SportBikes Inc Magazine September 2016

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© Ducati North America 2016




14 THE PRESS ROOM 26 THE 2015 YAMAHA R1M (originally published 3.2015) 36 DUCATI’S 2016 XDIAVEL S (originally published 4.2016) 50 TRIUMPH’S 2016 STREET TWIN (originally published 1.2016) 62 THE 2015 BMW S1000RR (originally published 9.2015) 76 STILL ROLLIN’ MODELLART: AMATISTA LOCA (originally published 2.2014) 88 GADSON’S H2RG: THE BIG GUN (originally published 2.2015) 100 GARWOOD CUSTOM CYCLES: OLD SKOOL (originally published 10.2013) 108 VOODOO’S RESURRECTED (originally published 7.2015) 122 MARC MARQUEZ: EVOLVER (originally published 3.2014) 134 JOSH HAYES (originally published 12.2012) 152 NICKY HAYDEN: AS REAL AS IT GETS (originally published 10.2012)





SEPTEMBER 2016 - VOLUME 6, ISSUE 12 168 RICKEY GADSON: KING (originally published 6.2013) 184 THE MAIN POINTS: SAVAGE LIN (originally published 11.2015) 192 VIOLET STARS & HAPPY STUNTING: HOW TO GET SPONSORED (originally published 2.2014) 198 THE WHEELIE QUEEN (originally published 6.2015) 208 THE TAO OF BAD KARMA (originally published 4.2015) 222 TYSON BECKFORD (originally published 9.2013) 232 ERALDO FERRACCI: LEGACY (originally published 5.2015) 244 LOEFFLER & PRUST: THE DRUMMER & THE BUILDER (originally published 8.2014) 260 ANDREW WHEELER: AUTO/MOTO/PHOTO (originally published 12.2014) 270 TEXAS TORNADO BOOTCAMP (originally published 5.2015) 284 LEARNING TO RIDE LIKE A CHAMPION (originally published 8.2015) 298 THE NEW ISH



©2016 BMW Motorrad USA, a division of BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW name and logo are registered trademarks.

BMW Motorrad USA

2016 S 1000 RR

The Ultimate Riding Machine™


Not everyone takes the chance. Even fewer have the passion and the courage to make the most of it. But for those who can, for those who do, there is the 2016 BMW S 1000 RR. SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 7


Publisher//Editor in Chief: Allan Lane



Drag Racing Editor: Rickey Gadson

Creative Director//Layout//Design: Allan Lane

Fashion Editor: Kiana Gadson

Creative Supervisor: Leon Brittain

Moto Tech Editor: Thomas Campion

Graphic Designer: Baz

Riding Editor: Eric Wood Staff Writers: Leon Brittain Michael Lawless Lion James B.T. Copy Editor: Angela Lane Contributors: Red Spade Dena Sodano Leah Petersen Lisa Macnick

Contributing Photographers: Michael Spain Smith Red Spade Ryo Kaneta Meekail Shaheed Blair Phillips Jesse Gordon Manny Nieto Leah Petersen Anthony Pesch Kathleen McCullough Bryce Thompson Grant Schwingle Nic Coury Vic Scwantz A&D Andrew Wheeler

SportBikes Inc Magazine - September 2016 Volume 6, Issue 12 To receive SportBikes Inc Magazine’s 2016 Media Kit and Advertising Rates, please email:

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.





The Trooper was designed for, well, anything and everything you can imagine. It's big. It's tough. It's perfect. Of cour exterior pockets, tie-downs, the expected fittings and adjustments, a special laptop/tablet pocket and hydration com place for first aid, a place for eyewear and the ability to secure your helmet to the back. You're going to quit before t 10 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM

rse, it includes interior and mpatible. Not to mention, a the trooper even gets close. SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 11



ometimes, a stroll down memory lane can do a wealth of good. It’s an opportunity to look back at the path traveled, to learn from your errors and celebrate the victories and successes. It’s a moment to revel in the blessings and the lessons. Since 2010, SportBikes Inc Magazine has had a single mission to be leading online motorcycle lifestyle magazine. I remember when we launched our first issue in October, the murmurs of doubt and the tones of sarcasm by a selection of individuals. While those transgressions were often harsh, I never let them anger me. They became motivation. They became fuel and I’m talking about the highest level of octane… from the future! That’s how powerful that source of motivation became. What a driving force! And now, 6 volumes and 71 issues later… We are still here, still free and still awesome. More over, we are still growing. I thought it appropriate for this issue to be a window into the history of SportBikes Inc Magazine, from the very beginning. For those are just recently joining us, it will offer some insight to where we come from. For those that 12 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM

have been with us from day one, it will serve as the aforementioned, trip down memory lane. I’m proud of this publication and the staff that over the years has made the magazine what it is today. In all honesty, it hasn’t been easy… But then again, nothing worth doing is. And if it was easy, then everyone would be doing it. Thank you, the reader, for supporting SportBikes Inc. You, individually and as a whole, are very much a part of the fabric of the magazine. I can’t thank you enough. You are forever a member of the #SBINation so if you see me in the streets, at the track, at an event… wherever, let me hear a hearty SBI NATION! I’ll be sure to reply in kind. Please know that you are appreciated. Enjoy this “Best of SportBikes Inc Magazine, Thus Far” special issue. Best, Allan

Perfo r






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INDUSTRY NEWS BMW RECALLS THE R NINET The rear turn signals of certain motorcycles of the 2014 and 2015 BMW R nineT are partially obscured, due to their design. The lights can not be seen as clearly as needed by a following vehicle, according to the

ZERO ISSUES RECALL FOR THE SR, D, DS AND FX MODELS This recall affects just under 100 units and is related to a lack of power in the DC-DC converter. This could lead to brake failure, particularly with the anti lock brake system. The dealer network has been instructed to inspect the DCDC converter and replace, if necessary, at no charge to the owners.


requirements of the Federal Vehicle Safety Standard. Over 1500 units are affected by the recall and the dealer network will replace the rear turn signals for free.

KAWASAKI INTRODUCES ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TO THE NEXT GENERATION OF MOTORCYCLES Taking a rather large leap into the future, Kawasaki is developing motorcycle technology that will link the rider to the motorcycle by using artificial intelligence and creating a learning bond between the two entities. The technology will make use of the Emotion Generation Engine and the Natural Dialogue System, creating a path of communication for the rider and the bike. This project is part of Kawasaki’s RIDEOLOGY2 program whose purpose is to enrich the rider experience.


Strapless Transport Motorcycle Stands ● The Original Trailer Restraint System, Since 2004 ● No Stress on Suspension or Handlebars ● Bolts to Trailer / Long Bed Truck Floor ● Solid Steel, Axle Bar Included, 100% Secure






GRID NEWS 2017 MOTOGP CALENDAR Dorna has released the provisional calendar for the 2017 season. As in prior years, the schedule is subject to change. Round 1 March 26//Losail International Circuit//Qatar Round 2 April 9//Republica Argentina//Termas de RĂ­o Hondo Round 3 April 23//Circuit of The Americas//Texas Round 4 May 7//Circuito de Jerez//Spain Round 5 May 21//Le Mans//France Round 6 June 4//Autodromo del Mugello//Italy Round 7 June 11//Barcelona//Catalunya Round 8 June 25//TT Circuit Assen//Netherlands Round 9 July 16//Sachsenring//Germany Round 10 August 6//Automotodrom Brno//Czech Republic Round 11 August 13//Red Bull Ring//Austria Round 12 August 27//Silverstone//Great Britain Round 13 September 10//Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli//San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini Round 14 September 24//Motorland Aragon//Aragon


Round 15 October 15//Twin Ring Motegi//Japan Round 16 October 22//Phillip Island//Australia Round 17 October 29//Sepang International Circuit//Malaysia Round 18 November 12//Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo//Valencia

2016 MOTOAMERICA CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS The 2016 season of MotoAmerica came to an exciting conclusion at New Jersey Motorsport Park. Here are your 2016 MotoAmerica Championship Winners:


Cameron Beaubier//Superbike Champion Josh Herrin//Bazzaz Superstock 1000 Champion Garret Gerloff//Supersport Champion Bryce Prince//Superstock 600 Champion Brandon Paasch/KTM RC Cup Champion






THE PRESS ROOM DUNLOP AND MOTOAMERICA EXTEND CONTRACT FOR 3 MORE YEARS Dunlop and MotoAmerica have extended their agreement that will see Dunlop as the exclusive tire supplier of the series for the next 3 years. Dunlop tires will be the spec tire in all five of the MotoAmerica classes, as it has been for the first two seasons. Prior to MotoAmerica, Dunlop served as the spec tire for the AMA Superbike series.

KTM RC CUP TO CONTINUE IN MOTOAMERICA FOR 2017 The KTM RC Cup series will continue for a third year as part of MotoAmerica, as both entities have extended their contract to continue to bring a platform to showcase new road racing


talent. In 2016, just under 40 participants charged for the championship in the series which was won by Brandon Paasch.

YAMAHA FACTORY TEAM REUP WITH HAYES AND BEAUBIER FOR THE 2017 MOTOAMERICA SUPERBIKE SEASON MotoAmerica SuperBike Champion Cameron Beaubier and four time AMA SuperBikes Champion Josh Hayes will both be returning to the Monster Energy/ Graves/Yamaha Factory Racing Team in 2017. 2017 will mark Hayes’ ninth year with the Graves Yamaha team where he accomplished sixty SuperBike race wins and four SuperBike championships

THE WORLD’S FASTEST EVER FEMALE ROAD RACER: PATRICIA FERNANDEZ Patricia Fernandez has successfully earned her place in the history as the World’s Fastest Ever Female Road Racer. The achievement came this past summer at the Ulster Grand Prix. Fernandez has raced the UGP since 2014.

This year’s effort placed her in the history books and the recipient of a special gold medal after her 118.264 mph average lap of the Dundrod Circuit on her Magic Bullet MotorSports Yamaha R6 during the second Supersport race.


THE PRESS ROOM MOTOGP WILL RETURN TO VALENCIA FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS The MotoGP season finale will take place in Spain for the next five years thanks to the new agreement made between Dorna and select government officials from the region. Valencia

has hosted a MotoGP round annually since 2002 at the famed Circuit Ricardo Tormo and the agreement will see the tradition continue until 2021.

MAVERICK VINALES AND SUZUKI TAKE THEIR FIRST WINS IN MOTOGP It was during the Octo British GP at Silverstone that Maverick Vinales took his maiden victory in the MotoGP premier class on board his factory Suzuki of Team Suzuki Ecstar. By doing so, he also earned Suzuki their first race victory since 2007. Rounding out the podium was Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi in second and third place, respectfully. 22 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM



december 16 2016 Femmewalla is the nation’s largest female only track day. Whether you are new to the track or a seasoned racer, Femmewalla offers ample track time and valuable trackside services you are going to love! • • • • • • • •

Instruction from Jason Pridmore and the STAR school staff One-on-One Video instruction from Dale Kiefer of Racer’s Edge Performance 2-up rides with Jason Pridmore Suspenion servicesin the paddock Tire services by Racer’s Edge Pirelli Mustang rides with the CVR Mustang Academy Photos by Caliphotography Femmewalla Raffle with amazing prizes and complimentary dinner!

