— The Blackwater 100 was dominated by this fast 2-stroke quad —
In 1975 a race was born in the muddy waters of Davis, West Virginia. Dave Coombs, owner of the famed GNCC racing series, was contacted by a small-town preacher in West Virginia regarding the economy of his struggling town. He was interested in hosting a motorcycle race to bring money into the area. Coombs saw the enormous potential, and the Blackwater 100 was born! The Blackwater race was aptly named after nearby Blackwater Falls and Blackwater River. This 100-mile race was so popular that a Bally pinball machine was made to showcase its legendary status. Unfortunately, 1993 would end the reign of America’s toughest race because of the high level of toxins found in the water by the power company that owned the land.
The legend remains in the minds of the youngsters who are now adults and the racers that attended the race in its glory days. The mighty Honda TRX250R dominated the ATV side of the Blackwater 100.
GNCC pro ATV racer Adam McGill is fond of this race, as it’s what essentially started GNCC racing. And seeing that it’s deeply rooted in West Virginia’s racing heritage, we can see where the love stems from. In respect to the town it was held in, Adam wanted to build a full-race TRX250R similar to what legendary racers like Chuck Delullo and Bob Sloan would have lined up with. He named this TRX250R “Davis.”
BUILT FOR THE AVERAGE JOE
Adam wanted to build Davis into a machine that an average racer could build himself, with a few exceptions. Adam found a clean stock frame without cracks or breaks and had an RJR gusset kit welded in to make it last for the long haul.
Some of the parts might be tough to obtain for a 250R. Adam’s Davis has a TRX450R front end on it. You read that right—Lonestar Racing built long-travel A-arms similar to Adam’s TRX450R so that he could run the dual-piston 450R brake calipers and have more precise turning with the 2005 style geometry. The arms are +2 wider and +1 forward over OEM for a more stable machine in corners and on long straightaways. Even with this added width, Davis didn’t have any issues squeaking through tree sections. Adam also had a custom rear caliper brake stay built to accommodate a TRX450R rear brake caliper for better stopping power than was available in 1988. Custom Axis fully adjustable shocks suspend Davis front and rear and bring modern suspension performance.
A RELIABLE FIRE BREATHER
Rage Racing built a very reliable 265cc powerplant that produces great power and a broad powerband. They bored the stock cylinder, added an oversized Wiseco piston, ported the cylinder and added some Rage tricks that make this machine move quickly. An engine setup like this was typical of championship winners from the 1980s through the early 2000s. The full FMF exhaust provides a crisp sound and helps with the low-end pull. Another trick is adding a full ignition from the CR250 two-stroke dirt bike to provide more low-end magic that helps it pull out of the corners quickly.
Protecting the engine is a dual-stage Twin Air air filter. Rage Racing also tuned the Keihin carburetor to perfection. Along with the piston, a Wiseco clutch kit and clutch basket were installed for longevity and better clutch feel.
Maier recently redesigned its 250R plastics, making a deeper depression for the starter to sit in. We like these plastics, as they fit well and provide great coverage. Spider Graphix created a replica of Adam’s TRX450R graphics kit to work on Davis’ plastic.
RJR builds some impressive aluminum parts, and Adam has his own line with RJR, and his “McGill Mafia 521” logo is cut into the front of the bumper. Other not-so-attainable parts are the one-off footpegs and heel guards that RJR built for this machine. The pegs are made from stainless steel, and they provide excellent boot grip. The heel guards are wide and offer a net instead of metal. The RJR grab bar is built for racers with tabs to mount a rear number plate.
CST Pulse six-ply 21-inch front tires and 20-inch rear tires provide great traction, are lightweight and are a perfect tire setup for GNCC. The Pulse tires are riding on some trick carbon fiber wheels from Hiper that are not only lightweight but are stronger than heck! Inside this great package Adam runs TireBlocks’ flat prevention system for a couple of reasons. Number one: He can finish a race even if he punctures a tire. Number two: You can run lower tire pressures with TireBlocks, which means more traction.
WE LOVE THE SMELL OF PREMIX
We were able to ride Davis on the Meyers’ property where the Ironman GNCC is held. With a small moto turn track and a woods section, we could stretch this 250R’s legs in many different situations. The first thing that caught our attention was how well the Rage 265cc engine ran. It was a perfect combination of all-out fun, perfectly tuned power and it was extremely easy to ride throughout the powerband. Having a crisp-running two-stroke is a dream, and we were living it while riding Davis!
