VOLUME 2, ISSUE 4
Za ch B el l 2012 AMA Motocross See Page 6
AMA Vintage Grand Champions
Steward Baylor Goes Fast
Texas District Finals Member Tested
Fatherâ€™s Day Surprise
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Horizon Award Winner
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Photos Ambrose: David Stanoszek/M5 Racing; Fredette and Giddings: Corey Mays
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AMA Vintage Grand Champions Crowned Old Bikes Go Fast Too On July 20-22, the AMA Vintage Grand Championships welcomed the country’s top vintage racers to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. With champions crowned in roadracing, motocross, hare scrambles and trials, a lot of trophies were handed out. Three riders excelled, claiming AMA Vintage Grand Championships. Adam Giddings won the 2012 AMA Off-Road Vintage Grand Championship, Ryan Ambrose grabbed the 2012 AMA Track Racing Vintage Grand
Championship, and Jeff Fredette was the 2012 AMA Senior Off-Road Vintage Grand Champion. Giddings, a 23-year-old Team Pentovarna rider from Little Hocking, Ohio, took the off-road honor for the third straight year. He won his hare scrambles and motocross events and placed sixth in trials. “It went real well,” Giddings says. “I’m definitely going to be back. I’m going to work on my trials skills so it’s not so tight.”
Ambrose, 29, of Dallas, Texas, raced vintage Triumphs to three roadracing titles. He also lined up for the 750 Masters class in dirt track, where he finished fifth. “I’m real excited about this,” Ambrose says. “This has been a goal of mine for a couple years. We just finally decided to put it together this year and go for it.” Fredette, from Beecher, Ill., didn’t win an individual title, but his consistency earned him the points he needed for the multi-discipline honor. “Last year was tough,” says Fredette, who came up short for the senior award in 2011 when he served as event grand marshal. “It was hard to focus. This year was a little easier.”
Champions Crowned At Loretta Lynn’s
d r a o B Pit
Thirty-six American Motorcyclist Association members have joined the ranks of AMA national champions following a week of intense motocross racing at the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships at the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. One of the most impressive riders of the week was AMA Motocross Horizon Award winner and Honda rider Zach Bell from Cairo, Ga. Bell swept all three motos in the 250 A class and finished third in the Open Pro Sport class, winning the final moto. “It’s a great feeling,” Bell says. “I’ve worked all my life to get to this point, and I wanted to make my last year my best year. I came out with the Horizon Award and now it’s time to move to the pro ranks. Amateur racing was fun, but now it’s time to move on and see what we can do at the pro level.” Bell will go pro this season, finishing out the year in the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championships in the 250 class, but he says he’ll always have good memories of his amateur career. “You always have fun out there [at Loretta Lynn’s],” he says. “The fans are great. The track is awesome.” Bell has some simple advice for youth riders hoping to duplicate his success. “Put yourself in a good position to get a good ride, work out to stay in shape, do your motos, keep your fitness strong, and stay focused on your goals,” he says. The AMA Youth Motocrosser of the
Photos Bell: David Smith/racedaypix.com
Zach Bell wins AMA Motocross Horizon Award
FMF Factory 4.1 Full System Centralize Your Mass And Look Good Doing It
Engines are air pumps. Fuel/air goes in, and exhaust comes out. The more efficiently you can move that air, the more power you can make. FMF is one company that has taken the science of exhaust movement to entirely new levels, and the Factory 4.1 RCT Anodized Full System— with carbon-fiber end cap—is among its latest products. For FMF, it’s not just about making power. It’s also about sound control. The Factory 4.1 RCT is designed for closedcourse competition use only, but a new silencer core is designed to lower the sound level while optimizing the exhaust pressure wave.
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moto score over Connecticut’s Michael Treadwell. Finishing third in the Senior 40+ class was multi-time AMA Hare & Hound National Champion Destry Abbott. New this year was the Two-Stroke (16+) class, and it was a huge hit with competitors. who ranged from the front-running 17-year-old Ty Siminoe to 32-year-old class champion Mike Sleeter. “These riders gave it their all to win an AMA national championship No. 1 plate on the world’s biggest stage of amateur motocross racing: the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships,” says AMA Director of Racing Joe Bromley. “Once again, event organizer MX Sports delivered an outstanding experience for hundreds of racers across a wide range of age and skill levels, from the stellar track conditions to the closing ceremonies.”
The AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships are one of the longest-running amateur motorsports championships in the country. The AMA launched the program in 1975. That year, a series of regional races qualified riders for the amateur championships, featuring 125cc, 250cc and open classes, held in Baldwin, Kan., and the youth championships, featuring 65cc, 75cc and 105cc classes, held in Pittsburg, Kan. MX Sports has organized the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships since 1982, when the event moved to its current location at the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. There, every summer, it crowns the country’s top amateur motocross racers. For complete results from the week of racing, see www.mxsports.com.
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Year was Kawasaki Team Green rider Adam Cianciarulo. Cianciarulo, from Port Orange, Fla., dominated the Supermini 1 (12-15) class and Supermini 2 (13-16) class, winning all six motos. The two titles gave Cianciarulo a total of 11, tying him with Loretta Lynn legends Mike Alessi and James Stewart in career amateur motocross titles. In the Vet ranks, Robbie Reynard claimed the AMA’s top Vet honors. Reynard, from Oklahoma City, Okla., won the Vet 35+ title and finished third in the Junior 25+ class. “I have been attending the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships as a rider or an official since the 1970s,” says AMA Motocross Manager Kip Bigelow, who competed in the Masters 50+ class this year. “This was, without question, one of the most exciting and electrifying AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships ever. From Zach Bell’s AMA Horizon Award to the return of Ricky Carmichael, who has achieved unmatched status in the professional ranks yet still came back to chase another AMA national No. 1 plate in the Junior 25+ class, this year will be remembered for a long time.” Carmichael’s return was a highlight for both competitors and fans alike. Carmichael, who retired four years ago as the most prolific champion in the history of AMA Pro Motocross competition, won all three of his Junior 25+ motos. The Havana, Fla., rider did not go unchallenged, however. Reynard caught and passed Carmichael on the opening lap of the third moto before Carmichael reclaimed the lead. Another notable finish by a former pro champion was Masters 50+ winner Gary Semics from Salem, Ore. Semics, who was the 1974 AMA Supercross 500cc champion, swept all three motos to take the Masters title. History was also made at Loretta’s by Utah’s Pierce Brown, who won the first 65cc AMA national title for longtime 50cc class powerhouse Cobra. Brown won all three motos on his Cobra CX 65 to sweep the 65 (7-9) Stock class, beating out California’s Stilez Robertson and Michigan’s Jace Kessler. Fromer factory Yamaha rider Doug Dubach of California claimed his eighth and ninth AMA Amateur National Motocross titles after winning four of the six motos he entered. Dubach won the Senior 45+ championship over Michigan’s John Grewe and then wrapped up the Senior 40+ title with a 3-1-1
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STEWARD BAYLOR BREAKS OUT KTM-Mounted Privateer Rules The Woods Story and photos by Shan Moore
o say that Steward Baylor Jr. has had a banner season in 2012 might be an understatement. In his first full year with the AMA Rekluse National Enduro Championship Series, the 18-year-old from South Carolina won four of the first six rounds and held a substantial lead in the series standings ahead of a bevy of seasoned veterans. What’s even more impressive is that he’s done it as a privateer. Baylor is one of hundreds of new riders to give the AMA Rekluse National Enduro Championship Series a try, thanks to rule changes that make it easier for newcomers to get involved. In fact, Baylor rode the opening race of the year just for fun, but after coming away with a surprise win, the KTM rider immersed himself in the series. Baylor credits his success to family support and the fact that his father and grandfather got him started at an early age. AMA Racer spoke with the young gun from Belton, S.C., about his early success in America’s oldest off-road racing discipline. AMA Racer: You got started at quite an early age. Give us a little history. Steward Baylor: My grandfather and my father both raced and they got me started when I was about 3, so I got an earlier start than most guys in the pro class. I got my learning years out a little bit earlier, and hopefully I can keep learning a little bit more and my speed
will keep increasing and my endurance can only get better. AR: Were you a natural from the start? SB: I had a real big crash my first time riding a bike, and my first race I walked the bike around the track so I was really slow on 50s and 65s. I wasn’t that great.
