MXA’S WEEKEND NEWS ROUND-UP: THE SUPERCROSS DROUGHT IS ABOUT TO END
• WHO’S WHO HEADING TO ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY
A happy Justin Barcia is a fast Justin Barcia. Bad luck has left Justin back in fourth overall in the 450 class, but,when his luck holds he is a potential winner of individual races,. However, the 2021 Supercross Championship is long gone as Justin is 61 points behind points leader Cooper Webb.
2021 AMA 450 SUPERCROSS POINTS STANDINGS
(After 12 of 17 races)
1. Cooper Webb (KTM)…275
2. Ken Roczen (Hon)…260
3. Eli Tomac (Kaw)…234
4. Justin Barcia (Gas)…214
5. Aaron Plessinger (Yam)…183
6. Malcolm Stewart (Yam)…179
7. Jason Anderson (Hus)…171
8. Dylan Ferrandis (Yam)…153
9.Joey Savatgy (KTM)…138
10. Marvin Musquin (KTM)…136
Hunter Lawrence has always been considered the fastest of the Lawrence brothers, but injuries slowed his roll, while his brother Jett took off. But Hunter has a better chance, mathematically, of winning a Supercross crown this year than Jett. He is only six points out of first place.
2021 AMA 250 WEST SUPERCROSS POINTS STANDINGS
(After 5 of 9 races)
1. Justin Cooper (Yam)…108
2. Cameron McAdoo (Kaw)…106
3. Hunter Lawrence (Hon)…102
4. Jalek Swoll (Hus)…93
5. Garrett Marchbanks (Yam)…93
6. Seth Hammaker (Kaw)…88
7. Chris Blose (Gas)…68
8. Kyle Peters (Hon)…63
9. Coty Schock (Hon)…57
10. Nate Thrasher (Yam)…56
2021 AMA 250 EAST SUPERCROSS POINTS STANDINGS
(After 7 of 9 races)
1. Colt Nichols (Yam)…166
2. Christian Craig (Yam)…158
3. Jo Shimoda (Kaw)…138
4. Jett Lawrence (Hon)…128
5. Josh Osby (Hon)…103
6. Michael Mosiman (Gas)…97
7. Mitchell Oldenburg (Hon)…91
8. Josh Varize (KTM)…81
9. Thomas Do (KTM)…74
10. Grant Harlan (Hon)…71
• 2021 AMA SUPERCROSS WINNERS AT A GLANCE
Venue 450 250
Jan. 16 (Sat)…Houston, TX…………….Justin Barcia…………….Christian Craig
Jan. 19 (Tues)….Houston, TX………….Eli Tomac………………….Jett Lawrence
Jan. 23 (Sat)…Houston, TX…………….Cooper Webb…………..Colt Nichols
Jan. 30 (Sat)…Indianapolis, IN……….Ken Roczen………………Colt Nichols
Feb. 2 (Tues)….Indianapolis, IN……..Ken Roczen………………Colt Nichols
Feb. 6 (Sat)…Indianapolis, IN…………Ken Roczen………………Christian Craig
Feb. 13 (Sat)…Orlando, FL……………..Cooper Webb………….Jett Lawrence
Feb. 20 (Sat)…Orlando, FL……………..Cooper Webb………….Justin Cooper
Mar. 6 (Sat)…Daytona Beach, FL…..Eli Tomac…………………..Cameron McAdoo
Mar. 13 (Sat)…Arlington, TX………….Cooper Webb…………..Seth Hammaker
Mar. 16 (Tues)… Arlington, TX……….Cooper Webb…………..Hunter Lawrence
Mar. 20 (Sat)…Arlington, TX………….Cooper Webb…………..Justin Cooper
Mar. 27 (Sat)…No race
Apr. 3 (Sat)…No race
Apr. 10 (Sat)…Atlanta, GA……………….
Apr. 13 (Tues)…Atlanta, GA…………….
Apr. 17 (Sat)…Atlanta, GA………………
Apr. 24 (Sat)…Salt Lake City, UT…….
