JUSTIN BARCIA’S ALL NEW GASGAS MC450F FACTORY EDITION
Justin Barcia has had some success at the opening rounds of Supercross for several years now.His seasons were typically around the top 5-10 mark after Anaheim 1 successes. In 2023 that’s all changed. He is battling for race wins and podiums every weekend. He was able to win the mud race in New York on this bike! The factory GASGAS MC450F athlete has all the pieces in place to win this season, including his all new TLD GASGAS MC450F Factory Edition featuring GPS, push button throttle body, RPM indicator, custom brake pedal, titanium axles, and more! Cody Champagne broke down all the details for us and showed Dirt Bike Magazine some really cool goodies! Let’s get into this!
THE FRONT END
Starting about a year ago Justin broke his finger and switched to a full waffle pattern to get better grip. He never switched back from them even after the finger injury healed. You can also see the billet throttle tube for durability that is used. The grips are wire tied on for safety precaution. The entire throttle housing is a factory component. Cody did tell us that Justin Barcia is picky with his throttle play and likes very little when riding the bike. The right side (brake) lever is thinner than the clutch side.
The front brake master cylinder by Brembo has a carbon cover wrapped around it. These cover protect the master cylinder from getting damaged by rocks or debris.
Renthal 827 bend handlebars are mounted to the MC450F. The bars are pretty parallel to the front forks and the risers used for the bars are 38mm.
The start/stop buttons mounted on the handlebars aren’t stock but we are going to keep it a secret where they come from. They are both smaller in size to keep the clutter on the handlebars to a minimum. The kill switch has a cover/housing around it so it doesn’t get bumped. Riders like Justin sometimes hit their chests on the bars and can inadvertently hit buttons. This housing will ensure that the button is damaged or knocked during a race.
22 offset cherry red split triple clamps are mounted to Barcia’s race bike. The team has tried 24’s with quarter out races but he prefers the current 22mm offset with standard steering races instead.
Up front we can find the WP 52mm XACT Pro forks. These are spring forks. Its interesting that Yamaha comes with spring forks stock but a lot of their factory riders run air. KTM/Husqvarna/GASGAS come stock with air but a lot of their riders run spring. Justin is really picky about the overall balance of his bike front to rear. It has to be spot on and he can tell when its not.
Kite is supplying the holeshot device to the team. At the beginning of the season Justin was actually at a higher setting than now. The team has gone deeper into the stroke since then to help his starts. They noticed the bike’s front end was riding into a wheelie off the gate and wanted to suck it down more for Justin to have a better chance at being up front out of the gate.
A titanium front axle is used on Justin’s bike. You can see they aren’t running fork guard straps like some of the factory bikes in the paddock. The team is actually running titanium front axle, rear axle, and swing-arm pivot. KITE hubs with DID Dirt start rims are used on the race bike.
Up front you can see the Dunlop spec (factory) front tire. The team has tested several options for the front tire. He settled on the one you see in the photo above. A couple of the other options he tried just grabbed too much and didn’t let me sling the bike around the way he likes to with his unique/aggressive riding approach.
A 270mm front rotor is attached to the bike with a full coverage carbon guard. This guard protects the entire brake system but also acts like a ski. This will slide through a deep rut much easier and the team doesn’t risk the caliper or hangar getting hung up in the rut.You can see the factory Brembo caliper and hangar in this photo.
The black box you see on the neck of the frame is a GPS unit. The GPS provides a location on the track to the team to match up with the data pulled off the motorcycle while it is running. The team can go back to the truck and analyze the data along with rider feedback to make changes. They can pin point on the track where an issue or a change might be needed based on the data they are pulling.
The team gets a lot of questions about the box mounted to the front fender of the motorcycle. This is an RPM reader for the start device. Justin engages the start mode and can line up the exacts RPMs for a perfect start every time.
Justin rides extremely aggressive and is hard on the motorcycle. To keep the bike running cool the team uses over size radiators. A 2.0 cap is also used on the bike with a pin going through it. The pin keeps the cap on and avoids it from spinning off. Riders can sometimes spin or bump the cap with their legs during a race. The team even has options to go to a higher temperature cap if need be. “Justin runs the hell out of this bike” said Cody. Cody is also running a temp sticker on the opposite side radiator to keep close eye on it.
Check out the radiator hose on this side of the bike. It is wrapped with another casing to protect it. If the radiator was bent in the hose would have a better chance of not getting melted on the header pipe. You can also get a good look at the Akrapovic skid plate that covers the entire bottm/sides of the motorcycle.
Factory Services does all the engine in house in Murrietta,California. They tailor the engine package to Justin’s riding style and preferences for supercross. You can see that the Akrapovic skid plate even has small holes to let the over flow tubes run through but not flop around. The engine hangars are stock. The team has tested several options but at the end of the day Justin stuck with the OEM. They do have titanium hardware in them which can also change flex characteristics on the bike. You can also see the inner primary cover and water pump cover are akadized. This helps with durability as well as heat dispersion on the engine.
A KITE slave cylinder is added to the GASGAS MC450F. There really is no difference minus the fact that its made out of billet. The billet is just a little more durable for pro level racing.
