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C A N A D A’ S S O U R C E F O R M O T O C R O S S A N D O F F - R O A D

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PUBLISHER: Charles Stancer, Mark Stallybrass V.P. OF SALES AND MARKETING: Charles Stancer

SENIOR WRITERS: Andy White, Mike McGill

SALES MANAGER: Al Jaggard

46 THE WORKING MAN’S HERO Liam O’Farrell grabs his lunch box and goes racing

50 DREAM COME TRUE Palms test rides a factory KX450F

54 RUDY’S VINTAGE COLLECTION A few bikes from the glory years of MX 56 MXP CHATTER WITH EVE BRODEUR Canada’s top female rider talks about her incredible season 60 THE ULTIMATE MOTO VAN BUILD A look at the best race truck ever

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30 THE CHAMP SPEAKS Palms sits down with Dylan Wright

40 AGAINST ALL ODDS The story of the 2020 Walton TransCan

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EDITOR: Chris Pomeroy

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24 JESS PETTIS Resurgence

34 THE UNLIKELIEST OF SEASONS Mike McGill looks back at 2020

24

2 0

10 EXPOSED 16 CAUGHT ON CAMERA

SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR: Shelby Mahon STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER: James Lissimore CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: James Lissimore, Drew Robertson, Leticia Cline, Andy White, Matt Wellumson, Sean Poitras, Lawrence Hacking, Kate McKerroll CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Virgil Knapp, Clayton Racicot, Bill Petro, Matt Wellumson, Frank Hoppen, Summer Denzler, Mike Vizer COVER PHOTO: James Lissimore MXP has the exclusive rights to the MRC’s mailing list of racing license holders. Every MRC license holder from coast to coast receives and reads each issue of MXP. In addition to this exclusive list of readers, we are partnered with several motocross and off-road enthusiast organizations across the country including the FMSQ. FOR ADVERTISING INQUIRIES CONTACT: Charles Stancer 416-633-1202 charles@mxpmag.com mxpmag.com Canadian Publications Mail Products Sales Agreement# 41831514 MX PERFORMANCE is published 7 times per year CANADIAN POSTMASTER: Send address corrections to: PO Box 171 Stouffville, Ontario L4A 7Z5 SUBSCRIPTION RATES: 1 year - Canada $20.00 Cdn., U.S.A. $40.00 US, 416-633-1202

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18 

FAMOUS LAST WORDS by Chris Pomeroy

20 GUEST COLUMN by Dylan Wright

22

FEMALE PERSPECTIVE with Delaney Brogan

64

THE BICYCLE PAGE with Allan Jaggard

65

OASA COLUMN with Carl Bastedo

66 INSIDE LINE with Andy White

MX PERFORMANCE IS PRINTED IN CANADA

8 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

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OFF-RAOD

2021 YZ250F Tune, Race, Win Increased Power Output I Tuned Chassis I Wireless Power Tuner App I Map Selector Switch

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PHOTO BY JAM E S LISSIMOR E

WAVING GOOD-BYE Matt Goerke celebrates after winning the final race of his incredible career.

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PHOTO BY JAM E S LISSIMOR E

PICTURE PERFECT Phil Nicoletti demonstrates perfect technique as he rails through a Sand Del Lee berm.

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PHOTO BY JAM E S LISSIMOR E

DRAG RACING Sometimes even the 450 riders need all the power they can get.

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CAUGHT ON CAMERA

A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNAL FROM RACES AND EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.

S It’s always worth the drive to Walton.

S Julien Benek is looking over at his new Yamaha.

S Walton brings out the smiles in even the youngest

S Looks like a good day to ride.

S Riding for the right cause always makes people

S Even a Global Pandemic couldn’t keep Kourtney

S When JSR speaks everyone listens.

S Always look at your pit board, kids.

S Walton Raceway had all health and safety protocols S Unfortunately, Cole didn’t have a lot to smile about in place.

in 2020.

S Lip reading skills are pointless these days.

S The sun always shines on the winners.

S The Triple Crown Series booth game is strong.

S Are you ready? Don’t keep Murph waiting.

S When you win, you can wear whatever sunglasses

S Even the KTM Canada boss showed up at SDL to

S Thankfully, Jess gave his parents a lot to smile

S Billy was one proud Papa after Round 5.

S Colton gives young McNabb his stern face.

S It was time for BC to celebrate at Round 4.

happy.

about.

away from the TransCan.

fans.

you want.

watch his team celebrate.

16 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

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2020 MXP.pdf

1

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C

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Split frame to help mimic your natural movement, allowing you to work smarter, not harder.

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FAMOUS LAST WORDS WITH CHRIS POMEROY

PHOTOS BY JAM E S LISSIMOR E

HOME OF THE BRAVE WELL, THESE ARE MOST CERTAINLY INTERESTING TIMES WE’RE LIVING THROUGH RIGHT NOW. IF YOU WANT TO MAKE YOUR BRAIN HURT JUST THINK ABOUT ALL THAT HAS HAPPENED SINCE MARCH. WE’VE BATTLED THROUGH A PANDEMIC, WE WATCHED ALL OF MAJOR SPORTS, INCLUDING OURS, SHUT DOWN AND THEN START UP AGAIN. WE’VE LISTENED TO OUR GOVERNMENTS GIVE US A DIFFERENT DIRECTION TO TAKE ALMOST EVERY WEEK. IT’S BEEN A FRUSTRATING TIME, TO SAY THE LEAST, BUT THROUGH IT ALL, WE’VE PERSEVERED AND TRIED TO DO OUR BEST WITH THE HAND WE’VE BEEN DEALT.

I

don’t know if it’s because we’re involved in a sport that has so many uncontrolled variables that we’ve become immune to the fear of not knowing what’s around the next bend. Riding motorcycles is a dangerous past-time, and we are all aware of the risks each time we throw our leg over one of our unpredictable two-wheeled beasts. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think that being involved in this sport has helped provide us with the skill set to better handle the COVID-19 pandemic. Since our last issue in July, a lot has happened that gives us the reason to be optimistic as we move toward 2021. In mid-August we had riders from right across Canada travel to the tiny hamlet of Walton, Ontario to compete in the Walton TransCan. For some riders, their opening moto at the TransCan represented their first race of 2020 as a few regions in Canada had not yet opened for competition. Hearing stories like that throughout the week at Walton Raceway reinforced the reality of how brave we are in this sport. Imagine driving all the way to Walton from B.C. or Alberta to compete against the best riders in your class and it being your first race since last

year. As you’ll learn in this issue, Brett and Melody Lee didn’t know at first if anyone was going to come to the TransCan. It was one of those events where you couldn’t tell at the outset whether it was going to be a success or a failure. Thankfully, the 2020 Walton TransCan was a massive success and now that we’ve had a few months to process it, I think it was one of the most special events Canada witnessed this summer. Remember, at the time, other than some protests and marches there hadn’t been an outdoor event as large as the Walton TransCan since before the pandemic hit. To see so many riders and families gathered under the umbrella of competition, all while following health protocols was truly amazing. On the pro racing side of our sport, it was remarkable that Jetwerx and the Triple Crown Series crew were able to get not just the MXTour Series in, but also the SXTour in September. Was it perfect? No, it wasn’t as the series ended up staying within the borders of Ontario. However, for this crazy season of racing that’s how it had to be, and I think it worked out great. We witnessed back-to-back rounds at Walton Raceway, Sand Del

Lee and Gopher Dunes, and saw great racing every time the gate dropped, and in the end, we crowned some very deserving champions. Like we saw with Monster Energy Supercross in June, the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships last month, and most recently with the return of NHL, NBA, and MLB, in 2020 perseverance was the most important ingredient to finishing a season. I’m sure everyone is this industry feels a big sense of pride that the Rockstar Energy Triple Crown Series is part of the historic list of sports that were able to hand out championship trophies this year. In this issue, Mike McGill tells us how the Jetwerx crew were able to pull this year’s series off during such uncertain times. So where do we go from here as a sport and leisure activity in Canada? Well, according to the latest MMIC numbers, competition and off-road bike sales are still through the roof. After selling out of most of 2020 models, orders for 2021 models are well ahead of where they were last year. In fact, everything outdoorsy from bicycles to pools has sold like hotcakes. Even home renovations have taken off and now we’re starting to see a shortage of lumber. It’s been a crazy buying

REMEMBER, AT THE TIME, OTHER THAN SOME PROTESTS AND MARCHES THERE HADN’T BEEN AN OUTDOOR EVENT AS LARGE AS THE WALTON TRANSCAN SINCE BEFORE THE PANDEMIC HIT.” cycle and while we know it won’t last forever, we’re glad to see such a big surge in interest. As for racing in 2021, just as I was sitting down to write this column, Feld Entertainment released the Supercross Schedule for next year and it looks positive. It kicks off in Houston on January 16 with three races there, followed by stops in Indianapolis and Glendale, California with multiple rounds in each city. From there, the series moves to the most famous speedway in the world and the Daytona SX during the first week in March, and then it’s back to Texas for rounds 10-12 in Arlington. As of this writing in late October, rounds 13-16 are listed as TBA, but we know the series finale will take place in Salt Lake City in early May. The 2021 SX Series is going to markets that have eased COVID-19 restrictions enough to allow some fans to attend. This series cannot work without at least some attendance and with the NFL currently allowing some fans at games in select markets, and the World Series taking place in front of a limited number of spectators, it should be safe for Supercross to do the same in 2021. Just hearing that there is going to be racing in two months time is a huge boost for our sport and I think it really sets a positive tone moving forward. Now we move into our official off-season and the dark and gloomy days of winter. But rest assured, it will be 2021 before long and I’m sure everyone will be celebrating not just the beginning of a new year, but the conclusion of a truly crazy one. I hope everyone enjoys this issue of MXP magazine. I think the stories in this issue really capture the essence of our 2020 events. Finally, what a year it was for our cover boy Jess Pettis. Throughout the summer he dominated the 250MX class during the MXTour Series. Now it’s on to the big bikes for Jess and some upcoming battles with Dylan Wright and Phil Nicoletti. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy and thank you for your continued support of MXP magazine.

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RIDE IN A COMPANY OF LEGENDS From James Stewart and Ricky Carmichael, to Ryan Villopoto and Adam Cianciarulo, the greatest racers laid the foundations for their careers on Kawasaki Team Green. Leading the way with innovative performance technologies and racer support programs, KX riders roll up to the starting gate with conďŹ dence, knowing that they’re following in the footsteps and saddles of Team Green legends before them. #Levelup with Kawasaki. 2020 Canadian Kawasaki Motors Inc. Always ride responsibly. Always ride within the limits of your skills, your experience and your machine. Wear an approved helmet and protective clothing. The actions depicted here took place under controlled conditions with professional riders.

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KAWASAKI.CA

2020-07-17 10:26 AM


GUEST COLUMN WITH DYLAN WRIGHT

PHOTOS BY JAM E S LISSIMOR E

ONE FINE SEASON WHERE DO I START? WHAT A YEAR 2020 HAS BEEN FOR ME AND MY TEAM. COMING INTO THE SEASON, WE DIDN'T KNOW IF WE WERE GOING TO BE RACING OR NOT. REGARDLESS, EVERYBODY ON THE TEAM DID THEIR PART THROUGHOUT THE SHUTDOWN AND WHEN IT WAS TIME TO DROP THE GATE, I THINK IT SHOWED. OVERALL, 2020 WAS A DREAM SEASON FOR ME. BEING AT THE TOP OF THE 450 CLASS IS SOMETHING YOU DREAM ABOUT AS A KID, AND I AM FINALLY THERE. I WAS ABLE TO HAVE A DOMINATING SEASON OUTDOORS, BRINGING HOME THE 450 MX CHAMPIONSHIP AND PERFORMED WELL AT THE SUPERCROSS RACES. UNFORTUNATELY, AN INJURY CUT THAT EFFORT SHORT WITH ONE ROUND TO GO. BUT IT WAS A SUCCESSFUL YEAR, AS I MANAGED TO WIN THE TRIPLE CROWN SERIES TITLE AS WELL. NOW I'M JUST REHABBING MY KNEE AND HOPING TO GET BACK ON THE BIKE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE SO THAT I CAN GET BACK TO DOING WHAT I LOVE TO DO.

S

tarting with the outdoor season, apart from two motos I would like to have back, it was an awesome season for me. I was able to win 11 of 14 motos and my worst finish was second overall at one round. I was happy and thrilled to have done so well this season, but at the same time, I surprised myself a little bit by how well I performed. I knew that I had put in a LOT of work this offseason, but you just never know where stack up against other competitors until the gate drops at the first round. I had worked on my riding a lot heading into this year, but I also worked on my mindset as well. I knew if I rode the bike the way I had been during testing that I would do fine, but if I over-rode the bike that the 450 would bite me in the butt. So, I just worked on hitting my marks no matter where I was on the track and no matter the situation. It’s nice to have that as a plan, but to actually execute it felt great. I also had Colton and Justin in my corner this year which was a huge help for me. It is proven that those two know how to win and having their feed-

back during the week and weekend goes a long way. I am super happy with my results, but now I must work even harder to defend the title next year!  After the outdoors had finished up, it was time for supercross. We did not have a lot of time to get ready for this series as it was only two weeks after the end of the outdoor series. I did, however, take a few days off to let my body recover after the MX series. But once we got back to work, the team and I put in some good, long and hard days on the supercross setup. We made a lot of changes heading into round 1 compared to what I was working with previously. I was happy with the process and am looking forward to putting in the work to make my setup better in the future. Winning one of the supercross rounds was a step in the right direction. I have been working hard to get better at indoor racing and I will continue to do so. It’s something that’s a little newer to me so I’m still learning. I am also having fun with it, which is always a plus. Unfortunately, at the second to last round of supercross in the second moto, my back tire slid out just before the finish line and clipped a tough block. The contact pitched me in a

weird way right at the bottom of the finish line jump. I planted my foot awkwardly and immediately knew something in my knee was not okay as I felt it buckle. I still was able to limp to a fifth-place finish and clinch the Triple Crown series championship. I have to admit that an extra $20,000 is good for the bank account!   ble. Luckily for me, I did not need surgery as it was a minor tear to my MCL, and LCL and sometimes surgery can make it worse. Also, rehab time without surgery is a lot shorter. My doctor in Ottawa reviewed everything and I am working closely with him and my trainer to get everything back to 100 percent as quickly as possible. With this downtime, I have a lot of time to think about my winter plan and what lies ahead. I am also looking to purchase my first house, and any of you who have been through that knows it’s not always easy. Thankfully, I am lucky to have Kaven Benoit helping me out, so it has been nice to catch up with him and support him in his new adventure into real estate.    Until next time, I hope everyone stays safe from COVID-19 and can enjoy the amazing fall weather riding dirt bikes as much as possible! 

“SO, I JUST WORKED ON HITTING MY MARKS NO MATTER WHERE I WAS ON THE TRACK AND NO MATTER THE SITUATION. IT’S NICE TO HAVE THAT AS A PLAN, BUT TO ACTUALLY EXECUTE IT FELT GREAT.”

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2020 ROCKSTAR ENERGY TRIPLE CROWN 450 MOTOCROSS CHAMPION DYLAN WRIGHT

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FEMALE PERSPECTIVE BY DELANEY BROGAN

WHEN YOU GO TO A TRIPLE CROWN EVENT, THE 250 GATE IS PACKED AND SO ARE THE STANDS. SAME FOR THE 450 CLASS. NAMES LIKE TYLER MEDAGLIA, DYLAN WRIGHT, AND PHIL NICOLETTI REALLY DRAW INTEREST AND RIGHTLY SO. MY QUESTION FOR SPECTATORS AND RACERS, THOUGH, IS WHY DO YOU LEAVE WHEN THE WMX CLASS LINES UP AT THE GATE? ARE THERE NOT ENOUGH BIG NAMES TO DRAW YOU IN? EVE BROUDER JUST ACCOMPLISHED A HUGE MILESTONE AND COMPETED IN THE WMX AND 250 CLASS ON MULTIPLE WEEKENDS EARNING HERSELF A 34TH IN THE 250 PRO CLASS. INSTEAD OF WATCHING HER AND OTHERS LIKE HER, IT SEEMS THE TREND IS TO WALK BACK TO THE PITS AND PREP FOR THE NEXT MOTO, FOUR HOURS LATER, RATHER THAN WATCH HER RACE.

