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.
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.
Brainstorm | London SX | 450 Class | Strikt By Billy Rainford Presented by Strikt Gear. 450 Podium: Cole Thompson, Colton Facciotti, Phil Nicoletti. With Jeff McConkey unable to make it to this last round of Supercross, his McThoughts-style column rests with me this week. Here’s what I thought of the top 10 in the 450 Pro class at the London Supercross at Delaware Speedway this past Saturday night. #16 Cole Thompson. 1. #16 Cole Thompson KTM – Cole is definitely in his wheelhouse. Take away the top American riders who were in Montreal, make the course tighter, and you’ve really got a mix that gives him an advantage. When I saw how hard the clay-based track got in London, I knew Cole would be comfortable because it was almost exactly like his practice Supercross track in Brigden. Cole actually crossed the flour line first for the holeshot, but Phil Nicoletti lead early. Cole slowly worked his way to the front and never really looked to be in trouble. He also looked silky smooth doing the tricky triple sequence through the rhythm section every lap which is not something you can say for all the top guys. Cole extended his lead in the $100K Triple Crown money chase, too. He leads the Supercross points and is 8 up on Facciotti for the money. #45 Colton Facciotti. 2. #45 Colton Facciotti HON – As soon as I saw Colton on the track in practice, I knew he was going to be good…Duh! But, seriously, he looked really comfortable and fast on the new machine. During free practice, he was holding speed better than everyone in the jumpy rhythm section and looked completely relaxed doing so. He looked good in the main and I thought was going to take a run at Cole up front but it took him quite a while to get past Nicoletti. He had a scary moment in the whoops that may have forced him to weigh out the risks of pushing harder. #54 Phil Nicoletti. 3. #54 Phil Nicoletti YAM – I’ve cracked a rib before and I could barely reach into the lower rack in the fridge on week 4. How can he race at the front with bad ribs?! Phil grabbed the early lead and managed to hold off our 2 top SX riders for a really long time! After the race, he could barely get off the bike or onto the stage, he was in so much pain. That was a character-building performance and an effort that should have everyone in Canada cheering for him next and every time they see him. #570 Cody VanBuskirk. 4. #570 Cody VanBuskirk KAW – Really good ride for Cody Saturday night. He’s got a ton of Supercross experience. Go look at some old results and you’ll likely see the Illinois native in almost all of them. He was pressuring for 3rd the entire moto and the PRMX guys should be pretty stoked to have this guy under their ‘awning.’ #5 Tyler Medaglia. 5. #5 Tyler Medaglia KAW – I interviewed Tyler at the end of the night. He had Supercross suspension mounted but said he’d need a little more time to get used to what it does to him on the rest of the track – not just the jumps. He’s a little dude and stiff suspension for the huge jumps and whoops can be a handful, elsewhere. Still, he had a good performance and was always in touch with the leaders. If any bobbled, he was there to capitalize, but only Matt Goerke went down in front of him. #7 Dillan Epstein. 6. #7 Dillan Epstein YAM – Dillan was right there with Tyler throughout most of the race. He lost Tyler’s rear wheel late and ended up riding all alone in 6th at the flag, going down a lap right at the end. I’m sure they’ll ride a bunch of SX between now and Quebec City, so watch for him to continue making improvements. #20 Davey Fraser. 7. #20 Davey Fraser HSK – Talk about riding alone! Davey was 30 seconds behind Dillan and 30 seconds ahead of 8th place at the flag. He’s been around a long time and knows when and where to take his chances. I don’t think the Delaware track was the place he was going to force the issue. He was happy with his result and said he just wanted to be safe out there. He fought with #295 Josh Mann early, until Josh went down. #176 Ryan Derry. 8. #176 Ryan Derry KTM – Ryan is a working man now and probably didn’t want to risk too much out there on this tricky little track. He and his dad, Peter Derry, are all smiles these days at the track and I think they are just happy to keep making memories in this sport. He wasn’t going to win this thing, but I really don’t think that’s the point with these guys. Good job, Ryan. #164 Mitch Goheen. 9. #164 Mitch Goheen YAM – Mitch raced the Pro 450 class in London. He had a couple close calls in the whoops and ran pretty consistent lap times. He also ended up on his own out there and was 15 seconds behind Ryan and 11 seconds ahead of 10th. It’s always good to see Mitch and his dad, Dan Goheen, at the races having fun. #751 Donald Turner. 10. #751 Donald Turner YAM – I don’t know much about Donald, to be honest. He got out into 12th place off the start and that’s where he rode until Josh Mann and Matt Goerke went down, moving him up a couple spots. Judging from the laps page, there were a couple times when he must have had some issues, because his best time is a :49 and he has a couple that were over 1:00. Again, he was never going to win this thing, but he’s out there going for it, gaining experience, and making memories. Well done, Donald. Biggest Stud: How can you not give this to Phil Nicoletti, after that heroic ride?! Ribs hurt the same amount (a lot!) for 5 straight weeks, and he was out there racing 7 days after damaging his. That’s easily “Stud” status, right there. No contest. Biggest Dud: I don’t want to call him a “Dud,” per se, but clipping that tuff block and going down that hard was a mistake I’m betting Matt Goerke would like to take back. He didn’t need to be that close to the inside there and was pressuring Thompson for that 2nd spot, at the time. #2 Matt Goerke (screen grab). Biggest Suprise: How “raceable” that track was. It was quite narrow and short, and the top 5 guys were all within…actually, I just checked and it was 20 seconds. OK, that’s not all that close, but the racing was better than those numbers tell us. Throw an un-crashed Matt Goerke in there and it looks even closer. Also, I was very pleasantly surprised with how many people ended up going through the turnstiles (or baffle gates). I hadn’t heard any ads on the local radio station I listen to most, but people definitely knew it was happening and come out to almost fill the place. It looked good and will, hopefully, mean we try to go to Delaware Speedway again in the future. I live 10 minutes away, so my fingers are crossed. Again, I’m not giving out a style award. That’s Jeff’s category and I’m not going there. Next round is in Quebec City, November 3rd. See you there.
