By John Basher
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Happy Thanksgiving! May the festive holiday be the perfect opportunity to spend time with loved ones and, dare I say, your dirt bike.
MINI-VIEW: MITCH PAYTON
I caught up with Pro Circuit head honcho Mitch Payton yesterday to discuss his growing cast of characters on the Monster/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki. The latest edition, or should I say returning rider, is Dean Wilson. Here’s what Mitch had to say about Wilson’s deal, and also his other riders.
MXA: You have Dean Wilson back on the team. How did the whole deal go down?
Mitch: I don’t know all of the reasons as to why it went down. We spoke with Dean about staying for the 2013 season earlier this year, but Dean really wanted to ride a 450. He got an offer from those guys [Jeff Ward Racing], so that’s where he went. After the Motocross des Nations and Monster Cup, things started looking like they weren’t going to work out for Dean. Then I got the call from Dean’s agent, Tony Gardea, asking if there would be any way for me to put a deal together for Deano. We were kind of spent though. We were at the end of the road, and it took a little bit of effort from everybody to make it happen. Kawasaki wanted to keep Dean on a green bike, so they stepped up. Obviously he was one of our guys, so of course we were willing to chip in. Fortunately we have really good partners with Monster Energy, and when they knew that something could happen then they would help us put a deal together. Traxxas also stepped up, as well as Thor, Scott and all of our sponsors.
What does this do for your team? Right now your team is hampered by injuries, and although the racing doesn’t start for over a month, you have Dean Wilson back under the tent. He instantly adds a great deal to your race team.
Our goal all along is to hire the most talented kids that we can. We want to win races and championships. It became apparent that if we weren’t willing to do a program for him then he would go somewhere else. It’s better to have him under our tent and on our bikes as opposed to racing against him, that’s for sure.
Dean seemed to get a kick out of posting photos on Twitter hinting at which team he was going to ride for. He was actually very creative about it. Have you seen those photos?
To be honest, I don’t follow Twitter that often. I saw a couple of pictures here and there, but I don’t follow it that closely. I’m not the guy to ask about Twitter!
I’d like to run through the list of riders on your team. You’re bringing back Tyla Rattray, which is very exciting. What’s the plan for him?
Our main focus has been and always will be the 250 class. While we had a 450 bike last year with Broc Tickle, it would be fun to do something like that again for the 2013 season. I would really like to see Tyla get a good season of outdoor racing under his belt. He came over to the U.S. from Europe to accomplish some goals with us, and I want to try and help him achieve those goals.
Baggett is on the mend and should be back on the bike after watching football and eating turkey.
What’s the status of Blake Baggett and his broken wrist?
Blake is out of a cast. He has a wrist brace right now, and he’s doing some therapy. Hopefully he will be able to start riding next week.
What about Darryn Durham?
Darryn is on a week-to-week basis. He has a little more in front of him with his injuries than all of our other guys. He will need the most time to heal.
Darryn Durham is in his second year at Pro Circuit. So far he's been hampered with injuries.
Why did you sign Justin Hill, and how is he healing up from his injury?
Justin was a decision that came with all of our thinking caps on. He was a Team Green kid, and he went through their whole program. He got great results for them, but he hurt his knee this last year, so he missed Loretta Lynn’s. He was just coming back and we let him ride our bike out at Glen Helen. Unfortunately he crashed because a rock got kicked out in front of him. He hit the rock, fell, and cracked his wrist. He was super bummed, but we’ll get him back on the bike soon.
How about the decision to sign Martin Davalos?
Martin is a guy that I’ve always had a belief in. I watched him for a long time, and I spoke to him a few years ago about racing for us. He was already talking with another team, and he decided to stay there. That was fine. I think that Martin has a lot of speed and talent. Obviously he needs to close the deals out when he’s doing what he’s doing. So far in our testing we’re really impressed with him. He’s really fast, he’s fit, and he’s happy with the bike. I expect really good things from Martin.
Thanks for your time, Mitch. I hope that your team heals up quickly.
