MXA TEAM TESTED: LIGHTSPEED CARBON FIBER KX450F GLIDE PLATE

November 28, 2013
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WHAT IS IT? Although manufactured by LightSpeed, the motocross world’s premier carbon fiber supplier, the complete carbon fiber skid plate and case guard were designed by the Pro Circuit race team. It was used on Pro Circuit’s  KX450F in the 2012 Supercross and AMA National Championships.

WHAT’S IT COST? $199.95.

CONTACT? www.lightspeedcarbon.com or (714) 990-5767.

WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out on the LightSpeed KX450F glide plate system.

(1) Fit. We removed the stock glide plate and its four stock, 6mm bolts and slid the LightSpeed carbon fiber skid plate in its place without fiddling with aluminum mounts.

(2) Function. LightSpeed designed the carbon fiber KX450F glide plate to suck up around the lower frame cradle and offer protection for the water-pump and ignition cover while redirecting mud from the rear brake pedal. It has a shrink-wrapped look.

(3) Maintenance. The glide plate’s artsy shape wraps around the engine and frame rails, but allows access to the clutch cover, water pump and oil drain hole. The bike can be worked on without removing the LightSpeed glide plate.

(4) Material. LightSpeed uses a proprietary epoxy resin in their carbon fiber that makes it both strong and resilient. Additionally, to give the carbon fiber a high-gloss look, LightSpeed sprays on an epoxy clear coat (as opposed to the less durable polyurethane coating of many other carbon fiber makers).

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? Previously, LightSpeed didn’t put oil drain holes in the bottom of their glide plates. Why not? Both their Yamaha and Kawasaki glide plates were designed in conjunction with factory teams; the race team mechanics didn’t care about access holes since they planned to tear the bike down anyway. For local racers, LightSpeed has added an oil drain hole on the latest versions.

You don’t need a glide plate until you need one, but it’s worth the price when casing jumps or landing on other bikes. It protects the engine and the rider.

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