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ROAD RACING • DRAG RACING • STUNT RIDING • CUSTOM BIKES • LIFESTYLE

OCTOBER 2018 VOL 9 ISSUE 1

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E H T R E V I N N A ! E U S S I

Y R SA

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UNTIL NOW, WE HAVE BEEN ASKED TO TA K E S I D E S. T O C H O O S E B E T W E E N W I C K E D O R V I R T U O U S , B R U TA L O R S O P H I S T I C AT E D , R E F I N E D O R W I L D , G E N T L E M A N O R B A S TA R D . Y O U D E S E R V E B O T H.

© Ducati North America 2016

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CONTENTS

OCTOBER 2018 - VOLUME 9, ISSUE 1 http://issuu.com/action/page?page=12

12 THE PRESS ROOM http://issuu.com/action/page?page=70 70 THE GRID NEWS http://issuu.com/action/page?page=90 90 MOTOGP WITH B.T. - By B.T. http://issuu.com/action/page?page=130 130 THE INSIDE LINE - By Devonne Duerbaum http://issuu.com/action/page?page=140 140 FEATURED RIDERS http://issuu.com/action/page?page=146 146 THE SUM OF ALL PARTS http://issuu.com/action/page?page=152 152 IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS - By Eric Wood http://issuu.com/action/page?page=218 218 THE NEW ISH http://issuu.com/action/page?page=110

FEATURED RIDER: ANA MATA http://issuu.com/action/page?page=140 PAGE: 140 4 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


C

O

L

L

E

C

T

I

O

N

AIRFLITE ™

AUTOMAG™

NEO SLANT ™

AUTOMAG™

GLOSS BLACK

GLOVE HI-VIZ

TEE

JACKET HI-VIZ

AUTOMAG JACKET AND GLOVES AVAILABLE IN RED, BLUE, GREY, AND HI-VIZ

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FEATURES

OCTOBER 2018 - VOLUME 9, ISSUE 1

DUCATI’S PANIGALE V4

18

THE TOM SYKES THAT YOU DON’T KNOW

74

http://issuu.com/action/page?page=18

http://issuu.com/action/page?page=74

ARCH MOTORCYCLE: THE BECOMING

158

http://issuu.com/action/page?page=158

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YAMAHA’S 2018 R WORLD

44

KYLE SLIGER: THE DIFFERENCE

108

A MAJOR KEY: MS. KEERATI

194

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http://issuu.com/action/page?page=108

http://issuu.com/action/page?page=194


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STAFF

Publisher//Editor in Chief: Allan Lane allan@sportbikesincmag.com

EDITORIAL

ART & DESIGN

Drag Racing Editor: Rickey Gadson rickey@sportbikesincmag.com

Creative Director//Layout//Design: Allan Lane allan@sportbikesincmag.com

Fashion Editor: Kiana Gadson kiana@sportbikesincmag.com

Creative Supervisor: Leon Brittain leon@sportbikesincmag.com

Moto Tech Editor: Thomas Campion tommy@sportbikesincmag.com

Graphic Designer: Baz baz@sportbikesincmag.com

Riding Editor: Eric Wood eric@sportbikesincmag.com Staff Writers: Leon Brittain leon@sportbikesincmag.com Lion James lion@sportbikesincmag.com B.T. bt@sportbikesincmag.com Devonne Duerbaum devonne@sportbikesincmag.com Jasmin St. Claire jasmin@sportbikesincmag.com Copy Editor: Angela Lane angela@sportbikesincmag.com Contributors: Adam Waheed

Cover Design: Allan Lane Contributing Photographers: Brian J Nelson Milagro Steve Read Marcus Ericksson Jordan Pay Raul Gaina Andrew Gosling Kwame Olds Terence Belton MotoGP.com

SportBikes Inc Magazine - October 2018 Volume 9, Issue 1 To receive SportBikes Inc Magazine’s 2019 Media Kit and Advertising Rates, please email: info@sportbikesincmag.com.

In no way can any part of this magazine be reproduced in print, digital, broadcast or any other manner without the expressed written permission of the publisher.

SportBikes Inc Magazine (ISSN 2158-009X) is published monthly by Hard Knocks Motorcycle Entertainment.

SportBikes Inc Magazine is not responsible for any advertising claims made by its advertisers or partners.

Any and all items submitted to SportBikes Inc Magazine will become the sole property of SportBikes Inc Magazine and are subject to, but not limited to edits, comments and titles.

Sportbikes Inc Magazine, staff and partners are not responsible for injuries, loss or damage to their being, vehicle or property, including death that may result from contest submissions.

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DEFIANT-X, 2018

ARAIAMERICAS.COM

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FROM THE EDITOR

O

ver the last twelve issues, there were so many highlights that it was a struggle to select articles for the Anniversary Issue. It's more of a throwback issue, and that's why it seems like a double issue. However, what we attempted to do with this year’s edition was to find the articles and stories that touched on the heart and soul of what SportBikes Inc Magazine is about. 10 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM

On behalf of the SBI team and myself, we are proud of the work that we’ve done and of the moto-edutainment that we provide you, our loyal readers and fellow riders. I hope you feel the same way. Best, Allan allan@sportbikesincmag.com


Participating manufacturers subject to change and may vary among the markets.

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THE PRESS ROOM

INDUSTRY NEWS THE YAMAHA YZF-R3 RETURNS FOR 2019 Sporting a new front fairing and windscreen design, as well as a new fuel tank, the 2019 YZF-R3 has been redesigned with a sleeker look that takes direction from its older sibling, the R6. Powered by a 321cc twin cylinder engine, the R3 utilizes the latest in combustion tech with lightweight forged aluminum pistons and full aluminum cylinders with an offset design, to create usable power daily commutes, track time or blitzing the back roads. Other features include new KYB 37mm inverted front forks that are paired with an all-new triple clamp. The new triple clamp incorporates an aluminum handlebar crown that allows for a lower handlebar position, by 22mm.

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The 2019 YZF-R3 is paired with the new Dunlop Sportmax GPR-300 radial tires, installed on 10-spoke cast aluminum wheels. A host additional new features include new LED headlights and position lights, a new LCD instrument panel, and the optional ABS package. Color options for the standard model include Team Yamaha Blue and Matte Black, with a price tag of $4,999. The ABS version of the 2019 R3 includes Matte Black and Vivid White, with a price tag of $5,299. Expect to see the 2019 YZF-R3 in dealership beginning in December of 2018.


KAWASAKI CHANGES THE GAME WITH THEIR 2019 NINJA ZX6-R

Kawasaki released their 2019 model lineup and undoubtedly, the star is the all new Ninja ZX6-R. Powered by a 636cc four stroke, four cylinder, 16 valve engine with 52.1 foot pounds of torque, this ZX6-R is loaded with the extras that will make every rider smile. Highlighted by the Kawasaki Traction Control system, power mode, intelligent anti lock brake system and a quick shifter… The

2019 ZX6-R’s greatest feature, is its price tag: $9,999. The ABS version only adds another $1000 to the tag while the ABS KRT edition has a sticker price of $11,299. Available in Lime Green, Ebony or Metallic Graphite Gray, the 2019 Kawasaki ZX6-R base model is available at dealerships, now.

BMW MOTORRAD LAUNCHES AN E-COMMERCE SITE FOR BMW OWNERS AND ENTHUSIASTS BMW Motorrad USA l a u n c h e d W W W. SHOPBMWMOTORCYCLES.COM as an online shopping platform that offers motorcycle parts, accessories, riding apparel and gear. Following the likes of other manufacturers that are offering online retail experiences to shoppers, BMW’s new site will provide easy access to an up to date, full-range of BMW products, as well as videos, merchandise and fitment information, and much more from the comfort of their desktops or mobile phones or tablets. SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 13


THE PRESS ROOM: INDUSTRY NEWS THE NEW SCRAMBLER 1200 XC AND XE HONORS THEIR HERITAGE Triumph has released their new Scrambler 1200 in both an XC and XE versions. Paying major homage to the iconic Scrambler plat form with modern technology, the Scrambler 1200 aims to fit the bill on all fronts: street, dirt and adventure. The XC is geared as a machined of versatility for a variety of road conditions and terrains while the XE is focused more on its off-road capabilities. Both versions are powered by 1200cc Bonneville twin engine, tuned for an output of 89 horses and 81 foot pounds of torque. In the tech department, the Scrambler 1200 comes equipped with a full suite of impressive rider functions. The XE has six riding modes, including an Off Road Pro setting and the XC has five. Other features include cruise control, intuitive switch cubes plus a five way joystick, TFT display and keyless ignition. The rider experience is enhanced with the inclusion of a torque assist clutch, inertial Measurement Unit system and cornering ABS. The XE features cornering traction control. The Scrambler 1200 offers several “firsts� from Triumph that are highlighted a motorcycle integrated GoPro control system and a turn by turn navigation system. The Scrambler 1200 XC is available in Jet Black//Matte Black and a Khaki Green//Brooklands Green color way. The XE is available in Fusion White// Brooklands Green and a Cobalt Blue//Jet Black. Pricing will be made available in December of 2018. 14 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


MOTUS MOTORCYCLES CLOSE THEIR DOORS Motus Motorcycles announced that they would be forced to shut down all operations, effective immediately. In a statement, the company said, “After an amazing ten year ride, Motus is forced to shut down operations, effective immediately. This week, Motus’ financial backers unexpectedly informed management that they will not provide sufficient capital to maintain operations and grow the business. We were surprised and disappointed, especially because we have been working so hard preparing an October 2018 product launch into a new and exciting segment as well as new features on the MST series. This is very unfortunate timing and we will work to quickly find a new path forward for Motus Motorcycles and our American V4 powertrain division. We are very grateful to Team Motus, truly the finest group of professionals and people, who have each dedicated so much of their hearts and soul to Motus. We are also thankful to our dealers and the many customers and supporters who have cheered us on and put gas in our tanks along the way. For Motus owners, hang on to those motorcycles. As you already know, they are heirlooms, unlike any other motorcycles ever built."

ALTA MOTORS CEASES OPERATIONS It was announced that Alta Motors would be ceasing all operations, effective immediately. This news follows the August announcement from Harley Davidson that they were not following through on their investment plans with the electric motorcycle manufacturer. In June, Alta unveiled their 2019 Redshift EXR, a zero-emission, street legal dirt bike with a price tag of $12,495. The Redshift was poised to continue the impactful and attention grabbing waves that Alta was making in the industry. Features included high density battery, the R Pack and proprietary software that harmonized the engine components for maximum output and impressive functionality. With Harley Davidson pulling their financial support, the future for Alta seems unclear at the moment but it is noteworthy to mention that is not the first time that Harley has pulled support from an American based motorcycle company. Everyone remembers Erik Buell Racing, right? SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 15


16 | by: SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM Distributed

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SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 17 www.VooDoomoto.com


V4

DUCATI'S PANIGALE

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DOUBLE THE PLEASURE, DOUBLE THE FUN: WE RIDE DUCATI’S PANIGALE V4S

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THE FIRST RIDE: DUCATI'S PANIGALE V4

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DUCATI

unleashes its most capable Superbike ever in its new Panigale V4S.

Ducati paints racetracks, and the faces of its rivals red, with the introduction of its next generation and fourcylinder powered Panigale V4 (starting at $21,195). This sixth generation Italian built Superbike marks a historic departure from its L Twin roots. Embarking into a multi-cylinder destiny in the never-ending quest for power, performance, and of course exhilaration. But did it succeed? After a day spent at Spain’s fast and twisty Circuit Ricardo Tormo MotoGP circuit, it’s clear the Borgo Panigale did its homework, offering a machine that goes toe to toe with the finest sportbikes on the planet.

DOUBLE THE PLEASURE With a hard-hitting attitude and penchant for rpm, the outgoing Superquadro Twin was certainly a monster. But the all-new 1103cc Desmosedici Stradale supercharges the experience to a level we’ve never experienced on a Ducati, let alone any other production sportbike, displacement bump aside. It’s a

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THE FIRST RIDE: DUCATI'S PANIGALE V4

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ELEVEN THOUSAND, TWELVE THOUSAND, THIRTEEN THOUSAND, ALL THE WAY TO NEARLY A FIFTEEN THOUSAND RPM REDLINE, THE 16-VALVE MOTOR PULLS AND PULLS AND PULLS BEFORE SOFTLY SIGNING OFF.

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THE FIRST RIDE: DUCATI'S PANIGALE V4 true metamorphosis, offering an experience that goes from mild to wild, with the simple twist of the wrist.

Smoother than ever, the 90-degree V-Four produces a pleasing and highly linear spread of torque that is, at or near its 91 lb-ft peak (crank) from 8800 to 12,000 revs. The powerband is wider making it, dare we say, easy to control. But don’t for a second assume this Panigale lost any of its macho persona.

Hard on the throttle, the more compact engine (in terms of length and height, but 1.7 inches wider) climbs through the rev range with the same lit match to gasoline explosion as we remember with the 1199/1299. Thing is though: it never stops.

Eleven thousand, twelve thousand, thirteen thousand, all the way to nearly a fifteen thousand rpm redline, the 16-valve motor pulls and pulls and pulls before softly signing off. Lights on the crisp iPhone 6-sized dash flashing (if the engine’s orgasmic screams weren’t enough); grab the next cog! In the lower gears, the Panigale V4 accelerates so powerfully, it induces epileptic-like vision blur. That is until you acclimate to its hellacious roller coaster-like speed. Now that’s a motorcycle.

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NOTHING SOUNDS LIKE A DUCATI. THAT TRADITION CONTINUES WITH ENGINEERS MAGICALLY RETAINING THE CHARISMA OF A TWIN, BUT WITH A MORE SAVAGE CHARACTER THAT REMAINS UNIQUE IN THE CLASS. THIS AIN’T NO COOKIE-CUTTER V-FOUR.

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THE FIRST RIDE: DUCATI'S PANIGALE V4

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IT’S MORE ATHLETIC DURING TURN-IN AND QUICK SIDE-TO-SIDE TRANSITIONS. YET THE CHASSIS IS MORE STABLE, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, GIVES THE SORT OF ROAD FEEL WE’VE MISSED SINCE THE STEEL-TRELLIS DAYS OF THE 1098/1198.

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THE FIRST RIDE: DUCATI'S PANIGALE V4

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An early innovator in sports electronics, first with fuel-injection (851/888) and then traction control (1098R), until recently, the Borgo Panigale factory lagged behind the finest systems from the Tuning Fork company and its northern neighbors. Not anymore.

Still boasting a manual studying number of acronyms, the four-cylinders electronics package is the real deal. You name it, this bike’s got it. We were especially pleased with the improved integration which makes it easier to feel like a pro at speed. Well done, Ducati.

