PRO TAPER PRESENTS MXA’S MID-WEEK REPORT #45 BY JOHN BASHER
Rider: Luke Neese
Location: Silver Valley MX Park; Lexington, NC
Date: November 4, 2016
Photographer: John Basher
Camera: Canon 5D Mark III
Lens: 70-200mm f/2.8
Focal length: 200mm
Exposure: 1/2500 sec.
FOURTH ANNUAL KURT CASELLI RIDE DAY ANNOUNCED
And I still miss him every dang day
On behalf of the Kurt Caselli Foundation we are very excited to announce the 4th Annual Kurt Caselli Ride Day in partnership with FMF Racing, KTM, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC, and Glen Helen Raceway. This event with the support of Kurt’s fans and industry has been a huge part of the success of the Foundation and the safety initiatives we have been able to provide. Our mission statement “Protecting And Supporting The Lives Of Offroad Riders” is so fitting because of the support we receive from all of you. We look forward to seeing everyone.
Below is a list of activities and information on the day. The biggest thing to not is that we now have an events page set up so guest can purchase tickets ahead of time online, save $5 by doing so and have their own special entry line at front gate. You can also sign up for the Caselli Team challenge here, as well.
Location: Glen Helen
Date: Saturday, December 10th
Time: Gates open at 9am
$25 Gate Fee “Day of event”
$20 Purchased prior here and have a special VIP line
– Live Auction
– Caselli Team Challenge. Entry $40, limited entries. Each entry receives a souvenir KC66 challenge bib
– MX Track open with Flaggers
– Special Kids practice
– Pee Wee Track
– Offroad Loop
– Enduro Special Test in honor of the TEAM USA ISDE Gold Medal
– Vendor village
– FMF/KTM Factory Offroad Semi tours
– Latest KC 66 FMF Apparel available for purchase
More info visit www.kurtcaselli.com
MOTO 8 THE MOVIE SHOWING
After much anticipation, a movie not involving sappy love stories or superheroes came to the movie theater. The eighth installment of “Moto The Movie” came to Ayrsley Grand Cinema in Charlotte, North Carolina. At around an hour in total run time, Moto 8 showcased the talents of Dean Wilson, Axell Hodges, Tim Gajser, Toby Price, Cody Webb, Ivan Ramirez, Reagan Sieg, Jessy Nelson, Josh Hill, Tom Parsons, Kris Foster, the Deegans and others. Filmed at various locations throughout the world, including Australia, Mexico and Slovenia, the big budget film captured the most intricate parts of riding a dirt bike. Be it offroad, motocross, free riding or even snow biking, Moto 8 effectively portrayed the power and beauty of riding. Of course, it didn’t hurt that several of the best in the world were filmed in amazing locales.
My favorite section had to be the ridiculous offroad riding that Cody Webb and Kevin Rookstool threw down in Idaho. Even as a staunch motocross nut, I had to respect their accomplishments. The final segment of the movie involved Jessy Nelson, which was bittersweet. Regardless of Jessy’s outcome of his struggle trying to walk again, it was awesome seeing Nelson in his element one more time.
I’m no movie critic, and I shouldn’t start now, but a few scenes left me scratching my head. In a world of seemingly nonstop slow motion videos on social media, I could have done without so much slo-mo. It worked great in most frames, but there was too much for my tastes. The alien cartoon shtick (you’ll see what I mean when you watch the film) devalued the overall professionalism of the movie. Maybe I’m getting old?
Regardless, Moto 8 The Movie is worth a watch. It’s good enough to watch time and again. Special acknowledge goes to the crew for forking over the money on a stellar soundtrack. Oh, and if you attend one of the final seven showings, be sure to bring a wheelbarrow. Why? Thanks to loyal sponsors, they give away a ton of swag–from a helmet to sunglasses and more. That right there is worth the price of admission.
