Honda takes a play out of the KTM playbook for 2019 and makes their very own Factory Edition, which Honda calls their CRF450 Works Edition. HONDA CRF450 WORKS EDITION New for 2019, Honda introduces a CRF450 WE (“Works Edition”), a special model with a number of upgrades based on the bikes in the Team Honda HRC race shop. This motorcycle incorporates a specially designed cylinder head with factory hand-polished ports, a titanium Yoshimura slip-on muffler and special ECU settings in the CRF450 package. Sporting factory-inspired Throttle Jockey graphics and seat cover from Ken Roczen’s race bike, the CRF450 WE has the looks to match its incredible performance. CRF450 WE KEY FEATURES If you look closely on the head of the CRF450 WE engine it is engraved with the words “Works Edition.” • Unique cylinder head with factory hand-polished ports improves torque feeling from low-to-midrange, especially between 5,000 and 6,000 rpm, for even quicker lap times • Yoshimura slip-on muffler with titanium body and pipes, plus carbon fiber tail caps, exclusively designed for the CRF450 WE The 2019 Honda CRF450 WE’s head has factory hand-polished ports to improves torque from low-to-midrange. • ECU settings optimize performance advantages of the Yoshimura exhaust and cylinder-head updates • HRC launch control with special settings influenced by Ken Roczen Slip-on Yoshimura dual mufflers come standard on the 2019 CRF450 WE. • Kashima fork-tube coating reduces friction and improves handling performance. Developed by Miyaki Company of Japan, Kashima coating is a special treatment for hard-anodized finishes that fills the micro-pores on the surface of hard-anodized aluminum for better lubrication and reduced stiction • Titanium nitride coating on fork legs enhances suspension feel The CRF450 WE forks are Kashima coated and have a titanium nitride coating on the fork legs. • Shock shaft processed with Super Finisher and coated with titanium nitride for superior performance • Stronger D.I.D LT-X black rims with special laser-engraved logo Stronger D.I.D LT-X black rims with special laser-engraved logo come standard. • High-performance gold RK chain • Throttle Jockey factory Team Honda HRC graphics and seat cover for premium look and enhanced grip during acceleration • Top and bottom triple clamps in black RETAIL PRICE: $11,499 COMPETE LIST OF 2019 HONDA CRF450 UPDATES 2018 HONDA CRF450 MXA FULL TEST 2018 MXA 450 SHOOTOUT The post 2019 HONDA CRF450 WORKS EDITION appeared first on Motocross Action Magazine.
Chad Reed has all but announced he won’t be riding for Yamaha in 2018 – so where does that land him? There are a few empty seats for the upcoming AMA Supercross Series, some of which fit and some which could be a long shot. Let’s throw some scenarios out there! RED BULL KTM Red Bull KTM need a guy. Ryan Dungey has retired, so has Trey Canard. Marvin Musquin has signed until 2019 and Broc Tickle is also linked to the team. Marvin is a lead rider, he could and should be a competitor for the 2018 Championship, both Supercross and Motocross. Chad has also been linked to the third seat, along with Justin Barcia. Chad had success under Roger DeCoster in the past while riding Suzuki – could we see a repeat of this success? It’s a strong contender. AutoTrader.com/JGR SUZUKI To us, this seems to be the most probable step for Chad Reed. Weston Peick is back, while it looks like Justin Barcia is off to another team. With the RCH team folding, Justin Bogle also needs a home and is currently on fire outdoors. Suzuki have an all-new bike and they need to be up front on the bike. Chad is proven on Suzuki and the JGR outfit seem to provide an environment which would suit the #22 – plus JGR are the new factory outfit and word is Ricky Carmichael will assist with the riders. We loved seeing Reedy win on Suzuki and would love to see it again! TwoTwo Motorsports This one seems very unlikely to us, but some forums are whispering it. Chad’s TwoTwo Motorsports outfit was successful and he rode to some inspirational performances. Do we see Chad spending his own coin to go racing again – no we don’t. However, he will want to go racing on the best bike he possibly can, stranger things have happened. So who fills Chad’s spot at Yamaha? Davi Millsaps is linked to Chad’s empty seat at Yamaha, possibly for SX only. Justin Hill is also. How about Dean Ferris? He made a lot of Yamaha’s guys look silly by flying over finishing second in a moto and flying home. Dean has made it clear he’s not keen on Supercross, which could make this spot not possible. However, Millsaps for SX and Ferris for outdoors is a good option in our books! The post CHAD REED – 2018 SEASON appeared first on Dirt Action.
