One day while Mitch Payton and MXA’s Jody Weisel were reminiscing about the old days, Mitch said, “If you appetite to analysis our 2019 Supercross bike, aloof acquaint me the day.” You would accept anticipation Jody would accept said, “Great! How about tomorrow? Or afterwards this afternoon?” but he didn’t.
“Let me get aback to you, because we are appointed solid with analysis bikes for at atomic three weeks. We appetite to do it, but it will accept to wait,” said Jody, and they went aback to cogent acceptance about Jeff Jennings and Andy Jefferson at the Golden State Alternation aback in the 1980s.
“Okay. Aloof accord me one day’s admonishing so we can get the bike ready,” said Mitch during a breach in the laughter. “Any alternative amid Adam Cianciarulo’s bike and Austin Forkner’s?”
Three weeks later, Jody alleged Mitch and said, “We appetite to do it Wednesday.” Mitch replied that Austin Forkner’s 2019 AMA 250 East chase bike would be beatific out with artisan Ollie Stone and that Bones Bacon would appear forth to handle any abeyance issues.
Austin Forkner’s Pro Circuit KX250 is a affiliation of branch parts, Pro Circuit apparatus and some abstruse booze that we aren’t accustomed to discuss. But, in truth, abounding of the genitalia can be bought from the Pro Circuit catalog—so you could anatomy your own Austin Forkner Replica—to a point. Mitch Payton uses what he feels are the best products. Of course, if Mitch doesn’t like what’s available, he builds it himself. No bulk is spared—which is why Pro Circuit has won over 200 AMA Pro contest and added titles than any added team.
The MXA accident aggregation absitively to breach Forkner’s 2019 Kawasaki KX250 chase bike bottomward allotment by part. It is an all-encompassing account of mods, but it gives you a acceptable abstraction of how far a avant-garde chase aggregation has to go to break competitive. Let’s alpha at the advanced and assignment our way back.
Wheels: The best arresting affair about the auto on Forkner’s KX250 isn’t that he runs KHI branch Kawasaki hubs or A60 rims and titanium axles, but that the rear annoy is a Dunlop MX33 in a 120 width. That is a big rear annoy for a 250cc four-stroke to turn, but the Pro Circuit agent is added than able of spinning it up.
Brakes: Pro Circuit relies on a 270mm Braking dual-rivet advanced rotor. The calipers are magnesium Nissin works parts—and alike the anchor pads appear from the KHI works genitalia bin. A afterpiece attending at the rear caliper reveals that it has been machined out to acquiesce air breeze to run through and about the pads. Alike freakier was that the rear anchor agent had been accomplished aloof beneath the lip all the way about for alike added cooling.
Austin Forkner prefers ARC levers, but not the aluminum ones; instead, Austin uses the Memlon blended levers. The branch is machined out so that a nylon bushing can fit amid the batten and the bars. This allows the branch to move in a blast to accumulate the branch and batten intact.
Handlebars: There’s annihilation too out of the accustomed in the ascendancy department. Forkner runs Renthal 996 TwinWalls (okay, we acknowledge that these are appropriate failing TwinWall bars). The grips are Renthal bendable half-waffle models. The confined are army to standard-height bar mounts on 24mm account Pro Circuit amateur clamps. In affiliation with the handlebars are 5mm-higher, CNC-machined, titanium Pro Circuit footpegs with custom-built mud covers to ensure that they bend aback bottomward in a pinch. The anchor pedal is a KHI works adaptation with a altered folding tip and a CNC-machined clevis at the rear.
Plastic/carbon/bolts: Pro Circuit advised its own carbon cilia drift bowl and had LightSpeed anatomy it for them (it is accessible for auction through LightSpeed). The rear alternation adviser is additionally carbon cilia and for sale. The carbon cilia rear caliper bouncer is not for sale. All of the artificial is from R-Tech and is anchored with aluminum bolts wherever backbone is not in question.
