This immaculate Kawasaki KX500 hybrid is one motocross racer's response to the rising costs of four-stroke off-road competition machines. Chris Place, 21, hopes the blend of an easily-fixed two-stroke engine and modern chassis will enable him to compete on a knock-down budget.
Built from a 2008 KXF450 chassis and a 1994 KX500 two-stroke, the KX500CF (for Custom Fabricated) was built in four months.
Place told MCN: "There's a lot of Honda CR500 hybrids, but hardly any KX500s. But the KX has a more usable power band. The engine itself is a phenomenal piece of kit - the single-cylinder two-stoke produces so much power.
"Two-strokes are leaving the motocross scene, with all the manufacturer research going into four-strokes, but they cost the best part of £1000 to repair. You can pick up a two-stroke for a fraction of the price and if you seize one, you can repair it for - at most - £400, And you can still be competitive with them."
"The two-strokes allow people with great skills to ride and compete for a fraction of the cost. There's only one company I know of that build competition KX500 off-roaders and then charges near £12,000. You can't take them on the road, they're dedicated competition bikes, so it's an awful lot of money. I built mine for £6500. Plus I'll know exactly what has gone wrong if it ever does."
After riding the bike for the first time, Place said: "It was just phenomenal. I've never been on something like that in my life. At first it overwhelmed me a bit. I've ridden 450cc four-strokes, but two-stroke power is so much more snappy. I'd never ridden a bike that accelerated like that before."
"No jump was an issue. - every one I hit I cleared - and coming out of corners it just sat on the back wheel all the while. It's so light - the stock KX500 frames are steel, whereas this is an aluminium beam - and with so much power, it's just the perfect combination."
The bike is being used in two-stroke competitions and will be sold by the end of the year. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested.
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