They’re also more friendly to manipulate, utilizing logical menus and switchgear navigation that makes adjustments simple. Equally impressive is the near perfectly calibrated ride-by-wire throttle settings that make the also all-new, 200/60-series Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP V3 feel like an extension of your right hand in ‘Race’ mode.

Nothing sounds like a Ducati. That tradition continues with engineers magically retaining the charisma of a Twin, but with a more savage character that remains unique in the class. This ain’t no cookie-cutter V-Four.

Much of the credit goes to the “Twin Pulse” firing

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THE FIRST RIDE: DUCATI'S PANIGALE V4

DUCATI PIONEERED THE "LIGHT IS RIGHT" CONCEPT WITH ITS FRAMELESS (BY CONVENTIONAL STANDARDS) MONOCOQUE CHASSIS CONCEPT WITH THE ORIGINAL 2012 PANIGALE 1199.

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THE FIRST RIDE: DUCATI'S PANIGALE V4 order, just like the MotoGP bike, with matching 81mm alloy frame, the V4 gets a beefy cast aluminum “front cylinder bore. Here’s the order: front left, rear left,

frame” (9.2-pound). It stretches from the headstock

front right, rear right. Ducati says the configuration is

to the base of the front cylinders and the top of the

good for 214 horsepower at the crank. Seventeen

rears. The engine continues to be a loaded structural

more than the 1299.

member and is rotated backward by 42-degrees compared to the 1299’s L-Twin.

In reality, it’s fair to estimate horsepower output in the low 190s at the business end of the Pirelli. A number

This allowed Ducati engineers to tune bending and

that few superbikes are capable of achieving in stock

torsional forces of the chassis. The cast aluminum

form. For those desiring more, Ducati has partnered

subframe (4.2) supports the rider and the rear

with Akrapovic, providing a lighter titanium exhaust

hardware. A nearly three inch longer, and still single

that bumps the power up 12 hp past 8800 rpm.

sided swingarm, stretches wheelbase to 57.8 in. (1.2

DOUBLE THE FUN

in. past the 1299’s).

Ducati pioneered the "light is right" concept with its The shock absorber operates through a more frameless (by conventional standards) monocoque

conventional, at least compared to the previous setup,

chassis concept with the original 2012 Panigale GP derived linkage. Weight distribution has again 1199. And while it had some benefits, it didn’t

shifted forward with a 54.5/45.5 percent bias (versus

elicit the right blend of compliance, rigidity and of

the 1098’s 50/50 and the first Panigale’s 54/47

course, ever so precious rider feel. Ducati learned the distribution). hard way, taking this knock on the chin. It learned, developing a hybrid concept that makes use of the Ergonomically, the Panigale remains well-proportioned best of both conventional chassis and monocoque and likely to be appreciated by taller and shorter riders ideology.

alike. The windscreen is good and tall plus the cockpit isn’t as cramped as recently overhauled entries from

Resembling a more compact version of a twin-spar

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Japan. While the footpegs employ a knurled


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THE FIRST RIDE: DUCATI'S PANIGALE V4

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THE FIRST RIDE: DUCATI'S PANIGALE V4

THE PANIGALE V4 IS A TRUE MASTERPIECE. IT MARKS THE RETURN TO DUCATI’S ROOTS OFFERING USEABLE PERFORMANCE-BASED ENGINEERING WITH THE STYLE, FEEL AND PEDIGREE THAT ONLY IT CAN OFFER.

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surface, our feet slipped off them more than once. Gripe aside, it’s still a pleasing bike to ride at speed.

Despite weighing 9.9 pounds more than the outgoing 1299, rolling out of pit lane reveals a significantly more agile motorcycle. Much of the credit goes to the engine’s counter-rotating crankshaft (similar to the MV Agusta F3 675/800) which spins in opposite direction to the rotation of the wheels.

This helps negate the gyroscopic effect of the forged Marchesini alloy wheels (standard on ’S’ model). It also mitigates wheelies and rear wheel lift during hard braking. But to be fair, an insane power-toweight ratio and battleship anchor like brakes easily overpower this mechanical tech (a good thing).

Already known for its cat-like agility, the V4 platform, with its underseat fuel tank and low slung exhaust, elevates handling to the next level. It’s more athletic during turn-in and quick side-to-side transitions. Yet the chassis is more stable, and more importantly, gives the sort of road feel we’ve missed since the steel-trellis days of the 1098/1198. No doubt, some of the credit goes to improved, but still a tad-soft feeling, V3 Supercorsa SP’s. Overall we’re ecstatic that Ducati’s

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THE FIRST RIDE: DUCATI'S PANIGALE V4 got its Superbike groove back!

specific scenarios. Want less pitch during braking? Bump up the ‘Brake Support’ level (one the lowest, five

Stability in deep braking zones was exemplary and highest). Need a bit more squat during acceleration? the revamped Brembo M50 style brakes offer precise

Dial back the ‘Acceleration’ setting.

actuation. Confidence during braking and front-end loading is the name of the game with this setup. One can also tweak how the suspension performs Revised EVO-spec ABS programming, with cornering

during cornering, too. Of course, if you’d rather

functionality and a ‘Slide by Brake’ setting, makes it run fixed settings, you can with standard (but still easier to ham it up for the camera.

SECOND GEN DYNAMIC SUSPENSION The Panigale V4 we rode was outfitted in ’S’ trim

electronic) compression and rebound adjustment. The Panigale offers an astounding range of adjustment but we preferred the dynamic mode with a global setting in the three/four range.

($6300 up-charge) which trades the Showa/Sachs-

A STAR IS RE-BORN

sourced suspension for semi-active damping-equipped

Make no mistake about it. The Panigale V4 is a

components from Ohlins. Termed Smart EC 2.0, the

true masterpiece. It marks the return to Ducati’s roots

suspension is an evolution of the setup employed on

offering useable performance-based engineering with

the Panigale 1299.

the style, feel and pedigree that only it can offer. Displacement advantage aside, the V4 seamlessly

When ‘dynamic’ mode is selected, the system monitors integrates class-leading mechanics with adept vehicle information automatically adjusts damping, in electronics (finally!) that empower you to not only real time. These settings are tied to the riding modes ride better, but more safely. Yeah, it's fast. Yeah, it’s so ‘Race’ provides slower/firmer damping than ‘Sport’ expensive. But you can’t put a price on happiness. and vice-versa.

And that’s just what you’re going to get with the Panigale V4.

The rider can further tweak global settings based on

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THE FIRST RIDE: DUCATI'S PANIGALE V4

DUCATI PAINTS RACETRACKS, AND THE FACES OF ITS RIVALS RED...

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NEVER GIVE UP. It’s all about performance.

SR2 Speed in every detail. The SR2 gives it all just like its rider. An innovation for ambitious amateur riders and professional racers. WWW.SCHUBERTH.COM | 43 SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


YAMAHA'S 2018

R

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WORLD


YAMAHA’S "R WORLD" IS DETERMINED TO RIDE IN, TAKE NAMES AND KICK SOME, IF NOT ALL, ASS.

WORDS: ALLAN LANE IMAGES: BRIAN J. NELSON SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 45


THE FIRST RIDE: YAMAHA'S 2018 R WORLD

2018 YAMAHA YZF-R3

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WHEN

you look at Yamaha’s 2018 R World line up, it becomes very clear that the

manufacturer has set their sights on domination. Their offerings in each class is a testament to their efforts of satisfying the needs of every sportbike rider, ranging from entry level to full blown super biker. Yamaha’s R World represents a supergroup of machines that is inspired by the spirit and passion for the global community of Yamaha owners. Composed of the 2018 YZF-R3, YZF-R6, YZF-R1 and the YZF-R1M, all equipped the new Bridgestone R11 Battlax tires, Yamaha’s R World is determined to ride in, take names and kick some, if not all, ass.

THE 2018 YAMAHA YZF-R3 To call the R3 an entry level bike is a slight disservice. While the engine capacity makes it more user-friendly to a new rider, the bike is loaded with features that make it a treasure for the seasoned rider in the track environment. The 321cc, inline twin cylinder engine is home to lightweight forged pistons that do their work inside of offset cylinders that minimize friction and focus on producing more power. The lines of the 2018 model continue to be refined into a sporty aggression that takes notes from it’s older siblings, the R6 and R1. When you add in the new Yoshimura Y series slip on muffler, it does more than add to the bikes profile. A boost in performance and sound is always a welcomed attribute. The brake setup includes a single 298mm front disc and a 220mm disc in the rear and is available with the option of ABS. The 2018 R3 performs impressively well with proper engine output and encouraging ergonomics. Being a larger guy, I was SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 47


THE FIRST RIDE: YAMAHA'S 2018 R WORLD

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WHILE THE ENGINE CAPACITY MAKES IT MORE USER-FRIENDLY TO A NEW RIDER, THE R3 IS LOADED WITH FEATURES THAT MAKE IT A TREASURE FOR THE SEASONED RIDER IN THE TRACK ENVIRONMENT.

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THE FIRST RIDE: YAMAHA'S 2018 R WORLD comfortable in the saddle without feeling cramped or encumbered. The R3 is quick and nimble… I mean really nimble. It is one of the easiest bikes I’ve ever ridden. Simple, clean, quick and nimble, the 2018 YZF-R3 brings plenty to the table with a price tag under $5,300.

THE 2018 YAMAHA YZF-R6 The YZF-R6 is a proven track weapon and race winner. Since the introduction of the second generation of body style, the R6 has resembled a fighter jet and contained the muscle to back up that description. There is a thin line between quick and fast and the qualities that identify the two elements differ slightly. Quick is what something can be, Fast is what something is. The 2018 YZF-R6 is both, quick and fast. The new R6 continues to manhandle the supersport class with a new package that is comprised of proper electronics and engine components. Yamaha’s Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) offers smooth input translations from the most subtle twist of the throttle to full wrist breaking wide open pins. The YCC-T can be controlled via the selectable drive modes: standard, A mode and B mode. Another component that offers rider precision is the 2018 R6’s advanced adjustable traction control that allows you maintain control of the machine when exiting corners and getting on the gas. The 2018 model continues with that aggressive race styling that offers both curb appeal and sexiness at speed, that the R6 has become known for. Yamaha has released new accessories to further compliment the distinct styling of the R6. The GYTR quick 50 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


2018 YAMAHA YZF-R6

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THE FIRST RIDE: YAMAHA'S 2018 R WORLD

shift system gives you the option of performing full throttle, clutchless upshifts so you can stay on the throttle. Sleek flush frame sliders add a level of protection to the bike’s frame in the event that there is a tip over or slide. These sliders are low profile and blend into the frame and linework of the bike. If you didn’t know that they were there, you’d most likely overlook them. If you are heading to a track day and need to remove the stock mirrors, Yamaha has you covered with their mirror block off kit. While you’re at, install the rear stand hook kit. Need few more horses and a richer sound? Enhance the R6 with the new Yoshimura slip-on exhaust. It’s great to see Yamaha taking the lead in offering accessories and upgrades for their machines that are ultimately designed to enrich your riding experience. Pardon the metaphor but when I was in high school, I dated a girl that ran track and field. She was pretty, in fantastic shape and 52 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


shorter than me. She had curves yet still had a gymnast’s body. She was a solid package. You could appreciate her beauty and appeal just by standing near her… But when she was running, it was a whole other level of excitement. The explosive power that she produced made you just stop and say, “Damn!” This is the same sentiment that I associate with the 2018 Yamaha YZF-R6. A tight package with explosive power and a performance output that makes you just say, “Damn!” The R6’s suspension is impressive, aiding your gel into the connection with the bike. After the first few laps, I noticed that I was sitting on top of the front bike when braking and upon corner entry. I pitted and made an adjustment to the rear KYB shock for it to give, just a little and share the work with KYB front 43mm forks, which are the same forks that are on the YZF-R1, but dialed in for the R6. The changes were felt immediately and the rest of my laps on the R6 were bliss. The KYB shock features a piggyback shock design with a four-way preload and damping adjustability. With my size and stature, the adjustments made the difference and allowed to gel with the bike and appreciate the bike’s feedback. It put in a better position to listen to her, so to speak. The engine setup on the 2018 YZF-R6 is far from average. Titanium valves! Sixteen titanium valves, to be exact and lightweight forged pistons produce an impressive 13.1:1 compression ratio inside of a 599cc liquid cooled inline four-cylinder engine. The result is smooth, effortless delivery of power, even at higher revs. Not to overlook the output at the low and midrange of the powerband. Consistent delivery of power is courtesy of the YCC-i or Yamaha’s SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 53


THE FIRST RIDE: YAMAHA'S 2018 R WORLD

A TIGHT PACKAGE WITH EXPLOSIVE POWER AND A PERFORMANCE OUTPUT THAT MAKES YOU JUST SAY, “DAMN!”

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THE FIRST RIDE: YAMAHA'S 2018 R WORLD

2018 YAMAHA YZF-R1

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Chip Controlled Intake that offers the engine the benefit of both short and tall intake stacks. Add in the twin overhead shower injectors for proper fuel use and you have a recipe for reliable and dependable power, all for $12,199.

THE 2018 YZF-R1 VS THE YZF-R1M Coffee drinkers have two modes: before the first cup and after the first cup. Before the first cup of Joe, one might be a little rough around the edges… fully functional but you don’t wont to be on their bad side. But then after the caffeine hits their bloodstream, you find them more refined. In fact, their functionality, ability, and capability exceed the top of the charts. I’ll say it another way. If you thought that the R1 was as good as it gets, think again. The 2018 YZF-R1 is a beast, full of power and excitement, barely contained in a 998cc, 16 valve, inline 4 cylinder, cross-plane crankshaft engine housed in an aluminum Deltabox chassis. It is every bit a superbike. The electronics package that it offers provides comprehensive customization and extensive feedback and is highlighted by its Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). The IMU considers and measures pitch, roll, yaw as well as acceleration thanks to a gyro sensor and an accelerometer, then transfers that data to the ECU. Not be overshadowed by the IMU is the wheelie control feature that Yamaha refers to as the Wheel Lift Control system. This system operates similar to launch control and allows for power to applied in demanding drives without the front wheel leaving the earth. These two major features work in harmony with a host of other items that SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 57


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AT SPEED, THE MACHINE DOES ITS BEST TO LET YOU KNOW WHAT THE DEAL IS AND THAT IT IS CAPABLE OF DELIVERING MORE. IT WANTS TO SHOW OFF...

