Exclusive Japanese Spy Photos – 2011 Preview

With perfect weather and riding conditions, the opening round of the 2010 All Japan National Motocross Championships began today at the Meihan Sportsland facility just outside of Osaka, Japan. And like always, some pretty trick works bikes were in the pits boasting everything from pre-production parts to full on works hardware. Due to the fact that there isn’t a production rule at the Japanese races, the big four manufacturers use the series to race test up coming models and parts.

With big changes having already been introduced for 2010, many of the bikes this year were slightly changed versions of what we saw at the opening Japan National last year. Be that as it may, however, there was still quite a bit to be seen with the most noteable bikes being the EFI-equipped Kawasaki KX250F machines under the Factory Kawasaki tent. Last year, Kawasaki did have this bike fuel injected for the Japan National series, however, difficulties in getting the bike running spot on forced the upgrade to be held back one more year. For 2011, expect to see the KX250F fuel injected, as both Takeshi Katsuya and his teammate Shinichi Inoue were both mounted aboard fuel-injected bikes. Katsuya’s bike, however, isn’t a production based machine like Inoue’s is. The report from Katsuya is that the EFI is now much better than the pre-production 2010 version and offers excellent performance.

Takeshi Katsuya's KX250F
Takeshi Katsuya's KX250F

Reigning IA1 Champion Akira Narita had a very trick looking Factory Yamaha-supported YSP Racing YZ450F. Even though Yamaha has officially pulled its factory team out of racing, Narita still gets factory parts. The coolest part on his bike? The carbon fiber-wrapped KYB shock.

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Akira Narita's Yamaha YZ450F
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The carbon fiber-wrapped shock on Narita's bike is beautiful.

As for Yamaha’s YZ250F, we heard rumors before the event that it might be fuel injected. After tracking the bike down, we discovered that it was rather close to stock and still equipped with a carb. Just like Narita, however, Takuma Kojima’s YSP YZ250F is sprinkled with factory parts from Yamaha.

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The bikes in the Suzuki pits were very trick looking, unfortunately there wasn’t much new to report. When talking to Yoshitaka Atsuta about his RM-Z450, he remarked that other than a harder hitting powerband, due largely to the sandy conditions of the Meihan circuit, not much else has been changed. Atsuta’s bike did, however, have a full carbon fiber subframe, airbox, and airboot, which is said to be both stronger and lighter than the standard aluminum unit.

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Yoshitaka Atsuta's RM-Z450

Just like Yamaha, Honda has withdrawn its factory team and has instead elected to support the Dream Honda team with factory parts. It goes without saying that these bikes are some of the best looking in the pits—or the world for that matter. Nothing is left untouched on the Dream Hondas, and the header pipe on Kazumasa Masuda’s CRF450R is one of the craziest we’ve ever seen.

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Kazumasa Masuda's Honda CRF450R

For more up close photos of all the bikes from Japan, check out the huge photo gallery below.

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