MXA Mid-Week Report: Live From The Milan Show & Beyond
The 65th annual Milano motorcycle show kicked off this week with a flurry of new product releases and the repatriation with the bicycle show which used to be held in conjunction with the throttle twisters, but which has been held separately for the last few years. While there is a smattering of cool motocross product to be found, much of the Milan shows horsepower revolves around the world of street and Supermoto bikes. Below you’ll find a handful of bikes that caught our interest in this first round of coverage from the show. Besides all the bikes that are sitting still, Milano also plays host to both Supercross and Supermoto riding on two specially built tracks.ÿ
Somewhere in the world former national champion Johnny “O-Show” O’Mara might be wondering if anyone has picked up on hjs famous nickname to sell a new product, say a helmet maybe?!
If ever there was any doubt that KTM lacked the ability to become a major, multi-discipline manufacturer, they can now be erased. Yes, we’re still expecting big things from KTM in the 2008 MX wars, but even though they’re the most successful brand in the off-road world, they now have some of the most talked about street bikes on the market. The new 690 Dube with it’s “Buell-esque” exhaust pipe design is but one of many new wild looking street bikes that were on display.
TM is the “other” blue brand of dirt bikes and they showed off an impressive looking line of enduro and supermoto bikes, the 450SM here being the same bike ridden to an Italian national title by Davide Gozzini.
MXA MINI VIEW: CHUCK SUN
While testing Chuck Sun’s Dick’s Racing CRF450 for an upcoming issue, we chatted with the former factory star and found out what he has been up to and what some of his plans are for the near future.
Chuck, what have you been up to lately? Have you been riding a lot?
I always love riding, and I’ve been doing a lot of events with consumers and people that just like to come out and go riding. I like to ride up in Idaho, Oregon and Colorado. I haven’t been doing as much motocross, but now since I’ve turned 50, there’s a new resurgence to come out and get in really good shape, and get my motocross legs back underneath me. What this really represents is building a foundation and going to win the World Championship that they have included in the FIM GPs in Europe that starts in Spain in April next year. Being able to represent the United States and ride on exotic tracks in Europe like the Citadel in Belgium during the same day as the GP in front of a big crowd will a lot of fun. And those spectators still remember us older guys. I was just over there at the last GP and got to ride around the track with Stefan Everts in Donnington Park, and so many people came up to me who were there in 1981 when the US won for the first time and said it was like yesterday, that they couldn’t believe that the US won. It’s a great opportunity. I’m not going to be able to ride forever, so I hopped on my mountain bike and started training, and I’m having a lot of fun.
Tell us a little bit about your involvement with Dick’s Racing.
BERCY SX THIS WEEKEND
– press release –
(November 9/10/11th, 2007)
“A few days before the 25th edition of the Paris Bercy Supercross (November 9th to 11th), the stadium is already full of action with the ?Open of Bercy’ tournament of tennis. In a few hours the famous area will be empty of spectators and sportsmens, and the staff of Jean Luc Fouchet will start to built the track of the most prestigious European SX.
Jeremy McGrath is back in Paris
Unfortunately Ricky Carmichael will not do his last Supercross appearance in Bercy, as the Americain star denied all his contracts due to a blood virus that stopped earlier than expecting his motorcycle career. To replace him the organizers did their best and invited two of the most famous US Supercross riders: Jeremy McGrath and Chad Reed.
Since his official retirement on the US scene, Jeremy McGrath never stopped practicing and will not come in Paris just for the show. “I came here ten years in a row, and I’ve had some great memories. The fans are unbelievable, and even if I know that it will be difficult for me to beat riders such as Chad Reed, Andrew Short or Grant Langston to claim another King of Bercy title, I will do my best. The new racing program is great, and if I can get some good starts I think that it’s possible for me to battle for the win. The fans have always been great to me. I hope that they will support me once more,” said Jeremy who will have a factory Honda ride.
Chad Reed favorite
Chad raced twice in the event in the past (2000-2001), and for his comeback he is ?the man to beat’ with his huge Supercross achievements. Second ?non-American rider’ to claim after Jean Michel Bayle the prestigious US Supercross Title (in 2004), the Kiwi finished twice runner up in 2005 and 2007. He will lead a strong ?Rest of The World’ team alongside South African Grant Langston (World Champion in 2000, and four times US champion including the 07 MX title), Canadian veteran Jean Sbastien Roy and young Belgian hopeful Jeremy Van Horebeek.
A strong US team
Winner in four times of the Team’s classification over the past five years, the US team seems able to bring back home the trophy with strong teammates for Jeremy McGrath, who will race only the first two nights. Twice winner in Bercy (04 and 05) Andrew Short is back in the French capital and everyone remembers that he never lost one main event in Bercy! Incredibly fast but crashing too many times last year Josh Grant is back too, and with more experience he will be stronger than ever, as well as veteran Mike Brown, who will contest only on Sunday (he will replace McGrath who has to go back to the US early). Justin Brayton is the fourth man of the team, and will travel for the first time in Europe.
