Frid'Eh Update #50 Presented by Fly Racing
Hey everyone and welcome to the DMX Frid’eh Update #50 here on Directmotocross.com Pretty scary you have just over one week till Christmas and 2 weeks left in 2012. It looks like the world will not be ending after all on the 21st, which means all that money you crazy people spent on survival supplies, could have been spent on some new motocross gear at your local dealer. Especially if it was this new 2013 Fly Lite Hydrogen gear.
Photo courtesy of Gamma Sales and Fly Racing
This Lite Hydrogen gear line was specifically designed for Fly Racing riders Andrew Short and Trey Carnard and it’s the same stuff they will be wearing thread for zipper at Anaheim one come January 5th for the opening round of the Monster Energy Suprecross Series. It’s lightweight, non-restrictive and makes any rider of any skill level look the part and for us slow people, going fast is half the battle right? You can check it out in person at your local Gamma dealer or at www.gammasales.com.
Parker Hoppe at the 2012 Edmonton National.
James Lissimore photo
This week’s update also goes out to Parker Hoppe. I was able to get this update from Parker.
My 2012 season was a disapointment. I was planning on doing the entire series; I had the money and put the time in preparing but I broke my hand 6 weeks before round 1 practicing. I got my cast off 10 days before Nanaimo so that threw me off. Went 12-22 there and that was the highlight of the west rounds for me. I got #90 for next year but definitely struggled with my hand. I'm planning on doing the entire series next year and have been hittin the gym steady. I'm eagar and working on some new sponsors. I'm very excited to throw a leg over the bike, pound some motos and get racing again!"
Thanks, Parker, and we look forward to seeing you out there next summer.
Getting back to Gamma, they are currently hiring to District Sales Managers for two territories out west. One is Northern Alberta and Northern Saskatchewan and one is Southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba. You can view the PRs here and here if you’re interested in joining one of Canada’s top distributors in the power sports market.
Kaven Benoit has put snowcross aside to focus only on moto for 2013.
Photo courtesy of KTM Canada
I guess the big news released this week was that Kaven Benoit has been officially singed to the Red Bull Royal Distributing Fox Racing KTM team for the 2013 season. You can catch the full interview Billy did with him here and the official PR from KTM here to get the details. Yes, it does mean that Jeremy Medgalia will be riding somewhere else in 2013. Where is still up in the air. It doesn’t look like it will be Leading Edge Kawasaki so you may see Jeremy take a note out of his brother’s book, gather some industry people and start his own deal. Could it be on a 250 2-stroke? I will let Billy get more into that later. Either way, whether Jeremy is 2-stroke or 4-stroke, or MX2 or MX1 he will be a threat no matter what gate he lines up on.
KTM had a great corporate booth at the Toronto Motorcycle show last weekend which will be travelling to all the shows across the country. We spotted Facciotti's #9 machine there holding the fort. It is strange seeing the 9 but we all know Colton doesn't plan on keeping it for long!
Facciotti's new ride for 2013.
KTM Canada photo.
Have you been to blackfootdirect.com latley to get your Christmas shopping done? There are lots of great deals and changes going on there right now so I decided to catch up with Dean Thompson and see what was going on:
"Things are going well at BlackfootDirect.com right now and there are many changes happening for the upcoming 2013 season! We have been redesigning our showroom in order to showcase some of our exclusive lines such as JT Racing gear and we are now an authorized Husaberg Enduro dealership which is exciting for us. It is our only motorcycle line at BlackfootDirect.com and since our roots are off-road it is a perfect fit with Husaberg being "Pure Enduro".
We are also working on our website in order to launch a now look for the spring season to showcase many of our new lines of products. In the meantime if you don't see it on www.blackfootfootdirect.com give us a call at 1-877-214-2801 and for DMX readers mention you read about us here an we will offer you 15% off MSRP on any order over $250!"
Blackfootdirect.com's new show room is coming along nicely!
Photo courtesy of blackfootdirect.com
You heard the man, folks! Call them today and say you read it here and save 15% on orders over $250.00! Thanks, Dean!
I also was able to get in touch with Denaye Giroux who is one of the amazing ladies responsible for helping get the women's national series up and running. Things are full steam ahead with the planning as she writes here:
Hey, Kyle! Still healing up over here! We have great news that after the huge success we had last year the Women's Series will continue for the 2013 Season. It will continue to run the same format at last year. Having the Women run on the Amateur Days, which should all include Saturday races this year. As far as we know the West Rounds will be: Kamloops, Calgary, and Edmonton, and East Rounds are: Gopher Dunes, a Quebec round, and San Del Lee. Dates will be announced later. Camille and I have started getting things ready for the upcoming women's series and we have some really great ideas in mind. We have had quite a few people interested in sponsoring the series this year. We will let everyone know who they are after we get some more details together. We will have product to give away at each round again for ALL the ladies signed up, Quick Chick Holeshot Awards, and lots of other ideas we are still working on. If anyone is interested in sponsoring the the Series EAST or WEST please contact myself Denaye at firstname.lastname@example.org or Camille Baker at email@example.com
Awesome news, Denaye! But I really wish the CMRC would step up and help you guys out as well with gathering some sponsors.
