News 8 Oct 2014

MX Nationals two-stroke restrictions no concern for Leisk

KTM general manager certain two-strokes will remain a force.

Image: Jeff Crow.

Image: Jeff Crow.

KTM Australia general manager Jeff Leisk has moved to clarify restrictions imposed on 250 two-strokes competing in the MX2 and MXD categories of the 2015 MX Nationals.

The KTM 250 SX and Husqvarna TC 250 have proven the class of the two-strokes in the MX Nationals, but will race under a more restricted ruleset next season nationally. Leisk is also the general manager of HQVA.

Importantly, those regulations implemented in the MX Nationals Supplementary Regulations won’t be enforced at a state or local level. It’s expected they will be included in next year’s supercross regulations.

“These production rules say the bike must remain in stock trim from the intake manifold to the exhaust port and all engine parts between those two points and must be OEM for that year model,” Leisk explained. “You can have a different carburettor and exhaust, and you can add a base gasket to increase the squish clearance on a sandy track so your bike doesn’t run too hot.

“In case people were holding back though or thinking they couldn’t race their two strokes next year, the thing to highlight is that the actual rules in the MA rulebook do not change. So if you are a local or state level racer for example, you can still do whatever you want – this is just for the MX Nationals.”

Leisk is a major supporter of the two-stroke movement competing against 250 four-strokes, remaining confident that the two-strokes will be just as competitive under the updated regulations.

“I’m very confident in the production cylinders, heads and intake on a KTM, and in my opinion, nine times out of 10, people modifying the barrel basically destroy the good hard work that the factory has done,” he added.

“So do I have a concern? Not at all, in fact I think it might save some people from actually making their bikes go slower. A lot of tune jobs actually tend to slow them down, that’s my experience over the years anyway.

“We are very confident that the KTM is tuned to the highest levels anyway and Ready to Race straight out of the box, so there will be no negative aspects to riding a two-stroke in the MX Nationals.

“Why did they have to do this? I suppose they have had to react to, well basically other manufacturers. I think most of the other competitors were actually okay with it. So that’s something that Kevin [Williams] had to do to appease the other manufacturers.

“They’re funny these guys; they never complained when the 250 four-stroke was up against a 125 two-stroke or a 450 was up against a 250 two-stroke. They never felt sorry for anyone then!”

KTM has confirmed that it will again field a fleet of two-strokes in 2015 through supported riders, as well as at least one factory-backed 250 SX-F.

“That’s the beauty of KTM as a brand,” Leisk added. “We offer everything. We offer the most options for an off-road rider, period, whether that be four-stroke, two-stroke, 50, 65, 85, 125, 250, 350 or 450.”

Top two-stroke in the MX2 class was KTM-mounted Hamish Harwood in second behind Serco Yamaha’s Luke Clout, with eight out of the top 10 in standings on two-strokes. The MXD title was won by Husqvarna’s Egan Mastin, as two-strokes filled the top three positions in the series.