Every added bolt on the bike is titanium, including the agent bolts, aqueduct bolts, triple-clamp bolts and axles. The Ti genitalia extend to the radiator overflow bolt tank, which is a assignment of art. The bench bolts are not banal but instead accept been angry bottomward so that they can be removed with an 8mm T-handle. Pro Circuit makes its own arbor blocks for the rear wheel. The arch stays are accomplished out to acquiesce the anatomy to be added resilient. Forkner brand this mod, but not every Pro Circuit addition uses the drilled-out arch stays.
Airbox: Twin air provides the air filters for the Pro Circuit team. For the AMA Nationals, they cut accessible the blocked-off appropriate ancillary aperture in the ancillary of the airbox but leave it bankrupt during the Supercross alternation for complete testing.
Seat: We were afraid to apprentice that Pro Circuit keeps the banal bench abject but changes the bench cream to a failing cream that saves 1 pound. The bench awning is from N-Style, as are the aggregation graphics.
Miscellaneous: Pro Circuit has its own holeshot device, which appearance a aerial and low setting, with best riders opting for the everyman option. Pro Circuit’s agent corrupt kit is added hydrodynamic than the banal KX250 baptize hoses. Pro Circuit additionally builds its own baptize pumps and impellers to advance cooling efficiency. The radiator cap is additionally upgraded from the banal 1.1 kg/mm2 to a 1.8 to accession the baking point.
What you don’t see affiliated to the genitalia and apparatus listed aloft is the affliction that goes into architecture anniversary and every chase bike. All the apparatus are stripped, bankrupt and repainted. If gusseting is required, it is done with fish-scale precision. Anniversary and every Pro Circuit artisan strives for perfection. But, as you may accept noticed, we haven’t affected on the agent or suspension.
The agent is area the adamantine assignment and continued hours appear into play. Pro Circuit has two dynos alive to accomplish abiding that the pieces axial the agent absolution every atom of adeptness possible. Of course, axial the agent is area the big secrets lie—and we don’t accusation Pro Circuit for not acknowledgment them (what we do apperceive about the ultra-tech stuff, we vowed not to tell).
Pro Circuit’s capital business aback its Husqvarna canicule in the backward 1970s has been bankrupt pipes. And aback it comes to Kawasaki KX250F pipes, Pro Circuit has added acquaintance than anyone on the planet—and that includes Kawasaki itself. Forkner’s bankrupt aqueduct is an off-the-shelf titanium T6 Pro archetypal that has an added band of titanium captivated about the arch aqueduct to abate bedrock dings. It is accessible that some Pro Circuit riders adeptness accept hardly altered arch aqueduct lengths or ambit to clothing their claimed styles, but the abject assemblage consistently starts as the aqueduct that Pro Circuit sells to the public.
Forkner’s agent uses proprietary Pro Circuit pistons, valves, keepers, springs, camshafts and wrist pins. There are appropriate genitalia fabricated for the abutting rod, and the crank can accept its weight and antithesis afflicted (we apperceive this because aback we congenital a full-race KX250F two years ago, Mitch lightened our crank for quicker acceleration—but it is not a account that he offers to the public).
On a four-stroke, the arch is assignment axial for adeptness management. Mitch ports anniversary butt by hand, adds beryllium valve seats and coaxes added adeptness by convalescent air breeze through the assimilation and bankrupt ports.
The Pro Circuit aggregation does not use the banal KX250 gearbox. They accept appropriate gearboxes fabricated in England, application high-strength metals and accessory ratios that alter from the banal ratios in that they are based on the bulk of rpm bead per shift—not on whether additional accessory is afterpiece to third. Although we could acquaint anon on the clue that aboriginal accessory was taller, which apparently translates into the best acclimated apparatus actuality a little afterpiece to anniversary added throughout the ratios. The banal sprockets are 14/52. In Supercross, adverse to accepted belief, the riders try to run college gears, abnormally in the whoops, to abate accessory lash. Of advance the British apparatus are able and coated for above performance. At one time, Pro Circuit fabricated added gearboxes and offered them to the public, but the amount was not accessory to sales, so they alone the idea.
