BLAST FROM THE PAST
Back in 2001 Suzuki had a powerhouse off-road effort via Rodney Smith, Steve Hatch and Mike Kiedrowski, with Rodney already having two GNCC #1 plates hanging in his den. Suzuki decided to get into the California based WORCS off-road series and attempt to race what they sold, which in this case happened to be the DRZ400. The machine was a tank and required heavy modifications in order to make it competitive. Basically a trail bike, the machine was stripped to the frame, the engine was dissected and received the full Yoshimura treatment.
According to then team Manager Mike Webb “The motor had a stroked crank, new piston, hi rev CDI, plated cylinder, custom cam, custom valves, modified carb, Hinson clutch components and a variety of Yosh exhaust systems. We played with header length and width as well as taper and eventually settled on the final system. We started with big bore pistons but quickly moved to stroking the motor for a more useable power band. At first we went to a 430cc big bore that was a really sweet motor, it had good bottom, stayed strong in the mid and carried over on top. But racing in the WORCS pro class meant we would need more. Eventually a stroked 450 was developed for MK (Mike Kiedrowski) to campaign.
“On the chassis, we were able to get support from Showa and obtained the conventional works forks that the MX team had used with McGrath and Larocco. We switched to an older model USD Showa ‘hand-me-down from the moto team’ fork the next year, the bikes were too heavy for the standard fork and flexed too much. The shock was revalved by RG3 and stock rear linkage was used. Billet triple clamps with the stock off set were made for us from Applied. IMS designed an oversized fuel tank, Cycra designed new radiator shrouds that improved air flow into the radiators. Wheels were relaced with Excel rims and an oversized rotor was used up front to help slow the beast down.
“Frames were replaced after every race as they stretched and cracked under the abuse. The motors proved incredibly reliable, wheels didn’t last long and were constantly replaced.
“We originally developed the bike to race the GNCC’s and I hired MK (Mike Kiedrowski) to be the pilot but we quickly learned that the bike was too big and heavy for the tight trails back east. We then made the call to race the 2-stroke RM’s in the GNCC’s and race the 4 stroke DRZ’s in the WORCS out west. It worked out pretty well, MK won the first two WORCS championships and Rodney won the GNCC the same year. What’s more amazing was that we were going up against Ty Davis in his prime on a YZ 250 stroke.”
Ryan Sipes claimed his second victory of the season at round three of the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series presented by PRI Powersports Insurance, putting his Coastal Racing Husqvarna on top of the box ahead of SRT KTM Racing’s Cory Buttrick and Beta USA’s Jordan Ashburn.
FMF KTM Factory Racing Team’s Cody Webb added another AMA title to his list of accolades over the weekend as he swept both days of racing at Round 3 of the inaugural AMA West ISDE Qualifier Championship. With that, Webb becomes one of five Club Team riders to earn a bid for the 2017 International Six Days Enduro (ISDE), taking place in Brive-la-Gaillarde, France Aug. 28 through Sept. 2, 2017.
The two-time AMA EnduroCross Champion and extreme enduro rider plans to compete on a U.S. Club Team for the 2017 ISDE as he continues to prepare for a new facet of off-road racing. Webb proved his versatility with a double-victory in Washington, beginning with muddy course conditions on Saturday and finishing strong despite the slick terrain on Sunday.
Webb: “I’m super excited to qualify for the ISDE this year. It’s always been on my bucket list and the schedule this year allowed me to make it happen. Looking forward to prepping for France and represent the states on a Club Team.”
Hinson Clutch Components is proud to announce the release of our most technologically advanced clutch system for the 2017 CRF450R, the Hinson BTL Series Complete 8 Plate Slipper Clutch.
Our new clutch for the 2017 CRF450R combines Back Torque Limiting Slipper Clutch Technology with the hook up and reliability advantage of adding and extra Fiber and Steel Clutch Plate to the clutch assembly.