All proceeds from Femmewalla and trackside services benefit The Unforgettables, a non-profit agency that provides financial burial assistance to families that have lost a child.

In memory of our Unforgettable , Jessica Hart Grana

TO REGISTER Visit | Email | Call CVR at 760-227-3100 SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 23








he problem is that we sometimes forget why we fell in love with motorcycles in the first place. That’s not a bad thing, necessarily. When you fall in love with something over and over again, it is easy to let that initial moment slip through the crevices of your memory. The Yamaha YZF R1 holds a special place in the hearts of many riders, regardless of what they currently own. In 1998, Yamaha introduced the R1. Of the big four Japanese manufacturers, the R1was the most streamlined bike at the time. It was aggressive but with a distinct sexuality. The R1 and R6 took the aesthetics of the sportbike, on the back end of the 90’s, and very simply raised the bar in the looks department. Over the next decade and a half, the R1 continued its evolution. Some refinements were subtle while others were blatant and obvious. The bike became lighter, leaner and meaner. The journey of the machine’s appearance was in pace with its ability to perform and the improvement thereof. With the application of cross plane crank shaft technology in 2009, borrowed from their MotoGP M1 bike, the R1 took an evolutionary leap forward. The power of the R1‘s engine was unbridled in the low, mid and high RPM’s. The cranking horse power increased by almost 30 horses in 2010 from the 150 horses of the original model in 1998. Then something occurred. The number 200 began to be tossed around the dyno room far more frequently and is quickly becoming a familiar note on specification sheets right next to the horsepower spec. The question is



no longer, “How fast can we go?” It is now, “How fast can we get fast?” Horses are horses and more is always better. But how fast can you access those horses. How much power do you really have at your beck and call? The 2015 Yamaha R1 is a completely different beast. While the production R1 has borrowed heavily from its MotoGP counterpart, the YZR M1, in previous models, the R1 uses the M1 as its blue print. It wasn’t inspired by the MotoGP grid. It was birthed from it. Its powered by an inline four, cross plane crankshaft engine that has titanium connecting rods. The engine covers are magnesium and the entire exhaust system is titanium. This is the lightest and most powerful production Yamaha machine to hit the dealership floor. But Yamaha was not finished. The rabbit hole goes deeper. If the 2015 R1 is the direct descendant of the M1, the R1M is the M1’s first born. The R1M is the tipping point in the manufacturer’s line up. Although a limited edition, the R1M is ground zero for what will be expected from Yamaha for years to come. The R1M has a wet weight of 443, which is slightly heavier than the R1 which weighs in at 439. Yet its lightweight components such as carbon fiber fairings, magnesium subframe and wheels, aluminum tank and frame all assist in the efforts to maximize the power to weight ratio. The R1M has a shorter wheelbase than previous model years. This affects handling in the corner and in harmony with the ten spoke magnesium wheels and Ohlin’s electronic race suspension, the overall ride experience is completely different when compared to older models. The new titanium connecting rods are not just for bells and whistles. They offer an increase 30 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM



in engine response that results in more horsepower and torque available to you as you roll on the throttle. Take note of the Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle and the Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake that aid one another in delivering maximum performance throughout the RPM range. The R1M offers a highly comprehensive data center with major accessibility and functionality. Among its features: a gyro sensor, an accelerometer and its own smartphone app that connects your R1M to your phone via WiFi. While the jury is out on the overall feelings on its new appearance, there is no question regarding its muscle. The bike looks different because it is different. From concept to execution, the R1M was engineered to represent the best of both worlds, the grid and the streets. For the marriage of those two worlds to be successful, the components of the bike would have to blend the technology and science that has been prominently displayed on the global stage with the needs and desires of today’s sportbike rider in a package that could potentially make one forget about the first time that they fell in love with motorcycles, because they just fell in love all over again. In the case of the R1M, it is the power and performance that will accomplish this task. The Yamaha R1M is still as sexy as other R1‘s but for different reasons. It’s like when there are two women at the bar that are both extremely attractive, very sexy and highly intelligent. But it is obvious, after a brief conversation with them both, that one is just smarter than the other, sexier than the other, thus more attractive. That’s how I see the 2015 R1M. It is just better and has the potential to remind you why you fell in love in motorcycles, in the first place. SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 33












uite simply, this Bastard is greater than the sum of all its parts. Power, performance, style, rideability... Combined with the “in seat” rider experience, the 2016 Ducati XDiavel S is a marvel of motorcycle technology and a pinnacle for concept, execution and delivery. My introduction to the XDiavel S was at the international press launch in San Diego, CA. While the first thoughts are to compare the XDiavel to the original Diavel model that was launched in 2011, the differences are immediately evident. They are two different machines, only partially sharing a name. The XDiavel is a bonafide cruiser highlighted by forward foot controls, a belt drive, 40 degrees of maximum lean angle, 1262 CCs and 156 horses. It sits low and longer with a muscular presence that generates excitement. The XDiavel is rider friendly with a surprising level of grunt and power that raises the bar when it comes to the cruiser class. The maximum torque output is achieved at 5,000rpm, delivering power throughout the gearbox. In other words, this bike may be a cruiser, but it can move, possessing what I refer to as the “get the hell outta Dodge” factor. The dual spark, liquid cooled testastretta engine is in L twin formation, housed in a tubular trellis frame, giving the XDiavel that familiar Ducati profile. With power in hand, the XDiavel offers a comfortable stability at both ends of the speed spectrum. It's nimble, manageable and rider friendly. With a wet weight of 545 pounds, there is no need to muscle the bike. It turns in well while in tight corners, maintains its balance in the sweepers while providing great feedback as it responds to rider input. That stability breeds confidence via the bond between rider and machine, allowing the rider to truly engulf oneself in the ride. This is what I am referring to when I say “in seat” rider experience. When the bike is doing all that it should be doing and you believe in the bike, then your focus is abundantly about the ride itself. Comfort, stability and focus... These are elements granted by the XDiavel simply by twisting the throttle. Through the streets and hills of San Diego, even kissing the border of Mexico, the XDiavel proved to be more than impressive. It was intimidating, for all the right reasons.


THE FIRST RIDE: 2016 XDIAVEL S Ducati set out to make a true cruiser. The development of the bike involved spending time with American cruiser bike builders and the community of cruiser enthusiasts to capture the sensibilities that were essential to the class. They did their homework and the fruits of their research bore something all together new. It's low and long measuring 90.9 inches with a seat height of 29.7 inches. The XDiavel is authentically Italian while deeply rooted in the asphalt of the U.S. If ever a rose grew from the concrete, this is it. There was nothing like the XDiavel before. And if you think that's an exaggeration, revisit that statement after you've ridden one. You'll share the sentiment. Numbers aside, it wasn't until I was able to spend some serious quality time with the XDiavel on a road trip from Daytona, FL to my home in Philadelphia, PA, that I truly could grasp what the bike was bringing to the table. There is a major difference between squeezing out first impressions on a day ride, albeit in the sunny hills of San Diego and experiencing real seat time riding through a variety of elements and situations. The bike is highlighted by its level of comfort. On the long haul, the seating position and the forward controls made a huge impact on minimizing fatigue. The foot controls can be customized with rear, middle and front placement. The handlebars can also be adjusted for personal preference. All in all, there are sixty ergonomic combinations that can applied to the XDiavel to maximize your “in seat� rider experience. The XDiavel is equipped with three riding modes: urban, touring and sport... adjusting the available horsepower and interaction with the ABS and traction control. Through the





highway stretches of the Carolinas, the cruise control was in full effect. That's correct, cruise control. Simple and easy to use via the left hand controls, the cruise control feature is clustered among other switches that include the menu toggle, horn, high beams, as well as the self canceling turn indicators. The turn indicators are set to self cancel after a certain degree of tilt or rate of speed is achieved. The XDiavel has Bluetooth capabilities to sync with your smart phone so that information from your phone can be displayed on the TFT color read out dash. The dash also displays pertinent data and statuses: MPH, fuel consumption, time, mileage, ride mode, etc. Then, of course, there is the Ducati Power Launch. More accurately, it is a launch assist but the thrill is still the same. Activated by the button at the right hand controls, the feature gives you three levels of launches that allow you to launch the bike with the throttle wide open but keeps both wheels on the ground. It's a riveting experience by itself but once mastered in harmony with the other bells and whistles that the XDiavel offers, you can quickly come to the conclusion that the team back in Italy have a major hit on their their hands. Its level of craftsmanship is beyond the engine performance and the truly unique Italian cruiser design and execution. The engineers dug deeper to create a long lasting, if not undying experience. All the numbers and specifications that are posted on every manufacturer’s website regarding their new model is a great source for static information. That's why they are there. Numbers don't lie. But numbers won't tell you how it feels to ride the machine. Throwing a leg over the XDiavel and understanding that the power beneath you is at your beck and













call is empowering, exhilarating and for some... could be life changing. As a commuter machine, selecting the urban ride mode, the XDiavel again delivers above expectations. In city traffic, light to light or maneuvering through the concrete jungles of Philadelphia, the bike is right at home. And this is where you can really feel the difference and appreciate the “in seat� rider experience. City traffic moves at various speeds at various times throughout the day. The XDiavel is ready for action at those often lower speeds and can quickly adapt to a rushing increase of speed if the opportunity arises. It has the power and ability to be the bike that you need it to be when you need it to be. Ducati's moniker for the XDiavel is the Gentleman Bastard and I get it. But I would add badass on the back end of that. It's more than appropriate. The bike itself is all of those things, but the badassery leans more toward what the experience is about. At standstill, at idle, at speed... The bike is tough looking. It has a distinctive style, from the unique and captivating headlight, side profile to the contrast cut wheels. And that 240mm rear tire makes you, by transitive properties, a bad ass. That is what is at the core of so many of us that ride. That sense of standing apart from the remainder of society that choose to drive as opposed to ride. The 2016 Ducati XDiavel S places its finger on the pulse of that reality, that core of existence for the two wheeled life and says, "I get it... Now let's ride." SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 49







he 2016 Bonneville Street Twin is a spirited 900CC, 5 speed, parallel twin cylinder machine that captures the essence of Triumph’s heritage while sharply focusing on the brand’s future. True to its namesake, the bike is right at home on the asphalt. The riding position and seat height of 29.5 inches allows for simple body transitions while remaining comfortable and confident regardless if you are in a cruising mode or if you are in a more aggressive attack stance. You can take note of the Street Twin’s suspension set up that features Kayaba front 41mm forks that are paired with Kayaba twin rear shocks. The Street Twin’s newly designed tubular steel frame is accompanied by a standard steel swingarm. The result is a fluid ride that is less than rigid but very solid. As the after market begins to drop accessories for the Street Twin, the modest factory suspension that serves as a great foundation will only improve and create a greater riding experience.





