Pro Wrenching Tip—Preparing For Tight Woods Riding

Advice from Tely Energy Racing KTM mechanic Garrett Ward

Ward puts a zip-tie across the area to deflect vegetation.
The slot made by the gap between the number plate and handlebar creates a place where vines and limbs can get trapped. Ward puts a zip-tie across the area to deflect vegetation.Shan Moore

The Kenda AMA National Enduro Series is known for its tight trails and primo single-track, and most of the teams set up their bikes with tight woods in mind. Grant Baylor is one of the best when it comes to navigating the tight stuff, and his Tely Energy Racing KTM mechanic Garrett Ward gave us a few tips for preparing your dirt bike for tight woods riding and racing.

According to Ward, Baylor is notorious for taking the turns tight and plowing through some of the brush, and one of the concerns is that he will get a vine of a branch caught between the number plate and handlebar.

Teflon tape under the clutch perch and front brake perch.
Another trick is to use Teflon tape under the clutch perch and front brake perch so they can rotate instead of break if you catch one with a tree.Shan Moore

“We put a zip-tie [between the Bark Busters and number plate] because at the National Enduros you’re going through little saplings and everything, and they’ll catch you right between the Bark Busters and number plate,” Ward said. “[Baylor has] had issues with debris going between the handlebar and the fork cap, and it’ll drag you to the ground. So with the zip-tie there, it kind of just deflects [stuff] away instead of it jamming in there. With that little void blocked off, Grant can pretty much just pop through trees and not worry about it.”

Another concern is catching a tree or limb with a clutch or brake lever and breaking it. Ward has a fix for that as well.

“We run a piece of Teflon tape under the clutch perch and brake perch,” Ward said. “That way if he falls, the lever would slide on the material and rotate up or down instead of breaking. Then you can just bang it back up instead of snapping the lever or bending everything.”