In life change is inevitable. The same is true for technology of every kind. As time goes on things change, sometimes it is good, sometimes not so much. If we look at the advancement of Dirt Bikes, we have moved from 500lb Harley Davison Hardtails,
to slightly lighter BSA and Triumph Desert sleds,
to dual shock Japanese dirt bikes,
to the current crop of ultra light, single shock, single cylinder, 300 foot jumping dirt bikes.
At this point we could ask the question is there really anywhere else to go? Is all that is left to do just small changes in frame and engines? We can look at the new Honda CRF450R, a great bike, but is it really all that much different then all the other dirt bikes out there. The basics are the same, some things got moved around but is it the same leap forward that the dual shock to single shock was? Is it the same as moving from no rear suspension at all on old Harleys to the 3-4 inches that Triumph had?
The big question as I see it is what happens when a company is truly innovative? I look at the Husky TE449/511. Husky decided to throw out the rule book and make something different (yes I know they stole it from BMW but just hang with me). The gas tank in the back, the sprocket on the same pivot as the swing arm, air box in the front. Now David Knight couldn’t ride the thing, but is that because it is truly bad or is it because most of us that ride were brought up on more traditional bikes that have different handling characteristics? Take a kid with no other riding experience and natural talent (like Knight), teach him to ride solely on a Husky TE449 and you would have an award winning champion on a “impossible” bike. And what doesn’t work in racing may work in other things, like Dual Sport riding.
Yamaha has been one of the chief innovators of things that work that are different, such as one of the first mass produced single shock dirt bikes, and now they have the backwards engine. Yeah it is different then other bikes, it steers with the front wheel more, but is that necessarily a bad thing? With the new crop of riders coming up that have not been riding a “normal” bike their whole lives, maybe now is the time to try something new? I love innovation, it is one of the things that makes America great, we embrace and encourage new ideas. Before we decide if something isn’t good just because it is different, maybe we should try it out, give it a shot, todays “weird” is tomorrows normal.
Well things here are IMS are getting exciting. As of now we have come out with a new tank for the CRF450R
As well as the Beta 300/450RR tank.
So all in all it has been quite the exciting 5 months. IMS is working full steam ahead doing what we do best, and that is make tanks and make them well. But now we have ventured out into new and exciting territory, the side by side, or UTV. Since it first came out the RZR has dominated the UTV scene, fast, handles great, and can take up to 4 people in style. But like all race machines it seems to suffer from one major flaw, fairly low MPG. Now maybe stock it isn’t to bad, but if you are like the guys that work at IMS, you can leave it stock for long. Engine mods make more speed, but speed burns more gas, and for some of the extreme turbo RZRs out there I have heard of people getting as low as 7.5 MPG. So what do you do when you only got a 7.5 gallon tank and that kind of MPG, most of us have had to resort to the good ole gas can, or just not ride for very long. The gas can seems ok, but after seeing pictures like this
kind of makes me think that that extra can of fuel on a bed that can get pretty hot due to exhaust and turbo heat might not be a great idea. So that just leaves you with short rides. Let figure this out, if you got a full decked out turbo RZR and get 7.5 MPG and a 7.5 gallon tank that means you have, at best, 56.25 miles of riding. That means no later then 28.125 miles you have to turn around and head back. And when you have a machine with that kind of power and speed you are looking at a very very short riding day. On top of that you can not get any further then 28.125 miles away from camp, not a whole lot of exploring.
There is a third option now coming out, and IMS has it. We are currently working on a auxiliary tank (so an easy install) that will increase the total fuel capacity of the RZR to 12-13 gallons. Since the tank will be installed near the stock tank, it is in just as safe a place as the stock tank. We know people have been asking for this tank for a while and we are pleased to announce that we are finally doing it. It still has at least 30 days till production but we will keep you posted as to when it is available and the total gallons you will get. We hope you guys are as excited as we are.
Here are a few pics to help you out.
