Kendall Racing rides the X Travel Share
Thanks to a thread I started on Race Dezert.com about trophy quads I was presented with the opportunity to work on and race the X Travel chassis. We used the latest X Travel Chassis owned by the owner of X Travel (James Woodford) and my team put in my spare Honda 450 engine and a bunch of my accessories. The first time you see the X Travel in person it is really cool and intimidating, it looks like a Buggy and it is wider, longer and taller than most quads. It is the first quad that wouldn't fit easily in between the fenders of the bed of my F250 truck.
Working on the X travel is a little more difficult than a Honda 450R due to the rear shock mount and the way the custom airbox and dirtbike carb have to be situated to clear the shock. The rear swing arm is also a tight fit but the quality of the fabrication is very high, the welds are amazing and the hardware used is top notch aircraft grade stuff. Which unfortunately means the quad is a mix of Metric bolts and Starndard bolts. Everything with the motor lines up good like a stock frame.
The first time I rode the quad was around an asphalt parking lot and I was worried about how easily the quad "3 wheeled" when turning sharp, just like a trophy truck on asphalt. But when we took it out to Parker for testing and I hit the first corner I was pleasantly suprised by how well it turns. It digs in and pulls out of the corners nicely. You can slide it wide or dig in for an inside line keeping the rear end planted. Unfortunately, for our pre run the front alignment was not set correctly so it tended to wander a bit, but the front suspension still performed amazing, it eats up the big whoops and the small choppy stuff is nothing on this quad.
The rear shock was not setup very good, it had just been rebuilt and it was way too soft and had too much rebound initially. We dialed in the compression and the difference was great. You can sit down through the choppy stuff and the ground clearance and front travel are really good in the rock garden in Parker. At the end of the day we ran out of rebound adjustment and I was still not satisfied. The rear end pops up way too quickly and forces you to stand up even through smooth roller whoops and while standing the seat pops up and slaps your ass but amazingly it never sends you ass high where you feel like you are going over the handlebars. That is probably due to the setup and performance of the front suspension making up for the quick rebound in the rear. I think with a shock revalving this could be the best performing quad I have ever ridden.
The front suspension has quite a few features that I like. For instance you can adjust the wheelbase with the rear a-arm mounting points, you can add or subtract about 3/4 inch of wheelbase. There is also very little camber gain when going through the full motion of the front suspension. The a-arms and spindles appear to have gussetts in all the right areas, the front a-arms have been through many revisions as weakpoints have been found and addressed. The front bulkhead is very beefy and looks indestructable.
This thing looks heavy but it weighs much less than I thought. It came in at 439lbs on my scales with desert tires and wheels. My race quad which is a custom LSR frame Desert 450R weighs 453lbs with desert tires and my stock gussetted frame 05 450R weighs 432 with GP tires and stock wheels. Hell a stock Raptor 700R with nerfs and bumpers came in at 473 on my scales.
It is currently the week of the race and a lot of Pro ATV racers have signed up for the Expert class, probably due to the high cost of the Pro class and the fact you can only run 2 per team in Pro. Our engine is way underpowered but I am still hoping for a podium finish from our team. We are running a stock 05 Honda 450R engine that has a big bore kit with stock compression.
The week of the race we had ATV guru Rudy Gonzales from Dirt Fiend Racing do a race alignment on the quad. The alignment was much better you could tell just from looking at it. We didn't have any time to test prior to the race because riding on or near the race course the week of the race is against the rules for the Parker 250.
James started the race, 4th off the line with each quad leaving in 20 second intervals. Many of the stacked pro teams started behind us. At the midway pit at mile 32 James had passed everyone and had a 2-3 minute lead on the 2nd place team of Josh Edwards and Matt Hancock. I was waiting for the quad at the main pit near the start line and when Joe brought it around we were in 3rd place, only a few minutes behind the 404 team of Edwards/Hancock.
I got on and pushed as hard I could, I was feeling great but the rear suspension was still not right, it seemed like we had too little compression in the rear again and I was bottoming out through the rough stuff and the rebound sent me sideways through some big whoops. I was doing great until about mile 25 when my arms pumped up and my hands were killing me. I had to slow my pace down but I did end up gaining a few minutes on the leaders and when I turned the quad over to James at the midway pit we were in 2nd and 1 minute behind first place.
James got on and went only 7 or 8 miles when the engine seized up. I yanked the engine out on Sunday but the engine hasn't been torn down yet. We were all disappointed because we know we had the speed to get a podium and possibly a victory. I'd love to ride the X Travel again once the suspension is valved better then I can give my final impressions of this beast. Thanks goes out to my team, the XX Army team and Big Bang Entertainment for all the help to get the quad ready to race.
If you are interested in owning your own X Travel chassis or want more information please contact James Woodford @ 619-654-0230 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. X Travel is based out of Southern California.