Mitch Payton Interview

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11/7/2017 8:40 AM

Found this interesting.

RX: To what you’re speaking to, what about the bike makers bringing back a more entry-level, less-expensive motocross bike, say a cool-looking, well-performing 125cc two-stroke. You think there is something in all of that? Something to bring people, perhaps new people, into the sport?

MP:I would love it. I think it’s important. I think the manufacturers, as a whole, have done a pretty good job of trying to keep the minibike classes to two-strokes. I wish Honda would bring out a two-stroke again. I see it in our shop. Our two-stroke pipe sales are fantastic. Everybody is buying some old two-stroke and they’re fixing them up as a weekend ride bike. I think there is a certain amount of people that love riding motorcycles and they just want to do it for fun. They don’t need a World Superbike to go ride on. [Laughs] I almost think—and this sounds crazy, and I’m probably going to get slaughtered for saying it—that we don’t need to have electric start and some of the stuff. We keep pushing the bikes and they keep getting a little bit more sophisticated. Yeah, after a guy has a button, he doesn’t want to go back to kick starting a bike. We had great racing when we just had dumb old two-strokes with a kick start. And the cost was cheaper. We’ve fuel-injected them, we have electric start, we’ve done a gamut of things to make them lighter and all that. It’s amazing the bikes that come out now. Off the showroom floor, they’re all pretty darn good and then you can make them better. It’s almost unfair to say because I guess you just can’t go backwards, you know? Once the evolution started, it’s just going to continue.

What do you guys think?

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2017 RMZ450
2005 YZ250-sold :,(
1998 YZ250
2005 KX250F

80% of the time it works every time
IG @hamdaddyof2 & @2HRacing
Thanks to : Factory Effex, N2Dirt, Acerbis, DT1, Fasthouse, Matix, FMF, ASV, 100% & Mika Metals

11/7/2017 8:47 AM

I am thinking the same thing, people love buying gizmo's and widget's.

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11/7/2017 9:06 AM

I dont understand the “expensive brand new bike = less people able to get into mx.” Whats wrong with getting a $1500-2000 2 stroke off craigslist? If you think about it logically, does anyone buy a brand new expensive anything for their first go at it? Did anyone go buy a brand new car when they were 16 when your parents werent rich? Do the majority of street bike riders go out and dump $40,000 on a new harley for their first bike? No. People buy used shit. Or a ttr125.

The problem is the sport in general is expensive. A vast majority of people do not have thousands of dollars laying around for a hobby. Also the risk factor is very high. A huge majority of people look at mx riders and motorcycle riders in general as crazy people and would never risk their lives or their kids lives by riding a bike.

The cost of a new bike isnt going to change any of it. A cheaper new bike is only going to help the guy who wants a brand new bike but isnt patient enough to save up that extra $1000 for one.

My 2 cents.

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2009 Kawasaki KX450F
2009 Kawasaki KX250F
2002 Suzuki GSXR 600

11/7/2017 9:11 AM

Acidreamer wrote:

I dont understand the “expensive brand new bike = less people able to get into mx.” Whats wrong with getting a $1500-2000 2 stroke off craigslist? If you think about it logically, does anyone buy a brand new expensive anything for their first go at it? Did anyone go buy a brand new car when they were 16 when your parents werent rich? Do the majority of street bike riders go out and dump $40,000 on a new harley for their first bike? No. People buy used shit. Or a ttr125.

The problem is the sport in general is expensive. A vast majority of people do not have thousands of dollars laying around for a hobby. Also the risk factor is very high. A huge majority of people look at mx riders and motorcycle riders in general as crazy people and would never risk their lives or their kids lives by riding a bike.

The cost of a new bike isnt going to change any of it. A cheaper new bike is only going to help the guy who wants a brand new bike but isnt patient enough to save up that extra $1000 for one.

My 2 cents.

Totally get what you are saying but when you are new to the sport, are you really going to buy a 10 year old two stroke and fix it up? Most won't have a clue what to do, and when all their buddies are on 4 strokes, who is going to help them? Then factor in the racing component and most aren't going the two stroke route. They are buying used 4 strokes, which is a bit of a scary endeavor if they haven't been maintained well or need some love. Plus, supply is only going to become more limited.

