By Billy Rainford
Good Monday Morning from what will be the hub of Canadian Motocross in just over a week’s time. That’s right, my hometown of London, Ontario, will be playing host to Round 2 of the Rockstar Triple Crown Supercross Series at Delaware Speedway.
We live in the west end of the city and the Speedway is, literally, a pleasant 10-minute drive southwest of here. It will be a nice change to be sleeping in my own bed, eating breakfast in my kitchen, and driving through zero traffic to the outskirts of the city to a race.
The only question this raises is, “Does DMX host an afterparty??” With the loss of the Toronto Supercross, it leaves a void in our social calendar. After a nice run of hosting some pretty legendary after parties, we had nothing to do last season when Toronto was left off the Monster Energy AMA Supercross schedule.
I’ll have to check in with Kyle Thompson to see if anything is in the works and, if not, maybe we’ll get the ball rolling and try to set something up with the short time we have before the event comes to town.
Anyway, I feel like it’s been an eternity since I’ve been at a race. (If a weekend goes by and I haven’t snapped a few photos or shot some video, it feels like that.) Truthfully, I think it’s only been one week off, but you know how you get when you don’t see, feel, or hear a dirt bike for a few days.
I did get the chance to ride the 2019 Yamaha motocross line-up on Friday up at Motopark. This was the first time I’d tried to swing a leg over a bike since my rather intrusive High Tibial Osteotomy (HTO) last October. Google that one, we’ll wait…
I wasn’t sure if I should just let Jeff McConkey do all the riding and have all the fun, but decided to get out on the track to get a feel for the changes with the all-new 250F.
Back in the day, my favourite bike was always a 125 2-stroke. Thinking I was still 20, I chose to “warm up” on the new YZ125. In my head, I was going to pin this thing and ring its neck out while absolutely railing the outside berms and maybe set a new track lap record.
In fact, I’m pretty sure they probably had to change out the spark plug after I fouled my way around the place and came off the track feeling much less than a conqueror. Use it or lose it, comes to mind. Let’s just say that choosing the 125 for my first ride in a year was a terrible idea.
And to top it all off, I was out there on the track right before the lunch break. I headed into the Moto Café, grabbed my plate of delicious food they’d prepared, and proceeded to sweet like an out of shape kid doing suicides on the first day of gym class while trying to eat. It was pretty embarrassing. It was 95% nervous sweat.
I decided the best thing to do would be to put in a few laps on the 2018 250F, get used to the track (thank you very much for making the one double I hated into a table top), before hopping on the all-new 2019, so I could really get a handle on the changes.
The 2018 is a very easy bike to ride. It was comfortable and you never really felt like it was doing anything over the top. For a guy who doesn’t get to ride very often, it was a great way to get myself feeling, at least, a little relaxed out there.
I pulled into the pits, struggled the bike up onto the stand and then threw my leg over the 2019.
The difference was immediately evident. They have made the seat thinner and the cockpit of the bike just feels so much tighter and compact. In fact, I thought the more sculpted seat was going to cause me some discomfort at 6’3″, but I didn’t even notice my knees being more bent once I got rolling.
One word I would use again and again to describe the new ride is “tighter.” You’ll know exactly what I mean if you get a chance to try one.
Also, Jeff had already mentioned to me that the bike just kept pulling all the way to the upper revs at the fully open position on the throttle and I had yet to put that to the test.
He was spot on with this. While the 2018 gave you a more relaxed power delivery, the new bike hit nicely off the bottom, but kept asking you to open the throttle more and more. You could rev this thing out to the moon and it didn’t even ask you to shift! I was really impressed by this.
Of course, it was on the gentle map and with a simple trip to the side of the track and a push of the button, the bike had even more bark. This new bike is a weapon, in stock form!
As rusty as I am, even I could tell this new bike will have racers lining up to reserve one at their dealer.
I haven’t had a chance to try any of the other 2019 250F’s, but this all-new Yamaha is going to be pretty tough to beat in stock form. I can’t wait to try some others to see just how close they all are.
Thank you to Graeme Jones from Yamaha Motor Canada for putting on a great ride day, and to Motopark and their crew for always having the place perfectly prepped for our visit on Media Day.
We sat down on the old tailgate with Graeme for another “Tailgating” episode that you can watch here:
We’ll have a full bike review up here on the site this week, so be sure to watch for that.
Motocross of Nations Entry List
If Team Canada heads into this one and rides like we all know they can, we could be looking at a very good result! Go, Canada, go!
Endurocross Heads to Costa Mesa, AZ Next Weekend
Round 2 of the Endurocross series heads to Costa Mesa, Arizona, Sept 15th.
Vets MXDN Results
Check out some results from the Vets MXDN at Farleigh Castle:
53. Sandy Loutitt
54. Robin Dohlman
55. Andy McAlpin
56. David Pinkman
56. David Halawell
For full results, click HERE.
This is an event that I’m really going to make an effort to be at in 2019. I could look at photos of the tricked out old bikes for hours!
Have a great week, everyone, and safe travels as we all make our way to Montreal for the return of the Supercross!