As temperatures rose at the Suzuka International Circuit in Japan today, the Yoshimura and Kagayama Suzuki teams upped their pace to finish well-in the top-10 ready for tomorrow’s all-important qualifying sessions for the 39th Coca-Cola Zero Suzuka 8-Hour World Endurance Championship third round on Sunday.
Following initial practice sessions yesterday, Yoshimura Suzuki Shell Advance (third in Thursday’s free practice) put-in the fifth-fastest time today with a combined time of 2’08.248 aboard their GSX-R1000 with riders Takuya Tsuda, Josh Brookes and Noriyuki Haga.
Eighth overall is Team KAGAYAMA SUZUKI riders Yukio Kagayama, Ryuichi Kiyonari and Naomichi Uramoto (2’08.474); and ninth on the timesheets, Moto Map SUPPLY’s Josh Waters, former Suzuki MotoGP rider Nobuatsu Aoki and Yoshihiro Konno (2’09.227).
Defending Endurance World Champions, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, (SERT) currently sits 17th with a time of 2’09.928, but are looking for more in tomorrow’s final sessions.
“I rode slower than I thought because the condition is considerably different from a test. Still, the average of three of us is high, and putting all this together, I think it is far from a bad position. I’m looking forward to the final, and I would like to ride well in the Top-10 Trial tomorrow.”
“I had some trouble with the conditions that were considerably-different from a test. But I think that the balance of the whole machine is good, but it is not able to give the performance with the tyre for the road-surface condition well. However, I understand the solution to it, so I think it is not a big problem: It keeps me on my toes because the Suzuka 8-Hours is a long stretch and I have to focus on the final qualifying, but I still have no image of the race at all.”
“I think I will be able to perform well in the race, because my team has the solution to some issues I have at the moment, but no big deal. Maybe, Takuya and Nori will ride in the Top-10 Trial tomorrow, so I would like to concentrate and focus on the race.”
“I checked the machine that is for Suzuka 8-Hour, choose tyres yesterday, and everything is going well. There is a limit of tyres, so our team made the direction with management that we make Kiyonari’s feeling: I’m grateful for his work. He understands my ideas and helps my challenge that a young rider like Uramoto is growing and improving here. I am very happy and enjoying the race week with the good atmosphere in our team.”
“We are improving our machine all the time, but to be honest, I am surprised with the other team’s time scores. Our team’s work-flow is right and going well, I think. Anyway, I have to do what I can, so I will more focus on working hard.”
“The feeling of the first outing was good, but I slipped-off, but then I got a better feeling and I could ride with the good rhythm in this morning’s free practice. The qualifiers were both with the used tyres, but I just want to do my best for our team.”
“There was a limit of tyres, so Josh and I planned to attack and that was going well.
Nobuatsu Aoki gave us some good advice and it enabled us to put it together early, which led to a good result.”
“This team has the job of tyre development and testing in a real race environment, so there are some difficult tasks…but, the potential is improving: It seems that we will show it and this will be proof of our job. Our Suzuki machine is good and we are positive about the race.”
“The conditions were different from the test, and the slow machines caused a traffic jam in many places. But the performance of the Suzuki is good, and I was able to attack with confidence. I enjoy the race because my team-mates are the best, and the atmosphere of the team is good. I hope to give a good performance in the Top-10 Trial tomorrow.”
“I was disappointed at today’s session a little because I couldn’t get clear laps with the traffic jam on the course. The tyre grip is also not good. But, we are the Champion team and our GSX-R1000 Suzuki is good. We must get as many points as possible and, of course, we aim at a winner’s platform.”
“Today I was able to raise confidence, but because I crashed by a slight mistake, I lost a bit, but I got my confidence back. I ran with a race tyre 1n the second session and I have got a good feeling for the race now.”
“The track conditions are different from the test, so I was perplexed. There are lots of bikes on the course. It troubles me a little and I need more time riding, so I would like to spend more time tomorrow doing this before the race.”