For 2019, the Honda CRF450 receives a laundry list of changes. 2019 HONDA CRF450 For 2019, the CRF450 receives a host of updates for, making it lighter and more powerful. Rider comfort has been increased through the addition of adjustable mounting positions for the new Renthal Fatbar handlebar. It also comes with all-new black rims. The 2018 CRF450 was the victor at the 2018 Daytona Supercross at the hands of Team MotoConcept Honda’s Justin Brayton. 2019 UPDATES The 2019 CRF450’s engine offers many updates. • Updated cylinder-head design, with changes near the exhaust ports, achieves improved exhaust efficiency and contributes to increased power across the rev range • Revised clutch lifter and pressure plate allow optimum oil supply to clutch plates and friction discs, resulting in enhanced durability • New scavenge-pump design features two 12mm pumps, up from a single 16mm pump, for increased lubrication and reduced friction in the engine, improving peak performance and enhancing over-rev characteristics • All-new piston oil jet uses five nozzle holes and a refined pattern to improve cooling efficiency and reduce knocking, enabling a precise ignition-timing setting for optimum power delivery • Shift sensor adopted to establish an ignition map for each gear, enabling optimum running Updated Standard, Smooth and Aggressive riding modes enable easy tuning depending on rider skill or conditions. • Utilizing the space gained by eliminating the kick starter, a new exhaust features a larger pipe diameter and optimized design at the branching location for increased power. Previously 31.8mm, the right and left pipes are now 35mm and 43mm, respectively. In addition, total tube length (from exhaust port to muffler end) is up 98mm on the right and 187mm on the left. • Updated Standard, Smooth, and Aggressive riding modes enable easy tuning depending on rider skill or conditions • Optimized frame for improved traction and cornering feel, as well as reduced weight The swingarm is redesigned to be lighter and have less rigidity for 2019. • Swingarm is redesigned to be lighter and have appropriate rigidity, endowing the 2019 CRF450 with great handling and traction • Fork uses revised settings and low-friction oil for improved performance and handling • Revised shock linkage works with all-new swingarm to provide optimum performance over bumps The shock linkage is updated. • Mimicking the race team’s setup, a new, lighter front brake caliper uses a pair of 30mm and 27mm pistons, versus identical 27mm pistons, for added braking performance • Updated front brake hose has reduced expansion for more precise braking • New black Renthal Fatbar handlebar is positioned 15mm lower than in 2018 for a more active riding position, while also contributing to light steering feel The top triple clamps offers different handlebars mounting positions. • Newly shaped footpegs are 20% lighter and shed mud more easily, giving the rider great feel and confidence in all riding conditions • Redesigned fork protectors have improved coverage • New front number plate design accommodates handlebar in any of the four available positions COMPLETE INFO ON THE 2019 HONDA CRF450 WORKS EDITION 2018 HONDA CRF450 MXA FULL TEST 2018 MXA 450 SHOOTOUT 2019 HONDA CRF250 The 2019 Honda CRF250 receives much needed engine updates. Newly introduced in 2018, the CRF250 was down on low-to-mid power compared to the competition. For 2019, Honda focused on acceleration performance. The updates to the CRF250 were factory-inspired for the engine, brakes and electronics. 2019 UPDATES • New cam profile based on feedback from the Team HRC factory MX2 race team provides strong off-corner acceleration • New intake- and exhaust-port geometry improves low rpm engine power while also maintaining the CRF250’s top-end performance • New 44mm throttle body improves low-rpm intake airflow compared to previous 46mm version, for improved corner-exit performance The Honda CRF line now comes with Renthal Fatbars as well as two handlebar-holder locations. • All-new piston oil jet uses five nozzle holes instead of four, for improved piston-cooling efficiency and reduced knocking, enabling a precise ignition-timing setting for optimum power delivery • Right-side exhaust pipe shortened 50mm for excellent high-rpm power • All-new AC generator reduces weight and friction losses • Renthal Fatbar reduces weight of the steering system, and flexes for optimal comfort • Top triple clamp features two handlebar-holder locations for moving the handlebar rearward and forward by 26mm, ensuring