N

ow, I’m not saying it’s wrong to not watch women race. Yes, they aren’t as aggressive as male riders, but when we are aggressive, we are told it’s too much or that it’s out of character for the women’s class. This sport isn’t about only watching your male buddies ride the beginner class and almost wipe out in the first corner. It’s also about supporting the sport no matter how many people are on the line. It should just be fellow riders and racers supporting whoever is on the track. I understand that there aren’t many girls at the top, but a few are breaking traditional female rider molds. Jordan Jarvis and Eve Brodeur, for instance, are out there battling the guys. Maybe that’s what we have to do, ladies. We just have to show the boys we can hang. Though standing next to our bikes in bikinis isn’t doing anything for women who are trying to earn respect in the community. I understand you can do

what you want with your bodies and your calendars, but maybe backing it up with a photo or video shredding on your bike is a good idea. Whatever happened to the Heidi Cooks and the Kate McKerrolls? Women who were ready to fight for their side of this sport and show that it doesn’t matter what you ride or what you have between your legs. Just pin it and beat everyone else. I have a friend who says it’s easier for women to get sponsored because we’re women, which is somewhat true because aren’t as many of us in the sport. But there aren’t equal payouts for men and women, and we tend to drop out of the sport by our late 20s when real life starts to take over. After that we either can’t afford to return, or we don’t have time, especially if we have a child. Sometimes our partner’s racing becomes more important than ours. When women receive little exposure, tell me how that makes it easier for us to acquire sponsorship. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is another side to this story. The WMX class lineup has been sparse in 2020. Yes, COVID-19 has been a big factor

“I THINK THE TRIPLE CROWN ORGANIZATION HAS DONE A PHENOMENAL JOB, AND THAT IT’S NOT THE END OF WMX, BUT JUST A HICCUP WE NEED TO CONQUER TOGETHER. in the lackluster number of female racers, but ladies, we need to start showing up! I know of at least 10 racers across Canada that would do very well if they could get a proper ride. Imagine some full WMX rides under the rigs of OTSFF, KTM or Honda. We compete on the same tracks, ride the same bikes, and do the same stuff as men. Why don’t we get the hype? You can go to YouTube and watch 10 or more motocross videos

without seeing a single female in any of them. Travis Pastrana said it best: “Vikki Golden isn’t a talented female freestyle rider, she’s just a talented freestyle rider.” Hear me out. I’m not saying everyone is doing everything wrong in the way of female motocross, and I’m not calling anyone out specifically. I think the Triple Crown organization has done a phenomenal job, and that it’s not the end of WMX, but just a hiccup we need to conquer together. Think of it like this: one day when you’re older and you’re at the track with your family and your daughter is up on the line for her first-ever WMX moto and you see a mass exodus of spectators leave and go to their pits, know that you did the same thing to girls her age. My Dad always said it doesn’t matter who else is on your line, all that matters that you’re out there, so you keep your head down and watch the gate drop. But for some reason, it does matter. Maybe it’s just me, but watching people walk away from the track as I go up to the line is heartbreaking. “Us women put our whole heart into this sport, and we do not get the respect we deserve. We travel the world for this, work our asses off, pull all this money out of our pocket. Once the women get on the gate the cameras go off, spectators start leaving, the radios go off and they start cleaning up. You may think we don’t hear the chatter, but we are not blind to the lack of acknowledgment we get for what we are doing out there.” – Hailey Johnson, 2019

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COV E R S TORY

JESS PETTIS:

RESURGENCE B Y C H R I S P O M E R OY / P H O T O S B Y J A M E S L I S S I M O R E

ON HIS 2020 250 MXTOUR CHAMPIONSHIP:

“I WAS HAPPY WITH HOW MY SEASON WENT FOR SURE. TO COME BACK FROM MY KNEE INJURY AND WIN MY SECOND 250MX TITLE MEANS A LOT. RIGHT FROM THE OPENING MOTO OF THE SERIES I FELT RELAXED AND IN CONTROL. THROUGH THE SAND AND HEAT OF GOPHER DUNES TO THE MUD IN WALTON, I WAS ABLE TO PUT MYSELF IN A GOOD POSITION AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH MOTO AND STAY OUT OF TROUBLE. WITH SO MUCH TIME OFF WHILE I WAS RECOVERING, I HAD A LOT OF TIME TO THINK ABOUT THIS SUMMER AND PREPARE BOTH MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY. I THINK THAT WAS ONE REASON WHY I FELT SO STRONG AND I WAS ABLE TO WIN ANOTHER CHAMPIONSHIP. I WAS JUST ONE OF THOSE SERIES THAT YOU DREAM ABOUT. MY BIKE AND MY TEAM WERE GREAT, I WON MOST OF THE MOTOS, AND I GOT THE JOB DONE.”

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COV ER S TORY

JESS PETTIS:

RESURGENCE

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W

hether it’s in sport or in life, everyone loves a comeback. Whenever we see individuals come back from injury or some sort of despair, it’s always an inspiring story. However, as much as we’re captivated about stories like this on the surface, what we don’t see is the blood, sweat, and tears that go into one of these comebacks. To return to greatness takes a great deal of commitment, determination, and of course, sweat. As the saying goes, you can’t have a rainbow with first having a little rain. For Jess Pettis, his goal of coming back and winning the 2020 Rockstar Energy Triple Crown MXTour 250 Championship began a year ago at the Montreal SX. It was at that race where Pettis had a first turn crash and suffered his devastating knee injury. At the time, Pettis was trying to wrap up a successful 2019 season which saw him have several breakthrough rides in the Monster Energy Supercross Series, as well as finishing second overall in the 2019 250 MXTour Series. Pettis was looking forward to winning the 2019 SXTour Series

and then heading south to prepare for another run in the USA SX Series. However, after his injury in Montreal, Pettis was forced to change his direction and focus from racing on the track to months of rehabilitation in the gym. During the off-season, the stories out of the Pettis camp were inspiring to say the least. Day after day in the gym, hours upon hours in physio, all with one goal in mind, to be ready for the opening round of the 2020 MXTour Series. Everything was going as planned for Pettis and his recovery and by March it was time to start riding again. It was perfect timing as the KTM Canada Team had gathered in Georgia for their annual photoshoot. Although Pettis had only been on the bike for a few days, the photoshoot went well, and it must have felt great to be around teammate Cole Thompson and mechanic Matt Deroy again. After the photoshoot came more training and riding. There were long days spent at Ricky Carmichael’s GOAT Farm, and motos with top riders like Justin Barcia. Everything was going as planned until the world got overwhelmed by the Covid-19 Pandemic. Pettis stayed Stateside for as long as he could, but the U.S.-Canada border closure forced him to return home. Thankfully, spring had arrived by the time he arrived back in Prince George, B.C. and he was able to continue preparing for the 2020 season. As spring turned into summer, Pettis and his fellow Triple Crown Series were forced to wait patiently while the early stages of the Pandemic played out. Unfortunately, the AXTour had to be cancelled and so did the opening western rounds of the MXTour Series. Finally, after a few scheduling changes, the MXTour was set to begin in later July at the roughest track on the circuit, Gopher Dunes Raceway. After competing in a warm-up event at Gopher Dunes the week before Round 1 (his first gatedrop in ten months), Pettis was ready to try and reclaim the title he had lost to Dylan Wright the year before.

ON INJURING HIS KNEE AGAIN:

“IT HAPPENED IN ONE OF THE WALTON MUD MOTOS. WITH MY BOOTS BEING HEAVIER THAN NORMAL WITH THE MUD I JUST PUT MY FOOT OUT AND JAMMED IT. THE IMPACT WENT THROUGH MY KNEE AND I KNEW RIGHT AWAY THAT I HAD INJURED MY ACL AGAIN. I FINISHED THAT MOTO AND THEN CAME OUT WON THE NEXT MOTO, SO I WAS STILL ABLE TO RACE AT ALMOST 100 PERCENT, BUT THE NEXT DAY I WOKE UP AND MY KNEE WAS REALLY SWOLLEN. FROM THERE, I JUST ICED IT AND TOOK CARE OF IT THE BEST I COULD FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE SERIES. THERE WERE A FEW MOTOS AT SAND DEL LEE WHEN I WAS SITTING ON THE STARTING LINE AND MY KNEE WAS SO SWOLLEN UNDER MY KNEE BRACE. IT WAS A TOUGH SITUATION, BUT WE MADE IT THROUGH. IT WAS FRUSTRATING BECAUSE I DID EVERYTHING TO GET MY KNEE READY TO RACE, AND THEN IT HAPPENED AGAIN. SO, THIS TIME I’VE ELECTED NOT TO HAVE SURGERY ON MY ACL. I’M STILL GOING IN FOR SURGERY IN MID-OCTOBER TO REPAIR MY MENISCUS, BUT WE’RE GOING TO LEAVE THE ACL. I’VE SPOKEN TO MY TEAM, RED BULL, AND SEVERAL DOCTORS AND EVERYONE AGREES THAT I SHOULD LEAVE MY ACL AS IS AND JUST BUILD THE MUSCLE UP AROUND IT. SO THAT IS THE PLAN MOVING FORWARD AND WE’LL GO FROM THERE”.

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COV ER S TORY

JESS PETTIS:

RESURGENCE Right from the opening race of the 2020 MXTour Series Jess Pettis and his KTM250 SX-F were in complete control of the 250MX Series. His three-moto sweep at Round 1 certainly set the tone for the remainder of the summer. His starts were impeccable, his speed superior, and his lap after lap consistency quickly demoralized his competition. Other than brief challenges from Marshal Weltin and Tanner Ward, Pettis had the type of season he had envisioned all winter during his knee rehabilitation. From Gopher Dunes to Walton to the final two rounds at Sand Del Lee, Pettis would win 11 of the 14 motos in the 2020 250MX Series. Along the way, Pettis battled extreme conditions at Gopher Dunes, deep mud at Walton Raceway, a serious knee injury, and a pack of 250 riders that wanted nothing more than to send him to the back of the pack. It was a dream season and one that Pettis, his team, and his family will never forget. Now Pettis will say good-bye to the 250MX class and move up to the premier 450 class. Like Dylan Wright did this year, Pettis will no doubt make an immediate impact on the 450 class in 2021. With his smooth throttle control and great racecraft, adapting to the bigger and more powerful 450 shouldn’t be a problem. Also, with the 2021 Triple Crown Series most likely not beginning until at least June, Pettis has plenty of time to heal up and then prepare for next year. Pettis will be a great addition to the 450 Class next year and we can’t wait to see him battle for a title. So, as we say goodbye to this unique season and look towards next year, we at MXP Magazine want to celebrate Jess Pettis and his 2020 250MX Championship with this incredible James Lissimore cover photo.

ON 2021 AND MOVING UP TO THE 450 CLASS:

“KTM SENT ME A 450 TO RIDE IN EARLY OCTOBER AND SO FAR, TESTING HAS BEEN GREAT. OBVIOUSLY, THE 450 HAS MORE POWER THAN MY 250, BUT IT’S NOT A ‘RIP YOUR ARMS’ POWER SO THE TRANSITION SHOULD BE EASY. I’M GOING TO RIDE THAT BIKE UNTIL THE WEATHER GETS TOO COLD AT HOME AND THEN WE’LL LOOK AT GOING SOUTH. I FEEL LIKE I HAVE SOME UNFINISHED BUSINESS IN THE MONSTER ENERGY SUPERCROSS SERIES, SO AS SOON AS THEY RELEASE THE 2021 SCHEDULE I’LL TALK TO THE TEAM AND HOPEFULLY WE CAN MAKE PLANS TO DO SOME OF THE 250SX ROUNDS. RIGHT NOW, I’M FOCUSING ON GETTING MY KNEE STRONG, GETTING SOME TIME ON THE 450 AND THEN I’LL START THINKING ABOUT NEXT YEAR. I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO MOVING UP AND BATTLING WITH SOME OF THE 450 BOYS”.

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Please make no attempt to imitate the illustrated riding scene. Always wear protective safety gear and ride in a responsible manner. The illustrated vehicle may vary in selected details from the production models and may feature optional equipment available at additional cost.

250 MX CHAMPION. Photo: M. Vizer

JESS PETTIS | TRIPLE CROWN SERIES Congratulations Jess Pettis and the KTM Red Bull THOR Factory Racing team for their dominating performance this season, earning the 2020 Triple Crown Series MX Championship. Pettis celebrates his victory aboard the KTM 250 SX-F, the lightest, fastest machine in its class.

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KTM Group Partner

2020-10-20 1:17 PM 9/15/20 2:03 PM


THE CHAMP SPEAKS

PALMS SITS DOWN WITH YOUR NEW TRIPLE CROWN CHAMPION DYLAN WRIGHT B Y C H R I S P O M E R OY / P H O T O S B Y J A M E S L I S S I M O R E

WHAT A YEAR 2020 WAS FOR DYLAN WRIGHT. RACING IN HIS ROOKIE SEASON IN THE 450 CLASS, DYLAN WAS ON FIRE RIGHT FROM THE OPENING GATE DROP IN THE ROCKSTAR ENERGY TRIPLE CROWN SERIES. AFTER HIS THREE-MOTO SWEEP AT GOPHER DUNES, WRIGHT HAD ANOTHER PERFECT WEEKEND AT ROUND 2. BY THE TIME THE 450MX SERIES ARRIVED AT SAND DEL LEE FOR THE FINAL ROUND, WRIGHT WAS IN COMPLETE CONTROL OF THE SERIES, AND IN TRULY DOMINANT FASHION HE CLINCHED THE 2020 450MX TITLE BEFORE THE FINAL MOTO LEFT THE STARTING GATE. IT WAS A DREAM SEASON FOR WRIGHT, BUT AS YOU WILL READ IN THIS INTERVIEW, SUCCESS DIDN’T COME WITHOUT WORK AND SACRIFICE.

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FIRST OFF, CONGRATULATIONS  ON YOUR 2020 SEASON. IT WAS SHORTER THAN NORMAL BUT STILL A SUCCESSFUL ONE FOR YOU. 

Thank you, Chris. I appreciate you reaching out to me. I hope all is well with you and the family. As for me, with all the uncertainty around the world, 2020 turned out to be a dream come true.

EVEN THOUGH YOU HAD A LOT OF SUCCESS IN THE 250 CLASS, WAS IT DIFFICULT TO ADAPT TO THE BIGGER 450?

My last couple of years on the 250 were pretty darn good for me. Winning the 250 MX championship and the Triple Crown championship was exactly the way I wanted to end my career on the 250. At first, adapting to the 450 didn’t seem like it was going to be that hard since the frame and chassis were identical to the 250. When I got on the 450, I immediately felt comfortable on the bike. But riding the bike and racing it are two different things. As it turns out, it did take some getting used to. My biggest challenges were getting the right power delivery and getting the suspension to act exactly the way I wanted it to. With the additional power, I had to stiffen up my setup quite a bit from what I ran in the past. For the first time in a long time, I wasn’t looking for more power. Instead, I needed to learn to harness the extra power of my Proven Moto motor to achieve a smooth delivery. Colton, Joe Skidd and I worked super hard getting the suspension dialed. In fact, right before the season started, we found one secret adjustment to my rear shock that made a huge difference. As for the motor, I didn’t actually run the most aggressive map, like a lot of people might have expected. Instead, I ran a smoother power delivery map, which made it a much better ride for me. 

