2021 24 Hours of Glen Helen Preview

Time To Go Racing

It’s that time of year again. Late nights in the garage, late nights at the track, and hours of research on the computer trying to figure out what is needed to make a bike capable of riding for 24 straight hours around Glen Helen Raceway. The bLU cRU was gracious enough to let us put their 2021 YZ450FX throught a torture test as we set out to try and win the infamous 24 Hours of Glen Helen. Racing the Pro class, we’re limited to just four riders but we’ve put together a strong team to go for the win. Chance Fullerton, Thomas Dunn, Tyler Belknap, and myself are piloting the Yamadog this year.  

We’ve been riding and racing our YZ450FX quite a bit leading up to the 24 Hour.

We’ve put in quite a bit of time on the 450FX over the last few months including some race hours and we feel we’ve worked out most of the kinks with the bike, though there aren’t all that many. Earlier in the summer, we raced the bike at the 10 Hours of Glen Helen, which you can read about HERE. This gave us a good baseline and helped us learn what we needed to do in order to be better suited for the big one.

TCS Powersports revalved our suspension to make it firmer for our faster, more aggressive riders.

So what all is done to our race rig? Not a whole lot! The biggest changes we’ve made from stock is we recently revalved the suspension with the help of TCS Powersports. We neared the 40 hour mark and the suspension was ready to be serviced at that time. And since we mainly have Pro level riders riding this bike, they felt a little stiffer of a setting would be ideal for the GP riding and racing the bike primarily sees. Stiffer fork springs, a stock rear shock spring, and stiffer valving make up the TCS revalve.

A WR450F stator was a plug-n-play upgrade to help power our lights. Click through the photo to purchase the Flywheel from Rocky Mountain ATVMC and support DBT.
The WR450F Flywheel was also part of the equation. Click through the photo to purchase the Flywheel from Rocky Mountain ATVMC and support DBT.

In addition, we felt the need for a steering stabilizer. On our YZ250FX, we’ve gotten away without running one and haven’t felt the need for it really. However, when you add more power, everything becomes a little more sensitive and the need for a steering stabilizer increases. To preface this, we only really felt the need in race conditions when our “fast kids” race late in the day on the roughest courses. For the most part, the bike hasn’t demanded it all that much and in most terrain, you can still get away with it. GPR Stabilizer helped us out with one of their Pro Kits to help ease our fatigue come late in the race.

Night time riding requires a little more out of a bike to power good lights.

The other big piece to the puzzle was being able to power adequate lights. In the past, we’ve run a KC Hilites setup where half of the 120W draw was off the bike and the other half off of external batteries. At the 10 Hour, we had to run nearly all of it off external batteries since the newest gen Yamaha FX models run YZF stators, not WR components like 2014-2018. With only about ~36W of output available, we installed a WR Stator and Flywheel and to get about ~100W of output available. With that, we’re running a Baja Designs light setup courtesy of Kilmartin Racing and Modified Machine Works. In all, it uses about 66W of power and we’ll try to run all of it off of the bike. Of course, IMS’s gas tank and dry-break system is a must for this race. Having to dump gas nearly 24 times throughout the race, saving a lot of time and energy in the process.

Our 10 Hour setup isn’t all that different from our 24 Hour setup.

Mechanically, that covers most of our setup. With quite a bit of time on our bike, we had to replace a few wear items leading up to the race. A Mika Metals Chain/Sprocket 13/50 gearing combo replaced the worn but still good stock stuff. We could go longer on the stock chain but in a race this long, it’s better to start with something fresher. DT-1 supplied us with some extra air filters that’ll be critical in the dust and silt of Glen Helen’s hills. 

Additionally, the stock chain slider is worn almost all the way through so a TM Designworks Slide-N-Guide Kit was used to replace the Slider and Guide, plus a beefier Rear Disc Guard. Dunlop supplied MX53’s front and rear and Nitromousse Foam Inserts will keep us flat free. We expect to go through 3-4 rear tires and 1-2 fronts by 10AM Sunday morning. Lastly, we were in need of a seat cover with over 100 hours on a stock one so Moto Seat supplied a new cover for us.

Our last DBT 24 Hour effort was quite successful and we’re looking to do more of the same this weekend!

A few other little bits and pieces that make up our bike are a Motion Pro Titan Throttle Tube, AME Grips, Blud Scorpion Oil, and EBC Rear Brake Pads. The MP Throttle Tube is pretty strong and should resist breaking if crashed upon. The AME Grips are very comfortable and will help save our hands as we only have four riders on-board. We’ve had really good uck with EBC Brake Pads lasting a really long time while still working pretty well so they should last us the whole race. Blud Scorpion Oil wears like iron and it may be able to take us all 24 hours without an oil change. Lastly, RAD Custom Graphics hooked it up with #22 graphics.

Who will be the fastest and the slowest come Sunday morning? Only time will tell.

Stay tuned to the DBT Instagram & Facebook page for updates throughout the race weekend as our four rider team aims to bring home the gold come 10AM Sunday morning!

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