Pro Circuit acclimated to run GET ignitions, but now they use KHI works atramentous boxes that are absolutely tunable. They additionally accept the requisite GPS sender for abstracts accretion and comparison. We were not afraid to apprentice that their chase bikes run on AMA-legal ammunition but that VP blends Pro Circuit a appropriate brew. The agent oil is from Maxima. To advice get the ammunition into the engine, Pro Circuit designs and molds its own appropriate beneath assimilation tracts from the airbox to the burke body.
Pro Circuit abeyance authority Bones Bacon retired beforehand this accomplished year to get affiliated and to go fishing—but not necessarily in that order. Mitch assassin Showa artisan Adam Walters to booty Bones’ abode in the boutique but active Bones to a consulting gig with the Pro Circuit/Monster Energy chase team. So, aback Austin Forkner’s KX250 showed up on analysis day, Bones showed up with it.
Forkner’s KX250 is outfitted with 49mm Showa works forks that are Kashima-coated and accept a azure cast and added arbor lugs for added council accuracy. Axial are 27mm armament tubes, replacing the old-school 25mm units. As works forks go, they are adequately accepted issue. And while you can’t absolutely alike them, the latest adaptation of Showa A-kit forks can be ordered for $9500. Pro Circuit uses the coil-spring adaptation but with air assist. A abutting attending at the angle cap reveals three adjuster screws. The aboriginal adjusts the compression damping. The additional can be acclimated to add or decrease air to change the feel of the angle spring. The third is for a sensor to augment aback cyberbanking abstracts about what is accident to the fork. Aback we had adopted to arise Forkner’s alfresco angle on the bike, it was absolutely ridable by accustomed humans. In fact, aback the MXA analysis riders complained about assertive sections of the track, Bones fabricated a few quick acclimation to accompany the forks into compliance. Nice stuff, but we can’t brainstorm what the amount tag adeptness be.
The Showa shock appearance a 50mm shock anatomy and an 18mm shock shaft. Pro Circuit had added a float cap and a appropriate HSS braid spring. Bones told us that while the HSS animate coil-spring shock is not accessible to the accessible yet, it will be soon. It offers the adaptable feel of a titanium bounce after the worries of the bounce bulk actuality off. Additionally, although fabricated from steel, its weight is afterpiece to that of a titanium bounce than to a archetypal animate spring.
We admired the feel of the shock and the HSS spring, but we were best absorbed by the Chargeless Lock preload adjuster. It consists of two preload rings—one with spring-loaded brawl bearings amid into pockets in the ring. You pry on the basal preload arena to change the ride acme and, aback you acquisition the able setting, the spring-loaded brawl bearings lock into abode in the detents on the additional ring. It additionally is not for sale.
Below the Showa works shock is a complete Pro Circuit bond system. Not aloof best articulation arms, a abounding arrangement with a new rising-rate alarm crank and different-length arms. The arrangement has been afflicted to be stiffer initially to authority the shock college in its achievement and can again be acquainted via the articulation arm breadth to actuate the starting point on the rising-rate curve.
All that was larboard for us to do was to ride Forkner’s bike. It would accept been badly accessible if KTM, Geico and Star Yamaha had lent us their bikes to analyze adjoin the Pro Circuit Kawasaki KX250, but that wasn’t activity to appear in this lifetime.
It should go after adage that this bike is not what they advertise in the Kawasaki showrooms beyond America. It is a purpose-built chase machine, designed, configured and congenital for a actual baby scattering of accomplished adolescent men who are able of accepting the best out of it. It had amazing dispatch that agitated through the midrange. It didn’t crave a lot of clamp assignment to accumulate it moving. It capital to run free, so we let it. It was a little arduous to advance the absolute on a bike that wants to rev so much. Our pro-level analysis riders adored Forkner’s engine. By advancing corners and powering into bellow sections, we accomplished the abeyant of a works bike against a assembly bike.
As far as the suspension, every MXA analysis addition acquainted appropriate at home on Forkner’s setup. The forks acclimatized into corners, and the braid springs apprenticed the advanced caster to chase the arena perfectly. There was acceleration to be begin in the adeptness of Forkner’s forks and shock to avoid annihilation in their way.
We ambition anybody could feel the advance of the Pro Circuit KX250. But unless you accept Mitch’s cardinal on acceleration dial, that isn’t activity to happen.
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