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Challenge accepted. For the 2022 range, available from August 2021, Ducati has updated the Hypermotard 950 family by introducing a new MY22 livery for the SP version.  A new color scheme that evokes the racing world and graphics inspired by freestyle sports to highlight the youthful character of the bike. The ideal choice to indulge in the pure pleasure of an adrenaline rush when riding whilst having maximum fun without compromising on safety.





937 cc liquid-cooled, Testastretta V2 engine


114 HP

Bore x Stroke

94 x 67,5 mm (3,70 x 2,66 in)

Compression Ratio


Fuel Injection

Electronic fuel injection system, Ø 53 mm throttle bodies with full Ride by Wire system.




96 Nm (71 lb-ft) @ 7.250 rpm


Slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch, hydraulic control.


6 Speed

Final Drive

Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 43

Suspension Front

Ohlins fully adjustable, upside-down Ø 48 mm

Suspension Rear

Progressive linkage with fully adjustable Öhlins monoshock. Aluminum single-sided swingarm

Brakes Front

2 x 320 mm semi-floating aluminum flange discs, radially mounted Monobloc Brembo callipers, 4-piston 2-pad, radial pump with adjustable lever, with Bosch cornering ABS EVO.

Tires Front

Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP v3, 120/70 ZR17

Tires Rear

Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP, 180/55 ZR17

Fuel Tank Capacity

14.5 l (3,8 US gallons)





Tail Light





1498 mm (59,0 in)


104 mm (4.1 in)

Seat Height

 890 mm (35.0 in)





2021 YAMAHA YZ250F



Draped in full carbon fiber bodywork (including the tail section), Yamaha’s YZF-R1M looks like a bespoke piece of hardware for cruising around the street—or setting fast lap times at the circuit. The ‘21 YZF-R1M employs Öhlins latest and greatest semi-active electronic suspension with a gas-charged fork. The suspension offers versatile performance with a few pushes of a button.

Source: MotorcyclistOnline




Engine Type

250cc liquid-cooled DOHC 4-stroke; 4 valves

Bore x Stroke

77.0mm × 53.6mm

Compression Ratio


Fuel Delivery

Mikuni® fuel injection, 44mm


Constant-mesh 5-speed; multiplate wet clutch

Final Drive


Suspension / Front

KYB® Speed-Sensitive System inverted fork; fully adjustable, 12.2-in travel

Suspension / Rear

KYB® single shock; fully adjustable, 12.5-in travel

Brakes / Front

Hydraulic disc, 270mm

Brakes / Rear

Hydraulic disc, 245mm

Tires / Front

80/100-21 Bridgestone® Battlecross® X20F

Tires / Rear

100/90-19 Bridgestone® Battlecross® X20R

L x W x H

85.6 in x 32.5 in x 50.6 in

Seat Height

38.2 in


58.1 in

Rake (Caster Angle)



4.7 in

Maximum Ground Clearance

13.2 in

Fuel Capacity**

1.6 gal

Wet Weight***

234 lb


$8,499 - Monster Energy Yamaha Racing Edition - Available from September 2020


30 Day (Limited Factory Warranty)





2021 KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R



G 310 R
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BMW 2022 G 310 R






Power in KW

132 kW


Electric starter


71 mm


108 mm


PASC (TM) slipper clutch, hydraulically actuated


1301 cm³


Keihin EMS with RBW and cruise control, double ignition


2-cylinder, 4-stroke, V 75°


Forced oil lubrication with 3 oil pumps


Bosch 9.1MP 2.0 (with cornering ABS and SUPERMOTO ABS)

Front Brake Disc Diameter

320 mm

Rear Brake Disc Diameter

240 mm


525 X-Ring

Frame Design

Chrome-moly tubular space frame, powder-coated

Front Suspension


Rear Suspension

WP APEX - Monoshock

Steering Head Angle

64.8 °

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FC 450


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Sammy Tanner won 68 Ascot trophy dashes. No rider ever came close to that record.  

Photo: Mahony Archives

Chuck Jones (24X), on his beautifully prepared BSA Gold Star, takes the inside line while Sammy Tanner works the cushion. 


Photo: Mahony Archives

A happy Kenny Roberts accepts yet another trophy. Behind Kenny is Bud Aksland (in Yamaha jacket). Bud was Kenny’s first sponsor and long-time crew chief throughout Kenny’s career from local scrambles, AMA Nationals and World GP. Sparky Edmonston (Bell hat) was also a longtime friend and mechanic racing the AMA Grand National circuit during Kenny's years.  

   In a word, what made  



  unique was traction!  

The traction at the weekly Friday night Ascot half-mile resulted from the mixture of local dirt, sand, clay, and decomposed granite with some calcium chloride.

While there is a cemetery directly across from the Ascot, there is nothing to verify dirt was taken to the track from the cemetery, contrary to the myth.


The track was expertly prepared every week with generous watering, grading, and dragging making the surface very consistent week to week.


Looking out at the track from the starting line, the track was perfectly graded and prepared from the pole to the fence. It was like a dark brown carpet ready to be roosted on.


