WE RIDE BBR MOTOSPORT’S MM12P 150cc PIT BIKE

 
The popularity of throttle-driven mini-motorcycle racing, like so many other hobbies, correlates with the state of the economy. When the housing market flopped and jobs went the way of the white Siberian tiger, the pit bike market flat-lined. Consumers have held tightly to their wallets during the recession?so much so that it is hard to imagine that six years ago the pit bike market was the hottest segment of the offroad motorcycle business.



But while many pit bike companies succumbed to the recession, one of the mightiest pit bike companies is still alive and well. BBR Motorsports has stayed the course during this tumultuous time. What’s the reason for their sustainability during market volatility? The three brothers who account for the BBR moniker (Brown Brothers Racing) have a passion for pit bikes (which now spans several generations of the BBR lineage). It also doesn’t hurt that they are hard workers.

BBR’s passion for doughnut-sized dirt bikes is obvious to anyone who has ever raced the Backyard Grand Prix against his buddies on CRF50s, KLX110s or TTR-125s.

The Brown brothers are businessmen, engineers, marketers and development gurus. The MXA wrecking crew has known Duane, Chris and Brent for the better part of 20 years. They made an immediate and lasting impact when we first met them. We were intrigued by their indomitable work ethic and straightforward solutions to real world problems. Need an example? During the mid-1990s, when four-strokes were heavy and cumbersome, BBR developed aluminum frames, swingarms and other performance-enhancing products to improve the then-archaic four-stroke engines. The result? MXA proclaimed their hand-built Honda XR400 the world’s best four-stroke of the time.

As the pit bike market floundered, the BBR boys rallied. They have spent the last three years testing, refining, breaking and improving their production pit bikes. To cut costs, the brothers outsourced the shock (Taiwan), brakes and wheels (Taiwan and China), and 150cc Daytona engine (through Japan, although the engine is produced in China). The brothers logged more frequent flier miles to China than they care to remember, but because of their diligence, their production quality has remained excellent. And so a dream has become a reality with the BBR MM12P pit bike.

SHOP TALK: PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER

The outsourced parts are shipped to BBR, where they are mated to BBR-made items (aluminum frame, swingarm, subframe, triple clamps, handlebars, gas tank, gas cap, kick-starter, chain guide, footpegs, seat, shifter and exhaust system) and assembled. Marzocchi supplies the 35mm USD Shiver forks, and BBR uses a Keihin PE28 carburetor. Every item is inspected for quality, and tolerances are checked. Only then does each production MM12P pit bike make the grade.

The MM12P comes with options aplenty. BBR offers various shock and fork spring rates, upgrade packages (air filter, brake rotor and billet exhaust tip), colored plastics and graphics, preprinted number plate backgrounds, BBR QuietCore insert, RK gold chain, Daytona four-valve DOHC engine kit, and a Works Connection upgrade package (Elite quick adjust lever, rotating brake bar clamp, EZ holeshot device and front/rear covers). The price of the MM12P starts at $4299, but it can run well over $7000 (especially if you opt for the double-overhead-cam engine kit with 20 claimed horsepower).

Of course the MM12P comes stock with lots of personalization options. At the top of the list is the positioning of the shock (there are two different mounting points for a different ride height). The shock itself offers compression and rebound adjustment, and the Marzocchi forks also have clicker options. Concerning ergonomics, the triple clamps can be set in four different riding positions, and the 1-inch tall bar risers can be removed for smaller riders.

TEST RIDE: TWISTING THE THROTTLE

At the price of a used full-size bike, we had high expectations for the MM12P. After a few laps around a pit bike track, our expectations were met?and then exceeded. Why? The MM12P is successful where many Chinese-built pit bikes have failed miserably (transmission issues) and has what other quality play bikes lack (horsepower). BBR knew that success would be determined by the strength of the 150cc Daytona air-cooled, single-cylinder, four-stroke engine. And the Daytona engine was not a slam-dunk. In previous iterations, the Daytona had suffered from overheating, weak transmissions and questionable parts supply. This is not the case with BBR’s all-new Daytona engine. It screams through the powerband. Equally important, the transmission shifts through the gears without any signs of distress. The four-speed transmission is mostly bulletproof. For that we are thankful. As for power, BBR claims 15 horsepower on the stock SOHC engine. They aren’t lying. The MM12P pulls the front wheel off the ground in first gear and doesn’t touch the ground until midway through third gear.

In previous iterations, the Daytona had suffered from overheating, weak transmissions and questionable parts supply. This is not the case with BBR’s all-new Daytona engine. It screams through the powerband. Equally important, the transmission shifts through the gears without any signs of distress.

The MM12P does an excellent job of accommodating a plethora of different-sized riders. Those on the short side will enjoy the forward-mounted shock position (which lowers the ride height by nearly an inch) and the shorter bar mounts. Taller riders, even those over 6 feet, didn’t feel like fish out of water on the MM12P. The BBR bike inspired confidence, whereas on many previous pit bikes, the MXA test riders felt like circus clowns with monkies on their shoulders.

CONCLUSION: WHAT DO WE REALLY THINK?

BBR’s MM12P is the be-all, end-all solution to the search for the ultimate pit bike. It’s a showroom stock winner. Although the pit bike market has been sputtering like an ill-jetted carburetor, we find hope in knowing that BBR is still pushing forward and trying to advance the sport. If you want to learn more about BBR’s MM12P production bike or their line of performance products, visit www.bbrmotorsports.com or call (888) 668-6227.

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