Church of MO: Top 600s, 1997 Sportbike Shootout

December 10, 2017 John Burns 0

And in those days each Japanese manufacturer built an inline 600cc Four-cylinder sportybike, and so it made it natural to compare them, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose. And if any bike should smite the eye of the other three, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; then that bike shall go free and prosper in the marketplace. Or that was MO’s story, anyway.

Top 600s, 1997

1997 600cc Sportbike Shootout

Forget 750s or open-class sportbikes, the real battle for supremacy is waged in the 600 class — these are the best-selling sportbikes made. Here, manufacturers pump huge amounts of money into research and development to produce the quickest, fastest, best-handling machines possible. This space-race for the 600 title has led to machines that out-perform liter bikes of just a decade ago. But which 600 is best, and more specifically, which is best for you? Read on, and join us for a thorough thrashing of the world’s best 600cc sportbikes.It was the best of times, for sure: Motorcycle Online recently rounded up the best 600cc Sportbikes produced, dusted off our leathers and fired checks out of the corporate account like a cheap six-shooter, appropriating funds to rent Los Angeles County Raceway’s quarter-mile drag strip, Willow Spring Raceway’s Streets of Willow, as well as taking over Graves Motorsports’ shop for the better part of a week to have the bikes dyno’ed and track prepped. Lastly, we brought in AMA Superbike star Shawn Higbee and reigning Willow Springs Formula One Champion Chuck Graves to assist Editor-in-Chief Brent Plummer and Associate Editor Gord Mounce in the testing. The point? To carve as many canyons as possible, shred a bunch of tires and fry three clutches at the drag strip? That’s what the four of us thought until Managing Editor “Big” Tom Fortune brought us all back to reality: “This is a street bike test. Remember, tens of thousands of people around the world are going to plunk down their hard-earned money on one of these machines, and in many cases, it’ll be their only bike that they have to live with for years to come, through various conditions such as sport touring, commuting and canyon riding. And less than three percent of the machines will ever see a racetrack. You will evaluate these bikes with that in mind!” That said, we headed to Palomar Mountain, and the testing began…


The testing Begins: Kawasaki ZX-6R

Shawn Higbee gets down to business on the Kawasaki at Willow Springs: "To keep up with Graves when he was cruising on the Suzuki," Higbee tells us, "I had to ride the wheels off the Kawasaki, power-sliding it out of turns."
A pressurized air box fed by two large "ram-air" scoops helps the ZX-6R's already impressive top-end power.
Chuck "I'm going to smoke all you clowns" Graves on his way to an incredible 10.79 second run at 126.78 mph. We only made 11 passes before the clutch fried -- Chuck felt the little ZX could've done better.

When these four sportbikes of the apocalypse began assembling for our shootout, early predictions rated Kawasaki’s ZX-6R as a likely victor. We had all enjoyed the ZX6 tested last month, so the 6R’s shorter wheelbase, fully adjustable suspension and 29 fewer pounds promised to make for an even better ride. So how did the Kawasaki come to find itself relegated to fourth place?The answer lies in the vague feedback offered by the 6R’s front end, a problem that is compounded by the low-profile stock Bridgestone tire that gives poor traction at full lean. The cumulative result is a front end that “pushes” and “tucks” in corners. Having a poor connection with the front destroys confidence, which in turn slows lap times and canyon cornering speeds. How bad is the feedback from the 6R’s front forks? “I knew that the front was there,” quipped Graves after his first track session on the 6R, “because at the end of the straight you pop up and hit the brakes, and something slows you down.” Higbee also found the ZX-6R’s front lacking: “Even at a moderate street pace I had trouble keeping the front tire from sliding out under me, which isn’t my idea of fun.” This lack of front end feel was responsible for five of our seven testers (Graphic Artist Billy Bartels and Guest Commentator John Slezak also participated in this test) picking the 6R last in this comparison.

Handling manners improved after the Metzeler MEZ1 race-compound tires replaced the stock Bridgestones for testing at The Streets of Willow. Now we had more confidence that the tire would stick, but feedback and turn-in manners remained poor. This led Higbee to question the 6R’s geometry: “The front end feedback told me that it was turning in too much, a sign that it needs more trail. I also noticed that the triple clamps are narrow, which might explain why the 6R refused to turn properly — there’s not a lot of leverage there.”

