Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Brandon Zimmerman
Hometown: Marshall, Michigan
Years Wrenching: 6 years
Rider: Adam Cianciarulo
Past Riders: Jayme Gardiner, Zac Commans, Zack Freeberg
Photos and Words by Mike Emery | @emeryphoto
For each and every person dedicated to our sport of motocross, there's a different story about how they initially got bit by the bug. For Brandon Zimmerman of Marshall, Michigan, it all started with his father, who loved all things motorcycle-based. He would give Brandon rides around the property as a very young child, and that naturally progressed into something more. The minute he got his own bike and could ride around the family property on his own, he was hooked. By the age of 12, he was behind the starting gate and competing at a local level. Soon that too progressed, and Zimmerman was competing at a regional amateur level. To top things off, his father had owned and operated a Polaris dealership, where Zimmerman spent time in the shop working on snowmobiles and ATVs. It only made sense that he would take an interest in working and tinkering on his own motorcycles, learning from his father in the process. However, it wouldn't be until high school that he made a clear decision in his mind to pursue the dream of being a factory race mechanic. Shortly after graduation, he enrolled in MMI and headed to Arizona.
His first break into the racing industry after graduation would come in the form of a job at the now-defunct Hart and Huntington race team working as amateur racer Jayme Gardiner's full-time mechanic. This gig would allow him to meet more people within the industry. Among those people were the Cianciarulo family, and during that time Adam was navigating his way into the pro ranks. Zimmerman kept in touch with them after transitioning to a new gig at FCR Suspension in Ohio. When the eventual need for Cianciarulo to have a practice mechanic arose, Zimmerman was the guy they called for the job. From there, it was full speed ahead working with the young racer as he navigated his early professional career. A few odd gigs with racers Zac Commans and Zack Freeberg kept him busy while Adam was injured, but he stayed the course as AC's right-hand man through thick and thin. When Adam's original pro race mechanic Brett Mountain stepped down to pursue a different career path, Mitch Payton called Zimmerman and offered him the position. This was the ticket he needed to take the next step in his career and achieve his dream. The two have been inseparable since, and Zimmerman credits all of the continued hard work for his success there. Cianciarulo's Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki KX250F is among the most-detailed race bikes in the paddock, and Zimmerman broke down the details of the number-92 machine for us.
Engine Package: Our engine package is comprised of all the available modifications that the Pro Circuit brand is known so well for. No expense is spared, and no piece is overlooked--we go through everything. Whether it's special coatings or lightweight materials, we go all out to make sure we have the best of everything. Our crew chief, Zach White, does a lot of R&D with the help of Iain Southwell, and they'll try different things out on the dyno. Then they'll go out and actually test it with the riders to see what they like. In 2017 and 2018, Mitch has done a lot of work redesigning the air boot to give the bike more bottom-end power without taking away the mid- to top-end, and that part is available for sale to the public. All of the race mechanics here build our own practice, race, and test engines, and I know we're one of, if not the only team that does that. Adam prefers a lot of power on the bottom-end,, so we build the engines with a lot of low-end torque and we'll fine-tune it more from there with mapping.
Power Delivery: We run a full Hinson clutch setup, and they are pretty bulletproof because Adam is really hard on his clutch. The sprockets are Renthal with a gear ratio of 14-52, driven by an RK chain. The wheels are factory KHI hubs from Kawasaki laced up to an Excel A60 rim with standard spokes. We run Dunlop spec tires, and he's one of the only guys who prefers to run their sand tire here and there depending on the conditions of the track.
Controls: Adam runs the Renthal 997 handlebar, with their Renthal Kevlar grips. The entire team runs Pro Circuit triple clamps, adjust the bar setup with different sized bar mounts. He's gone back and forth with bar mounts the last couple of years, but right now he runs a pretty neutral setup, if not a little bit forward. ARC makes the levers, and they are aluminum. His seat is a standard seat foam, but with an added hump to keep him in place off the start. The seat cover is made by N-Style, and they also provide the graphics on the bike. The foot pegs are billet titanium that are CNC-machined out of a solid block. The shifter is a Pro Circuit billet aluminum piece that has a custom folding tip that won't break in the event of a crash and has a cover over the spring so it won't collect mud.
Brakes: We run an OEM Nissin master cylinder and a works billet Nissin caliper. The front rotor is 270mm made by Braking. The rear brake is a combination of a stock master cylinder and caliper, but we use a titanium vented rear piston inside the caliper. The rear rotor is standard size, made by Braking, and we run stock brake pads in both the front and rear.
Bits and Pieces: The exhaust is our Pro Circuit Ti-6 full titanium setup, and we keep the end caps black carbon fiber so it's the same as the product we sell. The engine cover on the left side over the ignition is an all billet CNC'd piece. The skid plates, countershaft cover, and rear chain guide are all carbon fiber. The radiator catch can on our bikes is pretty trick and basically catches any coolant that could boil over and siphons itself back into the system so you don't lose any coolant. We also run external oil coolers to help keep oil temperatures under control. All of our fasteners are either titanium or high-grade aluminum, and certain things are drilled out for weight. There are lots of specialty coatings and anodizing on our bolts and side covers, like our titanium axles that are DLC coated to help them slide in and out easier.
Suspension: We're currently on Pro Circuit's Showa A-Kit spring forks and Showa A-Kit rear shock that are tuned and serviced in-house by our guy Jim "Bones" Bacon. We also run the Pro Circuit linkage, and everything else we have on our suspension setup is available for purchase to the public, down to the factory-looking special titanium nitride coatings. Adam likes the feel to be pretty plush initially, but still be stiff enough to hold up to his weight or when he goes for a big quad or jump on the track.