PHOTO OF THE WEEK
This is a reminder that on January 1st we will release our annual New Year's video. This time around we're featuring Eli Tomac. Coincidentally, this is the third year of videographer Travis Fant's foray into the annual production. Check below to watch Dean Wilson and Justin Barcia as they were front and center for the previous New Year videos. I've also included the teaser for Tomac's spot in the limelight. Be sure to visit our website on January 1st to check out the full length film.
DEAN WILSON: "HELI SHOOT"
JUSTIN BARCIA: "THE RISE"
ELI TOMAC: "THREE" TEASER
DROPPING LIKE FLIES: ADD MARVIN & BB TO THE LIST
The offseason is always a dangerous time for professional racers. Though the likes of Ryan Villopoto, James Stewart, Jeremy Martin and crew aren't lining up to the gate, that doesn't mean that they are free from injury. The offseason always claims a few poor souls, but the past month has been especially unforgiving for several top racers. News first broke (no pun intended) a few weeks ago that Trey Canard broke his arm. The oft-injured Muscle Milk Honda star made it through an entire race season without a serious injury, but a practice crash at home in Oklahoma has left him off the card for Anaheim 1.
Since that time there has been a rash of injuries. Justin Bogle went down hard practicing Supercross at Milestone in SoCal. The crash resulted in five broken vertebrae and a broken scapula. He could miss the entire Supercross campaign. Blake Wharton has since stepped in to fill the role.
Davi Millsaps tweaked his bad knee weeks ago. We seriously doubt that Davi will be able to go the distance in Supercross, if at all. It has opened up an opportunity for Ivan Tedesco to race again and test for the Rockster Energy KTM team.
News also came that Joey Savatgy, the young phenom on the Rockstar Energy KTM team, crashed at Milestone. The list of injuries is extensive: broken wrist, AC separation, broken ribs and partially collapsed lung.
It was recently announced that Blake Baggett, who missed races in 2013 and dealt with a bum wrist through the Nationals, could miss more races after breaking his foot. Baggett, along with Dean Wilson, are Mitch Payton's best chances of winning a 250 Supercross title. Now another rider–rookie Adam Cianciarulo, sophomore Justin Hill, veteran Martin Davalos, or journeyman Darryn Durham will have to rise to the occasion.
Yesterday the Red Bull KTM team announced that Marvin Musquin, heavily favored to win the 250 East Supercross title, tore his ACL at the KTM Supercross test track. He is flying back to France in the next few days and will undergo surgery to repair his knee. He could easily miss the entire Supercross series.
The scary thing is that Anaheim 1 is still 17 days away, meaning that there are 1,468,800 seconds for the world's best Supercross racers to get hurt before the gate drops at Anaheim 1.
MINI-VIEW: ROGER DeCOSTER
Roger with his star pupils (minus Dean Ferris, who was just recently signed).
I've never seen "The Man" race in person. He was retired when I was still in diapers, so I missed out on the chance of seeing DeCoster tear through the field. Since that time he became a team manager, remaining entrenched in the sport, while I grew up. I know that I could never stay on the same lap as Roger around the track, but I was a very active downhill skier for many years. DeCoster is also a skier–in fact he's taking a ski vacation as you read this–which makes me wonder if I could beat him in ski race. For the sake of my ego I'll tell myself that I could handle the 69-year-old on two planks.
What does this have to do with anything? Absolutely nothing, other than I'm glad to see that DeCoster still finds time to get away from the racing grind. He could have dodged my questions while he was on vacation. Fortunately "The Man" is one heck of a nice guy and agreed to the interview. Here's what he had to say.
MXA: What's the status of Davi Millsaps' knee? Will he be racing Anaheim 1?
Roger: I don't think so. It would be best to talk to Dave Gowland or Bobby Hewitt about that. Davi is on an outside team, so I can't say for certain. I don't think that he will be starting the season, because they brought in Ivan Tedesco.
Poor Marvin Musquin is going under the knife to repair a torn ACL. He will more than likely miss the 250 East Supercross series.
What's up with the rash of recent injuries to some of the top racers?
Everybody is getting hurt again like how it went a few years ago. People just started getting hurt before the season started. I think that guys are getting hurt because we're in the home stretch before a new season and they're pushing hard to made progress.
