450s to 350s??????? interesting thread


25 replies to this topic
  • Ga426owner

Posted May 09, 2007 - 09:21 AM

#1

From motorcycle daily

350s for Supercross?
By Dirck Edge
Beginning with a meeting in Europe several weeks ago that included FIM representatives as well as Steve Whitelock, AMA Manager of Supercross and Motocross, the idea of restricting the premier supercross/motocross classes to 350cc (currently 450cc) has been floated. Why?

According to an interview given to Cycle News last week, Whitelock says the problem (in Supercross, at least) is that "the riders can't handle the 450s", with the exception of James Stewart and (presumably) other star riders. Whitelock says it is killing competition, because the few riders who can handle the brutish power of the 450 run away from everyone else on a supercross track.

It seems to me that James Stewart, Ricky Carmichael and Chad Reed ran away from everyone else on two-strokes a few years ago, and that has not really changed in the four-stroke era. I do not see the logic in Whitelock's argument.




This is not to say that 450s are not overkill on a supercross track for most riders. They are. The top 250F riders' lap times compare favorably with 450F riders (leaving aside the three superstars mentioned above). This is something like the 500cc two-stroke era where 250cc two-strokes began to run the same (or faster) lap times outdoors, and the AMA killed the class as essentially irrellevant.

I have also heard it said that the huge torque put out by the 450s damages supercross tracks too quickly, particularly the whoop sections. If this is the real reason behind recommending an engine capacity reduction, Whitelock should come out and say it. At the same time, I am not convinced that 350cc four-strokes will chew up supercross tracks any less than 450s.

In my mind, the biggest problem with the motorcycles competing at supercross events is noise. As a long-time supercross fan, the noise level of the current four-strokes in a stadium (enclosed or not) can be annoying, and distracting. In this regard, the two-stroke supercross era was more enjoyable for fans. Perhaps the AMA should focus on solving this problem first before it tries to force manufacturers to build new 350s. Maybe quiet 450s would make roughly the same power as a 350.

  • 642MX

Posted May 09, 2007 - 10:29 AM

#2

Steve Whitlock is an idiot. Downsizing the 450's into 350's won't change a thing, except it will cost the consumer more money when purchasing a new bike. The manufactures will off-set the high cost of R&D work right to us.

If he wants to make improvements to the racing in the stadiums he needs to cut down on the db's and figure out why a 16oz Budweiser costs $9.00. :applause:

  • Ranger18

Posted May 09, 2007 - 11:07 AM

#3

look at the las vegas lap times for the first heats. You will see that RV was only 2.5 or 3 seconds slower on his 250f than JS was on his 450f.
With that said, I don't think there is anything wrong with the 450's, just the riders. I think JS is a crazy wreckless Sone of a :applause: , but that's what makes him the fastest.
Maybe the AMA should make the 250f's the main class, and bring back 125's for a lights class.
Bubba
RV
reed
milsaps
windham
ext.
All of them on a 250f would make for a great race; they would be on the stop the whole time.

  • grayracer513

Posted May 09, 2007 - 01:14 PM

#4

As Ronald Reagan was oft heard to remark, "There they go again." The "brutish power" of a 450 is barely even a factor in SX in the first place, and really has almost nothing to do with either the dominance of 4-strokes in that venue, or in the dominance of Stewart, Carmichael, et al. The usable nature of the power does have something to do with it, but that actually makes them more rideable, not less.

Stewart, on at least one occasion that I can recall, turned in the fastest practice lap of the day at an SX race on his KX125. The reason you have a boring parade going on now is because Ricky quit, and no one else is anywhere near the level that Stewart operates at on an every week basis. And he could do that on a green wheelbarrow (which is pretty much what his KX250 was). Maybe what they need to do is start Stewart and Reed in the back row, or something. Geez.

Another dumb idea.

  • RideRaceLive123

Posted May 09, 2007 - 01:58 PM

#5

I think they should just allow 125(144cc) and 250(265cc) to have big bores...

Because 2-stokes are dying and that isn't good.

  • yz_for_me

Posted May 09, 2007 - 08:35 PM

#6

They say hind sight is 20/20 and in this case hind sight says they should have limited the cc's at 400 back in '98/'99 when Yamaha was the only game in town. It's pretty plain to see that 450's have too much advantage over 250 smokers.

Since they didn't do that, and factories are not likely to make an entire new engine anytime soon, I agree with GA426, they should quiet those SOB's down so fans can enjoy the racing. That would at least partially solve both problems.

  • black_n_blue_thumper

Posted May 09, 2007 - 08:45 PM

#7

http://www.thumperta...8&highlight=350

  • teedubya46

Posted May 11, 2007 - 04:33 PM

#8

I think a 350f would be cool but i personally wouldn't buy one now. I like my 450. It fits my riding style. I can be lazy and incompetant 96% of the time and have plenty of fun and still have that 4% where I can, if i so have the inclination to, go fast enough to knock the wind outta me. I say Nay to the 350f and agree with GA426 and yz 4 me to push for quieter thumpers.

