FRIDAY WRAP-UP: 125 SHOOTOUT REPORT

125 SHOOTOUT IN PROGRESS

It’s been a while since we’ve had enough new 125cc 2-stroke MX bikes to have a legitimate shootout, but now the time is right. The Husky, TM and KTM 125s all have had recent redesigns, and even the Yamaha YZ125 has seen a little attention. Plus, we all love riding 125s. As a group, they are the best handling bikes on the market. They weigh around 200 pounds (the Yamaha is 201 pounds without fuel, but full of other fluids, the KTM and Husky are 195 and the TM is 203), and they all have current suspension.

The Husqvarna TC125 is fast and light. It got a new motor three years ago, although it has fundamentally the same design. What stands out about this bike is the motor. It has a long powerband with low-end torque that was unheard of in the heyday of 125 two-strokes. It’s super easy to ride and now the fork is better than ever. It has the WP AER48 air fork.

As everyone probably knows by now, the KTM is very similar to the Husqvarna. It has a different airbox and subframe, a different clutch master cylinder, different bodywork and some different component suppliers, but the engine, suspension and frame are identical. So it, too, has a fantastic motor that pulls from the bottom surprisingly well. There is a slight difference in performance compared to the Husky, as well as a slightly different rider layout. Both of those amount to very little real-world difference.

Yamaha gave the YZ125 new bodywork a few years back and has upgraded the brakes and suspension since then. It has a coil-spring fork that is essentially the same as that on the YZ250F, aside from springs and valving. We still think it’s the best-handling motocross bike on earth. It gives up top end-horsepower compared to the other three bikes, but many riders think that’s a small price to pay for a bike that’s so rewarding from a perspective of pure fun. As a side note, this frame design was considered Yamaha’s best, dating all the way back to when it was employed on the four-strokes.

TM is a small Italian company that hand-builds motorcycles one at a time. The 125 motor has an electronic powervalve, the shock is made in-house by TM and the fork is a KYB, similar to that on the Yamaha. This bike is every bit as fast as the KTM and Husky–maybe even faster at peak. It’s more of an expert-level bike, though, with a demanding power delivery. It reminds us of pro-level bikes that we tested in the days of the 125 nationals. This is like something James Stewart and Travis Pastrana rode back in the day. We know from our experience with T’s that it’s bulletproof. For the full test, check the May print issue of Dirt Bike.

HOUSE GUEST

 

I was shooting in the Dirt Bike photo studio last night when I was attacked by a hungry white owl. Our photo lab is actually in an aircraft hangar, located on the edge of the Prado wetlands, and we often get visits from interesting wildlife.

YAMAHA YZ65

We were pumped to see Yamaha release a new YZ65 last week at San Diego. The bike is an official 2018 model, so it will be in dealers by April and fully homologated for the AMA Amateur National Championships. The little YZ will have a mechanical power valve similar to the design on the YZ125 and most full-size two-strokes, whereas  the KTM 65SX uses a vacuum-controlled valve. It will also have a fully adjustable (compression and rebound) KYB 36mm coil-spring fork. The price will be $4599, which might sound a little shocking at first, but it compares well to $4999 for the KTM, $5099 for the Husqvarna and $5298 for the Cobra.

 

SPRINT ENDURO ROUND 1

Ryan Sipes takes the overall win at round one of the 2018 KENDA Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series opener presented by PRI Powersports Insurance. Defending champion Steward Baylor was 2nd with Josh Strang taking 3rd in the gnarly sandy conditions at Moccasin Creek Off-Road Park in Blackshear, GA

SPRINT HERO RACING ROUND TWO REGISTRATION

The 2018 program is a Trifecta series with three great stops at premier locations. Glen Helen Raceway in Jan, Iron Mine Race Park in March and Canyon MX in April.

The new format is simple and goes basically like this.
Arrive Friday evening or early Saturday morning of the event.
Pick up your pre-registration packet.
Go to start line at the designated time and go Sprint Hero fast for a lap.
Then take a short break, get a drink or snack.
Then get in line to sprint for another on different course.
Repeat
Lowest total time for all laps wins each class. Got more questions check out the full FAQ page here.
Race both days for the overall points and awards or just one day for fun.

Race entry cost for both days of racing including transponder.
No membership is required at all. No day pass fees at all.
Youth $80
Adult $90
Pro $100

Park fees are $10 per person/day and camping is $10 per day if you stay overnight. The website SprintHeroRacing.com has all the details so come have some fun and we will see the Hero in all of you!
SCHEDULE
ROUND 1
January 6-7 / Glen Helen Raceway – Devore, CA

ROUND 2
March 10-11 / Iron Mine Racepark – Cedar City, UT

ROUND 3
April 14-15 / Canyon MX – Peoria, AZ

RESCUE PEGS

Rescue Pegs are simple clip-on foot peg extensions for off-road motorcycles, designed to provide passengers a safe and easy place to position their feet. Most off-road motorcycles are not equipped with passenger foot pegs, leaving nowhere for passengers to place their feet. Rescue Pegs offer a simple solution by clipping onto the existing foot pegs providing twice the amount of foot peg space without permanent installation or modification of the bike.

Rescue Pegs come in two styles, the original FS1 model and the FS2 model designed to be fully adjustable to fit a wider range of stock and aftermarket foot peg sizes and styles. The original FS1 model fits most modern full-size motocross and enduro bikes. The FS2 model fits nearly every other bike on the market, from very narrow to very tall pegs. Most aftermarket pegs are also covered by one of the two Rescue Pegs models.

POLISPORT DISC & FORK GUARDS

A new part from Polisport. The Disc & Bottom Fork Protector can be installed in only 4 minutes, without the need to disassemble the wheel, unlike the conventional disc guards. The part offers extended protection of the brake disc and the bottom of the fork, using two different pieces to do it – Bottom Fork Protector and Disc Protector.

The Bottom Fork Guard is model specific and can be used individually. If you want to protect the Brake Disc, just add the Universal plastic part to protect the disc, quickly and easily.

The parts will be available for selected models of YAMAHA, KAWASAKI, HONDA, HUSQVARNA, KTM, HUSABERG; and will be available in white, black and brand color. The Bottom Fork Protector is sold separately.

 

DINGO ATE MY BABY!

We see a fair amount of new products at Glen Helen each week. A company called Dingo Racing Products showed up recently with these fork protectors, which are currently available in black and blue. They sell for about $30 and will reportedly protect your fork from a shotgun blast. Dingo also has transponder mounts, registration holders and a number of other goodies. You can check them out at dingoracingproducts.com.

That’s all for now!

–Ron

 

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