The big news on the west coast right now is the tracks in BC deciding what sanctioning body to go with and the battle continues to have more tracks sign on with the Future West program. As we mentioned in our update last week, Popkum Motor Park held a survey to see which way they would go and this is the verdict:
December 13, 2012
To: An Open Letter to Our Members and All Enthusiasts throughout BC
Re: 2013 MX Races at Popkum Motor Park
First, we wish to thank all enthusiasts of Popkum Motor Park that took the time to submit an email or post a comment on our Facebook page. We received many valued responses and appreciate your constructive comments and personal opinions.
Popkum Motor Park was designed by enthusiasts for enthusiasts with the sole objective of providing the preeminent off-road recreational park in BC. We have strived to provide an open practice facility that is fun, challenging and safe. The response to our vision and support extended by all has been overwhelming and greatly appreciated! We are more motivated now than ever to make Popkum Motor Park even better and offer more of a variety for your enjoyment!
The decision to conduct races at the Popkum Motor Park in 2013 and participate in any specific series or with any specific organization has not been taken lightly. We have heard from and listened to our valued members, local and regional dealers and industry representatives. The majority have spoken!
As a result Popkum Motor Park has chosen to remain a “practice facility” at this time. Our plan is to continue to nurture, further develop and evolve the park into something that has never before been an available option for off-road enthusiasts in BC.
2013 plans include a dedicated Enduro Cross park, Trials area, Remote Control (RC) track and further development of the current tracks and amenities. We will also be focusing on establishing our off-road rental department and rider training schools with the intent of encouraging new enthusiasts into the sport.
Whether you ride Motocross, Enduro Cross, Trials, or an ATV, we want to create a safe enjoyable place for you and your family to ride. We haven’t forgotten about the Trail Riders and the Side by Sides we’re working on plans for you in the future.
Remember Popkum Motor Park is always interested in your ideas and input in regards to helping us develop the park further.
Send your input to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Popkum Motor Park
All I can say is, anyone who lives near Popkum and is able to take advantage of this facility is one lucky person to have it to enjoy!
I just turned on the news and saw something I didn't want to see. Please keep the families and victims of the shooting in Connecticut this morning in your thoughts and prayers and rememeber to never take anything for granted in life.
Ok now over to Billy...
Thanks, Kyle, but be very careful what you say about December 21st. We haven't seen the 22nd yet! Although there hasn’t been a whole lot of racing going on this past week, there is definitely no shortage of things to talk about.
To pick up on what you were talking about with regards to Popkum, I had a chat with Scott Ponuick as he was getting fitted for his wedding party duties in Alberta. Scott is always open to talk about what’s going on out there and today was no different. The bottom line of our conversation was this:
Our goal has always been to grow the sport. How it’s done, from one organisation to another, is up to them. From our focus, we want to grow the park. When we do decide to hold a race it will be something that everyone will be jazzed to do because they’ll know that we put the time in and I think people will respect that we’re committed to provide the best product. If it means taking a step back at this moment in order to ensure that we have a park that is ready and can handle it and, at the same time, we don’t alienate the average rider who just wants to ride on a race day it will provide another option for them.
The big picture is that it’s about the sport and not fully about one segment of the sport. That was the big determining factor was to take a step back and watch these organisations to see how they’re going to play out. We’ll observe them over the course of the year. We’re a track; independence is great. Any organisation can come out and use the facility to add to their series. The goal from day one has been to have a park that is open for everyone to use. We’re only really 5 months old and I think we’ve done very well in the short period that we’ve had.
Scott had a ton more to say but we can save that for another day and a full interview. Thanks for your time, Scott, and have fun at the wedding.
Popkum will listen to its members and hold off on their racing commitments for now.
I want to mention the fundraiser happening for injured pro rider (and East Coast legend), Johnny Montes this weekend out in Quispamsis, NB at KV Billiards. Johnny was in a horrible car accident on his way to work and has been battling his way back ever since. Here is an update from Facebook:
“Johnny is a fighter, gotta give it to him. He is now out of ICU. Still under close observation, but getting stronger every day. Visitation is still minimal but it’s so that he has time to process what has and is going on. This is going to be a very long road to recovery but he is definitely on the right track. Don’t forget about the benefit for him on Saturday at the KV Billiards starting at 7pm.”