Show dates and locations:
Nov. 10…Denver, CO
Nov. 11..Salt Lake City, UT
Nov. 13…Vancouver, BC
Nov. 15…Everett, WA
Nov. 16…Portland, OR
Nov. 18…Bend, OR
Nov. 19…Sacramento, CA
Click here to buy tickets.
2017 YAMAHA YZ250F BUILD UPDATE
Another week has passed in the construction of my 2017 Yamaha YZ250F project bike. The JGRMX retail department, involving John “Bundy” Mitchell, Dennis Kiser and Gino Aponte, have been busy porting, polishing, modifying, and tuning the engine. Last Thursday, Gino ported and polished the head, and then Bundy used epoxy to change the shape of the intake ports. Dennis tore down the bottom end and sent those parts off to get rimmed.
The JGRMX retail department will be installing a high compression JE piston, lighter and stronger Carrillo rod, and titanium flat-faced Del West valves for extra compression. Add in a secondary injection, GET ignition, as well as aFMF Factory 4.1 RCT titanium exhaust, and you have yourself a screaming banshee that’s still able to run on high-octane pump gas. I like my project bikes to run on pump gas for several reasons. (1) Race gas is expensive. (2) Getting rid of metal race gas cans is annoying. (3) I don’t need the extra dose of horsepower. (4) Most importantly, running pump gas gives me an excuse to pop in to my local Circle K and pick up one of those day-old hot dogs that sit under a heat lamp.
By this time next week the bike should be very close to completion. My new best friend, the UPS delivery gentleman, should be dropping off a set of slick DeCal Works graphics today. Technical Touch are at the top of my Christmas card list this year after shipping out a second set of Kayaba A-Kit suspension and Xtrig clamps to me. Needless to say, the naked YZ250F will soon be cloaked in stellar aftermarket goodies. And, if you’re wondering, my 2017 Yamaha YZ250F build is easily surpassing the $16,000 modification bar that I set with my 2005 Yamaha YZ125.
Check back on the website tomorrow and click on our weekly “One Photo & One Story,” where I delve into the hidden art of finding horsepower.
TRACK REVIEW: SILVER VALLEY MX PARK
Track openings are good for the sport. New riding areas promote growth through participation and awareness. It’s great to see new venues pop up, especially when they are conveniently located a stone’s throw away. Silver Valley MX Park in Lexington, North Carolina, is a 1-1/2 hour drive north of downtown Charlotte. Located in the “Triad,” a term used to describe the area between Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point, the rolling countryside is the perfect spot for a motocross track.
Owner Thad Parrish is a soft-spoken 43 year old who, much like Ray Kinsella in the fantasy-drama sports film, had a vision after stumbling across a new plot of land many years ago. He wanted to open a public motocross track. Clearing the land was a breeze for Parrish, who runs a logging and timber company. Dream became reality in the first Saturday in October when Thad unveiled Silver Valley MX Park to an excited crowd. In the weeks since, Parrish and crew have made revisions after listening to feedback from all comers.
I ventured out to Silver Valley MX Park this past Friday to meet Thad Parrish, do some bench racing with Cycra Racing’s Glen Laivins, and shoot photos of Amateur hot shot Luke Neese. If Luke’s last name rings a bell, that’s because his father is ex-Pro and Arenacross stalwart, Jim Neese. Read on for an interview with Thad Parrish. Be sure to visit http://www.svmxpark.com/ for the full scoop on the Triad’s newest track.
MINI-VIEW: SILVER VALLEY MX PARK’S THAD PARRISH
Thad, where did you get the idea for building Silver Valley MX Park and, on top of that, opening it up for public practice?
I’ve been riding for pretty much all my life. I’m 43 years old now. I started by building a smaller track on the front half of the property. Around 2000 it crossed my mind that if I could ever get around to it, I’d like to open up a track for the public to ride. Finally, in the Spring of this year, I got it all done. I have a log and timber company, so it’s kind of a natural fit.
Why did you settle on Lexington, North Carolina?
