By: Chris Hodkinson
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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:
11200 Pitts Avenue
Bakersfield, CA 93306