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.
TWO-STROKE FEVER: K-DUB & BRETT CUE
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: JUSTIN BRAYTON
Click here to read the full interview with Justin Brayton.
2016 YAMAHA YZ450FX: A LOOK TO THE FUTURE?
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.
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.
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
CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEA: SMOOTH INDUSTRIES CANARD LUNCH BOX
Retail price: $16.95
Click here to order
TEAM SUZUKI ANNOUNCES 2016 AMATEUR PROGRAM
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
* 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:
FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH: 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 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.
* 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