For the legion of teenage motocrossers across America that were spurred on by Bruce Brown's legendary 1971 documentary, "On Any Sunday," to fall in love with motorcycles and motocross, there was a ready-made off-road machine that became ubiquitous with the MX scene in this country: The Hodaka Super Rat.
In 1974 I was in high school, deeply embedded in my obsession with the budding sport of motocross. I was the happy owner of a 1973 Honda Elsinore but, as with all riders, was constantly aware of - and in some cases desirous - of other machines.
One could argue that the development of motocross bikes in the '00s proceeded at a less-than-rapid pace. Certainly, the bikes showed improvements, but we did not see the developmental leaps that we saw from the riders themselves, who continued to be quite innovative-Bubba Scrub, anyone?
The history of motocross is one replete with revolutionary designs, followed by consolidation and refinement of the dramatic motorcycle advances.
After building my first custom bike at age 14, a 1972 Yamaha GT80 with 1979 Kawasaki KX80 front forks and shocks which turned out remarkably well, I had the itch to build motorcycles.
When we last tested the Kawasaki KLX110 dirt bike, we came away impressed by its durability and capabilities, but less than satisfied with its features. At the top of the to-do list we sent to Kawasaki was the addition of an electric starter and the implementation of fourth gear (it was in the transmission of the old three-speed, but locked out).
After a good badgering by the salesman, I walked out of the dealership with a new pair of the-more-than-I-wanted-pay Alpinestars Tech 8 motocross boots. He convinced me that these were the best moto boots on the market, and that if I cared at all about my feet, these are the boots I needed.
Monster Looks For New Riders.
Despite the undocumented risk that CPSC sees that motorcycles are toys (they most certainly are not) and that children will try to eat them (they aren’t that tasty, even with green sauce), the Kawasaki KLX110 is an outstanding mount for the up-and-coming young motorcyclist.
Off-Road Racer, Supercrosser.
One might not expect a supercross-based bike to make a great woods machine, but KTM has pulled that trick off with the 250 XC-F. Utilizing KTM’s outstanding SX-F chassis and DOHC, 4-valve, e-start motor, the XC-F works as both a single-track race bike, as well as a high-end trail bike.
Yes, it's the 21st century, but the notion of a high-performance electric dirt bike that could be as much fun to ride as, and possibly competitive with, a petrol-powered dirt bike seems to be about as real as the Tooth Fairy. I can't imagine being able to dice with a buddy on the MX track, and be able to have a conversation with him at the same time.
Looking to spend a couple of days playing in the dirt? Well, look no further than MotoVentures. Located just 30 minutes from Temecula, Calif., owner Gary La Plante has 300 acres of private land for you to indulge in everything from Trials to Motocross, as well as taking an extended tour on the dual-sport motorcycle of your choice.