LOOKING BACK, WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART FOR YOU GOING FROM THE 250 TO THE 450? The hardest part of the transition from the little bike to the big bike would have to be the way I had to ride it to make it work at its best. I couldn’t just lean off the back and hold it wide open anymore. It’s a much more methodical

style of riding. Once I learned that I had to respect the power of the bike, it got easier and easier to smooth out my riding. It was no longer about trying to squeeze as much power out of the bike as possible. It became about learning how to maximize the power and make the bike do as much of the work as possible. I had all the guys in my corner to help along the way. One thing the COVID-19 pandemic provided us with was extra preparation time. I have no doubt that the number of extra hours I got to put on my bike helped me a lot. I started putting laps in on the bike the week after Walton last year. I knew that the more time I put on the bike prior to the season, the better I was going to feel come round 1.

YOU HAVE A SOLID TEAM BEHIND YOU, AND THEY'VE PROVEN ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS THAT THEY KNOW HOW TO WIN. ONE PERSON I WANTED TO ASK YOU ABOUT WAS COLTON FACCIOTTI. HE APPEARED TO BE QUITE INVOLVED THIS SUMMER WITH YOU AND THE TEAM. NOT JUST WITH HIS SSS SUSPENSION, BUT WITH EVERY ASPECT. CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE ABOUT WHAT COLTON'S ROLE WAS THIS YEAR? Yeah, for sure! Our team is honestly such a great group of guys. Each one of us wants to win. So, we’re always pushing one another to be the very best we can be, in the respective roles we each have to play. Whether your focus was helping to make me or the bike 100% ready, you knew that everyone under that tent was doing their absolute best to make it happen. Colton is honestly the ‘everything guy’ for me on the team. He’s team manager on the weekend and helps with suspension during the week, but his presence on the team goes a lot further than what his job titles imply. During the off-season (which proved to be a long one due to coronavirus), Colt was there for me every step of the way. He was also my coach, providing me with riding or suspension advice as well as mental tips to keep me motivated. I feel like he knows just what to say and do to keep me going, to push me forward and help me work through the tough times. When we’re out riding and testing, Colton will even come in on one of his

days off to help me and give me pointers on what I personally can improve on, what might be improved on the bike, and how to make the bike and I a ‘winning combination’ on the track. Make no mistake, Colton challenges me and has no problem ‘giving me shit’ if I’m not riding to my full ability. With bike setup, he is a wizard! He will just jump on my bike for a lap and can instantly have suggestions to make it better. There’s a reason he is the winningest rider in Canadian moto! How fortunate am I to be able to benefit from that kind of knowledge, wisdom, and experience! This year’s results say it all!

YOU CAME OUT SWINGING AT THE OPENING ROUND AND WON ALL THREE MOTOS. I'M SURE SOME OF THE RIDERS CONVINCED THEMSELVES THAT PART OF YOUR DOMINATION THAT WEEKEND CAME FROM GOPHER DUNES BEING YOUR HOME TRACK. HOWEVER, YOU BACKED IT UP AT THE SECOND ROUND WITH ANOTHER THREE WINS, INCLUDING A COME FROM BEHIND WIN IN ONE MOTO. DID YOU THINK YOU WERE GOING TO HAVE SUCH A GREAT START TO THE MX TOUR SERIES? I know, right? The first couple of rounds were amazing to say the least! When I was heading into the first race at Gopher Dunes, I didn’t know where I was going to fit in. I mean, I was up against some serious competition. That said, I knew I had put in the hard work on and off the bike leading up to that race and I knew that I was ready for battle. When the gate dropped on the opening moto, I knew I wanted to get out front early to see if I could run the pace. When I got out into the lead, I just put in my head that I needed to execute my plan of running clean laps and see where it put me at the end of the race. As luck would have it, it put me out front when the checkered flag waved. 

DID I EXPECT TO HAVE SUCH A DOMINANT START TO THE SERIES?

The answer is no. I expected to be a championship contender and to, hopefully, be able to run with the lead pack, but I have to admit that I surprised myself by winning six motos in a row. I came into moto 1 believing I could win. After that moto, I knew I had the speed, the skills and the endurance to win.

From then on, I was hungry to win. Mentally, when I lined up, I would no longer settle for anything less than a win. A lot of people think that we have home track advantage at Gopher Dunes. I mean, yeah, that’s where we are based, but honestly, we have our own test track in the back that is actually hard packed, and we ride that track way more than we ride the main track. In fact, I wouldn’t even consider Gopher to be my best track. But hey, if the competition thinks that it is and that we have an advantage, then mentally, we do have an advantage. 

OBVIOUSLY WITH THIS BEING SUCH A UNIQUE SEASON, THE SERIES WAS FORCED TO TRY A FEW DIFFERENT THINGS. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE BACK TO BACK ROUNDS AT WALTON AND SAND DEL LEE, AS WELL AS THE THREE-MOTO FORMAT?

It was a unique season, that’s for sure. I was okay with the double header rounds. I think the series did what they had to do to get us racing and it was an innovative way to get in as many rounds as possible within a shortened timeframe. I think everybody would have liked us to get out of Ontario, including the series organizers, but COVID-19 restrictions prevented us from going to different tracks in different regions. As for the tracks that accepted to run back-to-back national weekends, that was not an easy thing to do and it was a lot to ask of them. So, I applaud Sand Del Lee and Walton for getting it done successfully. Unless the pandemic continues to wreak havoc, I don’t see the series continuing to hold back-toback nationals at the same track in the future. I must say that it was cool because a lot of the riders stayed at the tracks between weekends giving us the opportunity to have fun riding with and getting to know some of the other pros during the week. As for the three-moto format, I didn’t mind it either. In fact, it reminded me of my amateur Walton TransCan racing days. From an operational perspective, I think it does involve a lot more work for everyone involved, though. Once again, I have to say that it was an innovative way to get as many gates dropped as possible during a shortened race season. From that perspective, it was a positive move by the series organizers. Overall, I think I prefer the two-moto format. Wait, come to think of it, the only overall I didn’t win was during the 2-moto format weekend, so maybe the three-moto format is my thing [laughs].

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YOU WON ALL SATURDAY MORNING MOTOS THIS SUMMER, SO I GUESS IT DIDN'T MATTER TO YOU WHAT TIME YOU RACED AT? I guess you’re right! Saturdays this season did prove to be good to me. I know some guys were saying that the Saturday motos were early, but I honestly didn’t really see too big of a difference from the normal race weekends other than we had a huge break until Sunday. To me, it almost felt like a normal practice day. Wake up, eat, get ready, go to work. Get my first moto in at 10 a.m. For me, it felt like business as usual.

WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING MOTO OR ROUND FOR YOU?

DW: I would have to say the most challenging round was the first Sand Del Lee weekend, as I was starting to feel the pressure of the championship. I didn’t ride to my full potential on the Sunday. Although I still won the overall, I wasn’t happy with the way I rode that day. I was overriding the track and the bike just a little bit and it threw me off. I also made a tire choice for that day that didn’t align very well with my setup, but I will live and learn from that day. I knew what not to do the following weekend. Come to think of it, I had a similar challenge with the tire choice we made in moto 1 of the Walton mudder of 2020. Sometimes, the track just doesn’t shape up the way you’re expecting, and racing becomes a serious challenge that pushes you into ‘survival’ mode rather than true racing mode. When I looked down the line at the gate and realized that I was the only one with the type of tire I had selected, I knew then and there that one of two things would happen. I would either be a hero as the only one  who got the right combination to adapt to the track conditions, or I would be a zero struggling throughout the race to get traction. In my career so far, I’ve found myself experiencing both [laughs]. 

WHAT MOTO OR ROUND ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

The moto I am most proud of this season is the second moto at Walton 2. I had a couple tip overs in the first moto in the mud and just salvaged points that moto. I wasn’t very happy with my performance. And, as you know, there really isn’t a lot of time between motos. I was able to completely change my mindset heading into moto 2. I was able to come out with a convincing win. For me to be able to turn my day around that quickly was cool for me and I’m proud of myself for that.

CAN YOU TAKE US THROUGH WHAT HAPPENED WITH PHIL NICOLETTI AT THE FINAL ROUND. I KNOW HE GOT THE WORST OF IT, BUT HONESTLY, I DON'T KNOW HOW EITHER OF YOU STAYED UP.

That was honestly a super unfortunate incident. Phil and I were enjoying a good battle up until that point. After a few laps, I finally managed to reel him in and we found ourselves going over a jump side by side, at high speed. Next thing I knew, there was unexpected contact in the air, and I managed to land the jump without going down. As a racer, you never want a race situation to take out another rider. In fact, it scared me a little bit as it came close to taking us both out. I’m going to leave that incident at that. I really do like Phil and he is a great competitor to race against and to hang out with off the bike. I’m just happy that it wasn’t worse for either of us.

WHEN YOU DID END UP CLINCHING THE 450MX TITLE THE FOLLOWING DAY, YOU DID IT AT THE TRACK WHERE YOU RODE YOUR FIRST LAPS AS A CHILD. DID IT SEEM REAL OR MORE LIKE A DREAM COME TRUE?

Honestly, this may seem weird, but the first thought that went through my mind was, ‘job well done team.’ We got it done! I wasn’t really thinking about where I was as much as I was thinking about what we had just achieved! I mean, at that point, there was a lot of excitement. I just won my first 450MX title and managed to pull it off in my rookie year!! I We were super pumped! Winning the 450MX championship at the track where I was introduced to the sport of motocross is just the icing on the cake! It was super cool because it was at Sand Del Lee that I learned to ride and where I won my very first race. The only thing I wish is that all my family and friends could have been there to share that moment with me when I won the biggest title there is to win in Canadian motocross. While a few were there with me, there were so many others who have witnessed the amount of sacrifice and effort I put into this sport. Honestly, it really hit me when I was doing the championship photos with the Sand Del Lee tower in the background. As I posed for pictures on the big tabletop in front of the empty stands, a feeling of great joy, pride and satisfaction washed over me. My childhood dream of winning a Canadian pro MX450 championship had come true. 

OKAY, SO YOU WIN THE 450MX CHAMPIONSHIP ONE WEEKEND, AND THEN THE NEXT WEEK YOU'RE ON AN SX TRACK TRAINING FOR THE SX TOUR. CAN YOU EXPLAIN TO OUR READERS JUST HOW CHALLENGING THAT TRANSITION IS? It is a way bigger transition than I can accurately describe here. To sum it up briefly, supercross involves racing a much shorter, tighter and more technical track featuring unique and challenging rhythm sections you wouldn’t generally see on a motocross track. As a result, a rider must adapt their riding technique and race strategy accordingly and bike setup is VERY different in order to adapt to the unique features of this type of track.  I personally took about five days off after the MX championship, so I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for supercross prior to the first round. However, the team and I put in a few solid days of testing and some long days at the track to get ready. Fortunately, we had worked on a supercross bike setup during the off-season, while I trained at the Carmichael facility last winter. I started with that and we fine tuned a lot from there. Again, I can’t thank all the boys on the team enough for doing everything possible to get the bike as good as we could get it in such a short amount of time. 

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YOU ADAPTED WELL TO THE TIGHT TRACKS OF THE SX TOUR AND YOU EVEN WON A MAIN EVENT. HOW GRATIFYING WAS THAT WIN, ESPECIALLY SINCE YOU DID IT WITH A SORE SHOULDER?

Yeah, supercross is something I enjoy riding. I haven’t been doing that kind of racing for that long, so there is still a learning curve for me. I feel like Derek and the Vision Built guys did a great job with the tracks. Maybe a little bit smaller whoops on the Saturday of the last round would have been nicer for me, but now I know where I can improve. Getting a win in a race involving many experienced and accomplished supercross racers was a huge achievement for me. I am not known to be a supercross guy per se, so it felt great to earn a win. Rest assured that I will continue to get better and push for more wins.  As for the shoulder injury, it really sucked. I tried not to let it be known too much that I was riding injured. I separated my shoulder badly in the first moto when I went down hard through the whoops. But as a racer, I got back on my bike and kept pushing and doing my best, probably due to the adrenaline that was rushing through my veins and that tends to numb any pain you have while you are in race mode. It mostly hurt me during the week, so I couldn’t get as many laps in as I would have liked between the two rounds. 

UNFORTUNATELY, AT ROUND 3 YOU HAD A FLUKE CRASH LATE IN THE MAIN EVENT AND INJURED YOUR KNEE. HOW IS THAT INJURY COMING ALONG?

DW: A super fluke crash is right. Sadly, the knee injury took me out for the last round. I think I clipped a tough block with my rear tire coming out of the turn before the finish line. That sent me sideways in an awkward way and I planted my leg at the base of the finish line jump trying to correct things. I instantly felt my knee pop as it quickly became weak and wanted to give out on me. With about two laps to go, I knew that to clinch the Triple Crown, I had to finish the race. So, once again, I toughed it out for a couple of laps, jumping stuff sitting down or just with one leg on the peg. I have been quiet about the injury, but my recovery is going well. I have seen a doctor who confirms that I sustained a minor tear to my MCL and LCL. I am now focused on healing and rehabilitation exercises and I’m hoping to get back on the bike before the snow flies. That’s my goal and I think I will be able to do it.

IT'S DEFINITELY NOT HOW YOU WANTED TO FINISH OFF THIS INCREDIBLE SEASON. HOWEVER, YOU ENDED UP WINNING THE OVERALL ROCKSTAR ENERGY TRIPLE CROWN SERIES IN THE 450 CLASS. YOU MUST FEEL GREAT ABOUT THAT?

ASSUMING THE U.S. – CANADA BORDER OPENS BEFORE THE NEW YEAR, AND THAT THE 2021 TRIPLE CROWN SERIES MOST LIKELY WON'T BEGIN UNTIL NEXT JUNE, WHEN WOULD YOU WANT TO BEGIN YOUR PREPARATION FOR NEXT SEASON?

SO, WHAT IS NEXT FOR YOU? ARE THE NEXT FEW MONTHS GOING TO BE DEDICATED TO REST AND RECOVERY? YOU MENTIONED TO ME THAT YOU MIGHT TAKE A COUPLE OF UNIVERSITY COURSES.

HONDA ALSO HAS AN ALL-NEW CRF450 COMING OUT NEXT YEAR. THAT BIKE LOOKS EXCITING. AS A TOP RIDER WHO HAS JUST WON PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING, DOES THE THOUGHT OF AN ALL-NEW BIKE KIND OF SCARE YOU [LAUGHS]?

DW: Absolutely! My bank account will be happy too [laughs]. All kidding aside, I think I proved a lot this season, to myself and to others, both outdoors and indoors. The only thing about winning these championships this year is that I’ve got to back it up next year. Our focus has already shifted to that goal.

DW: You got it! Before I get back to riding, I want to make sure my knee heals properly and is back to as good as it can be so I can hopefully get back on the bike this fall. While I dedicate a great deal of time to training on and off the bike during the off season, there is still a fair amount of free time I feel I could be maximizing a little more by taking some university courses. I have a business administration program picked out that I want to get started on very soon. Let’s face it, racing is not a career one can practice until retirement age. It will be good for me to try and get a degree while I am racing. That way, I will be set up for life after moto. Not only that, but I think these courses will be a nice distraction from moto and will be good for me mentally. So, I’m excited to see how it goes! 

DW: As of right now, my plan for the winter hasn’t changed. I intend to leave Canada in January and get down to the southern United States to continue to perfect my craft on the bike. I will adjust my plans based on COVID-19 restrictions when the time comes.

DW: I honestly look at it as just another new challenge and opportunity that awaits. The new bike looks awesome and from what I’ve been hearing, it is great. I’ve heard that some of the changes may actually help me address some of the stuff I was struggling with a little bit this year. So, I’m excited to get on the new bike and see what the team and I can come up with in terms of setup. With a new bike, we basically have to start from scratch and determine what direction we want to go in. It’s a little bit more work for the team and I but I’m excited for it!

