PRO TAPER PRESENTS MXA’S MID-WEEK REPORT BY JOHN BASHER
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
It’s new bike season! KTM was first to the flag when they released photos of their 2016 model line on Tuesday. The 250SXF and 450SXF are spitting images of the 2015-1/2 Factory Editions, but the real attention grabber is the KTM 125SX and 150SX two-strokes, which are all-new. Haven’t seen them yet? Click here.
HANGTOWN NATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS
PRODUCT OF THE WEEK: PRO TAPER WIRELESS HOUR METER
Press Release: Remember the old, “you can pay me now… or you can pay me later” ad campaign? As great as the current crop of street bikes, MX machines, PWC and snowmobiles may be, their highly tuned engines do require some service work. Monitoring maintenance intervals can be something of a guessing game, but also something you will pay dearly for if you neglect to service your ride!
“Eliminate guesswork on when it is time for service with ProTaper’s wireless hour meter,” suggests ProTaper Brand Manager Paul Perebijnos. “The simple and user-friendly design employs wireless, peel and stick installation.” Although ProTaper made their reputation in moto, the hour meter works for virtually any powersports enthusiast. “Off-road, on-road, 2-stroke or 4-stroke, watercraft or sled, ATV or UTV, the wireless hour meter works on literally everything.” Utilizing vibration-sensing technology to track the life of your vehicle, ProTaper thinks this is a good way to save time. “Priced less than $50, think of the ProTaper hour meter as cheap insurance against catastrophic failure,” adds Paul. The fully sealed housing and IP68-rated plastic case was designed to withstand the elements, while solid state circuitry enables the ProTaper hour meter to take a licking and keep on ticking! Double-sided tape and zip-tie grooves make sure you don’t lose track of time by having your hour meter fall off on the track.
“It is CE-certified and should outlive most machines,” concludes Perebijnos. “Especially those that fail to get serviced at proper intervals!” Details: MSRP $49.99. Easy to read display. Small and lightweight. Up to 999.5 total engine hour count (not resettable). Up to 999.5 partial engine hour count (resettable). IP68 resistant plastic case. CE-certified. Double sided tape included.
THIS WEEK IN MOTOCROSS FOR THE MXA WRECKING CREW
It’s a busy week for the MXA gang. Daryl Ecklund flew to Japan this past Friday with his pal Ricky Carmichael to take in a Japanese National, tour the Suzuki factory, test ride a factory RM-Z250, and tear up the town on Suzuki’s dime. Jody and I suggested that Daryl take an extra bag of luggage filled with American food, but Ecklund is a fan of immersing himself into different cultures. My guess is that Daryl will come back this Friday looking much slimmer than his pre-Japanese-venturing-self. That’s good, because as one of MXA’s primary photo riders, Daryl will fit in size 32 pants much easier. For a photo essay on Ecklund’s trip, take a look lower on this page.
Jody has been wide open fighting a two-front war this week. As the master architect for the Glen Helen National track, Jody has put more miles on his Toyota truck going back and forth from Glen Helen then he probably would care to log. However, that’s how it goes when you’re the grand poobah. When he wasn’t at Glen Helen he made the pilgrimage to the palatial MXA towers in order to finish the August issue. As a result, you’ll be happy to hear that the August issue, along with the Glen Helen National track, are sure to be epic. As for Jody? He’ll probably sleep for a week straight after Saturday is over.
Dennis Stapleton hobbled around Hangtown, looking like a shell of his former self, but that’s how it goes after getting sliced open. Stapleton decided a month ago to jump through the handlebars of his motorcycle off a massive tabletop and see if he could Evel Knievel himself into fame. Only no one was really looking. Go figure. The resulting blow left him with a broken wrist that required surgery and a pin to set the bone in place. While he was under, the surgeon also pulled out two screws from an old femur injury. All well and good, except for the fact that Stapleton walked around Hangtown looking like death warmed over. Don’t worry, folks. Dennis will be back up to speed in no time. Hopefully he’ll opt out of trying a bar hop the next time he gets on a bike, which will be in another 8-10 weeks.
