Privately owned teams could take over most of the top slots in the near future. JT and Butler Brothers MX have the equipment to run toward the front of the pack.
SHOP TALK: HOW'S IT PUT TOGETHER?
The actual workshop behind the Butler Brothers' bikes is WMI (Willie Manning Inc.) in West Palm Beach, Florida. In fact, the team's headquarters are based in the same complex as WMI. BBMX works closely with WMI to get their bikes dialed in, and WMI does the important mod work on Jason Thomas' bike. For the engines, WMI does their own porting, cams, valve trains and ignition programming (with the OEM ignition). They also use a Crankworks lightened and balanced OEM crank and a 13:1 high-compression, coated-skirt, Wiseco piston (along with a Wiseco forged clutch basket, inner hub and pressure plate). KG clutch components offer up the fiber plates, steel plates and springs. For fuel, the team burns VP MR-Pro 4.1 fuel, which is maximized by a customized FMF 4.1 two-piece titanium exhaust system with a PowerBomb header.
Thomas' WMI-tuned suspension package utilizes the stock Kayaba units with custom valving and internals. Jason runs the standard 0.47 kg/mm front fork springs and a lighter 5.2 kg/mm rear shock spring. The shock is also equipped with an oversized bladder cap for longer life. As for engine cooling, Jason Thomas' bike has oversized ICW radiators that were braced and rewelded for extra strength. CV4 provides the radiator hoses and 1.8 radiator cap.
Thomas' bike was also well served by Excel rims, Talon hubs, Bel Ray lubricants, Twin Air filters, ASV
levers, Smith grips, Dunlop's GeoMax MX51 tires, an RK GB520MXU sealed-ring chain, Pit Posse brake snake and Vortex oversized HB919 bend handlebars and sprockets (13/50 final drive). To save unsprung weight and make Jason feel that his bike is special, BBMX uses a full titanium bolt kit, including the pivots and axles.
In an effort to help the handling of the bike, Thomas runs Applied 24mm offset clamps. The stock 2009 Honda CRF450 offset is 20mm. Devol provides the engine mounts (which are designed to feed more flex into the chassis), starting device, and anodized plugs, caps, axle blocks, case guard and glide plate.
The brakes are aided by QTM's 270mm oversized front brake rotor. Thomas runs the standard rear rotor, brake pads and brake lines.
As for personal taste, Jason knows how he likes his bike set up: The tip of his clutch lever has to extend right to the end of the handlebar, the race sag has to be exactly 105mm, and according to the team, he is very picky about tire pressure. Thomas also runs custom-made raised IMS footpegs. Completing the pro bike look were Polisport plastics mounted with BBMX Stellar Graphics and a BBMX Throttle Jockey seat cover.
TEST RIDE: HANG ON AND PRAY
As far as ergonomics are concerned, Jason Thomas' setup is definitely unique. If we had never met Jason, we would have guessed that he was short, just from riding
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