If we told you Brian Deegan was a genius, you would probably laugh at us. But, if we said he has more talent in his left pinky than any mortal man on wheels, we’re guessing you might agree. To do backflips, ghost-ride a bike over a Supercross finish line and jump a truck 200 feet might suggest that he has a few screws loose, but he has to be pretty calculated to walk away unscathed from almost every wild antic (save for the idea of freestyle motocross on snow). In truth, Brian is a mixture of raw talent, brain power and shrewd marketing.
THE DEEGANS WANT TO BE ON TWISTED DEVELOPMENT BIKES SO MUCH THAT THEY PASS UP FREE SPONSORSHIPS TO ACTUALLY PAY TWISTED DEVELOPMENT TO BUILD THEIR RACE BIKES.
They called him the “General” when the Metal Mulisha wreaked havoc around the world, and that trademarked name brought in boatloads of money over the years. Lucky? Brian has a trophy room filled with X Games medals, Rallycross trophies, a Lucas Oil Off-Road Truck Series championship and an AMA Supercross win in the 125cc class at the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1997 to prove that it isn’t luck.
If you don’t remember Brian ever winning a motocross, let alone a Supercross, you might remember the guy who ghost rode his bike across the Los Angelese Coliseum finish line to celebrate his victory. Lucky? Yes, lucky enough to not get disqualified for that stunt, which broke a host of AMA rules. But, it was good marketing and elevated his brand to new heights. Brian Deegan’s accomplishments are impressive, and he backs them up with a persona that both attracts and repels fans. Love him or hate him, Brian’s action sports aura brings in endorsement deals and sponsors. And now there is a new generation of Deegans on the horizon.
Brian paved the way for his three incredibly talented kids to make their mark. Brian’s oldest, Hailie Deegan, is a professional stock car driver and is the only female to ever win races in the NASCAR K&N Pro series. His middle child, Haiden, is poised to be the next big thing in Supercross after an incredibly powerful performance at this year AMA National Amateur Championships, which is why we are testing Haiden’s KTM Supermini, and his youngest, Huckson, is following in his big brother Haiden’s racing footsteps.
MXA tested Haiden’s Twisted Development KTM 112SX Supermini at the Deegan family home. Haiden told us, “I have everything I need at our house. Why would I leave this place?” It is hard to imagine what Haiden is talking about until you visit the Deegan compound. It is located in the wine country of Temecula, California, where Brian owns countless acres with no neighbors in sight. The centerpieces of the Deegan property are a beautiful home, striking vineyards and Haiden’s Supercross track. Yes, this 13-year-old has a full-blown Supercross track all to himself. Brian wants Haiden to be the first of the new breed of racers to have grown up riding Supercross. Most up-and-coming racers don’t get to ride on a Supercross track for the first time until they are 16 years old or older. Why? For one, Supercross tracks are hard to come by. Two, you need an AMA Pro license to ride most SoCal public Supercross tracks. Three, Supercross tracks are dangerous for anybody who doesn’t have enough skill and experience to ride them.
If Haiden’s Supercross track doesn’t impress you, his outdoor track is more “Motocross Madness” than AMA National. There is no public track in the world that has as many big jumps on it. And that isn’t all of the playgrounds at the Deegan homestead. There are a few more outdoor tracks, as well as a big ramp for Brian to jump his off-road trucks on. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. Haiden is right. Why would a kid ever leave this paradise?
With Haiden having numerous Amateur championships under his belt and close to 700,000 Instagram followers, sponsors are knocking at the door all the time to get a piece of the Deegan pie. With all the doors opening up, Brian and Haiden want the best equipment available. It is no surprise that Haiden chose to ride for KTM. KTM is the only manufacturer that has been consistently pushing the envelope in building better and better minicycles for some time now. Plus, KTM has a solid Amateur support team that Haiden can call home. With a great bike sponsor lined up, the Deegans put their faith in Twisted Development to build them the most competitive engines possible.
Twisted Development is famous as an AMA National and Supercross engine builder, but they have been with Haiden since he was on 50cc Pee-Wees. Believe it or not, the Deegans want to be on Twisted Development bikes so much that they pass up free sponsorships to actually pay Twisted Development to build their race bikes. Even though they are superstars in the motosports world, not everything comes free. Plus, the time and money to develop race bikes at the level that the Deegans want can put a small but mighty shop like Twisted Development in the hole.
IF YOU ARE WONDERING WHAT IN THE WORLD A SUPERMINI IS, HERE IS THE SHORT ANSWER. IT IS A MINICYCLE CHASSIS WITH BIGGER WHEELS AND
AN ENGINE THAT CAN BE BUILT UP TO 112CC.
If you are wondering what in the world a Supermini is, here is the short answer. It is a minicycle chassis with bigger wheels and an engine that can be built up to 112cc. KTM, Husky and Kawasaki all make a model with the bigger 19/16 wheel combination, but Kawasaki is the only manufacturer that offers a bike with the bigger wheels and more than 100cc displacement (it retails for $4599). KTM and Husky offer a 105cc kit from their PowerParts catalog. The big-bore kit costs $799.99 and includes everything from the cylinder to the ECU to the jetting. With the cost of the big-wheel KTM 85SX at $6199, plus the PowerParts big-bore kit, the total cost for a KTM Supermini is $6998.99. It is almost $7000 without any modifications.
Haiden’s KTM 112cc Supermini started with the 105cc KTM PowerParts kit. To get the extra 7cc, Twisted Development stroked the engine instead of boring it out. Stroking the engine is good for two reasons. It ensures improved durability by keeping the cylinder walls at their standard thickness and gives the powerband more breadth. An engine with a short stroke and big bore usually translates into an abrupt, powerful delivery that signs off relatively fast. This forces the racer to hit his shift points with precision to get the most out of the engine.
Twisted Development’s Jaime Ellis wanted to make the ultimate Supermini powerband. Jamie told us the most significant thing to get right was the port timing. Since Twisted doesn’t make pipes, Jaime worked with FMF to match the port timing to Haiden’s custom-built FMF pipe. These mods, along with Jamie’s cylinder and head porting, the custom-tuned ECU, and VP Racing’s MRXO2 fuel, made Haiden’s rocket ship come to life.
As for the suspension, Haiden had Powerband Racing in Minnesota massage two sets of WP Xact Pro suspension that he switches back and forth between. He has a Supercross set and an outdoor set. Don’t get these components confused with the stock WP Xact suspension components. The WP Xact Pro setup is WP’s A-kit -suspension and comes with a high price tag.
JUST WHEN YOUR EYES START TO WATER, ANOTHER BURST
OF ENERGY COMES FROM THE SMALL BUT MIGHTY ENGINE.
It didn’t feel anything like a mini-bike. Yes, it was smaller, but the power was responsive without the flick of a clutch. It had brute strength in the midrange and kept screaming on top; however, it became obvious that what we thought was the top wasn’t even close to revving out each gear. The power hit the afterburners in overrev. Just when your eyes started to water, another burst of energy came from the small but mighty engine. The engine package was packed with more power than even Haiden Deegan needs, so Jamie runs much taller gearing than stock to mellow out the explosive powerband. Haiden is still young for the Supermini class and will eventually grow into the massive spread of power.
The powerband of Haiden’s Supermini offers four-stroke-like bottom end and 125cc top-end. It is a bike that offers the best of both worlds. Testers could short-shift, leave it in a taller gear into corners or not shift at all. It could do it all. The only complaint the testers had was the low rear brake pedal. Haiden tends to ride the rear brake and burn up the rotors, thus the lower pedal.
Haiden Deegan’s KTM 112cc Supermini has more power than any normal kid could use. But, Haiden is far from your typical teenager. He is being bred to be a future Supercross Champion. His bike is as close to a factory bike as any minicycle can get. Best of all, you can buy your kid everything that is on Haiden’s bike, but it will cost you Junior’s college savings.