We Need To Rethink Our Categories
by Eric Bolhuis
I'm not going to bash four strokes because I think they have their place. Do I want to race MX on one? No absolutely not, but I would love a good WR450 as a general offroad bike.
For MX I am completely rebuilding a 2003 RM250 from the ground up that I am racing in the 40+ class. If manufacturers do get back into the game I would like to see something other than the traditional 125/250 class bikes.
With the advent of the 140-150cc kits manufacturers such as KTM are putting out I think maybe the lightweight class should move that direction to compete with the 250 fours. While there are a number of 300cc kits and conversations available for current 250 two strokes I would really like to see an engine in the 350cc range for more of an open class type bike to compete with the 450 fours.
We have the 85cc bikes that we can convert to 105cc so I think it would make more sense to move from there to a 150 class then up to a 350 class if the rider so desires. Anything beyond that is a bit of a waste.
I rode and raced KX500's in my younger days and while I love the power of the 500 the reality is I have only ever seen a handful of riders that could really wring one out (Ron Lechien comes to mind) for the rest of us they just tire us out. That's where I think something in the 350 range would be ideal. Anyone else care to chip in on this idea? Once my RM is finished I will post some pics.