Vital MX Pits Bits: Oakland Supercross 17

We're back at the home of the Athletics and we kept our camera gear locked up at all times. Check out some of the best goodies we found around the pits in the bay area.

We have some overflow from A1 and a ton of other goodies we hunted down in Oakland for your viewing pleasure. Scroll down, drool a bit and remember...throw in a comment if you've got a question on anything you see in here! Welcome to the latest edition of Pit Bits.

We showed you a couple small difference between Dylan Ferrandis and Eli Tomac's machines last week and we have a few more for you this week.

Dylan seems to prefer solid blade levers on both sides.

While Eli Tomac opts for the folding design that ARC is so well known for.

Seat hump and no grip ribs for Ferrandis.

No hump but plenty of ribs for Tomac.

Dylan's machine has the same KYB kit shock as found on the 250 team's bikes.

While Tomac's bike has a works billet shock body and large compression adjuster onboard.

Dylan's bike also features the kit version of KYB's PSF1 air fork, again the same units found on the 250.

The answer we've been given is that Eli Tomac is on the works version of the PSF1 air fork. But we suspect that Eli may actually be on a hybrid spring/air fork. Another reason for the different components is Eli Tomac has chosen to work with KYB's representative, Ricki Gilmore. While Dylan Ferrandis is working with the Star 250 team's suspension tech, Drew Hopkins.

Open footpeg design? Ferrandis.

The center row pegs are Eli's. It also appears Eli's pegs have a backwards offset. We're guessing somewhere around 5-7mm back. We also believe his peg mounts are 5mm down from stock.

The blue ends of these brake lines caught our eyes...

Then we realized the Star 450 machines had different brake cables courtesy of Core Moto.

Steel braided and fairly incognito.

Those plugs hanging down? Access port for the Vortex ECU. While the 250 team has been using their ECUs for years and most your support 250 and 450 teams do, it's rare to see a factory 450 squad not on "works ECUs" from OEM provider Keihin. The Vortex system us what the team knows best and they've brought it to the 450 program.

Different color in the engine case bolts? Some are titanium, where stress is more prevelent. And in areas there isn't as much vital pressure placed on the hardware, aluminum fasteners are used instead. Every gram counts.

These are the work benches/cabinets the Star 450 squad uses, which slide under a bench nice and securely on the bottom level of their semi when it's going down the road. Up close, they're nothing too fancy. Just the right amount of storage and space. And those giant BOXO top boxes? Expect the 450 squad to get something a little more size conscious soon.

While some teams have some very fancy hand pulled pit carts for Supercross, the Star crew uses a folding cart that many crews have used for years. Just a couple little things were added to make the best use of the cart.

Spacers to contain the wheels and pit boards.

Impacts attached to a drawer that pulls out with the esentials.

In Star Racing's first year of managing and operating the Factory Yamaha 450 squad, they managed to bring home a title. So their fairly new 450 truck got an addition to the door heading into the new season.

See the upper frame/sub frame mounting tab? Does it look a little out-of-place? Well, it's not stock. The Star team redoes this tab and the welding/fabrication is done by their 250 engine guy.

That man is Trevor Carmichael. Engines, welding, fabrication? Yup, he's got the team covered on multiple fronts.

Trevor at work with a quick little bracket modification.

Another returning face to the paddock! Big John, who drove for JGR for nearly their entire time in moto, is back after some time away on the NASCAR circuit. By driving the Star Yamaha 250 truck, he's also reunited with his old trailer. Which was JGR's original trailer they ordered new and used from 2008 and up through 2016 before selling it to Star and ordering a new truck and trailer for their team at the time.

This "Tide" inspired TLD helmet really caught our eyes this weekend.

The gear to match.

Olly Stone probably holds the record for longest serving race mechanic at Pro Circuit. Doing nine tours of duty (nine years) before moving to TLD GASGAS to wrench for Justin Barcia this year.

This brings back memories...

Ryder Diffrancesco on track walk for his first race on a real Supercross track. Spoiler alert, he killed it.

After last week's "convergence" in the main event, Justin Barcia bought himself Team Fried merch from Jason Anderson and his crew. He even proudly displayed it on track walk. Team Fried merch game strong.

Eli Tomac in blue is going to take another round or two to get used to.