This title comes from something my 7th grade History teacher used to say all the time. Of course, he was referring to kings and tyrants of history but I think it applies to modern Supercross as well. Looking at modern Supercross bikes, one has to wonder is there such a thing as too much power? Modern 450 bikes make power that could only be dreamed of 10 years ago, even 250’s are getting more and more powerful. At what point is it too much for racers? To ride a 450 these days at full race pace is exhausting, to the point that only a select few can actually do it, meaning that most of the 450 bikes sold these days are actually only using part of the astronomical power that they have. So why then do manufacturers insist on making them more powerful? The answer is simple: Power Sells.
Think about it. When was the last time you heard someone bragging about how little power his or her bike makes, or someone fitting a more restrictive intake or exhaust so decrease power? We like to have the biggest, fastest, and most powerful thing out there. Manufactures know this and cater to it. On top of that, isn’t that what most aftermarket companies focus on, more power? Now there isn’t anything inherently wrong with wanting or making more power, the problem is when we force the human body to try to deal with it on a regular basis as a job, and not only do they have to deal with the insane power, but they have to push even harder. There is a documentary floating around called “Bigger, Stronger, Faster”. It goes into depth about how we as humans are getting bigger, stronger, faster, and not always to our benefit. We can now breed cows that are so muscular due to genetic engineering that they cannot give birth. (Yeah I know it is a bull in this picture.)
We have modern drugs and medicine that can allow us to push our bodies beyond what the natural limits are. We take this and then add to it a dirt bike with enough power to launch a person 346 feet (Robbie Madison) and you have a recipe for disaster. Yes, the bike can survive the impact, after all it is just a machine and machines can be repaired, but the human body is not quite the same. If you botch a landing or a 300 plus foot jump, you die. If you are on a Supercross track and mess up, serious injury or death can occur, just look at Stewart and how long it took him to recover and how easy it was for him to get hurt again.
If you look at almost every other motor sport, only dirt bikes have not really gone through any sort of safety modifications, NASCAR has restrictor plates, MotoGP tried to shrink displacement (it didn’t work, smaller motors mean higher corner speed and you really only crash in the corners) and use a ton of electronics, even F1 racing got rid of turbocharging to make the cars safer. So is it only a matter of time before Supercross catches up to this trend? What can or should be done to keep the sport enjoyable while keeping participants safe?
So today I went for a ride, the first one since our daughter was born. For the last week we have been cooped up inside the house not going much of anywhere for any length of time and I was feeling it. So today, my wife and her sister went to the park, taking my niece and our oldest daughter along with the newborn. This gave me a few precious hours to hit the trails. So I threw on my riding gear (blue Moose jersey and pants, Answer boots, and a GMAX helmet, just in case anybody wants to know what I wear) and hopped on the XR and took off.
Now from my house to where I usually ride is only about a 5-10 minute ride. Today though I had some extra time so I decided to go a little further before hitting a different trail that connected to a huge network of other trails, my first mistake. You see, after 20 minutes of twisty mountain road I came to the trail head, and BAM there was a “Road Closed” sign. Not a big deal, the road workers here have a tendency to leave the signs up even after they are done. Not this time. Next to the sign were two workers and a cop. Further down the road was a HazMat truck and some more people. That was a major bummer as I had already wasted over 20 minutes of riding time just getting to a trail. I knew where another trail was, the problem was that I have only ever exited the trail where it ran into the paved road, never started the trail from that point. Because of this I missed the trail, by a good mile or more. I had to pull over, take out my phone, and look at a Map App to see where I was and the place I wanted to be. I finally found the trail head and took off.