May 1 (Sat)…Salt Lake City, UT………
450 points leader…Cooper Webb
250 East points leader…Colt Nichols
250 West points leader…Justin Cooper
• THIS WEEK IN MXA BY JOSH MOSIMAN IS ALL TWO-STROKES ALL THE TIME
• OLD SCHOOL SCRAMBLES TT ON APRIL 10-11 AT GLEN HELEN
There is a practice day on Saturday, April 10, from noon to 4:00 p.m. and a race on Sunday, April 11, with practice at 9:30 a.m. Plus, kids ride free. For more info go to www.ossrg.org
• COMING TO AMERICA SOON! GASGAS ELECTRIC MOUNTAIN BIKE LINE-UP
GasGas is super excited to announce the its 2021 Enduro Cross, Trail Cross, Cross Country and Dual Cross eMTB bicycles. With 11 pedal-assist mountain bike models, GasGas has created a range of bikes to suit everyone, from hardcore eMTB riders, to adventure seekers, to singletrackers, to trekking enthusiast and urban travelers. GasGas eMTB bikes are currently available Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Netherlands and Belgium, with the American market release coming in 2022.
Motors: Yamaha is the originator of pedal-assist cycling with over two decades of motor technology expertise. It’s fair to say they know their stuff! So it was an easy choice for GasGas to have Yamaha motors in all of e-bikes. Depending on the category, our bikes use Yamaha’s latest-edition PW-X2, PW-ST and PW-CE motors.
Batteries: Batteries are the life blood of every e-bike. Our bikes are fitted with top-spec components that vary in power and frame-fitting to suit their intended model.
Models: GasGas has all the bases covered. From serious mountain bikers to those who are just getting started, GasGas’ fleet of 11 bikes cover Enduro, Trail, Cross Country and Dual Cross riding, meaning there’s a right bike for everyone.
Colors: GasGas bikes are loyal to their heritage, thus Spanish flair is visible across our entire bicycle line-up.
GASGAS ENDURO CROSS 11.0
The Enduro Cross 11.0 features an aluminum frame with enduro-focused geometry. It is equipped with Fox 38 Float Factory 160mm forks and a Fox Float DPX2 rear shock to deliver trail-munching capabilities. Mixed size DT Swiss-built 29” front and 27.5” rear wheels and a SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain provides crisp shifting, with four-piston SRAM G2 brakes ready to stop you in a hurry. The motor is a Yamaha PW-X2 250W motor that features 80 N/m of torque via an integrated 630Wh down-tube battery.
GASGAS TRAIL CROSS 9.0
Designed for all-around use, the Trail Cross 9.0 rolls on a 29” wheelset, 140mm Fox Float 36 Rhythm forks and a Fox Float DPS Performance rear shock. A wide-range Shimano Deore XT 12-speed drivetrain is combined with four-piston Shimano brakes, a dropper post and tubeless-ready Schwalbe tires. Power comes from a Yamaha PW-X2 motor with 250W on hand from an integrated 630Wh down-tube battery.
GASGAS CROSS COUNTRY 7.0
The hardtail GasGas Cross Country 7.0 has 29” wheel set, SR Suntour 120mm forks, a SRAM Eagle drivetrain, Tektro brakes Yamaha’s ultra-reliable PW-ST 250W motor. Plus the added boost of a 500Wh integrated battery.
GASGAS DUAL-CROSS 6.0
With a focus on comfort and distance, the Gas Gas Dual Cross 6.0 is a go-to workhorse. With relaxed geometry and 80mm of suspension travel the GasGas is both commuter and fun bike. It is spec’ed with Shimano, SR Suntour, Tektro and Schwalbe components and powered by Yamaha’s PW-ST 250W frame-mounted motor with 70 N/m of torque from a 500Wh integrated battery. It also has lights, rear rack and a kickstand.
