MOTOCROSS ACTION’S MID-WEEK REPORT BY JOHN BASHER (7/3/13)
PHOTO OF THE WEEK: PART 1
America. Land of the free and home of the brave. America. Democracy and human rights. America. Where professional motocross racers earn purse money in the Nationals. Ahhh, how I love thee, ‘Merica. Have a happy and safe Fourth of July, and remember our patriots and those who have laid down their lives for the sake of our freedom. Red, white and blue!
RIDE THE GP OF SWEDEN; MAKE SURE TO MOUNT MUD TIRES FIRST
GOAT CHATTER: RICKY CARMICHAEL INTERVIEW
RED BUD MAY BE THE BIGGEST OUTDOOR EVENT ON THE SCHEDULE. WHAT MAKES THIS MOTO SO GREAT AS A RIDER? THE BIG JUMPS? THE BIG CROWDS? What makes Red Bud so special is that it provides a rider everything he wants in moto. The jumps are huge, the corners are fast, and it’s just a fun and challenging track. It’s not overly hard, not too easy. It has everything a rider wants. It’s a fun weekend for the fans ? huge crowds. The whole weekend has a great vibe to it. The fans are amazing and it’s a premier stop on the series schedule. Add the fact that it’s Fourth of July weekend; it’s just an epic weekend.
TALK ABOUT REDBUD AND HOW IT HAS BECOME SUCH AN IMPORTANT RACE ON THE MX SCHEDULE. I think one of the reasons that Red Bud is so good is because of the promoters. They do such a great job putting money back into the track and making improvements every year. It really shows. It’s something that I really appreciate and everyone in the paddock does as well. It’s nice to see that. Not all promoters are putting money back into the tracks and the (Tim and Amy) Ritchies are doing just that.
YOU’VE GOT RICKY CARMICHAEL UNIVERSITY (RCU) ON WEDNESDAY AT RED BUD. WHY IS RED BUD ON YOUR SCHEDULE? I’m really excited to have RCU at Red Bud on Wednesday. It’s one of my favorite tracks ever. To hold an RCU event at Red Bud is very special. It’s sold out. It’s going to be a big hit. It’s a great experience for riders that are participating. The riders can learn a lot about a sport that they love. My instructors have a lot of championships and give back to amateurs as much knowledge as they possibly can. There are seminars going on throughout the day while we’re out coaching the kids and riders. It’s a cool experience.
TALK ABOUT WHY RCU HAS BECOME SO POPULAR? I think RCU has become popular because of what people get out of the experience. It’s a full day with a lot of talent giving back to the sport. We make it well worth their while to come participate. We do seminars, provide lunch, on-track coaching, spend time with the riders and give them as much one-on-one time as possible. That’s what it’s all about. A lot of my sponsors help support it. When the RCU participants walk away from the camp, I think they’re left with a ?Wow!’ factor. It’s a hell of an experience.
YOUR RCH CO-OWNER CAREY HART WILL BUCKLE UP A PAIR OF RIDING BOOTS THIS WEEKEND AT RCU. It’s really cool to have Carey (Hart) at RCU at Red Bud. I think Carey is going to have a great time. It means a lot to me for him to carve out some time and support what I do. I’m thankful for that. He’s going to have a great time. For him to have a chance to ride Red Bud is going to be an awesome experience.
A TWO-WEEK BREAK ON THE MX SCHEUDLE AFTER RED BUD; IS THIS THE TIME A RIDER NEEDS TO GET OFF THE BIKE AND REST AFTER THE SUPERCROSS AND MOTOCROSS SEASON OR WILL YOU TRAIN MORE DOWN AT THE FARM? We take the weekend off after Red Bud, but we’ll still be at the grind the following week. Supercross and Motocross is extremely demanding and you have to put in the practice time. You have to keep your routine sharp and stick with it so that you don’t get stale. Some guys will take the weekend off, maybe three days or so to heal up. For me, I’ll only make it a three-day weekend and then get back at it during the week. You don’t get better sitting on the couch.
A FINAL FAREWELL TO THE SOUTHWICK NATIONAL BY DARYL ECKLUND
Photo: Adam Merrow
This last weekend was a sad day for motocross fans. Since 1976 MX-338 has been hosting a National. It has served as one of the iconic venues that we will now have to say farewell to. The thing I love most about Southwick, in the words of Forrest Gump, “[Southwick] is like box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
From the very start of moto one of the 450 class the Ryan’s (Dungey and Villopoto) were down, with James Stewart in the early lead. Once again “Bubba” looked like he was back to his old self ? but not for long.
When James crashes he can’t just make it an easy tip over. He has to make it exciting enough to make the weekly MXA news with another suspenseful crash video as he did in moto one. It almost seems like James has some sort of voodoo curse on him. His bike is fast and handles well, he is fit, fast and is riding within his means. I’m out of excuses for him. Maybe instead of switching the color bike in the future, you might see him at the witch doctor to try and figure out this string of bad luck.
