Our 2024 Honda CRF450R has spent the last few months in a celebrity garage. Four-time 250 National MX Champion Gary Jones still rides at age 72–and he still hauls! We loaned him our Honda test bike with the blessing of Ryan Dudek at Honda. Like us, Ryan is a big Jones fan, but he also wanted to have Jones as a special guest for Honda’s Cars, Bikes and Coffee event at Honda’s Collection Hall. Every other month, visitors are encouraged to drive or ride their own interesting vehicle or motorcycle of any brand or era to show off while enjoying the Collection Hall, special exhibits, the Power of Dreams Cafe, merchandise store, and more. Dudek dressed up our test bike in special graphics as a tribute to Gary’s 1973 championship on a Honda RC250 works bike, which was Honda’s first official motocross championship. One of the original 1973 works bikes is on display in the collection hall.

The Gary Jones tribute bike has suspension revalved by AHM, but is otherwise stock–at least mechanically. The graphics are awesome. Wouldn’t this make a great special edition for 2025?

Gary’s four championships came on three different brands; Yamaha Honda and Can-Am. His 1971 championship was taken from the Inter-Am series, where he was top American. That one isn’t always listed in the record books, but by 1972, it was an official AMA championship. Gary won again. Both those years he was on Yamaha. Then Honda made him an offer he couldn’t refuse and he won the 1973 championship on a bike very similar to the one in Honda’s lobby today.
“The bike Honda has on display I only rode once,” Gary reports. “It was a test bike at the end of the season. I think Gary Chaplin and Rich Eierstedt eventually raced it. I had moved on to Honda’s Open class bike by then. I raced it at the Carlsbad USGP and the frame broke–I crashed so hard! After that, Honda didn’t want to race the Open class any more.”

Gary’s career took a big change at that point. He left Honda, rode a private Maico in the Trans-AMA series and then signed with Can-Am, where he won the 1974 250 Championship. Unfortunately, that would be his last. He broke his leg at Daytona in 1975 and it was a long, difficult recovery.
Honda’s next Cars, Bikes and Coffee event will be on June 15. The American Honda Collection Hall is located in the lobby of Honda’s U.S. headquarters. The Hall is not open on other weekends but is on weekdays during regular work hours.
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
1919 Torrance Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505
Phone: (310) 783-2000


Another Gary Jones tribute bike is this 1974 Yamaha YZ360, which will be ridden by his son Justin Jones in the Wiseco Two-Stroke Championship next week. Gary finished second in the Open class to Brad Lacky in 1972 on a bike sort of like this one. “My bike back then was about 180 pounds” says Gary.  We’ve seen Justin ride this bike. He could win most local pro classes on it.


The Arctic Leopard EXE800 will sell in the $9000 range.

New in the Dirt Bike garage this week is an Arctic Leopard. This is a company that caught our attention at the Dakar Rally earlier this year. There’s now an electric bike class. Who knew? The stages have reduced mileage, but the bikes still have to race for over 100 miles on most days. The EXE800 is roughly equivalent to a 250 motocross bike with a weight of about 230 pounds. We also have the EXE880, which is more like a 450. It will sell in the $11,000 range.

The distributor for Arctic Leopard in the U.S. is now a company called Pinned Electric. Interested dealers can contact Braxton at  [email protected].

We already had Carson Brown turn a few laps on the Arctic Leopard. He clearly had fun. But, he always has fun!



Entries are still open for the Best In The Desert Silver State 300–barely. If you don’t get your registration in today, it will cost you an extra $100! Click on the link:

See you next week!

–Ron Lawson

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