Photos and Words By Mike Emery | @emeryphoto
Hometown: Templeton, CA
Years Wrenching: 12
Rider: Tyler Bereman
Past Riders: Jake Canada, Josh Hansen, Zach Darnley, Darryn Durham, Jeremy "Twitch" Stenberg
Growing up on the central coast of California in a small town called Templeton, Robbie Brown's official opportunity in wrenching came in the form of his best friend and talented rider Tyler Bereman. After leaving MMI early and jumping straight into dealerships to hone his mechanical skills, he hopped on board as Bereman's race mechanic while the number 653 was still pursuing a professional racing career. The two moved to Southern California in 2010 and made their rounds climbing through the ranks, even qualifying for his first Supercross main event at Anaheim III in 2013. Throughout a series of injuries that Tyler encountered during these years, Robbie found himself keeping busy by turning the wrenches for multiple other riders at different times—names like Jake Canada, Josh Hansen, and many more.
Now living in Murrieta, California, Brown keeps ends met by building his business R and C Motorsports (@randcmotorsports on Instagram) where he builds and services not only some top professional freeriders' bikes but also many other customers' as well. He continues to build and work on all of Tyler Bereman's bikes, but these days Tyler has transitioned into a full-fledged freeriding talent rather than an up-and-coming racer. This particular bike build was custom crafted for Tyler's run at X Games a few months back in Minneapolis, where it was ridden to a silver medal in Quarterpipe High Air and a bronze medal in Best Whip. Robbie was quick to pay homage to a few mentors for inspiration on the build: "A lot of the influence for this bike came from dudes I looked up to the most, like Eric Mazzetti, Daniel Castloo, and Chris Loredo." We wanted to know more, and Robbie broke down some details on what is easily one of the baddest Kawasaki KX450Fs around.
Engine: Tyler has raced most of his life, so he definitely knows what he wants. Frenchie [Luc Caouette] from C4MX always goes through the engine and tunes it. He took the head off, cleaned it up, and threw an intake cam in it. We focus on power and durability because he likes to make the bike rev when he does his whips. But it also needs to hold up, so we want to make sure it's built strong for him. It's not a five-hour engine; Frenchie builds them to last. We also have an ignition on it that Frenchie mapped, and that revs out more to match his style too. I had the primary case coated by my buddy Brandon [Petersen] at AHM, and although we ran out of time to make it all black, it ended up breaking up the colors nicely. To keep it cool we run Evans Coolant, especially because he rides inside of stadiums a fair amount and engine temperatures can be a factor. To help the engine breathe we run No Toil air filters, and FMF has always helped us out with exhausts. He's currently running the Factory 4.1 titanium setup with a carbon endcap.
Suspension: The forks and shock are Showa A-Kit that we bought from Canada about a week before we finished the bike. Graeme Brough tunes the suspension—we've been going to him for a long time and he does great work. The settings are basically a normal Supercross setup but a tiny bit stiffer with a way deader feeling. Everything reacts super slow, so it's basically set up to have a plush impact. The triple clamps are the same clamps that Tyler had during his first Supercross race, and I just sent them out to have them polished by my guy Geronimo in Lake Elsinore, California.
Bits and Pieces: All the titanium on this bike is originally made for a Honda and it doesn't fit the Kawasaki cases, so I had to go through and cut and grind a lot of the bolts to make them fit. There are a lot of little trick pieces from Works Connection, like the levers—he prefers their levers. He runs Renthal 996 Villopoto bend handlebars with the standard Renthal half-waffle grips. He went out and bought a set of Raptor pegs just to kind of tie the bike together and makes it look full-factory. All the brakes are also coated to match the whole color scheme of the bike, and Tyler is running a Galfer 270 mm front rotor for extra stopping power.
Style Matters: The looks come more or less from Tyler and me sitting in the garage and just staring at the bike saying, 'We should do this or that!' Just trying to visualize it and hope it works, more or less. We had about three months to figure out what we were going to do. Our friend Logan Darien at P7 Graphics always does Tyler's graphics, and he only does graphics for a specific couple of people—it's a completely exclusive service. Logan was too busy with the short notice on this build, so Tyler and Danny from Fasthouse sat down together to make an entire look come together. The entire color scheme was kind of a Weedmaps theme—mainly black with the Weedmaps teal color accents. That matched his helmet, and the rest of the bike had ghost gray accents to match his Fasthouse gear. I was more than pumped on how it all looked put together.
Still a Privateer Effort: People might think by looking at the bike that we have a lot of companies supporting it, but if I'm completely honest, Tyler basically spent a good portion of his paychecks on this bike. Tyler actually bought this bike from a dealership floor at full price. Twitch [Jeremy Stenberg] hooked us up with some hoops for the wheels, and Tyler went out and bought some spokes and hubs that were laced up nice and strong. Short of a few specific companies, Tyler went out of pocket to build this bike up exactly how he wanted, and in the end it paid off big—it looks insane.