BEST OF JODY’S BOX: RULES I LIVE BY WHETHER THEY WORK OR NOT!

By Jody Weisel

When I raced my four-speed KTM 450SXF in 2010, most 450SXF racers were gearing the four-speeder down to enable them to use second gear in the corners. I geared my 450SXF up to enable me to use first gear in all the corners. Why did I go in what everybody told me was the wrong direction on my gearing? Because I knew that first gear on the 2010 KTM 450SXF was actually second gear from the previous model.

I wear knee-brace socks that go all the way up, pull them over my compression shorts, then put my knee braces over them and top that off with my motocross pants, and pull my boots on. In the summer, my friends ask why I don’t wear vented air gear. I always say, “What would be the point?”

I have run WP XACT Cone Valve forks on my KTM for the last five years. Every time I get a new set of Cones Valves or send the old ones back to be rebuilt, I insist that they have the exact same base settings as my 2015 forks. I don’t want to waste precious time chasing the flavor of the month from the latest suspension guru. I trust myself, not them.

I always wear clear lenses in my goggles, even on the brightest Mojave Desert day. I never wear smoke, grey, amber or chrome lenses, because on the typical motocross track, the sun is at your back as often as it’s in your face. I don’t want to live in fear that a cloud will roll by just as I come up on that square-edged bump I have been trying to avoid all day.

I never use laminated tear-offs. Why not? Four reasons: (1) I don’t need 7, 14 or 21 tear-offs on my goggles. I typically run two tear-offs and almost always pull the second one off as I exit the track. (2) I have enough trouble pulling one tear-off off, so imagine how I would feel when I accidentally pulled off the whole stack of laminated tear-offs in one fell swoop. (3) I don’t like the sound they make when they peel off. (4) I can’t get the thought of Jeremy Martin sitting on the starting line pulling tear-off after tear-off from his goggles while waiting for the 30-second-board girl to turn the sign right-side up out of my mind.

When it comes to tear-offs, the best idea I ever saw was tinted tear-offs. You put a colored tear-off on for morning practice when the sun was low, and as soon as it wasn’t shining directly into your face, you pulled it off.

I ALWAYS RACE WHEN I’M INJURED. I LIMP OVER TO MY BIKE, SLOWLY CLIMB ON BOARD AND WINCE IN PAIN; BUT, ONCE THE RACE STARTS THERE IS NO PAIN, NO RESTRICTION, NO MOBILITY ISSUES. AFTER THE RACE IS OVER,
I LIMP OVER TO MY TRUCK AND WINCE WHEN I PUSH ON THE GAS PEDAL.

I’m a big believer in wearing a front and back chest protector—not because I believe it will protect me from whatever gravity has in store, but because if I do break something, I don’t want my friends to smugly say, “You should have been wearing a chest protector.”

I don’t care about bar bend or lever position. I have made a living testing motorcycles for two-thirds of my life. It doesn’t bother me that the bars are in a weird position. Why not? Because I’ve picked my bike up after a crash hundreds of times only to find the bars all bent up. I hopped on and rejoined the race, and within two laps I didn’t remember that the bars were bent. This experience made me realize that 3mm farther forward or a slightly different bend isn’t going to matter.

I always race when I’m injured. For some mystical medical reason, I can limp over to my bike, slowly climb on board and wince in pain when I move too fast; but, once the race starts, I feel fine. No pain, no restriction, no mobility issues. Once the race is over, I limp over to my truck and wince when I push on the gas pedal.

Most of my injuries come from three sources: (1) Trying to put a 235-pound bike up on a bike stand. (2) Walking into a footpeg while wearing shorts in the garage. (3) The safety wire on my grips coming loose and poking a hole in my fingers during a moto.

I never change brands of gloves, even when I change the brand of gear I wear. Once I find a pair of gloves that fit me—dare I say it—like a pair of gloves, I get five pairs and store them in the bottom of my gear bag. When I switch from FXR to Thor to Fly to O’Neal gear, I never have to worry about what is often my only bodily contact with my bike.

The most important part of a motocross glove for me is the length of the fingers. If the fingers on the glove are longer than my actual fingers, there is a slim chance that my palm will pinch down on the excess material and make my throttle stick wide open as I desperately try to free my fingers from the throttle. I don’t know why I said “slim chance,” because I have been a Scud missile on more than one occasion.

I don’t go to motor-home races. You know, the kind where the pits are full of 400 kids with four bikes each, doting parents and a motor home that dad brought to the track even though the family only lives 30 miles away and could go home for lunch if they wanted to. I prefer races where no one shows up in a motor home—even better is when no one shows up except the 20 guys in my class. That way, I might get to go home in time for lunch.

 

BEST OF JODY'S BOXjody weiselJODY'S BOXmotocrossmxa