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11/7/2017 9:16 AM

Acidreamer wrote:

I dont understand the “expensive brand new bike = less people able to get into mx.” Whats wrong with getting a $1500-2000 2 stroke off craigslist? If you think about it logically, does anyone buy a brand new expensive anything for their first go at it? Did anyone go buy a brand new car when they were 16 when your parents werent rich? Do the majority of street bike riders go out and dump $40,000 on a new harley for their first bike? No. People buy used shit. Or a ttr125.

The problem is the sport in general is expensive. A vast majority of people do not have thousands of dollars laying around for a hobby. Also the risk factor is very high. A huge majority of people look at mx riders and motorcycle riders in general as crazy people and would never risk their lives or their kids lives by riding a bike.

The cost of a new bike isnt going to change any of it. A cheaper new bike is only going to help the guy who wants a brand new bike but isnt patient enough to save up that extra $1000 for one.

My 2 cents.

I agree to a point. On the flip side of your point. I know several families who bought a used dirt bike to get involved with motorcycles and of course it turns out to have all kids of mechanical problems. So that can turn off first timers who spend time and money to fix a bike rather then riding and enjoying it.

Time constraints are so great for families now. You have kids school days going longer then they have before. Two parent households working full time. etc etc.

Who has time or wants to work on a used dirt bike when the windows to actual ride keep getting smaller and smaller?

So from that perspective buying new can be less headaches overall.

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11/7/2017 9:18 AM

Buying a used 4 stroke is a risky endeavour.

Why can’t manufacturers offer a race line of bikes and an affordable line of bikes? You can always hop them up?

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11/7/2017 9:32 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/7/2017 9:37 AM

He sounds like me for the past decade and a half. But I was just whining, right?


KTM could even build the $3995.00 air cooled 2 stroke with PDS linkless suspension and lower level components. Engine could be built to use a 125, 175 or 200cc top end. No need for machined hubs, leave them cast. No need for hydraulic clutch or massive 260mm and up Brembo's stock.

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11/7/2017 9:33 AM

Ramrod wrote:

Buying a used 4 stroke is a risky endeavour.

Why can’t manufacturers offer a race line of bikes and an affordable line of bikes? You can always hop them up?

People will come in and mention CRF80 ,100 and 230.

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11/7/2017 9:34 AM

newmann wrote:

He sounds like me for the past decade and a half. But I was just whining, right?


KTM could even build the $3995.00 air cooled 2 stroke with PDS linkless suspension and lower level components. Engine could be built to use a 125, 175 or 200cc top end. No need for machined hubs, leave them cast. No need for hydraulic clutch or massive 260mm and up Brembo's stock.

Lobster claws bro....

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11/7/2017 9:35 AM

Acidreamer wrote:

I dont understand the “expensive brand new bike = less people able to get into mx.” Whats wrong with getting a $1500-2000 2 stroke off craigslist? If you think about it logically, does anyone buy a brand new expensive anything for their first go at it? Did anyone go buy a brand new car when they were 16 when your parents werent rich? Do the majority of street bike riders go out and dump $40,000 on a new harley for their first bike? No. People buy used shit. Or a ttr125.

The problem is the sport in general is expensive. A vast majority of people do not have thousands of dollars laying around for a hobby. Also the risk factor is very high. A huge majority of people look at mx riders and motorcycle riders in general as crazy people and would never risk their lives or their kids lives by riding a bike.

The cost of a new bike isnt going to change any of it. A cheaper new bike is only going to help the guy who wants a brand new bike but isnt patient enough to save up that extra $1000 for one.

My 2 cents.

tcallahan707 wrote:

Totally get what you are saying but when you are new to the sport, are you really going to buy a 10 year old two stroke and fix it up? Most won't have a clue what to do, and when all their buddies are on 4 strokes, who is going to help them? Then factor in the racing component and most aren't going the two stroke route. They are buying used 4 strokes, which is a bit of a scary endeavor if they haven't been maintained well or need some love. Plus, supply is only going to become more limited.

I see nice yz125s far cheaper than a new one would be. Maybe not $2,000, $3,000-$4000 is still better than a brand new one.

They do it with cars so why not bikes too?

