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Titan Engines Shop Tour
by Racer 450 Staff

Each year thousands of amateur and pro riders alike send away their engines to far off mysterious places to be hand carved into fire breathing mechanical demons with hopes of gaining a competitive advantage over the rest of their class and a dream of winning that one big race this season. Very few people ever meet these master builders and even less get to witness them perform their magical horsepower building talent in person. Everyone knows the big name builders and what they can offer but many racers are turning to a mechanic a little closer to home.

Racer 450 spends an afternoon with Joe Wolters; one of the nation's most prominent and respected engine builders you probably haven’t heard about.

Joe Wolters is thought of by many aspiring amateur and semi-professional riders as a good man to know if you want to win races. The highlight of Joe’s story isn’t necessarily the engines he builds or the talented riders he builds them for; it’s the grass roots history Joe carries with him every time he opens up another engine. It’s the kind of "I know a guy who knows a guy story" that often gets told in the pits of any race track except this is no fairytale.

Joe has built some of the fastest and most reliable engines to grace the tracks of the Midwest. In fact, Joe has been building commercial grade racing engines for over 9 years, since the youthful age of 16.

Joe’s shop doesn’t resemble a science lab; it’s not the type of space age shop you may have seen on NASCAR Television. You can’t eat off the floor and it probably wouldn’t excite most people unless a stainless steel workbench lined with racing engines waiting to be bored, stroked or ported makes you smile.

Joe brings new life to 250r cylinder jug.
A row of four and two stroke top and bottom ends stand in line to be race built.
Some parts won’t be making
the grade today.

On any given day during a visit to the shop one may find a collection of 10 or more 250r cylinders and pistons gracefully waiting near the boring bar or porting bench. Joe is just starting on a porting job as we arrive and we patiently watch as a fine stream of aluminum shavings fall to the floor as if it were a pre-planned trip. Joe gives us a five minute lesson on porting, explaining the problems with common port jobs and tells that he normally averages about five hours fine tuning his work and in some cases, up to nine.

Joe’s history was primarily in building two strokes, however he has closely followed the transition of four stroke technology. In fact, Joe already has some impressive YZ450 builds under his belt and has a flagship piece out on the road as we speak.

For additional information contact Joe or Titan Engine Development at 618.493.6146 or by email.

To read Joe’s interview on the present and future of racing, click here..


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