MXA TEAM TESTED: WRENCH 42 MOTOSPORTS CRF250 SUSPENSION MODS
WHAT IS IT? Wrench 42 and TBT Racing worked together to solve our CRF250 suspension problems. TBT stands for “Tuning by Travis.” TBT Racing has been around for a long time. It was founded in 1991 by owner Travis Flateau and has four franchised locations across the United States and one in Brazil. Most recently, TBT Racing opened a new franchise location in Murrieta, California, at Wrench 42 Motorsports. MXA elected to give Wrench 42 a shot at fixing our mediocre 2019 Honda CRF250 suspension.
WHAT’S IT COST? $600.00 (not including springs and wear parts).
CONTACT? www.wrench42motorsports.com or (951) 698-3692.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Wrench 42 Motorsports/TBT Honda CRF250 suspension modifications.
(1) Stock suspension. The stock 2019 Honda CRF250 comes with 0.47 kg/mm fork springs and a 53 kg/mm shock spring. For riders from 150 pounds to 180 pounds, the stock springs work just fine. Our aim was to set up the bike for a 130-pound AMA Pro rider. With the stock shock spring, we were barely able to get race sag to 105mm with our featherweight test rider, but the spring was on the verge of jangling around on the shock body. Additionally, we had to run the fork clickers almost all the way in (stiffer) to get the front suspension to work properly with the stiff rear suspension. The CRF250 had a stinkbug feel, which put even more force on the forks, changing the chassis orientation and causing the rear end to feel unstable at the exits of turns.
(2) TBT Racing spec. After listening to our complaints, the Wrench 42 Motorsports techs came up with a spec for our light-but-fast test rider. Know that whatever TBT Racing location you go to, all the specs come from TBT headquarters to ensure consistency and specially tailored settings for each rider’s height, weight, type of riding and riding ability. Within a few days, we got the call that our suspension was ready for pickup. So, what did Wrench 42 do? The setting they put in it was primarily designed to balance out the CRF250 chassis, while improving initial plushness as well as bottoming resistance. Lighter 0.44 kg/mm fork springs and a softer 4.8 kg/mm shock spring were installed to tailor the spring rates to our 130-pound rider.
(3) On-track performance. It may seem strange that we complained about the forks being too soft yet went softer on the fork springs and much softer on the shock spring. This wasn’t a matter of going in the wrong direction but of getting the front and rear in the same ballpark spring-wise. Wrench 42 wanted the fork and shock working together instead of exhibiting a teeter-totter effect. After installing our forks, with the top cap flush with the triple clamps to raise the front of the chassis and the shock’s race sag set at 107mm, we sent the test rider out on the track. Hitting the roughest downhill at Glen Helen Raceway, he immediately felt the improved balance of the chassis. The lighter spring rates, mated to the proper damping curves, allowed the test rider to take advantage of the great-turning characteristics of the CRF250 chassis without suffering from excessive oversteer. We also got the rear-end squat we needed for improved rear-end traction and straight-line stability.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? Price. The price varies for everyone. Why? No two riders are the same. We don’t weigh the same, have the same skill level or position ourselves on the chassis in the same place. We are unique. For our 130-pound test rider, the typical solution would have been to put in a stiffer fork spring to bring the front up and a soft shock spring to bring the rear down. Wrench 42 came up with an out-of-the-box answer that worked. You will have to call Wrench 42 Motorsports to see what exactly your cost will be.
MXA RATING: Wrench 42 Motorsports and TBT Racing did a commendable job dialing in our CRF250 suspension to fit the needs of our fast-but-light test rider.