Location: Castillo Ranch, CA
Date: October 13, 2015
Photographer: John Basher
Camera: Canon EOS-1D Mark III
Lens: 16-35mm f/2.8 II
Focal length: 16mm
Exposure: 1/1000 sec.
MXA VIDEO: SHADOWING ZACH OSBORNE
WHAT THE MXA CREW IS UP TO
For the second straight year KTM has come out with a 250SXF Factory Edition. Following along the same premise as the 450SXF Factory Edition, the 2016-1/2 250SXF-FE has several major mid-season updates that put it ahead of the stock 2016 model. Look past the Red Bull team graphics, orange frame and FMF slip-on muffler. True beauty is found in the 48mm WP AER air forks. The damping is in one leg and the air pressure in the other.
The MXA wrecking crew shook down the bike on Thursday at Glen Helen and began dialing in the AER forks. As is the case with the 2016 model, the Factory Edition is geared toward a supremely skilled rider capable of keeping the rpm above 12,000. It’s not for the faint of heart, but therein lies the joy of wringing the neck out of the Austrian machine. As for the air forks? They’re better than WP’s 4CS layout. Are they better than other air offerings or Kayaba’s SSS system, considered by many as the gold standard of fork performance? For that answer you’ll need to wait for a future issue of MXA. We’re not going to just give the milk away for free.
We also tested a FMF Titanium Powercore 2.1 silencer mated to a FMF Factory Fatty pipe on our 2016 Yamaha YZ125. FMF is still in the development stage of the Titanium Powercore 2.1 on the YZ125. It should reach dealer shelves soon. We tested the Powercore 2.1 against FMF’s traditional Powercore 2 silencer. A lot of premix was burned in order to diagnose the intricacies of each silencer.
For more information on FMF Racing’s Yamaha YZ125 exhaust systems you can simply click here.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: FLY RACING’S CRAIG SHOEMAKER
Click here to read the interview.
GREENSBORO ARENACROSS PHOTO GALLERY
450 SUPERCROSS BRAND SWEEP: IS IT POSSIBLE?
You need to look back a long way in order to find a race when a brand swept the podium in the 450 Supercross class. It happens so rarely because manufacturers typically house two-rider teams. Of the brands, Honda has been represented by the most riders since 2013. However, even Honda hasn’t been able to sweep the podium in the past 3-1/2 years. They were close several times, especially in 2013 with Chad Reed, Justin Barcia and Trey Canard.
On Saturday night, KTM took two of the top three spots. Ryan Dungey won and Marvin Musquin finished third. It got me thinking. Can a brand sweep the podium this year in the 450 class? Yes, but it will take a fair amount of good fortune. Now that Dean Wilson is sidleines, KTM will need Justin Brayton or Davi Millsaps to rise to the challenge and get on the box. Cole Seely, Trey Canard and Justin Bogle are the only Honda riders with a realistic shot at the podium(and Bogle is currently on the bench). Kawasaki has Eli Tomac and Wil Hahn, but that’s it. Suzuki has the best shot at doing the deed. They have Ken Roczen, James Stewart and Blake Baggett. Those three could make it happen, especially at Daytona (a favorable venue for Baggett).
Here’s a shocking stat. Since 2013, only 15 riders have finished on the podium in the 450 class. The same 15 guys have been thanking their sponsors and making awkward conversation in the past 55 races.
FUN FACT: TOMAC ICED OUT
So maybe it’s not that fun for Eli Tomac, but of the top seven in the current point standings, only Eli Tomac has yet to finish on the podium. Tomac has gone 4-4-4-7 through four rounds. His best chance of being on the podium came at Anaheim 2, but he fell on the last lap of the main event. A poor start kept Eli from getting up to the front pack at Oakland.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK (HONORABLE MENTION): MARVIN MUSQUIN
ARENACROSS RACING: AN OPINION PIECE
And then there’s Supercross’ younger brother, Arenacross. Much like a second-born, Arenacross has the propensity to be a bit wild, outrageous and downright naughty. Small arenas from Allentown to Nampa are welcoming some of the sport’s most overlooked and underrated riders to their bull-sized rings. While guys like Kyle Regal, Chris Blose, Gavin Faith, Gared Steinke, Travis Sewell and Jacob Hayes aren’t exactly household names, they are among the 1/10th of a percent in the professional motocross world who deserve to be in the spotlight. They are the stars of the circus known as Amsoil Arenacross.
It’s important to point out how the main players are being relatively nice to one another this early in the Arenacross series. The so-called “Race to the Championship” starts in Ontario, California–the tenth stop of the 14-round series–when the points are reset. At that time the points leader will begin the chase with 6 points; second will earn 5 points; third and fourth will have 4 points; fifth and sixth receive 3 points; seventh and eighth will have 2 points; and ninth and tenth will end up with 1 point each. Only the top ten in the point standings at the conclusion of the ninth round will be eligible for the Amsoil Arenacross Championship.
Despite the quirky “Race to the Championship” format, Arenacross is a viable racing platform. It’s not simply the lighter version of Supercross. Arenacross is a standalone affair that deserves credit for making the most out of what the series is given. The arenas are small and lap times short, but that’s part of its allure. Fear not, Supercross aficionados, because Arenacross has the pyrotechnics, Monster girls, mechanical baritone announcer’s voice and free t-shirt opportunities. It’s a bit gimmicky, but so is Supercross. Move past all that and you’re guaranteed to see tight racing, a few take-outs, and you’ll be given the opportunity to get autographs from the top racers following the night program. Not only that, but there’s a party inside the arena before the night program. On Saturday night the crowds lined up to get an autograph from Ricky Carmichael and the occasional selfie. Others walked the track and gasped when they saw the treacherous whoops. Arenacross isn’t for the faint of heart.
LOOKING FOR A PRISTINE VINTAGE BIKE? CHECK THIS OUT!
Don’t be surprised if you see a web and/or magazine feature on the exotica at East Coast Vintage’s headquarters in the coming months.
VIDEO: RIDE WITH MR. OLDENBURG
WE BRING THE STORIES TO YOU
In the fast-paced digital environment people don’t always have time to browse our website for the latest information. That’s why we’ve built a weekly list of MXA’s news and top stories and then email them directly to you. What could be easier? This week we highlighted the Oakland Supercross; we showed some big crash videos; the MXA gang tested the 2016 Yamaha YZ250X two-stroke; and we tell you everything you need to know about the 2016 Suzuki RM-Z250.
Don’t miss out on all the major happenings in our sport, racing or otherwise. All you need to do is click here and sign up for our weekly newsletter. It’s free, it comes once a week, and we promise not to sell your email address to a spam site.
MECHANICAL ART: TRAVIS FANT’S OAKLAND PIT GALLERY
BE THERE: QUICK ’N’ DIRTY MTB RACE AFTER SAN DIEGO 2 SUPERCROSS