Welcome to The Weekly Dirt, the place to go each Wednesday to catch up on the latest happenings in the realm of off-road motorcycling.
This week, a couple of the European manufacturers have announced their offerings for the new year. Over in Spain, Gas Gas has announced its 2013 lineup of off-road models, which should be hitting our shores in about a month. Changes to the XC models include a six degree increase in the turning angle, a new linkage for the rear suspension, 10 mm lower seat height (ground clearance is the same), and a new clutch basket. Meanwhile, Husaberg just announced its new lineup, which includes the company’s first 250cc four-stroke, the FE250. Highlights for the new Husabergs include a new chromoly frame, a subframe made of high-strength plastic, a new swingarm and new bodywork. Additional elements include closed cartridge forks by WP Suspension with patented four-chamber technology. The new user-friendly fork enables both the rebound and compression adjustments to be made at the upper end of the fork.
In the meantime, online message boards are buzzing about a possible two-stroke off-road model from Beta. Credible sources have confirmed that Beta is in fact planning on releasing not one but two new premix burning models in the near future. The company is aiming to produce 250cc and 300cc models that will feature unique Beta engines while taking chassis, styling and ergonomic cues from Beta’s existing four-stroke line.
Here is the skinny on the new Husaberg new lineup:
FE 250: The newest addition to the Husaberg model range is the all-new FE 250. The FE 250 is the first 250cc 4-stroke model from Husaberg. The FE 250 features a lightweight and compact power plant with a modern electronic fuel-injection. The quick and responsive FE 250 is the new weapon of choice for all enduro racers.
FE 350: After winning an Enduro World Championship after its release in 1991, Husaberg is back on track with the return of the FE 350. The FE 350 succeeds the FE 390 in the 2013 line-up for the new and growing mid-size division that performs like a 450 but feels like a 250.
FE 501: Husaberg’s most successful model in racing so far, the legendary FE 501 is back for 2013. The FE 501 combines a huge weight reduction in 2013 with massive power that represents what Husaberg encompasses: Ultimate rideability without compromise.
TE 250: The TE 250 now offers a more lively power delivery and all new chassis. An adjustable power valve and selectable ignition curves give the rider the ability to adjust the bike to their personal riding style. In 2013, the TE 250 also features the standard 6-speed transmission and electric starter.
TE 300: Known for its matchless power-to-weight ratio the TE 300 approaches 2013 with a completely new chassis with even more power and agility than ever before. The TE 300 is proven to be the ultimate extreme enduro bike.
For complete details, engine specs, and photos on Husaberg models, go to www.husaberg.com.
2013 Gas Gas
Here’s lowdown on the new Gassers:
1. Six degree increase in the turning radius
2. A new linkage that changes the geometry for the rear suspension, providing greater grip, stability and better general performance.
3. 10mm lower seat height.
4. Suspension fine-tuned by HRG (Suspension specialists).
5. New filter access system (one bolt only).
6. Reinforced plastic cross-member
7. New top roller guide for the chain with built-in bearing (this will come in as a running change once we have used up the existing gusset plates, around 2000).
8. New brace for the front mudguard (the latest 2012 models were already fitted with them).
9. Reinforcement on side plates of the radiator.
10. Fixture of the side number panels with bolts to stop them from moving.
11. New, more modern valve cover.
12. New reinforced kick-start lever (the latest 2012 models were already fitted with them).
13. New clutch basket, with oil release holes (for cooling) but more reliable.
14. New tank for better fit of the plastic
15. New attachment for the brake line guide so that it does not touch the fork mudguard.
16. New brake line with riveted cover to prevent the front wheel from pulling it in (the latest 2012 models were already fitted with them)
17. New plastic frame guards.
For complete details, engine specs, and photos on all Gas Gas models, go to www.ggor.us.
The 31st running of the Red Bull AMA Amateur Motocross Championships at Loretta Lynn’s is in the books and this year’s edition saw the emergence of several future MX stars as well as the return of a past star, Ricky Carmichael.
Among this year’s standout performers was Adam Cianciarulo, who claimed his 11th Loretta Lynn title, tying records set by Mike Alessi and James Stewart. Cianciarulo was undefeated in both Super Mini 1 and Super Mini 2 classes to end his career on minis. Cianciarulo, who will now move on to four-strokes, was also among the special awards winners, taking home the AMA Youth Award.
In the meantime, Zach Bell won the coveted AMA Horizon Award, presented to the rider showing the most promise for a professional career. The Cairo, Georgia rider was the 250 A champion at Loretta Lynn’s and plans to begin his professional career next weekend at the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Southwick.
Meanwhile, Robbie Reynard took home AMA’s top Vet honors for winning the Vet 35+ championship.
Floridian Jordan Bailey dominated the 85cc divisions, winning the 85 (9-11) Stock and Mod titles on a Suzuki.
Other standouts include Doug Dubach, who claimed his ninth career National title after winning four of the six motos he entered, giving him titles in the Senior 45+ and Senior 40+ divisions.
Ricky Carmichael made a big splash by returning to race at Loretta Lynn’s after a 16-year absence. After dispensing of eight-time Loretta Lynn title-holder Robbie Reynard early in the third moto, the G.O.A.T had no problems taking home the Junior 25+ class title, giving him his 10th career Loretta Lynn championship.
Pierce Brown swept the 65cc (7-9) stock division to give Cobra its first-ever US National title in the 65cc division. The Sandy, Utah, rider was a standout at last week’s Ponca City championships as well.
For a full report, photo galleries and results, go to www.motocross.com and check out the Features pages. – Shan Moore
2012 Loretta Lynn Amateur National Champions
250 C Mod
American Canyon, CA
Oklahoma City, OK
Mini Sr (12-14) Mod
250 B Stock
85 (9-11) Modified
51 (7-8) AMA 2 Stock
51 (4-6) AMA 1 Stock
51 (4-6) Stock Limited
51 (4-6) Shaft Drive Stock
65 (10-11) Stock
450 B Stock
65 (7-9) Stock
Super Mini 1 (12-15)
Port Orange, FL
Open Pro Sport
Elk River, MN
Schoolboy 1 (12-16) B/C
College B/C (16-24)
85 (9-11) Stock
Lake Havasu City, AZ
250 C Stock
250 B Mod
Mini Sr. (12-14) Stock
Vet B/C 30+
450 B Mod
Super Mini 2 (13-16)
Port Orange, FL
65 (7-11) Mod
Simi Valley, CA
Schoolboy 2 (13-16) B/C
Alpinestars Fall Product Launch
Word from the baby bird is that Alpinestars will be introducing some new product for the Fall 2012 season. While we don’t know exactly what new products they will be introducing to us, we do know that the majority of stuff will be street for you guys who crossover to the tarmac. But, we did catch wind that a portion of the new stuff will be for all you Dirt Riders out there. The official product launch is going to be at A’stars Headquarters on Tuesday, August 14th and we will be there to report. Stay tuned to find out whats new with Alpinestars in less than a week!
For their current collection of products visit: www.alpinestars.com – Chris Green
That’s all for this week. Be sure to check on next week for more Weekly Dirt!