There are several tracks in the area, but I wanted a track that was as close to an outdoor National as I could get it. The goal was to raise the level of the track so that fast riders in the area could get up to the next level. Take a look at Luke Neese. If he keeps going at this pace, he’ll need a place where he can ride all of the time to further his amateur career. Silver Valley MX Park will definitely help him, as well as other guys in North Carolina. I would eventually like to start racing and let it work into what it’s supposed to be.
How long is the track, and what’s a fast lap time?
The track length is about two miles. There are some bigger jumps, like step-ups, step-overs, and a step-down triple. It’s the type of track that any level of rider can do laps and have fun on it. I’m not saying beginners are going to jump everything, but they can safely work their way up if they want. I’ve had good feedback from the young riders. They really seem to love the layout. They’ll ride all day. That’s a good testament to the track. A quick lap time is right around two minutes.
Please describe the dirt composition.
There’s a lot of clay, but after I logged it and pulled out the stumps, I didn’t touch the dirt. That left a lot of top soil, as much as a foot deep in some areas. We took the clay out of an area in order to build the jumps. If you build the jump faces out of topsoil you get rutted faces, and that can really separate out the riders. We made the faces out of clay, because they keep their shape and don’t get nasty kickers. I think it’s safer to do it that way.
What days are you open during the week?
Right now we’re a Saturday-only operation. Our grand opening was the first Saturday in October. There’s a $20 membership, and $25 to ride. If you don’t want a membership then it’s $35 to ride. Originally I was charging a straight $35, but it seems like most of the tracks have the option of getting a membership and cutting the cost down if they ride at that specific track a lot.
Do you listen to rider feedback on your track?
I do, but there’s a fine line. I listen to everybody, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to make changes for everybody. Some parts of the track have settled since we built it, and we fixed some of the jump faces. The jumps weren’t off a whole lot, so you have to be careful when you try and fix the problems. Overall, everybody loves the track.
TWO-STROKE SPOTLIGHT: BRIAN RUSSO’S PURPOSE-BUILD HONDA CR125
It’s great seeing Mid-Week Report readers showing off their two-stroke project builds. Brian Russo was an easy choice, as his 2005 Honda CR125 was crafted using a combination of stock, aftermarket, and even parts off other bikes. Reading about Brian’s creation will make you want to throw a leg over the purpose-built CR125. I know how you feel, because I’d love to take the bike for a spin. Take it away, Brian.
“I would like to submit my 2005 Honda CR125 for the Two-Stroke Spotlight. This generation of the CR125 was not known for its engine, but Honda’s always fit me well and I felt it was one of the sharpest bikes of that generation. I found it on Craigslist about three years ago. It was dirty, neglected and barely ran, but appeared to have relatively low hours on the chassis.
“The engine was rebuilt using OEM parts and gaskets. The crank was stroked 3.5mm and balanced by Crankworks. The cases were matched, cylinder ported, and head modified to accommodate the stroker crank and run on VP C-12 mixed 50/50 with pump gas. The stock Mikuni TMX carb, reed block, and filter were traded out for a 38mm Keihin PWM carb, Moto Tassinari V-Force, and a Twin Air filter. The clutch was replaced with steel plates, OEM fibers, and Pro Circuit springs. A Pro Circuit Works pipe and Shorty silencer were bolted on to round it all out.
“The stock Kayaba suspension was replaced with Showa 47mm Twin Chamber forks and a Showa shock, which were both sourced from a 2005 Honda CR250R. The new Showa units were revalved by Motoworx/Race Tech using Race Tech Gold Valves, springs, and additional performance parts.
“The chassis was upgraded with Michelin Starcross tires mounted on Excel A60 wheels with OEM hubs. The brakes received a Ride Engineering 270mm kit, steel braided line, and Braking wave rotors using OEM pads. Ride Engineering was also used for the triple clamps, axle blocks, and rear brake pivot. I used Renthal grips, Fat Bars, chain and sprockets with stock 13/52 gearing. A Works Connection clutch perch, glide plate, and IMS Pro Series footpegs were also bolted on. The tall seat foam and gripper cover came from Motoseat. The looks were upgraded using Acerbis plastic, a Cycra Stadium front plate, and a front fender from a 2010-2013 CRF250. Gunn Designs laid out the graphics scheme and the vinyl was printed off by Aggressive Graphix.”
