KSF Ecstar Suzuki re-introduce the factory-supported RMZ-250 to the MX2 class in Australia. There has been little yellow in the MX2 class in Australia for some time. Suzuki’s factory outfit has focused it’s efforts on the premier class, in 2018, this has changed. KSF Racing launched into the 2017 season with limited support but landed some respectable results and a strong focus on marketing, promotion and mostly, rider development. This caught the attention of Suzuki Australia and KSF Ecstar Suzuki was announced. Two 450 riders and two 250 riders is a huge undertaking for any team, but the focus of KSF Ecstar Suzuki is to have plenty of yellow on the start line. Two 450 guys amongst 3 classes of racers starts to water down the branding effect for the public watching. So, with four full-time factory riders, 2 permanent development riders in under 19s and the junior class, plus members of the KSF Krew riding Suzuki’s at the events – you will find plenty of Suzuki at the MX Nationals in 2018. The KSF Racing Team is different to just about every other team in the pits. The team owners Kyle and Scott come from a non-moto background. The father and son duo have experience in sport and personal coaching, elite-level sport and Scott has an extensive background in business – it brings an entirely different mindset to the running of a motocross team. It’s a business and a family within the confines of a race team. The guys are smart and a very welcome part of the motocross community. LET’S BUILD A 250 The RM-Z250 is an excellent motorcycle. Sure, the keyboard warriors will say it’s under powered or dated. Ask Hunter Lawrence, I’m sure he will point to his Motocross of Nations first place trophy. The KSF Ecstar riders each started their year on completely standard bikes, worked on a suspension setting and racked up hours at the track. The bikes were kept stock other than suspension for the entire pre-season. To the team, it was important for their riders to become comfortable with the bikes chassis, ergonomics and suspension package before throwing money at a go-fast engine. While the riders were grinding away during pre-season, a motorcycle magician was working equally as hard to tune and extract some usable horsepower out of the Suzuki’s powerplant on their race bikes. Adam Layton is known for his extremely impressive Harley Davidson engine builds. We are talking nitro Harleys, bad arse V-Rods and fat choppers. Adam is a wizard and his machinery is world class. However, Adam and his business APL have been building incredibly fast motocross bikes for many, many years. Remember the JDR Motorsports KTMs? Those things had the APL touch, as did Ryan Marmont’s crazy fast KTM250SX-F around 2006. Many factory race teams reach out to APL to work his Powerflow head magic on their race bikes. The work that has gone into the engine by isn’t extensive, although the experience of APL has lead to a bike that is national ready. The biggest and most important change to the RM-Z250 is the Powerflow headwork. The Suzuki’s heads are put through APL’s Directional Honing Process, this maximises flow. The seats are then diamond cut before reassembled. APLs blueprint finish not only offers the Suzuki’s improved reliability and longevity but also removes the inaccuracy can occur with hand porting. The Powerflow head is matched with a GET ignition programmed and tuned to get the most out of the Suzuki’s engine work and a full Yoshimura exhaust. There are a few little internal secrets that the team are keeping to themselves when you talk engine performance package, but what they have created is a machine more than capable of running up front at the MX Nationals series. Team riders Jesse Madden and Jordan Hill have pulled more than a few good starts sitting on this engine. KEEP HER IN LINE Jesse Madden’s RM-Z250 uses 2018 Suzuki RM-Z450 forks. Rather than opting for full-factory or A-Kit suspension, the team tested the RM-Z450 spring fork, which already comes coated stock from the factory and found Madden to be comfortable with the set-up. X-Trig triple clamps are also equipped to the front of the motorcycle. The rear shock is re-valved and a heavier spring to suit the rigours of the Pirelli MX Nationals. Kite Elite wheels offer superior strength over the standard wheels, the team are running a specially ordered black hub and rim combo, straight from the Kite factory in Italy – trick! The team uses Pirelli tyres, varying compound depending on the circuit and Kite Performance disc rotors are fitted for extra stopping power. Acerbis’ new carbon vented disc guard is fitted up front for protection for the front disc brake. Acerbis plastics are used all round, including X-Force handguards and chain guide. Acerbis have really thrown their support behind the team, kitting the guys out with racewear and helmets as well. Moto Kit custom graphics are matched to a CFX seat cover to give the bikes that true factory look and feel. An array of Kite Performance parts are littered around the engine and rest of the machine to complete that true race bike appeal. LET’S HAVE ONE It is entirely possible to build this very race bike, which is very impressive considering Jesse has been able to be competitive against some very big race teams in 2018. One of the coolest parts about the KSF Racing Team is their ability to involve every day riders and fans within their team – something we think is really cool. Their KSF Ecstar Development program has already offered two riders a chance to compete on a KSF Ecstar Suzuki and pit with the team at the MX Nationals, plus they have a young gun racing a Suzuki RM85 around NSW. The newest program launch by KSF is the KSF Krew, a community where riders can purchase products from the teams sponsors and have access to guidance by the factory team. This team is doing some great things within the sport and besides all that, know how to build one sexy, fast and competitive Suzuki RM-Z250. We like, we like a lot. The post FEATURE: KSF ECSTAR SUZUKI RM-Z250 appeared first on Dirt Action.
