OCTOBER 2013 / DIRT BIKE 75
Taylor’s WORCS bike is a Kawasaki KX450F. The most
extraordinary aspect of the bike is how ordinary it is. The
bike that he used to win the first race of 2013 was actually
his 2012 KX, which had been freshened and re-prepped.
At the time, his 2013 contract hadn’t been finalized, and
Taylor had to freelance with the materials at hand. His
setup is basically unchanged since then, with the exception of switching from an Akrapovic pipe to a Pro Circuit
The list of items required to go GP racing is fairly well
established. Taylor uses an IMS tank with a quick dry-break filler. He uses a GPR damper, a Hinson clutch
basket, and various guards from Works Connection and
Zip-Ty Racing. He uses an ARC brake lever and a Works
Connection clutch lever with Acerbis, flag-style handguards.
His suspension is a work in progress. He is still a true
believer in the Fox rear shock, but he’s switching from
his 2012 conventional fork to an air fork, valved by TBT.
For long, off-road races, he uses Dunlop mousses for flat
Taylor’s EnduroCross machine is built at Kawasaki corporate headquarters in Irvine. It starts off as a KX250F, but
is punched out with an oversized CH piston. There are a
few differences between his WORCS parts and pieces. He
uses ARC levers on both sides, an Akrapovic pipe and, of
course, a standard-size tank. In the Dunlop factory “sticky”
tires, the EnduroCross bike is equipped with Tire Balls
instead of mousses for less rotational weight and quicker
response. Unlike the majority of his competitors, Taylor
uses a manual clutch with a Hinson basket instead of an
automatic. He believes that most automatic clutches rob a
slight amount of throttle response. For gearing, he uses a
12/47 combo because the small rear sprocket is tucked up
out of harm’s way.
For extreme enduros like Last Dog Standing, he adds
grab handles and a more protective TM skid plate. Even in
these types of events, he only uses flag-type hand protectors. He feels full wraps might be hazardous in the (highly
likely) event of a trip over the bars. No matter where he’s
riding, Taylor is a big believer in steering dampers. He
generally runs a lighter setting in an EnduroCross than in
As you might expect from an Arizona guy, Taylor
believes in vented gear. He doesn’t wear a T-shirt under
his Thor jersey and dresses light, even if it’s cold in the
morning. He knows he’ll heat up soon enough. He generally doesn’t wrap his hands, but sometimes he’s forced
to during multi-day events like the ISDE. Then he uses
Elasticon tape, which is hard to find but very comfortable.
He uses Thor goggles with the standard anti-fog lens.
A tinted lens with a mirrored finish is good for super-bright Arizona days. For almost all events, laminated
tear-offs work well for him. In dry dirt, they don’t allow
dust between tear-off sheets, and even in wet conditions, they stay fairly clear. If it’s raining, Taylor might use
a roll-off shield over the top to keep from getting water
between the lens and the laminated stack. During the
ISDE, he might use roll-offs.
Keeping cool in the Arizona heat is critical. Taylor never
overdresses, even when a ride starts cold.
This is the KX450F used to win the first WORCS race of the
year. Since then, Taylor has switched to air forks and a Pro
Taylor’s bike for EnduroCross and the Global X Games is built
at Kawasaki’s corporate headquarters in Irvine.