FLY INTRODUCES THE THREE.4 HELMET
The all-new Three.4 helmet (Pronounced: “Three-Point-Four”) is nothing short of an exotic moto creation. Fluid lines and stylish graphics compliment SNELL M2010 safety. The Three.4 is a helmet that represents next-level comfort and style at an “I-can’t-believe-it” price. It has these features:
Snell M2010 and DOT approved for the USA - Other standards include: ECE and AS (Australian). Meets or exceeds the toughest safety standards on the market today
Poly-Alloy Shell Cconstruction - Allows for excellent strength while remaining light weight
Multi-port Air Induction cooling system - Twelve intake and six exhaust vents create massive airflow to keep your head cool even on the hottest days
Flow-through EPS and comfort liner air system - EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) and comfort liner channels align to maximize airflow
Quick release, washable, comfort liner and cheek pads - Easy to remove and clean with our "Quick Snap" system
Molded rubber trim with removable nose guard - With its smooth lines the integrated nose guard assists in keeping roost and other debris away from your nose
Lightweight aluminum and stainless steel hardware - Helmet hardware is constructed using super-strong, lightweight machined aluminum screws and stainless steel D-rings and rivets for superior strength and years of worry free use
Colors: Flat Black/Charcoal, White/Black, Red/Black, White/Blue, Green/Lime, Purple/Pink or Wild.
Sizes: Adult XS–2X
Two Shells and 2 Styros sizes: XS – MD, LG – XXL
Contact Information: www.flyracing.com to find a dealer near you.
TURKEY DAY BONUS: MATRIX CONCEPTS GIVES FREE CUSTOM ID GRAPHICS FOR THANKSGIVING
Matrix Concepts gives the ability to customize, stylize, and personalize the below items. It is simple, purchase the Matrix item then choose the graphic style and color, add your name, race number, and we will create it for you. To receive the free graphics, purchase the product(s), and choose the graphics, then enter in coupon code, "TURKEY" and we will deduct the graphics cost at time of invoicing from www.MatrixRacingProducts.com. Discount will not show in online check out, offer expires 12/31/12 no other promotions or discounts can be applied. You can customise and personalize these Matrix products
- M1 PHATTY TIE-DOWNS
- M2 WORX STAND
- M3 UTILITY CAN
- M6/M8 RAMP
- M15 FLIP STAND
- M22 EXHAUST PLUG
- M24 MUD SCRAPER
- M30 FACTORY BOX
- M31 WORX BOX
- M32 TRAX BOX
A LOOK AT THE FIRST THREE SUPERCROSS TRACKS OF 2013
MINI-VIEW: KYLE REDMOND
Interview and photos by Daryl Ecklund
Kyle Redmond (left), finished third place at the Las Vegas EnduroCross this weekend. Taddy Blazusiak (center) and Cody Webb (right) also finished on the podium.
MXA: Kyle, congratulations on your first podium of the year at the Las Vegas EnduroCross this weekend. You really turned some heads and showed you have a lot to prove for the 2013 season. What changed for you this last race to get you on the box?
Kyle: Thank you! I am really happy to get this done in the last race of the season. I have been riding well all year, but things went south when I fractured my ankle earlier this year. Since the injury I have been steadily improving back to where I should be. In Vegas I just felt good, and I was more myself on the bike.
The rock section was one of the most technical in Endurocross history. There was carnage just about every lap. With all your extreme enduro experience, what was the best plan of attack to make it through the rocks?
This was the hardest section all year and I loved it, but what I did not love were all the other people in the way. Lappers caused a big problem for me when I was running third. I was just looking for any way through there that was a clear path. Luckily it worked out for me.
The rock section in Vegas was the most challenging of the series. It was hard walking through the rock garden, let alone riding a dirt bike over the boulders.
I know you recently got a Husky CR 125 to play around on, and you rode it on the infamous Redmond compound to see what it was capable of. What are your thoughts of the bike? Could it be competitive in EnduroCross?
It was probably the most fun I’ve had all year! The bike handled almost everything we have here. I wasn’t holding back, and it’s still running so that’s a good sign. I feel like it’s close on the track. I have to get some more time and compare it to my Husky 310, but I honestly feel like it would be better for certain riders, especially with the 144cc kit that it comes with.
There will be three X Games EnduroCross races in Europe for the 2013 season. Apparently the tracks will be a little different, having more of a Supercross feel to them. What are your plans going to be to get ready for those races next year?
This is a huge step for EnduroCross and all of the riders. The tracks are supposed to be a little bit fast and have a few jumps, because the arenas are much bigger. I am just going to practice Supercross-style jumps from now until the first round. I come from a big offroad background already so my main focus will be more motocross. It’s also a mystery on bike setup for us. We have never had to hit a big jump then go straight into a rock section before.
