PREPARING FOR THE MXDN WITH BONES AND PRO CIRCUIT
Bones is no stranger to the MXdN.
Pro Circuit and Jim "Bones" Bacon have supported many riders at the MXdN over the years. Having a diverse team means always having riders in the event racing for countries like France, South Africa, New Zealand or Canada. Nobody wants to be the weak link that lets down Team USA, so expenses aren't spared to get the resources needed across the pond for the event. The race will be held this year in the sand of Belgium's famous Lommel circuit, which has the reputation for being one of the most difficult tracks in the world. Bones flew to Belgium a week and a half before the event and we caught him just before he left to find out how the team will be getting prepared.
MXA: What makes this race different than a National?
Bones: First of all, and most obviously, it’s a team event. This year, we’ve been pretty fierce competitors with Barcia all year and now we’re going to be his teammate. That in itself is going to be strange, but I don’t foresee it being a problem at all. I know it’s easy to say, but usually, everything from the Nationals just kind of goes out the window and everyone gets along fine and works as a team. In the past Pro Circuit has fielded many riders in the event, but that is usually not a problem for us, there is usually only one 250 guy. Usually it’s two 450 guys like Stewart and Carmichael or Villopoto and Dungey, where they battle all-year-long and all-of-a-sudden their pals; they get along great and when they do well at the des Nations they get off the track and hug each other. That atmosphere is really cool to be around and pretty infectious. It drives the team aspect home.
How are the fans?
The fans over there are much more passionate about their sports in general, so it gets you amped up. Unless you’ve been over there to experience it’s hard to explain. The MXDN at Budds Creek was pretty cool, but it wasn’t like one of the races over in Europe. This will be a little more challenging because it’s a sand race. There are quite a few Europeans that are very good in the sand. Just like when we go to Southwick there are some riders who excel in those conditions. However, the sand at this track makes Southwick look like Carlsbad.
This will be Blake's second time at the MXdN.
What’s the dynamic of you and other team personnel working together and working with Rodger?
That’s awesome. When I was a kid, I had Roger DeCoster’s poster on the wall in my bedroom, so he’s always been a hero of mine. I try not to forget that, because I see him all the time at the track and I say hi to him and I get used to seeing him. But it brings that point home when you go over there because he’s truly an icon over there. The fans go nuts over Roger, and he probably signs as many autographs as the riders. Anything we need over there… It’s pretty easy for him to make it happen.
What will be your role at the event?
First and foremost, taking care of the suspension on Baggett’s bike. It will be much easier with just Blake this year. Last year we supported three riders that we shipped bikes over for with Dean Wilson and Tyla Rattray. We have the track rented this Friday, so we’re going to get to go practice on the actual racetrack. Then we’re going to go around to some other practice tracks during the next week. I’ll just make sure he’s comfortable and making the right adjustments as the day goes on and the track changes or it rains or whatever. On top of that, my usual role at the Nationals is working with the team to give them pointers about things we may see on certain sections of the track and keeping them motivated and excited to go out there and ride.
Bones puts a lot of work into the suspension because Baggett gives it a workout.
How big is the support for Team USA?
If you’ve seen the podium pictures from when we’ve won in the past, there about thirty or forty people up there. We have our own security guys, Doc Bodner goes over… it’s a huge group of people. Because it’s a team, you want to do everything possible to succeed. It’s a not a gimme that we will win, especially at this track, although I still think the odds are in our favor.
Do you ship entire bikes over?
We have shipped three motorcycles [just for Baggett]. We have one motorcycle to practice and test on and two races bikes: one for the first moto and one for the second moto. The reason we do that is that typically for our class there is a very quick turnaround. From the checkered flag to having to have the bike in impound is as little as 45 minutes. So, if you have any kind of problem where you have to change the engine or something you won’t have time. Since the sand is much harder on the engine than any other track, we definitely will want to change the engine. But we can’t, so we’ll ride another bike.
Will the bikes be identical to what Blake rode at the nationals?
Identical except for the changes we make for the sand. We’ll start with Southwick settings, but I think we will have to go a lot further than that.
THE LOMMEL TRACK MAP
NEW PRODUCT: SCOTT TEAM USA GOGGLES
The SCOTT Team USA MX of Nations goggle worn by team USA rider, Blake Baggett, is now available to purchase. The MX of Nations goggle comes on the proven Tyrant frame featuring the patented SCOTT Fit System; 3.2 face foam and a Works anti-fog lens. To purchase this limited edition goggle please contact SCOTT at 1-800-292-5874 or visit an authorized SCOTT dealer. For more info visit www.scott-sports.com
MXA MINI VIEW: KERRY UEMURA
A lot of high tech testing goes into these bikes before MXA puts them through the wringer.
At the factories, motorcycle testing goes well beyond seat of the pants and dyno testing. Did you know that motorcycles undergo virbration and stress testing? While testing the 2013 Yamaha YZ450F with Yamaha last week, MXA got the chance to meet Kerry Uemura. Kerry's official title is Assistant to the Vice President at Yamaha Motorcorp in Cypress, California, and he specializes in vibration and stress testing. Much of what Kerry does is secret, but we talked to Kerry and found out as much as we could about this lesser known type of testing.