After Stewart went down I was excited to see “Mr. Nice guy” Andrew Short taking the number one position. He has been having a rough year, but the guys over at the BTO Sports/KTM team have been making some valiant efforts in helping Shorty become a front runner once again. With the Ryans hard charge to the front of the pack, Dungey was able to squeeze by Shorty with only two laps to go taking the win with Short in tow.
Photo: Adam Merrow
Someone please give Brett Metcalfe a ride again in the States. There is absolutely nothing bad I can say about the Aussie. With him coming down from Canada and going 5-6 in the stacked 450 class on a privateer bike is very impressive. He works hard, is a good representative for the sport, and always shines in the toughest and most grueling races. He might not be the most talented rider, but what he lacks in talent he makes up in sheer will and determination.
With six races down and six more to go both championships are heating up. Each and every week Dungey has become stronger and stronger while Villopoto has been battling with consistency. It’s going to be an interesting next few weeks. Farewell Southwick! No one can ever replace all the epic memories that you have left us.
NEW FASTWAY SHOCK COLLARS FOR 2011-2013 KTM LINKAGE MODELS
[Press Release] Although it sounds like a product you’d want to use to keep your dog from leaking on the neighbors lawn, the new Fastway Billet Shock Collars are designed to replace the inferior stock plastic pre-load adjusters on 2011-2013 KTM linkage motorcycles. The top shape of the stock plastic collars can collect and funnel grit into the shock threads, which makes them prone to eventual seizing; and damages the threads on the expensive KTM WP rear shock body. Stock collars are also difficult to adjust, and have no numerical adjustment reference.
The Fastway Billet Shock Collars feature a proprietary design, which helps keep grit and debris out of the threads, further preventing thread seizure and damage. Each thread on the Fastway Shock Collars are precision machined by Pro Moto Billet to a specific profile that keeps debris from filling the space between the collar and the shock body.
The Shock Collars are anodized in brilliant KTM orange, and feature 14 numeric adjustments for easy tuning of spring pre-load. A custom precision lightweight billet adjustment wrench is included with each set. Developed in partnership with the suspension pro’s at Stillwell Performance, the new Fastway Shock Collars are a must-have for every KTM linkage rider. This product requires shock shaft removal to perform installation.
Order yours today! For more information contact your local Dealer, or Pro Moto Billet at 866-466-4762, by email- [email protected], or visit our website at www.ProMotoBillet.com
PHOTO OF THE WEEK: PART 2
Last Saturday was the swan song for the sands of Southwick, Massachusetts, and along with it the famed Buckley Berm, made known by photographer Paul Buckley. Here, freelance photographer Adam Merrow gets the shot of Eli Tomac railing around a Southwick berm, but not the Buckley Berm ? on the other hand every berm at Southwick has Buckley’s stamp of approval on it.
COOL NON-MOTO PRODUCT: YOSHIMURA RS-9 EXHAUST FOR THE 2014 HONDA GROM (MSX125)
[Press Release] To say there’s a lot of buzz surrounding the new 2014 Honda Grom (MSX125) is an understatement. Simply put, this new wonder-bike from Honda is a game changer and that buzz just got a whole lot more serious with the news that Yoshimura R&D is introducing a line of exhaust systems and other accessories to make the exciting little Grom even more so.
And the Grom’s not just getting any exhaust system. For the first-time ever, the RS-9 system will be used on a streetbike platform and the Grom is the bike to get it. Yes, this is the same as the Dual Honda CRF MX system that’s currently being used to win Supercross events all over the country. The RS-9 uses a unique design parallelogram-shaped muffler body and comes in two styles: An aluminum muffler body with carbon-fiber end cap, or carbon muffler body with carbon-fiber end cap. The front cap is stamped in our Chino, California, factory from polished 304-L stainless steel and installed with premium quality closed-end rivets reinforced with lightweight laser cut rivet-bands.
As for performance…. Well, the RS-9 system for the Honda Grom is a genuine Yoshimura R&D product made in the U.S.A. so like the rest of the performance parts we make, it is designed by the same people who develop factory race team equipment that is winning races all over the globe.
Slip-On Carbon Fiber/Carbon Fiber Cap MSRP: $460.00
Slip-On Aluminum/Carbon Fiber Fiber Cap MSRP: $325.00
Full System Carbon Fiber/Carbon Fiber Cap MSRP: $530.00
Full System Aluminum/Carbon Fiber Cap MSRP: $395.00
WHAT MXA DID YESTERDAY?
Tuesday proved to be a busy day for Daryl Ecklund and I as we embarked on a trip to SoCal’s Competitive Edge. Fortunately cloud cover kept us somewhat cool, but we were scrambling to capture photos (I did the shooting while Daryl did the riding) of the 2014 KTM 450SXF. Aside from getting a flat rear tire, the shoot went off without a hitch. Here’s a photo from the day’s activities, done in the typical “MXA berm” shot (slam into soft dirt, pop the clutch and yank the throttle). Daryl Ecklund displaced a decent amount of dirt during this exercise.
