Frid’Eh Update #15 Presented by Husqvarna Canada

By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford

Shawn Maffenbeier

Week #15 goes out to Swift Current, Saskatchewan rider, Shawn Maffenbeier. – Bigwave photo

Welcome to week #15 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week presented by Husqvarna Canada. For 2016, #15 will belong to Swift Current, Saskatchewan’s Shawn Maffenbeier. Shawn has been a staple on the Canadian scene for a long time and most people forget he’s only 23 years old. We got to know him very well back in 2009 when a certain Buick Electra Estate Wagon traveled from coast to coast. We found ourselves, more often than not, parked beside the Maffenbeiers in the pits and on the road, and the stories and memories from that summer will not fade any time soon.

Shawn has won MX2 overalls and knows that it takes to win. When things went well for Shawn last summer, they went very well. Unfortunately, some bad luck pushed him down the results sheet too many times and he finished the season a distant 4th.

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 9.15.56 AM

Shawn will move over to the Big Steel Box Redemption Racing Fly KTM team for 2016. We just spent some time with Shawn out in California and it seems like he’s got all his ducks in a row. Expect to see him at round 1 in Kamloops fresh, prepared, and ready to go. With two-time champion, Kaven Benoit, now moved up to the MX1 class and Jimmy Decotis staying stateside for the summer, this should be the year we see Shawn step out from the shadows and make his mark in the light.

We grabbed Shawn for a chat. Check out what he had to say. - Bigwave photo

We grabbed Shawn for a chat. Check out what he had to say. – Bigwave photo


Direct Motocross: Hello, Shawn. Let’s back up to last summer. Can you take us through how it went for you?
Hey, Billy. Last summer was a frustrating one for me. After dislocating my shoulder in late March, I was immediately put behind the 8 ball and I knew I was going to be playing catch up all year long. I got back on the bike 3 weeks before the first round and did all my testing and team stuff in that time and came into Kamloops with as much prep as I could fit into those 3 weeks. I used the west rounds to get myself up to speed and more or less salvaged it as best as I could before a small break before the east where I could catch up on some shoulder rehab and bike testing. On the east, I think I showed, once again, that I belong on the podium and that I’m a front runner.
You raced MX1 a few years ago now. Is your goal to go back there or are you happy in MX2.
I think MX1 is the ultimate goal and is the premier class in Canada. I see myself in MX2 this year and possibly next. I ride a 450 well and can see myself moving up if the right opportunity arises.
You finished 4 last summer. What’s isn’t going to take to get you into the top 3 this year?
Like any year, the combination of being consistent and being on the podium every weekend is what will win the championship.
With Kaven moving up and Jimmy Decotis not returning, is your goal winning races this year? Was it the same last year?
The goal is always to win races. We have some new names in the class this year [Cole Thompson and Jacob Hayes, to name 2], so I think it will be just as tough as last year. The goal is to keep focusing on myself and my program and when the first races comes we will see where we’re at.
Even after this crash, Shawn had his best overall in Ulverton - 2nd place. - Bigwave photo

Even after this crash, Shawn had his best overall in Deschambault. – 2nd place. – Bigwave photo

What was the highlight of last summer for you?
Walton was the round I felt like I raced my best race. I didn’t win it or anything, and people might look at the results and say you did better at other races, but on that day I truly felt like I rode my best and put together my best performance. And in the end, that’s my goal every weekend, to ride the best I am capable of riding, whether it be 5th or 1st.
What track are you looking forward to racing in 2016?
I’m a bit bummed that they took out a few of the rounds that they did for this year. With that being said, it will be nice to go to some new places. I’m always excited for my home province race in Regina. It brings me back to being a kid and racing the Supermini class at the national and hanging over the fence watching the national the next day.
What did you get up to after Walton?
After Walton I needed some downtime. My shoulder still wasn’t 100%, so I took some time and let it heal up and strengthen up properly. Then, I started to prepare for the Arenacross tour in the fall. OTSFF and I had worked out a deal in the summer to race the new Arenacross series that was going across Canada. Unfortunately, I got a call about a week from the 1st round saying that the team went over budget in the summer and we weren’t able to race the Arenacross stuff. It was a bit of a let down as I had been preparing for it and was putting the time and money in to race it.
So, after I got that that news I sat back and had to make some choices for next season. André (Laurin)and the team wanted me to move to 450 and were no longer going to field a 250 rider. After some thought, I decided I needed some changes and started talking with a few of the other teams. KTM, Redemption Racing, and I started working on stuff in November and were able to work out a deal.
With no Arenacross and my focus on KTM and working out a deal, I had some time to work with the family business and learn a lot more about my dad’s company and how everything works. It was a full winter, to say the least!
You’ll be racing on the Redemption Racing KTM team this year. How did that come about?
I had been talking with KTM for a few weeks and they had been bouncing around a few ideas on how they were going to go racing this year. They wanted me involved in the KTM program. Josh snider and the Redemption Team have very close ties with the KTM guys and it just seemed to all fall together. It took some time to get all the details sorted out but I’m confident that I’m on a good bike and have some great support behind me right now.
Shawn Maffenbeier

