PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Sunset photo shoots are the best. The glowing light permeates the landscape, and a golden shimmer coats everything, making for some really nice images. Here, Daryl Ecklund sends Kevin Foley's Honda CRF450 Loretta Lynn's title-winning bike over a hip jump at a top secret location.
RIDE ON BOARD WITH JASON ANDERSON AT UNADILLA
See why the first 50 feet out of the gate are so important; then watch as Martin Davalos comes out of nowhere to take out Anderson...and that's all in the opening 90 seconds!
MARK YOUR CALENDAR! TWO-STROKE SHOOTOUT
There's even a contest for the best smelling and best sounding two-stroke (at least that's what I think the flyer means)
THE AUTOMATIC RIDE
BY Daryl Ecklund
Guess what gear Daryl hit this jump at Competitive Edge in? Who knows!
For my third birthday my father got me my first dirt bike, a 1988 Yamaha PW50. It had a killer number one on the front number plate and was yellow and black. Just last week marks the day I have been riding dirt bikes for 25 years. Doing something for that long and still having a burning desire for the sport makes me very thankful for my job at MXA, which I absolutely love. After 25 years, I feel that I am still learning how to improve my riding, along with my speed. But there is one thing that I feel that I get worse at every year that goes by.
I love jumping. I love going to new tracks in hopes of hitting some awesome jumps. Big whip jumps, precise rhythm sections, step ups, step downs, whatever kind of jump it is if I don’t at least try it, I won’t sleep at night. So what am I getting at? People come up to me all the time and ask me,”What gear are you hitting that jump in?” My reply is always the same. It starts with an “Uhhhhh” as I try to buy some time to think about it, but it always ends in, “I honestly have no clue, but I’ll count the gears next time out and let you know.” I always get the oddest looks from people with my answer. At times I feel kind of dumb for not knowing, but when I'm on the track my brain just chooses to go on auto pilot.
This is something I realize only because somebody brought it to my attention. From this I learned that I shift gears by the feel of the engine, not by knowing what gear I am in. So I think to myself, how many other things am I doing automatically without even knowing it? For that matter, what are other riders doing automatically that they don’t even realize?
The more you ride the more your body feels connected with the bike. It almost feels likes a button you push to go on autopilot as soon as you hit the track. You don’t think about what gear you're in, when to use the brakes, how far to lean into the corner or when to feather the clutch. Your brain just does it automatically. I have to say, when you think about it, the human body can do some pretty amazing things!
I have found that this auto pilot button does not come with a warning label. Autopilot does not weed out bad habits, which makes for a difficult process to first. I've found that I need to be aware of the things that I'm doing wrong, because while they will feel right if you're not thinking about it, then they will become habits. In turn, you won't improve. If you want to improve your riding safety and skills I would recommend getting someone to video tape you riding. You will learn a lot, and my guess is that you'll be shocked with the things you don’t even realize you are doing when on the bike. Comparing your technique with some of the top riders can help you see where you need improvement. Don’t focus on their speed. Instead, pay attention to their technique–where their feet are, when they sit down and when stand up, their body position—every small detail can be analyzed and then plugged into your own riding.
It’s an awesome feeling when you get in the zone when riding. Your mind is free and clear from the outside world…that is, until you end up hitting the ground due to your automatic bad habits! So take the time and watch yourself ride. And if you see me at the track, please don’t ask me what gear to hit a jump in, as you will already know the answer.
A PICTORIAL PERSPECTIVE FROM 'DILLA
Photos by Scott Mallonee
Second moto mayhem.
Blake Baggett was fast, but he also hit the ground.
Bam Bam is going to be Team USA's third rider for the MXDN. #Stamp it.
Trey Canard (41) scrubs under Phil Nicoletti.
The Geico Honda boys chuckle after hearing the punch line to the joke from the gecko.
Josh Grant has the steeze.
Wil Hahn (19) is being pursued by Jeremy Martin (77).
James Stewart had a bad weekend at Unadilla. He seems to be snake-bitten by 'Dilla.
Eli and John Tomac–a winning combination if ever there was one.
Villopoto is going to win the title. He's going to celebrate by going under the knife.
Jake Weimer (12) is starting to show signs of life.
Adam Cianciarulo (292) takes the hot line through the first turn (and got penalized 10 places).
TOUR THE FOX RACING WORLD HEADQUARTERS
WHAT THE MXA WRECKING CREW IS UP TO THIS WEEK
Jody and I must have lost a bet, because while we're stuck in the office today getting the magazine done, Daryl Ecklund flew to Denmark to race a TM 125 two-stroke kitted with an 85cc engine on a grass track. He will follow that fun race up by contesting a round of the Danish National Championship this weekend on a Suzuki RM-Z450.
Tomorrow Jody will head to Glen Helen and work on bike settings and run back to town to dyno our 2014 KTM 250SXF, while I'll be changing diapers and packing my bag for a flight up to Salt Lake City on Friday to cover the brand new Miller Motorsports AMA National. The weather forecast predicts a balmy 90 degree high, so that should be fun.
This was as trick as a Hodaka could get 39 years ago. The only part of Jody's old race bike that looks like it came from Hodaka is the engine.
Meanwhile, Jody will be racing at Glen Helen's awesome REM event. I'm not sure which MXA test bike he will be riding. Perhaps Jerry Robin's Loretta Lynn's feats on a 1985 Honda CR250 will encourage Jody to dust off his 1974 Hodaka Super Combat and race it, but it is in a museum so he will have to steal it. We are trying to talk the injured Dennis Stapleton into bringing his Kuwaitti and Brazilian charges out for the day of racing.
