Did Travis show that AF builds are not the way to go?

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10/10/2018 3:06 AM

Something that was quite surprising to me, I saw a video on youtube, where Travis was testing the RM that was built on a 2016 RMZ chassis. He was about to choose between the steel frame, classic RM and an AF one.

Did anyone get a chance to speak to him or somebody in the know about the bikes?
Does his choice of weapon for the MXdN prove, that the steel framed smoker is more capable than AF conversions?

I have to admit I always wanted to have an AF conversion with RM 250 motor, makes you think twice about the amount of effort to build one, if they do not handle as well as a steel framed RM.
Might have a lot to do with how much time Travis spent on his Steely Suzuki, but I will leave some room for conversation and your thoughts.

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10/10/2018 4:39 AM

I would think it was a comfort thing for him. Like you said, hes rode those forever. Or maybe it was rule thing.

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10/10/2018 4:45 AM

Turbojez wrote:

Something that was quite surprising to me, I saw a video on youtube, where Travis was testing the RM that was built on a 2016 ...more

What Travis said is that the old chassis had more power but the AF turned better if I'm not mistaken. He chose to go with the power it looks like.

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10/10/2018 4:50 AM

Travis said that he felt the AF handled better than the steel frame but that his '02 factory bike felt a bit lighter and faster.

Might have been a comfort thing as well since he's been riding the steel frame bikes since he turned pro.

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"Sorry Goose, but it's time to buzz the tower."

10/10/2018 4:55 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/10/2018 4:55 AM

Spoke with his mechanic friday night under their semi tent..... Travis said he liked the Hybrid, but that they could not test as he could not ride. The dude is so banged up he couldnt train or do really any testing at all, so he decided to stick with what he knew (Steel framed RM). I was told it was one of RC's old engines.

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10/10/2018 6:12 AM

"I have to admit I always wanted to have an AF conversion with RM 250 motor, makes you think twice about the amount of effort to build one, if they do not handle as well as a steel framed RM".



Have only seen a couple built in my area. Below is one for sale at the moment on CL.

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/mcy/d/rm250-2stroke-aluminum-framed/6715565543.html


The other one I was going to test ride at the Hangtown track a few yrs. back, but it sold before I was able to make arrangements with the seller. I did speak to the owner about it after it was sold & said he had it custom built. If I recall it had a 14 RMZ250 chassis with an 06 RM250 engine. He told me it didn't handle as well as the steel frame version & also felt awkward off jumps. He didn't like the feel of the AF in comparison to the steel frame so that was his reason for selling it.

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Speak softly and carry a big stick.

10/10/2018 6:28 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/10/2018 7:38 AM

The steel frame was really good. Good enough for me to put a kx500 in a 2001 chassis with newer suspension.

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10/10/2018 6:52 AM

Bramlett321 wrote:

What Travis said is that the old chassis had more power but the AF turned better if I'm not mistaken. He chose to go with the ...more

Bramlett321 wrote: What Travis said is that the old chassis had more power but the AF turned better
The chassis has more more power?

No wonder KTM and Husky is dominating!

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My post is my opinion. If you don't agree with it, I'm OK with it.

10/10/2018 7:23 AM

With all of the engineering that goes into bikes these days I just don’t picture these frame swaps being better than the original setup. Look at how guys just changing a motor mount that looks identical but is just slightly thinner or thicker affects the feel on new bikes. I believe a Yamaha 450 and 250 shared the exact same frame but had drastic different feeling on the track. Now your taking an engine that the frame was not designed around and fabricating it to set in. Your creating different harmonics through the frame, completely different flex characteristics etc. I’ve ridden one Honda AFCR500 years ago and thought it would be just amazing but honestly didn’t like it.

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10/10/2018 7:35 AM

450 wrote:

With all of the engineering that goes into bikes these days I just don’t picture these frame swaps being better than the ...more

I was about to make a very similar post, just not as articulate. Great post and I totally agree.

They are a cool novelty but nothing more than that in my opinion.

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10/10/2018 7:40 AM

Guys.... As much as it pains me to say this... I don't know if there's any bike that Travis would've looked good on. Not in those conditions, anyways. Poor dude must need an IV drip of penetrating oil just to loosen up enough to even get up in the morning..

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Positively, absolutely 110% obsessed with anything MOTO.

10/10/2018 9:37 AM

RMZ's are the heaviest new bikes, so the hybrid bike might not be any lighter than the steel framed one.

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10/10/2018 9:43 AM

AF conversions are garbage anyway

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"A link is only as long as your longest strong chain"

10/10/2018 10:26 AM

Really? You're using a guy who can hardly bend his legs and hasn't raced or really trained in years as proof AF's aren't the way to go?

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10/10/2018 11:43 AM

akmx17 wrote:

Really? You're using a guy who can hardly bend his legs and hasn't raced or really trained in years as proof AF's aren't the ...more

I get what you are saying but he still is probably faster then 90% of us.

Anyone able to even make around Red Bud through that stuff has got to be respected.