The rounds are ticking down until Scuba Steve departs the team. The man on his left, Sean Murphy, is likely the man who will take over the reigns of the Rockstar Husky crew.

Most teams use some sort of handing light bar that runs the length of the down poles to keep their pit areas lit at night. However, the Red Bull KTM does things a bit differently. Utilizing these flood style lights from Rigid for their pit area.

There's been a lot of talk about donuts in moto lately...well the kind you eat due to Jett Lawrence. However, Mumford has the original moto donut in play now.

The Red Bull KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition of Cooper Webb is all new for the 2022 season and we have a great "Inside" video we're working on for it. The next couple rounds we'll tease a couple items we shot though.

Nice secure location for the team's GPS sensor.

Akrapovic's newest exhaust can design is quite the departure from what we've seen from the brand prior.

Marvin Musquin must still be smashing radiator tops. His mechanic, Frankie Latham, came up with some carbon guards a few years back to keep his exuberant rider from beating the top of the cores to death with his boots. And even on the newest KTM platform, they're present.

These pegs may look stock, but they're not...

Well, they are and they aren't. The design is identical to the stock set but instead of being cast steel, they're cast titanium via Akrapovic. Impressive...

Tis a tiddly bit nipply in the bay area.

The HEP boys are running out of jersey space.

Carbon fiber tool and hardware tray? Yup, you can get those soon from SuperLite Technologies.

What makes the HRC Honda chain guide special? Well, it's not lighter, in fact it might be a tick heavier. The production one has an extra window in the side of the guide towards the front that allows more dirt and debris in. The HRC one doesn't have the front window area, keeping more of the bad stuff out.

This extra layer or guard on the PC can allows the riders to grip and give their sideplate and can maximum abuse with their boot denting and flexing the base of the can as easily.

Now that's some burly frame grip tape, courtesy of Vibram. The HRC squad in MXGP utilizes the same brand and material for their frame grip.

Where can you get the upper hangers from the PC KX250s? Well, bust out your drill and start measuring/marking! Yup, these babies are the stock part but with some in-house modification.

The front titanium engine mounts however, are provided by Scott at Works Chassis Lab.

It's been a bit since we've taken a peek at the KX450 factory squads bikes. We're working on an in-depth video with their machine but in the mean time, here's a little reminder about some of the data goodies on the bikes.

This sensor on the forks was introduced back in the "air fork" era but serves a similar purpose on a spring fork. The sensor measures the change in air pressure in the fork. As the fork compresses at the overall space decreases in the fork, the air pressure inside rises. With all the team's data and experience, they can use this info to track a few different things. One of them being the travel of the fork. This system allows the team to track more suspension data than most teams in race trim, as reel and rods systems we see others use are external and can be damaged if contacted. Even worse, they could impede the suspension's work if damaged.

The team also uses a sensor mounted the bottom of the frame that's able to measure shock travel from registering the movement of the link arms. Again, like the fork system, this is a bit safer to utilize at all times without bulky items that can be damaged as easily in regular usage.

Last one for today. The team can measure rear wheel speed and utilize that information for a couple uses by tracking the front sprocket's rotation speed. Depending on final gearing and what gear the bike is in, the way this speed is translated will be different. However, the team also collects gear selection data and they know what rear sprocket is on the bike at time of operation. Allowing them to math it all out and come up with the numbers they're looking for,


Updated look in 2022 for the RM-Z450 of the Twisted Tea HEP Suzuki squad.

Jamie Ellis from Twisted Development is helping out with the engine internals and extra performance for the Twisted Tea/Progressive Insurance HEP Suzuki squad in 2022. Ellis has a strong background in the RM-Z from his time as the engine guy at Bobby Hewitt's Rockstar Racing squad, back when they were yellow based.

Just a little extra trimming and air volume for the RM-Z450s of HEP.

Notice the little shim between the engine mount and cylinder head? If the stock mounts don't sit flush and have small gap, adding a small shim or spacer can help the mount from binding up and transferring energy differently when torqued down

The HEP crew has joined the SKDA family for 2022.

Does that rear sprocket look big? Well, that's because it is. The Mika out back on the HEP bike is a 55 tooth.

The team has to do some decent modifications to their chain guide to get the large rear sprocket and chain to work properly together.

14 tooth front sprocket doesn't leave enough room for a case saver. Brave men at HEP.

