BOLTING IT ON
There are certain bolt-on products that have become
synonymous with this type of project. The Rekluse is
one. By now, every off-road rider in America has at least
thought about the possibility of using an automatic clutch.
In our experience, sometimes it’s a good idea; sometimes it isn’t. When it’s right, you don’t notice it. You can
use the clutch lever manually or you can just stomp on
the rear brake without the fear of stalling. The problem
is that a bike has to run perfectly at low rpm in order for
this to happen. Most don’t. The problem has nothing to
do with the clutch itself but with the bike. The jetting or
mapping can be anywhere. There are also tricks with the
setup. Alan knows all this and has installed about a zillion
Rekluse Core EXP clutches in KTM 300s, so, in this particular case, it was risk-free.
The other bolt-on products included Fasst Co. Flexx
bars, the new Fastway/Stillwell linkage guard, a very cool
Dirt Tricks steel rear sprocket, Enduro Engineering radiator guards, a TM Designs Slide & Glide kit, a Baja Designs
Squadron Pro headlight, Fastway footpegs and Fastway
full-wrap handguards. Alan has some setup habits that
are pretty cool too. He installed the master-link clip on
the inside of the chain so it was more protected, and he
installed the footpeg pins upside down so the cotter pin
wouldn’t be vulnerable. He put Evans waterless coolant in
the radiators so that it wouldn’t boil over. All that stuff was
designed with the understanding that this bike was going
to get crashed and thrashed in ugly terrain. That turned
out to be true.
RIDE FAST, LIVE HARD
As you might expect, the bike was awesome. Well, the
KTM 300XC starts out awesome, so this bike was awe-
some squared. The suspension, which is the only thing
that could be called a sore point on the stocker, was cushy
and didn’t have any of the harsh spikes that the 4CS is
known for. But, it was the motor that really impressed us.
We thought there wasn’t much room for improvement, but,
apparently, we thought wrong. The 300 had more power
in the middle and on top without giving up anything anywhere. And, this turned out to be the best application for
the Rekluse automatic clutch that we’ve ever experienced.
The clutch worked so well manually that you could ride the
bike and not realize it was automatic. But, at super-low
rpm, you could inchworm your way up steep hills and get
super traction. There’s no way that a human hand connected to a human brain can work the clutch lever as skillfully in this type of terrain.
We go through a lot of project bikes in the course of a
year, and the biggest problem with this one is that it isn’t
ours. Unless we think of something quick, Alan will want it
back. We’re thinking about sending him to Florence to see
if the Italian authorities arrest him for trying to fix the statue
of David or something. If that doesn’t work, he’ll just have
to build another one of these for us to keep. ❏
Allan Stillwell has built
bikes for the likes of Cody
Webb and Max Gerston.
He can be reached at (866)
460-0896 or www.st