“My focus has always been to ask the question, ‘How can we take these incredibly well-engineered machines and creatively manipulate them into what we, as a consumer with personalized needs would want from a motorcycle platform.’ We then take the answers we find and create new and bespoke products around those ideas.” – Chris Parker
Chris is the creator and owner of Rottweiler Performance, a Southern California based shop specializing in KTM’s from 690 to 1290cc and the popular Husqvarna 701. “We are a performance shop that takes original designs to fruition though engineering, testing, manufacturing and final product sales. Throughout the years we have worked hard to fill in gaps that we see in the market and create a niche level of service. We know that our customers are passionate and they can have a lot of questions about the products and services that we provide and we strive to always be available.”
Chris’s motorsports background goes back to 1993 when a custom fabricator named ‘Filmore,’ AKA Phil Moore, took him under his wing and gave him a chance to prove himself as a welder. “At the time I was self-taught and had purchased some of my own fabrication equipment using my meager tax returns from working at the local grocery store for a minimum wage of $4.25 per hour. Some of that equipment is still in use today.” A few years later and when the time came to move on, Phil remained one of his best friends and mentors being solely responsible for introducing Chris to the beautiful lands of Baja Mexico. “In this wondrous new place, I would later crew chief and compete in SCORE class 10 and class 1 open wheel race teams. Form my own 450 motorcycle team in which we finished a solid top ten in the world famous Baja 1000 three times. And most importantly meet my beautiful wife Mariel, who today is in charge of the day to day inner workings and the glue that holds the shop together.”
“Rottweiler Performance came about purely by accident. I had established ‘CPR Fabrications’ (Chris Parker Racing Fabrications) around 2003 as a high-end fabrication facility specializing in intake and exhaust fabrication mainly for exotic and custom race cars. The problem was, I didn’t really like cars. They were never my passion and quite frankly I couldn’t afford to race cars anyway.” But while pre-running for an off-road race in San Felipe Chris met a beautiful Mexican girl named Mariel. “It took us two and a half years and three trips to Juarez to obtain a visa, and during that time I was driving to Mexicali every other weekend to visit her. The border wait for cars was killing me, so I purchased a KTM Super Duke 990 to slip in and out of the border much quicker. Like everything else I just couldn’t leave the bike alone so started playing around with intake designs.” It was these designs that caught the eye of a prominent member on a few forums. “Before we knew it, the word was out, so I started machining one off’s over the weekends to support the demand. Problem was, I didn’t know what to call the design so one night I was pacing around the shop, looking at the bike and trying to jog something out of my head that would resonate with people. Then I started the bike and whacked the throttle open. The bike emitted a guttural and authoritative ‘BARK,’ something that could only come from a large dog. I stood back and looked at the blacked out Super Duke and asked myself, “If that were a dog, what kind of dog would it be? A Rottweiler!
“We had helped assemble an Omega Rally Bike for Tolga Basol, a Turkish world traveler. He needed a place to do the work, so we allowed him to use a spot in our shop for a little over a month. Through social media we saw how much curiosity there was in such a unique bike, being that these kits are relatively rare and are quite exotic, so we decided to reach out and become a U.S. distributor for building these Omega kits, produced in South Africa by Thomas Eich. These rally kits are not for the faint of bank account, so we felt that the best way to represent the fact that we could be trusted was to build our own and to the highest degree of perfection.” And perfection there is plenty. The Omega kit weighs in at 34 lbs / 15.6 kgs and is comprised of carbon fibre, kevlar and glass fibre. The two tanks up the fuel capacity by 3.7gal / 14 lt with the fuel pump being relocated to the front away from the standard rear tank. A clear screen sits in front of the carbon fibre tower that houses the high and low beam halogen lights. Also mounted on the tower are the Trail Tech Voyager Pro GPS, a Migtech Roadbook holder and ICO Racing Rally Max rally computers. “We fabricated a system where the roadbook holder could be snapped on and off within about 10 seconds via quarter-turn Dzus fasteners, and the Voyager Pro could be attached in seconds, using the same power plug. The rest of the nav gear like the ICO meters that show you your heading and mileage were kept as they can be used in everyday situations. This particular bike is a dual-use project and will be used as a street legal machine as well.”
The wheels are Dubya with Tallon Billet Hubs, Bulldog powder coated spokes and Excel rims. The standard Brembo calipers clamp down on Galfer brake rotors. In the rear, a Vanasche Shark Fin protects the brake disc. Also fitted from the Albany based company are a case saver and brake pedal. Rubber is supplied by Dunlop in the form of their 606 tires with Bridgestone ultra heavy duty tubes on the inside. Evotech Spindle Bobbins were also installed on the front axle with Track Stand Bobbins at the back. The final drive train connection is supplied by a DID 525 chain onto a Supersprox 44 tooth rear sprocket. A BRP Pro Line chain guide keeps the power steady that get’s delivered to the drive train through a Rekluse auto clutch. The riders stands on IMS Rally footpegs. With a BRP Scotts Under Bar stabilizer and riser holds the ProTaper Contour handlebar. A Factory Pro Shift kit takes care of the “701’s lazy shift action” and its infamous missed shifts and false neutrals. Konflict Motorsports took care of the suspension. Up front, a set of Dal Soggio Cartridge Drop-ins run inside the electro-formed DLC (Diamond Like Coating) coated lower fork legs. The upper fork tubes received a Kashima coating. A Tractive 690 Enduro rear shock “specially designed to give increased performance under extreme conditions experience by adventure riding” works with linkage pieces from the 690 to soak up the bumps in the rear.
The power plant has been treated to a Dynojet Powercommander V that is pre-mapped with ignition advance. A map switch controls the Auto Tune Single Wide Band giving an on-off option. All this gets read through a POD 300 digital display. Chris has also fitted the Rottweiler performance Intake System that his company is built on. With the space freed up by removal of the original air box a Rottweiler Performance internal soft bag got installed. A rather practical touch for storing those items you always want to carry but don’t have space for. Also designed by Rottweiler is a tail tidy specially made for the 701. Samco hoses and a Scotts performance stainless steel oil filter keep things cool while a Zip Ty fuel filter cleans up any impurities in the go juice. A full Arrow exhaust system comprising a ceramic coated header, mid pipe and titanium muffler with carbon end cap takes care of the exhaust gasses.
“We wanted to build a ‘dream bike’ that wasn’t a fake. You know, something that didn’t look like a race bike, but actually could be steered towards a set of dunes and perform just the same as when entered into an actual rally. We focused on the race build aspect of it and then just did the minimum to make it street legal. We took the time to give it the same attention to detail that I did in the past with the other race bikes that we campaigned in Baja and most of that attention to detail I learned from building race cars. We plan on more builds, but with different bikes to show what we can do. Allot of people have asked to see a 701 Super Moto which we would be excited to do with some exotic wheels and so on and we also have a Project ‘Super Stupid Super Duke’ in the works with some radical stuff that no one has done before. There is also an RC 390 that we are building for race only that is destined to be the lightest RC 390 in existence with some pretty crazy mods like a handmade titanium subframe. That one has been shelved for a while, but once we move into our new 5000 square foot building, we will have the space to get these things done more efficiently. We are doing so many more customer builds that our own have to get put to the side!”
Action images by Ely Woody