Next week we're again in the office, wrapping up the November issue (I know, that's hard to believe that we're almost through November). Daryl will undoubtedly casually walk into the palatial MXA headquarters on Tuesday smelling of Dutch apple pie and jetlagged. It should be a fun week. Enjoy the rest of your week, and get out and ride this weekend!
2014 AMSOIL ARENACROSS TICKETS ON SALE
Visit Arenacross.com to Purchase Tickets to Any Round of the 12-City Schedule
Feld Motor Sports has announced that tickets are now on sale for the 2014 AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross season. Log onto Arenacross.com, the official website of AMSOIL Arenacross, to see the schedule and purchase tickets. The 2014 AMSOIL Arenacross season will kick off on Friday, January 3, with two nights of action from Worcester, Mass., and the DCU Center. From there, the schedule will travel throughout the country, across 11 additional states before crowning a champion on Saturday, April 5, from EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City.
The season is highlighted by visits to every time zone in the U.S., from the shores of Massachusetts to the golden state of California. In addition to familiar stops like Baltimore and Tulsa, Okla., the championship will also make its first visits to cities like Nampa, Idaho, and Hidalgo, Texas, as well as some of the country’s most popular tourist destinations like Reno, Nev., Albuquerque, N.M., and Salt Lake City.
Reigning three-time AMSOIL Arenacross Champion Tyler Bowers will be in search of his fourth consecutive title, which would put him in a very elite group of riders who have accomplished that feat. However, teammate and close friend Zach Ames, in addition to veterans Jeff Gibson and Kelly Smith, along with up-and-comer Michael McDade – each of whom captured at least one victory last season – will surely challenge Bowers in his quest for history.
Each ticket purchased for the 2014 AMSOIL Arenacross season will provide fans with a full slate of action which is guaranteed to keep them on the edge of their seats all evening. With two Main Events, head-to-head bracket racing, and one-of-a-kind fan interaction scheduled for each night of competition, in addition to the season-ending playoff-inspired Race to the Championship, AMSOIL Arenacross offers a great value for the whole family.
Moreover, fans will also have the chance to meet the stars of the sport and get autographs during the pre-race Track Party scheduled to take place prior to the show every Saturday during the season. Fans can get access to the Track Party for FREE if they recycle any Monster Energy can at the entrance (valid only with Saturday event ticket).
The 2014 AMSOIL Arenacross schedule:
Date Venue City
Jan. 3-5 DCU Center Worcester, Mass.
Jan. 10-12 1st Mariner Arena Baltimore
Jan. 18-19 Freedom Hall Louisville, Ky.
Jan. 25-26 Greensboro Coliseum Greensboro, N.C.
Jan. 31-Feb. 2 U.S. Cellular Arena Milwaukee, Wis.
* Feb. 7-9 Sleep Train Arena Sacramento, Calif.
Feb. 14-16 Idaho Center Nampa, Idaho
Feb. 21-23 Livestock Events Center Reno, Nev.
Mar. 1-2 BOK Center Tulsa, Okla.
Mar. 7-9 Tingley Coliseum Albuquerque, N.M.
Mar. 14-16 State Farm Arena Hidalgo, Texas
Mar. 29-30 EnergySolutions Arena Salt Lake City
*The Sacramento stop is not currently on sale. Live timing and scoring from each round of the AMSOIL Arenacross season returns for the 2014 season! To follow the intense racing action live, log onto www.Arenacross.com.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK: PART 2
Ahhh, Unadilla. The best National in the history of the universe (at least from a New Yorker such as myself). Undulating hills, a lush greenscape, big jumps, steep drop-offs, the "Gravity Cavity" and a minefield of stones are some of the reasons why Unadilla rocks (pun, of course, intended). I missed out this year, but MXA freelance photo hound, Scott Mallonee, was there to document everything. Here's one of his shots of the famed circuit. Remember, this is the same dirt that so many of the sport's greats churned up.
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: RIDE ENGINEERING ADJUSTERS & CLEVIS
Ride Engineering brings back the KYB Compression Adjusters and adds a Blue KX Brake Clevis
Nowadays many riders can't adjust their fork compression when they run their bars in the forward position and as a result there is an increased demand for our remote compression adjusters. These low profile parts bolt under the handlebars onto the fork caps and the rider can turn the serrated wheels with his fingers to soften or stiffen compression. We offer this product and similar ones for Showa forks for the follow models and years (They will not fit air forks):
Adjuster - MX-CAK00-RA
Application: YZ125/250/250F/450F 2005 - 2014; CRF450 2009 - 2012; KX450F 2008 - 2012
Adjuster - MX-CAS48-RA
Application: CRF250R 2010-2013
Adjuster - MX-CAS00-RA
Application: CR250, CRF250/450 CRX250/450 2002 - 2008 & 2009 CRF250; RM250/450Z 2003 - 2012; RM250Z 2007 - 2012; DRZ400SM; KX250F 2006 - 2010
Adjuster - MX-CAS01-RA
Application: KX250F 2011-2014; RM250Z/450Z 2013-2014
KXF BRAKE CLEVIS: Machined for a precise fit-removes unwanted brake pedal play. Additional pedal height adjustment. Half the weight of the stock metal bracket. Hair pin allows for quick disassembly.
Clevis - MX-BC008-MB
Application: KX250 2005 - 2007,KX250F/450F 2004 - 2014, KXL450F
Yamaha Motorcycle tests