How about a small introduction of yourself to the readers of Supermoto Central?
Paul Dawson, Queensland, Australia. I race, help run races and help organise races for my club "The Motorcycle Sportsmen of Queensland"
How did you get into supermoto and what do you find so great about it?
I saw an article in a magazine about the Guidon d'or, this was probably back when Wayne Gardner was racing, and I've been fascinated with the look and style since. My first supermoto was a KTM LC4 640SM that I used to ride on the road, then I did some trackdays on a go-kart track then bought a bike for trackdays... and the rest is history.
When and how did the idea for this project originated? What was your inspiration?
I had been racing an Aprilia SXV550 for some years and while it's an excellent bike on the fast road race circuits, it makes supermoto a lot harder than it should be! A friend bought an MXV from the US (they are not imported to Australia). Being involved with the VX range for a long time, the MXV appealed to me as it's the evolution of the line and I realised that it was a much better proposition than the SXV for a supermoto bike.
What’s was the base for your project?
2009 Aprilia MXV450 bought new in2012 from AF1 Racing, Texas.
Can you tell us in short how the build went? Did you have any big problems or did it all went smooth?
The build took a long time, mainly because I collected parts as I had the money and I had a long deadline. My plan was to debut the bike at the 2013 Australian Supermoto Championship at the Whitsunday raceway... of course, some parts were delayed and I only finished assembling the bike the night before I had to drive to the race! The bike was run in during the practice day and it was a revelation! I had a good idea how I expected the bike to handle and I was very happy with how good it was with my first attempt.
What do you use your bike for? Do you ride it on the street or just take it to the track once in a while?
The bike is used for racing and practicing only
Is this your first supermoto project or did you also build other supermoto bikes?
All racebikes are a project of some kind and always require some degree of "building" as you find limitations with the bike or spend too long on eBay! My SXV550 was developed to a reasonably high spec and before that I had a Husky SMR450... the less said about that one the better!
Do you have any plans for another supermoto project in the future?
I'm going to try and ride this one a bit more first but I really enjoyed building the SMXV and the great thing about supermoto is that you can build a high-spec bike for sensible money. This bike is far from finished, there are a few upgrades that are required and a few modifications needed that only become apparent with testing.
Have you got any tips or advice for people that want to start a project like this?
Be realistic about your budget and intended use, do you really need those carbon fibre wheels?
Take your time and double check everything, if you give yourself a decent timescale you can take advantage of the best pricing on parts, buy them when you can afford to, not when you have to.
Enjoy it! Take delight in the little things.
Thanks to the many people have helped me out along the way:
Marty Duke - Supermoto bike builder, Honda tragic and Duke Racing founder has been a great help and friend ever since I first bribed him with a can of Red-bull!
Uber-Moto Custom Graphics - www.uber-moto.com - Fellow supermoto racer and Custom MX graphics specialist, Jad Crowther, designed and produced the graphics for the SMXV. I left it to the last minute to decide on a design yet it was printed, and fitted in a seemingly impossibly short space of time. Uber-moto also printed the patches for my race leathers.
Snap Fitness Caloundra - Owned by fellow supermoto racer Beau Laing. Beau has helped with my fitness and recovery from the inevitable injuries picked up racing motorcycles! Fitness off the bike is a big part of my race preparation, our practice opportunities are very limited so it's important for my fitness to be at a high level then I can fully concentrate on my riding.
AF1 racing - www.af1racing.com - Supplied the bike and host the ever-informative aprilia forum.
Allen Noland - Noland Trans World Cycles - No-one in Australia has ever had any experience of the MXV, Allen's wealth of knowledge and willingness to answer questions proved invaluable in setting up the bike.
Western Racing developments - www.westernracingdevelopments.com - Kurt West developed the XV Tuner software and cable for XV engine FI tuning and was a great help with the MXV.
The Fast Wheels Aprilia Team - Thanks to Daniele and the team for the advice and answers to my stupid questions!
M2R Helmets - www.made2race.com.au - A new supporter for the 2014 season, the new M2R X4 helmet is a lightweight, premium spec helmet without the premium price. I have already crash tested one of these and was very impressed with the outcome.
Moto-Extremes - Shawn West from Moto Extremes sourced the Nuova Faor triple clamps and provided the Saxxes rims.
Mick's Fix Leather Repairs - Supply, modification and inevitable repair of my race leathers.
Silkolene Motorcycle lubricants - www.silkolene.com.au
Warner's Wheel Repair - http://warnerscarwheelrepairs.com.au - Mitch Warner did a great job of building my wheels, on time and at a great price.
Brembo Billet Caliper with Titanium pistons
Brembo Billet 16 x 16 master with remote adjuster
Ohlins FG661 forks
STM Slipper Clutch and Spacer
Circuit P4 Handguards
Force radiator guards (SXV)
Nuova Faor adjustable triple clamps
Saxxes rims, white powdercoated spokes laced to stock Aprilia hubs
Tsubaki MX-Pro Chain
Aprilia VDB Titanium fasteners and suspension linkage pins
Titanium Arrow exhaust, Made for the factory S1 team, with equal length headers