First ride on BRP!

Bought leftover 01 BRP in Feb and finally went for my first real ride. Most of the ice finally gone from woods in Massachusetts. Weather and wife finally cooperated. Bike: uncorked, uni, racing tip. Suspension STOCK! Haven't even set sag!!! Rider: former A enduro rider(8-10 yrs ago on KTM300EXC), now 40lb heavier, out of condition, soft girly hands, packing a 250lb load and a surly disposition. Impression: Great power, but you all know that. I can imagine you guys out west roaming the open deserts wanting to mess with cams and considering such nonsence as cutting holes in your side panels for more juice. Bottom and mid are incredible, but I can envision it pulling stronger for longer up top under load in sand. For the tight, rock and root infested, bark busting eastern conditions, this thing basically amounts to an infinite power supply! It brings a smile to your face when you come out of that tight trail to a woods road and can actually use that power for a few seconds. In the tight trails, I was mostly in 2nd gear (stock gearing), but used 3rd gear more than I thought I would. Keeping this beast in the bottom third of the RPM range in tight, rocky, rooty trails is mandatory. Things can QUICKLY get out of control when you get in the meat of the midrange on tight, rough trails. I am planning a switch to 13/48 or 14/51 gearing as best compromise for tight trails and some dual sporting road use. I did stall it a few too many times, but only once was it the snease/stall. The rest were clearly me being rusty. Carberation was pretty good (alternate needle in 3rd possition, 68s, 172, 1000ft, ~50 F). You have to be pretty smooth with the throttle in the woods so I only noticed hesitation twice: once coming out of a rare sandy corner where I was pretty liberal with the right hand and once after a very rough high speed rocky section that was probably similar to jump landing impact. Bottom line, i think I would consider spending $400 on the auto clutch before Quicksilver carb for my application. Suspension: O-boy! Lets just say I am hoping for a significant transformation when I switch to .47/10.5 or .47/11 combo. This is at the top of my financially dependent modification schedule. Then aluminum bars. Suspension: The suspension beat me to a pulp. I think riding too low in stroke (soft springs) gets into stiffer compression valving creating serious problems on multiple bumps (rocks). Suspension just felt confused on rough rocky trails if it had to deal with rocks/roots in rapid sucession. On the few 2-3 ft whoops, the front was diving, the back was kicking. Yeeehaawwww! I was litterally thinking, "If those bastards out west can blast whoops fast enough to win desert races on this PIG, then I know the is room for SIGNIFICANT improvement!" And the fork dive under heavy breaking was significant and contributed to tucking/plowing. Handling: the bikes stability is its saving grace. No matter how confused the suspension got, I knew I could count on the bike to stay straight. That is kinda huge when trees are inches from your handlebars! Handling: Now don't lecture me about not setting the sag! I know it is mandatory, but if I crank up this punny stock spring, it will be under its minimum length and ugly things could happen when it bottoms out. As ridden, turning on tight trails could not be accomplished without full commitment. The first few times I got lazy and just assumed the bike would go the way I wanted it to, I ended up off the trail. Planting my boys firmly on the tank and introducing them to Mr. Gas Cap EVERY TIME was the ONLY way to make this wallowing beast succumb to my will when directional changes were required. It would occasionally plow and special care was needed on soft downhill or off camber corners. Unfortunately, this will probably always be the case with a 300lb bike, regardless of suspension. So what is the good news? Well, my 3 riding partners are good B riders (CR450, KTM300EXC, RM250), this was my first time out in 7 years, and I could keep up with them on the tightest of trails. Sure it was the longest 25 miles of my life (sounds like nothing you you westerners, but it was 95% rough, twisty 2ng gear trail). Sure the energy and concentration required to submit this beast to my will were unprecidented. Sure every major muscle group of my neglected body screams in protest today. But I kept up with them. I am excited to see improvements from stiffer springs, setting sag, 2.5wt fork oil and fine tuning. I am expecting quite a transformation. :) Also, counter shaft seal leaking after ride! I read it was a weakness of the 01s, but I expected more than 36 miles out of it. Sorry for being so long winded. I like to think you guys that have been riding these for years would enjoy the babbling of a newbie just discovering the BRP.


