2019 CR125 works edition built be Denmarks Christian Løvenfeldt. “I have the deepest respect for a company (Polisport) that have the ingenuity to make a restyling kit for a bike that went out of production in 2007. It just shows that the demand is there for two-strokes. So I just had to build this bike for my collection. The 2007 CR125 has a carbon fiber tank and HGS pipe and silencer mounted on. This wasn’t the biggest project as I started by uncrating a new 2007 Honda CR125 (I bought a bunch of crated up 2007 CR125 back when were were discontinued and still have a few left in storage still in the crate), then replaced all the plastic with the Polisport kit. All the panels lined up perfectly. After that I put on various carbon fiber parts from Extreme carbon in Portugal, they still make parts for the 2002-07 Honda CR125-250s. Bolted on a HGS pipe and silencer, and then the decals and seat cower are from Throttle jockey which were a perfect fit. Believe it or not, this bike is brand new. It has zero hours on it as the owner had it stashed away in its original crate in Denmark. The build is not finished, I still need to anodize the triple clamps black, replace the rims with black D.I.D rims, put red front fork guards on ect. Carbon fiber mud guard. Hope one day Honda come to their senses and starts producing two-strokes again, but until that happens, enjoy my 2019 Honda CR125R Works Edition.” –Denmark’s Christian Løvenfeldt The post TWO-STROKE TUESDAY | 2019 HONDA CR125R WORKS EDITION appeared first on Motocross Action Magazine.
Editor’s note: Heading into the 2018 MTA World Two-Stroke Championship, the MXA wrecking crew had seven test riders—divided between in-house testers, photo testers and endurance testers—who wanted to race the two-stroke event. No big deal; this is the normal number of test riders that we use on a regular race weekend, but we only had five 2018 two-strokes. Again, this is also not unusual, as we often have two or more test riders race the same bike on the same weekend in different classes; it speeds up the testing process. For the World Two-Stroke Championship race, the math had a few kinks in it. First, we promised our Pro test riders first pick with a codicil that they would not have to share their bikes with anyone else. We put Dennis Stapleton on our 2018 KTM 250SX and Zach Bell on our 2018 Husqvarna TC250, and gave them carte blanche to do whatever they felt necessary to their bikes. For Zach Bell’s Husky, Three Brothers Racing, AHM Factory Services and STI Tires agreed to do all of the heavy lifting. Meanwhile, Dennis Stapleton got help from KTM, WP Suspension and Knobby Shop. You can read all about Zach Bell’s Husky TC250 by clicking here, but what follows is a breakdown of the changes that Dennis made in his own words. This year my bike of choice was the KTM 250SX. I have been spending a lot of time racing a 2018 KTM 450SXF, so I figured adapting to the two-stroke version would be fairly easy. As an MXA test rider, I have lots of experience jumping from one brand to the next, even sometimes between motos. That experience makes it much easier to go cold turkey onto a bike I hadn’t raced this season. “I WANTED TO BE ON THE PODIUM, BUT WOULD HAVE BEEN HAPPY WITH A TOP FIVE, IN THE END, GIVEN HOW TOUGH THE TRACK WAS, I WAS THRILLED TO BE IN THE TOP TEN.” I went by Jody’s to pick the KTM 250SX up a week before the race, and he said that I could do whatever I wanted to make it mine. I knew from a few test sessions, video shoots and playing around that there would be minor issues with the jetting and the gearing, but all in all, this was a bike that was capable of running up front right off the showroom floor. During my first World Two-Stroke moto I got an excellent start and was running inside the top five. As the race wore on, I made a few mistakes and got pushed back to eighth place, where I fell into the clutches of my childhood friend Arik Swan, and he would outmatch me to the checkered flag, putting me in ninth place. For the second Pro moto, I lined up next to the box, which put me in the center of the start. As the gate dropped, my KTM 250SX rocketed out of the gate. Halfway down the straightaway where the track crosses the start, I hit the berm a little out of position, which made me double-clutch, letting other riders get the advantage into the first turn. Running mid-pack, I got in another tit-for-tat battle with former Yamaha factory rider and AMA Supercross winner Doug Dubach. We rarely parted ways during the whole second moto until right at the end when Doug crossed the line in 10th and me in 11th. It was good enough for seventh overall; Doug ended up eighth overall. Here is the list of things I did to MXA’s 2018 KTM 250SX for the World Two-Stroke race. Suspension: Luckily I had been testing with WP on new air fork specs for the Cone Valve air forks. I tried to run the settings off my KTM 450SXF, but they were too firm, so I softened them up. These forks have a different cone and cone-spring combination that produces less damping than the 450 setup. It also has a lighter base valve to keep the pressure balance from spiking. THE GEAR: Jersey: Fly Kinetic Era, Pants: Fly Kinetic Era, Helmet: Fly F2 Carbon, Goggles: Viral Brand Factory Series, Boots: Gaerne SG12. On the forks I dropped the air pressure from 11.3 bar in the compression chamber and 12.3 bar in the rebound chamber to 10.0 bar and 11.2 bar, respectively. As for the shock, we built a Trax shock that had less initial damping to help the bike squat more and absorb the small chatter better (it is still almost identical at higher shaft speeds). Wheels/hubs/tires: There was nothing ultra-special about the wheels we built for the 250SX. They were based on Kite hubs, Excel rims and Dunlop MX3S tires. I elected to run a 110/90-19 on the rear of the two-stroke. Footpegs: MetalTek made me custom footpegs by milling off the top of the stock pegs and welding on a new set of teeth. The tooth profile was taller on the outside teeth to help keep my feet pointed in for less chance of slipping off the pegs. I feel that on a two-stroke you are moving around a lot more than on a four-stroke, which is why I opted for the MotoSeat Gripper seat cover. Chain & sprocket: During testing before the race I was concerned that the stock 50-tooth rear sprocket would run out of gear before I got to Glen Helen’s 70-mph first turn. So, I tested the 49-tooth sprocket that most MXA test riders prefer. It was much better on the start, but on the steep hills and rough sand sections, I preferred the 50. What would you do? I chose the Pro-X 49 for the start. Engine: My only mods to the engine were a Pro Circuit pipe with 304 Shorty silencer and VP U4.4 oxygenated fuel. Thankfully, I got help from KTM with the jetting. Here is what I ran: Main jet: 430 Pilot jet: 32.5 Needle: 6BFY42-73 Jet nozzle: S4 Clip: 3rd clip Jetting notes: I ran the needle clip in the middle position at the race, but during testing I noticed that as it got into the heat of the day, I could get better power in the 2nd clip slot down. On race day I played it safe in the 3rd clip. We offered these jetting specs to Zach Bell’s team, but he was happy with modest main and pilot changes on his Husky, plus Zach was running pump gas. There is power to be found in KTM’s adjustable power valve. I added a Kreft PowerDial 2.0 so that I could spend time making every possible adjustment while on the track. I spent two hours doing laps in the days before the World Two-Stroke Championship. I stopped every lap and turned the dial counterclockwise for more hit and clockwise for a broader powerband. I made quarter-turn adjustments and was very thorough. In the first moto I turned it counterclockwise, but for the second moto, I switched it back in the stock position as the track had hardened up. “I ADDED A KREFT POWERDIAL 2.0 SO THAT I COULD SPEND TIME MAKING EVERY POSSIBLE ADJUSTMENT.” Dennis in mid-flight with Richard Taylor (44) and Nick Schmidt (79) in pursuit at the 2018 MTA World Two-Stroke Championship. Miscellaneous: Don’t let the Hinson clutch cover fool you. The cover was by Hinson, but the clutch was a stock diaphragm KTM clutch. It was bulletproof. With so much time on a KTM 450SXF, I felt fine with the stock Neken handlebars and ODI grips. I got spare Twin Air filters from the MXA workshop and changed them between motos. The one-off Stapo MX graphics were done by fellow MXA test rider Johnny Jelderda at Trinity Graphix. I wanted to be on the podium, but would have been happy with a top five. In the end, I battled every inch on a track that sapped the energy of every rider on it. It had a fast start, followed immediately by a steep uphill, even steeper downhill and two power-robbing sand sections, with another up-and-down section separating them. I’m describing how tough the track was to ultimately say that I was thrilled to finish in the top 10. 2018 WORLD TWO-STROKE CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS 1. Zach Bell (Hus)…1-1 2. Darryn Durham (Yam)…2-2 3. Talon Lafountaine (KTM)…4-3 4. Ryan Surratt (Hon)…3-6 5. Richard Taylor (Suz)…7-8 6. Dalton Shirey (Hus)…6-9 7. Dennis Stapleton (KTM)…9-11 8. Doug Dubach (Yam)…11-10 9. Justin Jones (Hon)…19-5 10. Beau Baron (Hon)…12-13 Other Notables: 11. Brian Medeiros (KTM); 14. Nick Schmidt (Yam); 17. Arik Swan (Hon); 18. Sean Lipanovich (Hon); 22. Mike Brown (Hus); 24. Sean Borkenhagen (Kaw) 28. Chris Fillmore (KTM). The post WE RIDE DENNIS STAPLETON’S 2018 KTM 250SX TWO-STROKE appeared first on Motocross Action Magazine.
