My race machine: the Two Brothers Racing KLX138.When Las Vegas Mini Moto rolls around each year, those who want to throw their hats in the ring had better be ready with some serious machinery under them, and not only that, but also be ready to get aggressive and throw some elbows. The Maxxis Mini Moto SX is definitely not for the timid - not even the women's class, which started out as somewhat of an exhibition, but has become just as cut throat as the men’s classes.It's been a few years since I raced Mini Moto, but upon receiving an irresistible offer from Kawasaki, I was ready to get back in the arena. A fire-breathing Two Brothers Racing KLX138 with Race Tech/Marzocchi suspension and all the bells and whistles, along with a coach and trainer, former women's motocross world champion Tania Satchwell, who would be racing alongside me in Las Vegas. Who would say no to that?
Nothing stock here... Joel Albrecht of Two Brothers Racing did the build for us, and by the time he was finished, the only stock part still on the little KLX110 was the frame. Everything from the motor to the suspension was beefed up and tricked out. (See parts list) The finished product was a potent ‘roided-out Mini Moto weapon, and way more aggressive than what I needed, but with Tania’s help, I was going to train hard and give it all I had. With only one Women’s class at the Vegas MiniMoto, I would be lining up next to some of the top female motocrossers in the world, such as Ashley Fiolek, Tatum Sik and Sarah Price. I had to be realistic about my expectations – after all, I’m still an intermediate. But Tania and I talked about a “Plan B” where I would play Chisholm to her Stewart, and take out Ashley Fiolek as they lapped me in the main event. I'd leave "Plan A" (put the smack down) to Tania.
Our training started at Fox Racing headquarters. Just a whoop, lip and a jump from the Cycle News office, their mini moto track surrounding their Irvine office was the perfect training ground for some afternoon mini-moto practice sessions.
Fox Racing’s Warren Johnson was good enough to join in our training sessions – even if he and Tania spent most of the time bumping, stuffing and racing each other. Still, the time at Fox Racing was ideal for getting the bike dialed in, and getting some valuable seat time in on a tight, jumpy track. And, of course, good practice for throwing those elbows!
The aggressive Race Tech-tuned suspension package seemed more rigid than a lot of 450 motocross bikes I’ve ridden. Coupled with the barky motor, this little Tasmanian devil was downright intimidating. But once we got to Las Vegas, it all started to make sense. The more wide-open track of the Orleans Arena allowed me to use more of the little bike’s big power. After one pass through the mini-stadium whoops, I instantly understood the concept behind the rigid suspension. It was supercross suspension! Perfect for pounding whoops – which would prove to be a key place on the track where I would make up time every lap.After a practice session, timed practice went well, and I qualified sixth. I was happy with that, considering there were five pros in the class.Hanging out in the pits, I came across Mike Metzger, who was having trouble getting comfortable on his mini bike. “The Godfather” is a friend of mine, and since I was in a giving mood, and especially since I felt like this little bike deserved more of a rider than I’d ever be, I suggested we share the Two Brothers Racing KLX110. Metz took the bike out for a practice session, promptly fell in love with it, and with the okay from Kawasaki and MiniMotoSX promoters, we headed into the night program planning to share the little Tasmanian devil. We used the same number, and after I rode the Women’s class, I’d hand it off to him for the 12-inch Expert division.
Fox Racing headquarters was the perfect place to get in some afternoon motos in preparation for the MiniMotoSX. With the sixth gate pick, I lined up next to Tania Satchwell. There was no need for “Plan B” since Ashley Fiolek was injured during practice and wasn’t going to race. So now we were on to Plan C which was to keep it on two wheels and stay out of trouble.
Just as I suspected, there was a big pileup in the first turn, but unlike last time in the Orleans Arena, this time I managed to avoid it. I slammed on the brakes (thankful I had disc brakes, front and rear) and swerved to miss the carnage. Of course, now I was close to the back of the pack, so it was time to get to work. With steady laps I worked my way through the field, usually picking off at least one rider a lap in the whoops. On the last lap, I had my sights set on Erin Normoyle who was running seventh. I was moving in fast, and was ready to duck on the inside in the turn just before the whoops and gain one more position before the checkered flag. But much to my surprise, she shut the door on me! I gotta hand it to Normoyle – she knew I was coming and pinched me off. Worse yet, I stalled on account of the unexpected move! Well played, Miss EnduroCross. Well played.
The TBR KLX138 in action at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Two more riders got by me as I kicked the KLX to life, and crossed the finish line in ninth which was a bit disappointing, but I was glad to report no crashes, and hand the bike off to Metzger in one piece. Tania finished much better, getting on the podium with a second place finish behind Erika Short - wife of Supercross racer Andrew Short. Not bad for her first race back after suffering a broken back!
Unfortunately, The Godfather’s race didn’t fare quite as well, as he was a victim of Jason Lawrence’s random rampage. After being punted over a berm, Metzger elected to pull out of the race and spare himself (and the bike) any unnecessary damage.The Two Brothers Racing KLX 138 proved to be a potent mini Supercross weapon – capable of everything you’d need in a bike to win. But as I learned for the second time, that’s not all you need to succeed at the MiniMotoSX. Perhaps next year, Kawasaki can give me some iron elbow guards and some good take-out moves for my next MiniMoto escapade!
PARTS LIST: Two Brothers Racing KLX110 Mini Racer
138cc Superhead +R with 26mm Mikuni carb $1399.98
Takegawa six-disc clutch $287.98
Manual cable clutch with cover kit $353.98
BBR heavy duty output shaft $169.98
Takegawa four-speed shift drum $110.98
Two Brothers Racing exhaust $279.98
Two Brothers Racing filter and bracket kit $39.98
Two Brothers Racing engine cover kit $229.98
Stock Frame N/A
Race Tech shock $574.98
Marzocchi fork $1639.98
KX65 wheels OEM Kawasaki N/A
KX65 brakes OEM Kawasaki N/A
Sik Tendencies brake adaptors $249.98
Two Brothers Racing swingarm $499.98
Two Brothers Racing foot pegbar $199.98
Two Brothers Racing kick starter $99.98
Two Brothers Racing tall seat assy. $99.98
Pro Taper handlebars $64.98
Pro Taper grips $12.98
ASV Levers $89.98
Two Brothers Racing brake pedal $119.98
Two Brothers Racing folding shift lever $32.98
Two Brothers Racing graphics kit $59.98