Like most inventions and innovations in motocross racing, starting devices first began to appear on factory bikes before they were made available to the public. After they first showed up in the late ‘90s, it wasn’t long before the little gizmos were on every bike on the pro tour. Soon enough, start devices were available from most accessory manufacturers, allowing every Joe Schmoe to improve their holeshot prowess.
For a long time there were only a handful of different options on the market. Now a few new starting tools have begun to pop up, and one of the more innovative is the Works Connection Pro Launch.
Machined from billet aluminum, the Pro Launch varies from just about every one of its competitors for one major reason: it uses a spring-less design. The key with any start device is the guarantee that the moving “catch” portion will always return to its resting position, allowing for full, unencumbered fork movement. The solution that Works Connection came up with was to replace the typical spring with a powerful magnet.
Installing the Pro Launch is made very simple thanks to the included oversized drill bit for the latching portion of the device. Works Connection also throws in a template to make mounting to the right fork guard even easier. Once you’ve figured out placement for the fork mount, alignment, and desired compression depth, you’re ready to rip, and this is where one of the Pro Launch’s other advantages comes into play.
Unlike most other start devices, which use a button that must be pushed connect the two pieces, the Pro Launch uses a lever. What Works Connection refers to as a trigger, the rider uses to easily set the device on his own. Since the forks must be compressed before actuating a start device, it is difficult to for someone to both compressed and push a heavily sprung button at the same time. With the Pro Launch, a rider can easily compress the forks and simply grab the trigger to actuate the device; leverage is on your side. Once you’ve ripped the biggest holeshot of your life, the first major compression of the forks releases the catch, and the Pro Launch will snap back into place thanks to the super-strong magnet.
For a real world test, we had VitalMX test rider, Bryan Wallace, use the Pro Launch at the 2012 Lake Elsinore National for our Project Stock feature on the 2013 KX450F. Wallace openly admits that he is generally a bad starter, often having to work his way through the pack. He also rarely uses a start device.
Forced into the 450 Class LCQ due to qualifying just outside of the top 40, Bryan nearly grabbed the holeshot in the four-lap race. While he wound up just missing out on a transfer spot for the main motos, the Pro Launch did its job.
With a moderate price tag, excellent machining, included drill bit, and innovative design, if you're looking to improve your starts, the Works Connection Pro Launch is a no brainer.
For more information, visit www.worksconnection.com.