Raptor Convert - Gen 3

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LayinWatts69

LayinWatts69

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First, I want to say great bike suggestions. Notice, he never recommended the Kawasaki. lol.
I have to change my stance on the revalve, you are a good 100 pounds over design rider weight so your spring rate will be high and will be hard to get the dampening you need with that heavy ass gorilla spring.
Reason I didn't include the Kawi is that their off-road bike (KX450X) is not an off-road bike, it's just their motocross bike with a kickstand and 18" rear wheel. No engine/mapping differences, suspension differences...it doesn't even have an oversized tank, just has the MX size tank. The other brands I mentioned are much better set up for off-road right off the dealership floor. The Kawi needs a lot to make it suitable for anything other than a motocross track.

I think you and I have a different understanding of these bikes and what they do. I've been racing since I was 3 years old, turned "pro" at 16 years old and raced AMA Arenacross for 5 years. I've ridden every brand for multiple seasons. I've been involved with R&D and testing for bike OEM's (KTM and Yamaha) as well as have done tons of testing for aftermarket companies (engine/ECU settings, suspension settings, triple clamps etc.) In addition, I've been a crew chief for a pro SX/MX team and was very involved in getting the bikes set up for the best racers in the world.

I've got to be honest, it kind of strikes a nerve when people talk bad about a specific dirt bike brand. Back in the 70's, 80's, 90's some bikes legitimately were shit. Those days are long gone though. I personally have had good and bad experiences with every brand, and I have friends that currently make a lot of money each year racing on every brand.

When I get a bike, it's a base platform for what I turn it into. All my bikes are set up specifically how I want them, and a lot of time/thought goes into them from myself and friends still in the SX/MX industry. All brands have their pro's and con's, then you build them to fix the weaknesses. For the current models, it goes like this:

Honda: Small, nimble, light, lots of usable power but is twitchy/unstable at high speeds.
Yamaha: Hands down best motor in the class, great suspension but is a bit wide/bulky and a bit unstable/twitchy at high speeds.
Kawasaki: Stable, forgiving and predictable but weak engine.
Suzuki: Excellent cornering and good engine but has kickstarter (only bike without electric start) and rear shock (BFRC) is terrible. Bike hasn't changed in years.
KTM/Husqvarna/Gas Gas: Great engines, best over fit and finish but the new frame ('23 and newer) is very rigid. Also, suspension is garbage compared to the other bikes. You need the Conve Valve forks and Traxx shock ($7,000) to even come close to the other bikes' suspension.

I chose the Kawi because the rider triangle (ergonomics) feel most comfortable to me, and the chassis is so predictable. The engine is weak off the dealership floor but I don't keep engines stock, so that didn't matter.

I have (2) 2023 Kawi's, one set up for off-road and the other set up for motocross.

Off-road bike has:
Head work with high-compression piston
Vortex ECU with Twisted Development mapping for VP U4 fuel
Full Hinson clutch
Pro Circuit slip on (got tired of smashing Titanium headers on rocks, wanted to use heavy but sturdy OEM header)
Quick-pull throttle tube
X-trig triple clamps with 23mm offset
Precision steering stabilizer
Pro Circuit suspension with national spring tubes, PC pistons, shock bladder, 18mm shock shaft and their valving/springs for 200 lb. pro off-road
Dubya wheels with Haan hubs and D.I.D STX rims, oversized spokes
Bib Mousses front and rear
IMS tank with quick-fill
Renthal chain and sprockets with 13/51 gearing
Renthal Twinwalls 996 bend
Other misc. stuff

Moto bike has:
Head work with high-compression piston
Vortex ECU with Twisted Development mapping for VP U4 fuel
Full Hinson clutch
Pro Circuit Ti-6 System
Quick-pull throttle tube
Pro Circuit suspension with national spring tubes, PC pistons, shock bladder, 18mm shock shaft and their valving/springs for 200 lb. pro motocross
Bib Mousses front and rear
Renthal chain and sprockets with 13/51 gearing
Renthal Twinwalls 996 bend
Other misc. stuff

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Bikes2.jpg


The green pieces of shit treat me alright

Riding1.jpg
Riding2.jpg
Riding3.jpg
 
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New recaros

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That’s a nice truck in the garage but the green time bombs suck. Kaw’s have been junk for a long time. I do agree a real racer can use them as a base platform and probably make them competitive. But, for the average Joe, don’t buy them, they are rolling time bombs.
We have been around also, we have ridden many times at Tomac’s out door track. I’ll send this of my son.


