Inside Blake Baggett’s Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki KX250F

MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI’S SHAWN IRWIN
HOMETOWN: Los Olivos, California
YEARS WRENCHING: 6
PAST RIDERS: Kyle Lewis, Timmy Ferry, Branden Jessemen, Jake Weimer
CURRENT RIDER: Blake Baggett

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett has had a great 2012 season. After what he considered a disappointing Supercross season, Baggett went on to dominate the grueling 24-moto Lucas Oil AMA Motocross Championship, never relinquishing the red plate as he took home his first major professional championship. But behind every great rider is an equally as capable mechanic.

Sean Irwin Baggett’s right-hand man during his championship-winning season. Throughout the entire outdoor series, Baggett never relinquished the red plate.

Shawn Irwin has been spinning wrenches for a few seasons now, helped Jake Weimer take home his first Supercross Championship a couple years ago, and knows what it takes to win. Wondering exactly what went into Blakes incredible season, we decided to corner Irwin to get a closer look at what makes Baggett’s Kawasaki KX250F scream.

The motors on the Pro Circuit bikes have become known as the fastest on the circuit. Each rider on the team receives the same motor and is then allowed to tweak the small nuances to their needs.

Over the year’s the Pro Circuit machines have become known as the fastest bikes in the pits. Mitch Payton and his talented crew spend countless hours fine-tuning the engines on the bikes in order to squeeze every last horsepower out of them. Irwin explained the process, “Zach White is in charge of engine development, so he’s always in the Dyno room working on something,” Irwin said. “It’s a continuous evolution throughout the year. Most of the changes or updates to the motor are discovered through racing or the Dyno. We do try out stuff in testing if we come up with something significant, but usually we just keep adding small changes in as we go through the year.”

For 2012, the team ran a 2012 KX450F rear end (subframe, airbox, and sidepanels) on the bikes.

As is the case with any factory level team, Pro Circuit knows every trick in the book to make the bikes perform at the top level. So much so that even the airbox, subframe, and sidepanels aren’t stock. ” The back end of the bike that he was racing with was off the current 2012 450—the airbox, fender, seat, and sidepanels,” Irwin said. “It’s actually the bodywork and rear end that you’ll find on the 2013 KX250F. During all the sound checking that we were doing before the season, we found out that the 450 airbox is quieter and that’s our biggest reason for running it.”

Bones Bacon takes care of the suspension on all the bikes on the team. For the past few years now, the team has been running the Showa Separate Function Fork, and according to Irwin, Baggett is very happy with the performance and adjustability available.

The brakes on Baggett’s bike are a work of art, and he likes the front brake to be very firm. It’s also worth mentioning that Blake has the most inortodox lever positioning of anyone on the team. “His controls are probably the weirdest out of anyone on the team. He has the smallest hands and he runs his levers further out than anyone else,” Irwin said of his rider.

Shawn Irwin spins the wrenches for Blake Baggett. Before Blake, Sean helped Jake Weimer win his West Coast Lites Championship a couple years ago.

Check out the November issue of TransWorld Motocross for the complete write-up on Blake’s ride. Also, don’t forget to click through the photos below. There is more information included in there.