DIRT BIKE MAGAZINE’S ’99 BIKE TESTS

DIRT BIKE MAGAZINE’S ’99 BIKE TESTS

Own a ’99 bike? Want to buy one? Here is what the Dirt Bike Staff thought of some bikes in 1999.


1999 HUSQVARNA WR125
125 enduro bikes aren?t real popular in the U.S. but in Europe, they are a very big deal. Husky?s version is good, especially in the workmanship department. Low-end power is marginal and shifting is difficult, but the suspension is surprisingly good. Tested in the January 1999 issue.
TEST BIKE WEIGHT: 223 lb.



1999 YAMAHA YZ400F
One year after beaming down from outer space, the YZ400F is still at the top of the MX world. You might even call it the best bike of the 20th century (we did). In fact, despite rumors and gossip, no other four-stroke MXers are even on the way. Tested in the Feb 1999 issue.
TEST BIKE WEIGHT: 248 lb.
PEAK HORSEPOWER: 45.0 @ 8500 rpm


1999 HONDA CR500R
It was once the king of the Open class. But then the kingdom slowly withered away. The CR500R remains as a current artifact in the fossil record, showing us how much dirt bikes have changed in 10 or so years. Compared to modern MX bike, it?s cumbersome and sometimes scary. At least it?s less of a brute than the KX500. The one area where 500cc two-strokes still have a place is in the desert and going up steep, sandy hills. Tested in the April 1999 issue.
TEST BIKE WEIGHT: 233 lb.
PEAK HORSEPOWER: 56 hp @ 5800 rpm

1999 KAWASAKI KX500
Like the Honda CR500, the KX500 is a living reminder of a bygone era. It revs higher than the CR500 and is more stable, which makes it a popular desert bike. You rarely see one on a motocross track, though. Tested in the April 1999 issue.
TEST BIKE WEIGHT: 233 lb.
PEAK HORSEPOWER: 55.9 @ 6500 rpm


1999 KTM 380SX
Even though it makes less power than a 500 two-stroke, virtually everyone prefers the KTM 380 on the racetrack. It?s a modern bike that just happens to land in the Open class. That?s fine for KTM, which preys on niche marketing. Most riders will still find a 250 MX bike easier to manage. Tested in the April 1999 issue.
TEST BIKE WEIGHT: 229 lb.
PEAK HORSEPOWER: 49.9 @ 8000 rpm


1999 KTM 250 EXC
No matter what year it is, count on KTM?s 250 EXC being the best bike in its class. By 1999, the Japanese had given up in the 250 enduro category, leaving the KTM to dominate. The 1999 version actually was faster than the 2000 model that followed. Tested in the March 1999 issue.
TEST BIKE WEIGHT: 235 lb.


1999 YAMAHA TTR250
Yamaha finally entered the small-bore four-stroke trail bike class with a bike that already existed in other markets. The TTR is very cushy and convenient (with its electric starter) but it?s certainly no lightweight. Don?t think about racing it or even taking it on really tough trails. Marginally faster than a Honda XR250. Tested in the May 1999 issue.
TEST BIKE WEIGHT: 265 lb.



1999 YAMAHA TTR225
Consider electric starting the only item of interest on the TTR225. The engine is dated, but at least reliable. Yamaha aimed this bike at the entry-level market, but missed by making it too tall and heavy. Tested in the May 1999 issue.
TEST BIKE WEIGHT: 259 lb.


1999 YAMAHA WR400F
The Yamaha 400F is a miracle bike in any form. But the WR is a less impressive miracle than the YZ. The fuel tank/seat position makes the rider sit too far rearward and the power is a little snappy for tight trails. Still, a fun bike to ride in wide open spaces. Tested in the May 1999 issue.
TEST BIKE WEIGHT: 263 lb.


1999 KTM 300EXC
The KTM 300 is a cult bike for the world?s largest cult. It can do anything, from motocross to enduros. The 300 engine has a very smooth hit and soft bottom end that takes some getting used to. Jetting is finicky and the suspension isn?t nearly as versatile as the power. Tested in the May 1999 issue.
TEST BIKE WEIGHT: 234 lb.



1999 KAWASAKI KLX300
Even though the spec list reads like a modern bike (dohc, liquid-cooling, four valves, etc.) the KLX is a dated bike. It works good for mild trail-riding, but can only be raced with an absurd amount of modification. Suspension is a weak point, along with shifting. Tested in the July 1999 issue.
TEST BIKE WEIGHT: 248 lb.

 

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