JUSTIN JONES’ WILD RIDE
Almost every bike in the MTA 2-Stroke World Championship last week had a story to tell. Several of the bikes in the Open Pro class were assembled with the assistance of the Dirt Bike staff, but the ’03 Honda CR250R was special. The bike has been in the Jones circle for years, starting off with Justin’s close friend Jon Rice, then going to brother Greg Jones. The bike struggled in half-resorted form for a long time before Justin decided he was going to take it racing. He borrowed a 2008 Honda CRF450R fork from Mark Tilley, had Terry Varner modify the cylinder, AHM work the suspension and he simply did a lot of repair work himself. He got a flat in the first motor, then ended up fifth in race two.
“I had about every problem you could imagine leading up to the race and including the first moto, but what an amazing bike it turned out to be! I pulled favors from just about everyone I knew to get this thing together and competitive and it completely exceeded my prior expectations! Terry Varner is the mad scientist of this Honda motor and I couldn’t believe the amount of power it had! I was a podium threat and on the gas the first moto but I got a flat on the third lap (Due to my faulty broken tire gauge) and decided to ride as far as I could on the rim to finish, I was running consistently in tenth until the tire came off the rim with 2 laps to go, I somehow still finished 19th! The second moto I had an amazing battle with some great guys and I squeezed out a 5th! I look forward to finishing the build and writing a story for @dirtbikemag about all the crazy incidents I had during and leading up to the race, including breaking a shifter going into the first turn during the first moto parade lap and screaming through the pits until I eventually stole one from Ron Lawson’s Honda. More to come! Thank you everyone for helping me continue to do what I love. What a blast it was!”
BIKE RESTORATION MANIA
Another project that came together for the two-stroke race was Dave Halverson’s 1977 Yamaha YZ400. The vintage and post-vintage classes at the MTA race are still in their infancy, but the race still represents a goal to put on the calendar. It’s very difficult to finish a long-term project without a deadline.
Here’s what Dave has to say about his project: “I bought this from a guy in Lake Elsinore who claims this is the first bike with “powerband”? Huh? Also he recommended this for expert riders only…um…yeah okay. Looks liked somebody looped it years ago, got scared and rode it part time for 41 years. Anyway, here’s my completed project with the following points:
- 1977 Yamaha YZ 400
- Last year with steal swing arm
- First year with plastic tank
- First generation long travel bikes
- Untouched K&N NOS with vintage stickers
- Custom J&E silencer with factory Yamaha mount (era specific thanks to T&T in Norco)
- Race Tech rebuild rear shock
MARK TILLEY’s RIDE
Associate Editor Mark Tilley has about five or six project bikes in his garage that he’s working on for Dirt Bike right now. The bike that’s he rides himself got shuffled to the back of the deck until last week. He’s been riding a stock 2018 Kawasakii KX450F in the Big 6 series this year, and he’s leading both the 30 Expert and 40 Expert classes. We did the photo shoot last Monday morning before going to the office for the June deadline.
Mark’s KX project doesn’t deveate too far from the norm for California GP racing. It has a big IMS tank, a GPR steering damper and suspension by Precision Concepts. You can read about it in the June, 2018 print edition of Dirt Bike.
IN THE MOMENT WITH BRYCE STEWART
Leatt has a video series called “In The Moment,” and this month it features Bryce Stewart. Bryce started off in the 250W division of the Montser Energy Supercross Series, then transitioned to a 450 when the show went east. This is the 11th edition of the series, which is worth checking out.
MXGP IN ITALY
The FIM World Motocross Championship is live again this weekend after a short break. In case you haven’t been paying attention, it’s shaping up to be a great season. Going into this race, Jeff Herlings and Tony Cairoli are tied in points in the 450 class. Cairoli’s incredible career ressurrection has made it clear that he doesn’t want to retire without another championship, and this is his home track. In the 250 class, Pauls Jonass has won every race so far. American Darian Sanayei has been exceeding all expectations riding for the Bike IT Kawasaki team. In the second moto in round three in Spain, he finished third. Here’s a clip of his battle with Jorge Prado in that race:
A bunch of electric bikes have been showing up in my inbox lately. I kind of like this one from Yotsuba, although it’s only available in Japan right now. It’s for kids and it bridges the gap between a Strider and a powered motorcycle. My kid’s almost 6-feet tall and in high school, but he would have loved this a few years ago. Click the image to see their website.
12 inch wheel size compact model.
Almost the same size as kick / run bikes.
Can be ridden by kids whose height is from 85cm – 90cm. (33 – 35 inch).
Bike does not have sharp and rotating objects, like disc brake, chain and sprocket.
Unique 3 axis falling sensor and steering support equipment will help kid’s first ride.
Frame colors available white and black.
That’s all for now.