Although no official announcement has been made, many news sources have indicated that Ricky Carmichael will be riding a Honda next year in both supercross and outdoor motocross. An interesting issue has been discussed by riders and industry insiders regarding Carmichael’s switch. Namely, although the Hondas are certainly excellent machines, do they suit Carmichael’s style? Specifically, can Carmichael “hang it out” and ride on-the-edge on a red bike?
Basically, this boils down to whether the Kawasaki is a “more forgiving” bike that allows Carmichael to get away with seemingly near crashes every race (some of them actually become crashes, even on the Kawasaki).
Honda’s third generation aluminum frame (found both on the two-stroke 250 and four-stroke 450) is purportedly a more forgiving design (less likely to “bite” a rider who makes a mistake). This could be Carmichael’s saving grace, but I have heard more than once that “McGrath is smiling”.