The rider friendly approach to the manner in which the Street Twin performs actually starts at the bike’s core which is spotlighted by a freshly engineered liquid cooled engine. With an output of 900CCs, the 8 valve parallel twin cylinder engine produces 55 horses while muscling out an impressive 59 foot pounds of torque. Throttle response is a key element to not only experiencing, but also enjoying what the Street Twin is bringing to the asphalt. Rolling on the throttle releases a gutsy and motivated engine retort resulting in proper power gratification, as aided by the Street Twin’s ride by wire tech. The bike has “ups”. Considering a wet weight of around 445 pounds, the engine reaction is pretty spot on as you make your way up the gear box, with a consistent feel of the power band from 3000RPMs upward. Downshifting from the top fifth gear is smooth thanks to a slip assisting clutch. The ABS enhanced braking system consists of SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 55

THE FIRST RIDE: 2016 TRIUMPH STREET TWIN a single, 2 piston, floating caliper in the front and rear. Rolling on 10 spoke cast aluminum wheels, the Street Twin does come equipped with traction control as standard. Both the ABS and Traction Control can be managed by the single, multifunction dash that is centered just about the Triumph badged handlebar riser clamp. The dash displays the expected data such as speed, miles, gear position and fuel, all accessible via the scroll button located on the handlebar switch housing between the horn and the turn signal switch. And then there is the exhaust. The stock pipes emit a throaty and mature growl that one wouldn’t expect from an OEM system. The 2 into 2 set up is complimented by twin brushed stainless steel reverse cone pipes. They look great and sound meaty, enhancing the overall riding experience. The Street Twin remains true to the classic and simple aesthetic appeal that is synonymous with the Bonneville line up. Do not be deceived by this simplicity, however. It is simple but not plain. There is plenty of neoclassical linework and visuals happening with the Street Twin. The bike is clean like a fresh canvas that is eagerly awaiting the first strokes of a paint brush. As it sits, it is a beautiful bike with amazing details that will be attractive to die hard Triumph riders and the newbie, like the minimized and very stylish headlight, turn signals and rear break light. The fuel tank has a sensual contour that is a major draw for your eyes while the seat sweeps upward in the passenger’s area gives the bike a distinct side profile. It indeed possesses that “look back at it” feature as you walk away from










it. Understanding the need for today’s rider to make their bike truly their own, Triumph has compiled over 150 accessories, from slip ons and seats to fly screens and saddle bags and made them available for purchase so owners can create their own “custom” Street Twin. The 2016 Bonneville Street Twin is a remarkable example of what an introduction to a motorcycle brand should be. It is rider friendly with an aggressive engine. It looks good. It sounds great. It exudes a sustainable level of believable coolness when you are sitting on it, standing next to it... Most importantly, when you are riding it. The Street Twin may belong in a specific genre of motorcycles, but it is that cool factor that gives it crossover appeal, borrowing from yesterday with its sights on tomorrow. SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 61







he 2015 BMW S1000RR is something of a modern marvel. Encompassing a plethora of technology, the bike has been engineered to enhance the rider’s experience whether at speed, idle or simply parked. It is aggressive from every angle but most noticeably from its side profile. Refined styling from the 2014 model, it possesses a sharp, blade like presence that gives the S1000RR a downward thrusting stance. The bike holds a resemblance to a shark, especially when the gill like side fairing vents are considered. You can continue with that visual theory as you walk around the machine and take note of its fin like tail section, less than sharp edged fuel tank and of course the nose section. The shark reference is not a far miss and when you ride SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 65


the bike, you can appreciate why. It is well balanced specifically in turns at speed thanks to strategic ergonomics. The S1000RR offers an incredibly smooth throttle response due to its electronic throttle control. There is no jolt, small or otherwise, felt as you roll on the throttle. There’s only the confident growl to a thunder from the engine as 199hp rolls out onto the asphalt. Clutchless upshifting and downshifting allow for a quick pace when working through the gears, with minimal to nil need to back off the throttle. When braking, the front system works in harmony with the rear system applying just the right amount of rear brake pressure, slowing the bike in an even and balanced manner. Of course there are the very “BMW” bells and whistles that one can find an affinity for like the heated hand grips, self canceling turn signals and cruise control. And before you write off the luxury of having cruise control on a sportbike... On your next long haul, think about how much you would appreciate an extra bit of comfort on your journey. It’s about the enhancement of your riding experience. It must be acknowledged that there is a considerable amount of technology in play here that is responsible for the bike’s smoothness, balance and overall riding experience. There is a large percentage of the riding population that are not fans of the “ride by wire” engineering utilized in today’s motorcycle manufacturing. A valid argument can be found on both sides of the table. How much of you is really riding the bike? How much is it the bike? I think it better to not get caught up in the semantics of who is actually doing what and focus on the experience. It’s 66 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM






obvious that it is you in control of the machine and you can adjust mostly all and in some cases turn off the factory settings. However, the tech that is installed from the factory was implemented to enhance your riding experience, to make your life just slightly easier. On the S1000RR, it’s noted and appreciated. Aggressive styling with user friendly components that make riding it fun and exciting, the 2015 BMW S1000RR is a motorcycle that can be thoroughly enjoyed by the intermediate rider up to the well seasoned vet. For the novice, with respect and understanding of what the machine is capable of, the S1000RR isn’t a bad way to get into the game. 70 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM








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rue art will always survive any trend or exploitative period of time in which popular culture decrees it the “in thing”. True artists will always persevere, while maintaining their sense of self worth and core values: no sell out and no bitchassness. The motorcycles produced by these artists transform the vehicles into functioning scultptures. The bikes function as art and as modes of transportation. The history and legacy of the art of customization must be acknowledged and preserved.

his masterpiece, Amatista Loca. Translated, it means “Crazy Amethyst” which is in reference to the bike’s mesmerizing amethyst color scheme that mimics the visual properties of the stone of the same name. The “crazy” can be attributed to the beyond wild appearance and presentation of this 2005 Kawasaki ZX10R.

The Amatista Loca finds its inspiration in the West Coast Low Rider car scene. Kimihiko proudly admits his fascination and influence with the US custom car and bike scene and Enter the Japanese bike artist Kimihiko Tsuzuki gives much praise to his good friend and fellow of Still Rollin’ Model Art. More specifically, enter bike artist, Carlos Navarro. From the




Engine: 1380cc liquid-cooled V-Twin; eight-valve, SOHC Bore and Stroke: 104 x 81.2mm Compression Ratio: 10.5:1 Fueling: Electronic fuel-injection with ride-by-wire Clutch: Wet multi-plate; hydraulic actuation Transmission: Six-speed Final Drive: Shaft Frame: Double cradle tubular steel Front Suspension: 45mm fork with spring preload and rebound damping adjustment; 4.72 in. travel Rear Suspension: Twin shocks with adjustable hydraulic spring preload adjustment; 4.72 inch travel Front Brakes: 320mm discs with Brembo four-piston radial-mount calipers w/ ABS Rear Brake: 282mm disc with dual-piston Brembo caliper w/ ABS Wheels: Cast aluminum 21 x 3.5-inch front, 16 x 5.5-inch rear Tires: Dunlop Elite 3, 120/70-21,180/60-16 Curb Weight: 784 lbs. (with fuel, ready to ride) Wheelbase: 66.7 in. Rake: 27.5 deg. / Trail: 4.3 in. Seat Height: 29.1 in. Fuel Capacity: 5.4 gallon MSRP: $21,990 Warranty: Two year, unlimited mileage


“A stereo and cruise control are fine and dandy, but the three way adjustable engine power and traction control maps make this techy bagger stand out.”


design and application of the pin striping to the custom leather stamped seat, the bike does more than tip its hat at an American culture. You have to step back and observe the bike in the round. You have to orbit the bike, revolve around it and take your time. The details reach out to you and pull you in. The offsetting purple in the brake calibers, cylinders and grips play well against the completely chromed out chassis that visually keeps the eyes moving from the front to the back and over the tank, cowl and fairings. There is not a piece of this bike’s body that has not been touched and that includes the return spring on the side stand. Kimihiko made it clear that by no means is Amatista Loca meant to be a trailered and parked show bike. Amatista can frequently be seen rolling around the streets of Tokyo, catching eyes and turning heads. The Myrtle




STILL ROLLIN’ MODELLART “AMATISTA LOCA” 2005 KAWASAKI ZX10R ENGINE/POWER UPGRADES: K&N Air Filter, NGK Iridium Spark Plugs, Power Commander III. BRAKES: RC Components Rotors, Chromed Calipers. EXHAUST: Custom Full System with Laser GP style canisters. WHEELS: 18x3.5, 20 x10.0 RC Components Czar TIRES: Avon Storm 120/70/17 front, Avon Cobra 280/40/VR20 rear. SUSPENSION: AirFX Air Ride with Instant Up Kit. SWINGARM: Myrtle West 300 with 10 inches over. CUSTOM/ONE OFF/ACCESSORIES: Fully Chromed Chassis and Candy Contrast (Hand sanded and polished in House), Custom Leather Seats by Maurico Aguilar at Azteca Customs. BUILT BY: Kimihiko Tsuzuki at StillRollin’ Modellart PAINT BY: Steve Deman at Kolor Kings OWNER: Norifumi Narita



West 300 rear tire kit that sustains the contrasting RC Components Czar wheels give a sense of grounding but reflect light in such a manner that the bike appears to maintain motion while standing still. The brilliant paint job lends toward the “in motion� theory as the lines of the ZX10R are precisely complemented in a flowing transition and offers an odd side effect. If you look at one portion of the bike, it gives the impression that the entire bike is moving. However, if your eyes begin to move over the bike, investigating all of the details and moments, they will keep moving as they look for and find more to observe. That is what makes Amatista Loca a success. It possesses an abundance of stimulation with a stark absence of monotony. SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 87







y initial thoughts when I saw the Ninja H2 and eventually the H2R were quite simply of intrigue. I had never seen anything like it on two wheels before. I was captivated with the hard, aggressive line work of the body, the metallic paint job, the engine... The sum of the H2’s parts seem to suggest a tipping point in modern motorcycle engineering and design. After Kawasaki released the factory limited edition models, Rickey Gadson began to hint that there was another surprise on deck. Knowing Gadson, being part of the official design team of the H2 and H2R wasn’t enough. Leaving a fingerprint on the world’s first production super charged motorcycle wouldn’t be enough for the most winning drag racing champion in history. Gadson would need to create one that was all his own. And so the Ninja H2RG was conceived. Gadson goes into great technical detail regarding the concept, construction and creation of the H2RG in the December and January issues of SportBikes Inc Magazine. As a machine, the bike qualifies as a modern marvel. Using what Kawasaki created as a platform, one hell of a platform at that, Gadson and Coby Adams of Adams Performance pushed the envelope of engine performance. The H2RG is essentially a hybrid bike, a H2 that has been tuned into a H2R. Out of the crate, it produced 259 horses. By the time Gadson and Adams were done, the H2RG’s 1000cc engine was pumping 320 braking horses. 90 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM




As a custom motorcycle, it elevates the bar into the stratosphere. The term, “one of a kind” does this bike no justice visually nor mechanically. To stand next to the bike can only be compared to standing next to Bane from the Dark Knight Rises... I swore the H2RG growled at me, “Do you feel in charge?” It is intimidating. Gadson’s choice in components are strategic selections to fortify the H2R’s ample abilities. The Adams Performance swingarm extends the wheelbase to sixty eight inches so upon launch, the front wheel has the best chance of staying on the asphalt. The carbon fiber rear BST wheel is a premium option for saving weight while maintaining strength. However, what is most striking and equally defining, the defining green that is branded with Gadson’s signature racing number “62”. This colorway, which is SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 93



Rickey Gadson “H2RG” 2015 Kawasaki H2R Hybrid Engine: 1000cc, Supercharged, 320BHP. Brakes: Brembo. Exhaust: Full Titanium. Suspension: JRI Rear Shock. Swingarm: Adams Performance Strongarm. Wheels: Rear BST Carbon Fiber Wheel. Tires: Shinkos Tires. Builder: Adams/Gadson. Paint: KHI Japan. Owner: Rickey Gadson.



harmoniously offset by the key carbon fiber bits throughout the bodywork, sets this bike apart from the other factory limited editions. To refer to this bike as the Big Gun is being nice. Technically, it sits at the top of the food chain. It rolls down a fine line between inspiration and intimidation. You want to ride it knowing well that it will most likely hurt your pride. For the average man, it just may be too much. Gadson’s pedigree places him well above the laws of average. Armed with his H2RG, they are a match made in heaven, destined for the asphalt.












t’s nice to reminisce. To think back on fond memories. In the post modern “bling” age, it is important to remember the point of origin for true motorcycle customs.

and let their bikes take center stage. And as it should be, the bikes they build speak volumes, silencing the would be nay sayers.

The team at Garwood Customs Cycles can attest to the fundamentals of true craftsmanship. The theory of scratching the surface and finding a deeper meaning as opposed to there being absolutely nothing underneath... No point, no purpose, no soul... Nothing. As builders, Garwood has proven time and time again the importance of developing brand value and allowing their work to speak for itself. The crew themselves are actually quite mild, borderline shy. As a team they modestly take a step back

“Old Skool” is a primed representation of not just returning to point of origin for true customs, it predicts the future of the culture. On a verge of a custom bike building renaissance, Old Skool dips into the past visually and metaphorically while projecting the new and the next... In essence, this bike is more than a problem, it’s a game changer.

The aesthetics of this particular build are a result Not so much to a simpler time, but when things of a properly executed theme and concept weren’t so complicated. Before the age of bling forged with talent, ability and experience. The foresight and knowledge of knowing when and all things bright and shiny... The custom enough is just right. The understanding of bike building game wasn’t that complicated. You were either good, or you weren’t. You were pushing the envelope but not going over the edge... It is blatant, pure and unadulterated either in or you were out. There was no taking maturity. Yes, maturity as it relates to the custom shelter behind the smoke and mirrors of “when bike world. Perhaps a custom bike’s namesake in doubt, chrome it out.” Don’t get me wrong, has never been so appropriate. when appropriate, as an accent, chrome has it’s place. But when over used, it’s overkill.


Class is in session. I hope you’re paying attention.




GARWOOD CUSTOM CYCLES “OLD SKOOL” 2006 SUZUKI GSXR 1000 ENGINE/POWER UPGRADES: K&N Air Filter, Bazzaz Box, 40HP Nitrous Kit BRAKES: Performance Machine Rear Braking System, Roaring Toyz Racer Front Rotor EXHAUST: VooDoo Exhaust WHEELS: 17x3.5, 18x10.5 Performance Machine Machine Heathen Wheels, Custom Gold added by Garwood Custom Cycles TIRES: Avon 120/60/17 front, 300/35/VR18 rear SUSPENSION: AirFX Air Ride SWINGARM: C&S Custom Single Side 300 CUSTOM/ONE OFF/ACCESSORIES: Yanashiki Pounder Grips, Shortee Race Levers, Spike Kit, Voodoo Adjustable Front Foot Peg Assemblies, Frame Plugs, Spike Fork Caps and Axle Caps, Yanashiki Triple Tree, Tribal Kickstand, Ultra Bright Yellow Light by Garwood Custom with three way remote control, Headlight Halos, Custom Leather Seat by Shawn’s Custom Seats BUILT BY: Garwood Custom Cycles PAINT BY: Neyon Pain OWNER: Alejandro Quinones SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 105









1999 suzuki hayabusa

words: allan lane Images: Jesse Gordon SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 109




he act of resurrection is mostly reserved for discussions of all things legend or faith. Bringing something back from the grips of death, breathing new life into an entity is an uncanny act akin to a miracle. So what happens when one of the best custom bike builders in the world gets his hands on a 1999 Suzuki Hayabusa that was an abandoned parts bike that sat over two years after it had racked up almost 60,000 miles? You have yourself an old fashioned, straight up resurrection. Robert Uecker and his team at Voodoo Custom Motorcycle Components took delivery of the 1999 Busa and literally revived it. The engine wasn’t running, no thanks to bad crank rods. Wooden screws were holding whatever was left of the rattle can painted damaged fairings as they barely dangled from the scratched and dented frame. Robert recalls how the stock wheels were shaped like eggs. Alas, he is a man of vision. Where some would stop at what the bike was, Robert saw what it could be... A drag racing bike when it was time to do the business and a custom show bike when it was time to win the trophies. He would rework the engine. The fairing would be replaced. The individual components would be replaced, upgraded and improved upon down to the last detail. This would go far beyond a revitalization or a revamping. This was going to be taking something that was dead and making it alive in a manner that it never was. Robert reached out to his distributors and began to compile components that, when all was said and done would showcase what they had to offer in terms of performance parts. Tucker Rocky, Western Powersports, Yana Shiki, C and S Custom, K and N Filters, Garwood Custom Cycles and Supersprox assisted with bits that were going to elevate the bike beyond what it was in its previous life. Think about it... SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 111




THE SHOW: VOODOO’S RESURRECTED Voodoo’s goal was to take a dead Busa and give it more than a second chance at life. It needed to be more than a simple cosmetic makeover. The bike had to perform. And so the work began. The egg shaped wheels were replaced with carbon fiber hydro dipped stock wheels from a 2010 Yamaha R1. Comparable in fit to the 1999 through 2007 Hayabusa but lighter in weight. The rear wheel was widened to 18 inches by 8.5 inches and fitted to a C and S Custom 10 inch over 240 swingarm. The bad crank rods were replaced and the engine was freshened up by the team over at the Bike Shop. To assist the engine, a 30 shot of nitrous was installed to boost the power when it was needed. Voodoo’s signature Sidewinder Exhaust was fitted for sound, performance and looks, working in harmony with the K and N Air filter and modified air box. The tail end of the bike was enhanced by a 2007 Suzuki GSXR 1000 tail section. This has become a popular modification for the Busa since it cleans up the back end and gives an intimidating look. Other modifications that were included were done so with the competitive drag racer in mind. Items like custom fitted race gauges, a dead man switch, a relocated ignition switch and a single side front brake conversion. The paint, powder coating and wrapping were completed by Bodacious Paintworks, SpeedPro Imaging and NorthCoast Powdercoat giving the bike that professional appearance that equals the sum of its parts. While it remains unseen what the aptly titled “The Resurrected” can clock in the quarter mile, having seen the other side of death... There doesn’t seem to exist a challenge that it’s not built for. 114 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM





Engine: Power Commander V with Autotune, K&N Air Filter, K&N Oil Filter, VooDoo PAIR Valve Eliminator Kit, Modified Airbox. Brakes: Single Caliper Conversion with Yana Shiki Wave Rotor, Gold Fren Performance Brake Pads, Yana Shiki Steel Braided Lines. Exhaust: VooDoo Sidewinder Exhaust. Suspension: 2010 Hayabusa Rear Shock, Race Tech Fork Springs, SV650 Lowering Links. Swingarm: C&S Customs 10” Over, NOS Mount, Swingarm Spools, Shark Style Chainguard. Wheels: Carbon Fiber Hydro Dipped Modified OEM 2010 Yamaha R1 Wheels. Tires: Shinko Tires Custom/One Off Accessories: VooDoo Clip Ons, Voodoo GP Shift Rearsets, 2007 GSXR 1000 Tail Conversion, Street Fighters by Design Headlight Filler Panel, Single LED Projector Headlight, Street Racer Parts Gauges, Garwood Custom Cycles NOS System, Deadman Switch, Total Performance Cycles Front Axle Conversion, Yana Shiki Body Kit, Yana Shiki Solo Cap, Yana Shiki Windscreen. Builder: Voodoo Custom Motorcycle Components. Paint/Wrap/Powdercoat: Bodacious Paintworks, SpeedPro Imaging, NorthCoast Powdercoat. Owner: Voodoo Custom Motorcycle Components. SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 117






Hand crafted from the finest materials in the heart of England, Scorpion have a formidable reputation for performance, thanks to a racing heritage which is rooted in the company’s very DNA. For 2013 Scorpion have announced a whole range of exciting new models including additions to its flagship race inspired systems which feature a unique red inlay tip. Regardless of your riding style, each Scorpion system delivers a unique combination of looks, sound, engineering excellence and performance - in all situations. We call this ‘Red Power’. Have you got it?


Find your local dealer at:

WWW.SCORPION-EXHAUSTS.COM Scorpion // Hand crafted in Great Britain

58 CYCLE • 434.685.5858 HUSTLE HARD • 208.571.0173 aerospace grade titanium and carbon fibre, RP-1 GP gives true ‘bolt-on’ performance plus huge power gains and TAW Performance FAST BIKED INDUSTRIES • 828.435.0125 MOTOSTARZ • 604.370.4899 weight savings over O.E. Designed primarily for racing it is also road legal for most applications. I S T R I B U T I O N HARD RACNG PERFORMANCE • 704.799.2192 PJ’S PARTS • SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM 865.233.2883 | 121 SCORPION SYSTEM SHOWN: RP-1 GP ON BMW S1000RR Completely hand crafted from featherlight







volution is a fascinating notion. The theory gives rhyme and reason to how we have progressed from single cell organisms to the multi complex creatures that we exist as today. It is often fleeting. It goes under the radar and takes time to fully advance to its designated next level. It can take years, decades, centuries... a millennia to notice the subtlest change.


However, every once and a while, if you can take the cues from your surroundings... you can witness evolution happening right before your eyes. You can catch it in the act. Marc Marquez pushes the bounds of what we thought was capable on a motorcycle. His 2013 season in the premier class speaks for itself while his career building up to his graduation to the top tier class leaves nothing

to question in regards to his pedigree. Marquez is the youngest MotoGP champion in the history of the series and is a member of the elite club of riders that have captured a championship in three GP classes. He won the 125cc World Championship in 2010. In 2012, Marquez captured the Moto2 Championship. He started in the pole position a total of 14 times in each respective class before moving up to the premier class where he poled a total of 9 times, took 16 podiums and won 6 of the races to claim the 2013 MotoGP Championship. Still not impressed?

perfectly balanced all the while focusing on the business at hand. It was quite inspiring to take notice of the control that he had over his sensibilities. He went on to win the race that weekend, as well. That is when it hit me. Marc Marquez was nature’s cue. Things were changing. Something wonderful was about to happen... SportBikes Inc Magazine: Are you the best? Marc Marquez: No. I still have a lot to learn. This is only my second season in MotoGP and we must not forget this.