Have you looked into replacement riders?
No, it's so tough with replacement guys. The riders that are available…the chance that they are going to be in the top ten is very remote. If you know somebody that can finish in the top five then please let me know!
How has development of the air shock been progressing?
I think that Ken Roczen will be using the air shock. There has been a lot of development and testing done with it. Ryan Dungey probably won't be using the air shock at the beginning of the season, but maybe he will as the series progresses.
Ken Roczen has made the move up to the 450 class. DeCoster is very happy with K-Roc's progress during the offseason.
Will Ryan Dungey and Ken Roczen be taking advantage of any updates made with the KTM 450SXF Factory Edition, such as the forged cross brace that provides more rigidity to the swingarm and shock-linkage pivot areas?
We will use the Factory Edition base. The race engine can plug right in, and the modification done to the brace makes a difference.
Have you seen a difference in Roczen since he moved to Florida and started working with Aldon Baker?
Definitely. When he was here for our photo shoot he was already a changed man. He was more business like and more focused on his testing. He was able to test for a longer amount of time, and he maintained a good attitude through the testing. It was great to see.
Ryan Dungey is eager to retain titles from his arch-rival, Ryan Villopoto.
What areas has Ryan Dungey focused on during the offseason?
He is more focusing on himself and trying to not think about the little details as much as he did in the past. He's doing his homework. He's doing a different program than in past years. One change is that his father went back to Minnesota to work in his concrete business. Big Ricky Carmichael is maintaining the practice bike for Ryan.
What was the reason for hiring Dean Ferris?
There were a couple of reasons. I always like to have two guys in each class, because of the chance of injuries in this. Also, he showed a lot of speed at the Motocross des Nations. If we can get him through Supercross without injuries then he'll be very competitive in the outdoors.
DON'T MISS THE MEGA SUPERCROSS EVENT ON JANUARY 3RD
Press release: Don't miss the annual 2014 "MEGA SUPERCROSS EVENT" in the city of Covina, CA on Friday January 3rd! Come meet & get Autographs from your favorite Supercross riders! All the riders below and more are scheduled to appear! The Autograph signing will be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and the event will be Emceed live by the famous Bevo Frote! But that's not all...! Bring the whole family & come hungry! A fleet of the most popular local gourmet food trucks will be there from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.! Monster will be there giving out free energy drinks! You can also buy your Supercross tickets, take pictures in a giant red carpet style photo booth, play games, and check out all the vendor booths!
The vendor open house will be open from 12 noon. to 9 p.m. All of your favorite motocross companies will be there including EVS Sports, Braap This, Fly Racing, Scorpion EXO, Blingstar, Oakley, Matrix, American Outdoors, K&N Filters, Pirelli, 6D Helmet, Milestone MX Park, Law Tigers, JT Racing USA, Dunlop, Pro Taper, Leatt, Monster, Performance Advantage, Motul/UNI Filter, MTA, DC Shoes, Warrior Life, Style, Glen Helen Raceway, Factory Effex, Smith Optics, Metal Mulisha, Stance Socks, District 37, and more vendors are still being scheduled!
Here's the current riders scheduled to appear for the autograph signing from teams Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, KTM, and Troy Lee Designs (more riders are still being added to the list!): Ryan Villopto, James Stewart, Ryan Dungey, Josh Grant, Jake Weimer, Josh Hill, Dean Wilson, Brock Tickle, Ken Roczen, Blake Baggett, Justin Hill, Dean Ferris, Darryn Durham, Cole Seely, Jason Anderson, Martin Davalos, Jessy Nelson, Ivan Tedesco, Adam Cianciarulo, Shane McElrath, Davi Millsaps, Malcom Stewart, Justin Brayton, Joey Savatgy, and more...The Mega Mall will be giving out hundreds of custom "MEGA SUPERCROSS EVENT" Shirts and hundreds of other giveaways, Don't miss it!
NEW PRODUCT: HINSON ACTUATOR KIT WITH CLUTCH CABLE
Find out how you can improve the performance and feel of your late-model Honda clutch
Press release: Hinson Clutch Components is proud to release a new factory level actuating kit that is a necessity for your 2009-2014 Honda CRF450R. We have worked out many kinks from the stock cable routing and bracket system to get a smoother pull and higher level of performance with improved clutch life. By simply re-routing the clutch cable to the opposite side of the bike, we are able to isolate it from the tremendously hot head and header pipe—both of which radiate dangerous amounts of heat to your clutch cable. By taking heat out of the equation, our actuator kit and cable will get you more durability from your clutch and a longer cable life.
