Scottish star Shaun Simpson – who took delivery of six brand-new KTM 450 SX-Fs last month – has spoken to journalist Adam Wheeler about what it takes to turn a stock machine into an SS24 team bike capable of carrying him to the top step of an MXGP podium.
“I have two of the bikes at home with me in Scotland,” said Shaun. “We’ve stripped one already and gone through the engine to make a few adjustments. John Volleberg [of Dutch specialists Volleberg Motorsports] will tune the heads and we’ll get the unit built up as a race engine.
“We try and keep everything as standard as possible, especially with regards to the bottom-end and the gearbox. The KTM 450s are generally fantastic so there is not much more you have to – or need to – do.
“Overall, the six bikes will be stripped down and certain parts replaced like the HGS exhaust, the carbon fibre from CRM, the X Trig clamps, the Renthal bars, Talon wheels, Michelins, R Tech plastics and then the Enjoy sticker kits.
“The engines will be tuned by John in Holland and we’ll use the Carrot ECU just to get the whole package sorted. We’ve [got] the WP 48mm cone valve aftermarket suspension as well as the TRAX shock and, more-or-less, that’s how we turn a stock bike into my KTM race bike.”
Shaun has now fully recovered from two fractured vertebrae sustained in a practice crash and is training with Kevin Maguire who has also worked with Dean Wilson and Max Anstie. He’s aiming to be back in the saddle by mid-December when he will start WP suspension testing.
“We’re busy with planning but obviously there is not much we can do in terms of travelling. I’ve been to look at a new training track in Scotland which is actually sandy and I’m really happy with that. I’ll be back on the bike in a couple of weeks and I can’t wait.”