Dirt Cool 2001 issue #?
All Japan Motocross Series IA250 Champion, rider #2 Yoshitaka Atsuta. In other words, Japan’s fastest rider needs Japan’s fastest machine. We get the complete details on Yoshitaka’s bike.
Pride in having a machine so refined, there is nothing more to do to make it better;
From the opening round in 2001 until round #7, #2 Yoshitaka Atsuta has wanted to be the fastest rider (each round) on his RC250M. Along with Ryuchiro Takahama’s machine, HRC is running two RC250M’s, except that Takahama’s bike is an 02 model while Yoshitaka’s bike is a 01 model. The reason for this is that there are two all new 02 machines on the team and considering that Odagiri is on the all new four stroke, it would make it difficult to compare with the previous year’s bike (if they didn’t run the 3rd machine).
You have to be able to make comparisons to refine a completely redesigned race machine. It has to be better than last years’ machine. To improve the level of the 02 (model) you have to set a base with a high hurdle (to compare with). Since last year, Yoshitaka’s machine hasn’t has any major changes. However in the 2nd half of last year, the engine was changed to Frederic Bolley’s engine specifications. These specifications made for a low to mid-range engine as opposed to a high speed engine. Yoshitaka wants a machine that is easy to ride and gets good traction. After riding with this engine just one time, he decided this is the engine he had to have. The carburetor was also changed from a TMX to a TMXX to help improve low to mid-range power.
Next year Yoshitaka will race the WGP. Because Honda doesn’t have a factory team in Europe, the plan is to run a 02 model with HRC kit parts.
Frame The frame has been reinforced, but it is the same frame as last year. For 2002, the frame has been redesigned and it appears they made Yoshitaka’s machine more rigid for 00-01.
Silencer A carbon (fiber) silencer is Honda’s tradition. Although it is not quite clear whether it has many advantages, we can expect that it is lighter than the standard aluminum (silencer).
Wheels A 90/100-21 is used on the front and a 120/90-18 tire on the rear. Depending on the track conditions, when it gets muddy, a 21” is used on the front and a 19” is used on the rear. They use a narrower tire for the mud since more mud sticks to a wider tire making it heavier.
Engine Last year’s engine was more of a high speed engine, but the low and mid-range was weak. So they went for Frederic Bolley’s engine which has better low and mid-range. This matches perfectly with Yoshitaka’s traction oriented riding style and provides the motivation to go for the championship. The exhaust pipe is also from Bolley.
Seat Using the same ribbed seat cover as Odagiri (another HRC rider). To suit Yoshitaka’s riding style and help keep the rear end down, the subframe was lowered and the seat was made flatter.
Air Cleaner box An air duct was made at the back of the side cover. This is for the same reason as the 02 design where air flow comes from the front (of the cover), but more stable air comes from the rear. Standard (stock) parts were used.
Dirt Cool 2002 issue #1