• 2021 WATCH THE 2021 WORLD TWO-STROKE CHAMPIONSHIP FROM THE COMFORT OF YOUR COUCH
• MXA MOTO CHALLENGE QUIZ: WE WERE ALL YOUNG ONCE
Can you name this man? This was the last rider to ever win the FIM 500 World Motocross Championship on a two-stroke. Can you name him, the country he is from, the bike he won the title on and the racetrack behind him. Answer at the bottom of the page.
BAD NEWS! HONDA RECALLS 2021 HONDA CRF450s
Honda has issued a Recall Notice on certain 2021 CRF450R motorcycles to replace the drive chain. It is possible the drive chain can break, increasing the risk of crash or injury. Owners should contact a certified Honda Powersports dealer to learn if their motorcycle is affected, and for further instructions on having their drive chain replaced. For additional information and assistance locating an authorized Honda Powersports dealer, call Honda Powersports Customer Support at 866-784-1870, or use the “find a dealer” option on www.powersports.honda.com.
MXA TEAM TESTED: ALPINESTARS 2021 SUPERTECH GEAR
Although Alpinestars resisted entering the motocross gear business for years, when the company finally took the plunge, its bold designs, vibrant colors, quality materials and advanced construction helped it gain a foothold. The 2021 Supertech gear was designed for top riders such as Eli Tomac, Jason Anderson, Chase Sexton, Jett Lawrence and local riders who want to feel like top riders on the track. Athletic-fitting gear has become the standard for Pros and many youngsters, but the poor durability of light and thin gear steers many riders elsewhere. With the Supertech line, Alpinestars is trying to achieve the best of both worlds.
The Alpinestars Supertech jersey embraces the modern trend of tight-fitting cycling-apparel-like motocross gear. The official term is “athletic fit”; however, if you’re not all that athletic, you might prefer the physique-disguising benefits of excess material. The Supertech jersey is ultra-lightweight with ergonomic shoulder and pre-curved arm construction. The main chassis fabric uses advanced stretch and moisture-wicking materials that allow you to play twister or arrange yourself into the wildest riding position without mobility restriction from your jersey. The back panel is also extended to help keep your jersey tucked in.
The Supertech pants have a form-fitting chassis with two breathable mesh inserts at the front of the hip and one large mesh insert above the seat of the pant. The material was specifically created by Alpinestars to improve strength, elasticity and abrasion resistance. To increase strength in the seat area, 600-denier fabric was used. A ratchet-type closure secures the front of the waistband, and it adheres to a dual-sided Velcro strap underneath the plastic closure to ensure a solid fit. To keep the pants light and breathable, the inner liner was left out.
Supertech gear features dual-layered, 600-denier fabric panels at the front and well-positioned 3D leather panels on the inner knees to prevent tearing, protect from heat and improve grip in the most vulnerable area. Additionally, a heat-resistant and stretchable Aramid-fiber-reinforced panel surrounds the knee to extend protection against the hot engine and proactively fight against tearing. What is Aramid fiber? It’s a strong fiber used in aerospace and military applications for ballistic-rated body armor and more. Long story short, it’s tough.
The Supertech jersey fits close to your body and is comfortable to wear. We didn’t have any complaints with the Supertech jersey. The waistband on the Supertech pants fit true to size. It has a snug fit at the thighs but opens up in the knee area to accommodate knee braces. The Supertech gear scores low in the comfort department because the more-durable-yet-thin material doesn’t stretch as easily as the Alpinestars Techstar pants, and the front seam of the pants is short, giving the pants a low Italian-cut fit. The pants don’t have any Velcro straps for adjusting the waistband size beyond the minimal amount of wiggle room the ratchet closure allows.
We were pleasantly surprised by the limited amount of wear and tear the Supertech gear suffered over our many races. Oftentimes, thin, breathable, athletic-fitting gear will break down quickly from roost and constant rubbing at the knees; but the well-placed leather, high-end Aramid fiber and 600-denier fabric held up well. The Alpinestars Supertech gear is available in two different graphic design options and seven different color choices. The jersey sizes range from small to double extra large, while the pant sizes range from 28- to 40-inch waists.