The nail in Kawasaki’s coffin comes from the price tag. At $8299 it’s $500 more than the second most-expensive bike, Honda’s CBR600F3 — and a whopping $900 more than Yamaha’s YZF600R.

In the 6R’s defense it did post the quickest quarter-mile time of 10.79 at a smoking 126.78 mph — and at 92 bhp its engine swings the biggest stick. It sounds better than its challengers too, with a deep and throaty howl that belies its displacement. Comfort was excellent with a fairing that directs wind past the rider’s shoulders and creates a calm pocket of air behind the screen. Seat quality is also very good for a sportbike with a wide, flat platform that allows several hours to pass in comfort.

There is always some poor kid who is the last to get picked for baseball, and that kid is the ZX-6R. It is a great bike with bad front geometry. Unfortunately in this tough crowd that is enough to relegate a bike to last place.

3. Suzuki GSX-R600

Associate Editor Gord Mounce posted his best time at the racetrack on the race-ready GSX-R600.
The Suzuki's radical riding position starts to make sense at the track. On the street? It's painful.

We’ve been anxiously waiting for Suzuki’s new GSX-R600 ever since we all fell in love with the GSX-R750 last year. Would the 600 be the same knockout combination of awesome power and light weight, or would it be a sleeved-down, overweight dud like the last GSX-R600? Speculation and rumors abounded.

Last month, when Pascal Picotte topped the SuperSport field during tire testing at Daytona on a GSX-R600, we knew that Suzuki had done their homework. But after finally getting our greedy mitts on a GSX-R we were initially disappointed. Midrange power was terrible, and excessive driveline lash made street riding a chore, both made worse by excessively lean low- and mid-range carburetion that “lean surges” the bike at cruising speed. Further limiting the fun was a riding position that folded the Suzuki’s pilot into a pretzel to fit the uncompromising riding position.

At the dragstrip the Suzuki’s wimpy midrange power and vague clutch dropped it to last in the rankings with an 11.31 pass at 123.1 mph. Dyno testing shows the problem — at 8,000 rpm the Suzuki trails the Honda by a staggering 12 bhp. Even at the top end it fails to top its competition with a peak of 88.7 bhp.

Four-piston calipers and a conventional fork are fitted. The GSX-R750 uses upside-down forks and six-piston brakes, costing about $1300 more.With its full-on race approach, we thought the GSX-R would rule in the canyons. But a full day spent reducing the world’s supply of knee-sliders left us questioning the Suzuki’s purpose in life. An F3 is a match for the GSX-R when things turn twisty, but it won’t beat you like a rented mule on the ride home. And at $7,799, the Honda is only $100 more than a GSX-R.

So why put up with all of the Suzuki’s shortcomings? Because on the seventh day, MO raced (MO is what we call Motorcycle Online). And for once, we all agreed: it is the best track weapon. A faster circuit would have allowed the Suzuki to press home an advantage more than the tight and twisty Streets of Willow. Its light weight (435lbs full of gas), lets it carry the highest cornering velocity and greatest turn-in speed. Graves described the Suzuki as “feeling like the front was directly beneath your shoulders.” Higbee was even more kind: “It felt like I was coming near the limits of the Honda but the Suzuki had lots left. Add some new tires, a Yoshimura pipe for more power, have Race Tech do the forks, Fox rear shock and watch out Miguel Duhamel. If you can ride the Suzuki to its limits, you’ll win national races.”

2. Honda CBR600F3

Editor-in-Chief Plummer (on the CBR600) queries Managing Editor Fortune: "Where's the first turn, and what's the lap record?"
Plush, well-damped suspension and sticky stock tires make Honda's F3 an excellent all-around street bike.

What can we say about Honda’s CBR600F3 that hasn’t already been said? With its unbeatable combination of great speed, comfort and reliability, the F3 has ruled the 600 class for years. Honda is smart enough not to mess with the defending AMA 600 Supersport champion, and therefore their strategy for improving the F3 has always been one of refinement, rather than redesign.Honda has continued this trend in 1997, as a host of minor changes have brought the F3 to an even higher level. Power is up slightly over last year with a peak output of 90 bhp at 11,500 rpm. But what makes the Honda’s engine special isn’t its impressive peak horsepower, but the way it pulls strongly from idle to redline with no dips or flat-spots. That linear powerband helped the F3 post the second-quickest drags trip time of 11.00 at 124.61 mph.