rider comfort. When holder is turned 180 degrees, the handlebar can be moved an additional 10mm from the base position, resulting in four total unique riding positions • New engine guard allows increased airflow, improving engine-cooling performance Right-side exhaust pipe has been shortened 50mm. • Redesigned fork protectors offer improved coverage • Rim color has been changed from silver to black • New, lighter front-brake caliper now uses pistons of different diameters (30mm and 27mm) for strong braking performance • Updated front brake hose has reduced expansion for more precise braking • Newly shaped footpegs are 20% lighter and shed mud more easily, giving the rider great feel and confidence in all riding conditions 2018 HONDA CRF250 FULL TEST 2018 250 SHOOTOUT 2019 HONDA CRF150 The 2019 Honda CRF150 have no changes other than graphics. Raced by Amsoil Honda hotshot Hunter Yoder on the amateur National circuit, Honda’s smallest motocross machine is powered by a Unicam four-stroke engine that offers a spread of ample, useable power and torque across the rev range. Suspension duties are handled by Showa, with a 37mm inverted fork and Pro-Link rear link system. In addition to the standard version, Honda offers the CRF150, which features larger wheels, a taller seat, a longer swingarm, and more rear-suspension travel. Engine/Drivetrain High-performance Unicam cylinder-head design Compact, lightweight engine assembly weighs only 43.6 pounds Twin-sump lubrication system separates the oil supply for the crankshaft, piston and valve train from the clutch and transmission. This ensures a supply of cool oil to the clutch, eliminates potential clutch and transmission material contamination of the engine oil, reduces the amount of circulating oil, and permits the use of a smaller oil pump Cylinder head, piston, camshaft, and carburetor provide power, torque, and rideability throughout the powerband Lightweight, compact, internal auto decompression and handlebar-mounted hot-start system provide easy starting, hot or cold 32mm Keihin FCR carburetor with an accelerator-pump circuit provides accurate fuel metering, resulting in crisp throttle response and good rideability throughout the powerband Suspension settings provide good action through even the toughest of track conditions Exhaust system uses a lightweight stainless-steel header and re-packable aluminum muffler Durable close-ratio five-speed transmission Chassis/Suspension Front and rear suspension settings unique to the CRF150 deliver ideal bump-absorption characteristics Lightweight, high-tensile steel frame with large-diameter frame tubing and cross-member provides excellent turning performance and straight-line tracking 37mm leading-axle inverted Showa cartridge fork features friction-reducing design to improve compression and rebound control Pro-Link rear suspension Strong, lightweight wheels are durable and minimize unsprung weight Lightweight front and rear disc brakes with high-performance pads offer powerful, precise braking Stout 15mm front and 17mm rear axles incorporate a surface-treatment for added strength and durability Large-capacity airbox and reusable two-stage foam air filter Lightweight plastic body components (radiator shroud, side covers, rear fender, seat base, fuel tank, front fender, and front number plate) offer a slim, aggressive style High-quality Dunlop tires HRC works-type rear-brake system integrates the rear master cylinder and fluid reservoir, eliminating the separate rear master-cylinder reservoir and hose The post FIRST LOOK! 2019 HONDA CRF450, CRF250 & CRF150 appeared first on Motocross Action Magazine.
FOR ALL 2019 FIRST LOOK MODELS We rode the 2019 KTM 350SXF down at the private Chaney Ranch track. The 2019 350SXF offers the updated chassis that the 2018 1/2 Factory Edition KTM 450SXF received. The high revving, high horsepower engine also features a new clutch, improved transmission and a re-designed DOHC cylinder head. Other updates include updated suspension settings, stiffer upper tripe clamp (5% stiffer), three piece exhaust and new spoke nipples. The rubber-damped bar mounts reduce the vibration level and are two-way adjustable. An hour meter comes stock already mounted on the top triple clamp. In this MXA exclusive video, Daryl Ecklund and chief test rider Dennis Stapleton take you through what is new and what their first impression was on the 2019 KTM 350SXF. Check out the complete details of the 2019 KTM 350SXF. The post 2019 KTM 350SXF | MXA FIRST RIDE VIDEO appeared first on Motocross Action Magazine.