After 40 minutes of road riding I had finally hit dirt. This turned out to be my second mistake. You see I had ridden the trail I was now on many times, and it is actually one of my favorite local trails. The problem was that I was now riding it backwards. What was usually a slightly up hill trail with twisty left and right hand bends, was now a slightly down hill trail with twisty right and left hand bends. It is really weird for my brain to know that I was on a trail I can ride but to be doing everything backwards. So what would have taken no time at all, now took twice as long and was not very fun. To top it off, during the last rain storm the trail had become extremely muddy and the 4×4 truck guys took advantage of this to go mudding. I have absolutely nothing against that, the trail is open to all street legal vehicles so bring it on. If I had a big truck I would be out there too, the problem is the ruts are still there when the mud dries. The ground is rock hard, with ruts everywhere, and I am going the opposite direction. All in all this was not a very good trail riding day. When I got to the end of the trail I saw this:
Yes, apparently I had just ridden down an active crime scene. That might help explain all of the cops I had seen on the way up. As I stood there confused as to why the tape was only on this end of the trail as well as trying to figure out a way to get around it without breaking the tape, I saw a big white van heading down the paved road that this trail ended at. On the side of the van it said San Bernardino Fire Department. As I was mentally preparing my flight or fight response, the driver of the van looked at me, and waved, and then kept on going. I quickly got around the tape and took off going the opposite direction of the van. As I headed back I saw HazMat trucks and tankers at various places on the road and was actually kind of glad that I hadn’t spent that much time in the dirt, since I had no idea what was going on. When I got home I used good old faithful Google to find out what had happened. Turns out a tanker truck carrying over 4,600 gallons of fuel had crashed and dumped most of its payload on to the road. (http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_23139067/highway-38-reopens-cleanup-goes)
Now this totally sucks, not because my riding areas have been shrunk, but because of the environmental damage. I hope that they get it cleaned up fast and not too much gets into the Santa Ana River. In the mean time I had better get used to riding some of my favorite trails backwards.
After what has happened in Boston and in West Texas it is always good to look back on your own family and rejoice in the good times and learn from the bad times. I had the privilege of spending the day with my wife and daughter in Palm Desert at the Shops at El Paso. Now I am a male and yes shopping and looking at a purse that cost more then my first dirtbike is not my idea of the best way to spend my time (especially with the day a beautiful as today was) but in the end I need to remember what really matters the most in life, it is not the trophies you win or the epic rides that you do, but the people you influence and touch. My wife is now 3 days over due with our second daughter and our first daughter is almost 2 years and 5 months old and a fireball of energy, she only has two speeds, sleep and warp. But I can not think of a better way to spend this day especially when you think of all the people that wont get to after what happened this week.
I know that lots of you feel that there is plenty of time left to spend time with your family, and that riding or wrenching on your bike/quad relaxes you and is your only “fun” activity you get to do. I can totally understand where you are coming from, I felt the same way for so long, I would get up early on my days off and go ride, either mountain bike or dirt bike, and then come home after the wife and baby had gotten up, sometimes missing them completely as they had already started their day and left to go do what they do. After months of doing this something clicked in my heart, I only get so much time with these people, I only have so many moments to influence for good (hopefully) my daughter, I only have so many chances to build up and encourage my wife, to love her and appreciate her, and I was wasting so many of them doing things that, in the end, don’t really matter. I am not a pro racer, my lively hood is not dependent on if I can be 3 second faster a lap then last time. Now yes, bikes and off road is a major part of my job, but on my days off, my family is what matters, and when I am off the clock my family is what matters. Instead of thinking I will have plenty of time with my family later, I realized that I will have plenty of time with my bikes later. I encourage you to take a second look at your life and reevaluate what really matters, what is really deserving of the majority of your time out side of work, and (if you have them) go home, kiss your spouse, hug your kids, tell them all you love them, because for many people it is to late. Enjoy this time because in the end you wont want one more lap or one more hour of riding, you will want one more moment with the ones you love. Make those moments now.
So yesterday I went for a Mountain Bike ride near where I live. It is a nice network of trails that involves a good amount of climbing with equal amounts of descent so that even if you work like a dog going up hill you still get that reward of going downhill to balance it out. On this particular day I didn’t have a ton of time to go ride, maybe about an hour, and I am not in great physical shape endurance wise so it takes me longer then I would want to climb up, so I knew I would have to do a short ride. After climbing the roughly 1.5 miles of single track up I rode a little ways on a dirt road and then took a different roughly 1.5 miles of different single track down. As I came to the second single track I noticed the sign on the trail. It was a typical trail sign with the typical warning and safety labels on it. It let me know that hikers and equestrians could be on this trail as well as other mt. bikers and that I could adopt this trail, and to pick up after my dog, that sort of thing. It was the second to last picture that really got to me (I circled it in black so that you could see it) it is a picture that is being seen more and more on all kinds of trails. It is the Dirt Bike with the red crossed out circle around it, you know what I mean.
