Welcome back! This is part two of our infamous Pit Bits coverage from the 2023 Anaheim 1 Supercross. Yes, we split this feature as there's always so much to talk about at the opening round of the season. If you missed part one, click here: Pit Bits Part One from A1. If not, scroll down and enjoy. Also, we've got plenty more in the bank but let's be honest, we've got to save a little something-something for the next few weeks. So keep tuning in.
The Angel's A is a pretty iconic backdrop to start the season with.
The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna crew got themselves a new technical truck this year. The trailer is a mix of the latest ideas we've seen implemented on the other newest trailers in the pits (Factory Kawasaki and Star Yamaha 450). We'll get in this thing in the next couple of weeks and do a tour for all you to enjoy.
Speaking of new trucks, KTM will have a third semi to bring to the races starting in just a few weeks. The hope was to have it for A1 but it's just getting wrapped up. It'll have a different look and layout from anything we've seen in our pits before. Think hospitality...
Dean Wilson has raced Kawasakis, Yamahas, KTMs and Husqvarnas professionally...and of course, he's added Hondas to that list with the Firepower machine. They've also gone for a unique look this year that's quite different between their 250s and 450s. Something unique we noticed is while the team's 250 riders are working with Factory Connection on the suspension side of things, Wilson is working directly with Factory Showa.
Firepower team owner, Yarrive Konsky, is the HGS importer for Australia.
The team has used EZE hard parts for quite a while now, an Australian brand that makes hubs, triple clamps, and more. This year, it looks as if they're just using the hubs though.
It's the little things that matter.
The Firepower team's 250 look is a bit reminiscent of the Geico Honda look from 2019.
Lots of ventilation going on for their CRF250R. There's been a lot of changes going on with CRF250R teams and their airboxes, based on a concept that HRC came up with last year. We'll dive into that more next week.
Racing Time is a hard parts company that's popular in world enduro. They've been making this hydraulic clutch conversion kit for the CRF250R for a few years now. Oddly enough, with all the trickery going on, the bike is still on stock footpegs brackets, and stock pegs! Don't see that too often.
At this very moment, Alex Ray was arguing with another rider on who was "sketchier". Shocking, right?
Speaking of Alex Ray, he's back on BluCru this year with some assistance from longtime sponsors O'Neal and Maxxis...along with SwapMoto Live, Yoshimura, Dubya, and more. His bike is being transported to the races by Rock River.
The rider that A-Ray was arguing with? His good ole friend (well, we think they're friends), Cade Clason. Cade has returned to the PRMX team after a year away and the Canadian-based program looks to continue building. There are some fairly unique components on their KX450s, with the most obvious being HGS exhausts, WP suspension, Luxon clamps, and more. We'll take a deeper look at Cade's machine in the coming weeks.
The team is also one of a few that made a last-minute switch to Haan wheels through Dubya USA.
Two head pipes? One is for the 450 and one for the 250. But, they can use the same can! Speaking of exhausts, we did notice something interesting in the pits.
Justin Barcia had the long spec Akrapovic head pipe...
And so did Cooper Webb. We wouldn't be shocked if these two are on different engine specs than some of the others on the Austrian 450s.
Where Marvin Musquin and Aaron Plessinger were on this much shorter spec, reminiscent of the 250 header.
While Christian Craig and Malcolm Stewart's FMF systems seem to be somewhere in the middle in terms of length.
Why the black seat on the Progressive bikes? Gotta separate the look between them and the Twisted Tea machines a bit.
However, we love the look of the all-yellow. Which bike do you prefer?
The injured Brandon Hartranft wasn't in attendance but a bike with his numbers was on display.
The Progressive Insurance/Ecstar Suzuki RM-Z250s are new for the HEP squad this year. The engine package was also put together by Twisted Development but isn't the same as the BarX setup. According to HEP team manager Larry Brooks, the BarX bike has an electric water pump and one other internal component he helped develop, which aren't in this Progressive machine. Why's that? Larry answered it was simply down to budget.
We gotta admit, its cool to see Pro Circuit exhausts on something other than a Kawasaki.
Here's a peek at Derek Drake's BarX Suzuki, another machine we spent a solid while looking at and filming for an upcoming In-Depth video.
As Brooks mentioned, the BarX machine still has the electric water pump in place and something else we can't see.
While Suzuki themselves are still the primary branding on the BarX machines, they've gained a bit more support from DBK this year.
Works Connection holeshot devices everywhere!
AHM is more known for its Baja and off-road suspension setups. But with some assistance from Showa, Brandon (pictured) and his crew are diving into Supercross support with the BarX team this year.
Here's what the current Twisted Tea Suzuki presented by Progressive semi looks like...
While here's the new rig the team got for the Progressive Insurance/Ecstar Suzuki side of things with Ken Roczen, Dilan Schwartz, and Marshal Weltin. This trailer was snagged only about two weeks prior to the season starting, added a quick awning and wrap, then down to Anaheim 1.
Look familiar? Previous Vital MX staffer, Sean Klinger, is now at Kawasaki's PR agency Fuse. Congrats Sean!
Benny Bloss had a whole two days or so aboard the 2023 Yamaha YZ450F ahead of the opening rounds at A1. A mix of his own program and Rock River, which sadly ended with a hospital trip for Benny. Get well soon!
Cody Champagne is the new race wrench for Justin Barcia, as Olly Stone moves to a crew chief position for the team.
Interesting...very interesting Cody.
These carbon fiber starting blocks for Barcia have slotted teeth to go between the grates and magnets laid inside the base of the carbon to keep them latch into place.
A well-prepared mechanics waist belt.
The GasGas brands machines for most are better looking than the KTM or Husky models. Moving into the new gen bike and with TLD's touch, we'd still have to agree.
Lines up perfectly.
MORE AIR! Extra ventilation to the airbox has become such a common place thing for the Austrian brand's 250s.
Spy the GPS sensor on the neck of the frame? Right in front of the gas tank. Also, the whole TLD team is on split clamps right now.
So is Christian Craig at Rockstar Husqvarna.
RJ Hampshire as well.
But not Malcolm Stewart.
Never know what you'll see at Anaheim 1.
Does the SkidSteer Solutions logo look familiar? They were involved with the IBCorp team around five years or so ago, along with their sister brand Eterra. Great to see them back at the races and now with the ClubMX program.
The ClubMX team was one of a few higher-level 250 programs that weren't on electric water pumps last season. They had the option but the parts became available so late and would've required retrofits of all their already built engines and at a higher cost. But for 2023, they're on board.
The Monster Energy Kawasaki crew is always up to something in their pit area. This year, they've gone away from having tool boxes on their benches, and instead have made these custom boxes and mounted them under their work benches. This is something we see from time-to-time in NHRA Drag Racing setups, we're wondering if that's where BigB and the crew got the idea. It's sano and continues to clean up their already top-notch work area.
What was up with the all-white Honda HRC bikes from Saturday?
The team had a photoshoot planned to show off the new look of their XR lineup with some matching full-sized race machines. Sadly, we didn't get to see them on track as press day riding was canceled due to the soft conditions and rain all week. The bikes were returned to their regular look by Saturday morning.
The beard is back! Ben Schiermeyer (AKA SheetMetal) is helping out at the BarX Suzuki squad for the first few rounds of the season. The team has had almost their entire staff move to other gigs so with a fresh group under the tent in 2023, Ben was brought in to give some guidance and lend a helping hand for a bit.
Rocky Mountain ATV-MC still has a presence in 2023, partnering up with the Rides Unlimited KTM program. It's still a small deal but the team is growing. However...we're not sure we're onboard with the number fonts.
What's that little logo on almost every team in the pits grip tape? That's Anchor Tape! Check them out.
Mmmm...Fresh awning! The HRC crew got a new logo early into last season but now everything has been updated with it.
The ole pit cart lineup on the floor of the stadium. Teams typically haul these down first thing in the morning and leave them all day. They have tools, exhausts, wheels, stands, and mostly everything they would need to do a quick parts change from a crash or other easy-to-fix damage.
100% really takes care of their athletes. Bravo Kuzo, bravo.
The Solitaire Yamaha crew has a new title sponsor! HeartBeat Hot Sauce! It's cool to see new brands get into the sport. On top of that, they also brought in German tool maker Wiha tools.
The AEO Powersports KTM team is on the new generation bike this year after spending 2022 on the outgoing bike. Their support from KTM continues to increase and with having ex-Red Bull KTM suspension guru Mark Johnson doing the suspension and chassis work here, along with their excellent engine program... We'd argue this is the best non-factory bike in the field, at the moment.
Do these pit carts look familiar? With the Rockstar Husky crew getting freshies, the AEO team got some sick hand me downs.
J-Mart was originally scheduled to race West, but swapped to East just a week or two before A1. However, his bike is loaded and ready. See you all next weekend from Oakland!