WELL, THANKS DYLAN FOR DOING THIS. CONGRATULATIONS  ON AN INCREDIBLE SEASON. WE HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT OFF-SEASON, AND WE CANNOT WAIT TO SEE YOU BACK ON THE TRACK NEXT YEAR.  DW: Thank you very much for reaching out to me and for your kind words! The work never stops and I'm always pushing to keep getting better! I’m already looking forward to racing again.

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The

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eliesT eliesT of Seasons BY MIKE MCG ILL / PHOTOS BY JAM E S LISSIMOR E

I certainly do not need to go into detail about what a strange and stressful year 2020 has been. Everyone has been affected by the COVID-19 global pandemic. Some more than others, of course, and while many continue to struggle, and luxuries such as riding and racing dirt bikes seem inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, we must remember that this is what we do. It’s a big part of many lives and when faced with the prospect of losing it for an entire season, it can be a bitter pill to swallow. Back in March that seemed to be the direction we were heading, and it probably would have been easier in the long run had organizers for the Rockstar Energy Triple Crown Series simply pulled the plug on the season. But they didn’t. This is their story.

“WE

were super excited” exclaims chief of operations for Jetwerx and the Rockstar Energy Triple Crown Series, Kyle Thompson, fresh from completing a few motos with his brother Cole recently, on the family property in Brigden, Ontario. He explained that hopes were running extremely high for a great season before the pandemic hit. “We were finally out from under all of the debt load that we incurred when we bought the series from Stally,” (former owner Mark Stallybrass) The Series was to start with Arenacross in the east and was scheduled to work its way out west in time for the first outdoor

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The of Seasons

National. “Arenacross tickets were selling very well; things were really coming together,” he said. But that was all about to change. “At first, we though it would probably only be a couple weeks and things would be pretty much back to normal,” admitted Thompson. But as major sports leagues, businesses and schools across the country, and the continent began to shut down indefinitely, Thompson and the rest of the Jetwerx crew came to the quick realization that entire seasons could be impacted. “This was going to be big,” he said. Although they originally took a wait and see attitude, just like almost everyone else, it soon became apparent that the Arenacross schedule was going to be in jeopardy. The decision was made to go directly to outdoor motocross, which is the real jewel of the Triple Crown Series. The original outdoor race was to be held in Calgary. A favorite stop on the tour, Wild Rose Mx Park has been hosting a stop on the Canadian Nationals since the series began. It soon became painfully apparent, however, that it was not going to work out. Even if Calgary had been willing to host the event, the next two prospective stops on the tour, Moto Valley in Regina and DORVA MX IN Drumheller, Alberta would be canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. At this point things started to look bleak for any kind of Professional MX Series taking place in Canada in 2020. “There was absolutely no pressure,” Thompson stated regarding the prospect of canceling the season. “The sponsors, the race teams, the TV people and the riders all knew that it was going to be a longshot, and everyone understood we were doing our best to try to make it happen. But they also knew that it might not happen.” The riders were preparing, getting ready. The teams were prepared and, perhaps most importantly, Fox Sports Racing wanted content for its channel so the motivation to make something happen was certainly there.

“The Outdoor Series was to be an abbreviated five rounds with some interesting twists thrown in that could become a staple in the future.”

Eventually, as Ontario began to open back up for business, it was decided that the Series would stick to the east this year, specifically Ontario and Quebec. The first race was scheduled for Gopher Dunes for July 25-26. Motocross fans, as we all know, are a passionate bunch so it was no surprise to Thompson and the rest of the crew that there was some backlash from western fans over the lack of any National action west of Ontario. “That was to be expected, and I certainly can understand. Believe me we wanted to go out west. We want this to be a truly National Series, and so do our sponsors but the choice we had was Ontario and Quebec, or nothing, so we chose Ontario and Quebec,” Thompson explained. The Outdoor Series was to be an abbreviated five rounds with some interesting twists thrown in that could become a staple in the future. The crew put their heads together and tried to figure out a way to make it better. They Came up with the three-moto format. Each class was to run one moto on Saturday and then follow it up with the regular two-moto format on Sunday. It was a stroke of genius, and very well received by everyone involved. The only complaint came from a few riders who thought it was,

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and nobody wants that,” he explained. As it turned out, with the lack of travel and the centralization of the events, it was a lot cheaper for the teams and I am sure no one was complaining about that. Thompson agreed. “Yes, they didn’t have to worry too much about flights and hotels and things like they would in a normal season,” he said.

“kinda weird,” to only race one moto on Saturday. The advantage was that, while there were only five rounds, 13 motos run in order to crown a champion, which made it a, “little more legit,” according to Thompson. One of the Walton rounds ran the traditional format. Perhaps the biggest proponent of the three-moto format, and the Series in general for that matter, was Fox Sports Racing, who had agreed to carry the action live on its network. Considering there was basically nothing else happening in the world of motorsports at the time, I would think that they would indeed be over the moon with the prospect of being able to air any kind of live racing. “The TV numbers were awesome,” Thompson, who also shares the live announcing duties on race day with partner Ryan Gauld, beamed. It must be noted that the television package that Jetwerx and the Triple Crown Series have been able to negotiate would be the envy of many racing series around the world. Not only are the races carried live on Fox Sports Racing but are also shown live on REVTV in the U.S. and on the Two Wheel TV app from the Discovery Channel. If that was not enough, they are also re-aired on Fox Sports and MAV TV. I am thinking with the lack of

While the pandemic has played havoc with a lot of livelihoods and lives, for that matter, there seems to have been one positive thing that has come out of this mess. Thompson mentioned a rumour I had been hearing since the late spring that the sale of motocross bikes went through the roof this season in Canada. All manufacturers were posting sales numbers, the likes of which hadn’t been seen in years. “It was crazy. We were selling bike’s online and by appointment only during the lockdown, and then between May 17, the day we re-opened, and the end of May we sold everything. Completely sold out of dirt bikes. We have never sold out before, let alone by the end of May. And it was not just us. It was everybody. You couldn’t find a bike to buy by the time June rolled around,” said

racing that took place this past season those re-runs might get shown a lot over the winter months. So, were the teams really into this whole thing? That was the next question I posed to Thompson. I was at the opening round at Gopher Dunes in July and, to be honest, it just did not feel the same without any fans in attendance. Not to mention the lack of a vendors’ row, beer garden and Rockstar Energy girls and so on. “Oh yes, they were into it,” confirmed Thompson. “The teams all rely on the Series for their jobs. And if they don’t go racing their budgets get cut,

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The of Seasons

Adam Stafford, sales executive at Inglis Cycle Center in London, Ontario. “Bike sales, hopefully that’s the bump we needed to bring motocross racing in Canada back to what it was like in the early 2000s,” an enthusiastic Thompson said. I guess only time will tell, but all signs currently point to yes. There were issues, of course, but they were expected. “Unfortunately, we were not able to get to Quebec after all,” stated Thompson. The COVID-19 situation in Quebec was very tenuous this summer, and the race scheduled for Motocross Deschambault in early September eventually had to be cancelled. “There were just too many restrictions in Quebec to make it feasible,” Thompson explained. Fortunately Sand Del Lee MX Park, in Ottawa stepped up and provided its venue for the final outdoor race on the schedule. This worked out well as San Del Lee had hosted the previous week’s race and everything was still set up. In fact, both Walton and Sand Del Lee held races on back-to-back weekends in order to make this crazy season a reality. Walton squeezed the Amateur Nationals in between its National rounds as well, which was no small feat. When asked about logistical issues while trying to bookend National Series Rounds around August’s Trans Can, the biggest Amateur Race in Canada, during a pandemic, Melody Hodgson chuckles. “There were a lot of questions marks.” she said. Melody, along with her husband Brett Lee, organize and run the Trans Can Amateur Nationals explained that the original plan did not call for back-to-back Nationals at Walton but, “when the Thompsons asked we didn’t hesitate,” Hodgson continued. “Brett and I looked at each other and said, ‘yeah, let’s do it.’ And the reason was simple. “We just wanted to make it happen, on the Pro level, for the riders and the Thompsons, and everyone who is involved in the Series. It wasn’t that big a deal really. It was long but

“In fact, both Walton and Sand Del Lee held races on back-toback weekends in order to make this crazy season a reality.” everything was in place, we just had to re-hire flaggers for the second National weekend,” she said. Hodgson may be downplaying her role just a little bit as there were plenty of hurdles to overcome. Not just for herself and her husband, but for everyone involved in staging the series this year. Government regulations had to be followed, but there were additional hurdles. One unexpected complication that experienced was a backlash from the local business community and even some of their neighbours. “It’s understandable I guess,” Hodgson continued. “It’s a very uncertain time and not a normal year. People tend to base their reactions out of fear, not common sense. Even if their fears are completely unfounded.” Which,

as it turns out, was the case with the Trans Can and the two Nationals. “We took a lot of heat from unexpected sources. It was really disheartening and not pleasant. For me, it was very tough mentally,” she said. Hodgson and Lee, along with the Shusters at Gopher Dunes and Kevin Tyler’s crew at Sand del Lee, who doubled up on their National as well certainly hit it out of the park and pulled off what really, back in May, had to be considered the unlikeliest of seasons. With all the obstacles, and uncertainty the fact that the Pro Motocross season in Canada went ahead this year is a testament to the determination, passion and work ethic of everyone involved. “In the end it turned out better than I could have ever imagined. I think I can honestly say that I don’t think anything will ever top this year for me,” Hodgson said. Thompson agreed. “The whole experience was actually quite enjoyable. Stressful at times, sure but enjoyable. We just kept plugging away and it turned out to be a great experience. I got to spend twelve days camping out at Walton and at Sand Del Lee as well, just hanging out with friends and it was kind of like when I was a kid again. Old school, you know. The moto community can be tough at times. But it can really be great too and this year we saw both parts of that. But in the end, I think the good part won out,” he said. In the end, promoters lost money just when they had finally dug themselves out of debt. No fans meant no money spent on camping, concessions or merchandise. As a result, individual race purses were lowered from $25,000 to $13,000, and when the

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final Supercross races at Gopher Dunes were over, the Triple Crown 450 class winner received $20,000 this year instead of the normal $100,000. A one-year truck lease from Mike Jackson GM in Collingwood, Ontario was also included for 450 champion Dylan Wright. The 250 Triple Crown Champ, Marshal Weltin, received $5,000 this year instead of the usual $20,000. “The majority of the riders did receive their full salaries. We’re back in the hole again a bit, but we managed to do it and that’s the main thing,” Thompson said. Although he didn’t elaborate, Thompson also claimed Jetwerx has developed some significant new relationships that will go a long way towards keeping the Series going for years to come. At the time of writing, Rockstar plans to return for next season. Of course, things can always change and there have been rumblings

but, “as of now they have re-upped for another year,” according to Thompson. Current ideas for next year include plans for Supercross and Arenacross in Ontario locations in Sarnia, London, Barrie and Gopher Dunes. Yes, you read that correctly, the Supercross

track that was used for the final races at Gopher Dunes this season turned out to be just great and plans are to include it in the Supercross portion of the Series next year. “Obviously, we want to get back out west,” says Thompson. “We want

this to be a truly National Series and our sponsors want that as well. That’s big for Fox and TV.” Could the Series survive another season of no fans? Thompson claimed that it could. “With the new relationships that we are developing I do believe we could survive another season without spectators. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.” Indeed. The 2020 Pro MX Season is now in the books. “The mud, the blood and the beers” are over with for another year. Champions were crowned, and the trophies have all been handed out. This pandemic year will most certainly go down as one of the most unusual in the history of Canadian motocross. Those who were responsible for forging ahead with the Rockstar Triple Crown Series, including Jetwerx, individual facilities, teams and sponsors all need to be commended, in my opinion, for participating and completing an abbreviated, yet challenging, season. It sure wasn’t normal but it was something and, in 2020, that’s a win.

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B Y B Y B R E T T A N D M E L O DY L E E / P H O T O S B Y J A M E S L I S S I M O R E

THE 2020 WALTON TRANSCAN WAS A REMARKABLE WEEK. IT HAPPENED SO QUICKLY, AND SO MUCH WAS JUST AS IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN, BUT SO MUCH WASN’T. IT WAS A WEEK THAT SHOWED THE VERY CORE OF OUR SPORT, OUR PEOPLE. IT WAS MASK-WEARING, AND FOLLOWING PAINTED ARROWS IN GRASS FIELDS, AND ALL THE THINGS MOTOCROSS RACERS ALWAYS HAVE ALWAYS DONE. ANYTHING TO RACE.

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“I THINK THE HARDEST PART OF BEING IN THIS INDUSTRY IS FEELING LIKE YOU ARE ALONE IN YOUR BUSINESS, BUT IF COVID-19 HAS TAUGHT US ANYTHING IT’S THAT WE ARE SURROUNDED BY SOME OF THE BEST PEOPLE IN MOTOCROSS, AND WE ARE ALL IN SIMILAR BOATS.”

T

he race itself was as normal as it could be in the new world we’re living in, but the journey to stage the race was anything but normal. It was a journey like motocross itself, full of incredible highs and lows. In the end, the 2020 Walton TransCan, just like the year before, crowned champions, celebrated the highs and lows of motocross and sent everyone home safe. With it being such a unique year with so many challenges surrounding the 2020 Walton TransCan, instead of a race report let us take you through the month-bymonth process my wife and I endured in order to make it happen.

March

Brett Lee: When COVID-19 came, it was scary for everyone. It literally froze everyone in their lives. A global pandemic was something from a movie. But everything stopped. Entries stopped. Sponsorship froze. Everything came to halt. It may not seem like a big deal in March, but so much of TransCan happens in March. It all just stopped, and no one had answers to anything. Melody Lee: When you own a seasonal business, you’re typically prepared to weather the off-season in a mostly sustainable way.  But when we went into lockdown, and there was no end in sight, it was an absolutely panicked time that I would be grateful to never have to relive again.  You look at your financial projections, you’re seeing what your bleedout rate is, you’re on these insanely emotional zoom calls within the tourism industry, the news is hammering you daily with how horrible it’s going to be.  There were some dark days – we finally had to turn it all off and remember how to breathe.

April

BL: It felt like we had a meeting on Zoom or phone daily. We talked daily with members of our industry, of the tourism industry. There were all these huge questions, but the big things were how long were we going to be shut down, and when could we open for business? It was even more dire for Gopher Dunes and Motopark. We were all at the end of our cash cycles, and for them April was their time to get rolling. In what should have been a busy time, they (and many other tracks) had to sit idle. Jetwerx had cancelled AXTour, AMO

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The Roberts brothers dominated the Schoolboy class at the TransCan.

Braxton Zeitner came all the way from B.C. to win all of his 50cc motos.

Last year Ryder McNabb won the Supermini class, this year he was the fastest Intermediate rider.

Blu Cru rider Ayrton Pomeroy waits patiently for his moto to begin.

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Racing in Ontario was postponing events. Things seem to be running away. Then a lot of industry, including sponsors, sent their staff home and people just simply did not know what to do.  ML: I am fairly certain the only thing that got me through April was wine and Kerri Schuster. I think the hardest part of being in this industry is feeling like you are alone in your business, but if COVID-19 has taught us anything it’s that we are surrounded by some of the best people in motocross, and we are all in similar boats. Kerri talked me down off a few ledges, and we’d be on these provincial Zoom calls together having side convos distracting ourselves with the direct webcam shots up people’s noses. She made April happen for me.

