WHY ARE THERE SO FEW?
For just a moment let’s return to
the real world where politics, bureau-
cracy and regulation matter. In order
to sell a motorcycle in the U.S., a
manufacturer must declare the bike’s
intended purpose. There are three
categories— street-legal, off-road
and closed-course. The regulations
for street-legal and off-road bikes
are converging, whereas the closed-
course designation is still pretty much
the Wild West. KTM and Husqvarna
decided not to play the game any-
more. They only offer street-legal
bikes and closed-course bikes—and
yes, all two-strokes fall into the latter
category, even the EFI ones.
What that means to us, the riders, is
still vague. California is the only state
with any kind of enforcement mechanism. Other states have talked about
it, but there are no practical consequences to riding an MX bike on public land. Well, actually, that’s not true.
There is one very real consequence—
MX bikes make crummy trail bikes.
Even the ones that are supposed to
be repurposed for off-road mostly
have MX gearboxes, MX mufflers, MX
fuel tanks and MX suspension. So,
that’s why the regulations are only a
side issue here. These three off-road
motorcycles are here because they’re
Back in 2005 when Honda released
the first CRF450X, it was a very big
The Honda CRF450X is still the go-to bike if you want to win the Baja 1000.
It’s a much better trail bike than the newer, glitzier CRF450RX.