MOTOCROSS ACTION MID-WEEK REPORT

#WHIPITWEDNESDAY

daryl ecklund

Rider: Daryl Ecklund
Location: Glen Helen
Bike: 2014 Kawasaki KX450F
Photographer: John Basher
Lens: 200mm f/2.8
Focal length: 100mm
Exposure: 1/1000 sec.
F-stop: 6.3
ISO: 400

TWO-STROKE SPOTLIGHT: TROY DOWNS 2016 KTM 150SX

IMG_5538This is a 2016 KTM 150SX with a custom Chrome/Blk/White Step Up MX graphics and seat cover.

ktm 150sxThe bike also has a Scalvini pipe and silencer. Suspension modification by WMI, Flo aluminum rad covers, Rekluse clutch and many other extras.

Editor’s 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. 

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Greg Schnell 2000Who is this rider and what year was it? Answer at the bottom of the page.

NIHILO CONCEPTS PRODUCTS FOR CHRISTMAS

HOW SMART DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO SUBSCRIBE TO MXA? YOU SUBSCRIBE AND GET A $25 ROCKY MOUNTAIN GIFT CREDIT—SEEMS SIMPLE


You can’t afford not to subscribe, because when you order a subscription, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC sends you a $25 gift credit to use on anything you want from their massive selection. Plus, subscribers to MXA can also choose to get the digital mag on their 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. Do we have to mention the $25 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC gift card again? You can’t lose on this deal? Call (800) 767-0345 or Click Here

WHY ARE THERE WEIGHT LIMITS IN MOTOCROSS?

 

Dear MXA,
   Why is there a weight limit in motocross? It seems like production bikes would get lighter if they let the factory teams build ultra-light machinery.

Rules, to the chagrin of those who write them, rarely work when their main reason for existence is social engineering. Racing, whether cars, bikes, boats or planes is resplendent with social rules. By social engineering, we are not talking about what color clothes you’re allowed to wear (although for years the AMA had rules requiring white pants in the pits and banning solid black leathers) or affirmative action at the AMA. No, social rules are those designed to bring more equality among competitors (even if they aren’t equal). NASCAR is the most famous for this, they give a 1/4 of air dam and take a 1/4 of spoiler to try and make all brands equal on the track. Even in horse racing, jockeys have to wear weights to guarantee that every horse carries the same load.

Motocross has experimented with social rules for years. Perhaps the most famous of all the equality attempts was the claiming rule. The claiming rule was written to keep a racer, team or manufacturer from spending too much time, money or effort in building a world-beater bike — because if they did, any competitor (in the same race) could lay down $3500 and buy the bike. It’s a very esoteric concept of equality — the belief that the bikes will remain fairly equal because they could change hands at the end of the day. It is great in theory, but the first time a privateer claimed a factory Honda CR250 (and drove away with it) all the factories threatened to pull out of racing. Seven days after John Roeder claimed Marty Tripes’ 1978 Honda, the claiming rule no longer existed. It’s no surprise that spineless officiating does little to encourage equality.

You might think that the weight limit was established to keep the factory bikes from being so much lighter than production bikes that it would be unfair to the privateers. Not true. Well, as an excuse it is true — but it wasn’t privateers that they were trying to help with the weight limits. It was someone else. Here is the true story.

Perhaps the best social engineering in motocross was done in 1973 to keep Suzuki from driving the European manufacturers out of the sport. A short time after entering Grand Prix racing, Suzuki was fielding 187-pound 250’s and 202-pound 500’s that demolished the competition in the hands of Joel Robert and Roger DeCoster. Cubic dollars, which the Japanese had from the early ’70s street bike boom, and Husqvarna, Maico, CZ, Bultaco and CCM didn’t have (they didn’t make street bikes), were calling the shots. The Euro manufacturers whined that they couldn’t compete, so the FIM instituted the weight rule. Rather than wait for the European bikes to get their weight down, the FIM decided to bring the weight of the works Suzuki’s up.

JoelRobertSometimes they cut it a little close on Joel Robert’s works Suzuki.

