Husqvarna has joined KTM in offering a special edition in advance of the race season. In Husqvarna’s case, it’s called the Rockstar Edition. This practice goes back to when Ryan Dungey first came to KTM for 2012 and the factory released an all-new model before A1 just for him. AMA rules say the frame and engine castings have to be from a production bike. Thus, 500 units were manufactured and imported before a certain deadline. Since then, the Factory Edition has become an annual KTM tradition, whether or not there were changes to the engine or frame. Now Husky is doing the same thing for its factory 450 riders, Jason Anderson and Dean Wilson. The bike offered to the public will come with Anderson’s number 21. In KTM’s case, the bike will have the big number one that Dungey earned in 2017.
Husqvarna’s Rockstar Edition would have been deemed illegal by AMA racing rules because it has an entirely new head casting, just like the KTM 450SX-F Factory Edition announced on Monday. The two bikes are not identical, but they are close. Both have the new head, which is 15mm shorter and said to be a pound lighter than the regular model. Both have a stiffer frame and tripleclamp. The biggest mechanical difference between the two is the subframe, which is new on the Husky and is made of a carbon-fiber polyamid combination and is said to be a half pound lighter than that of the standard bike. The other differences between the Husky and KTM are some suppliers, just like the standard version. KTM has a Brembo clutch master cylinder, while Husqvarna has Magura. Husky uses Pro Taper bars.
Other differences are cosmetic and reflect the different sponsors of the two race teams. Husqvarna’s title sponsor is Rockstar, KTM’s is Red Bull. Rekluse supplies the clutches for the factory Husky team and gets its logo inscribed on a billet clutch cover on the Rockstar Edition, whereas Hinson is on the KTM’s clutch cover. It’s worth pointing out that internally, both clutches are the same as the production bikes.
Both of the special editions get floating front brake rotors, composite skid plates, DID Dirt Star rims (in the Husky’s case, these are on the standard version, too), and a two-position holeshot device. The piston in both rear shocks is new and and so are the radiators. Even though the bodywork on the KTM looks very similar to that of the standard bike, it has changed and is narrower. So is the seat. Likewise, the Husqvarna’s bodywork is subtly different from the standard model. The swingarms have a longer chain adjustment slot to allow the option of a longer wheelbase for more stability. Pricing has not yet been set.
Even though Husqvarna and KTM come out of the same factory and share much of the same managment, the introduction of the their respective special editions was very different. On Monday, KTM introduced the press to its new supercross practice track in Murrieta, about a block from the company headquarters. In the past, KTM, Honda, Husqvarna, Suzuki and Yamaha have all leased side-by-side supercross tracks in Corona, California for their teams to train. Now, KTM has moved its track closer to home. After the introduction, the factory team of Marvin Musquin and Broc Tickle geared up to ride. So did the KTM-mounted Rocky Mountain ATV team, consisting of Blake Baggett, Benny Bloss, Dakota Alix and Anthony Rodriguez. The Troy Lee team was there with Alex Martin, Shane McElrath, Jordan Smith and Sean Cantrell. Jessy Nelson is still part of the team, but is dealing with the injury he sustained over a year ago.
The Husqvarna Rockstar Edition intro two days later was completely different. It took place at OUE Skyspace in downtown Los Angeles. This is on the 70th floor of the U.S. Bank building, which is the tallest building in L.A. There was no riding, of course, but all the riders were there as well as company dignitaries from Austria. The view was obscured on that particular day because half of Southern California was on fire.
The master of ceremonies was Jeff Emig, who is a Husqvarna brand ambassador. From the podium, he interviewed the Husqvarna Rockstar factory team, which consisted of Jason Anderson and Dean Wilson for the 450 class, with Zach Osborne, Mitchell Harrison and Michael Mosiman on 250s.
Harrison will be riding the 250 west series in Supercross and Mosiman is scheduled to ride in the east. Mosiman is required to ride in one more Arenacross before he satisfies AMA Pro requirements. Emig, of course, asked questions about Osborne’s title-clinching ride in Las Vegas and Anderson’s shirt tail.
BACK AT WORK …
This week was otherwise spent tying up loose ends for the February, 2018 print issue of Dirt Bike. Mark Tilley and I shot the cover bike on Monday, which is the Motofab KX300X two-stroke.
This is a project bike built by Howie Jenkins at Motofab up near Pismo Beach. It has a KX250 two-stroke motor with a big bore kit and a KLX450 frame. The workmanship is incredible. Howie has a gift for computer assisted design. He’s a trail rider at heart and wanted to make a Japanese-based 300 capable of running with a KTM. So far the bike shows incredible potential, but we’re still trying to get the jetting just right. Ah, two-strokes …
LORETTA LYNN QUALIFIERS
The AMA just announced the schedule for the 2018 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship Area Qualifiers and Regional Championships.