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THE FIRST RIDE: YAMAHA'S 2018 R WORLD include traction control, unified ABS and slide control and launch control. For 2018, Yamaha upgraded their Quick Shift system to include both seamless up and downshifting. The updated system matches engine speed on the way down and offers clutchless shifts, both ways. The 2018 YZF-R1 is packed with power and you feel it. At speed, the machine does its best to let you know what the deal is and that it is capable of delivering more. It wants to show off. The power is felt throughout the band, as it is expected and the quick shift system’s performance is smooth as butter. On the gas, you hold on because it is a rocket and it knows it. I thought to myself, what an incredible example of engineering achievement. The 2018 YZF-R1, priced at $16,699 is just that and then some. I thought to myself that the R1M would perhaps only offer a slight upgrade in experience with its electronic and performance package. And then I rode it. My mind was blown… The R1M is an R1, but it’s not. The difference is that drastic, hence the before coffee and after coffee reference. The R1M takes all of that power and performance, enhances it and then refines it in a package that quite simply, is beautiful. The 2018 R1M is the embodiment of smooth domination. The power is there. The performance is there. The bike knows it and unlike the YZF-R1, it doesn’t need to show off. Its presence is a present. Like the 2018 YZF-R1, the 2018 YZF-R1M contains a selection of the same features, such as the Inertial Measurement Unit, ABS, traction control, an updated quick shift system, wheel lift 60 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


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THE ONLY ISSUE THAT I HAD WITH THIS BIKE WAS THAT I HAD TO RETURN THE KEYS AT THE END OF THE DAY...

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control, Deltabox chassis, etc… But the R1M is set apart from its sibling thanks to key elements such as its Ohlins Electronic Racing Suspension (ERS), a wifi and GPS enhanced Communication Control Unit (CCU), Power Delivery Mode (PDM), Slide Control System (SCS), Chip Controlled Throttle (CCT), and Launch Control System (LCS). You control all adjustments and customizations via the R1M’s full-color dashboard data center. This cluster tells you all that you need to know and then some… It gives G-Force data! The 2018 YZF R1M is best described as a properly executed, well-defined instrument of speed, refined. The descriptive “exciting” doesn’t do this motorcycle justice. The only issue that I had with this bike was that I had to return the keys at the end of the day. For the price of $22,999, I wouldn’t have to. The 2018 Yamaha R model line up includes a bike for every stage of rider. Each model contains specific components that not only enhance the individual riding experience, they assist the rider in becoming better, if not faster. Yamaha’s R World is a unifying collection of motorcycles that celebrate and are celebrated by Yamaha owners and enthusiasts. Their 2018 line up sets the stage for domination in the sportbike class. Pound for pound and bike for bike, they are on point to accomplish their main point. SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 65


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YAMAHA’S "R WORLD" REPRESENTS A SUPERGROUP OF MACHINES THAT IS INSPIRED BY THE SPIRIT AND PASSION FOR THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY OF YAMAHA OWNERS.

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THE HOME OF MOTORCYCLE RACING. WATCH EVERY LAP OF EVERY RACE.

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THE PRESS ROOM

GRID NEWS

ANA CARRASCO RIDES INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS AS THE FIRST FEMALE WORLDSSP300 CHAMPION

Ana Carrasco, the 21-year-old Spaniard began her racing career in the CEV 125 championship in 2011, where she would move up and earn a seat in the Moto3 championship in 2013. In 2017, Carrasco transitioned to the World SuperSport 300 class where she continued to excel. Excel is saying it mildly as Carrasco campaigned her way through a challenging year on board her DS Junior Team’s Kawasaki Ninja 400, to emerge as the first woman to capture the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship in the final race of the 2018 season at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cour, with a total of 93 points.

THE 2019 MOTOAMERICA SEASON OPENER WILL RETURN TO ROAD ATLANTA The 2019 season of MotoAmerica will begin on been racing there since we started MotoAmerica April 5, at Road Atlanta. This is the second year that in 2015 and it’s a place we enjoy going to. It’s a the series got its start at the Braselton, Georgia track. popular track with our riders and teams, and it’s a great place to get our season rolling.” - MotoAmerica “We liked starting our season at Road Atlanta. We’ve President Wayne Rainey.

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AMERICAN FLAT TRACK RELEASES THEIR 2019 PROVISIONAL SCHEDULE AFT Events have issued their 18 event 2019 race schedule that includes two new race venues and a return to the Half Mile at Perris Auto Speedway in California. The 2019 American Flat Track season kicks off on March 14 in Daytona, Florida at an improved DAYTONA TT season opener. The

new events will be held at the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona and in New Hampshire over Laconia Bike Week. The entire schedule features six Miles, five Half Miles, four Short Tracks and five TTs.

PROVISIONAL 2019 AMERICAN FLAT TRACK SCHEDULE: March 14//DAYTONA TT//Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL March 23//Atlanta Short Track//Dixie Speedway, Woodstock, GA April 20//Texas Half-Mile//Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, TX April 27//Wild Horse TT//Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, Chandler, AZ May 11//Perris Half-Mile//Perris Auto Speedway, Perris, CA May 18//Sacramento Mile//Cal Expo, Sacramento, CA May 26//Springfield Mile I//Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL (AFT Singles Springfield TT same weekend) June 1//Red Mile//Red Mile, Lexington, KY June 15//Laconia Short Track//TBA, New Hampshire June 29//Lima Half-Mile//Allen County Fairgrounds, Lima, OH July 6//New York Short Track//Weedsport Speedway, Weedsport, NY August 4//Buffalo Chip TT//Buffalo Chip, Sturgis, SD August 6//Black Hills Half-Mile//Black Hills Speedway, Rapid City, SD August 17//Peoria TT//Peoria Motorcycle Club, Peoria, IL September 1//Springfield Mile II//Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL (AFT Singles Springfield Short Track same weekend) September 7//Williams Grove Half-Mile//Williams Grove Speedway, Mechanicsburg, PA September 21//Minnesota Mil//Canterbury Park, Shakopee, MN TBA//Meadowlands Mile//Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment, East Rutherford, NJ SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 71


THE PRESS ROOM: GRID NEWS FOUR FOR FOUR: JONATHAN REA WINS THE 2018 WORLD SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP With 130 points under his belt, the 31-yearold from Northern Ireland secured his fourth consecutive championship, onboard his Kawasaki ZX10-RR. Rea joined the Kawasaki Racing Team in 2016 and had dominated the championship

WORLD SUPERBIKE TRANSITIONS TO A THREE-RACE WEEKEND FORMAT FIM and Dorna have agreed to update the current two-race weekend into a three-race weekend. Under the new guidelines, the weekend schedule will include Race One on Saturday, as it is now, then a short sprint race and Race Three on Sunday. “To bring in a third ‘sprint race’ into the WorldSBK format for 2019 is something we have been planning for a long time now, so we are delighted to see the plans coming together. We are committed to bringing exciting races to the fans year on year, and we think the addition of a sprint race will add to the WorldSBK experience. We are continuing to work on the final adjustments and hope to bring more details in the near future.” - Daniel Carrera, WorldSBK Executive Director. 72 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM

ever since. This year alone, Rea broke the record for the most overall victories with 60 wins. He is only the second rider in history to take four championship titles and the first rider to win them consecutively.


PETRONAS AND MOTOGP EXTEND THEIR PARTNERSHIP FOR THREE YEARS Dorna Sports and Malaysian oil and gas company, Petronas, have extended their partnership that will see that Petronas continue to have trackside advertising and branding at the Sepang International Circuit, their h o m e t ra ck, a n d t h e Buriam International Circuit. Add i t io na l ly, Pet ro nas announced that they would be the title sponsor of the newly formed Petronas Yamaha SRT team, the first all Malaysian team to stage on the MotoGP grid.

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THE

TOM SYKES

THAT YOU DON'T KNOW...

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THE GRID: TOM SYKES

I MET THE MAN FROM YORKSHIRE several years ago at a Kawasaki event in Times the same. I’ve said that not everyone can state that Square, NY. Through an interested chain of events they have the 2013 World Superbike Champion and circumstances on that day that would provide as their designated driver (Tom doesn’t drink). An a more than an entertaining origin story, if we unlikely pairing, but a true pairing, nonetheless. were both characters in an international buddy cop film… We became friends. In the years that What I have learned from my friend is the measure followed, Tom and I would see one another at of remaining, if nothing else, consistent. Someone industry and race events, several throughout the who is consistent is reliable. Watch him pilot year. No matter where, when, or how, Tom and his KRT ZedX-10RR around Laguna Seca, Brno, I would pick up right where we left off. It was like Aragon, any circuit for that matter… What you we never missed a beat.

will witness is a rider that is smooth, strategic and controlled, lap after lap, sans the very rare “off”.

Both on and off the clock, he was and is consistent. It didn’t matter if we were on stage, or With the 2018 World Superbike season in the paddock or at an after party, Tom remained underway, marking Tom’s tenth season in the 76 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


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THE GRID: TOM SYKES

"THE ZX10-RR DEFINITELY SEEMS TO BE THE MOST BALANCED AND CONSISTENT PACKAGE AT THE MOMENT BOTH ON AND OFF THE TRACK."

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THE GRID: TOM SYKES field, Sykes is focused on the Championship. and off the track which comes through some very It was only five years ago in 2013 that he good years of development and hard work. captured the Crown. The 2017 season came to close with Sykes pulling a firm third place in the SBI: So beyond the great relationship with Championship standings. Time has passed but Kawasaki, the solid team, the lethal bike… You the mission remains the same.

have an impressive list of sponsors. Dainese, Shark, etc? Am I missing anyone?

Allow him to introduce himself…

TS: I feel I have a great relationship with all of my personal sponsors. We have been working

SBI: Who is Tom Sykes in 2018, compared to together for many years now and fully respect one the 2017 Tom Sykes?

another. For me, safety is paramount in racing and

TS: 2018 me is actually slightly more prepared that’s why I choose Dainese and Shark. I’m also and sharper both mentally and physically due to very lucky to be working with Monster Energy. a number of reasons. And also I’ve worked very So that would explain my energy! And it’s really hard with my team during the winter to be able to nice to be working with such a big brand like get more from myself and the bike as a package. them with the added bonus of being invited to really fun events. SBI: You’ve been with Kawasaki for just under a decade, now. What makes that relationship so SBI: Perhaps a sore subject… However, explain special?

the 2012 season… You placed second overall in

TS: Kawasaki and I have grown and developed the effort for the Crown. How does one miss out together for nine years and basically feel like on the Championship by half of a point? family. The fact that the ZX-10RR is arguably the TS: I came within half point of the Championship best bike on the grid also helps.

due to mainly 2 events… The main reason was that when I won the only race in Monza, we

SBI: How lethal is that Kawasaki ZedX 10RR?

were only awarded half points as the race was

TS: Only as lethal as you want it to be! Joking shortened, and that made all of the difference. aside, it definitely seems to be the most balanced Another fact which did not help was that I was and consistent package at the moment both on knocked off by another rider which cost me 80 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


probably 16 points.

you? TS: Millie and Mia are my personal life and I

Sykes made up for more than that half of a point am blessed to have these two little angels in my in 2013 when he won the Championship with a life. They also help with motivation as the racing total of 9 race wins, 18 podiums and 13 fastest life is not only for me but also for Millie and laps. Since then, his seasons have ended in 2nd Mia as I would really like to give them the best place (2014, 3rd place (2015), 2nd place possible future as I can provide. Family is the most (2016) and 3rd place (2017).

important thing of all and I’m so proud to have the family around me that I do.

Away from the grid, Sykes is a dedicated Father of two little ladies, Millie and Mia. His home life SBI: I couldn’t agree with you more. Family is the is focused on his daughters, family, training and most important thing of all. Changing subjects, a proper cup of coffee.

slightly… I have shared a few meals with you. I’ve seen you eat a lot of food and you are no

SBI: What does being a great father mean to rabbit. In fact, you were a little concerned at our SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 81


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"I AM NOW MORE CONSCIOUS OF THE BIKE'S NEEDS AS WELL AS MY OWN."

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THE GRID: TOM SYKES

"KAWASAKI AND I HAVE GROWN AND DEVELOPED TOGETHER FOR NINE YEARS AND BASICALLY FEEL LIKE FAMILY."

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last meal together because I ordered broccoli with think some people would be surprised to know our steaks. You seemed buggered that there was that you don’t drink. Why not? something great and leafy on the table… The TS: I just don’t like the taste. So I see no point. question remains, where does it all go? Genetics And also, I’ve got enough energy and fun inside and metabolism aside, what does a day in the me to go the distance anyway. gym for you consist of? TS: Without going into too much detail, I basically Sykes is undeniably the most charged up guy in focus on cardio work based around running. I any room that he is in. And if you’ve been in a also incorporate some rowing, cycling and cross- room with him, you know what I mean. Naturally training. I like to play football when I can, too. hyperactive with several proper coffees makes up Apart from that, I do some certain areas of strength the barrel of energy that is Tom Sykes. and resistance work. It is no surprise that his favorite city and circuit is SBI: Fair enough. Let’s talk about your other London and Donington Park, respectively. He was passion. Coffee. What makes a cup of coffee born in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England. And he’s great? And I mean great as in receiving the Tom every bit a Yorkshireman. Sykes seal of approval? TS: Well my weapon of choice would typically SBI: What is the glory of Yorkshire? be a flat white when I’m traveling as that seems TS: Well, if you didn’t already know Yorkshire is the to be the most consistent. But really as long as God’s own country! I have to say that I just love my coffee is based around the 6-ounce size with the countryside of Yorkshire. It is a massive county a double shot of good beans with a nice fruity so it covers a lot of area. It’s mainly because I aftertaste. Then comes the milk, and this is make was born and raised there so will always be my or break time… There is plenty of nicely foamed favorite. And to add that’s where my family and milk going around but… but the difference is majority of friends are. “velvet-like” milk with the temperature not too hot. Then you are onto a great coffee!

SBI: What is the game plan for winning the 2018 championship?

SBI: Your passion for coffee is serious. I can TS: To continue in the way in which we executed understand why you don’t indulge in alcohol. I the whole winter testing program and also the SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 85


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"I’VE WORKED VERY HARD WITH MY TEAM DURING THE WINTER TO BE ABLE TO GET MORE FROM MYSELF AND THE BIKE AS A PACKAGE." SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 87


THE GRID: TOM SYKES

first round in Australia. That is mainly basically remarkable talent, wisdom and keen instinct, a knowing that I as the rider could and would champion does make. However, just because he is certainly like to ride harder to showcase my full consistent, it doesn’t mean that he is comfortable. potential but we understand that unfortunately The 2018 Tom Sykes is ever more focused on due to the rules and therefore the characteristics the Crown. Ten seasons on the grid, the hunt is of the bike that this is not the way. I am now more ever long. There is work to be done. Efforts to conscious of the bike's needs as well as my own. be fortified. Race by race, point by point, the Championship waits for no one. You must hunt it Five years ago, Tom Sykes was crowned down and claim it for yourself. Time passes but Champion. Consistency with a healthy dose of the mission, and the man remain the same. 88 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


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THE GRID

HOT STUFF:

NEW TRACK, NEW COUNTRY, SAME ‘OLE PLAYERS

MOTOGP INVADES THAILAND!