As for me, I did a little bit of this and a little bit of that for the past week. I logged around 800 miles while driving to Hangtown and back for the National. Most sane people would choose to fly up to Sacramento, but I’m a glutton for punishment. Besides, that beautiful scenic view of the I-5, with the dried-out dusty hills and the humungous cattle farm that reeks to high Heaven, really is a sight (and smell) to take in. On Friday I made it to the pits early enough to shoot a few race bikes, including Zach Osborne’s Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna FC250 and Jeremy Martin’s Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha YZ250F.
Saturday was filled with tons of great racing…if your name is Eli Tomac or Jeremy Martin. Martin, the defending 250 National Champ, was particularly impressive in the second moto, thoroughly dismantling the field with his aggressive riding and raw corner speed. As for Eli Tomac, what can I say that hasn’t already been said? To win the second moto by a minute and 30 seconds is just plain ridiculous. I haven’t seen that type of dominant ride since Ricky Carmichael demolished the field on a weekly basis. It’s hard to say whether Tomac will do as much damage at Glen Helen, because Hangtown was the most perfect day that Eli could have ever wished for, but nevertheless Tomac is on another level.
There’s a lot of moments that the television cameras and race fans pressed against the fences don’t actually see. Take what went on while the 450 Class was lining up to the gate for the second moto on Saturday. Jason Anderson, a funny/quirky/cool guy in his own rite, was joking around with his mechanic. Anderson, known to his fans as “El Hombre,” was sporting the type of mustache that makes others uncomfortable. It’s not so much a Tom Selleck ‘stache as it is an ode to Tom Green’s lip plumage. Anderson’s mechanic pointed out that the dirt-stache looked uneven, so Jason took a measurement with his hand. Granted, this took place a few minutes before the gate dropped and Jason finished third overall in his very first 450 National. Some guys like to joke and have a good time on the line (Anderson), while others are very stoic and serious (Ryan Dungey).
Then there was Adam Cianciarulo and his mechanic Brett Mountain, who struggled to get the front holeshot device latched down before the second moto. As you know, Cianciarulo is coming back from back-to-back shoulder operations and wasn’t at full speed in Hangtown. That didn’t stop AC50 from setting the fastest lap time in qualifying and leading the first moto. Then the train came off the tracks. Cianciarulo cross-rutted off the face of a jump, was kicked sideways, and hit the deck. When the second moto came around and he struggled to get the holeshot device latched, he joked by saying something along the lines of, “Great, now I’m only going to be able to hold on for 20 minutes,” and laughed. He then looked over at Matt Bisceglia, who was lining up next to him, and said, “Hey, if you’re in front of me off the start, then go to the inside line coming down the first hill. That line looks really good. I’ll follow right behind you.” Bisceglia laughed in disbelief.
Chad Reed is no stranger to drama, and the Aussie often likes the fuel the fire via social media and through his TwoTwo Motorsports team. Reed, the elder statesman of the sport, seems to enjoy his role as racer/team manager. It’s nice to see that he doesn’t take himself too seriously, either. This weekend Reed was running a rather unique graphic on his side panels–a mountain lion with the word “ME.” This is an ode to Ricky Bobby from the movie “Talladega Nights,” who also sponsored his very own racing endeavor. It’s very crafty of Reed–the guy footing the bills–to have Factory Effex put on that graphic.
As for the Hangtown National experience, big props go out to the Dirt Diggers Motorcycle Club for putting on a great race. They have really elevated their program in recent years with more spectator viewing areas, a nice pit layout, and creative track design changes. The halfpipe was an interesting feature, and while it would have been better if the walls were higher, it was better than the whoop section that it replaced. The Fly Racing 150-foot triple was bigger in person than on TV. Obviously it was a challenging feature, evidenced by the fact that only a handful of guys were courageous enough to boost it. El Tomac, Ryan Dungey and Weston Peick were clearing the gap with regularity, thanks to the track crew cleaning up the entry corner and jump face before every moto. And speaking of Fly Racing, big thanks go out to those folks for catering lunch for the media. Western Powersports took over as a presenting sponsor of the AMA Nationals this year, and at Hangtown they footed the bill for food and drinks in the media center. You probably don’t care, but I sure am glad that a company spent coin on keeping me from passing out due to malnourishment.