May

BL: In May the questions about whether we go or not started to creep in. In March we thought things would be open by April, then for sure by

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May, but now we just didn’t know what to expect, or how it would look in the re-opening stages. People were getting their heads around that it may go on for a while. Jetwerx was pretty sure they would cancel western swings of the MXTour, and races across the Canada were being cancelled. We had committed money for the 2020 TransCan already and the pressure was really mounting. This was when we begin to push as a group. We got organized and started to work the phones. ML: Hope started to creep back in when May rolled around (thank God). The major question was how we were classified as a sport. Believe it or not, motocross is not a super familiar sport to the upper echelons of our provincial government. But we pushed, collectively as a group, and asked everyone we could think of with influence to bring our sport to the table and it worked. We were included in the stage 1 framework on May 19 and we opened our doors 10 days later with maybe $500 left in the bank account. TransCan was still a big question mark, and while we had three months to go before we had to produce the event, it required some heavy evaluation in regards to the financial security of the biggest

amateur race in Canada knowing our odds of having spectators were slim to none. This year was full of moments like that – you’d catch your breath, relax a smidgeon and then the next moment you’re back to treading water just trying to keep your wits about you.

June

BL: We got off the ground in a kind of normal way. People were not committed to TransCan, but we had some sponsors say they would support it. We put our energy in racing locally. Showing local leaders that we could do races in a way that was safe. Riders and their families embraced what everyone was trying to do and showed up in huge numbers. It was energy for us. ML: June brought more stability to our business when we were included in the Stage 2 framework. Now we could have camping, which in turn meant races.  Ryan Gauld brought so much to the table with AMO this year, and our riders committed to the ANQ/Provincial series in numbers we hadn’t seen in 10 years. It was unbelievable, in the best way possible. Sure, we still had our snafus, but what happened in June made TransCan

that much more possible. I know outwardly no one really knew about the hard convos we were having daily, but it wasn’t an easy decision to hold the race.  Did we want to? 100 percent. Did we know if people would sign up?  Not even maybe. In hindsight, we should have known better, but that’s easy to say now looking back two months after the fact.

July

BL: We came under heavy scrutiny at this time. Stage 3 announcements had created confusion. People, health officials, provincial and municipal leaders everywhere were taking stances on which businesses should be open and which ones shouldn’t. Regardless of the government framework, it was taking a personal stand. TransCan is such a profile event that people were coming at us from all directions. We had spent our entire lives building this race up. Promoting it to be a showcase, a celebration of motocross. We committed to doing the race, for racers and ourselves – and racers were responding in record numbers.  ML: Here’s a little TransCan honesty for everyone. We didn’t fully commit to the race until mid-July.

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We needed to hit a certain number of entries to make it financially viable (we’re talking about a break-even scenario), and when that happened everything quickly transitioned from a question mark to a big fat yes. The good news was we have the best team that works with us, so we knew we could pull it off with only four week’s lead time. Interestingly, during the first week of July, Brett and I were also unsure if we could host the Pro National. With no spectators it would be impossible to pay the purse. July’s second week then brought us a second national. We went from maybe one to bookending TransCan with two. I honestly cannot remember what happened within those ten days to change our minds, but one thing we have mastered this year is the pivot. I think we all have. It’s the only way you have a chance of surviving running a business during a pandemic. July also brought us angry members from the local community. What a joy that was. The four weeks leading up to and including the TransCan were, undoubtedly for me, some of the most difficult weeks of my life. Emotionally, I was spent. It’s so disheartening to watch the people you thought were allies, neighbours, friends, just absolutely try to run you over. And not even have the courtesy to speak to you first before forming their unbalanced opinions. I mean, these people would write letters, send emails, hop on Twitter, and then walk away from their computer and not think of the effect their words may have on the person reading them. The lack of accountability that social media affords people is its ultimate downfall. Thankfully, we had some amazing people who worked with us to ensure the race would happen and while it was frustrating at times, it definitely made the TransCan the most rewarding event ever for me.        

August

BL: I won’t lie, the week leading up to TransCan was intense. We had invested in everything, Money was spent on equipment, staff, trophies, you name it. And although we had all the approvals, there was enormous stress that we could be shutdown at any moment and there was no money for refunds. We didn’t have a B plan, this was it.  There was so much to be proud of how it looked, the fact it didn’t seem that different, that our team was as determined as us, it was great.  When the gate dropped on moto 1

“WE COMMITTED TO DOING THE RACE, FOR RACERS AND OURSELVES – AND RACERS WERE RESPONDING IN RECORD NUMBERS.”

Julien Benek not only won the 450 Intermediate class, but he also took home the 2020 Yamaha Factory Rider Award.

Every rider at the TransCan was giving it everything they had.

of TransCan, Melody and I both felt like we needed to see it to believe we were going to go. When the gate dropped on moto 1 of the TransCan, I knew we were going to get this event in. As much as people credit Melody and I, this week each year is special because of the riders and their families. Everyone did some lifting on this event. We needed a community effort and we received that.  ML: I loved every minute of this year’s TransCan.  From the moment our gates opened and riders and their families rolled in, to watching our staff take so much pride in this event and absolutely kill it, to being able to hang with some of our favourite people all week long, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to top it. I still get goosebumps thinking of that first gate drop.  Probably one moment that stands out for me which is not racerelated was minutes before my major walkthrough with the powers that be on the Monday before TransCan. Kourtney Lloyd had come up the week before for Walton 1, and she’d been along for the emotional ride that

Even the kids handled the deep Walton Raceway ruts with ease.

The Road to Walton was filled with throngs of moto loving kids and their families.

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One of the most improved riders at the TransCan was Ontario speedster Dylan Rempel.

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the past few weeks were for me. Just before I left to meet everyone at the front gate, she gave me a big hug and started crying because she knew how important it was and how much the lead-up to this moment cost us emotionally. It reminded me how much this event means to so many people, and how much we’re invested in one another as a family, and while I may have been the only one walking with the people who decided our fate for the next hour, I knew that I certainly wasn’t alone. I think everyone who attended the TransCan this year should feel immense pride. The largest amateur sporting event in Canada took place here, during a year of unparalleled cancellations and postponements, and we made it happen. Every single person that was here made it happen. And I know Brett and I will be forever grateful. 

Dexter Seitz is not only one of the most stylish young riders in Canada, he’s also one of the fastest.

Eve Brodeur most certainly had a summer that she’ll never forget.

Evan Stewart dominated both the Supermini class as well as the 85 12-16 category.

Sebastien Racine was the well deserving recipient of the prestigious Fox Bronze Boot Award.

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Liam O'Farrell:

The Working Man's

Hero 46 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

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The phrase “Silly Season” took on new meaning in 2020. With the Covid-19 pandemic hitting the entire world, no one really knew in March if we would go racing.  This past season of racing was very special.  I was surprised as were most of you that the MRC put a schedule together and made it work with the track owners and the provincial government. It’s a shame the series didn’t go coast-to-coast, but I guess five rounds in Ontario is better than no racing at all. B Y A N DY W H I T E / P H O T O S B Y J A M E S L I S S I M O R E

J

etwerx had to be very creative in how they approached the series. No fans were allowed, but how many others could attend? It was a bit of a wait and see but we all enjoyed the three-moto format. At the end of the series I looked over the results and, yes, there were only a handful of American riders that made the trip up and selfquarantined for the required 14 days. These top riders are the same ones that attended last year and usually finished in the top 10. We missed some of the regular U.S. riders such as Chris Canning, Mike Fowler, Ryan Dowd and a few others. As I looked down the list, I noticed Liam O’Farrell, which gave me a moment’s pause. Liam has been around for some time. I then remember seeing him on his privateer KTM up in the top 10 almost every weekend. I know Liam and have backed him with financial support from FXR and when I was at KTM. Then I thought maybe I don’t know him that well after all. I know he’s a humble guy who is a little shy but very friendly, always goes out of his way to say hello. He’s originally from South Africa, but now lives in Ontario somewhere and races dirt bikes and is still pretty damn fast for a guy in his thirties. With all that, I figured it’s time for a sit-down to learn more about him.

Congrats on a solid season. The series was shorter than normal, but it was still 14 motos in total. I am sure you are very happy with your results.

Thank you. Finishing eighth in the series matched my best overall finish from the 2009 series. It’s crazy to think about it, but four years ago I didn’t ever think I would race another pro national, let alone a full series. The three-moto format was tough to get used to especially with the first one being at Gopher Dunes. That third moto was the worst race I have ever been in. I had no energy left but I think almost everyone was feeling the same way. Then we had three straight weekends of mud. Thank goodness the last round the weather was perfect. The series threw everything at us in 2020. I would like to thank Jetwerx the track owners Gopher, Walton and SDL and the AMO for making a series in these trying times.

Finishing in the top ten allows you to select a career number, and I see you picked 21. Why go with that number?

It was my number when I won both my South African championships in 2007. I've always wanted it since I moved here. One year I earned 22, missing 21 by 1 or 2 points. So close then, but now it's mine

That’s pretty cool. Now you can merchandise your 21 like Chad Reed does with his 22. [laughs] I do miss not being able to run a top 10 number, but the career numbers are much better in that sense and people won't have to learn my number every year. Plus, my jerseys will always have the right number. No worrying about picking up last year's gear with the wrong number by mistake.  

I will be honest I don’t know a lot about you, except you are from South Africa originally, correct? Born and raised in South Africa with one sister in a little town called Howick.

Did you start riding a dirt bike when you were pretty young? When did you first start racing? My dad got me my first bike for my fifth birthday, a PW50. A few of my close friends also got PW50s and we learned to ride on their farm. I raced my first race about half a year after I got my bike.

Do you remember your first race?

I don't remember my first race, but my parents told me I would stop every lap on the one tabletop to wave at them and make sure they were still watching.  

Where you lived in South Africa, were there many places to ride or race?

My local track was 20 minutes from my house and had a national every year. It's a hard pack, loamy track similar to Walton, dirt with less rocks. We also had a really rough sand track 40 minutes from my house that Langston and Rattray would do most of their offseason training at when they were racing in Europe. That was probably the best track in South Africa. However, it was in a dangerous area and a few people were robbed at gunpoint at that track, so you had to be careful. A friend has a track on his farm and they also have giraffe, zebra, antelope and we've seen hippos in the river next to the track. We would have to make sure there were no animals on the track before we started riding. I grew up racing MX. I used to do most of my enduro training from my house. We would go into the hills and do obstacles that you would see in hard enduros. Lots of river crossings and hill climbs.

“I DON'T REMEMBER MY FIRST RACE, BUT MY PARENTS TOLD ME I WOULD STOP EVERY LAP ON THE ONE TABLETOP TO WAVE AT THEM AND MAKE SURE THEY WERE STILL WATCHING.” MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM // 47

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In Canada, we watch for small animals like mice and groundhogs on the tracks, but we don’t have to worry about hitting zebras or hippos. I guess you could see a giraffe from far! [laughs] It's a cool experience riding around a track and also feeling like you're on a safari.   

You said when you rode in South Africa you had to be careful not to get robbed. I can't imagine how that feels. That’s an uneasy feeling having to look over your shoulder all the time.

Everyone knew there were problems at that track, so we would try to get a group together that way we were less likely to be targeted

Was your father into dirt bikes, too?

My Dad raced Enduro before I was born. He had a bad crash out on a trail ride and broke his leg and got thirddegree burns from his exhaust. This was while my mom was pregnant with my older sister. He quit racing but he still rides now well into his 60s.  

What year did you first come over to Canada to race? I first came over in 2008.

Why did you come to Canada? What was the attraction?

I had just won my first South African pro championship on both 250 and 450 in 2007 and I had always wanted to go overseas and compete. I was looking at going to Europe, but I couldn't afford it. Kerim Fitzgerald had come to Canada in 2007 and he said the racing here was great and I had a contact here, Selwyn Momberg, originally from South Africa that was offering to help me out. I was 21 at the time and I figured it was now or never.

Did you like racing in Canada in that first year?

That first year of racing in Canada was an eye opener. Back in South Africa, we would have about 15-20 riders at nationals and most of us would race both 250 and 450. So, when I came over here and there were more than 40 riders per class and you had to qualify, that was exciting for me and seeing the factory team semis. I really wanted to be part of the series.

If I remember correctly you travelled around with another South African that year. I believe I helped you two out with some KTM support?

I was fortunate to get another chance in 2009, thanks to your help. Kerim and I both rode for Orange Motorsports, RTR KTM and got to travel the country together in Kerim's motorhome. Kerim and I had raced each other since 50s so we knew each other really well. It was also a good thing that we were racing different classes that year so there were no rivalries between us, and we supported each other 100 percent. It was possibly the ideal team for the both of us. Kerim got two wins that year and I had four top-fives.

Did you stay in Canada or go back to South Africa?

I met Pam in March 2009 and we started dating a few months later. I did have to go back to South Africa that winter (2009-10), but I was back

again in 2010. I rode for the Gopher Dunes Suzuki team and Pam was working for Leading Edge Kawasaki for the east coast rounds. We traveled the east coast together and ended up getting married in November 2010. I've been living in Canada ever since.

Did you quit racing for a few years before coming back?

I quit at the end of 2015. I got my current job December 2014, and I was committed to riding for 2015. I was working 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., five days a week and I had night school from 5:30 to 10 p.m. four days a week. I wasn't able to train like I wanted or do any practicing. I was cycling on Saturdays and going racing on Sundays. My results started slipping and my fitness was almost non-existent. I felt like I needed a break. I thought I was done racing and I concentrated on my career and getting all my schooling done. My boss is very into motocross as he used to race, and his son did too until a major injury put him out of racing. In 2018, I was done with all my schooling and I was a lead installer. My boss asked if I wanted to go racing again and he was willing to support me. I just did two races in 2018, Gopher and Walton Nationals. We decided for 2019 to start our own race team, Priority Moto. His son, Travis Knoop, was back racing again in junior, and I’m doing the local races and Ontario Nationals.

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at 4:30 a.m. before work because after work I would try to take over with the kids and give Pam a break. Pam is a super Mom in my eyes though because at times I can almost be like a third child! We were also lucky to have Pam's parents at two Nationals this year to help out, and a handful of others that were always ready to step in and help out with the kids while we were racing.

Did you have much support this past year? If so, who were they?

That’s awesome to have a boss that supports you on the track, not many people are fortunate enough to have that kind of arrangement.

I think the only reason I got my current job is because of my racing. When I started this job, I didn't really have any prior experience and he gave me a chance because of my racing resume. My boss is also happy to be back at the track and working on bikes. He used to race, and he still has a lot of passion for the sport. He really enjoys being at the track again.  

What do you do for work?

I'm a licensed gas technician and residential air conditioning mechanic. Our main focus is new construction housing, but I also do light commercial applications and retro fits.

They call you the ‘working man’. What do you think about that?

I like it. I think it's gotten me some new respect and apparently some new fans. Especially being in the trades, as they can be hard work with long hours and then doing three 30+ minute motos on the weekends, it isn't easy.

It was fun watching you race this past summer. You were always battling in the 8-10 position.

Thank you. It felt great being top 10 every weekend this year at the Nationals. I still have that competitive drive where I constantly want to do better and when I made a small mistake I would get upset with myself but when I look back on it now, it was a really good year for me and I didn't think I would ever get another chance to do the full series again.

What motivates you to race the Pro Nationals? How old are you now? I'm 33 now. I still really enjoy racing. The family and I had a lot of fun at the track this summer. I'm still battling for top 10s at the nationals. And this year especially, every AMO race had 30 riders lined up for Cash Class and it was stacked. It felt like we were riding Nationals every time I was on the track. Then being able to go line up for Vet 30 afterward to get a break from those kids scrubbing past me all the time. It’s a good balance.

You’ve been married for a while. How many kids do you have and what are their names?

Pam and I have been married now for 10 years. We have two kids. Sloan is 3, and she’s always on the move and a bit of a daredevil. She’s already talking about riding dirt bikes. We also just had a boy during the pandemic, Sully, he's 6 months, and quite a beast. Kids are a lot of work but being a Dad has been the best experience of my life.

Congrats on the new family member. That can't be easy racing the 450 pro class and taking care of a 6-month-old baby at the same time. Thank goodness Pam is a true moto Mom.

