Rich Hetrick, owner of Hetrick Racing of Oil City, Pa., said he plans to build a race-ready 50cc ATV through a collaboration with three other main sponsors.
Hetrick said he hopes to offer the youth ATV before the opening of the 2006 GNC National in California, but said EPA approval for the quad could be a roadblock to having the race bike available by February. Hetrick said he expects the ATV to receive approval, but the current homologation deadline is set for March 15.
The Hetrick Racing 50cc quad - as unit actually displacing 62cc - is a team effort by JB Racing, Robb's Racing and Rath Racing along with Hetrick.
“The whole concept of this quad is that a youth rider can grow with the quad,” Hetrick said. “Essentially, it starts out a 50cc, but when the rider is ready, they could send out for a 70cc modification and run the 70 Production class. And, in two to three years, that same rider on the same quad could put a 90cc stroker crank in it and ride in 90 Production.”
Hetrick says he envisions one quad that will take care of all a youth rider's racing needs. One chassis and setup, with an engine mod every few years to save parents from continually upgrading to a new quad.
At the final GNC motocross national, Hetrick tested the quad in the 70cc modified class - one class above the 50cc Limited target - with good results: David Nevrotski took fifth. “It was underpowered in the class we ran, but we were still excited about the results,” Hetrick said. “We had to run the modified class to put it through a national trial, but this was a great test for it. The race bike was just awesome. We only needed to tighten the chain.”
One of the main features of Hetrick Racing's youth quad is its nine inches of suspension travel all around, which is nearly six inches better than most 50cc stock quads.
Also, the Moto Morini engine was chosen due to its reliability, and the JB Racing chassis is essentially the same chassis Hetrick's son Joel has been running and winning on. “The chassis is just a little bit lighter and a smaller version than what we've been offering for the last 10 years,” Hetrick said.
Hetrick Racing hopes to have 50 quads available by early next year. The estimated cost of the quad will be between $8,000 and $8,500. “That's definitely a reasonable price, considering the kids will be able to race the quad through all the youth classes,” Hetrick said.
- Chris Vogtman