Cooper Abbott is among the younger up-and-comers in AMA EnduroCross. The Arizona native signed with FactoryOne Sherco earlier this 12 months and completed sixth within the sequence level standings. On the last spherical of the season hosted inside Reno-Sparks Livestock Occasions Middle in Reno, Nevada, we quizzed him and his FactoryOne Sherco mechanic Adam “Gator” Sams in regards to the No.12 machine and what they do to compete with manufacturing facility groups which have a displacement benefit.
Like his teammate Cody Webb, the younger racer is giving up 50cc to the manufacturing facility groups which have 350cc bikes to subject in EnduroCross—particularly these of the Austrian selection. “We’re at an obstacle to the KTM and Husky guys; they’re all on 350s and we’ve a 300, though the ability is absolutely good on the 300,” Abbott mentioned. “You actually need that lower-end energy. That’s the primary factor we’re searching for is [the power] to hit in between the logs, however you additionally need [it to be] clean as nicely.
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“It’s actually a effective line having plenty of low-end, however we don’t want an entire lot of [top-end]. We’re not on the rev limiter like [riders] in supercross or motocross are. So [we’re] actually simply looking for plenty of that lower-end energy and hit, but in addition nonetheless [having it be] clean by the rocks and wooden pit and all that; that’s what we’re searching for.”
The staff examined engines with Abbott at his private monitor in Phoenix, previous to the start of the season. “Clearly, we’re seeking to make up that 50cc we’re giving as much as the opposite groups,” Sams mentioned. “However on the flip facet, we’ve much less rotating mass, so our bike is simpler to throw off axis.”
As with Webb’s bike, Abbott has the Journey Store arrange and keep his suspension, which incorporates the KYB 48mm coil-spring fork that comes inventory on the bike. “It’s actually arduous to discover a excellent setting as a result of there’s plenty of arduous hits,” Abbott mentioned. “We soar much more stuff these days than we used to, however you then additionally need it to be mushy for the rocks. It’s troublesome. You need it mushy initially after which somewhat bit extra of a stiffer bottoming, in order that’s type of what I’ve tried to go to.
“The final couple years, I’ve tried to run somewhat bit softer setup as a result of I come from extra of a moto facet and do all proper leaping and stuff, so I would love my bike to work somewhat bit higher within the rocks. I [prefer] somewhat little bit of a softer setup, only for it to work nicely by the rocks. Then I’ll make up for it on the jumps [by soaking it up] with my legs.
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“I’ve at all times run my fork [tubes] on the second line. I don’t know if Webb runs his in a different way. We even have an identical settings within the fork. That is simply what I’ve run from the start and I’ve actually appreciated it [since and it has] suited me rather well to date. I haven’t had any complaints to even strive one thing else in the mean time.”
In keeping with Sams, his rider’s bike is predominantly the identical as Webb’s, however they differ in ODI handlebar bend and place choice.
“Cooper runs [his handlebar] rolled again actually far,” Sams mentioned. “[He also] runs actually spiky [teeth] on his Fastway [foot]pegs, whereas Cody slides somewhat bit. He needs simpler motion on his pegs, [while] Cooper is glued to the bike.”
Each FactoryOne Sherco riders use XC Gear’s Mako 360 handlebar mounts, and Abbott prefers the stiffest polymer. “I don’t like a super-crazy quantity of flex,” he mentioned. “I got here off Fasst [Company’s Flexx] bar, so I used to be at all times used to somewhat little bit of flex. [XC Gear] was [a sponsor] of the staff and I received to strive it. I used to be fairly pumped on it, to be trustworthy. It simply provides somewhat little bit of flexion and it’s good as a result of it provides somewhat little bit of flex each route, however you actually don’t discover it an excessive amount of whenever you trip. Whenever you trip one with out it, it’s loopy. Your wrists begin hurting.”
ARC levers are product of polymer with grip materials on the entrance of them. So far as play, Abbott likes solely a small quantity. “I like a tiny little bit of play in my levers,” he mentioned. “My clutch has somewhat bit extra play than my entrance brake. I like a fairly sensitive entrance brake. With the ARCs, [they] come fairly good [off the shelf]. I strive to not run my levers too near the place they’re hitting my knuckles an excessive amount of—simply far sufficient out to the place my finger is totally prolonged to tug it in so I can get full engagement of the clutch.”
Some riders elect to make use of the identical gearing from monitor to trace, simply in order that they know the place their shifts factors are, however Abbott prefers to alter gearing based mostly on monitor size and situations. “I’ll often change gearing after observe,” he mentioned. “AFAM special-made a 12-tooth entrance sprocket for us and it’s an enormous assist. With EnduroCross, there’s no superlong straightaways, so we’re working fairly brief gearing. I believe proper now we’re at 12/50. I believe on the [races at] altitude, I went to 12/51, however usually I’m 12/50.”
Abbott admitted he tries to run second gear for many tracks. “We’ve had a pair quicker straightaways, just like the begins have been somewhat bit quicker this 12 months, so I’ve gone to 3rd on these, however for essentially the most half, the objective is to remain in second in every single place simply [so I don’t have] to do plenty of shifting,” he mentioned. “You’re already having to take action a lot making an attempt to get by the obstacles that you just actually wish to strive to not give attention to shifting as a lot. [Staying] in second gear in every single place is the primary objective.”
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Fastway metal footpegs are positioned 5mm down and 5mm again from inventory. “It’s the identical setup as Webb; I actually prefer it,” Abbott mentioned. “I ran the inventory setup with simply the common peak, and it helped a lot as soon as I went to the decrease and the again [position]. You’re in a position to get a lot farther again and also you don’t really feel as crammed within the cockpit.”
The FMF header pipe is a bit longer than inventory to supply the elevated bottom-end energy that FactoryOne Sherco’s riders are searching for. “They did some dyno testing with it to strive to determine the right way to get somewhat bit extra lower-end energy,” Abbott mentioned. “I do know they did some dyno testing and made the header somewhat bit longer to get us somewhat little bit of that smoother energy, but in addition extra low-end energy.”
“We’ve had the identical pipe for 2 or three years now,” Sams mentioned. “This pipe is just offered to us. It’s not accessible to the general public in the mean time, to my information. One other factor is we run the map swap turned off. We simply run it within the quick mode [all the] time.”