MXA TEST RIDER CHRONICLE: DARYL ECKLUND

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HOW DID YOU GET TO BE AN MXA TEST RIDER?

I forget exactly how it became to be, but I was racing the East Coast Supercross series at the time and I was friends with Dennis Stapleton, who was in the spot I am in now (MXA assistant editor) and he asked if I was interested in doing an MXA photo shoot. Of course I said yes! Who doesn’t love tearing up brand-new bikes. That day I became friends with John Basher and for a good four or five years John would did testing and do photo shoots. When Dennis was in Denmark, Philippines, Thailand or Kuwait, I was the guy. I would jump at the opportunity every chance I could get – it was just always so fun working with great people such as Dennis and John. At the end of last year I heard there was job opening at MXA and I couldn’t have thought of a more awesome job than working full time with MXA. The rest is history.

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WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MXA MEMORY?

There have been so many great memories. The one that pops into my head the most is when I got to ride Ryan Villopoto’s KX250F Motocross Des Nations bike. At the time I was racing the AMA Nationals and I thought my bike was the best bike I have ever ridden. That was until I got to ride a factory bike. Words cannot even explain how in love I fell with Ryan’s bike. The big Glen Helen braking bumps felt like they weren’t even there. When I started passing guys on 450s up Mt. Saint Helens I was amazed! My full-blown race bike was not even comparable to Villopoto’s machine. I was bummed that there was nothing I could do about it. I should have just loaded up his Des Nations bike when I had the chance and raced that thing at Hangtown!

WHO WAS TESTING BIKES WITH YOU AT MXA?

The person I have tested the most with is Dennis Stapleton. John Basher and Jody are always helping me learn about why bikes work the way they do and how to test new products. Other test riders that have helped are Trent Pugmire, Austin Politelli and Kyle Lewis.

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WHY DID YOU STOP BEING A TEST RIDER?

I’ve been testing with MXA for five years and I never want to stop. It’s too much fun. I enjoy every aspect of being a MXA test rider.

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