Everyone is making a big deal about the ruts and bumps that formed on Saturday. How rough was the track? It was probably the roughest I have seen Hangtown get in the ten years that I’ve gone. Hopefully this is a sign that MX Sports is going to keep the dozers at bay and let the tracks develop as they should, instead of going back to the smooth track concept.
The race schedule was a bit strange, given that the last 450 moto didn’t start until around 5:10 p.m. That’s really late for families that showed up around noon to watch racing and intended on making it home for dinner. Blame it on TV scheduling. Expect the same schedule this weekend at Glen Helen.
There was one event at Hangtown that didn’t sit well with me. In the final 450 moto, Kevin Rookstool and Kyle Cunningham were collected up in the first turn. Cunningham hobbled away, while Rookstool was on the ground and unable to get off the track. As the field raced around the track and to the finish line, which connected back to the first turn, it seemed that the red flag would come out. Only it didn’t. Instead the MX Sports folks tried to slow the field jockeying for positions in a section where the riders were clicking third gear and going wide open. A worker positioned Rookstool’s bike in front of the fallen rider while a medic attended to Rookstool. It took three laps to get Kevin out of harm’s way, which meant that there were over 100 opportunities for a rider to lose control and slam into Rookstool, the official, a medic and a member of MX Sports. Why no red flag?
GLEN HELEN’S FMF TWO-STROKE CHALLENGE
Mike Sleeter (111), the 2015 World Two-Stroke Champion, will be vying for the very first-ever “FMF Two-Stroke Challenge” trophy at the Glen Helen National this Saturday. The Two-Stroke Challenge will be the first moto of the day which takes place before the 250 and 450 motos on Saturday.
Glen Helen presents a uniquely popular race this weekend. Before the gate drops for the 250 and 450 Pro classes, there will be the FMF Two-Stroke Challenge. The 20-minute race will start at 12:50 p.m. The 40-man field is deep and if you love the sound of a smoker, you’ll be amazed by the sound of 40 of them. It should be a spectacular addition to the program, especially with former 125 National Champion Mike Brown (yes, that Mike Brown), two-time two-stroke Champion Sean Collier, off-road ace Colton Haaker, KTM test rider Mike Sleeter, National rider Sean Lipanovich, “Wild Willie Surratt’s” son Ryan Surratt, British racer Jake Preston, and a host of other talent. This race has the makings of being truly something special.
Below is the tentative entry list for the FMF Two-Stroke Challenge: Mike Brown, Sean Collier, Colton Haaker, Sean Lipanovich, Mike Sleeter, Max Gerston, Taylor Robert, Cory Graffunder, R.J. Wageman, Willy Simons, Jr., John Ortner, Jimmy Lewis, Nic Garvin, Chris See, Trevor Stewart, Ryan Surratt, Shane Tanner, Devin Watson, Shawn Wynne, Travis Hoffman, Jon Ames, Timmy Badour, Chase Bell, Caleb Bertrand, Bryan Burch, Ryan Diezic, Kyle Frye, Nathan Johnston, Billy Lea, Jeff Loop, Frank Mann, Jeremy McCool, Billy Mercier, Brian Nelson, Jake Oswald, Ray Poltack, Brian Roth, Scott Sargent, Tucker Saye, Gage Schehr, Tyler Kautzman, Wyatt Fontenot, Tyler Traimain, Jarod Minor, Ray Olbermeyer, Shawn Williams, Jake Preston and others.
TWO-STROKE FEVER: ADAM CIANCIARULO ON A KX125
DARYL ECKLUND’S JAPAN TRIP: A PHOTO ESSAY
FOX RACING & RYAN DUNGEY FORGE AHEAD
Press release: Fox today announced motocross star Ryan Dungey has signed another multi-year agreement with the company. Dungey represents Fox in helmets, boots, racewear, gloves, footwear, apparel, and accessories. The recently crowned 2015 Supercross Champion, Dungey has won his way toward hall-of-fame status wearing the Fox brand and is excited to continue his career with the No. 1 Motocross brand in the world. “I choose Fox for a number of reasons,” Dungey said. “It’s a company and a brand that really resonates with me. It’s focused on improving athlete performance. It’s young. It’s innovative. They are committed to being the best, and so am I. I never considered any other brand but Fox, as I continue to race for event wins and Championships.”