To begin this week’s Honda Canada Racing Monday Gate Drop, I want to talk about comebacks. The website www.dictionary.com states that comeback is a return to a former higher rank, popularity, position, prosperity, etc. Regardless of what the dictionary says a comeback is the most important thing that means to you. You don’t have to be an athlete to experience a comeback in your life as everyone I’m sure has an interesting comeback story. I think we focus mostly on athletes simply because we find it remarkable when they return to the top of their sport after an injury. Tiger is back on top of the podium is what is one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history.I have witnessed many comebacks from people very close to me over the years, almost too many to count. When I was very young my Dad got hit by lightening at home while in our barn working on a tractor. I had just gone inside our house to get a snack when it started raining and then we heard a huge crack of lightening. It had struck a tree directly behind our house, then the charge travelled down through the tree, down to about 150 feet underground, and came up right where my Dad was standing. It ended up blowing him right out of his shoes and he woke up a minute later lying outside of the barn, 20 feet away in a puddle. He obviously survived and made a full recovery, however during the next three months he was off work and for two months. Suddenly he was petrified of the dark. He had to sleep with the light on and he wouldn’t go outside after the sun went down. Little by little my Mom took him outside at night until he finally snapped out of it. Anyway, his comeback to a normal life was as good as anything I’ve seen. My Mom also made a great recovery from major surgery in 1991, my brother came back and won a few 85cc races after destroying his femur in 1989, and most recently my wife made incredible progress after nearly having both feet severed two years ago in a workplace accident. My two personal comebacks would be from my breaking my femur in June of 1990 to winning the final race of that season in October. In those days a three-month recovery from a broken femur was very rare. Also, to comeback from almost quitting the sport at the end of 1994, to buying two Hondas in 1995, winning a national, and then going on to have five more pretty good seasons after that definitely meant a lot to me. Ken Roczen’s comeback was one of this sports most remarkable stories.Over the years I’ve also seen so many awesome comebacks in this sport alone. Just recently Ken Roczen’s has been incredible to watch, and our 450 champion Colton Facciotti has had his share of comebacks over the years, for sure. Tyler Medaglia, Kaven Benoit, Jess Pettis, the list goes on and on with riders who have made a successful return from injuries. One of the greatest comebacks I’ve ever seen in motocross was from Ross Pederson in 1990. That year Ross was badly injured at the San Diego SX in January when late in the main event he over-jumped one of the triple jumps, whiskey throttled a bit into the following smaller and much steeper triple, and launched himself over the bars, landing back first on the wall of the following bowl turn. This was also the race where Damon Bradshaw was leading and then threw it away on a step-up to tabletop section, ironically right after the section where Ross crashed. Anyway, in that crash Ross hit the ground so hard that he broke his pelvis, some ribs, and also had some serious internal injuries. There was a story going around at the time that Damon Bradshaw, who happened to be sharing an ambulance with Ross after the race, said that Ross’s body was in so much trauma that they thought he might not survive. But, I never confirmed that with Ross or anyone else. Ross Pederson (picture on left) had many difficult comebacks throughout his long career.With motocross being Ross’s only income, he rushed his recovery and did everything possible to be ready for the Canadian season a few months later. Well, exactly three and a half months later Ross showed up at the Riviere du Loup AX to race and collect a large amount of start money from the promoter. I remember seeing him before the race barely being able to get on his bike as he couldn’t swing his leg over it. In fact, he had to get his mechanic, Dave Gowland, to start it for him. Here he was just a few months after he broke his pelvis back at the race track, even though he couldn’t start his own bike. This wasn’t even his first race of the season as just a few weeks prior he had soldiered through the Toronto SX and the opening national of the 1990 season. I was 16 at the time and I thought the guy was not human, and in many ways, I guess he wasn’t. To go from where Ross was at the beginning of the 1990 season to winning a few more national titles before he retired at the end of 1993 was very impressive. It might just be the comebacks of all comebacks in Canadian motocross. The track at Delaware Speedway was both hard packed and very technical for Round 2 of the Rockstar Energy Triple Crown SXTour Series. Photo by James LissimoreThe reason I bring up all of this about comebacks is of course because of Tiger Woods and what he did yesterday at the Tour Championship. Like a lot of people, watching Tiger Woods play golf at a high level makes me want to go out and play golf, just like watching Tom Brady play makes me want to pick up a football and throw it at someone. Athletes like Tiger Woods transcend their sport, and the sporting world needs them. To see how far down Tiger has been in the past few years with his injured back (some reports say that at times he was unable to get out of bed) and then to see him once again be able to throw his arms in the air yesterday was remarkable. I have a bad back. While it’s not as bad as Tiger’s was, there are still times when it locks up and I’m unable to move well for a few days. It can be a debilitating injury, and in most cases, there is no fix. Tiger’s comeback might just be one of the greatest comebacks we have ever seen in sport, although Ken Roczen might argue with that stat. Either way, everyone, including me, loves a good comeback story and it was great to see Tiger win again. Once again Jess Pettis was the rider to beat in the 250 Pro/AM class. Photo by James LissimorePrior to watching Tiger take the victory yesterday, my Saturday evening was spent in Delaware, ON watching our top riders battle it out at Round 2 of the Rockstar Energy Triple Crown SXTour. Prior to this event I’d never heard of Delaware Speedway. Unless there is another SX there next year, you can bet that I’ll never go there again. However, for this event the Delaware Speedway appeared to be a perfect venue for some fall SX in Ontario. As I said, all of our top riders were there including the newly signed OTSFF Yamaha rider Phil Nicoletti. The racing was great all night long as Jess Pettis and Cole Thompson continued their indoor dominance in this country. I’m also not sure what the exact spectator count was but it looked pretty good, and I heard the numbers were similar to the number who attended the Gopher Dunes National in July. I had a great time on Saturday and it was impressive to once again watch our top riders battle it out on a technical SX track. The SXTour Series now takes a few weeks off before resuming on November 3rd in Quebec City. Here are the 250 Pro/AM and the 450 results from Round 2 in Delaware. Look for a complete race report tomorrow from Mike McGill. After a slow start in his practice on Saturday, MP Fox Yamaha rider Jake Tricco kept improving throughout the day and would go on to finish a very impressive 5th in the main event. Photo by James LissimoreWell, that is it for me this week. I hope everyone has a great first week of fall in Canada. If you live in Ontario, don’t forget about the Vet National at Moto Park, and of course we’re now down to less than two weeks before Team Canada travels to Red Bud for the 2018 MXoN’s. There is still a lot going on and our riding season is still wide open. Have a great week and please ride safe!