Friday Overall Combined Qualifying: 1 Yamaha Factory Racing Team (Yamaha) 2’06.908, 2 Musashi RT Harc-Pro (Honda) 2’07.026, 3 Team Green (Kawasaki) 2’07.563, 4 YART (Yamaha) 2’08.239, 5 Yoshimura Suzuki Shell Advance – Tsuda, Brookes, Haga – (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 2’08.248, 6 FCC TSR Honda (Honda) 2’08.403, 7 TOHO Racing (Honda) 2’08.426, 8 Team KAGAYAMA – Kagayama, Uramoto, Kiyonari – (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 2’08.474, 9 Moto Map SUPPLY – Waters, Aoki, Konno – (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 2’09.227, 10 Team JP Dogfighting Australia (Yamaha) 2’09.269. 17 SERT – Philippe, Delhalle, Masson – (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 2’09.928.
Suzuka 8-Hour Friday Image Gallery: CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS
Yoshimura and Kagayama Suzuki In The Mix At Suzuka appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.
There are some retro designs that deserve a comeback. This is not one of them…
Covers were thrown off the RM-Z450 and RM-Z250 factory race bikes this afternoon at Lommel to reveal a special dedicated livery with which Team Suzuki World MXGP & MX2 will tackle the Grand Prix of Belgium this weekend.
Suzuki went retro and back to the year of 1992 for the 14th round of the 2016 FIM Motocross World Championship at the team’s home event staged at the notorious, sandy circuit. General Manager Stefan Everts – the former multi World Champion in control of the works set-up for almost one year, and with the brand that he grasped the first of his record 10 crowns – helped unveil the ‘jazzy’ new look along with riders Kevin Strijbos, Arminas Jasikonis, Jeremy Seewer, Brian Hsu and Bas Vaessen to a gathering of team partners, sponsors, friends and the international press.
“This is our first home GP and we wanted to create something that people would like and talk about,” says Everts. “I’m honoured in a way that we made a group decision to pick that memorable ’92 design from my riding days; I don’t think it was easy to miss! I want to give a big thanks for everyone that pulled together to get it done and that includes the gear brands and people like Blackbird, Shift, Suomy, IXS and Shoei. I hope the fans think it is something nice.”
The bikes are not the only elements of Team Suzuki to be graced with the new scheme: The riders in the MXGP, MX2 and EMX classes also have appropriately coloured and styled riding attire to complete the look.
“It’s pretty cool and something different, which is the important thing,” said Strijbos. “I’ve ridden my home Grand Prix many times but this is a first for me and it’s great that the guys have put the extra effort in to make it happen.”
Back In Time “Retro Design” For Suzuki MXGP In Lommel appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.
The American Motorcyclist Association has entered into a partnership with Evans Waterless Coolant to provide discounts to AMA members on Evans products.
In addition, Evans Waterless Coolant products will be offered as prizes in the AMA Membership Sweepstakes.
“We are always seeking new ways to add value to an AMA membership,” said AMA Chief Operations Officer Jeff Massey. “Evans Waterless Coolant produces and distributes high-quality products, and like all AMA member benefits, our agreement ensures AMA members receive the best products at the best price.”
The Evans Waterless Coolant member benefit includes a 20 percent manufacturer rebate on as many as eight half-gallon bottles of Evans Waterless Powersports Coolant bought at motorcycle shops and Evans Waterless Coolant dealers. An AMA member discount code is required.
“After 25 years of being an AMA member myself, I’m delighted to get the AMA and Evans Waterless Coolant connected via the AMA Member Benefits program,” said John Light, Evans Powersports director. “Neither our coolant nor the AMA will leave you stranded on the side of the road.”
Additional information and the rebate form are available to AMA members at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/
Nonmembers may join the AMA at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/
In his new role at AMA headquarters in Pickerington, Ohio, Kudla will be responsible for supporting and growing all AMA-sanctioned off-road racing in America. His duties include organizer assistance, rules enforcement, event management and competitor relations.
