Although this European
rule change does not
affect the FIM 250 World
Championships, it does allow
250 two-strokes to compete
head to head against 250
four-strokes in the EMX250
Championship, which is the
feeder series for the 250
GPs. Denmark, Canada and
Australia have already legalized 250 two-strokes in the 250
class. The FIM rule change was very simple. It simply said, “The
EMX250 championship is open to motorcycles between 175cc
and 250cc for both four-stroke- and two-stroke-powered
engines.” This will make the European motocross’ most important championship extremely interesting with the introduction of
equal capacities for the two-strokes and four-strokes.
GODSPEED! VICTOR ARBEKOV (1942–2017)
Motocross news is slow to get out of Russia, but based
on translations of Russian news accounts, 1965 FIM 250
World Champion Victor Arbekov passed away on February
18, 2017, at the age of 75. He was born on March 8,
1942, in Podolsk, a city 30 miles south of Moscow.
Victor started racing in 1956 on a home-built 125 at the
age of 14. Arbekov would go on to win the USSR 125 National
Championship in 1959. Over the course of his career, he
won 14 USSR National crowns. In 1963 Arbekov finished
20th in the FIM 250 World Motocross Championships.
In 1964 he finished third behind Joel Robert and Torsten
Hallman. The following year Arbekov defeated Joel Robert
to win the 1965 World Championship. In 1966 and 1967
Victor finished fourth in the 250 World Championships. And
in 1968 he was ninth overall—and disappeared from the
Grand Prix scene to behind the Iron Curtain, often rumored to
have fallen afoul of his Soviet handlers. During his GP career
Arbekov won nine 250 GPs and one 500 GP (in Germany in
1966). From 1961 to 1968 he was a member of the USSR
national team at the Trophee and Motocross des Nations.
After the end of his sports career he was engaged in coaching upcoming Russian riders.
JERSEY WARS: WHO INVENTED
THE COMPRESSION JERSEY?
While several motocross gear companies are in a squabble
over who invented the latest generation of tight-fitting compression gear, normally expressed in a tighter-fitting jersey
made from a Spandex-enhanced material with a bib over it,
that squabble is a total waste of time. Worst of all, it shows
how little some clothing companies know about the motocross
gear business. How so? They are claiming to have come up
with a unique idea when they are really late to the party. The
original motocross compression gear was introduced by AXO
over nine years ago. AXO’s 2008 Compression Team Issue
gear was designed by Kenny Safford and was the first motocross jersey to incorporate a two-piece compression design.
Part one was the skintight, long-sleeve, Lycra and Spandex
compression jersey. Part two was the Team Issue bib-style
vest, which is basically a tight-fitting basketball jersey that you
wore over the Lycra undershirt.
When the MXA wrecking crew tested the AXO Compression
Team Issue jersey back in 2008, we were divided. Half of the
test riders felt like their muscles were less fatigued and recovered faster because of the compression, while the other half
felt uncomfortable in the skintight jersey. However, all test
riders agreed that on a cold day the AXO compression jersey
was much warmer than a conventional loose-fitting jersey. Of
course, the corollary of that benefit was that on warm days it
was hotter. AXO’s Lycra undershirt had mesh sides to allow
air in (and the Team Issue vest was sleeveless). The under-jer-sey was white, while the sleeveless outer jersey came in red,
blue, black or blue/yellow. It should be noted that in hot
weather one test rider said that when you started to sweat, “it
felt like you were wearing snakeskin.” The AXO Compression
Team Issue jersey retailed for $44.99. AXO dropped the idea
when it didn’t sell very well.