You can't call a machine race-ready until it has a high-quality steering stabilizer. I've suffered two fractured wrists to confirm this statement and have seen numerous others bear the same consequence. All it takes is a seemingly minor brush against a tree or catching a rut in your line to snatch the bar from one hand and jolt the other up to your elbow. A steering stabilizer acts as a shock and limits this type of extremely rapid movement of the bar. With a first-rate stabilizer like the one we installed from Precision Racing Products, you have multiple adjustments to set the resistance and function to your personal preference. The Precision allows a rider to increase or decrease the amount of damping during turning separate from when in the centered position. A machine is more likely to be centered at high speeds, and for this reason more center damping may be preferred to help maintain control. I will say the Precision may seem a bit costly, but once you have had the opportunity to try it for yourself, you'll never want to ride without it again. This particular unit was transferred from my personal quad after replacing the LT-R450 mounting hardware with one specifically designed for the KTM.
Without going to great expense or completely changing the geometry of the 450 XC, we can honestly say that it is now ready to race. The power is awesome, and the reworked stock suspension keeps the Pactrax tires ripping through the roughest terrain the East Coast has to offer. Generally, stock machines are recognized as being the most reliable, and this trait is greatly valued on the track. You can't win a race if you don't finish, but being competitive on a stock machine is difficult against those that are highly modified. Overall, the KTM provided a strong foundation allowing us to push the limits and become a formidable competitor at any level of racing while maintaining the required reliability necessary to take home a championship.
The ability to hammer through...
The ability to hammer through gnarly terrain while keeping the throttle pinned can shave minutes off lap times in cross-country racing. This was possible before our modifications, but now maintaining control is less demanding on the body.
Once the handling of our 450...
Once the handling of our 450 XC was under control, we chose the Yoshimura RS-2 full exhaust to help uncork the power so that we could unleash at the track.
2008 KTM 450 XC Woods Racer
|Quinn Motorsports: |
|Rear shock revalve, dual-rate rear springs, ride height adjustment, compression and rebound setup: $370 |
|KTM: www.ktmatv.com ||Nerf bars, part No. 83003097000: $259.91; frame guards, part No. 83003094100: $24.39; long skid plate, part No. 83003090100: $190.95; A-arm left skid, part No. 83061095000: $116.69; A-arm right skid, part No. 83061096000: $116.69; front bumper, part No. 83003004000: $137.91 |
|PowerMadd: 800/435-6881; www.powermadd.com ||Star Series hand guards: $34.95 |
|AMS: www.amstires.com ||Pactrax front: $59.95 ea.; Pactrax fear: $73.95 ea. |
|Yoshimura R&D: |
|RS-2 stainless/aluminum full system: $595 |
|Precision Racing Products: |
|Steering damper and mount: $485 |