ARC Levers Gallery
Here is a shot of Ryan Dungeys' factory KTM at the Monster Energy
Cup. This bike looks so cool with the different colors and shapes. Then
you look close to see all the titanium and trick aluminum bits that make
up a pro ride. This is now the standard for pitting at the races. All
the teams have semi truck/trailers with huge awnings and wraps for wind
or rainy conditions. Lighting makes it so they can work at night at the
supercrosses. Inside there is an office, riders lounge and enough grub
to keep the whole team in calories.
Back in 1985 my friend Chuck and I toured europe for five weeks. We
saw two formula one races, Spa Belgium and Monza Italy. The speedway
world championship at Bradford England was spectacular. The main reason
to go to europe was to see grand prix motocross in person. Here I am
standing by a sign pointing in the right direction. This race was in
Wohlen Switzerland. The conditions were overcast and about 65 degrees
and it had just been raining for 3 days prior to the event. It was a
real euro motocross. It rained off and on all weekend so I had to run
that dorky umbrella.
Note the factory KTM rig! It was a typical van like a ford econoline
with an awning out the back. This is a long way away from the cool rigs
of today. Roger told me a story how in the early days of the trans-am
races he and some friends lived and traveled to the races in a VW van to
save $$$. The bike is sitting on a stand in the dirt just like most of
us do every weekend. At the time Danny "Magoo" Chandler was the only
U.S. rider over there. We stopped by to say hi and give support. Unlucky
for him, he hit a fence track marking pole in practice and injured his
hand ending the weekend. The race on sunday was in very muddy conditions
as it had rained the night before. Those euros can haul in the mud!
There is nothing like outdoor motocross. It took me over 40 years to
finally make it to Unadilla. It was everything I had heard about and
more. My 1st trip there was raining and miserable for practice on
saturday. I got to see Unadilla at its' worst. Then on sunday the sun
came out and made a perfect 68 degree day with light overcast. That
sounds magnificent until you get the roost from a factory 450 in your
face! After seeing the amount of aggregate in the soil it is
understandable how many riders without handguards have left the track
with broken hand parts, it is the gnarliest roost on the planet.
We make a lot of custom levers for the factory guys. It seems that no
matter how many custom shapes we have, the rider wants something
different. These levers are in process for Ryan Villopoto and Jake
Weimer at Monster Energy Kawasaki.
When you get to the factory level you too can have hand massaged,
custom shaped levers. We finish by anodizing and then lasering your name
or number on the back.
This season we made over 120 custom shaped levers for the teams. This
is one of the reasons we are so popular, we get the guys what they
James Stewart won a lot of races using our gear. When he jumped up to
the 250 class (before the KXF450) the Kawi guys called and said "he
goes down a lot and he needs your gear, make him anything he wants". We
made special levers that have now evolved into the shape used on our
Ronnie Lechien was a bad dude back in the day riding for many
factories and winning many races. Now he rides because moto is fun. Note
the ARC composite levers on his bike. He was very helpful in developing
our composite levers' shape and feel.
I thought I was done. After 20 years in the desert and 22 years on
the mx track (42 total years) I retired. With my job as the "lever dude"
I need to be at the track a lot. It is SOOO painful to see perfect
chocolate cake dirt and not be riding on it. This "one tank of gas" 2010
YZ125 showed up on cycle trader for $4K and I had to get it. Anyone who
still rides should really appreciate what they have. Motocross is the
coolest thing a human can do and I can't wait to do it again. I will
never be as fast as I was and I don't care, I just want to ride.
