MOTOCROSS ACTION’S MID-WEEK REPORT BY JOHN BASHER (1/29/14)
By John Basher
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
MXA beats the two-stroke drum for good reason. Ring-dingers are instrumental in keeping a certain type of rider in this sport. It’s too bad that so many people believe that four-strokes are superior. That way of thinking comes from the AMA’s terrible displacement rule of long ago, which proved to be the death knell for two-strokes. It’s fair to say that the buyer is ultimately the final decision in whether two-strokes will become completely obsolete. They vote with their wallets.
In my personal opinion, two-strokes will never disappear. Their numbers are minuscule compared to 11 years ago (I would say 10, but 2004 marked the beginning of the big four-stroke push by manufacturers and signified the hammering of many nails in the two-stroke coffin). Still, there are passionate two-stroke advocates; people that refuse to hop on the valve-and-cam bandwagon. They alone will keep the movement alive, even if it’s only a trickle compared to the mighty Mississippi.
Direct-injection two-strokes? That could be the future. Increased fuel efficiency, higher power output and improved emissions levels are the major advantages of such technology. Would it be enough to sway public opinion in the direction of two-strokes once again? Maybe, maybe not. What it would do is pique the interest of a consumer yearning for new technology. That could be enough.
Whatever happens, just know that MXA will remain committed to testing and preaching the benefits of the two-stroke. Don’t forget famous quotes like the one that Jody coined, “Anybody with a nut cracker and a butter knife could rebuild the top-end on a two-stroke.” May the premix be with you.
REMINDER: FOLLOW THE MXA GANG ON FACEBOOK!
Do you have a Facebook account? Of course you do! Make sure to “Like” our Facebook page, because it’s to your benefit. Not only do we post breaking news, but we also share cool photos and videos on anything and everything (products, bikes, race coverage, what our dream house looks like). We also do free giveaways from time to time. It’s free for you to follow us and we’d love to hear what you have to say, so click here to join in the fun!
INSIDE THE PRO’S BIKES: JUSTIN BRAYTON’S JGR YAMAHA YZ450F
The bike that can do no wrong in the whoops
MXA is no longer under the Hi-Torque YouTube umbrella. We have our own dedicated channel, showing only motocross videos made in-house by our very own Travis Fant, as well as other special projects. Subscribing to our channel ensures that you’ll see our latest videos, often before they are posted to our website. Thanks for joining our group!
THERE’S A NEW PLAYER IN THE GEAR MARKET: RISK RACING VECTOR GEAR
In order to create competitive motocross gear that would go head-to-head with the best in the industry, Risk Racing utilized the most current, technical and durable materials that will battle against the physical demands of motocross. Advanced manufacturing techniques were implemented to ensure that when Risk Racing customers gear up, they will not only be comfortable and stylish, but also well-protected.
“When we decided to manufacture riding gear, our goal was to create some of the best gear on the market,” commented Risk Racing Owner, James Burry. “We wanted to produce top-quality gear for our loyal customers and fans of our brand. Our Vector MX gear brings that vision to life!”
The Vector MX jersey features micro-perforated, breathable, and moisture-wicking materials. Furthermore, these lightweight materials are 4-way stretch, allowing the gear to be very unrestrictive as the riders maneuver through the track or trail. The Vector MX pants also offer top-of-the-line materials to provide the rider with perfect fit and finish. The most notable feature of the Risk Racing pants is a 3-point adjustment system, with a micro-ratcheting enclosure around the waist. This system ensures a comfortable and secure fit, whether the rider is suiting up with hip pads and a kidney belt, or simply running “Full Monty” under the gear.
The Risk Racing Vector MX Gear is available now. The jersey retails for $44.99, the pants for $139.99 and the Carbide Gloves for $29.99. Ask for them at your local dealer, or purchase them at www.riskracing.com. They are distributed directly through Risk Racing USA and Risk Racing Europe. For more images and information about Vector MX Gear, CLICK HERE. To learn more about Risk Racing, or to become a retailer of Risk Racing products, call 704-658-9332 or visit www.riskracing.com.
A MESSAGE TO HATERS
Yes, I’m talking to you, Mr. Instagramaniac
We all have opinions. Yet just because we do doesn’t mean that they should always be shared. Sure, there’s a time when every person has spouted off what they think without using a filter. When is that time, you ask? Think back to when you were three years old. Ding ding!
Social media brings out the three-year-old in an alarming number of people. It’s scary. Keyboard warriors love to share their opinions on just about everything. Did someone get a new truck? Better let that person and anyone else willing to listen know what you think! Did someone take out your favorite racer at last weekend’s race? Better put them on blast!
