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Cars & Motorcycles
Dirt Rider

Dirt Rider December 2017

Get Dirt Rider digital magazine subscription today for dirt bike and off road bike reviews, riding tips and tricks, and the latest racing coverage.

United States
Bonnier Corporation
Read More

In this issue

2 min.
450s, international races, and dr. frankenstein

Welcome to the 2018 450 MX Shootout issue, where we’ve traditionally revealed our results for the first time for the crop of new motocrossers. This year we let our website scoop our magazine with the full breakdown of each bike and then did something different for the story inside the issue you now hold. We’ve created here a sort of “tailgate explanation” of what you’d hear if we could take each of our test riders’ brains and put them into one head. That all sounds a little beyond what medical science could pull off, so we buried Andrew Oldar in test notes and yelled three questions into the pile: How are the engines? How’s the suspension? How do they handle? By the time he’d read his way out he looked less winded…

3 min.
antonio cairoli claims ninth title

Antonio Cairoli won his ninth world championship title at the penultimate round of the 2017 MXGP season in the Netherlands—held adjacent to the famous roadracing facility in Assen. The Italian maestro clinched the title with three motos still remaining aft er a great battle with young rival Jeffrey Herlings. In a display that typified the intensity and speed that Cairoli has brought to the series since his first title in 2005, he duked it out with the local hero fighting for the win, crossing the line just aft er Herlings to take the title for the Red Bull KTM Factory racing team. Aft er two injury-riddled campaigns, many had written off Cairoli, believing that he was no longer capable of challenging the new guard of MX2 graduates. Instead, at the age…

1 min.
miles of smiles

I love my job as a motojournalist. It takes me to a lot of cool places. But covering this year’s International Six Day Enduro in France on my own was brutal. Very few of the locals spoke English in the small town of Brive, which made it very hard for a guy like me. I like to ask questions, especially in restaurants. Even the menus were in French, so for my first meal in Brive I resorted to closing my eyes and pointing at something on the menu and ended up eating a salad with raw salmon. At least it was a meal because once the racing got underway, due to my workload shooting and gathering info all day and posting web reports and videos every night, I didn’t have…

1 min.
letter of the month

In the October issue we asked you to tell us at drmail@bonniercorp.com what you’ve done to help grow the heath of the sport and even threatened to thank some of you. I retired in 2002 and moved to Moab to be a trail guide. I got involved with Ride With Respect [ridewithrespect.org] while living there and helped build and maintain trails there for 11 years. In 2013 I moved back [to Indiana] to be close to grandkids but still return to visit in summers and help if needed. Terry Flynn Ft. Wayne, IN Thank you for your past and continued work through Ride with Respect. As a small thank-you, you’ve won some cool items from Mika Metals. PRIZE Terry Flynn’s bike won a Mika handlebar, grips, and bar clamps for Terry’s good work. Hopefully…

1 min.

▪ KTM signed former AMA West Coast 250SX Champion Broc Tickle to team with Marvin Musquin in the 450 class for 2018. The 28-year-old was left without a ride when RCH Suzuki folded at the end of the outdoor season. ▪ Justin Bogle has signed with AutoTrader.com/Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing Team (Joe Gibbs Racing) for 2018, joining Weston Peick in the 450 class. ▪ Hinson Clutch Components is accepting résumés for the 2018 rider support season. All rider support is being handled directly through the website hinsonracing.com. ▪ Popular AMA Dirt Track Grand National Championship announcer Barry Boone passed away at the age of 62. ▪ A new adventure trail will take motorized recreationists along 400 to 500 miles of back roads across northern Minnesota. The trail will start at Grand Portage and end…

1 min.

A LONGER SHOCK LINKAGE PULLROD will lower the rear; a shorter one will raise it. But does changing pullrod length also change the linkage’s ratio and therefore the rear suspension’s damping and rebound action? We asked suspension expert Rob Hendricksen of RG3 Suspension, who is contracted with the JGR team as a chassis and suspension engineer: “It’s [the pullrod length] essentially positioning things. It does have a slight effect on the leverage ratio. When you lower the rear of the bike with a [longer] pullrod it makes it slightly stiffer at the beginning of the stroke, but it tapers off to about the same point at the end. You’re essentially moving the beginning of the travel and moving the whole back of the [rear wheel movement] up.” Rob went on…