PRO TAPER PRESENTS MXA’S MID-WEEK REPORT #32 BY JOHN BASHER
MXA VIDEO: TM 250 TWO-STROKE
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: R.J. HAMPSHIRE
“All these other teams, like Star Yamaha, have seasoned guys who know how to set up a bike. I am our guy right now to find a setup. It is only my second year, so I have no idea how to set a dirt bike up. Usually, you just get the bike set up by someone who is good at that, and I can ride it. Now I am pretty much in control of how my bike works, and it is a lot to take in.”
Click here to read the interview with the Geico Honda rider.
TWO-STROKE SPOTLIGHT: ERIK EBERSOLE’S 1975 KAWASAKI KX400
There has been quite the disparity between two-stroke submissions as of late, with guys either showing off their almost-new smokers or decades old machines. Any two-stroke is worthy of this space, but it takes a certain bike to capture my attention. Erik Ebersole’s Brad Lackey KX400 copy did just that. Having spoken with Lackey before, I like the brash former 500 World Champion from Northern California. Apparently Ebersole does, too. Or maybe he just liked how Lackey’s KX400 works bike looked. Regardless, Erik hit it out of the park with this build. Below is Erik’s explanation for the classic iron.
“Please take a look at my 1975 Kawasaki KX400 Brad Lackey inspired bike. I race both modern and vintage bikes. I have a few vintage bikes and have been invited to display them at the Legends and Heroes setup at the Atlanta Supercross for a few years now. I race KX400s and have a 1975 with a green tank. I had enough parts to build another, so I decided to go after the Brad Lackey look.
“I have always liked the black look, and I built the bike myself. It was displayed at the 2016 Atlanta Supercross, along with a few of my other bikes. I will race it in some vintage races later this year. Details are below:
Frame was modified to accept a steel Husqvarna tank.
Seat mounts were moved forward to adjust the seat gap.
The motor was assembled using many NOS parts. A Wiseco piston was installed into a Millennium Technologies plated cylinder.
Plastic was bought from Knightmare Racing.
Forks have Race Tech springs.
Rear shocks are from Ohlins.
Rear swingarm is handmade by KLP Racing.
Rear sprocket is custom cut by Rebel Gear.
One-off billet custom triple clamps were made by Techsmith.
Rims and spokes by Buchanan.
Seat cover, with gripper seat material, was handmade in Thailand.
Levers and perches by Works Connection.
Throttle assembly and cable by Terry Cable.
New 36mm Mikuni round slide carb from Carb Parts.
“Thanks for including this bike in your ‘Two-Stroke Spotlight.’ It has been a fun project, and I think it came out nicely.”
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 thing. 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 me spam or try selling me beachfront property in Arizona. Happy submitting your smoker!
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: RIDE ENGINEERING YAMAHA YZ85 TRIPLE CLAMP SET
Press release: Ride Engineering, the industry leader in aftermarket handling performance, is proud to introduce our first set of mini-bike triple clamps for the 2002-2017 YZ85 & Supermini. These performance accessories have been developed for smaller displacement bikes and offer big advantages on the track. Our YZ85 triple clamp set is comes complete with stem and bearing anodized blue for a factory look with extra clamping surface area for more precise handling. Add our eccentric over-sized bar mount for 4 position adjustability: 0mm, 6mm, 15mm & 21mm forward of the stem hole as well as the option to use a 10mm taller spacer kit-lots of options for both small and large riders. Full set: $449.90. Bar mounts: $94.95
For the stock class or those riders on a budget, our one-piece over-sized bar mount can be added just to a Top Clamp. Now mini pilots can use a stronger over-sized handlebar just like Dad. Furthermore the Ride Eng. bar mount comes with rubber insulators that help reduce vibration by separating the metal to metal contact. In the event of a crash, the weakest link is no longer the handlebars, but a set of inexpensive replacement bolts. Top clamp: $199.95. Bar mounts: $94.95. For more information, please visit www.ride-engineering.com or call (800) 805-1516.
