In celebration of our 2nd year racing the RedBull TKO Hard Enduro race, we are launching an all new Hard Enduro Collection for all of you extreme riders out there. This collection is full of hand picked parts many of which we raced with at TKO.
In 2022 we raced our first (ever) hard enduro at world famous RedBull TKO in Tennessee. We were intimidated to say the least to race something so grueling and new to us. But, we discovered something during that race....small light weight electric bikes are CHEATER BIKES in this type of terrain and race. What people do not realize is that a race like TKO is more about physical fitness and bike durability than speed and power. About 50% of the gas bikes never finished the race, yet all of our team and most racers on electrics were able to finish. Yup! Cheater Hard Enduro Bikes they are!
For 2023 our goal is to be even faster and more competitive against bikes that (barely) beat us last year. Every bike that finished in front of us had something in common, they were larger and running 18/21 tires. We had two main problems to fix in 2023. #1 was overheating the motors, and #2 was 18/21 wheels with gummy tires and super soft mousse tubes.
After much testing, we decided that the new Ultra Bee was the superior bike to race at TKO. Despite it being about 60lb heavier it's far more capable for this race which requires rolling over 100's of boulders, climbing steep and muddy hills filled with slippery roots and rocks, and some single track shredding in-between.
After testing multiple tire combinations form MX to Trials tires, we determined that the ultra-gummy IRC IX-09 Gekkotta's both front and rear were the ideal tire. They are very light weight (for their size) and super soft to conform to and grip terrain. We run a 110/100-18 in the rear and 80/100-21 up front on 18/21 wheelset.
The Ultra Bee motor has plenty of heat resistance for a race like TKO, this solves our biggest struggle last year where we all overheated multiple times. We combined the IRC tires with Nitromousse Plushie 6psi foam inserts in the rear, and Platinum 10psi in the front. Mousse bibs require rim locks and we went with Motion Pro LiteLocs. Normally we don't run mousse on electric motorcycles because of the weight penalty which affect power and range. But in a race like TKO traction and reliability are far more important than power.
Finishing TKO without falling multiple times is nearly impossible, and picking up a bike over and over will peg your heart rate. To minimize the energy required to pickup our bikes we installed Tugger Lift Straps on the front and rear to give us better grip to pickup fallen bikes.
And to slide over 100's of rocks and logs we installed our favorite SXS Skid Plate which is a brand new release for the Ultra Bee.
#3 Rider Comfort and Confidence
To ensure the racer is both comfortable and confident we installed ODI Flight handlebars with the KTM bend. KKE footpegs for added grip to ensure our feet are always secure on the pegs. And Acerbis full wrap hand guards to protect our fingers and brake levers from being broken. The Yellow and Black look outstanding on the white Ultra Bee!
We also are choosing new gear this year, TN in August is not only HOT, but very humid, us Utah boys don't like humidity! The Alpinestars Supertech gear is the lightest most breathable gear we've ever worn and we need all the cooling we can get.
We often tease each other about wearing our "magic underwear". Just like mountain bikers wear padded spandex shorts, we also wear special underwear with built in padding and ventilation for optimal comfort and added protection.
All of our racers wore the USWE Zulu water pack on their hips to carry 1.5L of water, a basic tool kit, and a basic first aid kit. In 2022 we wore backpacks and this added not only weight but heat onto our backs. The Zulu water packs carried on our waist will lower the weight and allow our backs to breath and help our bodies stay cooler.
Inside the water packs is our favorite electrolyte drink, LMNT! We are all amazed how this salty water absorbs into our bodies so quickly and the potassium and magnesium helps keep the dehydration headaches away post race!