Racing on a Budget
Project Budget Racer Part II
April 19, 2013
When I started my search for performance parts, the first thing I knew I needed was quality suspension components. Now days newer ATVs come with rebuildable shocks, so one option I had was to revalve/rebuild the suspension and purchase a linkage for the rear and some extended standard travel A-arms, but keep in mind we are building an National A/B level machine, I knew that this would not suffice in the long run, so I set out scanning the classifieds and eBay for high quality suspension parts.
Another thing that I had kept in mind was brand loyalty, and what I know works. Yes, this is a budget build but buying cheap parts is actually more expensive since you'll end up buying the part twice. I came from riding fully-built Laeger 250R’s and hybrids, so I knew right away the brands I would be looking for. My chosen components would only be ones that I knew were proven to perform on the track. I came across a chromed Laeger’s Pro Trax front end on eBay. Now, most of you may be thinking, “I thought this was a budget build why would you buy a Pro Trax?” My reasoning was simple, the Buy It Now was $800, and the retail on this front end chromed is over $2500, so I bought it. The lesson here is to know exactly what you want and keep an eye out for deals, - eBay and Craigslist makes hunting very easy.
I then came across a set of Custom Axis PRS Titanium Spring, Hi/Low Speed Compression and Rebound adjustable shocks for $1,000. Again, “$1,000 for shocks? Really, a budget build?” The retail on these babies is $2,275, again look for deals, they're out there. Next I needed a steering stabilizer. CCP sells very nice billet stabilizers for around $175-$200, which is about half the cost of a GPR, and the same quality. And lastly, I found a Walsh Steering Stem for $175, to top if off, with a set of leftover Tag T2 bars. I now had an outstanding front end for far less than most would spend.
The rear end was a little more complicated, as I had many options. I could revalve the rear shock, buy a linkage, and an ‘06 swingarm which is a little bit longer, OR, since I had already put together one very impressive front end - why not equip the rear with something just as impressive as the front? Ironically the same eBay seller had a Walsh Savior Rear End, with a matching PRS triple adjust titanium rear shock. The price on this? $1,100. So you guessed it I bought it. The swingarm and linkage alone are $1,500 from Walsh and most suppliers, and the shock is roughly about $1,500 as well. I also wanted to find a good reliable axle and housing. East Coast ATV sells quality billet twin row bearing carriers for $100 + shipping, which is the choice I opted for. As usual eBay was my best friend when it came to finding an axle. I purchased a brand new leftover RPM Dominator II Axle for just $200. To finish the rear end, I knew I did not want to risk the stock locknut coming loose, so I purchased a brand new billet anti-fade locknut for $150, which is moderately priced for this part. The rear end was now complete and on par with the front.
Tires and wheels were next on my list. eBay worked wonders for me once again. I purchased a set of front and rear Douglas Ultimate Billet Beadlocks with nearly new Razr MX meats for just $400. The savings on these made me want to camp out on eBay and keep the streak going, which I often seem to do.
Nerf Bars and front bumper followed this on the build list, as nerfs are a requirement for racing. I purchased a set of Rath Racing Monster Pegs for $200 from a forum user. After that I came across a DG Racing National Bumper for only $35 on eBay. A grab bar was not required, as the tail light mount on the TRX can be used as a number plate mount. In addition, I purchased a set of front and rear brake lines with clamps from ATV Galaxy for $125.00.
Now that the bike was sitting at a motocross stance, it was time to pep up the motor. Being that the bike already had a cam, filter, and jets. I needed very few things to wake up the motor. I decided to go with a new JE Piston from Trinity Racing’s eBay store for $169.99 with a gasket kit. This was slightly cheaper than ordering from their online store. I decided to take the engine to my long time engine builder Gino Vucina of VPS Racing, who charged a reasonable $300 to install my piston and port and polish the head. His motors have won Pro-Am and A championships in the 90’s when the 350X hybrids were the only available 4-strokes. I wanted to go with an upgraded FCR Carburetor that was easier to tune, and offered a bit more power, so I came across a 2006 FCR Carb for $200, which I needed to purchase an adapter from Noss Machine for $70. This required modifying the carb, it was either that or purchase a ’06 or later year tank, so I picked up a 2006 TRX450R tank for $65.
For cosmetics I called up an old friend of mine Andy Maul from Maul Tech ATV who was kind enough to provide me a set of graphics and a seat cover. I also ordered a set of Oury Grips, which I have used for quite some time, and suit my preference very well. If you notice I chose pink graphics and grips, this is in support of a friend of mine who recently was diagnosed with breast cancer, and this is my way to support her and raise awareness to this horrible desease. I will be sporting some PinkRibbonRiders.com stickers on my ride this year, as well as my #88 Ride To Live Foundation stickers, in remembrance of our fallen friend Matt Bartosek.