  • moto867

Posted May 11, 2007 - 05:02 PM

#9

Who cares what advantage the 4 strokes have over smokers? Every body rides the 4 strokes so it's irrelavent. Frankly, it sounds bad, but I don't care what happens to the two stroke because, since riding the 450 i'm never going back.

  • moto867

Posted May 11, 2007 - 05:05 PM

#10

I forgot to say, if the 450's were too fast for every body but the top three or four guys, than nobody would be hopping them up. It seems there are very few stock motored bikes in supercross, or arenacross for that matter.

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  • teedubya46

Posted May 11, 2007 - 05:14 PM

#11

True if the current bikes were "Too Much" don't ya think that people would leave them alone? I think that most riders know what they can handle and what there limits are. Sometimes people trying to protect other people from themselves is a good thing sometimes its just a bad idea. In this case it's bad.

  • Kenpo1

Posted May 11, 2007 - 09:40 PM

#12

Who cares what advantage the 4 strokes have over smokers? Every body rides the 4 strokes so it's irrelavent. Frankly, it sounds bad, but I don't care what happens to the two stroke because, since riding the 450 i'm never going back.


If everyone was as uniformed and apathetic as you, we won’t have anything/ anywhere to ride in the future.

As far as never going back, you'll ride whatever they tell you to, just like you are now.

  • grayracer513

Posted May 12, 2007 - 07:51 AM

#13

If everyone was as uniformed and apathetic as you, we won’t have anything/ anywhere to ride in the future.

As far as never going back, you'll ride whatever they tell you to, just like you are now.

What an attitude. There are two things that have put the 4-stroke in the position they are currently in. The first is the enormous technological advancement they have undergone over the last 20 years. Yes it goes back that far. Advances in head and camshaft design and metallurgy, as well as other areas, occurred in the automotive, road racing, and sport bike worlds, and once the YZ400 came on the scene so successfully, the development was accelerated again. Two-stroke development has been relatively stagnant during the same period.

The other reason relates to why the YZ400 was ever even there. There was one engineer, one, at Yamaha who had the idea that he could produce a really modern 4-stroke MX bike. After he was allowed to produce his prototype, Yamaha decided the idea had merit, and they appealed to the AMA to allow an unspecified displacement advantage to the four-stroke. The AMA put the same amount of scientific research into the question as they normally employ, which is to say, none, and fixed the limit at 550cc for 4-strokes in the 250 class. The truth was that they simply didn't think a 4-stroke could win no matter how big it was.

After the '97 SX championship went to Doug Henry, the backpedaled as only the AMA can do to the current limit of 450, but of course, no research went into that, either.

So now these same "learned individuals" propose to tinker with the class yet again, at a potentially huge expense to both the manufacturers and privateers (you'll need two complete bikes to ride SX and MX), and I'll guarantee you that they haven't studied the issue in any meaningful way. You think this is a good thing? Talk about riding what you're told to.

The situation is what it is. Leave it alone, and let the two-stroke catch up if it can.

  • Kenpo1

Posted May 12, 2007 - 08:51 AM

#14

What an attitude. There are two things that have put the 4-stroke in the position they are currently in. The first is the enormous technological advancement they have undergone over the last 20 years. Yes it goes back that far. Advances in head and camshaft design and metallurgy, as well as other areas, occurred in the automotive, road racing, and sport bike worlds, and once the YZ400 came on the scene so successfully, the development was accelerated again. Two-stroke development has been relatively stagnant during the same period.

The other reason relates to why the YZ400 was ever even there. There was one engineer, one, at Yamaha who had the idea that he could produce a really modern 4-stroke MX bike. After he was allowed to produce his prototype, Yamaha decided the idea had merit, and they appealed to the AMA to allow an unspecified displacement advantage to the four-stroke. The AMA put the same amount of scientific research into the question as they normally employ, which is to say, none, and fixed the limit at 550cc for 4-strokes in the 250 class. The truth was that they simply didn't think a 4-stroke could win no matter how big it was.

After the '97 SX championship went to Doug Henry, the backpedaled as only the AMA can do to the current limit of 450, but of course, no research went into that, either.

So now these same "learned individuals" propose to tinker with the class yet again, at a potentially huge expense to both the manufacturers and privateers (you'll need two complete bikes to ride SX and MX), and I'll guarantee you that they haven't studied the issue in any meaningful way.


Thanks for the history lesson, but none of this has anything to do with my comment.

You think this is a good thing? Talk about riding what you're told to.


I'll give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume you were very tired when you read my post and responded; that way we don't have to mention reading comprehension or cognitive development.

In short - I never said "anything" was a "good thing" - you clearly misunderstand.