What is your background in the industry, Kerry?
My background is about 6 years of motorcycle development in Japan. For example, I have worked on the V-Max [cruiser] and T-Max [500cc scooter]. Currently I’m working on… it’s a secret. I am currently working in the testing division and my responsibilities are to test motorcycles in U.S. conditions and report to Japan. I communicate back and forth with Japan.
What is difference between the U.S. and Japanese market?
There are very big differences. There are user differences like body type, but the main difference is the courses. U.S. courses are bigger and tougher. There are more big jumps and tight corners. YMC [Yamaha Japan] doesn’t recognize those conditions, but in the U.S. we do.
Kerry makes computer animations that help pinpoint vibration issues.
You work in vibration testing?
I used to work in the vibration and stress division. I tested many different types of machines. I checked vibration of all different parts of the machine for comfort and durability. For example, on street bikes I had to check the vibration of the lights [and mirrors] and make sure electrical connections could not come loose.
How do you fix bad vibration?
When a rider recognizes a problem with vibration we check the motorcycle’s moving animation for vibration. Riders can only say what they are feeling, but we can make an animation that shows the vibration frequencies of different parts of the motorcycle. I can make this animation. We consider the user vibration and that system’s function. For example, if you feel that the handlebar doesn’t feel good at 9000 rpm, we can choose more stiffness or weight. Sometimes we can choose a damping mount.
Yamaha considers the weight, rigidity and rubber mounting options in tuning vibration of handlebars and other parts of the bike.
Has there been any issues with vibration in the YZ450F handlebars? Will there be any changes in the future.
YZ customers are mostly racer guys, so we have to be careful about adding weight. We have to choose the best balance of vibration and performance. I can’t say about what we are working on for the future.
ONTARIO ENDUROCROSS RESULTS
Slower, technical obstacles work well in smaller arenas and make for wild racing.
Ontario Main Event:
1. Taddy Blazusiak KTM
2. Cody Webb Beta
3. Justin Soule Kawasaki
4. Kyle Redmond Husqvarna
5. Taylor Robert Kawasaki
6. Colton Haaker Kawasaki
7. Mike Brown KTM
8. Destry Abbott Kawasaki
9. Ryan Rodgers Honda
10. Gary Sutherlin Kawasaki
11. Jamie Lanza Honda
The Endurocross starts are so chaotic you might want to be the lone soldier in the second row.
Remaining Endurocross Rounds:
Denver, CO.......October 6, 2012 National Western Complex
Everett, WA......October 20, 2012 Comcast Arena
Boise, ID..........October 27, 2012 Idaho Center
Las Vegas, NV...November 17, 2012 Orleans Arena
For more information on EnduroCross, go to www.EnduroCross.com.
MXA NEW PRODUCT: JT RACING USA 2013 EVOLVE LITE COLLECTION
Press release: JT Racing’s 2013 Evolve Lite collection is here, unleashing a whole new level of MX apparel. Featuring cutting edge technology and industry leading designs. Rider tested for unparalleled performance. The Evolve Lite is some of the lightest weight gear on the market. Senior Designer, Josh Rogers, states “We went back to the drawing board several times to make sure the fit of the Evolve Lite collection was perfect. We would make an adjustment and then send our test riders back to the track. What we ended up with is a collection of race ready gear that is unlike anything I’ve seen before”.
Pants feature a pre-curved fit and strategically placed spandex for superior flexibility. Jerseys are made of moisture wicking fabric in multi-panel construction for rider comfort. Available in six color ways. For more information about JT Racing USA please visit www.jtracingusa.com
MXA NEW PRODUCT: RACE TECH KTM SHOCK COLLARS
Race Tech has just released a Shock Spring Collar Set for 2010 and newer KTM offroad bikes featuring a linkage system. These collars are constructed using hard anodized billet aluminum as a replacement to the stock OEM plastic units. Retail Price: $79.99. For more info visit www.racetech.com.
RACE TECH RIDER SUPPORT
To apply for Race Tech rider support, click HERE.
CP-CARILLO NOW ACCEPTING SPONSORSHIP APPLICATIONS
realMotocross is proud to announce yet another sponsorship opportunity for our members with CP-Carrillo, makers of high quality engine components for motocross and off-road applications. It’s simple. Sign up and members will find a “Get Sponsored” button on the CP-Carillo page on realMotocross to begin the application process. Visit www.realmotocross.com for more info.
PANICREV 2013 SPONSORSHIP NOW OPEN
PanicREV is now accepting rider resumes for the 2013 racing season. Here is your chance to become part of the family and partner with PanicREV in twenty thirteen. PanicREV will be accepting resumes starting September 12th. Motocross and ATV riders of all levels are encourage to apply for 2013 PanicREV Sponsorship. Get those resumes ready! Resumes can be submitted through email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also submitted a resume at www.mxsponsor.com/panicrev
FOX ROAD TOUR
Fuel Fest at SCMX in St. George, UT on Saturday....9/22/12
Track Day at Throttle 215 in Salt Lake City, UT on Monday....9/24/12.
For more info visit www.foxhead.com