STORY DANNY HAM PHOTOGRAPHY IKAPTURE Danny Ham heads to the Australian launch of Yamaha’s newest beast – the 2019 Yamaha YZ250F. Meet Yamaha’s revised and race ready 2019 YZ250F. With the achievements that the previous model has accomplished, Yamaha could be forgiven if a small change here and there was all this new model would be given. This bike has been refined from the ground up, there is not much that has been over looked. From the frame to engine, weight reductions to mobile phone tuning, Yamaha have really pushed a race ready bike straight from the show room floor. CHASSIS A new compact bilateral frame has been developed to further refine the handling of the YZ250F. These changes compliment the KYB suspension and changes to the new engine mounts to centralize mass for the best possible balance of bump absorption. Larger upper frame bracing improves rigidity (rigidity increased 25% Vertical, 9% Horizontal, 15% Torsional) and durability, while wider rear frame spars and new engine mounts complete this new design for improved cornering feel and straight-line rigidity. SUSPENSION Yamaha retains KYB Speed-Sensitive System (SSS) coil-spring-type fork utilized by the previous generation YZF’s with updated settings with larger pistons, stiffer spring rate (4.6 to 4.7N/mm) and newly designed fork lugs/axle brackets. The shocks Damping characteristics have been matched to the new frame design, a new lighter weight, heavier spring rate (54 to 56N/mm) applied and an increase to 30cc for the shock reservoir. Combined with chassis improvements the bike gives a very positive feel and turns exceptionally well, sometimes to well and finding a tight line in a corner is not an issue. For our day at willow bank we did notice a harsh point mid way through the stroke on the rear that took some work on the clickers to improve. Admittedly at 83kg I’m probably not best suited to the standard settings and could benefit from a visit to a suspension tuner, however it was more then fine to race on and most likely me trying to fine tune a little too much. We did get a much better feel by lowering the ride height a little over our starting point. POWER PLANT Yamaha has kept it’s distinctive rearward-slanted cylinder design engine with some fresh upgrades. The cylinder is lighter and angled 1 degree more upright to improve the all important mass-centralization and new intake and exhaust valving delivers outstanding engine characteristics. A new, higher-compression flat-top forged piston has a bridge-box design for additional strength with minimal weight. Fuel is delivered by a lighter 44mm throttle body (changed from Keihin to Mikuni) through a new 12-hole Denso injector. The cam profiles, connecting rod, and optimized crank and counter-balancer work seamlessly for improved power delivery. The engine is strong, even for my generous weight, delivers a very wide power range that extends from the low RPM, very punchy through mid and reaches way up into the high RPM’s. Combined with an extremely smooth feeling engine (very little vibration) this engine far exceeds any previous model and sits it in a level playing field with even the most powerful 250f’s. The gears and shift drum have been revised to generate a positive, smooth gear change and the new larger-diameter clutch (Plate diameter increased 7mm, friction plates reduced from 9 to8 and steel plate thickness increased 1.2mm to 6mm) improves the feel and reliability under the hardest conditions. And finally following the trend, Yamaha have introduced electric start of the 250f. For anyone that has battled a stubborn 4 stroke at the 25min mark of the most gruelling motocross race, this is a welcomed inclusion to the motocross range. GIMMICK OR SERIOUS TOOL For some the Yamaha Power tuner app may not be a new thing (YZ450F owners were able to utilise, previously at an additional cost) but it is a new introduction to the 2019 YZ250F, and now it’s free. The app allows you to create your own engine maps which may need to vary depending on track conditions, weather and temperature. Previously you would need a 3rd party ignition to be able to have this control, usually pre made maps with a couple of options to use on a day. Anything more then that would take another unit or some serious work to make changes on the day. This app makes life easier, or was that harder, or easier? Ok, so the ability to change your bikes map is easier, getting it right maybe not so much but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to. First up the connection is easy, we had 2 numbers stickered to our bike (we each had our own bike for the day). How to connect was not explained to me, however I was able to connect to my device with WiFi in about 30 seconds using the numbers supplied, that simple. Once connected and app is open you just tap the start button on bike for the app to ready and sync. From here you are able to change your fuel and ignition mapping, log a setting (detailed description of