FEATURED MACHINE: CANNONDALE WOODS RACER

 

Tyler runs the FTR series in the Sunshine State and select GNCC’s down south. Florida is very limited on places to ride and the nonprofit FTR (www.floridatrailriders.org) is providing a racing and riding outlet for many.

Back in the early 2000s Cannondale expanded from making bicycles, and burst onto the motorcycle scene and then the ATV scene in a big way.

At the time, Yamaha was the only manufaacturer building competitive four-stroke dirt bikes. Hybrid race ATVs at that time were using these bike engines in custom ATV frames and gathering big attention from racers and other OEMs. 

Cannondale shocked the ATV community when they released a complete line of sport ATVs with great handling and power. We raced one of their first cross-country models called the Blaze down at a Florida GNCC and got an easy podium spot for the morning race overall. The quads were so good, top racers like Kory Ellis and John Natalie ditched their two-strokes and hybrids, and joined the new brand with a fair amount of success.

However, just as Cannondale was getting things dialed in, the giants—Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki—released their 450 ATVs and basically pushed the American brand out of the game. 

Cannondale produced four versions of their four-stroke ATV: Blaze, Speed, Cannibal and the 50-inch-wide Moto. All ATV production stopped in 2003 when the company filed for bankruptcy. They are back making high-end bicycles today.

The aluminum-framed, 432cc four-stroke had its issues, mostly with the powerplant, and very few machines survived. We get letters now and again from people still riding and racing them, but those are far and few between.

Recently one owner, Tyler Davis, sent in some images of his Cannondale Moto 440 that he still competes with at the GNCC series. He is still using the stock (but serviced) Ohlins shocks and stock swingarms/A-arms all rolling on Obor tires. The Ohlins have been re-valved and re-sprung by Blommel Motorsports.

As for the powerplant, it now has head porting, an updated crank and a custom map in the ECU from Black Widow ATV.  An FMF exhaust still takes care of the exhaust. This motor was unique, as it had the intake in front of the cylinder and the exhaust header running out the backside.  

We are happy to see this second-generation racer competing on a piece of history. If you have a Cannondale ATV you need to get parts for, call Black Widow ATV at (786)422-4526

 

Keeping the old racer alive and fast By the staff of Dirt Wheels, Action photos by Ken Hill

Keeping a nearly 20-year-old race quad alive is tough. However, companies like Black Widow ATV (www.blackwidow-ok.com) in Georgia still has a stash of parts to help make it happen.

RIDER & SPONSORS

ATV owner: Tyler Davis

Rider: Tyler Davis

Builder: Davis Motorsports/ Black Widow ATV

Contributors: Obor Tires, Spider Grapihx, Evans Coolant, Blommel Motorsports Black Widow ATV, MotoTrim, Blue Collar Health and Fitness and Vanilla Gorilla Strength Athletics.

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