I’ve been riding, racing or watching Motocross since 1967. I love the sport and want to see it flourish. In one of your responses, you mentioned the current need for entry level machines. In the late 60s and early 70s there were some great affordable “Entry Level” machines. These bikes could be ridden on the same tracks that the pros rode on without having to “roll” doubles or triples. These machines could also be worked on by the dads and sons and daughters that rode or paid for them. (My Sister raced a Super Rat!!) This is what drove the great growth of motocross during that period; the accessibility of affordable, maintainable machines that you could race on the same track/day as the fast guys on their highly modified CZs, Maicos and Huskys.
What would a current entry level machine look like to you? 2 Stroke? Electric? Air Cooled?
This is great question and one that needs to be asked and answered by the powers in our sport. If the manufacturers don’t address this, the health of the sport will continue to dwindle. I actually like the idea of electric being an entry point for consumers because the maintenance is practically zero, sound isn’t an issue, and they are easy and fun to ride. However, the cost associated with them and the limitations of battery technology at the moment keep that from being a reality.
What we do have is two-stroke machines that have already been produced by every manufacturer. All of these manufacturers have models that are made outside of Japan to reduce cost, and if they added a couple two-stroke motocross models to that lineup in 150cc and 300cc, they would sell them like Thigh Masters to the sea of stay-at-home-moms who’ve hit the Christmas cookies way too hard.
Here’s the thing: The price has to be right. Yamaha still makes an awesome 125 and 250, but they sell it for only a few bucks less than their 250F and 450F. Huh? You mean to tell me the cost of this bike has gone up thousands of dollars in the last decade even though you’ve put zero dollars into marketing, development, or testing? Howzabout putting some Cheng Shin tires on it, steel handlebars, etc. and sell it for a reasonable amount?
You nailed it by bringing up the Hodaka brand because they got people interested in motorcycles. Right now there is a resurgence of 125cc racing, but folks are buying old bikes and rebuilding them to do it. We need an affordable new bike so families can experience the fun of racing without the crippling cost that they would incur buying what is on dealer showroom floors right now.
I was wondering if Racer X would have any interest in doing a more beginner oriented shootout? Or maybe a test of what bikes work well for newer riders. I think a lot of the riders that fuel this industry are the weekend warrior type and speaking from experience, they are a little scared/intimidated to go ride or race on a motocross track. I got into dirt bikes as an adult and rode 450s for the first 6 years. I would go to the track a few times a year, but was always trying not to crash and never really built up any confidence. I made the switch to a YZ250X which has less power and is easier to manage and no doubt a boot it (Canadian joke) I finally started having fun riding moto. Lighter weight and less power made the whole experience less scary and as a 34 year old I was able to ride my first motocross races. I suspect a 250F would be even easier to ride and more fun for a beginner like myself. Maybe a real world test of beginner riders checking their egos and trying smaller bikes and seeing the results. I know it made a world of difference for me and think this could be a shared experience for a lot of us less gifted/experienced riders out there.
Have a great day
Kyle “The Flying Beaver” Perry
I hear this often from people and I think there are a couple things that need to be addressed. First of all, you don’t need a shootout. Despite what some crackpot editors will tell you, there isn’t a bad brand for a beginner; every single one of them make motorcycles that far exceed the ability of any beginning rider. Period. Putting a beginner on all five brands and asking him which one is best is like asking a deaf home audio speaker salesman which brand has the richest, fullest sound. Until you are an intermediate level rider, at a minimum, there isn’t a bike that is better suited for you than another. So, as I’ve said a million times, find a dealer that takes good care of you and buy one of the brands he sells.
As far as choosing the right size bike, it sounds like you made a great decision. You probably listened to your Molson-guzzling buddies who all told you that 450’s were the cool bike to have and you bought it hook, line, and sinker. Kudos for realizing that a 250 would be a better bike for you, and it sounds like you’re having fun, finally. I would tell any beginning rider who is under 185lbs (or whatever that converts to in metric) to buy a 250F without question. You’ll be safer and have more fun, which should be the whole point. Stay warm this winter… its cold up there.
Hello Diamond David Lee Ping,
This is a simple and short question: Does anybody really believe Herlings can only win in the daytime?
I think he would mop ass in supercross rather easy myself.
I certainly wouldn’t say that Jeffy is incapable of winning in supercross, because we don’t know. However, to say he would easily “mop ass,” as you so eloquently put it, is insane. Actually, calling you insane for saying that is an insult to insane people everywhere. You should be in a state-run facility with people who put their babies in microwaves and eat their own fingers.
Look, Herlings is the best motocross rider in the world at the moment and he’s proven it on several occasions. But I’ve not seen him show up to any of the legit supercross rounds here in the U.S. or abroad. Why? You think he doesn’t want the start money he’d command? He’s sick of winning? Or maybe he realizes that supercross is a very specialized discipline with a razor-thin margin for error and catastrophic outcomes when a mistake is made. He’s raking in cash like a Columbian heroin farmer by racing the GP series and taking three months off in the winter so why mess that up? I actually have a lot of respect for guys like Ken Roczen and Marvin Musquin for leaving home and a solid paycheck to come and take on supercross. But that road isn’t for everybody and that’s okay. Just don’t hand Herlings the title of fastest man on the planet until he proves that he is by actually competing in a stadium.
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