The Honda is set up to soak up 1–2-
foot-tall, high-speed whoops and
square-edge bumps like cracks in a
sidewalk. You can’t really wheelie a
machine like this over much; instead,
you drive right through the obstacles.
The tall tires also help soak up the Gouts and other holes. And, the holes
Riding a purpose-built Baja racer
is different than testing any other trail
or race 450. Desert quads are big
beasts. They have to be to hold up to
the punishment of Baja. They sit tall
and are usually very comfortable.
The Team Christy Honda is no different. From the Roll Design footpegs
and Quad Tech seat to the Fasst Co.
Flexx bars and Spider grips, these
components are set up for long hours
in the saddle.
The large, 22- and 23-inch tires are
the hardest parts to get used to.
Gearing is usually set up tall, too, so
unless the ground is really slippery,
it’s hard to even peel out on a desert
quad. Instead, you can tell the
Duncan motor is built for smooth,
rideable torque, not arm-jerking
power. You can lug the motor to get it
going and let it rev a long way before
you have to shift to the next gear.
It takes about 10 miles to get used to
a big sport quad like this. The taller
setup forces the rider to use a little
more body English around tight corners. The transition between sitting
and standing is shorter than an MX
quad, so your legs don’t get tired
In desert races, the jumps are not usually that big. However, sometimes there
are unexpected booby traps built by the
spectators. Your quad and rider have to
be ready for these high-speed obstacles.
Doug Roll probably has more Baja wins
than any other A-arm builder. That
combo, along with Elka suspension, has
proven tough, as well as plush, for the
most punishing jobs.
ping and loosing bolts in the sand.
An RK O-ring chain rotates around a
15-tooth front and 37-tooth rear
Sunstar sprocket. Top speed is estimated around 90 mph.
The tire of choice in Baja for many
top teams used to be Maxxis RZRs.
Lately more teams (including last
year’s Baja 500 winner Josh Row)
have been switching over to DWT
tires. DWT has started marketing a
super-thick, 12-ply tire for these applications. They also have the tire in utility sizes too. For Christy’s Honda, the
23-inch front and 22-inch rear tires
were mounted on equally strong
DWT Rock Out wheels. Tire pressure
can be run incredibly low in these
stiff tires. The team starts each race
with 3 psi up front and only 2 psi out
back. The hubs out back remain
stock, and Team-brand hubs are riding on stock spindles at the front end.
The brake components are stock at
both ends, with the exception of
Crown-series steel-braided brake
To direct this 350-pound racer, a
Roll Design anti-vibe steering stem
($349) is equipped with a GPR stabilizer ($459) and topped off with a set of
Fasst Co. Flexx bars at $329. More
fatigue-fighting products that are utilized are Spyder grips and
PowerMadd handguards ($79). When
riding long distances, you would be
surprised by how much having good
grips and handguards help.
To provide even more comfort for
Team Christy’s riders, a Quad Tech
desert racing seat and $199 huge
Roll Design footpegs are employed.
Connected to those footpegs, are a
set of custom-chromoly DRI heel
guards. This is one of the many
pieces that just might be slightly
stronger than what the competitors
are using. Nice touch. DRI also
added their signature front bumper
($179) and installed a modified PRM
rear grab bar at $89.
To operate the Hinson/DRI clutch,
a Works Connection Elite perch and
lever ($129) are used, along with a
brand-new Motion Pro cable. You
wouldn’t believe how many races
have been lost due to a broken throttle or clutch cable. This is one of
those $20 parts that can cost you a
win. A Works Connection hot-start
lever has also mounted up. Finally,
to protect the underside of this racer,
a $249, thick, aluminum OMF skid
plate runs under the entire length of