SBI: There appears to be no limits to your Marc Marquez accomplished all of this before potential. You represent a new breed of fearless pilots that exist and compete on a higher level he turned 21. of human ability. How do you describe your level of talent? I kept his youth in mind the first time we met in MM: It’s something very difficult to put into Texas for the Austin MotoGP round. He was words as it’s so natural to me. When I’m on the smiling with eyes wide open just soaking it all bike I feel so comfortable and I’ve always felt in. While we talked, I could see in his eyes what was really going on. He was multitasking. this way. It’s like when you learn to walk, you don’t remember how it felt not being able to or Authentically social, giving great energy as he how it was to learn. It’s like a natural instinct. interacted with fans and moved about space and time. But his eyes, his eyes revealed that he That’s how I feel on the bike. I have my own riding style that I tried to adapt to suit MotoGP was hard at work, focused on the task before when I first arrived last year. But I realized this him. He went on to win that race making him the youngest rider to ever win a MotoGP race. was my style so I made it work on the bigger bikes. A few rounds later in Indianapolis, Marquez had the same vibe. Social and friendly, SBI: Define the word “speed”?



MM: I guess I’d say it means to be very fast whilst in complete control. Perfect harmony with the bike. SBI: Racing is the Marquez Family Business. Your mother and father are both highly active in your career. How important is your family? What does their support and love mean to you? MM: It means everything. We are a very close family as you say and I wouldn’t be where I am today without their love and support. They have a good understanding of how involved they need to be, they don’t smother me and have a respect that this is my job, even if I’m young. I really appreciate this. SBI: You have a younger brother, Alex. How do you find that balance of being a role model to him and maintaining your focus on riding at 126 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM

your level? MM: Again, this is something that is natural to me and I try to treat him like my parents treat me. I don’t smother him or tell him “this is the wrong way” or “this is the right way”. We train together and if I see something I think can help, I’ll tell him. But I respect that he is learning and it’s also his job, so I try not to be too involved unless he asks. SBI: How important is your crew? What is your relationship like with them? MM: This is very important. They are like my family, they are my family! I spend so much time with them that it feels strange when I’m away from the track and not with them! In fact, I feel so at home when I’m in the box with them, it’s what seems normal to me. The crew I had in 2013 was great and very professional but in the end I always wanted to have ‘my boys’ with

me. So I asked Honda and I’m really pleased they understood my position and allowed me to have them in 2014! SBI: What is your relationship like with Dani Pedrosa? Have you learned anything from him? Do you think that you have you taught him anything? MM: Of course I’ve learned a lot from Dani, as I have Jorge and Valentino. Riding on track with these guys was an incredible learning curve for me! Dani and I have a good relationship. We don’t see each other away from the track but it’s good to discuss the bike and development. However, they always say the first man to beat is the one next to you in the garage so we’re also very competitive with each other. SBI: What is your observation of the sport of racing in America?

MM: I love to come to America! The fans, the atmosphere... It’s incredible! It’s true that MotoGP is not so popular there and I hope that this will change in the future as I’m sure they would like the show! SBI: What are your top three circuits? MM: For me, Aragon and Phillip Island as they are fast and technical with lots of ups and downs. I also love the Indianapolis track, even though many riders do not. It has some great corners where you can slide the bike and demands a lot of concentration. Also, Austin is very special for me. I really enjoy the track and it’s where I took my first MotoGP win. SBI: Why are you so passionate, compelled to be the best? What’s driving you? MM: I think any sportsman or woman wants to be the best at what they do. It’s normal! I am SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 127



hen I’m on the bike I feel so comfortable and I’ve always felt this way. It’s like when you learn to walk, you don’t remember how it felt not being able to or how it was to learn. It’s like a natural instinct. That’s how I feel on the bike.”





driven to improve and constantly learn and get better. After watching Valentino for so many years, he’s my hero and an inspiration. It’s really a great honor to race alongside him. SBI: Can you go faster? MM: Of course… SBI: What is in store for the 2014 MotoGP season? MM: We will have to wait and see. For me and my crew we will concentrate on our own routine and goals, as we always do. SBI: What are the last things that you do before you go to sleep at night? MM: Clean my teeth, again. Get undressed. Talk with my family and turn out the light.

I have often referred to MotoGP riders as aliens or mutants for their fearlessness, skills and talents that they possess. I was wrong. Marquez has helped me to see that. The truth is, that MotoGP riders are very much human. In fact they are even more human than human. They represent the next phase in the evolution of man, a new breed of humanity, if you will. We are in a privileged position to witness this leap in evolution. As long as we note the cue from nature... Marc Marquez is the tipping point and he just got here.


Bodywork for race and street Quality you can afford

2016 Kawasaki ZX10

Get There Faster (760)









osh Hayes is going to get faster. It’s not a question of if. It’s really not a question of when. It’s a reality. It’s the next step in his evolution. It’s progress. Race 1 of the New Jersey round of AMA Pro Road Racing in 2011, Josh won by 2 seconds. In 2012, Josh won the race by a gap of 22 seconds. But that wasn’t a testament to Josh’s physical speed. His race times between 2011 and 2012 only differed by half a second. Where was everyone else? While physical speed can be a by product of the ideal elements being in line, the theory of mental speed can give way to an uncanny consistency. Uncanny and more likely intimidating. Josh is getting faster in all regards. He knows it because it is his goal and he works hard at it. If Josh was within half a second of his winning time from the previous year, then everyone else was off pace. Josh Hayes is a problem... For everyone else on the grid. SBI: I was in the timing booth in New Jersey. At one point, to me it seemed liked the gap had reached 30 seconds. We were counting them off. Waiting. You would go by and it seemed like we were counting to 30 before we saw anybody come around the bin. But then, I went back and I looked at your times from 2011. You were just extremely consistent, if not better, a little bit. Everybody else just seemed to slow down for whatever reason. Josh Hayes: My race time from Race1 in NJ 2011, I beat Ben Bostrom by 2 seconds. My race time from start to checkered flag in 2012, both races were within half a second of that complete race time from green flag to checkered flag. A half second over 35 minutes. Last year I won by 2 seconds, this year I won by 22 and 17 or something. That had nothing to do with me. The only thing that had to do with me is that those boys were just focused on the wrong thing. If they don’t change their game for 2013, then you’re going to see the same kind of season.





SBI: So they need to step their game up if they want to keep up? JH: I’m just gonna go out there and I’m gonna try. I’m working hard to improve me as a professional. I’m trying to increase my capacity to do what I have to do to stretch my limits so that I can be better in 2013. If they catch up to where I was in 2012, they may have another step to get to me in 2013. That’s my hope and my plan. It’s kinda up to them and what they do. I don’t know how to control them. Josh Herrin has all the keys to the castle. What he chooses to do with them is, I don’t know. The same goes for Blake Young. He has a great team behind him. I’m sure they can analyze what he did right and wrong in 2012 and figure out what to do next. We’ll have to see what they decide to do. But I know what my program is and I know what I did to make my improvements this year. Can I do it again? I think I can and I’m gonna try to. SBI: You mention training. I know that it’s not just about show up, get on the bike, twist the throttle, hope for the best. Can you shed some light on your training? How you prepare your body and your mind? How does Josh Hayes pregame? JH: I think everybody might be very close to the same, but everybody’s a little bit different at the same time. I can tell you having Melissa (Paris) in the house, we are quite different. We do so many of the same things that our outlook and attitude toward it can be quite a bit different. You kinda have a basic idea of a plan. It’s not drawn out to be very specific. So many cycling plans are like you go out and you do these intervals and you do this and spend this much time, blah, blah, blah. Mine is not really that hard nosed and drawn in the sand like that. We know that December is a volume month for me, but basically on my bicycle I’m gonna go out and get as many hours in as I can probably stand without breaking my but in half on a bicycle. It’s easy for me here, being in Southern California because there are so many opportunities. There are so many bicyclists here, so many people out riding. Basically I’m going out to do a 3 hour plus peddle every single day. I’m riding around with a high end cycle, so you know it gets very

hard to actually get an easy day. But I’m not necessarily going out there with a training idea of hey, today I’m gonna go bury myself. Then you start getting into the beginning of February and you start getting into those high end rides, more and more. I’m not really good with intervals. You give me a plan to go out and do this many intervals or this many intervals. I don’t really follow it that well. I don’t enjoy it. If I don’t enjoy I’m not gonna do it. So, basically my hard days are I’m gonna go out and ride with this group ride and I’m gonna turn myself inside out trying to keep up with a bunch of professional cyclers. So you make those your hard days. SBI: Besides cycling, what other forms of training do you indulge? JH: I like motocross. Tennis has been another thing. It’s just something that’s physical. It’s something that I enjoy. What I’ve been actually learning from it is a little bit about the mental side of the game. It’s so much different than what we do. Anything motorcycle commands your attention. You cannot do it at a high level without a focus that is just out of this world. Tennis is something that is a little bit different. You have to control that because every point you play, is for a single point. Then you have to have a very short memory you have to put away whatever just happened to go back and start over and play again for another point. That’s been quite the challenge for me because I have a really bad tendency to get hung up on a mistake and let that affect the next 4 or 5 points. You’re playing halfhearted thinking about how to fix the last 3 or 4 points so, It’s been quite the learning experience for me. But, these are like the majority of the things: the road cycling, the mountain biking, motocross and tennis. These are the things that I like doing but I typically don’t make any of these super competitive. I keep it light hearted. I’m a good motorcycle racer and I get extremely competitive when I get on a motorcycle. SBI: I’d have to agree. You’re a good motorcycle racer. After 3 championships, I’d argue that you may be slightly better than good. JH: I think maybe because being a hotshot on a motorcycle, or being really good at something SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 139

THE GRID: JOSH HAYES is tough because I train around really, really advanced cyclists. I never want to put all my heart out there on the line. I get my heart kicked in out there on a bicycle, not being that good at it. It doesn’t sit well with me so I’ve learned as a safety mechanism to not put too much weight behind it and get too competitive. Because then I can take the fun out of it, extremely quickly and I won’t enjoy riding anymore. That’s not gonna make it very easy to train. Melissa is completely opposite. She goes out and races her bicycle. She doesn’t even like riding that much, but she loves racing. And it’s been great training for her to go out and race bicycles. I have no interest in racing the bike.

I need to do and is necessary to do and I come home and I deal with what I can with the rest of the day that I have left. And so there is always leftover. I can probably make a full time job of all the things I don’t handle during the race season.

