ENGINE ICE PRESENTS MXA’S MID-WEEK REPORT #1 BY JOHN BASHER
BAM BAM IS THE FIRST TO FALL: WILL MISS ANAHEIM 1
Justin Barcia will not be racing at Anaheim Stadium on Saturday. He is suffering from a cracked wrist and ligament damage. The injury occurred several weeks ago when a chain failure in the whoops sent Justin over the bars. Justin’s doctor found a fracture of his lunate bone, as well as ligament damage. Surgery is note necessary, but Justin has to take time off the bike. Jake Weimer will most likely fill-in for Barcia (you didn’t really expect JGR to sign a Stewart, did you?) Below is his Instagram post.
Rider: Ken Roczen
Location: Washougal, WA
Date: July 20, 2013
Photographer: John Basher
Camera: Canon 1D-Mark III
Lens: 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II
Focal length: 165mm
Exposure: 1/800 sec.
THE BEST SUPERCROSS RACE EVER? 1990 ATLANTA SUPERCROSS
This race from the 1990 Atlanta Supercross is unbelievable. In 20 laps there were quite a few lead changes, banzai passes, take-outs, and a nail biter at the end. The action includes Johnny O’Mara, Damon Bradshaw, Jeff Stanton, Jeff Matiasevich, Guy Cooper (who steals the show), Jeff Ward, and more.
SNEAK PEAK: 2017 TM 300MX-FI
It’s good to know people. Our friend, Ralf Schmidt, is the American importer for the exotic TM Motorcycles brand. TM recently produced a 300cc four-stroke for motocross competition. Ralf ordered one and, upon arrival, drove it to the MXA studio. We couldn’t wait to ride until after Christmas to ride the bike. Would you wait to ride the first mid-sized four-stroke since KTM introduced the 350SXF years ago? Daryl Ecklund and I loaded up the rare steed and headed toward a secret sand track beyond the Palmdale city lights. It was a cold morning, small snow flakes pelting us on the drive into the higher elevations. Risking frostbite and sickness, we were determined to knock out some photos before testing the TM 300MX-FI in a round robin format.
I don’t want to give away too much about the bike. I will say that it’s definitely different. The bike sits tall, the electric starter is a nice addition, the set of blue wheels look great, and the powerband definitely favors faster riders. Look for a comprehensive test in an upcoming issue of MXA.
Here’s a bit more about the 2017 TM 300MX-FI from TM Motorcycles:
“There is little doubt that TM Motorcycles are the rarest of all breeds on the American motocross scene. Built in a small factory in Pesaro, Italy, TM produces around 1200 machines year. When you consider that those bikes represent world-wide production and are sub-divided in 85, 125, 144, 250 and 300cc two-strokes, plus 250, 300 and 450 four-strokes. Add in the fact that TM production is also separated into motocross and enduro models, you can see that owning a TM makes you a part of a very exclusive club.
“The 2017 TM 300MX-FI comes with Kayaba SSS forks, air filter in the gas tank, fuel tank under the seat, billet wheels, blue Excel rims, electric start, two map settings, six-speed transmission and hydraulic clutch. Retail price is $10,595. For more information visit http://www.tmracing-usa.com/.
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: MOOSE RACING WATER PUMP REPAIR KITS
- Typical kits include the following: bearings where applicable; rubber seals; mechanical water pump seal where applicable; side cover gasket; water pump gasket; snap rings located on water pump shaft and copper drain washers
Available for all popular model Honda, Husqvarna, Kawasaki, Suzuki, KTM, and Yamaha off-road bikes. Retail price: $20.95-$56.95. Go to www.mooseracing.com for a dealer near you.
TWO-STROKE SPOTLIGHT: CHRISTIAN LOVENFELDT’S ALUMINUM FRAME HONDA CR85
Our Danish friend, Christian Lovenfeldt, is back at it again. Lovenfeldt is a Mugen Honda lover; specifically he’s a Honda fan. Christian enjoys riding, but his real passion is building one-off bikes that belong in a museum. This time around he built an aluminum frame Honda CR85. He used several different motorcycles to construct his mini-cycle creation. Read more below.
