Brandon Peterson at AHM built the bike for Dean Potts at
Bonanza Plumbing. The frame was powdercoated, just like
that of the Factory Edition.
heartbreaker for Jones. He was clearly the fastest man on
the track, and he came through the pack to win the first
moto going away. The second moto was going just as well,
but everything unraveled just before the white flag came
out. The bike popped and died, leaving Jones to coast to
the bottom of Mount St. Helens. He pushed it across the
infield and up the finish-line jump to take the checkered
flag, a lap behind Sean Collier. It was such a devastating
disappointment that Jones could barely speak afterwards.
He already had the taste of the win in his mouth, and he
planned on dedicating the moment to his former teammate, Kurt Caselli. It was never meant to end this way.
LATER IN THE MONTH
It was almost a month later that the bike ran again. The
culprit had been a defective black box—a freak failure that
simply doesn’t happen. Dean found a new part, Brandon
put it on, and Justin returned to the scene to let us test the
bike that might have won. The real tragedy is how much
Justin loved the motorcycle. It was like being betrayed by
the best girlfriend ever. After trying it, we can see why. The
bike seemed to have all of the advantages of a two-stroke
without any of the shortcomings. It was light and nimble,
yet it had rich, deep power and the best suspension we
have ever experienced on a KTM two-stroke.
We don’t know if even Justin knows how truly special
that is. A long, long time ago the Open class died because
large-bore two-strokes were almost unrideable. Honda
CR500Rs and Kawasaki KX500s might have survived into
the early 2000s, but they had long since been abandoned
by serious motocrossers because they were too powerful
and too unruly, even for the best riders of the day. This
bike, however, proved that it didn’t have to be that way.
There’s nothing about the concept of a big two-stroke that
is unworkable. It was just that the suspension and chassis technology of the last century weren’t up to the task of
dealing with so much power. Today, we routinely deal with
50-horsepower motocross bikes in the form of big 450s.
The Bonanza Plumbing bike had a modern, well-setup
chassis with a super-powerful two-stroke motor. Was it
better than a current 450 motocross bike? Perhaps for
some tracks and some riders. An average rider will still get
more traction from a four-stroke, and that’s the deciding
factor on many racetracks, but this bike will now be used
strictly for fun—until next year. If Jones is ready to forgive,
the bike will still be around for the 2015 MTA Two-Stroke
World Championship. o
Riding a two-stroke
with over 50 horsepower
doesn’t have to be
intimidating. The KTM
has a modern chassis
and suspension with a
crisp, modern motor.