After I spent hundreds of dollars
on fancy graphics for my 2017 KTM
450SXF, I was depressed when the
right-side rear number plate peeled
up in one ride. What’s the solution?
This problem is not the fault
of the graphics companies but a
design error at KTM. The angle of
the bottom of the right-side rear
number plate encourages the rider’s
boot to rub against the graphics.
Our quick fix is to cut off the
section of graphics that peels up.
Since it is just a white decal over
white plastic, it’s not important in
the big scheme of things.
MATH SKILLS PUT TO THE
How does MXA choose the
sequential numbers for its test bikes?
Is it in order of preference?
There is no mystery to MXA’s
numbering system. We always use
two-digit numbers on our test bikes,
and we number them sequentially.
The first number represents the displacement and the second number the
brand. For example, in the 2017 MXA
250 shootout, the Husqvarna FC250
is 87. The 8 is for 250cc, and the 7 is
for Husqvarna. Following this logic,
the 2017 Husqvarna FC450 would be
37—3 for 450 and 7 for Husqvarna.
We change the brand and displacement numbers every year. We do this
to make photo identification of the
year and engine size of bikes easier.
When we see an 87 on a Husqvarna
photo, we know it’s a 2017 FC250,
because the 2016 Husky FC250 was
number 26 and the 2015 FC250 was
17. Other than that one procedural
reason, the numbers on our test bikes
have no hidden meaning.
HIGH-TECH CAR TIRES
It is obvious that the next big leap
in performance will come from apply-
ing modern race car tire technology
to motocross bikes. Why are the tire
manufacturers sitting on radial
The real reason the tire manufactur-
ers are sitting on radial motocross tire
technology is because it doesn’t work
on dirt bikes. And, to get it to work
would be labor-intensive—not just
for the tire companies, but for the
consumer also. Radial tires have been
tested by the factory teams and by
the MXA wrecking crew with very
little positive feedback. In our
experience, radial tires wallow under
any kind of load.
I’m confused about the needle in my
carburetor. When MXA says to “put
the clip in the second position,” what
does that mean? Is that richer or lean-
er? And, is it second from the bottom
or second from the top?
The jet needle of a motorcycle has
five clip positions (numbered one
through five from the top). The third
position is dead center. If you put the
clip higher on the needle (positions
one or two), the needle is dropped
deeper into the jet nozzle, thus lean-
ing the mixture by blocking fuel flow.
If you put the clip lower on the needle
(positions four or five), it raises the
needle out of the way of the fuel flow
and richens the mixture.