track, weather, suspension settings, tyres, gearing etc and comments that correspond to the day), monitor in real time and keep track of maintenance and when due. As you can see this is a very handy tool. Changing the mapping is easy, you select either fuel or ignition, then it’s as easy as selecting a number (range -4 to +4, zero is default) that corresponds to a position of the RPM range and the Throttle position. The difficult part is learning what does what, and how far you can go. If you have some knowledge already of how this works this should be a bit of fun for you to play around with. The beauty of this is you shouldn’t be able to wreck it, sort of. Yamaha do have limitations of how far you can push it, but you can still make your bike run like a dogs breakfast. The bike offers 2 positions or options of mapping that can be changed on the fly while riding (button on the bars next to kill switch, once they have been uploaded from app). So once you have the map you like, call that map 1. Then play around with map 2 as much as you like. If it’s a disaster, you can simply go back to map 1 and develop a new map 2. CDR have used this system all year, there is no third party or what might be seen as a different “Factory” ignition on their race bikes. It is proven that it works, any racer on track has the ability to tune their bikes the same as the factory team, just may take a little time to get your head around it. THE VERDICT As stated at the beginning, Yamaha has already proven itself with results. The new bike is only making the brand stronger. The power this bike delivers is strong and wide, honestly I was surprised when I jumped on this beast on a rather heavy track finding myself riding it a little like a 450 (I’m a lazy rider) and still having it pull out the turns with the front wheel in the air. Most impressive for me was the improvement in the higher RPM and how smooth the engine felt. This was an area I felt it lacked in previous models and has made huge gains. The handling was a solid feel, something I like in a race bike. I need to know I’ll have confidence hitting the larger bumps and stay on track. As mentioned there was that harsh spot in the rear shock that I’m sure could be tuned out with some testing. Maybe the stiffer frame may contribute to this feeling. The bike is easy to move around on and feel’s like a race bike in a standard trim. Yamaha have done some serious home work on this model, and I feel they are on yet another winner. FOR THE FULL TEST CHECK OUT ISSUE 225 OF DIRT ACTION MAGAZINE. TO SUBSCRIBE – CLICK HERE The post 2019 YAMAHA YZ250F appeared first on Dirt Action.
This MXA archived test was featured in the 2007 March issue of Motocross Action Magazine. It was just 12 short months ago, in this same space, that MXA said that the Honda CR125 was on its last legs for three reasons: (1) According to industry reports, CR125 sales dropped 40 percent. (2) Honda is no longer promoting the CR125 through use by its in-house race team or any of its satellite teams. (3) The 2007 Honda CR125 is unchanged from the 2006 CR125 (or 2005 CR125 for that matter). We predicted that the CR125 would get the ax. And it did. Starting next season, there will no longer be any two-strokes in the Honda lineup. No CR85s. No CR125s. No CR250s. The demise of the glorious era of Honda two-strokes, which started in 1973 and will end in 2007, makes this more of an obituary than a bike test. But test we must. Here, in short, sweet and sober tones, is what we think of the 2007 Honda CR125. Q: WHAT ARE THE BEST TRAITS OF THE 2007 CR125? A: There are two really significant attributes of the ’07 CR125. Handling: Honda learned more about aluminum frames from their early failures (dating back to 1997) than they would have if they hadn’t made any mistakes. The CR125’s Delta-Box frame is the recipient of all that Honda learned. Suspension: Every MXA test rider knows that the CR125 doesn’t have the latest suspension components, but they like the way the old-school Kayaba parts work. Q: WHAT ARE THE WORST TRAITS OF THE 2007 CR125? A: There are two significant problem areas on the ’07 CR125. Power: Statistically, the Honda CR125 makes good horsepower. The problem isn’t the amount of power, but its breadth. Honda’s powerband is short. It requires the rider to work hard to keep it on the pipe. Life span: This is all she wrote. The 2007 model is the last year for the CR125. That doesn’t build consumer confidence or help the resale value. Q: HOW DOES THE 2007 CR125 REALLY RUN? A: The CR125 powerband is not easy to use. It is short and punchy. No, make that shorter and punchier than any other engine on the track. This is a gun-and-run engine that demands that the rider be quick on the draw. To be successful on the CR125 against the wider and broader powerbands of the YZ125 and KTM 125SX, a CR rider has to stir the five-speed transmission for all it’s worth. Slamming the CR125 from gear to gear is the only way to take advantage of the