The MXDN French team in Bercy
Runner up in the last edition of the Motocross des Nations in Budds Creek (USA), Sbastien Pourcel, Nicolas Aubin and Pierre Alexandre Renet will try to keep at home the Bercy’s trophy that the Frenchie’s captured last year, thanks to David Vuillemin, Chris Pourcel and Renet. Sbastien spent a few weeks in California with Sbastien Tortelli to prepare Bercy, while his friends Renet and Aubin stay in France to practice and shine during the Bilbao SX. The fourth man of the French squad will be Eric Sorby, while four other frenchies selected in the SX Tour race will built another team for the main event.
During the last years Bercy was a ?lite race’ with 250 four stroke bikes in the Stadium. For the first time since 2001 the event will be ?open’ with 450 and 250, and the spectators will have more possibilities to see the stars with the new format of the event. All of them will race two finals, but they will also be involved in a tournament with short races. Once more Bercy will bring some novelties, and will stay as a unique event!
Bercy without Free Style would not be Bercy, and once more the show will be interesting with some of the best riders. American Ronnie Renner and French Manu Troux will do their last appearance in Bercy, and will contest with Swiss Matt Rebeaud, Japanese Eigo Sato and Frenchies Tom and Charles Pages. Of course the famous Dark Dog Pom Pom girls will be there, as well as the best young hopefuls who will race the ’85cc Kenny Trophy’
For more info visit www.supercrossbercy.com
BERCY RIDERS LIST
2- Jeremy McGrath
20- Josh Grant
29- Andrew Short
114- Justin Brayton
3- Mike Brown
7- Eric Sorby
24- Pierre-Alexandre R
31- Nicolas Aubin
8- Grant Langston
10- Jean-Sbastien Roy
22- Chad Reed
89- Jeremy Van Horebeek
For the past nine months, privateer rider Daryl Ecklund has been in more riding photos in MXA than the likes of Ricky Carmichael, James Stewart, Ryan Villopoto, or Grant Langston. How is this possible? Daryl is an MXA photo rider, who is one of the lucky few who gets to hop on brand new bikes and ride them in front of a camera. He has tested Tommy Hahn’s factory CRF250, ridden the 2008 YZ450F and KX450F, and has been in countless other photo shoots involving super trick bikes.
While all sounds fine and dandy, Ecklund is a true privateer in every sense of the word. He pays his own way to the races, rides a destroyed practice bike (but doesn’t actually have a race bike), and scrapes by in order to make it to the next race. What Daryl does have going for him is dedication, the willingness to achieve success in racing, and a never-say-die attitude. We sat down with the local southern California rider to see what he was up to.
First off, Daryl, where would people know your name from? You had a successful career in the amateur ranks. Please talk a little about that.
I started racing the amateur Nationals when I was 12 years old, and immediately I started getting top five finishes. When I was about 14 Honda and Chaparral stepped up and gave me a great deal to prepare me for the pro ranks. With their support I placed in the top three at all of the Amateur Nationals, except for Loretta’s due to injuries.
You actually had an offer from Factory Connection/Honda to have a spot on the team. However, you got hurt and Josh Grant got a spot on the team. What exactly happened?
It wasn’t exactly an offer but it was a shot. When I was racing at the GNC National in Texas I tore my ACL. On the way home from the race I got a call that could have changed my life. Factory Connection wanted to try me out in the pro ranks to see if I could perform. Unfortunately, because of my injury they couldn’t help me, so they moved on to the next rider on their list, who was Josh Grant.
What has been your best career finish to date?
In Supercross I have finished 17th two different times. I think I have the potential to do much better. In the Amateur ranks I have many second place finishes, from Mosier Valley, the World Mini’s, Lake Whitney, Mammoth, and Ponca City.
Recently you competed in your first WORCS off-road race, placing seventh without any prior experience. How exciting was that?
It was awesome! I had a lot of fun. I had no idea how I would do. I borrowed a 2005 CRF450 from my dad and tried the best that I could. I was reasonably happy with my result.
You have the opportunity to ride with the newly crowned WORCS champion Kurt Caselli quite a bit. How has he helped you with your riding?
Without him I would not be where I am at now. We grew up together, but he raced desert and I raced motocross. Because we specialized in those disciplines, we decided to help one another out so that we could both become better overall riders. Now we ride and train together almost every day of the week.
Being an MXA test rider, what has been your favorite bike to ride?
Ryan Villopoto’s Pro Circuit bike was unreal! It was as fast as a 450 and felt as light as a 85. It was really a dream. Thanks for the opportunity!
What are your plans for next year?
I’m unsure of my plans right now. I have raced Supercross for the last couple years for Wyvern Motosports, which was a great opportunity. Since I have raced the WORCS race I am very interested in pursuing the WORCS series full-time. I also feel that I am very good at Supercross and motocross. I’m just looking for an opportunity.
Why do you feel that sponsors should help you out?
