Frid’Eh Update #13 Presented by Atlas Brace
By Jeff McConkey, and Billy Rainford
Welcome to Week #13 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update Presented by Atlas Brace. We’ll get to the whole ’13 vs. 14′ debate later, but call it what you like the week belongs to Swift Current, Saskatchewan’s Shawn Maffenbeier. The Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha rider finished 3rd in the MX2 class which basically gives him the choice to run #13 or #14.
Shawn’s journey toward being a top contender started a few years ago in the MX1 class. He showed speed and potential but was a little reckless in his first year in the Pro ranks. Since then, he has learned to ride smoother and run up at the front of the pack against some of the best the sport has to offer.
Recently, Shawn suffered a dislocated left shoulder. We talked to him from his winter home in Temecula, California, where he was getting set to head to a track to pit for Devil’s Lake MX rider Dylan Kaelin. Here’s how he described his crash:
“It happened on Tuesday, March 24th. I was doing an Endurocross and I hit a rock and flew off the track and over the bars. I’ve separated my right shoulder before but this is my first dislocation to my left one.”
He joked that his dad, Randy, said that with the proper amount of tape, he should be back on the bike next week. Shawn will take the month of April off the bike and keep his fitness up with lots of cycling.
He said the new bike is great. He’s happy to have the opportunity to work off last year’s bike’s settings for the first time in years. In the past, he was either coming off a 450 or a 250 2-stroke so each winter they were starting from scratch with bike set-up.
You never know what you’ll find out when you speak with Shawn. His dry wit is something that has to be witnessed to understand. He wanted us all to know that he is “the #1 underwear model in Canadian moto right now.” Of course, he said he was the only one who signed up for the contest so it gave him and 2UNDR the title.
Once his shoulder heals, he will stay down in California until mid-May to finish off his preparations for the summer season. Then he asked me a question I couldn’t answer, “Who gets the #14 Update next week?” That’s a great question, Shawn. I asked him if he would have taken the #13 and he said that he would, but then waffled for a while and never really committed to an answer. He mentioned that his worst season for luck was when he ran #6 a few years back. I had never heard of this but when you’re #6 it puts 6-6-6 on your bike and some would say that’s even worse than 13. Shawn said that year it was like his bike was “possessed!”
Anyway, he said he didn’t even get the chance to choose and that the CMRC just told him he was #14 for the 2015 season. Problem solved, I guess. Good luck with your recovery, Shawn, and have fun running the stopwatch for Dylan while he’s out in California.
Not that it hasn’t been an important topic the whole time, but it seems as though we may have turned a corner and brought rider safety to the forefront recently. Motocross is a dangerous sport and nothing short of completely changing it will stop that. The only thing we can do it try to take care of some of the things that are within our control, like chest protectors and neck protection.
I had a long talk with Atlas’ Ryan Lockhart this afternoon and he was very pleased with the direction the sport appears to be headed with regards to safety. Neck brace sales are up across the board and, as Ryan said, it doesn’t matter what brand he sees out there, more braces on athletes is a good thing for the sport.
Gone are the days when neck braces are heavy, cumbersome contraptions that restrict mobility and vision. Today’s Atlas Braces are designed to be affective while leaving you with the feeling of not wearing one. The braces are so good that Atlas Brace will have top riders Colton Facciotti, Kaven Benoit, Cole Thompson, Jeremy Medaglia, Dylan Kaelin, Dylan Wright, and Matt Goerke lined up in the Pro classes when the gate drops at round one in Kamloops.
Atlas Brace is a Canadian company based out of British Columbia and has what you need to hit the track and feel safe while doing so. With a full line of neck braces and chest protectors, Atlas will get you out on the track in the safest manner possible.
Be sure to check them out online.
Hey, guys. Happy Good Friday! Not only is it a day off work, it is opening day at Gopher Dunes here in Southern Ontario. It seems like forever ago that we even had the option to load up and actually ride outdoors. I’m sure The Dunes will be in primo shape as always, and I just hope everyone remembers to ease into it, as we have all had a long off-season. The Dunes are tricky. They will look as smooth as glass when you are pulling into the pits, then a few short hours later they will look like a battlefield seen from Saving Private Ryan. There will be bomb holes big enough to hide a Buick, and they will swallow up the best of us. But in the end, you can rest assured that (Derek Schuster) Digger and his fantastic crew will keep it as safe as possible.