Article from the April 2000 issue of MXA. Everybody knows that Freestyle Motocross is only a fad, right? Just like JT’s pink pants, glitter covered Scott goggles and mullet hair cuts. Okay, so maybe mullet hair cuts can’t be killed, but they should be. The real question is, why would a 40-something off road racer from the Colorado mountains set out to build the ultimate freestyle bike? The answer? Because his two teenage sons, Scott and Chris, both like freestyle motocross. Plus, Pete Denison is one happenin’ old-timer–wrist tattoo, fedora and all. HOW THE IDEA GOT GERMINATED Mike Metzger testing out the Aloop FMF freestyle bike. Does the world need a special freestyle bike? No more than handheld PCs, cell phones that work with Coke machines or automobile TV sets. So, after watching endless hours of Crusty, Moto XXX and Terrafirma videos, Pete Denison and his sons had a pretty good idea about what hindered standard motocross bikes when it came to freestyle. Their conclusion–the tank and seat had to go. With tricks like the can-can (and all its variations), Cordova, cliff-hanger, Saran wrap, bar hop and the McMetz, sleeker is better. Aloop, by happy circumstance, is one of the few aftermarket companies that is capable of popping out a totally redesigned tank and seat combo. Aloop has risen to fame with their special XR400 tank/seat combos, so coming up with a freestyle tank was no problem. HOW TO DO IT? Step one: Remove the stock 2.0 gallon gas tank and replace it with a smaller, less obtrusive and lower gas tank (after all, most freestyle events take about 90 seconds to complete). Step two: Build triple clamps that won’t break (even under Seth-style impacts). Also, make the top triple clamp with a gull-wing design so the bar mounts are out of the way. Step three: Add a rear grab bar for doing tricks like the Superman seat grab and Indian air. Step four: Bolt on a WER steering damper so the bike won’t get a massive case of headshake after the rider tries to pull off a no-hander landing with the bars not exactly straight. Step five: Create an aerobatic smoke system (using ink and the heat of the exhaust) to leave a trail reminiscent of an airplane. THE FINAL RESULT After countless of hours tinkering, the Aloop XMX Freestyle bike was ready for the MXA wrecking crew. At first glance, the Aloop XMX looked like an aluminum-framed ’99 CR250–minus the gas tank and with a seat spread out from the rear fender all the way to the triple clamps. If it sounds uncomfortable, don’t worry. Freestyler’s only spend a small fraction of their time turning and even less time sitting down. When Aloop delivered the bike to the MXA wrecking crew, the gang drew straws to see who would jump it first. Somehow, though, every test rider had the same length straw. Volunteers were asked to step forward, but instead they all stepped back. Our solution, call up our old buddy Mike Metzger. Didn’t think the MXA wrecking crew knew Metz did you? Wrong. Before Mike made his money on the jump circuit, he raced every weekend at the same tracks as the MXA gang. We like Mike–as a racer and as a jumper. Unlike the wrecking crew, Mike was anxious to fly the untested XMX through the SoCal airways. For Pete Denison’s sons, this was a dream come true. Not only was their bike going to be ridden, but they were going to get to see one of the greatest jumpers in the world test their bike on a super-secret freestyle course. THE METZ CRITIQUE What was Metzger’s initial reaction to the XMX (XtremeMotoX)? How about amazement, bewilderment and the adamant refusal to ride the bike until the rear grab bar was removed. It seems that Clifford Adoptante is the only freestyle rider currently using a bar and, on occasion, Clifford gets hung up on it. While Pete unbolted the grab bar, Metz decided to make a few practice jumps on his personal YZ250. Big mistake! Metz came up terrifyingly short on his first try. So short, in fact, that the champ had to take a quick breather to reclaim his confidence and still his rapidly beating heart. A few huge no-footed can-cans later, however, Metzger was ready to try out the Aloop XMX