It’s hard for me to stomach the idea that these haters are so self-righteous that they feel it’s fine to try and tear down someone else’s character. These trolls thrive on trying to derail another person’s happiness. It’s sad.
We now live in a world where there’s very little privacy. It doesn’t help that people feel inclined to share every detail about their life, whether earth-shattering or trivial. Juicy tidbits attract swarms of haters from the depths of their parent’s basement. They weigh in, lob insults, and try to get a reaction out of their desired target.
Ken Roczen, the fresh face in 450 Supercross, is an Instagram user. He has over 132,000 followers. Naturally there will be trolls in such a wide demographic. That’s one of the drawbacks of being popular. K-Roc has his fair share of haters, and they do quite a job of going after Roczen; so much so that Roczen decided to fire back (you can see the photo above).
Listen, Roczen is in the business of being admired?as well as abhorred, even if it’s not warranted. He’s still young, so he takes the haters to heart. Soon he will be desensitized to all comments, good or bad. And then, as I can imagine, he will no longer put himself out to the public and share personal things about himself. Goodbye Instagram account. Forget getting a “shout out” or a “follow.” The haters will be left searching like vultures for another carcass.
The moral of this rant is that although “haters gonna hate,” (thanks rap industry for coining that phrase) there’s really no need to be a keyboard warrior. Find satisfaction in living your life and making the most of it, rather than trying to tear someone else’s down.
BIGGEST CRASH OF THE YEAR THAT YOU PROBABLY HAVEN’T SEEN
Cooper Webb tries goes big, only for his YZ250F shock to rebound violently and pitch him over the bars. We’re glad to see that Cooper walked away from this horrific crash.
NEW PRODUCT: AXO A2 BOOT
AXO America is proud to finally announce the release of the highly anticipated A2 boots. The newest addition to the AXO footwear family, the A2 encompasses technology and comfort in motocross boots while offering supreme confidence all in one great fit. It is simply in a whole different class of its own. Endorsed by athletes from all over the globe ranging from Supercross to Motocross GP racers, AXO has put the same attention and care to the manufacturing of premium footwear that has been known to be adamant and successful throughout the past few decades. With over two years of development featuring the newest technology solutions and ideas that have been aimed to improve the safety and comfort of the modern rider, the A2 is what you need to stay confident while keeping your adrenaline running at all times.
The new A2 features:
-A new reinforced nylon anti-torsion ankle brace with a hinge system.
-AXO engineered aluminum buckles for an enhanced lock/unlock operation.
-Anti-abrasion upper materials.
-A breathable, anti-bacterial and anti-sweat 3D shaped mesh lining within the boot.
-AXO traditional easy-to-replace sole.
-Designed and produced with plastic molded materials with different levels of density and hardness.
The A2 boot comes in black or white in sizes 5-13 and is now available on www.axo.com or at your local authorized AXO retailer. Suggested retail price is $475.
For more information, please visit www.axo.com or call 1 (877) AXO-RACE
TOP SECRET: ROCKSTAR ENERGY KTM TEAM USES RIDE ENGINEERING STEERING DAMPER KIT
Teammates Jason Anderson, Ivan Tedesco and Davi Milsaps all prefer running a Showa steering dampener on their team race bikes, mounting them up with Ride’s CNC machined bracket kit. What’s great is that you can run this same set up on your KTM. Ride Engineering sells the steering bracket it for $159.95. Ride also sells the Showa HPSD. For more info, click here.
MINI-VIEW: KYLE CHISHOLM
Recently turning 26, Kyle Chisholm has certainly seen the highs and lows of competing as a professional motocross rider?all in one year. Signing on with the Toyota Yamaha JGR team last year as a fill-in for the injured Josh Grant, Kyle sustained a serious injury at the St. Louis Supercross, causing him to miss the entire season. Looking to secure support for 2014 was initially difficult, but with longtime brand Yamaha sticking by him and the unfortunate injury to Ben Lamay, the 2011 King of Bercy is back racing AMA Supercross.
By Jim Kimball
MXA: Kyle, let’s first touch on 2013. You basically were injured the entire year.
Kyle: 2013 was really frustrating for me. We all get hurt sometimes, but this was not necessarily my mistake. The other rider (Matt Goerke) made a mistake and jumped sideways as we were in the air, and that did it. The bottom line from that crash was that I was out the entire year. Not that it’s ever good to get hurt, but it was especially a bummer when it’s not your fault. So it was really tough coming into Supercross a few weeks ago. I did a few off-season races, but besides that I haven’t really raced in a year. I’m still working on getting that race mode back in me. I know that it will come with time. It’s a long season and I’ll keep working on it each week.
