PRO TAPER PRESENTS MXA’S MID-WEEK REPORT BY JOHN BASHER

#WHIPITWEDNESDAY

Rider: Josh Grant
Location: Angels Stadium in Anaheim
Date: January 3, 2015
Photographer: John Basher
Camera: Canon EOS-1D Mark III
Lens: 300mm f/2.8 IS II
Focal length: 300mm
Exposure: 1/1250 sec.
F-stop: 4.0
ISO: 250

TWO-STROKE FEVER: K-DUB & BRETT CUE

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: JUSTIN BRAYTON

“It’s pretty cool, because I can ride with any number of guys like Jessy Nelson and Dean Wilson at the KTM test track. I probably ride with the Troy Lee Designs guys the most. They are younger and all ride with a lot of aggression, so it keeps me on my toes. Everyone is riding very well, and I hope that both the KTM 250 and 450 guys have a great year.”

Click here to read the full interview with Justin Brayton.

2016 YAMAHA YZ450FX: A LOOK TO THE FUTURE?

In a war between motorcycle manufacturers, the two super powers battling it out in the trenches as of late have been KTM and Yamaha. KTM, the once red-headed stepchild among brands in American racing, surged to the front thanks to forward thinking and forging ahead in a tumultuous economy. In recent years the Austrians have reaped the rewards by increasing market share. In that time they have introduced a wildly popular 350cc four-stroke, a limited Factory Edition line, and a host of major updates to their impressive line of motocross and off-road models. While MXA doesn’t typically delve into off-road riding, we are well aware of KTM’s sought-after XC two-stroke line.

Yamaha is fighting the tide of KTM’s rise by adding to their line. Yamaha is continuing with the 125cc and 250cc two-strokes, but added the YZ250X (two-stroke off-road model), as well as the YZ250FX (four-stroke) and now the YZ450FX. MXA is in business to test motorcycles, which is why we’ve thrown a leg over every bike in Yamaha’s off-road line-up. The 2016 YZ450FX is Yamaha’s latest release, and they invited MXA out to Cahuilla Creek last week to ride the electric-start 450 four-stroke.

The 2016 Yamaha YZ450FX comes with an electric starter. Will the button make its way to the YZ250F and YZ450F in 2017?

It’s no secret that Yamaha has been using an electric start in Grand Prix racing, but they have yet to bring push-start to the production-based YZ250F and YZ450F. However, the YZ450FX is the next step in Yamaha edging closer to introducing that technology to motocross. Granted, it wouldn’t be fair to laud Yamaha when they do put an electric starter system on the YZ250F and YZ450F. KTM tested electric starting on Jonathan Barragan’s 450SXF way back in 2007 and brought it to production on the 2008 KTM 450SXF. That was eight years ago, which is an eternity in terms of technological advancements. Since then motocross riders have been witness to the advent of electronic fuel injection and air forks.

MXA test rider Dennis Stapleton flies the YZ450FX through Cahuilla Creek’s friendly skies for Daryl Ecklund’s camera.

What can we tell you about the 2016 Yamaha YZ450FX? For starters, the bike starts easily. It’s just as good as what KTM has under their orange plastic, although Yamaha needs to shed weight off their starting system in order to get anywhere near where KTM is. KTM already went through their growing pains, so Yamaha will be fighting to remain within range of the Austrians. However, Yamaha is moving forward (something many of the other manufacturers can’t exactly proclaim).

There will always be brand-loyal riders. It’s part of the human condition. In spite of that, there’s no denying KTM’s and Yamaha’s willingness to advance their product lines. We can’t wait to see what the future holds.

WE RIDE YAMAHA’S ELECTRIC START YZ450FX

AKE JONSSON: NOT JUST ANY JONSSON

Husqvarna penned a great article on the great Ake Jonsson, which you can read by clicking here. The piece contains several historic images of the Swedish sensation. It’s worth a read.

CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEA: SMOOTH INDUSTRIES CANARD LUNCH BOX

Whether you take your lunch to school, to work or to the track, you can always feel confident that your food will stay fresh, your drinks will stay cool and that you will have the coolest lunchbox of all when carrying one of our NEW Trey Canard lunchboxes. Features include fully insulated PVC shell, action packed graphics on front and additional screen print graphics on back and sides, mesh pocket inside lid, zippered closure and a padded nylon web handle. 9″h x 10″w x 3.5″d

Retail price: $16.95
Click here to order

TEAM SUZUKI ANNOUNCES 2016 AMATEUR PROGRAM


[Press Release]

The future success of Team Suzuki’s professional racing efforts relies significantly on the stars of the next generation. For 2016, Suzuki is excited to announce the revival of its incredibly successful Team Suzuki Amateur Racing program. The program that helped foster some of the top names in today’s Supercross and Motocross roster will be re-introduced in 2016 with the next generation of rising amateur racers.

“We are proud to announce our six new Team Suzuki members,” said Pat Alexander, Suzuki’s Race Support Manager, “four who will ride the RM85, and two who will ride both the RM-Z250 and RM-Z450.”