This year you only raced the EnduroCross series. Do you plan on adding another series to the upcoming year?
I do plan on running the Hare Scramble series along with EnduroCross next year. I am also pushing to get to Erzberg again.
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: ALPINESTARS “STAY IN IT” MUSIC DVD
This music video DVD features compelling footage of top Astars athletes blended with the music videos of some of today’s most innovative artists. Covering Wake, BMX, Surf, F/MX, and Drift, athletes such as Nathaniel Curran, Jamie Bestwick, Josh Palma, Todd Potter, Vaughn Gittin Jr. and many more go all out to the sounds of Dead Sara, The Maccabees, MGK, Man Without Country and DMX. These artists provide the soundtrack for close to 30 minutes of action. The ‘Stay in It’ DVD is available exclusively to Astars retailers as a Gift With Purchase for the holiday season. Don’t miss your chance to get this perfect stocking stuffer since this is only available while supplies last! http://alpinestarsinc.com/stayinitdvd/
WHERE IN THE WORLD IS MXA'S DENNIS STAPLETON?
There's nothing quite like riding around a track in Dubai with a huge building (is that a palace?) in the background.
It’s tough keeping track of MXA test rider Dennis Stapleton’s whereabouts. Stapo travels all over the world in an effort to race at exotic locales, teach motocross to aspiring racers, build his business and avoid getting any work done at MXA. This week he is in Dubai, but last week he was in Kuwait.why? A round of the Arab Motocross Nationals was held in Dubai a few days ago, with Mohammed Al Balooshi taking the win and Stapleton went to help train some riders. Dennis will return to Kuwait today and race before catching a plane back to the USA in time to race "A Day In The Dirt" on Sunday. Dennis won’t be in town very long, though, since he’s racing in St. Martin in the Caribbean next weekend. Such is the life of a world traveler.
The sign says it all.
Mohammed Al Balooshi (7) with the holeshot.
Eventual winner Al Balooshi (7) speaks the universal language of motocross: hand signs.
Al Balooshi showing some style en route to the win.
MIKE SHOEMAKER MEMORIAL FUNDRAISER AT PIRU ON DECEMBER 1
December 1, 2012 from 1pm to dusk at Piru MX, Piru, CA. Raffle and BBQ included, additional Raffle tickets available! Riders $25 & Spectators $10
Former professional motocross racer and Team Tamm member Mike Shoemaker passed away on Tuesday, August 21, 2012, after a hard-fought battle with cancer. Shoemaker was a former pro from back in the '80s who earned AMA National #48 for the 1984 season. He is survived by his wife, Debbie, and three sons, Shane, Broc and Devan. Shoemaker lived in Agua Dulce, California. He rode for
the privateer Team Tamm on a Honda in the mid-eighties. His teammates
were Alan King, Tom Carson, John Whelchel, Jeff Hicks, Chris Heiser and
more. His best outdoor national finish was seventh-place overall in the
1983 Saddleback 500cc National. Mike Shoemaker was 52 years young.
"As you know cancer takes more than just lives, it devastates families both emotionally and financially. While Mike was fortunate enough to have good insurance his family was still left with considerable medical bills. Mike was was the nicest guy you will ever meet, and I just wanted to help, so I came up with this ride day. Kevin at Piru MX jumped in and offered up his track and the dirt bike community followed with a huge list of raffle items. I hope to see you there!" - Donnie Hansen, Mike's close friend and former AMA Supercross and 250 Motocross Champion. 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the Shoemaker Family (includes: gate, raffle, BBQ and donations)!
RAFFLE ITEMS INCLUDE:
Monster Energy - Monster Mini Refrigerator Autographed by Ken Block & A Ken Block Replica RC Car
Signed Rider Jerseys - Tommy Croft, Jim Gibson, Marty Tripes, Donnie Hansen, Josh Hansen, Cole Seely, Martin Davalos, Will & Tommy Hahn, Ronnie Lechien, Dean Wilson, Brad Lackey and more! Plus tons of Raffle items donated by the following companies:
Matrix Racing Products
1.7 Cleaning Products
Maxima Racing Oils
DHMA - 2 Day School
Confirmed Professional Riders Attending:
Josh Hansen, Cole Seely, Will & Tommy Hahn, Tommy Croft, Jim Gibson, Marty Tripes, Donnie Hansen, and more!