This I have seen around a lot, and frankly for the most part, it is not a problem, I honestly don’t want to be ridding my Mt. Bike or have my wife jogging on a trail that is in the middle of town like this one, and have to worry about being ran over or ran into by a guy on a dirt bike on twisty narrow single track like I like to ride on my Mt. bike. And honestly I think that it is ok for trails to be designated for only specific activities, as long as it doesn’t go overboard and as long as it stays that way. What I mean by that is if it is a Dirt bike trail, don’t let a few overzealous equestrians or environmentalist shut it down just because they don’t like it. Rather, let the trails stay open as they have been for a long time.
Secondly I feel that we should have designated off road trails for dirt bikes that are for dirt bikes. Hikers, mt. bikers, equestrians, and the like should stay off, that way we all get what we want.
What I find to be really different about these particular trails is the fact that I personally know the guys from back in the late 70’s and 80’s who made these trails on their dirt bikes. Like I said before I don’t mind that these trails don’t allow dirt bikes, even though they made them, as the town I live in has a huge mt. biking culture and we need a safe, local place to ride. What bothers me is the closing of Dirt bike riding areas that have been dirt bike riding areas and nothing but dirt bike riding areas since their creation. If hikers, and joggers, and mt. bikers, and equestrians aren’t using the area because it is dirt bike only, then leave it alone, don’t shut it down for them. Dirt bike and off road motor sports participants need a place to ride, and when these places get shut down it only encourages more and more people to start riding in areas that they shouldn’t, this then makes non off road enthusiasts angry and in turn shuts down even more riding areas, causing people to ride where they shouldn’t and it just becomes a vicious circle. Some of you remember a while back when the State of California tried to all but remove riding areas completely and if it wasn’t for a band of very determined off road enthusiasts they would have succeeded, we don’t need that to happen again.
Now my four yeas of living on the big island of hawaii with very limited riding areas has taught me a few things, the most important was to stick to the trails. We were in constant danger of trails be shut down because someone decided he didn’t like the trail that was there and wanted to go ride where he wanted to ride. I firmly believe that we need more trails for dirt bikes and quads to ride, and the more designated trails we have the less there is going to be people destroying non-riding areas, and everybody is happy.
I guess in the end what I am trying to say is we need to take care of what we got, petition correctly not angrily for more riding areas, and be responsible with the land that isn’t ours. If not we will see more and more signs like the one above popping up everywhere and eventually the only place we will have to ride is our imagination.
So this morning it was a cold and windy day, the forecast was only a 30% chance of rain, plenty low enough for me to ride. So I left my warm windless house got on my XR and headed out to the Starbucks to do some work. For the first hour I was there it was fine, still cold but no rain. I figured I had plenty of time to work and so I kept at it. At that point it started to sprinkle only a little at first but enough that I decided to move my motorcycle out of the rain and under the over hang by the window I was working at. This turned out to be the smartest decision I made all day. Within a few minuets of doing this the rain decided to come down and with a fury. The wind is still going strong and the temperature has dropped, all in all it turned out to be a pretty bad day for a ride. I know not everyone minds the rain, and after living in Hawaii for 4 years I learned, by necessity, how to ride in the rain. My real problem is the wind. When a 40 mph gust picks up, and that is what they are calling for today, and you are not ready for it it is a really heart stopper. Add on top of that the cold and you got a triple whammy. The only thing that would make this worse would be snow, and now that I said that it will probably start doing that as well. Luckily for me I only live a few miles from this Starbucks, so I am not to concerned. Heres to days turned bad, may they be few and far between.
Not the best photo, but if you look real hard you can see the pools of water in the parking lot. It wasn’t like that 10 min before this photo.