I get what youre saying though.

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2009 Kawasaki KX450F
2009 Kawasaki KX250F
2002 Suzuki GSXR 600

11/7/2017 9:40 AM

Chum in the water...

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11/7/2017 9:45 AM

what entry level needs is a 2018 version of hodaka super rat............good basic bike that can be modded up with skill level.........or a good solid 125-150 that you could do the same............dirt side of things needs help.........looks like all of the streetbike guys are figuring it out pretty quick

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11/7/2017 9:56 AM

Dont know how to get there but Mitch Payton is right. As awesome as new bikes are, I think I’d rather them be putting the attention on making them more affordable to open the sport up to more people.
Maybe it’s not a 2 stroke vs 4 stroke thing at all.
4 strokes in their current form just don’t make sense to buy too used (especially 250f’s) but maybe a 250f that was really reliable and/or wasn’t too costly to rebuild would be a great option. Even if it was detuned.

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11/7/2017 10:14 AM

newmann wrote:

He sounds like me for the past decade and a half. But I was just whining, right?


KTM could even build the $3995.00 air cooled 2 stroke with PDS linkless suspension and lower level components. Engine could be built to use a 125, 175 or 200cc top end. No need for machined hubs, leave them cast. No need for hydraulic clutch or massive 260mm and up Brembo's stock.

You should start your own series. tongue

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11/7/2017 10:30 AM

Fuckin A Mitch!!

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11/7/2017 10:30 AM

Old bikes are cool. I took my XR200 single-track bike to Ascot Park in Oklahoma on a practice day. The fast/modern guys gave me the 3rd session alone-----stood at the fence waving towels and hooting rebel yells at me as I hung on for dear life. It was very cool. You really don't have to ride the latest/greatest to fit in with motoheads.

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11/7/2017 10:31 AM

I'd be interested in knowing the cost difference to build a new 125 two stroke vs a 250F four stroke. Seems KTM/Husky and Yamaha sell the 125's a bit cheaper, but the the MSRP difference actually the difference, or is the 125 price inflated because you just can't sell it that much cheaper than a 250F. I'm sure we'll never know.

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11/7/2017 10:39 AM

As much as I would like to see a lower cost pro racing supercross class, I cant see how a 2020 Honda CR125 would really cost much less than a 2020 CRF250R off the showroom floor. But... When it comes to top end rebuild cost, its a night and day difference.

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11/7/2017 10:53 AM

Donovan759 wrote:

As much as I would like to see a lower cost pro racing supercross class, I cant see how a 2020 Honda CR125 would really cost much less than a 2020 CRF250R off the showroom floor. But... When it comes to top end rebuild cost, its a night and day difference.

I could see it costing considerably less when you consider the cost of a 4st head and everything in it vs. a 2st. Yamahas 125 seems to work pretty good with 10 yr old suspension so there's potential to save money there. Put a set of steel bars and sprockets on it, lower priced tires and there could be quite a cost difference.

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11/7/2017 11:22 AM

Mini Elsinore wrote:

Old bikes are cool. I took my XR200 single-track bike to Ascot Park in Oklahoma on a practice day. The fast/modern guys gave me the 3rd session alone-----stood at the fence waving towels and hooting rebel yells at me as I hung on for dear life. It was very cool. You really don't have to ride the latest/greatest to fit in with motoheads.

I was at Ascot Saturday. The track was the best that I have ever seen it.

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11/7/2017 11:44 AM

Mini Elsinore wrote:

Old bikes are cool. I took my XR200 single-track bike to Ascot Park in Oklahoma on a practice day. The fast/modern guys gave me the 3rd session alone-----stood at the fence waving towels and hooting rebel yells at me as I hung on for dear life. It was very cool. You really don't have to ride the latest/greatest to fit in with motoheads.

Panic_Rev wrote:

I was at Ascot Saturday. The track was the best that I have ever seen it.

That had to be fun! I always try and hit Ascot when travelling through the area. Mike and Andrea are good people!

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11/7/2017 12:15 PM

The engPhoto

Did you know the Yamaha manual tells you to check the valve clearance on that bike every 23000 miles? I have the supermoto version of that bike amd it's great. You can get those fairly cheap.

