CASELLI RIDE DAY & MORE IN THIS WEEK’S MID-WEEK REPORT

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#WHIPITWEDNESDAY

Ricky Carmichael 2001Rider: Ricky Carmichael
Year: 2001
Photographer: MXA Archives

TWO-STROKE SPOTLIGHT: MORTEN LARSEN’S HONDA SMOKERS (FULL STORY)

“I raced many bikes, build many, and tested around everything produced since the 80´s. But some bikes stand out, and over the years you have a tendency to make them even more fantastic or bad than they might have been. One bike stood out more than any other bike; My 2001 CR250. I got it at the end of 2001, and kept on racing it to the end of 2007, when I finally was “convinced” like everybody else that big four-strokes were the way forward.

“I still insisted to own a Honda two-stroke, so I got a brand new 2007 Honda CR125, just so I’d never forget how real motocross bikes was supposed to be. I raced 250F´s for some time, had different 450´s but never really liked the big four-strokes. Yes, they were fun, easy to ride, but heavy, dull, and boring.

“Some of the fun was gone. It was not until I tried the KTM 450SXF 2016 model, that I started to see that 450´s could be fun bikes.

“I tried the newest 250 two-strokes, but did not really like any of them. The YZ is not new anyway, the TM is fine. The SX and the Husky, have no top end, and all the time I still had the 2001 CR250 engine in the back of my mind.

“Still, the problem when you get older is that you really believe that everything was  better back in the days, so there was only one thing to do: Get a New CR250 and find out if I am an old idiot, or for some reason know what I am talking about.”

SOLUTION: “My friend Benny and I decided to be serious about it. We drove around most of Scandinavia on the special Honda hunt. Benny found a CR125 06, that had 20 hours on it´s back. I found up north in Sweden a 2001 CR 250, that never had been raced on tracks, and had 50 hours on the clock.

“Benny´s bike was super fine, but when I got my 2001 home in the workshop, it looked a little old school on many points. Okay! The first idea was to build a CRF AF bike, but that had been done by many, and I know there is a big difference in building a nice custom bike, and creating an effective racing bike.

“I did not want a glimmer bike, I wanted something I could beat the crap out of, with a big smile on my face while I´m doing it.

“So I drove back to Sweden and bought a 2004 CR250. The decision on the 250´s was to use the ’04 frame, with the ’01 engine, and because I wanted a NEW bike I went a little berserk on the details. New Crank, nikasil, clutch, bearings, piston, membrane, exhaust system, did a lot of blueprinting, and optimizing, on ports and cases. I did not want to change the port timings, but just wanted to do what the factory never wanted to use time to finish.

“World’s best front brake exists on a TM bike. Brembo caliber, and a Honda master, so therefore I took a 450SXF fork, triple clamps and all, modified it all, and made it fit on my Honda.

“Benny´s 125 did get the same engine job even though his bike only had the 20 hours ride time. We insisted to make “new” bikes, but better, so he also got a new crank, ceramic bearings, we even got the new crank balanced out, to make sure that those engines would rock. I knew that the stock CR engine did not have much top end, and if you start to work on it, you lose the bottom, but the decision ended up being: mid and top end until the cows come home, and we made sure that there was a life after dead.

“The 125 got a 2016 CRF450  front fork, and   a 270mm Moto Master brake kit. We threw away the air internals on both forks and installed the new MX-Tech Lucky spring kit.

“It was perfect timing that we were at MX-Tech US working with Jeremy on the new MX-Tech National shock, just at the time where our bikes was near completion, so we created two shocks that would fit the Hondas.”

CALCULATION: “The main idea was to make two CR’s that would be new, but better, and not be a joke against bikes from 2019. Then of course I also had find out if I was just lost in the dreams of yesterday, or prove that the four-stroke movement is not as fantastic as it try to look like.”

TEST:
CR 125: “You gotta love this bike! It feels light, brakes are perfect, the engine screams to the moon, and the suspension eat up everything.

CR 250 : “Surprise! It is true that the new KTM 250SX hit hard right from the bottom, better that anybody else, but the CR250 engine is just something else; due to the engine work, that engine is not hard hitting. Nope! It is super crisp and fast right from the start, it does not come on with a bang, it just getting stronger and stronger all the time, and best of all, is revs like a 125.

“That engine is just stinking fast, pure and simple! I´m in love! The suspension is dialed in and the Huck valve system handles all my mistakes on the track. My KTM 450SXF got the same suspension, and the bike is awesome, but sorry to say, this CR is close to being the best bike I’ve ever had.”

WHAT DID WE DO TO THE LEFTOVERS FROM THE 250 BUILD? “We made a 2001 CR250  with the ’04 engine, upgraded everything, and gave it to a promising 15-year-old  125 B-class rider, so he could grow some A-class muscles. We got a problem now; he loves that bike so much that his new 125 is standing in the garage collecting dust.

“We made the kid try all the kinds of bikes he can swing a stick at, and then asked him; ‘If you could get any bike you want for next season, what bike do you want ? ‘I just want a CR250, that is the most fun, coolest bike I ever tried.’ ” –Scandinavia’s  Morten Larsen.

