It's time to go racing! It's Anaheim 1, THE BEST TIME OF THE YEAR, to be a Motocross and Supercross fan. The new bikes, the team changes, the fresh gear, the trick parts, and more. You know we've got it all in Pit Bits and because there's so much to see at the opening round, we've split this in two. Part one is right in front of you and part two will hit the site on Monday. Enjoy.
The champ's machine! It won't look like this for long, as Factory Yamaha is set to unveil a new look in just a couple weeks...
The Star team has the new Yamaha equipped with Cycra's latest stadium plate, which really helps balance out the front-end look of the new YZ450F. And yes, Eli Tomac is the only rider on the team running X-Trig clamps, while everyone else is on Neken. From what we've heard, this is due to Eli liking the extra comfort found in the X-Trigs.
What's all the notes for?
It's the bible for the man behind the shims and clicker, Ricki Gilmore. When Eli decides to hang up the boots, Ricki could be one of the most sought-after hires in the pits.
Speaking of sought-after hires, Ryan Cox who was formerly the engine development guy for the Lawrence's 250 program has had his services acquired by Pro Circuit. This is not a new proposition, as Mitch Payton tried heavily to hire Cox ahead of the 2022 season but ultimately, Ryan chose to stay put. After helping HRC dial-in the new gen CRF250R, he has switched over to PC. His addition to the team was only around six weeks ago, so his work within the team won't show for a bit of time. But don't be surprised to see the already fact Pro Circuit Kawasakis, make even more improvements as the season goes on.
Haiden Deegan was spotted roaming the pits of A1. According to a solid source we spoke to at the event, there's a rough plan in place to take Haiden racing come East coast but may depend on his performance at the Anaheim 2 SX Futures race that he's set to contend in.
Max Anstie was set to race the 250 West region, until a small back injury popped up just two days ago. With this, the like-able Brit has swapped to the East coast, leaving Wilson Todd as the loan 250 at A1 for Firepower Honda.
There's been a bit of movement in teams when it comes to tires, as Firepower Honda switches from Pirelli to Dunlop. This is across all their programs, including the Australian MX and SX, along with their World Supercross program (Genuine Parts Honda).
Ryan Dungey is at Anaheim 1! But in a more regular consultant role for the Red Bull KTM program.
Tommy Harris (left) has been Team Honda HRC's test mechanic for quite a few years now. All the grinding away has paid off for the young wrench as he's been promoted to a full-time race wrenching position with Chance Hymas. With this, HRC has hired Ben Griffith (former practice mechanic for Jason Anderson) as their new test mechanic.
It's time for some lids!
Dean Wilson's new Rockstar/Froth Fly F2 Carbon helmet.
What's Froth? It's a cleaner and lubricant brand by Yarrive Konsky, the owner of the Firepower Honda and Honda Genuine Parts team.
Dilan Schwartz's Progressive lid.
The TLD helmets have a little extra WowWow waffle branding this weekend. Along with a new pair of TLD designed Oakley Airbrake goggles.
Malcolm Stewart's Shoei lid had a little extra something added at the last minute. RIP Ken Block.
Speaking of which, we found a few teams and riders rocking these stickers as they slowly made their rounds about the paddock.
Of course, the Suzuki pits were a lot busier than normal this weekend. With HEP growing to two semis for two separate but similar programs. One team, the Twisted Tea Suzuki presented by Progressive Insurance, has the full yellow look and houses Shane McElrath and Kyle Chisholm at the moment.
While the second team, under its own rig, is the Progressive Insurance/Ecstar Suzuki team. This second team operates the 250 riders, such as Dylan Schwartz and Marshal Weltin, and of course the team's biggest news...the addition of Ken Roczen.
While the Progressive livery is definitely very new for the HEP team, the bike overall hasn't changed that much since Kenny has joined.
The addition of Pro Circuit pipes might get credited to Roczen, but the HEP team had already lost the support of Yoshimura before this point and were looking at going Pro Circuit anyhow.
The switch to Renthal, however, was on the request of Ken Roczen. The team still uses Mika Metals bars, grips and sprockets aboard the Twisted Tea RM-Z450s, but all the Progressive branded bikes have Renthal products.
All the HEP machines have some version of Works Chassis Lab front aluminum mounts onboard.
While some of their RM-Z450s have a shaved stock upper mount that has been shaved by team manager Larry Brooks. McElrath's machine has a piece of similar proportions, made by WCL.
The engines on all their bikes are developed by Twisted Development and assembled by in-house engine guy, Dave Dye. It looks like the team has enlisted the help of Crank Works, after their reported con-rod failure with Brandon Hartranft's machine.
Works Nissin billet brake calipers can be found on all the HEP machines. Gripping against Galfer rotors, which are all mounted to stock hubs. Even with Roczen's inclusion on the team, we aren't seeing any old "factory Suzuki" materials being introduced to the bike.
Something odd is seeing the re-introduction of a hot start lever aboard the RM-Z450s. Sort of a start circuit lever in EFI terms.
While teams such as HRC and Factory Kawasaki are utilizing Showa's BFRC shock after a long-lay off from Supercross, the HEP crew are still using a traditional style Showa A-kit shock on all their bikes. This is for a few reasons. Number one, there has been little to no development of the BFRC in Supercross aboard a Suzuki since Malcolm Stewart was with JGR. Also, the team purchases most of their components, then has an in-house technician (Dave Cruz) do the tuning work. The BFRC that HRC and Kawi are using is also a works item...they are lease only and can't be purchased. They also have to be attended to by Showa directly.
