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By: Chris Hodkinson

When comparing resumes' at the national level engine builders, the resume of Curtis Sparks certainly stands out.  Curtis Sparks has been winning championships on MX tracks, Oval tracks, Desert Races, and on ice. Additionally bolstered by holding a coveted spot on the "Mighty" Team Honda, Curtis was arguably the greatest 4-stroke racer ever.  Due to his dominance on the Team Honda ATC 200X, Team Kawasaki had to build a sleeved-down factory only version of the Tecate KXT250 to compete against him, but to no avail.  This truly proves a testament to Curtis' riding abilities to compete successfully at that level against that type of competition.

Sparks Pipe TRX250R in near lane smoking the competitionSince his retirement from racing, Curtis has been building motors for some of the fastest riders in the country.  Curtis started out as a master of the 4-stroke motor but has now built the reputation as building the fastest 250R motors in the country.  Anybody with Sparks Power has a chance to win on the TT Tracks.  Additionally a Sparks’ 250R engine has the elite title of the only 250R that has won the famous Pont De Vaux race.

On any 2-stroke engine, one of the most essential components to making it go fast is the exhaust system.  Some are short and fat, others long and skinny.  Some are all hand rolled cones while others have unique bends.  Some work and some don't. In our 250R dyno Pipe shootout the Sparks MX pipe produced the highest peak horsepower of all the pipes with a long, broad power spread to go with it. We have been told, the TT pipe from Sparks, produces 2 more horses then their MX pipe with the same broad power characteristics more biased to the upper RPM range.

After our dyno shootout, Sparks Racing contacted us about testing the TT version of their pipe.  When we got the pipe we immediately noticed that there is nothing fancy looking about Curtis's pipe except the exceptional chrome plating.  No oversize expansion chamber or radical angles on the baffle cone, an average length head pipe, and no fancy stinger.  Just good old fashion pipe design.

Sparks Piped TRX250R Near LaneInstallation of the pipe requires no special tools.  Common hand tools suffice.  The fit and finish of the pipe is among the best that we have ever bolted on.  All joints slipped together easily and the pipe halves and silencer all line up nicely.  The mounting tab is on the bottom of the pipe and mounts to the forward motor mount.

The testing and comparison of the Sparks TT pipe started off in an aggressive manner with much at stake.  The pipe arrived a couple of days before the final race of the North Country ATV Drag Circuit.  Not wanting to break up a winning package before the last race we decided not to test the pipe until after final race.  The day before the race the weather forecast called for rain.  We were in a dilemma, as with our present pipe/silencer setup we had to run a K&N air filter with no airbox.  Do we risk sucking water and mud through our open filter if it rains or do we take a chance and put on an unproven pipe so we can run the airbox?

Well we rolled the dice and put the Sparks TT pipe on, fitted the stock airbox back on, then hoped for the best.  Results Speak for themselvesWe had to adjust the gearing and jetting the day of the race. To top it all off, this was at a track that we have never run on before.  To make a long story short, not only did we finish the year undefeated in the 250R Mod Class; but most importantly with the Sparks pipe on the quad we were even more dominant then in previous races.

Now this is not the extent of the test as there were many variables that were not addressed that day.  Mainly, what variables made the quad that much faster over the competition for the day?  Was it that we hit the setup better then everyone else for a new track, did other racers have a bad day, or was it the new Sparks TT pipe?  We headed back to the track with our timers and our old pipe in hand to find out.

Just for a point of reference, if you are trying to compare these times with your own, our drag track consists of deep soft gravel so the times may appear slow compared to some areas.

Since we had the Sparks pipe on, we began more in depth testing with it first.  We made 10 runs with the Sparks TT pipe on and the average time of all runs were 5.85 seconds.  We installed our previous pipe that we had been running and made 10 runs with it too.  The average of these runs were 5.97 seconds.  In 300 feet the Sparks TT pipe was .12 seconds faster, calculating out to be a distance of approximately 2 quad lengths.

We also noticed that the higher revving Sparks pipe eliminated a whole shift point on the track. However, the shift points were more critical not to pull the motor’s RPM down.  Even though this is more of a top-end biased pipe, it still had good power delivery in the lower RPM's.

In close, the way this pipe performed on the track and the exceptional fit, Team Source gives Curtis an A+ for this pipe.  Not only has he mastered building fast 4-strokes but he has also done the same for 2-strokes.  For more info about this pipe or other Sparks products you visit them on their web site or contact them at:

Sparks Racing
11200 Pitts Avenue
Bakersfield, CA 93306
Phone: 661.872.4343

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