Inside Cameron McAdoo's GEICO Honda CRF250R

May 2, 2019 / by Donn Maeda

We swung by the Factory Connection race shop and got the inside scoop from McAdoo's mechanic and GEICO Honda's engine tuner Christian Kibby on one of their Wiseco-backed CRF250R race machines.

Though he was recruited to fill in for injured team riders Christian Craig and Chase Sexton in the Western Regional 250 Supercross Championship Series, Iowa’s Cameron McAdoo is a three-year veteran on the GEICO Honda team as he made his Supercross debut with the squad in 2017. “I don’t care how I got here; the important thing is that I’m here racing with the team again in 2019,” said McAdoo, who sits in a three-way tie for fifth in the championship entering the Las Vegas series finale. “The bike is amazing, and the team is the best around. I am glad to have the opportunity to race with them again.”

We visited the GEICO Honda race shop in Corona, California, to get a closer look at the ins and outs of the bike McAdoo rides and races.

Factory HRC hubs are crafted from billet aluminum and are mated to heavy duty D.I.D spokes and nipples then laced up to a D.I.D Dirtstar STX rims. Riders are given the choice between titanium and steel axles, as each offer a different ride characteristic. McAdoo’s bike is outfitted with Titanium, as it offers a more-precise feel up front and saves a significant amount of weight. A 260mm Motostuff rotor is mated to a factory Nissin front brake caliper, which is made of billet aluminum but utilizes stock-sized pistons.
The GEICO Honda team has radiators custom made for the team race bikes that are slightly larger in capacity and help keep the bikes at the optimum operating temperature. The team uses Cycra Racing plastics, which always vary a bit from stock in an attempt to flow more air. Note the venting in the bottom of the front fender and the larger scoops built into the radiator shrouds.
Tucked up inside the frame above the engine cylinder is a second starter button, just in case the handlebar-mounted button is damaged in a crash. The ignition cover boasts an Akadize coating that gives it a hard, slick finish. Hinson Racing performs this on the parts for the team.
The engines are developed by GEICO Honda’s in-house tuner Christian Kibby in conjunction with HRC Honda engineers. While each rider gets to fine tune his powerplant with map settings, all of the riders run the same basic performance package. The GEICO Honda team partners with Wiseco on piston testing and development. “Wiseco pistons are certainly of the highest quality, and we are constantly testing different engine setups,” said Kibby. While the specifics of GEICO Honda’s pistons must remain confidential, it’s important to note that race teams of their caliber are always searching for that ever-evolving advantage, so development of engine components seemingly never stops.
At the front of the bike are a set of HRC triple clamps, which feature a specific offset for each rider. A variety of bar mounts in different heights are available to custom-fit the control area for each rider, and they are also available in rubber-mounted or solid-mounted versions. McAdoo is 6’ tall, so his mounts are a few millimeters taller than stock, and he prefers the dampening that rubber-mounted clamps offer.
ARC produces the clutch perch and clutch lever, which have a slightly revised leverage ratio. The on-the-fly adjuster makes it easy for the rider to remove slack from the cable as the clutch heats up during a moto, but McAdoo is not hard on clutches. Cameron prefers Pro Taper one-third-waffle grips. Both the grip and the clutch pivot bolt are safety wired, leaving nothing to chance.
Though the standard fuel tank is indeed titanium, the factory tank boasts a larger capacity and eliminates the stock plastic shroud that covers the top portion. The tank’s larger capacity is needed for longer National motos, but in Supercross a pre-determined amount of fuel is added to minimize weight. A special tool must be used to open and close the flush-mount filler cap.
The team relies on Pro Taper sprockets and a D.I.D Chain. McAdoo runs 13/51 gearing at all events and the power is adjusted via ignition mapping as needed. The stock chain guide is used but replaced on a regular basis.
These mean-looking titanium footpegs are from HRC Honda. Riders can choose from a selection of different settings, and due to his height, McAdoo prefers a peg that is slightly lower and more rearward than stock. The teeth are extra sharp and are tuned-up regularly to maintain their edge. The footpeg brackets are made of billet titanium for both weight savings and a more-precise fit. The stock steel parts can wear out and get sloppy in time.
The Pro Circuit billet aluminum shift lever is manufactured by CMI. The part is hard anodized for surface durability.
Yoshimura exhaust are custom-tuned to perfectly complement the engine package. After he builds the engine to his satisfaction, in-house tuner Christian Kibby heads to Yoshimura’s headquarters in nearby Chino, California, to develop the exhaust hand-in-hand with Yoshimura technician Ichiro Nakaya. Though full carbon fiber cans are light and exotic, the team chooses titanium cans for their greater durability.
McAdoo’s kit Kayaba spring fork is tuned in-house at Factory Connection, but in association with John Yamada at KYB. Riders do, however, have the choice between Kayaba and Showa componentry. The holeshot device is manufactured by ARC and is set deep on the fork guard to help keep the front end down. The traction afforded by the new expanded steel starting grates is consistent, but it is much grippier than dirt.
Surprisingly, the rear brake rotor and caliper are standard Honda parts.
The rear shock linkage is manufactured by Factory Connection and boasts a slightly different leverage ratio than stock. Most often, the part is red anodized and boasts the brand’s logo, but this particular link is not as this is a test part.
The throttle tube is manufactured for the team from aluminum, as the stock plastic tube can crack in the event of a crash and cause a DNF. The ARC front brake lever is slightly shorter than stock, so that it has a lower chance of snagging on the ground when the bike is really leaned over.
The GEICO Honda team relies on Hinson Racing clutch components to transfer the power to the drivetrain, and this year Hinson produced a custom cover for the team to commemorate its 20th anniversary. The brake pedal features two special parts: a billet aluminum clevis made by Yoshimura, which eliminates slop and provides a more precise feel, and an HRC Honda titanium tip, which is stronger and lighter than stock. The engine hanger mounts are stock, but the team drills a small hole in them for a slightly different flex characteristic. Yes, the little things make a difference!
The factory Kayaba shock, like the fork, is tuned in-house at Factory Connection under the guidance of KYB. A few years ago, Kayaba debuted these factory springs with a metallic finish. Though they certainly look cool, there are no special spring materials…it’s just for the bling factor. Titanium shock springs have been used in the sport in the past, but they offer a much different characteristic than a steel spring that is not favorable for most riders.
Like the front, the rear hub is a factory HRC part made of billet aluminum. A titanium axle is used out back, as well. The axle blocks are made by CMI and allow the rear wheel to be adjusted rearward without the adjuster bolts being backed out excessively. This reduces the strain put on the bolts, as they have less stability when adjusted far outside of the threads.

Topics: FEATURES, featured, Powersports, BIKE FEATURES, Build Features

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Written by Donn Maeda