For a young motocrosser, going with the flow in the 65cc class means riding a KTM. Any other course is a lot of work, but there are always those who swim upstream. Some folks just like doing things differently, but in the case of Chase Bell, the reason is sponsorship. Getting a Kawasaki Team Green ride on a 65cc machine equals a foot in the door of a great organization that has built many champions. If that means fighting the good fight on a KX65, then so be it. But Team Green, Pro Circuit and the Bell family have no desire to be also-ran, back-of-the-pack people. So this group came up with a plan: Be competitive at all costs.
The first prong of the attack was to seriously beef up the suspension with a PC-modified Ohlins shock that is 3mm longer than stock, has a larger shaft, piston, shock body, and reservoir and also adjustable compression and rebound damping instead of just rebound like the stocker. In short, this is a modern shock, and it is helped in its work by PC linkage pull-rods. Replacement was in order for the fork, too. An aftermarket Marzocchi inverted fork with gold Ti-Nitrate coating features vastly less flex, better (cartridge-type) damping control and superior triple-clamp strength. Naturally, these parts were reworked by PC. A Renthal bar and a taller seat rounded out the chassis mods.Next on the list came a full-race engine, with another of the PC departments handling the mods. The cylinder and head were ported and polished to work with a PC pipe and silencer. V-Force was called on for the reed cage. The whole package was spiffed up with new graphics and the bike was ready to roll.
We had a limited time for our small-bore ace Robbie Wageman to put the bike through its paces since we had to return it in time for Bell to qualify for the major amateur nationals. Bell was near the end of his career on 65s since he was about to turn 12, so he really needed the tall seat. Wageman did not need or like the seat, but that was the limit of his complaints. He felt that the handling and power were equal to his KTM. It took very little time for him to come to grips with the little green monster, and he was able to ride it hard with confidence. The power comes on hard and sharp, but that is fairly common with highly tuned small-bore two-strokes. Bell is a little taller and heavier, but the suspension worked fine with much better control and bottoming resistance than a stock bike, or even one with highly modified stock components.In the months after our test, Chase Bell finished second at the Ponca City NMA Nationals, then won both the MX and SX titles at the Florida Mini Olympics! Bell has since successfully moved on to the 85cc class. And even though the KX65 is enough mini-cycle for most kids to race up the intermediate level, this proves that if you want to win on a KX65 at any level, you can if you know the way to Pro Circuit. Yes, this is a mini works bike and you can drool over it and buy it!