Sunday, May 8, 2011

2008 450 Motocross Shootout

2008 450 Motocross Shootout
It took a long time to get dialed in, but the wait was worthwhile after sampling the amazing motorcycles offered in MotoUSA's 2008 450 Motocross Shootout.
2008 450 MX Shootout

If there's one thing motocross riders don't like it's having to wait for things. Case in point: We all rev our motors in anger when the starter board goes sideways and forces another five-second delay, the audacity of a white flag to postpone the checkers an additional lap makes us twist the throttle that much harder, and every time we order parts from the local dealer we incessantly badger the poor schmucks until they arrive. MotoUSA was on the edge of an office-wide mental breakdown as we waited for the 2008 450 motocross bikes to become available. The wait was prompted by a delay in the Suzuki press fleet as the engineers made a few last-minute changes to the most highly-anticipated machine in the class, the fuel-injected RM-Z450.

While that was happening, the Honda CRF450R, Kawasaki KX450F and Yamaha YZ450F were prepped and collecting a fine coat of dust in their respective warehouses. Everyone involved was itching to get started so as soon as the word came through from team Yellow, we were off and running to Glen Helen, Cahuilla Creek and the Mickey Cohen Motorsports dyno. With more throttles than right hands, we called up our standby fast guy, Alvin Zalamea, and former Arenacross champion Jeff Willoh to get their ringer opinions.

The extent to which we allow our moto-enthusiasm to command our lives is what determines just how much of a two-wheeled nut we all are. It's pretty safe to say that everyone at is certified bat-sh*t crazy about motorcycles. That's why when it came time for our long-delayed comparison and almost half of our on-site crew was deathly sick we didn't slow down for a moment. Instead we hacked, coughed, snorted, spat and overdosed on the best kind of medicine we could think of - a two-day batch of 450 antibiotics and plenty of SoCal sun.

Technicians from each OEM were on hand for both days of testing to make sure the bikes were as good as they could be for every rider's individual needs. No mods were allowed and at the end of our bone-stock moto-ballet we have a definitive winner and an appreciation for toughing out the wait.

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