PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Ground control to Major Tom. Actually, that's MXA Assistant Editor Daryl Ecklund flying high above the rolling hills of North Carolina. "D-Rail" visited NC last week. Make sure to read about his adventure in this week's edition of the Mid-Week Report. Photo by Ken Laivins.
WHAT WE'RE DOING THIS WEEK
This is what we're riding today. See, it pays to sit in the office for a few days!
It's a busy week at MXA. We were mired down in the office on Monday and Tuesday, doing the typical thing (so you know, that's a playful way of saying that we were busy putting together the best issue possible for you). Today and tomorrow we're hanging out with the Kawasaki folks as they release the 2014 KX250F and KX450F. We'll spend plenty of time riding those bikes at the introduction (held at Competitive Edge, but sadly closed to the public). Look for photos and video in the coming days of our time riding the green streaks. Remember, these are the two bikes that won our shootouts last year and remain mostly unchanged. The question is whether their equipment is still good enough to weather the storm from the other manufacturers? Friday brings the end to a busy week, but don't feel sorry for us. We'll be working in the garage on bikes and preparing a weekend of riding and testing.
We'll be riding the 2014 Yamaha YZ450F on Wednesday, June 26th. Look for a full report soon afterward.
What other 2014 bike tests are on the horizon? Look no further than June 26th, when we'll throw a leg over the Yamaha YZ450F for the first time. This is one of the most anticipated bikes to be released for '14, and there's cause for all the commotion. Yamaha spent serious R&D time and money on the all-new YZinger. Was it worth it? We'll let you know just as soon as we put in some motos on it.
MXA VIDEO: MEET JORDAN SMITH
DARYL ECKLUND VISITS CV PRODUCTS & CYCRA RACING
"It was like a moto vacation!"
By Daryl Ecklund
Photos by Ken Laivins
You know those times when you go away for vacation, then you come back home being completely unhappy with where you live? This is how I felt when I got home from my trip to the CV Factory in North Carolina. My summers in the high desert are nothing but dry, hard-packed tracks with the only color of green in view is the ever-so-friendly cacti. It's boring and routine to say the least.
Daryl Ecklund (center) showing the fine folks at CV Products and Cycra Racing the size of the biggest fish he ever caught.
Scott Highland at CV4 gave me a call to come fly out to test a couple of their bikes. No questions asked, I was on the first flight out. After a red-eye flight out of LAX, arriving in the green beauty of Greensboro, North Carolina was a breathe of fresh air. We headed straight to the CV facility, which was the size of a small city block. On the premise was a handful of buildings that were different branches of CV. I got the grand tour, where Scott gave me the rundown of how the parts were made and process in which parts are coated and assembled.
After the tour we took a walk over to the FTI Race shop, where the CV4 bikes were built. Cal Northrop, the main man over at FTI was in charge of building the bikes from head to toe. He has over 20 years of experience building race cars and has brought the technology from the cars to dirt bikes. So I was excited to see what these bikes were made of! I had two bikes to ride. One was a 2013 CRF450 fully built and the other was Jacob Hayes' Supercross KX250F.
Day one: I rode the CV4/Cycra/FTI Racing CRF450 at a track called MX451. It had poured down rain for two days prior, but the red clay soaked up the moisture quickly, making for supreme track conditions. I was it rut heaven. The ruts were at the footpegs and you could just let off the brakes, tuck your head into the corners and hold it wide open, just like going around Talladega. It was such a great feeling to be able to grab a hand full of throttle coming out of the corner without having to worry about the rear end coming around–like at the dry slick conditions back in Cali.
Ken Laivins got oh-so-close to being hit by Daryl Ecklund, but it sure made for a sweet photo!
Day two: I had the privilege of riding Jacob Hayes' CV4/Cycra/FTI Racing KX250F that he raced this year in the East Coast Supercross series. SRS Motorsports (who loaned the bikes to CV4 for the tests) brought us out to their private track nestled in the hills at their secret spot in NC. This track was a moto-heads dream. Words or photos can't explain the incredible dirt, along with the long floating jumps and rhythm sections up and down the grassy hills.
Jacob is a multi-time Loretta Lynn's Champion. He has had a couple of tough breaks getting his feet wet in the Pro ranks, but he has the work ethic and determination to get the job done. His setup meshed with me like a fish in water. No adjustments were necessary and I felt comfortable on it instantly, throwing whips the second lap out.
Knowing I had to catch a flight back home, I skipped food and water breaks in order to get in as many laps as I could with this awesome combo of a great track and bike. It’s not every day (even as a MXA test rider) you have great days like this. On the plane ride home I was sleep deprived, getting only a few hours of sleep over the past few days, but I had nothing but a smile on my face thanks to North Carolina’s friendly people, red clay, and great bikes.
“Broc (Tickle) is coming back east for a month so we’ll be riding and working on some things. At the end of the day, it’s up to Broc when the gate drops. The start situation is just in his head. We know the bike is good. If the bike wasn’t good he wouldn’t be running up front in practice. It’s frustrating. We’re going to work on it." –Ricky Carmichael
SCOOTER JAM AT MAMMOTH!