DIGITS? $69.95 (jersey), $199.95 (pant)— www.alpinestars.com or (800) 438-2577.
MXA RATING: Gear companies are constantly searching for the perfect balance of durability, breathability, mobility and light weight. The Alpinestars 2021 Supertech gear checked almost every box, only missing the mark in the comfort department.
• 2021 NEBRASKA/IOWA GREAT PLAINS VINTAGE MOTOCROSS SCHEDULE
Here is the 2021 race schedule for the Nebraska/Iowa Great Plains Vintage Motocross season. They are now in their 9th year. It started with five riders and now brings in about 175 entries at each race. For more info go to www.greatplainvintagemx.org
• MXA VIDEO: FIRST RIDE OF THE 2021 HUSQVARNA FC350
• THE NEW MXA IS OUT: INSIDE IS THE 2021 MXA 250 SHOOTOUT, HIDDEN SECRETS OF THE FACTORY & ROCKSTAR EDITIONS, PLUS TWO EURO 250 SMOKER TESTS & ALL THE GOOD STUFF YOU EXPECT
What’s in the newest issue of MXA? There is an 18-page 250 four-stroke two-stroke with the top seven 2021 250s, plus there accurate weights, prices and dyno charts. We also test the 2021 TM 250X cross-country two-stroke, 2021 Husqvarna TC250 two-stroke and do a complete comparison between the 2021-1/2 KTM 450SXF Factory Edition and the 2021-1/2 Husqvarna FC450 Rockstar Edition. And those are just the bike tests! We also have an in depth interview with Joel Smets, who helped usher in the four-stroke era, by winning the 500 World Championship on a Husaberg three years before Yamaha released the YZ400 four-stroke. And, much more!
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• WORLD HARE & HOUND CHAMPIONSHIP ON MAY 21-23 IN TONOPAH, NEVADA
This race will be held on 110 miles of desert that hasn’t been used in 15 years. For more information go to www.bitd.com
• INSIDE LOOK AT JUSTIN BRAYTON’S MUC-OFF HONDA CRF450
• MXA TEAM TESTED: 97-PIECE BOXO MOTOBOX TOOLBOX SET
WHAT IS IT? The Boxo MotoBox toolbox is the first complete toolbox specifically tailored to moto needs. The 97-piece set comes complete with many of the tools you’ll need for just about any dirt bike brand. Plus, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty. We were immediately skeptical about the Boxo MotoBox toolbox. Why? We weren’t familiar with the brand, and no tool company has ever made a moto-specific toolset that was high quality. We have to admit that we were impressed by the laser-cut foam tool cutouts and etched size markings, but looks are one thing. What mattered most was if the tools were worth the money and if the 97-piece set had everything we needed on race day.
The MXA wrecking crew’s tools have been collected over the years. One toolset never covered every tool that the “Big Seven” brands required. We’ve all had to go shopping for Torx wrenches, a 13mm open-end and 32mm socket for the rear axle. The real question was, could Boxo live up to its claim of having everything a motocross racer would need in its MotoBox? Just about.
The three-drawer toolbox is made from heavy-duty 20-gauge steel. It features ball-bearing drawer sliders and a smooth latch locker drawer system that retails for $160 if you want to buy it without the tools. The set comes with 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch ratchets and a 1/2-inch breaker bar. There are 24 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch metric drive sockets (with nine extensions and adapters) from size 4 to 32. For KTM riders, Torx sockets from T15 to T55 are included with a set of hex sockets as well. Boxo didn’t forget the T-handles, but these aren’t your normal T-handles; they are slide T-handles that you put together with the included extensions and sockets, which saves lots of room. There are 17 open-end metric wrenches from sizes 6 to 27. With those come a 7-piece foldable hex key wrench, three pliers and six screwdrivers. The loose tools consist of a hammer, scissors, digital tire gauge, safety-wire pliers, spoke wrench, axle step-down tool and two tire spoons (that have box-end 32mm and 10mm wrenches on their ends and include 17mm and 27mm inserts.
