Factory Bike Friday: Ryan Villopoto’s Monster Energy Kawasaki
Villopoto's green meanie Supercross slayer...
Factory Bike Friday: Monster Energy KX450F
Story and photos by Shan Moore
It takes more than an incredibly talented rider to win a Supercross title. It helps to have an equally capable bike, as well as a competent team behind you. At this point in the season, perhaps no other team has it all together more than Dan Fahie’s Monster Energy Kawasaki squad. From the team driver, right down to the fabricators and mechanics, Fahie’s crew provides Ryan Villopoto with a motorcycle that is up to the task.
Villopoto’s mechanic Michael Williamson has been with the Monster Energy Team since the James Stewart days and he gives us a few details on Ryan’s KX450F. “Obviously, we are on the 2012 bike, which we finished the outdoors on,” says Williamson. “We raced it at the Monster Energy Cup race and got some experience on it. We actually learned a lot from that race as far as its characteristics, and made some good changes on it. It gave us a direction was far as testing, and for Supercross we improved the engine. And as far as the new sound rules – max – we had to find more power out of the engine to compensate. We felt like we met our goal as far as that goes, plus we shed about two lbs. off the total weight of the bike with some lightweight engine parts and just miscellaneous stuff all over. As far as the suspension, we’ve just been tweaking it, and I think we did a good job with the time we had and we’re happy where we are at.”
The factory triple clamps specially made in-house to accommodate the larger-diameter factory fork. The team has several options as far as various rake/trail dimensions available to the rider.
The magnesium Nissin front brake caliper is the same one the factory has been using for years.
The gnarly looking footpegs and mounts are built in-house, and to Vtllopoto’s liking, they sit further back than stock.
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