Speaking of safety, it has been a huge issue lately with some tragic accidents happening. Motocross is a dangerous sport. You are going to crash, and unfortunately, you may get hurt. The only thing we can do, is to prepare ourselves, our bikes and our protection as much as we can. I’m not going to go on a rant and say you need to wear every piece of safety equipment possible – that is not the answer! But, if you are going to dress yourself or your child in safety gear, you MUST make sure it fits properly. Too many times I see parents dressing little riders up like robots from head to toe, and 90% of the time the chest protectors and neck braces are WAY too big. When buying new gear, don’t be too proud. Ask an expert their opinion. They know what they are talking about. Give Newf (Ryan Lockhart) or Brad McLean from Atlas Brace a call. They have an amazing product for the smallest rider all the way to the overweight dads that are still riding. Just take a look at a few of their riders. All I have to say is Ryan Villopoto! Ryan could receive a blank cheque from any company to wear their braces, but he doesn’t. He chooses to wear an Atlas Brace. That has got to say something right there.
Next is chest protectors. All of the gear companies are leaning towards a softer style of brace compared to the Robo Cop style from back in the day. Those old protectors are too ridged and, in my opinion, cause more damage then they stop. Don’t be cheap, cough up the extra money and make sure it is fitted properly.
Last but certainly not least are helmets. Back when I was at a local shop, I heard way too often, “My kid isn’t Pro, so they don’t need a high-end helmet.” Are you kidding me?! You only have 1 head. Concussions are no joke. Yes, you are right, your child is no Pro. They are usually beginners or juniors and have WAY less skill. That means they will be crashing and making way more mistakes. If your child breaks their arm, it is usually 6-8 weeks in a cast. Some head injuries can put you on the sidelines for good, or even worse. Do your research and get a good helmet. Stop wasting your money on fancy graphics and crap like that. It doesn’t make you faster. If you want to help yourself or child out, get their suspension done, or even better…get them lessons. There are a lot of good current and ex Pro’s that offer some great advice for a reasonable cost in every area. Rant over.
No SX this Week
With this weekend being Easter, the Monster Energy AMA SX takes its annual weekend off. It gives the racers and teams some much needed rest and a chance to start preparing for Outdoors. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that James Stewart is allowed to race the entire series. I really miss seeing the unbelievable stuff that the #7 can do on a bike.
With the tracks drying up, it will finally allow me to resume my product tests. Kevin Kinrade and the great gang over at Mongoose Machine sent me a Rekluse Core EXP Clutch 3.0. I first tested with this clutch indoors, and I was blown away by it. I am honestly dying to get some serious seat time outdoors to really see how great this product is. While putting the hours on this clutch, I will also be testing the JUST 1 helmet. Thanks to Jeff Fullerton from Gamma Sales, I will be keeping my head safe while looking great. Blake Baggett and Vicki Golden are just a couple names who are already trusting their safety to this great product. Keep your eyes peeled for these and many more product tests from some great DMX supporters.
That’s it for me this week. Have a look at this week’s On the Radar with Ontario’s Scott Hough and this week’s Out of the Blue with Mary Bernatchez-Girard. Also, a big congrats to Mary and now fiancée Jonathon Parise! Have a great Easter and always remember to #smileforBC!
Thanks, Jeff. I wonder if we’ve ever had a Week #13 on a Friday the 13th? Bruno, you on that? This week always gets me wondering whether or not I’d run #13 or take the ‘safe’ way out and just take #14. I like to think I’m not a superstitious person but if I’m being honest with you (why start now?) I’m not sure what I’d do. If you ever fall or get hurt running the big 1-3 you just know everyone will say something and just reinforce the myth. Of course, it probably would have happened anyway but who can say for sure?!
If you feel like it, we’ve posted a new Poll Question asking just that: Would you run #13 or #14? Scroll down to the right and vote. You don’t have to register or anything.
It’s Good Friday so I really don’t think it’s proper to be hassling people to ask them questions about motocross, so this will be a shorter Update than normal. I don’t know what your religious beliefs are so I won’t risk bothering anyone.
Gopher Dunes Open for Practice All Weekend!
Seriously, folks, you have no idea what we’ve been dealing with here in Ontario – it has been a harsh winter, to say the very least. I know this may be no big deal for you riders out on the west coast, but seeing the grass is a new thing for us, and I know that still hasn’t even happened only 5 hours east of here!
Out west, you’ve been riding for a couple months already!