Shawn will be racing for the Big Steel Box Redemption Racing Fly KTM team in 2016. – Bigwave photo

Where have you been training this winter and how has it been going?
I’m back down in California right now. After rooming with (Matt) Goerke all summer, I had a good relationship going with him and wanted to keep it going into the winter months. Goerke was coming off a shoulder injury and we both started riding about the same time in February. We have been riding together along with Keylan Meston and Dylan Wright. The four of us have been pushing each other and so far I think it’s been going really well.
Can you ever relate how your winter is going compared to other years? Are you doing anything differently?
I could give you the standard answer and say that I’m having the best winter I’ve ever had and I’m going fastest I’ve ever gone type of deal, but who really knows from year to year. I know I’m older and wiser every year. I always try to learn from previous years, and tweak my program to better myself all the time.
With the new bike, I’m learning how to set it up and get it to where I want it. I think surrounding myself with Georke has brought some more intensity to our practice sessions and taught me some new things. I think anytime you’re doing the same thing and expecting different results your going to drive yourself insane. The moment you stop progressing and learning is the moment you will stop doing better. So, I guess you could say I’m doing somethings different this year!
Will you race anywhere before Kamloops?
For sure. My plan is to start racing this weekend in California. I think it’s an important part to put yourself in a race situation pre-season to work out any jitters or kinks in the bike. Racing and practice are two different things and I’m afraid the kids of today are getting too good at practicing and not learning how to be a good racer.
Thanks and have a good couple months heading into round 1. Who would you like to thank?
A big thank you to Josh Snider and Scott Jeffery from Redemption Racing. They have been unreal to deal with. JSR from KTM, Big Steel Box, Ryan Lockhart for the support of Mobius knee braces and 100% goggles, Fly Racing, SIDI boots, Dissent Labs, and everyone else that supports the team! The list will be much bigger closer to nationals.

Husqvarna Husky

This week’s Update is brought to you by Husqvarna Canada. Give them a click and check out all the cool stuff they have going on.

Jeff McConkey

Hey, guys. It’s finally Friday and Mother Nature has no clue what she is doing. Some days it looks like spring here, and others it looks like it is never going to come. Let’s hope she figures it out real soon and we can finally get out and go riding here in Ontario!

Newfoundland Rider, Emily Cole

Emily Cole

Emily Cole tells us what they do in Newfoundland to get their moto fix during the winter months. – Heidi Cole photo

The weather has been up and down lately here in Southern Ontario, some riders have gone south and some have even got in a few rides at their local tracks. But what if it wasn’t that easy for us? Would we do anything in our powers so we could ride? We have many public and private tracks at our fingertips, and if not, it’s an hour or two drive at most. In the winters there are a few indoor riding spots or the real lucky riders head South. Florida, Georgia and South Carolina are the hot spots if you are in the East, and California if you are in the West. But what about the riders from Newfoundland? They have one track on the island, and everything else is a very expensive ferry ride and many many hours away. What do these moto crazy ‘Newfies’ do to stay sane in the winter? Well, our good friend Emily Cole from Torbay, Newfoundland, was nice enough to help fill us in.

