We’ve often wondered just how well elite, factory-backed riders such as Ken Roczen and Cole Seely know their own motorcycles.
There’s no question that they’re well-versed in how to swing a leg over them and go fast as hell, but when it comes to the precise nuts and bolts of the machines that they use to fly through the air like Superman and careen around corners like a roller coaster, do they even have a clue? That’s the subject of the latest episode of Honda’s REDefined video series. Episode 2 follows Roczen and Seely as they attempt to tackle maintenance chores on their Honda CRF450Rs.
You’d be surprised at just how many top-level factory racers don’t know beans about how to properly and efficiently prepare and maintain a motorcycle–someone has always done it for them. In fact, that may be part of how they got to be factory riders in the first place. All they ever had to worry about was riding, and they obviously showed they had a knack for that.
True story: I once spent time at the home of a Grand National Champion dirt track racer–we’ll keep his name anonymous, although it rhymes with “snot marker.” Well, one day as we were out in his shop, the ol’ flat track master showed me how he oiled his air filters, and let me tell you it was a sight to behold. He took a full 10 minutes as he pulled out his oil bucket, grabbed a pre-cleaned filter and proceeded to bolt to a cage mounted to the end of a long drill bit that had been slid through a hole in the top of the bucket. He then dropped the works into the bucket and sealed the lid before grabbing his drill motor off the bench, attaching it to the other end and then dipping it in the oil before lifting it out and spinning the drill for what seemed like an eternity. Once this exercise was completed, he opened the lid and retrieved the air filter. “There he said,” to which I grabbed the next pre-cleaned air filter off the bench, slipped on a pair of plastic gloves and dropped the filter into the bucket, squeezing and wringing it thoroughly. In less than a minute, I raised an oiled filter that looked exactly like his. “I’d hate to be around to see you change a tire,” I replied.
Are Roczen and Seely at twisting a wrench as they are at twisting a throttle? Honda sent us the video link below so we could find out. As Honda put it, “With Cole Seely and Ken Roczen having an entire crew of people behind them, it’s not very often that they’re required to work on their own CRF450R. Do they even know how?”
Check out Episode 2 of Team Honda HRC’s REDefined series to find out for yourself.