Springs and IMS pro pegs will make a world of difference. Raise the forks and steering will improve as well. 13/48 is an easy and inexpensive mod that almost makes 1st gear unnecessary. Haven't tried 14/51 and don't know how that plays with the stock chain. It will shortened the wheel base just a little if the stock chain is used, which is OK for woods.

Better buy another rear tire now. :)

I just put a GPR v2 on the BRP and really like the way it makes ruts, washed out primitive roads and sand easier to navigate. I don't have woods so I can't say from experience how the stabilizer feels in that environment.

Countershaft seal is a cheap and easy fix. Put antiseize lubricant on the rear wheel adjuster bolts and grease the swingarm pivot bolt ASAP.

How about a picture or two of your woods riding.

Thanks for the advice, needsprayer. I have a laundry list of things I need / want to buy. Unfortunately, a stablizer is not on this years agenda. Maybe next year. I went through bike with all the knowledge I accumulated from internet while snow was melting in New England. Anti-seizing chain adjusters has been taken care of. I was toying with the 14/51 to make wheelbase shorter to quicken handling, but I would probably go with 13/48 for fiscal reasons. I guess doing it while replacing seal would make a certain ammount of sense, huh? I will try to get some pictures posted on the web in the not too distant future.


I am using the 13/48 gearing an love it. I am considering going to the 13/50 to be able to handle the steep trails with deep ruts better.

Countershaft seal is a cheap and easy fix. Put antiseize lubricant on the rear wheel adjuster bolts and grease the swingarm pivot bolt ASAP.

Needs prayer,

Is it difficult to grease the pivot arm? and is there a site that shows or explains how to complete it?

Yeah, how do you grease the swingarm pivot bolt? Do I need to make those swing arm pivot tools by grinding up sockets for that?

I tried making a tool (adapting a brake caliper tool) and failed to get the nuts to move. I don't have a welder to put handles on modified sockets so I paid $100 (approx) for the OEM tools. The OEM tools fit one inside the other to make the job easy and since I do this at least twice a year I think it is money well spent.

Check out this link:

It explains about why preloading is important and covers all the bases about different approaches.

Here is a little more from a post Eric made back in 2001.

Eric J Foster wrote:

Rear shock top mounting bolt 33lb-ft

Rear shock bottom/triangular linkage mounting bolt 33lb-ft

Triangular Linkage to swingarm bolt 58lb-ft

Triangular Linkage to linkage rod bolt 69lb-ft

Linkage rod to frame bolt 51lb-ft

Swingarm to frame/engine bolt 80lb-ft (SEE BELOW)

Stand bracket small bolt x 2 to frame 29lb-ft

Stand bracket larger bolt x1 to frame 20lb-ft

I also use Never-Seize on these.

Lower chain guide bracket to swingarm bolt x 3 Book is non-specific, "Install and tighten bolts securely".

Here's the process for installing the swingarm to the frame.

1. Install the swingarm onto the frame.

2. Temporarily install the swingarm pivot shaft from the left side. (backwards)

3. Install and tighten the adjusting bolt (the one that threads into the frame) to 9 lb-ft.

4. Loosen the adjusting bolt to 0lb-ft, then re-tourqe to 5.1lb-ft.

5. Install and tighten the locking nut (the outer ring) to 47lb-ft.

6. Remove the swingarm pivot shaft. (If you done it right, the swingarm is now locked into the frame by the adjusting bolt. )

7. Coat the pivot shaft with a LIGHT coat of grease and re-install it correctly from the right side.

8. Install the washer and nut to the pivot, torque to 80lb-ft.

If you don't already have a service manual check this link:

I have 13/48 and it's ok overall, but I ride in the woods of the southeast :) and it is a little high for some of the real tight trails. I am considering going to a 52 or 53 on the rear. It may be a little low for the road, but I ride 80% trails. Does anyone have experience with a 52 or 53 rear?

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now