We take a look at the 2015 KTM 450SX-F methanol beast Troy Bayliss races supermoto and dirt track.
The Rider: Troy Bayliss
To have a good oil-pack or hard-pack bike, you typically start with a supermoto style and lower it a bit. I only run my bike 30mm lower than for supermoto, which is probably 30mm lower than a motocrosser. I won the Australian championships in the 450 and 250 classes in 2014, but I missed last year through injury [in the AMA]. I’m currently riding a ’15 model KTM 450SX-F. It’s been changed over to supermotard with different offsets and things like that. It’s got full Ohlins suspension, a quick shifter, a GET ECU and a range of pipes from America. The engine has Carillo rods and things like that to make the engine strong enough to run on methanol. I think the stock model pumps out about 52hp at the rear wheel and we’ve got mine at 68.5hp. The extra power does come into play at tracks with more grip but Taree is a bit more flowing, so you don’t really need the power. Places like Gunnedah or supermoto tracks are where you really notice the extra power. You can’t use methanol in supermoto, but you only lose 3 or 4hp.
The Manager: Troy Bayliss
The Troy Bayliss Classic (TBC) is in its fourth year. It’s held in Taree, which is my home town. When I was 13 or 14 I rode there and the oil surface really helped me in my road racing career so I love the hard-pack stuff. I think you have to be a little bit more precise than you do on typical dirt tracks, where it doesn’t matter where you are, as long as you are holding on and make it through the corner, you’re going to be pretty fast. Setup is also really important for hard-pack tracks. I think I’m pretty switched on with that after all the years I was road racing. I’m backed by Motul and Pirelli, but it’s basically a hobby for me. In terms of the TBC, hopefully we get some good weather next year. Dylan Ruddy
5 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT BAYLISS’S BIKE
- Bayliss runs a Suter slipper clutch, which he says is good for hard-pack tracks like Taree.
- He runs 17-inch tyres front and rear, especially when the track is really smooth like Taree. Many guys run a 19-inch front.
- Troy’s son, Oli, has inherited his old man’s ability. Oli won all his races in the 10-U13 class at the 2016 TBC on a KTM 85SX, beating many 150cc four-stroke machines.
- Bayliss’s favourite bike is a 2012 KTM 450 SMR which has been completely rebuilt. The SMR was the last of KTM’s carburetted motards and also the last one to have a different gearbox from the motocrosser.
- A three-time World Superbike Champion, Bayliss travelled to America last year to try his hand at AMA flat track racing on a Ducati. The experiment came to a bone-shattering end when he hit the wall at the Sacramento Mile.