It was traction like no other track, and the surface was consistently good over 32-night races per year. Racing there week after week, you pretty much knew what to expect throughout the night. Depending on local weather and the phase of the moon and tide, the track could dry out somewhat or sometimes stay tacky as the night wore on.


There have been times when it grooved up to a hard pack but that was the exception during the night races.


The track during day Ascot races was a hard pack groove track with little or no cushion.


Ascot at night provided unbelievable grip that allowed for various racing lines and given the smallish size for a half-mile (Ascot measured half-mile on the outside fence) made for some very close, hairball racing.


Given the weekly races during the seven-month season, fast local riders known as “Ascot Regulars”, who rode there a lot, had the right set-up and understood how the track changed throughout the night. The Regulars were able to anticipate and adapt to the changing track conditions. In a way, it’s no different from any other race track where locals know the track well and tend to dominate.


The Ascot Regulars (mostly Californians) were tough to beat but eventually, riders from other states began to win the weekly races and AMA Nationals.


Those out-of-state riders figured out the setup, adjusted to the track, and learned the fast way around.


Both Sammy Tanner and Al Gunter were transplanted Texans, both moving to Southern California to race at Ascot. Many more riders relocated to the area to be close to the weekly Ascot action.


There were many others who relocated to the southern California area to race Ascot.
Eventually, the fast guys who were fast anywhere else could also figure out how to win at Ascot.


In the final years of Ascot, riders from many different states won weekly races and AMA Nationals at Ascot.

The first was Michigan-rider Jay Springsteen who broke the California rider stranglehold on the Half-Mile National in 1976.


With its tight turns, short straightaways, and legendary tacky surface, Ascot was as well known for its spectacular crashes as it was for its speed. Many riders made attempts to tame the famous half-mile, while some paid the ultimate price trying.


Winning Ascot became one of the most challenging and sought-after victories of its day and produced more racing champions and legends than any other track during its time.


Photo: Mahony Archives

Talent-loaded Ascot national heat race front row pits California riders Scott Pearson (95), Aaron Hill (17), and Tom Berry (58) against out-of-state challengers Gene Church (8C) and David Jones (74G). 


Photo: Mahony Archives

Norton-mounted Denny Kanegae (5X) leads Triumph riders John Hateley (98) and Llyod Houchins (79) in typical 1970s Friday night Ascot racing 

Experts say the tackiness of the racing surface, which made for great multi-line racing and spectacular lean angles, was the very thing that made the track so lethal. Instead of a normal low-side flat track crash, riders often got sideways, then caught traction, and were flung over the high side into the unforgiving dirt-backed wall that lined the outside of the oval. Or get planted on the racing line after a simple slide out and get hit by riders who already committed to a line and were unable to change direction. “Ascot is the toughest track in the country to come in and race against the local riders,” said Carroll Resweber, a four-time AMA Grand National Champion, who never would win a national race at Ascot. 


From 1959, when Texan-born but full-time California resident, Sammy Tanner won the first Ascot national half-mile on a Triumph, until 1976, no non-California rider ever won a half-mile National at Ascot. The incredible traction, helped by sea air rolling into the area kept the track surface just moist enough, so it became super tacky. It gave the West Coast riders the advantage, who knew the setup and fast line. Rumors say top riders watched the tide tables and if there was going to be a full moon. All that affected the traction. 

It was at Ascot, in the 1960s where one racer got the advantage by hardening the venerable Pirelli 4:00X19 MT53. He and a few other riders figured out the older tires they previously used, worked well because they were really hard. So hard, in fact, you had to use a grinder to “cut” the tires. When they ran out of those old tires, top Ascot rider, Johnny Gibson, put tires on the roof of his house to bake in the southern California sun. Later, he treated the tires with a hardening compound and placed them in a tire recapping mold to heat them up. After the “heat treating”, the tire lasted longer and gripped better. Riders used razor blades to cut the tread, for traction both in the front, and rear. Cutting the tread, even between races, allowing for a fresh edge and more traction. Later, tire technology improved, and riders no longer had to heat the tires up, but top tuners even cut the newly designed tries to keep a fresh edge. 


In the ‘60s, Ray Hensley was working at Kolbe Honda in the San Fernando Valley (west of Los Angles) and modified a stock Honda CB250 frame for a local flat tracker who raced at Ascot. Ray, as with most racers at the time, believed flat trackers should have a rigid rear section, so he cut off the rear of the stock Honda swing arm frame and fabricated a hardtail. Later, Ray teamed up with Kenny Watkins. Watkins had a fabrication and machine shop called Sonic Weld. 


Linn Kastan worked at Sonic Weld and was a self-taught master welder. Together, they built the first flat track-specific frame in 1968. The first Sonic Weld frame was made of 4130 chrome-moly, it was light and became very popular, especially among the 1968 Ascot Pro novices running 250cc machines. Most of the Sonic Weld frames produced were nickel-plated and looked really good. Then later, they built a complete 4130 swing arm frame. The first one was for a Triumph 500 and went to Gary Nixon. 


