INSIDE THE REINVENTION OF FACTORY KTM’S U.S. RACE TEAM WITH CARLOS RIVERA
Carlos Rivera’s job was to get Dungey’s bike as light as possible.
Japanese brands watch out, because for 2012, KTM came out swinging hard. They hired “The Man”, Roger DeCoster to totally revamp the race team, and that included the bike, race shop semi and personnel. Roger had many choices to make, and most importantly, he chose people that he knew could make it happen. The most obvious is former champ Ryan Dungey, but Roger was just as careful about the crew. Carlos Rivera wrenched for Ken Roczen in Supercross last year and is Dungey’s mechanic this year. He had some interesting things to say about the team, so we put the mic on him.
MXA: What was the atmosphere when you first came to the team?
Carlos : When I came to the team, the only people I knew were Roger [DeCoster] and Ian [Harrison]. I worked with them back in ’03 at Suzuki. Everything was new, and we all came to a new situation. It was a lot of work ahead of us. Roger had plans for the team. That’s why he is is here, he knows what he wants, and he only wants one thing: to win. To do that his has a plan and we attack all perspectives that we need to, to make it happen. He picked a crew of people to be on his side and he knows every person that he picked in going to do their job the way we wants. He’s laid out a plan for us, and we work together to do it.
With Ryan Dungey injured and his bike sitting in the race shop, KTM sent Carlos and Dungey’s works KTM 450SXF to the MXA wrecking crew for a little testing.
What did the team improve with the race shop and semi and so on?
First of all we started with the Supercross track. They did a complete rebuild, and brought in brand new dirt to build it. They bought a brand-new semi truck. A lot of the race shop was moved around to get it situated. Basically, we started from ground zero. We kept a few little things from the past, but we practically built a whole new team. The race shop had some equipment already. The improvements were getting up that equipment to speed with the newest and latest stuff. Roger got the machine area squared away. A lot of people don’t know that he’s a really good machinist. He got in there and things updated. The parts department was set up really nicely with a scanner/bar-code system. Then, there was a lot of little things like a nice washing area for bikes a sink for washing things, and things to make it easy for us to get things ready for the riders. Our first year was pretty much to get ourselves set up and it’s a non-stop job.
How about the truck?
We set the trick up really nice last year. It has everything we need to work on the road. It has a full inventory of stuff including titanium. Every drawer and cabinet has a nice label. I can quickly access anything from a titanium bolt to a simple air filter, chain or grip. The truck is ready to compete and stay on the road for multiple races. At previous jobs it was ‘Here’s what you get.’ Here, everybody gets to give feedback, ‘How do like this and that?’ It’s really nice to work on the road, and it’s really nice to have something new.
Carlos (black hat) and the team celebrate the win at Phoenix Supercross.
Tell us about your involvement developing the new 450.
The first goal, and this is were Roger and I always got along well, was wanting to build the lightest possible bike. Always try to make it lighter and lighter. That was one of our original goals and that was basically my job. To keep cutting pieces here and there, trying to make the bike and light as possible, but keep it competitive and safe. There were so many different areas and ways to do it. From simplifying the wire harness, to minimizing different plastic pieces, to using smaller bolts that are not as thick or have fewer threads. Some of those things apply to the production version, but for the race bike a lot of things are a little bit different. On the race bike we use so much aluminum and titanium stuff with engine parts, wheels, titanium springs, and everywhere.
What was it like to win at Phoenix?
We knew he [Dungey] could win, and we knew the bike was capable of winning. It happened pretty quick, at the second round. We set goals to win races and win the championship. In the past, a lot of people would have said, ‘I don’t think KTM will ever win a race.’ So for us, winning was a big step. We believe in our equipment and we believe in the bike. It was an emotional time because we proved a lot of people wrong. The work we did for a year, and all the hours that so many people put finally paid off. To be a part of that history was really exciting, and do it with a new rider and new team was amazing. It’s something you have to experience to understand.
Do you have any inside info about Dungey’s collarbone progress and his plans to come back?
It’s nothing secret, he had it plated and I think he might start doing a little bit riding this week just to see how he’s feeling. Basically he’s just going week by week. So far, he’s healing perfectly, but he doesn’t want to rush it and we don’t want to rush him. The Supercross Championship is over. We would like to come back and do some races maybe, but at this point we are focusing on getting ready for the nationals. As soon as he rides a bit and feels ready, he’ll come over for testing.
YOU CAN BE A DEVELOPMENT TEST RIDER!
Black Ops Moto is working to develop their own line of Exhaust systems and they need to cover every major brand and model bike. If you let them fit and dyno your bike, you’ll probably get to keep the pipe to ride and give feedback.
Here’s what the development guy Pat Stajdel wants you to know:
“We are looking for some sample bikes for designing, fitting and testing for brand new, made in the USA motocross exhaust systems. I will need some bikes for measuring, fitting and tuning in the Oxnard, California area. Currently, we are looking for the newer fuel injected bikes only 250cc and 450cc. If there is anyone interested with helping, please contact me at email@example.com.”
NEW STUFF: 1.7 CLEANING SOLUTION BY THE GALLON
Press Release: 1.7 Cleaning Solutions is used by some of the top professional and amateur racing teams worldwide and is pleased to announce that the following formulas are now available in 1 gallon refill containers at www.1pt7.com
Formula 1 – Wash/Degreaser is a concentrate that was developed exclusively to clean motorcycle plastic, rubber, and metals, leaving the bike refreshed and new looking.
Formula 3 – Plastic/Rubber Conditioner gives plastics, seats, and tires a new bike look without making pieces slippery.