Riverside, CA April 3, 2013– Due to a labeling accident the 2007-2010 KTM 450 SXF tank was labeled as only 2.7 gallon but is instead it is actually 3.1 gallons. This has been corrected on the IMS website and we apologize for any confusion or inconvenience that this may have caused. This tank will also fit the:
11-12 450 SXF (carbureted model part #113329)
12-13 450 SXF Factory Edition* (requires nut #78107088014/connector #78107088017)
2013 450 SXF*
12-13 450 XC-W* (2012 models require nut #78107088014/connector #78107088017)
12-13 500 XC-W* (2012 models require nut #78107088014/connector #78107088017)
2013 450 SC-F*
12-13 500 EXC* (will not fit with California Emissions Equipment require nut #78107088014/connector #78107088017)
*All these models are fuel injected part # 113332
Yes, we get snow in southern california. Now it isn’t much and it isn’t often and it isn’t at the beach, but still we get some. Where most of the riding that I do is around 2,500+ foot elevation and the snow doesn’t really start till about 3,500 foot elevation it makes for some disappointing rides, where it starts off with nice tacky dirt and then after about a mile of great riding, BAM, snow and ice. So after a few months of this kind of riding, it finally cleared up so that I can get in a good ride. So off I went last Saturday to get in a quick ride. With my wife 38 weeks pregnant and a 2 year old at home I couldn’t be gone long but still in the end any ride is a good ride.
Now if you are a fan of our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/IMSproducts you will notice that most of the pictures are of a very specific bike, a 2003 XR650R. Now the reason for this is that this is the only bike that I own. We plan on including more bikes and locations in future entries but for now this is what we got to work with.
Now the bike is awesome, 680 big bore, HRC cam, derestricted intake and exhaust, Precision Concepts suspension, 3.2 gallon IMS dry break tank, BRP triple clamps, and Kenda Trackmaster II front tire and Kenda 270 rear tire with heavy duty tubes provided by MTA. And the best part is the bike is street legal. With these modification and my amateur riding level there is more then enough power and performance to get me into and out of trouble, and I love it.
Most of the trials around where I ride are in the Angelus Oaks/Big Bear area, if you have done the annual Big Bear Run then you know the stuff I am talking about. Today’s ride was a shorter more local ride but after not being able to ride for a while and with all the snow and melting snow the landscape was completely different. It could best be summed up in one word, ROCKS. Man they were everywhere, from marble size to bowling balls, I didn’t know there were even that many rocks period and they just got worse. I had decreased my normal riding pressure for dual sporting from 22 psi front and rear to 16 psi because the tires just wouldn’t grip. I know in rocks you want to run a little higher to avoid flats (and since I didn’t have any of my tools with me I should have left it) but the 270 is more of a street biased tire and the low psi helped. After dropping to the 16psi the bike was a different animal completely instead of sliding and slipping around the bike would grip, yes the street biased 270 was like a trials tire and in a straight line even with all the power I had on hand in the 680 motor it had a hard time breaking traction, it would even pull the front end up. I normally have a Trackmaster II on the rear as well, but I have been doing a lot more street commuting and I felt bad wearing out such an amazing tire on the asphalt. Plus anyone who has ridden a hot XR650R knows they go through rear tires like no bodies business. But the tubes supplied by MTA were awesome not only did it make it through 11 miles of rocks but they got me home doing 65mph+ on the street with out feeling like I was on a half flat tire.
Even though IMS offers two other tanks for the XR650R, both which are bigger at 4.6 and 7 gallons, I prefer the 3.2 for off road work since it is slimmer at the knees and when full doesn’t upset the balance of the bike. Back when I was commuting a lot more during the summer months I was running the bigger 4.6 gallon tank and when I do long dual sport rides I use that tank as well, but for sorter off road riding I prefer the smaller tank.
With all the changes that IMS is going to be making in the next few months in the social media arena I hope that those of you who read these blogs can get something out of them and the jumbled process that is my writing style. Feel free to leave comments and suggestions and keep your eyes peeled, there is much more exciting things to come.
|Riverside, California – April 3, 2013 – IMS Products is proud to announce the arrival of the much-anticipated extended capacity tank for the 2013 Honda CRF450R model. IMS continues to offer quality aftermarket fuel tanks for riders who want reliable extra mileage from their tanks.The Honda CRF450R tank boasts a capacity of 3.2 gallons, more than a gallon larger than the stock tank.
The IMS Honda CRF450R tank was developed with racers such as Thad Duvall, JCR, and Litz Racing, as well as the recreational rider in mind. The 450 tank is available immediately in both black and natural colors.
This tank is available in black and natural colors, and can be ordered directly from IMS and its affiliated dealers. The tanks are also offered with either the IMS dry break system or the traditional screw top. For more information, visit www.imsproducts.com.