Vital MX Pit Bits: Anaheim 1

Welcome back to Pit Bits and YES! We are at Anaheim again, hallelujah! The Moto Gods have blessed us with great weather, a stacked field, and tons of new goodies to look at. Scroll down, salivate, and ask us any questions you may have.

It's been a bit since we've gotten to stand in the presence of the big A, and man was it good to be back.

First track walk of the year...first track walk we've had in nearly two years.

Eli Tomac is on blue and back on air forks. The "works" version of KYB's PSF1 is the choice for his YZ450F.

Tomac has chose to keep the left side panel section on his bike, unlike many on Star Yamaha.

Dylan Ferrandis bike for example.

Hmmm, wonder what shock setting this is on Eli's bike...

Nice little hiding spot for the mode and launch control switches on Dylan's Yamaha.

See the Pro Taper bar pad? See the Renthal full waffle grips? For Eli, some habits die hard.

Stock link arm aboard the YZ450F of Eli Tomac.

Ken Roczen was without his race mechanic Jordan Troxell, as Rooster tested positive prior to the race for COVID. Meaning his practice mechanic stepped up to race duty.

Little better look at the latest version of the XACT Pro shock from WP aboard the Rockstar Edition Husky of Dean Wilson. It's a little more exposed and easier to see aboard the Husky over the KTM.

Any Slipknot fans on here? Clearly Ken Roczen is.

Another look at Kenny's latest Red Bull Fox V3RS. It never ceases to amaze us how many variations of a Red Bull helmet that AirTrix can come up with.

MCR is back in the 250 class for 2022 and Vince Friese gets first dibs on their latest CRF250R, with Mitchell Oldenburg taking the reigns come East Coast.

As you probably heard this week, a few of the top 250 teams have added electric waterpumps to their bikes this season. The HRC Honda squad added this feature with five rounds to go in the 2022 outdoor season and the gains made by it was a last ditch effort to help assist Jett Lawrence in ultimately taking the title. The electric pump better controls temperatures, adds power and frees up the engine. As the mechanic water pump system is entirely removed from the bike, the engine no longer has to drive the pump. Reducing friction in the motor and giving back the power that the pump would take away. Chad Braun of XPR Motorsports had his own version for the MCR bike and apparently on the Honda's specifically, it's a huge difference. Reach out to him directly as these will soon be for sale...

Need some more air? Well, just remove some plastic!

Unique upper hanger design from Scott at Works Chassis Lab

We've seen Akrapovic systems for years aboard the KTM's and MCR has now been with them for a couple years. Here's their latest system for the new CRF250R aboard Friese's machine.

Friese and his CRF250R impressed last night. We'll have a deep inside look at this machine up soon.

Yuzo has a ton of experience in the paddock. Having originally been the electronics guy for Yoshimura Suzuki and then moving to JGR. While his day job is now at the JGR Infinity shop, he's helping out the HEP guys at the races this year as they now have access to factory electronics from Suzuki. Welcome back Yuzo!

Seeing anything new? Well, the #722 is back with his original number! And Progressive is onboard with HEP for 2022 and beyond. Congrats to the team for bringing in a new outside sponsor.

Peak at their updated Thor helmets.

The BarX guys have also brought in a new sponsor to the sport. FuelMe is a pre-paid fuel system for over the road trucking businesses.

Seth Hammaker is serious going into 2022...

Jo Time?

The Rockstar Husky guys have possibly the coolest fork guard/holeshot device support we've ever seen.

A few gear companies had new digs for thee season opener. Here's one of the latest LE drops from FXR, dubbed Cotton Candy.

Fly Racing also has their own LE for A1, aboard Brayton who will be making his last A1 start.

Justin Brayton carried over Muc-Off as a personal sponsor for 2022. We've heard that after his final year of racing, the brand may be sponsoring him for a run of cross country mountain bike racing.

Fox also joined the party with a new kit for marque rider Ken Roczen.

Hmmm, what's this under Barcia's front number plate?

GoPro mount!

A look at what it like fully assembled and behind the plate.

What's the carbon fiber plate for on top of the bottom triple clamps of the TLD GASGAS bikes? It's to keep mud out of some deep cutouts in the clamps. More of an outdoor thing, but something they choose to run all season regardless.

That is a beefy shift lever! Or as the team put it, it's BAM BAM PROOF! We shall see...

What's everyone's thoughts on Method's marketing push into moto? Always cool to see more brands in moto and pushing in a few dollars.

TLD's double decker wheel cart in their pits has a few more sets and some standard spares sets.

Akrapovic's titanium stands have been drool worthy for years. But now they're doing them in the same coating as their exhausts...more drool engaged.

Speaking of Akrapovic. Some brands weld a secondary heat shield onto a head pipe. Akro though? They cast a piece of titanium to the existing head...damn cool.

The crew from Feld had the TLD guys sampling a new transponder/GPS steup.

For years, Pro Circuit has had access to this lightweight "Supercross" caliper from Nissin that uses thinner brake pads. Saving weight wherever possible.

Most ditch the cotter pin axle nuts aboard their Kawis. But PC runs them for a little extra insurance.