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10/10/2018 12:10 PM

Stuntman949 wrote:

AF conversions are garbage anyway

Agreed you can't just bolt a random engine into a chassis and expect it to handle good. There is a lot of engineering that goes into these bikes by people a lot smarter than us.

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10/10/2018 12:19 PM

akmx17 wrote:

Really? You're using a guy who can hardly bend his legs and hasn't raced or really trained in years as proof AF's aren't the ...more

DPR250R wrote:

I get what you are saying but he still is probably faster then 90% of us.

Anyone able to even make around Red Bud through ...more

Agreed, or faster than even 98% of us!
Don't like AF converstions myself though but what do I know. ...Just the stuff you read about it all- Ally welding horror stories n' all.

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Always was an excellent rider ...... at crashing usually

Moto Aspes, you know you want one

10/10/2018 12:32 PM

TM - You get the alum frame with the motor too!

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10/10/2018 12:44 PM

on his ig he posted the Alu version handled better but the steely had factory engine and it was faster.

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10/10/2018 12:48 PM

Isnt the AF the 500cc one?. They r prohibited in the Open class thats why

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10/10/2018 1:05 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/10/2018 3:01 PM

Travis definitively showed that should you find yourself dragging your broken body out of retirement two decades after your national championship in order to race the most prestigious global event in the sport against the top world athletes while on a twenty year old bike as a fundraiser for disaster relief, and choose to backflip during the parade lap, AF builds are clearly not the way to go. But, as always, if you find yourself in this situation, your mileage may vary

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10/10/2018 1:22 PM

This issue can be solved. AF RMZ250 chassis, YZ250 motor. Photo

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10/10/2018 1:30 PM


A few people might not understand this or call bullshit.. but after doing my own AF builds and putting a lot of time into research in to doing so...


A lot of people prefer the original frame over the AF builds due to vibrations and handling.
When bolting a two stroke into them builds everything becomes ridged and them AF frames have a huge amount of vibrations sent through. it would be fine for short timed rides, but riding them AF's are not ideal for racing. there more of a show piece then a weapon of choice.

Same with handling, there designed for them 4 stroke motors and weight distributions comes into play. even though you weld your own engine mounts on, the design of the chassi is all different. front head tube rake, swing arm length, rear sock dimensions ect...
Yes, the CR125/250's had the alloy frame but the whole geometry comes into play.

Pastrana's AF shown how cool they are by racing that RM500AF at RBSR, he was swinging off that thing!!! but it was only short races and power was a key thing through them final whoops he was destroying. and you cant exactly scrub one of those old chassis hahaha


The AF builds are awesome and I did one with a KX500 motor into a newer KXF. was a form of art and was happy with the outcome. but the Original 1993 chassi was just as good and was honestly easier to ride. I've now gone back to the original frame now, and most likely wont go the AF build again. Was good to tick the FA build of the bucket list though.


Again, if you seen Sean Collier swing off his KX500 or Mike Alessi's RM250... Them old things can get around a track just fine.


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10/10/2018 1:31 PM

PTshox wrote:

This issue can be solved. AF RMZ250 chassis, YZ250 motor. Photo

Note: New '19 RMZ is center port

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10/10/2018 1:45 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/10/2018 3:06 PM

You're taking a chassis that is made and designed around a meatier, bigger, harmonically opposite motor that has higher torque levels at broader rpm ranges and replacing it with a lightweight, harmonically increased, low torque, high power equivalent that is half the size.

To me that sounds like you'd have a very stiff chassis that is unforgiving and has a narrower margin of error with tuning.

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A wise man once said nothing

10/10/2018 2:06 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/10/2018 2:07 PM

Statistics isn't your strong suit, is it?

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10/10/2018 2:24 PM

I'll always remember Rich Taylor on a Pulpcast saying an RM hybrid with an aluminum frame was a terrible bike- vibrated like crazy.

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It's impossible for a corporation or government to love you or care about you.

10/10/2018 2:32 PM

It was fun to do the project. Figuring out how to make stuff fit etc was interesting and a great learning experience
Would I sign up for doing it again? Nope. I wouldn't.

It does work fairly well... but it likes to steer with the rear wheel more than I like. The YZ motor with the cylinder base machined 30 thou and the head work rips. Tons of low end, you can grunt it like a trials bike (13 oz fly wheel too). I use it off road only.

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10/10/2018 2:53 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/10/2018 4:48 PM

akmx17 wrote:

Really? You're using a guy who can hardly bend his legs and hasn't raced or really trained in years as proof AF's aren't the ...more

Not really. I was using a guy who is a fucking legend, icon, and racer with plenty of seat time, who was riding for factory suzuki and actually was pretty good at racing and probably spent more time riding, then you did sleeping. Ahhhh, you're right, he's a human wreck grin

Side note: please show me where I stated that Travis going with a steely was a proof of anything. Just opened up a subject to talk about. Pay attention to the question marks please.

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10/10/2018 4:44 PM

I think he showed that 2 strokes are not the go!

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