Things started clicking in 2004. I just started getting a little bit faster. That was the year I got my first youth national championship, and then I got my second one in 2006, and since then I’ve got a national championship every year except one. Now I’m racing with the guys who were my heroes, and I’m actually competing with my heroes so it’s pretty cool. My parents have pushed me really
Bobbitt has always been a really, really good stand-up rider. For me, I think you stand up coming into the corners, and coming into the corners is where you make your time. People say it’s in the corners, but anybody can hit the gas going through a corner. It’s really how far you can push the limit coming in. Your entrance is key and I stand up all the time. That’s something I practice on at our corner track. I always stand up before every corner just to set myself up, because if you stay sitting down into the corner, your body language with the bike is thrown off and you know you’ll come off balance and make little mistakes. You’ll never be perfect but doing the corners and making sure I’m standing up before that will get me close, and then I sit down exiting the corner to get traction.
hard. My dad, he’s always stayed on me. I ride out of emotion, so whenever I’m pushed is when I ride my best and I’ve really been pushed to find that speed. I may not be the fastest rider out there, but I’ve come into it early enough that I think that I can be the smartest rider out there. By the time I’m the age of the other guys, I think I’ll have the experience to win championships on a consistent basis. AR: Talk about your style. You seem to sit down more than most riders. SB: Yes, I sit down some. I actually sit down under acceleration where other people stand up. [Sitting down] puts the power to the ground on a two-stroke and you kind of need to do that. On a four-stroke, with all that motor you can actually stand up a little more. Russell
AWNING S CUSTOM
R YOUR T
AR: Aren’t you at a financial disadvantage to the factories? SB: Yeah, that’s another disadvantage. We’re spending money and my dad has invested so much that right now we can’t afford not to finish a race. He checks everything on the bike more than four or five times. He’s got a checklist he runs through, so I don’t think those guys have any advantage as far as the bike or a mechanic, it’s just the money factor. They’re riding 300 and 450cc bikes, and I’m riding a 250cc. And especially in the stuff we’re riding, I can ride it to its full potential, where in previous years I haven’t been able to do that. For me, the 250 is easy to control, and I can carry my speed, which is the main thing you need to do. This is all about carrying your speed. It’s not about hammering every rut. It’s not about how fast you can go. It’s about being mistake free because everybody is so close. You make one mistake and that can be the difference between first and sixth. You’ve got to use your head and you just have to feel confident with your ability.
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AR: You just turned pro last year. Talk about that transition. SB: Last year was still a learning curve as far as in the pro class. It was my second year and I was 16 years old, and I was still blowing a lot of hot air. I was making more mistakes, and towards the end of the year I had a couple of bad races whenever we went up north, and those races have never really been my strong point. This year, I think, everything will change. I’m going to try a little bit different stuff as far as where I’m riding and how I’m riding, and hopefully that will make me stronger the further north we go. It’s just a matter of really figuring everything out. Right now, as far as the year’s gone, I think I’ve figured out a lot more about competing at a high level over the past six months. I came into the season strong and I hope I can go from here and get stronger.
AR: You are basically competing as a privateer. Do you feel you’re at a disadvantage against the factory riders? SB: The only thing, I guess, is I don’t have a factory mechanic, so my dad works on the bike. And we don’t have all the parts and stuff that the factory guys have. But look in the books and see if you can find a DNF. We’ve got an outstanding track record. I haven’t had a DNF unless it was a blown-up bike, which was mostly my fault, or unless I sucked in water. We haven’t had a DNF in years, and I think he’s just as good as any of the factory mechanics.