Extended radiator louvers for the larger radiators on the PC KX250s.

Chamfered rear brake pads aboard the PC 250s. Oh, and check the drilled titanium nitride titanium rear brake pistons. Lighter, cool better, and wear resistance with the coating.

Separate stickers on the swingarm? Saving weight!

As more and more top level teams move to standard width fork lugs and sometimes even stock cast lugs instead of billet or forged, the PC team is one of the few to run a wider axle and fork lug setup. Yes, when you buy a set of kit forks from PC for a Kawasaki, you can get these exact same lugs, along with the titanium axle and wheel spacers needed to dial you in.

Yes MattyG, your frame is damn shiny.

The tucked away data mother-load on the PC machines.

What's the newest red button on the CRF250R? We're going to guess it's a kill switch so the kill function has been removed from the mode/kill cluster next to it. There's a minor chance of moisture effecting the cluster and activating the kill circuit under continuous washings. At least that's the reason we separated the switches on our '21 CRFs.

Don Baynes has been the race transport driver for Red Bull KTM for the last ten years, and was with Kawasaki in a similar role for the 15 years prior on road race and jet ski racing. These first couple rounds will be Don's last, as he turns over the reigns at KTM to someone else. Enjoy retirement Don, you got a lot to do!

Always be prepared. The Star team and others will wire tie their spokes together so if one snaps during a race, it doesn't fly out and into the rear brake or sprocket/chain.

Some extra radiator hose and zip ties are cheap insurance to keep the radiator hose underneath safe.

The Star team also glues on this 3D printed housing on top of their kill switch of the 250s, so their riders can't accidentally bump the switch when returning their hands to the bars from a tear off pull, or during a crash.

Windowless rear brake master cylinder? Yup, that's a Yamaha OW part for the Star crew. Again, durability is key!

Oh yeah, about that KTM driver post from just above? Welp, meet the new guy. Cory Flewellen is one of the, if not the youngest transport driver in the pits but already has seasons under his belt as Star Yamaha's 250 driver. You don't get the call from Red Bull KTM unless you impress. Congrats on landing one of best driving spots in the paddock Cory, you deserve it.

Snacks, snacks, and more snacks.

The KTM crew has eyes on EVERYONE.

How about a little seat comparison? Malcolm Stewart's FC450 vs...

The winged seat of Dean Wilson, made by GUTS Racing.

Hunter Lawrence's new number font is growing on us. How about you?

Why the carbon fiber cover on the front number plate vent? The HRC boys have refitted the Showa steering damper for the Lawrence's 250s which no longer comes aboard a Honda. The open vent would leave a chance of debris slotting in and damaging the receiving ball joint at the bottom of the damper. Again, gotta finish races!

There's a whole lot of nothing behind the HRC water pump cover as the impeller has been remove, along withe the shaft, water pump gear, and mechanical seal. Being replaced with a plug and o-ring to keep the coolant out of the internals of the engine.

The team that started the electric water pump phenomenon. The HRC team keeps it a bit more tucked in and protected than the other teams we've seen. Oh and for the record, we can award the credit for this upgrade to Josh Wisenor for implementing this idea. Who has now moved over to the TLD GASGAS team as crew chief.

The HRC squad uses a different ignition cover to accept the works hydraulic master cylinder aboard their 250s, which are normally cable actuated.

MORE AIRRRR!

Another variation of Hunter's new/old number.

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The HRC Honda 250s are right up there with Kawasaki's factory 450 for the most custom harness work.

When we saw the HRC Hondas at their team intro, they were adorned with full graphics kit. But now in race trim, there's a bit of the kit missing where there doesn't need to be any. Trimming weight where it's easy to find.

This view gives a better representation of how little graphics coverage Honda goes for in the name of weight. Having done this personally to my own team's bikes last year, I can tell you between minor coverage and thinner laminate, we saved almost half a pound over a normal graphics kit.

The hydraulic master cylinder on Hunter's CRF250R comes courtesy of the production CRF450R part. Also, check out how far Hunter runs the master cylinder and lever towards the inside of the bar.

Some radiator shroud extenders for Hunter Lawrence.

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Remember how we mentioned there was an extra bracket mounted the right side of the HRC 250 frames? Well, this is what the team is mounting to it. A carbon fiber plate to grip, mostly for whoop sections.

There's nothing like a fresh billet Nissin caliper...courtesy of HRC Honda.

Yes, secondary start switches are alive and well. Also, the backside of the right radiator shroud is the new home of the regulator, which normally found back on the side of the airbox on the CRF250R.

Mmmm, lightweight brak hose guide.

Anodized to match transponder mount? Check!

One can for Honda these days. One beautiful can.

We'll give you one guess on who these boots belong to...

Yup, this guy!

Style cat.

Factory Ride goggles. New to the ClubMX team and available to the public soon.

Hmm, anyone care to guess what engine oil this is?

The best T handles out there just got the best T handle holder... Mmmm...titanium T handles...

The Factory Kawasaki guys don't leave any room between their skidplate and side cover guards for mud to build up.

