Belgian rider Jeffrey Dewulf finished the 2018 ADAC MX Masters in second place overall, which was a real surprise, because he is regarded mainly as a sand specialist, but he subsequently proved after making a great start in Fürstlich Drehna that he can also be very fast on hard ground. Dewulf started out the year, riding for his own private team but switched to KTM Sarholz Racing for the last few races of the season and was given a new race bike, on which to compete. We took a closer look at the speedy Belgian's machine.
KTM's 450cc engine is well known for having plenty of grunt, but Dewulf is one of the few riders who like to have even more performance on tap. And so, a completely reworked cylinder head was installed in the Sarholz KTM with start number 212, resulting in a big increase in peak performance compared to the standard model. Oil pressure was also increased in order to make the engine more robust. All of the team's engines run exclusively on Aspen race fuel. "The fuel we get from Aspen is 102 octane and is of consistently high quality," said team owner Nino Zimmermann. "It also burns very cleanly and is more responsive on the throttle."
The stainless steel exhaust system is made by HGS. Dewulf's bike uses the over-the-counter GP version. Like many others, the team from Westerwald in Germany prefer not to purchase titanium exhausts which are horrendously expensive and quite delicate.
Dewulf uses a Rekluse clutch which performs just like the standard production version but has a few minor differences in construction and is specially tuned to make it tougher while weighing slightly less. Like many top riders, Dewulf puts huge demands on clutches, making extra work for his mechanics, who have to constantly check for clutch disc wear, especially when racing on sand.
The suspension is from WP and was maintained by Pepper Motorsport's Hendrik Nolting. Following the change of teams, Dewulf used settings he had developed himself initially but then worked with Nolting on a new setup for his race bike.
Team Sarholz use larger radiators that are not available on the open market in order to stop engines overheating under the tremendous loads imposed on them by the top riders. Their increased cooling capacity ensures that engines work at optimal operating temperatures even in extreme conditions such as intense heat and when racing on sand or mud.
Both brakes have larger discs than standard with Goldfren adapters and brake pads. Up front, Dewulf uses a Brembo factory caliper from KTM's Power Parts rang made of high tensile aluminium, which is much stiffer while weighing the same as the standard version. Its pressure point and braking performance are improved as a result of the aluminium's high strength.
The air filters on Dewulf's bike are from Twin Air, as is the power flow kit with its orange anodised aluminium filter cage.
Since the outfit does not have a sponsor for handlebars, each rider is free to choose their own personal favourite. Dewulf's bars were manufactured by Mika Metals.