2020 Factory Supercross Bikes—Derek Drake’s KTM 250 SX-F

Supercross rookie’s Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM 250 four-stroke racebike.

Derek Drake is in his rookie season of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, competing in the Western Regional 250SX Class Championship on the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM team.
Derek Drake is in his rookie season of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, competing in the Western Regional 250SX Class Championship on the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM team.Spencer Owens

Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM underwent some changes during the off-season. The team moved out of its race shop in Temecula, California, just across Interstate 15 freeway to KTM North America headquarters in Murrieta, residing in the same building as the 450 race team and inevitably being closer under the watchful eye of Roger DeCoster. The team also signed a completely new roster of riders for 2020, three of whom are rookies.

Drake’s mechanic Hunter Falk gave us some insight on the San Luis Obispo native’s setup prior to the Anaheim 1 series opener.
Drake’s mechanic Hunter Falk gave us some insight on the San Luis Obispo native’s setup prior to the Anaheim 1 series opener.Spencer Owens

One of the factory KTM 250F effort’s first-year Supercross pros is Derek Drake. Hailing from San Luis Obispo, California, Drake made his pro debut in the 2019 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, where he finished 20th overall in the series point standings. The day before his first Monster Energy AMA Supercross race competing in the 250SX class, we asked his mechanic Hunter Falk to give us some insight on the 20-year-old rider’s setup.

The team has switched to Akrapovič exhaust system for 2020.
The team has switched to Akrapovič exhaust system for 2020.Spencer Owens

After using FMF exhaust components since 2014, the team has switched to Akrapovič for 2020, which is the same company that provides the exhaust systems used by Cooper Webb and Marvin Musquin on the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team. The system is constructed completely of titanium, with the header pipe featuring a large resonance chamber. A Kite slave cylinder replaces the stock unit. While many 250 teams in the paddock opt for aftermarket ECUs, TLD uses the standard one, but does some tuning on it for optimum performance.

The TLD team uses stock ECUs and the race technicians at KTM do the mapping for them. Hinson Racing akadizes engine parts such as the ignition cover to prevent wear marks from the rider’s boot and give it a flat, factory finish.
The TLD team uses stock ECUs and the race technicians at KTM do the mapping for them. Hinson Racing akadizes engine parts such as the ignition cover to prevent wear marks from the rider’s boot and give it a flat, factory finish.Spencer Owens

“We run a stock ECU, but the race technicians at KTM do our ECU mapping for us, and our ECU mapping is [specific] for our engine package,” Falk noted. “We also run a factory fuel tank with a smaller cap, and it holds more fuel capacity [than the stock one].”

Hinson Racing provides the clutch components and Billetproof clutch cover. The Upland, California-based company also akadizes the right side case, water pump cover, oil filter cover, and ignition cover to not only give it a flat, factory finish, but in the case of the ignition cover, it also prevents wear marks from the rider’s boot and keeps it looking new for a longer period of time.

In the past, namely last year when the 250 SX-F received new bodywork, some riders preferred to have holes drilled in the airbox cover to allow for more airflow into the engine for a sharper power delivery. The team doesn’t have to do that anymore however, being that the 2020 KTM four-stroke motocross models come stock with an optional perforated airbox cover, which is what both Drake and teammate Brandon Hartranft run on their bikes. Preventing anything but clean air from entering the engine is a Twin Air air filter.

The WP Xact Pro fork and WP Xact Pro shock are tuned by Adam Walters, who is a new face on the team for 2020.
The WP Xact Pro fork and WP Xact Pro shock are tuned by Adam Walters, who is a new face on the team for 2020.Spencer Owens

Replacing the stock WP Xact air fork is a WP Xact Pro fork, which is larger in diameter and features Cone Valve technology. Out back, the standard WP Xact shock is swapped out for a WP Xact Pro shock. The tuning of both units is handled by Adam Walters, who is another new face on the team for 2020.

“This year we went through a change and we got Adam [Walters] on board with us; he came from Pro Circuit,” Falk said. “We run a 52mm fork compared to the production 48mm fork. With that, we run special 52mm triple clamps. We get special steering stops that are aluminum, so when the rider does crash, it doesn’t ruin the triple clamps; it kind of just bends.”

The factory front brake master cylinder and clutch master cylinder are both protected by custom carbon fiber guards to negate damage from roost.
The factory front brake master cylinder and clutch master cylinder are both protected by custom carbon fiber guards to negate damage from roost.Spencer Owens

The Brembo brake calipers are oversize factory pieces that grab onto Moto-Master Flame rotors. The front brake master cylinder and clutch master cylinder are also factory, both of which are protected by custom carbon fiber guards to negate damage from roost. Other carbon fiber components on Drake’s machine include the battery box, skid plate, chain guide, and Acerbis front disc cover. Acerbis also provides the X-Grip frame protectors. The frame color of the 2020 KTM 250 SX-F is black, so the team gets its bikes powdercoated orange like the 450 SX-F Factory Edition models. Although the pullrods look standard, they are not.

There’s no mistaking which team these Raptor titanium footpegs belong to.
There’s no mistaking which team these Raptor titanium footpegs belong to.Spencer Owens

“We run a little bit of a longer pullrod than stock; we’re on a 149[mm] from a 148.2[mm], which is [the] production [length],” Falk noted. “There’s [other] little stuff. We run Raptor footpegs with a special titanium [rear] brake [pedal] tip. We also get a CNC throttle tube from a guy named Nick [who is based] in Tennessee.”

Throttle Syndicate provides the graphics and seat cover, which has Drake’s number sewn on the front, while the sprockets, grips, and handlebar are from Renthal.

“Each guy is a little different,” Falk said. “Derek likes a little bit taller bar with shorter bar mounts, whereas Brandon [Hartranft] has taller bar mounts with taller bars.”

The stock slave cylinder is replaced with a Kite unit.
The stock slave cylinder is replaced with a Kite unit.Spencer Owens

Holding down the front of the bike on starts is a Kite holeshot device. Kite also provides the team with hubs, which are laced to D.I.D DirtStar ST-X rims that are shod with Dunlop race spec tires that are the same sizes as what comes stock on the bike—80/100-21 up front and 110/90-19 in the rear.

For starts, the front end is locked down via a Kite holeshot device.
For starts, the front end is locked down via a Kite holeshot device.Spencer Owens

“For tire choice, my guy likes more of a soft-terrain [front] tire, but he actually prefers it on soft and hard terrain, so we will adjust the front tire pressure accordingly. If it’s harder packed, we like to put more air pressure in. When it’s softer, we tend to go with a lower air pressure.”