Just days after the end of the 2016 AMA Pro Motocross season came to a close one of the most talked about rumors of the silly season became official, as Jeremy Martin made the switch from Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha over to the Geico Honda squad. This switch gives the younger Martin brother one last shot at a 250 regional Supercross title, along with the chance to join a very short list of three time 125/250 outdoor national champions, before taking the fight to the 450 class in 2018. Unlike most riders switching teams this season, Jeremy Martin won't have to wait for 2017 Supercross season or this year's Monster Cup to debut his new ride, as he'll take on MX2 World Champion Jeffrey Herlings this weekend at Glen Helen Raceway for the final MXGP of the year. Luckily for us, we're located fairly close by to Factory Connection Racing's shop, so we swung by to take a peek at the two-time national champ's new ride.
When we stopped by, Christian Kibby (Gieco Honda's Technical Director) was putting Jeremy Martin's GP race bike through a little dyno evaluation before clearing it for race duty.
Once off the dyno, we got a nice, clear look at what we'll see Jeremy Martin on for the remainder of 2016 and through the end of his 250 career in 2017.
Why the 6G? MX2 championship regular Benoit Paturel holds the number six, so Jeremy will run his with a G, standing for "guest". Also note the graphics cut, as it only includes the number, Gieco logo, and gecko; with the bare plastic exposed around it. This allows for less weight (graphic material does add weight), and keeps the riders from peeling them off as easy during the motos. Also, they're quite a bit easier to apply to the plastic.
According to the team, they'll be allowed to use "US spec" fuel at this weekend's MXGP; but will be held to the GP's sound limit, which is under similar regulations as Supercross.
There's was an extra one of these larger-than-stock carbon fiber fuel tanks on Pedro's workbench. We considered how to smuggle it out of the building... Oh, and what's the little ghost sticker stand for? GUTS Racing's lightweight Phantom seat foam, which is found under the D'Cor seat cover.
According to the team, J-Mart's already been putting in quite a bit of testing, going through a few different types of suspension.
It sounds like the Geico Honda team hasn't made a decision on what they'll be using in 2017, but for this weekend Jeremy has decided to race with a set of Showa A-kit spring forks, which the team still had around from a few seasons ago.
But, they didn't have any A-kit shocks laying around that would work with the newer chassis, so they opted to use a production Showa shock. The same one found on the 2016 CRF250R off the showroom floor.
Albeit with a few goodies, such as this DLC shaft kit.
Prepped for the conditions. It was interesting to ask about the cooling systems on their bikes, as at one point the Geico team was using a pressurized radiator system and built-in oil coolers. A few seasons ago though, they re-evaluated and pulled a few things off their bikes. Sometimes, simplicity is the best, less-is-more, lean-is-mean, back to the bare essentials... You get the point. In all seriousness, the team wants to put the best overall package on the track, which includes looking back at somethings you've done, changed, or tried and giving it another go.
The team has been using Vortex for longer than the fuel injection age, as before their ECUs they were using their ignition boxes in the days of carburetors.
When dealing with a team with this level of resources, we don't even want to know how many variations of engine mounts and hangers have been tested.
How about a little drool session to finish things out?
Every ounce counts.
HRC titanium pegs? Check. Titanium footpeg brackets, with titanium hardware? Double check.
When championships are on the line, you can wire-tie both your stem nut and top-triple clamp nut.
Speaking of wire-tie, got to keep those titanium brake banjo bolts in place. You know, to go along with your DLC coated rear brake pad pin.
This bike, along with a backup, will be housed under Geico's awning this weekend without any others, as Jeremy Martin will make his debut with the team solo.