Keep those submissions coming! If you would like your bike to be featured in the “Two-Stroke Spotlight,” please email me at [email protected] All I ask is that you give a breakdown of your bike and a detailed description of the build. Please also send a few photos of your steed. By submitting your bike for the “Two-Stroke Spotlight,” you agree to release all ownership rights to the images and copy to MXA. Please don’t email me spam or try selling me Taylor Swift concert tickets or email me spam. I already celebrate T-Swizzle’s entire collective, and there will be “bad blood” if you send me junk mail. See what I did there? Happy submitting your smoker!
CLUBMX OPEN HOUSE: WHIP GAME
This past weekend I traveled down to ClubMX in Chesterfield, South Carolina to attend the sixth annual open house. The event didn’t disappoint. Some of the fastest Amateur riders on the planet arced big whips over the many jumps. If you missed that story on the website, please click here. You’ll be able to check out the skills of Cameron McAdoo, Andy Daggett and Tanner Stack as they got unwound over the most perfect tabletop this side of the Mississippi.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: TWO-STROKE VS. FOUR-STROKE
A great lyrical genius once quipped, “You can’t let your past hold your future hostage.” That moment of clarity was provided by none other than LL Cool J. What one of the greatest rappers of the 20th century didn’t know is that he was referring to the two-stroke versus four-stroke war that still rages on. I’m not here to belittle the AMA for their insolence in chopping two-strokes off at the knees. Let’s forget that Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki dumped their two-stroke lineups. Instead, let’s focus on the positives. You, my moto brethren, have the right to choose. Ain’t freedom grand?
Maybe you hopped on the four-stroke bandwagon and rode the tidal wave to where the sport is today. Perhaps you’re still looking at that wave and saying to yourself in the words of Jeff Spicoli, “Hey, bud, let’s party!” Or maybe, just maybe, you want to cut across the break, paddle to dry land, and hop back on a two-stroke. That’s what’s so rad about motocross.
MXA is revising the age-old argument; two-stroke or four-stroke? Thanks to the outstanding efforts of Jamie Ellis from Twisted Development, we’re pitting a finely tuned Yamaha YZ250 two-stroke against a modified Yamaha YZ250F. It will be a winner-take-all slugfest for supremacy. And while 250 two-strokes still aren’t allowed to line up against 250 four-strokes in AMA Pro competition, that shouldn’t dissuade you from making a choice. Who knows, maybe this experiment will reinforce your belief that four-strokes are the cat’s meow. Regardless, I’m excited to see how the Twisted Development YZ250 vs. YZ250F shootout shakes out. Stay tuned.
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: KTM POWERWEAR ENGINE GLOVES
These robust work gloves have rubber grip dots on the inside of the palm for enhanced grasp. Built using stretch fabric for a snug fit, the Engine gloves have the KTM logo on adjustable TPR Velcro® wrist fasteners. The signature READY TO RACE lettering is on the upper side. These gloves can also be used with touchscreens.
Sizes: Small through XXL
Retail price: $42.00
Where to buy: Your local KTM dealer
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: MIKE ALESSI
“[Not having a contract] is a tough position to be in. I was in that position in 2011 after coming off the Red Bull KTM factory team. The phone was not ringing. It put a hardship on myself as racer, and really as an individual. I had just gotten married and I didn’t even have a job. I was trying to find a team that was willing to take me, and I felt like I wasn’t worthy of a ride. It sucks. I can definitely understand what the riders that don’t have rides at the moment are going through. You have to keep training and working. Ultimately, you have to put yourself out there. I bought my own Suzuki, went to Monster Energy Cup in 2011, and qualified second in practice behind Ryan Villopoto. My results that night weren’t great, but I showed that I could be up front. Out of the three motos, I rode well in the first and third moto. I was good enough that MotoConcepts picked me up, and that has been my home ever since. The unsigned guys have to keep working and be ready to race. They have to get on the bike and do laps, following a normal routine. If I was in that position again I wouldn’t wait for a call, but instead put myself out there and grind out laps on the practice tracks. That way, if something does happen, you’re ready. Injures are an unfortunate part of our sport, but you have to be ready to fill a spot when the phone rings.”
