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Ron’s Wrap

RIDING THE 2021 YAMAHA WR450F: THE WRAP

We spent much of this week testing various configurations of the 2021 Yamaha WR450F. The WR is a true-blue off-road bike, as recognized by the EPA. This year it got updated to the same platform as the current YZ450F, at least mechanically, but it’s a very different bike in terms of behavior. Making the WR […]

RIDING THE 2021 HUSKY FE501S DUAL-SPORT: THE WRAP

This week we got to swing a leg over the 2021 Husqvarna FE501S dual-sport bike. This bike is like a crossbreed of two other bikes we tested recently; the Husqvarna FE501 dirt-only model and the KTM 500EXC dual-sport. If you think there’s no real difference between KTMs and Huskys, you might have a case with […]

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 HUSKY FE501 / 250 MX DYNO TEST: THE WRAP

We got a chance to ride the 2021 Husqvarna FE501 this week. This is the dirt-only model, not the -S, which is street-legal. This bike is still blessed by the EPA in terms of emissions and noise. In the overall Husqvarna model line, here’s how it plays out: FC450: Motocross bike with a 5-speed gearbox, […]

RIDING THE 2021 HONDA 450 DUAL-SPORT: THE WRAP

We now have a 2021 Honda CRF450RL dual-sport test bike, just in time for some good trail-riding weather here in Southern California. The Honda CRF450L was the biggest news in the dual-sport world two years ago when it was first introduced. Since then, the frenzy has died off considerably as riders realized that Honda did […]

RIDING THE 2021 HONDA WORKS EDITION: THE WRAP

The 2021 Honda CRF450RX Works Edition has arrived and we have some time on it. This begs obvious comparison to the KTM Factory Edition, but the concept is quite different. In the case of the KTM, the FE is sometimes a preview of the next year’s model. More often than not, it’s a race replica […]

RIDING THE 2021 HONDA CRF450RX OFF-ROAD BIKE: THE WRAP

The Honda CRF450RX bike arrived a little late after the reception to the motocross version was less than what Honda hoped. Honda’s testing department came up with new mapping for both bikes, and now we have the updated CRF450RX off-road bike in the shop.   The CRF450RX is essentially the same motorcycle as the MX […]

WHEN YAMAHA & THE YZM CHANGED EVERYTHING: THE WRAP

Back in the late ’90s, motocross looked and sounded very different.  Then, in late 1996, Yamaha made an announcement that changed everything. That was when the news came out that Yamaha would be using its one-time exemption to the production rule in order to develop a new four-stroke motocross bike in the course of the […]

KTM 350EXC DUAL-SPORT PROJECT UPDATE: THE WRAP

We have a few different dual-sport projects at various stages of completion right now, but  this 2017 KTM 350EXC by Jay Clark is absolutely wicked.  Jay is a  rep for Dunlop, PivotWorks and about a half dozen other companies, and he builds more project bikes than any man alive in order to promote his clients. […]

250 MX SHOOTOUT PREVIEW: THE WRAP

We delayed our 2021 250 MX Shootout in order to get a full house. The GasGas MC250 and the Suzuki RM-Z250 had late arrivals. Some would say that the Suzuki and GasGas don’t deserve to be in the comparison because they have little chance of winning; that the Suzuki is dated and the GasGas is […]

RIDING THE 2021 KTM FACTORY EDITION: THE WRAP

We’ve been hearing about KTM’s smartphone-based tuning app since the first of the 2021 models hit, but we haven’t actually had the opportunity to try it for ourselves until now. The 2021 ½ 450SX Factory Edition is out and its most significant feature is that it’s smartphone-ready. Initially the My KTM app was designed to […]

RICKY BRABEC AND SKYLER HOWES TALK DAKAR: THE WRAP

Last weekend, the Dakar rally wrapped up with two Americans in the top 10. Monster Energy Honda factory rider Ricky Brabec was second overall and privateer Skyler Howes was fifth. Now that they are back in the U.S. , I got a chance to interview both of them. RICKY BRABEC ON DAKAR Dirt Bike: Did […]

RIDING THE HUSKY 701 LONG RANGE: THE WRAP

This week we’ve been playing with the Husqvarna 701 Long Range. The line between adventure bike and dual-sport bike is getting very blurry. The Long Range seems to fall on the adventure side of the line, yet most of the machine is identical to the Husky 701 Enduro. That’s a dual-sport bike in almost everyone’s […]

GASGAS 300 2-STROKE & TM 300 4-STROKE: THE WRAP

We have an odd-couple of 300cc off-road bikes that we’re testing now. One is the GasGas EC300 two-stroke and the other is the TM 300 four-stroke. Both of these were obscure European companies a few years ago, but now they are entering the mainstream. GasGas, of course, is now a part of Pierer Mobility and […]

450 MX BIKES ON THE DYNO: WRAPPY NEW YEAR!

The year 2021 has just begun and we’ve already tested most of the new motocross bikes of the year. Last week, we posted the 2021 450 motocross shootout, which had seven motorcycles, including the new GasGas MC 450F. The Suzuki RM-Z450 still had not cleared customs, so we used a 2020 model provided by Simi […]

RICKY CARMICHAEL’S 1998 KX125: THE WRAP

At the beginning of 1998, Ricky Carmichael’s Pro Circuit Kawasaki KX125 was fitted with his first number one plate. Until that time, AMA National MX championships had only gone to factory bikes and factory riders. Back in the late ’90s, Pro Circuit was one the few teams in the gray zone between privateer teams and […]

TESTING THE COMPLETE 2021 GASGAS LINE: THE WRAP

The full 2021 GasGas line of motocross and off-road bikes was presented to the press at Glen Helen Raceway this week. We got a chance to ride them all, and when it was through, we took the MC250F and MC450F back to the Dirt Bike shop to be weighed and photographed in detail. Those two […]

RIDING THE 2021 KTM 350EXC DUAL-SPORT: THE WRAP

The 2021 KTM 350EXC dual-sport bike is in the Dirt Bike Magazine shop now, being poked and prodded. The hierarchy hasn’t changed much in the dual-sport world. KTM is still right on top, at least as far as hard-core dual-sport bikes are concerned. The only other players are Husqvarna, Beta and Honda–maybe SWM. You can […]

KAWASAKI KX250X OFF-ROAD PROJECT: THE WRAP

We have had the new Kawasaki KX250X for almost two months now and I’ve been building it into a racebike for the National Grand Prix Championship Series. It’s not very hard work. The bike is great right out of the box. Kawasaki didn’t try to overthink it. It’s basically a motocross bike with off-road suspension. […]

RIDING QUINN CODY’S KTM 890 ADVENTURE: THE WRAP

The KTM 790 Adventure has been replaced by the KTM 890 Adventure for 2021. Don’t panic; it’s essentially the same bike with more of everything. KTM has been testing the new bike right under our noses for months now with Quinn Cody in the National Hare & Hound series. That either means that the 890 […]