Brainstorm | London Supercross | 250 Class | Strikt By Billy Rainford Presented by Strikt Gear. 250 Podium: #15 Jess Pettis, #3 Shawn Maffenbeier, #471 Logan Karnow. With Jeff McConkey unable to make it to this last round of Supercross, his McThoughts-style column rests with me this week. Here’s what I thought of the top 10 in the 250 Pro class at the London Supercross at Delaware Speedway this past Saturday night. #15 Jess Pettis. 1. #15 Jess Pettis YAM – What more can we say about Jess, lately?! If confidence is a key ingredient to success, this guy should be ready to take on the world. He didn’t get nervous when he didn’t get out front off the start. He made a nice inside move on Karnow for 2nd and then set off after Maff out front. He pushed Shawn up and wide in a bowl turn to take the lead and then, in very Canadian fashion, looked over his shoulder in the air on the next jump and said he was sorry. Classic. He’s definitely the fastest in this class, in this discipline. #3 Shawn Maffenbeier. 2. #3 Shawn Maffenbeier KAW – Shawn didn’t actually look very comfortable on the track early in the day. He seemed to be struggling with the track and his set up. They must have figured something out because he was strong in the main and held onto the rear wheel of Jess after he got passed and looked good for 2nd spot. He’s got a big lead for the $10K Triple Crown money, so he’s probably going to be thinking about that nice bonus at the end and avoid any crazy battles at the front, if he can. #471 Logan Karnow. 3. #471 Logan Karnow KAW – In very Matt Goerke-like style, when I confirmed his pronunciation of his last name as “Kar-no,” he said that’s how he said it but that “Kar-now” works, too. Come on, give me a direct answer! lol Logan has more Supercross experience than the rest of the 250 class combined. He put it to good use and looked solid out there in London. I know he wants to be battling for the win, but he’s smart enough at this to choose his battles. Depending on what we see in Quebec City and Hamilton, he’ll be going for top 2’s and wins, for sure. #66 Marco Cannella. 4. #66 Marco Cannella YAM – Marco is picking up this Supercross game very quickly. He’s got amateur experience at Mini O’s at Gatorback, and he’s going to be a factor for podiums very soon. With more laps at the Gopher Dunes practice track, he will get that top 3 soon. He was only 3 seconds off Karnow at the flag for 4th. #527 Jake Tricco. 5. #527 Jake Tricco YAM – Jake put on the white on black numbers for this race and looked at hope with the Pros, immediately. This kid has had the cameras pointed at him since he was on little bikes, and he’s showing us all why. He had to move his way forward a bit in the main and ended up 20 seconds behind 4th place, but he’s going to keep getting faster and faster. #39 Eric Jeffery. 6. #39 Eric Jeffery KTM – I don’t know why I’m always surprised when Eric does well, but I am, and I shouldn’t be. He’s still improving each time I see him. He seems to be having a lot of fun, and this 6th place should keep him motivated to keep going. The Redemption Racing rig wasn’t at the track this week, and he was pitted out of a small trailer. Great ride from Eric and a good race between him and #55 Jack Wright behind him for a while. #55 Jack Wright. 7. #55 Jack Wright YAM – Jack has got great jumping skill and style and that should pay off well in Supercross; he’s not afraid to go high and far. Go to his Instagram (@jwright211) and check out his latest 2 jump videos from the MotoFarm! Wow. Like many of the Canadians, he would definitely benefit from having a special set of suspension for the races, but did very well, despite simply cranking his Motocross set up. #114 Quinn Amyotte. 8. #114 Quinn Amyotte YAM – Quinn also put on the Pro plates for this one. He’s a tall kid, at over 6 feet, and that will benefit him in the whoops, once he learns them some more. Again, dedicated SX suspension will make a huge difference in his placing. He didn’t feel any pressure because it was his first race as a Pro, but now he’ll be expecting more from himself as we head to the final 2 rounds. #157 Wyatt Waddell. 9. #157 Wyatt Waddell HSK – Wyatt got off to a great start in the main. His outside line became the inside and he was able to avoid being pushed into the wall and headed out up in 3rd early. He had a very good 6th in Montreal and was full of confidence heading into round 2. I know he mistimed the tricky rhythm section on lap one (while up in 4th) and over-shot it, flat-landing, but I didn’t see what happened that put him back in 9th at the flag. He’s faster than the results show, and we’ll watch for a solid rebound week on November 3rd in Quebec. #228 Sam Gaynor. 10. #228 Sam Gaynor YAM – Sam ran his Intermediate plates but raced the 250 Pro main. He crashed in the afternoon and went into the main pretty sore. His start was not good and he headed out near the back of the pack. He made a few passes and broke the top 10 at the flag. He was pretty close to the guys just ahead of him. Biggest Stud – Again, I have to give this one to Jess Pettis this week. Although he’s now expected to win, he still impressed me when he settled down and made a few passes to get to the front. He’s one of the riders headlining the ‘silly season’ talks and should be up for a nice raise in 2019. Biggest Dud – This one is a tie between #40 Guillaume St-Cyr and #27 Tanner Ward. #40 Guillaume St-Cyr. Guillaume – This guy looks great in Supercross. He’s got really good indoor skills and I really expected him to do well. Unfortunately, he crashed in the whoops earlier in the day and was forced to watch the main with a bent bike and a sore left shoulder (DNS). #27 Tanner Ward. Tanner- Tanner expects to do well and that crash in the main messed him up and took away that chance (DNF). He also took #24 Michael Fowler (DNF) out in the process. I went over to talk to him afterward and, when I saw the angry look on his face, I pretended I was just going to use the washroom and walked right by! Better to come for Tanner. Biggest Surprise – I’m going to give this one to Delaware Speedway. What a great place to hold one of these events! Although we’re outside and at the mercy of the weather, I thought the crowd was great and the atmosphere electric. With a few more lights, we’re really on to something, here. I’m not giving away an award for gear. Sorry, that’s Jeff’s thing. Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you in Quebec City on November 3rd.
