Ever wondered what goes into building a race bike to take on the Nation’s best? The goal with any race bike build is to inspire confidence into the rider giving them good on track performance and reliability. In Australia, we don’t see too many full factory parts on the top rider’s race machines. Most parts on bikes throughout the pro pits can be purchased and fitted, it just depends on your budget. One of the secrets is not to just have access to the parts but to test and choose the correct parts to work together. The other big thing is the maintenance that goes into these race bikes to make sure they are always perfect. Below are the details of what went into building Maximus Purvis’ 2020 race machine as he was set to take on the country’s best after winning the New Zealand MX2 National championship. Unfortunately, COVID-19 put a hold on the plans but everything was in place, so we thought we would share an insight into what happens behind the scenes and also what it costs to have a race machine built.
YZ250FL 2020 RRP Ride Away $11,999
PC Ti6 pro system $1449, GYTR high comp piston $521, GYTR clutch cover $322, GYTR ignition cover $461, GYTR clutch basket $495, GYTR clutch Hub $551, GYTR pressure plate $330, GYTR camshaft $1373, Super finished gear box $130, Ceramic coated engine covers $250, Ported cylinder head $350, Twin air intake system $299, DRC radiator cap $12, GET ECU $1100, GET Data logger $1400, VP Roo 100 fuel roughly $13 a litre (fuel price not factored in below)
GYTR rad braces $119, GYTR glide plate $253, GYTR rear disk guard $204, Zeta case saver $40, Zeta chain guide $100, Zeta radiator hoses $125, brake saver $11, DID chain $150
Zeta handle bar $150, Zeta throttle tube $40, Zeta front brake lever $89.95, Zeta clutch perch $220, Zeta bar stabilizer $72, Zeta revolver shifter $60, Zeta brake pedal $120, Zeta launch control $85, Zeta aluminium fastener kit $28, rear brake clevis $20, brake line clamp $25, Zeta axle blocks $55, Cycra power flow plastics $320, MX INK graphics $270, Strike seat cover $110, PT grips $15, extra start button $30
Zeta wheel spacers $57, Zeta front hub $300, Zeta rear hub $549, Dunlop 33 front and rear $220, Dunlop mousse tubes $400, JT sprockets front and rear $100
Zeta adjustable link $279, Suspension KYB standard suspension with KYB upgrades $2900
GYTR front brake line $132, Zeta reservoir caps $37, Braking Batfly rear rotor $250, Braking Batfly front rotor $300, Zeta rear brake line $130, ceramic coating $200
$17,610 worth of extra parts
Total cost of bike and parts with no labour or consumables $29,609
To work out the cost of labour is a lot harder and is what can start to separate a privateer effort and a factory team effort. It does not take too long to build the actual race bike if all the components are on hand and settings are finalised – roughly two big days work for most good Motorcycle technicians. This includes building the engine and suspension, then the bike from the frame up, greasing and torquing everything correctly. If estimating the cost from a dealership, the labour could be roughly $2,000.
The time that goes into testing components and finding the correct setting is very hard to measure and is kind of an endless job with the bike always being improved. This is the component that becomes a little priceless and what can separate the bikes of the big teams to the privateers. It is to hard to put a price on this so we will explain it a bit more. Up to this point, anyone could go into a dealership and order a heap of parts and get it put together. The trick with building a top level race machine is choosing, testing and setting up the bike for the best possible result. At the end of the day, a good race team can transform a very near stock bike into a race winning weapon. The YZ250f is so good these days straight out of the box, it is more than capable of winning races just with fine tuning to suit the rider. The element the race team adds is setting the bike up to inspire the rider’s confidence and enable them to ride at their highest level. This is done with testing, knowledge and a program that enables the rider to succeed.
With this particular bike we break down the testing process we went through to arrive at the finished product.
Engine – We spent many hours dyno testing components on another engine to go through all possible scenarios and make sure the components used complemented each other. Testing different cam shafts, cylinder head designs, intake modifications, ECU settings, etc. We break it down and add one component at a time and instead of just tuning a finished product, we arrive to the finished product through elimination. There was actually some trick parts we didn’t end up running as we found it did not compliment the engine package. Once a final setting is arrived at we build it all into the race bike and the race bike gets run with an AFR sensor and data logger while the rider rides a track. The reason for this beyond the dyno is to make sure it is correct under each particular rider’s style. Different riders ride in different RPM range and turn the throttle at different rates. We can actually richen or lean the bike depending on the speed the throttle is applied. This can’t be achieved on the dyno and needs real world testing.
Suspension – It starts with stock components and a base setup. A lot of effort goes into making sure the small things are correct first. Bike balance, spring rates etc. Then it is a matter of working with the rider to deliver what they want. This is why suspension is tricky as there is no right or wrongs. It is what makes the rider comfortable and happy that counts. This particular bike being Maximus Purvis’ bike we worked closely with JCR in New Zealand as Max also races for them in the New Zealand championship. We share information that in the end benefits Max as we gather more and more data on him. Suspension direction is ultimately driven by the rider.
Chassis – We give the rider a variety of options to test. Bar bends, levers, seats, grips, gearing, etc. It is not an endless list as you can easily get lost but more an option A, B or C on each area of the bike. This normally is pretty easy to get sorted and turns the bike into a personalised bike for the rider.
Protection – We try and prepare for the what if’s by adding strength and protection to the bike to try and make sure it can always finish the race and score points in every moto. You never know what could happen to the bike in a crash or tangle with another rider and you want the machine to make the finish line no matter what is thrown at it.
So we now have a bike the rider is happy with and we are happy with the performance level of the bike. The next big expense is keeping it in perfect condition for a whole race season. It is no good if the bike is perfect at round one and blown up by round three. This is a big part of running a professional race team with the bigger teams having more resources and budget to make sure all the rider’s bikes are perfect. For our team, we only stick to quality products to ensure reliability. We also run a log on all parts and everything on the bike has an expiration date. This is often earlier than the average rider would replace the part as the cost of a DNF is so high for a race team and rider. A lot of parts get recycled also, when they time out from the race bike they still have life in them and can be used on practice bikes. Hopefully we will still see some racing in 2020 to put this particular bike through its paces.