Big Kahuna-Practice Day @ Whispering Pines
Dylan Kaelin at Glen Helen
Devil’s Lake MX rider Dylan Kaelin has been out in California getting ready for his run in the MX1 class at the Rockstar Energy MX Nationals in 2015. He posted this helmet camera video of one lap at Glen Helen and, although it’s pretty near impossible to tell in the video, it’s Week #13 honoree, Shawn Maffenbeier, holding the pit board for him.
You can watch the video HERE.
Cole Thompson’s New KTM
Everyone we speak to is pretty excited about this – Cole Thompson will be on the new Factory Edition KTM 450 this summer when he goes after the MX1 title. Both the Royal Distributing For KTM rider and JSR posted photos of the new bike on Instagram.
Congrats on 30 Years, Cycle North Honda!
Cycle North’s Kourtney Lloyd posted this shot of the birthday cake celebrating 30 years as a Honda dealer out there in Prince George, BC. Congratulations, gang.
FXR Tour and Story
Currently residing in the ‘better late than never’ file, I finally got the story of FXR Racing up on the site yesterday. After the 4th round of the Nationals in Regina, SK last summer, I had the chance to head to Winnipeg to check out the Canadian success story that is FXR. My tour guide for my stay was ex-Pro Aaron Wiebe. Aaron is a hard-working and friendly guy and he made my stay as enjoyable as could ever be possible. Thanks for that, Aaron.
I wandered around the FXR office for the better part of a day and took photos as the gang went about their daily routine of Outdoor Sports Clothing world domination! Huge thanks to FXR owner, Milt Reimer, for OK-ing the whole deal. I had a great time checking everything out from design, to production, to shipping.
If you haven’t checked it out, you can do so HERE.
Ronnie Renner Snow Biking in Canadian Backcountry
Check out this amazing Red Bull video featuring Canadians Brock Hoyer and Reagan Seig snow biking in the mountains on their Timbersled-equipped bikes. Brock sent this link over and it was perfect timing considering the FXR story yesterday on the site. Thanks, Brock.
ThermoTec Yamaha stays in the hunt
Moline, IL. – April 1, 2015
At rounds 10 and 11 of the Amsoil Arenacross Series, team ThermoTec Yamaha FMC Racing continued to fight for valuable championship points.
Team leader Bobby Kiniry is holding strong in the “race for the championship,” by finishing sixth overall in New Orleans, but came away with a solid third overall in Austin, Texas last weekend with 2-4 main event finishes.
“It’s getting tight and we are all very close in speed and now in points too,” Kiniry said after the Austin event. “The bike is working great and my starts have been awesome. Four more nights of racing left and we’re going to see what we can do.”
After missing a round due to a dislocated shoulder, ThermoTec Yamaha FMC Racing’s newest recruit Josh Cartwright gave racing a chance once again in Austin. Unfortunately, his shoulder was not strong enough and he has now elected to stop racing and get the injury fixed. We wish Cartwright a speedy recovery and would love to see him back on the team in 2016.
The team now heads out west for the final four nights of racing, starting in Spokane, WA., on April 11. We hope to see all of our sponsors and fans at the finals in Las Vegas, on Friday night May 1, the night before the Supercross finale!
ThermoTec Yamaha FMC Racing team sponsors include: Cool it! ThermoTec, FMC Racing, OTSFF, Mx Culture, Cycle North, Yamaha, Mika Metals, Bills Pipes, Dunlop, Wiseco, Renegade Fuels, Works Connection, R-Tech Plastics, Bristol Core, Bel-Ray, DT-1 Filters, Black Diamond MX, Motion Pro, Guts Racing, KSR Wheels, GET, MxStuff4u.com, Moto Option and bLU cRU.
Kiniry’s personal sponsors include: Fly Racing, Rockstar Energy Drink, and EKS Brand.
As the world leader in heat management, we offer affordable solutions to control heat and sound in cars, trucks, aviation and all forms of powersports. For more information visit www.thermotec.com or call for free catalog at 1-800-274-8437.
About FMC Racing
FMC Racing is a high performance shop and dyno division of Fun Mart Cycle in Moline, IL. We specialize in race motor and suspension work on all modern dirtbikes. Junior Jackson is a two time Arenacross champion mechanic and multi-time race winning mechanic and former factory Pro racer himself. For more information, visit FMCracing.com or follow us on Facebook and Instagram @fmcracing
Like I said, short and sweet this week. Thanks for reading and have a great long weekend. A lot of you won’t see this until you’re home from your first long day of riding for the year. I hope your hands and muscles aren’t hurting too badly.