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This story is from the January 1999 issue of Motocross Action Magazine. Interested in a 1999 Kawasaki KX125? Don’t know anything about it? Here are a few facts: Engine: Water-cooled, 124cc, two-stroke, reed-valved engine. Bore and stroke: 54mm by 54mm. Transmission: Six-speed, wet clutch. Suspension: 12.2-inch Kayaba 46mm upside-down forks and 13-inch Kayaba shock (with 20 rebound clicks and 18 compression clicks). Wheelbase: 56.5 inches. Claimed weight: 191.7 pounds. Price: $4998. Those are the tech specs, but these are the questions that most riders want the answers to: QUESTION ONE: IS THE ‘99 KX125 ENGINE FAST? A: One thing is true–it’s a lot faster than the ‘98 KX125. Last year the KX125 engine was anemic. It hit in the midrange with all the power of a wet dish rag. No bottom. No top. Just a mysterious, hard-to-use and ethereal midrange. It was an embarrassment. Racing a ‘98 KX125 was like tieing your bike to an anchor on the starting line. So is the ‘99 fast? Yes. How much faster? About two ponies faster than the ‘98 and, although power placement is relatively unchanged (no bottom and no top), the breadth of the midrange power is considerably wider. More horsepower translates into more to work with. The KX125 engine. QUESTION TWO: IS THE ‘99 ENGINE BETTER THAN THE ‘98? A: Didn’t you read the last paragraph. The only thing less racy than last year’s KX125 engine has Briggs and Stratton written on it. QUESTION THREE: WHAT DID KAWASAKI DO TO THE ‘99 KX125 ENGINE? A: We cannot reveal all the secrets of KHI (Kawasaki Heavy Industries), but we can say that Kawasaki did not have the budget to throw the KX125 engine away and start over. At least they don’t have the R&D dollars in ‘99. Although, we bet they will scrounge them up in Y2K. Why? Conglomerates don’t always respond immediately to the demands of consumers, they have other priorities. In engine development, the production life span of the casting molds plays a big part in R&D budgets. Molds have actuary tables and the KX125 engine molds will have run their course in 2000—not before. What does all of this mean? (1) The ‘99 KX125 engine is a make-do engine. A tweak here, mod there and band-aids everywhere. (2) Next year the KX125 will probably get an all-new engine. That said, here is the short list of what Kawasaki’s engineers changed for ‘99. (1) The KX125 gets revised port shapes, new inlet, changed exhaust port timing and improved KIPS valve clearance. (2) The KX125 (and KX250) are equipped with Keihin’s latest Power Jet carb (a 36mm for the 125 and 38mm for the 250). The “shorty” carb positions the slide 12mm closer to the engine. (3) The KX125 will get a totally new Keihin Power Jet for ‘99. The 36mm “shorty” carb is very different from last year’s: (a) The slide is positioned 12mm closer to the engine; (b) Kawasaki employed a “throttle position sensor” (labeled K-TRIC) that varies the ignition timing depending on throttle settings and engine rpm (similar to the Yamaha YZ400 throttle position sensor). (4) The cut-outs in the side panels are no longer hand holds for picking the bike up (you have to pick it up by the rear fender), but are for air intake only. The front of the airbox is angled towards the carb for more direct airflow. Stiffer rubber is used on the air boot to keep it from flexing as the engine sucks air into the intake tract (5) Kawasaki uses magnesium for the clutch cover instead of aluminum. (6) Kawasaki carved, whittled, machined and hogged out as much excess metal as possible from the primary gear, kick starter idler gear, clutch drive gear and all six tranny gears. (7) The KX125 has a new exhaust pipe and the silencer end cap stamping has had its wall thickness decreased from 1mm to 0.8mm. The 1999 KX125 in action. QUESTION FOUR: WHAT DO THE CHANGES MEAN? A: They mean the difference between a roach and race bike. Where the ‘98 KX125 could barely get out of its own way, the ‘99 version delivers a potent, competitive and powerful punch. QUESTION FIVE: IS THE KX125 FASTER THAN A YZ125? A: No. A million times no, but where the KX125 powerband works, it works