“Off-road racing has been my life for as long as I can remember,” said Kudla, who competes in the 250 A class in hare and hound, enduro and cross country. “My experience as a promoter and organizer, as well as a racer, gives me a well-rounded understanding of what’s needed to expand off-road racing in America not just for the current generation, but the next generation of racers, as well.”
In addition to helping elevate off-road racing, Kudla’s immediate plans include chasing the 2017 AMA Vet A title in the AMA National Enduro Championship Series.
Kudla was born in Michigan, where his family was involved in enduros with the Twin Bay Trail Riders. Part of a military family, Kudla moved around the country as he grew older, eventually landing in Oxnard, Calif., in 1994. Once in Southern California, the family joined the AMA District 37 Ventura County Motorcycle Club and, at 11 years old, Kudla began working checkpoints for the club.
After a stint as a band manager and performer, Kudla returned to active competition in 2006, competing in the AMA Hare and Hound National Championship Series. He finished second in 250 B in 2007 and fifth in 250A in 2008 and 2009.
In 2009, Kudla became a referee for the VCMC and two years later helped create the Western Checkpoint Enduro Championship, an AMA Featured Series. That same year, he became responsible for the AMA Hare and Hound National Championship Series and the AMA West Hare Scrambles Championship for the National Hare and Hound Association, the AMA’s promoting partner for the series.
“For me, my role as the AMA off-road racing manager is the pinnacle of the sport,” Kudla said. “I will work hard every day here at the AMA to project my enthusiasm and love for off-road racing.”
Press Release from BMW: Sarah Schilke, National Marketing Manager, BMW Motorrad USA, will be among a panel of leaders representing a broad cross-section of women in the motorcycle industry at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip’s 2016 Biker Belles symposium, Tuesday, August 9. Other industry trailblazers taking seats on the panel, moderated by Marilyn Stemp of the Sturgis Rider Daily and Iron Trader News, include moto-journalist and Iron Lillies co-founder Leticia Cline, Perewitz Cycle Fab’s Jody Perewitz and land-speed record-holder Karlee Cobb. The Sturgis Buffalo Chip organizers chose this group of panelists due to their influence in the industry and their leading roles in helping to shape the future of motorcycling.
“I look forward to participating in this unique event alongside such notable industry veterans,” observed Ms. Schilke. “It’s an honor to represent BMW for its ongoing commitment to women and motorcycling.”
Following a ride through the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota, the panel will discuss the theme “Two-Wheeled Transformation” while guests enjoy a catered lunch at The Lodge at Deadwood. The event was created to raise awareness of the passion, diversity and spirit of women in motorcycling and to raise funds for local worthy charities.
2016 Biker Belles Schedule – Tuesday, August 9
8:30 a.m. – Registration at the Buffalo Chip’s CrossRoads and an opportunity to meet antique motorcycle racer Brittney Olsen.
9:30 a.m. – Guided ride through the picturesque Black Hills led by Ride Captain and safety expert Vicki Roberts Sanfelipo.
11:00 a.m. – Registration opens at The Lodge at Deadwood for those not participating in the ride.
11:30 a.m. – Riders arrive at The Lodge at Deadwood for a catered lunch, a pampering at the “Comfort Zone” by Team Diva, a silent auction, uplifting songs and stories by Iron Cowgirl Missy and an inspiring program.
12:30 p.m. – The symposium, “Two-Wheeled Transformation.” Filmmaker Michelle Carpenter will offer a preview of her new documentary, “Klocked: Women with Horsepower,” the story of land speed record-holder Laura Klock and her daughters, Erika and Karlee Cobb.
1:45 p.m. – All participants will gather for inclusion in the Biker Belles official group photo.