shockingly short mid-and-up powerband. A CR125 rider works up a sweat just to stay even. A good rider with a can-do attitude can do wonders on the CR125, but he will be jammin’ in places where riders on other brands are just cruising. Q: WHAT ABOUT THE GEARING? A: Add one tooth to the rear. With the stock 52-tooth sprocket, the 2007 CR125 has a lot of trouble staying on the pipe when jumping the gear ratio chasm between second and third. An extra tooth on the rear closes the gap and brings the CR125 to life. Don’t spend a penny on pipes, widgets or chrome hub caps until you’ve changed the rear sprocket. Q: HOW DOES THE CR125 HANDLE? A: This is a sweet machine. It’s a shame that future generations won’t have the opportunity to ride the best-handling bike that Honda ever built. It feels light, is accurate to a fault, and is above reproach. The handling and suspension were never the CR125’s problem; the engine was the albatross around this great bike’s neck. Q: WHAT DID WE HATE? A: The hate list: (1) Consumer confidence: Except for museum owners, who is going to walk into a showroom and buy a bike that will be discontinued the following year? Honda deserves credit for being brave enough to announce that they would stop two-stroke production in 2008, but it can’t be good for the sales of 2007 models. (2) Grips: Honda’s grips last forever. They will shred your hands before they wear out. (3) Gearing: Gear it down or be prepared to burn up clutch plates. (4) Tires: We commend Honda for mounting a Dunlop 742FA/756 tire combination. The 742FA is better than the old 742, but not as good as the 739 on hard dirt or the 756 on soft dirt. (5) Powerband: Good horsepower, but don’t blink. (6) Pipe: FMF and Pro Circuit have made millions off of CR125 owners over the last three decades, but as the two-stroke era draws to a close (and the CR125 does its farewell tour), they only get one last chance to sell you a pipe. Buy it. Pipes help the CR125 make the most of what little it has. Q: WHAT DID WE LIKE? A: The like list: (1) Ergonomics: This bike is so right in so many ways that we are going to miss it. (2) Parts: Awesome accouterments: great frame, flawless clutch, powerful front brake, sweet swingarm and ultralight hubs. (3) Reliability: The CR125 is built Honda tough. Good parts, excellent quality control and no shortcuts. (4) Forks and shock: They may be as old as Sinatra, but they can still sing. Q: WHAT DO WE REALLY THINK? A: This is a love story that started in 1974. As a young thing, the CR125 was sweet, pretty and charming. As she got older and a little weathered around the edges, she still had her good moments. Now, at the age of 33, she will fade from the limelight forever. We’ll remember the good years and forget the bad ones—she deserves only good thoughts. MXA’S RECOMMENDED JETTING SPECS Main Jet: 440 Pilot Jet: 50 Needle: 27-67 Clip: 3rd from top Air screw: 1-3/4 turns out Notes: We have never found the perfect brass for this baby. Going as far back as the ‘90s, the CR125’s jetting has mystified us. The 2007 didn’t surprise us with its waffling fuel flow. MXA’S RECOMMENDED FORK SETTINGS Spring rate: 0.44 kg/mm Oil height: 350cc Compression: 12 clicks out Rebound: 10 clicks out Fork leg height: Level Notes: The forks are old, but they are fairly well sprung. MXA’S RECOMMENDED SHOCK SETTINGS Spring rate: 4.7 kg/mm Race sag: 100mm Hi-compression: 2 turns out Lo-compression: 10 clicks Rebound: 12 clicks Notes: Many Honda riders run the race sag as low as 110mm to make the bike feel smaller and closer to the ground. The post TWO-STROKE TUESDAY | 2007 HONDA CR125 appeared first on Motocross Action Magazine.
INSTAGRAM | @tyga_114 INSTAGRAM | @enduro_cross INSTAGRAM | @altamotors www.endurocross.com Photos by Tanner Yeager | @tanneryeagerphoto There was a lot going on over the weekend if you’re into motorcycles and good times. We were on hand at the Nitro World Games in Salt Lake City (CLICK HERE FOR THAT), and over in Reno, Nevada the The post Ty Tremaine | Making History With Alta appeared first on Transworld Motocross.
The Mini Major by SEVEN at Milestone MX has grown to an amazing event focused on just mini riders. This event carries a National feel which is a great stepping stone for amateur racers looking to make it to the big leagues. We do offer more classes so that everyone can find a place on The post 2018 Mini Major Pre Reg Open Now! appeared first on Transworld Motocross.
When you answer MXA’s question of the week correctly, your name will be entered into a hat to win yourself an FXR hat and t-shirt. The answer and winner will be placed in MXA’s Mid-Week Report the following day on the bottom of the post. Pick the answer correctly from the list below to enter yourself for a chance to win an FXR hat or T-shirt. Hint: You can narrow down the riders from the long pony tail. The post MXA QUESTION OF THE WEEK | THE RIDER THAT WOULDN’T CUT HIS HAIR FOR A FACTORY YAMAHA RIDE appeared first on Motocross Action Magazine.