OK, I could start by rehashing everything I talked about on the test and I will mention a few things, but this is about what the AIRBORNE TAKA could do when it is truly put through the paces for what it’s meant to do and that’s “RACE”.
The race was the Golden State Championships at Fontana Ca. Saturday was practice and Sunday was the race. I didn’t get as much of a practice as I had hoped, and bringing the TAKA out here and putting it through its paces would be by far different than just riding it on a downhill trail; you push your bike in a totally different manner, you may have to adjust your suspension, adjust tire pressures, or change tires altogether.
I did adjust tire pressure and I did adjust the suspension by slowing down the rebound on the Marzzochi 888’s. When this was said and done as in the trail test the TAKA was a point and shoot ride, no fighting, no fussing, just ride which allows you to concentrate on your race, its geometry shined on the course which was made up of jumps, flowing turns, and rock sections with loose to hard pack ground.
As I said the geometry with its DH angles gave the TAKA precise steering in the turns and was very stable at speed. The suspension worked in perfect unison with each other and if there was any brake jack I really didn’t notice it as I did on the trail test. Now the only thing left to do was the race.
Well I got one practice run out of the way and I would have like to do maybe one more, but time did not permit, so the time came and you’re on the start block for a brief second you think is there anything I could have done to make the bike run faster or better, but truth be told the TAKA was set up fine it was all up to me now.
I left the start gate and as I raced down the course I found myself flowing without effort only thinking of the course not the bike. This is a good feeling and as experts, or pros we demand a level of quality on the gear to win races and become champions.
I said this would make a great beginner , sport race bike, well I can also state that the AIRBORNE TAKA DH bike would make a great expert race bike, why because it took me to a “FIRST PLACE WIN”
One thing that was kind of funny is that all my friends that race, saw me with the TAKA asked ‘What’s that?”, “Why you racing that.”, “HOW MUCH IS IT, YOU’RE KIDDING!” The end result comments “Hey Art it’s time to sell your high end bike!” I guess the truth is you don’t need a $5000 bike to win races.
So whether you want to just freeride or race and you are on a budget this is by far the best way to get into a DH bike. You won’t regret it, you’ll just have fun and win races too.
A big thanks to the guys at AIRBORNE for allowing us to test their TAKA.
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