Click here to read the in-depth interview with Alessi.
2017 RACE SCHEDULES: BE THERE OR BE SQUARE
California is the richest race state in the union, with seven major events in 2017. Folks in Michigan should rejoice, as Supercross (Detroit), Arenacross (Grand Rapids) and the Lucas Oil Nationals (Red Bud) visit “The Great Lake State.” And those residing in the Pacific Northwest will be happy hosting a bevy of events, from Supercross to the AMA Nationals.
2017 MONSTER ENERGY SUPERCROSS SERIES
January 7…Angel Stadium…Anaheim, CA (West)
January 14…Petco Park…San Diego, CA (West)
January 21…Angel Stadium…Anaheim, CA (West)
January 28…University of Phoenix…Glendale, AZ (West)
February 4…Alameda Coliseum…Oakland, CA (West)
February 11…AT&T Stadium…Arlington, TX (West)
February 18…U.S. Bank Stadium…Minneapolis, MN (East)
February 25…Georgia Dome…Atlanta, GA (East)
March 4…Rogers Centre…Toronto, Canada (East)
March 11…Daytona Speedway…Daytona, FL (East)
March 18…Lucas Oil Stadium…Indianapolis, IN (East)
March 25…Ford Field…Detroit, MI (East)
April 1…America’s Center…St. Louis, MO (East)
April 8…CenturyLink Field…Seattle, WA (West)
April 22…Rice-Eccles Stadium…Salt Lake City, UT (West)
April 29…MetLife Stadium…East Rutherford, NJ (East)
May 6…Sam Boyd Stadium…Las Vegas, NV (East/West)
*Visit http://www.supercrosslive.com/ to purchase tickets
2017 AMSOIL ARENACROSS SERIES
January 7-8…U.S. Bank Arena…Cincinnati, OH
January 13-15…Van Andel Arena…Grand Rapids, MI
January 20-22…Royal Farms Arena…Baltimore, MD
January 28-29…Bridgestone Arena…Nashville, TN
February 4-5…Freedom Hall…Louisville, KY
February 18-19…Sprint Center…Kansas City, MO
February 24-26…Georgia Dome…Atlanta, GA
March 3-5…Landers Center…Southaven, MS
March 11-12…Smoothie King Center…New Orleans, LA
March 18-19…Moda Center…Portland, OR
March 24-26…Livestock Events Center…Reno, NV
April 1-2…Golden I Center…Sacramento, CA
April 22-23…Denver Coliseum…Denver, CO
May 5-7…Orleans Arena…Las Vegas, NV
*Visit http://www.supercrosslive.com/ to purchase tickets
2017 LUCAS OIL PRO MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
May 20…Hangtown…Sacramento, CA
May 27…Glen Helen…San Bernardino, CA
June 3…Thunder Valley…Lakewood, CO
June 17…High Point…Mount Morris, PA
June 24…Muddy Creek…Blountville, TN
July 1…Red Bud…Buchanan, MI
July 8…Southwick…Southwick, MA
July 22…Spring Creek…Millville, MN
July 29…Washougal…Washougal, WA
August 12…Unadilla…New Berlin, NY
August 19…Budds Creek…Mechanicsville, MD
August 26…Ironman…Crawfordsville, IN
2017 FIM MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
March 5…Pangkal Pinang…Indonesia
April 23…Valkenswaard…The Netherlands
July 9…Baldasserona…San Marino
July 23…Loket…Czech Republic
September 10…Assen…The Netherlands
September 17…Villars sous Ecot…France