We may have expected Boxo to include every tool on our must-have list, but the things that weren’t included were a fork air-pressure gauge for our KTMs and Huskys, a pipe spring puller, valve stem remover, Robertson wrench for the KTM smokers and a spark-plug socket. Additionally, the spoke wrench wasn’t the right size for our KTM, GasGas, and Husky wheels or our Yamaha front wheel. The missing tools weren’t deal-breakers, though, because we already had them. We just took the select tools out of our old, messy, unorganized toolbox and placed them nicely into the Boxo MotoBox. There is a small empty space for personal items in the second drawer, but we wish it were big enough to hold more tools.
Boxo offers many different toolsets in all shapes and sizes with prices ranging from as high $9000 for roll-aways. And, Boxo allows you to completely customize your toolbox. Boxo will even laser-cut the foam to your custom order.WHAT’S IT COST? $750.00 (white or black) — www.boxousa.com or your local dealer.
MXA RATING: Boxo MotoBox tools are a steal for the price, and with a lifetime warranty, you can breathe easy. This is the most durable, most organized and most complete moto toolbox that has ever been put on the market, hands down. It is on the expensive side, but you’ll never have to go to Harbor Freight again.
• 2021 AME SATURDAY NIGHT SUMMERCROSS SCHEDULE
Put Saturday nights on your race calendar as AME Minicross will be returning to the Glen Helen Stadiumcross track for ten races—starting on May, 22, 2021. Plus, the Stadiumcross track is open on Thursday nights before each race weekend of Saturday night and Sunday morning races. For more info go to www.ameminicross.com
• MXA VIDEO: FIRST RIDE OF THE 2021 KTM 125SX TWO-STROKE
• MXA AD OF THE WEEK: CLARK JONES’ 1995 NOLEEN RACING AD
Here is some Clark Jones trivia: Clark Jones is from Montebello, California. Clark’s first big sponsor was Standard Crankshaft. Clark was an MXA test rider best known for endoing a Mugen Honda on the cover of the March 1980 issue (actually, if you look closely you can see the stick under the engine that jammed into the shift lever).
Clark married four-time National Champion Gary Jones’ sister Lois. It was a marriage were nobody had to change their names. Noleen went into the mountain bike suspension business and got bought by sports conglomerate K2 and moved the company to Washington State in 1998. When Clark wanted to return to building motocross suspension in 2002, they wouldn’t let him use the name Noleen—so he changed it to Noleen J6. The 1995 Noleen Sizzler team helped team rider Larry Ward finish second overall in the 1995 AMA Supercross series—behind Jeremy McGrath. NoleenJ6 Technologies is still in business today and can be reached at www.noleenj6.com
• 2021 MXA 450 SHOOTOUT: TIME FOR THE LONGEST AND MOST DETAILED SHOOTOUT EVER
• MXA TECH SPEC: FORK-OIL HEIGHT IS THE MAGIC BULLET
Now that the motorcycle manufacturers have come to their senses and, for the most part, returned to coil-spring forks, it’s time for some of the old fork-tuning tricks to resurface. KTM, GasGas and Husqvarna are the only brands sticking with air forks, but even WP Xact air forks can benefit from the sage advice that their predecessors relied on. There are lots of things a racer can do to make his forks work better. The MXA wrecking crew would rather try to fix our forks ourselves than spend hard-earned cash on a re-valve. Once you have clicked the clickers in every imaginable way, slid the forks up and down in the triple clamps, and taken advice from strangers, it is time to apply the magic bullet.
What is the magic bullet? Fork-oil height. Adjusting the fork-oil height is the trick that every suspension tuner keeps hidden up his sleeve. It works. It is free. And, it doesn’t require taking the forks apart. What does it do? By adding or subtracting oil in your forks, you change the air volume. Since air is compressible, a smaller air space is harder to compress than a larger air space (and vice versa), which results in a significant change in how a fork feels.