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THE GRID: MOTOGP WITH B.T.

S

upply and demand. If the people demand Two weeks before the dreaded “Flyaways”, which it, then it must be supplied. Correct? In the can make or break a championships run, MotoGP

case of the two-wheeled circus that is MotoGP, landed in Thailand and delivered a GP almost as that is precisely the case. With an eighteen race hot as the temperature’s outside. schedule that lasts from March until November, not including testing, the MotoGP calendar has The weekend got off to a blustery start when Jorge riders stretched to their physical and mental limits. Lorenzo, already limping from a broken big toe So an extra race is not something anybody from a crash that he blamed on Marc Marquez in wanted. Except for the crazed motorcycle country Aragon, viciously high-sided in practice. He broke of Thailand! And when an entire country screams his wrist and was declared unfit to race. That for GP, GP delivers a GP!

would not taper the racing one bit on this explosive race weekend in October. With a crowd of over

JORGE MARTIN

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LUCA MARINI & PECCO BAGNAIA 100,000, the Thailand round provided everything Enea “The Beast” Bastianini beasted himself on you would want for a first time GP.

the inside of Bezzecchi on the last corner on the last lap. He lost the front, wiping out he and

Starting with Moto3, championship runner-up Bezzecchi in the process and allowing Mister Bad Jorge Martin, was unable to move his “clutch Massage, himself Jorge Martin to place fourth and hand” due to a massage gone wrong! You read take over the lead in the Moto3 Championship. that right, a massage gone wrong and feel free to make your own joke on that one being that this Moto2 was a lesson in being the ultimate is a family magazine.

teammate as Valentino Rossi’s half-brother Luca Marini played the ultimate wingman when he

This was the perfect time for championship leader rode the wheels off his VR46 bike to place ahead Marco Bezzecchi to extend his lead. And it was of his teammate’s rival Miguel Oliveira and allow going pretty much according to plan until a certain his teammate Pecco Bagnaia some much-needed SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 93


THE GRID: MOTOGP WITH B.T.

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THE GRID: MOTOGP WITH B.T. breathing room in the championship. I’m sure somewhere World Superbike rider Tom Sykes was On the last lap, going into the final turn twelve like, “Where was this guy when I needed him!”

corner, Marquez was leading on the outside, Dovi pulled even and tried a block pass that Marquez

As is usually the case, MotoGP was what the fans knew was coming. Marquez let Dovi by, then wanted to see, and they were not disappointed turned his Repsol Honda to the inside of Dovi and on this steamy Sunday afternoon. This 26 lap accelerated out of the corner for the lead over affair was minus a Ducati but made up for it by the finish line. How confident was Marquez in having Valentino Rossi ride to the front on lap four this move? He did a standup wheelie over the and bringing the Thai fans to their feet. How rare finish line! That, to me, was an emphatic, “Yeah, was seeing Rossi at the front in 2018? Out of the motherfucker!" moment if there ever was one! 320 laps run in MotoGP this year, Yamaha has led five! Think Haley’s Comet on two wheels but This move also seemed to demoralize Dovizioso. with a bigger following!

With an outside shot at the Championship still barely alive, this race pretty much sealed the deal

As great as it was seeing Rossi and the Yamahas on a seventh championship for Marquez! of Maverick Vinales and Johan Zarco run at the front, it was The Dovi and Marquez show once The bright spot on this race was watching Vinales again, with Vinales replacing a fading Rossi for and Rossi battle at the front, proving the "its not third.

us, its the bike” theory. Hopefully, Yamaha can

While the action was tame compared to the all- sort out the problems for 2019, because while out barroom brawl of Assen, it was still drama its great to see a Ducati and Marquez battle, a watching Marquez stalk Dovi like a jilted ex- MotoGP party is always better with more quality boyfriend. The great thing about Marquez, as people in it! with any Champion, is that he learns from his misfortunes or defeats. Instead of waiting until Stay tuned for the first of the Flyaways in Motegi to the last lap to make his move, Marquez decided see if Marquez can clinch it or if Dovi has one last to lighten things up with three laps to go, and he haymaker to deliver to extend the championship and Dovi exchanged the lead two times. 96 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM

at least one more week.


MAVERICK VINALES

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THE STRAIGHT LINE

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GET READY FOR THE

WORDS: ALLAN LANE IMAGES: KWAME OLDS, TERENCE BELTON, XDA SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 101


THE STRAIGHT LINE: GET READY FOR THE XDA

T

he sport of drag racing has remained a If you have drag raced or have attended a major constant test of skill and mechanical might for drag race event on the East Coast of the United

decades. From the risky business of street racing States, then the name “Miller� should ring familiar. to the straight line that begins at the base of the Brothers Jason and Chris Miller ran operations light tree on the track, drag racing is a culture for both MIROCK Drag Racing Series and the within the culture of the global motorcycle racing International Drag Bike League for a significant community.

number of years. And while the Miller Brothers ran what most would call the most electrifying

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drag racing series on the East Coast, they didn’t East Coast.” own it. But that all changed at the end of 2017. XDA is an acronym for Xtreme Dragbike Association. “We decided that we needed to really roll up According to Miller, the goal is to offer racers a our sleeves, and expand to multiple tracks on the competitive and professionally run East Coast drag east coast,” expressed Jason Miller. “We started racing series program at major event facilities that the XDA, absorbed the IDBL, and put together a include Maryland International Raceway, Virginia schedule of six events at three great tracks on the Motorsports Park, and ATCO Raceway. “Our SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 103


THE STRAIGHT LINE: GET READY FOR THE XDA

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racers will compete on the best prepped surfaces competitions. in the sport for the best purses in motorcycle drag racing,� said Miller.

With plans to expand in 2019, Miller says that he and his brother are looking to add a fourth

With a class structure that will be composed of East Coast track and a seventh race weekend pro, sportsman and grudge classes, the events event on the schedule. The XDA is looking to take will include plenty of opportunities for racers to the drag race event weekend to the next level go head to head against their rivals in several providing quality events for both racer and fan, racing disciplines. To complement the on-track alike. Support the XDA by visiting XDAracing.com action, XDA race event weekends will also host and see how you can be a part in the next level a selection of fan based activities such as custom of drag racing. bike shows, vendor midways, live music and bikini

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KYLE SLIGER

THE DIFFERENCE WORDS: ALLAN LANE IMAGES: COURTESY OF KYLE SLIGER

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THE REV LIMITER: KYLE SLIGER

KYLE SLIGER

is not concerned with being relevant. His focus rests on remaining innovative. Relevancy seems to be a byproduct of innovation and by the looks of his social media feed, Sliger is at the forefront of the ever changing freestyle stunt riding scene. His perspective on all things stunt related offers sincere insight into how he has earned the respect of his peers and why he is where he is. Not all riders are created alike. There is a difference. In his own words, Kyle Sliger explains‌

SBI: What was it like for you coming up in the stunt scene? KS: Coming up in the stunt scene has been a tough road to go down. But it all started just having fun riding with friends just trying to outdo each other 110 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


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THE REV LIMITER: KYLE SLIGER

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and amp each other up in the process. We all know friends get into sports and get out of them so after a few years go by and I find myself riding alone in a small local bike shop parking lot every day. I would spend a lot of my time watching videos of the guys I looked up to and it inspired me to push a little harder each time I would ride.  Mostly XDL videos which got me more involved with competitions.  Along the way, I wanted to learn editing programs to make my own videos and that's when I really started having fun with stunt riding.  

I HAVE CREATED MY OWN SIGNATURE ST YLE. I ALWAYS WANTED TO MAKE S U R E I WA S N ' T LOOKING LIKE OR COPYING ANYONE ELSE. I WANTED TO STAY UNIQUE AND DIFFERENT.

SBI: What are your thoughts on the current state of the stunt scene? KS: It’s on its way up and not down. I still see people and businesses all over getting more involved with stunt riding. Which is good. I would like to see it get more mainstream since I do believe the ones who push themselves and compete and take it seriously are true athletes like any other sport out there and deserve a shot in the spotlight to show the world what we can do.  Hopefully one day it comes to that. We dream of it being in the X Games and we get asked that all the time, “Why isn't it in the X Games?” And we really don't have an answer for it.  

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I FEEL AS MUCH AS I RIDE, THERE IS NOT ENOUGH TIME TO WORK OUT SO I USE ALL MY ENERGY TO RIDE. IF I WAS GOING TO BREAK A SWEAT IT WAS GOING TO BE RIDING MY BIKE.

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THE REV LIMITER: KYLE SLIGER his style. There was something “skaterish” about it.

100 percent commitment. But the right mindset is key. 

He's been pumping out some sick videos so that still For tricks that take a lot of adrenaline and courage influences me to do better editing. I’m not sure who to go for helped me quite a bit when I would get my favorite rider is now. I enjoy watching videos all

angry. Believe it or not, I would get angry enough

the time on riders. I enjoy Romain Jeandrot’s style… that there was nothing that was going to stop me from very aggressive and different from others. I think style accomplishing the trick. Which would then block out is the most important in stunt riding. A rider with style

all the fear and the thought of consequences if this

and big tricks can be a pretty fun character to watch. goes bad. Which isn't a good thing but for those few tries it would give me the courage to risk it all for it. SBI: What are your thoughts on and how do you stay relevant? 

Sliger considers himself an early riser, for a stunt rider,

KS: Staying relevant isn't hard for me since my brain getting up every day between 6.30 and 7 am. His has a million ideas for things I want to do with stunt

morning routine includes smoothies and stretches then

riding and I can only pick one at a time. So it keeps

coffee, as breakfast. He expresses that watching the

me amped up when I sit around and think of a cool

sunrise helps him maintain his positive thoughts and

video or a cool trick to do. I've thought of tricks before vibes. Then, its off to ride. so vividly over and over in my head that when I went out to try it I landed it first try as if I've done it already

SBI: How important is staying healthy and in shape?

a 100 times. The brain is a powerful thing, I've come Do you have a workout regime? to find out. But my ideas help keep me motivated KS: I don't really have a workout or anything but I because I just want to keep showing the world how

do have to eat healthy. It's actually one of the most

cool stunt riding can be.

important things you can do. I didn't always eat the greatest food and never really knew how important

SBI: Innovation is key. What goes on in your mind

it was until I started eating healthy. Before I couldn't

when you are attempting to master a new trick? Walk even barely ride two days in a row. I was only riding us through the process.

weekends and sometimes a day during the week

KS: The process to master a new trick really depends simply because my body needed to heal. As soon on the trick.  Some tricks take really smooth movements

as I switched to eating only a plant-based diet, I was

and focus when other require adrenaline, speed, and

able to ride night and day, every day. I actually go

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to the lot and run through a tank of gas each time

little group together which always made trips that much

before shutting the bike off so I ride about an hour and more awesome. But now, not so many of my friends a half straight or so each time before taking breaks. are still riding so it took some of the fun away going Before it was 15 to 20 minutes with 20 minutes breaks to the events.  So I find myself at more competitions in between. I couldn’t believe the difference. I feel

now. I am so thankful for the competitions. Since they

as much as I ride, there is not enough time to work

give another reason to get everyone together to do

out so I use all my energy to ride. If I was going to

some riding and all around good fun competing. We

break a sweat it was going to be riding my bike. But

need competitions and more of them to define what

my routine is wake up and drink a fruit and greens we do as an actual sport. Although I do miss going smoothie and hit the lot for about 3 to 4 hours. I hate to all the riding events and sessions that riders would waiting around all day to go ride so I love to get out

put together. I do plan to attend more of them in the

there in the mornings. Then at nights I usually work

future. It's about time to start having some more fun,

on the bikes. I never liked being cooped up in the again!   garage when it's sunny and nice out. SBI: What bikes have you had over the years?  Sliger ends his day with another smoothie and some

KS: I first started on a Honda F4i 2001 and had that

quality time on the Inversion Table. The time inverted for about four years. It was my first bike ever. Then aids in his flexibility and keeps him agile. He credits I switched over to a 2004 Kawasaki ZX6 back In the table for back and knee maintenance, keeping 2011. I wish I would have switched sooner because them stretched out and limber. Before closing his eyes,

I was way more comfortable on the Kawi. I had that

he peruses social media to check out what everyone up until 2016 when I received a 2013 Kawasaki else is checking out.

ZX6 from ICON and Kawasaki. It has a Stunter X half frame and Stunter X stunt parts setup. The bike is a

SBI: Tell me about the golden age of Freestyle Stunt

beast and can take one hell of a beating. Lots of low

Riding?

end power, more than the bike I used to ride. It just

KS: The golden age of freestyle was for me about 5 feels like it can handle high speed type riding better. years ago when every weekend there was an event or And I've been building and riding that bike ever since a competition going on. That's when I really had a lot

as my main stunt bike. I also built a 2004 ZX6R drift

of fun. All my friends still were riding so we had our

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THE REV LIMITER: KYLE SLIGER never got ridden until I put the stretch swingarm on, just to make it interesting. Now, I recently just received a 2011 ZX10 and I am making that into my new drift bike. That is in the process right now and she is almost done.

SBI: What is your current bike set up? KS: Well one thing is for sure and that is I always made sure I was running full fairings. I just loved the way it looks. I have the Stunt Series Convertibars because they never break and they are fully adjustable so you can't go wrong. I run Shinko Tires Verge for the rear and Verge 2x for the front. I like how consistent the tires are for drifting and grip. I use StunterX for my frame and twelve bar, seat saver, plus the shorty exhaust pipe, subframe and subcage. Hel brake lines. Saddlemen seats. Racing 905 for my upper stay bracket. RSC clutch lever. I get my wraps from ID Wrap It with an ICON designed theme.I have a Be Stunt sprocket on there right now and a chain from Motoheaven. My gearing is set at 62 (rear) and down 2 (front). I have a Blindside armor cage and Cocks Stunt Parts top triple since it had the reservoirs mounted inside the triple gives it a very clean look.

When Sliger is not on the bike, you’ll find him editing footage that’s he captured himself. And while most of his time is spent on the bike, he also enjoys some skateboard action and cruising in his Corvette. He’s a 120 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


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THE REV LIMITER: KYLE SLIGER

THE FOUR CATEGORIES OF STUNT RIDING: STOPPIES , WHEELIES , ACROBATICS, DRIFTS.

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coffee drinker but not one who likes to relax too much. He keeps himself busy with art projects and building things around his house and garage. Keeping busy and focused has paid off for Sliger and ultimately led to his partnership with ICON Motosports.