The suspension package was impressing us more and more each lap. Whether it was the woods sections or the open moto-style field section, it provided stability and an extremely smooth ride no matter what rugged terrain we subjected Davis to. Cornering Davis was a delight and surprisingly easy to get in and out of a corner quickly. It didn’t feel like it had a stock frame at all. It felt more like a Laeger or a LoneStar Racing chassis. We attribute that to the 2005 TRX450R front-end geometry and, again, how well the Custom Axis shocks were dialed in. The biggest change from any other 250R was the brakes—that impressed us the most. The 450R brakes feel firm and give the 250R unrivaled stopping power.
The CST Pulse tires never disappoint when it comes to traction. They provide great side bite when cornering, but not so much that Davis wanted to put us on our heads. It made it even better that we were able to run low air pressure with the TireBlocks to get greater traction from the Pulse tires. We can see why this is what McGill, aka “The Gator,” uses in the swamps of GNCC racing!
Like usual, Adam nailed it when it came to sculpting a 250R that an average rider could build. Now we know there are some parts that might be inaccessible that are on this build, but using some of the parts mentioned in this build could get you a solid and fun machine that you could be confident riding anywhere in the U.S. Sometimes it doesn’t take a huge checkbook to make something special like Davis; it just takes some know-how, heart, dedication and having a lot of fun building it to make it work. Riding it afterwards is just the cherry on top!
RJR Products www.rylandjohnsonracing.com, (870) 566-1276
521 Series gusset kit $700
521 Series bumper $150
521 Series grab bar $90
Foot pegs $150
Heel guards $220
Rage ATV Racing www.rageatvracing.com, (281) 593-2481
265cc engine kit with porting Price varies
Keihin www.keihin-na.com, (765) 298-6030
41mm carburetor $345.45
Boyesen www.boyesen.com, (800) 441-1177
Rad valve $179.95
Fatty pipe $279.99
Powercore 2 silencer $134.99
Twin Air www.twinair.com, (215) 258-5124
Air filter $49.95
Wiseco www.wiseco.com, (800) 321-1364
265cc piston $190
Clutch basket $268
Friction clutch plates $85.72
Clutch spring kit $26.50
Maier Mfg. www.maier-mfg.com, (800) 33-MAIER
TRX250R front fender kit $353.35
TRX250R rear fender kit $297.07
TRX250R smoothy hood $76.28
Quad Tech www.quadtech-atv.com, (208) 417-1726
Seat cover $129.95
Spider Graphix www.spider-graphix.com, (317) 996-5555
Custom graphics Price varies
LS Racing www.lsracing.com, (800) 457-7223
DC4 long-travel A-arms $1,199
Anti-vibe steering stem with clamp $265
Pivot bolt $65
Front hubs $349
Rear hubs $236
Axle carrier $200
Anti-fade axle lock nut $199
CST Tires www.csttires.com
Pulse 21x7x10 front tire $91 per tire
Pulse 20x11x9 rear tire $112 per tire
Hiper Tech www.hiper-technology.com, (877) go-hiper
10-inch Tech3 front wheel $244.99 per wheel
9-inch Tech3 rear wheel $239.99 per wheel
Tire Blocks www.ridetireblocks.com, (253) 973-5111
Front Tire Block system $110 per tire
Rear Tire Block system $137.50 per tire
Streamline Brakes www.streamlinebrakes.com, (909) 987-4213
Front braided brake lines $89.99
Rear braided brake line $39.99
DP Brakes www.dp-brakes.com
Front brake pads $39.95 per side
Rear brake pads $39.95
Sunstar www.sunstar-mc.com, (937) 743-9049
X-ring chain $95.95
Front sprocket $23.95
Rear sprocket $36.95
Works Connection www.worksconnection.com, (530) 642-9488
Elite clutch perch and lever system $155.90
Parking brake block off plate $19.95
Front master cylinder brake cap $29.95
Rotating bar clamp $19.95
Fasst Company www.fasstco.com, (877) 306-1801
14-Degree Quad Racer Low handlebars $359.99
Rear brake clevis $19.99
All Balls Racing www.allballsbearings.com
Swingarm bearing kit $47.64