bike. He started off small and ended up pulling everything in his repertoire, including his newly named McMetz (which can best be described as an act of lunacy which requires the rider to put both legs over the bars going through his arms and then let go of the handlebars and swing his legs around the handlebars and back on the pegs as well as get his hands back on the bars). So what did Metzger think? He wants his YZ250 modified with the XMX kit–so much so that he’s already set up an appointment with Aloop. Not only did the XMX kit make the tricks easier and safer to do, but it created the opportunity for new tricks. Just to prove the point, Metzger pulled the first-ever surfer nac-nac (a combination of a surfer, where the rider simply stands on the seat, and a nac-nac). So there you have it. Freestyle bikes have arrived–courtesy of a Colorado enduro rider and his two persistent sons. WHAT IT COST IN THE YEAR 2000 Aloop currently has XMX kits for ’97-’99 CR250’s and ’98-99 CR125’s, but they plan to have Yamaha and 2000 CR kits very soon. Here’s what the kit will cost, assuming that you already own the bike. XMX PRICE LIST Seat/tank kit… $449.95 Topar triple clamps (complete)… $549.95 Tag Metals #1009 T2 handlebar…$94.95 FMF Torque pipe…$189.95 FMF Powercore shorty silencer… $79.95 WER steering damper…$329.95. Total Cost…$1694.70. The post TWO-STROKE TUESDAY | WORLD’S FIRST FREESTYLE BIKE appeared first on Motocross Action Magazine.
You would be shocked to see how stock the Husqvarna TC250 that won the World Two-Stroke Championship was. The list was limited to the AHM suspension, FMF pipe/silencer, IMS pegs, Galfer rotor, MotoSeat cover, STI Tech-2 Pro tires, Supersprox rear sprocket, braided-steel hydraulic hoses, aluminum throttle barrel, and ProTaper bars and grips. Zach Bell is famous for five things as a professional motorcycle racer—some you may know, others you might remember when we jog your brain and a few that you couldn’t know. (1) In 2012, Zach Bell won the AMA Horizon Award as the most promising rider to come out of Loretta Lynn’s after sweeping all three motos of the 250 A class. He had a promising AMA Pro career ahead and signed a two-year deal to race for the Geico Honda team for 2013–2014. Zach kicked off his Geico duties by leaving Loretta Lynn’s and going straight to Southwick to race the AMA 250 National. THE GEAR: Jersey: Thor Prime Fit, Pants: Thor Prime Fit, Helmet: 6D ATR-2, Goggles: Thor Sniper Warship, Boots: Sidi Crossfire 2 SRS. (2) At Southwick, Bell holeshot his first-ever AMA Pro race and ran away from the field. He built up an impressive lead over Blake Baggett, Eli Tomac, Ken Roczen, Marvin Musquin and Justin Barcia. The Geico team was ecstatic that they had found the next champion. But, inexplicably, Bell lost the front end on a fast straight and threw his bike away. He hit his head and suffered an obvious concussion. Unfortunately, it was in the days before the AMA concussion protocol was instituted. Bell showed up at Unadilla a week later. Again, Zach holeshot the first 250 National moto in a repeat of his Southwick performance. Sadly, it was an exact repeat of Southwick and Zach crashed again. This time he suffered injuries to his T3 and T4 vertebrae. His season was over, but when the 2013 Supercross season started, Zach was back in action. After Zach test rode the 2018 TC250 for the first time, he said it was powerful enough as is, but added an FMF pipe and titanium 2.1 PowerCore silencer for a broader spread of power. That was it for engine mods. (3) At the 2013 Dallas Supercross, Zach had an incredible crash over a triple in his heat race that left him lying motionless on the track. With his history of concussions, everyone held their breath. Finally, Zach moved and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Zach rode in the medical mule back to the Geico pits. Amazingly, he showed up on the starting line for the Last Chance and made it into the 250 East main event, where he ended up in the medical mule for a second time. That Zach Bell got up off the ground after appearing to be knocked out and was allowed to