The opening round of the Rekluse/AMA National Enduro Series saw an interesting mix of machinery fill the top 10 in the final standings. Motorcycle manufacturers are offering more choices than ever when it comes to off-road hardware, and the top riders in the business seem to be having a difficult time deciding what to ride. Here’s a look at some of the bikes populating the pro class in the national enduro series.
For really tight eastern enduro racing you can’t find much better than the KTM 250 two-stroke. Just ask Russell Bobbitt and Brad Bakken, first and second in the first race of the year at the tight and sandy Sandlapper National Enduro. It’s light, nimble and powerful. Too bad two-strokes are the ones getting the bad rap these days. Bobbitt’s been running the same setup for years, and he knows what he likes. As far as personal preference items and feel, Russell changes his gearing from stock, going with a 13-51 combo instead of the standard 14-50 setup. He also likes to run a solid rear brake rotor, which gives him a more progressive feel. Russell stands up more than any other rider on the circuit (he feels he gets through the turns faster when he’s standing), and his low 999 bars give him better feel when he’s up on the pegs. Of course, factory KTM is backed by FMF and you’ll find a special FMF prototype pipe on the bike with a TurbineCore 2 muffler that’s been reinforced for the extra abuse these guys shell out. Suspension is Factory Connection and Bobbitt runs a Rekluse manual clutch (the factory KTM guys are testing a Rekluse automatic application).
Bobbitt’s factory KTM teammate, Cory Buttrick, rides the new 350 XCF. Buttrick’s bike has a lot of the same accessories as Bobbitt’s bike, like an FMF exhaust system and Renthal products. Buttrick runs a special triple clamp with adjustable off-set, running it at 19mm for enduro and 22mm for GNCC. There is also an inline coolant sensor on Buttrick’s bike instead of the stocker that’s mounted on the engine, since there have been cases of debris snapping off the stock one. Buttrick also runs a front fender mount off one of the older models. Like Bobbitt, C-Butt runs the Rekluse manual clutch.
Mullins started the off-season on the 350 XCF but switched to the 450 SXF because he felt his style required the bigger motor. Hotrod runs the stock SX fuel tank and he runs MX hand guards instead of bark busters because he likes to keep his GNCC setup and his enduro setup pretty close to the same so he’s not adjusting to a different feel when he goes from one series to the other. The bike has the same adjustable off-set triple clamps as Buttrick and also the same Rekluse manual clutch.
In 2010, eight-time national enduro champ Michael Lafferty jumped ship, going from KTM to Husaberg. He then spent his time switching back and forth between the FE390 and the FE450. Over the winter Junior rode one of the 570s and fell in love with it, so in South Carolina he showed up on a FE570 and finished third! Lafferty is an aggressive rider and he likes the power of the big motor. Factory Connection does the suspension on the bike and he runs FMF exhaust instead of the factory Akrapovic. He also runs all of the Husaberg “Parts and Wear” items like special covers, levers. Mike runs a G2 throttle tube and has an assortment of Enduro Engineering goodies such as brush deflectors. Like a lot of guys in the enduro series, Lafferty runs a TM Designs chain guide and his bars are Renthal 999.
Am Pro Yamaha’s Thad DuVall was running a YZ250F with an Athena 290cc kit on it. DuVall runs a 450 in GNCC competition and team manager Randy Hawkins says that DuVall will run the 450 in the “more wide open” western enduro races. DuVall and the rest of the Am Pro team use Kenda tires, as well. Some of the other aftermarket goodies adorning the Yammy include EBC brakes, Factory Connection suspension, Pro Taper controls, Cycra hand guards, FMF exhaust, IMS tank, Fastway pegs and EK chains. Pro Wheels is a new sponsor in 2011. DuVall also uses a Zip-Ty Racing triple clamp with 17mm off-set.
Northern California’s Jordan Brandt is riding a Gas Gas in this year’s series after riding a BMW last year. Brandt chose the 300 two-stoke, which is a cool looking bike. Most of Brandt’s bike is stock, however there are a few modifications like the suspension, which is done by Dick’s Racing, plus Brandt uses a LeoVince exhaust system. He also has the extra rear brake master cylinder reservoir, which increases the capacity of fluid in the system. An Ironman rear sprocket and Hammerhead brake and shift levers complete the package.