INSIDE HAIDEN DEEGAN'S STAR RACING YAMAHA YZ250F
Haiden Deegan is by now a household name in the world of dirt bike racing. He has been on the radar since super minis on a KTM. In 2023 Deegan has finally made the switch to professional racing with Star Racing Yamaha. Dirt Bike Magazine met up with mechanic Brent Duff to go over all the trick parts on his bike and how they’ve adjusted the settings as Haiden gets faster.
Haiden Deegan is running Pro Taper ACF (aluminum carbon fiber) handlebars and they are a Carmichael bend. You can see that Haiden is also running his bar mounts pretty far back on his YZ250F. Because they are pulled back so far Brent Duffe has the risers set to 10mm.
Haiden is running an extremely soft Pro Taper grip on his YZ250F. Deegan likes his grips smaller so Brent Duffe cuts the waffles off as shown above. He wants the softest/smallest grip possible.
G2 supplies the team with a billet throttle tube that increases the durability. This is a custom throttle tube that is actually a little bit smaller to compliment the smaller grips.
Neken triple clamps are provided to the team. We have seen the “open window” design on some rider’s bikes but this is the more standard item.
You’ll notice in the two photos above that the cross bar pad has been cut to fit Deegan’s map switch inside of it. This helps clean up the handlebars on the motorcycle. Pro riders move around a lot on the bike and are known to bump their chests up against the handlebars. The last thing the team wants is Haiden to accidentally hit the map switch while riding on track. This also helps if the team needs to put hand guards on the bike. It helps with less stuff mounted to the bars.
ARC provides the team with clutch and brake levers.
Look under the front brake master cylinder. Brent Duffe adds this little rubber protection on it so rocks don’t damage the brake system.
Cool little piece added to the bike is this ARC banjo bolt protector. Helps keep from rocks or debris hitting the front brake and causing problems. You don’t want a rock hitting this area and chipping it or holding the piston in place. Brent Duffe will do anything to prevent a DNF on his motorcycles.
Haiden has a Polar watch mount on the handlebars. The athletes don’t like anything on their wrists during racing. We have heard of riders breaking or injuring their wrists because they have something strapped to it. This mount holds his watch and he can monitor his heart rate as well as time he has been racing. A nice gauge when doing a heat or main event moto in supercross.
Haiden is using the KYB PSF-1 Air Fork. Pretty funny to think. Yamaha comes stock with spring forks. KTM comes stock with air forks. The factory Yamaha team uses air forks. The factory KTM team uses spring forks. Brent Duff did mention it was really nice to have so many past champions to pull information from when building Haiden’s bike.
A Works Connection holeshot device is used on the bike. Haiden isn’t running it quite as deep as some of the other riders on the team. So far this season we have seen anywhere from 150mm-200mm in depth. Brent did note that Haiden is considerably smaller than some of the riders on the team as well.
Racetech Titanium provides all the ti for the bike. A titanium front axle is used on Haiden’s YZ250F. Riders can have steel also but its a feeling preference for each person.
KITE hubs are used on the Star bike. This is a different hub than what the team ran last year. Some of the riders ran a stock hub during outdoors. The team came to the fact that there is a bit of a feel difference based on the hub they use. The team went to a different spec front hub, stock spokes, and an Excel rim. The riders feedback was that they get more “feel” out of this new set up.
A Dunlop 768 front spec tire is used on the motorcycle. Haiden has been looking forward to going pro and being able to use spec tires. All the amateur kids coming up talk about one day having the chance to run a spec or “factory” tire on their bikes.
The front brake system on Haiden’s bike is stock. A BRAKING front rotor is used with a Lightspeed carbon disc guard. This can act like a ski in the ruts and allow the rider to glide instead of get hung up by the caliper.
The team is using stock 2023 Yamaha YZ250F radiators. You can see that they add a 1.8 radiator cap to the bike with a pin inserted through it. This pin keeps the cap in place and if for some reason the rider bumps it with their leg it won’t spin off. It has happened. Jason Anderson spun his cap off at Anaheim 1 in 2022 and cost him the race win.
Twin Air provides the team with these cool screens to protect the radiator fins. With the addition of sand and already quite a bit of rocks in the soil these will help protect a crucial part of the motorcycle. If the bike gets plugged up with sand it could cause it to overheat.