TWO-STROKE FEVER: BIKE LOVE
MXA understands that two-strokes remain an integral part of the riding and racing community. They’re also a heck of a lot of fun. From Europe to SoCal to the East coast, I’ve had the pleasure of photographing some very unique smokers. But enough of writing about our love for two-strokes. Take a look below at a few of the project bikes that have come across our path in the past year or so.
CYCLETRADER/ROCK RIVER YAMAHA YZ250
KTM 550SX FACTORY EDITION
Jeff Moffet had an idea of taking a 1994 KTM 550 M/XC engine and retrofitting it into a 2015-1/2 KTM 250SXF Factory Edition chassis. What you see above is the end result. Click here to read how Moffet was able to make dream become reality.
MXA’S 2007 SUZUKI RM125
We had to blow the dust off and get over the smell of moth balls, but our 2007 Suzuki RM125 was in decent enough shape to make something out of. It look a considerable amount of elbow grease, but the juice was worth the squeeze.
NO SURRENDER: THE RETURN OF DEAN WILSON
MINI-VIEW: MITCHELL OLDENBURG
The Troy Lee Designs Red Bull KTM 250 team has had many ups and downs in 2016. Unfortunately, most of their riders have been plagued by injury. That’s how it goes in professional racing. However, there has been one shining beacon through it all–Mitchell Oldenburg. The recently turned 22-year-old actually began the year as a fill-in rider, but generally has been racing every weekend. Currently tenth in the 250 National standings, Oldenburg consistently finishes just inside the top ten. Recently we had a chance to talk to the rider known as “Freckle.”
By Anna and Jim Kimball
Mitchell, you were hired as a fill-in guy, but you’ve really been the most consistent guy for the Troy Lee Designs Red Bull KTM team.
Originally my contract was only through Supercross, but the team was kind enough to take me to the first two rounds and basically give me the fill-in spot if someone ended up getting injured. Due to injuries, our team has been just dwindling. Considering the circumstances, I am just going to go out there and do everything I can to do the best I can. I don’t feel any added pressure or anything like that; I just worry about myself and try and put two good motos together.
Your results have been getting better. What has attributed to the upswing in results compared to last year?
I have stepped it up quite a bit with my training. I ended up working with Tyla Rattray this off-season. His program is not easy and it really turns you into a man. I am just plugging away. We are now eight months in already, and he really keeps hounding me about taking a year to really feel the benefits. So right now I am trying to build and get some good results and get my confidence up for next year. Hopefully I can come out next year and be a title contender.
What did Tyla Rattray teach you differently than what you were doing?
He opened my eyes as to how much work I actually have to put into it. I always thought I was working hard, but there is just so much more that I could have been doing. It is kind of down to a science these days with the heart rates and all of that. He has it all calculated out perfectly. He knows when we are going to be peaking, and he knows how much more we have in us, so it has been huge. I mean, the dude was gnarly back when he was racing. I think his results speak for himself, so to have him in my corner, and have his guidance and just his support has been huge for my program.
I know you are pretty good friends with your teammate Shane McElrath. It must have been hard to see that crash at Southwick.
It was horrible. You know, Shane is probably one of my best friends. It is a funny thing to say, as I only met him a year ago. When I got the call to go to ride for these guys last summer, he actually let me stay with him all summer. I was basically his roommate for over a year. I grew really close with him, and he is a great dude. We go to church all the time together and he is a good person to have in your corner. To see him crash like that at Southwick was a bummer, but there is no getting that kid down. He could have the worst day ever and you would think it was the best day of his life. Shane will be back, and when he is he will be be definitely ready to win.
This is the first year the Troy Lee Designs KTM program is the official KTM 250 factory effort. Has that made a big difference?