This bike is a life long dream come true. Over the years I have
always ridden stock bikes with minor changes. Put some grips and bars on
that I like, adjust a few knobs so the bike won't throw me on the
ground and go racing. I am always at the track dialing in riders' gear
and it was tough to see a groomed track without me on it. Tendonitis
ended my racing about 3 years ago which also coincides with the economy
at the time. My arm is better so I wanted to try a 125 with less arm
yanking power and the ability to one finger clutch. This is the ARC
Levers project bike built to push our new composite levers and give me a
chance to build the bike of my dreams. This is a great shot of my bike
and pickup truck with the American flag flying above Mt. St. Helens in
A good place to start is always the suspension. Ross and Will at Enzo
really dialed me in. The shock is a kashima coated two piece factory
shock body with all the bells and whistles. Being a two stroke there is
room to add the extended bladder cap on the shock reservior. It has
their dual compression adjuster and preload ring that makes sag setting a
breeze. The titanium spring is standard on this bike with the Enzo
bumper kit. The forks are the KAYABA A-kit with kashima and DLC
coatings. Enzo has us make wider axle lugs with a matching heat treated
4130 axle for their sponsored riders. These forks are equipped with
them. The spring weight and valving on both ends were set for my girth
and go. The fork crowns are billet factory Yamaha that are 2mm narrower
than stock to tighten the front end. When Jason Lawerences' program lost
momentum there was a whole shop full of gear that they had to move. I
was lucky enough to cut a deal to procure a set from the guys at Bills'
Attaching the case guard are black anodized aluminum bolts. Over the
years we have made many parts for factory bikes and these are some
extras from a few years back. The engine was left stock except for a
Pro-Circuit pipe and a V-Force reed cage. I had a 39hp 125 back in the
day but it had to be rebuilt every 5 hours. This bike can go at least 12
hours between pistons. The countershaft sprocket is a Pro-Taper with
holes and is retained with a titanium nut by Met-tec.
In order to save weight and cost I made the glide plate from punched
aluminum. Pro's need something like a Light Speed carbon fiber glide
plate. I don't case anything at the speed I go. This is more a shield to
keep mud off the engine cases. It makes it easy to scrape the mud off
between motos. Safety wire is used to attach to the frame saving more
weight from the standard clamps and bolts used on most products of this
type. The stand the bike is on was purchased from the White Bros. back
in about '79 and is handling the job.
The Pro-Circuit pipe and silencer saved a pinch over 1.5lbs from the
stock pipe. You can see the hand massaging on the headpipe to get a
smooth finish. Scoth-Brite pads make cleaning the pipe a snap. The
ignition cover was coated like the clutch cover for easy refreshing. If a
carbon cover was available it would be on the bike.
The clevis is another over run factory part. The master cylinder was
shaved to remove most excess material and then coated for protection.
Titanium hardware is used throughout on this bike. Grippy stair tape was
used instead of carbon frame guards. The sticky stuff weighs almost
nothing in comparison and has better grip.
This is why the bike was built, to bring attention to our new
composite levers. Everything (well most stuff) on this bike is the best
available. These levers fit in that category. They are strong enough to
do the job yet resiliant enough to absorb severe abuse. This is the
perfect product match for the grueling sport of motocross. Note the
large amount of finger room with the guard installed.
The composite levers are not a metal so they have no resonance. If
you hit a piece of metal against a hard object it will vibrate like a
tuning fork. The composite material does not transmit vibrations so you
have better feel at the lever. There is large finger room on the clutch
side too with a guard installed. I also like running the Boyeson twist
grip. I used to race two classes at Carlsbad. At the end of the day
there were bleeding calouses the size of a quarter on my left hand and
tough calouses the size of a dime on my right. The only difference was
that the right grip rotated. Since I have been running the "twisty" on
the left my hands have similar sized calouses and they never bleed from
The roost at Glen Helens' REM track is abusive on a 125. Most of the
guys there run 450's since it is an outdoor track with a lot of hills.
The guards make chasing down the bigger bikes a pleasure. This bike
weighs in at 197lbs with one gallon of gas. A 450 on a good day is about
245lbs with gas. When you factor in my weight at 175lbs to a 450 rider
at 200lbs i hit the track about 75lbs or more less than the bigger guys.
My hands are fine with the guards, the only downside is that i go
through a lot of tear-offs.
One of the things about a factory bike is that they always look new.
