MOTOCROSS ACTION MID-WEEK REPORT
TWO-STROKE SPOTLIGHT: BRANDON BLADEN’S 2003 HONDA CR250
In 2014 I bought a clean 2003 Honda CR250 for $2000. I rode the bike for about a year and put a couple things on it and sold it to a young teenager for $2300. Fast forward and I’m riding a 2016 YZ450F (after owning a 2016 RM-Z450 that I hated the forks so bad, I ditched it and went with the YZ-F–thanks to you guys) I ride desert with my little brother and just like to have fun. My brother had a 2013 YZ450F and hated it. I didn’t care much for it either compared to my 2016 Yamaha. So, my brother started talking about getting a newer YZ like mine.
Knowing that he had never ridden a 250 two-stroke, I recommended he give it a shot. He didn’t think much of it due to the lack of fuel injection. Somehow I managed to get him on a 2016 YZ250X that a friend of mine owned. He rode it, and bought it shortly after and loves it. I then rode the two-stroke. I grew up on two-strokes, and all my hero’s made smokers look so sweet (RC, McGrath, bubba etc) I will admit, the lack of engine braking takes getting used to for about 15-20 minutes, but then it’s all “smiles per gallon” from there.
I heard that my old 2003 Honda CR250 was ridden hard and put away wet for two years and had been sitting for another year. I called the kid and asked if he’d sell it. He text me back and said he would. I went and looked at the bike. It was beat. The pipe and silencer were destroyed. All the plastics were shot. Save for the shrouds which I desperately tried to clean up since I put the Woody Woodpecker graphics on them being the Carmichael fan that I am.
Oddly enough the seat cover was in mint condition though. More carnage was found. Bent radiator, bad chain and sprockets, rear shock was blown, levers off of who knows what, float set all bent up, rear wheel cracked and front bent. Anyway, I loved that bike and since it was my old bike from years past, I had to get it back. I told the kid all that was wrong with it and I offered him $750. He initially wanted $1500. To my surprise he was super cool and gladly sold it to me for $750. I about crapped my pants. I bought it and went to work. Rocky Mountain had my name memorized in the weeks after that. I ordered tons of stuff:
-Tusk wheel set with an 18″ rear wheel
-Tusk clutch plates and springs
-new brake pads and rear disk
– FMF gnarly/shorty combo
–Bridgestone Battle Cross X40 front and rear
-Primary Drive chain and sprockets
–ODi lock on grips
-Pro Taper oversized clamps
-Pro Taper CR high bend bars
–ICW repaired my radiator
-Fineline suspension rebuilt the rear shock.
-Carb rebuild with stock Honda float set
Plenty to get done. But Im glad to report that with all that being said, the bike had great compression and once I got the carb to quit puking fuel out of the over flow she started first kick and ran great. What’s better is that I’m into it $2100 total. Runs great! Updated the front end to a 2016 and it’s super fun. I love two-strokes. I love four-strokes. But mostly I just love dirt bikes. We’ll see how long I can keep both my YZ450F and the CR. But it’s been fun to build it, and it’s great that I got a bike back that I thought I’d never see again. Thanks MXA for all the great articles and info. You’re the best!! I hope you enjoy my long story. I have enjoyed every second. –Brandon Bladen
Editors Note: Please keep those submissions coming. If you would like your bike to be featured in the “Two-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 for the “Two-Stroke Spotlight,” you agree to release all ownership rights to the images and copy to MXA. Happy submitting your smoker.
MXA QUOTE OF THE WEEK // ANDY JEFFERSON ON THE POSITIVES & NEGATIVES OF BEING AFRICAN AMERICAN RACING SX IN THE 1980s
I never wanted to be known as “the black kid” who raced motorcycles. I wanted to be known as a motocross racer. But, by the same token, I think if I was not African-American, I would not have gotten as much exposure as I got. When I went to a Supercross, people would cheer for me. They would come up and want my autograph. I would say, “Wait a minute, I am a nobody,” but I was different from most of the guys there. That is the only assumption I could make, because I was not the fastest guy there.
But, the fact that I was black hurt me in some respects. I found out later that I was never going to get a ride with Suzuki. It was never going to happen. At that time, the Japanese were not going to help an African-American race their motorcycles. It was racism, but I never thought that it really existed in motocross. I thought I was just like everyone else on the starting line, but obviously I was not. I never thought about being the first African-American to race a Supercross main. I just thought, “I can’t believe I made a main.”
MXA MINI TEST // FASTHOUSE ELROD GEAR
Fasthouse is a lifestyle brand based in Southern California with a focus on all things motorcycle. With multiple tiers of motocross gear, the Elrod line is the company’s high-end, athletic-fit offering. The key elements of good gear are durability, mobility and breathability; however, it’s hard to hit all three marks. The Elrod gear is both comfortable and durable.
VERDICT: The Elrod pants and jersey have an athletic fit, meaning they fit great on the body of an athlete. If that’s not you, order the gear one size up.
DIGITS: $75.00 (jersey), $190.00 (pants)—(661) 775-5963 or www.fasthouse.com.
MXA MOTO TRIVIA
NIHILO CONCEPTS HAS DUNLOP HEAVY DUTY TIBES IN STOCK
FORGOTTEN BIKES: 1998 YAMAHA YZ400F
MXA TESTED // 2023 SUZUKI RM-Z250
MOTO TIP OF THE WEEK // REMEMBER TO RECOVER
MOTO TIP: Every training program must include rest days to ensure your body is not overtrained. Many young, motivated athletes believe that the more they train, the better shape they will be in. You can only train that way for so long, then your body starts to break down and your immune system weakens. Resting doesn’t mean sitting on the couch all day, though. “Active recovery” is something that helps your body flush out toxins. Thirty minutes on a bike or elliptical (at a low heart rate) is all you need. No need to break a sweat on this one.
O’NEAL RIDER JAYO ARCHER LANDS TRIPLE BACKFLIP!
MXA TESTED | 2023 YAMAHA YZ450F
Moto Trivia answer: Mitch Payton lost a bet and Goat Breker got to shave his head.