Rider: Daryl Ecklund Bike: 2018 Suzuki RM-Z450 Date: August 3, 2017 Location: JGRMX Compound Photographer: John Basher Lens: 300mm Focal length: 300mm Exposure: 1/1250 F-stop: 4.5
TWO-STROKE SPOTLIGHT: 1992 YAMAHA WR250 CONVERTED INTO A YZ250
“The bike started out as a 1992 WR250, mainly as we wanted to use a wide ratio gearbox. The frame was stripped, blasted, reinforced in key areas, and painted in 2 pack (I don’t like powder coating as it tends to chip badly on MX bikes). Suspension was rebuilt & revalved in house using Teknik springs, wheels relaced with DID Dirtstar rims with stainless steel spokes, seat foam by Guts racing, new Mikuni carb, Clarke tank, UFO plastics, pink EK chain, Supersprox sprockets, Pro Circuit pipe, DEP silencer, Kenda Millville 2 tyres, Goodrige brake lines, All Balls Bearings. Engine build by Reco MX, engine mods consisted of really smoothing out the power, the engine is super electric, to suit Vet racing.”
Editors Note: Please keep those submissions coming. If you would like your bike to be featured in the “Two-Stroke Spotlight,” please email me at email@example.com. All I ask is that you give a breakdown of your bike and a detailed description of the build. Please also send a few photos of your steed. By submitting your bike for the “Two-Stroke Spotlight,” you agree to release all ownership rights to the images and copy to MXA. Please don’t email me spam or try selling me Taylor Swift concert tickets or email me spam. I already celebrate T-Swizzle’s entire collective, and there will be “bad blood” if you send me junk mail. See what I did there? Happy submitting your smoker.
2017 LORRETA LYNN’S CHAMPIONS
Open Pro Sport Justin Cooper Cold Spring Harbor, NY 250 A Justin Cooper Cold Spring Harbor, NY 250 B Limited Derek Drake San Luis Obispo, CA 250 B Garrett Marchbanks Coalville, UT 250 C Limited Stockton Stinebaugh Caddo Mills, TX 250 C Jr. Rene Rodriguez Layton, UT 250 C Stockton Stinebaugh Caddo Mills, TX 450 B Limited Ezra Hastings Aurora, IN 450 B Brock Papi Groveland, FL 450 C Wesley Allen Fairfax, SC 125 (12-16) B/C Carter Biese Appleton, WI 125 C Jeffrey Champers Punta Gorda, FL College (18-24) Tanner Basso Alpine, CA Junior 25+ Mike Brown Bluff City, TN Vet 30+ Taylor Painter Cleburne, TX Senior 40+ Mike Brown Bluff City, TN Senior 45+ Jay Wagner Warsaw, IN Masters 50+ John Grewe Rockford, MI 51cc (4-6) Roxyn Rinehart Anniston, AL 51cc (4-6) SD Landon Palmer Hammonton, NJ 51cc (4-6) L Wyatt Thurman Temecula, CA 51cc (7-8) L Drew Adams Chattanooga, TN 65cc (7-9) L Kade Johnson Hideaway, TX 65cc (10-11) L Casey Cohran Cullodgen, GA 65cc (7-11) Haiden Deegan Temecula, CA 85cc (9-11) L Ryder DiFrancesco Bakersfield, CA 85cc (9-12) Jett Reynolds Bakersfield, CA Mini Sr.(12-13) Matthew LeBlanc Breaux Bridge, LA Mini Sr.(12-14) Kaeden Amerine Great Bend, KS Super Mini 1 Ty Masterpool Paradise, TX Super Mini 2 Ty Masterpool Paradise, TX Schoolboy 1 Mason Gonzales Fort Walton Beach, FL Schoolboy 2 Garrett Marchbanks Coalville, UT Girls (11-16) Tayler Allred Riverton, UT
Women (12+) Hannah Hodges Deland, FL
2017 AMA Specialty Award Winners
-Nicky Hayden AMA Horizon Award Justin Cooper Cold Spring Harbor, NY
-AMA Amateur Rider of the Year Garrett Marchbanks Coalville, UT
-AMA Youth Rider of the Year Ty Masterpool Paradise, TX
-AMA Vet Rider of the Year Mike Brown Bluff City, TN
-Chris & Cody Gragg Memorial Dylan Kucowski New Egypt, NJ
2018 SUZUKI’S IN NORTH CAROLINA
Suzuki invited us out to North Carolina to ride the 2018 Suzuki RM-Z450 and RM-Z250. As an added bonus we got to tour JGRMX as well as the JGR Cup shop and ride one of JGR’s Factory RM-Z250. You can say is was a fun filled few days.
The big story was the 2018 RM-Z450. It is the first redesigned RM-Z450 in a decade. How was it? In short, better than the 2008-2017 model years. Everything was better. It had better suspension, more powerful engine and improved looks. But for a ten year difference between old and new there isn’t a a huge gap in performance and handling. If you can imagine a Suzuki turning any better than it already does, it does. Too good! We had to lower the sag to 108mm so the bike didn’t oversteer.