The team will consist of RM85 riders Crockett Myers and Nicholas (Nikko) Capps, who will focus on the 85cc classes. Casey Cochran will compete in the 65cc division in 2016 while developing his skills on the RM85 in preparation for his transition to the 85cc class.

In addition, TJ Rios will contest in the Super Mini divisions aboard an RM85. Racing the RM-Z250 and RM-Z450 will be Ashton Hayes and Richard Taylor. Hayes will compete in the A classes, and Taylor will represent Suzuki in the B classes.

“We selected riders who are the top competitors in their region of the country,” said Alexander, “and for their professional racing attitude that will allow them to fit in well with the entire Team Suzuki racing family. With Suzuki’s help, these young racers will have access to other supporters and sponsors to help grow their careers. Plus, they’ll gain support from Team Suzuki members Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart, as well as other teammates and coaches. We know there is a lot that transpires between racing an RM85 and becoming a Supercross champion on an RM-Z450. This is how you build a future Factory team, and we are excited to get started.”

The growth of Suzuki Amateur Racing brings benefits not only to Suzuki’s newly announced Suzuki Amateur Racing riders, but to all Suzuki racers. “Nationwide, Suzuki racers will see a more dedicated Suzuki Amateur Racing crew at events,” said Alexander, “that’s been missing in the recent past, but we are rebuilding our program with good support and good product to benefit all Suzuki riders.”

PRELIMINARY 250 WEST ENTRY LIST FOR ANAHEIM 1

A few notes:

* Mitch Payton typically keeps his regional selections close to his chest, so it’s interesting that only Chris Alldredge, Joey Savatgy and Tyler Bowers are listed in the 250 West. Adam Ciancariulo is signed up for the 250 East, while Arnaud Tonus isn’t on either list.

* Mike LaRocco, team manager of Geico Honda, will not make a decision about which of his riders will compete in the 250 West until the end of this week.

* No word yet on which coast Star Racing Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin, Cooper Webb, Alex Martin or Mitchell Harrison will ride. Aaron Plessinger will reportedly race 250 East.

* The same goes with Troy Lee Designs KTM’s Jessy Nelson, Justin Hill, Mitchell Oldenburg or Alex Frye. Shane McElrath is recovering from injury and will compete in the 250 East. If I were a betting man I’d think that Jessy Nelson and Justin Hill will race 250 West. 

* Not listed but scheduled to race the 250 West are:
Kyle Peters
Chase Marquier
Daniel Baker
Kyle Cunningham
Mark Worth
Zac Commans
Cole Thompson
Zach Osborne
Colt Nichols
Michael Leib
Cole Martinez
Austin Politelli
Scott Champion
Dakota Tedder
Johnny Jelderda
Darian Sanayei
Maxime Despray

FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH: ELI TOMAC

“I rode my new KX450F for two and a half weeks on the motocross track in Colorado right after the Monster Energy Cup. Then the team came out [to Colorado] and that’s when we started riding Supercross on the race bike. By that time I felt that I was comfortable enough on the Kawasaki to begin riding Supercross. The new KX450F is incredible, to say the least. It amazed me how fast the stock bike is. The testing out in Colorado was all positive, and we had a brand new Supercross track to test on, which was awesome. We left there on a really good note and now I’m out in California all the way through the West Coast rounds of Supercross. My relationship with my new team is really good, and the more time we spend together testing and riding the bike, the better it gets.”–Eli Tomac.

REMINDER: ANAHEIM 1 ONLY 24 DAYS AWAY!

As if you really needed a reminder

KTM RIDER INTRO PHOTO GALLERY

Daryl Ecklund was on scene to shoot Ryan Dungey and the rest of the Red Bull KTM team at KTM’s team intro. The event was held at KTM’s Supercross test track.

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: WORKS CONNECTION SKID PLATES

Works Connection’s new MX skid plate for the 2016 KTM and Husqvarna models. 

[Press Release]

Works Connection has just released new MX and Extended Coverage versions of Skid Plates for the ’16 KTM 250/350 SX-F, ’16  250/350XC-F and ’16 Husqvarna FC250/350 models. Both styles cover to protect the center cases, frame rails and have integrated case protection with impacts bumpers as well. The Extended Coverage version goes further in its protection by including guards for the water pump and ignition cover.

Works Connection’s extended skid plate version.

* Unique Rubber Isolator Mounting System (RIMS)
* Integrated case protection with impact bumpers
* CNC’d and formed from aircraft grade 6061 T-6 aluminum
* Oil drain access hole pre-cut into the plate for easy oil changes without having to remove the skid plate
* CNC’d aluminum brackets with quality hardware for secure mounting
* Made in the USA
* $84.95 retail for MX version; $139.95 for extended coverage.

Now available at retail outlets or www.worksconnection.com 

A VIDEO THAT MAKES YOU WANT TO RIDE

250 westbrett cueELI TOMACJOHN BASHERjustin braytonkevin windhamMID-WEEK REPORTpro tapersmooth industriestwo-strokeworks connection