Ounces Of Prevention

With Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Olly Stone

Photo by Pete Peterson

We’ve recently covered some low or no-cost factory setups, and we found several more. These are focused on preventing issues during a race, and this batch comes courtesy of Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers’ mechanic Olly Stone, whose simple setup tips range from basic to exotic, but none of them are pricey or completely out of reach.

Keep up with Olly and the team's riders and other mechanics at procircuit.com.

“Most aftermarket clutch perches these days—we use the ARC clutch perch setup—have nylon bushings so, if you crash, the clutch perch will move rather than break off. I know a lot of guys overtighten the perch to the point that if it moves during a big crash, you can’t actually hit it back into position. We tested and found a torque so it won’t fall down when Tyler goes over a triple, but if he does crash and it moves, he can knock it back with his hand into position. The clutch perch needs to be as far over to the right so that when the lever is engaged, the handlebar would hit the ground before the lever does—otherwise you’re going to break the lever off. Also, I feel that when the clutch perch is farther away from the end of the handlebar you get more leverage and the clutch pull actually feels lighter.” Notice there’s no kill switch, and the holeshot map selector is as far over to the right as possible. That’s because Tyler will hit them with his body while taking off and landing from jumps and on the start line. He still hits the map selector switch where it is here but not long enough to engage a different map.Photo by Pete Peterson
Notice that the kill switch is tucked under the throttle housing since touching it even briefly would cause the motor to cut out. The brake perch is torqued just like the clutch perch. Also notice there’s only one piece of safety wire on the grip because Tyler doesn’t want to feel any safety wire. Olly says, “He asked if we could use no locking wire at all, which is a first for me, but I put a piece of wire directly on the inside where you don’t feel anything.” Olly says about the throttle tube, “Obviously the throttle tube can’t touch the end of the handlebar; it would stick. So you have to offset a couple millimeters. Now to make the handlebar and throttle in line, you have to offset the handlebar in the mount to the other side, so when you measure from the end of the handlebar to the center, it’s exactly the same for each side. I put the throttle tube on with the housing until it touches the handlebar and then just back it off so the throttle’s free and doesn’t stick.”Photo by Pete Peterson
Countershaft: On pre-2015 KX-Fs and Pro Circuit’s race transmissions, a circlip—not a bolt—secures the countershaft sprocket. “You can actually move the circlip with your finger, and that’s just another possibility for it to come off and cause a DNF. So here we silicone it on just to cover ourselves.”Photo by Pete Peterson
Rear Brake Caliper: "Tyler Bowers is a big ol’ boy; he drags the rear brake somewhat. It’s something we tested with Dean Wilson last year because he destroyed the rear brake. We just machined a hole in the center of the caliper to relieve some of the heat. Just to draw as much cool air into the caliper as possible to stop it from fading during the moto. It’s also a cool thing because outdoors, when you're washing your bike, you can wash the mud out from inside the pad that gets stuck in there, so it’s always clean and the wheel spins free." For a mud race they don't cover the hole, but, "We'd use solid rotors and a harder-compound brake pad."Photo by Pete Peterson
Rear Brake Piston: "We machine our piston to allow for more airflow as well. Everything’s about airflow and keeping things cool." The front brake does not use drilled pistons (but they are ceramic) nor a hole drilled into to caliper.Photo by Pete Peterson