While the Doctor administered his medicine and a big dose of Honda Pro Oils inside the Norco, California headquarters, the suspension headed off elsewhere to get overhauled as well.
When it comes to going really fast across the desert, few companies are more trusted than Precision Concepts Racing. These guys are responsible for all those Baja championships as the official motor and suspension shop for Honda’s factory off-road program, now the Johnny Campbell Racing team.
Go to any local AMA district event, Best in the Desert or Baja race and the number of fork legs with Precision Concepts stickers on them is startlingly obvious. The 47mm Showa fork and rear shock were changed internally for more controlled damping and better bottoming resistance. Our test ride was by no means full of deep whoops, but it did inflict a few hard hits and we never touched the bumpers. It has a rigid feel initially but that starts to go away as speeds increase.
The Honda Progressive Steering Damper is an excellent feature for the stock bike during most trail riding, but DRD was expecting more violent impacts. A GPR stabilizer graces the front end to keep the Universal handlebars under control. GPR is a popular choice among desert racers, but personally we’re not particularly fond of the unit.
Steering is slowed dramatically, even when the adjustment is turned all the way out. More forgiving handling can be found with a Scotts damper, which would have been our first choice, but the GPR proves its worth when that extra-nasty jolt comes unexpectedly. Soaking up hard impacts is also a responsibility for the wheels and tires. Dubach left the stock rims and hubs, not surprising since factory Honda has tested countless brands and still runs stock components for their race efforts, but shod them in the new, aggressive Dunlop Geomax MX51 intermediate tires.
Even though the wheels are nothing extraordinary, there’s plenty of cool stuff attached to them which add to the racing formula. A TM Designworks chain guide beefs up protection for the drive system which is anchored by Tag Metals sprockets. AP Racing brake pads offer fresh bite on the rotors and Zip-Ty Racing adds an axle puller, chain adjuster blocks and aluminum shark fin.