well. The strength and length of the middle makes the KX125 fun to ride. This bike rewards the hard riding and, conversely, punishes the lazy. The required intensity for keeping the engine boiling is not for the weak of will. That’s why Ricky Carmichael does so well on one. The improvement is substantial. It is significant enough to earn the KX125 the “Most Improved 125 of ‘99” award. QUESTION SIX: WHAT ABOUT THE JETTING? A: We had a minor problem with the engine being rich in the middle (which couldn’t be fixed with something as simple, inexpensive and understandable as a clip position). To lean out the middle, we swapped the stock N7PW needle for a N7NW. Here is what we ran in our bike for SoCal’s sea level tracks: Mainjet: 158 Pilot jet: 45 Power Jet: 52 Needle: N7NW (N7PW stock) Air screw: 1 1/2 turns Clip: groove number 3 Note: The KX125’s new carb is very sensitive to air screw settings. We could make it rich or lean in less than a half turn of the air screw. QUESTION SEVEN: HOW GOOD IS THE GEARING? A: Do yourself a favor and get your dealer to throw in a 49-tooth rear sprocket. Lower gearing helps the KX125 immensely. QUESTION EIGHT: WHAT ABOUT THE REAR SUSPENSION? A: Awesome! The ‘99 KX125 rear suspension is the best on the track. Roll it out of the showroom, set the sag at 95mm and live happily ever after. WHAT WAS OUR BEST SETTING? Spring rate: 4.6/4.8/5.0 kg/mm Race sag: 97mm Hi compression: 2 1/2 turns out Lo compression: 10 clicks out Rebound: 12 clicks out QUESTION NINE: HOW GOOD ARE THE NEW FORKS? A: Albeit with lighter damping and spring rates, the ‘99 KX125 forks are the same Kayaba units that come on the KX250. We didn’t like the KX250 forks very much. They had three problems: (1) The progressive rate springs are too soft on initial stroke and allow the bike to hang down under a load; (2) The oil height is not sufficient to stop harsh bottoming over big jumps; (3) Midstroke compression and rebound contribute to a porpoise-effect when landing from jumps. The KX125 forks, because of the lighter weight of the machine, do not exhibit the bad traits of the KX250–or at least not to the same degree. We did swap the stock 0.39/0.41 progressive springs for the next stiffest 0.40/0.42 progressive springs (but only because Kawasaki does not offer a 0.42 straight rate spring). The stiffer springs helped maintain the proper attitude when attacking rough sections of the track (and were a big help in absorbing G-outs). Still, the forks have a tendency to bottom out with a clank. Across the board, the KX125 forks received a “good” rating. QUESTION TEN: WHAT ARE THE BEST FORK SETTINGS? A: What was our best setting? For hardcore racing we recommend this set-up: Spring rate: 0.40/0.42 kg/mm (0.39/0.41 stock) Oil height: 97mm (107mm stock) Compression: 10 clicks out Rebound: 11 clicks out Fork leg height: 3mm above top of stanchion Notes: The simplest way to get the stiffer 0.40/0.42 progressive spring is from a KX250 rider who replaced it with a stiffer 0.43 or 0.44 straight rate spring. The 0.40/0.42 comes stock on the ‘99 KX250. We raised the oil height by 10mm to aid the fork’s resistance to bottoming over big jumps. QUESTION 11: HOW DOES IT HANDLE? A: It’s rare that a chassis finds universal acceptance among the test riders, but there is something about the KX125 that appeals to the quirks of a variety of people. What’s so odd about that? (1) The KX125 is the least 125-ish of all the tiddlers. The frame is big, wide and girthy. (2) The turning radius is not as razor sharp as an RM125’s–it takes its time. However, since the wheelbase is 30mm shorter than the KX250’s it’s not a slow handler (just relaxed). (3) When sitting astride the KX125 you could swear you were aboard a KX250. It has the same ergos, but the numbers are not identical. The KX125 steering head is moved back 15mm, while the swingarm is shortened 10mm. This makes the little KX more agile than its big brother–although the sensation of roominess is hard to erase. Do we think it is a great handling 125? No. But given their druthers, this is the 125 chassis that most test riders choose as their favorite. The paradoxes