Up Close With Eli Tomac's Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450F
One of the most exciting things about every new racing season is getting to take a look at the new factory race bikes. This year at Anaheim One, we were able to get up-close-and-personal with a race bike from each of the factory 450 teams. Up next is Eli Tomac Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450F, which is tuned by Brian Kranz.
"We've got a good setting because the KX450F has been the same for a few years now and I'm really comfortable on it. I like my engine set up with a lot of torque because that's what gets you off the line and helps you hit the triples right out of the corners. At the same time, you have to be able to manage it for the duration of the race, so it's important to find that fine line between being powerful and manageable. A fire-breathing powerband will be good in some instances and early in the race, but you can't hold on to that for 20 laps. The same goes for suspension; you want it to be plush enough to be comfortable for the whole race, but it needs to be firm enough to blitz the whoops and nail all the rhythm sections. Suspension setup is extremely personal, and I'd say I'm a middle-of-the-road guy--not too stiff and not too soft.
"I like my suspension to have good hold up, but I like it soft enough to have good traction on dry slick stuff. So I think that hurts me on tacky tracks because my stuff will go through the stroke easily. It's a work in progress finding that good balance between stiff and comfortable."
Mechanic: Brian Kranz
Engine: KMC Exhaust: Pro Circuit Ti-6 Pro Titanium Custom Clutch: Hinson Basket, OEM Plates Transmission: KHI Gearing: Renthal 14/51 Wheels: D.I.D Hubs: KHI Tires: Dunlop 786F Front, 783A Rear Fork: Factory KYB 48mm Spring Shock: Factory KYB Shock Linkage: KMC Handlebars: Renthal Fatbar Triple Clamps: Xtrig ROCS Grips: Renthal Half Waffle Footpegs: KMC Titanium Graphics: D'Cor Visuals
Seat: D'Cor Cover, OEM Seat Base & Foam