Texas’ Top Motocrossers Target 2012 Texas AMA District State Final Qualifiers Will Determine Field
AMA members in Texas will battle through a full district qualifier format over the next three months, vying for a spot on the starting gate at the Texas AMA District State Final on Nov. 17-18 at Buffalo Creek MX Park in Canton, Texas. “Texas boasts some of America’s finest tracks and fastest racers, and this fall those racers will go head to head to determine the best in each class,” says AMA Director of Racing Joe Bromley. Now in its second year, the Texas AMA District State Final will take place at Buffalo Creek MX Park, about 40 miles east of Dallas. The Texas AMA District State Final will host riders
who qualified through the AMA District Championship Series in District 41 (Northeast Texas), District 20 (Southeast Texas) and District 42 (West Texas). More information is available at www. buffalocreekmx.com. “We are very excited about AMA District racing being established in Texas,” says Russell Hobbs, AMAchartered promoter, Buffalo Creek MX owner and AMA District 41 Congressman. “In 2011, the series’ first year, the great turnouts with full gates proved that Texas motocross racers are happy to finally have a series to qualify and compete against riders from other districts. This year, all the promoters
The Texas AMA District State Final isn’t the only premier amateur motocross action in the state this November. On Nov. 3-4, Freestone County Raceway in Wortham, Texas, will host the AMA Texas State Championship. “Texas isn’t one of the country’s biggest motocross states for nothing,” says AMA Director of Racing Joe Bromley. “This November, Freestone, along with the Texas AMA District State Final at Buffalo Creek, will host some amazing racing, and I’m looking forward to seeing our racers take advantage of both of these premier events.” The 10th Annual AMA Texas State Championship meet will be held on the world-class Freestone County Raceway in the epicenter of the state. Freestone is one of the top motocross tracks in the country. The AMA Texas State Championship at Freestone is a winnertake-all weekend and doesn’t require qualifiers. More information and online pre-entry can be found at www.freestonemx.com. involved are committed to seeing growth in AMA-sanctioned competition in Texas. The AMA has been very supportive in this process.” For more information about AMAsanctioned competition events, see www. amaracing.com.
Texas AMA District State Final & Qualifiers Final: • Nov. 17-18: Buffalo Creek MX Park, Canton, Texas. www.buffalocreekmx.com AMA District 20 Championship Series: • Round 1: Aug. 11: 3 Palms MX Park, Conroe, Texas • Round 2: Aug. 25: Cowboy Badlands, Beaumont, Texas • Round 3: Sept. 9: Ultimate MX, Alvin, Texas • Round 4: Sept. 23: Cycle Ranch MX Park, Floresville, Texas • Round 5: Sept. 30: Rio Bravo MX Park, Houston, Texas • Round 6: Oct. 14: 3 Palms MX Park (GP Track), Conroe, Texas
AMA District 41 Championship Series: • Round 1: Sept. 2: Underground MX, Kemp, Texas • Round 2: Sept. 9: River Valley MX, Boyd, Texas • Round 3: Sept. 23: Village Creek, Ft. Worth, Texas • Round 4: Sept. 30: Buffalo Creek, Canton, Texas (includes AMA Pro-Am) • Round 5: Oct. 21: North 40 Cycle Park, Sherman, Texas • Round 6: Oct. 28: Johnsonville MX, Yantis, Texas AMA District 42 Championship Series: • Round 1: Sept. 16: Lefors MX, Lefors, Texas • Round 2: Nov. 4: Bowers MX, Amarillo, Texas
Photos Texas: Buffalo Creek MX Park; Daytona: Jim Moore
Texas State Championship More MX For The Lone Star State
Father’s Day Surprise
Motorcycling: A Generational Addiction By Carl Jahns
Pro Circuit Exhaust /Cobra CX 65
Pro Circuit has developed a new exhaust for Cobra’s CX 65. We asked Miles Higgins, 8, who raced a Pro Circuit-fitted Cobra to an AMA District 5 (Western Virginia, Western Pennsylvania) Arenacross title, what he thought about the new pipe. By Miles Higgins The Pro Circuit pipe on my Cobra CX 65 helps the bike rev out really well. It feels good when you change gears and is very fast. The bike comes out of the corners much better now and almost feels as fast as my Suzuki RM 85. The Pro Circuit pipe gives me more speed, and it makes the bike easier to jump. The bike revs longer, too, and the power doesn’t go flat on top at all. The bike is much faster in Arenacross. It just seems like the bike gets going faster and you don’t wait at all when you hit the throttle. I can use the clutch a little bit more by carrying a higher gear in corners and fanning it quickly with some throttle on. It rides more like my 85 now. The pipe is good-looking. I think that you can really notice how it stands out at the track. Some kids get worried when they see the new Cobra, because now everyone knows they are fast. They don’t make enough Cobra 65s. Some of the dads are mad that they couldn’t get one when they wanted one. They’ll be really mad when their kid gets beaten now that the bike is so fast, especially with this Pro Circuit pipe! More info: www.procircuit.com.