Emily Cole: For anyone who doesn’t know, Newfoundland is a rugged little island  off the shores of Eastern Canada. We don’t get the greatest weather, and we’ve got a really rocky rough terrain here.  For the most part, we only get about four months to our riding season. Luckily, we’ve got one great motocross track, Riverview Motocross, but that wasn’t always the case. For years, we didn’t have a track to ride at all. We are blessed to have a lot of fabulous scenic places to freeride here when the weather allows us.

This year I decided I was sick of not riding my dirt bike during the winter, so I went to the local Honda dealership and purchased a box of ice studs. After 1200 studs, the beast was ready to rip!

A set of studded tires and Emily was all set to get some winter riding in. - Heidi Cole photo

A set of studded tires and Emily was all set to get some winter riding in. – Heidi Cole photo

Thanks to my friends at Atlantic Recreation for all of their help and dedication getting parts in and swapping my tires over just in time. Also, thank you to my mom for capturing my first ride with the ice studs. It was great fun and now I have a spare set of studded tires for next year.


Indy 2016

In Monster Energy AMA SX, this weekend’s stop is Indianapolis. That means the 250 West riders will once again take a break and the 250 East crew will be back at it. Malcolm Stewart will be sporting a well-deserved red plate this weekend as the series points leader. As long as Malcolm can avoid the carnage, he has got to be the heavy favourite from here on out. His intensity, fitness and heart look like they are about to earn Malcolm his first professional championship, but this is Supercross and anything can happen. In the 450 class, you can expect Ryan Dungey to once again show how great he is, and it is a safe bet that his Baker’s Factory training partners will be close in tow. It will be a retro theme race, so look for some sweet looking bikes and some crazy gear and colours. Here are my Indy predictions:

250 East

Holeshot: Malcolm Stewart

1st Malcolm Stewart
2nd Martin Davalos
3rd Jeremy Martin
4th Aaron Plessinger
5th Shane McElrath

Malcolm Stewart should take the win in Indianapolis this weekend. - Bigwave photo

Malcolm Stewart should take the win in Indianapolis this weekend. – Bigwave photo

450 Class

Holeshot: Ryan Dungey

1st Ryan Dungey
2nd Eli Tomac
3rd Marvin Musquin
4th Try Canard
5th Jason Anderson

Not surprisingly, Jeff's money is on points leader Ryan Dungey to continue his winning ways this week at Indy. - Bigwave photo

Not surprisingly, Jeff’s money is on points leader Ryan Dungey to continue his winning ways this week at Indy. – Bigwave photo

I’m going to have to cut this short, as I am too excited. I will be heading East this weekend to pick up a new Husqvarna test bike from Victoria Hett and the great people at Husqvarna Canada. I don’t think I have ever been so excited to get a bike. Watch for lots of pictures and adventures from me on the new Husky. Once again, thanks to Victoria for meeting me on her day off to pick up this new test bike. Have a great weekend and remember to #smileforBC!

Billy Rainford

Thanks, Jeff. I don’t even know where to start this week. I got in from California late last night and still don’t really have a handle on what time it is. I keep thinking I have three more hours to get this Update live, and I don’t. There was so much cool stuff going on last week on our KTM Canada trip in California that I will be sifting through photos and content for weeks to come.
First off, let me say thank you to Claudie Lapointe and Florian Burguet from KTM Canada for being the most gracious hosts ever. You guys really went above and beyond to make us feel at home and make sure we got the very most we could have from that 7-day trip. We pretty much saw and did it all! Well, except for that surf trip Florian kept dangling in front of me like a carrot. Oh well, next time.
KTM Canada

The Crazy Canucks out for dinner in Temecula, California. – Max Messier photo

Our trip started in San Francisco and the Santa Clara Supercross and then we headed south down the coast to Temecula with sightseeing stops in Pismo Beach and Half Moon Bay to check out where the world class monster wave at Mavericks can sometimes be found in winter months. It was pancake flat that day.

2016 KTM Canada Thor Racing Team Unveiled

KTM Canada Group

Hayden Halstead Joins MX101|FXR|Yamaha for 2016

Hayden Halstead

Nathan Bles Gets Support from Big Steel Box Redemption Racing Fly KTM Canada for 2016

Bayfield, Ontario, rider, Nathan Bles, has found a home for the 2016 season. The likable rider has been racing Pro for a bunch of years now. Each summer, he threatens to walk away and get a ‘real job’ and then we find him lining up on the gate as soon as he can. This summer, Nathan will get support from Josh Snider and the gang to race the Eastern MX1 national on a KTM 450.