How To Register
Participants are asked to make a $60 contribution to join the festivities, 100 percent of which directly benefits two South Dakota charities for women-related causes: Helping with Horsepower and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame. For reservations, visit www.BikerBelles.com or phone (605) 347-9000.
We stumbled across this very nice video by Petrolicious, starring dashing Hollywood stunt man Tom McComas, his Dad, and the R60 BMW he bought in 1963. You might remember Tom from the Archive we did about his rare and beautiful 1989 GSX-RR a few months ago (which happily included the rare and beautiful 1994 Savannah Lynx).
To be honest, we stumbled across the vid on Facebook, which is where we also learned just this morning, tragically, that TM was not one of the lucky 500 chosen to be able to purchase a new $450,000 Ford GT to park in the large garage of his beachfront Venice digs. Some guys just can’t catch a break. Sorry, Tom.
DC the vid is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hzrx5VZtJPU
It’s been a couple years since we posted our Top 10 Honda Sportbikes list. There always exists subjectivity in such a list, but since the Honda topic was generally well-received, revisiting the idea, this time showcasing Yamaha sportbikes, seemed apropos. Like the Honda list, we’re keeping this one limited to street-legal models available stateside (except one, sue us).
Like Honda, Yamaha owns a colorful history of important sporty motorcycles – more than a single Top 10 list can include. Narrowing down such a cornucopia of two-wheel performance is a difficult task, but we’re certain that if you feel we omitted a bike more deserving than one of the 10 selected here, you’ll certainly let us know in the comments section below.
It’s more than a little ironic that Yamaha, the company that ushered in the modern era of four-stroke dirtbikes and contributed to the sounding of the death knell for two-stroke motorcycles, has recently unleashed the best new two-smoker we’ve ridden in a long time. The YZ250X is the company’s first two-stroke off-road racer in nearly two decades, and it’s a winner right out of the crate.
Yamaha has been hard on the gas when it comes to producing intriguing off-road-specific motorcycle models during the past two years, and off-road fans have been introduced to some truly great machines.
Yamaha began its recent domination in 2015 when it surprised cross-country racing fans with the amazing YZ250FX, a bike so good that it earned an honorable mention in our Best Dirtbike of 2015 honors. But Yamaha didn’t stop there. It also released a long-anticipated, WR250F, boasting the company’s latest motocross engine technology in the form of its fuel-injected, rearward-inclined four-stroke Single.
For 2016, Yamaha has been even more aggressive, releasing two all-new off-road four-strokes based on the YZ450F: the WR450F and YZ450FX. These models were logical next steps in Yamaha’s retooling of its off-road arsenal.
The 2016 YZ250X was probably less of a priority for Yamaha, at least from a numbers standpoint, but the product of their efforts is one of the most entertaining bikes we’ve ridden in a long time. The 250X is a dream come true for Japanese off-road dirtbike fans who still prefer the sweet smell of premix.
The YZ250X builds on a Yamaha legacy of high-performance two-strokes that dates all the way back to 1961 when the company released its YDS2C two-stroke twin “with scrambler kit.” The YDS2C was the first Japanese-built off-road racer to be available in a dealer’s showroom, and it was followed by a string of successful two-stroke off-road models, including the legendary DT-1 250 enduro. It has been a while since Yamaha released its last – and previous best – two-stroke off-road racer, the YZWR (aka the WR250Z), which enjoyed a long production run from 1989 to 1998. The YZWR was discontinued just as the four-stroke boom took over the dirtbike world.
Developing the YZ250X all these years later was a piece of cake for Yamaha, which remains as the only Japanese OEM to carry the two-stroke torch in motocross. With the state-of-the-art YZ250 already in the family, all Yamaha needed to do was make some tweaks to the platform to bring the YZ250X to light.