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11/7/2017 1:04 PM

4 strokes are 4 pussies
-Abraham Lincoln
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11/7/2017 1:08 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/7/2017 1:09 PM

Donovan759 wrote:

As much as I would like to see a lower cost pro racing supercross class, I cant see how a 2020 Honda CR125 would really cost much less than a 2020 CRF250R off the showroom floor. But... When it comes to top end rebuild cost, its a night and day difference.

reded wrote:

I could see it costing considerably less when you consider the cost of a 4st head and everything in it vs. a 2st. Yamahas 125 seems to work pretty good with 10 yr old suspension so there's potential to save money there. Put a set of steel bars and sprockets on it, lower priced tires and there could be quite a cost difference.

I guess I understand what you're saying but I'm not sure why a company would produce a race bike that's a 2st with inferior parts like steel bars and cheap tires. That would not make much sense. The bars are going to bend in your first wreck and cheap tires will give the manufacture a bad reputation. Not sure if you've had cheap tires fall apart on you within a few rides but I can speak from experience that its a pretty ridiculous situation.

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11/7/2017 1:13 PM

Let me make this clear... I will translate for the industry folks out there...

"Sales numbers are in the shitter, more new 2 strokes can change that!"

So simple, yet still a concept our industry simply can't wrap their head around.... Insert facepalm here...

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11/7/2017 1:32 PM

Donovan759 wrote:

As much as I would like to see a lower cost pro racing supercross class, I cant see how a 2020 Honda CR125 would really cost much less than a 2020 CRF250R off the showroom floor. But... When it comes to top end rebuild cost, its a night and day difference.

reded wrote:

I could see it costing considerably less when you consider the cost of a 4st head and everything in it vs. a 2st. Yamahas 125 seems to work pretty good with 10 yr old suspension so there's potential to save money there. Put a set of steel bars and sprockets on it, lower priced tires and there could be quite a cost difference.

Donovan759 wrote:

I guess I understand what you're saying but I'm not sure why a company would produce a race bike that's a 2st with inferior parts like steel bars and cheap tires. That would not make much sense. The bars are going to bend in your first wreck and cheap tires will give the manufacture a bad reputation. Not sure if you've had cheap tires fall apart on you within a few rides but I can speak from experience that its a pretty ridiculous situation.

My 2005 KX250 and KX250F came with steel bars on them.

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2017 RMZ450
2005 YZ250-sold :,(
1998 YZ250
2005 KX250F

80% of the time it works every time
IG @hamdaddyof2 & @2HRacing
Thanks to : Factory Effex, N2Dirt, Acerbis, DT1, Fasthouse, Matix, FMF, ASV, 100% & Mika Metals

11/7/2017 1:47 PM

gt80rider wrote:

Let me make this clear... I will translate for the industry folks out there...

"Sales numbers are in the shitter, more new 2 strokes can change that!"

So simple, yet still a concept our industry simply can't wrap their head around.... Insert facepalm here...

Why you little potty mouth!laughing laughing

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11/7/2017 1:52 PM

mattyhamz2 wrote:

My 2005 KX250 and KX250F came with steel bars on them.

I guess (more specifically) what I'm saying about the steel bars is... why would (in your case) Kawi release a brand new 2 stroke race bike with inferior parts when compared to their 4 stroke race bikes.

In 2005 that was the standard for Kawi. Now its not...

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11/7/2017 2:41 PM

I thought water cooling was complex when it came out.
Took as long to empty and remove the radiator as it did to change the piston and rings the year before.

Wouldn’t want to go back to air cooled though, or steel bars.

Back to 2 strokes has a lot of appeal.

A quote from my dear departed father circa 1977. “Why is that bike so expensive? Their are more moving parts in the head of mine (Honda 400/4) than there are in that whole bike (YZ80D)

From memory the 400 was A$1200 and the YZ80 was $499 ($475 on special)
Back in those days an Aussie $ was worth a little more than the greenback, but we didn’t get paid many.

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11/7/2017 3:13 PM

Cobra just recently started making 65's after years of only making 50's. Maybe in a few years they will be making a 125 for kids to jump up to? A bonus to that is I believe they are American made in Michigan?

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