This time we headed east to North Carolina to ride at
the Joe Gibbs Racing compound. The bike? A special
JGR/Cycra machine that is as close to a factory bike
as one can get. As excited as we were to hit the North
Carolina clay, we were also a bit nervous. Nothing JGR
team owner Coy Gibbs does is small. Coy built JGR’s
outdoor track to challenge his sponsored riders Josh
Grant and Justin Brayton. As we walked around the track
in the middle of the North Carolina forest, our hands
started to sweat as the nerves kicked in. The jumps were
enormous. The turns were technical, and the track was
knee-deep in churned-up red clay.
Our hearts skipped a beat as the JGR crew pulled out
our test bike. This JGR/Cycra Racing YZ450F was a work
of art. From the outside, the Cycra Powerflow plastic with
retro-designed graphics were on point. Cycra’s special
plastic not only makes the bulbous YZ450F narrower, it
improves airflow into the top-mounted airbox.
The YZ450F engine produced 63-plus horsepower, only
3 ponies short of JGR’s national bikes. Why not 66 horsepower for us? JGR toned it down for reliability purposes,
plus 63 was more ponies than we could handle anyway.
The suspension and chassis were set up very similar to
Josh Grant’s bike, except that it lacked a few factory
internal parts in the suspension.
JGR made it possible for us to change the geometry of
the YZ450F with easy mods. JGR installed its own adjustable subframe, which we set at 10mm lower than stock.
We knew this was as low as we could go, because under
the rear fender was a black rubber stripe from the tire
hitting it so much. JGR also added adjustable pull rods
that can be lengthened from 142mm to 146mm. We set
it at 144mm. For improved cornering, 20mm-offset rub-
ber-mounted Ride Engineering clamps were installed.
The list of changes and modifications to the engine
alone would take up a whole page. Suffice it to say that
the majority of the mods and aftermarket parts came
from JGR Racing and Yamaha’s in-house GYTR accessory
division. Bottom line, this engine has more power than
most mere mortals can handle, and what’s even better,
any mortal can buy this 63-horsepower workhorse.
What we will go into detail about is the GET ignition
with the GPA adjustable knob. Everyone has heard of
traction control in cars, which ensures optimum traction
by keeping the wheels from burning rubber. This
technology has been illegal under AMA regulations for
decades, but it is a rule that has never been enforced
because the race team tuners are smarter than the AMA
tech inspectors. Finally, the AMA gave up and made
production traction control legal.
The GET GPA knob is adjustable traction control. You
can even adjust it on the fly. Can anyone use one? Yes,
but the technicians at JGR said that it took them a
grueling six months of testing to dial theirs in. They com-
mented that the process is very complicated to get right.
Does traction control help? The GET device has a
dial that goes from 0 to 10. On 0, the engine is at full
power. The more you turn the dial, the more the ignition
The GET device is JGR’s way of adding traction control. The
GET adjustable dial can be tailored to our liking on the fly.
JGR’s adjustable pull rod is offered to the public. It can be
adjusted from 142mm to 146mm. Talk about a good deal.
The JGR-built 63 pony engine had more power than any
mortal could handle. Lucky for us it had traction control.