ODI and Americore SMX have partnered up together to offer some "off-track" entertainment at this year's Mammoth Moto. Monday night June 24th at 5:30 ODI and Americore SMX will be hosting a Scooter Jam. The Jam will be at the Village and thanks to Mike Colbert and his crew will feature some of the features from the snowboard park down on the Village floor in order to make an awesome park. Americore SMX is one of the first companies to manufacture an OFF ROAD scooter made with tires, not wheels. They also are the first scooter brand to support the sport of motocross and put together their own amateur team. There aren't many opportunities to session the Village without getting chased out so come join us for a night of fun.
Space is limited so to guarantee your spot come sign up at the ODI booth at the track during Monday's Mini Practice.
No personal scooters allowed, bring your own helmet.
ROBBY BELL & L.A.P.C. VIDEO
$400 TO PRIVATEERS AT BUDDS CREEK
Props to the Southern Maryland Dirt Riders Club for supporting privateers.
Southern Maryland Dirt Riders Club will be awarding their ninth annual Southern Maryland Dirt Riders Privateer Award at the AMA Motocross National at Budds Creek on Saturday, June 22nd to two lucky privateers. This is the seventh year that the award is given in the memory of Kevin Crine #574. Along with a beautiful plaque which will be awarded on the podium after the race by our club president, each rider will receive Two Thousand dollars apiece. There will be one 250 rider and one 450 rider selected from the pool of privateers that qualify for the Budds Creek race.
The money that is given to the privateers is donated by club members at Southern Maryland Dirt Riders club events leading up to the Budds Creek National. Southern Maryland Dirt Riders, is a non‑profit recreational riding club, dedicated to all segments of the off‑road riding sport. Our goals are to promote and expand safe/responsible/enjoyable riding opportunities for our members; to create camaraderie amongst our membership; and to project a positive image of our sport. Southern Maryland Dirt Riders also provides the flagging for the Budds Creek National. Look for the awards committee who will be roaming the pits on Friday andSaturday to interview the privateers.
If you think you should be on the list of privateers, please email Karen or Mike Acton (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Thursday, June 20th.
Previous winners of the privateer award were: Derek Anderson, Alex Martin, Taylor Futrell, Heath Harrison, Kyle Regal, Tevin Tapia, Jake Marsack (2 time winner), Sean Borkenhagen (2 time winner), Ben LeMay, Gavin Gracyk, Ben Ritter, Corey Green, Kyle Mace and Tim Wiegand.
NOT MOTOCROSS, BUT STILL A COOL VIDEO
VOLCOM QUITS MOTOCROSS MARKETING CAMPAIGN
The stone will no longer be pointed in the direction of motocross.
Volcom said it will intensify its focus on the foundational core sports upon which the brand was founded over 20 years ago and exit motocross. The company officially launched its motocross program in 2009 and amassed an impressive riding team of world-class athletes, including superstar Ryan Villopoto, the 2011, 2012 and 2013 AMA Supercross Champion. As the first company to formally blend the 3 primary board sports together from day one, Volcom will remain devoted to skate, snow and surf, along with music and art.
“In an increasingly competitive and specialized global market it is imperative that we continue to simplify the Volcom brand message so that we can achieve maximum differentiation and voice amplification,” said Jason Steris, Volcom’s CEO. “We have been extremely proud to have been a part of the motocross family for several years. However, pressing forward with all of our emphasis on board sports is the right direction for Volcom for the long term.”
JACKY MARTENS TO BECOME NEW HUSKY GRAND PRIX TEAM MANAGER
Jacky was once a factory Husqvarna racer. Soon he will be the team manager. Photo by Luc Verbeke.
Former World 500cc Champion Jacky Martens will manage the 2014 Husqvarna Factory team effort in the 250 class (no word on who will run the 450 program or even there will be one). Jacky Martens won the 1993 500 Championship on Husqvarna.
MATRIX CONCEPTS NATIONAL TICKET GIVEAWAY
Matrix-sponsored rider Ryan Villopoto wants YOU to win free tickets. Find out how by reading on.
Starting on Tuesday, June 25th at 8am PST, hit the "LIKE" button on the Matrix Concepts Facebook page and post; "I NEED THIS WEEKS TICKETS".
Post from 8am Monday until 5pm Tuesday (one post per person please) you will be entered in the weekly raffle pool to WIN four (4) FREE admission tickets to the weekly upcoming AMA Outdoor National Championship on Saturday(s). Starts at the Southwick National.
One WINNER will be randomly chosen and we will contact that winner directly. Winner MUST reply back by 12 noon each Wednesday with an address or tickets can't be shipped in time.
Visit Matrix Concepts at www.MatrixRacingProducts.com and see why 30 of the top teams in Supercross & Motocross use and depend on Matrix Concepts garage and track necessities. Matrix Concepts is still accepting 2013 rider resumes on www.hookit.com
Husqvarna Motorcycle tests