Review: 42007 Motorcross bike

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42007 Motocross bikeWe don't seem to give Technic much love here at Brickset but, as I say every time we do, I'm a long-time fan of it, so I'll try and redress the balance by reviewing one of the better sets that has been released in the first half of 2013: 42007 Motocross bike.

There was a time when I bought every Technic set released, but nowadays I'm a bit more selective, one reason being that I don't have room to store them all (I tend to keep them made-up due to the time it takes to make them) but also because, increasingly, there is a lot of repetition of un-interesting vehicles. Racing cars, go-karts, buggies and that sort of thing are not that interesting to play with or to look at, so I tend to give them a miss.

However there are some things that you can never have too many of: mobile cranes, helicopters and motorbikes.

That brings me neatly onto 42007, the latest in a long line of Technic motorcycles that started in 1979. This is the third off-road bike to be made. The first was 8838 Shock Cycle from 1991, which was one of the first Technic sets I bought after emerging from my dark ages. We then had a long wait for the next one, 8291 Dirt Bike from 2008.

After building this latest one I thought it would be fun to dig out the old models to compare them with it, and whilst doing so, appreciate how far Technic has come in 22 years.

Parts and construction

The set contains 250 parts. The only new parts are the tyres. The wheels themselves were first used on 2010's street bike set: 8051-1 but that of course had slick tyres. They replaced a smaller version which had been in use for all previous Technic bikes made since 1991, in fact they were new when used on 8838. The old version is about 60mm diameter, whereas this new one is 75mm, so they are quite a bit larger.

The only other thing worth mentioning about the parts is something I've said before: It's interesting how the set looks to be orange but when you look at the parts list you see there are actually only nine orange parts in it!

Construction is straightforward but interesting because the bike's frame has hardly a right-angle in it. There's some clever geometry going on. It takes about an hour to build.

The finished model

The finished model looks fantastic from every angle. It comes with a myriad of stickers to apply to the orange panels, but I have not applied them because they are the white plastic ones that are prone to peeling.

However, it is not without its design flaws which I will come on to after the photos.

42007 Motocross bike

42007 Motocross bike

42007 Motocross bike

42007 Motocross bike

So, what's wrong with it? There are two things. First, for some reason the drive chain has been placed on the right which, I don't believe is prototypical at all. I used to ride trials bikes (Yamaha XT250 and XT350) back in the day and both of those had the chain on the left. Having just check the Yamaha website, that is still the case. The only reason I can think that it's like that is because if you put it on the left, as I have in the photo below, the kick-stand fouls it slightly when raised.

42007 Motocross bike

Moving it to the left requires the exhaust to be moved to the left, too.

The second flaw is not so easy to rectify: the rear sprocket should be inside the frame next to the wheel, not outside of it, and should be directly driven from the gearbox and not via the two small gears you can see in the photo above this one. Presumably it was just too difficult to get it right. However, looking at the bikes in the BrickList you can see they have tried in the past, with varying degrees of success, to do so.

I did wonder if the front mud guard should have been orange, but actually it looks a bit too orange if you swap it out.

Comparing it to 8838 and 8291

Here are the three bikes lined up side-by side. 8838 from 1991, right, looks very dated in comparison. Studless beams were not introduced until 1996 although it does use some lift arms and 'triangles' which were introduced at about the time of its release. The rear sprocket is where it should be, though. The bike has been in storage, in an opaque box in a cool garage, since I moved house in 2006, so I was sorry to see that the front wheel has yellowed, but for some reason the back one hasn't.

42007 Motocross bike

The new model is very similar to 8291 from 2008 in terms of size and design, although the older model uses the older style of Technic panel (first and second generation, we are now on the third, I believe). Their wheelbases are about the same, but larger wheels of the new model look so much better.The tyres are excellent and a vast improvement, and are far more typical.

42007 Motocross bike

Overall opinion

Despite the flaws -- one easily rectified, the other not-so -- this is an excellent looking model that makes a fine display piece. It would be appreciated by non-LEGO bike fans and I can see it being the sort of model people would display on their desk at work and it becoming a talking point among their colleagues.

At £25/US$40 (a reasonable exchange rate for a change!) it would seem to be good value for money. This is another 2013 set that I am going to have to recommend, I'm afraid...

25 comments on this article

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By in United States,

My wife just recently completed this model and I was looking over it, and it is a really nice well thought out design, but much like you said, the one part of the model that I keep looking at is the rear sprocket... There is just something about it being on the outside of the model(And the previous motorcycle models) that just throws off the rear section...

