Behind Shaun Skinner’s CRF450R

February 14, 2007
By Steve Bruhn

Turning clickers isn’t the only motorcycle abilities that Perebijnos possesses. He raced professionally for a short time before taking up the wrenches.
Turning clickers isn’t the only motorcycle abilities that Perebijnos possesses. He raced professionally for a short time before taking up the wrenches.

Back in the day, a privateer was a rider in a van or a pickup, with gas can, bike stand and gear bag in the back. In today’s world a privateer and his mechanic work out of a nice semi, and have busy days working with all the people who stop by to talk business or just to visit – the tire guy, the many sponsors that want on the bike and the semi, and even the pesky media. The Butler Brothers have an energy drink sponsor (DNA), and even a hospitality area to sit and sip and watch the team prepare five bikes for the night show so they get plenty of visitors.

When Butler Brothers MX team rider Shaun Skinner talks to his mechanic Paul Perebijnos, he doesn’t have to worry about not getting through because of all the hubbub. The two are old friends and rivals from earlier times. Perebijnos even logged some time as a supercross pro himself, so he knows what it is like for his rider.

“I rode amateurs and professionally for a while,” he said, “I rode for Blackfoot Honda in 2004. I go to college and the racing started to be too much. I actually race pitbikes now, seriously. So I just do this and pitbikes.”

Perebijnos was with Butler Brothers before Skinner joined the team for 2007, working for Doug DeHaan last year. “I was with Shaun one race last year,” he said, “Budds Creek, and he did really good. He got 10th in one moto there. We have been friends forever, we have actually raced together.”

Each weekend, Perebijnos is at the Butler Brothers semi preparing Skinner’s 2007 CRF450R Honda for Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross.

Paul  left  and Shaun check out their machine.
Paul (left) and Shaun check out their machine. The two former competitors have turned allies for the 2007 season.

“We are a Florida-based team,” said Perebijnos, who is from the Sunshine State, “which is our at-home race shop pretty much. Everything comes down to the frame from the get-go. We did a bunch of motor work and stuff – just little things. We did little things to the head, and cut the flywheels. We still run a lot of stock internal parts for reliability reasons. We put in a bunch of extra little stuff for safety and reliability. We heat shield the fuel tank and gas lines to keep the fuel cold as it enters the motor.”

Perebijnos says his old racing rival is not too hard to work for or very picky. “He likes play in his throttle,” he said of Skinner’s weird preferences, “I never liked that much as a rider. He’s not picky at all. He trusts everything that I do. I set up the bike so its safe and it works good and he doesn’t complain much. He just goes out and rides the thing.”

When he is not racing pit bikes or keeping Skinners Supercross bike race-ready, Perebijnos is studying for his degree. “I am a Legal Studies major, Criminal Justice minor,” he said, “I will graduate from the University of Central Florida. I would like to stay in the industry for sure.”

Making Skinner’s Honda CRF450R:
Motor – Stock cylinder, valves and cams with Wiseco piston, clutch basket, and pressure plate
Carburetor – Stock “I do a little tie-wire job on the accelerator pump and we just keep everything ultra clean.”
Ignition – Stock – “We haven’t had much success with other ignitions. The secrets are in the motor really.”
Pipe – FMF PowerBomb – “We tested FMF pipes, the MegaBomb and the PowerBomb. The riders liked the PowerBomb better.”

Lots of Sunline hard parts.
Lots of Sunline hard parts.

Silencer – Team Issue FMF Carbon Fiber
Suspension – Willy Manning Inc. (WMI)
Triple Clamps – Applied
Brakes – Braking oversized rotors, stock pads
Radiators – ICW – “They weld on an extra piece so we have more coolant in our bikes than normal. We have less overheating.”
Coolant – Engine Ice
Airbox – Stock, modified at the back for better airflow – “I extended the intake with foam to get more air in the airbox.”
Air Filter – Twin Air
Skid plate – Devol – “They drill them out special for us and they do our starting devices also.”
Wheels – Alpina – “The wheels are made reversed. The nipples are in the hub. You adjust them with a wrench on the inside. The wheels are three pounds lighter than stock and you don’t have to adjust the spokes. There is less rotating mass.”
Tires – Michelin – “They have different sidewalls, different compounds, its rider preference. On the hard-pack tracks we run the wide front tire.”
Hard Parts and Controls – Sunline ARC folding levers, bars, sprockets, chain, cables, grips, and footpegs
Plastic – Acerbis
Graphics – Up Front MX

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