While compiling this issue of Dirt Rider, our humble midtown L.A. offices were closed for one day, due to the May 1 immigration protest. In light of this, we all decided to protest the protest by working all day. It may have been a dumb idea, but it did help me get our letter section done. Letter Rip!Got something to say? Hit up firstname.lastname@example.org, or send any letters to Dirt Rider, Attn: Letter Rip! 6420 Wilshire Blvd., 17th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90048. All letters may be edited. We may not answer every one, but we will definitely read them all.Pocket Rocket
You guys are completely out of whack. I can’t believe some of the trash I read in your rag. KTM 450 XC as BOY [bike of the year]? Man, you are so in their pocket it’s not even funny. What, did 7-foot 13-inch Carl Kramer slip that one by the editors? Gee, Husky produces the first-ever 50-state-legal true dirt bike and you guys don’t even give it an honorable mention. So super-weak.-Lee, Leesburg, VAThanks for reading. Actually, KTM is in our pocket. Last year was Honda, next year I think it’s…yep, Suzuki and then the year after that it’s probably Yamaha or Honda again, depending on who gives the biggest check. Personally, I’m hoping for Kawasaki to step up since I voted its 450 as B.O.Y. Unfortunately, Husky doesn’t have much in the form of an editorial-bribery budget so it only gets a thumbs-up from us when we win races on its bikes (“Husky + Unadilla + Mud = Big Fun” by Jimmy Lewis, DR May ’06). As for Kramer, he’s actually 8-foot 1-inch and his name is spelled with a K (Karel). Did you know you’re named after a town in Virginia? -Jesse ZieglerYou Must Answer
First off, I’d like to say that I think you guys and gals put out an excellent magazine. My questions are: (1) In the May issue, in the article “Nothing’s Perfect: Fixing the MXers,” concerning the 250 Honda, you liked the Power Now systems. For someone on a tighter budget, would you recommend the PowerFlow kit from Twin Air, with the open cage and backfire-resistant filter? (2) If I go that route, is it possible to make my already-purchased filters backfire-safe? (3) Back in the day when I installed new MX grips, I would spray some clear acrylic in the grip, some on the bar or throttle, slide them on and wire them tight. I’ve tried my old-school technique three times so far and each time my throttle grip tears on the end. What gives? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! I’m looking forward to that pipe shootout!-Tony AdairSo far, Twin Air’s PowerFlow system has worked fine for us, but it doesn’t improve power like the Power Now can. However, due to the fact that there is no backfire screen (the backfire-safe element is a layer of resistant foam laminated to the inside of the filter), I wouldn’t recommend trying to use your already-purchased filters on the Twin Air cage, because that isn’t what the system was intended to do. Modern grips, especially soft-compound ones, melt when you use paint. Factory mechanics in a hurry use Super Glue, but the Renthal grip glue is the only one that really works well on the new soft grips. Hope this helps! -Karel KramerSafety First
I just broke four bones in my foot and tore some ligaments, and I’m looking for the safest motocross boot made. Any help would be appreciated.
-Mike StoddardGiven your situation, Mike, I would normally suggest that you try either the Sidi with SRS soles or the Fly Racing Talon II boots, which offer incredible foot protection via a stiff, sturdy design. However, in light of your little mishap, I recommend that you check out the new XJ-9000 plaster-molded high-impact safety device, most commonly referred to as a cast. Wear it around for the next six to eight weeks, and if you don’t like it you can always go back to normal moto footwear. -Chris DenisonDual Sport Rubber
Do you know what is considered the best dual-purpose motorcycle tire? I have a 2001 Kawasaki Sherpa. Thanks!-David MaggioThe answer really depends on how you use the bike. Any tire that is good off-road will wear quickly and be noisy and somewhat slippery on the pavement. There really is no tire that works great on both surfaces. As far as wear goes, the Pirelli MT21 or Dunlop D606 tires are a pretty good compromise. If you use the bike to commute and may have to do panic stops in traffic, I’d stay with one of the street-oriented patterns. -KKShake That Thing
I just finished reading the April ’06 issue cover to cover. I noticed in the article about the 125 SX on page 118 that the rider experienced headshake at high speeds. That got me to thinking about something I saw on page 31 of the owner’s manual for my ’06 250 SX-F. The 250-525 SXs, XCs and EXCs have an offset fork, which allows you to change the caster. The factory setting allows better handling in curves, and the other setting is for high speeds. I am not sure the 125 SX has this feature, but I am pretty sure it does, and if I am correct, this should resolve the headshake issue with the test bike. My 15-year-old son Patrick and I love your mag-keep up the good work!-Richard SpackeyThanks, Richard. We tried both settings during testing of the KTM, and interestingly enough, found the second, high-speed setting to be a bit worse for headshake. Atta boy for paying attention, though! -CDIn the next issue
2OO7 Bikes he official word confirming or denying our speculation…The Erzberg Rodeo
Wild rides and even wilder riding.Long Hauls
How are they holding up?