SBI: When you wake up in the morning to when you go to bed, is it just constantly go, go, go? JH: It sure seems like it is. Yes, it is always more things for me to do during the day than I can accomplish in a day. What ends up happening for me and Melissa is I wake up and I just go out and start training and I do whatever training I feel like

SBI: Shifting gears a bit here. I want to formally congratulate you on the hat trick. So... Congrats! JH: Thanks!

SBI: What about the off season? JH: And the off season is actually 3 times more difficult than during the race season. During the race season, everyone tends to leave you alone for races. You go do your business and they’re like, “Oh my God! It’s race season!” We better give him his time and space. So they leave you alone. As soon as your race season is over, family, the homes, dealing with bills, fixing automobiles, fixing SBI: With that type of insight on your training... Are their bicycles, all the little things that you just don’t you just that damn good? mess with because you’re used to wearing all the JH: No, I’m not. I don’t think that’s the case. To pieces out training and doing the things through answer part of your question, you were asking the season, everything catches up with you. All of about the training steps, one thing to wake up a sudden, the RV needs more maintenance than every day and even though I love what I’m doing I can keep up with, ya’ know? All vehicles need and I don’t make that part particularly super tires on them. I’ve got deals that I’m trying to do competitive. I know that Yamaha doesn’t pay like the Long Beach IMS show for Yamaha, King me to ride 11 races a year. They pay me for Championship dinner and party for Yamaha. I’m every day of my life and I try to treat that with trying to wheel and deal sponsorship deals and respect. In everything I do. Whether it’s riding a to help Melissa put her program together for next bicycle, playing tennis, riding motocross, riding the year. Then I’m training while I have all of these mountain bike or getting rest, everything I do, I do friends in town and all this stuff. Basically, I wake with a purpose. And that purpose is about being a up and I have stuff that I can do from the time I professional, being a good motorcycle racer at the wake up until the time I go to bed. It’s a matter of end of the day. Even though there is not a direct putting a priority on them. Most of the time, I still correlation, I ride my bicycle this much and I’m a put my priority on training and then I just deal with better motorcycle racer. One thing that I know from whatever I can after the fact, until it comes to the experience is when I act like a professional, when holidays. Then it’s time with the family. I wake up at 6:30 or 7:00 and get on my bicycle Then of course, trying to get any kind of vacation. whether it’s cold, sunny, rainy, no matter what, Melissa and I like snowboarding. I don’t know I go out and I’m putting in my time and I do my when we’re gonna get to go. If we get five work and act like a professional and I go out and minutes and we want to actually be away from act like a professional... it’s been proven that the home, which is tough too, we’ll probably try to go harder I work, the better my results are. get some snowboarding in.


SBI: There have been previous champions who were not as kind as you are. Who were not as friendly, who were not as professional as you are.


THE GRID: JOSH HAYES They were very great, obviously, they got the points, they won championships but there’s something interesting when your name is brought up. People smile. I know that plays into your professionalism, how you are representing Yamaha and your other sponsors. What’s the relationship like with the fans? How does that play into you as the racer? JH: One, I think there is a difference between professionalism and personality. The previous champion that you’re talking about, let’s just say they had a choice whether or not to actually be a role model or just be motorcycle racer and champion. Their focus and their interests were on being a motorcycle racer and a champion and to be the best motorcycle racer there was. That was their aim and their goal. I’ve met several competitors in my lifetime, and some of the best ones like Lance Armstrong... I’ve heard people who have worked with him. The guy who was the best in the business, sans recent revelations. But, he’s an absolute asshole. He would step on and use anybody and anything necessary in his way to get to the top. That was his focus. We have seen people like that in our own sport. They had no interest in being a role model to people. Honestly, we are all encouraged, including me, to have a little bit of drama because it sells. Reality TV sells. Everybody wants to see me pick a fight with Blake more than anything in this world, but that’s not who I am. I think the bigger thing for me is every day, everything, the choices I make, I actually… and this may be why I interact with the fans they way that I do…it first stems from my parents and the personality I inherited from them. Second, everything I do, in my work ethic and how I treat people around me, competitors, fans, everybody. I say, would my dad be proud of the way I’m handling the situation? Absolutely, everything I do. If I do that I feel I can’t do anything wrong, per se. The other side would probably be just …that I care about the sport. One of the things that I have a unique…that I understand, what I do for a living is not 100 percent motorcycle racing, it’s show business. It’s sport, but it’s also marketing and sales. That’s what it’s driven by. My job is not to just win on a motorcycle. It’s to increase, to bring motorcycle racing to the people… I think it’s the coolest freaking sport in the world. And I want everyone else to love it. Not because they think 142 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM




it’s daredevil or anything like that, but for the exact reason that I love it. It’s beautiful, it’s cool. It’s so fun to watch. I’m a fan. I like watching racing. It’s hard. It’s Ironman! It’s a cool sport! I want people to love it for the right reasons. I think that the sports that are successful in our country in the world, some of the people follow the personality and connect with the human being. Say, hey man I understand what he’s going through. You’re gonna be some people’s hero and some people’s villain. At the same time maybe I am playing the game a little bit. Maybe I am, if Blake say’s something mean or his fans come up and say something to me, they come up and mad dog me, I say, Dude, it’s good to see you guys. Our sport needs fans like you that come out here and act rowdy and come after me. But at the same time it’s so disarming to them, it kinda ruins the dramatic prospective. SBI: In Atlanta, there was a little rub between you and Blake. Afterwards, you went back and you checked on him. JH: Yes. SBI: I watched that and thought... I actually said it out loud, “That’s a class act.” It was just on the Jumbotron, you could just see your genuine concern for your colleague. To me, that was you putting all else aside,. It wasn’t about the race at that moment. You really wanted to make sure that Blake was okay. So when you are talking about disarming... You can’t hate on that. You can’t say, “That guy’s a jerk!” You’ve have to say, “You know what, things happen.” That’s what a champion does. A champion goes back and makes sure that his colleague, his competitors are good to go. If something occurs, you own up to it and you go and you handle your business. JH: I had a fresh example in my memory. You know what I mean? Of how I didn’t like a situation and how it was handled and how I would’ve handled it differently. After the deal happened in Daytona and Daytona Sportbike, with Josh Herrin, Dane Wesby and Taylor Mack. That was one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen. Whether these guys are 15 years younger than me, my age or SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 145

THE GRID: JOSH HAYES older than me, the fact that we are all motorcycle racers, I consider them my peers. So if these are people, colleagues, peers, whatever, I care about each and every one of them. I think that we need every athlete that we have to be out there safely racing motorcycles. I don’t want Blake to get hurt, even if I hated his freaking guts. I don’t want the guy to get hurt. We need him in racing. So, I was extremely concerned, because I was involved in an incident. I did not feel that I had done anything wrong. Some people misconstrued me going over and saying, Blake, I’m sorry that we got together and you fell down, as an apology that I was taken on myself that I had did something bad. I did not feel that I did anything wrong. I mean, we had a racing incident that I hated that I was involved in something that could have possibly gotten one of my peers hurt on the racetrack. I care about this thing because I want for us both to have nice, long careers and finish these careers healthy, telling our stories. SBI: In Miami, you had a case of what we call a case of “slip and fall.” It was like Josh Hayes is a human. He does have those moments. JH: Yeah. Absolutely. SBI: But then you came back. So it was like, he’s human, but he’s not human. JH: The whole weekend was both sides of what I thought it would be. Both up and down. I actually saw that weekend as being our most difficult race weekend of the year. So, maybe, I even preempted it in some way. Because I had felt that way earlier in the season. Before the season had started rolling around so well for me that was going to be a difficult race weekend for me. When we showed up, with the playing of weather, I only got I think four laps of qualifying on used tire before qualifying. I never really got the opportunity to. I was not too far off. I wasn’t doing as badly as I thought I might when we showed up. I think I got a little bit of luck there. As far as Saturday’s race goes when I slipped and fell down, I mean I’m nice guy but I had put myself into a position that I was not too unhappy with. I was in the race and I was like OK. I’m here. 146 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM

This ain’t so bad. As long as I’m racing for the league I’m a pretty happy guy. I will be unhappy the day that people start outracing me and riding away from me. I’m not gonna let that happen any time soon, If I can help it. I chose the wrong one and I got myself pinched off in the last one. I said I know how to correct that one. So I was just trying to look around Roger (Hayden) and look at the inside and the curb was really tall and I ended up, I’ve done it enough times in my career… It was no big surprise to me. I was riding hard. I wanted to win the race. I was going for it so... I was trying to make something happen. I can live with that every single time much better than I didn’t even try and I just got beat. I was happy for Roger. I thought it was a great deal for Roger. The next day was a total and complete fluke, if you ask me. I started the race. I had made a decision based on the information that I had from the warm up lap. The track looks kinda wet here, kinda dry there. My experience of how it’s gone this weekend, the track dries really quickly, I think we should just do this. I was actually on the grid when we were about to start the race and I told my crew chief. I might get lapped in this race. I have no idea what’s gonna happen. I’m gonna take this gamble and I’m gonna ride. I’m not getting hurt here. I did exactly what I told everybody I would do. Which is I’m not putting my neck on the line especially in the wet. The race just came my direction. I didn’t even have to go that fast. All of the other guys that chose rain tires on the front, those things were ruined so bad. It was gifted to me. It was the luck of the draw. SBI: 2013. Speak on it. JH: As far as 2013 goes, what do I see? I can’t imagine having a year better than 2012. It would be a hard act to follow to have the same season. 16 out of 20 races? I still I look at it and it just doesn’t compute. It’s incredible. It’s too crazy. It’s too much, but somehow it happened. I still look at it and I go, did that really happen? I don’t know. I feel like I’m missing a statistic somewhere. But it really happened. I think It would be foolish to think that I could follow that up again. That being said, as the season progressed, it kinda went a little slower than the year before. I kinda went a little faster.




f they don’t change their game for 2013, then you’re going to see the same kind of season.”




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Nicky Hayden real as it gets SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 153



he real have the uncanny ability to recognize the real. The refreshing familiarity of the company of a person that breathes just like you do. That person dreams like you do. They strive to enjoy the life that they have created for themselves just like you do... And when you understand that this individual has achieved what so many strive for and has accomplished what so many reach for on so many different levels, the real becomes something more. Beyond recognizing real, the real recognizes true inspiration. Nicky Hayden fits the bill of inspiration in every sense of the word. One of the most personable individuals in the MotoGP paddock, Hayden is approachable, likable and exudes a coolness minus any conceivable notion of airs. Let’s talk about the coolness for a moment... as it’s not your average cool. Regardless of the setting, Hayden is level across the board. His demeanor in the paddock is the same as in any social setting... Easy. If there is a balance of power, ability and self awareness... Hayden has found it. To refer to him as anything less than an ambassador is a disservice. Allow him to reintroduce himself... SBI: What is the first thing you do when you wake up? NH: Smile. Everyday is a holiday! SBI: There are a select few riders in the paddock that can ignite and inspire a crowd. You definitely are at the top of the list. I’ve personally witnessed that connection that you have with your fans. How do you feel about your fans? NH: I feel close to my fans and I realize that without them, we have no show. They are the ones who let let us do what we do. I appreciate them and they appreciate us.