The one thing that I loved about the looks of the 8051 and the 8420 was the fact that the rear sprocket was somewhat hidden on the inside of the swingarm as it should be...

This is still a really great model though...

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By in United Kingdom,

Agree entirely.

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By in United States,

What's a sprocket?

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By in Netherlands,

When I was a kid I also loved the technic series. Still got the red Testcar which I used to built all the time without the manual. But although I would love to built the Mercedes Unimog the technic series don't have my real attention anymore.

Nowadays I collect UCS Star Wars models. Why??? Surely because I'm a big Star Wars fan, but also because you can collect a lot of models which belong to one theme. But with technic you don't really have that. (Well maybe with to the new F1-car and all the other F1-models from the last 10 years)

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By in United Kingdom,

This was actually my first Technic model for a couple of years when I bought it a week or two ago. I am very impressed with it actually, not having much knowledge of motorbikes in general the flaws mentioned here do not bother me in the slightest. Thanks for the review Huw, I may even have to pick up a couple more Technic sets this year if they are all of this standard...

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm not exactly the biggest fan of Technic - I tend to dabble rather than collect - but this is one of the sets I'll be looking out for - looks great !

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By in United States,

Its a really nice dirt bike. Hope to buy it soon for it to go along with the green one.

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By in United Kingdom,

I am getting this for my birthday tomorrow off the kids (not meant to know although I picked it up from John Lewis earlier having ordered it when they had it in stock for £14.95 - may be worth keeping an eye out for it coming back in?) and now may have to actually break it out and build it as well as I'm off.

This is the first technic set I have bought (acquired two in trades) but fully expect it to be the first I actually build although to be honest it was the alternative build of a speedway bike that caught my eye on this one and will probably be the version I end up building tomorrow!

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By in United States,

Nice review. I also enjoyed browsing the Bricklist of the history of Technic motorbikes. However, depending on your criteria, your list is possibly missing set # 948 - Go-Kart (my childhood favorite), which had alternate builds for a few different motorcycles.

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By in United States,

Thanks Huw, don't know why I didn't think of that! I get it now.

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By in United States,

I'm glad I'm not a huge technic fan or I would have a lot less money.

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By in Canada,

Great review Huw! Also missing from the Brick List was 8810 Cafe Racer and 8210, Nitro GTX bike.

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By in United Kingdom,

Great review, lovely deatiled pictures as usual. I have all the recent bikes, Lego are doing a great job releasing models in a similar scale, so they can be shown together.

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By in United States,

Gotta say, great model. If only I had enough money to buy Technic.... :P

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By in United Kingdom,

Good call, @Pantboy.

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By in Ireland,

"The wheels themselves ... replaced a smaller version which had been in use for all previous Technic bikes made since 1991".
Errr... nope.
The wheels are a development of the wheels that were (only) used on 8420. Those were the wheels that replaced the wheels that had been around since 1991.

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By in Canada,

Looks great! Definitely the nicest technic motocross bike!

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By in United States,

@Duq,

Look again. The third wheel variety to which you refer didn't replace those that have been in use since from the Shock Cycle from 1991. Instead they were an addition. You will be convinced of this when you consider that the 8291, which uses the original wheel, arrived after 8420.

In fact, there is a fourth variety as seen on the Mag Wheel Master (my personal favorite of the bunch, incidentally).

So Huw was indeed wrong in saying "all", but you were also mistaken as well.

Also, although, he was not clear, I suspect Huw was really think of just the off-road tires as far as the replacing goes. That said without some word from Lego I don't know that we can really say for certain that the original wheels nor off road tires are gone for good. But it is probably a safe bet.

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By in United States,

I like this set a lot I hope to get it

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By in United Kingdom,

^^ Thanks fo the clarificaton.

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By in Belgium,

The chain is indeed on the left side of all Japanese prototypes and therefore of all their Asian copycats. But some European competitors sport right side drivetrains, chiefly the BMW 650 GS series and the Husqvarna Nuda 900 range. But the sprocket outside the swingarm is definitely non-realistic (but then at the scale set by these Technic wheels, there is no way of putting it inside AND leaving enough lateral clearance for the chain). A cool looking bike altogether - definite must have.

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By in United Kingdom,

^ Interesting, thanks.

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By in Portugal,

Great review!!!

I´m glad that you used my Technic motorcycles list :D

The only thing i don´t agree very much in any of the Lego Off-Road bikes is the use of a non-convencional V-twin engine in all the bikes, but well, is a toy...

(I hope that you don´t consider this spam, but if you want delete this comment:)
I invite you to check my blog http://legotechnicmotorcycles.blogspot.com it´s all about bikes ;)

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