This is just a video of the results of the 2019 MXA 450 Four-Stroke Shootout. The magazine test will go into much greater detail of what works, what doesn’t work, what breaks, what excels and why we rated the 2019 450s where we did. It should be noted that we didn’t tested them over three days (as with most of the shootouts you may have read). we prefer to race our test bikes over a long period of time to see what really happens to the bike when it is used the way it was intended to be. We also didn’t have factory mechanics follow us around during our shootout period as with other shootouts (we let them come with us for only one day to help us solve already existing issues — in large part because we like them and appreciate their feedback). For the vast majority of our time, we were on our own. MXA used the bikes the same way that any motorcycle racer in any town in America would. We worked on them ourselves (except for that one day). We made adjustments to suit a wide range of riders (starting with the six Pros in the video and working down through the talent level to Vets and Novices). We didn’t use any aftermarket products on the bikes. If a clutch slipped, as it did on the Suzuki, Honda and Kawasaki, we used stock clutch plates, but ditched the judder spring systems. If we had fork issues we didn’t call Bones, we fiddled with the clickers, changed settings, lowered or raised oil height and, in the case of the KX450, used optional Kawasaki fork springs to build a custom spring rate). We lived with these bikes and treated them with as much care as possible. When we had 130-pound test riders we changed to the optional shock springs and when we had blazing fast AMA Pro test riders we stiffened everything up. Yes, we crashed them (twice bad enough to have to get them extensively repaired). Except for photos session, all the hours on our test bikes were either in testing set-ups or racing. We prefer that you watch this video and then, when the 450 Shootout comes out in the magazine, read it to get all the details on each bike. But, that only applies to people who want to know all the details. We aren’t telling you what bike to buy, we are just giving you our assessment of what each bike does well (and doesn’t do well). The post 2019 MXA 450 FOUR-STROKE SHOOTOUT VIDEO appeared first on Motocross Action Magazine.
By Billy Rainford Let’s start this week off with a “funny” story. The Rockstar Triple Crown Supercross Tour was in my home town this past weekend. Delaware Speedway sits just southwest of the city of London, Ontario. I’ve cycled past it often ever since I started riding a road bike back in the late 1980’s. It was nice to sleep in my own bed on race weekend, for once. Before heading over there on Saturday morning, I knew I had to, once again, replace a strap on one of my cameras. For some reason, I go through these things more often than most. It’s like mountain biking. I seem to blow my forks much more often than anyone else I know, but that’s another story. The store opened at 9:30am at a strange mall just around the corner from my house. I say strange because it’s full of octogenarians/geriatrics. It’s directly across the street from an old age home called Cherry Hill. Therefore, the mall is nicknamed, “Gery Hill” Mall. No, it’s not nice, but it’s kind of funny. The area that has the coffee shop and a bunch of tables looks like a scene from ‘Cocoon.’ Anyway, it was a Saturday morning and the guy who was working that day was late, so I lined up behind an elderly couple who weren’t happy with the performance of a couple photo albums they’d purchased. I knew this was going to take some time to get them through the “returns” area and out the door. After we all learned about their children and their children’s children, they couldn’t find anything else in the store to replace the albums and finally settled on getting their money back – it was a painful decision-making process, to say the least. I grabbed a new strap, paid, and was out the door in not time flat. We got to the track, soon after, parked the van and began strapping in the camera. I’ve gotten a lot better at it with repetition, so it wasn’t as big a deal as it once was to figure out. OK, I was back in business with 2 cameras on my shoulders again. I, literally, took two steps, the other strap broke. My camera fell to the ground. Seriously. Fortunately, nothing actually smashed. It landed on the dirt without any damage. Ulf Viney was standing beside me, so we headed over to the PRMX pits and he fashioned a connection out of a couple zip ties, and I was back in business. This “local race” almost cost me a lot more than gas and a hotel charge! Also, than you to Emily for grabbing me another strap on her way out to the track. The new ones were pretty cheap and are bright red. Let’s see if these ones make it through the MXON in a couple weeks… Speaking of the MXON: View this post on Instagram Ok guys!! I have had a few requests for people that cant make it to Red Bud but still want to support the Team! Introducing the 2019 KLX110 Raffle! for $20.00 or 3 for $50.00 this new whip could be yours!! You are the reason our team gets to go to the event and we are so grateful for your support in getting us there!! Head over to the raffle page to enter! Online sales only Link is in the bio A post shared by Team Canada MXON (@teamcanadamxon) on Sep 18, 2018 at 6:34pm PDT Here are some Cole’s Notes from the London Supercross