SBI: How important is that relationship? NH: Very. It’s exciting to go back to the same countries year after year and see some of the same people and share that relationship. SBI: You were the youngest AMA SuperBike Champion. When you look back on that time of your life, how do you think that prepared you for your life now? NH: It was a box that needed ticked off. There were steps and goals along the way I needed to accomplish. I think the AMA Championship is strong. It taught me a lot. SBI: What would you say to a young racer or anyone that has aspirations to encourage them? NH: Track time is very important. Try to get as much experience as possible, is the first thing. The way to learn is by doing it. You can only learn so much watching videos and thinking about it. You have to push yourself. Always try to ride and learn from people faster then you. SBI: Do you consider yourself a role model? NH: Yea... I would say so. SBI: Being fast is part of the equation. There’s so much more involved to ride at the level that you do before you even throw a leg over the bike... NH: You’re so right. Many people don’t see that. Especially now with electronics being so much more advanced, you really have to be on your game and prepared with your technicians to know your options and to dial it all in for you and that track. SBI: On the grid, waiting for the sighting lap to commence, surrounded by umbrella girls, press, officials... Where are your thoughts? NH: I love that feeling when you’re on the line. You’re nervous but you know you are right where you belong. You know hell is about to break loose because races never go as planned. That’s why we love it! SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 157


Greeting fans with teammate Valentino Rossi With crew members (L to R) Roberto Bonazzi and Juan Martinez



really am the person you see. No show. Just a guy that loves his family and riding bikes!” SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 159


SBI: The paddock can be a hot box for drama. You’ve done a tremendous job of not being involved in any nonsense, at least not in the public eye. Is that really the case, that you just aren’t involved or is there a secret to remaining “sucker free”? How do you avoid getting caught up in the soap opera? NH: I really have no time for the drama. I’m trying to win races. It won’t help me do that so I leave all the drama behind. I always try to be a professional. I want no regrets when I hang it up. SBI: Can you list your injuries? Broken bones, concussions? NH: I could tell you the big stuff. But all the little ones along the way that haven’t caused me to miss a race... Most of those I have forgotten. I have no time to bleed! SBI: With the risk factor so high, is it worth it? NH: Yea, it really is. This is the life I chose. I know the consequences. For me, personally, it’s worth it. SBI: What is it inside of you that drives you to achievement? NH: To be the best. SBI: Who inspires you? NH: My family and fans. SBI: What does the word “legacy” mean to you? NH: To want to be remembered and never forgotten. SBI: What legacy do you hope to leave? NH: That I was an all around guy that could ride anything, anywhere. A professional on and off the track with a lot of heart. SBI: How has the relationship with Ducati grown over the last few years? NH: A lot. I really love my team and spend more time than ever in Italy at the company. It’s a great brand and I’m proud to be on their payroll! I love my guys! It took some time, initially, to learn how they do things. Now I really feel at home with these guys. I’m lucky to have them in my corner. SBI: Can you shed some light on how vital the Rider/Crew relationship is? 160 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


THE GRID: NICKY HAYDEN NH: It’s huge! When you have a 45 minute session and only get to come into the pits two or three times, you don’t have time to sit down and go through every little detail and ask questions. They need to know how to read you and pick up what you trying to say with a few words before they can do something about it. That relationship takes time. It takes trust to make a good one. Kinda’ like with a chick... If you can’t trust, it won’t work! SBI: Racing as a sport and a way of life is massive, globally. As huge as Laguna Seca and the Indy rounds are, in terms of spectator attendance... they seem dwarfed by attendance at rounds in other parts of the world. What are your thoughts on why racing is not as prominent here in the states as it is in other parts of the world? NH: I really don’t have the answer. It’s true MotoGP just hasn’t caught on in this part of the world like some of the other spots we stop in. It’s a shame. But I really can’t answer it. If I could, I would try to fix it. But now with another U.S. race here next year, it’s gotta help. We really need to have better TV exposure to attract new fans, as well. SBI: Who do you think is responsible for promoting the sport? NH: Everybody. Everybody involved has to do their part. No one person can carry it. Start at the top with Dorna and work down from there to the teams and riders. SBI: What would you like to see happen in the U.S. in order to get these events on the same level if not greater than the events in the rest of the world? NH: I wish I had the answer. It’s not easy. The American fans love their stick and ball sport and the traditional stuff so it’s hard to convert them. But I do see it growing here. I hope to do my part to help and give back to the sport I love and the sport that’s giving me a great life! SBI: Tell me about your support group and the role that each member plays. NH: Well, apart form my team it starts with my 162 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM

mom and dad, the same ones that have been there since the drop. I really got great parents and they are the first ones I talk to when I need some real advice. I know they are going to give it to me straight. And the rest of my family. My older brother Tommy has really been a big part of my career and looking out for me. I also have the same crew of friends in Kentucky that I came up with so that’s very important to me. You know how the saying goes, “Dance with the girl you brought!” I got a lot of the same people in my crew that i started out with! SBI: 20 years from now, Nicky Hayden is doing what? NH: Ha! I’m not sure what Nicky Hayden is going to be doing in 20 minutes! You’re really trying to put me on the spot! I hope I’m somewhere happy. Still involved with bikes and still living the dream! SBI: What was the last movie that you watched? NH: “Hit and Run” with my buddy and fellow Ducati rider Dax Shepard. SBI: I know how much of a hip hop fan you are... GIve me your top three current hip hop songs... NH: “I Wish You Would”, DJ Khaled and Kanye West. It’s a perfect song for before the race on the grid. “New Day”, 50 Cent because when I’m in a slump I gotta stay up and stay positive and know that everyday is a new day. “Work Hard... Play Hard”, Wiz Khalifa. I love the beat and the motto! SBI: Tupac or Biggie? NH: Pac all day! I know I’m probably going against you being from the East Coast but Pac is the guy all rappers are measured against in my eyes. SBI: If you could take a ride with anyone, alive or deceased... anywhere in the world... Who would it be with and where? NH: Anyone in the world? Wow, that’s a lot to choose from. Maybe I like to take a ride with Jesus to see if he can ride.




SBI: What is the last thing you do before you go to sleep? NH: Say a prayer and set my alarm. SBI: At the end of the day, what should the world know about Nicky Hayden? NH: Just know it’s real. And that I really am the person you see. No show. Just a guy that loves his family and riding bikes!

If the grid was composed of riders on bikes, all in a uniformed single color scheme, visually identical to one another... Hayden would still stand out. He would stand out because he is believable. Real recognizes real and this dude, looks familiar.



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is father’s name was Suicide, a maverick of a man that mastered motorcycles in a manner perhaps thought inconceivable at the time. Throughout his life, his mother made her mark on the Philadelphia Motorcycle community and was aptly titled, The Matriarch. To say that his bloodline is that of legend, is not saying enough. Rickey Gadson is the most winningest motorcycle drag racing champion in the sport’s history. It’s undeniable, indisputable and borderline... uncanny. If struggle’s offspring is success then surely tragedy breeds champions. Gadson has experienced the collective of life’s roller coaster of emotions, trials and tribulations. He lost his father at young age in a motorcycle accident. That was followed by the death of his brother who suffered from Diabetes. Most recently, the death of his mother, Victoria Gadson, from cancer has sent shockwaves throughout the family as she truly was the glue that held them together. One day on a ride with several buddies, Rickey took his mother as a passenger on his 1998 Kawasaki ZX9 while all the others were riding solo. On the open highway, flat out with his mother holding on, Rickey blazed and she didn’t mind it, not one bit. Not even when he put one wheel up in the air and stretched it out. He recalls that time as the most exciting ride that he shared with his mom. He reflects, “My Mom had heart, she let me wheelie with her.” SportBikes Inc Magazine: Do you miss her? Rickey Gadson: Absolutely. I’ll tell you what I know I am guilty of... What probably a lot of people are guilty of. I say this with all the love in my heart, I took my Mom for granted. The way that she was always there, I could call her, I could go see her whenever I wanted, I could talk to her about whatever I wanted. Because I can’t now it, I feel like I took her for granted. I say that I took her for granted because I could pick up the phone and call her anytime. Right now, I’m doing stupid stuff like leaving my cell on, so I can call her to hear her voicemail, call her house so I can hear her answering service. Yeah, I miss her. But at


the same time that I feel as sad as I am about the whole thing, I feel really blessed about the fact it only took six weeks to live thru it. She didn’t have to drag it out. Some people say their dad had it, their mother had it and they went down to 67lbs, it lasted for two years, they were bedridden, etc... They had to do everything for them. My Mom was so independent, she wouldn’t want it like that. So I’m glad she didn’t have to go thru that. There was no weight loss. When we laid around the casket, she looked like herself. I’ve been to a lot of funerals, where people had ailments and I couldn’t identify with the person in the casket. I would say “Does that look like her to you?” I feel blessed but traumatized because it happened so fast. I’d rather it be that way so my Mom didn’t suffer. It was incredible how it (the cancer) overcame her. Incredible how fast it was, But its what she would have wanted. It got to the point on the last day, that it seemed like she kept trying to take the mask off. It was pushing oxygen down her lungs. I said to my wife and sister, “I already told her it’s okay, she doesn’t have to fight.” So why am I making her put the mask back on? If I’m telling her that that’s what’s keeping her alive, how do I know when I should stop and let her do what she wants. I didn’t know if she was doing it in her conscience mind, but I think so. SBI: Define courage. RG: Courage to me is being able to come back, no matter what the adversaries are like. Courage is taking on a new meaning as I get older. As I get older, I start to worry more about things than I did when I was younger because I have been doing this for so long. Courage now has to do with me going out there and when something goes wrong in the run, generally you wouldn’t want to cut the gas, you just want to stay in it and get to the finish line. Now when you can crash at 180mph, you think about not leaving your wife and kids , you tend to ease up on the power for a minute and evaluate what’s happening. When I was younger, I was off the wall. Whatever happened is what happened. I took the oath that my brother gave me to face death at high speed. Now, I don’t feel that way. Courage to me is being balanced, taking on



whatever the drag racing world throws at me with the exception of giving life. SBI: You are speaking of courage and there’s a hint of maturity and wisdom talking. It’s a different level of courage, a different mindset of courage than in your younger days RG: It’s definitely different. I look at it as wisdom. You don’t want to hit the ground any more. There was one point in time that you didn’t think about. Now when you are running land speed and you know you are reaching 220 miles an hour and you have time to think about it... you do think about it. SBI: You are a husband, father, uncle... How important is family to you? RG: I’m glad I waited until later to have my children. I don’t know if I would’ve been as much as a family man if I had my kids in my younger twenties. Although my kids would have been grown, I wouldn’t have had that time to enjoy 172 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM

them. Right now, if I have to leave home without my wife, without my kids, I don’t want to go. I tell my wife if you are not going I don’t want to go. I mean that from the bottom of my heart and I think that she (Rickey’s wife, Kiana) has a lot to do with that. It’s not anything that she forced down, but the love I have for her makes me not want to be away from her and the family. If I walk in the house and she’s not there, the house is empty, you know. If me and her are in the house with no kids, the house is empty. I’m most content when I got my whole crew. I use to look at people and say, “They got four kids! That’s crazy! That’s too many kids!” But now, I feel content. The four of us sitting around on a Friday night watching a movie, I’m as happy as I could be. It’s the same when we are at the campground in the RV. When I go out racing, my youngest daughter doesn’t want me to go anywhere without her. I think family right now is the most important thing to me. I ain’t ashamed of nothing, I ain’t ashamed of the size of my family, I’m not ashamed

only son, “You have to carry your pop’s name.” I don’t care if he never jumps on a racetrack. If he wants to, I’ll be there for him. I feel like my nephew Richard is going to carry that torch. And he’ll carry that torch long enough for his son to come along. So if my son decides not to do it, that’s fine with me. SBI: It’s safe to say that Kiana is your backbone? RG: Yes. SBI: How long have you two been married? RG: We’ve been married for four years. Been together ten years.