out and finish the task. About an hour later, the first pops came from the vintage exhaust. It’s that familiar sound from my youth of a torquey piston-port two-stroke. With a garage full of smoke in the background I walked into the house to inform my now sleeping wife of the success. My son and daughter spent the next couple of days doing the general polishing, so I could attend to the detailing work in the evenings. It was fun to come home and check the progress and have them both give me reports on what they did and ask how to deal with some trouble spots. I was amazed that my 15-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son were working together without conflict toward a common goal. By Friday we had it looking great and running like a top. On Father’s Day, the family gathered at my parent’s home after church for a normal Father’s Day get-together. I invited my parents to stop over on their afternoon Harley ride. My son and I methodically planned the presentation. I had Collin open the service door of the garage so the familiar sound could be heard from the patio as the “pop..pop… pop“ of the 185cc two-stroke engine echoed in the garage. Collin rode around the back and up to the patio in front of my dad. My dad, the ex-Marine, is not known for showing emotion, but his appreciation was obvious as he looked over the bike. After a test ride, I could see the excitement he felt from being reunited with an old friend. We took time to get some fatherson photos in the driveway and look at how the bikes have changed over the years. Later that evening after their Harley ride, my parents stopped in again. After some idle chit-chat (unusual for my dad as he always has a purpose) my mom took me aside and expressed how touched he really was by our hard work. Mission accomplished. Carl D. Jahns is an AMA member from Franklin, Wis.
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AMA Member Tested
Motorcycles have been part of my life since I was 3 years old. When my dad got back from the Marines, he gave me a ride on his Zundapp in the field next to my grandparent’s house (some 45 years ago). Since then, there has been some magic with bikes that gives me pleasure any time I am around them. I credit him for this passion and work to return the favor every chance I get. Although Dad rides his Harley quite a bit, he has not ridden his dirtbike in more than 16 years. This spring, he talked about getting his dirtbike running again, but with all the help he offers friends, family and his church, he is constantly busy, so the dirtbike just never got the time. The week before Father’s Day, I decided to surprise my dad by pulling his 1973 Suzuki TS 185 out of the barn loft and bringing it back to life. My son, Collin, and I planned a kidnapping of the 185 without either of my parents knowing. Getting it out of the loft was a bit tricky. My 12-year-old son kept asking, “Are you sure this will work?” A large ramp from the loft into the back of my pickup provided a challenging but successful extraction. Flat tires and rusty chrome (yes, the old off-roaders had as much as a modern-day Harley) and 15 years of dust had me thinking I was taking on too much for the time we had. The first night back at the house, I was able to air the tires and get the grunge off and prepare the bike for some wrenching and polishing (thank you, S-100!). I could not resist the urge to get her running, so off came the tank and the carb. With a little flushing and cleaning, things were looking good enough to flow fuel. I put gas in the tank and turned on the fuel valve. It had no leaks, so it got a hardy kick. Much to my surprise, the lever stopped firmly at about half stroke! I had pushed the lever through its stroke by hand up in the barn, so I knew it was not seized. A quick pull of the spark plug revealed the cylinder was full of oil. My dad is known to use quite a bit of oil when preparing engines for storage, so I suspect the bike was simply hydrolocked. Even in the late hour, I could not resist the urge to flush the engine
Director’s letter RACING DEPARTMENT Joe Bromley Director Kevin Crowther Director of Supercross and Pro Racing Relations Bill Cumbow Director of Special Projects Kip Bigelow Motocross/Arenacross Manager Ken Saillant Track Racing Manager Chuck Weir Off-Road Manager Jane Caston Supercross/Motocross Coordinator Tamra Jones Off-Road/Track Racing Coordinator Lana Cox Administrative Assistant AMA (614) 856-1900 AMARacing@ama-cycle.org 13515 Yarmouth Dr. Pickerington, OH 43147
