Re: Hare Scramble Racing
This is my third year of running hare scrambles and my first year on the 700 (what a difference vs. the old 660, but that's a topic of its own). The first item I would purchase would be a good set of aftermarket tires as the OEM tires SUCK!!! I have run ITP XCR's and now run the ITP GNCC's. The GNCC's are AWESOME! They have great forward traction but will still allow you to drift the back end when you need to. If you can afford wheels now would be a good time to do this. Hipers are very expensive but are almost as light as the factory wheel and they will never bend. If not, the factory wheels work very well.
The next item which is a must would be a steering stabilizer. Hare Scrambles usually last anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours and this is one item that will help reduce arm pump. I can't tell you how much of an improvement this thing makes. It made such a noticable difference that I would recommend adding this even before suspension.
Next would be suspension. I upgraded to YFZ shocks. Another huge improvement over the stock 700 shocks. These shocks definitly do not have the plush ride quality of the stock shocks but the harder you ride them the better they work. As for extending the front end I would be very cautious. I would recommend long travel but would only extend the front end + 1 (this would be using + .5 arms). Most of the top pros try to keep their quads at or below 46". This is the stock width for the 700. Also, if you upgrade the A arms you will need new brake lines. The stainless steel braided lines are a huge improvement over stock and will allow you to stop faster.
Next item up for improvement would be the skidplates. If you ride hard the OEM skids won't last very long. But, I race with a lot of guys who don't run skid plates and do just fine without them. Also, get a good set of nerf bars. These will save your ass, as will a chest protector.
The last upgrades I would make would be in the motor department. Out of the box the Raptor is more than fast enough to run in the B class. In tight woods races it's not about who has the fastest bike, it's about who has the best set up to last for 2 hours. I would up the power once you have mastered the power the bike already has.
Also, all of the above listed items will not do you any good if you are not in good enough shape to last the length of the race. Start a training plan now. Make sure you are eating right, take a multi vitamin, excercise at least 3 times a week and ride, ride, ride.
Another tip, work on your starts. Getting the hole shot means you don't have to spend time and energy trying to pass the slower riders in front of you. Get the lead and stay there.
Good luck with your upcoming races. Hope this helps.