We lined them up again, but this time we wailed around SoCal for a couple days to shake down the 2008 crop of Japanese 250F motocrossers.
What is it that we all want most for the holidays? We don't have quite as much time as Mr. Claus to double check the list. Hell, we don't even have a list, but we'd bet our favorite set of boots that a new two-wheeler is at the top of yours. Saint Nick has his hands full making all those knick-knacks and stocking stuffers year round, so we saved him the trouble of finding the best 250F MXer to wedge down your chimney this year. We set out to deck the halls with red, yellow, blue and green in a Christmas motocross extravaganza just for you. So peel the wrapper and take a lick of our four-flavored candy cane - MotoUSA's 2008 250F Motocross Shootout.
These comparison tests can get a little repetitive after a few years - same bikes, same locations, same testers, etcetera, and etcetera. We tried to do something cool for our 2007 250F MX Shootout
and mixed things up a bit by getting the hell out of crap-brown Southern California and moving into the lush greenery of Southern Oregon. Searching for a fresh look at the beauty of motocross, we rounded up the bikes, found some local flavor in the form of Oregon's fastest of yesteryear, Ryan Huffman, and one of the freshest up-and-comers, Mike Horban (who just landed a ride with the Wonder Warthog Racing team for 2008 Supercross Lites). Then it snowed on us.
Ok, so we learned our lesson. We get bikes later than other mags so testing up north isn't the best scenario after Thanksgiving. We took our licks, managed a solid test out of the soggy deal and vowed to spend our winter in warmer climates this year, which is exactly what we did. We stuck to our guns on the format though, and still enlisted local speedsters to cut the fast laps. Former AMA 500 National Champion Chuck Sun busted out to SoCal from his Las Vegas crib for his second go-around on the MCUSA crew. He joined 15-year journeyman pro and Evomx Inc.
owner, Carter Gurneé and one of our regular OC testers, Alvin Zalamea.
Another constant are the mechanical players. Honda
showed up with the defending champ, the CRF250R, Kawasaki
brought the KX250F in search of redemption after a 2006 victory, Suzuki
offered up its unproven but improving RM-Z250 and Yamaha
tossed in the bike that started it all, the YZ250F. Even though we desperately wanted to avoid photo backdrops that have all the attractiveness of a stale turd, there's a reason that SoCal is the moto Mecca, and the spread of bad-ass tracks is no small part. We took the bikes, factory technicians, testers and our notepads out to Starwest MX and Cahuilla Creek for a double-sesh of tight, jumpy terrain and ear-bustin', over-revvin' madness. After that we headed to Mickey Cohen Motorsports
for a stint on the dyno.
Obviously, with such different styles of riding and riders, opinions fluttered like the rev-limiters we constantly smashed into. Still, you'd be surprised how definitive our results were. Read on, and Merry Christmas from the MotoUSA staff.