David Knight, Ricky Dietrich, Brandan Larson and Others - Dirt Rider Magazine

It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. For instance, motorcycles that have a motohead drooling uncontrollably may leave an off-road guy snoozing. Intense but relatively compact and brief motos demand different strengths and setups than the usually much longer and terrain-based contests that make up off-road racing. No way is outright performance ignored, but it is tempered by the all-important need to finish. In the name of finishing, off-road's most lovely weapons are clothed in protective armor that would weigh down MX missiles. And pains are taken to make sure moderate repairs can be made midrace, if necessary, to salvage a finish from a mechanical disaster. A loss of a few minutes for repair need not be fatal in a race that lasts between hours and days.The technology wave front, however, rolls with motocross, so despite the differing needs it is no surprise that much of the innovation proven on the track is modified or adapted until it is viable in off-road. The trickle-down from MX to off-road is very apparent in the appearance of high-end, factory-backed machines, and works suspension has definitely arrived. To see what was hot in the desert and quick in the woods, we rounded up a variety of winning riders and their devastatingly effective machines for some quality photo time. From these photos, you will probably learn something that will help you set up your own off-road weapon, and if you are a dirt rider with a jones too big for a track, your eyes will also see beauty here.David Knight:
I'm just over the moon with our setup this year. We all put in a lot of effort, and it shows in the results. Now that Juha is gone from GNCC , it is my job to step up and do my best for the whole KTM team.Gary Sutherlin:
I believe our bike is the best out there. The Pro Circuit Works Showa suspension is definitely better than what anyone else has. You can tell I believe in the bike. Since RD is still healing, I raced today. I'm glad I don't have to go as fast or as long as he does! The reason Ricky's so much better is because he's so picky about bike setup. He's got a unique riding style and unique ergonomic preferences. upper-body physique and bar setup are unique. And I also ride, so that helps with setup. He knows what he likes, and we spend a lot of time finding the right setup; and when we find it, he wins.Ricky Dietrich:
My KX450F is the coolest bike because I roll my handlebar back the farthest . Actually, I love the look with the Monster Energy graphics. My bike is green and black with number ones on the number plates-all my favorite things!Jonathan Weisman:
We fight. We have fun with it, and it kinda works; and for the record, the one who does all the nagging. Everyone tells us, "You guys fight like husband and wife." He plays the wife role. We've been together three years. We argue nonstop but always laugh about it. Our testing is so great because we just try to make every part of this process fun and know how lucky we are. Attention to detail is important. Kawasaki makes sure we have everything we need. The whole team gets along really well. Jason makes sure we have what we need. We take the time to go that extra mile, and all the details are taken care of, and Destry knows when he gets to the line he has nothing to worry about but focusing on the race.Destry Abbott:
The best things about my bike are that it works great and Jonny built it. My bike is right up there with the best bikes racing. The five-speed transmission we have for 2007 is a huge help. Even when you don't need to go faster than the bike goes in fourth, clicking fifth and riding a gear high in the fast rough is great!Brandon Larson:
KTMs are great to work with because they are ready to race right out of the box. Then we get to add such great quality factory parts. Working with a proven champion like Mike is great, but I am new to the enduro series, so it is a new adventure every weekend.Mike Lafferty:
I've been on KTMs for 13 years, and they really work well for me. I chose the 450 because it is so easy to ride. It is set up perfectly for me. The riding position is stretched out, and the bike is tall, which makes life easy for my legs. That way it fits me and suits my riding style. It turns really well, and that is important in the racing that I do.David Pearson:
I've only been riding a four-stroke for a year, basically. We have the engine working a lot better this year. My hare & hound bike is a 525 with a 540 big-bore kit with a cam that lets it rev better. We upgraded to works suspension for 2007, and it stays up on top of the whoops better and doesn't kick around at all. The 610 I rode with Chris Blais in Mexico has a lot of torque. You can come out of turns a gear high, and it will pull no problem. The suspension was modified stock WP with a setup splitting the difference between Blais' weight and mine, and it still worked really well.Chris Blais:
The 610 is based on some big-engine bikes that the KTM rally department built. The 610 is one of the smallest-displacement ones, but it is super-fast. Too fast for some courses, but nothing can run with it!Cody Proctor:
I like working on KTMs because they work really well from the factory. We just concentrate on dialing it in for rider preference. Working with Captain America is good because he is experienced. As a racer, he's done all of his growing up, and he knows what he needs to do. Plus, we were friends before we started working together, so we have a good time.Kurt Caselli:
I like my bike because it isn't like any other bike out there. It isn't a Japanese bike, and Austria is soon going to take over!Barry Hawk:
I think we all work very hard together to do what we have to do. My Yamaha does great, and my mechanic has made sure that we have it set up perfectly for what I want. I feel strong this year, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the season.Doug Whittier:
Our team is solid; not much has changed for the 2007 season. Barry and I were actually friends before we started the racing thing together, and we are still friends, so it's a great partnership. We are like two brothers. A lot of things we learned last year were brought over to the bike this year. Whatever worked well last year, we stayed with. Barry is pickiest about his control setup. He knows what he wants, and we really dial in the bike to his liking.Bobby Garrison:
The best thing about my Yamaha YZ450F is the suspension. Everyone on the team tests suspension; Ty Davis keeps testing suspension year-round. He has all the necessary suspension equipment at the shop and we all weigh about the same, so any improvements are fast, and they just keep improving consistently.Charles Jirsa:
Our motors are super smooth and reliable, but my favorite thing is how great the bikes look. They stand out above all the other bikes at the races. The whole look with the graphics and blue race rims is nice, but then we have the other little billet Zip-Ty Racing parts in contrasting colors. The whole look really comes together.Jonathan "HoodIE" Lower:
I get paid by Ryan, not by Suzuki, so I can say what I want about the bike-but I think this new Suzuki is as good as any bike. It holds up under a rider like Ryno, so it should be great for the average guy, and those are the ones paying for the sport, right? For GPs and long races, the Suzuki is easy to ride and handles well. And things that are problems on some four-strokes-like valve life-aren't a problem with the Suzuki.Ryan Hughes:
The best thing about my bike is that the engine is stock! For WORCS racing, you need a bike that is easy to ride and reliable more than you need one with a lot of power. With the FMF pipe, the bike is fast enough, and RG3 has it handling great. I feel it is the best bike here.