DIRT BIKE TESTS & PROJECTS
We have an embarrassment of riches right now. There are about 10 new bikes that have been released within the last month, and on top of that we have five or six project bikes that are nearing completion. Here are the bikes we’ve ridden and worked on this week, starting with the smallest.
Last Wednesday, Kawasaki revealed a new model at Wildomar OHV area in the Cleveland National forest. This is a bike that doesn’t fall into any neat category–it’s a kid’s bike resized for adults. Kawasaki took the KLX140 and stretched it out with a longer swingarm and added about an inch behind the steering head, then put an on 18-inch rear wheel and a 21-inch front wheel on it. The company already had two versions of the bike; one with a 14″/17″ wheel combo and another with a 16″/19″.
If you add in the two different versions of the KLX110, Kawasaki now has five youth models. The new G model fills a gap for entry level riders who are well over five-feet tall. The only other bikes on the market that are aimed at those riders are the 230s from Honda and Yamaha, but those are much heavier bikes. The KLX is made in Thailand and priced at $3690. Pete Murray and I had an absolute gas riding it around Wildomar. This is, by the way, a state-run OHV area off Ortega Highway, right between Orange and Riverside counties. It’s a much bigger area than we expected, and worth checking out.
TESTS IN PROGRESS
We’ve been fascinated with Mark Kalpakolf’s 2002 Honda XR650R. He found it about a month ago and has been on a mission to build it into the ultimate Baja cruiser. It’s done now, and we went out with him on a photo shoot on Monday before he took it to Mexico on its maiden run. He’s down there now, but he put this video together about finding and building the bike .
See you next week.