The deal with Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha came about pretty last minute, didn’t it?
I was actually talking to the Rock River people a couple months ago, but things just didn’t work out. They were going to go forward with Ben Lamay, and I was putting my own deal together with Yamaha. Then Ben got hurt just before Anaheim 1, and they gave me a call. We’ve struggled some these first few rounds just because of lack of time and lack of testing, but we cannot change that. We are doing our best, and everyone is working very hard. We are getting a little better every week. I want to keep progressing and improving.
Aren’t you racing the Canadian Nationals this year?
I am. I’m racing for the Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha team. My deal with Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha is only for Supercross. To be honest, I wish that I were racing the entire year in the States, but I didn’t have anything here. The team in Canada is very good, and they made me a nice offer, so I felt that it was my best option. Not that you do it for the money, but you have to make a living. Unfortunately we don’t make enough money from the tracks, or bonuses to sustain ourselves with. It’s ten races up there, so I hope to be able to do four outdoors down here, like what Brett Metcalfe did. With coming back from a long injury I think that it will be good for me to go up there, try to win some races, and hopefully a championship. The Canadian deal came through a couple months ago, and it was the right thing to do. In 2006 I won a Canadian 250 championship up there, so I know a little bit about how the racing is. I’m looking forward to racing new guys and new tracks up there.
You have had a pretty good relationship with Yamaha.
Yamaha has been awesome to me. They gave me a couple bikes from last year when the Velocity 3 team went away. It was really nice, as they could have just taken them back, but they let me keep my race bike and a practice bike for when I finally started to get my health back. Having the bikes really helped me start some training over the off-season. The only bummer was that they were 2013 bikes, and the 2014 is new and different. A few weeks ago they gave me a new bike that I started riding before the Cycle Trader Rock River deal came about. I cannot say enough about all the guys at Yamaha; they have treated me great. The new bike is excellent, and I am someone that liked the old bike. I know some guys criticized the old bike, but I thought that it was good, and I did well on it. I’m not just saying that to sell Yamaha’s, either. If you look at my results, I have had my best years racing on that bike.
Is there one thing that you can pinpoint as the major improvement on the 2014?
This may sound clich, but it’s actually the whole bike that’s better. The engine on the old bike was not bad. In fact, I think that it was one of the best engines out there, but the new engine has added a lot more smoother and broader power. The bike is very easy to ride. The chassis was changed a lot, too, and that has helped. The bike as a package is just better.
With Cycle Trader, and Yamaha, the Rock River Team appears to be going places.
Yeah, the owner Mike Duclos and team manager Christina Denney have done a great job getting the team to where it’s now at. They may have struggled a bit with finding good riders, and they needed outside sponsors, but with them now having Cycle Trader it’s been a huge help. They also now have JGR, who obviously know a lot about Yamaha’s, helping with engines and suspension. This has been a huge bonus. With the new bike and Cycle Trader, the whole package here is great. Overall, the whole team has stepped it up, and I feel that going into the next couple years that this team is only going to get better.
How are you approaching racing at this moment, going all out to get up front, or taking a more gradual approach to get back into it?
You always want to go out to win races. But I am looking at it as I’m going to try my best, and whatever my best is that night I will be happy with. My biggest hurdle has just been lack of time on the bike. Like I said, the bike is improved, but it’s still a new bike to me now. It kind of feels like I hopped on another brand. Anyone would struggle some with that new of a bike. When you don’t have any testing done or any settings determined, you are always going to struggle some. The new bike is better. Now it’s just about fine-tuning all the little things. The casual race observer at home doesn’t realize how turning something even a few millimeters can reduce your lap times by a few tenths. When you are all within a few seconds of each other, from first to 20th, every little bit helps you. We are behind the game now, but we’ve already made improvements.
How’s your health?
From the physical side of things I am healthy. My knee and leg are at 100 percent. For me it’s just almost starting over and believing in myself. I was away from racing for around eleven months, and that is a long time to be gone. I see myself as a solid top ten guy this season, so it’s just about remaining confident and chipping away at that. Mentally I need to believe in myself and my abilities. I don’t think there is any rider out there who has not questioned himself at one time. We are all human. I know that it will only get better and better. This will be a bit of a building year for me. But I am motivated to get back to where I was and even get better.
PRODUCT OF THE WEEK: SPECBOLT 250 PIECE HONDA CRF FASTENER KIT
This kit is made for all CRF150R, CRF250R, CRF250X, CRF450R and CRF450X.
