Looking For Gold In The Silver State
The Dirt Bike Test crew is headed to the Silver State seeking gold at this year’s edition of the Best In The Desert Vegas to Reno off-road race! After a few solid years racing the 24 Hours of Glen Helen with success, we’re heading to the deserts of Nevada with myself, Trevor Hunter, and fellow 3Bros KTM racer Nick Stover to contest the Open Pro class aboard a 2019 KTM 450 XC-F. We’re accustomed to KTM 250 XC two-strokes, where we both race in the Pro 2 class in the Big6 NGPC Series, so the switch to the bigger four-stroke will be both familiar yet different as top speeds are far greater and subsequently higher consequences.
With the bike just barely being broken in (just over 10 hours total), Nick decided to sacrifice his newest addition to the garage for an unexpected 550 miles of flat out racing in just a few short weeks. For starters, we’re going to install some key mods to get the bike race ready and our first project has been installing a 6th gear. V2R is notoriously fast, with triple digit speeds being more common than not, so installing the 6th gear will help top speeds and also prevent us from winding the thing out too much over the course of the race.
In addition to the 6th gear, Nick has already had the suspension setup for himself by Talarico Suspension based on his years of work with John on his previous bikes. We’re looking for a comfortable setting to help save our bodies over the long and hot race, but something that will handle the hard hits at high speeds for the both of us.
Racing at these high speeds for long periods of time almost demands the use of a steering stabilizer, and we’re utilizing the tried-and-true Scotts Steering Stabilizer on the front of the KTM. Here at Dirt Bike Test, we’ve had success with Scott systems in the past, and some prefer this style of dampener due to its characteristic to only add tension as you turn the bars away from center and not back towards center. For a full test, see what we had to say HERE. We’re attaching the stabilizer to a Mako 360 Bar Mount which features rubber inserts designed to absorb vibration and hard hits.
Some additional necessities are for added protection and comfort over the longest off-road race in America. An IMS 3.2 Gallon Fuel Tank will help us comfortably get from pit to pit and minimize the time spent refueling. The additional gallon of fuel will be welcomed as we will be able to skip refueling at every pit and judge the fuel economy as we race. Also, IMS is supplying their Core Enduro footpegs for a sturdier and larger platform for our feet. With an expected 4.5+ hours on the bike for each of us, having that larger platform to stand on will help tremendously, not to mention the added control we’ll have.
STI Tires is providing us their new Tech 2 Pro D Tires which are their desert oriented tires tested and developed by the SLR Honda Team down in Baja. They have a stiffer sidewall, bigger knobs, and tighter spacing looking for better handling on hard pack conditions and better durability at high speeds. Nitro Mousse foam inserts will help prevent the flats, and have held up well to the durability testing at high speeds that we’ve done in the past.
Mika Metals is supplying a set of handlebars that appeals to both of our likings, along with 48T Sprockets to get a little extra speed out of the orange machine. After our latest Product Test with TM Designworks, we’ve decided to put the tried-and-true Slide-N-Guide Kit on the bike and paired it with their Plastic Skid Plate to protect the vitals. ASV Levers will help ensure we don’t break a lever if the bike hits the dirt, and we’ve had success in the past with their levers maintaining a stock feel at the lever which we prefer.
As August 16th draws nearer, we’ll have more updates and photos prior to the big day. As of this week, we’re slated to start the race in 2nd position which should keep us relatively dust free for a good portion of the day! As always, stay tuned to the website and social media channels!
Support DBT, Shop and search for products through the link below: