ODI Podium CFT MX Handlebars-Ricky Carmichael Edition RC4 Bend
One of the benefits of being one of the best motocross racers in human history is creating your own specific bar bend. Ricky Carmichael has been with ODI team since the RCH Suzuki Supercross team, and now he has come up with his own updated version of the RC bend for ODI. The RC4 bend is available in both the Podium Flight (no crossbar) and Podium CFT (crossbar with damping). We got our hands on the CFT version to test out on our 2020 Honda CRF250R.
ODI CFT MX RC4 Bend Handlebars Features:
- MSRP: $134.95
- 1 1/8" clamp diameter (requires "oversized" triple clamps or bar mounts)
- Signature Edition RC4 Graphics
- Knurled left slide helps with grip bar adhesion
- Constructed of 2014-T6 alloy for added strength
- Includes High density RC4 Signature Edition foam bar pad
- RC4 Bend Developed by Ricky himself
These are some nice looking bars. The black bar and bar pad are set off nicely by the Kashima-inspired hardware for the crossbar. Also, the RC4 and ODI logos look sweet with the white and red accents. I feel like the black/bronze/white/red combo would look good on any bike. To make it a little more Honda-y I threw on the red/white Emig Pro V2 Lock-On grips that have bronze highlights as well.
No surprises here, they are just oversize handlebars. Since the stock Honda bar is 1-1/8th, I didn’t have to get new bar clamps. The bar might actually be a tiny bit thicker than the stock Renthal bar because just placing the Podium CTF in the low bar clamps, it was a really tight fit and the bar doesn’t roll loosely around. When adjusting exactly where I wanted the bar to be, all four bar clamp bolts were completely loose and I still had to muscle it into position. At a pretty standard 200mm of control area, there is plenty of room for all the standard controls and still room for handguards if that’s your style.
On The Track
To find the perfect bar bend for RC, ODI actually started with their McGrath bend and started making tweaks from there. They are the same width (805mm) but the new RC4 bend is one millimeter higher at 78mm and has 5mm more rise at 45mm. But, there is a tiny bit less sweep at 54mm.
At 5’9” ish, I think I’m pretty middle-of-the-road height for most moto guys and though Ricky is 5’6”, the bars don’t feel too low or too far forward to me. Modern moto bar bends have been trending flatter and lower with less sweep for a while and these are in that same category. Compared to the stock Honda bend, I feel like the RC4 bend puts me in a better cornering position and I can get my weight forward more easily.
We’ve reviewed the ODI Podium CFT bars in the past, but here is a quick overveiw. The crossbar is not solid - it is a two-piece design that has an elastomer damper between the two sections. This allows for a certain amount of controlled flex that is neither too rigid, nor too floppy. This elastomer also has a vibration-damping effect that isn’t present with non-crossbar 1-1/8th bars. On the track, you notice that the bars smooth out the really sharp hits but still remain precise and give you complete control.
The only downside to these bars for me is that I visually prefer a non-crossbar handlebar. The crossbar and pad are a little distracting and make the front of the bike seem bulkier than it needs to be. But this is a personal idiosyncrasy, not really a fault of the bar.
If you are on the vertically challenged side of the spectrum or just prefer a flatter, lower, straighter bar bend, the new RC4 signature bend from ODI might be just right for you. Also, if you want to get a little more cushion from your bars without going to more expensive bar mount systems (like the Xtrig PHDS) the Podium CFT bars are a good bet. Lastly, if you are just a fan of Ricky and want sweet looking handlebars, you just have to get these!
Signature Edition RC4 Graphics
Knurled left slide helps with grip bar adhesion
Constructed of 2014-T6 alloy for added strength
Includes High density RC4 Signature Edition foam bar pad
RC4 Bend Developed by Ricky himself