“The whole idea started when I saw a BBR aluminum frame Honda CRF150. I thought that it would look cool with a CR85 engine in, but it turned out that the BBR frame was impossible to find. One day I was offered a 2014 TM 85. It was the first year they made the 85cc with an aluminum frame. The engine was broken, so I took it out and started thinking of ways to shove a Honda CR85 engine inside the chassis. The build was on.
“Installing the 2007 CR85 engine in the TM frame was pretty easy. There was room enough for it. I just needed to make new brackets for the engine, ignition, coil, and a few other parts. The tricky part was making the swingarm pivot hole bigger in the engine. I also had to make some spacers to align the chain from the swingarm to the countershaft sprocket on the engine.
“From there I decided to pour a bunch of money into the other parts. The front fork tubes are 43mm WP that we coated. There’s a full Fox Shox MX-C cartridge system. Axle clamps are from RR Racing and extend the fork 20mm; triple clamps are RR Racing; front wheel from Haan Wheels, with a 260mm disc and a caliber from a KTM 125SX. RR Racing made an axle clamp that allowed me to use the 125SX caliber. The front fender and front number plate came off a Honda CRF125F, and the triple clamps were made to fit. In the back I had the stock TM wheel replaced with new spokes and a rim by Haan Wheels. The Fox RC-2 rear shock was custom built by Randy from their department in Minnesota. Thanks, Randy!
“The engine was coated in ‘factory gray’ and made fast by VHS tuning in Holland. This 10-year-old engine will eat KTM 85SX bikes for breakfast. To top it all off we had a set of nice ‘HRC’ stickers made for it. Come to Denmark if you’d like to ride it.”
Please keep those submissions coming. If you would like your bike to be featured in the “Two-Stroke Spotlight,” please email [email protected] Please 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 for the “Two-Stroke Spotlight,” you agree to release all ownership rights to the images and copy to MXA. Please don’t email spam. Happy submitting your smoker.
Is Anaheim 1 a good indication of who will win the 450 Supercross Championship? No. Only six times in the past 17 Supercross seasons has the Anaheim 1 winner gone on to win the title. Anaheim 1 is an outlier. We tend to look at it as its own prestigious event, when in reality it’s just one of 17 Supercross rounds. The same amount of points are up for grabs at Anaheim 1 as at Detroit or Atlanta.
Year…Anaheim winner…Supercross Champion
2016…Jason Anderson…….…Ryan Dungey
2015…Ken Roczen……………..Ryan Dungey
2014…Ken Roczen…………..…Ryan Villopoto
2013…Davi Millsaps…………..Ryan Villopoto
2012…Ryan Villopoto…………Ryan Villopoto
2011…Ryan Villopoto…………Ryan Villopoto
2010…James Stewart…………Ryan Dungey
2009…Josh Grant…………..…James Stewart
2008…Chad Reed…………..…Chad Reed
2007….James Stewart…….…James Stewart
2006…James Stewart……..…Ricky Carmichael
2005…Kevin Windham………Ricky Carmichael
2004…Chad Reed…………..…Chad Reed
2003…Chad Reed…………..…Ricky Carmichael
2002…David Vuillemin……..Ricky Carmichael
2001…Jeremy McGrath……..Ricky Carmichael
2000…Jeremy McGrath….…Jeremy McGrath
So what’s the big deal? (1) Every rider thinks he can win. After a few rounds reality sets in. The likelihood of a tenth place finisher through the early rounds rising up and winning is nil. (2) Ken Roczen, Trey Canard, Justin Barcia, Weston Peick, Justin Bogle, Blake Baggett, Dean Wilson and Justin Brayton switched brands in the offseason. Fans want to know if the bike swap made a difference. (3) People expect Ryan Dungey, Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac to be at the front, but will someone challenge the establishment? Maybe you remember the 2010 Anaheim 1 opener, where Ryan Dungey had James Stewart’s number for most of the race. (4) The 450 main will be 20 minutes plus one lap this year. That should make a difference in the racing. (5) Where will rookie Cooper Webb finish? What about privateer Dean Wilson? Can Marvin Musquin carry his offseason success into Supercross? Some of those questions will be answered on Saturday night.
