Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Colter Ahrens
Hometown: Denver, Colorado
Years Wrenching: 4 Years
Rider: Alex Frye
Past Riders: Brandon Rangel, Matas Inda, Nick Schmidt, and Davi Millsaps
Most people working within the motorcycle industry come from humble beginnings of two-wheeled dreams at a young age. Colter Ahrens, whose story is no different, grew up zipping around on the family Suzuki JR50, and he later bought a bike of his own at age 16 after saving enough money from working a part-time job. Riding and racing locally for fun, Ahrens eventually discovered that this passion for motocross would evolve into a career down the road, and the path he followed came following a decision to change schools during his first year of college at Colorado University in Boulder. "I spent a large part of my childhood with my dad in the garage because he was a car mechanic," he says. "I had a lot of interest in the mechanical side of things, and when I was at Colorado University, it kind of just all came together, and I realized what I wanted to do with my life. I just packed up and moved to the East Coast to attend MMI—I started chasing the dream." The day Ahrens graduated from MMI, he moved straight to California and began working with Naveen Dassanayake from Powered By Naveen, to whom he credits a lot of his quick success.
Working as Nick Schmidt's mechanic full-time these last two Supercross seasons Ahrens became a familiar face within the race scene and always strived to make a positive impression on his peers. When the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM team had a job opening for a race team mechanic, Ahrens was helping Davi Millsaps in between team changes, but he quickly applied. He was given the position of wrenching for Alex Frye, a young rookie out of Maryland slated to make his Supercross debut in 2016, and Ahrens saw his career dreams realized after five years of hard work. We caught up with him for some details on the rookie's KTM 250 SX-F.
Handlebars: He runs the Renthal 999 bars, and we cut 5mm off each side, so they are 10mm shorter than normal bars. He's a little bit shorter than other riders, and it helps him with the handling so he likes that.
Levers: He has a little bit of a bad habit of the levers being down pretty low, and his trainer and the team manager wanted him to bring them up a little. He would sometimes ask "Hey can you put the levers down a little?" but he is really open and accepting, and really listens and tries to improve with advice from the team.
Engine Package: We get all our stuff sent over from KTM factory services, and they pretty much handle all that. Each rider may have a little different set-up power delivery wise, but the motor guys at KTM factory services take care of everything.
Stopping Power: Brembo gives us an option for the front caliper, and he likes the oversized caliper that has a more plush feel but is much more progressive, and responsive. It is actually the size of the piston inside the caliper; the rotor size is the same.
Gearing: For Supercross, we are running a 13/50 gearing, which we found he liked the best for him tracking through the whoops. That being a big part of his rookie year for Supercross, it is really intimidating thing, it takes a lot of confidence, and he is really embracing it and taking it head on.
Factory Fresh: The bike that he is on right now compared to some of what he has ridden in the past, he is really pleased with it. He feels good on the bike, and is beyond stoked about it. He's the type of rider that is super thankful and so appreciative of everything. If something needs adjusting he lets me know, and he is always really responsive to testing. He has a pretty good knack for feeling the bike underneath him.