EDITORS NOTE: Please keep those submissions coming. If you would like your bike to be featured in the “Two-Stroke or Four-Stroke Spotlight,” please email me at [email protected]. All I ask is that you give a breakdown of your bike and a detailed description of the build. Please also send a few photos of your steed. By submitting your bike, you agree to release all ownership rights to the images and copy to MXA. Please don’t email me spam or try selling me Taylor Swift concert tickets or email me spam. I already celebrate T-Swizzle’s entire collective, and there will be “bad blood” if you send me junk mail. See what I did there? Happy submitting your smoker.

6TH ANNUAL KURT CASELLI RIDE DAY WAS A HIT

2018 Kurt Caselli ride dayKurt was there making sure everything went smoothly. 

The 6th annual Kurt Caselli ride day at Fox Raceway in Pala was a packed house. Racers, fans and vendors came from far and wide to support the event. It was awesome to see the impact Kurt is still having on people’s lives from above, more than five years after his passing.

2018 Kurt Caselli ride dayThe Caselli Foundation gave out three scholarships, a new KTM 300XC-W, Pros like Jeremy McGrath and Jeff Emig teamed up with average joes for a team race and a whole lot more went on.

2018 Kurt Caselli ride dayKTM was there to show support. 

2018 Kurt Caselli ride day805 came out to give out adult beverages. 

Nancy CaselliNancy Caselli, the heart and soul of the fountain was all smiles. 

2018 Kurt Caselli ride dayThis was awesome to see. Someone found Kurt’s old KX80 from back in the day. 

Jeremy McGrathJeremy McGrath taking a breather before the team race. 

Dennis StapletonMXA’s Dennis Stapleton was one of the Pro’s that got teamed up with an average joe. Their team was winning until the last lap. 

Donnie Emler jr.This event wouldn’t be what it is today without the help from FMF’s Little “D”.

2018 Kurt Caselli ride dayHaving the KC Ride day at Pala was a good change as there were more tracks to ride for a variety of skill levels. 

2018 Kurt Caselli ride daySo far over a million dollars has been donated!

Carolyn caselliThis is Kurt’s sister, Carolyn, and her husband Kale.

Sarah WhiteKurt’s once fiancé, Sarah and her mom were the ones working the 805 beer counter. 

Davis KamoKurt’s old friend, David Kamo is now part of the foundation.

dave brosiusDave Brosius was the announcer for the day. 

This was Kurt’s old truck. 

Bob Weber6D’s Bob Weber was out riding. 

Jeff EMigJeff Emig was out to support the cause.

Jon OrtnerJon Ortner was seen roaming the pits. 

2018 Kurt Caselli ride dayDunlop was setup for the day. 

Taylor robertTaylor Robert’s was a teammates of Kurt’s throughout many ISDE races overseas. 

Stacyc kids electric bikes were available for the silent auction. 

2018 Kurt Caselli ride dayFreestyle riders put on a show for the crowd. 

2018 Kurt Caselli ride dayIntense bikes were giving out free demo rides. 

2018 Kurt Caselli ride dayRobbie Maddison and family. 

FMF racing 2018 Kurt Caselli ride dayFMF was a huge part of the event. 

2018 Kurt Caselli ride dayWe are excited to see what next year brings. 

RAW | CARSON BROWN RIPPING 125 SMOKER ON SUPERCROSS TRACK

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If you had subscribed to Motocross Action, the December 2018 issue of MXA have been in your mailbox, computer or iPhone for quite some time already. This is the 2019 MXA 450 Shootout issue. It is jam-packed with facts and data that will allow you to choose which bike is best for you — and if your confused, we tell you which bike was the best for us. Plus, we test the 2019 Kawasaki KX250, 2019 KTM 250SX two-stroke and fly to Japan to ride the 2019 Suzuki RM-Z250. Plus much, much more.

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CHECK OUT THE 2019 LEATT DIGITAL CATALOG 

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MXA | MOTO | TRIVIA

Chad Pederson 1997Who is this rider?

FLORIDA MOTOCROSS VACATIONS

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LOST BUT NOT FORGOTTEN | 1992 YAMAHA YZ125
1992 Yamaha YZ125

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MXA’S HOLIDAY SUBSCRIPTION DEAL: ONLY $16.95 (AND WE GIVE YOU A $25 CHRISTMAS GIFT)

mxa ChristmasThis year let Santa wheelie into your home with a subscription to the world’s leading motocross magazine.

Right now, a subscription to Motocross Action Magazine is on sale for $16.99 just in time for the holidays. With that subscription you will receive a $25 Chaparral Gift Card to spend on whatever motorcycle parts or products you need. This is a deal that you will make money on. This is the lowest price for 12 issues of MXA. Don’t miss it.

You can get  MXA on your iPhone, iPad, Kindle or Android by going to the Apple Store, Amazon or Google Play or in a digital version. Or,  you can call (800) 767-0345 or go to www.hi-torque.com/product/motocross-action-holiday or click on the box at the bottom of this page to subscribe.

CLASSIC PHOTO

1999 US Open SUpercross startThe start of the U.S Open of Supercross back in 1999. Damon Huffman won the first year in 1998 which is why he was running number one.

MXA QUESTION OF THE WEEK WINNER

Buddy Antunez 1990Who is this Suzuki rider? The answer is Buddy Antunez and the winner of the FXR swag is Adrian Spiker.

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Moto Trivia answer: Brian Deegan.

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