IF YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW A 2021 GASGAS DIFFERS FROM A 2021 KTM OR HUSKY? WATCH THIS VIDEO
MXA AD OF THE WEEK: THE O’SHOW & HIS O FRAMES
MXA FIRST RIDE VIDEO: 2021 YAMAHA YZ250F
MXA TEAM TESTED: KTM POWERPARTS 60-PIECE TOOLKIT
There is no doubt that recent transfers from Japanese-brand motocross bikes to KTMs and Husqvarnas are confused by the different types and sizes of bolts used on the Austrian bikes. Most perplexing are the 13mm hex heads, 6mm wood screws on the plastic and the heavy reliance on Torx-style bolts. Most racers don’t own a wide selection of Torx tools, and even if they did, it is unlikely that they would have a #45 Torx bit (for the subframe).
The sizes of the ratchets and sockets are referred to in terms of the size of the square hole that the two parts interface with. Tools come in three common “drive” sizes: 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch. Most mechanics, backyard or professional, prefer 3/8-inch drive tools because they have longer ratchets, can handle higher torque loads and, obviously, have more metal on both the ratchet and socket to handle heavy-duty jobs. There are bolts on a motocross bike that a 1/4-inch drive isn’t strong enough to remove. The 1/2-inch drive is for very big jobs.
KTM’s smallest Power Parts-offered toolkit is the 38-piece model. It is handy but hampered by the fact that it has a 1/4-inch drive system. This kit isn’t complete enough to work on every aspect of a KTM or Husky. The sockets range from 4mm to 14mm, but the kit is missing the important 17mm (front wheel) socket. There are six Torx bits in #10, #15, #20, #25, #30 and #40 sizes (but no #45 to remove the subframe bolts) and six Allen bits (3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 7mm and 8mm). To make the Allen, Torx, Phillips and flat-bladed bits work with the included 1/4-inch ratchet, breaker bar and three extensions, there is an adapter to fit the bits to the 1/4-inch drive. It just doesn’t have all the sockets and Torx bits that we need.
The tools that you will get the most use of of in the 60-piece tool kit are #20 Torx— it bleeds the forks, while the #15 Torx removes the clutch-side ODI grip. The #45 fits the subframe bolts. The 6mm socket handles most of the plastic parts, and the 17mm socket removes the front axle. The biggest compliant that the MXA test riders had with the kit is that it doesn’t have a 32mm socket for the rear axle nut.
DIGITS? $145.95 (60-piece); $74.95 (38-piece)— www.ktm.com or your friendly local KTM dealer.
MXA RATING: We never liked the 38-piece kit, but the 60-piece kit has almost everything you need in one handy, plastic, 15×11.5-inch carrying case. It beats going through the pits trying to borrow a #20 Torx from the guy you borrowed it from last week, only to find that you forgot to return it to him.
MXA FIRST RIDE VIDEO: 2021 KAWASAKI KX450X OFF-ROAD BIKE
MXA “MAIL ENTRIES”—READERS WRITE & WE RESPOND
WHEN YOU BUY TWO, IT BECOMES FOUR
I think it is shame that KTM keeps buying up all the other brands. The purchase of Husqvarna and GasGas takes two uniquely different bikes off the market and replaces them with different-colored KTMs. It’s not good for the motorcycle industry.
You would think so, wouldn’t you? But, that does not turn out to be the case. First, KTM bought Husqvarna and GasGas when both were on the brink of bankruptcy. Thus they saved those two brands from shrinking away to nothing.
Second, in the case of KTM’s purchase of Husky, they managed to rocket its sales from around 6000 units a year under BMW management to over 30,000 units a year, which was good for Husqvarna dealers and riders world-wide.
Third, KTM’s purchase of Husqvarna and GasGas did not take two uniquely different bikes off the market. Apelio Macchi (a former Cagiva, Aprilia and Husqvarna engineer) swooped in to take over the old Husqvarna plant, its leftover parts supply and local work force to bring the long-forgotten SWM brand back on line. SWMs are now imported in the United States.
Fourth, after KTM purchased GasGas, the Spanish Rieju motorcycle brand bought the rights to keep producing previous GasGas motorcycles under the Rieju name. Additionally, Rieju signed with Central Powersports Distribution (CPD), located in Watertown, South Dakota, to become the Rieju (GasGas) source in North America.
If you are keeping up with us on the changes wrought by KTM’s purchases of Husqvarna and GasGas, you will see that KTM did not kill off Husqvarna and GasGas, but rather found them a safe haven to continue to exist as top-flight race brands, while expanding the market with SWM and Rieju.
TEACHING YOUR KTM ECU
I love my 2020 Husqvarna FC350 so much that I bought a brand-new one for later this season. I watched my dealer take it out of the crate and service it. I had a lot of hours on my original FC350 and wanted to have a spare in reserve, especially because the out-the-door price had dropped enough to make it a good way to get a back-up bike. I didn’t even ride the bike for three months. When I took it to the track, I rode my old FC350 first and loved it; then I rode my brand-new one and it ran very poorly. What’s the deal? Did I buy a lemon?
