Carlos Rivera | Spanner

Factory Red Bull KTM’s Carlos Rivera

Carlos Rivera

Hometown: Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico

Years Wrenching: 12 Years

Rider: Ryan Dungey

Past Riders: Davi Millsaps, Ken Roczen

In the world of dirt bike racing, multi-time champion Ryan Dungey needs no introduction. Behind him and all of his successes are a crew of hard working KTM team members along with his right hand man/ace mechanic Carlos Rivera who can be found wrenching along every step of the way. Hailing from Puerto Rico, Carlos has always been passionate about racing motocross and working on his own bikes. At age twenty, he and his newlywed wife Thelma took the plunge and moved to Florida so he could attend MMI to pursue a career as a professional mechanic. While in Florida he met Cole Gress who ran Suzuki's amateur program through the local race scene, who connected him with an 11 year-old ripper by the name of Davi Millsaps who was in need of a race mechanic. A bond was formed and Carlos split time between working at a Suzuki dealership and turning wrenches for Davi. When Millsaps signed his factory Suzuki contract and brought Carlos along, it was a dream realized for both parties. Winning a 2006 East Coast Lites Championship together, Carlos and Davi saw great success and worked together until parting ways when Davi went to JGR Yamaha.

Having formed a bond with Roger Decoster during their time at Suzuki, he reached out to him at KTM and landed a gig, initially helping out with a young Ken Roczen and moving on to be Ryan Dungey's race mechanic. The rest is history, and the two continue to work toward carving out more spots in the record books. We got in touch with Carlos and he was nice enough to break down a few details of Ryan's championship winning factory 450SX-F.

Carlos Rivera | Spanner

Steel Frame: The steel frame is great because you have more room for overall chassis adjustments. With the aluminum frames, every suspension change makes a bigger difference because the frames are more rigid and sensitive. You have to be dead-on with setup on aluminum frames, where as the steel frame has more of a margin for adjustments. I think it's a better frame for both motocross and Supercross.

Factory Edition: The Factory Edition bike is basically built around Ryan's bike. I always tell people, and it's sometimes hard to believe, but the race bike is pretty close to production aside from all of the titanium bolts and lightweight stuff we put on it. Our main goal was to have a lighter and stronger bike. A lot of effort went into it from Austria, and they've been one of the best companies to have behind the mechanics and riders. Working together with them we most recently came out with the current factory edition, and it's the lightest bike in production. No one else is even close on weight, and it has electric start. Once you use the electric start, it's hard to go back.

Carlos Rivera | Spanner

Seat Grip: The seat cover on his bike was designed for a mud race because it has ribs on it to grab more and not allow him to slide. We tried it in a mud race and then he wanted to run it all the time, so now he runs it in wet or dry conditions. That's definitely a unique part on his bike.

Carlos Rivera | Spanner

Controls: He's a little bit picky with his levers, and it took me about four years to figure it out! (Laughs) I've got it down now, and he'll still move them up and down a little to kind of fine tune it, but I can get them very close.

Powerplant: Everyone on the team is pretty close with power delivery, but he likes it to be clean and smooth. He wants to have the power, but wants it to be a broad power delivery. KTM's engines have a lot of power in stock form, and it has quite a lot of torque compared to the other bikes. We work to make that power more usable.

Carlos Rivera | Spanner

Braking: The Moto-Master brake rotors are exactly the same size as the production bike; we don't go any bigger on them. We run a little bit more aggressive front caliper, which is more powerful. The rear is basically the same as production size, but made of a different material than production. Brake lines are stock in the front, works in the rear, and brake pads are stock front and rear.

Carlos Rivera | Spanner

Bits and Pieces: He runs the 52mm Cone Valve Forks, not air forks. The rear shock is a WP spring shock setup; they call it the TRAX shock. He runs Renthal Fatbars, Renthal half-waffle soft compound grips, Neken triple clamps, Akrapovic exhaust, Hinson clutch systems, Kite hubs with D.I.D. rims, and standard height titanium footpegs.