This bike is fast. All the more surprising because JGR said
that they focused on smoothness over brute force.
Justin uses NK SFS air-suspended triple clamps. They offer
10mm of movement at the bar mounts.
The right side of Justin’s YZ450F houses the throttle, two-way
map switch and red launch control button.
factory Honda team uses the billet-aluminum front brake
caliper, and Barcia had become accustomed to its stopping performance during his tenure at Honda. JGR bit the
bullet and ordered six calipers. Truth be told, Barcia is
the only rider on the team to run the works part.
Weston Peick and Phil Nicoletti prefer the feel of
the 2007 Yamaha YZ450F caliper, which is commonly
used by Yamaha race teams. The works Nissin front
brake caliper was mated with a Galfer steel-braided
line and Galfer 280mm floating rotor.
WHAT’S THE MOST UNIQUE PART ON
BARCIA’S BIKE? Choosing one part would do an
injustice to the team. The JGR motocross shop is
conveniently located next to its NASCAR race shop. The
motocross team has open access to all of the NASCAR
team’s advanced tooling machines and the latest
computer-aided design software. JGR’s engineering whiz,
Spencer Bloomer, drew up plans for JGR’s footpegs,
shifter tips, adjustable subframes, pull rods, rear brake
pedal tips, skid plates and footpeg shields using CAD-CAM software. Did we mention that Bloomer also spins
wrenches for Phil Nicoletti and maintains JGR’s many
tracks? To work for JGR requires wearing many different
hats. In no particular order is a list of the most unique
parts on Justin Barcia’s YZ450F.
(1) Footpegs. JGR invested thousands of dollars
developing its very own footpegs. Similar in appearance
to factory Honda pegs, the JGR pegs allow the team to
mount the footpegs in different locations. Barcia likes
his JGR titanium footpegs located 5mm back from the
standard position. Weston Peick and Phil Nicoletti both
prefer their pegs 3mm lower and 5mm back.
( 2) Shifter tip. The shifter arm is a stock part, while
the shifter tip is considerably longer and aggressively
knurled for easier shifting. We should point out that JGR
uses a GYTR billet ignition cover. Narrower than the
stock cover, it leaves a 1-inch gap where rocks can get
stuck between the cover and shifter arm. JGR bends the
shift arm in a press so that it sits closer to the engine.
( 3) Rear brake pedal tip. JGR ditched the stock
aluminum rear brake pedal tip, which can get bent in
a crash, for a titanium tip. It is slightly larger and has
sharper teeth for a more tactile feel.
( 4) Shock link. JGR sells an adjustable pull rod that
is very effective at changing the rising rate. Barcia’s bike
comes with the adjustable link, but also incorporates a
rear shock hold-down clamp. It locks the shock down to
keep the rear end tracking off the starting line and comes
unclasped once the shock is compressed. The holeshot
link was proven successful, evidenced by Barcia’s 11
holeshots during the 450 National series.
WHAT DOES JUSTIN BARCIA LIKE IN TERMS
OF BIKE SETUP? Truth be told, neither Barcia nor JGR
knew what the two-time 250 East Supercross Champion
needed. It didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to deduce that
Barcia was uncomfortable on the YZ450F at first. To
quote Jeremy Albrecht, “We thought we knew what he
wanted. All he wanted to do in the beginning was make
the bike slower. It wasn’t the right direction, but we
didn’t know it at the time, so we went down that road.
At Anaheim 2 we raced with the stock cylinder head. It
wasn’t the best setting, but he rode it well. Naturally, he
didn’t get a good start at that race. A smoother engine
with more power is what he needed. When you’re not
winning, you tend to go in circles trying to find the
magic setting. Unfortunately, he didn’t know us that well
and we didn’t know him, either. We followed him in the
direction that he wanted to go until he agreed to let us
help.” JGR and Barcia stuck it out, and things worked
out in the end.