Get out there and help a great guy and moto legend!
In speaking with Ryan Lockhart yesterday, I learned that there will also be an auction taking place in the near future with all money going to help with Johnny’s recovery. If you are interested in donating anything to the cause (signed jersey etc.) please email Ryan at email@example.com.
Speaking of old motocrossers, if you like ‘old school’ moto pictures and are familiar with what was going on out in BC back in the 1980s, you may be interested in checking out the new Facebook page that was started up recently. There have been tons of old photo posted and you might just be able to find yourself in a first-turn picture! Check it out here.
While we’re talking about BC, there is a lot going on with the upcoming summer and the promotion of BC motocross for 2013. Here’s the latest on the Future West series that is coming together:
LOWER MAINLAND MOTOCROSS CLUB INKS EXCLUSIVE DEAL WITH FUTURE WEST BC PROVINCIAL MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIPS
At a special meeting of the Lower Mainland Motocross Club on Thursday evening a unanimous decision was made to go with Future West Promotions proposal to stage rounds of the BC Motocross Championship at the mission track. The club has given Future West exclusive rights between March 1st and June 30th of 2013 placing their full support behind the Future West BC Motocross Championships. The tracks on board for the series so far include Mission, Kamloops, Ashcroft, Victoria and the new Chilliwack track. For the latest news on the BC Motocross Championship visit www.bcmotocross.ca
I always want to add that same photo of Jamie Hellam from England a few years ago but I will fight the urge this week.
‘Carmen’ the 1989 Buick Electra Estate wagon will be up-and-running again tomorrow! There was concern that she would never see the dotted line again, but we just couldn’t let that happen. With big thanks to Josh Snider, Chad Valenti, and Steve Emery she will be fitted for her ‘new’ transmission tomorrow. Also, a big ‘thank you’ to John Roney over at Xtreme Toys in London for letting her sit in dry dock for the past few months sans mooring fee. The 18 1/3 foot beast will be sailing toward a race near you very soon!
Yar, Carmen will be setting sail for a shore near you very soon.
Did you see that young Dylan Wright is in a heated battle for scrub supremacy with Anthony Rodriguez from Venezuela on Brotocross? We took some pics of Dylan riding at Sand Del Lee in the fall and, as you can see, Dylan has style for days and the speed to go with it. Go give www.brotocross.com a hit and vote for Dylan. I’m pretty sure all he will receive for winning this is a big fat nothing with a whistle at the end of it (wow, thanks, mom!) but it’s still fun nonetheless.
In case anyone was wondering if he actually scrubbed the face of the jump in the shot...yes, he did.
Up high on the list of ‘big news’ lately is the new rule that will allow pro riders to compete on a 250 2-stroke in the MX2 class. A thread over on Vital MX. The thread has reached 5 pages, as of this update, so, obviously, this is something people are interested in talking about. With this in mind, I tried to get in touch with as many pros as I could to get their thoughts on it. Here is what they had to say:
I think it's good to see some changes are being made. It opens a lot of different doors for some different people. The two-smokes are a bit behind in development but I'm sure if you took the time to update a few things you could have a decent two-smoke program. I still believe there are much bigger things that need change within the CMRC sanctioning body before we start worrying too much about the amount of strokes your motor has. (NB: Brett Lee mirrored this sentiment) Just my opinion.
Shawn MaffenbeierTeam ________ ____ ______
If I were racing the mx2 and didn't have the money to build a competitive 4-stroke I would race a 2-stroke. I think you will see better racing.
Teddy Maier, Monster Energy Leading Edge Kawasaki
I don't see there being a problem with it in any way.
I feel that it is very hard for people to come up with the money to maintain a 250F and still have money left over to go and race a professional level event.
I also feel the current 250F motors are on a level now to compete with the 250 two-stroke any day of the week.
Again, I go back to the money issue and say that families are trying to do this sport any way they can and if having a two-stroke over a four-stroke gives them the ability to come race with us, don't punish them and make them have to compete on a lesser bike in the MX1 class against a much faster (Yamaha) 450 haha. Thanks, guys. See you at the races.
Bobby Kiniry, Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha
I think you’re going to see the teams stick with the 250Fs because they are a better bike in my opinion. The technology with the new fuelies are awesome and the teams can put the money into those 250Fs to make them go even faster.
For the average MX2 racer paying their way and can't sink money into bikes should take advantage of this rule. The Yamaha YZ250 is a great bike still and with little money can make it faster than a 250F in my opinion.