Not yet confirmed: Ricky Johnson, Mike Bell and Gary Jones.
REKLUSE CLUTCH BASKETS INTRODUCED
Rekluse officially announces their newly designed billet clutch baskets for a wide range of motorcycle and ATV models. The new Rekluse exclusive damper technology is what separates this new design from previous models. Unique custom design and dampers provide the most durable protection available for the clutch and transmission. Developed and tested with Factory FMF/KTM Offroad Race Team under the most intense offroad racing conditions, Rekluse continues to set the standard for innovative clutch performance products. Joe DeGano, Rekluse Marketing Manager states, "Our auto-clutches have always taken the spotlight and our Rekluse baskets have more technology than anything on the market. Our Engineers don't just make a billet aluminum version of a stock component; they add technology for performance and maximum durability."
Proven in championship racing by:
-- Paul Whibley - AmPro Yamaha - 2012 GNCC and OMA National Champion
-- Factory FMF/KTM Offroad Team
-- Matt Lemoine - HRT Kawasaki - AMA Supercross and Motocross
-- Munn Racing/KTM - AMA Supercross and Motocross
-- Jolly Racing - World Enduro Championship
Features of Rekluse Clutch Baskets
Rekluse exclusive designed elastomer dampers are replaceable and provide extended clutch life, durability, and protection.
Hourglass shaped tangs maximize friction plate engagement while keeping weight to a minimum
Crafted from T6 Billet Aluminum and hard anodized for extreme durability.
Machined to acute tolerance standards for a reduction of clutch chatter/squeal and improved clutch modulation.
Designed to work as an aftermarket option for any clutch system
Retail price is $249.00. For more information contact Rekluse at 866-REKLUSE or visit www.rekluse.com
RIDE ENGINEERING BLUE FRIDAY KAWASAKI ACCESSORIES
Ride's loyal customers get 20% off all products using coupon code” BLUFRIDAY-20 (only on web orders between Nov. 22 through Nov. 25, 2012). Our valued dealers get five extra margin points and free shipping on all new orders over $120 placed between Nov. 19 through Nov. 21, 2012. For more information, please visit www.ride-engineering.com.
By John Basher
I first wrote this article in 2002 (I cannot believe it has been ten years), and there have been requests every Thanksgiving to run this article. So here it is, unchanged from all those years ago. Happy Thanksgiving from MXA!
While there are many things to be thankful for this holiday season, whether it is visiting family, to eating a sumptuous repass, or even catching a NFL game on the tube, there are many things to be thankful for in the realm of motocross. No, I'm not talking about the blessed creation of motocross bikes for the simple fact that your prized steed makes a more than stealthy getaway vehicle when your in-laws arrive two hours early for Thanksgiving dinner. Take a step into the past for a moment and remember how motocross used to be (or if you're like me, remember how people told you motocross used to be in the glory days). Glory days? To many young motocross enthusiasts, they would certainly disagree. Back then there weren't any super-trick, easy to jump, or light as a feather motocross bikes. In fact, I thought I was one of those kids who would opt to ride Ricky Carmichael's 2002 CR250 over a dusty old 1968 Maico.
Okay, before you toss me aside as cannon fodder, I know there were great manly-man-type-bikes back then and that the 1970's was a booming era of motocross in the United States. Call me unoriginal, call me boring, heck you could even call me crazy for liking new bikes, but I've been through the ringer. Unlike other motocross riders, such as those who jumped right into the sport and purchased the latest bike and gear, I found my love for motocross another way. I didn't have a shiny new RM80; instead I had a liquid-cooled steel tank Yamaha GT80 that I would tear through the woods on day after day in the summer. My brother, who was on a right side, kick starting classic steed by the name of an Ossa 6-Days Replica, would ride with me (more like monitor me so I didn't run into trees). To admit, those were the times when motocross didn't mean trying to post the fastest lap times on a track or worrying about image, it was simply about fun without any pressure. Elbows could be down, standing wasn't required, and riding in the proper gear didn't matter as long as my arms, legs, and head were protected.
