MOTOCROSS ACTION’S MID-WEEK REPORT BY JOHN BASHER
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
The old GOAT has still got it. Take a look at that relaxed clutch-side hand taking a break mid-flight, as thousands of Monster Energy Cup fans cheer Carmichael’s praise in the background. And, as a bonus to this week’s Photo of the Week, I’m giving you two extra RC whip shots. Images courtesy of Travis Fant (@tfant612).
CUSTOM KTM BIKE HONORS KURT CASELLI
Off-road motorcycle racing legend, Kurt Caselli, was a rider who won’t soon be forgotten. After a tragic accident while racing in the Baja 1000 in 2013, Caselli left the world all too soon. In his honor, his family established the Kurt Caselli Foundation, which focuses on the safety of riders and racers in the off-road motorcycling industry. Together with KTM and Red Bull Media House, Roland Sands customized a 450 KTM motocross bike to honor Caselli’s influence on riders worldwide to be auctioned off with proceeds benefitting the Kurt Caselli Foundation. The customization is a throwback to the bikes featured in the original “On Any Sunday” and will be on display at the “On Any Sunday, The Next Chapter” premiere in Hollywood, Calif. Visit www.redbull.com/kurtcaselliauction to bid on this one-of-a-kind bike throughNovember 29, 2014.
MXA VIDEO: 250 FOUR-STROKE SHOOTOUT
MONSTER ENERGY CUP: A PICTORIAL PERSPECTIVE
Photos by Travis Fant
A NOTE ON MXA‘S RECOMMENDED SUSPENSION SETTINGS
With a side note on gearing…
Are you a regular MXA reader? If so, thanks! If not, click HERE to subscribe. Now that I’ve done my obligatory promotion, it’s necessary to clear up some inaccuracies about our production bike tests. Perhaps you’ve noticed that we list our recommended suspension settings for every 2015 (and past years) motocross bike in a black box at the end of each test. If so, I urge you to try those settings. Why? A collective of test riders, ranging in skill levels, put extensive time into finding real world suspension settings.
Here’s the kicker. We don’t know how much you weigh, the tracks you ride, your skill level, or how tall you are. Those stats make a difference in determining how to set up a bike. Perhaps we should clarify who our target audience is, so that those out of the realm of our profile make up won’t be confused. Read it here and now: we base our settings off of a 5’10” tall, 170 pound, Intermediate racer. Is that you? Great! If not, guess what? We include notes in our suspension findings about what heavier or lighter riders need to adjust. Additionally, we always aim at finding a general sweet spot, with some give for a broader audience than the profile listed above.
MXA’s suspension settings aren’t written in stone. In fact, we offer our numbers merely as a starting point. Don’t be afraid of the clickers. Adjust race sag and play with the fork height. Most OEM suspension components are so good these days that you should be able to find at least a small level of success by tweaking the clickers.
On another note, we don’t recommend adding a tooth to the rear sprocket of every bike that we test. If that’s what you think then do yourself a favor and pick up a new issue of MXA. I think that you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Why don’t we recommend as many gearing changes anymore? Attention haters: you will have trouble digesting this, but manufacturers do tend to listen to our complaints and respond by making changes to their bikes. So take a look at the gearing on your new bike and give us a little credit for trying to improve performance so that it doesn’t come out of your wallet. You’re welcome.
RIDE ON BOARD WITH RYAN VILLOPOTO IN EUROPE
THE DOCTOR WILL SEE YOU NEXT WEEKEND
Doug Dubach will be attending the 30th annual World Vet Championships. These championships began thirty years ago with the initial White Brothers World Veteran Motocross Championship. It is appropriate that Dubya USA, conceived and managed by Kristin White Anderson, daughter of Tom White (and her spouse, John Anderson), is now part of this event.
The famous “World Vet Championship” is the most prestigious Vet race of the year, with riders flying in from around the world to take their stab at the national-caliber track. Doug Dubach is proud to be able to attend and be a part of this event. Doug currently holds the record with 23 World Vet Championships, and is looking to pursue his 24th, 25th and 26th title racing the +40 Pro, +30 Pro & +50 class.
Be sure to come out to Glen Helen the weekend of November 1st & 2nd to check out the action!
THE UGLINESS OF CRASHING
Crashing stinks. Just ask Austin Politelli. An MXA test rider from time to time, Politelli is continuing the professional dream. However, Monster Energy Cup might want to make the cool kid from California think twice. Austin was chewed up and spit out this past weekend after qualifying for the main event. Getting into the show was no small feat, and he was rewarded for his efforts by enduring a massive crash. Racing giveth, but it also taketh away. Heal up, Austin.
GET ROOSTED & SPRAYED BY CHAMPAGNE WITH TONY CAIROLI
Ride on board with Tony in Brazil as he battles through traffic to clinch his 8th GP title.
COOL NEW BIKE THAT YOU MIGHT’VE SEEN
Yamaha unveiled a slew of all-new motorcycles this past week at the second annual AIMExpo, held in sunny Orlando, Florida. A number of cruisers, as well as a 300cc road race bike, had on-road media swooning. Personally, I thought the street bikes were interesting, but the brand new Yamaha YZ250FX especially grabbed my attention. Immediately I began thinking about the unlimited possibilities of a competition level off-road motorcycle.
While it’s true that big blue unveiled a new WR250F, the YZ250FX is particularly interesting. Why? It shares the same platform as the high-performance YZ250F motocross bike. Differences between the two include several titillating features that could crossover to the moto track. A six-speed gearbox, along with electric starting capability and a cushy 18-inch rear tire, are very appealing. Additionally, it doesn’t appear that much fat would need to be trimmed of the YZ250FX in order to get it ready for motocross warfare. Even more, the FX version has Kayaba’s award-winning SSS suspension. Understandably the settings will be too soft for the rigors of motocross, but MXA has tested off-road conversion bikes in the past that have performed beautifully at our local stomping grounds.
Expect MXA to delve deeper into the 2015 Yamaha YZ250FX in the coming months, because I see an opportunity to make a do-it-all motorcycle that would attract riders competing in variable disciplines. And who can forget the electric starter on the FX model? That’s reason enough to venture into the unknown with the YZ250FX.
For more information, visit www.yamahamotorsports.com. The 2015 YZ250FX will retail for $7890 and is available in dealerships by December.
BIKES OF THE MONSTER ENERGY CUP
SHIFT RIDE ON TOUR: CHILE
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: SMOOTH INDUSTRIES MX SUPERSTARS YOUTH RAIN BOOTS
These boots are made for walking…and splashing in mud and puddles. They are also great for wearing to the track. The MX Superstars youth rain boots are made of waterproof rubber and include fun, motocross inspired prints. Firefighter-boot inspired grab handles help when trying to pull them on while the treaded sole provides the extra traction on rainy days.