race in the LCQ became controversial. Zach said that he just had the wind knocked out of him. Since Bell was wearing the then-new 6D ATR-1 helmet, his crash vaulted the new helmet into the ranks of the safest helmet to wear. Most MXA test riders gear the TC250 taller to broaden out the powerband and make each gear carry farther. The 2018 Husky TC250 hits hard and pulls into the midrange with a vengeance, but it signs off early. Zach removed our 49-tooth sprocket and put on a 50-tooth Supersprox sprocket because he has the talent to shift on the bubble. You would expect that Zach might want to run a lighter shock spring on the WP shock, but he stuck with the stock 42 N/m shock spring and was content to increase the high-speed compression by three-quarters of a turn and turn the compression clicker from 15 clicks to 8 clicks. (4) Zach Bell stayed at Geico Honda for 2013 and 2014, but he only raced 21 races out of a possible 42, mostly because of injuries. Geico Honda let him go in 2015, and Zack landed on the Rockstar Husqvarna team. Zack made seven AMA 250 West starts to finish 15th overall, but only lasted for one AMA National before injuries sidelined him again. After leaving the Husky team, Zach scored points in one race in 2016 and two races in 2017. But, during this time, a chance meeting with offroad champion Mark Samuels got Zach an offer to race offroad events on the West Coast. A new, safer and more consistent Zach Bell appeared. Racing in the WORCS, Big Six, Sprint Hero and other cross-country races, Zach found a niche where he could not only win races but stay on two wheels at the same time. The IMS Core stainless steel footpegs are beefy and wide. These aggressive pegs are heat-treated. They come in both a standard tooth profile and a sharp profile. Zach Bell chose the sharp version. (5) Which is where MXA comes into the Zach Bell orbit, albeit in a small way. Husqvarna’s offroad race team manager, Tim Weigand, called MXA and asked us if we would lend Zach our 2018 Husqvarna TC250 for the 2018 World Two-Stroke Championship. MXA was already committed to helping seven test riders at the two-stroke festival of speed, so adding one more made us hem and haw, but Tim promised us that we wouldn’t have to do a thing. Three Brothers Racing, STI Tires and AHM Factory Services would take care of modifying the bike to suit the diminutive Zach Bell, and they would return it after the race in tip-top shape. We decided to give Zach our bike, and the rest is history (you can read about it by clicking here). In the end, it worked out great for MXA, because we ended up with the bike that won the Championship. Zach ran the stock Husqvarna wheels mated to STI Tech-2 Pro tires front and rear. The rear was a 110/90-19, and although Zach runs Nitromousse tubes in his tires for cross-country races, at the World Two-Stroke he ran heavy-duty STI tubes. Why heavy-duty tubes? Glen Helen is tough on tubes because the speeds are high, the bumps are big and there are rocks everywhere. Since Zach Bell weighs under 140 pounds, AHM focused on the mid-speed valve to get increased damping control in the second half of the stroke. Zach ran his clickers very close to the stock settings and 133 psi in the air side. Best of all, we didn’t have to do anything. We want to show you the bike that Zach raced in detail, not because it is an exotic bank buster, but because it illustrates how little you have to do to a modern two-stroke to race it at full-tilt boogie. Here is a complete photo essay of the 2018 World Two-Stroke Champion’s 2018 Husqvarna TC250. ZACH BELL’S TC250 SUPPLIER LIST AHM Factory Services: www.ahmfactoryservices.com FMF: www.fmfracing.com Galfer USA: www.galferusa.com IMS Footpegs: www.imsproducts.com Liqui-Moly: www.liqui-moly.com Three Brothers Racing: www.3brosktm.com ProTaper: www.protaper.com STI Tires: www.stipowersports.com MotoSeat: www.motoseat.com Nitromousse: www.nitromousse.com Supersprox: www.supersprox.com Versatile Wraps: www.versatilewraps.com The post WE RIDE ZACH BELL’S 2018 WORLD TWO-STROKE CHAMPIONSHIP TC250 appeared first on Motocross Action Magazine.