Formula 4 – Hard Parts Dressing is great for engines, pipes, and suspension giving parts a shiny new bike look while dispersing water.
Formula 8 – Tire Changing Lube makes it easy to change tires without pinching tubes then dries to a tacky surface, creating a non-slip bead.
YOU’RE PROBABLY DOING THIS WRONG: RIDING TECHNIQUE TIP WITH JIM GIBSON
Former GP, Supercross and National pro Jim Gibson has stayed involved with the sport he loves by running classes and training camps all over the country and world. We ran into Jim at the track and stole a teaser tip to find out what type of nuggets of golden information Jim might have for his students. Here’s what Jim had to say.
“You weight the inside peg, not the outside peg. A lot of people have this confused. In certain situations you might want to weight the outside peg as you exit a corner, or if you want to force the bike to go where you want. But it’s not always a good option and it can be a bad habit if you do it all the time. I weight inside of the peg as I enter the turn o swing the bike through the corner and you can help it a bit with the handlebars. My opinion is that no habit is a good habit in motocross. You need to be evolving and changing everything that you do all the time. What you do naturally is often the right way to do it. When you try to force a technique that isn’t natural you end up fighting the motorcycle.”
UPCOMING JGMXT TRAINING CAMPS
Jim Gibson’s Motocross Training CAMPS
Jim is having Camps on the following dates …
April 20 – Farmsville Texas
Contact Jim at (951) 265-7866 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.jgmxt.com for more info.
SCOTT SPORT VIDEO: DAKOTA ALIX AND JON AMES AT OAK HILL
Not only can Scott cover their riders in gear from head to toe, but they can cover their training needs a sweet road bike to train on. Wouldn’t that be a nice sponsor to have?
MX REWIND TO HOST PRESTIGIOUS MARQUIS BIKE SHOW
Unadilla MX is proud to announce the next event in the MX Rewind program: The Unadilla Marquis Bike Show. The Unadilla Marquis will consist of forty of the best and most historic off road bikes on the planet, and with a number of prestigious awards that will be determined by a panel of judges that include respected industry leaders and innovators.
There will be 12 classes to enter including: The Classics (Pre-1970); Classic Iron (Pre 1960); Vintage Bikes (1970’s Era); Retro (1980’s Era); Classic Contemporary (1990’s Era); Factory Works Bike; Mini-Competition; Mini-Entry Level; Woods Bike/Enduro; Pit Bike; Best European Bike; Rarest Bike.For those who have a vintage bike that they are proud of but may not quite fit the “Marquis” level, MX Rewind has a spot for you too. There will be a “Ride ‘Em Don’t Hide ‘Em” bike show for those bikes that fans and racers just wish to show off and let others admire. This non-juried show is open to all. To enter “The Marquis” or the “Ride ‘Em Don’t Hide ‘Em” Bike Show, go to www.unadillamx.com.
About MX Rewind
The event takes place June 1-3, 2012 in New Berlin, New York and at the world famous Unadilla Motocross track. MX Rewind celebrates over four decades of motocross history as well as every aspect of off-roading. In addition to the show, there will be a massive parts and memorabilia swap meet, educational seminars with some of the biggest names in the sport, autographs with over 20 of the biggest legends of Unadilla, interviews, BBQ’s, and of course plenty of bench racing and tall tales, many of which might take place in the beer tent.
ARE YOU SETTING SAG PROPERLY? NOLEEN’S CLARK JONES EXPLAINS THE FIRST STEP TO ANY ADJUSTMENT
Clark sells these fancy tools, but more importantly, he tells you how to use it properly.
Before you start to fiddle with with the clickers on the shock or the forks, you have to check the sag! It’s a simple thing that’s easy to skip and easy get wrong. We asked Noleen’s Clark Jones to explain the common mistakes and the right way to do it. Here’s what Clark had to say:
“Whenever you check sag you should have the amount of gasoline in the bike that you would start you race with. If it’s low you won’t get the proper sag. If you check the bike right after a ride when the shock is hot, it could read up to 3 or 4mm off. If you set the sag at 105mm and the shock is hot it will read 101mm because of the pressure build up. You should always check it when it’s cold.
“People call and say that there bike isn’t turning as well as it did when they first got their suspension back from us, and it’s often because they haven’t checked the sag It’s something people don’t think about. You should check the sag every month or every two races.
The way we like to do it is to have the rider sit like they are going into a turn. Do it next to a wall or truck to balance and put all the rider’s weight on the bike. Then have someone push down on the rear end at least three times to get it to settle in, because everything is sticky. Then take the measurement. Most of the top pros I’ve worked with check it at the beginning of the day and again after everything has cooled down before the first heat race.
For a trick folding Noleen sag scale or more info visit www.noleenj6.com
NEW PRODUCT: CYCRA KTM POWERFLOW SHROUDS
Here’s the need-to know, short and sweet:
-Injection Molded for High Quality Fit and Finish
-Ultra lightweight and slimmer than stock
-Patented Powerflow By-Pass Scoops help reduce engine, fuel system and radiators temperatures
-Extended top edge to reduce tree and boot snagging
-Works with most stock graphics kits for the KTM 2011-2012 shrouds. (Some trimming maybe need at front edge.)
-Available in factory KTM Orange, Black, White
-Factory Race Team Designed and Tested
-Made in the USA
Cycra Racing is the choice of factory racers such as Grant Langston, James Stewart, Kevin Windham, Davi Millsaps, and Justin Barcia, and more. Cycra Racing develops and builds its products all under the same roof in Hebron, Ohio. From the CNC machine shop, state of the art paint facility, plastic thermoforming, and injection molding. For more info visit www.cycraracing.com