It has not changed too much, but you definitely expect a lot more out of yourself. I have been on the other side of the fence, where I pitted out of my van and did everything on my own. That was hard, so to get this opportunity with the team has been amazing. They put so much effort into racing. They do not deserve anything less than wins, so I am just trying to do my best.
The team has to be happy with your result as a fill-in rider. Will you be a full-time rider on the TLD team for 2017?
Right now we are in the talks about it. Things are looking good, and everything has been going smoothly. I think my improvement from last year to this year kind of speaks for itself. I am more than happy with the direction I am moving in. I can’t complain as long as I keep plugging away and keep climbing the ladder. I am happy with everything here and the team seems to be happy with me, too.
Are you still talking to other teams about next year?
It is a racer’s job to always be job hunting and open to talking to people. As far as this team goes, they have treated me amazingly well, so obviously I am talking with them for next year. I am just focused on the rest of the year and getting as many points as I can.
Will you be racing at the USGP rounds at Charlotte and Glen Helen?
We aren’t doing Charlotte, and Glen Helen is still up in the air. It is kind of tough with how long our season has been. We will see how the rest of the year goes, and go from there. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people injured on the team right now, so I do not know who is going to be healthy by then. You will probably end up seeing me lining up, but there is a possibility that I might not.
THEY SAID IT: 250 SWISS GP WINNER MAX ANSTIE
“It was an awesome GP and it felt really nice to get my second overall victory. During the last three weeks we’ve raced in three completely different tracks and to me that makes for a real world championship. We had a great battle with Jeremy in both motos here in Switzerland. In the opening moto I got the lead early on and managed to open a small gap for the win. In the second race it was just me and Jeremy battling it out all the way to the finish. He pushed extra hard in front of his home crowd, so it was great I ended up getting another moto win. Climbing to fourth in the series standings is also good. My plan is to take each of the remaining races separately to collect as many points as I can before the finish of the series.”
BLAST FROM THE PAST: EVERTS & ROCZEN
Do you remember when Ken Roczen rode for the Red Bull KTM team on the MXGP circuit and won the 250 World Championship? That’s Stefan Everts (now with factory Suzuki) talking with a young K-Roc in 2011.
MXGP OF THE AMERICAS VIDEO
FASTEST OF THE FAST: AMA NATIONALS
An ongoing list of the top qualifiers and holeshot winners from each round of the 2016 Lucas Oil AMA 250/450 Nationals.
FASTEST QUALIFIERS: 450 CLASS
Glen Helen…Eli Tomac
High Point…Jason Anderson
Muddy Creek…Christophe Pourcel
Red Bud…Christophe Pourcel
FASTEST QUALIFIERS: 250 CLASS
Glen Helen…Cooper Webb
High Point…Zach Osborne
Muddy Creek…Adam Cianciarulo
Red Bud…Adam Cianciarulo
HOLESHOT AWARDS: 450 CLASS
Hangtown…Cole Seely / Ryan Dungey
Glen Helen…Trey Canard / Ken Roczen
Lakewood…Ken Roczen / Trey Canard
High Point…Ken Roczen / Justin Barcia
Muddy Creek…Cole Seely / Broc Tickle
Red Bud…Justin Bogle / Justin Bogle
Southwick…Justin Bogle / Justin Bogle
Millville…Justin Barcia / Marvin Musquin
Washougal…Phil Nicoletti / Marvin Musquin
HOLESHOT AWARDS: 250 CLASS
Hangtown…Joey Savatgy / Jessy Nelson
Glen Helen…Tristan Charboneau / Jeremy Martin
Lakewood…Cooper Webb / Adam Cianciarulo
High Point…Jeremy Martin / Adam Cianciarulo
Muddy Creek…Adam Cianciarulo / Shane McElrath
Red Bud…Austin Forkner / Shane McElrath
Southwick…Jeremy Martin / Cooper Webb
Millville…Alex Martin / Alex Martin
Washougal…Alex Martin / Cooper Webb