Behind Ricky Carmichael’s RM-Z450 – Makita Suzuki’s Mike
“Goose” Gosselaar has a unique job. He’s the mechanic for the GOAT.
- Win, lose or draw, Mike Gosselaar is always there to find out what he can do to make his bike better. Luckily it's mostly been the winning side of things.
- The chassis and swingarm have to remain stock so much of the adjustment for RC’s miniature stature is done in the footpegs.
- That brake line is the only stock part on Ricky’s front system.
- A heat shield is used on the carburetor and fuel tank to keep the hot-running 4-stroke from boiling the fuel.
- Pro Circuit supplies the exhaust from tip to tail.
- Being a professional mechanic is a labor of love and RC’s bike reflects the amount of effort put in by Goose, literally.
- The bike is only seeing action in select rounds this year, but it still commands plenty of attention in the pits.
- It looks normal, but the position of the rear brake lever has been modified to suit Ricky’s personal tastes.
- Not only does Suzuki install titanium bolts in every possible place, but they drill them out to save every possible ounce.
- Ricky’s bike is a perfect blend of protection and perforation.
- After being a Renthal guy over at Honda, RC made the switch to Tag Metals when he joined Makita Suzuki in 2005.
- RC is another rider who installs the hot-start next to his throttle.
- Bridgestone was one of Ricky’s personal choices for his racing program. He made sure that his contract with Suzuki allows for him to choose whichever brand of tire he wants.
- Factory hubs are mated to Excel rims.
- You think you’ve got some man hours into your bike? How many washers have you drilled to save weight?
- Hinson helps us out with some clutch components.
- One Industries keeps things looking sharp for the Greatest of All Time and the rest of the Makita Suzuki team.
- RC always says 'If I had a front brake that worked better than what I have I can go faster.'
- Carmichael’s front brake is the single most important feature on his machine. He can never get enough performance from the front binder according to his mechanic.
- ProTaper has a handle on the controls department.
- Keeping Ricky Carmichael’s bike sorted out and winning races takes a special mechanic. Mike Gosselaar has the distinction of wrenching RC through not one but two perfect seasons in his career.
- A special Keihin carburetor uses a magnesium body.
- Goose has stood by Ricky for many years now but his career didn’t start with the GOAT.
- The clutch perch rotates on Teflon in case of a spill.
- Remember when RC had that huge chunk taken out of his leg by his footpegs? He likes ‘em sharp and these babies are Factory Suzuki.