The YZ250X’s 249cc two-stroke Single features the same 66.4mm × 72.0mm bore and stroke as the YZ250, but it has a slightly lower compression ratio and milder ignition timing in its new CDI unit that soften its initial hit while extending it over a broader rev range. The X’s pipe is also redesigned to provide better ground clearance, and its powervalve settings have been re-tuned to open more broadly and gradually than the motocross version, which helps low-end power while also giving the YZ250X plenty of mid-range thrust and top-end screamability.
While Yamaha claims that the YZ250X is designed for GNCC-style closed-course competition through the woods, we couldn’t resist putting our test bike through its paces at our favorite local desert spot, which offers a mix of vision-blurring high-speed terrain, deep whoops and sand as well as technical rock sections and single-track terrain – everything necessary to put the X to the test. It should be noted, however, that the YZ250X does not come equipped with a U.S. Forestry-approved spark arrestor, so you’ll need to add one to avoid being hassled by “the G” while riding on public land.
The YZ250X’s engine starts easily, and once warmed up it impressed us immediately, with a smooth low-end bark that transitions seamlessly into a silky mid-range and a warp-drive top-end. Carburetion through its 38mm Keihin PWK carburetor is crisp and clean, thanks to a throttle position sensor that is designed to help tailor the air/fuel mix throughout the rev range – almost like fuel-injection, but not quite. It gives the X excellent throttle response regardless of what gear you’re in or where you are in the powerband. Everyone from our national Hare & Hound-caliber experts to rank novices raved about the Yamaha motor. It’s smooth as silk yet oozes power everywhere, and it revs to the moon. It’s easy to ride fast and can make you feel like an off-road hero, which only adds to the fun factor for riders of all skill levels.
The YZ250 and YZ250X both feature five-speed transmissions and 14/50 final drive ratios, but the YZ250X’s five-speed is a wide-ratio unit designed to be more effective in everything from tight woods sections to wide-open terrain. The first two gears are the same on both models, but from there the X’s transmission differs, with a slightly lower third gear ratio than the YZ but with much taller fourth and fifth gear ratios. Yamaha says that fourth gear is effectively the same as making the final drive a 14/48 while fifth gear is like dropping to a 14/43 – or about the closest you can come to light speed in wide-open terrain. The X’s shifting action is smooth and precise, even though we found many instances where the combination of the X’s broad power and the breadth of its gearing allowed us to just keep it in third gear or fourth gear and not shift at all. The engine had no trouble taking up the slack in a wide range of trail conditions. The transmission is a perfect fit for off-road use.
And although you’ll hardly need to touch it once underway, the YZ250X’s cable-operated clutch features a light pull and easy modulation, proving that a hydraulically actuated clutch isn’t a necessity in the off-road world. The only real advantage is that a hydraulic unit will automatically take up the slack at the lever as the clutch plates wear, but Yamaha has fitted the X with the same “works-style” lever barrel adjuster found on the YZ, which makes for easy, on-the-fly clutch-play adjustment. The light pull comes courtesy of clutch springs that are 10% lighter than the YZ’s.
About the only place where the YZ250X’s motocross heritage shows is in its backbone-style aluminum chassis, which shares the same geometry as the YZ250. It also works well in the off-road environment, as it steers with precision and is generally very stable at most speeds. However, our expert testers noticed a slight tendency for the X to squirm when pinned at ultra-high speeds. It’s far from scary, and it’s something that an aftermarket steering stabilizer would remedy, but it is noticeable. Beyond that, the X’s chassis feels light and flickable, making it a blast to ride when snaking through rocky, technical terrain.
The YZ250X’s handling prowess is enhanced by its fully adjustable KYB spring-type fork with speed-sensitive damping up front and fully adjustable KYB piggyback shock out back. The X gets the same front and rear spring rates as the YZ, but Yamaha revised the valving shim stacks to give the suspension a more progressive feel for off-road terrain. That helps it deliver a smooth 11.8 inches of front wheel travel and 12.4 inches of rear wheel travel with reduced deflection in small bumps or rocks. The suspension definitely feels softer than its YZ counterpart at higher speeds, although pounding endless strings of desert-style whoops failed to elicit a negative comment from our testers. The setup does an excellent job of maintaining control without bottoming while retaining a comfortable ride. That’s a real benefit in long off-road races.