No, but you broke a couple cardinal rules. First, you should not ride a brand-new motorcycle hard the first time out. You need to put several heat cycles on the engine, with cool downs in between, to get the internal parts working in unison. Second, based on innumerable dyno tests, MXA knows that a four-stroke engine doesn’t run as well in hour one as it will on hour 10. Third, we are sure that your Husky dealer initialized the ECU before letting you leave his shop, because that is a required and necessary step. Fourth, doing a little math, it would appear that you bought your bike in the cool months of the spring and then rode it three months later in the hot months of the summer. You need to teach your ECU what the atmospheric conditions are like every time there are significant temperature, humidity or altitude changes. By initializing the ECU, the black box’s sensors can learn the information they need for different conditions. It is not hard to initialize a Husqvarna or KTM ECU. Here is how to do it: Start the engine, but do not touch the throttle. Let the bike run for four minutes, but do not let it overheat. After the time is up, your ECU sensors will be attuned to the day’s conditions. The MXA wrecking crew initializes our KTM and Husky black boxes every race—and sometimes we re-initialize them when the afternoon sun heats up the air.
CHiP ON YOUR SHOULDER
It was amazing how many old TV shows they recycled during the pandemic lockdown. I accidentally came upon an old episode of “CHiPs.” Okay, I admit that I used to watch Ponch and Jon all the time when I was a kid. This episode was shot at Indian Dunes, and in it I saw a stunt rider wearing MXA’s black and white Kiss helmet. Was that an MXA test rider?
Yes, there were three MXA test riders riding in the February 1980 “CHiPs: Off Road” episode—Jody Weisel (in the Kiss helmet), Ketchup Cox and Ricky Miller. The main stuntmen in the episode were 1970s motorcycle jumper Rex Blackwell and Women’s Trials Champion Debbie Evans. MXA was friends with Larry Wilcox, who played opposite Erik Estrada in the California Highway Patrol (“CHiPs”) action drama. Larry Wilcox was heavily into motocross and owned his own short-lived motocross gear company called Larry Wilcox Action Line. The TV show aired from 1977 to 1983, with a made-for-TV reunion movie in 1999 and a big-screen movie production in 2017 starring Dax Shepard and Michael Pena (in which Erik Estrada had a cameo role).
IN DEFENSE OF HONDA’S COLOR
I think it is really a cheap shot for KTM to make the GasGas MC250 and MC450 look like Hondas. Red is Honda’s official racing color and always has been. GasGas should pick a different color and not try to ride on Honda’s coattails.
Historically many motorcycle brands have had official colors, but they aren’t married to it for life. We forgive you for not knowing that red is not Honda’s official color, or that Honda itself was accused of a cheap shot when it stole Maico’s red for its 1976 CR125 and CR250 models. Honda’s official racing color is, and always has been, silver (as evidence by the original 1974–1975 Honda CR125s and CR250s). Plus, KTM just picked up the color theme from where GasGas left off. GasGas has been making motorcycles since 1985—originally trials bikes, then motocross and enduro bikes starting in 1989. Additionally, GasGas used the color of its bikes to signify the displacement of the engine: yellow for 125cc and 200cc; red for 50cc, 250cc, 400cc and 450cc; and blue for 300cc and 450cc. It wasn’t until the 2009 model year that the Spanish firm made most of its bikes red.
You can send email or Ask the MXperts questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MXA FIRST RIDE VIDEO: 2021 KAWASAKI KX450
JOIN THE REMOLUTION ON SATURDAY, DEC. 5 AT GLEN HELEN RACEWAY
MXA FIRST RIDE VIDEO: 2021 KTM 350SXF
8TH ANNUAL KURT CASELLI RIDE DAY ON SATURDAY, DEC. 5 AT PALA
MXA FIRST RIDE VIDEO: 2021 YAMAHA YZ250 TWO-STROKE
KYLE YARNELL MEMORIAL TEAM RACE ON SUNDAY, DEC. 6 AT GLEN HELEN
MXA FIRST RIDE VIDEO: 2021 YAMAHA YZ450F
FIRE & POLICE CHRISTMAS GP ON WEDNESDAY, DEC. 9 AT GLEN HELEN
For more info go to www.firepolicemx.com
MXA FIRST RIDE VIDEO: 2021 KAWASAKI KX250
MXA PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: FACTORY EFFEX RACEWEAR T-SHIRT COLLECTION
For more info or to order go to store.factoryeffex.com
MXA’S FIRST RIDE VIDEO: 2021 HONDA CRF450
PANICREV’S WINTER CAMP AT GLEN HELEN ON DECEMBER 28-30
MXA FIRST RIDE: 2021 KTM 250SXF
HAVE YOU SEEN THE JANUARY 2021 ISSUE OF MXA YET?