at Delaware Speedway. Let’s talk about the London Supercross at Delaware Speedway. For some reason, I’m flip-flopping between calling it the Delaware Supercross and the London Supercross. It should really be called the London Supercross at Delaware Speedway (like at the start of this paragraph), but it seems kind of wordy. Here are some Cole’s Notes from the event (we’ll have a photo report up today going into more detail): the weather went from tropical heat and humidity on Friday to full-on fall weather overnight. It was cool and pretty much perfect for racing on Saturday. I didn’t hear any radio spots on the local radio station I listen to most, but I’m told they were in rotation on the classic rock station in town. Good move, because the stands filled up nicely before the start of the night show. this race is like a mini Daytona. I hope they were happy with it all and that it becomes a staple on the tour…and not just because it’s only a 10-minute drive from my house. the weird start section didn’t cause nearly the amount of trouble everyone thought it might. I was pleasantly surprised that most people got through there without incident. the track was kind of like 2 straight rhythm section beside each other and it worked out pretty well. Fans could see every bit of action without anything more than turning their heads. the biggest stress for the riders seemed to be squeezing through that small opening in the cement wall during opening ceremonies. I don’t know what the sound system sounded like from the spectator side, but I hope it was better than from the pit side. I’m sure it was. for many, the fact there there is a Tim Hortons about 2 minutes up the road was a huge plus. where are all the amateur riders?! The only way to get better at riding Supercross is, wait for it, riding Supercross. You don’t have to do all the big jumps if you don’t want to, just ride the track and progress. Only the Open Junior was full. It’s not a great sign for the sport. Are people too worried about the danger? the top Pro riders approached the Jetwerx guys and told them that if they reworked one of the jump faces in the rhythm section that they could do some different things through it. They listened, and it made the racing better. #40 Guillaume St-Cyr was the first rider in practice to do the triple in the rhythm section. #471 Logan Karnow was fastest in 250 free practice. #45 Colton Facciotti was fastest in 450 free practice on his new 2019 Honda. #527 Jake Tricco, #114 Quinn Amyotte put on Pro numbers. #228 Sam Gaynor raced the Pro class but kept his Intermediate plates. #53 Bjorn Viney raced amateur Intermediate because he still wants the option of racing B class in the USA. He will race the entire Amateur Supercross series on a Team PRMX Kawasaki. He had the skill to lap the whole field. #176 Ryan Derry was using Robbie Madison‘s front wheel from his water bike, for some reason. St-Cyr crashed in the whoops section during his heat race and was out for the night after hurting his shoulder. He says he’ll be back for Quebec City. the first turn claimed a few riders in the 2nd 250 heat. #87 Travis Roberts crashed hard in the rhythm section and was out for the night. He was complaining about some upper back pain, but it sounds like he’s fine. #95 Joey Crown decided not to race because he couldn’t get his clutch working properly on his 250 so he switched to the 450 class on his 350. He felt “super uncomfortable and sketchy on that track” and headed home. #15 Jess Pettis showed his indoor skill and worked his way to the front of the pack in the main. He’s good at this stuff! #54 Phil Nicoletti broke and displaced a couple ribs in his Montreal crash. He pulled the holeshot and hung on for 3rd in the 450 main. Wow. Colton looked smooth as butter on that new bike. Phil told me in our after-race interview that he’s trying to talk Colton into racing another year. they need to add a few more light stands for next year. It wasn’t horrible, but there were definitely a couple dark places that the riders mentioned. It was also tricky for shooting photos, but that’s probably just a lack of skill on my part… there was a protest they were working through at the end of the 450 main so points were “unofficial” as of then. Delaware Supercross Results Delaware Speedway London, Ontario Saturday, September 23, 2018 250 Pro – Overall Finish Positions Overall Nbr Name Heat Semi Points Earned 1st #15 JESS PETTIS PRINCE GEORGE, BC 1st Heat 2 – 30 2nd #3 SHAWN MAFFENBEIER KAMLOOPS, BC 3rd Heat 2 – 27 3rd #471 LOGAN KARNOW VERMILION, OH 1st Heat 1 – 25 4th #66 MARCO CANNELLA HAMILTON, ON 2nd Heat 2 – 23 5th #527 JAKE TRICCO COLLINGWOOD, ON 3rd Heat 1 – 21 6th #39 ERIC JEFFERY COURTICE, ON 5th Heat 2 – 20 7th #55 JACK WRIGHT PORT PERRY, ON 6th Heat 1 – 19 8th #114 QUINN AMYOTTE BLACKSTOCK, ON 5th Heat 1 – 18 9th #157 WYATT WADDELL LADNER, BC 4th Heat 1 – 17 10th #228 SAM GAYNOR ERIN, ON 8th Heat 2 – 16 11th #416 CHAD SAULTZ BATAVIA, IL 6th Heat 2 – 15 12th #328 TALAN HANSEN TREVOR, WI 7th Heat 2 – 14 13th #24 MICHAEL FOWLER BEECH CREEK, PA 4th Heat 2 – 0 14th #27 TANNER WARD WOODSTOCK, ON 2nd Heat 1 – 0 15th #40 GUILLAUME ST CYR VICTORIAVILLE, QC DNF Heat 1 1st Semi 1 0 450 Pro – Overall Finish Positions (Unofficial as of this posting) Overall Nbr Name Heat Semi Moto 1 Moto 2 Points Earned 1st #16 COLE THOMPSON BRIGDEN, ON 1st Heat 1 – 1st 30 2nd #45 COLTON FACCIOTTI AYLMER, ON 2nd Heat 2 – 2nd 27 3rd #54 PHIL