A QUESTION FOR THE AGES
Dear Mr. Know-It-All,
I have a 12-year-old KX250 and ride it in the field by my
house. I wanna be one of those backflip guys. It looks so
cool. Most of those dudes ride two-strokes, and I tear it up
around my house. It looks pretty simple; just gas it up the
ramp like you’re running from the cops!
Can you give me any advice? My old man is a tool, but
he trusts you.
Stan the man
Oklahoma City, Ok
Okay, so go to the hardware store. Buy some wood
and screws. Grab your dad’s tools and start making your
ramp…uh no. Stan, the “backflip guys” you reference are
all serious athletes who spend months training, practicing
and choreographing their moves. They have foam pits to
practice in, surround themselves with other like-minded
athletes and are hard core to the bone. That’s why they
make it look easy. Their antics are both stunning and,
to be honest, quite horrifying to a normal dirt bike pilot.
A DEZ HEAD
Dear Mr. Know-It-All,
I ride in the desert and have a 1998 YZ250. My dad also
has a YZ250, but it’s only a year old. My bike has an FMF
pipe and a spark arrestor, but I have a 19-inch rear wheel.
My dad put an 18-inch on his bike, and when I asked if I
could have one, too, he said, “Shut up and run 20 pounds
of air in the tire and live with it.” I hate the way the bike
works with that much air. The thing beats me up when the
trail gets worked, and if I run less air, I either get flats or
dent my rim big time. Can you help me out? Thanks.
Here’s the skinny, Steve: an 18-inch tire has more flex
in it and therefore will absorb hack and chatter better than
a 19-incher (acting like suspension). Also, because there
is more sidewall flex, it will absorb side blows better than
a 19-inch tire and offers a better contact patch. All my
high-end racer friends like the 19-inch for ruts and for hill-climbing. My advice is to run an STi super-thick tube and
a Maxxis IT rear tire. That meat offers superb traction and
has a good, strong sidewall so it will resist cutting. The STi
tube is the best on the market. You can run 13–15 psi and
still not worry about flatting unless you pick up a nail. If you
just want a tire, get the Desert IT. It’s a tough sucker and
holds up well.
Compiled, researched and answered by our
own Mr. Wizard, Dave Simon.