Northeast Area Qualifiers:
March 17-18: Hedgesville, W.Va.: Tomahawk MX
April 7-8: Shippensburg, Pa.: Doublin Gap MX Park
April 14-15: Mt. Morris, Pa.: High Point Raceway
April 21-22: Seward, Pa.: Pleasure Valley Raceway
May 5-6: Wallkill, N.Y.: Walden Motocross
May 12-13: Axton, Va.: Lake Sugar Tree Motocross Park
May 12-13: Lyman, Maine: MX 207
May 19-20: Elkland, Pa.: Miles Mountain MX
June 9-10: Danville, Va.: Birch Creek Motorsports (Youth)
June 16-17: New Berlin, N.Y.: Unadilla Motocross (Amateur)
Southeast Area Qualifiers:
Feb: 17-18: Gainesville, Fla.: Gatorback Cycle Park
March 24-25: Henderson, N.C.: North Carolina Motorsports Park
April 7-8: Dade City, Fla.: Dade City Motocross
April 14-15: Washington, Ga.: Aonia Pass Motocross
April 21-22: Hamer, S.C.: South of the Boarder MX
April 28-29: Tallassee, Ala.: Monster Mountain MX Park
April 28-29: Wytheville, Va.: Pro Sport MX
May 5-6: Dalton, Ga.: Lazy River MX
May 26-27: Blountville, Tenn.: Muddy Creek Raceway (Youth)
June 2-3: Jacksonville, Fla.: WW Motocross Park (Amateur)
Mid-East Area Qualifiers:
March 10-11: Altamont, Tenn.: Fast Farms MX
April 7-8: Rossville, Ind.: Wildcat Creek MX
April 14-15: Sebree, Ky.: Echo Valley MX
April 21-22: New Vienna, Ohio: East Fork Motocross Park
April 28-29: Millington, Mich.: Baja Acres
May 5-6: Bloomingdale, Mich.: Dutch Sports Park
May 12-13: Nashport, Ohio: Briarcliff MX
May 19-20: Livingston, Tenn.: Thunder Valley MX
June 2-3: Millfield, Ohio: Sunday Creek (Youth)
June 9-10: Buchanan, Mich.: RedBud MX (Amateur)
North Central Area Qualifiers:
March 17-18: Maize, Kan.: Bar 2 Bar MX
April 7-8: Des Moines, Iowa: Riverside Raceway
April 14-15: Richwoods, Mo.: Romp MX Track
April 21-22: Casey, Ill.: Lincoln Trail Motosport
April 28-29: DuQuoin, Ill.: Indian Hills MX
May 5-6: Appleton, Wis.: Tigerton MX
May 12-13: Little Falls, Minn.: Little Falls Raceway
May 26-27: Byron, Ill.: Byron Motorsports Park
North Central Regional
June 16-17: Millville, Minn.: Spring Creek Motocross Park (Amateur)
June 23-24: Walnut, Ill.: Sunset Ridge MX (Youth)
South Central Area Qualifiers:
Feb 17-18: Amarillo, Texas: Bowers MX
March 10-11: Yantis, Texas: Johnsonville MX Farm
March 17-18: Centreville, Miss.: Farm 14
April 14-15: Wellston, Okla.: Reynard Raceway
April 21-22: Alvord, Texas: Oak Hill Raceway
April 28-29: Tyler, Texas: Swan MX Raceway Park
May 5-6: Wortham, Texas: Freestone Raceway
May 19-20: Lakewood, Colo.: Thunder Valley Park
South Central Regional:
June 9-10: Ponca City, Okla.: Ponca City MX (Youth)
June 23-24: Conroe, Texas: 3 Palms Action Sports Park (Amateur)
Northwest Area Qualifiers:
Feb. 17-18: Marysville, Calif.: Riverfront MX Park
March 17-18: Richland, Wash.: Horn Rapids Motorsports Complex
April 8: Idaho Falls, Idaho: Noise Park Raceway
May 5-6: Junction City, Ore.: Eugene MX Park
May 12-13: Washougal, Wash.: Washougal MX Park
May 12-13: Billings, Mont.: Billings MX
May 26-27: Richland, Wash.: Horn Rapids Motorsports Complex (Youth & Amateur)
Mid-west Area Qualifiers:
March 17-18: Tulare, Calif.: DT1 MX Park
March 31-April 1: Delta, Utah: Bunker Hill Motocross Track
April 7-8: San Bernardino, Calif.: Glen Helen Raceway
May 5-6: Junction City, Ore.: Eugene MX Park
May 12-13: Rocksprings, Wyo.: Rock Springs Motocross
June 2-3: Rancho Cordova, Calif.: Prairie City OHV (Youth & Amateur)
Southwest Area Qualifiers:
Feb.: 10-11: Buckeye, Ariz.: Arizona Cycle Park
Feb. 10-11: Riverside, Calif.: Milestone MX Park
March 10-11: St. George, Utah: St. George MX Park
April 7-8: Maui, Hawaii: Maui Motocross
April 7-8: San Bernardino, Calif.: Glen Helen Raceway
April 14-15: Moriarty, N.M.: Sandia Motocross at Moriarty
April 28-29: Pala, Calif.: Pala Raceway
June 9-10: Pala, Calif.: Pala Raceway (Youth & Amateur)
SHERCO ENDURO TEAM IN EUROPE & U.S.
The Sherco team will again participate in the 2018 Enduro World Championship. They are including a rider in the youth category and are including some returning riders
First of all, Sherco is pleased to announce that Matthew Phillips will be racing in the next World Enduro behind the handlebars of a Sherco 300 four-stroke with the goal of repeating his 2016 championship.
The newest team member is Jack Edmondson, son of Paul Edmondson, a former world champion and GNCC winner. The young English rider will be racing in the Junior World category after spending a year in the US racing the GNCC. Jack has signed for the next two seasons.
In addition to Jack, Théo Espinasse will make his first campaign in the Junior World Championship. Théo was the leader of the French and European Championships this past season before getting injured, he has also signed for two seasons. We believe that 2018 will be a great year.
The last representative of the team is Dan Mundell who will ride the new 125 Sherco in the Youth category.
These four riders will be managed by Fabrizio Azzalin who has a long list of outstanding achievements.
That’s all for now,