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MOTOCROSS ACTION MID-WEEK REPORT BY DARYL ECKLUND | Motocross Action Magazine

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Marvin Musquin

Rider: Marvin Musquin Date: January 21, 2017 Location: Anaheim 2 Photographer: Daryl Ecklund Lens: 300mm Exposure: 1/1250 sec. F-stop: 3.5

ISO: 2500

TWO-STROKE SPOTLIGHT: Ralf Jache’s 2002 HONDA CR250

honda cr250“At some point, I realized that it was a mistake to sell my 2002 Honda CR250 and jump onto the four-stroke hype. Here in Curope the last Honda CR250 models are unfortunately very rare, mostly scrap and nevertheless extremely expensive. Whoever has one does not sell it.

honda cr250 After a long search, I found a 2006 for a good price and great condition. I disassembled to the last screw, more and more catastrophes came to light. Actually, it should only be “ready to race”, but it has now become better than new.

The list of renewed parts is almost endless. Engine was good, almost everything else was at the end of its  life. Cartridges, shock, swingarm, exhaust, both rims and a lot more had to be replaced.

honda cr250
The highlight of the bike is the Öhlins TTX suspension. Finding the cartridges for a 47mm Showa was relatively easy, the shock is a absolut one-of-a-kind. Some say the only place for such a bike in the livingroom, but I race it once or twice a year in a local Vet class.”

2018 KTM 250/300 TPI INTRO: ERZBERG, AUSTRIA 

Erzburg KTM tpi 250 300The 2018 KTM 250XC-W overlooking the Erzburg mine.

Would you travel 24 hours to be somewhere 36 hour then to travel back home for another 24 hours? For some reason it is the norm when a manufacture ships me overseas for a new bike intro. I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. I want to complain about the long travel and super short time being abroad, on the another hand, I can’t. I mean, we don’t even get acclimated to the time change or get to indulge in a foreign country’s culture. Okay, I am going to stop myself here. I am complaining because they bring us places that only a few get to go to and I want to be there, much longer then the planned 36 hours. But to go or not to go, I would still go in a heartbeat just to have a taste of a short experience in a foreign land thousands of miles away.

Erzburg KTM tpi 250 300The complete frame and engine of the 2018 KTM 250XC-W. 

This time around KTM brought us into the heart of the biggest and hardest offroad race in the world, the Erzberg mine. Pictures do not do this mountain justice. They brought us here for the fuel injected two-strokes to ride them in the most curling terrain known to man. It is a bike that they have had in their back pocket for some time now. KTM’s engineering department have been in the development of this technology over the last ten years. They first developed a direct injection prototype, but it was extremely heavy and wasn’t what they were looking for.

Erzburg KTM tpi 250 300This was KTM’s first attempt at fuel injection. This is a direct injected cylinder that they developed ten years ago. It was heavy and didn’t work as well as transfer port injection. 

KTM’s goal was to make these fuel injected models have the same kind of power spread and weight as the current carburetor models. They found they could accomplish this with transfer port injection.

KTM will only be bringing in the 250XC-W TPI into the states. But I’ll talk a little about both the 250 and 300. I had low expectation for these bikes going into it. I thought they were going to be slow due to having to pass Euro-4 emissions.

Erzburg KTM tpi 250 300There was a line of TPI KTM’s as far as the eye could see.

I first got to ride the 250cc model. I had the 2015 Erzberg Rodeo champ Jonny Walker as my tour guide to navigate me up, down and through the mountain.

The 250cc TPI machine had a light throttle with a quick response. From the low to mid range, the power was sluggish. I had to feather the clutch or downshift to get the rpm up. But then, around mid to top, the light switch was hit and the bike took off. The meat of the power was really high in the power range. It was something that was hard to time. A few of the riders (which included myself) actually looped out due to the surprise hit at the begining of the ride.

_RAD4693Daryl might have not been happy with the short trip, but with riding like this he could he complain. 