All of the raw metal parts on this bike were blasted then coated. The
clutch cover is one part that sees a lot of abuse from your boot and
looks bad after one day of riding. With this coating I can touch up the
scratches and keep the bike looking sharp for not too much $$$.
The front caliper was shaved and coated like the rest of the raw
parts. The Met-tec titanium hardware really ads zip to the bike. The
brake hose banjo bolt is a true work of art.
Here is a close up of the front hub and axle. You can see how the
disc spider was trimmed to save weight. The wider billet axle lugs are
truly factoryness. When added to the narrower crowns and stronger axle
this bike goes exactly where you point it at any time. There is not much
cooler gear than carbon fiber and titanium hardware.
Both hubs on the bike were shaved to save weight and coated so the
mud would not take permanent residence in the pores of the metal. This
makes for easy cleaning. To kick it up some more I made my own titanium
spokes. Some people question when I tell them about the spokes until
they find out how we made them. Pure aerospace technology was used in
producing the spokes. After all the cost and effort to make the spokes
we only saved .45lbs per wheel. Steel spokes are heavy but they are not
very big. When all is totaled a pinch over 1lb per wheel was shaved.
That is huge for making the suspension work better.
Nothing on this bike was left alone. Here is the front brake hose
clamp that has been massaged to reduce weight. The ti bolts with flange
heads are a nice touch.
Over the last decade we have made a lot of linkage parts for factory
bikes. There is nothing wrong with the ratio of the linkage on the YZ125
so all I had to do was machine the stock parts smaller. This saved over
40% from the original parts without sacrificing strength. The stock
parts are SOOO over built compared to the factory stuff. These too got
the re-newable coating since linkages see a lot of roost for some
reason. The titanium bolts round out the look and function.
Depending on brand, the size of the number plates varies. The
sideplates on this bike were big enough to hide the Goodyear blimp. I
trimmed 2.5" off the bottom and there is still enough room for 6"
numbers. This does take some weight off the bike too.
This is a Pro-Circuit pipe and the nameplate has been removed. I have
nothing against Mitch, the motto for this bike is "if it doesn't make
it lighter or faster it's in the dumpster" and the badge weighed about
an ounce. The pipe was rough polished to get the stretch marks out of
the surface of the metal. When washing, the mud comes right off and
makes it easy to hit with Scotch-Brite pads.
This "T" washer is another over-run factory part made from billet
aluminum, drilled and then black anodized. The carbon mount tab is a
leftover from when factory Yamaha ran two strokes. Willy at Light Speed
had two parts on the shelf that Yamaha will ever use so I talked him
into selling me one. This is overkill for a pipe mount but that is what
this bike is about, saving weight and cool factor.
Not much to see here other than the Light Speed carbon chainguide
and the titanium hardware. You can see how far back I run the wheelbase.
Since I ride outdoor tracks exclusively, I like a longer bike for
stability at high speeds. Renthal has always been my drive company. They
are similar to ARC in that what you buy is the same gear that the
Here you can see the trimming on the brake disc and lack of guards.
Fast guys are always in close company with bikes banging off of each
other at times. I ride in the vet class where everyone has to go to work
on monday. Most guys in my class ride with respect and avoid ramming so
i can eliminate the caliper and disc guards along with the mounting
bosses and hardware.
This shows the shaved and coated hub and caliper. Along with the
titanium spokes, over a pound was saved on the rear wheel assembly. I
rode the bike stock, then with the factory suspension. The improvement
was noticeable. When I finished this stage of modifications and rode it
again the biggest difference I noticed was the wheels. The lighter
wheels allowed the suspension to work even better. I could take the
rougher, late in the day chopped out lines that my buddies could not.
Now I know what it is like to ride a factory bike. I am thoroughly not
worthy but as said earlier, this is a tool to show off our revolutionary
I would rather be riding anything with two wheels under any
conditions than looking at a computer. I will try to keep the web
updated as much as possible. If it is a good riding day the web will
have to wait.