Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need an off-road bike to compete in EnduroCross. Many modern motocross bikes, such as this ’08 Suzuki RM250 two-stroke, are only a few steps away from being rocky-race ready, thanks mostly to their low weight, nimble handling, easy starting and snappy power. With a relatively minimal amount of modification, the Suzuki MXer was transformed into what many would consider to be the ultimate privateer EnduroCross bike.
1.Race Tech Suspension: Valved for a 155- pound off-road expert, this plush setup rides way smoother over obstacles than stock, yet still takes harder hits and big drops. As Borat would say, “Very nice!”
2. T.M. Design Works Chain Slide-N-Guide: Metal bends, plastic doesn’t. Enough said.
3. Guts Step-Seat And Gripper Cover: When getting your feet to the pegs isn’t really an option, a gripper step-seat can do wonders for bike control. This foam was custom cut for less height in the rear.
4. Steahly Flywheel Weight: A heavyweight flywheel is a must for slow, lugging conditions. The 10-ounce weight works well for Enduro Cross applications.
5. Fastway/Pro Moto Billet Guards (bark busters, hand shields, rear disc guard and brake snake): Arm yourself…the rocks are coming!
6. ProTaper Controls (bar, grips and sprockets): This Woods-Hi Bend bar is higher and narrower than stock, and the heavy-duty 13/51 gearing combo offers a bit better pull off the bottom.
7. Works Connection Radiator Braces, EZ Holeshot, Skid Plate, Rear Caliper Guard And Frame Guards: It’s possible to protect your bike too much (read: heavy), but a minimal assortment of guards will save you money in the long run. Also, the holeshot holder is mandatory for a good start!
8. Dunlop Tires: Traction is a must, and good rubber is essential for traction. This 742F front and D803 trials rear combo works well on everything from loose boulders to deep sand.
9. 18-inch Rear Wheel: If you can mount an 18-inch trials tire on a 19-inch stock wheel, you’re either very good at changing tires or very strong. For those of us who are neither, a smaller wheel is key.
10. FMF Gnarly Pipe, PowerCore Silencer And Graphics: Some of those logs are pretty big, and a little extra bark goes a long way in getting over them. And yes, the graphics do add an extra bit of horsepower.
Interview: David Knight
America’s Latest Off-Road Champ (Who Isn’t American)
Dirt Rider: How’s the year been so far?
David Knight: Juha Salminen definitely raised the bar in the GNCC series, and as a European I was always aware that none of the U.S. riders were going to want to get beaten by me, so I was expecting to have a fight on my hands. I wasn’t expecting the year to be quite as challenging as it was, but things worked out in the end. My priority was always to win the U.S. GNCC series this year, so it was hard to really prepare myself for the first two rounds of the EnduroCross series because of my cross-country schedule.
In EnduroCross things have gone well, as I’ve won both of the opening rounds without too many problems. Everyone knows that I enjoy the challenge of competing in indoor events, and because of my previous successes there’s a fair bit of pressure on me to perform.
Now that I’ve wrapped up the GNCC championship, I have the time to really prepare myself properly for the Las Vegas final, which I’m really looking forward to. I think that, having won the first two rounds, a lot of people are looking at me to make a clean sweep of the series and collect the $50K prize. Of course, I’ll try my best to win the event but anything can happen when you’re racing indoors. I’d love to take home the money, but if I don’t win, I won’t be too disappointed. I got the GNCC championship.
DR: And you’re doing it on a four-stroke.