This article was in the March issue of the 1998 Motocross Action Magazine. “About 5pm yesterday, I was out at the HPCC track when I got the call to drive down to Glen Helen to meet the MXA test crew,” said Scott Sheak’s mechanic Tom Watson. HPCC is Honda’s top secret test facility, located out in the middle of nowhere (actually ten miles beyond the middle of nowhere). No one in a sound frame of mind would want to be at HPCC in the dead of the winter (even if Honda is paying him to be there). So the smile on Tom’s face couldn’t have been broader as he pulled into Glen Helen (which is not only warmer, but 100 miles closer to civilization). Why had the MXA test crew summoned Tom from the desert? To bring Scott Sheak’s new Team FMF/Honda CR125 to us. WHAT’S THE FMF ENGINE LIKE? With factory support from Honda, you would think that Honda’s resident engine builder Cliff White would have had his hands all over the FMF team’s engines. Well, you’d be wrong. Starting with Cliff’s best engines from ’97, FMF’s Terry Varner dove into the CR125 mill headfirst and came out with a engine that oozes usable horsepower. “Last year, Reynard’s CR125 engine produced a lot of horsepower, but it wasn’t easy to ride. It was all peak. Terry Varner came up with a engine that makes incredible numbers on the dyno and delivers usable power on the track,” explained Tom–who should know since he was Robbie Reynard’s mechanic before moving to Sheak in ’98. The worst part about the stock 1998 CR125 is it was a disappointing engine. The best part of the Honda/FMF bike was its impressive engine. This was the first Honda that had some bottom (albeit very little), tons of midrange and enough top end to get to the next corner. What else can we say, we liked it. On the racetrack, it was clear that Sheak’s bike wasn’t a stock ’98 CR125. The stocker is all midrange, with no top end and no bottom. Sheak’s bike was what every CR125 should be. The FMF bike had just enough bottom to get the engine into the midrange, where it makes the meat of its horsepower (by meat we’re talking T-bone not dog food). Then once into the middle, the FMF CR125 did something that the ’98 stocker doesn’t want to do–rev. It doesn’t rev to the moon like older CR125’s, but with the amount and quality of midrange the bike has, catching gears will have you going faster than you ever wanted to go. The stock CR125 falls off the pipe at least twice a lap, which requires a hardcore rider to fan the clutch to keep the bike going forward. Not Sheak’s CR125. It has enough midrange and top-end to pull every gear in the five-speed box. Equally noteworthy was that Sheak was not going for a hard hitting-style of power. His CR125 delivered its power in a very controlled, well-timed and manageable manner. Can you buy the same motor that Scott Sheak uses? Yes. FMF plans to sell the engines right out from under their team riders. However, each of Team FMF/Honda’s four riders has his own unique likes and dislikes when it comes to power delivery. FMF plans to advertise what each of their riders likes and sell it to the consumer as a Pingree, Sheak, Sellards or McCormick model. WHAT’S THE FMF SUSPENSION LIKE? Surprise, the CR125’s stock Kayaba parts magically turned into Showa pieces. The stock Kayaba units are missing on Sheak’s FMF CR125 and in their place are Showa Kit components. These are the same forks that Factory Connection sells to the general public (only Sheak’s forks have been slightly altered by FMF’s suspension guru Rob Hendrickson). The forks start as stock ’98 CR250 forks, but the internals (cartridge rods and all) are replaced with the Showa aftermarket kits. How do the Showa kit forks work? Superbly. They are plush, not only on the big landings that supercross delivers, but also over little bumps. The MXA test crew tested the Factory Connection kit last year and raved about its overall performance. They are stiff (because they have Supercross valving in them), but even then they still move. Some things that factory teams do they do just because they can. Take for example the stock 1998 CR125 shock. Sure stock its to soft for Supercross but with a revalve by FMF’s Rob Hendrickson it would work just fine. Then why switch to a Showa shock? Because they could, nothing else. Stock Honda CR125 forks suffer from a mild case of midstroke harshness, which rears its ugly head in the form of headshake (and at fourth gear wide open, no case of headshake is mild). With the Showa forks, the CR125’s headshake disappeared. Maybe it was better valving or the correct spring rates, but whatever it was we liked it. These are the best Honda forks made. Why did FMF switch from Kayaba to Showa? FMF said they asked the same question of Honda team manager Wes McCoy and he replied, “Factory support”. Can you do it? Yes, but it’s hard to imagine your average 125 pilot ripping his Kayaba’s off and replacing them with a set of ’98 Showa kitted forks. What would the forks cost? About $1500. That’s why you sign up with a factory team. For riders on a budget, FMF will offer Kayaba fork and shock mods priced for the average consumer. What about the shock? It