Pro Wrenching Tip—Preparing Your Bike for Hard Enduro

Ways to make your bike better suited for the toughest of trails and terrain.

Hard enduro is an extremely challenging form of racing, both on riders and machinery. Most modern dirt bikes come fairly well prepared for the worst of conditions. However, there are a few things one can do to further protect a bike from the rocks and elements encountered in the toughest of terrain and conditions.

At the recent IRC Endurofest in Haleiwa, Hawaii, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team mechanic Andrew Bauer showed us some of the little tricks he uses on his rider Colton Haaker’s TE 300 to protect it from the elements found on the course, and to give Haaker an advantage on the trail in case he has a problem. Here’s Bauer explaining his tips, including some parts his rider is particular about.

“First off, we run kickstands for hard enduros,” Bauer said. “We have parts and tools hidden throughout the bike. Plus, there are tools in their backpacks, so if one of our riders does bend or break a shifter, lever, or brake pedal, they can stop, put the bike on a kickstand, grab the tools out, and fix what they need to continue on with the race.”Shan Moore
“One place I hide tools is in the bar pad. I carve out the ProTaper bar pad and put a pair of dykes in there. I have a spare shifter zip-tied inside of the frame and he can use the dykes to replace them. Also, in the airbox, I have a full rear brake pedal assembly ready to go. Then in his backpack, there will be a spare set of levers along with a couple minor tools to fix whatever on the track.”Shan Moore
“You want to take every precaution possible for hard enduro. We don’t have a problem with these, but I made a special custom bracket for the back of the front number plate. So if something does happen and they crash, there’s extra stability on the back side so it doesn’t break, since it’s made of plastic.”Shan Moore
“We run a reinforced clutch perch assembly to avoid breaking it in case they do fall or crash. Just one more modification for safety reasons to make sure they make it to the finish.”Shan Moore
“We use a new rear brake disc guide from a company called Hunt Racing Products, which makes a thicker rear brake disc guide to help protect against rocks, trees, or anything that might bend the rear brake rotor.”Shan Moore
“For hard enduro, both of our Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory riders [Colton Haaker and Ryder LeBlond] run a smaller brake tip from Enduro Engineering because obviously, with the trees, logs, ruts, roots, and waterfalls, you want to keep it as confined, close, and compact as possible so you don’t get hung up on something where it will throw the bike left, right, down a hill, and back down into a valley.”Shan Moore
“The bibs inside of Colton’s tires, surprisingly enough, are the same setup he runs for EnduroCross. It’s maybe a little bit more drilled out and very used, to make it much softer for hard enduro.”Shan Moore
“Colton is very specific on his ARC levers. It’s kind of referred to as the ‘Colton lever’ in the shop because it was something that ARC developed specifically for him. It’s not their normal folding lever for the clutch. It’s actually a one-piece, but a sturdier one-piece. It helps a lot with the feel that Colton likes and reaction with the clutch. The front brake lever is a regular folding ARC lever, but it’s thin.”Shan Moore
Rockstar Energy Factory Racing team mechanic Andrew Bauer is a veteran of supercross and off-road wrenching, and is charged with keeping Colton Haaker’s hard enduro and EnduroCross bikes in top racing form.Shan Moore