Two kids have been harder than I expected. I hadn't planned on racing a full series but the way this year worked out, I had to do it. It got tough at times and I was exhausted. I wasn't able to practice as much as I would've liked and I tried to do all my training

My biggest support would be from my work Priority Mechanical and my boss Peter Knoop, and his wife, Wendy. I probably wouldn't be back racing if it weren't for them, and Peter always makes sure my bikes are ready to go. Travis Knoop, for riding with me and being my race day mechanic. Dawn McClintock and FXR for always having me and the family looking fresh. Apex Cycles, MP1 Suspension, Mica Sports, Scott Goggles, MD Distribution, Forma Boots, Pirelli, SSR, and obviously my wife and kids for travelling with me and keeping me fed.

What’s the plan for 2021?

I'll be back racing in 2021. If we are able to travel more freely and the virus isn't too much of a threat, I would like to try and qualify and race Loretta's (originally the plan for this year), keep competing locally at AMO Provincials and race the Ontario Nationals again, and possibly more East Coast Nationals.  

Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions. I am sure you will enjoy taking some time off the bike to relax and hang out with the family, or are you ready to get back out on the track? I'd still like to get out for a trail ride and a little bit of moto. At this time of year, it’s nice to get out and ride as I'm not worried about working on stamina, it's just to go have fun with friends. But the weather is changing fast and I do owe my family some weekends away from the track. Come spring, we'll all be eager to get back to the track again and get back to racing.

“MY BOSS IS ALSO HAPPY TO BE BACK AT THE TRACK AND WORKING ON BIKES. HE USED TO RACE, AND HE STILL HAS A LOT OF PASSION FOR THE SPORT.” MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM // 49

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DREAM COME TRUE:

PALMS RIDES THE MONSTER ENERGY PRO CIRCUIT KAWASAKI KX450F B Y C H R I S P O M E R OY / P H O T O S B Y J A M E S L I S S I M O R E

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EVERY SO OFTEN A STORY COMES ALONG THAT IS NOT JUST COOL, BUT VERY, VERY COOL. WHEN MONSTER ENERGY/ KAWASAKI/ PRO CIRCUIT TEAM MANAGER CHAD GOODWIN APPROACH ME ABOUT DOING A TEST RIDE STORY ON ONE OF THEIR TEAM BIKES, HE DIDN’T HAVE TO ASK TWICE. AS A FORMER PRO RACER AND SOMEONE WHO STILL LOVES TO RIDE, TEST RIDING A TEAM’S FACTORY BIKE WOULD BE THE EQUIVALENT OF A PRIVATE PILOT JUMPING BEHIND THE CONTROLS OF AN F-18, OR THE EVERYDAY COMMUTER GETTING THE CHANCE TO DRIVE AN F1 CAR. I ENTHUSIASTICALLY SAID YES, ASKING MR.GOODWIN WHEN AND WHERE!

“EVEN THOUGH THEIR SET-UPS VARY QUITE CONSIDERABLY, I LOVE SITTING ON A TOP RIDER’S RACE BIKE TO DISCOVER THE LITTLE THINGS THEY DO TO HELP THEM FEEL COMPLETELY CONNECTED WITH THE MOTORCYCLE.”

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s it turned out, when and where were the hard part of doing this story. With a shortened Triple Crown Series in 2020, the turnaround time between rounds was more crucial than ever. Factory race bikes take hours upon hours to rebuild during the week as mechanics prepare them for the following round. Because of this attention to detail and scheduling, my dream test ride on a factory KX450F remained just that all summer, a dream! So, this story got delayed until late September when a unique opportunity presented itself. With the final round of the Triple Crown SXTour taking place at Gopher Dunes, and Tyler Medaglia unfortunately out with an injured knee, Chad offered me the chance to not only test ride Tyler’s bike, but also to test race it in the Vet Open class at the final round of the AXTour. My response was a somewhat nervous, “sure, that would make for a very cool story.”

My thinking was riding the bike on a practice track at my own pace would be one thing but riding it around an SX Track under race conditions would be something completely different. Especially since it had been over a year since I’d lined up behind a starting gate. So, we decided that I would spend some time riding the bike prior to the race and see how I felt. If everything went smoothly then we’d line up in the Vet Open class at Round 4. On Thursday morning before the final weekend of the SXTour, I hit the road early for the two-hour drive to Gopher Dunes. The plaarrived at Gopher Dunes, Kibby and I loaded up Tyler’s trick looking KX450 and headed to the SRS Motosports SX track which Steve Shore had graciously opened for testing. Kibby has not only been Tyler Medaglia’s mechanic for the past few seasons, but he’s also the brain trust behind MyPitBoard which is currently being used by a growing number of riders. More information on this cool product is available at www.mypitboard.com.

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DREAM COME TRUE:

PALMS RIDES THE MONSTER ENERGY PRO CIRCUIT KAWASAKI KX450F

With the track at SRS Motosports being a less challenging SX circuit it provided a perfect place for me to get comfortable with this factory bike. As I mentioned above, Tyler had ridden this bike on the previous weekend before tweaking his knee in practice. So other than the team changing the suspension to better suit my added size and weight (compared to Tyler), this bike has his set-up. Like most experienced pro riders, Tyler’s bike set-up is extremely unique and built around his stature and technique. The bars as you would expect were low and flat and when you sat on his bike, you felt as if you were a part of it. Even though their set-ups vary quite considerably, I love sitting on a top rider’s race bike to discover the little things they do to help them feel completely connected with the motorcycle. At that level there is no time for guesswork on the track, you must know exactly what the bike is going to do in any situation. For Tyler, his goal is to remain close and to the middle of the motorcycle, thus keeping his weight centralized and allowing his strong legs to do most of the work. Since I’m taller than Tyler, I can get away with taller bars and even a taller seat as I have more leverage with my legs. However, I was anxious to try

Tyler’s setup, so I left his Renthal Bars on and the only alteration I made was changing seats. Tyler’s seat had a small hump just forward of centre and with my height, I was sitting right on the hump, rather than in front of it like you’re supposed to. So, after a seat change, some lever adjustment, some clicks on the suspension, we set the sag and then I headed onto the track for my first laps on a Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki Factory bike. I’m sure everyone who has ever thrown their leg over a 450 will agree, these bikes definitely don’t lack power. Therefore, as you transition from riding one around a practice track to racing one, the challenging part becomes trying to smooth out the power and make the bike more raceable. Even though I was riding around a tight SX track with steep jumps and tight corners, this bike had smooth power delivery that didn’t make your arms feel like they were going to get ripped off. It didn’t take long to feel comfortable, and after a few water breaks and suspension adjustments, I was able to string multiple laps together and trick myself into not feeling like a 47-year-old vet rider. After a few hours of testing, I was happy, Kibby was happy, and together we began devising a plan for racing this

incredible machine 48 hours later at the final round of the SXTour Series. With the amateur portion of the SXTour Series beginning early in the day, I met Kibby at the track at 9 a.m. Like any raceday, I woke up with that apprehensive feeling that not only had me feeling nervous, but also razor-focused on t he day ahead. As I said earlier, practicing is one thing, but racing is completely different. I warned Kibby to be prepared for me to

start the day slow and then get better as it went along and I became more comfortable with the bike and the track. I’m glad I confided this to him as my practice session didn’t go very well. Due to my nerves and overall excitement, the bike felt stiff and foreign to me on the technical Gopher Dunes SX track. I was not only struggling with getting the bike to turn, but with the triple jump and massive finish line double as well. Thankfully, these

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issues were easily fixable as both were electrical problems. Not with the bike, it was running fine, but more with my brain, or as John Nelson used to refer to it, ‘the dead short between the ears.’ I was overthinking everything and not riding relaxed. After practice, Kibby told me to be more aggressive and my wife and son told me to, well, you don’t want to know what they said. Either way, heading into the opening Vet Open moto my plan was clear, try and holeshot, jump everything on the opening lap and charge the corners as if my future life as a Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki fill-in rider depended on it. So that is what I did! As soon as the gate dropped, I was happy that I’d decided to race as this bike felt so much more comfortable under race conditions. With the super stiff Pro Circuit A-Kit Suspension, the big jumps were obviously no issue. In fact, having such high-quality suspension under me made the jump sections seem easy, whether you over-jumped them slightly or came up a tad short. However, in the corners, I had to be aggressive to get the bike to turn, which is why the intensity of racing was key to this test ride. The harder I rode this bike the better it handled and the better I felt. As soon as I began to charge the 180-degree corners with more urgency it just snowballed. First, as I entered the corners with more speed and aggression, it meant that I was forced to brake harder to get stopped for the apex of the turn. The hard braking compressed the stiff forks, and the bike began to turn into the corner with more ease. At that point, all it took was a little throttle input and the smooth power of this factory KX450F made the rear wheel hook up, and just like that I was through the

turn. As I said, in practice I struggled with the overall handling characteristics of Medaglia’s bike, but as I upped my aggression game in the motos, the bike responded extremely well. After winning both Vet Open motos, Kibby was happy, Chad was happy, and my wife and son were happy. As I’m sure you can all imagine, test riding one of the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki Team bikes was an amazing experience. Not only was it great to just be able to ride Tyler Medaglia’s race bike, but to have the support of the team as well as a mechanic like Kibby to help me with anything I needed. I’m very thankful to the factory Kawasaki Team, as this is the only way to do one of these tests properly. With race bikes being so complex these days, it would be almost impossible to do a story like this without the support of the entire team. Riding one of these factory bikes is a dream come true for every rider, myself included. Race bikes have changed so much since I was a pro rider in the 1990s. However, the one thing that hasn’t changed is the feeling of everything feeling tight and new when you’re on the track. There is no play in the levers, the footpegs are tight, there are no vibrations, and everything has that ‘new bike’ feeling

every time you ride it. These factory bikes feel like the best of the best, and you must be prepared to ride them as hard as the pro riders do. I’ve also enjoyed riding a stock KX450F over the past few years. Kawasaki has worked hard on their 450 package and I’ve always felt comfortable on them. In the weeks leading up to the test ride, I was able to ride the 2021 KX450F-XC model, which is basically a KX450F with softer suspension, different ignition mapping, as well as an 18-inch rear tire. I rode this bike for two weeks prior to riding the factory version and, while there were many obvious differences, both bikes put a big smile on my face. This was a great experience and I want to thank Chad Goodwin and the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki Team for making it happen. It was one of those dreams come true type of stories and at times I felt like I had to pinch myself. It was also an honour to work with Kibby and to ride Tyler Medaglia’s race bike. Like so many of us, I’ve been a big fan of Tyler and his racing over the years. He’s a legend and for 15 years he’s been such a great pro, so getting to throw my leg over the big number 5 was a huge honour. With Tyler moving on to new projects and possibly a new team and

Matt Goerke announcing his retirement, Kawasaki will be looking for a new rider to race alongside Marshal Weltin in 2021. It will make for an interesting off-season for the green team for sure. In the meantime, congratulations to Goerke on an incredible career, and thanks to the team for allowing myself and MXP magazine to be part of their 2020 Canadian motocross story. Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki KX450F Specs: • Renthal – Bars 921 with soft half-waffle and sprockets 13-51 • DID chain and excel rims • Dubya – Kite hubs • Braking Rotors front and rear •Guts seat foam and covers • Acerbic plastic • Works connection holeshot device and engine plugs • Arc Clutch and Brake lever • Pro Circuit A-kit suspension • Pro Circuit linkage • Pro Circuit engine – cams piston and ignition cover • Hinson complete clutch system • Maxima oils • VP Fuel • Superlite Titanium complete bike • Lime Nine Graphics

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RUDY’S

VINTAGE COLLECTION

“HIS PASSION FOR BIKE RESTORATION IS ON PAR WITH HIS LOVE OF RACING AND INCLUDES EVERYTHING FROM RESEARCHING PARTS TO COLLECTING ‘90S MOTO MEMORABILIA.”

GROWING UP IN THE SUBURBS OF SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO, MAKING TRIPS OUT TO OPEN FARMERS’ FIELDS, GRAVEL PITS AND MAKESHIFT TRAILS IN THE WOODS ALONG ROADSIDES WHILE RINGING OUT THE THROTTLE CABLE ON A 1987 DR. THESE WERE PAUL RUDY’S FIRST TASTES OF A DIRT BIKE. B Y J E N N I T O M S / P H O T O S B Y A U S T I N WAT L I N G

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ne day, a visit to the local bike shop resulted in an invite to a local Pro Riders’ track. This is where Paul found his love for Motocross. Motocross was riding bikes way past sunset, just to get those last few laps in before heading home for the night. It was excitement, education, camaraderie and awesome machines. These were the times that have Paul, and men like him, eager to bring back the nostalgia of the Golden Era of ‘90s Motocross. Living in a border town roughly an hour’s drive from Detroit, Paul got his first glimpse of spectacular racing at Pontiac Supercross. However, due to a mix-up when his Dad bought the wrong

tickets, Paul spent the day watching amateur racing. Although to nine-yearold Paul it didn’t matter because it was all new, fresh and exciting and fueled his dreams of racing dirt bikes. The next year, with the right tickets in hand, Paul’s addiction to racing became even stronger as he took in some of the best racing on the planet. With the sweet smell of race fuel and premix in the air, you could say Paul was in his

own racing oasis. He soon upgraded to a KX80, much like that of the legends of the era, Jeff Matasivich and Mike Larocco. Not long after the upgrade, and with his new passion for riding growing, Paul met a family of riders who would become lifelong friends; a crew of boys that rode every night and raced every weekend. Racing meant having friends who introduced him to new tracks,

“FOR PAUL, IT WAS LIFE CHANGING AND INSTILLED A LOVE OF MOTOCROSS THAT STILL RUNS DEEP.”

first races and endless road trips and laughs. For Paul, it was life changing and instilled a love of motocross that still runs deep. Paul started racing local Canadian and American District 14 races and quickly graduated to chasing Ontario Provincial and Canadian Amateur National titles between 1996 and 2003. There was so much devotion to the sport and all that came with it, and Paul enjoyed it all. Travelling with family, camping with friends, battling for wins are all memories he would never forget. Racing changed for Paul in 2002, with the introduction of the 450 four stroke which became the ‘must-have’ bike. For Paul, although four strokes had obvious appeal, it was his love of two stroke bikes that had kept him racing. So, for a time, as he began college through the purchase of his first home and the start of his career, his bikes stayed quiet in the garage. But, as they say, you don’t know how much you miss something until it’s gone. This sentiment rang true for Paul. Within five years he was back at the track, racing for fun. While he enjoyed riding his four stroke Paul was looking for something to bring back the passion that first brought him into motocross. With that in mind, he decided to pick up a 1986 YZ80 and restore it. A bike from a beloved childhood movie, The Dirtbike Kid. And, just like that, his passion was renewed, along with a new passion for restoration. These days Paul is enjoying being a new father and husband-to-be. He continues restoring his own vintage bikes, and others, regularly. His passion for bike restoration is on par with his love of racing and includes everything from researching parts to collecting ‘90s moto memorabilia. In the future, Paul hopes to pass his love of motocross and restoration on to his kids. 