Stiff or soft. The compression of the fork’s air space is gradual. Lessening the air space by adding oil makes the forks stiffer from mid-stroke to the point of bottoming. Taking oil out of your forks makes them softer from mid-stroke on. It has a negligible effect on the first half of the travel.
Measurement. On old-school 1970 forks, the oil height was measured with a tape measure in inches from the top of the fork tube (with the springs removed and the forks collapsed). Modern cartridge-style forks have their oil volume measured in cc (not by inches from the top of the tube).
Adding oil. The simplest way to add oil to a fork is with a graduated syringe that has a tip on it small enough to fit into the air-bleed screw on the fork cap. Insert the syringe tip into the air-bleed hole so that it has a good seal (if it doesn’t seal well, oil will leak out without going into the fork). We often remove the O-ring from the air-bleed screw and put it back in the hole to seal the syringe better. Slowly squirt the oil into the forks.
Burp the fork. Remember that as the 10cc of oil goes in, 10cc of air must come out. Bleeding the air while inserting the oil is tricky. The easiest way is to push down on the syringe to squirt in about 1cc of oil, then pull back on the syringe plunger to allow air bubbles to escape back into the syringe. Repeat until you have 10cc in the fork.
Subtracting oil. To lower the oil height in a fork, you have to remove the fork from the bike. With the fork off the bike, take the air-bleed screw out of the fork cap, turn the fork upside down and let oil drip out of the air-bleed screw hole into a graduated beaker or tube. If the fork oil drips out too slowly, gently pulse the fork leg to get more oil to flow. Be careful not to overdo it.
Rule of thumb. As a rule of thumb, 10cc is the best amount of oil to add or subtract in conventional forks (WP AER air fork owners should only add or subtract oil from the damping leg). And don’t be afraid to remove more than 10cc. On current-model forks, you can safely take out up to 30cc.
Strategy. If your forks are too stiff or too harsh, lowering the oil height is a simple method of making them feel softer. Conversely, adding oil will make the forks feel stiffer. More oil works best when a rider has a bottoming problem; less oil works best when a rider has a mid-stroke harshness problem. Often the MXA test crew will remove 20cc of oil at the start of a test day and add it back in 5cc increments until we find the perfect setting. Adjusting your oil height is a valid tuning process and, best of all, it is free.
• WANNA RACE IN SOCAL? NEED TO RENT A BIKE? FIND A PLACE TO STAY? JUST CALL STAPO WHEN YOU CAN TRAVEL AGAIN
In his spare time, when he’s not testing with MXA, racing in a foreign country, going to Japan or helping many of his motocross buddies, MXA test rider Dennis Stapleton opens up his house, garage, bikes and mechanics to help riders who would like to come to SoCal on a motocross vacation—and now that the coronavirus pandemic is waning in the USA and the country is opening back up, foreign riders will be able to come to America to race, train and sightee again. You should plan ahead and make your reservations now for this upcoming Summer and Fall. Dennis offers full service to all of the Southern California tracks for racers or for play riders. Whether you want to rent a bike, move in for a week, race at Glen Helen or take motocross lessons—this is one-stop shopping. Just send them an email ([email protected]). If you’d like to live the SoCal lifestyle for a day, a weekend, a week, a month or three months, visit Dennis Stapleton’s’ website at www.knobbyshopsouth.org for more details!
• 2021 AMA SUPERCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP IS UP TO ROUND 13, 14 & 15 — ALL IN ATLANTA
• MXA FIRST RIDE VIDEO: 2021-1/2 HUSQVARNA FC450 ROCKSTAR EDITION
• 2021 AMA SUPERCROSS TV SCHEDULE: NO NEW SHOW UNTIL APRIL 10 IN ATLANTA
• MXA FIRST RIDE VIDEO: 2021-1/2 KTM 450SXF FACTORY EDITION
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• MXA’S FIRST RIDE ON THE 2021 HONDA CRF450 WORKS EDITION
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