Inside Justin Brayton’s Smart Top/MCR Honda CRF450R – Fant Files

After watching Justin Brayton become the oldest racer to win a Supercross in Daytona, we’ve been itching to get over to the Smart Top/ MCR rig to get an in depth look at his motorcycle and see what got him on the top of the box. Mechanic Tony Berluti was gracious enough to spend some time with Dirt Bike Magazine and show us the bits and pieces of JB’s Honda CRF450R.

Starting at the front of the motorcycle you will find Renthal 996 bend handlebars attached to some X Trig triple clamps. They are 5mm risers with “medium” compound elastomers. The X trig set up has multiple options for positioning the bars. His handlebars sit in the middle but the actual bar clamp itself is in the forward position. The X Trig clamp is designed specifically to fit the works Showa front forks.

Mounted to the X Trig triple clamps are Factory Showa forks. He has worked out a deal to be given factory Showa spring products and are serviced once a week by Showa.

A Works Connection throttle tube is cut down to make a skinnier grip and over all smaller feel. Works Connection also provides the start button, hour meter, and reservoir cover.

On the steering Justin likes it really stiff. His mechanic has to put quite a bit of pressure on it to get it right where Justin feels most comfortable. Tony inspects the races for wear and tear while using a good quality grease to prevent additional wear with the steering is so tight.

As most riders have adjusted their start devices this season for the metal grates, Justin also has pushed his holeshot device to 174mm. He has run two different set ups for the holeshot device. The first set up was not as aggressive as the one shown here in the photo.

This is where things get a bit interesting on Justin’s bike. The front hub is actually production with DID Dirt Star rims and stock spokes. While the rear is quite different…you’ll have to read about that further down in the story. The rotor is a production 260mm size.

We were just as curious as you might be as to why JB10 runs a standard sized disc on his bike. Tony Alessi explained that the increased braking performance comes from the works Honda caliper and components given to them. With this set up there is no need to go larger in size on the actual disc. There is more than enough braking power. Justin likes the brakes to be very sensitive.

Fun fact about this carbon disc guard: Patrick Custom Carbon makes it. As in Danica Patrick’s father. The very Danica Patrick who is most famous for racing Nascar and being the only female to win in an Indy Series car race (2008).

While the clutch lever is spaced quite far from the handlebars, the front brake lever is actually opposite. It is extremely close in and easy to pull.

ICW helps reinforce the radiators for preventive measures. This added protection ensures the radiators can make it through a hard race and take a heavier impact if the rider does fall to the side. Evans Coolant sits inside those radiators.

An OEM part to Justin’s bike is the skid plate. This is a stock skid plate from Honda. Smart Top/MCR runs these to protect the engine.

Moto Concepts has worked with XPR in developing the engine. The package is put together before the season begins and goes to all the riders. The only changes or tweaks really made are to the start mapping. Berluti explained that it is still a work in progress for that part of the equation.

Another eye opening part is the chain. This is actually a road race chain. This DID ERV3 chain is an o-ring chain placed on the motorcycle for longevity performance. Tony (Alessi) spoke briefly with us about the amount of torque modern day 4 strokes are putting out. He went on to say that because of that torque, a strong drive train system and hub is a huge must to withstand the demands of the bike. A Talon rear hub is actually added on the rear of the motorcycle while the front (like we said earlier) is stock. This goes with the demands of the drive train on the rear of the motorcycle. Stock spokes are in the front wheel while in the rear they are provided to the team (Bulldog spokes) for extra strength. These pieces are very critical to the bike.

From the chassis down to the head stays the engine hangars are stock. A titanium engine hangar is actually added from the frame to the bottom part of the cases. The swing arm pivot is stock material. In many cases we have seen this piece to be titanium on other factory bikes.

We are used to seeing a lot more data acquisition components on factory bikes. MCR has the ability to use it when they test but the resources aren’t quite there to take it on full time. A Vortex ignition is added to the bike. Maxima Synthetic Pro Plus oil is used.

Justin is very temperamental with his seat. He has to break one in on his practice bike first and then brings it in for his race bike to ride on. The foam is stock.

A 2017 wiring harness is run on the Smart Top/MCR CRF’s because they are kick start only.

The rear shock is another Show addition that is supplied to MCR. This is very similar to what Roczen was using. Justin is very specific about his shock. When changing the shock they have to keep that exact spring on the bike regardless of the shock they put on. He likes that particular spring rate on his motorcycle.

Justin prefers his wheels to be as far back as possible but the team is limited to how far they can go with gearing combinations that they choose. Typically he will run a 49 tooth rear but it does change. They’ve made a few changes to gearing but typically stay to one setting.

A stock change guide and sliders are used on Justin’s bike. Honda and Smart Top work together and share a lot of feed back between teams as they are both continuously testing through the season. Honda helps supply quite a few parts to Justin and the team. This being one of them.

Ride Engineering provides a link that lowers the motorcycle in the rear by 1mm. They also provide small pieces like the brake clevace that is anodized red.

The rear brake lines are stock as well as master cylinder, pads, and caliper.

Smart Top uses a Motostuff Pro Peg and a stock foot peg mount.

Rekluse provides a 13 plate Torque Drive clutch system for Justin. He runs a stiffer spring which is called the RED spring. This system is going to grip more as Tony Alessi explained. Silver would slip a bit more. Justin is the only one on RED while the rest of the team is on Gold. Tony also added that this spring set up compliments his speed in the whoops.

Yoshimura provides the exhaust to the team. Right off the shelf and on to the bike. Behind the exhaust are black CV4 hoses.

Another unique preference for JB10 is the front fender. He actually likes the front fender to be higher than what comes stock. Spacers are fun in the back to raise the front of the fender higher. UFO Plastics are used by the entire team and help keep the bike in great looking shape. Moto Graphics do all the graphics and changes need to be made they are done quickly. These graphics also can be purchased by the public.

On the cases XPR provides the team with a coating that withstands a little bit more abuse from race to race and gives the bike a more factory look.

Justin is one of the only 450 riders currently to run a 110 rear tire. Most run a 120. He likes the way it feels with turning in ruts. His bike set up overall is a little stink bug anyways so any place he can gain some of that back he will.

Off the shelf Pro 6 VP fuel is added to the bike. We enjoyed looking at the Daytona championship sticker on Justin’s fuel tank as well.




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