In the canyons the F3’s wide spread of power made fast cornering easier than on the Suzuki because the F3 pilot doesn’t need to do a gearbox tap-dance to stay in the powerband. Even more important was that the F3 could get to and from the canyons without hurting its rider. “There’s no reason for the GSX-R on the street because I can go just as fast on the F3 in comfort,” Higbee remarked after a day in the canyons.

Changes for 1997 include a redesigned tail section that still pops loose. Honda’s F3 posted the second-fastest lap time during our tire-shredding stint at The Streets of Willow, trailing the GSX-R by just eleven hundreths of a second. While it was almost quickest that day, Honda’s F3 did scrape more than its competition: “Just when I was getting serious about going fast on the racetrack the footpegs and exhaust canister started scuffing the asphalt,” said Higbee. However, both Higbee and Graves agreed that the F3 was the easiest to hop on and ride quickly. “It is the most user-friendly bike and most forgiving when pushing it to its limits,” Higbee said. Graves described the Honda as “rider-friendly and easy to slide and feel comfortable on.”

Honda came into this shootout as the reigning class champion. With subtle updates for 1997, the F3 looked like it might spend another year at the top. But Yamaha had other ideas…


1. Yamaha YZF600R 

Chuck Graves lookin' good on the YZF.
Editor-in-Chief Plummer went fastest at the racetrack on the YZF: "The YZF's excellent binders allow you to one-finger the front brakes and the torquey motor produces killer drives off corners."

Surprised? We were downright shocked. Yamaha’s YZF600R came quietly into this shootout with no one predicting it would win. At $7,399, we knew the price was right — but we doubted the bike’s ability to match the competition. Billy Bartels was first to heap praise on the YZF, as he lauded its comfort after a ninety-mile ride from Yamaha’s headquarters. Soon others began to take a shine to the bike. We all raved about the awesome front brakes and superior bottom end on the YZF.In the canyons Yamaha’s YZF was a capable, if not extraordinary performer. Front suspension rates were on the soft side and the stock Bridgestone tires behaved poorly at steeper lean angles (they’re the exact same ones that Kawasaki uses on the 6R). Also, at 482lbs full of gas the Yamaha is the class porker. That’s almost 50lbs more than the Suzuki, and was responsible for its slightly slower mid-corner speeds. To its credit the YZF’s torquey motor pulled strongly on corner exits, allowing a good rush to the next corner. Originally, we felt the engine lacked a real top-end punch, but at 88.5 bhp, it was only 0.2 off our Suzuki. The bike pulls so cleanly and strong from down low, it just feels slower — the top end hit, in relative terms, is less of a percent gain.

Dragstrip testing wasn’t the YZF’s forte either as its weight and grabby clutch left it struggling to keep up. Graves eventually clicked off an 11.21 pass at 123.02 mph, over four-tenths and three miles an hour slower than the Kawasaki. Not exactly the stuff that champions are made of. The Yamaha was, however, the only bike that didn’t fry it’s clutch at the drag strip. (Many thanks to Barnett for providing clutches for the other three on one hour’s notice.)

The stock Nissin calipers, pads and rotors on the YZF are the best OEM four-piston brakes we've ever tested.Racetrack testing threatened to drop the YZF to the bottom of everyone’s list, but here the Yamaha surprised us. Despite its weight, soft suspension and lack of top-end, the YZF proved to be a competent track weapon. Editor-in-Chief Brent Plummer actually turned his best time of the day on the Yamaha. Although it isn’t as precise as a GSX-R, all of our testers posted good times on the YZF.

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2019 KTM Super Duke GT Updated!

December 9, 2017 John Burns 0

Rumor filtering down through the ranks has it that when the new version of KTM’s not-so-old uber tourer gets here later in the year, it’s going to be sporting a swell TFT display like the one on brother Super Duke R, along with the other Dukes’ promiscuous split LED headlight and a new windscreen.

We are as nothing without a Thin Film Transistor display, like this on on Super Duke R.

The winner of our little sport-touring comparo back in April already had all the performance hard- and software more than covered; not it will be even more avant-garde beautiful to boot.

The new headlight is a sexual harassment suit waiting to be filed. Don’t touch it. God only knows what else KTM may have up its sleeve.


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2018 TVS Apache RR 310 Revealed

December 8, 2017 Dennis Chung 0

TVS Motors revealed its new Apache RR 310, the most advanced model ever released by the Indian manufacturer. While the 2018 TVS Apache RR 310 will likely never be brought over to the U.S. market, it is important for one reason: it’s essentially the precursor for a BMW G310RR.

