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

#WHIPITWEDNESDAY

Rider: Ivan Tedesco
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.
F-stop: 5.0
ISO: 250

MXA VIDEO: SHADOWING ZACH OSBORNE

WHAT THE MXA CREW IS UP TO

MXA’s 2016-1/2 KTM 250SXF Factory Edition.

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.

Tye Hames kicks out the rear end in the hope of putting as much pressure on the WP AER air forks as possible. He succeeded.

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.

FMF Titanium Powercore 2.1 silencer or…

…FMF Powercore 2 silencer? You’ll have to wait for the results. 

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

“So often, especially in the 450 class, we like to sponsor an individual rider, as opposed to a team, to keep that continuity. I usually say that if I cannot sign at least a three-year contract then it’s not worth it. It takes a year to get up and going, the second year to get comfortable, and then in that third year you are really part of the family.”

Click here to read the interview.

GREENSBORO ARENACROSS PHOTO GALLERY

Click on the image above to view some of my favorite photos from last weekend in Greensboro, North Carolina.

450 SUPERCROSS BRAND SWEEP: IS IT POSSIBLE?

Ryan Dungey (left) and Marvin Musquin occupied two of the spots on the podium in Oakland. Can another KTM rider join them this season? Photo: KTM

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

To be fair, both Eli Tomac (3) and James Stewart (7) haven’t graced the podium yet this year. It’s still early, folks. 

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

“We did not expect for me to be on the podium already at the fourth round of the series. I am so excited to be up here and have the whole team to thank for this. I train with Ryan all week and it is great to be able to be up here with him.”

ARENACROSS RACING: AN OPINION PIECE

After Saturday night’s Oakland Supercross domination by Ryan Dungey–it was his third straight win–you were probably thinking to yourself, ‘When will it end?’ That’s a fair question, given that Dungey is riding on another level right now. After only four rounds the Dunge has a 24-point lead. That’s ridiculous. Entering the season there was so much hype surrounding Chad Reed, Ken Roczen, Eli Tomac, Marvin Musquin, Davi Millsaps, Justin Barcia, Dean Wilson, Cole Seely and Jason Anderson. Justly so, in my opinion, is how many riders had the opportunity to take control of the series and edge away from the rest. Instead it’s the same song and dance, as Dungey is doing everything right.

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.

So while the 450 Supercross series is turning into a snooze fest following the dominant efforts of Ryan “Sandman” Dungey (since he lulls the competition to sleep. Need I say more?), the Arenacross series is anything but. Chris Blose, the Babbitt’s Kawasaki dynamo and ex-Supercross veteran, took control of the series from the onset. A rough weekend in Greensboro dropped Blose from the rank of points leader. He was replaced by teammate and buddy, Jacob Hayes. Hayes, as you know, went for the kill last year on Kyle Regal in the series finale in Las Vegas. Jacob lost the title in 2015, but this could be his season if all goes well. However, Arenacross is so unpredictable. There’s no telling whether Hayes will rocket away from the competition or get blown into the stands by any of the 15 other riders on the 25-second long track.

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.

The rule is a bit silly. There’s sentiment among the vast majority of Arenacross riders that resetting the points essentially diminishes the importance of the opening nine rounds of the series. A rider need only worry that he remain inside the top ten in the standings. After that it’s a four-round showdown, which is a nice way of saying that it will be a slam-filled affair along the same level as a Peick/Friese encounter. The last four races will be incredible to watch, but I wouldn’t want to be on the track with those maniacs. You couldn’t pay me enough to take the outside line around a bowl corner while Jacob Hayes stalked me down. No thanks.

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.

Listen, I’m not here to sell Arenacross tickets or convince you to race amateur day (don’t worry, the whoops won’t be as big as what the Pros blitz). I’m merely suggesting that you look into the series and see if it’s something that makes your motocross heart beat. For more information, visit www.arenacross.com. Ryan Dungey won’t be there. Maybe that’s a good thing.      

LOOKING FOR A PRISTINE VINTAGE BIKE? CHECK THIS OUT!

East Coast Vintage, owned by the Weaver family in Raleigh, North Carolina, specializes in restoring and selling classic vintage iron. On any given week they’re bringing old Husqvarnas, twin-shock Kawasakis, Bultacos and even Ossas back to life. Even if you’re not in the market for a restored piece of motocross history, East Coast Vintage’s website is worth taking a look at. You can check them out at www.eastcoastvintagemx.com.

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

arenacrossELI TOMACfactory bikesgreensboroivan tedescoJOHN BASHERMID-WEEK REPORTmitchell oldenburgphoto gallerypro taperSUPERCROSSwhipitwednesdayzach osborne