I think it’s a good move on Stally’s part to let this rule pass. Let's face the fact that people can't afford this sport but do it because they love it. So anyway to get more people back into it and keep the cost of bikes and maintenance down then I'm all for it!!!
Kyle Keast, Machine Racing Yamaha
When I asked KTM Canada’s JSR if he would race a 250 2-stroke in the MX2 class, his one-word response was, “Yes.”
I would ride a KTM 125 2-smoker and go back to the grass roots.
Colton Facciotti,Red Bull Royal Distributing Fox KTM
I swear to God, if I was still racing nationals, I’d do it in a heartbeat! What have you got to lose…nothing! What have you got to gain…being a national !@#$% hero and having fans line the fence to see it!! No brainer!!
Rick ‘Hammertime’ Hamer-Jackson, Internet superstar
I would totally do it! You could take a stock 250 2-stroke and run it with cheap repairs versus spending all that money to mod a 250F to be competitive. I’d do it just for the cost factor!
Josh Snider, Redemption Racing
I figured I would talk to a fast up-and-coming racer who actually put the rule (as it was last year) to the test in 2012. Ben Toye raced a tricked-out Yamaha 250 2-stroke in the eastern MX2 nationals last year. Here is what he had to say about the whole experience”
Tell us about how your 250 2-stroke in the MX2 class went last year as a competitive Intermediate rider.
As an Intermediate rider in 2012, I was eligible to race my 2012 YZ 250 in the MX2 Pro classes. The thinking behind it was simple; I could ride an equal displacement two-stroke and modify it top to bottom for a fraction of the cost of a 250 four-stroke plus its modifications. I was getting the most bang for my buck at the time, which most riders nowadays are looking to do because of the economic climate. D4 Performance built me a "four-stroke killer" that pumped out 57hp with some bolt on parts and a modified motor + carburetor combo. The old guys at the track would drool over this bike like it was an 18-year-old girl with DDs and back problems. I had an absolute blast with the project. I loved the bike a lot and never regretted my decision in taking that route. I knew my bike was the fastest bike on the line. In my short 2012 season, I was able to race some amateur races as well as a few pro nationals and here is my opinion…
Another Intermediate rider who used the rule in 2012 was #147 McKee Racing Yamaha rider, Hayden Halstead. You'll see why I had to throw this photo into a Ben Toye interview in a moment...
What would you say were the benefits?
Power to weight - There is no comparison when putting the two types of bikes up against each other. The YZ 250 was lighter and substantially more powerful across the board. I knew when I was racing in the MX2 class, that I had a major power advantage over my competitors (even the factory motors, believe that or not). At the Gopher Dunes pro national, I had no doubt in my mind that I would steal a holeshot, just based on the fact that my bike pulled through that sand better. It’s just that much of an advantage in THOSE conditions (soft sand or soil). It’s a true example of 250T power vs. 250F power when traction is not a variable.
Cost - Simply put, two-strokes are cheaper to buy, cheaper to modify, and cheaper to rebuild.
Factory vs. Privateer Equipment - The addition of two-strokes in the MX2 pro class closes the huge gap between what a privateer rides and what a top guy rides. Without money or resources, a racer cannot even come close to the quality of four-strokes the top guys are riding. The 250 two-stroke closes that gap because of several factors including cost, power, and weight. Now average Joe can go out and build a competitive two-stroke that could come close to top quality four-bangers.
What would you say were the negatives, if any?
Adaptation - Everyone at the pro level has been riding four-strokes for years and years. Riding styles, tracks, riding lines, and racing has changed forever. Hands down, the hardest thing to do is to learn how to ride a two-stroke again. It’s completely different on all levels. Things like riding aggressiveness, effective RPM range, riding lines, gear changing, clutching and momentum are basic things that need to be relearned in a short period of time. The learning curve is not as steep as that of a four-stroke.
Power control - The biggest mistake people make when comparing a bike to another bike is power. It is clear and cut that the 250 two-stroke is more powerful than any 250 four-stoke could ever be, but it is all about how that power gets to the ground and how a rider can harness it. In the mornings, when the track is soft and smooth, the bike has no competition. I liked to think of my YZ 250 two-stroke as a 57 hp wild fire-breathing dragon that was extremely difficult to tame, and when that soft track turned to hard pack, it was extremely difficult to ride, and is a major disadvantage.
Fitness - I do not care what anyone says, you must train harder, and longer if you are riding a two-stroke. The bike just wears you out. If you are being smooth on a two-stroke, then you are probably going too slowly. It calls for constant aggressiveness, constant work, and constant physical strain. This is a huge disadvantage for long pro motos. Especially for pro riders like myself that do not have time to constantly train and ride because of school and other non-moto life activities.