BMW and TVS worked together to develop a platform using a 313cc DOHC Single-cylinder engine and trellis frame. The platform has already resulted in two BMW models, the G310R and the G310GS. The first sportbike version, however, is from TVS, giving the company a 300-class sportbike to compete against the likes of the RC390, from KTM and TVS’ direct Indian rival, Bajaj. While 300-ish sportbikes are considered entry-level models in the West, they are considered premium models in India, offering a significant step up from the 150cc to 200cc models that make up most of the local market.

“Today is a proud moment for us at TVS Motor Company. Driven by our promise of delivering more to customers than their expectations, TVS Apache RR 310 is the beginning of our breakthrough into the super-premium category,” says KN Radhakrishnan, TVS president and chief executive officer. “We started building our premium brand – Apache RTR with 150cc and succeeded in raising the customer aspirations with 180cc and 200cc bikes. TVS Apache RR 310 is another step in our effort to deliver beyond customers’ expectations and offering them a chance to upgrade from premium to super-premium category. TVS Apache RR 310 is a testimony to our Racing DNA and R&D capabilities, positioned to fulfill the ever-growing aspirations of the new age customers globally.”

The reverse-mounted Single cylinder is inclined slightly rearward with the air intake at the front, providing a more direct path for both the ram air intake and exhaust. On the Apache, TVS claims the engine produces a peak output of 33.5 hp at 9700 rpm and 20.1 lb-ft at 7700 rpm, numbers not too far off from the G310R’s claimed 34 hp at 9500 rpm and 20.6 lb-ft at 7500 rpm.

Strip away the Apache’s bodywork and you’ll see a similar engine, trellis frame, suspension, and even wheels as on BMW’s G310R.

The suspension is also similar to the G310R’s, with a 41mm upside-down fork and a directly-mounted KYB monoshock. TVS did not provide rake or trail information, but we do know the Apache’s 53.7-inch wheelbase is about a third of an inch shorter than the G310R’s. Curb weight is a claimed 374 pounds, or about 24 pounds heavier than the naked G310R.

The brakes are also identical between the TVS and BMW, with a single four-piston caliper with a 300mm disc up front and a two-piston caliper with 240mm disc at the rear. ABS is offered as standard equipment. The Apache also uses the same 17-inch five-spoke die-cast alloy wheels as found on the G310R.

The Apache adopts a mass-forward design with a high, rising tail with aggressive edges inspired by the silhouette of sharks. TVS says it conducted extensive wind tunnel testing to reduce drag and maximize downforce.

The shark motif continues with the gill-shaped vents between the layered bodywork.

TVS says it plans to offer the Apache RR 310 in international markets, but we’re unlikely to see it in North America. More likely, we’ll see BMW introduce its own version, likely to be called the G310RR.

TVS offers two color options: Racing Red pictured above and Sinister Black pictured here.

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Is a Rocket-Powered Bicycle a Motorcycle?

December 8, 2017 John Burns 0

Frenchman Francois Gissy made this record run over three years ago at Circuit Paul Ricard, but it only came to my attention yesterday. Unsure what kind of bicycle wheels don’t fly apart at 207 mph (333 kph), a speed Gissy attained after using up only about 750 meters of the Mistral Straight thanks to hydrogen peroxide boost, but everything did indeed remain intact. The Ferrari running alongside the bicycle, okay starting out alongside it, puts that speed into perspective.

More craziness over here at

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American Racer Jake Gagne Joins World Superbike for 2018

December 8, 2017 admin 0

American roadracer Jake Gagne has signed on as a rider for Honda’s Red Bull Superbike team to contest the 2018 FIM Superbike World Championship. Gagne, 24, joins the team full-time after filling the seat vacated by the late, great Nicky Hayden as a wild-car rider three times in the 2017 WSB season. His best results were a trio of 12th-place finishes.

Gagne, the 2014 AMA Pro Daytona Sportbike champ and 2015 MotoAmerica Superstock 1000cc titleist, doubles the Americans that will race next year in World Supers, joining PJ Jacobsen who will race for the new TripleM satellite Honda team. Gagne will be teamed with Leon Camier aboard Honda CBR1000RR SP2s on the factory-supported Red Bull squad after competing in the 2017 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship on a CBR1000RR with the Genuine Broaster Chicken Honda Racing team.

