different mapping and a kickstand.
A fourth of the way through the season, the RPM KTM
has undergone only four changes. It has an FMF pipe. The
suspension was revalved and softened by Justin’s uncle,
De Wayne Jones. The IMS fuel tank has a dry-break filler.
And, the bike has a Hinson BTL clutch. There’s a story
behind that last item. The BTL is a “slipper” clutch, introduced a few years ago and immediately embraced by ATV
and Supermoto racers. It reduces engine braking by allowing the clutch to slip in one direction only. Justin Jones
was one of the top ATV racers in California when the clutch
became popular, and he learned to love the slipper. He
brought that love with him when he transitioned to motorcycles, and considers the slipper clutch a secret weapon
that allows him to downshift early and keep the rear wheel
on the ground and under perfect control.
before). Hurlbert doesn’t resent it at all; he considers it
proof of a job well done. For 2013, Ivan Ramirez will team
with Kurt Caselli in Baja under the KTM factory banner,
but he won’t be racing WORCS. In the meantime, RPM’s
WORCS pro rider Josh Strang moved back east to race
the GNCC series on a Kawasaki. That left a hole that
Jones was delighted to fill. He was hired to ride the
WORCS races, but he will also accompany the factory
KTM team to Baja as a backup rider.
In WORCS, the plan was for Justin to ride a new KTM
450XC-F, but the plan started looking shaky as the first
race of the year grew close. The bike didn’t arrive until 48
hours before the start of the race. RPM wrench Robbie
Goolsby had just enough time to do a little suspension
setup (based on testing with a 450SX motocross bike
from the previous year), install a big tank and put on
Justin’s number. Then they went racing.
A WORK IN PROGRESS
As of the third race in the series, Jones is fourth in the
points. But, the bike is still a work in progress. Last year
Ramirez rode the old, twin-cam, carbureted motocross
bike. The 2013 450XC-F is completely new, with a single
cam and fuel injection, so just assuming the old setup
would work on the new bike was risky. Luckily, the KTM
doesn’t need much setup. It’s practically designed for
WORCS racing right out of the box. KTM offers more off-road bikes than any other motorcycle manufacturer in the
world. Whereas a company like Suzuki has just two full-size dirt bikes, KTM has 20. One reason for the proliferation is the XC line. These bikes split the difference
between motocross bikes and trail bikes, which is exactly
what WORCS racing demands. The 450XC-F is, essentially, just like the 450SX-F, which is the core of Ryan
Dungey’s Supercross bike. It has softer suspension, a
larger fuel tank, an 18-inch rear wheel, wider gear ratios,
Bonanza Plumbing is one of
the sponsors that helps RPM
Racing do its thing: helping
young, promising riders.
A Hinson BTL clutch is one of Justin Jones’ personal