SBI: Talk about your relationship with ICON. When did that begin and how did it develop over the years? KS: ICON is an amazing company and brand. I couldn't be more thankful to be apart of the team. It was all pretty crazy to me when it happened  I actually sent them a resume thinking to myself, “Yea, right.” And even forgot about it because I would never have guessed they would ever respond to me.  But they did and I was blown away. That was back in 2011 when I sent that.  I first told myself dreams do come true.  Now I just needed to prove myself so that's what I did. I went out and pushed myself even harder knowing that now I have some support and it's comforting knowing that my blood sweat and tears were finally going to start paying off.  Still, to this day I can't believe I'm a part of ICON. They are always pushing new products and looking out for stunt riders. ICON has helped stunt riding in many ways so It makes me feel good to represent a company who is down with stunt riding. Now ICON is working more with me on some videos and shoots. So stay tuned to see some more of me in the catalogs and new upcoming videos.  SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 125


THE REV LIMITER: KYLE SLIGER SBI: What is the difference between Kyle Sliger and when I was actually in the van. Hard work pays off the other stunt riders across the globe?

if you want it bad enough.

KS: I’m not sure what the difference may be, but my style. I do feel I have created my own signature

SBI: Where does Freestyle Stunt Riding go from here?

style. I always wanted to make sure I wasn't looking KS: I can see the sport going mainstream for sure. The like or copying anyone else. I wanted to stay unique

world and media are looking for something to change

and different. Then I wanted to change it up a bit it up a bit. It's a new exciting motorsport that most and try the 360 Rockwalk and be the first to ever of the world doesn't know exist. Eventually, they are even attempt something like that.  Which today, in going to try it out and give it a shot and I think they a way has changed the sport.  It just goes to show

will be mad that they didn't years before. I think you

how much more we really can do with a sportbike.

will start to see more and more big name company's

I Still think the 180 Shuffle Fakie 180 is my favorite getting involved with stunt riding. Stunt riding is the trick though. Something about rolling backward gets

new age of motorcycle riding. You are seeing more

me every time.

kids getting involved now more than ever. And these kids are actually really good. The sport is growing all

SBI: Any advice for the up and coming stunt riders

over and I don't see it stopping anytime soon.

out there? KS: For anyone trying to get sponsorships and support

Style. Creativity. Consistency. Dedication. All are

and all the good stuff… Try to learn the four categories

elemental factors in moving from point A to point B.

of tricks and start doing shows and competitions and

The difference between remaining in one spot and

pick up on some video editing. Even basic stuff is

having the stones to elevate to the next level. Sliger is

good stuff. But that's all I really did.  Just stay motivated

not focused on being relevant. Relevancy comes with

and consistent with some video or pics of progress so

the territory if you’re doing it right. Kyle Sliger has his

they know your putting in work. Remember, nothing is

thumb on the pulse of the stunt scene today and a

handed to you. I slept many cold and lonely nights in

proper bead on its future.

an Astrovan and told people I wasn't hungry when I was starving, just because I couldn't afford to go out When the sport breaks mainstream and is eventually and eat with them. I even parked in the hotel parking included in the X Games or other sports festivals or lots to make them believe I was staying in a hotel room tournaments, expect to see Sliger on the front lines. 126 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


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THE LIFE

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BARBER VINTAGE FESTIVAL

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THE LIFE : THE INSIDE LINE

E

very year in October, there is a vintage museum itself, expanded, and they created a festival held at Barber Motorsports Park, The walkway over one area on the track, which then

Barber Vintage Festival. This year was the 14th leads you to another area where you can see a year this event has been held, and the 7th year spectacular view of the track. One thing that is I’ve attended it.

unique to this track is the art and props. On one of the spectating areas, there's a bridge that is

If you haven’t been to Barber Motorsports Park, glass, and there’s a doll that looks like a woman you need to put it on your bucket list. I’m sure hanging from it. All over the track is unique artwork you’re wondering what is so good about this that also incorporates motorcycles, such as giant event. Well, first off the museum is stunning and ants dangling a motorcycle from its antennae. you must see it for yourself. In 2013, the museum was recognized by the Guinness World Records During the event, they hold auctions, swap meets, as being the largest motorcycle collection. 

AHRMA races, demo rides and much more! There’s so much to see and do during the 3-day

The museum recently had an expansion. The event. The whole property is huge, and walking 132 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


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THE LIFE : THE INSIDE LINE

IN 2013, THE MUSEUM WAS RECOGNIZED BY THE GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS AS BEING THE LARGEST MOTORCYCLE COLLECTION.Â

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THE LIFE : THE INSIDE LINE

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isn’t ideal. You can rent golf carts if you didn’t This year Ducati held a dinner in the museum Sunday bring your bike, but most people do, so everyone night, which was magical. They took us on a track hops on and off as they go around the property, walk where Jason DiSalvo, Jake Zemke, and Taylor which is ideal considering there is so much to do, Knapp explained to everyone what line was best and it’s not all within walking distance. There is a and how to approach corners during the Ducati tram as well that picks and drops people off, but Rev’s track day on Monday. After that, we entered if you’re like me, that doesn’t sound appealing.

the museum for dinner. Having dinner surrounded by the worlds most beautiful rare motorcycles and

There is this one area which I would call a fan cars is like nothing else. After dinner, Jason, Jake, zone. There’s vendors, snack booths and The and Taylor along with Cook Neilson held a Q&A Wall of Death! There’s nothing cooler than The and talked about, well, racing of course! Wall of Death and anyone who has seen it can completely agree. Last year, they had some riders At the end of the weekend, you’re worn out, but sponsored from Monster that were doing jumps being able to go to an event like that and be in with snowmobiles and dirt bikes.

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Ana Mata LOCATION: Highland, CA OCCUPATION: Registered Nurse. YEARS RIDING: 5 years. RIDING STYLE: Street, canyons and track. BIKE/S OWNED: 2017 and 2004 Yamaha YZF-R6. FAVORITE BIKE MODIFICATION/ACCESSORY: I'd definitely have to say my favorite has been changing the gearing (2 up, 1 down) for fasting acceleration. FAVORITE PIECE OF RIDING GEAR: Absolutely my Dainese leathers. I hardly go on any ride anymore without full gear. Gotta save that skin. MOST MEMORABLE RIDE: The most memorable was on a freszing cold rainy day. I just wanted the ride to be over, so bad! And about half way to my destination, the clouds parted, the sun came out in perfect rays and shined so beautifully off of the mountains. And i just remeber thinking how grateful I was to be a rider and experience that moment on my bike. To me, its what riding is all about. 140 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


Karmel Chuwee Williams LOCATION: Boston, MA OCCUPATION: Specal Ops. YEARS RIDING: 16 years. RIDING STYLE: Street. BIKE/S OWNED: 2002 Honda CBR 954RR, 2016 Victory Gunner. FAVORITE PIECE OF RIDING GEAR: My Alpinestars boots, and my Joe Rocket and Cortech Jackets. MOST MEMORABLE RIDE: All of my distant rides have wonderful memories. Too many to name. 

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THE LIFE: FEATURED RIDERS

Robert Bunch LOCATION: Coatesville, PA OCCUPATION: Warehouse Man. YEARS RIDING: Dirt bikes: 3 years. Street bikes: 1 year.  RIDING STYLE: Street rider.   BIKE/S OWNED: 2013 Suzuki GSX-R750. FAVORITE BIKE MODIFICATION/ACCESSORY: Yoshimura exhaust! Its the gun show because they pop like crazy! FAVORITE PIECE OF RIDING GEAR: My helmet and jacket. MOST MEMORABLE RIDE: 15 bikes deep coming back from Delaware and racing home.  142 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


Bonnie Weston-Wells LOCATION:Â Malvern, PA OCCUPATION: Owner of referral only cleaning company. YEARS RIDING: As a child I used to ride dirt bikes. I have been riding sportbikes now for a little over a year and a half. I have done the track and loved it. I wish I had time to do it more often. I have also been practicing stunts and would love to perfect my wheelies. BIKE/S OWNED: Honda CBR F4i 600. FAVORITE BIKE MODIFICATION/ACCESSORY: I would have to say I absolutely love my seat. I have rode a lot of bikes and I find that my seat is the most comfortable out of any of them. I also love my color scheme black and yellow as it goes with my name, "Queen Bee". FAVORITE PIECE OF RIDING GEAR: My most memorable ride to date has to be the couple's ride with the On2's riding group Not only was it an amazing turn out of 60 bikes or more but my now husband Ali Akbar Wells and my best friend Anna Marie Velasquez had it all planned with the other bikers to surprise me with his proposal. It was an amazing day that I will never forget!

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THE SUM OF ALL PARTS

THE SUM OF ALL PARTS WORDS: ALLAN LANE IMAGES: COURTESY OF D3O 146 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


EVERY MONTH, WE CHAT WITH THE INDUSTRY'S LEADING AFTERMARKET APPAREL & ACCESSORIES MANUFACTURERS TO GIVE YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN A LITTLE MORE ABOUT WHO MAKES THE STUFF THAT YOU BUY AND USE.

D30

WWW.D30.COM MOSTYN THOMAS, GENERAL MANAGER

D3O makes trusted, high performance, quality shock absorbing solutions for its global partners. A Private Equity backed company, D3O’s headquarters and global innovation centre is located in South London, UK, with operating bases in North America and the Far East. In 2009, D3O became the market leader in motorcycle safety equipment with a range of CE certified limb and back protectors providing superior comfort, fit and advanced protection. Today, D3O is the number one impact protection brand with world wide partners benefiting from products that exceed CE performance standards, working with brands such as: ICON, Klim, Triumph, Rukka and Hyod.

SBI: What’s your history with D3O? How did sailing gear to protect the world’s best sailors. you get involved with the company?

There’s no tougher environment in which to

MT: I joined D3O back in 2011 as Marketing test performance gear than the Southern Director and have since had the opportunity to Ocean! Impact protection is key across the grow with the company, from CMO to General sports industry – it enables and empowers you Manager. Prior to D3O I spent ten years in to push your limits and achieve your goals. the sporting goods industry and first came That’s what makes D3O magical. The range across D3O during my time at Canterbury of of impact protection applications is limitless, New Zealand, a rugby apparel brand. I then from football helmets and motorcycle clothing joined performance sailing clothing brand to military body protection and industrial hand Musto and was a customer of D3O for a protection. We even provide protection that couple of years, integrating the technology into goes into phone cases! As a result of this, SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 147


THE SUM OF ALL PARTS: SCHUBERTH

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we’re able to take the best bits from protection choice for people who want to stay safe. in one industry to innovate in another.

To maintain this position our technology has to remain the best in the world. We employ

SBI: That brings me to R&D at D3O. What’s great people with great minds who all share your product development process?

a passion to challenge the norm, disrupt and

MT: We have two approaches. One is have an insatiable appetite to be the best. market led, identifying gaps in the market When you combine this with a really strong and problems that need solving. The other is brand that’s trusted by people who use our technology led, with our development teams technology, then you have a pretty potent mix. constantly innovating and creating solutions to Cutting edge science, ingenious design and problems that our customers didn’t even know powerful commercial partnerships are the three they had. All our developments run through a things that make D3O unique. formal process, starting with a feasibility phase before then moving into development. Our SBI: What’s next for D3O? Lab in London enables us to design, develop, MT:

We’re just launching LP2, our next

prototype and test parts, and then constantly generation range of Level 2 CE certified iterate until we have a game-changing, market- armour for biking. The technology we use in ready solution. We typically bring about 10- gloves for oil rig workers is now becoming 15 new products or materials to market each available to bikers through the likes of Icon year, from helmet pads for soldiers to protect and Klim. Outside of the motorcycle market, against mild traumatic brain injury, to screen look out for our range of insoles that are protectors to keep your smartphone in one worn and endorsed by Usain Bolt and deliver piece. The variety keeps things interesting!

unbelievable shock absorption – making that 5k run a little more comfortable! Finally, our

SBI: How does D3O remain relevant in range of materials used in Gear4 and EFM today’s market?

phone cases means that everyone can ensure

MT: We created the market for branded they are D3O protected. impact protection and are the number one SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 149


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IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS

Q UICK T URNS

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IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS: QUICK TURNS

I

t was a complaint that I have heard many times corner more closely, the major problem is uncovered. before. One of my students who had been racing To illustrate, let's look at two riders who enter a

for a few years and had hit a plateau. He was given corner and are traveling 67mph when a turn running towards the front of the Amateur class, but is initiated. That means that the motorcycles they are the problem was that there had been a slow, steady

riding are traveling about 100 feet per second. If Rider

stream of other riders who had worked their way to #1 (Red) takes 0.5 seconds to go from fully upright to the front of the field and graduated to the Expert class.

full lean and rider #2 (Blue) takes a full second, then

Every time one rider moved up, another seemed to rider #2 consumes 50 feet more racetrack to get to the drop the time needed to move to the front. He was

turn done. My student was just like the rider we will

stuck at a lap time and frustrated.

call Blue. A diagram of this hypothetical entrance is below to illustrate where these important 50 feet go.

This rider had a good baseline of skills; good body position, loose on the bars and a solid set of reference

Each rider has a pair of black dots on their line that

points around the track. After riding with him a couple represents when the turn starts and stops. If Blue tries of laps, I quickly realized that the problem was that he was too smooth. Simply put, the time that it took to go from fully upright to full lean was too long. At first glance, his trek through the corner sounds fine. As he neared his turn points he would slowly ease off the brakes and his perfectly composed chassis would lean over and carve to the apex. As he rolled through the middle of the corner, he would finish his turn and then gradually apply the throttle as his bike stood up.

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to use the same turn in point as Red, he will miss the


apex. This is shown by a light blue line that misses

Unfortunately, the problems for Blue don't end there.

the apex by several feet and then runs off the track

Since Red gets his direction change done quickly, he

at the exit. This would be the result if Blue came into

can release bar input and get back on the throttle

the corner and attempted to use the same turn point early. You will notice that while both riders have the as Red.

same apex point, they are pointed in slightly different directions on the exit. The trajectory of Blue at the

Since Blue does not want to miss the apex and run apex requires him to continue to turn until just after the off the track, he will instead move his turn point earlier

apex. This delays the start of his drive down the next

until he no longer misses the apex. Unfortunately, this straightaway by the distance B (the other 25 feet), effectively shortens the available braking zone by the

causing Blue to be several mph slower than Red for

distance A (about 25 feet). Since Blue still needs to the next 1000 feet when the process starts all over slow down to the same speed as Red at the apex, again. Going back to my student, the lack of drive Blue must now start braking 25 feet earlier to make

was the biggest thing holding him back from getting

the corner.

to the next level.

