January 12, 2011 -In a time where motocross racing is depicted by four strokes, Kwan International, a global media and marketing company based at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, debuted a one-of-a-kind 2005 two-stroke Yamaha YZ125 at a Las Vegas race just before the turning of the new year. With an originally designed graphics package by 702 Graphics, the blue and black Yamaha displayed a collaborative vision with Kwan International as the bike donned images of the company’s network of media reach, platforms like the Associated Press, MSNBC, Yahoo News, Google News, Wall Street Journal, and Reuters.
Unique to its design, equally as impressive was the two-stroke Yamaha’s ability to not only compete against, but dominate 250 and 450 four-strokes within the race as Supercross series rider Tony Gallo of Ohio maneuvered around competition in moto #1 and grabbed the holeshot in moto #2. “This is the fastest 125 I’ve ever been on,” said Gallo.
A true 125 cc bike, the Yamaha was ported by Two Stroke Porting’s owner and porter, Lowell Horning. A porting specialist who has produced champion snowmobiles and world speed records for two-stroke watercrafts, Horning is often in an ironic position as the one secret that motorsports racers are reluctant to release. “If I am producing a winning combination for the racer, then they aren’t going to want to tell others who did the work. They’d rather keep me to themselves,” said Horning.
Kwan International’s owners, Vinny Perozzi and former U.S. National and World Champion boxer, Christina Kwan, chose Horning for the Yamaha’s port work because his ability to understand the cause and effects of two-stroke engines derived from decades of experience. Even as Horning had never specifically worked on a YZ125 before, the knowledge he had amassed crafted the roadmap that would eventually lead him to a conclusive decision. Perozzi said, “A testament to Lowell’s ability, he took all of the necessary measurements and through his deep understanding of power creation was able to arrive at a solution that would increase the bike’s performance.”
Undoubtedly, Horning’s work proved well when the YZ125 demonstrated a sense of dominance over competing 250 and 450 four-strokes on the track. While rider ability attributes to a bike’s performance, the YZ125 screamed right from the start as it pulled the holeshot over all other competitors. “It was definitely exciting to see Lowell’s first YZ125 project perform so well out of the gate. This project was unique in that the bike was also a piece within Kwan International’s collection of motorsports vehicles,” said Perozzi.
“Working with Lowell was effortless. With his expertise, it would be easy to talk over someone’s level, but that’s not him. He speaks to you and fully explains how he plans on approaching the project,” continued Perozzi.
While winning teams often closely guard their secrets, Kwan International feels that the only way to show their gratitude for Horning’s work is to share the story with the world. With all of the attention the YZ125 gained from its debut appearance, one question remains. Will it race again? Perozzi concludes, “Our YZ125 is not a bike that races a full season. It is a bike that becomes a vehicle for the right person at the right venue. With the current petition for the American Motorcycle Association to reinstate two-stroke eligibility in the appropriate classes, there is still a passion for two-strokes and I hope for the rules to change back one day. With or without the reinstatement, the situation remains the same. For riders who have been overlooked, overshadowed, and quite simply, unrecognized for their ability, this is a bike that will propel them to reach beyond industry media. They’ll reach mainstream media and more importantly, recognition by the sponsors in which they seek.”
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