Moto Seat’s rubber seat cover was very tacky, but for traction between the rider’s posterior and the bike, it’s tough to beat
sewn-in pleats. When wet conditons make it difficult to grip the bike, pleated seat covers excel.
companies who offer them. I’m also a firm believer in using hand guards for rocky tracks, cold weather and because I tend to ride very close to hay bales, bushes or whatever else is at the edge of the track. My favorites are Acerbis’ X-Force guards, because they can be set up for large-area and cold-wind blocking or for max ventilation thanks to the removable panels. I also ordered Acerbis footpeg protectors to prevent mud from jamming into the pivot and keeping the pegs up in deep ruts. To keep me planted in the saddle, nothing seems to hold better than seat covers with folds of raised material. Moto Seat obliged with a stylish and grippy pleated cover.
STEP EIGHT: IN CASE YOU HAVEN,T
NOTICED, MY ORIGINAL PLAN OF
BUILDING A BEST-BANG-FOR-THE-
LEAST-BUCKS BIKE HAS SLOWLY GONE
OUT THE WINDOW. IT,S FUNNY WHAT
AN UNLIMITED BUDGET DOES TO THE
Step eight: In case you haven’t noticed, my original plan of building a “best-bang-for-the-least-bucks” bike has slowly gone out the window. It’s funny what an unlimited budget does to the human psyche. So for the final step, I threw cost-effectiveness out the window and chose some functional, high-quality products that I admittedly didn’t need. The two most creative folding levers ever built, in my opinion, were introduced last summer: Renthal’s second-generation Intellilevers and ARC’s unbreak- able composite levers. I’ve been switching back and forth between these two aftermarket levers and stock levers. In the end, I decided on the Renthal Intellilever clutch and the ARC brake lever. I love that Honda finally installed decent pegs on the 2012 CRF450, but I didn’t shed a tear when I replaced them with titanium CRF Stuff footpegs. The stock Honda wheels were in fine condition,
but Dubya’s Kite wheels with Excel A60 rims added strength and plenty of bling factor. I wisely acquired a red anodized Renthal sprocket to match the hubs and added to the style. Works Connection makes an hour meter that is lipstick size and can be ordered with an aluminum mounting bracket. I like the tach function and maximum rpm features—although I never use them. I had Works Connection throw in an anodized dipstick—because I broke the stocker while removing the timing cover—plus one of their new magnetic Pro Launch holeshot devices for dirt starts. As I wrapped up the project, I chose some shiny new Dunlop MX51s, which are best for the widest variety of conditions in SoCal. Although most of my MXA compatriots prefer to run the MX31 front tire, I don’t like the feel of the soft-terrain front because of the knob flex. Lastly, the DeCal Works MXA project-bike graphics called out all the sponsors and gave the bike a custom look.
STEP NINE: AFTER SPENDING SO MANY
HOURS PREPARING AND PORING OVER
THIS PERSONAL PROJECT BIKE, IT WAS
MY BABY. SO WHEN I FINALLY GOT TO
TAKE IT OUT TO THE TRACK FOR THE
FIRST RIDE/RACE, NATURALLY IT WAS
Step nine: After spending so many hours preparing and poring over my personal project bike, I thought of it as my baby. So when I finally got to take it out to the track for the first ride/race, naturally it was pouring rain. I was disappointed not to be able to display my pristine, tricked-out project bike. It may have been caked with 15 pounds of mud, but underneath, I knew it was a gem. How so? Because I had four years of experience with this generation of Honda CRF450. None of my steps were pie in the sky; all were based on hard-earned lessons from the racing circuit. ;