THE WEEKLY FEED: RICKY JOHNSON BITD • HQV TE300i MODS • DAKAR IS COMING!

BLAST FROM THE PAST: RICKY JOHNSON “SO CLOSE!”

The year-1982. Rick Johnson had won a 125 National the year prior and was racing a production based YZ250 against the powerhouse Honda team with their brilliant ‘works’ RC250R. At the final round of the ’82 Nationals, Ricky over jumped a huge double and blew out his front wheel, basically handing the National Championship to Honda and Donnie Hansen. What was interesting was the machines, they were apples to oranges with the RC250 Honda at the top of the food chain and the fork mounted water-cooled YZ250 considered to be very pedestrian. What a great shot by Tom Mueller!

 

NEWS

DAKAR 2022

With Dakar ready to kick off in a few short days, the scene has changed substanitally  between the 2021 and 2022. With Saudi Arabia came Honda dominance with Ricky Brabec in ’20 and Kevin Benavides last year. But Kevin signed with KTM, who is yanking out the proverbial cork by teaming him with Matthias Walkner and Toby Price. As well KTM has deployed its resources by sending some of their top talent to their cousins at Gas-Gas and Husqvarna.  Gas-Gas, whose red bikes will be left to the care of Sam Sunderland and the up-and-coming Daniel Sanders, with Skyler Howes, fifth in 2021, earning a spot on the Husqvarna factory team. KTM has also recalled Marc Coma, one of its all-time stars, as a supervisor and strategist!

With Team Honda, Ricky Brabec stayed loyal , as has his teammate “Nacho” Cornejo, who crashed out of the overall lead two days before the finish in Jeddah. Honda signed Pablo Quintanilla, who adapted to his new machine so quickly that he has already claimed the Rallye du Maroc on it. Joan Barreda could also take over leadership duties depending on how the race unfolds.

There is still firepower with Yamaha riders Adrien Van Beveren,   Andrew Short and the Botswanan Ross Branch. The Indian constructor Hero recently lost  former Yamaha man Franco Caimi, who crashed during training. Sherco has Spaniard Lorenzo Santolino and there are several young riders  including 20-year-old American Mason Klein, 23-year-old South African Bradley Cox and Italian Danilo Petrucci, now starting a new adventure in rally raids after a successful MotoGP career (two Grand Prix victories, sixth in the 2019 championship).

SOCIAL POKES

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

GEAR BAG

 

TESTING

We’re heading out to the high desert this weekend as California is getting slammed with storms and the dirt is as good as it gets! Wolf is working with his HQV TE300i, Dicks Racing has revalved and set up his suspension, plus we fit on some engine mods to the head, ECU and throttle body. We’ll follow up next week with a full report.

Dicks Racing modifies the stock cylinder head with a special grind and canals that boost compression.

 

Dicks Racing now reflashes the standard ECU which is critical in both adding fuel and timing. Ours was setup to work with his head mods and throttle body modifications.

 

By adding the Quad Flow Torque Wings to both ends of the throttle body, bottom power is enhanced.

 

www.dicksracing.com

 

 

WOLF: BACK IN THE DAY

This is 1995 and we were up in the high desert testing 500s. The KX500 definitely had the more manageable motor, the Honda was nasty and blew out major league boost following a rather soft bottom hit. I’m Honda mounted and on long hill climbs that sucker would howl. This is a great shot but I’m not sure if it was taken by the notorious Storming’ Morman Karel Kramer, or the infamous Mental. I spent a lot of off-road time with both of these boys trying to turn the world into a milk shake!

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