We also tested a Hot Rods/Tom Morgan Racing Honda CR112 two-stroke. It was the first (we hope of many) time using 14-year-old Zachary Bierbower as a test rider. The kid hung tough and pounded out corners and jumps with ease. It was cool to see a young rider so interested in learning the ropes of being a photo rider.
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: RIDE ENGINEERING CRF450 FULL LINKAGE
[Press Release] Ride’s newest product is a full linkage system for the 2013 CRF450R. The combination outer link and center knuckle has two effects on this new Honda. It improves the suspension action and handling entering corners (by holding the shock up in the stroke) and it is more plush on acceleration chop exiting the turn. By offering both components instead of just the outer or inner one, ride height remains unchanged. We also found that the shock setting doesn’t have to be altered (your favorite setting will work great), making this a true bolt-on and go product. Recommended sag with the Ride Engineering Linkage is 102-104mm. Rides’ 2013 CRF450R linkage assembly retails for $449.90
You can view this linkage, our other Honda mods as well as products from FMF, TCR, SDG, Renthal, Shock Therapy Suspension, DT1, Dunlop, Tokyo Mods and Works Connection here: http://www.ride-engineering.com/videos.php. This video discusses Ride Engineering’s recommendations on how to turn the stock 2013 CRF450R into a great performing race bike.
THE JUNKYARD DOG RETIRES
It was bittersweet at Southwick for several reasons. Of course the final National at Southwick brought a tear to the eyes of every fan of motocross, but it was especially tough to watch as John Dowd called it a career. Known as the “Junkyard Dog” for being tough as nails, scrappy in competition and a bit older in age, Dowd hung up his leathers after Southwick. It was rather apropos, considering that John did some of his best work in the sand. Thankfully Adam Merrow was there to catch John one last time. You will be missed, Dowdy!
RACE ACTION FROM GERMANY: A GRASS TRACK, SOME TWO-STROKES, & NO STUPID YELLOW STAKES!
PHOTO OF A FORMER MXA TEST RIDER
At one time Cole Seely was a MXA test rider. He graced the cover of the rag several times, including a shot on James Stewart’s 24-0, perfect season Kawasaki KX450F. Since then Cole has moved on up the ladder, racing professionally for the Lucas Oil/Troy Lee Designs team. This is his last year in the 250 class, meaning that graduation is coming soon from the sun-kissed SoCal kid. I wish him all of the luck in the world, and once he retires we’ll have an open seat for him on any dirt bike of his choosing.
FIRST LOOK AT THE UTAH NATIONAL
A MEAN, GREEN MONSTER
Nihilo Concepts’ Rob Fox shares photos of his project bike. Nice job!
“Just wanted to share with you some pictures of my final bike build and thank you for all your support…Let me know what you think!”
THE AIME PARTICIPANT LIST IS GROWING: SUZUKI JOINS THE SHOW
[Press Release] The American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo), in collaboration with Suzuki Motor of America, Inc., have announced that Suzuki will be a founding OEM participant in the inaugural event, scheduled for October 16-20 in Orlando, Florida. Suzuki will introduce new 2014 motorcycles and ATVs, host its dealer body with exclusive VIP functions and conduct demo rides on select products.
Suzuki has long been one of the most recognized names in powersports thanks to its full lineup of high-performance products for on- and off-road enthusiasts. Additionally, Suzuki is currently enjoying a year-long celebration of 50 years in the USA. “Suzuki recognizes the exclusive opportunities that are offered by AIMExpo’s ground-breaking platform,” said Mike Webster, President, Trade Show Division of Marketplace Events. “The ability to introduce 2014 products to their dealers as well as consumers and media is precisely what we intended when developing the AIMExpo vision. We’re thrilled to welcome the Suzuki brand and look forward to this important partnership.”
Suzuki offers the best-selling GSX-R sport bikes, one of the most successful lines in all of motorcycling, as well as the championship-winning RM-Z motocross models that have helped make the brand a household name. The latest iterations of these motorcycles along with Suzuki’s full lineup of Boulevard cruisers, DualSport models, scooters, and KingQuad ATVs will all be present at AIMExpo this October.
In addition to its display in the Main Hall at the Orange County Convention Center and its demo presence at AIMExpo Outdoors, Suzuki will also use AIMExpo as an opportunity to conduct VIP activities with dealers where they will not only have a chance to be educated on the new performance capabilities, but also experience these enhancements firsthand. Suzuki sees the event as an ideal way to connect with both current and prospective dealers.
“We are very excited to be a founding participant at the first ever AIMExpo event,” said Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. Motorcycle/ATV Vice President, Larry Vandiver. “The unique format and location of the AIMExpo gives Suzuki the opportunity to showcase our class-leading product to not only the public and the media, but it also gives us an opportunity to host our dealer network and invite them to share in some VIP experiences with us while attending the show.”
AIMExpo will be held on October 16-20, 2013 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. For more information, visit the AIMExpoUSA.com web site, and keep up to date on the continued progress by visiting AIMExpo’s social media pages. “Like” the American International Motorcycle Expo on Facebook by visiting the AIMExpo page, and “Follow” on Twitter: @AIMExpo.