This kit contains bolts for front and rear fenders, radiator shrouds, fork guards, fuel tank mounts, complete exhaust (even dual) including 4 special square nuts, fuel pump, number plate, side panels, seat. rear sprocket, chain adjusters, skid plates, cam chain tensioner, front brake caliper bolts, throttle housing, front sprocket cover, shifter, radiators, rear rotor and caliper guards, front and rear brake reservoir lids, clutch cover, pan head screws for rear brake line guides and chain slider, screws for throttle body, injector, and map sensor, coil, rectifier, and 3 size sealing washers (2pcs ea) for water pump, oil drain, and brake lines, and 10 cotter pins.
All of our fasteners are 10.9 or 8.8 grade and heat treated to meet or exceed OEM specs and match OEM appearance as well. Our 250pc kits come in a heavy duty 18 compartment poly case with dual latches.
We offer 3 size kits for Yamaha Kawasaki Suzuki Honda and KTM off road model motorcycle and ATVs. They are the 120pc for $29.99, the 150pc for $39.99 and the 250pc for $49.99. Free shipping in the USA on everything. These are available direct from us only. Can call at 626-430-6841. We have an eBay store, Amazon or on our website www.specbolt.com. We also sell full bike specific MX body kits for $16.99, rotor bolts, sprocket bolt kits, chain adjusters, and lug nut kits.
ADAM CIANCIARULO VIDEO: #46 PREPARES FOR HIS EAST COAST DEBUT
Here’s a cool video from Brandon Medeiros & Kyle Chandler of AC ripping to Blink-182
WE KNOW WHAT YOU DIDN’T DO LAST SUMMER?
You didn’t ride enough last summer. You skipped out on spending quality time with your bike. You chose relaxation and a frosty one over sweating it out and squeezing the throttle. It’s a shame, isn’t it? All you want to do right now is ride your motocross bike, but Al Roker and his “Polar Vortex” has you in a hex. Don’t worry. Spring is only 49 days away. That’s enough time for you to pull yourself off the couch and into the gym. J-Lo and American Idol can wait. Get the heart rate up. Feel the burn. Bonus: you can be active and watch trashy television! Just remember the goal. You’re getting in shape to ride motocross, with the added benefit of looking like a stud when Mother Nature finally provides a climate welcoming enough for t-shirts and shorts. Until then you should be hammering down, burning off the chub and dreaming of summer.
GET PAID FOR RUNNING TIRES: IT’S THAT SIMPLE!
Maxxis to Offer Over $1.2 Million in Contingencies in 2014
Maxxis is offering cash to eligible riders in the AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series Presented by Maxxis (GNCC); World Off-Road Championship Series (WORCS); ATV Extreme Dirt Track National Series (EDT); Transworld MX Series (TWMX); Mid America Cross Country Racing Series (MAXC); New England ATV Motocross Series (NEATV); Mountain Dew ATV-MX National Championship; and the AMA District 37 Big 6 Grand Prix Series.
Although payouts will vary from class to class, riders in all classes will be eligible. Depending upon class, contingencies will be available to riders posting a first, second or third place finish.
To be eligible, riders must display a minimum of four (4) 6-1/2-inch Maxxis decals on their motorcycle or ATV. Riders may only submit one contingency request per race weekend, for an event with a minimum of ten racers competing in the relevant class. Racers should submit contingency forms as soon as possible, because forms postmarked later than 30 days after a race will be denied.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to win generous cash contingencies! For forms and additional information, please visit http://www.maxxis.com/MotorcycleATV/Contingency-Programs.aspx today!
A GREAT CAUSE: MX FOR CHILDREN DROPS THE GATE ON THE 2014 JACKPOT CHALLENGE
Top Monster Energy Supercross Teams Line Up for North American Children’s Hospitals Fundraising
With a packed line-up of Monster Energy Supercross teams for MX for Children’s 2014 Jackpot Challenge, we are pleased to drop the gate for this year’s team competition! Great support from the following teams/riders affords a tremendous opportunity for Supercross fans in Canada and the United States to participate in the Jackpot Challenge and raise funds for children’s hospitals and earn great incentive prizes:
? BTO Sports racing KTM ? Andrew Short, Matt Goerke
? Geico Racing Honda ? Zach Bell, Matt Bisceglia, Justin Bogle, Wil Hahn, Zach Osborne, Eli Tomac
? MotoConcepts ? Mike Alessi
? Monster Energy Kawasaki ? Ryan Villopoto, Jake Weimer
? Muscle Milk Honda ? Justin Barcia, Trey Canard
? Pro Circuit Kawasaki ? Blake Baggett, Adam Cianciarulo, Martin Davalos, Darryn Durham, Justin, Hill, Dean Wilson
? Red Bull KTM ? Ryan Dungey, Ken Roczen, Marvin Musquin, Dean Ferris
? Rockstar Racing KTM ? Davi Millsaps, Ivan Tedesco, Jason Alexander, Joey Savatgy
? Troy Lee Designs Honda ? Cole Seely, Malcolm Stewart, Jessy Nelson, Shane McElrath
? TwoTwo Motorsports ? Chad Reed
? Yoshimura Racing Suzuki ? James Stewart
The Jackpot Challenge raises funds for brain research at the following children’s hospitals: Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital of Alabama, Houston’s Texas Children’s, Nashville’s Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital, Pittsburgh’s Children’s Hospital, Salt Lake City’s Primary Children’s, Seattle Children’s, St. Louis Children’s, Toronto’s SickKids and Vancouver’s BC Children’s Hospital. The funds go to support the hospitals’ research to improve the brain condition hydrocephalus ? the #1 cause of brain surgery for children.