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1986 Honda CR250 • Twenty-Six Suspension • OEM fork boots • OEM spokes front and rear • All Balls wheel bearing kit front and rear • All Balls linkage rebuild kit • All Balls suspension linkage kit • Powdercoated frame • Complete OEM crank • OEM clutch • Namura top end rebuild kit • Namura complete gasket kit • ceramic coated engine  • oversized radiators • silicone radiator hose kit • Motion Pro cables • Carburetor rebuilt  • Twin Air filter • Bolt pro pack bolt kit  • DG pipe and silencer • Renthal 7/8” bars • Front & rear caliper rebuild • OEM front rotor  • Renthal chain and sprockets 

2004 Honda CR125R •Frame repaired and polished (tank strap bracket welded). •New right-side case (Service Honda) •Wiseco top end •Hot Rods crank •New crank seals •Namura gasket kit •Lectron carburetor •Engine ceramic coated (black/sniper grey) •Pro Circuit oversized radiators  •N-Style - Troy NOS graphic kit/seat cover •Cycra front plate •Cycra vented front fender •UFO plastic kit •Renthal fat bars •Renthal chain/ sprockets •Twin Air filter •Pro taper 1 1/8” upper clamps. ceramic coated black upper & lower •Works connection hour meter, front brake reservoir cover, rear master cylinder cover, oil fill plug, skit plate, valve caps, steering stem nut, axel blocks •Odi grips

•V Force reeds •Bolt - pro pack bolt kit •Blue silicone radiator hose kit •Pro circuit works pipe/carbon 304 silencer •Repaired and cleaned up wiring •Hinsen clutch and basket •Black D.I.D wheels with powder coated hubs •Carbon rear master cylinder cover •Ceramic coated chain guide, rear caliper guard

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MXP CHATTER WITH

EVE BRODEUR B Y C H R I S P O M E R OY / P H O T O S B Y J A M E S L I S S I M O R E

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oming into the 2020 season, Eve Brodeur was once again ready to try and win the WMX Triple Crown Series. She had not only prepared hard for the race season, but she also spent some time away from the sport travelling the world. However, once the racing began in July, Eve was all business and not only did she take home the 2020 WMX Title in dominating fashion, but she also did exceptionally well in the 250MX class in the MXTour Series, eventually earning the national #72 for next season. Yes, it was quite a season for Eve and we caught up with her for this months MXP Chatter.

Hey Eve, what are you up to today? A: Hey Chris! My daily routine is pretty much the same every day, which consists of school, work, more school and a lot of studying in between all of that. I try to work out and get out of the house a bit every few days, but university (and COVID) has really been making that hard to achieve!

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Although it’s only been a month since the final round at SDL, it feels like a lot longer. What have you been doing since Round 5 at SDL? A: It definitely feels like that was months ago! I started university, as well as working for MyPITBOARD, right before Round 4, and it’s been my main focus since then! I knew my first year, especially my first semester, of university would be hard, but I definitely didn’t expect how overwhelming it would be! Health programs are no joke. So yeah, with all the riding I did throughout the summer, I’ve definitely been enjoying a little break from spending every weekend on my bike and it’s nice to have a little change of pace!

Last week the Triple Crown released their national numbers for 2021 and you will wear 72 next year. This is amazing news, congratulations! A: This is, by far, the most exciting thing that happened for me this season! When we first came into Round 1, I was only planning on racing the 250 class on the Saturday so I wouldn’t just spend all day doing nothing since the WMX was only on Sunday. Then, after a challenging, but so rewarding first moto, I knew I couldn’t just stop there. From doing Round 1, to doing every round, I pushed myself more every weekend and I knew, in the back of my mind, that I wanted to finish 2020 with a national number. I’ve always made sure to give my best to pave the way for all the women racers who will come after me and I believe that this is a big step in the right direction, since it had never been done before!

“I’ve always made sure to give my best to pave the way for all the women racers who will come after me and I believe that this is a big step in the right direction, since it had never been done before!”

one particular moto where I fell about

times in half a lap. After my second Between racing in the eight tip over, I just wanted to get back to the mechanics’ area to freshen up my WMX class and the goggles and gloves but fell another six times on the way. A lot of pep talks were 250MX class you had done under my helmet in both motos to remind myself of what I was doing it for a very busy summer. and the end goal. How challenging was it racing all of those laps MXP: I remember in a weekend? watching you ride that A: More challenging then we expected final lap in the Walton it to be for sure! When we first decided to do the two classes, we knew it would mud. You were the only be a lot of work, but I don’t think we ever expected to run around so much. rider on the track, and Especially the rounds where it was pretty muddy, which was almost every you made it around. I round. I know it was really hard for me physically, because I barely ever had felt a real sense of pride any breaks longer than, like, 45 minutes before heading back out to staging, but watching you that day. also for my Dad. We always say how busy mechanics are on race day and You never gave up! while I did the most laps on the track this summer, my Dad definitely did the most running around! I always try to help him in between motos because I know there’s a lot to do, but this year I needed to make the most of the little breaks I had so I could get through the day. That meant that he had to do everything by himself and trust me, he deserves some sort of award for that! It was also very weird, because the pace of the two classes were very different and I also raced on different bikes, so I had a lot of adjusting to do in between every moto!

Which was more difficult, the heat and sand of Gopher Dunes at the opening round, or the mud at Walton Raceway? A: I think they were both hell in their own way! I know that in both Gopher Dunes and Walton 1, there came a point in one of the motos that I stopped in the mechanics’ area and told my Dad I couldn’t do it, and said, ‘’are you really telling me you’re giving up?’’, to which I would obviously say no and then get right back on the track. At Gopher, I crashed in every single moto and I was absolutely terrified of getting lapped. It was also so hot and so rough, I was mind-blown. Then came the mud Walton, which pushed me out of my comfort zone in a whole different way. I remember in

A: That moto was quite something! My bike was overheating in the last two laps and right after crossing the white flag, my bike stopped and wouldn’t fire back up. At that point, I had already done 25+1 and I was ready to just call it quits. However, I ended up getting my bike started and I figured I’d struggle as much to get off the track just finish my lap. So, I finished that last lap, all alone on the track, and I’m so glad I did because I gained five positions just in that lap because so many people didn’t finish this moto! It definitely paid off.

MXP: You obviously had a lot of success in the WMX class each weekend, but can you tell us what your best moto was in the 250MX class? A: My best moto would have to be Walton 2, moto 2, since it’s the one where I scored my first pro points with a 16th place finish! I remember struggling so much, but seeing my position get lower every time I went by the mechanics, which motivated me so much. I knew this was it, this was the moto where I’d finally score points and maybe earn myself a national number. It was a whole other kind of accomplishment from the ones I get in

MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM // 57

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2020-11-03 5:39 PM


MXP CHATTER WITH

EVE BRODEUR

the WMX class and it meant a lot to me.

“My best moto would have to be Walton 2, moto 2, since it’s the one where I scored my first pro points with a 16th place finish!”

Once the Covid-19 Pandemic hit in March 2020 became a very goal. After that, it’s important to remind yourself that the main goal is to have Are you looking strange year for fun, so if it’s not, ask yourself, ‘’how can you make it fun again?’’ Then, evaluating forward to wearing everyone. However, your goals and how you want to process to achieve them is a big part of having a when you look back on number 72 in 2021? successful season. And finally, you have to learn to prioritize and ask yourself how definitely. That number means the success you had and A:a lotMost much you’re willing to sacrifice to make to me because of everything that it your dreams happen and respect that! From being a woman with a the places you traveled, represents! national number, to the crazy summer I just had and to that number representing this year was very my switch from intermediate to pro, It’s also very cool that I’ll definitely wear it with a sense of interesting for you.  accomplishment! you’re still able to do A: From thinking we might not get to race all have and having to get ready for this sport as a family. a season we didn’t know if we would We’ve watched you have or not, to having my best summer What has it meant to of racing so far in my career, I definitely grow and mature didn’t expect that! The vibe and the have your Mom and usual process might have been different, throughout the past but what isn’t right now? Hats off to Dad by your side at the Jetwerx and Triple Crown, they definitely few years and honestly pulled it off! Eve, you’re such a class races? A: I honestly don’t think I could do it without either of them. We’ve become So, what now. What act. How have you such a solid team over the years, and we all know where we stand and will the rest of 2020 managed to balance our roles on the race weekends so it just wouldn’t be possible without look like for you?  everything and stay them. As I mentioned before, my Dad goes above and beyond to make A: Honestly just university and growing motivated? every single idea I have happen and the MyPITBOARD brand with the whole team again! I don’t have a lot of free time, but I’m used to that, aren’t I? Then, we usually go to Florida for Christmas break, but I just don’t think that’s going to happen this year. So, I’m not sure what I’ll do instead since I haven’t spent the holidays here in years, but I’m excited to get to see my family a little more and enjoy Quebec in the winter.

A: It’s definitely not always easy. We’ve changed a lot of things to my racing program this year and it made a world of difference. We often don’t realize it but racing as a teenager and racing as an adult is very different and can’t be done the same way. I think it’s important to often ask yourself what you’re doing all of this for, just to keep track of your end

he often doesn’t get the credit he deserves for it, so thanks Dad! My Mom also gives up a lot of personal life to follow me everywhere I go and even more when she can’t follow us because of work. I’m very lucky to have such involved parents and that we make such a great team. Sending lots of love to both of them.

Where do you see yourself in say five years? A: In five years, I’ll officially be an occupational therapist, so I’ll finally have a big girl job. At that point, I’ll probably more of a leisure/weekend rider then a national racer to be honest. I don’t plan on stopping in the next few years, but I don’t think I’ll be able to keep up that level of involvement for five more years and I’ll be more than happy to let the next generation of badass girls take over! I also definitely want to be in my own house by then and maybe nearing the moment of bringing kids into the mix? Who knows what the future holds, but I’m definitely excited for it!

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Who would you like to thank? A: Thank you for giving me the time to talk about my season! I would obviously like to thank KTM Canada as well as Mathias Sport for my great set-up. FXR racing for bringing me on board this year and making me look fresh 24/7. MyPITBOARD for taking my training program to the next level and helping me grow personally by bringing me on their team. And then Oakley, FMF Racing, Dunlop, Ossur, Twice Production, 6D helmets, Motofitness, Dirt Care, Nine1metal, Seco Seat Cover, TwentySixSuspension and again, my parents and everyone who contributed to my success this season or cheered me on! Big love.

58 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP_2020_20.03_Eve Brodeur Interview.indd 58

2020-11-03 5:41 PM


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2020-10-27 11:39 AM


THE ULTIMATE MOTO VAN BUILD G

“Bannon along with his business partner, Errol Thorpe, formed Bristol in 2017 and began designing and manufacturing their own line of luxury small buses and custom Ford Transit vans.”

B Y M X P S TA F F

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etting your bikes and gear to the track often seems to be an adventure in and of itself. Whether it be in the back of the pickup truck, box van, RV or toy hauler, we all have fond, and not so fond memories, of travels to our favorite riding destinations and motocross events. In the end, these vehicles are a means to help unlock our shared passion of riding dirt bikes and creating lasting memories and friendships. On the other end of the spectrum, for those who have made motocross their career or business, a day at the track is like a day in the office. We’ve seen the factory teams with their massive double-stacker haulers in the pits at the Rockstar Nationals, but what we don’t see is all the logistics behind those rigs. Logistics is the blanket term to cover a laundry list of item such as trip permits, logbooks, maintenance, 18 tires all searching for the only piece of shrapnel on the highway and, of

2020-11-03 5:13 PM


course, hours worth of setup and tear down each weekend. As impressive as these set-ups may be, they are certainly not practical for multiple mid-week track days to fine tune the latest weaponry in the factory race bike arsenal.     All this brings us to the folks at Huber Motorsports / Monster Kawasaki Pro Circuit who were in search of a solution that combines the amenities of their rig with the convenience and agility of something smaller for those all-important testing days. We can best describe it as the MotoVan equivalent of a factory race bike. No detail is overlooked, lots of trick parts and an off-the-charts ‘wow’ factor.    It’s no secret, Gerhart and Christian Huber, owners of Huber Motorsports like to make a splash both on and off the track.  Their presence on the track and at pitside never goes unnoticed and they sought out a company to turn their 2019 Mercedes Sprinter into the ultimate MotoVan. To make it happen, they tapped another familiar face in the Canadian motocross race pits, Matt Bannon, member of the rival Honda Canada Fox GDR race team and owner of Bristol Coachworks in Ingersoll, Ontario.    Bannon along with his business partner, Errol Thorpe, formed Bristol in 2017 and began designing and manufacturing their own line of luxury small buses and custom Ford Transit vans. They have formed a talented team of individuals who turn out some unbelievably impressive custom vehicles and projects right here in Canada.   The completed Huber Motorsports MotoVan made its first appearance in the pits at San Del Lee this August. After a brief chat and tour from Bannon, the

MXP crew decided to head to Ingersoll this off-season to see the van in more detail and find out just what goes on behind the scenes to bring a project like this to reality. Upon arriving at Bristol Coachworks, one thing is very apparent: this is not your average shop. Its stark white walls and epoxy floor are more akin to a medical facility than a manufacturing shop. If the team at Bristol set out to make a strong first impression for those who walk through their doors, mission accomplished. Timing for the MXP crew was perfect as the Huber Motovan was back to the shop for some final offseason touches and an added bonus were the number 2 and 19 bikes of Goerke and Weltin that accompanied it (admiring these factory race bikes in all their glory never gets old).   After a brief tour of the facility and meeting with team members, we sat down with Matt Bannon to pick his brain and get a better understanding of how this project came to be.   “Gerhart, Christian and I began chatting about this project back in July of 2019 after the Gopher national and planning really started taking shape in October,” Bannon said.  Although the team at Bristol had never built a motocross inspired vehicle, Matt said his passion for all motorsports and his familiarity with the requirements this van may need from his time spent under the GDR tent helped the planning phase dramatically. The long and short of it was this: Huber Motorsports wanted something significantly more convenient and agile to use day in and day out than their rig yet required the amenities and tooling for some serious testing days. 

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“As our MXP crew crawled around, inside, under and on top of the Huber Sprinter, we were blown away by how Bristol seamlessly integrated so many features into such a small space.”

THE ULTIMATE MOTO VAN BUILD “I used my own knowledge and experience, had a major brainstorm session with Christian and also leaned on the likes of Derek Schuster and Justin Petker to run ideas past them and a bunch of ‘what do you think of this?’ type conversations,” he added.   One thing became clear very during the planning phase Bannon said, this project vehicle had to make a statement.  Beyond all the amenities needed for a day of testing at the track, the overall package needed to command attention and be a marketing piece for the team. This was music to the team at Bristol’s ears as their attention to detail and creativity is what really sets their creations apart.   “To be honest, this was a bit of a dream project,” said Bannon. “We had a real good understanding of the ‘musthaves’ from Gerhart and Christian, and they brought up some cool ideas like solar power and from there I knew this was not going to be your average MotoVan project. They wanted this to be innovative, they wanted it to command attention,” Bannon added.   During our conversation at Bristol, we discovered no matter how simple or complicated a project is, they essentially all start out the same. “The foundation for any build is a solid plan, bill of material and electrical schedule,” said Andrew Landick, Bristol Shop Manager. “This particular project is by no means a do-it-yourself home build, but the fundamentals are all the same even if you are tackling something yourself in your driveway or home garage. High quality sound deadening material, insulation and a wiring plan. It may not be the most glorious stage, but it sets the project off on the right foot,” he added.     

As our MXP crew crawled around, inside, under and on top of the Huber Sprinter, we were blown away by how Bristol seamlessly integrated so many features into such a small space. We’re talking 10-gallon air compressor, exterior and interior air fittings, 1500psi electric pressure washer , 3000-watt inverter charger, air-ride suspension, a massive stereo, tool chests, tire carrier, 150 litres of water, suspension sink and waste oil reservoir and suspension locker, just to name a few.   “We’ve become masters of spatial planning and integration,” Bannon said. “The issue is vehicles seldomly cooperate. The perfect spot we initially planned for the pressure washer in proved to be impossible when it came down to it.” “All of a sudden this has to be relocated and it throws the whole plan out of sync and it’s back to the drawing board,” Bonner said. “If you are

planning a build at home, painter’s tape is your best friend, lay out your vision on the floor and walls of your van but get underneath and make sure nothing important is in the way. You don’t want any drill bits through a gas tank or wiring harness” he added.   One of the biggest showstoppers of this build greets you the moment the sliding door opens and comes in the form of a Kawasaki green suspension cabinet with clear plexiglass front.  If there is ever an appropriate time to use the phrase ‘suspension porn’, this is it. Two sets of unobtanium Pro Circuit front forks are on display and accented with coloured LED backlighting and polished stainless-steel mirror. We then experience sensory overload like a kid on Christmas morning as we are greeted by a one-off custom stainless work top with integrated suspension sink, powder coated tool chests, cabinets and some ultra-trick water tanks to feed the on-board pressure washer.