PJ Jacobsen To Race World Superbike In 2018

“It’s really a dream come true to have the chance to contest a full World Superbike season with the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team,” said the San Diego, California, resident who replaces Stefan Bradl in the team. “I cannot thank Red Bull, Honda and Ten Kate enough for the opportunity to race the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 over three rounds this year. I have learned so much from them and I got to know them quite well, so I’m looking forward to getting going again. 2018 will be an exciting year for me, with a lot of traveling and racing on some of the best racetracks in the world. I want to thank again everyone involved for this incredible opportunity, and I feel I’m ready for the challenge ahead!”

Gagne joined the team for the first time last July, when he made his World Superbike debut at Laguna Seca, and he was recruited by the team for the round at Magny-Cours and then at the Losail International Circuit for the season finale. The team says Gagne constantly improved his performance and feeling with the WorldSBK-spec Fireblade machine, demonstrating his racecraft skills to the team.

“He picked up the challenge this year and jumped on our Fireblade without prior testing and did well at Laguna Seca, and later showed his talent at tracks he had never raced before,” said Marco Chini, Honda’s WorldSBK Operations Manager. “He is young, gifted and a great guy, so he’s the right choice for the team to ride alongside Leon. We look forward to seeing him on track very soon and we’re sure American fans will be happy to cheer him on.”

I recently got to spend a little time with Gagne at a Bell Helmets event, and he proved to be eminently like-able and down to earth, so we’ll certainly be cheering him on during the 2018 WSB season. It will be interesting to watch how Gagne’s speed compares with Jacobsen, also 24, with both racing on Hondas. We wish them both great success on the world’s stage!

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2018 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship Dates Announced

December 8, 2017 Press Release 0

The road to Loretta’s starts this February for our nation’s fastest amateur motocross racers. The AMA has just announced the AMA Area Qualifier and Regional Championship schedule for the 2018 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship.

Begin Press Release:

PICKERINGTON, OH – December 8, 2017 – The American Motorcyclist Association is pleased to announce the AMA Area Qualifier and Regional Championship schedule for the 2018 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship, presented by Lucas Oil.

“The AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship is one of the most highly sought after amateur motocross championships in the country,” AMA Motocross Manager Ricky Rickords said. “Competing in Area Qualifiers and qualifying for AMA Regional Championships is the path all racers take for a chance to win an AMA National Championship at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch. The AMA and MX Sports have worked diligently to ensure that AMA members and their families are provided the best tracks and racing facilities at each qualifying event.”

Area Qualifiers are the first step in qualifying for the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship held July 30-Aug. 4 at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. The first of 58 Area Qualifiers begin in February and run through the end of May, across 35 states. Racers of all ages will compete in various engine displacement classes, from 50cc to 450cc, in hopes of moving on to a Regional Championship.

The AMA Regional Championships then serve as the next step to seed riders into the annual AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship. Only riders who finish in a qualifying position at a one of the 13 Regional Championship events are eligible to race the amateur national event at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.

“The unveiling of the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship schedule is always highly anticipated, not just for the riders but for the organizers,” Director of MX Sports Tim Cotter said. “The facilities and organizers that make up the Area Qualifier and Regional Championships are among the best in the nation. Each race organizer that has been selected is excited that the road to Loretta’s goes through their facility.”

This year’s lineup includes many historic tracks, such as Unadilla MX and High Point Raceway in the Northeast. Racing also returns to other favorites, such as the Southeast’s Muddy Creek Raceway, RedBud MX in the Mid-East and Thunder Valley MX Park in the South-Central region.

The AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship is one of the longest-running motorsports championships in the country. The AMA launched the national championship program in 1975. That year, a series of regional races qualified 135 riders in three classes — 125cc, 250cc and Open — for the championship round in Baldwin, Kan. In 1982, the AMA partnered with MX Sports and the event moved to its current location at the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. There, the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship continues to crown the country’s top amateur motocross racers every summer.

