Vital MX Pit Bits: Ironman

Ready for a good look at Team USA? Let's dive in.

We dig the look of this year's team bikes. Yeah, there was some chatter about the odd 5 on Eli Tomac's bike, and you can expect some changes to nearly all the bikes between now and the MXoN.

Yep, that's a good amount of red, white, and blue for Eli Tomac.

There were some bits missing on Aaron Plessinger's bike (like the lower part of the sideplates), but this is pretty close to the look he'll have at RedBud.

Aaron tucked in and blasting through the uphill section at Ironman.

Justin Barcia's YZ450F.

That style? Yeah, that's just nasty.

In one of the biggest team staff surprises in a while, we learned last weekend that Jim "Bones" Bacon is retiring from Pro Circuit. He's got some big plans ahead, including marrying his longtime girlfriend, building a cabin, and we know he'll get in plenty of fishing time. He's been a fixture tuning the team's suspension for decades, and it'll be a little weird to not find him under the tent each week...but he also says that we'll still see him around.

Troy Lee Designs busted out a new helmet and gear combo last weekend, and this one is pretty cool. There are segments that alternate between matte and gloss finishes in the asymmetrical design.

There's also a matching gear combo to go with the helmet.

We also dug this Alpinestars gear on Cody Cooper.

Jordon Smith tweaked his knee during Friday's Press Day action, and he gave it a shot during Saturday morning's practice, but couldn't make it to the motos.

Aaron raced with his MXoN graphics, and his bike was well-taped-up before heading out into the rain and mud.

During most races, you'll find the handguards on Dakota Alix's bike without these white panels in place, and set up for rock protection only. But with the level of mud found at Ironman, it was better to add them back in.

Marvin Musquin had a pair of Airoh helmets ready to go. The one in the background had a shorter extension on the visor than the front one, as well as no foam.

Most teams switched up to solid rotors on their bikes.

Ken Roczen's bike before it got coated in mud. Yep, he's got the solid brake rotors in place, and we assume the airbox had a healthy dose of waterproofing. Some of the teams get pretty creative with duct tape.

One thing we don't often see are things like these Risk Racing mud grips that slide over the usual grips on Ken's bike.

With one single (and late) practice session, riders and mechanics had plenty of time to work on details like the mud-shedding foam on top of their helmets.

Clayton Williams from Fox, working on mud proofing Ken Roczen's goggles. He was using custom pieces of stick-on foam to try and prevent mud from building up on them.


You know Brian Kranz and the rest of the Monster Energy Kawasaki crew went over every detail on Eli Tomac's bike multiple times before it headed out onto the track to try and wrap up the title. Eli also mentioned that they swapped powerplants between motos to be extra-safe.

As you may note, Jordon Smith has big feet, which also explains why he keeps catching them in ruts. He's been struggling with ankle injuries all summer.

Here's an overhead view of the factory portion of the pits. We've heard that the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki rig might get a tune-up in the off-season, to bring it more in line with the look of the Factory Kawasaki rig.

What are we so far...about 50/50 on mud/dry races at Ironman? Apparently, it had been a fairly dry summer...until the race showed up.

Don Baynes is an ex-Marine, who has spent years driving for various teams, including Kawasaki's road race team, and the Red Bull KTM team for many years. Among his prized possessions are helmets from riders that have ridden for the teams he's worked with, and Ken Roczen gave him a good one that featured all the branches of the military on it.

Last week Travis Soules was dialing in Weston Peick's bike. This week it was converted to Chad Reed's bike. They got in some bonus testing time on Friday, and Chad put in a pair of solid motos on Saturday. If that was his last MX race ever? We were stoked to be there and see it.

Like Budds Creek, Jason Anderson put in a single moto on Saturday, before sitting out moto two. Regardless, it was good to see him out there.

You know the mud's bad when the team personnel bring goggles to the track.

The mud at Ironman varied from soupy in the morning practices, to sticky most of the rest of the day. Check out how it's packed in on Justin Rodbell's Yamaha.

Yeah, there's a chain and sprocket somewhere in there.

Check out the mud getting squeezed out around the edges of the sprocket teeth. After a DNF in moto one, Justin bounced back with a 13th in moto two.

Michael Hand may have DNF'd moto one, but it looks like he was still having fun.

Dylan Ferrandis didn't opt for foam on top of his helmet, and was clawing off handfuls mid-moto.

Ha! These guys also were flashing a pit board that said, "Careful, it's slippery out there." Good to know.

There were a couple guys who aren't regulars on the tour, but who put in great rides. With the Canadian series done, Tyler Medaglia came down and went 7-6 for sixth overall.

Valentin Teillet also carded strong finishes, and a 8-10 score was good for ninth overall.

The Redemption Racing crew also made it down from Canada, and their bikes featured some asymmetrical graphics. Their graphics supplier, YSD was featured on one side...

While Hoosier Racing Tires was on the other.

We liked this new copper-colored 6D lid, which matched up nicely with the Shift gear for the GEICO Honda guys.

We're not sure if scraping the mud off the top was actually helping or not.

When Chad Reed's at the races, it's not uncommon to see him checking in with Mitch Payton over at the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki tent.

How about a little style before we go? Kenny has plenty to spare...

Marvin Musquin? He's always stylish.

And one last one of Eli Tomac, kicking up his heels. Congrats on another 450 outdoor title.

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