HOW TO SUBSCRIBE TO MXA SO THAT YOU NEVER MISS ANOTHER ISSUE, PLUS GET A $25 ROCKY MOUNTAIN GIFT CARD TO COVER YOUR COSTS
If you subscribe to MXA you can get the mag on your iPhone, iPad, Kindle or Android by going to the Apple Store, Amazon or Google Play or in a digital version. Even better you can subscribe to Motocross Action and get the awesome print edition delivered to your house by a uniformed employee of the U.S. Government. Did we mention the $25 gift card for any part you want from Rocky Mountain ATV/MX? You can call (800) 767-0345 or Click Here (or on the box at the bottom of this page) to subscribe.
MXA FIRST RIDE VIDEO: 2021 HUSQVARNA FC450
THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR A MOTOCROSS FAN! ROB ANDREWS “THE INSIDE LINE” HARDCOVER ON THE GRAND PRIX RACING
The critically acclaimed book, “The Inside Line: Racing the 500cc World Motocross Championship” (Second Edition) is back on sale at www.insidelinebook.com. After receiving rave reviews from press and public alike, “The Inside Line” first press run sold out in three weeks. Now back in print “The Inside Line” offers a detailed, first-hand account of the life of a professional GP racer competing in the heydays of the 1980s. There are facts that will surprise you, anecdotes that will make you laugh, and brutally honest, never-before-published information.
MXA FIRST RIDE VIDEO: 2021 HONDA CRF250
KEEPING TRACK OF THE 2021 RACE SCHEDULES
2021 AMA KICKER ARENACROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
Jan. 8…….Starkville, MS
Jan. 9…….Starkville, MS
Jan. 15…….Lubbock, TX
Jan. 16…….Lubbock, TV
Jan. 22…….Guthrie, OK
Jan. 23…….Guthrie, OK
Jan. 29…….Denver, CO
Jan. 30…….Denver, CO
Feb. 5…….Reno, NV
Feb. 6…….Reno, NV
Mar. 5…….Amarillo, TX
Mar. 6…….Amarillo, TX
REVISED 2021 AMA SUPERCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP (UPDATED)
Jan. 16 (Saturday)…Houston, TX (250 East)
Jan. 19 (Tuesday)….Houston, TX (250 East)
Jan. 23 (Saturday)…Houston, TX (250 East)
Jan 30 (Saturday)…Indianapolis, IN (250 East)
Feb. 2 (Tuesday)….Indianapolis, IN (250 East)
Feb. 6 (Saturday)…Indianapolis, IN (250 East)
Feb. 20 (Saturday)…Glendale, AZ (250 West)
Feb. 23 (Saturday)…Glendale, AZ (250 West)
Feb. 27 (Saturday)…Glendale, AZ (250 West)
Mar. 6 (Saturday)…Daytona Beach, FL (250 East)
Mar. 20 (Saturday)…Arlington, TX (250 West)
Mar. 23 (Tuesday)… Arlington, TX (250 West)
Mar. 27 (Saturday)…Arlington, TX (250 West)
May 1 (Saturday)…Salt Lake City
2021 PROVISIONAL GRAND PRIX SCHEDULE (UPDATED)
Apr. 3…Muscat, Oman
Apr. 25…TBA, Italy
May 16…Agueda, Portugal
May 23…Oss, Holland,
May 30…Teutschenthal, Germany
Jun. 13…Orlyonok, Russia
Jun. 20…Kegums, Latvia
Jul. 4…Jakarta, Indonesia
Jul. 11…Semarang, Indonesia
Jul. 25…Locket, Czech Republic
Aug. 1…Lommel, Belgium
Aug 8…Uddevall, Sweden
Aug. 22…KimiRing, Finland
Aug. 29…Igora, Russia
Sep. 12…Afyonkarahisar, Turkey
Sep. 19…TBA, China
Oct. 10…St, Jean d’Angely, France
Oct. 17…Intu Xanadu, Spain
Nov. 14…Neuquen, Argentina
2021 AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Apr. 11…Wonthaggi, VIC
May 2 …Canberra, ACT
May 30…Gillman, SA
Jun. 27…Maitland, NSW
Jul. 25…Wodonga, VIC
Aug. 9…TBA, QLD
Aug. 14….Coolum, QLD
Aug. 14….Coolum, QLD
2021 ADAC GERMAN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Sep. 5…Princely Drehna
2021 MOTOCROSS DES NATIONS
Sep. 26…Imola, Italy
MXA FIRST RIDE VIDEO: 2021 YAMAHA YZF50F VS 2021 KAWASAKI KX450 SHOOTOUT
JOIN MXA’S FLIPBOARD PAGE
MXA FIRST RIDE VIDEO: 2021 KTM 450SXF