For more information on the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship, presented by Lucas Oil, visit

2018 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship Schedule:

AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship
July 30-Aug. 4: Hurricane Mills, Tenn.: Loretta Lynn’s Ranch

Northeast Area Qualifiers:

  • March 17-18: Hedgesville, W.Va.: Tomahawk MX
  • April 7-8: Shippensburg, Pa.: Doublin Gap MX Park
  • April 14-15: Mt. Morris, Pa.: High Point Raceway
  • April 21-22: Seward, Pa.: Pleasure Valley Raceway
  • May 5-6: Wallkill, N.Y.: Walden Motocross
  • May 12-13: Axton, Va.: Lake Sugar Tree Motocross Park
  • May 12-13: Lyman, Maine: MX 207
  • May 19-20: Elkland, Pa.: Miles Mountain MX

Northeast Regional:

  • June 9-10: Danville, Va.: Birch Creek Motorsports (Youth)
  • June 16-17: New Berlin, N.Y.: Unadilla Motocross (Amateur)

Southeast Area Qualifiers:

  • Feb: 17-18: Gainesville, Fla.: Gatorback Cycle Park
  • March 24-25: Henderson, N.C.: North Carolina Motorsports Park
  • April 7-8: Dade City, Fla.: Dade City Motocross
  • April 14-15: Washington, Ga.: Aonia Pass Motocross
  • April 21-22: Hamer, S.C.: South of the Boarder MX
  • April 28-29: Tallassee, Ala.: Monster Mountain MX Park
  • April 28-29: Wytheville, Va.: Pro Sport MX
  • May 5-6: Dalton, Ga.: Lazy River MX

Southeast Regional:

  • May 26-27: Blountville, Tenn.: Muddy Creek Raceway (Youth)
  • June 2-3: Jacksonville, Fla.: WW Motocross Park (Amateur)

Mid-East Area Qualifiers:

  • March 10-11: Altamont, Tenn.: Fast Farms MX
  • April 7-8: Rossville, Ind.: Wildcat Creek MX
  • April 14-15: Sebree, Ky.: Echo Valley MX
  • April 21-22: New Vienna, Ohio: East Fork Motocross Park
  • April 28-29: Millington, Mich.: Baja Acres
  • May 5-6: Bloomingdale, Mich.: Dutch Sports Park
  • May 12-13: Nashport, Ohio: Briarcliff MX
  • May 19-20: Livingston, Tenn.: Thunder Valley MX

Mid-East Regional:

  • June 2-3: Millfield, Ohio: Sunday Creek (Youth)
  • June 9-10: Buchanan, Mich.: RedBud MX (Amateur)

North Central Area Qualifiers:

  • March 17-18: Maize, Kan.: Bar 2 Bar MX
  • April 7-8: Des Moines, Iowa: Riverside Raceway
  • April 14-15: Richwoods, Mo.: Romp MX Track
  • April 21-22: Casey, Ill.: Lincoln Trail Motosport
  • April 28-29: DuQuoin, Ill.: Indian Hills MX
  • May 5-6: Appleton, Wis.: Tigerton MX
  • May 12-13: Little Falls, Minn.: Little Falls Raceway
  • May 26-27: Byron, Ill.: Byron Motorsports Park

North Central Regional

  • June 16-17: Millville, Minn.: Spring Creek Motocross Park (Amateur)
  • June 23-24: Walnut, Ill.: Sunset Ridge MX (Youth)

South Central Area Qualifiers:

  • Feb 17-18: Amarillo, Texas: Bowers MX
  • March 10-11: Yantis, Texas: Johnsonville MX Farm
  • March 17-18: Centreville, Miss.: Farm 14
  • April 14-15: Wellston, Okla.: Reynard Raceway
  • April 21-22: Alvord, Texas: Oak Hill Raceway
  • April 28-29: Tyler, Texas: Swan MX Raceway Park
  • May 5-6: Wortham, Texas: Freestone Raceway
  • May 19-20: Lakewood, Colo.: Thunder Valley Park

South Central Regional:

  • June 9-10: Ponca City, Okla.: Ponca City MX (Youth)
  • June 23-24: Conroe, Texas: 3 Palms Action Sports Park (Amateur)

Northwest Area Qualifiers:

  • Feb. 17-18: Marysville, Calif.: Riverfront MX Park
  • March 17-18: Richland, Wash.: Horn Rapids Motorsports Complex
  • April 8: Idaho Falls, Idaho: Noise Park Raceway
  • May 5-6: Junction City, Ore.: Eugene MX Park
  • May 12-13: Washougal, Wash.: Washougal MX Park
  • May 12-13: Billings, Mont.: Billings MX

Northwest Regional:

  • May 26-27: Richland, Wash.: Horn Rapids Motorsports Complex (Youth & Amateur)

Mid-west Area Qualifiers:

  • March 17-18: Tulare, Calif.: DT1 MX Park
  • March 31-April 1: Delta, Utah: Bunker Hill Motocross Track
  • April 7-8: San Bernardino, Calif.: Glen Helen Raceway
  • May 5-6: Junction City, Ore.: Eugene MX Park
  • May 12-13: Rocksprings, Wyo.: Rock Springs Motocross

Mid-west Regional:

  • June 2-3: Rancho Cordova, Calif.: Prairie City OHV (Youth & Amateur)

Southwest Area Qualifiers:

  • Feb.: 10-11: Buckeye, Ariz.: Arizona Cycle Park
  • Feb. 10-11: Riverside, Calif.: Milestone MX Park
  • March 10-11: St. George, Utah: St. George MX Park
  • April 7-8: Maui, Hawaii: Maui Motocross
  • April 7-8: San Bernardino, Calif.: Glen Helen Raceway
  • April 14-15: Moriarty, N.M.: Sandia Motocross at Moriarty
  • April 28-29: Pala, Calif.: Pala Raceway

Southwest Regional:

  • June 9-10: Pala, Calif.: Pala Raceway (Youth & Amateur)

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Paul Yaffe Featured Builder for Art of the Ride Exhibit at Phoenix Airport Museum

December 8, 2017 Press Release 0

If you’re ever flying through Phoenix and not late for your flight, check out Paul Yaffe’s chopper that’s currently being featured in the Art of the Ride exhibit at the Phoenix Airport Museum.

Begin Press Release:

PHOENIX, AZ – December 7, 2017 –  Paul Yaffe, one of the most famous and renowned custom motorcycle builders in the world, is the featured builder in Art of the Ride, a motorcycle-themed exhibit at the Phoenix Airport Museum running until the end of May 2018.

Combining photography, painting, and custom motorcycle builds and parts, Art of the Ride is a celebration of the passion and attitude that embodies motorcycle culture. The exhibit will feature two of Paul’s most-famous, spectacular builds: The Copper Chopper and Prodigy.

Paul Yaffe

“I never would have thought my tinkering with motorcycles would lead to the kind of recognition I’ve received,” said Paul Yaffe. “But I’ve just followed my passion for bikes, and this is where it’s led me. I’m gratified and grateful to be featured in this great show.”

Aptly named, Prodigy sprung from the fertile mind of Paul Yaffe and was the product of much hammering, bending and machining of metal. It won the 2000 Roadster Show in Oakland, CA (the third straight year Paul won it), and even had a HOTWHEELS toy made after it.

The Copper Chopper was built in 2010 and was featured in the State of Arizona’s official centennial celebration. Taking 8 months to construct, it was deemed by the Arizona Centennial Foundation as more suitable than a mascot, person or event to define Arizona’s history.

Paul’s first shop, American Legend Motorcycle Co., opened in 1991. Since then, Paul has enjoyed one of the most illustrious and influential careers in motorcycle and parts design and custom parts manufacturing. Today, Paul Yaffe’s Bagger Nation, together with Paul Yaffe Originals, is recognized as one of—if not the—preeminent custom bike building outfits and source for custom parts.

Art of the Ride runs from October 18, 2017, to May 28, 2018, in the Phoenix Airport Museum, located in Terminal 4, Level 3 Gallery, in the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

About Paul Yaffe

Paul Yaffe has been designing and building custom motorcycles and motorcycle parts and accessories for over 30 years. In that time, he has won many awards, contests and honors, including three “World’s Most Beautiful Motorcycle” awards at the famous Oakland Roadster Show and two “Builder of the Year” and three “Trendsetter of the Year” honors from Easyriders Magazine. Paul opened his custom shop Paul Yaffe’s Bagger Nation (together with Paul Yaffe Originals) twenty-five years ago, and today his designs are recognized as being among the best and most sought after in the world. For Paul’s latest news, designs and appearances, follow him on Facebook, Twitter (@BaggerNation) and Instagram (@pybaggernation).

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Zero Recalls Certain 2018 S, SR, DS, DSR, FX and FXS Motorcycles

December 8, 2017 Press Release 0

Zero Motorcycles recall a variety of 2018 models because the information on the Vehicle Emission Control Information (VECI) Label may indicate the wrong model year. Zero will contact owners and handle it, free of charge.

Begin Press Release:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 7, 2017

ZERO RECALL: Incorrect Information on Federal Label/Part 567

If the affected 2018 motorcycles are ever subject to a recall, the owner may not realize the safety risk because of the misstated model year.