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IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS: QUICK TURNS At the Penguin School, one of the concepts that we Going back to the rider that I was working within the teach is that the fast line is nearly always the line with

beginning of the story, we picked out two of the faster

the lowest risk. It is clear from the previous diagram corners of the track to work on this skill first. Before that Red spends less time on the edge of the tire than

a rider starts to work on turning quickly, it is critical

Blue. For the 50 extra feet that Blue is turning, he has that he has become proficient enough with his body a lesser ability to change lines, make adjustments or

position that he is able to completely relax his arms

add extra brake to avoid an obstacle. In addition, at full lean. Without this mandatory skill, taking the there is no additional risk in turning the bike more next step in this process can be problematic. quickly when done properly. Since my student was comfortable at full lean and The faster the entrance of the corner, the more racetrack able to ride loose, I knew that he was ready to start the motorcycle consumes during turn in and the more

implementing quick turns. Since all turns are initiated

important it is to get the bike to full lean as quickly as

with bar input, the process of turning more quickly

possible. Due to gyroscopic stability, the bike can

begins simply with using a little more force in the bars

also handle much greater bar inputs at high speeds.

when the bike is upright. There are two important

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As with all things, there is a limit to how much bar effort is prudent. The point of this technique is to be quick and precise with your turns, but not overly aggressive. If riders use too much force, the bike will need time to settle from the input, delaying the drive. The final adjustments to entrance speed, turn point and bar effort come by analyzing the most critical point of every corner - the point of throttle application. In a drive focused corner like the example above, the rider should be able to crack the gas on just before the apex. Riders will continue to add entrance speed and increase turn rate until they are no longer able points to note when you start this process; (1) it only to get back on the gas at the pre-determined point. takes a small increase in force to make the bike turn more quickly and (2) the only place that the bike needs After two sessions working on a specific corner, my more bar input is when the bike is nearly upright (see student was also able to stop his bar input well before diagram), and that as the bike leans in your hands the apex. This changed his drive off the next corner must completely relax.

dramatically and resulted in a full second drop in his times. The moral of his story came from his comment

I counseled my rider that the first time he tried to

after his change, in which he noted that he not only

increase his initial bar effort that he would likely apex

was faster but he also felt like he was at lower risk of a

the corner far too early. This is exactly the feedback

high side through the entire exit. All it took was a little

that we are looking for. If a rider can easily get to the

extra bar effort over the center and then an adjustment

apex of a corner early, then that is a clear indication

to his turn point. Next time you find yourself having

that the motorcycle is not near the limit of traction.

to turn through or past the apex of a corner leading

With this data, a rider can confidently push the turn

to a straight, give this a try - the results can be great

in point more in-depth into the corner and also know for both your lap times and your confidence. that they can carry more entrance speed. Until next time… Ride fast, ride safe!    SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 157


ARCH MOTORCYCLE

THE BECOMING

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AMERICAN EXOTIC MOTORCYCLES... There is something about the manner in which that descriptive phrase rolls off of the tongue. There’s a persuasive and seductive nature to it. The first time that I heard it, I had hoped that I wasn’t being set up for disappointment when I actually had the opportunity to lay eyes upon Arch Motorcycle’s KRGT1. In the simplest sentiment, the machine was definitely a motorcycle, blossoming with exoticism and every bit American. The disappointment was removed from the equation. Founded in 2011 by Gard Hollinger and Keanu Reeves, discussions of Arch traveled fast amongst motorcycle industry folk in the company’s early days. Partially for obvious reasons. More so for what the bike looked like and rumored performance abilities. Then there was the price tag. Arch was set from the start to build truly custom motorcycles for those 160 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


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WHAT WE HAVE DONE IS VERY SLOWLY AND STRATEGICALLY INCLUDED DISTRIBUTION PARTNERS IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD THAT MAKE SENSE. SUTER IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF A PARTNERSHIP. WE'RE SPEAKING TO A GROUP IN THE UK RIGHT NOW AND WE HAVE A CUSTOMER WHO ACTUALLY HELPED US GET OUR SPECIALTY VEHICLE APPROVAL IN AUSTRALIA. looking for their very own, unique riding experience, unlike any other. You are not going see a fleet of KRGT-1’s roll into the local bike night. In the last couple of years, Arch has strategically made steps into the industry spotlight. This past fall, Arch introduced their 2018 model lineup which included two all-new models, the 1s and the Method 143 at EICMA to the global motorcycle industry. With calculated caution, the company slowly began to show their hand beyond the scope of the inner industry. Often, the traditional route for building brand awareness is to distribute apparel and swag bearing the brand’s logo, soliciting across social media platforms and the like. The only Arch apparel that I’ve ever seen is a trucker hat adorn by one of the co-founders. That says a lot about what Arch Motorcycle SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 163


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and the breed of company that they are. To fine tune the distinction, we talked with Gard Hollinger, co-founder of Arch. SBI: Some have said that Arch was born as a pet project. Some say that Arch was created because‌ why not? Because you can, so you did. But everything happens for a reason. What happened in the motorcycle world where there was a need for Arch Motorcycle to come into existence? GH: There's always, especially when there's a celebrity involved, more myth than facts and it circulates. You can't address all of it except when you get the chance to. It definitely wasn't a pet project, at least not in my mind. I'm a planner, thoughtful and methodical. I really put Keanu through and through the question mill when he suggested for the third or fourth time, over several years that maybe we should make some more bikes like the one I had built for him. To the question, to pinpoint the single reason of why‌ It is because we are going to die. Of course, it's more complicated than that because what that meant to me is that it is an opportunity to do something that is rare. To really have the chance to try to leave a legacy in a world that we both cared about, which is the motorcycle world. For years, I had been a custom motorcycle builder and had done a lot of things in the motorcycle industry. But at least in that last business incarnation, I had a custom motorcycle business. It was somewhat known 164 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


in the twin world but I had some experience working for some small production motorcycle companies and those experiences were really interesting to me. It opened my eyes to how much more challenging it is to work in that environment without just giving in and not being artistic. So the idea was that it was more challenging to try to maintain the art and the design you're doing while you're executing a production motorcycle that has to meet all these standards and legal requirements. I was already really interested in that and

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doing more and more work that way. That was the thing that was really interesting to me. I was getting a little bit bored with a one-off thing which is fun to do. It's so much easier to do that than it is to do it well in a production environment. And so then the idea of… is there a production motorcycle company that exists that really focuses on building one of a kind motorcycles for the customer that not only means how they look, but how they fit the ergonomics and then the personalization aspect? I couldn't think of one. There are certainly some other motorcycle

IN THE BACKGROUND WAS ALWAYS THIS PLAN TO HAVE THESE OTHER MODELS WHICH, YOU KNOW, OF COURSE, WE WERE ABLE TO BRING TO FRUITION THIS YEAR AND INTRODUCED THE 1S AND THE METHOD 143. BUT THE GOAL IS REALLY TO BUILD A BRAND THAT STILL EXISTS WHEN WE'RE GONE. IF THAT MEANS THAT WE'RE LUCKY ENOUGH TO BE ALIVE ANOTHER 15 OR 20 YEARS OR LONGER, THEN WE MAY BECOME A HIGHER VOLUME MOTORCYCLE COMPANY. SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 169


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companies who build beautiful, really unique motorcycles, but they're not really geared towards personalizing the fit and finishes to the customer. Nobody needs a seventy thousand plus dollar motorcycle, but the state of the industry at the time and my experience sort of made me feel like it would be nearly impossible to start a production motorcycle company not being focused on a high-end product, a high-end customer, and no compromise. Right? SBI: That goes back to what you said. Eventually, you’re going to die and it's an opportunity to make a mark and leave something of yourself. We’re talking about the motorcycle industry. It seems like it was a culmination of that sentiment and also other things that were going on in the industry. I think your reasoning is spot on. You make the point of building a 170 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


custom motorcycle experience for the rider. Is there something beyond that? How does that translate into the goal of Arch, as a company? GH: There's no focused objective beyond that. I never say never. People talk about, “why don't you guys build a more affordable motorcycle.� I don't think we could do what we're currently doing if we're focused on a more affordable motorcycle. We're trying to make a low volume, no compromise motorcycle that's well engineered. The idea was always to have three motorcycles in the lineup at any given time. You have to walk before you run or crawl before you walk. Starting with the first one and building the infrastructure for the company. In the background was always this plan to have these other models which, you know, of course, we were able to bring to fruition this year and introduced the 1s and the Method 143. But the goal is really to build a brand that still exists when we're gone. If that means that we're lucky enough to be alive another 15 or 20 years or longer, then we may become a higher volume motorcycle company. But that's not the focus right now. I'm distracted by other things and plenty of opportunities come our way and ideas come across my desk about branding and licensing. We don't even know how to sell shirts or hats. We make some that we give to customers and friends. The reason for that isn't because we couldn't monetize it. It's because it's a distraction from the main purpose, which is to build a legitimate motorcycle SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 171


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company and until we're good at that, then we shouldn't be selling shirts, hats or cigarette lighters. SBI: There's an apparent lack of focus across the industry. Arch’s outlook and approach are refreshing because to keep it 8 more than 92 percent with you, the bikes are expensive. Very expensive. Does the price point affect sales? How do you project against that? GH: Obviously everything is going to focus back on the bottom line. To me it is the commitment to the vision and it's not an easy commitment to have. The foregoing ideas could generate revenue, but maybe hinder the longevity of the brand. But being patient and knowing that you have to build an understanding of the product and a customer base slowly are all things that are part of the commitment to building a brand. There may be quick ways to build brands in our day and age. But there aren't quick ways to build a motorcycle brand, you know? And so many of those things that I think you can apply to building a clothing brand or a drink brand or it may be these other consumer products that don't apply to a motorcycle brand. Motorcycle enthusiasts and customers are hardcore, doubting and passionate about motorcycles. So you have to be willing to prove yourself. And I think that's always been part of the commitment. We've slowly built our SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 173


FRICTION ZONE: ARCH MOTORCYCLE TO PINPOINT THE SINGLE REASON OF WHY… IT IS BECAUSE WE ARE GOING TO DIE. OF COURSE, IT'S MORE COMPLICATED THAN THAT BECAUSE WHAT THAT MEANT TO ME IS THAT IT IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO DO SOMETHING THAT IS RARE. TO REALLY HAVE THE CHANCE TO TRY TO LEAVE A LEGACY IN A WORLD THAT WE BOTH CARED ABOUT, WHICH IS THE MOTORCYCLE WORLD. customer base and it continues to grow. Part of the goal is to be able to make it easy and reach customers worldwide. And that's another commitment that on the face doesn't necessarily make a lot of sense. But if you're looking further down the road, it makes a ton of sense. We're doing the Euro 4 homologation, making the process easy for a customer anywhere in the world to buy and register their motorcycle. That’s part of that commitment. SBI: Is there a standing dealer network? How are maintenance issues handled? GH: By design, the company does not have a dealer network.The volume goal of the company didn't make sense to have a dealer network. So in that sense, we don't have a traditional dealer network. What we have done is very slowly and strategically included distribution partners in other 174 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


parts of the world that make sense. Suter is a good example of a partnership. We're speaking to a group in the UK right now and we have a customer who actually helped us get our specialty vehicle approval in Australia and now we've spoken to several potential distribution partners in Australia. We'll continue to do that and set up distribution networks that make sense. It's almost impossible to have a standalone distribution business with Arch. So they have to have a business plan that adds Arch as an element to it. Regarding the service‌ It is a big challenge. A lot of it is direct customer service. The whole idea of purchasing an Arch motorcycle isn't that you're just buying a motorcycle. You're actually buying an experience. You’re buying not just this unique vehicle, but inclusion into a family. So I'll give you a whacky example. Our customer in Australia who helped us get this specialty vehicle approval had an issue with his bike. He had an early model and had an issue because of the temperatures in Australia. It wasn't a real complicated issue. We knew what the issue was and if it were here, we could have fixed it in a couple hours. We tried to help him find and source a local shop or service place but he didn't feel comfortable with any of them. So we just flew one of our techs there. With the tech, he found a local shop that he felt most comfortable with and the owner/mechanic of that shop came and spent some time with our tech and now feels SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 175


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comfortable so if there are any issues in the future, even if it's just servicing the motorcycle there's a comfort level between the customer and this person and that person and us as a company and the support that he'll get technically. That's an extreme example. But in other cases, I have been in the motorcycle industry a long time and I know a lot of people across the country and even across the world so there's a good chance I can either connect the customer with somebody I know or somebody that will have answers. There's also a sort of an expectation that most of our customers are not first-time motorcycle buyers. I'm not sure that’s true this year because we sold several motorcycles to not only first-time motorcycle owners but also female customers, which is quite interesting. At any rate, the expectation initially was that most of our buyers wouldn't be first-time motorcycle owners. They probably owned other motorcycles and probably had somebody who cared for their motorcycles already and we would just support that person if anything was needed. Our bikes have been super reliable, which is part of the payoff of being patient and spending those three or three and a half years designing and testing and developing the first product which gave us a tremendous amount of confidence in the product. Not to mention a method on how to move forward with future product development. 176 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


SBI: What’s the rundown on the current model lineup? GH: The KRGT-1 is a refinement of the first motorcycle that I built for Keanu at my old shop and the idea was a custom American V Twin that could not only perform but that you could also ride from LA to San Francisco, without it killing you, in terms of discomfort. It was to have some range and would be fun. We continue to refine it all the time. I mean, it's part of the beauty of having our own in-house manufacturing instead of having to buy parts from a machine shop 50 or a 100 pieces at a time. We can build 10 pieces at a time. And if we want to make a minor tweak that makes it either easier to assemble or a part that works better then we do that and we're doing that all the time. The 1s is more sport influenced with the architecture and SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 177


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1 S

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powertrain‌ It's also probably the motorcycle I would have built on my own if I weren't trying to tick some boxes for Keanu on that first motorcycle. And then the Method 143‌ We were always going to have one the three bikes in the line up that every year or every couple of years would be something really over the top. Something really pushing the idea of design and engineering. The 143 is the first motorcycle I'm aware of that has a carbon monocell chassis and not just the carbon chassis itself, but with the fuel tank and everything else combined into it completely. And then that motorcycle would always be a limited number run. Each time it will use a different kind of powertrain which to base it around. The 143 has a downdraft system that's not even the same as the one that we use in our other production motorcycles. And we're working on a different drivetrain package so the bike when it's done will be very, very unique and incorporate as much technology as possible. This idea of a concept motorcycle, but a production concept motorcycle that actually 20, in this case, 23 people will be able to own instead of there just being one that a manufacturer owns and nobody else can ever, ever have one. And then the technology that we use in those motorcycles and some of the design will trickle down into production stuff in the future. SBI: Everybody has critics and you can either acknowledge them or ignore them, or use that energy to fuel you further. Has SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 181