NICOLETTI NEW YORK, NY 2nd Heat 1 – 3rd 25 4th #570 CODY VANBUSKIRK HARVARD, IL 3rd Heat 2 – 4th 23 5th #5 TYLER MEDAGLIA BROOKFIELD, NS 3rd Heat 1 – 5th 21 6th #7 DILLAN EPSTEIN THOUSAND OAKS, CA 4th Heat 2 – 6th 20 7th #20 DAVEY FRASER HALIFAX, NS 5th Heat 2 – 7th 19 8th #176 RYAN DERRY THORNHILL, ON 6th Heat 2 – 8th 18 9th #164 MITCH GOHEEN OSHAWA, ON 7th Heat 2 – 9th 17 10th #751 DONALD TURNER PICKERING, ON 4th Heat 1 – 10th 16 11th #295 JOSH MANN TEESWATER, ON 5th Heat 1 – DNF 0 12th #2 MATT GOERKE PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL 1st Heat 2 – DNF 0 13th #87 TRAVIS ROBERTS ALVINSTON, ON DNF Heat 1 1st Semi 1 DNS 0 14th #617 COOPER HICKS DUNDAS, ON 8th Heat 2 – DNS 0 – #95 JOEY CROWN METAMORA, MI DNF Heat 1 DNS Semi 1 DNF 0 – #365 TREVOR HALE ORONO, ON DNF Heat 1 DNS Semi 1 DNF 0 I did a Video Recap for the mains. You can watch them here. And thank you to Strikt for getting behind our coverage for this event. *thumbs up emoji* Like I said, stay tuned for a more in depth photo report on the event later this afternoon. Reno Endurocross Results Shelby Turner wins in Reno and takes over the Endurocross points lead. | Bigwave photo Defending champion Shelby Turner gets the win and takes over the points lead in Reno, NV at round 3. Super EnduroCross Points for this class Overall Nbr Name Heat Semi Moto 1 Moto 2 Points Earned 1st #1 CODY WEBB ROYAL OAKS, CA 1st Heat 2 – 1st 26 2nd #10 COLTON HAAKER PERRIS, CA DQ Heat 1 1st Semi 1 2nd 22 3rd #14 TY TREMAINE GARDNERVILLE, NV 2nd Heat 2 – 3rd 21 4th #4 GEOFF AARON TEMECULA, CA 4th Heat 2 – 4th 18 5th #7 KYLE REDMOND LAKE HUGHES, CA 2nd Heat 1 – 5th 16 6th #696 NOAH KEPPLE EL CAJON, CA 1st Heat 1 – 6th 16 7th #96 CRISTOBAL GUERRERO MALAGA, NA 4th Heat 1 – 7th 14 8th #16 TY CULLINS RIVERSIDE, CA 3rd Heat 1 – 8th 13 9th #8 BENJAMIN HERRERA , DNF Heat 1 2nd Semi 1 9th 12 10th #120 COOPER ABBOTT PEORIA, AZ 5th Heat 1 – 10th 11 11th #18 GIACOMO REDONDI LAKE ELSINORE, CA 5th Heat 2 – 11th 10 12th #492 DUSTIN MCCARTHY EL CAJON, CA 3rd Heat 2 – 12th 9 13th #35 MASON OTTERSBERG PHOENIX, AZ 6th Heat 2 – 13th 8 14th #44 RYAN WELLS PEORIA, AZ 6th Heat 1 – 14th 7 DNS #27 WALLACE PALMER WATERFORD WORKS, NJ 7th Heat 1 3rd Semi 1 DNS 6 DNS #17 SPENSER WILTON CALGARY, AB 8th Heat 1 6th Semi 1 DNS 3 DNS #101 AUSTIN SCHIERMEISTER SAINT MARIES, ID 8th Heat 2 7th Semi 1 DNS 2 DNS #203 MICHAEL ARANDA SAN CARLOS, CA 9th Heat 1 8th Semi 1 DNS 1 DNS #140 AUSTIN KOUBA BOISE, ID 10th Heat 1 5th Semi 1 DNS 4 DNS #987 CODY MILLER TUCSON, AZ 11th Heat 1 4th Semi 1 DNS 5 – #8 DESTRY ABBOTT PEORIA, AZ – – 1st 0 – #55 JAMES FLYNN GILBERT, AZ 7th Heat 2 DNF Semi 1 7th 0 – #452 TRAVIS COY PLEASANTON, CA 9th Heat 2 9th Semi 1 9th 0 – #230 DUSTIN HEDWALL LAKE GEORGE, CO 10th Heat 2 11th Semi 1 10th 0 – #649 HARRISON OSWALD CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA 11th Heat 2 12th Semi 1 11th 0 – #815 TYLER KINKADE OLYMPIA, WA 12th Heat 2 10th Semi 1 12th 0 – #84 TRYSTAN HART INVERMERE, BC 13th Heat 2 DNS Semi 1 13th 0 – #52 ADAM CONWAY MINDEN, NV DNF Heat 1 DNS Semi 1 DNF 0 Expert Overall Nbr Name Heat Semi Moto 1 – #99 BRANDEN PETRIE TOMAHAWK, AB 8th Heat 1 – 8th – #6 GUERRERO VICTOR SAN FRANCISCO, CA DNF Heat 2 – DNF – #39 WILLIAM RIORDAN WOODLAND, CA DNS Heat 2 – DNS – #5 QUINN WENTZEL CANFIELD, OH DNS Heat 2 – DNS – #452 TRAVIS COY PLEASANTON, CA 1st Heat 1 – – #18 GIACOMO REDONDI LAKE ELSINORE, CA 1st Heat 2 – – #52 ADAM CONWAY MINDEN, NV 2nd Heat 1 – – #17 SPENSER WILTON CALGARY, AB 2nd Heat 2 – – #203 MICHAEL ARANDA SAN CARLOS, CA 3rd Heat 1 – – #987 CODY MILLER TUCSON, AZ 3rd Heat 2 – – #101 AUSTIN SCHIERMEISTER SAINT MARIES, ID 4th Heat 1 – – #230 DUSTIN HEDWALL LAKE GEORGE, CO 4th Heat 2 – – #815 TYLER KINKADE OLYMPIA, WA 5th Heat 1 – – #55 JAMES FLYNN GILBERT, AZ 5th Heat 2 – – #649 HARRISON OSWALD CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA 6th Heat 1 – – #140 AUSTIN KOUBA BOISE, ID 7th Heat 1 – Women Points for this class Overall Nbr Name Heat Semi Points Earned 1st #1 SHELBY TURNER BARONS, AB 1st Heat 7 – 25 2nd #496 KACY MARTINEZ PLEASANTON, CA 2nd Heat 7 – 22 3rd #436 ALLIE DORSEY MONTROSE, CO 3rd Heat 7 – 20 4th #506 MONIQUE JOHNSON RADIUM HOT SPRINGS, BC 4th Heat 7 – 18 5th #15 BIBI CARMOUCHE NEW RIVER, AZ 5th Heat 7 – 16 Women POINTS Place – Name Number – Hometown 8/25/2018 Finish 9/15/2018 Finish 9/22/2018 Finish Total Points 1st – SHELBY TURNER #1 – BARONS, AB 2nd 1st 1st 72 2nd – KACY MARTINEZ #496 – PLEASANTON, CA 1st 2nd 2nd 69 (-3) 3rd – ALLIE DORSEY #436 – MONTROSE, CO 6th 5th 3rd 51 (-21) 4th – MORGAN TANKE #31 – RIVERSIDE, CA 3rd 3rd 40 (-32) 5th – MONIQUE JOHNSON #506 – RADIUM HOT SPRINGS, BC 5th DNF 4th 34 (-38) 6th – MAIAH HAMOCON #22 – KANEOHE, HI 4th 18 (-54) 6th – NICOLE BRADFORD #17 – MC COY, CO 4th 18 (-54) 8th – BIBI CARMOUCHE #177 – NEW RIVER, AZ 5th 16 (-56) Next round – Denver, Colorado – October 20 OK, that will do it for this Monday Morning. Next on the calendar is the MXON at Red Bud on Thanksgiving weekend (Canadian, that is). This coming Friday, Jeff and I will be up at Motopark trying out the new Kawasaki motocross bikes. That should be fun. I don’t get to ride very much these days, but it’s still great to get the chance to feel what each bike is like, even at the pace I go. I’m going to go meet Em for a cup of coffee at the hospital. Have a great week, everyone. #87 Travis Roberts wanted to see this shot, so we’ll let him have the final word here. I think it was, “OUCH!”