I do, however,  feel the power could be brought down with a few adjustments to the power valve adjuster as well as gearing. I say this with confidence due to riding the 300cc TPI machine. Why? Because the power of the 300 was remarkable. It had power when you needed where you needed it all the time. You could ride a gear higher and just cruise around effortlessly. The power was strong. We are talking as strong or stronger than the Husky TX300 (which is the same engine as the KTM 300XC engine) that we tested. We liked that TX300 offroad model so much that we turned it into a motocross TC300 version.

Jonny WalkerErzberg Rodeo 2015 champ Jonny Walker was Daryl’s tour guide for the day. 

We have to say we are a little bummed that the 300 TPI model isn’t coming overseas, but I feel the 250XC-W TPI model’s small blemishes will be easy to iron out. Look for a full write up about my trip to Erzburg and the KTM 250XC-W featured in the September issue of MXA. To subscribe click here.

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nicky haydenGodspeed Nicky.
It is with profound sadness that American Honda marks the passing of longtime Honda racer Nicky Hayden today, following a bicycle accident in Italy last Wednesday, May 17.

Born to Earl and Rose Hayden in what would be his lifelong hometown of Owensboro, Kentucky, on July 30, 1981, Hayden was the middle sibling to Tommy, Jenny, Roger and Kathleen. The family was a fixture on the amateur flat track scene, and the brothers eventually also took up club road racing in the early ’90s, racing Honda RS125s with support and guidance from Moto Liberty. One year after turning pro, Nicky signed with American Honda in 1999 to race multiple AMA classes for Kevin Erion’s Erion Racing satellite squad. By the end of a season-long title battle with Tommy, “The Kentucky Kid” earned the AMA Supersport crown, was named AMA Flat Track Rookie of the Year, and was promoted to Honda’s factory effort to begin campaigning the premier AMA Superbike division.

In 2002, Nicky took the Daytona 200 victory on his way to becoming the youngest-ever AMA Superbike Champion. The same year, he rode privateer Honda machinery in a part-time effort in the AMA Grand National Championship series, making history when he, Tommy, and Roger finished 1-2-3 at the Springfield TT, becoming the only brothers in AMA Pro history to sweep a professional podium.

HRC signed Nicky to the factory Repsol Honda MotoGP squad for 2003, and the 2005 season saw him score an emotional debut victory at Laguna Seca, his home round. The following season, Hayden picked up a victory at Assen and repeated at Laguna Seca before securing the World Championship at the dramatic finale in Valencia, Spain. Nicky stayed with Repsol Honda for two more seasons and then switched to the factory Ducati team, where he rode for a total of five years before returning to Honda in 2014, this time with the Aspar satellite squad aboard “open”-specification machinery. Last year, Nicky transferred to the World Superbike series with the Ten Kate-run Red Bull Honda team, for whom he won a race in Malaysia and also contested the first five rounds of this season.

Throughout it all, Nicky has remained extremely close to his family. His signature No. 69 was actually on loan from his father Earl, and his parents and siblings could regularly be spotted at his events. One year ago, he was engaged to longtime girlfriend Jacqueline Marin.

Nicky has been a beloved part of the American Honda family since his early AMA days. We have celebrated his many successes together, and enjoyed his occasional visits to the office and Honda pits at a variety of U.S. racing events. This loss is truly the loss of one of our own, and will be felt forever.

Our thoughts are with Nicky’s family, friends, team, competitors, and many, many fans during this difficult time.

THEY SAID IT: HANGTOWN MOTOCROSS

Marvin MusquinMarvin Musquin: “I’m really happy to leave Hangtown 2nd overall and with good starts. I really want to thank the Red Bull KTM Team, they have put in a lot of work for me right now, and with Ryan retiring, but he is right there for me if I need so I appreciate that, thanks Ryan. I’m happy to start the season like that. Today it was hot but we fought through it. Eli was strong – there was nothing I could do. I’m missing a little bit of speed at the end but we tried to be consistent the whole moto and 2nd overall today, battling with Eli, it’s a good thing.”

