Photos By Scott Hoffman
After Dirt Rider’s 125cc Shootout, I knew I wanted to keep one of the bikes for the year as my personal motocross bike. I didn’t care which one, for me they all need a little work, especially in the suspension department because of my weight. The one with the most promise was easily the Husky CR125.
Impressed with its light feel, decent suspension, predictable handling and long pulling motor, the list of modifications was pretty simple. And I knew where to turn for a very funny reason. The suspension master at Pro Circuit Racing is Jim “Bones” Bacon who is very well known for tuning the suspension of the fastest 250F riders on the planet on the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki Racing Team. But I used to race against the skinny tall guy on his white Husky in the 125cc novice class back in the mid-1980s around Southern California. And Bones rode a very sano Husky 125 out of a then little speed shop called Pro Circuit. Yes, before all of what you see today, there is a long path to success. Bones’ CR125 had twin shocks, do you know what those were?
The first shot at the suspension was a giant guessing game of sorts, Bones had little experience with the Sachs shock yet the KYB fork was very similar to the ones found on older Yamahas. He installed stiffer springs front and rear for my 185 lb weight and ran a setting on the front to accomplish getting rid of some of the minor harshness and adding mid-stroke and bottoming control. For the shock he found that some of the works parts off of older KYB stuff fit in the reservoir of the Sachs shock and then gave the valving his best guess/calculation to stiffen it up and match the setting in the front end, knowing full well that it was going to take some tuning.
While it was at PC the engine guys got hold of the bike, ran it on the dyno and had a pipe cooked up in no time at all. An R-304 Stainless Shorty muffler rounded out the package. Then the bike was loaded up and I met the guys out at Glen Helen for a practice day to test it out.
The first thing I noticed about the suspension was that it no longer rode low in the rear. But to get the right ride height correct the bike sag was almost topped out. This indicating that an even stiffer spring would still be needed. But for a guess at a shock setting the CR was working great out back on a track chopped up by tons of riders prepping for the upcoming Outdoor Nationals. The fork was acting a bit inconsistent going into turns but everywhere else was really good at absorbing the bumps. I started playing around with clicker settings both front and rear to get a better feel and kept coming back to the setting the bike arrived with. In fact the breakthrough change was to slide the forks up in the clamp about 5mm and the turning feel came alive. Bones made the mental notes on what he wanted to do next time around and I was happy enough to take the bike as it was up to Hangtown for the amateur day’s races.
One of the big surprises was what the pipe and muffler did for the already long powerband of the Husky. It made it longer and stronger. Typically PC pipes give two-strokes a little more hit than I like but on this bike it felt like the power delivery just got a wake up as opposed to more snap. Now the bike could pull from a lower RPM without needing the clutch and fired to life harder if I did use the clutch. Then the pull felt stronger everywhere and had a little more overrev on top with a softer sign-off which is always a blessing on a 125. Stock I wanted to add an extra tooth to the rear sprocket, now it was not needed at all. Of course the sound output from the shorty is a little ear drum splitting when on the bike but I had it tested at Hangtown and it passed the 96 dB stationary sound test. And so far the bike has needed no jetting and runs crisp on 92-octane pump gas running Rock Oil two-stroke premix.
As for the standard parts on the bike, small tabs on the radiator that hold the lower shroud or spoiler on have broken off from either tip-over damage or my knee hitting it and the spoiler and louvers went missing mid-moto. Our quick-start device was dragging catching when riding so we removed it. A fat guy on a 125 isn’t going to be getting any good starts anyways! But the rest of the Husky is handling the abuse just fine and we’ll keep you posted on and further issues or durability concerns that come up. As usual I threw on my 14-degree bend Flexx bars to keep my wrists happy. I also mounted Dunlop MX51 tires on the bike to get some more soil range and better grip for Hangtown.
So the bike is back for round two in the suspension department at Pro Circuit right now getting some bottoming resistance added to the fork through oil level and a revalve and stiffer spring put on the rear to tone down the affect of the high speed compression adjuster. I can’t wait to take it out again as this bike is shaping up to be one sweet ride.