NHTSA Campaign Number: 17V762000

Manufacturer: Zero Motorcycles Inc.

Components: EQUIPMENT

Potential Number of Units Affected: 36

Make Model Model Year(s)
ZERO S ZF 2018

Summary: Zero Motorcycles Inc. (Zero) is recalling certain 2018 S ZF13.0, S ZF7.2, SR ZF14.4, DS ZF13.0, DSR ZF14.4, FX ZF7.2, and FXS ZF7.2 motorcycles. The information on the Vehicle Emission Control Information (VECI) Label may indicate the wrong model year. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of 49 CFR Part 567, “Certification.”

Remedy: Zero will notify owners, and dealers will replace the incorrect label with a corrected label, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in December 2017. Owners may contact Zero customer service at 1-888-841-8085. Zero’s number for this recall is SV-ZMC-017-380.

Notes: Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to

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Husqvarna to Compete in Inaugural 2018 World Enduro Super Series

December 8, 2017 Press Release 0

A brand new world championship racing series, the World Enduro Super Series (WESS) will have its inaugural season starting race in Portugal, this May at Extreme XL Lagares. The series is unique because it blends riding disciplines to seek out the most well-rounded enduro rider. Husqvarna is fielding a familiar team of heavy-hitters and ought to do well. We’re looking forward to having yet another form of motorcycle racing to help grow our sport.

Begin Press Release:

December 7, 2017 – Husqvarna Motorcycles are pleased to announce that they will officially participate in the 2018 World Enduro Super Series, which begins in May with Extreme XL Lagares.

Fielding a four-rider team, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing will be represented by Graham Jarvis, Colton Haaker, Alfredo Gomez and Billy Bolt with all riders contesting the new eight-round WESS championship during 2018.

Offering an exciting blend of enduro competitions, as a mixed discipline series, Husqvarna look forward to the prospect of their official riders competing in widely varied events in one exciting, new championship.

With the eight events set to bring together many thousands of competitors during the course of the championship, the World Enduro Super Series will also attract high numbers of spectators to each event, which will allow Husqvarna to extensively engage with race fans and end consumers. In addition, the WESS will benefit from extensive TV, web and print media exposure ensuring high levels of visibility.

About WESS

The World Enduro Super Series is an eight-round multi-discipline enduro championship for professional and amateurs alike. Combining Hard Enduro, Classic Enduro, Cross-Country and Beach Racing, the series will feature many of the world’s most well-established and well-supported events.

Requiring riders to showcase a wide range of skills and techniques, the WESS will provide a complete test of all competitor’s abilities, with the series’ winner crowned the Ultimate Enduro Champion.

The 2018 World Enduro Super Series will begin on May 11th with the Extreme XL Lagares in Portugal. The championship will then take in the ErzbergRodeo (Austria), Le Trefle Lozerien AMV (France), Romaniacs (Romania), Megawatt (Poland), Gotland Grand National (Sweden) and one, as yet unannounced, additional event before finishing with the Knock Out Beach Race in The Netherlands on November 10th.

Diego Clement – Head of Motorsport at Husqvarna Motorcycles:We are very pleased to announce that Husqvarna Motorcycles confirm their new direction by participating in the 2018 World Enduro Super Series. For Husqvarna, we feel that the WESS offers an exciting blend of enduro competitions, while still holding firm many of the true values of enduro sport. The series acknowledges the recent growth and popularity in cross-country and hard enduro competition, while also valuing classic enduro and beach racing. Bringing together a mixture of disciplines under one championship ensures that all aspects of enduro are addressed and that to win this series a rider must be a true all-rounder. For Husqvarna to be present at mass participation races is also important for us, it ensures that we can directly engage and interact with our valued customer and fan base. Finally, we wish the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team the very best of luck and success in WESS 2018.

Andi Hoelzl – Team Manager Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing:Competing in the World Enduro Super Series offers an exciting new challenge for the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team in 2018. As a mixed discipline series, both the style of events and type of terrain on offer for next year ensure a complete test to our riders. Some events will favour one rider, another event will be better for a different rider, which adds an unpredictable outcome to each race. The WESS will entice competitors to step outside of their comfort zone if they are to become the Ultimate Enduro Champion. For Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing we have a rider line-up that is capable of challenging for victory at each round. All riders are focused on ending the series as the inaugural WESS champion.

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