Dave Cruz (center) is an ex-Kawasaki and ex-Showa employee, who joined HEP mid-way through last season.
Maddy McAdoo showing some old-school support for her Pro Circuit-race husband, Cameron.
The Muc-Off/FXR/ClubMX Yamaha team will have multiple liveries again this season. They're kicking it off with some heavy black and blue for A1.
Phil Nicoletti, #69 in the program but #1 in our hearts for 2023.
Enzo Lopes' machine getting a morning wellness check.
The crew from Dubya USA made a day before the race drop off of new Haan wheels and Excel rims to ClubMX, as the team made a last-minute change to the high-quality product.
The ever-thorough Tony Archer has his specific-sized block to check chain tension aboard Forkner's PC 250. But we also noticed he'd check the chain tension, spin the wheel just a bit, then check again. He did this at least four-to-five times to check the consistency of the chain and look for any spots the chain could be binding or sticking between the links.
Speaking of Austin Forkner's bike...we spent quite a bit of time with the #55 Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki KX250 for an in-depth video you'll see in the next week or two. But first, some teasers.
Yes, for 2023 the PC squad has joined the 250 electric water pump club. While the team was heading this direction, we heard that Ryan Cox's input helped get this project across the finish line. They almost had it tucked where it wasn't noticeable.
Even though the production KX250 utilizes KYB components, Pro Circuit continues the tradition of utilizing Showa components and in turn their tight relationship with the brand. The three-piece body consists of a billet main body, a billet reservoir, and a forged top cap.
Custom radiators, manual cam chain tensioners, titanium front, and upper engine mounts, the works! The PC bikes are truly drool-worthy. Also, note the rubber grommet that's been added to the hole in the skidplate where the overflow hose pops through. This is to keep the hose from sliding out of place as easily and wearing against the sharper carbon-edge.
The full Pro Circuit linkage is a big change in leverage ratio over the stock, tuned to be the perfect combo with their in-house Showa A-kit to get the best out of the bike. Especially in Supercross.
The little red module tucker under the radiator shroud? That's a 2D data logger.
Keep an eye on the underside of the Pro Circuit bikes this season, as they'll be switching up this placement a few times. The Angel's A is a nice touch.
Jason Anderson and Adam Cianciarulo's bike share something interesting in common this year.
Both of the Monster Energy Kawasaki racers are on Showa's BFRC shock this year. This is the second time that AC has tried to race with the shock but it's been a bit. Showa is making strides with the shock and it's evident with AC and Ando, along with HRC teammates Colt Nichols and Chase Sexton choosing to race Supercross with it in 2023.
Jared Warrick joins the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team as Christian Craig's race wrench for 2023, after a few seasons a Team Tedder and a summer with the AEO Powersports KTM squad.
Warrick's machine...umm, we mean Christian Craig's Husqvarna FC 450 was another bike we spent a bit of time with for an upcoming video.
The Rockstar team got all new pit carts this year, a solid upgrade over their prior units.
Each wrench has two cabinets on their respective sides, one is shallow and has lubricants and chemicals, along with a race day schedule.
While the other has two spare sets of wheels per rider.
What's a big change for the mechanics is not having tool boxes on top, instead having all their tools in two large pull-out drawers. located on each side of the cart. It's a cool change but a bit to get used to for the mechanics of habit.
The tool cart that goes to the line for the Husky team has two folding stands onboard.
Spare exhausts for both sizes of bikes. Wheels and so much more.
Want to make or break Logan Karnow's day? He has a live Instagram follower counter in his pit. If you follow him, the number goes up! If you unfollow him...it goes down.
Logan Karnow definitely has a sponsor that not many of us would've expected.
Joey Savatgy did make it to A1! He's near the back of the pits out of blank, white Showhauler and on a Pro Circuit prepped Kawasaki KX450 with support from his World Supercross team, Rick Ware Racing.
Savatgy's 2023 A1 bike has a much more traditional look than his WSX machine. We like! Oh and love the white fork guards.
Familiar supporters of RWR are onboard Savatgy's machine. As of now, this ride is for the first eight rounds of the season and it sounds like Savatgy is gunning for a fill-in ride with a top team when it becomes available. We expect to see him re-unite with Rick Ware Racing no matter what, once the 2023 World Supercross series begins.
The Hill brothers are teammates! Both are at Team Tedder, which also has a fresh new look for 2023. Still aboard KTMs, but blacked out and with support from Mountain Motorsports (a personal sponsor as well for Josh Hill), a push from Motul (who are a sponsor of Mountain Motorsports' Porsche GT effort), and some unique product sponsors for an Austrian bike.
Such as a Pro Circuit exhaust, a bit of a rarity on Austrian machinery.
Along with WP/KYB suspension by Enzo Racing. Utilizing stock WP tubes, Kashima and DLC coated, with KYB spring fork cartridges added.
Loma Linda University is a new sponsor for KTM this year, with a campus just a few miles from KTM's new HQ.
Clear skies for race day! Check out Part 2 of A1 Pit Bits on Monday!