A new addition to the bike over the last week is this billet shifter. This has a larger tip that’s round instead of squared off. He prefers this style of tip better than a square one. The length is OEM sizing. The material is a lot more durable and looks ultra trick on the bike!
Justin isn’t a huge grip tape guy and doesn’t run any of the side panels. He does run a strip of grip tape on the frame rails. The OEM plastic guards are removed. A lot of the factory riders on GASGAS/Husqvarna/KTM remove the frame guards to narrow the bike up. This allows the rider to squeeze even more on the motorcycle. Justin’s boots are custom tailored so he has some grip/padding added to the inside of them. This provides the extra grip he is looking for while riding Supercross.
RAPTOR titanium foot-pegs are used on the GASGAS MC450F with titanium pins. Something new for Justin mid season is the position of the peg. The have placed the pegs back 5mm. They started the season in OEM position but tested back 5mm during the week and Justin really liked it. You can also see there aren’t any teeth or material at the center point of the peg. This helps decrease weight and also allows the mud to fall off. Mud can pack into the pegs a lot easier when there is a rib down the middle.
Cody had a lot of great things to say about the Akrapovic exhaust used on the MC450F. He told that it is extremely durable and tailored to Justin’s engine package. The team can go several rounds without changing a thing on the exhaust. The packing inside the muffler holds up well also. They change exhausts more for precaution reasons but could easily run one system all season long.
We weren’t even sure if Justin had a back up button on his bike and had Cody show us where they hid it. The steel frame on the GASGAS doesn’t offer a lot of mounting points for a button like this. The team figured out a way to mount it above the shock body and under the seat. This is a low profile button that is tucked away and hidden from danger. If Justin’s main start button on the handlebars is damaged for some reason he can use this back up to get it going again. There is an extremely slim chance that the 2nd button will ever fail based on its position.
This little button sitting on the side of the throttle body is the engagement button for the start map/ light that you see on the front fender. Justin can turn it on with this button and there are actually 2 start maps programmed into this system. He can hit it once which gives the bike a mellow start map or he can hold it for 2+ seconds, it’ll start to flash and engage it into a more aggressive start map.
Justin rides his GASGAS MC450F extremely hard and Cody is constantly changing the clutches out for him. Even though the Hinson system is much more durable than stock, there is not standing up to Justin Barcia at full race pace.
The team is using a supercross spec Twin Air air filter. They don’t need to run a very robust filter for Supercross in comparison to the outdoor season.
THE REAR END
The rear shock is done in house at WP in California. Cody wanted to keep secret what the team is doing with the rear shock and linkage set up. It is factory and clearly its working for Justin Barcia.
A DID rivet link chain is used for racing but a standard master link chain is used during practice. The team takes extra steps during race scenarios to ensure durability of the motorcycle. Justin is running a 14/53 gear combination. The team has tried a few different options including a 54 tooth rear sprocket out back to try and bring the rear wheel closer in. The team landed on the 53 instead to work with rear wheel position and his suspension preferences on the bike. You can see the KITE rear hub, titanium hardware in the sprockets and DID DIRT STAR rim.
Carbon rear chain guide on the bike is made by Akrapovic. It is extremely durable in comparison to the oem model. Obviously it drops weight as well.
Throttle Syndicate provides the graphics and seat cover for the motorcycle. 4-5 rounds into the 2023 Supercross season the team decided to add a seat bump onto the bike. They wanted to help center Justin’s body on the bike for starts and haven’t changed it since. It is made out of a Renthal pad and they change it out very frequently. Justin rides so aggressive on the bike that it doesn’t last long. He wants a brand new cover every week for the race.
Justin’s rear wheel is equipped with over sized spoke nipples. These nipples are beefed out back for Supercross jumps/whoop sections. The team is using a 120 rear tire from Dunlop. They have tried 110 in the past but Justin gravitates toward the 120 even on a rutty track. The wall jumps and some of the other obstacles that Supercross has puts a lot of pressure on the wheels. To ensure a spoke doesn’t break off and damage the brake system or sprockets, the team wire ties the rear spokes together to keep them in place. This is a trick we’ve seen in the offroad world for years!
Titanium rear axle with factory titanium axle blocks are used on the bike.
A factory Brembo rear master cylinder is used on Justin’s race bike. Its really an oem part and the only difference is the window isn’t on the back. When these components are made they are pulled off the assembly line before the hole is drilled out for the sight glass. The team inspects their bikes down to the finite detail and doesn’t need a window to tell them how much fluid is in the rear brake system. The window has a chance of getting hit by a rock and losing fluid. TLD GASGAS doesn’t want to take any chance with the window during a race.
Factory Brembo rear brake caliper and hangar are used.
Justin is using an OEM brake pedal with a titanium tip shown above. Justin likes adding grip to bike anywhere he can and this brake pedal tip has a larger surface area with a lot more grip on it in comparison to stock.
An all new chassis, engine, swing-arm, body work and more was added to the 2023 GASGAS MC450F Factory Edition this year. Justin instantly rode better on the new platform in comparison to the 2022 model. Cody explained that working on the bike is easier than the last one as well. Cody also told us that the bike seemed to handle and follow itself better through the ruts.
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