Racers out West go fast. Not fast in some relative way, just plain fast. Desert racing, WORCS, Hare and Hound, GP and motocross are all popular formats known for high speeds, big whoops and hard impacts. Anyone who has ridden the Honda CRF450X knows that it has all the characteristics of a western racer, so it’s no wonder that Dubach Racing Development chose the 2009 450X as a starting point for its endurance project. There’s a bit of difference between building a bike to go fast and building one to go fast for six, 12 or 24 hours. Much of that lies in the bike’s ability to survive physical damage from the terrain and from the rider, so most of the modifications and bolt-ons used by DRD focus on making this bike tough.
Dr. D and crew had some plans for the motor, “First and foremost DRD had to unplug anything and everything,” says DRD’s Mark Tilley. Honda’s emission controls were removed by an Applied Racing block off kit which dropped weight and helped clean up the motor’s performance in conjunction with the DRD exhaust. At the heart of the build are massaged intake and exhaust ports which feed into a complete SS/A exhaust system. The stainless steel and aluminum exhaust arrangement has a USFS-approved spark arrestor and can be used with a quiet core insert for additional stealth. A complete Wiseco clutch kit is a primary durability upgrade. The forged basket, inner hub and pressure plates can handle just about anything you can throw at it over the course of a race, and the finished pieces use a Teflon coating and hard anodizing. This thankless component gets some outward love via a side cover which held up against scuffing much better than stock. Riders operate the clutch with an ASV unbreakable lever, but we noticed that the CRF’s notorious clutch pull is still very stiff. Keeping an eye on the mill is one of DRD’s hour meters.