budget, but our ultimate goal was to turn the TC85’s
negatives into positives.
WHAT OUR MINI MXA GANG DIDN’T LIKE
AND HOW WE FIXED IT
(1) Engine. To be honest, there wasn’t much that
our mini riders didn’t like about the engine. In stock
trim, it produces the most horsepower in its class.
Every test rider rated it first in the “best powerband”
and “broadest powerband” categories over its KX85,
YZ85 and KTM 85 rivals (even though the KTM 85 is
a virtual twin). But, there was room for improvement.
We wanted to find a simple power improvement that
would still allow us to run pump gas without sacrific-
ing durability. We installed a Husky Power head and
Husky Power-tuned FMF pipe and silencer. The Husky
Power head uses a variable combustion chamber
that has different domes that can be switched out to
produce different ranges of power. We opted for the
“MX” insert to increase compression for more boost.
The FMF pipe and Shorty silencer livened up the bot-
tom end. The combination of these two bolt-on parts
made the TC85 bark, increasing the power throughout
the entire curve.
( 2) Suspension. We have realized over the past
few years that the WP shock body’s aluminum walls
have been getting thinner and thinner. We actually
had the bottom of the shock blow out. We installed
a Fox Podium RC2 rear shock and mated it to Fox
MX-C cartridges for the forks. For the final touch, we
had mini bike suspension specialist NOST dial in both
ends. The Fox/NOST combination solved our reliability
problems and provided a smoother yet more
progressive feel over the stock components.
( 3) Cooling. The TC85 plastic water pump impeller
has been known to break from time to time. This is
where Nihilo Concepts’ high-volume water pump kit
came to the rescue. The Nihilo impeller is made from
billet aluminum and is 40 percent larger. We also
eliminated the stock Ys in the radiator hoses by
installing a Moto Hose complete hose kit. Its Y-section
is molded into the hose itself.
( 4) Bar length. Our mini test riders complained
that the TC85 bars felt too wide. We went with
stronger and narrower 1-1/8-inch Mika handlebars.
While the bars were off, we also installed Husky
Power PHDS (Progressive Handlebar Damping System)
bar mounts, which softened vibration.
( 5) Rear brake caliper. The TC85 rear brake
calipers have a tendency to go through caliper seals
on a regular basis, plus many of our mini riders
wanted rear braking power that matched the powerful
front. Nihilo Concepts makes a rear brake carrier
that allows you to run a full-size, big-bike rear brake
caliper. With this change, the rear brake offers five-star
( 6) Footpegs. We went with wider Husky Power
( 7) Seat cover. As with all the Huskys, the TC85
seat cover is slippery as ice. While the seat cover
was off, we lowered the seat 15mm by adding Husky
Power’s low seat foam and covered it with a RAD
Custom Graphics grippy seat cover (we also used
RAD’s graphics kit).
( 8) Wheels. We had no major issues with the stock
TC85 wheels, but we needed a spare set for racing.
We put our trust in the RAD wheels. They laced up
their own CNC-machined billet aluminum hubs, paired
with Excel rims and heavy-duty spokes.