Starting in 1973, 250cc bikes had to weigh more than 198 pounds and 500s could weigh no less than 200 pounds. The effect was immediate. Suzuki didn’t have time to develop all-new bikes for the 1973 season, so they poured molten lead into the frames of Robert’s RH250 and DeCoster’s RN370 to bring them up to the new weight limit. Joel Robert, claiming that the lead ruined the handling of his featherweight Suzuki, lost the 250 World Championship (after winning it for five straight years). Roger DeCoster fared better, he edged out Maico-mounted Willi Bauer for the third of his five World Titles. “It seriously affected the handling of our bikes,” said DeCoster. “The bike had already been built when the weight limit came down. The factory had no choice but to add weight wherever they could.”

Almost 50 years later the weight limit is still in effect (although Team Honda and Ricky Johnson dodged the scales twice with bikes that were underweight without incurring any penalty). Under AMA rules the minimum weight for 2023 are: 125cc two-strokes 194 pounds; 250cc two- or four-strokes 212 pounds; 450 four-strokes 220 pounds. The bikes can be weighed after a race at the AMA’s discretion. For weighing, the gas tank must be empty (although the radiators can be full). Ballast of any kind (like the lead that Suzuki poured in its frames in 73) is illegal.

It should be noted that no matter how light works bikes got, production bikes did not come down in weight. In fact, production bike weights only got lower after the AMA instituted the production rule that banned full-on works bikes. Why did production bikes get lighter after works bikes were banned? Because the factory teams had to start with a production bike instead of a blank sheet of paper — thus the production bikes got lighter to get closer to the weight limit.

Historically, the only championships that could claim to have been affected by the FIM/AMA weight limits were those inaugural ones in 1973. Joel Robert might have been a seven-time 250 World Champion except for social engineering to save the European motorcycle manufacturer’s pride. Did the weight limits save the European manufacturers? No. All of the major Euro players from 1973 are out of business today (save for thrice sold Husqvarna).

2022 GLEN HELEN NEW YEAR’S EVE GRAND PRIX ON SATURDAY, DEC. 3

For more information or to sign-up go to www.glenhelen.com

LOST BUT NOT FORGOTTEN | BBR YZ80 CHASSIS WITH XR100 ENGINE

BBR YZ80 CHASSIS WITH XR100 ENGINEBBR YZ80 with an XR100 engine. 

BBR YZ80 CHASSIS WITH XR100 ENGINE

This BBR Motosports  build was built in 1994-/95. It is based on a YZ80. It used an XR100 engine. BBR custom built the frame, tank, air box, hubs, clamps, pegs, etc. And all on a manual mill and lathe. It was featured in the April 1996 Dirt Bike issue and the August 1996 issue of  MXA along with BBR’s 250 and 400. Still, 25 years later the OEMs can’t build a good play bike for the backyard as well as BBR. BBR is still building trick one-off bikes.

TALK MOTO WITH ON MXA’S FACEBOOK GROUP CHAT

We love everything moto and want to bring all moto junkies together into one place to share their two cents, ideas, photos, bike fixes, bike problems and much more. To check it out first you must need to or already have a Facebook account. If you don’t, it isn’t much work and you could even have an alias so nobody knows it is you. To join click HERE. After you request to join we will accept your request shortly after.

2023 WORLD SUPERCROSS (WSX) DATES ANNOUNCED—ALL SIX OF THEM

The 2023 FIM World Supercross Championship (WSX) will be six races long with events in France, Germany, Canada, Australia, England and the round in Southeast Asia to be announced at a later date. It is not the blockbuster race schedule that everyone expected to compete against the 17-round AMA Supercross Championship. The WSX does not start until after eh AMA series is over, and in fact, WSX starts after four AMA outdoor Nationals have been concluded. There are two dates with the 2023 AMA Nationals: July 1 versus Red Bud and July 22 versus Washougal, but there could be conflicts between the AMA SuperMotocross Playoffs in September and October because Supermotocross has only confirmed one date for their three-race play-offs and is on the same day as the Dusseldorf, Germany WSX round.

CLASSIC PHOTO | JAMES STEWART’S LAST YEAR ON A KX125 BACK IN 2004 | PHOTO BLAST

James Stewart’s 2004 factory KX125 is stored at the Kawasaki headquarters in Irvine, CA where Travis Fant shot this photo.

Milleville during the 2004James Stewart 2004 millville copyJames Stewart 2004

At the last round of the 2004 National series, James raced a 250F at Glen Helen. He won. 

JAMES STEWART 2004 KX250fThe only round that James raced a KX250F at the final round at Glen Helen. 


Moto Trivia answer: Greg Schnell from 2000.

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