The spring forks is head over heals improved over the atrocious Showa TAC forks years prior. The forks do, however, have a bit of a harsh spot in the mid stroke. But once we get some more testing in on our home turf, we might be able to resolve the issue. We didn’t really think about the new Showa Balance Free Rear Cushion shock absorber when riding. Which is a good thing as it means we had no issues with it. It did everything we wanted it to.
The engine is basically a hopped up version of the pervious engine. The throttle body is much like that of KTM’s with the injector at the bottom rather than the top. The power was more responsive with more muscle across the entire spread. How much more? It was tough to judge on a track we weren’t familiar with, but we would have to say a horse or two more on peak power, but not in the realm of the CRF450 or KTM 450SXF numbers.
As for the RM-Z250, it is unchanged from 2017, save for the blue stripe on the seat and BNG. We had Ben Graves be our photo model for the day. All our testers like the bike. It turns great, handles well and the engine is easy to ride. But is hard to ignore that over the past 8 years the RM-Z250 has only gained a half horsepower where the KTM 250SXF has gained 8. For 2018 the RM-Z is 7 ponies down from the KTM 250SXF. We would have to spend a hard earned $5000 to make up the power gap. But remember, if you are not a racer and want an easy to ride bike, it will be right up your alley.
We also got to ride one of JGRMX’s Factory RM-Z250’s. A few months ago MXA tested Phil Nicoletti’s RM-Z250 that was very similar to this one. For the full write up click HERE.
Our videographer, Travis Fant was in attendacnce to catch all the action. Check out the 2018 RM-Z450 and RM-Z250 videos he shot and produced below.
FACEBOOK POST OF THE WEEK:
2018 KAWASAKI KX250F MAPPING
This is the fuel injection mapping chart specified by throttle opening and engine speed. We modifed the stock map and left it from 40 to 80 perfect thottle but made it richer at 10 percent throttle and leaner at 20-30 percent.
We have received some emails about the 2018 Kawi KX250F ignition mapping. Some owners have said that the stock maps have a bad decel pop. We haven’t ran into this issue, but we aren’t a big fan of the stock maps anyway. The stock map is boring, the aggressive map signs off way too fast and the rich map can’t get out of its own way. We worked with Kawi to develop a map that we really liked. It creates good power throughout the spread and doesn’t sign off early so the engine can pull the next gear effectively. Above and below are the Ignition and Fuel maps that we created. We have to agree that the $700.00 KX FI calibration tool is pricy. We have learned that all registered Kawi dealers should be equipped with this tool. So if your bike isn’t runnining right or what a much better map that will make a big difference, take these photos and show your Kawi dealer and they should be able to install the “MXA best” map no problem.
PHOTO OF THE PAST: BROC GLOVER’S KTM 250SX
2017-18 RACE SCHEDULES: BE THERE OR BE SQUARE
2018 MONSTER ENERGY SUPERCROSS SCHEDULE
Jan. 6…… Anaheim, CA…… Angel Stadium Jan. 13…… Houston, TX…… NRG Stadium Jan. 20…… Anaheim, CA…… Angel Stadium Jan. 27…… Glendale, AZ…… U. of Phoenix Stadium Feb. 3…… Oakland, CA…… Oakland Aameda Coliseum Feb. 10…… San Diego, CA…… Petco Park Feb. 17…… Arlington, TX…… AT&T Stadium Feb. 24…… Tampa, FL…… Raymond James Stadium Mar. 3…… Atlanta, GA…… Mercedes-Benz Stadium Mar. 10…… Daytona, FL…… Daytona Intl. Speedway Mar. 17…… St. Louis, MO…… Dome at America’s Center Mar. 24…… Indianapolis, IN…… Lucas Oil Stadium Apr. 7…… Seattle, WA…… Centurylink Field Apr. 14…… Minneapolis, MN…… U.S. Bank Stadium Apr. 21…… Foxborough, MA…… Gillette Stadium Apr. 28…… Salt Lake City, UT…… Rice-Eccles Stadium
May 5…… Las Vegas, NV…… Sam Boyd Stadium
2017 LUCAS OIL PRO MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
May 20…Hangtown…Sacramento, CA
May 27…Glen Helen…San Bernardino, CA
June 3…Thunder Valley…Lakewood, CO
June 17…High Point…Mount Morris, PA
June 24…Muddy Creek…Blountville, TN
July 1…Red Bud…Buchanan, MI
July 8…Southwick…Southwick, MA
July 22…Spring Creek…Millville, MN
July 29…Washougal…Washougal, WA August 12…Unadilla…New Berlin, NY August 19…Budds Creek…Mechanicsville, MD
August 26…Ironman…Crawfordsville, IN
* Visit www.promotocross.com/mx/tickets to buy tickets
2017 FIM MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
March 5…Pangkal Pinang…Indonesia
April 23…Valkenswaard…The Netherlands
July 23…Loket…Czech Republic
August 6…Lommel…Belgium August 13…Frauenfeld…Switzerland August 20…Uddevalla…Sweden September 3…Gainesville…USA September 10…Assen…The Netherlands
September 17…Villars sous Ecot…France