As is the case every December, race teams commissioned photographers to shoot their autograph posters. It’s an exciting time, as riders are debuting new deals. It takes a few weeks for the photos to be edited and distributed via media channels. Given that Anaheim is only days away, I dug up several 2017 race team photos. See what you can spot that’s new for ’17.
RYAN DUNGEY–RED BULL KTM
The weight of the number one plate can be heavy, but by now it’s second nature for Ryan Dungey. He is the guy that everyone will be gunning for. The hype is around Ken Roczen, but like one team manager recently told me, “Ryan Dungey will podium you to death.” No one has been able to match Dungey’s consistency in Supercross the last two years. It will take more than raw speed to dethrone the defending champion.
TREY CANARD–RED BULL KTM
Trey Canard deserved another shot on a factory team. Injuries kept him back. Hopefully at Red Bull KTM he will reach his full potential. Canard is part of potentially the most powerhouse 450 effort in 2017, joining Ryan Dungey and Marvin Musquin. Team Manager Roger DeCoster has to be feeling good about his prospects heading into Anaheim. By the way, Canard looks to be a lifetime Fly Racing rider. That’s good for both parties.
MARVIN MUSQUIN–RED BULL KTM
Marvin is my dark horse pick for the Supercross title. That’s saying a lot, given that Musquin has yet to win a 450 Supercross main. Still, he had a phenomenal offseason and looks more focused than ever. The only disadvantage Marvin might have is in the whoops, where he tends to give up a little speed (if he is forced to skim them, rather than jump through the rollers).
KEN ROCZEN–HRC HONDA
Most people think the 2017 AMA 450 Supercross title is Ken Roczen’s to lose. Maybe it’s due to Roczen pairing with Honda or his stellar National showing. Whatever the case, Kenny has the hot hand right now. However, the sport giveth and it also taketh away. Time will tell if Kenny has the goods to match his reported $2.5 million a year salary.
CHRISTOPHE POURCEL–ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA
The crafty Frenchman is in his second year deal with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna. He was lightning fast in qualifying last season, but injuries tamped his results. Christophe looks motivated for 2017. We’re hoping he returns to his 2007 form, where he shocked Ryan Villopoto and the 250 West before returning to Europe.
JASON ANDERSON–ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA
Anderson has recovered from his MXDN injuries. If Instagram videos count for anything, Jason is flying at the test tracks. “El Hombre” won the series opener last year and finished on the box the year before. Don’t be surprised if he comes out swinging this weekend.
CHAD REED–MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA
This photo of Reed shows a good angle of the hydraulic clutch. Chad is wearing a LitPro on the top of his helmet, which is a GPS device that records and analyzes data. And somewhat similar to the Thor Racing jerseys from back in 1996, Fox Racing put Reed’s racing number on his arm (Thor used to print the race numbers in the swoop design in the lower front corner of the jerseys).
COOPER WEBB–MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA
ELI TOMAC–MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
Tomac returns for his second year at Monster Energy Kawasaki. He still has a contract with Alpinestars, Bell helmets and Oakley goggles. With a year under his belt and a quiet offseason, Tomac should be recharged and ready to go for 2017.
IMPROVE YOUR TWEET GAME
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ANAHEIM 1 STATISTICS PACKAGE: NUMBERS THAT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND
* On March 9, 1974, Pierre Karsmakers won the first ever Supercross race, and would hang on to win the first ever Supercross Championship in the same season. You’ve probably heard the saying “You can’t win the championship in round one, but you can definitely lose it.” Well, here is something to think about regarding that statement: In the 43 previous season openers, the winner has gone on to win the title 17 times. Eight times they finished second in the points, and six times they finished third. 36/43 times the winner of the season opener went onto finish in the top five of the point standings.
* Ricky Carmichael never won a season opener, but still won five championships. In 2002 he finished 20th in the opener but would still win the championship. He was certainly an exception to the importance of the season opener.
* Jeremy McGrath won the most season openers with five.
* Ken Roczen won back-to-back season openers in 2014 and 2015. Roczen was unable to win a championship either season, but was able to win races on different brands (KTM and Suzuki). In 2017 he could become the first rider to ever win three season openers on three different brands (Honda). Roczen could also break Honda’s streak of not winning season openers (2005 was the last one).