The situation is what it is. Leave it alone, and let the two-stroke catch up if it can.


So, is it technological advancement that has created the situation, or the AMA who made a poor decision with little research or forethought? Seems by your post your undecided. It's confusing to read when your confused. Rethink it and get back to us.

  • DPW

Posted May 12, 2007 - 09:45 AM

#15

It will just make it harder for the privateer to compete with the factory boys. Right now, just a guess...the 450 was plenty of power for SX and the privateer is able to be competitive power wise with the factory boys...suspension is the big difference. A factory 350 bike will more then likely be just as fast as the the current 450, but louder and less reliable..look at the 250F class. I heard Tommy Hahn's factory CRF250R at a local track and that bike would make your ears bleed.

Work on the noise issue...make it 93db to start and none of these baby steps with the sound I think next year's limit is 98 or something. We are talking noise what is the big hold up is it that hard to quiet a bike down...no.

The other is up the limits on two stokes and bring them back in the game. The whole emissions things about four strokes being cleaner is not true from what I have read.

  • MikeDD

Posted May 12, 2007 - 11:48 AM

#16

Thanks for the history lesson, but none of this has anything to do with my comment.


What an attitude.


That's what Gray's post had to do with your comment and thats all that needed to be said about it.

Please find a clue soon..

  • ridenfast

Posted May 12, 2007 - 12:03 PM

#17

That's what Gray's post had to do with your comment and thats all that needed to be said about it.


Recognizing apathy and ignorance is too much attitude for you? Toughen up man.

Please find a clue soon..


I read the post, sounds like he/she has a clue... maybe time to take your own advice.

  • ridenfast

Posted May 12, 2007 - 12:04 PM

#18

It will just make it harder for the privateer to compete with the factory boys.


They have already done that.

  • grayracer513

Posted May 12, 2007 - 06:14 PM

#19

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume you were very tired when you read my post and responded; that way we don't have to mention reading comprehension or cognitive development.

I would have had to have been extremely tired. Your post is two sentences totaling 37 words, all of which I recognized immediately without the use of reference materials.

You referred to another TT member as apathetic and ignorant because he disagrees with your position on the question of parity for two strokes. Frankly, I don't see that that demonstrates any particular level of enlightenment on your part.

To the question itself, two-stroke parity isn't even the issue here in the first place. The stated reason for the proposed reduction in the size of the big bikes in SX to 350cc is, according to Motorcycle Daily, "the problem (in Supercross, at least) is that "the riders can't handle the 450s", with the exception of James Stewart and (presumably) other star riders" (enclosed quotes belonging to Steve Whitelock). But that was made clear in the opening post. The parity question was interjected later.

Regardless, you call the gentleman ignorant ("uninformed" was your precise choice of word) and apathetic because the purported demise of the two stroke is of no concern to him. Frankly, I agree with him, but I was riding four-strokes before the two-strokes took over, and I'm glad they're back. The "demise" of the four stroke didn't end the world as we know it, and whatever recession the two-stroke falls into at this point won't be cataclysmic either, as long as any development goes into their eventual resurgence.

But perhaps my cognitive abilities are a little underdeveloped, because I fail to see how a lack of interest in the disappearance of two-strokes will result in there not being anything or anywhere to ride. Maybe you can connect the dots for us.

While you're at it, perhaps you'll be able to disabuse us as to how we are being told what to ride. Do you think that everyone riding a 4-stroke is doing so because they were told to? I'm on one because I think them superior on several counts. Maybe I'm ignorant.

So, is it technological advancement that has created the situation, or the AMA who made a poor decision with little research or forethought? Seems by your post your undecided. It's confusing to read when your confused. Rethink it and get back to us.

Retrace to the second sentence of my response to you for your answer. I clearly stated that there were two reasons, neither of which excludes the other.

They have already done that.

And so the solution is to allow the same group of advanced thinkers and problem solvers who created the problem to develop the solution? That's how the government operates. It never works.

In closing, let me say this: Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and in this forum, everyone is entitled to express that opinion, whatever it is or who it disagrees with. But I am not disposed to suffer such aspersions as "ignorant", "you'll ride whatever they tell you to, just like you are now", "confused", nor questions as to anyone's cognitive development to be directed at anyone here. You can make a point and argue it on its merits all you want.

  • moto867

Posted May 12, 2007 - 06:55 PM

#20

Thanks for getting my back Gray. As I said I have ridden both and I now choose the 4 stroke. I feel it is better and easier to ride than my previous bike (2 stroke). I resisted the change for many years, but when it came time for a new bike I chose a 4 stroke, and now i will not look back untill 2 strokes become superior to the 4 strokes. Nobody told me to ride one, and if someone had, I probably would not just to spite them. If riding a bike that I feel is better makes me ignorant, than 99% of the motocross community is also ignorant, or is it just you?





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