are many: Not the quickest turning; not the most stable; not the lightest feeling; not the most diminutive; still in all, the favorite. QUESTION 12: WHAT DID WE HATE? The hate list: (1) Decals: The decals on the swingarm blew off at the car wash (on the soap cycle). (2) Tank: The black gas tank makes it hard to see the fuel level (although, Kawasaki did put a white anti-slosh tube into the opening to reflect more light into the cavity). (3) Brakes: The front brake is mushy. Braking power is minimal when compared to other brands (Euro brands included). (4) Bars: We won’t ride with the stock handlebars (after a pair bent in a rider’s hands when landing from a jump). (5) Jetting: The stock jetting is just far enough off for inexperienced riders to ignore (which is the worst kind of jetting mistake). (6) Saddle: Kawasaki’s seats were never terrific, but normally they were too soft. The ‘99 saddle is thin in the back (a la Yamaha) and too steep in the front. The seat brackets are riveted on and they have the irritating habit of snapping off. Watch them closely. (7) Tranny: Shifting is notchy. Missed upshifts are common. Try to shift before maxing out the revs. (8) Number plates: Full coverage side panels replace last year’s airbox insert-style side panels. Some test riders thought that they added to the width of the KX’s mid-section. (9) Bar clamps: We mounted a KX250 top triple clamp to our KX125. The KX125 comes with solid bar mounts, while the KX250 bar clamps are rubber mounted and reversible. We felt the need to move the bars forward in the clamps. QUESTION 13: WHAT DID WE LIKE? The like list: (1) Pipe: We love the coating Kawasaki puts on its exhaust pipe. It’s durable, non-rusting and trick looking. (2) Air filter: The air filter locating system uses two prongs. We like this, but always reach in the airbox and make sure the bottom prong is in the hole. (3) Grips: The new half-waffle grips are on the fat side for the typical 125 rider. However, they are terrific feeling (thanks to very low-profile waffles). (4) Frame: The subframe is square section aluminum (instead of round steel tubing). (5) Spokes: Aluminum spoke nipples replace last year’s steel nipples. (6) Frame guards: Plastic frame guards (a la KTM) have been added to keep the frame spars from scratching. (7) Brackets: The radiators are supported by small braces to keep them from bending backwards in a crash. (8) Axle: The front axle clamp is a Honda-style two pinch bolt design. (9) Shock: The rear shock offers high- and low-speed compression damping (a la Honda). (10) Sneakers: The KX125 comes with a Dunlop K490 (front) and K739 (rear). (11) Linkage: The rear shock linkage gets needle bearings to lessen stiction and binding. (12) Rims: The U-rims are very trick looking, but the jury is still out on durability. QUESTION 14: WHAT DO WE REALLY THINK? Engine: The ‘99 powerband is very one-dimensional (midrange only), but it’s so good at what it does that most MXA test riders preferred the KX125 style of power over the Suzuki, Husqvarna and Honda midrange engines. Yamaha and KTM have different powerbands altogether. Handling: The small KX feels just like its big brother. We had our doubts that a 125 with 250 ambience would be a pleasant experience, but it was. It doesn’t feel like a toy. It goes where you aim it and seems to absorb feedback better than your typical tiddler chassis. The KX125 has a much shorter wheelbase than the KX250, which eliminates the big KX’s reluctance to turn tight berms. Not every rider will fall in love with the big bike feel of the KX125, but every MXA test rider did. Suspension: The best all-around suspension in the 125 class. The forks are less effective than the rear shock, but the combo adds up to a race-ready bike. Overall rating: Last year, when a test rider was assigned to race the KX125, he acted like he was being given a blindfold, cigarette and asked to stand over by a wall. For ‘99, the pall has lifted. It’s a great bike with a good engine. The post ON RECORD | WE TEST THE 1999 KAWASAKI KX125 appeared first on Motocross Action Magazine.
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