“Ryan is an extraordinary athlete who is completely focused and committed to being the best motocross athlete in the world,” said Pete Fox, Chief Creative Officer of Fox. “He is the epitome of a Fox athlete, and he is a key part of Fox during the most exciting time in Fox’s history. We look forward to continuing to work with him to take his remarkable career to the next level.” For more information on Fox, visit our website at www.foxracing.com. To follow Fox MX on Twitter visit www.twitter.com/foxracing, on Instagram go to www.instagram/foxracing and to become a fan on Facebook go to www.facebook.com/foxracing.
BIKES & BURGERS: TOM WHITE’S HIGH HOPES HEAD INJURY EVENT
Press release: The 1st Annual Bikes and Burgers for Southern California fundraiser is scheduled for Sunday, May 31, 2015 at The Early Years of Motocross Museum in Villa Park, California. Museum owner and 2014 Motorcycle Hall of Fame inductee, Tom White, is hosting the event to benefit High Hopes Head Injury Program, a nationally recognized rehabilitation and retraining program for brain-injured adults. Tom’s son, Brad, suffered a traumatic brain injury as a teenager and receives rehabilitative services at High Hopes. According to White, High Hopes has changed Brad’s and his family’s life, “At High Hopes, Brad is surrounded by others that have suffered the same type of injury. He’s benefited from their social and physical activities and everyone there – the brain-injured students, their families and staff, are all working together to help the student become as close to the person they were before their accident, if not better.”
Bikes and Burgers for Southern California will be a celebration of the love for motorcycling consisting of tours of the museum and 150 motorcycles and memorabilia, food stations, a stage with live musical entertainment, special motorcycles and cars on display, silent auctions and raffles. Motorcycle racing legends such as Mike Kiedrowski, Gary Jones, Tami “Rice” Greenhill, Jeff Emig, Bob Hannah, Don Emde, Broc Glover, Jody Nicholas, John DeSoto, Marty Tripes, Malcolm Smith and Tom White are scheduled to appear with emcee Larry Huffman on stage to share their motorcycling tales.
Sponsorship opportunities are currently available. The application can be downloaded at www.HighHopes.ws. Companies who have signed on to support the event include The Owen Collection, Glen Helen Raceway, Fox, Kawasaki, Ability Center, Hagerty Insurance, Don Emde Inc., UmbrellaGirls USA, Talon, Dubya USA, Yamaha Motor Corp., McLaren Newport Beach, Pro Circuit, Clairmont Design, Husqvarna Motorcycles, MotionPro, Prairie Dogs MC, Akrapovič, KSBR 88.5 and 94.7 The Wave.
Tickets for Bikes and Burgers can be purchased at www.HighHopes.ws. VIP tickets for $100 include admission and guided tour of the museum & White’s home, access to the VIP area and catered lunch, preferred seating at the stage, event t-shirt and a racing legends sheet for autographs. General admission tickets for $40 include entry into the event and museum. All proceeds from the event will go directly to High Hopes Head Injury Program, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, which is dedicated to helping brain-injured adults regain their independence through low-cost rehabilitation and care. For more information about the event, to purchase tickets, or to learn more about High Hopes, visit www.HighHopes.ws or call (949) 733-0044.
LOOKING AHEAD: WHAT’S COMING IN A FUTURE ISSUE OF MXA
DIDN’T MAKE THE MAG: HANGTOWN NATIONAL OUT-TAKES
VIDEO: RYAN SIPES & MAXIMA RACING OILS
LACR MX TRACK SCHEDULE
Practice Wednesday 5/20
Main track & Mini track
*Vet track is CLOSED*
$25 per rider & $10 50cc Pee Wees
We will be closed for the Glen Helen National
Sunday 5/24 Open Practice
Main, Vet & Mini track
$25 per rider & $10 50cc Pee Wees
For LACR’s complete schedule of upcoming events go to www.lacr.mx