Where do race bikes go when they retire? Sometimes peacefully into the corner of the garage, but in most cases they become some unsuspecting buyer’s headache. This TC85 was the latter. After the original owner raced it for a season, it got shined up and sold. The new owner got a few desert trips in before the engine gave up. A couple rebuild attempts later, and we rescued it from a Marketplace ad. We recruited the “Project Bike Master,” Jay Clark, to help us bring our 2019 Husqvarna TC85 back to life.
Decal Works gave the bike a classic yet updated look with a semi-custom graphics kit and mounting them on a complete set of all-white plastics from MXPlastics.com. This machine got a complete makeover using companies like Decal Works, Motoseat, Rekluse, Nacstar Wheels, ProX, Wiseco, FMF, Dunlop, Lectron, Works Connection, UFO Plastics, San Diego Powder Coating, Schmidt Performance, ODI, Sano Metal Finishing, Cranks By Andrew Langston and ParaPros. During the rebuild, we decided to upgrade to bigger wheels, making it a Supermini project using a complete set of Nacstar blacked-out wheels and ProX components. Schmidt Performance set up the suspension for the larger big-wheel size.
When we first laid eyes on this Husqvarna TC85 Marketplace ad, our response was, “Oh no, someone is going to buy that can of worms and be very disappointed!” Then we got the bright idea of saving someone from that headache by making a project out of it ourselves. Okay, maybe we have some issues, but the seller was upfront and honest with us about the bike’s problems, so we already had a game plan in our heads of what needed to be done. We just needed to execute that plan, and for that we enlisted the help of bike builder “OG” Jay Clark and his army of people, who are comprised of moto-industry-leading companies, then stepped back to watch all the magic happen.
The engine was the main problem. Since its rebuild after racing retirement, it just didn’t want to stay running for very long. Brad at ParaPros Racing is a master at figuring out engine issues like this. After a complete teardown and cleaning a few air leaks, some not-sokosher gas and maybe a lean oil/gas mixture were found to be the problem.
The crank was rebuilt using a ProX rod kit by Langston Motorsports, and then put back together with all-new bearings, seals, a top-end kit and gaskets from the host of aftermarket products under the race-winning brand’s umbrella. A Rekluse Core manual clutch system was added, with a VForce reed intake and a complete FMF exhaust system to give it some additional power. The last aftermarket piece to the puzzle was the brand-new Mini Billetron carburetor from Lectron.
While Brad had the engine on his workbench, Jay Clark was handling the chassis issues. His first order of business was to get the main frame down to Chris Johnson and his crew at San Diego Powder Coating to replace the faded blue color with a rejuvenated satin black finish. Just like the engine cases, Sano Metal Finishing vapor-blasted the triple clamps, swingarm and braking systems to make them look better than new. All the chassis bearings were replaced using ProX kits, and the suspension was given some major TLC from Schmidt Performance set up for off-road Grand Prix-style events. The stock wheels had seen better days, and those were upgraded in both style and size with a set of NacStar wheels that were topped off with Dunlop tires, a ProX sprocket and ProX brake rotors.
This project was a little different from most of the Marketplace builds we do in one major aspect—we had way too much information on the machine’s history, so there weren’t many things that surprised us along the way. This took a lot of the guesswork out of what we actually needed to do, and in some ways the fun factor, but we definitely didn’t miss those surprise headache moments, either. Jay Clark made the complete rebuild and upgrade to Supermini status with the addition of the Nacstar 19-/17-inch wheel combo, which was a breeze, while Brad at ParaPros handled the heavy lifting in the engine department with no problems. We are happy to report this project is already winning races again at the NGPC and SRA Grand Prix series in the Supermini division. Once again, another happy ending!