Eli Tomac
Eli Tomac: “There was some good battling today. In the first moto I got into a good groove quickly and made the passes early to go on and win, but the second moto was tough. That was a good ole classic battle [with Musquin]. I really had to dig deep and try every line possible to make time up on the leaders. It feels good to get through the first round and leave with the red plate.”

Zach OsborneZach Osborne: “It was nice to carry the momentum from supercross and take the pressure off the [start of the] outdoor season, and come out of here with max points. This is always one of the roughest tracks we have all year, so you always come in here kind of guessing. It’s good to know we’re leaving with the points lead and a win. My goal was to be in the top five and challenge for a podium, so to come away with a 1-1 is pretty awesome.”

HOW TO: SAVE YOUR SWINGARM

MXA PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT:TM DESIGNWORKS DIRT CROSS FRAME SLIDER

HondaSlider
Honda CRF450R(X) owners know the OEM chain slider wears out incredibly fast. TM Designworks is rescuing Red Riders from excessive wear and tear with its new Dirt Cross Swingarm Super Slider. The TMD front slider has a new chain control angle and thickness for superior performance and wear life; at a suggested retail less than the OEM part. Each plastic slider is oil-impregnated to reduce drag and UV protected to prevent color fade and dryness. TMD’s Honda CRF450 Slider has custom chain slap dampening pads bonded between the slider and arm to reduce noise. Patent Pending Side Tabs help’s to keep a loose drive chain centered for long moto’s or off-road races. TMD’s new Honda Swingarm Slider is proudly manufactured 100% in the USA; available in Black, Red, or Blue for $46.95. Discount package kits with Lower Powerlip Roller and TMD’s multitude of Mx or off-road Chain Guides are also available. See your local dealer or contact us directly at www.tmdesignworks.com or (541) 772 4161.

Price: $46.95 Website: www.tmdesignworks.com

Contact: (514) 772-4161

PHOTO OF THE PAST: JAMES STEWART 

James StewartThis photo of James Stewart was taken before the start of the 2006 Supercross season. James would finish 2nd in points behind Ricky Carmichael. 

TOP 20: HANGTOWN NATIONAL

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450 CLASS RESULTS

1. Eli Tomac…Kaw 2. Marvin Musquin…KTM 3. Josh Grant…Kaw 4. Dean Wilson..Hus 5. Broc Tickle…Suz 6. Blake Baggett…KTM 7. Cooper Webb…Yam 8. Cole Seely…Hon 9. Justin Barcia…Suz 10. Justin Bogle…Suz 11. Weston Peick…Suz 12. Christian Craig…Hon 13. Jason Anderson…Hus 14. Martin Davalos…Hus 15. Fredrik Noren…Hon 16. Dakota Alix…KTM 17. Rhys Carter…Kaw 18. Cody Copper…Hon 19. Kaven Benoit…KTM

20. Heath Harrison…Yam

250 CLASS RESULTS

1. Zach Osborne…Hus 2. Alex Martin…KTM 3. Aaron Plessinger…Yam 4. Adam Cianciarulo…Kaw 5. Austin Forker…Kaw 6. Colt Nichols…Yam 7. Joey Savatgy…Kaw 8. Justin Hill…Kaw 9. Mitchell Oldenburg…KTM 10. Mitchell Harrison…Yam 11. Jeremy Martin…Hon 12. Sean Cantrell…KTM 13. Shane McElrath…KTM 14. Michael Mosiman…Hus 15. Nick Gaines…Yam 16. Cameron Mcadoo…Hon 17. Luke Renzland…Yam 18. Lorenzo Locurcio…Yam 19. Jerry Robin…Yam

20. Gustavo Souza…Hon

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Photos by Krystyn Slack, Daryl Ecklund, KTM, MXA Achives