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EDITORIAL AMA Racer is produced by the Communications Department of the American Motorcyclist Association. AMA Racer (614) 856-1900 firstname.lastname@example.org 13515 Yarmouth Dr. Pickerington, OH 43147 AmericanMotorcyclist.com Cover Photo: Zach Bell races his way to the 2012 AMA Motocross Horizon Award (Credit: David Smith/racedaypix.com)
WINNING, It Never Gets Old Once you’ve won a motorcycle race, you’re hooked. I know because I see it in my kids every time we go to the track. They’ve competed in literally thousands of races over the years, from dirt track to hare scrambles on everything from vintage bikes to the latest race bikes. It doesn’t matter if there’s a garage full of trophies. There’s always room for one more! This summer, we saw a pretty telling display of that sentiment at the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships. Racing in the Junior 25+ class was none other than Ricky Carmichael—yep, that Ricky Carmichael, the greatest motocross racer of all time. Ricky, who retired as a pro four years ago, knocked the dust off his boots to come back and compete for an amateur title. Ricky won, of course, and now adds another AMA national No. 1 plate to his trophy room. It also means that Ricky, along with every rider who finished on the podium at Loretta Lynn’s this year, earned himself an invitation to the 2012 AMA Championship Banquet Jan. 19, 2013, at the Aladdin Center in Columbus, Ohio. The annual get-together recognizes all AMA National Champions in both national championship series, such as the AMA Rekluse National Enduro Championship Series, and our grand championship-level events, such as the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships. We like to move the banquet around when we can, so after three years out west, the annual event is moving back east. This will make it easier for some of our East Coast riders to make the show. We’re also expanding the program to honor more racers. In recent years, we’ve invited class champions to the annual banquet. This year, the top three finishers in AMA-sanctioned motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle 2012 national championship competition will be recognized. Class champions will receive medals and No. 1 plates at the banquet, while secondand third-place finishers also will receive awards. The winners of special annual awards, such as the AMA Grand Championship Athlete of the Year and the AMA National Championship Athlete of the Year awards, will be announced as well. It’s going to be a great time. The program—which will include dinner, door prizes, refreshments, a bike show and an after party—will honor hundreds of top competitors in disciplines ranging from land-speed racing to motocross to woods racing and everything in between. One of my favorite things about the event is the range of competitors in the crowd. AMA-sanctioned competition is special for a number of reasons, and one is that we represent one of the most diverse sports on the planet. We have champions who are 6 years old and champions who are 60 years old. We have champions who are men and champions who are women. We have champions who race motocross in Tennessee and champions who compete in land-speed competition on an expansive dry salt lake bed in Utah. We have champions who are weekend warriors and champions whose lives revolve around the sport we all love. Grab a random group of AMA champions and quite possibly they’ll share just one attribute: the fact they’re all human. Beyond that, anything goes! But talk to them, and you’ll find out they all have at least one more thing in common. Winning, each one will tell you, never gets old.
Insets: Dirt Track (Corey Mays), Steward Baylor (Shan Moore), Motocross (Buffalo Creek MX) AMA Racer is published by the American Motorcyclist Association, Copyright (c) 2012. Printed in USA. Send story ideas and photos to email@example.com. All submitted material becomes property of the AMA. Return of special items may be arranged, but call (614) 856-1900 before submitting.
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Curt Leaverton CEO, Pivot Works, Inc.