So what happened to my sudden change from finding joy in riding old bikes to craving the latest technology? That's an easy answer, I begged my Dad for a newer bike and I went racing. Don't get me wrong, I truly enjoy racing and riding the latest equipment in order to push myself to become a better rider. It's a crime how different motocross bikes change your outlook on the sport. Luckily, my father has kept several bikes from the past in order for me to stay true to the original roots of motocross, where I can go out and tool around on older bikes. Call it a throw back to my younger years (heck, I'm only 21, so the younger years would be around age 12). It makes me realize that as long as I'm on any motocross bike, regardless of age or bike brand or how many doo-dads come on the bike, I can truly find joy in the sport of motocross.
I salute all the motocross enthusiasts who still enjoy riding, collecting, or researching older bikes, as well as those who look forward to the future growth of technology on motocross bikes. To me, it's just about motocross, that's what I'm thankful for.
With that said, there are plenty of inventions and happenings to be thankful for in the motocross world. Here is my top eight list of things to be thankful for this turkey season.
CLOSE POINTS BATTLES
This last racing season (2001) certainly doesn't come to mind, but travel back to the late 1970's and 1980's when several championships were determined within a matter of points. Perhaps one of the most memorable series finishes would be between Broc Glover and Danny LaPorte, who were tied for the 1977 125 National championship when the series ended. It was that series where a tie was brought about because of the controversial "Let Broc Bye" race in San Antonio. Glover's Yamaha teammate Bob Hannah pulled over on the last lap of the last National of the year and let Broc by (after Hannah received orders via a pit board). Glover was awarded the championship because he had won two races to LaPorte's one (Hannah won all the other races).
While western state riders really don't need to worry about ice and snow in the winter, except on snow cones and in ice cream, eastern motocross riders have two choices when the winter months (and the snow and ice) come. Either pack away the bike or face Mother Nature's elements by battling through all the white. Ice and rubber knobbies certainly don't mix, but drill in several hundred-ice studs in your tires and it's a whole new ball game. Hit the frozen lakes with a vengeance against the cold and learn how to REALLY slide the back end of your mx'er.
THE BIG FIVE
Once considered the Big Four, KTM has made a huge effort to catapult motocross bike sales. How have they fared? Ask Jeremy McGrath, Grant Langston, and the designers who built the all-new KTM 450 four-stroke. I'll give you my word though, they've come a long way and it shows. Sure, back in the glory days of motocross there were many different brands to choose from, but we all should be thankful that five different bike manufacturers are fighting to create the best bike for you. Otherwise, imagine if there was only one or two manufacturers remaining. How much choice would we get?
If you missed out on Mount Morris in 2000, consider yourself lucky. It was in that race that Travis Pastrana went mud bogging through the last portion of the track and got stuck. The track was mired down, the rain wouldn't stop, and the racing went on through it all. Now imagine what would have happened if tear-offs (or the alternative roll-offs) hadn't been invented? I had enough trouble watching what was happening during each moto, and I was only spectating! It used to be that you couldn't buy clear vision, well now you can.
Many thanks should go to the motocross gear manufacturers with their utilization of cordura, nylon, Kevlar, spandex, and rubber. When riders used to say that they were ‘wearing their leathers,' they weren't kidding, snugging themselves into tight outfits before heading for battle on the track. Today, riders can actually move around comfortably in their gear and the material lets your skin breath. Not only that, today's gear has safety features while having a flashy cool look to it.
Racing outdoors in the winter months on the East Coast is nearly impossible without the use of ice studs. Enter Arenacross, where the racing is tight, lap times are short, but the fun factor goes through the roof. It's possibly that one chance when racers can sneak out of the house and hit the dirt one last time before spring comes. Or, if you would rather spectate, go watch the Pros and the local talent on a track that is smaller than supercross, but is probably just as fun.
Imagine jumping an 80-foot double on suspension that had a little more give than a taught rubber band? That's how it was jumping with classic iron. Granted, it was possible and was done, but if I had my druthers I'd grab a cush new bike if I were to go out and try to be the next Evel Knievel. I give plenty of thanks to the invention of long-travel suspension (and my body does too).
FAMILY & FRIENDS
Look back on how you got into motocross, why you enjoy it, and who you like to ride with. If you were like me, your Dad or a family member introduced you to racing or helped you get into the sport. Is it the people that you are around, such as your family and friends who make motocross that much better? Who do you call when you want someone to go riding with you? Think about how much different motocross would be to you if your family and friends weren't involved in the sport? And for that, we should all give thanks to those who support us.
Have a great holiday weekend from us here at Motocross Action!
Suzuki Motorcycle tests