Honda CRF250 Arenacross Project Bike

Is a sequel a good thing?  Well, most of the time the original seems to be better with only a few exceptions.  Well, luckily enough Supercross: The Movie has not had a part two.  However, after last years attempt with test rider/pool-boy Josh Brown to race a few Nationals with a trick CRF450R we thought what about giving the same chance to a wanna-be Arenacross star?

Since Supercross, the Movie was a C or D level attempt to look at our sport then a looking at the next step below Supercross would be a logical step.  Arenacross brings out new talent and also Supercross riders who are not as competitive as they once were.  It is great fast paced action that has the crowds on the edge of their seats.  Well, for So Cal intermediate rider Nick Lytle who dreams of riding the big time of Supercross he has to now ride Arenacross to qualify.  Well, this time Team Nami would be Team Tuf racing with their top stars and Nick would be the privateer hooking up his own Hog Heaven._s2f7350

Luckily for Nick he works part time for Parapros racing (So. Cal engine rebuild shop) and JCE (Jay Clark Enterprises) and he was able to convince Jay and Brad at Parapros how great it would be for them to put all of their effort into building a full race 250F for the Western rounds of the Arenacross series.  Yes, a full 250F racer is the only bike for the AX circuit as they have now abandoned any 450 classes.  Arenacross has two 250F classes one that is Lites and one that is Arenacross class (love those names).  In each you need to ride a 250F with the same rules in each class.  However, the Lites class tends to be more of an entry level to the Arenacross pro class.

All Nick wanted was a chance to see how he could do in the Lites class and if he had a possible future in the AX/SX sport.  However, racing a stock 250F is not much of an option as every top racer in each class has fully built machines; big power and great suspension are key to a good AX race bike.

Jay set out to make just that: a great bike with not too much hassle and expense.  Making a top running bike is not as hard as you might think.  After getting some great tips from Dallas at Spinechillers racing here is how it all went down.

The Motor
The goal for an arenacross or supercross engine is tons of power down low to mid.  These bikes need serious grunt down low.  Brad at Parapros handled all of the motor assembly and head porting.  Tokyo Mods was crucial with their key parts to this package, the full race carburetor and ignition being the most important two item we could have done to our motor for Arenacross.  A CP 14.5:1 High Comp piston with a Hot Cams Gold series stage one cam set (with springs) was installed along these other mods.rmt_3858

An FMF Powerbomb 4.1 full ti system was matched up to these motor mods to let this motor breathe and come to life and we didn’t have issue passing AMA sound. VP’s U4-2 racing fuels “drop in” fuel (no jetting needed from your pump gas set up) and seems to be an excellent choice.  A set of ultra trick white CV4 hoses were also used to give an excellent look to the engine area.

Handling and Traction
A Renthal 54T rear sprocket was needed to get the power to the ground.  This allowed Nick to run third gear nearly every where on the track and pull 2nd gear starts with ease.  Dunlop front 745 90/100 and 756 110/8019 rear tires are the best choice for the hard pack confines of Arenacross.

Flu Designs took care of the custom one-off graphics and numbers to give Nick a personal touch.

Mike at MB1

Ax and Sx setup is very similar in setup. With the riders weight, we used the std fork and shock springs to retain chassis balance and pitch control. The compression damping is stiffened up on both ends for most fast ax and sx pros. Sometimes we will run the front ends a little softer for ax applications to make the front ends dive a little more for the tighter conditions of arenacross racing..

Our Arenacross and Supercross setups for 2009 have been very successful with Heath Voss Leading the top Privateer points in Sx and our Arenacross team riders with several podiums and Main Event wins with Brock Sellards and Grey Davenport..

Our Amateur guys are clicking off wins every weekend and have been very successfull also. Team Amateur riders Ryan Surratt, Preston Tillford, Adam and Tyler Enticknap, and Tyler Monroe have won several Amateur titles this year in 2009 with MB1 Suspension..

After all of this, does this thing work?
Nick felt the motor provided an incredible level of power and torque in the low to midrange.  This bottom/midrange power makes it a very easy task to clear jumps from basically any inside line possible.  Jetting on the Tokyo Mod carb was spot on with no bog and only fuel screw modifications required.  The clutch action with the Hinson components felt excellent and the new Hinson clutch plate kit seemed to be right on par with what we would expect from Hinson.rmt_3914

The suspension was set up to soak up anything Nick could possibly come up short on.  And he felt he fully tested every inch of travel in the MB1 tuned suspension.  Nick felt that all around the MB1 set up is crucial to being able to compete at the Arenacrosses.

Practice make perfect (or at least better than not practicing).  In lovely So. Cal this January and February we were blessed (cursed) with some large rain storms.  While these storms make our outdoor hill tracks incredible they ruin any chance of hitting any AX/SX practice tracks.  Thus was the case with Nick.  For all three of the Western rounds he went to he only got to practice on a real track twice.  Competitive Edge in Hesperia California has a real SX practice track but it was under water at each opportunity Nick had to practice.  Thus, since not riding any AX tracks nick was behind the eight ball a bit and had to use his timed practice at each event as actual real practice.

How did all play out after three events?  He made three night-shows but no main events, not as good as we would have liked but as we learned last time this is way more typical then what happens in movies.  So, why are Jay and Brad still happy about this?  Well, Nick got a chance to race with a bike that was fully capable of winning, he had a great experience and best of all he didn’t get hurt.  However, the silver lining is that Nick now knows that he gave it a good shot and won’t have to wonder what could have been.  Sticking with college a bit longer is not so bad says Nick.  As amateur racers you always wonder, what if I just had the same bike as the guys that beat me.  Nick doesn’t have to wonder this and can feel good about his shot with the best money can buy.  Also we don’t have to endure a Supercross: The Movie part 2– Thanks to Parapros, MB1, Tokyo Mod, CP and Hot Cams.

2009 Honda CRF250R #411 Arenacross special

MB1 Suspension www.mb1suspension.com

Fork Revalve $185.00
Shock Revalve $185.00
Fluids $65.00
SX Fork Spring Seats $129.99
Sx Oil Locks $49.99

FMF Racing www.fmfracing.com

Factory 4.1 system with Mega-bomb header

Parapros Racing www.paraprosracing.com

Engine Assembly
Custom Porting

Tokyo Mod www.tokyomods.com
Modified Race Carburetor
Hot start, Fuel screw, sump
Throttle spring (less tension)
Carb Vent kit
Billet Throttle cable separator
Engine vent kit
HD Clutch Springs
Engine Hangers
Mechanical Cam Chain Tensioner
Performance Ignition

Hot Cams www.hotcamsinc.com
Stage One Gold Series cam set w/springs

CP Piston
14.5:1 78mm Forged racing Piston            www.cppiston.com

CV4
Formed Silicone Coolant hoses                  www.cv4.net
High Temp Radiator cap

VP racing Fuel
U4.2 racing fuel                                             www.vpracingfuels.com

Applied Racing
Big bar mounts                                              www.AppliedRace.com

Works Connection
Factory  Stand                                               www.worksconnection.com
Elite Perch/w Hot Start
Oil filler plugs
Front billet brake cover
Rear billet brake cover
Front Brake Rotating Bar Clamp
Holeshot device

Dunlop Tire
D745 rear tire 110/80-19                            www.dunlopmotorcycle.com
D745 front tire 90/100-21

Renthal
997 Twin Walls                                            www.renthal.com
Dual compound grips
54T rear sprocket
MX Chain

QTM
Oversize front rotor                                     www.qtmi.com