Nathan will drive to the races on his own in their motorhome and trailer but will have all the parts and help from the main team – kind of the same deal as Kyle Keast had in 2015 with the GDR team.

Nathan is always a welcome rider on the line, so it’s great to hear he’ll be hitting as many events as he can before he joins the ‘real world.’ Some day, Nathan, just not today.

Nathan Bles will race the Eastern MX1 Nationals on a Big Steel Box Redemption Racing Fly KTM. - Bigwave photo

Nathan Bles will race the Eastern MX1 Nationals on a Big Steel Box Redemption Racing Fly KTM 450. – Bigwave photo

AMO Newsletter #6

AMO Racing News Letter #6 - Gopher Dunes Practice Day-1 AMO Racing News Letter #6 - Gopher Dunes Practice Day-2 AMO Racing News Letter #6 - Gopher Dunes Practice Day-3


MMRS Riding School is Coming April 23-24

Ready to ride ? New to motocross ? No better way to get started then with the MMRS School and Practice Weekend.
April 23 & 24, 2016 at the Cochrane track.

All beginner and novice riders are encouraged to attend this school. It will involve instruction on all aspects of riding and will be held at different stations throughout the track. Students will be divided into appropriate groups based on their ability level and size of bike. A great way to get the season started. Lots of seat time and great tips. Following the school, the track will be open for practice.

The 50 riders who are just beginning will have their own track to practice on. Any 50 riders who have raced before will have the option of joining the 60’s on the track.

Please note: Tyke riders ( beginners just learning to ride and not yet ready to race ) will have a section available on Sat. during the school. There is no cost for this.

Sunday will be an all day open practice for motocross bikes.

No membership is required for the school or the practice.

Gates will open Friday Apr. 22 at 5:00 p.m.

Apr. 23/16
7:30 a.m. Sign – In
9:00 a.m. – noon MX School
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. open MX practice

Cost: $ 50:00 for 60’s, 80’s and big bikes. $30 for 50 riders not using the main track $20 afternoon practice only
* regular gate and camping fees will apply

Apr. 24/16
8:30 a.m. Flagging Instruction – we have flagging positions available and anyone who would like to flag at any of our events this year should plan to attend this session. We will also have positions available for flagging during practice, following the instruction. Please email if you are interested on working this year or during practice on Sunday so I can reserve you a spot.

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Open MX Practice $25

Popkum Motor Park Future West Moto Races and Practice this Weekend


From Vancouver (117 km) :
Take the Trans Canada Highway/BC-1 E ramp. Merge onto BC-1 E. Take exit 138 toward Popkum Road. Turn Right. Turn left onto Bridal Falls Rd. Popkum Motor Park will be on the right.

Future West Moto – no license/membership series
popkum motorpark

Future West Moto Racing comes to Popkum for Round 3 in the series!

April 9th Practice Day
April 10th Race Day

Gate Fees Friday-Sunday (Wristband): $10/person to a maximum of $25 per family; 5 Yrs and Under are Free

Front gate:
Friday April 8: open 12pm – 11pm
Saturday April 9: open 7am – 11pm
Sunday April 10: 6:30am – 2:30pm

Camping: $10 per night (back parking lot)
Day parking in front lot

Saturday Practice Fee: $30

Classes: 1st Class $35, 2nd Class $30, 3rd Class $25

Insured storage for mx bikes is available for on site. Check Popkum website for details.


  • Pros and Intermediates
  • Juniors
  • Ladies / Age Classes
  • 65’s and 85’s
  • 50cc, New Kid, Young Ladies

Saturday Riders Meeting 8:30 am, Practise Start at 9:00 am

for all the details: Popkum Motor Park EVENT

Microsoft Word - Redemption Racing PR Release-2.docx

OK, the day has flown by and that will do it for this week. Have a great weekend and enjoy the riding and racing wherever you are. I’m going to go and get this jet lag under control by starting with a nap…

See you at the races...

See you at the races…