off-road racebikes—ben nelko’s 2022 honda crf250r

privateer racer uses an thrilling trick to lower stiff chassis experience.

starting with the suspension, jdp units up and offerings nelko’s production showa 49mm coil-spring fork and showa surprise. one of the reasons he prefers more of a moto sense from the components is because he’s one of the extra aggressive riders on the circuit.

“i just like the suspension to be a little stiffer in the front with a slower rebound, so it’s greater of a lifeless sense,” nelko said. “i attempted to do the whole off-street setup that maximum humans run, but it’s way too gentle for me. i hit stuff a bit harder, so i’m essentially jogging a tender moto setup.”

the fork is set up within the stock triple clamps with journey engineering bar mounts keeping the renthal twinwall 997-bend handlebar. nelko runs a 0-resistance zrt throttle meeting and he likes the texture of arc composite levers.

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“i’m top notch choosy about the throttle,” nelko noted. “i used to run different throttle manufacturers and that i ought to never get them proper due to the fact i hated how sticky they have been, however the zrt throttle tube doesn’t touch the bar. it simply floats. i’ve bad wrists, so it enables with the arm-pump in my proper arm
the grips are odi pro edition half-waffle. “we run odi grips simplest,” the elder nelko added. “that’s the most effective grips he’ll run. they’re a chunk softer. additionally, he likes ims pegs, that are slightly lower than inventory and a half of-inch down. he leans down and lower back on footpegs.”


for countrywide enduro, he runs a redmoto fuel tank, however switches to an ims unit for the longer grand country wide cross u . s . a . (gncc) races. the wheels are built by way of quicker u.s. and are made out of excel a60 rims, faster usa hubs, and spokes from an aftermarket bike manufacturer.

“we’re truely walking yamaha spokes,” nelko stated. “colin hincks from faster usa says the ones are the strongest spokes made.”

the sprockets are ddc and nelko will exchange between 13/50 and 13/fifty two gearing depending on the terrain. in the meantime, the chain is a d.i.d aspect.

nelko isn’t keen on the honda’s stiff aluminum frame experience, so he alters the managing traits extra to his liking through tilting the engine one diploma ahead. his technique of carrying out this is as a substitute thrilling.

“you loosen all the mount bolts and then you definately definitely take a crowbar and preserve it on the body and push the motor forward till it rotates approximately one diploma ahead, then you definitely tighten it up,” nelko explained. “there’s enough room in the hanger holes to slide it one degree ahead and it makes the motorbike feel softer. that gives it extra of a 2010 honda experience. the bike is lots extra forgiving and loads softer. it flexes plenty more. the stock feel on a honda is real rigid, and it takes probable 50 hours to make this frame experience suitable. however when you tilt the engine forward, it makes it ideal.the engine, then again, is basically inventory. “we modified a couple of factors and i absolutely didn’t love it, so we simply took it absolutely again to stock,” nelko defined. “so the motor is completely inventory with a hinson [racing] seize and yoshimura pipe.”

nelko runs dunlop tires, but he advised us that the off-street-targeted geomax at81 is his least favored in the lineup, even though he continually does his great on it. “i just don’t like the texture of that tire,” nelko stated. “i just like the [geomax mx]53 and the [geomax mx]33 higher, however i always do high-quality on the 81, so i run it.”

for the very rocky rattlesnake enduro, nelko switched among 3 distinct tires in the course of the race, relying at the terrain in each check. for the primary take a look at, which become especially a grass track, he ran the mx33. he then switched to a normal at81 for the second one and third tests, earlier than switching to dunlop’s geomax at81ex (endurocross) rubber for the rocky final tests.

The seat cover is made by Guts Racing with Phantom seat foam, which is lighter and stiffer than stock. “I run the wing seat, so the sides of the seat stick out a little more so your knees can grab onto it,” Nelko said.

Just a little bit farther back from the middle of the seat is the seat bump. “I think it’s more for when I start getting tired, so I have something to hold me up,” Nelko said. “I run a different seat for every series I do. I have this seat for enduro racing, I have a normal seat for moto, and then I run a step seat for GNCC. The step seat is like a normal flat seat at the beginning, then about halfway [back] is like a 2-inch bump that goes all the way back. Whenever I’m just tired and trying to hold on, I can kind of wedge myself in it.”

nelko spent the preceding two years on husqvarna machinery and a couple of years aboard ktms earlier than that, and whilst requested about switching from a steel frame to an aluminum frame, he stated the honda changed into likely the most hard motorcycle to get used to of all the ones he’s ridden.

“i rode japanese motorcycles most of the time developing up,” nelko shared. “i had a few ktms whilst i raced arenacross, which had been loads distinct. this is probably the most different bike out of all of them to get used to. the strength at the stock honda is truly just as suitable as my changed husky become. the energy is certainly suitable, but the largest issue is the honda simply turns so right. the turning on it is lots better. there are things that i love better approximately the husky, just like the brakes and hydraulic grasp, however i assume this motorbike just turns higher.”

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