Factory Amateur Motocross Bikes—Jo Shimoda’s Honda CRF250R

Honda 250F at the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur National Motocross Championship.

Jo Shimoda’s Honda CRF250R in front of trailer.
AmsOil Honda’s Jo Shimoda raced his CRF250R to third place overall in the highly competitive Open Pro Sport class. He won the second moto in the 250 Pro Sport class, but an eighth place finish in the first moto and a DNF in the third eliminated his chances at winning that title.Shan Moore

The 38th running of the Loretta Lynn's Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship took place on July 28 to August 3 in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, where the top amateur motocross racers in the world battled for championship titles and to impress potential sponsors. Meanwhile, the top riders came into the race with solid backing from high-level teams, like Jo Shimoda, who is a member of the AmsOil Honda team. Here's a look at Shimoda's bike with some inside information from his mechanic, Cameron Camera.

Jo Shimoda’s Honda CRF250R 49mm coil-spring fork and Showa shock.
Shimoda runs a production Showa 49mm coil-spring fork and Showa shock, both of which are set up by Rick “Ziggy” Zielfelder at Factory Connection.Shan Moore

The production Showa fork and Showa shock are set up by Rick “Ziggy” Zielfelder at Factory Connection. The 49mm coil-spring fork is fitted into the standard Honda triple clamps that use the stock offset. The amateur team tests with Factory Connection at the beginning of the season to find the best settings for each rider. The shock linkage pullrod is made by Factory Connection with the stock dimensions as well.

Jo Shimoda’s Honda CRF250R with Hinson Racing clutch components and a skid plate from a CRF450L dual sport bike.
The team uses Hinson Racing clutch components and a skid plate from a CRF450L dual sport bike, which they modify to add some extra protection for the oil filter cover.Shan Moore

The team uses a Vortex ignition and Hinson Racing clutch components, including the basket and plates, and Camera cuts the airbox to allow for better airflow. The sprockets are ProTaper, and being that Shimoda likes to lug the bike in a higher gear, Camera swapped out the standard 48-tooth rear sprocket for a 51-tooth.

“Jo likes a little more bottom than normal,” Camera explained. “He shifts through the gearbox quite a bit, so with that, he’s running a bigger rear sprocket. He’s more of a low rev, meat of the power type rider.”

Jo Shimoda’s Honda CRF250R 51-tooth rear sprocket.
Shimoda likes to have lots of bottom-end power and rides lower in the rpm than most riders, so his mechanic Cameron Camera swaps out the stock 48-tooth rear sprocket for a 51-tooth.Shan Moore

The right-side radiator is extended to match the left, which is a little bit bigger. According to Camera, they’re a little tougher as well. The wheels are made up of D.I.D rims with stock hubs, which Camera says are a strong and durable combination. The footpegs are by Raptor and the shifter is from CMI, while the skid plate is from a CRF450L model.

“The [CRF450L] runs a skid plate with no holes in it,” Camera explained. “We actually custom-make the wings [that are on it]. If you saw Hunter Lawrence [at the Fox Raceway National], he had a little issue there [with a rock breaking the oil filter cover], so we’re trying to avoid that the best we can without adding too much [stuff] to the bike, so the [CRF450L] skid plate really helped out with that.”

Jo Shimoda’s Honda CRF250R stock shifter replaced with a CMI unit.
The stock shifter replaced with a CMI unit.Shan Moore

The handlebar is a one-off ProTaper unit with a custom bend made exclusively for Shimoda. He uses an ARC lever on the clutch side and a stock lever for the front brake. The team uses Cycra plastics with D’Cor Visuals graphics to complete the package. Camera also talked about working with Shimoda.

“He’s always hardest on himself,” he said. “Really, he’s not that hard on the equipment. He’s extremely smooth and calculated. I call him a technician. He goes out there and he’s got his whole race planned out before the gate drops. Really again, he’s just hardest on himself. His family has raised him to expect nothing but 100 percent effort. He always gives 100 percent.”