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there been any type of negativity that you guys have had to deal with or overcome? GH: There’s always negativity. Obviously, there was more in the beginning when there wasn't a real understanding of the product that was focused on the price tag. I think now more and more people understand the product and they say “We know it's expensive, but we can understand why it's expensive and it's not for everybody.” You're obviously not going to start a motorcycle company whose main focus is to produce less than a hundred motorcycles a year that are priced in the $80,000 range or more if you're trying to build a motorcycle for everybody. I think you could argue that we were among the vanguard of the idea of a performance cruiser. If you look at some of the product that the big manufacturers are coming out with now and even some of the ideas of customization, where did those come from? They didn't exist before. BMW has a whole custom concept now. And I've heard more and more motorcycle manufacturers now coming out with a similar product and also similar ideas of focusing the customization on a deeper level. So I have to think no matter what's being said that they are thinking what bits and pieces can plug into their program that fulfills a need or a desire for different customers. SBI: In that spirit, would you say that Arch is at this point, America's only true motorcycle company? GH: I don't know if we could say that. We have Harley 182 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


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and Indian. SBI: I mean in terms of being conceptualized, made, manufactured here in the U.S‌ GH: I know what you're saying, where they’re, other companies, are going overseas to make things and I don't know that I would say that. I don't feel that way, but even if I did, I don't know that it would be our place to say it. I certainly think that we are beyond, I mean, forget about the motorcycle, forget about what your attitude is about whether a motorcycle should cost $70,000. And we hear that from a lot of people who of course aren't our customer, you know, if you forget about all that, I think what we are doing in the first place, manufacturing a product, and not an easy product to manufacturer and doing it in the U.S. And not only in the U.S. but in Los Angeles, California. It doesn't mean we don't have parts on the motorcycle that didn't come from a supplier outside of the U.S. We're always looking for the best part to use on the motorcycle. But if we have an American choice, we will use it. And that's part of what dictates the cost. We're not, but we could have gone go overseas and have everything made in China and just assemble in the U.S. then sell the motorcycle for 20 or 30 grand less. But you know, that's another call. SBI: Is there anything specific that arch is looking to accomplish SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 185


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in 2018? GH: We have a big job ahead of us. In the wake of EICMA and introducing these new models, we need to fully industrialize them and get them manufactured. The other really big daunting thing in front of us this year is Euro 4 homologation. Most people don't understand how complicated it is unless they have some experience with it, but unlike the U.S., Europe has one standard for all motorcycle manufacturers that want to sell road registered motorcycles. It doesn't matter if you're a company that's going to try to sell 10 motorcycles a year in Europe or you’re somebody selling a hundred and fifty thousand motorcycles a year in Europe. It's the same standard and much of it isn't friendly towards a small manufacturer. For example, you don't have 37 vendors for antilock brake systems and the few companies you have are use to dealing with volumetric manufacturers, companies like Continental and Bosch handle the work. The financial effort and testing involved to get an acceptable ABS system to meet the requirement alone precludes most companies from doing it. It all has to do with the economy of scale. And then you have all the stuff that goes along with it. Those are the two big things. And we also want to continue to push our design department. Our goal would be to introduce something else next year at one of the big shows. I have some ideas but I don’t want to say too much because there’s no need to put your foot in your 186 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


mouth. Even if it were just a design exercise and not something we're looking to produce, I think just the idea to show that we're always thinking and pushing that way. Quality things take time and Arch is in no rush. This idea is evident in the manner in which they produce a single motorcycle. From start to finish, the process takes 90 days. What begins with a consultation between a client and Arch to sort out ergonomics, comfort and style progress in about 2 weeks to a running test bike. The remaining time is spent dialing the motorcycle down to the most minute detail of the customer’s desire. There is much to say about patience, SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 187


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METHOD 143

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I THINK YOU COULD ARGUE THAT WE WERE AMONG THE VANGUARD OF THE IDEA OF A PERFORMANCE CRUISER. IF YOU LOOK AT SOME OF THE PRODUCT THAT THE BIG MANUFACTURERS ARE COMING OUT WITH NOW AND EVEN SOME OF THE IDEAS OF CUSTOMIZATION, WHERE DID THOSE COME FROM? THEY DIDN'T EXIST BEFORE. BMW HAS A WHOLE CUSTOM CONCEPT NOW. AND I'VE HEARD MORE AND MORE MOTORCYCLE MANUFACTURERS NOW COMING OUT WITH A SIMILAR PRODUCT AND ALSO SIMILAR IDEAS OF FOCUSING THE CUSTOMIZATION ON A DEEPER LEVEL. persistence, and timing. Since the company’s inception, the brand has begun to build traction as a proper manufacturer of motorcycles. It is clear that Arch is looking at the long game and the big picture. While an Arch Motorcycle may not be the bike in every rider’s garage, nor are they created to be that… It won’t be long, if not already before they will be the first name in American exotic motorcycles. SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 191


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A MAJOR A MAJOR KEYKEY

Ms. Ms.Keerati Keerati

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One

of the many lessons passion in a manner unrealized before. Inspired that I have learned in by the love and support that surrounds her, Ms. the motorcycle world Keerati is now using her experience to encourage

is that one should never judge a book by their others to live their best lives, the fastest and safest cover. In today’s social media climate, the way possible. sentiment remains the same: never judge a rider by their social feed.

SBI: How did you get into motorcycles? KJ: I started learning how to ride on a small bike

Keerati Julsophon is an amalgam of elements. in Thailand when I was around 12 years old. The She’s a rider. A racer. A free spirit. The list goes kid who lived close by showed me how to ride it on. She’s one-third of the Redline Ravens, a female and how to shift gears. The bike was somewhat riding group based out Southern California. easy to learn on, so I decided to take my friend as The Redline Ravens and the global motorcycle a passenger around the neighborhood. I ended community recently suffered a severe blow with up dropping the bike while trying to turn. My tiny the tragic loss of Annette Carrion. From the embers legs couldn’t hold the weight of two people and of that tragedy, Keerati has refocused her life and the bike, but luckily we weren’t going fast, so we 196 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


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FRICTION ZONE: MS. KEERATI just picked up it up from the floor and kept on to everyone because they genuinely care about riding. I was wearing shorts and flip flops. Talk other people. They both inspire me to be more about being a real squid.

patient and to be more giving. I love them both and the rest of their team.

SBI: Who inspires you? KJ: In life, my grandma has been the one who SBI: What was your first bike? inspires me. She was such a badass! She was KJ: I picked up my first sportbike, a 2009 Suzuki an athlete and used to box and play basketball. GSXR back in 2010. It took me a few months to She raised two of my half sisters and me since get used to riding a bigger bike but having more my parents separated when I was little. I look seat time helped a lot. up to her because she was such a hard working person and did anything she could to provide for SBI: What bikes do you own now? her family.

KJ: I traded the GSXR in for a 2014 Ducati Panigale which I have used on the streets and the

In riding, my coaches Jason Pridmore and tracks. I also picked up a used 2008 Yamaha R6 Caroline Olsen inspire me. Even though I started last year which I have been using strictly for the riding the track back in 2012, I didn’t know track. I used the R6 for my first race with CVMA what I was doing out there. I struggled with it for back in March 2018. I retired the Ducati from a few years. Because I kept hitting a wall and the track. It just got too expensive to maintain and kept crashing, I thought it was probably a good fix. R6 is the best way to go. idea to seek professional help. A few people recommended me to go with JP43 Training, so I SBI: What are your feelings regarding street versus got with their program back in late 2016. Jason track? and Caroline have such a significant impact on KJ: My heart has been at the track for the past few my riding because they helped get over whatever years. Although I started riding on the streets back mental issues I had that was holding me back for in 2010, I used to do a lot of unsafe things like years. They helped me get rid of my bad habits riding without gear and going fast in the canyons. that led me to crash in the past. Both of them are After seeing a lot of severely injured riders and selfless individuals who always give their hands losing a few close friends in the streets, I have 198 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


been focusing more on riding at the track for the from going fast on the public road, but I’ve tried last two years. That’s where I have improved my my best to encourage more riders to ride at the riding skills the most. I feel it’s a lot safer there track. I wrote a blog on redlineravens.com talking and you can learn so much more there if going about things to prepare for your first track day and fast is what you like to do. I can’t stop people which tracks they can check out. I’ve helped a

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FRICTION ZONE: MS. KEERATI few riders get the professional training they need life, you need to work very hard, and you need with my coaches so that they can be safer and to have a coach or a mentor. Having the right more efficient riders in the streets and at the track. support system can cut down your learning curve Accidents can happen anywhere and anytime, tremendously. Although it took me a few one but I do believe most accidents can be prevented. on one training sessions with my coaches Jason Once we all throw our legs over that bike, it Pridmore and Caroline Olsen for me to have a instantly becomes our responsibility to ride within breakthrough, I’m very proud of how far I have our means or limits so that we all come home to come. After I saw that I was progressing and cut our loved ones. I feel that a lot of times when riders down my lap time by 10 seconds, I decided it was get on a bike, they forget that responsibility and a good time for me to give racing a try. I did the they ride over their heads which often lead them new racers school with Trackdaz in March 2018, to injure themselves and others around them. So if got my license and raced that same weekend at I can get some a message out, please be mindful Chuckwalla Valley Raceway which is my favorite when you’re on two wheels and ride safely at all track in So Cal. I have been riding there plenty times especially when you’re on public roads that of times, and I call it my second home. I ended are full of hazard.

up cutting down 18 seconds overall around that track and placed second in my first Femmewalla

SBI: Tell me about your racing career and future CVMA race on my R6 against a few experts and aspirations?

other amateur racers. I set an average lap time

KJ: Back in the days when I first started riding goal for me to reach by the end of 2019 but I was the track, racing was not something I considered able to achieve it in my first race early this year. I doing, mainly because I felt I was extremely couldn’t believe it. I also placed first in the 50cc slow and just was not that good of a rider. But I class with M1GP a few months prior to racing wanted to improve and to be able to keep up with the big bikes. None of these accomplishments my friends at the track. I used to beat myself up would ever be possible without my coaches. I’ve because regardless of how hard I tried, I couldn’t tried getting advice from friends, watching videos, get faster. Getting professional help changed everything and nothing worked for me. There is my life and everything about how I ride. I truly absolutely nothing like having professional racers believe for anyone to progress in anything in dedicate their whole day to ride with you, giving 200 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


you undivided attention to help fix everything companies that have worked with me so far: you’re doing wrong so that you get to the next Motoclub Santa Monica, JP43 Training, Dainese, level as a rider and racer. My goal is to continue AGV helmets, Dunlop, Eagle Rider San Francisco to race CVMA part-time and head over to AFM - BMW - Ducati - Honda, Energica, Speedcell, next year so that I can race other tracks such as Y2 Wheels, Zero Motorcycles, Arai, and last but Buttonwillow and Thunderhill. I want to become not least, Sena Bluetooth. good enough to be an expert racer eventually. I don’t want to have the title just to have it, but I SBI: What is your riding philosophy? would like to be a solid expert racer with good lap KJ: Do it if that’s what indeed makes you happy. times and finishes to back it up. I will never stop Do it if that’s what you love to do. Keep doing it getting the professional training or stop working even if you think you suck at it and even if others hard toward my riding goals. I do believe this think you suck at it. Do it even if many people don’t is the only way for me to keep progressing as a believe you should be doing it. Make friends. rider. I would like to thank my coaches for helping Meet lots of awesome people. Seek professional me get this far, all my other sponsors and all the help. Take riding very seriously because at any SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 201


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"I

often see the negativity from both genders towards women who wear sexy clothes underneath their gear or simply posting pictures with their bikes on their pages. It’s all fun and games to see women walk on the runway in Victoria Secret’s lingerie but when they see a girl pose next to their bikes, everyone losses their mind." SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 203


FRICTION ZONE: MS. KEERATI moment it can take your life or other people’s lives are. Don’t make assumptions about why other away. We only have one body so take great care people want to get into riding. Be kind and be of it by continually improving your skills to reduce supportive towards everyone. The only way for us crashing and accidents. Don’t judge others on to get ahead with anything in life is to support one what they ride and how big or small their bikes another instead of tearing each other down. And

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this is not about saying one thing and do another. someone, not because you expect something We all need to live by that and not just preaching back in return. Get rid of all your ego and stay it or posting it on social media. Give hands to humble. Last is “Love More. Ride More.” That’s others and do it because it makes you feel good Redline Raven’s slogan. and because you’re learning something about

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FRICTION ZONE: MS. KEERATI SBI: Why is gear essential?

feel safer when I ride.

