25417_TC 65 2017 Studio

Husqvarna just keeps on expanding its line. This week the word came down that the company would be offering a TC50 and a TX65. Both of these bikes are based on similar KTM models, but that doesn’t trivialize the investment involved. They have new bodywork; that much is obvious from the photos, but as we have discovered, there are often undisclosed differences between KTM and Husky models that we thought were alike. Because the company is reluctant to actually publicize which parts are different, and because they have entirely different part numbers, we honestly don’t know if these will work like their KTM counterparts. With the bigger bikes, we’ve found that some work exactly the same, and others don’t. As always, we’re happy to see more bikes on the market, one way or another.



We were happy to get RJ Wageman back on a bike. He injured his shoulder about six months ago, leaving us down a test rider. Earlier this week, he was back on the job, testing the 2017 KTM 250SX-F. This bike isn’t too much of a surprise to us, because it’s so similar to the 2016 1/2 Factory Edition. We already knew it was the fastest and lightest bike in the 250 class. Now RJ knows it, too.


Pete Murray will never stop. We gave him a call to help with the testing of the 2017 Suzuki RM-Z250. Pete has been testing with Dirt Bike since wheels were made of stone, and he still can drive a factory technician crazy with intricate suspension feedback. The RMZ250 is a particularly needy bike. The KYB PSF-2 fork has six clickers and two air chambers. You can spend a lifetime testing the various combinations.


We like taking some of our test riders outside their comfort zones. Sean Lipanovich is an excellent motocross rider and instructor. He has trained hundreds of riders through But he’s never tried anything like EnduroCross before. We put him on the Beta Xtrainer and turned him loose on Glen Helen’s EnduroCross course. We thought it would be entertaining, but he picked up the proper technique so quickly it was actually rather disappointing.


I know there are other dads out there that find themselves in my position. My 12-year-old son likes dirt bikes, but until now hasn’t gone crazy for them like I did. That’s great; fewer broken bones, less trouble at home. Recently, though, his interest level has gone up, and it’s probably time to look for a bike with a real clutch–he’s never ridden anything that sophisticated before.

The problem is that he knows everything and it’s hard for me to be an effective teacher. So I hired the job out. Honda has an incredibly good facility for rider education in Colton California, where they supply the bikes, the gear and a full day of instruction.

Honda Education center 2
As any 12-year-old will tell you, looking cool is the most important part.

All that is around $180 a day. That can’t possibly pay for all the resources involved, so I assume that the program is written off as an investment in the future. Mercedes Natvig is a long-time friend, and she works full-time at the facility. She doesn’t instruct much anymore, but her partner Nick did a great job.  The day started at 8:00 a.m. and ended at 3:00 p.m. with a completely exhausted kid. It turned out that using a manual clutch was just the start. Nick had him working on cornering, standing on the pegs and riding over various obstacles. The class had six students, so he had his hands full.

Honda education center

The Rider Education Center has about five acres that have been landscaped into a natural riding area. The very best apart was that I got to go to Starbucks, sip a coffee and read a newspaper while someone else did all the work. It was awesome. For more info, go to Honda’s website.




For the rest of the month, it’s going to be back to back USGPs and Motocross of Nations. This weekend is the GP of the Americas at Charlotte Motor Speedway, followed by the last round of the championship at Glen Helen. Honda’s Tim Gajser has a fairly large lead in the series, and he will debut an all-new works bike at Charlotte–an electric-start factory version of the 2017 CRF450R.

Bobryshev’s new CRF450RW


The last time the GP series visited America twice in a single season was way back in 1992, 23 years ago. We will get to see all the Euro riders go against Eli Tomac, Justin Barcia and Dean Wilson. Chad Reed is signed up as well, and it won’t be the first time he’s gone up against the Euros this season. He has two GPs under his belt already, and he hasn’t had much success.


1 243 Gajser, Tim SLO HON 653
2 222 Cairoli, A. ITA KTM 588
3 12 Nagl, M.GER HUS 542
4 461 Febvre, Romain FRA YAM 522
5 777 Bobryshev, E. RUS HON 494
6 89 Van Horebeek, J. BEL YAM 477
7 259 Coldenhoff, G. NED KTM 347
8 25 Desalle, C. BEL KAW 342
9 92 Guillod, V. SUI YAM 326
10 24Simpson, Shaun GBR KTM 307

In the MX2 class, Cooper Webb, RJ Hampshire, Joey Savatgy and Adam Cianciarulo will get to go up against Jeffrey Herlings and American hopeful Thomas Covington. Charlotte Motor Speedway, in North Carolina has never held anything like this before, but has been known to hold 100,000 crazed auto racing fans. The complex is considered the home track for NASCAR with many race teams located in the Charlotte area. The 2,000 acres complex also features a state-of-the-art drag racing strip, ZMAX Dragway. It is the only all-concrete, four-lane drag strip in the United States and hosts NHRA events. Alongside the drag strip is a state-of-the-art clay oval that hosts dirt racing including the World of Outlaws finals among other popular racing events. The word is that the GP of the Americas will be a muddy event this weekend. It’s been raining nonstop, and most of the dirt for the track has been brought in, much like the Daytona Supercross. The activities of Day One have already been postponed.



In Italy this weekend, Toni Bou will attempt the impossible. He can clinch his 20th world Trials Championship. He already has nine outdoor and 10 indoor titles, so the impossible is nothing new to him. What made this year more difficult was a shoulder injury that wouldn’t go away. Adam Raga is Bou’s perennial nemesis, and he sits a distant second in points. The fact that Raga is even there is amazing. He’s been developing an all new bike this year after a career with Gas Gas.

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Constructor
1 BOU Toni 1 SPA 249 Repsol Honda Team Montesa
2 RAGA Adam 2 SPA 218 TRS Factory Team TRS
3 FUJINAMI Takahisa 5 JPN 169 Repsol Honda Team Montesa
4 CABESTANY Albert 4 SPA 155 Sherco Factory Team Sherco
5 BUSTO Jaime 6 SPA 148 Repsol Honda Team Montesa
6 FAJARDO Jeroni 3 SPA 143 Vertigo Factory Team Vertigo
7 DABILL James 8 GBR 133 Vertigo Factory Team Vertigo
8 CASALES Jorge 9 SPA 77 Beta Factory Racing Beta
9 GRATTAROLA Matteo 18 ITA 67 Gas Gas FG Italia Gas Gas
10 KADLEC Franz 11 GER 66 Gas Gas Gas Gas
11 GELABERT Miquel 20 SPA 60 RFME Spea Sherco
12 KARLSSON Eddie 10 SWE 59 Montesa Team Karlsson Montesa
13 FERRER Alexandre 7 FRA 39 Sherco Factory Team Sherco
14 GUBIAN Loris 21 FRA 38 Beta Factory Racing Beta
15 TARRES Pol 12 SPA 27 TRS Factory Team TRS
16 NOGUERA Oriol 24 SPA 26 MRW Limit Motos Montesa Montesa
17 OGAWA Tomoyuki 13 JPN 14 Honda Team Mitani Honda
18 KUROYAMA Kenichi 14 JPN 10 Yamaha Racing Yamaha
19 NOZAKI Fumitaka 16 JPN 5 Team Nozaki Scorpa Scorpa


That’s all for now,


–Ron Lawson


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