There is a lot you can say about Weston Peick. The guy is built like a brick house. He is one of the most underrated riders on the circuit. He has been overshadowed by flashy past and current teammates Justin Barcia and Justin Bogle. Although Weston might not be the standout guy, you can always count on him to be there. That tells you a lot about someone. Out of the current crop of factory riders, Weston had it the hardest. Weston was a full privateer rider who paid his way to the races for years. IT WAS THE JGR TEAM THAT TOOK A CHANCE ON WESTON. ALTHOUGH IT MAY HAVE SEEMED LIKE A GAMBLE, TO JGR TEAM MANAGER JEREMY ALBRECHT, WESTON WAS A SURE BET FOR CONSISTENCY. It was the JGR team that took a chance on Weston. Although it may have seemed like a gamble, to JGR team manager Jeremy Albrecht, Weston was a sure bet for consistency. And, in this day and age, consistency is hard to find. Don’t believe us? Fourteen of the top 20 riders in the 2018 Supercross season missed one or more races. Weston was one of only six riders (Jason Anderson, Justin Brayton, Blake Baggett, Vince Friese and Chad Reed) to race all 17 rounds. How were we lucky enough to ride Weston’s AMA 450 National bike you ask? We know the right people. Past MXA Managing Editor John Basher is now the Communications Manager at JGRMX. And, since MXA tests in the Carolinas virtually every spring, we were heading east anyway. So, John pulled a few strings for us with Joe Gibbs Racing. We were very interested in riding a factory 2018 Suzuki RM-Z450. We haven’t had the best of luck with them in stock trim, so we were hoping we could learn a thing or two. The JGRMX team of Rene Zapata (Weston’s mechanic) and John Basher brought the bike down to ClubMX in South Carolina for us to shake down. Here is what we learned about Weston’s Autotrader/JGRMX Factory Suzuki RM-Z450. WESTON’S FORKS: SPRING OR AIR? OR… Weston is a bulldog on the bike. There is no finesse in his riding style. And that’s okay. It is his way of getting the job done. He has the strength and genetics to go through things rather than around them. These hard impacts combined with his 200 pounds of solid muscle make Weston’s suspension setup different from that of many of the lighter riders. The initial travel of Weston’s Showa Spring air-assist forks is super rigid and stiff. If you are a Vet or lower-level rider, hitting bumps on it would be like riding a wheelbarrow down a rough mountain trail; however, if you are fast enough and brave enough to break through the fork’s crust, there is plushness to be found. It took a while for our test riders (who were both former AMA National riders) to break through the Showa’s initial harshness. It felt like a jackhammer at slow speeds, but the faster they went and the more they smashed into stuff, the smoother the forks got. Did we mention that the air assist forks had no air in them. Weston likes the feel of the coil springs without adding the buffer of air. Could we bottom Weston’s forks? We felt like we might have been able to once we got the forks in the plushest part of the travel, but the stiffness ramped up quickly in the last few inches. Overall, the MXA wrecking crew felt like they could fly on Weston’s RM-Z450. They could over-jump, smash, hit and pound into anything they wanted without any repercussions. The downside? You have to be in exceptional shape to hang on. WESTON’S SHOCK: BFRC OR NOT? OR… It is no secret that th MXA test riders had major handling issues with the 2018 Suzuki RM-Z450, especially the BFRC shock’s tendency to follow its own path in the rough. After riding Weston’s bike, we now know that our assessment of the stock BFRC shock was spot-on. As we rode Weston’s RM-Z450, it had the old-style Factory Showa shock instead of the new BFRC shock. We don’t want to throw the BFRC’s technology under the bus, because it just needs more development time. TALKING WITH WESTON’S WRENCH, RENE ZAPATA, WE FOUND OUT THAT WESTON IS CURRENTLY TESTING UPDATED SETTINGS ON A FACTORY VERSION OF THE BFRC SHOCK. Talking with Weston’s wrench, Rene Zapata, we found out that Weston has been testing updated settings on a factory version of the BFRC shock with Weston may run this year. Rene says so far Weston prefers the modified BFRC shock. Only time will tell. If you are thinking about running the stock Showa shock from the 2017 model, forget about it. It doesn’t fit in the new frame. Suzuki has heard the complaints loud and clear, and we are hoping the issue will be resolved come 2019. WESTON’S CHASSIS: STRETCHED LIMO As much as people think that MXA hates Suzukis, we actually have loved their handling for decades. And, since we have tested more factory Suzukis than almost anybody in the world, including the bikes of Sebastien Tortelli, Jeremy McGrath, Ricky Carmichael, Travis Pastrana, Greg Albertyn, Davi Millsaps and Ken Roczen, we actually know how good they can be. Weston’s triple-clamp offset was stock, although the factory SMC clamps were less rigid and had rubber-mounted bar mounts. Weston’s subframe was cut 5mm, and his sag was set between 106mm and 108mm. This flattened the seat and shifted the weight bias towards the rear, making for a more balanced feel. Although, there was one caveat—the bike had superb handling just as long as your body position was in the right spot. MXA’s test riders felt that they had to stretch out on the bike, both when sitting and standing. If they were too far forward, the front end wanted to tuck. If you watch Weston, he stays in one consistent position when riding. He doesn’t move around a lot like Jason Anderson. As far as the rest of the chassis setup, it was basically stock. Rene mentioned that the Supercross setup had many more changes to the chassis, but for the outdoors, the team riders liked the geometry, head tube stiffness and flex of the stock 2018 RM-Z450 chassis. Weston’s triple-clamp offset was stock, although the factory SMC clamps were less rigid and had rubber-mounted bar mounts. Weston’s trick $1000 titanium footpegs were lowered and brought back 5mm (which contributed to the long, flat feel). On a side note, Jimmy Decotis and Kyle Peters request that their pegs be 12mm taller due to their short stature. These pegs can be custom ordered through www.jgrmx.com, although you will have to throw down 10 Benjamins to fill the invoice. WESTON’S SETUP: IN, OUT, UP & DOWN Weston’s control setup is fairly neutral. He runs Pro Taper Factory Suzuki bend Fuzion bars that are at the same angle as the clamps. He runs half-waffle grips with the waffle placed higher than normal. His levers are in a very neutral position. He does run an ARC