“I was proud that Chad and TwoTwo Motorsports won this award last year,” said Ellie Reed, the official spokesperson of MX for Children. “Having had a neurological scare of our own with our daughter, I can say that the research supported by this fundraiser is not only very impactful on kids’ lives but also their families who without help from MX for Children wouldn’t be able to help their kids.”
Jackpot Challenge participants also can root for one of their favorite Jackpot Challenge teams. The Jackpot Challenge teams are Supercross race teams that support the MX for Children cause by donating their time at MX for Children events. The funds raised by individual fundraisers are also credited to the team they select. MX for Children awards the Jackpot Challenge Team award with the highest total fundraising for the season. Chad Reed’s TwoTwo Motorsports won the Jackpot Challenge Team award in 2013. Finally, fundraisers who exceed $500 in 2014 will qualify for the Inside Line Experience ? offered in Toronto, St. Louis, Houston and Seattle.
“It is really great to be working with such a wonderful organization like MX for Children again,” explained Trey Canard of the Muscle Milk Honda team. “It is opportunities like this that really allow us riders to give back and have a certain voice that not many people get to have. I think if what we do can bring light into a child’s world that makes it all worth it. It is so gratifying to be able to visit the hospitals sometimes and to donate simple things like gear to help raise money for such a great cause. I look forward to working with everyone again this year and for many years to come.”
In the U.S. please visit http://mxforchildren.kintera.org/2014 to sign up for the 2014 MX for Children Jackpot Challenge.
In Canada please visit http://tinyurl.com/mx4c-jackpot-challenge-canada.
NITRO CIRCUS TURNS 100: MAKE SURE YOU CHECK OUT TRAVIS PASTRANA’S ZANY CIRCUS WHEN IT RETURNS TO THE U.S.
Nitro Circus Live, the global touring phenomenon featuring 40 of the world’s best action sports athletes, wrapped its first North American tour by celebrating the 100th global show Sunday night at Anaheim’s Honda Center. Fourteen semi-trucks hauled 800,000 tons of equipment and 11 tour buses traveled nearly 6,000 miles to bring the world’s largest live touring act of 150 cast and crew to 13 cities across north America. Over 160,000 fans turned out to witness the global action sports spectacle, with sold out shows in Boston, New York, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Anaheim.
Nitro Circus founder and 17-time X Games medalist, Travis Pastrana says, “After perfecting the show for years while traveling the world, we were so thrilled to be able to bring Nitro Circus back home to the USA where it all began.” Originally a small DVD series filmed in Pastrana’s Maryland backyard, Nitro Circus grew into a successful MTV show with over 46 million U.S. viewers and broadcast in 60 countries worldwide. Pastrana then launched Nitro Circus Live; the massive production has captured the imagination of fans worldwide with a string of sell-out shows and record-breaking crowds across Europe, Australia, New Zealand and now North America.
“Fans are blown away by the spectacular pyrotechnics (over 1,150 pounds of explosives were used during the North American tour), detailed choreography including the ?Nitro Bomb’ with 18 riders back-flipping in the air simultaneously, hosts of crazy contraptions hurled down the famous 50-foot-high Gigant-A-Ramp and endless twists and surprises we bring to every city,” says Pastrana.
“One hundred shows later, we’re as eager as ever to get back on the road and visit new cities, break more records, perform new tricks and entertain Nitro Circus fans worldwide,” said Nitro Circus Live Promoter, Mike Porra.
The Nitro Circus Live crew will take a short break before embarking on their first tour of South Africa in February, followed by an Australian tour in May. Details for a 2015 tour of North America will be announced soon.