Bannon said one of the features he is most proud of are the custom aluminum water tanks which feed the integrated pressure washer. “One of our main goals in this shop is combining aesthetics, wow-factor and real-world practicality in our projects. In this case, the water tanks serve multiple purposes. They offset the abundance of weight on the driver side, act as a storage system for the Matrix Concepts fuel jugs and also as a spot for the riders to sit on while they get their gear on and, in my opinion, provide some serious wow factor,” Bonner said.   As we were wrapping up our visit, there was still one major item everyone was wondering about but had gone unmentioned and we weren’t leaving the shop until we got some details.  Sitting on the roof of the van was a custom roof-rack, side awning, three flush-mount solar panels and enough LED light bars to make the average baseball stadium jealous. “The 300-watt solar panels are accompanied by a battery bank of four

lithium batteries in a custom mount which help the van survive the electrical demands placed on it during a long day at the track. As a back-up there is a shore-power connection, but the goal was for it to survive off-grid as long as possible,” Bonner explained.    After our in-depth tour of this MotoVan, the consensus from the MXP crew is a genuine appreciation for the craftsmanship and attention to detail we see at every turn.  Subtle details and striping on the tool cabinets and wheels provided by Lime Nine and seat-covers highlighted by Kawasaki green accents and the Huber Motorsports logo stand out.  It’s no different than looking at a factory race bike. There is serious initial ‘wow’ factor but as you spend more time admiring it the real detail and hard work becomes apparent.      Like our racers on the podium, Bannon has a lot of people to thank for making this project possible. “First and foremost, Gerhart, Christian, Chad and the entire team thank you for putting your trust in us. Newf at Matrix Concepts, Brad and the folks over at Easy-Kleen, Brendan at Lime Nine,  John at Moduline, Trevor at Risk Racing, Mark at Surf & Turf, Mike at Henderson’s Powdercoating, John at Cook Sheet Metal, Sean at Thule Canada, and Logan and Brett at GeeVee Race. Beyond that, thank you to our team here at Bristol that put in a ton of time making this happen, we truly have an incredible group of people here,” Bannon said. 

Bristol Coachworks / Macnab Transit 439 Bell St. Ingersoll, ON 519-485-4287 info@macnabtransit.com

MOTOVAN STATS

Bike Capacity: ............................................................ 2 Stereo System: .... XXX Watts*need to figure out Solar Panels: ........................................... 300 watts Battery Bank Capacity: ................ 420 amp-hours Water Capacity: ........................................ 153 litres Waste Suspension Oil Capacity: ............... 5000 mL LED Light Bars: .......................................... 852 watts Pressure Washer: ...................... 1,500 psi electric Air Compressor: ...................................... 10 gallons Tire Carrying Capacity: .............. 4 front / 4 rear

62 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

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2020-11-03 5:13 PM


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ALLAN JAGGARD 416-201-1187 jagg448@rogers.com

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2020-10-27 11:17 AM


THE BICYCLE PAGE WITH ALLAN JAGGARD

INNOVATION, ELECTRIC FUN & SOCIAL DISTANCING IN MY LAST COLUMN, I WROTE ABOUT THE SALES EXPLOSION IN THE BICYCLE AND POWER SPORTS INDUSTRY RESULTING FROM THE ONGOING COVID-19 PANDEMIC. AS WE HEAD INTO THE WINTER MONTHS, ALL I PREDICTED IN MY PREVIOUS COLUMN IS PROVING TO BE UNCANNILY CORRECT. THE SUPPLY CHAINS FOR PARTS AND INVENTORIES OF ANYTHING RELATED TO OUTDOOR RECREATION HAVE BEEN AFFECTED. THE STOCK THAT ARRIVED IN 2020 HAS DISAPPEARED.

A

s of early November, showroom floors are still only offering limited selection. The products that arrive often don’t get a chance to cast a shadow on the retail floor because they’re already spoken for and see little more than time required in the service department for assembly. Once completed, these units are loaded up and gone. I congratulate all who got what they wanted! As an industry insider, my recommendation is simple: whichever product you may be interested in, regardless of whether it’s a motorcycle, ATV / UTV, marine, bicycle or e-bike, be prepared and act quickly.  If you must compromise, keep all options open. You’re also going to need a healthy dose of patience! Anyone who has been shopping around this fall will attest that you may not be able to get what you want, and if you do find what you’re looking for, you will most likely have to wait. My next prediction is that this will be the best-case scenario well

into the summer of 2021 and beyond. So, what about alternative options or innovations that may be in the marketplace? When my wife Anne and I started our new O2RIDE business distributing electric bicycles in April, we were shocked at how thrilled our customers were once they took demo rides or received their e-bikes. Comments such as, “wow”, “oh my God”, “unbelievable”, and “I wasn’t expecting that,” and other similar statements became the norm. Customers were reacting to the performance, fun and ease of use of our available selection of affordable e-bikes. As Anne and I progressed, we were continually re-evaluating and pursuing other options to offer through O2RIDE, and our persistence has paid off. Before we started with our SLANE E-BIKE range, we tried to connect with SUR-RON. For over four years, SUR-RON has been manufacturing one of the most popular e-bikes on the market, mainly due to it being a hybrid cross of a mountain bike and motorcycle. Weighing just 50 kg (110 lbs.), this model boasts super-efficient

electric power, zero carbon emissions and excellent handling characteristics. All this, and more, turned this new category into a much sought-after e-bike worldwide. It also makes them almost unattainable without prepaying deposits and a long wait. I finally got one a few weeks ago. To say I’m happy with my purchase would be an understatement! The SUR-RON was everything I thought it would be. I see endless potential for this vehicle category. Within a week of receiving the SURRON, I participated in the annual VET / VINTAGE Charity Motocross Event at Gopher Dunes. At this event, I debuted the SUR-RON model “Light Bee,” and boy did it get a lot of attention! A ton of test rides proved its potential. Everyone who tested the stock Light Bee loved it. One of the best reactions we received came from a 50-yard test taken by a rider who did a quick 180-degree turn on slippery grass, only to come back asking, “how fast can I get one?” O2RIDE is currently working with SUR-RON, which means we’ll have units in stock by the time you’re

“ANYONE WHO HAS BEEN SHOPPING AROUND THIS FALL WILL ATTEST THAT YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO GET WHAT YOU WANT, AND IF YOU DO FIND WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR, YOU WILL MOST LIKELY HAVE TO WAIT.” reading this article. I’m the kind of guy who believes that all things in life happen for a reason. I must say that I’m not too surprised by some of the other connections we’ve made since getting my SUR-RON. I’m not at liberty to discuss all details just yet, but you will be seeing a lot more from O2RIDE’s offerings soon with the inclusion of high-performance modification kits that will enhance the performance of these electric bikes. And it even includes modification kits that revolve around the emergence of rapidly developing hydrogen technology! You’ll be reading about this in upcoming MXP feature stories. In the meantime, keep your mind open, your body safe, and the throttle pinned! The future is e-xciting!

64 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

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2020-11-03 4:56 PM


ONTARIO ACTION SPORTS ASSOCIATION WITH CARL BASTEDO

PREPARING FOR 2021

THE OASA WAS LAUNCHED THIS PAST SPRING WITH PLANS TO HOLD SEVERAL EVENTS AND SKILLS & SAFETY SESSIONS FOR EMTB/MTB AND BMX BICYCLES IN ITS FIRST YEAR. OUR SKILLS AND SAFETY SESSIONS TURNED INTO VIDEO PRESENTATIONS AND THEY ARE POSTED AT WWW.OASA.CLUB

O

ur eight-race Ontario Championship EMTB/ MTB race series, at several prime new facilities, was cancelled as we found it impossible to comply with COVID-19 protocols. We did launch a smaller mid-week evening fall race series at Motopark which we plan to expand in 2021. You can get a feel for the trails at Motopark by watching the video at www.oasa.club All was not lost though, as the downtime allowed us to establish our rules and regulations for our EMTB/ MTB series. We also laid out our classes and membership information. We established a relationship with the U. S. AMA GNCC race series which has included electric mountain bike racing the past two years. This year they launched a North American Championship EMTB race at Loretta Lynn’s ranch in Blountville, Tennessee in August. Hopefully COVID-19 regulations will allow the OASA to be

an organizational partner at that event in 2021. For 2021, assuming COVID-19 safety protocols will allow it, we will re-launch our Ontario Championship EMTB/MTB race series at prime facilities. We have acquired a state-of-theart timing system which will enable us to provide live timing at all events. Online registration, membership and waiver applications will be mandatory in 2021 which is the way most professional organizations are operating these days. We have some great partners lined up for our events next year. The OASA is also excited to announce that MARIN BIKES is now one of our major supporters and you’ll see a special promotion ad in this issue that explains how to obtain a competitive MARIN NAIL TRAIL E1 or E2 electric hard trail bike at a significantly reduced price just by signing up for a $40 2021 OASA membership. Other features include electric bike demo rides and special events that will take place at each

“FOR 2021, ASSUMING COVID-19 SAFETY PROTOCOLS WILL ALLOW IT, WE WILL RE-LAUNCH OUR ONTARIO CHAMPIONSHIP EMTB/MTB RACE SERIES AT PRIME FACILITIES.” of our Ontario Championship Series rounds. New for 2021 is our XJAM/PRO/ AM BMX contest. After producing the Toronto XJAM these for the past few years, we want to ensure we meet the demand of BMX enthusiasts in Ontario. Stay tuned for a date and location for this exciting contest.

MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM // 65

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2020-11-03 4:54 PM


THE INSIDE LINE

BROUGHT TO YOU BY

WITH ANDY WHITE

PHOTOS BY JAM E S LISSIMOR E

“THIS SUMMER THE PROMOTERS AND TRACK OWNERS FIGURED OUT A WAY TO HOLD SOME EVENTS AND WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE LOCAL AUTHORITIES RACING WAS BACK ON THE CALENDAR.”

RECHARGING THE BATTERIES LOOK NO FURTHER THAN THE YEAR 2020 TO GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS THE STRANGEST YEAR OF MY LIFETIME. YES I AM REFERRING TO THE COVID 19 OUTBREAK. THE YEAR STARTED OFF LIKE A NORMAL YEAR FOR ME, TRAVEL SCHEDULE ALL SET UP WITH A FEW SUPERCROSS PLUS SOME AMA OUTDOOR RACES AND THEN THROW IN A FEW CANADIAN NATIONALS IN THE MIX AND IF I TIME IT RIGHT WITH A EVENT IN EUROPE, MAYBE I COULD WEDGE IN A FIM GP IN THERE TOO. I ALSO HAD A FEW VACATION DAYS PENCILED ON THE CALENDAR AND IF I HAD A FREE WEEKEND OFF I WOULD HEAD DOWN TO OTTAWA AND GET A FEW LAPS IN AT SAND DEL LEE MX PARK. THAT’S BEEN MY SCHEDULE FOR THE LAST SIX YEARS WITH FXR AND I HAVE BEEN ATTENDING RACES SINCE I CAN REMEMBER.

N

ow this season has been completely different, yes the first three months started out like any other year with some trips to a few events. The last time I traveled on a plane was for  Daytona SX, that was back in March. I remember coming home and hearing that COVID 19 was now infecting Americans. As like you I was thinking this would  blow over in a few weeks and we would be back to regular business. Well it’s now close to November and we are locked down for the second time this year. I  am based in Montreal,QC and as you may know Quebec has been hit hard with this pandemic. I am not really sure why the numbers are so much higher here than other parts of  Canada. They say population in

Quebec like to travel more than other Canadians. Hmm...not sure about that one. Anyway, it’s here and we all need to stay safe and get through this real soon. Winter is around the corner and I don’t want to be told I have to stay inside much longer. Don’t get me wrong, I love racing like the most of us but I’m not going to beat around the bush, I have actually enjoyed not having to travel for the summer. It gave me a chance to sit back and take advantage of the summer weather for a change. I  can’t really remember the last time i have done this in the past 25 years to be honest, instead of planning for the weekend away at some event. The focus this year  was figuring out what track I was going to ride at; was it going to be a sand track or a harder pack; was I going to set the suspen-

sion up for high speed sand or a slower turn type track. I actually had a third choice on heading out to the trails and ride some single track with some of my friends that used to ride moto but prefer  the less tiring type of riding. The pool was used more than ever too. I guess what I was wondering, is this was what most people do during their summers who  are not connected to the racing world?  This summer the promoters and track owners figured out a way to hold some events and with the approval of the local authorities racing was back on the  calendar. This didn’t mean full steam ahead, this meant there was some racing going on and if you were lucky enough and you lived close to the event you might  be able to attend it. Well with the borders closed, the US events were off my list. I sent my US athlete manger instead. That leaves the Canadian National  rounds, I live only a few hours from the Ottawa rounds so I was able to attend those rounds. My Canadian amateur manager was able to attend the other three rounds that  were close to her. Perfect, we had a plan, and we were back in business…sort of. The series was cut shorter than what we  typically expect, and the fans were not allowed to attend. It was a little  strange watching the race with only a few people around. At least there were no line ups

anywhere if that’s considered a plus. We should be thankful that racing is available to the world these days on some level at least. If you don’t have that channel, you can download an app and pay a few dollars to enjoy some racing. The Canadian series was a little  light on American riders like in the past, but it gave guys like Liam O’Farrell, “The working man” as they call him, an opportunity to step up his game and finish  eighth in the series. The US AMA series was very exciting. It seemed like there was a different winner most weekends. The racing was entertaining and that’s  what I look for. I am also pretty happy that I live in the modern age of social media. How awesome is it that we can be notified with results from around the world in just seconds.  The MXGP races are on the other side of the world and we can see the results live. Times sure have changed. I can remember back before the internet we had to  wait for Cycle News get printed and arrive at your door 4 days after the weekend to see who did what. What does this next season look like from today? Well I would say we are probably looking at a repeat of 2020 in my opinion. I can’t see things improving real  fast. They say they might have the  vaccine for COVID 19  available in 2021. If not, that means my 2020 schedule will continue into the new year. In a strange way I am ok  with having those weekends off to ride with friends and sit on the deck and share some laughs with family and friends, as long as we all wear masks. Let’s  cross our fingers and hope it is available to the world real soon so we can get back to normal and save some lives.

66 // MOTOCROSS PERFORMANCE · MXPMAG.COM

MXP_2020_20.03_Column-Andy White.indd 1

2020-11-03 4:58 PM


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Explore the full line2021 upCRF450R and find your local Honda dealer at motorcycle.honda.ca

2021 CRF450RX

Always wear protective clothing when operating your Honda product. Please respect the environment. Obey the law and read your owner’s manual thoroughly before operating your Honda Product. Model images and specifications subject to change without notice. Visit honda.ca for additional safety information. See a participating authorized Honda dealer for full details, eligible models and other offers. Offers are subject to change, extension or cancellation without notice. Models, colours, features and specifications may not be exactly as shown. Errors and omissions excepted. :33Always wear protective clothing when operating your Honda product. Please respect the environment. Obey the law and read your owner’s manual thoroughly before operating your Honda Product. Model images and specifications subject to change without notice. Visit honda.ca for additional safety information. See a participating authorized Honda dealer for full details, eligible models and other offers. Offers are subject to change, extension or cancellation without notice. Models, colours, features and specifications may not be exactly as shown. Errors and omissions excepted.

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2020-11-04 10:24 AM

Profile for Motocross Performance Magazine

MXP 20.03  

MXP 20.03  

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