Non-coated shaft on a kit shock? A shock shaft coating is probably the least noticeable of any coating you can do between upper and lower fork legs, and a shock body or shaft. So it's not entirely unheard of to see some top end equipment without the shafts coated.

New full coverage CMT Italy skidplates onboard Bogle and Hartfrant's machines. While Enticknap's bike has an Acerbis model equipped.

Holeshot device/fork guard support tucked behind the fork guard mounting location for the RM-Z.

Speaking of SKDA, they're doing a signature stadium series with Jerry Robin this year. A new theme every weekend for each stadium or local area. Here's his Oakland setup, while his Canvas gear was Raiders themed. Even though the team is no longer bay area based.

Another look.



Oakland strikes again! Just kidding, just TPJ doing some general maintenance on Friday.

Brent Duffe approves of the red plate.

The Honda crew has a more traditional pit cart for SX, the same folding one most teams use at indoor rounds. However, they added this accessory tower to carry their wheels.

The HRC crew got an updated look for their Ridgeline that they take to all the races inside their hospitality semi.


The Smartop | BullFrog Spas | MotoConcepts Honda squad has always had a top notch pit presence and here's their latest light up backdrops.

Mitchell Oldenburg was unable to race on Saturday night, Unlike his teammate Justin Brayton, he himself didn't test positive but it was his daughter who was is just a few months old that was quite sick. Family comes first and Mitchell hung back in Texas. Our well wishes to the Oldenburg family, hopefully all is good soon.

Akrapovic has a new design for their resonance chamber guard. Thoughts?

The MCR crew gets some a hand me down materials from the HRC squad. As such, they snagged some forks with these cool little levers to adjust the fork compression by hand.

Nathan Alexander wasn't happy with the stock subframe bolts aboard his rider's CRF450R. So he sourced some higher grade steel bolts that have stayed more secure. As we said, steel bolt, same as stock. Not trying to go lighter, just trying to be a bit more secure and reliable.

How do you keep aftermarket triple clamps looking fresh? Some clear graphics material.

Manual cam chain tensioner by XPR aboard Friese's MCR 250.

Sel had one piece of history with him that was quite shocking. His AMA mechanics license from 1972! Sel has one heck of a story in moto and is a man behind the scenes that has made some of the biggest strides, especially for KTM. To learn more about him, head here:

Mitas Tires has partnered with TPJ in 2022.

Team Tedder inherited not only Josh Hill's services on the track, but also his hill climb bike for the pits.

With Justin Hill's return timeline uncertain, veteran 450 class racer Nick Schmidt has joined the Partzilla/PRMX Kawasaki team as a fill-in for now. We've heard they will also have a surprise Aussie joining them on a 450 at the next round as well.

Partzilla is a new title sponsor for PRMX this year.

HGS exhausts are rare in the US, but still drool worthy.

Two whole bags worth of prepped goggles and accessories. Oh what it's like to be one of the top dogs.

The DCMX guys had some fresh tool boxes for SGB this weekend.

The Red Bull KTM crew isn't the only team with a fancy new pit cart from Custom Upfits. This new one was delivered to SGB Unlimited Honda this weekend. Fresh and red!

We spotted a couple extra bolts on the side plate of the Rockstar Husky of Malcolm Stewart. With someone as aggressive and strong as Mookie on the bike, it's worth adding a little something to keep everything in place.

The ClubMX YZ250Fs have reverted back to stock engine hangers this year.

The Rides Unlimited team is out on the West coast this year, with one rider in Chad Saultz. However, come East coast they will have four riders under the awning. Here's a little look at Chad's machine.

Active Ride is run by Matt Andruk out of Florida. He takes care of suspension duty for riders like Evan Ferry (Tim Ferry's kid on Rockstar Husky), Kyle Chisholm, and more.

Some of the folks that help Kevin Moranz make the dream happen.

Jeremy Scism. AEO Dealership chain owner, suspension guy, team owner, driver, and graphics guy... Keep it up Gary "the Numbers Guy".

Give us some grip! Check out the textured clear gripper material on the airbox panel.

The ClubMX crew got a big upgrade this year with a new-to-them semi truck and trailer. We say new to them because it's been in the pits before. This is the ex-Geico/FCR semi that they took delivery of for the 2014 season and used until they closed their doors in 2020.

Later Oakland.

Pit Bits 2019

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