Outdated- Only a few words here: carburetor, old suspension, old chassis, old ergonomics, old school.
Would you do it again?
If I had the opportunity to ride a two-stroke again, I would not do it. This is strictly because of one major problem I had. That problem was that I did not remember how to ride a two-stroke effectively; I did not adapt properly. It is just too hard to go backwards, especially after years and years of four-stroke adaptation and evolution. The tracks are for four-strokes, my riding style is for four-strokes, my skills work better with a four-stroke. Overall, when riding a two-stroke my weaknesses were brought to the surface and severely severed my consistency in speed. On a big budget with a lot of resources I would choose a 250 four-stroke any day of the week, but that is just not the case nowadays.
Believe it or not, this is the only photo I got of Ben at Gopher Dunes on his 250 2-stroke, but it goes perfectly with his story here.
What do you think about the new rule?
The new rule is good and bad. It is good because riders can now get more value out of their money when choosing the two-stroke route. And more importantly, it closes the gap between a factory (or close to it) and privateer bike. The bad part about the rule is that manufacturers do not want anything to do with two-strokes making a comeback because four-strokes make the bank. For companies like Suzuki, Honda, and Kawasaki (that do not have a legally homologated 250 two-stroke) they have less incentive in supporting our pros. It is generally portrayed that a 250T has a clear advantage over a 250F, therefore riders will head in the direction of current two-stroke producers, leaving the other big three with a smaller market share. Overall, manufacturers want their pros riding the cutting edge in technology (more profit), not old dirt-bikes that are fading in and out of the verge of existence time and time again.
Do you think any of the top-level riders will take advantage of it?
No, I do not think any top tier riders will be riding 250 two-strokes. Those tops guys have the best equipment and the best technicians to make their 250Fs incomparable. Manufacturers are paying those riders to ride their new bikes and definitely not their old bikes. You will not be seeing Richard Grey on a YZ 250, or Kaven Benoit on a SX 250, or Tyler Villopoto on a KX 250 because that is not an option for support. Their bosses would never allow it and the manufacturers would never allow it.
Unfortunately, our sport is in the hands of the manufacturers and not the people. OEM want profit, and there is no money in the return of the two-stroke, therefore there is no support when riding one.
Thank you very much for taking the time to talk with us, Ben. You make some very good points in there.
I figured I should also get a word from CMRC President, Mark Stallybrass, to get a quick word on his thoughts.
First of all, I asked about the rule stating you can’t ride an old bike as a pro racer in the nationals.
Here’s the rule you are asking about and yes we will be enforcing the rule:
Chapter 3 - Equipment
17) For Pro Nationals, the production year of the motorcycle competing must be within five years of the current year.
The biggest reason for updating the rule is to make it more affordable for Pro riders to compete in racing, either at the Provincial or National level. The biggest concerns are the level of performance of a 250 two-stroke compared to a 250 four-stroke, and the fact that three of the five manufacturers no longer produce 250 two-strokes.
Thanks for your response, Mark. I’ve been having long talks about this rule with just about anyone who has the time and my most interesting have been with Darren Pilling from www.truxxx.com/ www.mxforum.com Darren has been talking with AJ Waggoner from Service Honda. You know, the guys who make those amazing 125, 250, and 500 2-strokes in the newest frame designs. You see where we’re going here, don’t you. We should have a rather interesting read for you this week in the Monday Morning Coffee column. I’m an old-schooler who was one of the old guys Ben Toye was talking about. I’m not sure what it is but we just can’t seem to let go of the old days. It’s official…I’ve become my father!
What if a guy like Jeremy Medaglia showed up with a couple 250 2-strokes and double-classed it enough times to end up with a huge points lead at the end of the year and took the #1 plate…on a Husqvarna or TM or Gas Gas? The mind reels!
I heard that Joe Skidd from SSS has now been forced over to the RC car world and is on the verge of taking that sport over too. Will Kevin Tyler from MX101 head to California and win a world title with an SSS kiddie car? Could happen!
This weekend is the 5th round of the Arenacross Tour down in the southeastern U.S.A. I was ‘this close’ to going to this one with The Thompsons but I will be busy ‘helping’ the guys put a transmission in the old wagon instead. Cole Thompson holds a commanding lead in the AX class and looks to remain perfect Saturday night in Memphis, TN. Good luck, Cole.
That’s going to do it for me this week. Only a few more weeks until A1! Have a great weekend, everyone, and stay tuned to DMX this coming week as there should be a few more interesting things to talk about.