* In 2016 Jason Anderson gave Husqvarna their first and only season-opening victory. Anderson could become the ninth different rider to win the season opener back-to-back.
* Five riders lining up in 2017 have won a season opener: Josh Grant, Davi Millsaps, Reed, Roczen, and Anderson.
* Making his 16th consecutive season opener, Reed will be looking for his fourth season opening win. He has an average finish of fifth in season openers.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: DEAN WILSON
“There is nothing that can change the past, so all I can do is focus on the future. That is what I am doing. I want to race again for a factory team and be at the top of the sport. It is going to take a little bit of time, but it is my goal and I am working towards it. I have to be positive and work hard. I feel good things will come.”
Click here to read the honest interview with Dean Wilson.
2017 RACE SCHEDULES: BE THERE OR BE SQUARE
California is the richest race state in the union, with seven major events in 2017. Folks in Michigan should rejoice, as Supercross (Detroit), Arenacross (Grand Rapids) and the Lucas Oil Nationals (Red Bud) visit “The Great Lake State.” And those residing in the Pacific Northwest will be happy hosting a bevy of events, from Supercross to the AMA Nationals.
2017 MONSTER ENERGY SUPERCROSS SERIES
January 7…Angel Stadium…Anaheim, CA (West)
January 14…Petco Park…San Diego, CA (West)
January 21…Angel Stadium…Anaheim, CA (West)
January 28…University of Phoenix…Glendale, AZ (West)
February 4…Alameda Coliseum…Oakland, CA (West)
February 11…AT&T Stadium…Arlington, TX (West)
February 18…U.S. Bank Stadium…Minneapolis, MN (East)
February 25…Georgia Dome…Atlanta, GA (East)
March 4…Rogers Centre…Toronto, Canada (East)
March 11…Daytona Speedway…Daytona, FL (East)
March 18…Lucas Oil Stadium…Indianapolis, IN (East)
March 25…Ford Field…Detroit, MI (East)
April 1…America’s Center…St. Louis, MO (East)
April 8…CenturyLink Field…Seattle, WA (West)
April 22…Rice-Eccles Stadium…Salt Lake City, UT (West)
April 29…MetLife Stadium…East Rutherford, NJ (East)
May 6…Sam Boyd Stadium…Las Vegas, NV (East/West)
*Visit http://www.supercrosslive.com/ to purchase tickets
2017 AMSOIL ARENACROSS SERIES
January 7-8…U.S. Bank Arena…Cincinnati, OH
January 13-15…Van Andel Arena…Grand Rapids, MI
January 20-22…Royal Farms Arena…Baltimore, MD
January 28-29…Bridgestone Arena…Nashville, TN
February 4-5…Freedom Hall…Louisville, KY
February 18-19…Sprint Center…Kansas City, MO
February 24-26…Georgia Dome…Atlanta, GA
March 3-5…Landers Center…Southaven, MS
March 11-12…Smoothie King Center…New Orleans, LA
March 18-19…Moda Center…Portland, OR
March 24-26…Livestock Events Center…Reno, NV
April 1-2…Golden I Center…Sacramento, CA
April 22-23…Denver Coliseum…Denver, CO
May 5-7…Orleans Arena…Las Vegas, NV
*Visit http://www.supercrosslive.com/ to purchase tickets
2017 LUCAS OIL PRO MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
May 20…Hangtown…Sacramento, CA
May 27…Glen Helen…San Bernardino, CA
June 3…Thunder Valley…Lakewood, CO
June 17…High Point…Mount Morris, PA
June 24…Muddy Creek…Blountville, TN
July 1…Red Bud…Buchanan, MI
July 8…Southwick…Southwick, MA
July 22…Spring Creek…Millville, MN
July 29…Washougal…Washougal, WA
August 12…Unadilla…New Berlin, NY
August 19…Budds Creek…Mechanicsville, MD
August 26…Ironman…Crawfordsville, IN
* Visit http://www.promotocross.com/mx/tickets to buy tickets
2017 FIM MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
March 5…Pangkal Pinang…Indonesia
April 23…Valkenswaard…The Netherlands
July 23…Loket…Czech Republic
September 10…Assen…The Netherlands
September 17…Villars sous Ecot…France