Mechanic to Brayton and Faith talks Penrite Honda CRF450R
By Marc Jones
After racing motorcycles his whole life, Brent Duffe developed a passion the sport of motocross and spent his younger years gazing through tech articles to build his mechanical skills. When he wasn’t racing, he found himself spinning spanners and eventually picked up his big break working for Brock Sellards.
From there he moved on to helping Gavin Faith in the Amateur series before leaving it all behind and heading to college. Finding it hard to forget his roots, Duffe got back into mechanising picking up a position on the CycleTraders Yamaha team before being offered a job to work with Justin Brayton.
He then dropped everything and moved to California and has since traveled the world with Brayton, claiming many race wins and championships along the way, including last years Australian Supercross Championship. He now looks after the Penrite Honda bikes here in Australia, ensuring Justin Brayton and Gavin Faith are ready to take on the countries best riders and gave us his insight into the 2017 CRF bikes the team runs.
An insight into the Penrite Honda bikes – With Brent Duffe
“The bikes that Justin Brayton runs are the same package he would run back in America. They’re a 2017 CRF450, which allows us to run parts he is comfortable with that he’s used throughout the year, as well as cutting down testing time on new parts. The last thing you want is to race overseas on a bike you’ve never ridden or don’t know the ins and outs of.
“Brayton says the bike has 100 per cent the same feel as his bike back home. The team doesn’t run many ‘factory parts’ on the bike as they want to keep them as similar to their bikes back home. Last year the team brought over a complete works bike to dial in for the AMA series as they’d just made the switch from KTM to Honda, but decided to keep it more simplified for this year’s series.
“The crew at Showa provides the suspension for the bikes, which was tested back at home before we left. He runs it in at the practice track and makes minor adjustments where needed, but it is almost identical to the setup he would run in the AMA series.
“Both Faith and Brayton did their pre-season training at Club MX and with the help of the Showa tech Adrian; they were able to dial in the base setting for this year’s series. Ride Engineering give us custom pull rods to run on the rear shock and lower the rear end.
“For Brayton, the engine is prepared by XPR and sent over to Australia and assembled here. Gavin Faith chooses to get his engines built by Buddy Brooks, and like Brayton, brings it over with him and has it assembled in Australia.
“The engines were tested during the pre-season at Club MX and allowed both riders to dial in engine settings that they were comfortable with. Minor adjustments to the mapping are made using Vortex Ignitions, meaning we can run several power maps as the track changes throughout the night.
“The team runs a full Yoshimura exhaust system, which alongside the modified engine allows for the smoothest power output possible. Like most Supercross riders in the field, they use an oversized front brake disc, which allows for sharp braking when it’s needed.
“Brayton goes as far as running a custom front brake master cylinder which allows him to get the feel and stopping power he prefers, also creating a lot more adjustability compared to your standard brake.
“As far as controls go, we went with Renthal handlebars paired with ARC levers. Brayton runs a Rekluse clutch whereas Faith chooses to run a Hinson clutch. Both riders use EZE Products wheels, as well as Faith using their triple clamps, but for Brayton, he prefers the feel of the X-Trig clamps. The team runs Dunlop tyres to help provide the most traction possible out there on a slick track.”
The 2017 Australian Supercross Championships next heads to Victoria when the second round is contested at Bacchus Marsh Motocross Club, Saturday October 14th.
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.