Behind Kevin Windham’s CRF450R

March 7, 2007
By Steve Bruhn

Having AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Gunnar Lindstrom as a father enabled Lars Lindstrom to be in the pits and learn the trade at an early age.
The lessons learned early in life from his father, AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Gunnar Lindstrom, laid the foundation for Lars Lindstrom’s own success as a moto mechanic.

Lars Lindstrom is second generation motocross. His father, AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Gunnar Lindstrom, is one of the first heroes of old-school American motocross.

Lars worked his way up at the¬†Honda factory shop in Torrance, CA and got some cool projects like Nicky Hayden’s dirt-track 450 and Ben Bostrom’s supermoto bike. When Jeremy McGrath joined Honda again to give Supercross another try, Honda assigned Lars to the King.

After two years of that, he spent a summer with MC figuring out Dunlop tires, and then got assigned to Kevin Windham on the Sobe/No Fear/Samsung team. Lars still works at Honda, but he wears the Factory Connection colors on race days.

“I was a test guy at Honda for a long time,” said Lindstrom, “I filled in a few times for (Ernesto) Fonseca and (Andrew) Short. I did some different stuff for Honda like work for Nicky Hayden in his first dirt-track race on a 450. I worked for Ben Bostrom in supermoto at the X Games, stuff like that. I was more of a mechanic coming up, not knowing much from the start but learning as much as I could from all the guys there.”

“I still work for Honda,” he said, “During the week I work in Torrance, and when I come to the races I work under the Factory Connection truck.”

Lars says Windham’s bike setup is so normal anyone would like his bike.

“He is probably the most normal rider,” said Lindstrom, “If there was a normal position for a bike, that’s how he rides it. Everything is very neutral. Maybe the bars are a little taller because he is tall, but he doesn’t have his levers crazy, anything weird, his footpegs are in the stock location. His brake pedal and shifter are normal. Anybody could ride his bike and be comfortable on it.

“He is not finicky about it. He is finicky about jetting. The jetting has to be perfect. He doesn’t like any kind of hesitation or anything like that. If he feels any of that, he’s not comfortable. He has a lot of confidence in the bike now. It doesn’t do anything funny.”

Windham s CFR450R uses a Yoshimura titanium pipe.
The thump of Windham’s bike is provided by a Yoshimura titanium pipe.

Windham’s race bike is spec’d pretty much the same as Davi Millsaps’ or Short’s factory¬†Honda bikes. A lot of key parts come direct from Honda in Japan (HGA).

Fans of Windham know his speed follows his attitude on any given race weekend. Lindstrom gave his version:

“He does have a different attitude at different races. You know if he is feeling confident, he is laughing and having a good time. He loves to mess with people. He will make people think he is mad at them, or he just jacks with people.”

No one ever said watching Windham practice was boring.

“At the test track he is unbelievable. He will do 20 laps faster than everybody. Sometimes he doesn’t bring that over to the races and that can be frustrating for him.”

When pressed for some dirt on KW, Lindstrom fessed up that “He does tend to be late to practice almost every time. He has a lot of things going on. He is kind of in demand, like Ricky and James are too.”

Making KW’s 2007 Honda CRF450R:

Motor – HGA crank, cam, titanium valves, Hinson clutch, AHM(American Honda) piston.
Carburetor – Carb body, magnesium, “It’s expensive.”
Tires – Works Dunlop. “They have really great tires. Jeremy and I did a lot of development during the summer on a supercross track. Jeremy helped develop these tires. They are good. It’s a little bit of everything, shape, compound, and tread pattern, they are completely different this year.”

Windham started the season slow  but as of late he and his CRF450R have been stepping it up a notch.
Windham isn’t too finicky about changing the riding geometry far from stock. But, he is picky about his carburetor settings.

Ignition – HGA, programmable with start mode button on handlebar. “Windham uses a steering stabilizer, so his ignition is moved to the right side of the frame near the radiator top.”
Exhaust – Yoshimura titanium, graphite muffler.
Suspension – Works Showa. Serviced at Factory Connection “It’s the same as Davi Millsaps’ and Andrew Short’s.”
Rear Suspension Linkage – Factory HGA.
Footpeg and bracket – Factory Honda, machined out of billet titanium.
Sprockets – Tag Metals.
Hubs – Factory HGA.
Brakes – Works Nissin, Ferodo Brake pads, machined aluminum HGA rear brake lever.
Rims – D.I.D., oversized titanium axles.
Shift Lever – Works Honda shift lever with a folding rubber tip, made from steel. “It’s a really strong shifter, it’s forged.”
Bars and Grips – Renthal.
Clutch Perch – Works Connection.
Seat/Graphics – One Industries.
Plastic – Cycra.
Skid plates – Works Connection.
Radiator – Factory, carbon radiator brace.
Start Gadget – HMA; Hot start, Yoshimura.
Clutch cover – HGA, carbon fiber.

For more articles, check out our Behind the Bike archive.

Tell us what you think about this Bike Feature in the MotoUSA Forum.