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Bike Tests

1996 KAWASAKI KX250 2-STROKE PROJECT: BEHIND THE BUILD

We will be the first to admit that sometimes we get carried away with our two-stroke rebuilds. It’s so easy to do. With this 1996 Kawasaki KX250, our main goal was to find an off-road bike that the average person could afford to not only build, but then ride on a regular basis. We teamed […]

2021 HUSQVARNA FC250: FULL TEST

There are KTM guys and there are Husky guys. That’s certainly true among the general riding public, but it’s even true within the offices at Pierer Mobility, the parent company of both brands. Product planners clearly want Husqvarna to succeed—but not succeed too much, or so it seems. Even though the motorcycles are similar, they […]

KTM 500 2-STROKE PROJECT: BEHIND THE BUILD

KTM is one of the manufacturers still pushing two-stroke motorcycle technology advancement in the industry today, but unfortunately the largest displacement is 300cc. Johnny Weisman and his crew at the Ride Shop AZ decided to combine brand-new technology from KTM, some very proven old-school two-stroke technology from Kawasaki and some aftermarket bolt-on performance items from […]

KTM 350EXC-F DUAL-SPORT: FULL TEST

Greed is such an ugly thing. At one time the prospect of a dual-sport bike that was light and capable in the dirt would have sent most dirt bike riders into fits of ecstasy. Now that such bikes are the norm, we want more. It’s human nature, after all. The KTM 350EXC-F exposes greed for […]

2021 GASGAS MC 450F: FULL TEST

The arrival of the GasGas MC 450F is a litmus test for the optimists and pessimists in the motocross world. The bright side is that there’s another 450 motocross bike in the pool to choose from. There will be another set of dealers to visit, and racing will be deeper and richer as a result. The […]

KTM 300XC 2-STROKE: FULL TEST

KTM can take a big chunk of the credit for the healthy state of the two-stroke world. KTM has never waned in its passion to pursue new technology and to back its commitment with a racing program that gives its equipment incredible credibility. The new 2021 300XC TPI is a direct result of pursuing perfection […]

2021 KTM 250SX-F: FULL TEST

Some motorcycles are taken for granted. If a new 250 four-stroke motocross bike suddenly arrived that weighed less and made more power than anything in the class, it would be big news. If it had a hydraulic clutch, the best brakes, electric start, a programmable ignition and every cutting-edge development in the MX world, it […]

TM 300 TWO-STROKE: FULL TEST

Most of the research and development for the TM off-road lineup is done racing the Enduro World Championship series, and their 300EN definitely benefits from this type of R&D. In 2019 the machines received a huge overhaul, with an all-new aluminum frame and a brand-new powerplant complete with an electric starter. With these upgrades, the […]

2021 YAMAHA YZ250F: FULL TEST

If you watched any of the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro motocross series, you might think that the Yamaha YZ250F is the all-time horsepower king of the 250 class. The bikes ridden by Dylan Ferrandis, Justin Cooper and the other Star Racing/Monster Energy team members were the fastest machines on the track, hands down. You gotta […]

KAWASAKI KX250X OFF-ROAD: FULL TEST

Kawasaki didn’t offer any off-road race bikes for years. Weird, right? This is a company that at one time dominated Baja and drove the U.S. ISDE team with riders like Jeff Fredette and Larry Roeseler. Yet, there hasn’t been a Kawasaki dedicated to off-road competition since the 2009 KLX450R—and even that wasn’t really a race […]

PROJECT DIRT N’ IRON YZ250

Every project bike we do has a story behind it; some of them are more interesting than others. This 2007 Yamaha YZ250 off-road project originally started in post-communist Czechoslovakia back in the late ’80s and early ’90s with a then-young and very impressionable Rado Bartovic. With dirt bikes being almost impossible to get, Bartovic grew […]

2021 450 MOTOCROSS SHOOTOUT

We have a record crop of bikes, so we took our time to make sure we gave each of them a fair and full evaluation. That includes a newcomer to the motocross world: The GasGas MC450F. We have also included the unchanged Suzuki RM-Z450 thanks to the support of Simi Valley Cycles. Those two will […]

KAWASAKI KX450X: FULL TEST

Kawasaki has officially returned to the closed-course competition off-road racing market with the introduction of their 2021 KX450X model. Based off the successful KX450 motocross model, Kawasaki expanded that platform by adding features the off-road market prefers, including softer suspension, different gearing, off-road-specific tires, different power characteristics, 18-inch rear wheel and more. Well, technically, Kawasaki […]

HUSQVARNA FC450: FULL TEST

The 2021 Husqvarna FC450 is here, and even though this can’t be considered a year of major changes, Husqvarna and KTM are beginning to diverge in some meaningful ways. We began to see some hints of that last year. The Husky’s power delivery was a little milder, and the suspension was a little cushier, apparently […]

KAWASAKI KX250: FULL TEST

A bullet-point history of the Kawasaki KX250 would miss all the really important facts about the bike. Yes, it would point out that it’s the winningest bike in the modern era of pro motocross; the KX250 (formerly known as the KX250F) has earned 18 championships and 189 wins in pro motocross and Supercross. That’s just […]

TM EN250Fi TWIN PIPE: FULL TEST

Some motorcycles are tools; machines designed with simplicity of purpose to deliver a desired result. A motorcycle like the TM EN250Fi four-stroke is much more. It’s a product of passion and a statement of identity. If the people at TM viewed their products with nothing more than utility in mind, their company would have ceased […]

KTM 450XC-F–FULL TEST

Some bikes defy being categorized. The 2021 KTM 450XC-F isn’t one of them. It’s actually  a very specialized motorcycle. The confusing part is that it fits perfectly in so many categories. For one, it’s KTM’s most adept desert bike, one that has won more National Hare & Hounds than any other bike in recent history. […]

PROJECT: HUSQVARNA 701 ENDURO

For those of you who remember reading about the Husqvarna 701 Enduro in the May 2020 issue of Dirt Bike magazine, there were big plans to turn that bike into a legitimate adventure/exploration bike . Over the last few months, parts were added to John “Bum” Bumgarner’s 701 Enduro to make that plan come to […]

SCORPA 300SC TRIALS: FULL TEST

Over the last decade, we have seen a surge in riders taking interest in the sport of trials. It has never been a huge market in the United States, but it continues to gain popularity among riders looking to cross-train and hone their skills for off-road and extreme enduro. The experience gained is undeniable, especially […]

2021 HONDA CRF450R: FULL TEST

Honda’s big milestones seem to arrive at irregular intervals in the 450 class, but there were four years that changed everything: 2002, 2009, 2013 and 2017. Now, the 2021 model is another bike to remember. It has a new chassis, a mostly new motor and, most important, it represents a change in philosophy. THE PARTS […]