You can see the addition of the extra radiator hoses on the front of the bike to beef up the coolant lines. This area has a chance of getting hit and the team doesn’t want to take the chance of a puncture. They cut a 2nd radiator hose in half and use it as a guard on the lines to protect them. To go with that protection mindset they add a Lightspeed full coverage carbon skid plate. You can see that the wings wrap around both sides of the engine.
The engines are done in house at Star Racing Yamaha compound in Florida. There are two technicians working on these powerhouse motors 24/7 to rotate them between all their riders. All of the riders on the team have options to choose from. You can also see that the entire team is runing a Rekluse Torq Drive clutch system in their bikes. This is the same clutch you can buy over the counter.
The electric water pump made its debut last year with Star Racing Yamaha. Since then there have been several teams that have adopted this concept. This keeps the bike cooler and pushes more coolant through efficiently. All of this at the end result creates more power for the motorcycle.
You’ll notice under the smaller frame spar that Star Racing places a back up start button on their bikes. In the event that the start button on the handlebars is damaged, a rider can get their bike going again by using this back up. A little grip tape is added to help keep the button in place and not slide around on the aluminum spar.
An FMF titanium exhaust system is used front to back on Haiden’s bike. You can see that the canister has an extra guard on it. Riders squeeze so hard (example Malcolm Stewart) that they can actually crush the pipe with their legs. Starts are pretty hectic and riders are slamming each other quite a bit in the first turn. This guard can help reduce or avoid damage to the pipe as well. In years past you could see more of the FMF pipe because the team would shave off the lower end of the number plate. They have left it on this season so they can add more grip tape to the motorcycle.
Cycra provides all the plastics for the team. You can see in the photo above that they are running a special airbox that is larger in volume and has a hole cut out. More air=more power. Twin Air has a variety of filters for the team to choose from based on the elements that the race is providing. They will most definitely be using a more robust filter or the filter covers at Daytona this year.
Grip tape is stuck on the frame to provide more grip to the motorcycle. Anchortape is pretty popular in the factory pits this season. Deegan does ride with some on his side panels but in the photos you see today there isn’t any. We caught Brent Duffe still in process of building his bike up when the photo-shoot took place. Because the bike is so powerful compared to the amateur package, Brent explained that adding this grip helps Deegan stay in place as he gets used to this machine.
Works Chassis Lab engine mounts are used on Haiden’s Yamaha YZ250F. You can see the hole in the middle of the top mount. Different material and design can change the flex characteristics of the motorcycle.
You’ll notice on both sides of the swingarm pivot that the team is using Delran inserts to block the mud from packing in. If for some reason the pivot nut came loose it also wouldn’t be able to pop out with these covers protecting it. That is a rare instance but there is no way it could pull out past the brake pedal with this design.
An interesting part of the bike is that at one point Haiden was running a -10mm cut subframe. The team has now gone back to the stock model. As Haiden has progressed with speed/technique the bike has had to evolve with him.
Another measure to keep Haiden in place is the Dcor seat used on the bike. Duffe adds these pleats and a bump to lock Haiden in place, especially off the starts. The bump is made from an old bar pad.
RAPTOR titanium footpegs are used on Haiden’s bike. These are 10mm back on a stock position footpeg with Racetech titanium providing the mount.
A standard rear brake is used on the YZ250F. You can see the brake snake that keeps tough blocks and other debris from ripping off the pedal during racing. The snake is actually an old clutch cable the team uses and attached it to the frame.
You can see the Lightspeed carbon rear brake guard. Brent Duffe also chamfers the brake pads. If you look at the pads they are at an angle. This makes it a lot easier to remove and replace the rear wheel in a hurry. Sometimes the pads will close up when you remove the wheel and you need a flat head to space them out. If the team is in a bind they won’t have time to waste. By chamfering the pads, Brent will be able to slam a fresh wheel in fast and get Haiden back on track.
The team is running 14/50 gearing on Deegan’s bike. You can see that they are not running a master link and opted to a pressed rivot link. The master link has a chance of popping off and the team doesn’t want to risk it.
A Dunlop 784 rear tire is used on Haiden’s bike out back. It is a 110 size. We have seen riders use a 120 but on a 250F where horsepower is king the teams have to be careful. A 120 will rob the bike of some power on track.
The shock is very production based. The team is using an 18mm shaft.