DMX Bike Build with GDR Honda and SSS
By Greg Poisson
Photos by Billy Rainford
2022 Honda CRF250R supplied by Barrie Honda Powerhouse
Matrix Concepts Canada (Renthal, Works Connection, Matrix)
Seco Seat Covers
SSS Superior Suspension Settings by Facciotti Racing
VP Racing Fuels
M7 Design Graphics
Fox Racing Canada
GDR (Various components and tech assistance)
After being away from the sport for almost 6 years, I knew coming back to riding/racing hopping directly onto a 450 would be a big ask of myself. Being 190 pounds, my size would certainly suit the 450 package. With Honda debuting an all-new 250 platform for 2022 and my personal connection with Honda Canada and Barrie Honda Powerhouse, I knew the new CRF250R would be a great starting point to build an all around vet-friendly race bike. The plan was to build this bike with a wallet-conscious attitude but also try to get the most out of this bike while maintaining a long service life.
We started off with a stock Honda CRF250R, and contacted the most dominant team in recent years of Canadian Motocross to help us build it up, GDR Honda Canada Fox Racing. I knew that their partners and tech experience would allow us to build this bike exactly how I wanted with the most effective upgrades possible. Along with the team I’m currently involved with, Barrie Honda Powerhouse/Welders Helper/PDR, we went to work on stripping this bike down and building it back up.
Pre-season I worked with Dom Petruska at M7 Designs on a graphics package that highlighted the stock red/white/blue of the stock look but allowed us to put our own touch to it. Cycra supplied the red plastic kit to give a similar look to the HRC USA team and the GDR Team here in Canada. Seco Seat cover provided a red cover with white ribs to help keep my butt planted because I knew when we were finished I was going to need some assistance.
I reached out to Ryan “Newf” Lockhart at Matrix Concepts about using Renthal and Works Connection products. I went with the Twinwall bar in the 996 bend and the Works Connection Elite Perch for contact points. Matrix also provided their A2 motorcycle stand which is their aluminum version of their popular stand. We also utilized Renthal chain and sprockets.
I took the bike to GDR’s race shop to get Ryder McNabb’s mechanic Brayden Kalte’s assistance with the mechanical side of things. GDR supplied a Pro Circuit T4 pipe/header combo and this coupled with the VP Racing Fuels U4.4 I received from the Barrie Honda Powerhouse team, this bike was really racking up the ponies.
The biggest component to any bike build is suspension. You can have a platform that builds power to the moon but if the suspension isn’t capable of putting that power to the ground, you’re fighting a losing battle. In stock form, the CRF250 has a harsh feeling in the front end; it doesn’t hold up well and I felt like it blew through the stroke easily. Being a bigger guy I needed more hold up but also a plush ride to soak up the braking bumps.
I reached out to 6-time champ Colton Facciotti to put his knowledge and years of experience into my suspension package. Colton has been the technical advisor for the GDR Team since his retirement, so his experience with Honda CRF’s is second to none in Canada. Colton took apart my forks/shock and massaged them into a stiffer but more plush ride for my weight/skill level.
After my first few rides on this new setting, I could not believe the rear wheel traction I was getting. My confidence level instantly went up and I found my lap times dropping at my local tracks. Honda’s are traditionally known as a twitchy ride but have some of the best ergonomics in the sport.
The setting Colton provided gave this bike a predictable ride but also handled anything I threw at it. Whether that was an arm pump-induced whiskey throttle or the roughest Am Day chop you could find at the Sand Del Lee National. I needed to go up a spring rate front and rear due to my size but with these changes I couldn’t believe the difference I noticed from the stock setting.
I believe there is a lot of untapped potential with this package and really the next level of speed will come from myself. It’s easy to tell why the GDR team and Superior Suspension Settings have been so successful since their partnership in Canadian motocross. I know we just scratched the surface with what is possible with settings and services.
Being a bigger guy on a smaller bike, I initially felt at a disadvantage racing the riddled-with-450’s Vet class. With this bike build I felt that gap was closed considerably and that the responsibility was on me to utilize this new platform provided by all these great project partners. The only thing I would add to this bike would be a programmed ECU to bring out even more power coupled with the pipe and race gas. This bike has nothing done internally to the engine. Other than the suspension this package is all bolt on parts.
This has been one of the most fun bikes I’ve ever ridden. I enjoy riding again after being away for so long. Thank you to everyone involved. A special thanks goes out to Dig (Derek Schuster) and Brayden at GDR and Colton at SSS for helping with this project. It’s truly been a blessing having your support and we here at DMX appreciate it greatly. And a special thank you to JC at Fox for supplying the same gear used by Dylan Wright and Ryder McNabb to complete the entire package
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