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Ron’s Wrap

RIDING THE KTM 390 ADVENTURE: THE WRAP

The KTM 390 Adventure is proof that you don’t need to be a retired CEO to participate in an Adventure Bike gathering. I spent last weekend riding one at the KTM Adventure Rider Rally in Tamarack, Idaho and had an absolute blast. The 390 is no 1290 Adventure. It’s a repurposed commuter bike with new […]

RIDING THE 2023 SWM RE500: THE WRAP

The SWM RE500 is a brand new model–sort of. It’s a new name for a bike that we find very familiar. When we last tested it in 2020, it was called the SWM RS500 and it was a fully certified dual-sport bike. Now, the 2023 version is back as a dirt-only model, simply because it’s […]

RIDING THE 2023 KAWASAKI KX250: THE WRAP

The 2023 Kawasaki KX250 snuck in under the radar. When we saw the initial press release, it looked like the bike had no changes. It turns out to have a long list of very important redesigns. They include: A new head with smaller valves, which are set at a different pitch. The upstream injector is […]

RIDING THE 2023 KTM 250XC-F: THE WRAP

The KTM 250XC-F is one of about a zillion redesigned bikes in the combined KTM/Husqvarna fleet for 2023. We’ve already reported on many of them, including the KTM 450SX-F, The KTM 350XC-F, the Husky FC250, the Husky FC450, the Husky FC350 and the Husky FX450, Additionally, we rode the 2022 KTM Factory Edition 250SX-F, the […]

ISDE RAW IMAGES: THE WRAP

The 96th edition of the ISDE is set to start on Monday, August 29th in Le Puy en Velay, France. The U.S. team has arrived, their equipment is in park ferme, and our 10 teams are preparing for the week ahead. The U.S.contingent consists of three premier teams (World Trophy, Junior Trophy and Women’s Trophy) […]

WHEN THEY WANTED TO BAN THE YZ250F: THE WRAP

Long before the controversy surrounding Haiden Deegan and his Star Yamaha at the 2022 AMA Amateur Nationals, the YZ250F was the center of another debate.  There was a time when a number of riders and team managers wanted the bike banned altogether. Back in early 2001,  the YZ250F had not yet won in National Competition, […]

KTM 350XC-F VS. GASGAS EX350: THE WRAP

For a long time, our favorite size for an off-road four-stroke has been the 350. We didn’t really care which 350. All of the offerings from Austria were light, easy to ride and had tons of power when you needed it. The differences were noticeable, but not dramatic enough to give one a significant advantage. […]

TESTING THE 2023 HUSQVARNA FX450: THE WRAP

We just spent our first day riding our brand new 2023 Husqvarna FX450. It’s a beast! The FX is billed as a closed-course competition off-road bike, which is code for GP and desert racer. About 90 percent of the bike is the same as the FC450 motocrosser, with a few concessions to make it appeal […]

JEREMY MCGRATH TRIBUTE: THE WRAP

Glen Helen Raceway just announced that the 2022 Edison Dye Lifetime Achievement award recipient will be Jeremy McGrath. The award is presented each year as part of the Vet World Championships, which was founded by Tom White and now is presented by Dubya. This year, that event will take place on November 4-6, 2022.  McGrath […]

250 SHOOTOUT–YEAR ZERO-ZERO: THE WRAP

Going into the year 2000, we kinda thought the world might end. Everything was changing; a four-stroke had just won the National championship the previous year. Who saw that coming? The 250 shootout for the year 2000 took place in late 1999 and appeared in the January, 2000 issue of Dirt Bike.   The Japanese makers […]

WEIRD FORGOTTEN DIRT BIKES, MILLENNIAL EDITION: THE WRAP

There’s no better waste of time than diving into the Dirt Bike photo archives. Most of the bikes we’ve tested over the last 30 years I remember perfectly. Others, not so much. I arrived on staff in 1990, so I’ve ridden a lot of winners and losers. This week, I opened up the files in […]

TESTING BETA’s 300cc TWO-STROKE MX BIKE: THE WRAP

We finally got our first chance to try a Beta motocross bike this week. The Beta 300RX is a 300cc two-stroke based on the 300RR off-road bike–more or less. We have been big fans of Beta’s off-road bikes for a long time and have always thought they might make great motocross bikes. It was a […]

ROGER DECOSTER’S FUTURE MOTORCYCLE, 2000 A.D.: THE WRAP

In the October, 1996 issue of Dirt Bike, Roger DeCoster talked about the future in a story called “Motocross Bike: 2000 A.D. It’s kinda fun to look back at what he saw coming. What will motocross bikes look like in the year 2000? If you had asked that question in 1980, you would have had […]

RIDING THE 2023 KTM 350XC-F: THE WRAP

We just got our hands on a 2023 KTM 350XC-F and we love it as much as ever. KTM’s XC line is over 16 years old and it more or less defines the category we call, “closed-course cross-country.” Setting aside the nonsense nature of the term, the category is populated with motocross bikes that have […]

RIDING THE 2023 HUSKY FC450, FC350 & FC250: THE WRAP

Earlier in the week, we took delivery of our 2023 Husqvarna motocross bikes at Fox Raceway. We got to take the FC250, FC350 and FC 450 away with us for extended testing, but the two-strokes were unfinished prototypes and we had only limited time on them. The Husqvarna line will only have a TC250 and […]

THE LAST FULL 2-STROKE SHOOTOUT: THE WRAP

As the year 2005 came to a close we were used to  four-strokes being the center of attention. All the manufacturers still made two-strokes, though, and would continue for one more year. For the November 2005 issue of Dirt Bike, we were still gathering 450s for a premier class shootout, but we already had all […]

THE ALUMINUM FRAME XR400: THE WRAP

Carson Brown had a great supercross season this year. His dad Duane and I go way back, and we started talking, like old guys do, about the good old days. One of those days was chronicled in the April, 1996 issue of Dirt Bike. The aluminum framed XR400 that BBR built caused quite a stir. […]

RESSURECTING THE SUZUKI RMZ-250: THE WRAP

Rule one in the journalist’s creed is never admit bias. We all have bias, of course, but we aren’t supposed to talk about it. Sorry, but here goes: I always loved Suzukis. My first motorcycles were Suzukis, the bulk of my teenage races were on Suzukis and my first real sponsor was a Suzuki shop. […]

WHAT WE KNOW AND WHAT WE EXPECT IN 2023: THE WRAP

Most of 2023’s big secrets have been revealed, but we know there are some big announcements still to come. Here’s a short summary of what we know and what we think we know. This week’s big news was KTM’s 2023 competition line, which is all new. The people at KTM never tried to keep this […]

A CLOSER LOOK AT THE 2023 KTM 450XCF-W: THE WRAP

Among the minimally changed models that KTM introduced last week was one particular motorcycle that deserves more attention: the KTM 450XCF-W. At a glance, this seems to be a downsized version of last year’s 500XCF-W. As it turns out, it’s much more than that. In fact, this is a bike that American riders in the […]