KJ: Gear is extremely important because it can and will protect your body in case of accidents. I SBI: What are your perceptions and observations used to ride around a lot without much gear on the about females in today’s motorcycle culture? street but I’m glad I smartened up by wearing gear KJ: I do feel that more women are learning how and riding the track more. But one thing I want to to ride and getting their own bikes now. More say is that more people do need to realize that women want to own two wheels because they’re having the best gear alone won’t always save your not happy with being just a “backpack” anymore. life. I’ve lost a few close friends who always wore Having your bike to ride anytime you want is gear from head to toe, but sadly they still didn’t so empowering. Social media also has been a walk away from their accidents alive. I would like significant influence on many people especially people always to be mindful of their surroundings women to start riding. Plenty of women all around and always ride within their limits even if you the world have expressed to me that they got into have on all of your gear. And if you’re the type riding because the pictures and videos they see on to push your limits, the best place to do it is at the social media. Many also let me know they started track, not in the streets or canyons. I do strongly riding because they see pictures of my group, the recommend everyone to get gear with airbag Redline Ravens. system to help reduce the impact when you crash. Whether it’s airbag that you can wear outside of Although It’s so awesome for me to see more your suit or jacket, gear that has airbag built in or ladies ride in the past few years, I also see all gear that has a removable airbag, they all are a the negativity that comes along with it. I often good investment. I’ve been lucky enough to crash hear people say most women get into riding a few times and walk away with minimal injuries because they just want attention. That is something thanks to my gear from Dainese, AGV helmets, negative, and I don’t support having that type of and Motoclub Santa Monica. I have been riding mentality towards anyone. It’s just wrong to create with a Dainese D-Air suit with the airbag system stereotype towards other people. Many women, and have a backup suit Laguna Seca 4 that I use including me, have been labeled as posers and for track days. I genuinely love my gear not just many other names that I can’t mention here mainly because it looks cool but because it makes me because we pose on or next to the bikes. Some 206 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


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FRICTION ZONE: MS. KEERATI

say posting pictures of you standing next to the gear or merely posting pictures with their bikes on bike makes you less of a rider because you’re their pages. It’s all fun and games to see women not actually riding. I can’t speak for others, but I walk on the runway in Victoria Secret’s lingerie can say that many people that you see on social but when they see a girl pose next to their bikes, media such as Mizziel and Annette who pose everyone losses their mind. I know that many of next to the bikes actually ride a lot and put tons of us women work hard to feel healthy, beautiful, miles on their bikes on a daily basis. I don’t really powerful, and independent. We all express commute much, so my miles are mainly from track ourselves in different ways, and I do wish more riding. But between three of us, we have done all people would be open-minded towards women kinds of riding such as long distance, commuting, who ride in general instead of putting negative riding at the track, drag racing, road racing, etc. I labels on us. I can’t speak for everyone, but for often see the negativity from both genders towards me, I love seeing women pose on bikes, pose women who wear sexy clothes underneath their in their bikinis, pose in their gym clothes, and 208 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


showing off the bodies that they work hard for. I have gone through so much together and have don’t feel threatened by anyone. We were born so many amazing memories together. The biggest naked, and we all are the same underneath. I challenge was managing our crazy schedule don’t care what people choose to wear as long while trying to get things done. On top of that, as they’re happy and love themselves, that’s all we all have different types of personality. Mizziel it matters. I genuinely believe it’s very important is a social butterfly. She can talk to and get along to lift each other up. I enjoy seeing more women with anyone at any time and anyplace. Annette get into riding and all of them, regardless of was more of an introvert. She used to have anxiety what they choose to show on social media, have dealing with other people, but she had come a my support. I have friends who only ride streets, long way. I’m just in the middle of Annette and friends who only stunt, friends who only race, Mizziel where I’m not afraid to socialize but I only and friends who only ride as passengers. Is there do it when I feel like it. We all have bumped something wrong with any of them? Not at all. If heads so many times, but someway somehow you’re a good person and are doing what you we managed to stay together and made things love, to me, that’s what matters. No one makes work. I, for sure, have become a better and wiser it out of this earth alive. Why not be more kind person by working with these ladies. I learned and understanding towards one other?

how to compromise and to take other people’s feelings and opinions into consideration before

SBI: Who are the Redline Ravens?

saying things. I also learned that you could get

KJ: The group was started by Mizziel and Annette things done a lot faster if we focus on everyone’s initially, and they both wanted a third member strengths. We all have weaknesses and realize because they felt three was a good number. The that sometimes we can’t always be great at goal was to inspire everyone to get out, have fun, everything. For example, Annette and Mizziel are and ride. At first, I hesitated on getting involved excellent writers and are extremely smart. Annette with other women at this level because I know in was the most organized person. Mizziel was the general we all are very emotional and it would best at making connections and meeting people. be challenging to be on the same page with I think I’m good with numbers and negotiating everyone all the time. But I decided to be part since I have a degree in Finance and Marketing. of the group, and I have no regrets so far. We We all balance each other out so well. Starting SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 209


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FRICTION ZONE: MS. KEERATI the group was easy, but maintaining it despite all It’s hard for us even to accept the reality today the negativity we received was definitely not easy. but we just tried to turn a sad event into something Many people didn’t take us seriously, and some more positive. Since Annette’s accident was on still don’t. We would hear things like, “they don’t the street, we wanted to raise awareness about ride, they just pose, they don’t do anything for the safe riding and get more people to hone their riding community, they only use sexy images to get skills at the track. So I had an idea of reaching ahead,” etc. Although it can get very tiring and out to a few track organizations to donate some discouraging to hear all of this negativity (it almost track days to help other riders out. We had 21 made me want to quit), we kept moving forward. track days total donated from SoCal Track days, We didn’t want to focus on the people who don’t FasTrack Riders, Keigwins at the track, Trackdaz, like us solely but wanted to shift our focus more on and Moto Corsa. Hustle Hard Racing, Motorsport those who wish to support us and believe in what Exotica, Feel like a Pro, and @619Kneedragrz we do. However, we didn’t completely ignore our donated awesome prizes such as gloves, dyno haters. We wanted to learn and grow from the session, track bike rentals, and tow service. 3 of criticism, so we started taking classes to help us my friends: Raffy, Bo, and Francesca donated become better riders, started doing more charity training sessions, track bike rental and dinner related type work where we donated our time and service. My coach, Jason Pridmore donated two money to help other people inside and outside of days of 1-on-1 training with him and the team. riding community. We have a page dedicated Superbike School donated one day of training. entirely to charity work we were involved in on We were so blown away by how much support our Redline Ravens website. We don’t want to we received. We had $8000+ worth of services be known as women who just pose next to our and prizes donated to us, and we gave them all bikes. We want to have a positive impact on our away for free to get more people to ride at the community.

track. We decided to raise money other ways by selling Annette’s sticker and were able to raise a

SBI: How has the memory of Annette empowered few thousand dollars after covering all the costs. you?

We donated the majority of the cash to Annette’s

KJ: Annette’s passing was a real tragedy and a family for her funeral and the rest of the money huge shock for a lot of people all over the world. we split it equally to help young racers: Argee 212 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


Cardenas, Jamie Astudillo, and Mikayla Moore. SBI: Describe your perfect day of riding? Michael Yamaguchi from Moto Crew USA saw KJ: The perfect day would be about 80 degrees, what we were doing for the kids so he matched sunny, with no wind. It’s the day I will be at the our donation so that we could help out more track, working on braking, entry speed, exit kids: Alex Dumas, Kristian Daniel Jr, and Kensei speed, my lines, and throttle control. It would be Matsudaira. It was so amazing to see so many the day I hit all my marks with zero mistakes, and people come together to honor Annette and to I stay as smooth as much as possible. I would not help each other out. We are so thankful for all have any fear, any worries, or any doubts. My the support.

primary focus would be just to ride, enjoy the day, and progress throughout the day. I would have all

SBI: Do you feel that the motorcycle industry is still my friends who like to improve their riding there a male-dominated industry?

with me, and we all just ride, get better, laugh,

KJ: It still is male dominated but for sure more and have a good time. women have entered this industry and I believe that’s a good thing. Some women don’t mind SBI: Where do you ride to for lunch in Sunny that it’s male-dominated at all and they don’t get Southern California? intimidated by it. A young female racer, Jamie KJ: One of my favorite motorcycle meet-up spots Astudillo, made history by being the first female is Newcomb's Ranch. The ride up there is just to podium MotoAmerica race with her Ninja 400 gorgeous, and their food is delicious. The staff this year. Caroline Olsen, my coach, is racing in and the owner are always so welcoming. I usually MotoAmerica again this year with her R6 while head up there with a bunch of my friends, and still recovering from a serious crash. She’s one of we would watch MotoGP races there. A few the fastest females in America. Melissa Paris also times a year they would host charity events to is racing in MotoAmerica with her Yamaha R1 help injured and fallen riders, animal shelters, after having a baby recently, and she’s doing and non-profits organization that are dedicated extremely well. All of these ladies are just killing to cancer research. it out there by showing what women are capable of and prove to the world that you can do more SBI: If you could ride any bike, on any road, than what you think you can.

anywhere in the world, what would you ride and SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 213


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with who would you take that ride?

fun. I want the global riding community to know

KJ: I would want to take my R6 to Phillip Island that I’m very thankful for the support I’ve received. Grand Prix Circuit in Australia. I’d like to take my When I was selling my stickers for the heck of it, coaches Jason Pridmore and Caroline Olsen, and I was blown away that so many people from all all my friends who ride the track with me on a over the world wanted to buy them. I had to order regular basis. The reason why I pick this place is more a few times because I sold out so quickly. I that Jason raced there last year and everyone who want to let everyone know that I will continue to went with him loved the track so much. I believe do what I love and I’m hoping that will inspire Jason will be racing there again early next year them to do what they love as well. so I am trying my best to make it this time around. This vast world is getting tiny thanks to social SBI: What do you want the global riding media. Keerati is using her platform to bring the community to know about you?

motorcycle world even closer together. Using her

KJ: I want them to know that I’m just a regular presence and network, she is positioning herself person who loves to ride and have fun with the to help others achieve their motorcycle goals. people I care about just like everyone else. My She has transitioned into the role of a leader, priority is happiness and health. I’m just living and that is not always a natural transformation. my life, riding, and traveling at different places There will be haters and naysayers. But it is how because that’s what I set myself to do before I die. she preservers and triumphs that will dictate her If social media didn’t exist, I would still be riding ultimate victories. There’s a lot of negativity out and doing what I enjoy as long as I can afford it. there, but there is even more love and positivity. I’m not here because I feel that I’m special or that Ms. Keerati is gravitating to that love and positivity I’m better than any other female riders out there. and drawing others toward it, as well. Never If I compete, I want to do well, but that’s the only judge a rider by their social feed. You could be time where I feel the need to do better. The rest missing an opportunity to go on one hell of a of the times, I just want to laugh a lot and have ride. SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 215


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THE NEW ISH ICONMOTOSPORT • OVERLORD STIM JACKET Comprised of a durable textile chassis with an integrated flex zone the Overlord Stim jacket offers grand fit, form, and function. Internally, the jacket is outfitted with a removable insulated SatinCore vest liner and a full complement of D3O impact protectors in the elbow, shoulder, and back. Providing an aggressive performance fit, the Slim is engineered with pre-curved arms and is designed to be a tighter fit that is form fitting. The Overload Stim jacket features superior ventilation for powerful airflow and breathability for warmer to hot weather riding. Colors: White, Blue, Red Sizes: S - XXXXL Price: $195.00-$200.00 Contact: www.rideicon.com

BATTERY TENDER • QUICK DISCONNECT USB CHARGER

This product is something that all riders should be equipped with. Designed for use on most 12 volt batteries that already have an existing Battery Tender Quick Disconnect installed. The rubber flap protects the charger connectors that have a maximum output of 2.1 amps, ideal for charging smart and GPS devices. Price: $14.95 Contact: www.batterytender.com JOE ROCKET • BALLISTIC ULTRA GLOVES The Ballistic Ultra gloves feature waterproof mid-liner that protects from the wet and the cold. An affordable solution for moderate to cold weather riding, the textile gloves include slip resistant padded palms, injection molded knuckle armor and a conductive material on the index finger for smart device accessibility. Sizes: S - XXXL Price: $49.99 Contact: www.joerocket.com 218 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


PUIG RACING USA • FENDER ELIMINATOR FOR THE KTM 2018 KTM 790 DUKE

Puig License supports are made of 2mm steel and nylon then painted black with rust-resistant epoxy. Avery simple and stress-free way to upgrade the tail section of your 790 Duke. Designed to be used with aftermarket turn signals and feature an adjustable plate pivot. Price: $176.09 Contact: www.puigusa.com

HELEQUIP • HELMIC 3.1 - STEREO HELMET MICROPHONE The Helmic 3.1 is the world's first stereo microphone designed specifically for motovlogging. This unit is a 3D Printed, handassembled, stereo microphone designed for use with any camera that utilizes a 3.5mm microphone input jack, that mounts to the chin of almost any helmet with a simple strip of velcro. The Helmic comes fully assembled, along with an 8 inch 3.5mm extension cable, and a strip of velcro for fastening the easily removable Helmic inside the chin of your helmet. Colors: Black, White, Green, Orange, Blue, Red, Yellow Price: $30.00 Contact: http://helequip.com

ALPINESTARS • STELLA GUNNER V2 WATERPROOF JACKET With abrasion-resistant fabric in strategic positions incorporated into its advanced poly-fabric main shell, the STELLA Gunner v2 Waterproof Jacket is highly tear and abrasion resistant. With a waterproof membrane, a micro polar fleece liner and zippered air vents, the Stella Gunner v2 is adapted for a range of weather conditions. Designed for an optimized women’s fit, this jacket combines class-leading internal protection and the option to upgrade with Alpinestars CE-certified Nucleon chest and back protection, making it ideal for urban riding. Colors: Pink, White, Blue Sizes: S - XXL Price: $269.95 Contact: www.alpinestars.com SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 219


THE NEW ISH BELL HELMETS • ELIMINATOR CARBON HELMET The new Eliminator delivers bold, assertive street performance. Sixty years of evolution is rolled into a stripped down helmet that combines lightweight, perfect fit and a legendary reputation for protection. The auto-inspired design features a fiberglass composite shell and can be worn with a no-fog face shield or visor. The Eliminator features a 6K carbon fiber shell with a weight of 1500 grams. Inside, you’ll find an anti-bacterial liner and contour cheek pads. The helmet ships deluxe helmet bag, extra dark smoke shield and a Provision Anti Fog Shield with Class 1 optics. Sizes: XS - XXXL Price: $599.95 Contact: www.bellhelmets.com

ARMOUR BODIES • DUCATI MONSTER 1 PIECE FIBERGLASS TANK COVER

This beautiful one-piece tank cover replaces the multi-piece OEM cover on the Monster 696, 796 and 1100 models. The OEM intake grills snap right in, and this cover then bolts on using OEM fasteners. Ships in a primered finish, ready for paint. HOTBODIES RACING • FRAME SLIDERS FOR THE CBR600RR These frame sliders have been designed to absorb the energy of impact and distribute throughout its shatterproof materials properly for maximized protection. The UV protected UHMW assures no fading in the sun or becoming brittle in the cold. The military aircraft grade aluminum ensures that the slider will not tear off. High tensile strength, corrosion resistant hardware assures that your sliders will not rust or fail. All sliders are designed, engineered, and manufactured in the USA by American racers and engineers. Available in “no cut” and “cut” styles for the Honda CBR600RR, model years 2013 through 2019. Price: $69.95 – $197.95 Contact: www.hotbodiesracing.com 220 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM

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THE NEW ISH: FEATURED ITEM HELITE • GP AIR AIRBAG The GP AIR has been specially developed for the race track. The airbag vest is made of resistant materials against abrasion with a perfect fit and a space for the suit’s hump. The GP AIR airbag is 100 % mechanical, using a CO2 cartridge to avoid accidental airbag activation and changing batteries and a connecting lanyard. The motorcycle lanyard is robust and practical standard for all Helite airbag systems: mechanical and mechatronical. No special tools or technical knowledge are required to install the lanyard on the motorcycle. The inflated airbag shape integrated into the vest absorbs impacts and stabilizes the whole upper body from head to tailbone.

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SportBikes Inc Magazine October 2018  

SportBikes Inc Magazine October 2018: This is our Anniversary Issue in which we revisit just a few of the many highlights from the past year...

SportBikes Inc Magazine October 2018  

SportBikes Inc Magazine October 2018: This is our Anniversary Issue in which we revisit just a few of the many highlights from the past year...