Words and Photos By Mike Emery | @emeryphoto
Bike: 2018 Kawasaki KX450F
Mechanic: Robbie Brown of R&C Motorsports
Everyone who's into riding or racing dirt bikes has a "dream build" bike in mind if money or resources were unlimited. Some riders might choose performance gains as a priority over looks, while other riders might opt to spend their money on looks before performance. Luckily for Jeremy "Twitch" Stenberg, he's in the position to make whatever he wants happen when he builds out a new machine, and his current 2018 Kawasaki KX450F built by Robbie Brown of R&C Motorsports is a perfect example of unique style and performance in perfect harmony. Twitch has been at it for a long time and knows what he wants when it comes to his motorcycle. We sat down with him in between riding sessions and picked his brain on how his latest build came together and why he likes to set everything up.
Kawasaki Love: I've always liked Kawasakis and Suzukis, but my Kawasaki has been my favorite bike since I've ridden four-strokes. I get bikes from Kawasaki, but this year I got an extra bike from the dudes up north at K&B Motorsports. So I have three bikes--I've got a moto bike and then two jump bikes because I've been doing so many shows this year. It sucks to ride my jump bike at the track, so I always have to make sure I have a track bike. This bike here is the hills bike, but I've just been waiting for it to rain to take it there!
Engine and Mapping: I typically keep my motor stock just because I like to have them be reliable. The only thing I really do for added power is use a No Toil cage to get rid of the air filter screen, and then a Pro Circuit pipe and silencer. Kawasaki will send me different maps to try and then once I figure out the map I like I'll put that in all my bikes. The only thing I usually like is to remove the engine braking so when I let off the throttle in the air my front-end doesn't drop as hard. I want it to feel more like a two-stroke, because a four-stroke has so much deceleration, so I back that down a little bit more than halfway and keep it in the range that I like. I don't need a race motor--I want something that's super reliable and I can count on, and if I travel overseas, I want the bike to be the same. I've been doing this for a long time, so I know what I like.
Suspension: Suspension is one thing I'm really picky about, and I've been working with Ross Maeda at enzo racing forever. I've literally run the same settings in my suspension since I went to a Kawasaki in 2010--the same spring rate, same valving, same everything since 2010. I run a way softer rear shock spring than most do--it's a 5.5mm spring. Most dudes my weight probably run a 5.7mm or 5.8mm, but I don't like the rear-end to be stiff. I like to wheelie through a lot of the stuff when I'm out in the hills, and I like the bike to be able to absorb and kind of have that dead feeling in my shock. The forks are A Kit Kayaba spring forks from enzo, and I run spring forks on all my bikes. I don't like the air forks--I tried using them for about a week and just couldn't figure it out. I went back to spring forks because I get bummed out enough just having to check my tire pressure before I ride, let alone having to check my air forks!
Controls and Details: I've always run the Renthal 997 with the crossbar--I love that bar because feels more like a BMX bike bend. I also run the XTRIG triple clamps, and as soon as I put them on I could feel how much better the bike handled--I could feel the front-end flex. These last few years I've run the Works Connection perch and levers. I'm super specific about my throttle cable play, and I don't like it when it's too tight or too loose. I like to have some play, so if I whiskey a little bit, I have time to correct my mistake. I run the Think seat foam because I wanted to get it a little lighter. The teal Acerbis plastics are dope. I just wanted to do something different, something you'd never expect to see on a Kawasaki. That's something that I've always wanted, the black and teal stuff. I've always liked the color teal, and we were talking to the people at Acerbis and said how we thought it would sell. Sure enough, before it even got shipped it was already sold out.
Wheels, Tires, and Brakes: For the last couple of years I've ridden with Nore Worx hubs and D.I.D rims. For the hills I love running the Dunlop MX3S, but for ramps I like to run the old Dunlop Geomax MX52 because they're a little bit harder compound. I like the softer compound for out in the hills because they hook up a little better, but if run that same tire on the ramps, it wears out in like three days. That's why I like to run the harder tire on the ramps, and I also feel less folding from the tire when I take off of the ramp. My brakes are bone stock on all my bikes--that's all I need! I just had them powder coated and added a Hammerhead rear brake pedal setup where you can put on different pedals. That gives me added comfort in my ankle; it's so bad after breaking it so many times that it helps adjust it to my foot.
Robbie Brown Tuned: The the one thing I like is to have a dope bike. That's why last year when I saw Tyler Bereman's bike at X Games I was like, "Man, I've been slacking--I haven't built a bike in like 10 years!" That's why I had Robbie Brown from R&C Motorsports start building all my bikes. What I like about Robbie is that he's so meticulous and wants everything to be perfect. At the end of the day I know I'm getting a badass bike back, and I just told Robbie to do his magic. I told him the colors I want, and we decided together what we would have powder coated and anodized. His experience over the years from doing so many bikes gives him more ideas on what the possibilities are. We get along well, and we both have the same vision of a dope motorcycle when it's all done.