I always put forth my best effort and give it 100-percent, regardless. I’m also very good at representing my sponsors, as I’m very approachable and friendly. My goal is to excel in this sport, and with the help of sponsors I can continue on in my dream. Of course the goal of sponsors is to gain positive exposure, and I believe that I can help various companies achieve that success. It’s a two-sided coin.
How can sponsors get a hold of you for any potential sponsorship opportunities?
The best way to reach me is on my cell phone, which is (661) 733-5455. I also have email, which is [email protected] Thank you for your time. I really appreciate it!
SUPERMOTO CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON FINALE THIS WEEKEND
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (November 6, 2007) ? Troy Lee’s Supermoto Mayhem at the Morongo roars into the Morongo Casino Resort and Spa in Cabazon, Calif., on Nov. 9-11.
This year’s event marks the first time the AMA Supermoto Championship has visited California’s Palm Springs desert area.
“We are very excited to promote the Supermoto Mayhem at the Morongo,” commented Troy Lee. “This year we have moved the race to Morongo and I am very happy with the response and how everything has gone so far. This event will cap off one of the most thrilling and exciting AMA Supermoto Championships in history. On Sunday we will be crowning three series champions. The event area has given us an opportunity to make a large track, which will provide top notch racing all weekend.”
The Morongo venue offers unique capabilities and elements sure to provide excitement and great racing action. Fans will witness up-close racing that utilizes unique obstacles, such as the Parts Unlimited UrbanCross jumps. An international field of racers will be competing during the prestigious season finale. The AMA Red Bull Supermoto class has been a battle all season between Graves Yamaha’s Mark Burkhart and Troy Lee Designs Honda’s Jeff Ward. Burkhart has a 17-point lead heading into the events this weekend.ÿ Ward, however, of nearby Newport Beach, will have the California fans in his corner.
ÿ”The win last weekend was worth everything I have been through this year,” said Anderson. “It has been an up-and-down year with some good rides but a lot of bad luck as well. Taking the win felt like redemption for myself. I know I can win and I have the confidence to do it again this weekend in Morongo.”
Burkhart, who has won five times this season, now takes his largest points lead of the year into the series finale.
ÿ”It is still going to be a battle until the final race,” said Burkhart. “Jeff (Ward) showed this weekend that anything can happen in racing. I just want to keep doing the same thing I have been doing all year.”
Ward, who is the defending AMA Supermoto champion, is hoping for some luck after last weekend.
“It was anunfortunate situation,” stated Ward. “I am just going to race as best I can and hopefully I can finish the year with some wins.”
Ales Hlad won the main event in his first ever race in the AMA PPG Supermoto Unlimited Presented by M&R class last weekend as the HMC KTM team swept the podium.
“I really did not know what to expect being in America for the first time,” explained Hlad. “I am happy to have this opportunity and win this race. I am excited for Morongo this weekend and I just want to learn as much as I can and get better as the AMA series comes to an end.”
Factory Aprilia Rip It Energy Racing’s Ben Carlson continues to turn in consistent finishes as he holds a 45-point lead over HMC KTM’s Kurt Nicoll.
“The track last weekend was hard to pass on,” stated Carlson, “My Aprilia has really been fantastic this year. I am hoping I can pick up at least one more victory before the year is over and bring the championship home after Morongo.”
The AMA Hot Wheels Supermoto Lites series has featured an exciting fight between Graves Yamaha’s Brandon Currie and Troy Lee Designs Honda rider David Pingree. But last weekend in Texas, it was AMA Supermoto newcomer Troy Lee Designs Rodney Taplin who took the checkers after cashing in on mistakes by Currie and Pingree.
“Winning in America was one of the best feelings I have ever had,” commented Taplin. “I am from Australia and it’s a dream to come to the USA and win an AMA race. Unfortunately I will not be in Morongo this weekend as I have a race back in Australia.”
Currie extended his point lead to 21 points over Pingree and is very confident heading to Morongo.
“I am looking forward to next weekend and hope I can get some luck on my side,” remarked Currie. “I want to win but at the same time I know I have to ride smart too. It is going to be a fun race.”
Tickets for the Supermoto Mayhem at the Morongo are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online at www.troyleedesigns.com, or at a local TLD dealer, by phone 1 888-MORONGO, or the day of the event. Adult weekend passes are $40, Kid weekend passes are $10. Adult Friday tickets are $10 Saturday and Sunday is $25 per day. Kid single day tickets are $5.
For more info visit www.supermotomayhem.com.
NEW PRODUCT: TWO BROTHERS 2008 YAMAHA TT-R110 M-6 EXHAUST
With over 70 years combined experience in both racing and the development of four-stroke exhaust systems, Two Brothers Racing announces the release of its new M-6 series exhaust system for the highly anticipated Yamaha TT-R110.
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Factory installed U.S. Forestry Service approved screen type spark arrestor included with our stainless/aluminum systems.
The TT-R110 M-6 full exhaust system retails for $279.98 and is available by calling (800) 211-2767. Or you can visit www.twobros.com.