Suzuki Factory Team
JGR is the Suzuki factory team for Monster Energy Supercross, fielding seven riders across the 250SX and 450SX classes. While the 250SX class uses a production-based RM-Z250, the 450SX class rules are much more open, allowing a bike that only somewhat resembles the RM-Z450 you can buy.
Buddy Antunez and Jeremy Albrecht
Jeremy Albrecht (right), Team Manager, and Buddy Antunez (left) showed us around the well-equipped JGR trailer. In contrast to the "no cameras" policy of some racing teams, there were no secrets here. They gave us full access to their facility and answered all of our questions.
Organization Is Key
Knowing where all your parts and tools are is critical to the success of any garage. That goes double if you are limited on space as you are in a mobile operation such as this. JGR has this down to a science, with pretty much any spare part you can imagine stored in neat particular order. This makes it easy for technicians to quickly find any part they need to change setups or repair bikes in between races.
Among the parts able to be changed quickly are sprockets. While these are unlikely to get damaged during a race, riders may not find the engine's powerband to be precisely where they want it for the peculiarities of a particular track. Easily accessible sprockets allow the bike's gearing to be changed and optimized for each track.
Not Clutching At Straws
Different riders may also want a different feel in their clutch engagement. Some prefer a strong, instant response, while others prefer a more gradual engagement to provide a wider friction zone. Clutch disks with different amounts of friction material are available to customize each bike's clutch feel to exactly what its rider wants.
Flywheel Weighing You Down?
There is an entire drawer full of different weight flywheels, again for adjusting the bike's performance to the rider's preference. Lighter flywheels can make the engine more responsive to inputs, but allow revs to drop quickly between shifts and make clutch control more difficult. A heavier flywheel makes it easier for the engine to maintain its speed at the expense of responsiveness. All options are available here to give the rider the best performance for each situation.
Forks and Springs
Customization options are not limited to the engine, either. Extra forks with many different weight springs are available. These finely tune the suspension to each rider's weight, as well as provide the performance characteristics they are looking for on each particular track.
Similarly, different rear shocks are available for the same reason. While the 250MX class requires the use of off-the-shelf components, the 450MX class allows full customization, such as this billet shock with a remote reservoir.
There's Space For People, Too
Of course, the trailer isn't just for parts. Crew and riders can come in to watch the race, grab a coffee or a snack, analyze data collected during testing, or simply relax. While the trailer is generally neat and tidy, there are signs of it being lived in, such as racer Justin Hill's helmet casually sitting on a counter.
Rest And Relaxation
The trailer has a second floor dedicated to giving riders a place to kick off their boots. The ceiling is extremely low, but once seated on the leather couches it's quite comfortable and just big enough to stretch out, analyze their performance in the last race, or simply watch TV and relax. These guys work hard and deserve a break once in a while.
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