Data reel on Cooper Webb's KTM in practice and qualifying.

The receiving end.

BOXO locked down a new deal to be the tool supplier of the Star Yamaha squad. You'll see their boxes and more all around the Star 250 and 450 pits.

A peak inside their "Moto Box".

That is one expensive shock body. One piece, machined billet....Mmmm. Oh yeah! With the departure of Eli Tomac from Kawasaki, both AC and Jason Anderson are aboard Showa this year. No more KYB/Showa split within the team.

We took a long look at Nate Thrasher's bike for next week's Inside feature, where we'll break down the ins and outs of the most sought after bike in the pits.

The Star boys have the same, or pretty darn close to the same style pump that HRC and XPR are using. Based on our info, the gains on the YZ250F aren't as large as they are on the CRF250R. Enough that Star is using it, but only with Craig and Thrasher, as Nichols has chose not to run it. Our guess as to why Nichols is on it is two main things. One, Nichols is the championship favorite as this is a fairly new implemented part. It would have a higher chance of DNF than the current package and Nichols/the team may feel safer with him on the current package, which is already win proven. Also, the pump can free up the engine and change the character, which may not be to Nichols preference.

Gearing for Star Yamaha? 14 front and primarily they use a 51 rear.

Star Yamaha has been on KYB PSF1 air forks since about 2013 now. With very little deviation since them and the whole 250 lineup on the fork for a few seasons now.

Gotta keep those sideplates as tight to the bike as possible, even if a little trimming is needed.

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Chris Blose is one of the veterans of the 250 class and isn't afraid to put a little elbow grease (or Motul cleaner in this case) into keeping his boots clean.

Don't question the dolphin...

The Rocky Mountain crew has changed up their look a bit. Going from Talon hubs in orange and lastly red, to new HAAN hubs in a magnesium style color, along with Excel rims. All can be found over at Dubya USA.

With RMATV-MC team no longer having the services of WP's suspension program or the Factory Services engines, they've had to search out some private companies to partner with. One of which is AEO suspension. Head up by Mark Johnson, ex-Red Bull KTM suspension guru, the team has basically gotten their factory suspension program back, including their own dedicated technician through AEO.

Adam Cianciarulo is ready to strike like lightning, or maybe that's just his hair.

Fox hooks Adam up with a POD logo on his pants. Many riders have a knee brace sponsor, but it's something you can never see in action.

Here's the new Fox Instinct boot in near final condition. Scroll down for a few shots of it aboard Adam Cianciarulo and a comparison to the current boot that Ken Roczen is still in. We'd bet to see Kenny in it soon, and the whole PC team by outdoors as the announcement of the product looms.

We've heard the newest iteration of the Instinct will be "longer lasting" then the current version while keeping the ease of break in character of the current model.

Slightly new buckle design which "captures" the head of the strap a bit more. Probably making it less likely to come out during action.

Back view.

Kenny in the current Instinct.

New vs old.

Speaking of Fox, we got a peek into their new pro athlete service van...coming to a Supercross near you!

Everything the crew from Fox needs to take care of Roczen, AC, and the whole PC team.

Need to do a quick modification? Sewing? More? Yup, they got the tools.

So many lenses...roll offs...tear offs...

Vision is handled, period.

Fresh chest protectors? Check.

New socks are worth their weight in gold.

The team always has enough lids. There's also a draw full of painted visors to match each rider's helmets.

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Details on AC's Fox lid.

Chase's new kicks.

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The BarX Suzuki team is still supported by Chaparral and Fly in 2022 but the Ecstar (Suzuki's in-house lubricant brand) seems to be missing this year. Instead, the team has picked up support from Motul.

The BarX guys also had an electric water pump onboard. Albeit a different design/manufacturer than we saw on the HRC, Star, or MCR/XPR setup. We've heard that the gains for the Suzuki are a bit more in line with the Honda, so a bit more helpful than it is on the Yamaha.

Check out the ClubMX's Muc-Off branded 6D/FXR helmets.

Breatheeeee with the Nihilo airbox cover onboard the ClubMX machines.

Dirt Tricks lightweight steel sprockets are popular in the offroad community but have made their way to a top team in Supercross as the RMATV-MC KTM crew has them onboard for the new season.

It's great to see Davi Millsaps back at Supercross and passing his knowledge onto Carson Mumford. Davi is also working with Carson's teammate, Derik Drake, along with longtime friend Alex Ray.

The team version of the Pro Taper Fuzion bar doesn't have the lock and unlock dial in the crossbar. Going with a standard crossbar instead.

It's still taking a bit to get used to but after nine years with Bell, Star Racing moved over to Alpinestars SM-10s just a few weeks ago. The initial comments from the riders is how much of a weight difference they notice over the Moto 10 they were using prior.

Although most mechanics utilize a metric ruler when adjusting the height of their forks, Showa adds many more lines to the top of their upper fork tubes for factory teams. Making it much easier to make fine adjustments and get everything lined up.

Chase Sexton has some new Oakley Airbrakes to fit his current kit.

Guess who's back...back again. Marv is back.

A truck driver's job is never done.


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