entered. He still finished 8th in points that year. 

2017 RACE SCHEDULES: BE THERE OR BE SQUARE

California is the richest race state in the union, with seven major events in 2017. Folks in Michigan should rejoice, as Supercross (Detroit), Arenacross (Grand Rapids) and the Lucas Oil Nationals (Red Bud) visit “The Great Lake State.” And those residing in the Pacific Northwest will be happy hosting a bevy of events, from Supercross to the AMA Nationals.

2017 LUCAS OIL PRO MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP

May 20…Hangtown…Sacramento, CA
May 27…Glen Helen…San Bernardino, CA
June 3…Thunder Valley…Lakewood, CO
June 17…High Point…Mount Morris, PA
June 24…Muddy Creek…Blountville, TN
July 1…Red Bud…Buchanan, MI
July 8…Southwick…Southwick, MA
July 22…Spring Creek…Millville, MN
July 29…Washougal…Washougal, WA
August 12…Unadilla…New Berlin, NY
August 19…Budds Creek…Mechanicsville, MD
August 26…Ironman…Crawfordsville, IN
* Visit www.promotocross.com/mx/tickets to buy tickets

2017 FIM MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

February 25…Losail…Qatar
March 5…Pangkal Pinang…Indonesia
March 19…Neuquen…Argentina
April 2…Leon…Mexico
April 16…Trentino…Italy
April 23…Valkenswaard…The Netherlands
May 7…Kegums…Latvia
May 21…Teutschenthal…Germany
May 28…Ernee…France
June 11…Orlyonok…Russia
June 25…Maggiora…Italy
July 2…Agueda…Portugal
July 23…Loket…Czech Republic
August 6…Lommel…Belgium
August 13…Frauenfeld…Switzerland
August 20…Uddevalla…Sweden
September 3…Charlotte…USA
September 10…Assen…The Netherlands
September 17…Villars sous Ecot…France

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