Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Fast singles: Dirtbike-based 450cc road racers


Roland Sands speaks about the single-cylinder 450cc road racer concept
To keep costs low, engine, chassis and swingarm have to be stock items...

Gavin Trippe, a key figure in promoting motorcycle racing in the US in the 1970s and 80s, has now come up with a new (?) proposition – converting single-cylinder dirtbikes into road racers. The idea is to take bikes like the Honda CRF450X and the Yamaha WR450F, use the standard engine, swingarm and chassis, add wheels, tyres and suspension components suited to road racing and there you are – low cost road racers for people on a budget.

Along with Trippe, noted specials builders Roland Sands and Troy Lee have also been drafted in to help out with this project and handle the design and fabrication work. Together, the three of them have worked to keep costs low – the aim is to start a new race series for these single-cylinder 450cc machines, which would be far more affordable than four-cylinder 600s.

Road Racer X recently interviewed Trippe, who says, ‘The 450 is really the workhorse engine of everything – motocross, off-road, supermoto, and the rest of it. The purpose [of creating these road racers] is, instead of seeing who can build the fastest motorcycle, to create a test of rider. You can’t buy the right wrist!’

Trippe thinks a single-cylinder 450cc class would be perfect for beginners. He says, ‘A class like this would get the basics down. I think it’s got a lot of validity, purely because it helps you learn to road race – sorting out corner speed, braking and exits. It isn’t going to blow past a 250cc pure road racer, but it’s going to be highly competitive; it gets the basics down.’

Get the full interview on the Road Racer X website here and visit Trippe’s blog here.

Also see:
Yamaha WRF450 vs Subaru Impreza WRX STi
Troy Lee creates the Honda CRF450-based 'Canyon Chaser'
Roland Sands and Kenny Roberts build the KRV5 Boardtracker
Team Cristofolini build 350cc, 112bhp racing scooter!!
Shelby and Rucker's 150bhp chopper...
Lazareth Motorcycles' cool customs
Tim Cameron's amazing V-Rex!
Going mad: A V8, 1000 horsepower motorcycle!
From Belgium: The Krugger Goodwood
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