The YZ250X is also very comfortable to ride for the long haul, something we were happy to learn during our day in the desert. Its YZ-bred ergonomics are slim and its seat, pegs and bar position aid in its roomy overall feel whether seated or standing.
The YZ250X’s brake components are identical to the YZ250’s. Nissin calipers clamp wave-style rotors measuring 250mm up front and 245mm out back. While we mostly found the brakes to be powerful enough to slow the speedy YZ250X, one tester felt that the rear brake is a touch on the sensitive side, but that’s nothing that a pad change wouldn’t fix.
Yamaha delivered an excellent off-road racer in the YZ250X, but there are a few areas that drew complaints. For an off-road racebike like the 250X, we think it’s a faux pas to deliver it without including a factory skid plate and hand guards. We would also like to see the YZ250X delivered with a spark arrestor for its factory muffler so that the bike can easily be converted for riding on public land. And while the X also features large-capacity radiators with 10-row cores to optimize engine cooling, we believe that riders in the Eastern part of the U.S. would appreciate a fan system to further aid cooling in the slow and often muddy conditions in their neck of the woods.
On the other hand, Yamaha made the right moves by adding an 18-inch rear wheel and a 2.1-gallon fuel tank to the X. The Dunlop Geomax AT81-shod wheel is practically an off-road requirement as it allows the fitment of a tire with more sidewall, which flexes more for better traction in soft terrain and rocks while also doing a better job of guarding against flat tires. The front and rear AT81s are an excellent tire choice, delivering consistent traction over a wide range of surfaces from sheer rock faces to deep sand. The fuel cell obviously extends range, although our whiny desert brigade naturally wanted to see an even larger-capacity tank.
But even without all of that stuff, the YZ250X is truly a bargain-priced off-road stormer. At $7,390 it is a lot less expensive than its main rival, the KTM 250 XC, which retails for $8699. If you’re a potential buyer who has the budget for either, then you can certainly afford to add a skid plate, hand guards and other accessories to tailor the YZ250X to your needs, and maybe even have some change left afterward. If not, the YZ250X’s performance will still get you in the game. So, build it as you go.
And that’s something we seriously would consider, because we dig the Yamaha YZ250X in a big, big way. Its engine flat rips while delivering that zingy two-stroke siren song, its suspension is dialed-in for off-road racing right out of the crate, and its handling and ergonomics all but guarantee that you can pick your way through technical sections or pile on the miles in comfort. Whether you ride in tight woods or across expansive desert terrain, the YZ250X is one awesome off-road motorcycle.
|2016 Yamaha YZ250X|
|2016 Yamaha YZ250X Specifications|
|Engine Type||249cc, liquid-cooled two-stroke, reed-valve inducted|
|Bore x Stroke||66.4mm × 72.0mm|
|Fuel Delivery||Keihin PWK38S carburetor|
|Transmission||Wide-ratio five-speed, cable-operated multiplate wet clutch|
|Front Suspension||KYB Speed-Sensitive System inverted fork; fully adjustable, 11.8 inches of travel|
|Rear Suspension||KYB Monoshock; fully adjustable, 12.4 inches of travel|
|Front Brake||250mm wave rotor w/Nissin two-piston caliper|
|Rear Brake||245mm wave rotor w/Nissin single-piston caliper|
|Front Tire||90/90-21 Dunlop AT81F|
|Rear Tire||110/100-18 Dunlop AT81|
|Seat Height||38.2 inches|
|Ground Clearance||14.2 inches|
|Wet Weight (claimed)||229 lbs.|
|Warranty||30-Day (Limited Factory Warranty)|
|Color||Team Yamaha Blue/White|