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LayinWatts69

LayinWatts69

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That’s a nice truck in the garage but the green time bombs suck. Kaw’s have been junk for a long time. I do agree a real racer can use them as a base platform and probably make them competitive. But, for the average Joe, don’t buy them, they are rolling time bombs.
We have been around also, we have ridden many times at Tomac’s out door track. I’ll send this of my son.


View attachment 434626
Haha man, I’ve got to respectfully disagree. My bikes last year had 80 and 120 hours on them with no issues. Put a top end in on one at 70 hours, didn’t even need a valve adjustment. I’ve had 4 in the last couple years with 0 issues. Nothing but wear parts. The one with 120 hours was absolutely abused in the sand and silt WFO at all times.

One of my friends did the whole 450 SX series and outdoor series on the same KX450.

I think you’d be surprised at the issues from all the brands the last 5 years or so. Yamahas are having connecting rod failures at 5-30 hours, bad welds on the frame and other quality issues. KTM has had a bunch of recalls on their bikes the last few years, especially on their 2-strokes.

I would say your argument had validity until about 2015. Now, any new 450 will go 100+ hours with regular air filter and oil changes (assuming you don’t get one with a bad batch of parts). I can confidently say this, I’m still very involved in SX/MX and have friends that own the aftermarket shops and race teams that build these bikes up and put the highest stresses on them possible.

I knew my “career” wasn’t going far when Tomac passed me around the outside on his supermini when I was a B rider on a 250f. He was a couple years younger than me so we didn’t grow up racing each other, but I’ve always admired him and his father. It doesn’t get much more humble and ethical than the Tomac family, which is rare in the pro racing world!

I’d be willing to bet you and your son and I have crossed paths over the years.

Cheers!
 

ToadSmasher2K1

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This country gave up on respectfully disagreeing a few years ago. FYI
 

New recaros

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Haha man, I’ve got to respectfully disagree. My bikes last year had 80 and 120 hours on them with no issues. Put a top end in on one at 70 hours, didn’t even need a valve adjustment. I’ve had 4 in the last couple years with 0 issues. Nothing but wear parts. The one with 120 hours was absolutely abused in the sand and silt WFO at all times.

One of my friends did the whole 450 SX series and outdoor series on the same KX450.

I think you’d be surprised at the issues from all the brands the last 5 years or so. Yamahas are having connecting rod failures at 5-30 hours, bad welds on the frame and other quality issues. KTM has had a bunch of recalls on their bikes the last few years, especially on their 2-strokes.

I would say your argument had validity until about 2015. Now, any new 450 will go 100+ hours with regular air filter and oil changes (assuming you don’t get one with a bad batch of parts). I can confidently say this, I’m still very involved in SX/MX and have friends that own the aftermarket shops and race teams that build these bikes up and put the highest stresses on them possible.

I knew my “career” wasn’t going far when Tomac passed me around the outside on his supermini when I was a B rider on a 250f. He was a couple years younger than me so we didn’t grow up racing each other, but I’ve always admired him and his father. It doesn’t get much more humble and ethical than the Tomac family, which is rare in the pro racing world!

I’d be willing to bet you and your son and I have crossed paths over the years.

Cheers!
You’re forgetting the fact that you and I know how to take care of them and ride them. How many people clean their filter every ride? How about using a torque wrench? You and I may get satisfactory life from. Kaw, but the average Joe won’t. Just my opinion.
We had our two strokes done by Eric Gore, ever use him?
 
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LayinWatts69

LayinWatts69

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You’re forgetting the fact that you and I know how to take care of them and ride them. How many people clean their filter every ride? How about using a torque wrench? You and I may get satisfactory life from. Kaw, but the average Joe won’t. Just my opinion.
We had our two strokes done by Eric Gore, ever use him?
That's fair, but I don't really account for people who treat race bikes the same way they would a utility quad on a farm. I can't speak for how long bikes last if you neglect them.

I haven't had Gorr do any of my bikes over the years, have had a relationship with Pro Circuit since I was on 65's. But I do know a lot of folks use Gorr and he's an absolute wizard on two strokes from what I gather.

I'm really trying to avoid being the same level of meticulous and picky with my Raptor as I am with dirt bikes. It's frightening how much money I could spend on suspension alone.

Your R is my current dream ride, I've been resisting the urge to track one down. Should I?
 
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