clutch perch mated with a CR-style clutch lever. It is on the skinny side. His rear brake pedal is low for a Pro setup. It is below the height of the already lowered footpegs. MXA’s Pro test riders come from the modern high-brake-pedal school and had trouble getting used to the low feel. Weston runs a stock shift lever with a 5mm SMC Factory extended tip. We liked the longer feel. The seat was the stock shape and height but with a Guts seat cover and ultra-light seat foam inside. On the sides of Weston’s frame, he uses Safety-Walk grip tape to help him grip the bike with his inner legs. It is a soft-compound grip tape that isn’t as hard on boots or gear. THE GEAR; Jersey: FXR Clutch Retro, Pants: FXR Clutch Retro, Helmet: Scorpion VX-R70, Goggles: EKS Brand GOX Flatout, Boots: Sidi Crossfire 2 TA. WESTON’S BRAKES: WANT ONE? OR… Weston’s Factory Nissin front brake system is a work of art. The price tag is in the thousands of dollars. How do we know? Because we asked about getting a caliper and master cylinder setup for our bikes. Is it worth the money? Yes, but it’s not for sale. The front brake is powerful yet progressive. It is a front brake that you can operate with one finger without exerting your digit to stop on a dime. It offered smooth modulation and power that was effective. Why is there so much emphasis on the front brake? Weston doesn’t really care about the rear brake that much. There was nothing special about it. It is a stock caliper with SMC works brake pads. It doesn’t feel like it works any better than the stocker. According to Rene, Weston doesn’t seem to use the rear brake very often. Weston doesn’t really care about the rear brake that much. It is a stock caliper with SMC works brake pads. It doesn’t work any better than the stocker. WESTON’S ENGINE: NO HICCUPS, JUST A TIME LIMIT The engine is a collaboration between JGR’s in-house engine builder Dean Baker and the technicians at the Suzuki factory in Japan. We easily recognized the brands of the internal engine parts (JE piston, Carrillo rod, Xceldyne valves, Web Cam cams and Hinson clutch), but it is the customization of each part that makes the secret sauce. Instead of getting into the internals of the engine, which are largely unobtainium, let’s talk about how it ran. In a few simple words, Weston’s engine is smooth and powerful. The power was not overwhelming like that of some of the factory bikes we have ridden in the past. It was power that mere mortals could hang on to. When you needed more power, it was there at the twist of the throttle. The clutch didn’t need to be used in corners, as the big power would pull you through them. The bulk of the power was from bottom to mid, as Weston doesn’t like to rev out his engine (unlike Justin Barcia). Weston likes to keep the engine free feeling. He achieves that by shifting early. The Autotrader RM-Z450 didn’t lack top end or over-rev by any means, but you could feel that the sweet spot was focused in the meat of the rpm range. The ratios from gear to gear felt spot on. We were surprised to learn that JGR uses the standard gear ratios from first through fifth gear, but the gearbox was a special unit. We loved Weston’s engine. There were no hiccups, dips or dead spots. And although powerful, it was so easy to ride that we felt like we could hang onto it at our local racetrack during long motos‚ which isn’t always the case with powerful works bikes. The downfall of owning Weston’s race engine is that it needs internal maintenance at the two-hour mark. At the 120-minute mark, it comes apart, whether it needs it or not. His less exotic practice engines can go 15 hours before needing to be switched out. WESTON’S AIRBOX: HE BREAKS WHAT? Rene told us that Weston is hard on two things—clutches and airboxes. Rene changes out the fibers and metal plates after every moto, which is not unusual for a factory-level rider. We were curious about the airbox, though. Rene said both Weston and Malcolm Stewart tear them apart with their legs from gripping the bike so hard. This is something that we rarely hear. The solution? Suzuki Japan found a Teflon-based tape that is semi-transparent to put on the vulnerable parts of the airbox. Rene said that this tape is so strong that it would outlast the life of the motorcycle. Weston’s Factory Nissin front brake system is a work of art. WESTON’S WEIGHT: NOT HIS, THE BIKE’S There is a lot of carbon fiber, titanium and magnesium on Weston’s bike. It is used to lighten the 241-pound RM-Z450. You will be surprised to learn, as we were, that the addition of spring forks, a skid plate and a few other trick doodads made Weston’s factory RM-Z450 weigh about the same as the stocker, titanium or not. We will say that the rear end felt lighter than the stocker when lifting it off the stand; however, on the track it didn’t have a light feeling in the turns or bumps. JGR’s theory behind the madness is that a heavier bike is more stable than a light bike. True. But the same could be said about a rock. Weight may make a bike feel stable, but it also makes the supporting parts work harder while lessening nimbleness. We are pretty sure that if Weston had a 220-pound RM-Z450, he wouldn’t bolt on 21 extra pounds to improve stability. But hey, these riders are super fast, and what they feel and what we feel might be totally different. WESTON’S GAS TANK: ODDS & ENDS There were some parts that weren’t ready when we showed up to test Weston’s bike. He will be running a larger-capacity, Italian-made, CRM carbon fiber tank. He’ll also run a rear mousse instead of an inner tube to ensure there won’t be any flat tires. Weston tested the all-new Dunlop MX33 tires during the Supercross season, and they were on the outdoor bike we tested as well. They are very aggressive and in dealerships now. WHAT DO WE REALLY THINK? Weston’s Autotrader/JGRMX Factory Suzuki RM-Z450 was almost everything we wished the 2018 RM-Z450 had been. It was easy for mere mortals to ride; well-suspended, especially in the shock department; and the chassis was much calmer than the production bike’s. It was fast but not scary fast. Hopefully, Weston will have luck with the BFRC shock so that what JGR learns can be transferred to the production bike. Why did we say “almost everything we wished?” Frankly, we expected a 230-pound JGR RM-Z450 (because there is no way that they would ever get to the AMA minimum weight of 220 pounds). We didn’t get that wish, but you gotta dance with who brung ya. Weston’s JGRMX Suzuki RM-Z450 is obviously a good dance partner. The post WE RIDE WESTON PEICK’S AUTOTRADER SUZUKI RM-Z450 appeared first on Motocross Action Magazine.