too was a Showa kit shock. Sheak’s shock was valved on the stiff end, but surprisingly not enough so that you couldn’t ride around a normal motocross track on it. WHAT’S IT LIKE TO RIDE SHEAK’S CR125 Factory-backed bikes really shine (especially for the rider they are hand-built to suit). Scott Sheak’s personal set-up isn’t as off-the-beaten path as many big name rider’s bikes, but he does have his peccadilloes. FMF took the flaws out of the stock 1998 CR125, improved all the pluses threefold without creating any new flaws, pretty impressive. Bars: The first thing you notice when you sit on Sheak’s bike is that his handlebar position has more in common with a stock pair of 1973 Elsinore 125 handlebars than with anything current. They are swept back on the ends, rotated back in the clamps and downright different from what most people are used to. Besides moving his handlebars 5mm back in the clamps, Sheak runs a set of cast works footpegs that move his footpeg position back 5 mm. It’s common for the factory boys to move their handlebar position and footpeg to fit their stature. What’s uncommon is that Sheak didn’t move his shifter back to compensate for the new footpeg position. The setup may work for Sheak but for us the new peg/shifter position made the Honda into the worst shifting 125 of the year. Levers: Despite the fact that the clutch and brake levers are stock, the extra care Sheak’s mechanic Tom puts into them is evident in how strong the front brake is and how easy the clutch pull is. These things may not seem like much, but after pulling in the clutch lever and using the front brake during a thirty minute moto, every little bit helps. Scott runs his levers fairly high up on the bars. We had to reach up to grab them. Shifting: The big shocker was that none of the test riders could get Scott Sheak’s bike to shift very well. After scratching our heads wondering how the best shifting 125 could become so bad, we noticed something amiss. Sure enough, Sheak doesn’t run stock footpegs (although he does run a stock shift lever). Scott’s 5mm wider works footpegs are moved back on the chassis. Why would Sheak want to move the footpegs back? That’s easy. Since Sheak isn’t the tallest rider on the planet, he has trouble getting back on the bike when going through whoops. Honda built special footpegs and works triple clamps that mount the bars five millimeters back (without changing the steering angle) to ease his transition to the back of the bike. It didn’t work for our feet, but it must for Scott’s. Handling: The new CR125 alloy frame has a considerable amount of understeer, but Scott’s bike didn’t. It tracked straight, turned on a dime and didn’t have an iota of headshake. Most of these benefits come from the superior suspension components. CAN YOU HAVE SCOTT SHEAK’S BIKE? Want to make your bike a Sheak replica? Here’s what you’ll need: (1) Start with N-Style team graphics. The quickest way to have a Team FMF/Honda bike is to make your bike look like one. (2) After you ride with your new-looking FMF/Honda team bike, you will realize your gearing is all wrong. Time to buy that FMF Cobalt sprocket in the 52-tooth variety. (3) With that new big rear sprocket, it’s best you get a new chain–FMF opts for EK Chain. (4) After your first crash and bent set of handlebars, you’re ready for your next piece of the FMF/Honda puzzle–a set of FMF’s 909 handlebars. Most of the team uses #1966 (McGrath) or #1971 (Lammy) bends. (5) Now you’re ready to dive into the pipe and silencer department. Pick up an FMF Fatty pipe and a “Bad News Barker” carbon fiber Power Core II. (6) Next, have FMF tackle your forks. Sorry, they won’t be Showa’s (you’ll have to call Factory Connection for that), but the stock Kayabas can be made to work very well. (7) Last, but not least, pick the engine tuning of your favorite FMF/Honda rider’s engine. If you follow these seven steps, you can own a Scott Sheak replica. The post TWO-STROKE TUESDAY | SCOTT SHEAK’S 1998 HONDA CR125 appeared first on Motocross Action Magazine.
Every line on the deeply prepped Glen Helen National track is ours and made by our TM MX300 two-stroke project bike. TM’s Ralf Schmidt wanted to built a TM that addressed everything the MXA wrecking crew had ever complained about on the exotic Italian-built smokers. That included Pro X pistons, Faster USA wheels,VHM heads, GPM suspension, Ohlins shock, Brembo brakes, Excell rims, TM Designworks chain guide, Renthal bars, VP gas, Galfer brake hoses, Pro Circuit pipes and much more. To read the full story head over to motocrossactionmag.com The post MXA FIRST RIDE VIDEO: THE ULTIMATE TM MX300 TWO-STROKE PROJECT BIKE appeared first on Motocross Action Magazine.
MXA took all the talk and the music out of this 2014 KTM 125SX video so that nothing was left by the blaring sound and the blazing laps. This video is for two-stroke fans who hate music videos and only want to hear the bike in all it’s glory. That’s why we label these videos “Raw.” Enjoy. The post NO MUSIC EXCEPT THAT TWO-STROKE SOUND THAT PASSES FOR VIOLINS TO AN MX MAESTRO appeared first on Motocross Action Magazine.