During this period, Hensley moved his production to another location and took Kastan with him to form Trackmaster Racing frames. The timing was good for Trackmaster because, at the same time, Junior and Expert engine displacement went from 500cc OHV to 750cc. The rule change caused a flurry of activity for racers nationwide to get ready for the new season. They had to build an all-new flat tracker based on the new rules. Trackmaster was perfectly positioned to provide the ultimate flat-track chassis and did so with the first purpose-built, dirt track racing frame. Initially, Trackmaster frames were available “frame only” or with all the necessary hardware for assembly. 


Later one could get a tank, seat, fender brace, forks, and pegs/brake pedal all designed to fit perfectly on a Trackmaster frame.  Triumph offered many performance engine parts and factory racing recommendations/ specifications, including a drop-on 750cc top end kit, for the 650 unit engine. Other specialty performance companies (WEBCO, Megacycle, Barnett, ARD, etc.) had many proven performance parts and accessories for the Triumph 650. Combined with the Trackmaster frame “kit” and wide selection of performance parts for the Triumph unit 650, one could pretty much assemble a very competitive race bike. 


Triumph Corporation sent a bulletin to their dealers recommending they contact Trackmaster frames directly, thereby creating an even stronger demand. At the same time, AMA flat track was going through monumental changes. With the introduction of the larger, flat track-specific tire (Goodyear DT), other tire brands followed suit. The new tires offered vastly improved traction due to size, compound, and tread design. Then AMA approved the addition of rear brakes as an option first (1969) and later became mandatory, on all bikes in all classes in 1977. AMA Class C racing was based on racing production models. The rule was 200 models of the homologated bikes were to be in the factory’s warehouse, for AMA inspection and verification. Later, AMA changed the rule from 200 to 25 models for verification. All these new rules played out at Ascot. With all the changes happening, one could see the sport changing almost from week to week. 1969 was the transition year when most of the top riders went to the 750s but a few 500s were still competitive at Ascot. 


By 1971, top riders were on Triumph, BSA twins, many were Trackmaster. Most were Triumph 650s with homologated 750 drop-on top-end kits. Later BSA homologated a 750 kit. In the early 1970s, Linn Kastan started Redline Racing frames and then Doug Schwerma started Champion. Yamaha USA actually sold Champion frame kits and offered engines through their parts department, sold to dealers. Many more custom and flat track frame companies were started during this time. Some people believe AMA racing was “influenced” by Harley, but during that period, most changes benefitted the British brands, primarily Triumph/BSA. Harley had to quickly develop a competitive 750cc OHV 750 (the first XR750 was introduced in 1970). Prior to 1968, Harley had the flathead KR750 race-specific model that generally dominated AMA flat track for over 20 years.

The new XR750 in its first years was successful with factory riders winning AMA flat track Nationals. Considering it was a first-year racing model, it performed well winning 10 AMA Nationals. Then in 1972, Harley updated the XR750 and introduced the alloy XR750. By 1973, with some notable exceptions, the XR750 dominated Ascot weekly half-mile races. However, the new rule allowed other brands to be very competitive at weekly Ascot half-mile such as Norton, and later Yamaha. Then Honda burst onto the scene with its RS750 V Twins in the 1980s. It later dominated with riders Ricky Graham and Bubba Shobert. Ascot became the epicenter of flat track racing in the US, through the 1960s through the 1970s. Winning a race at Ascot, even a weekly non-national race was heavily publicized by the factories. Privateer riders and teams benefited from support from the factory privateer race support programs, and after-market companies as well. Much of the motorcycle industry’s North American headquarters were based in southern California; Triumph, BSA, Norton, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, and Kawasaki, so it was common to see motorcycle industry corporate VIPs watching the races at Ascot. Eventually, most all major brands sponsored factory teams to race at Ascot and on the national circuit. Bell, Bates, and WEBCO plus, other top after-market company’s offices were located in southern California. And they too were drawn into the Ascot action, and some provided contingency at the nationals and even weekly Ascot races. 


During the 1970s, the motorcycle market was rapidly growing and expanding exponentially. The factories wanted race wins to promote their respective brands. It’s where the “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday” sales philosophy was believed by the companies. Riders who would get $50 for a win at a Pro flat track race previously, saw the newer riders getting a salary, race bikes, travel expenses to the races, and full-time mechanic-all paid for by the factories. Many of them were able to keep 100% of their winnings Additionally, the motorcycle market growth benefitted from the epic Bruce Brown film On Any Sunday. The movie positioned motorcycling and motorcycle racing in a positive light creating strong retail demand. There was massive growth in all aspects of the motorcycle market, racing included. At that time, AMA Pro flat track was the number one form of motorcycle racing in the U.S. and if you were a racer, Ascot was the place to race.



Photo: Mahony Archives

Keith Mashburn (30X) held off a hard-charging Gene Romero (3) and a host of top Experts to win the Yamaha Gold Cup race in 1970. Mashburn rode for the Yamaha factory but for this race only, he rode a one-off Trackmaster Yamaha 750. 


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