The new routing also has its gains aside from eliminating heat, it provides a much more direct routing that minimizes the amount of bends from the perch all the way down to a much more rigid cable bracket and efficient actuator arm and cam. All these things together create a whole actuation system that is much more efficient making your lever pull as easy as it can be without sacrificing clutch reliability.
The Actuator Kit includes:
• Clutch Cable
• Actuator Arm and Cam assembly
• Clutch Cable Bracket
• Necessary hardware
WHAT WE DID THIS PAST WEEK
FYI, it was a great week!
Cold weather and whipping winds didn't stop the MXA wrecking crew from enjoying a fun-filled week at various tracks around the SoCal desert landscape. While snow pounded the east coast we were conducting our 2014 250 Four-Stroke Shootout. The fleet–which consisted of Daryl Ecklund, Dennis Stapleton, Tye Hames, Emil Foldager and Trent Pugmire–gathered together at Competitive Edge to spin laps and decide the finishing order of our crop. I'm bummed that I can't let the cat out of the bag here and now, but it would be bad business if I rattled off the finishing order. Let's just say that several bikes were very close to winning, while it was obvious that two others finished at the back of the pack. Now for my promotional spiel. Please pick up the March 2014 issue of MXA to read all about the 2014 250 four-stroke class.
MXA test rider Trent Pugmire went hog wild on Roczen's factory KTM.
The following day MXA held the annual ride day, which brought out droves of industry folks itching to spin laps around Glen Helen. Although the wind didn't exactly cooperate, hundreds of diehards twisted the throttle in the name of fun. I didn't get the opportunity to throw on gear until late in the afternoon. Duty called. I had to shoot photos of Ken Roczen's Red Bull KTM 450SXF (you can read the test in the March 2014 issue), as well as an FMF/Fox Shox KTM 250SX project bike (check that out in a future issue).
Daryl Ecklund slung some terra firma on the Fox Shox FMF KTM 250SX.
Whenever we test a pro bike I always make sure that I throw a leg over it and take a few laps. I'd feel dumb turning down the chance to ride a bike like Roczen's works KTM 450SXF. I'm still working on my Supercross skills, so I took to the National track. After my arms went numb and I loosened a few fillings because of the ultra-stiff suspension, I decided to hand the bike back over to Roczen's mechanic, Kelly Lumgair. I will say with certainty that Kenny's bike was a rocket ship. The engine was broad and manageable…until the rpm increased, at which point I had to hold on for dear life. It was exhilarating!
VIDEO: ACTION FROM THE 2014 MXA 250 FOUR-STROKE SHOOTOUT
REMINDER: 2014 SUPERCROSS STARTS IN 17 DAYS!
JAMES STEWART RIDE DAY: WATCH 14-YEAR-OLDS HIT JUMPS THAT YOU PROBABLY WOULDN'T TRY
MONSTER ENERGY: KRIS FOSTER #LIMELIGHT VIDEO
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: SAVE YOUR FORK SEALS WITH SEALSAVERS ZIP-ONS
Press release: SealSavers have designed a new and easier way to protect your fork seals from dirt, dust and mud damage. Zip-On's are a revolutionary change in SealSavers design that allows for quick and easy installation without having to remove your forks from the triple clamps. A unique dual-flap zipper protection system is utilized to protect your forks from the nylon zipper. Once installed and the protection flaps are closed, Zip-On’s look almost identical to our original SealSavers. Zip-On’s are available in three sizes: 1 1/4” up to 35mm (for most 50-65cc bikes), 1 1/2” 36-43mm (for most 80cc bikes), and 1 3/4” 44-50mm (for most 125- 500+cc bikes). Color options are black, blue, red or gold, and retail for $26.95. Zip-On's may now be purchased at your local Tuckey Rocky authorized dealer. For more information please see your local dealer or visit us on-line at: SealSavers.com or call us at (951) 244-6475.
Honda Motorcycle tests