There is no hint of a 150cc four-stroke yet, but that does not mean Yamaha doesn’t have one; the company just isn’t ready to bring it to market yet.Other blue news is the introduction of the domestic-model Japanese WR250R. With its all-new fuel-injected, liquid-cooled, electric-start 250cc four-stroke engine, this is a big step up from Yamie’s TT-R or Serow models. It even has an aluminum frame, as well as some pretty space-age styling. We are expecting this bike to come Stateside in ’09 as the current TT-R250R’s replacement, filling the bill as the playbike in the lineup.Husqvarna
Although the prototype 250cc four-stroke looks ready to go, it won’t be until ’09. Husky wants to have a successful year of racing under its belt to flush out any problems with the new engine. That said, the ’08 bikes will not go unchanged. All of the TEs will be fuel-injected with Mikuni systems. To arrive at a lower weight (a claimed 10-pound reduction), the bike will have a new frame, swingarm, subframe and gas tank along with fresh plastic and suspension linkage.There is also a new model-the TXC. It is based off the TC motocrosser will have electric start, 18-inch rims and a six-speed transmission. Nevertheless, it will remain carbureted like all the TCs.KTM
Don’t be fooled by KTM’s very stock-looking 450 motocross bike, as the company is preparing to launch a very surprising and radically revised line of off-road bikes that we will likely be riding as you read this. Think of taking the current motocross-devised chassis and bodywork, tuning it for off-road through the suspension and plopping in some all-new as well as extremely innovative two- and four-stroke motors. We’ve seen the electric-start two-stroke 300 already in some foreign markets. It should be available next year on the Ws here in the States. The four-stroke Ws will have a newer version of the single-cam engine, a hybrid of the successful original RFS top end, and the new-generation MX bottom-end, six-speed powerplant. Mini riders will be stoked, as KTM is introducing its XC-model-line 65cc, 85cc and 105cc bikes, but the company’s four-stroke 150cc bike isn’t ready just yet-even though rumors suggest that orange is the next color to appear in this hot market segment.We are also expecting an all-new 250cc four-stroke motocross engine, patterned off of the current 450, but no sightings have been reported.Kawasaki
The green team must have been busy with the KLX, as the once-rapid development of the KX-F has slowed.Team Green was the only player still running only carburetors on its works bikes, which were otherwise very works.And the bikes seem to be “worksing” pretty well for the guys buying and racing them over here, so why mess with a good thing, right?WRM
If you’re looking for the latest in design and technology, have a look at the WRM bike. Italian innovation was used to design structural parts of the chassis, and carbon fiber and Kevlar are used in a way never seen even in motocross. But that passion has a way of surpassing common sense, production viability and the weight of available wallets to own such a work of motorcyclemanship. Never mind the example Ferrari sets in the car world. The frame uses plates of 7072 aluminum in conjunction with a perimeter section in carbon fiber; the swingarm is completely made from carbon fiber. Its steering system is adjustable through an exclusive system copyrighted by WRM. The airbox is in carbon fiber but has an aluminum subframe to absorb the impacts. The engine looks very similar to a Honda motor, but the build is entirely unique. Italian rider Christian Beggi will participate in the MX1 class (450cc) of the FIM Motocross World Championship on the bike. Price? About $27,000 at current exchange rates!Aprilia
After a year’s break from World MX, the Aprilia is back and fighting for V-twin acceptance in ’07. World Champion Alessio “Chicco” Chiodi and Belgian Cdric Melotte will take part in the championship in the MX1 (450cc) class on the heavily revised 4.5. The new single exhaust is sexy, but the biggest revisions are to the frame and swingarm to lighten up the handling and better complement the engine’s power characteristics, an ongoing development process during racing. Weight has been minimized with kickstart only.