The most far-reaching and expensive
modifications are to the suspension and
running gear. Lonestar’s XC A-arms
and billet spindles allow the Yamaha to
steer and track like the Suzuki LT-R450.
Perfectly tuned Custom Axis shocks
and Maxxis tires, Tire Balls and Douglas
beadlock wheels complete the running
sion. Custom Axis was purchased by
Penske Racing Shocks and moved to
Pennsylvania. That makes them close
by so Coastal can do suspension testing conveniently.
Finishing races is the first part in
doing well, so Neal’s machine runs
Maxxis tires on DWT beadlock wheels
with Tire Balls inside to eliminate flats
but still allow normal tire action and
traction. In the woods, cooling and
mud are constant problems, so the
team covers the radiator with a Twin
Air cover to keep the fins clear of mud.
GNCC machinery has to walk a fine
line. They need power, but they also
have to endure two-hour races under
brutal conditions. Coastal does all the
engine work in-house. Most of the performance mods are aimed at making
power without generating additional
heat. The head gets the most work.
Better breathing makes better power
without adding much heat, and the
same is true of the FMF full-exhaust
system. A Vortex ECU is used, but the
programming is all proprietary.
None of the motor mods are particularly expensive, but coming up
with your own engine-management
programming is expensive and
time-consuming. Then there is the
parts budget. A team like Coastal has
a transporter, a crew, hotels, meals,
entry fees, transportation costs and
sponsors to please. It can’t take any
chances on an engine failure. The
Yamaha engine is very durable, but
the minimum service between races
is freshening up the head, a new
piston and a complete clutch. The
machine is completely torn down to
the frame and rebuilt to make sure
everything is clean, lubed and in
perfect condition for the next race on
You may not want to have this level
of modification for your quad, but you
can learn a lot from it. Look for engine
mods that don’t produce a lot of heat.
Concentrate on making your quad
bulletproof so you always get to finish
your rides. Take the time to inspect
it for damage, and don’t spare the
lubrication. You may not get as fast
as Brycen Neal, but you can have just
as much fun. ❏
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