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Bike Tests

YAMAHA WR250F: FULL TEST

The Yamaha WR250F is an easy bike to ride but a difficult bike to understand. You could call it a high-end race bike aimed at beginners or a play bike designed by racers. It’s clearly a machine designed to adhere to the letter of the law,…
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YAMAHA TENERE 700: FULL TEST

Sometimes you just know it. Sometimes you can look at the pictures, check the direction and temperature of the wind, and predict when a bike is going to be a big hit. The Yamaha Tenere 700 is like that. This is a bike that we’ve been…
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250 TWO-STROKE MX SHOOTOUT: FULL TEST

The 250 two-stroke is alive and well in 2020. Austria, Japan and Italy all offer current bikes for the MX purist. Some are more modern than others, but all have suspension and brakes that we could have only dreamed of 20 years ago when the…
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GASGAS TXT300 TRIALS BIKE: FULL TEST

The world of extreme, or hard enduro, has had a dramatic effect on the world of off-road. Potential riders are enthralled with the skill sets of Graham Jarvis and Cody Webb, who dominate the sport. Nearly 100 percent of the top hard enduro…
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TM 250MXE MOTOCROSS: FULL TEST

 As the dirt bike industry is distilled to its most essential components, we increasingly look to small companies for innovation and purity. TM is a small Italian company making motorcycles that matter; motorcycles like the 250MXE…
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1971 HUSKY VS. MAICO VS. CZ SHOOTOUT

In June of 1971, the first issue of Dirt Bike Magazine appeared on newsstands. Within it  was the first modern motocross shootout. The Husqvarna 250 Cross, Maico 250 K5 and CZ 250 were the subjects of the test. Here is the test as it was…
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HUSQVARNA TX300i VS. HUSQVARNA TE300i

Going with a Husqvarna 300 two-stroke is an easy call. Everyone loves them. But which one? There are two in the 2020 Husqvarna line: the TE300 with the headlight and the more competition-oriented TX300. Aside from the headlight and…
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HONDA AFRICA TWIN CRF1100L: FULL TEST

If you’re waiting for technology to slow down in the adventure bike world, good luck. Bikes are advancing like smartphones, so virtually any bike can be obsolete before the loan book arrives. The 2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin is probably…
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2020 500 DUAL-SPORT SHOOTOUT: FULL TEST

After all this time, we admit we still don’t know what the heck a dual-sport bike is supposed to be. Manufacturers and riders use the term freely, as if everyone has the same interpretation, yet the bikes sold under that banner are wildly…
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2020 KTM 390 ADVENTURE, FULL TEST

KTM knocked it out of the park with the 790 Adventure last year. It’s a stunning motorcycle that broke new ground in off-road performance and accessibility for a full-sized ADV machine. Even though the performance-to-price ratio was better…
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2020 HUSQVARNA TE300i: FULL TEST

Husqvarna's Transfer Port Injection is now in its third year, and still the focus of mistrust and controversy. The 2020 Husqvarna TE300i got a new frame, a new look and still more development on its  fuel-injection system. Its performance…
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KTM 300 2-STROKE PROJECT: BEHIND THE BUILD

We started our trail build with the last 300XC model to come equipped with a carburetor: the 2019 KTM 300XC. This machine was fairly well-received by the carbureted community as a whole but did have some issues. One major issue was the…
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YAMAHA TENERE 700 ADVENTURE BIKE: FIRST RIDE

The Yamaha Tenere 700 has finally arrived and we got to spend a day on it in the San Bernardino mountains this week. This is a bike that we’ve been waiting for and wanting to ride for a very long time--even before the bike was officially…
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2012 KTM 500EXC DUAL-SPORT: PROJECT BIKE SPOTLIGHT

One of Tom Webb’s riding buddies for way too many decades is the infamous Mark “Mental” Mangold. Tom has written about their escapades for years, and he has touted Mental as being one of the hardest of hardcore dirt bike addicts he has ever…
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2020 KTM 500EXC DUAL-SPORT: FULL TEST

For 2020 the KTM 500EXC no longer has to be two different bikes to two different people. That was the mission between 2017 and 2019 when there were no pure off-road four-strokes in the KTM line. In that period KTM only offered full-blooded…
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ONE ON ONE: HONDA CRF250RX VS. YAMAHA YZ250FX

The Honda CRF250RX and the Yamaha YZ250FX are both closed-course competition off-road bikes, meaning they are made for racing. They have competition mufflers without spark arresters and are, in fact, very closely related to the MX bikes in…
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BEST USED BIKE EVER: SUZUKI RM250

The story of the Suzuki RM250 isn’t just about a single motorcycle. It's about a dynasty of bikes, championships and riders that goes back to a glorious era in the history of motocross. Forty-five years ago, motocross was an obscure…
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2020 YAMAHA YZ250FX: FULL TEST

We’ve said it many times: Motocross bikes make poor trail bikes. That’s why we haven’t jumped on the bandwagon to heap praise on “closed-course, competition off-road bikes” such as the Honda CRF450RX, the Yamaha YZ450FX and the KTM 450XC-F.…
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