to say that my wife is my partner. There was a time I didn’t want that to be known. That time has come and gone. I’m so much better for it. I feel that in this sport, a family man gets further than a single man because his values. Sponsors and fans appreciate it. But it's truly not for them. Its for me. I don’t want to go racing without my family there with me. If they are not there, I feel like I’ve got no one to race for. I’m only racing for them. SBI: Do you think any of your children are going to follow in your footsteps? RG: Well, my oldest girl is getting to be like my partner at the race track. She wants to be in the staging area. She wants to video tape, take pictures for me... She’s part of my racing and she want to race. She says, “I’m short pop, but like what can we do to get the bike lower?” So she’s looking into it. But I don’t necessarily want my kids to follow in my footsteps. If they do, they do but that’s not what I am encouraging. I’m not saying to my son, my

SBI: Before Kiana, who was Rickey Gadson, the drag racer? RG: Rickey Gadson was a drag racer. Meaning anywhere, at anytime... anything that had to do with motorcycles with no real boundaries or no thoughts of what tomorrow was gonna bring. I was fly by wire. Basically, I wanted to be out there by himself in the public’s eyes for the wrong reason. So before Kiana, I can say that I wasn’t as stable as I am now. Stable as a person as I am. Stable as a capable rider, but very different as a person all together. Back then, you would see me by myself or not by myself or with a different person... SBI: It seems to be that you’ve been refined as a person? RG: Absolutely. It took the Rickey Gadson I had been to be the Rickey Gadson that is a family loving man, that I am right now. Kiana can appreciate how I’ve been totally refined by going though that. I don’t regret it. I might have been content with where I was. I might have not taken the next step forward. I might have been content with where I was and not trying to get to that next level. SBI: As a teacher, how did you develop your trackside manner? RG: I’ve been to other schools. I’ve watch Roy Hill curse his driving student out at a track school when the student made the same error twice. Hill said, “If you do that again, I’m gonna throw you out the car!” The dude made the same error next time up SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 173



and Hill said, “What are you? A fucking idiot?” Hill threw him out of the car. I said to myself, that man paid his tuition for that? I knew I wasn’t going to be that way. The only way to teach people is to build their confidence. If you shoot them down, they’re already going through a mental thing... They can’t recover from that. I’ve had students and I told my wife, “I don’t think they’ve got it. I worry about them getting hurt. I’m gonna have to take them off the bike.” But then I sat them down and say, “I want you to watch, just watch because you are not the only one going through this... Just watch. This person went through it and they’re getting better and better. Just watch for a little bit. Then get yourself together. We are gonna go to lunch and come back and start fresh...” That dude was so happy at the end of school because things worked out. That’s my reward. I don’t make a million of dollars off the school because I can’t make it big enough. I have to be hands on, on everybody and I won’t put anybody in my shoes. I think people come to the school for a reason, and one of the reason is to just be there with me. So my only reward out of the school is watching people do better and smile. I love it when people say to me, “You did that!” And I say to them, “No! you did that! I’m not riding that motorcycle. I gave you the tools, you finally started using them. You picked up that hammer!” SBI: You’re like the ultimate confidence booster without gassing their heads up. RG: I don’t have any expectations from my students. But I want them to be better so once I get their confidence in the motorcycle... That’s it! SBI: You’ve been working with professional road racers for some time now, teaching them launch techniques. Is there a difference in the curriculum? How do they differ as students? RG: I think I see more road racers on the average than I do regular students. When those guys come to me, they come to me because they know who I am and what I do. You got to get your race start together and when you say the word start... that’s drag racing. Drag racing deals with tenths of seconds in 300 feet. Corey Alexander’s downfall

was his start. His uncle Richie Alexander told me that Corey could ride but couldn’t start worth a damn. Same thing with Wolverine (Dane Westby). He could ride but said to me, “One time, I nailed it... And the next time, I suck!” So I had to get them to get routine together and right away it worked. These guy realized that my schools are not just about drag racing the quarter mile, it’s about improving everything. I don’t need the rest of the race track. All I need to do is get them to second gear. When I worked with Eric Bostrom, the same thing. And what I tell them afterwards is, “Don’t forget what you learned and don’t let anyone try to talk you out of launching like this!” SBI: Have you been with Kawasaki for your entire professional career as a drag racer? RG: No, I was professional six or seven years before I got with Kawasaki. But Kawasaki is the only manufacturer that I’ve been with and that relationship is great. You know things change, because times change. I say that meaning the way they do things have to change as a corporation. They can’t stay the same. So I’m getting use to how things change. They are changing for the better. I hope Kawasaki continues to realize that together, we can reach a lot more of the riding community, the everyday street riders because of my street riding credibility. I think they realize that I always worry about becoming just a number with Kawasaki and most racers are numbers, but I can change that perception. Most people’s perception is what they can get from the sponsors. My perception is, to be successful... It’s what can I give to my sponsors to give them a great return on investment. Right now it’s all about how much they give you and how much to give back. Once you figure out how to give them more than they give out, that’s it right there. My whole career, my goal has been to be that bargain of the year to my sponsors and say, “You give us this and we give you all of that.” SBI: Being able to deliver to the masses, from the corporate level down to the street riders is not something that comes natural to everyone. To be effective, one must be the real deal, one hundred SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 175



t took the Rickey Gadson I had been to be the Rickey Gadson that is a family loving man, that I am right now.”



THE STRAIGHT LINE: KING percent... Authentic. It’s not a comparison but when you look at some rappers... Your 50 Cents or Jay Z... At one time they were drug dealers or whatever, doing illegal activity but they made that transition into the business world while maintaining their authenticity. Has your sensibility of dealing with the racing in the streets helped you? RG: Absolutely. I know that. I know that my street racing days are solely responsible for me not letting any pressure get to me. You going to the finals and are one point away from the championship and there is a sense of being nervous, that type of nervous because you want something and you hope it works out. But it could never be as much pressure on me than racing for $40,000 on the street. It’s not a lot of people that can say they have raced for that much money. What that means is, you know as a rider, you are responsible for ten people or one person that has put out that money. If somebody has that much confidence in your riding ability that they are willing to wager $40,000 on your ability... It got to a point when people were offering me big money to throw a race because nobody could beat me. Big money. SBI: You ever take them up on it? RG: Never. Never, ever would I consider it. My name meant more to me. My reputation meant more to me than that money. As soon as they found out that I did something like that... I’m done. And it goes that way in racing today. My name means more to me, than any money that anybody gives me on the racetrack today for racing. When I use to be a young boy the reason I use to feel that I was so good was because I had the mentality of everything to gain and nothing to lose. Now I feel totally the opposite. If I race somebody that I have nothing to gain with, I’m not gonna let somebody talk trash to me. I’ve been challenged by guys, saying why won’t you race so and so... SBI: You have people gunning for you? RG: Out of sight, out of mind. I feel like right now, I’ve been through that stage and I was upset about it. Now I know what it’s about. I haven’t been out there this year and I’ve been dealing with my Mom’s situation. Nobody expects me to win. How 178 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM

do you be a champion and be the underdog? I like that. At this point, I don’t have nothing to lose with racing. I’m back to having everything to gain. SBI: How was your recent trip to Dubai for their first international motorcycle race? RG: The thing that surprises me is that people in other countries show me more respect than people in our own country. Over there, when I walk around people, people want you to touch them, probably because I’m from another country. But they know me without my helmet on overseas more than they know me here. I guess because they YouTube a lot! Everybody always says, “Man, I was on youtube! I saw you on youtube.” Now, they don’t have a drag strip so we were on a private airport runway. We made it look much like a dragstrip as possible. I had them set up the bikes. The way I would set up a bike over here. But it’s different over there so the set up made it like riding on water. They don’t lower their bikes because they are used to no traction. I figured that I was gonna go over there and school them: lower the bike, gear it up, etc. Basically, we had to undo everything we did to the bike and put it all the way back to stock. But finally got one of the fastest times ever. It was a great experience. It was exciting what we got to see, do. Their passion is ridiculous! It’s almost like soccer, you know outside of the U.S., soccer is big. We have football or basketball here... That’s how racing is over there. SBI: In the U.S., the industry is troubled and is still struggling. In contrast to other places around the world, like Dubai, how do you see things? RG: I think that the sport of motorcycle period is finally starting to rise. We went through a slump. Motorcycling was at a high in the early 2000’s and peaked in ‘07. In 2008, the economy hit the toilet and so did everybody else. People got scared of spending money. But now, the economy sends to me seems to be and turning around. I seems to be on the rise. It’s not back, but it’s certainly headed in that directions. I think that it has got a lot to do with our President Obama. He’s giving the people the confidence, changing things around making things easier. Sponsors aren’t scared to put

out, to spend money but they are not just throwing it away. Sponsors are strategic, yet motivated to do things. The industry is starting to come back. SBI: Are you the best? RG: Absolutely. Do I need to say that again? Absolutely. Am I the best? Am I the best drag racer? Am I the best motorcycle racer? Am I the best person in the industry? When I say that I feel like I am it is because I’m able to successfully do in my position what no other drag racer can do. I don’t know if they never tried it or they tried and was unsuccessful, but no drag racer has been able to go as far as I have gone in this sport, to touch more people outside of the country, outside the industry of drag racing, to broaden the horizon. So I’ve been able to with the help of my wife, the sponsors, with the knowledge I have, basically branch out Ricky Gadson is building a brand so that whenever I’m done the mark I will leave on this industry. SBI: You’re talking about legacy. RG: Yes. I’ve always been the minority everywhere,

I’ve gone in this sport. But I have gone from an unknown minority to now a known minority. Today, Rickey stands at the head of his family as husband, father, uncle... role model. Throughout his life, Gadson has remained a constant. Staring down the familiar face of agony time and time again, in a position where one might be given an “okay” to fall apart if only for a moment... Gadson never has. In fact, he’s done the opposite of what could have been expected and more than likely accepted or understood for anyone else preserving the stormy clouds above their head. And perhaps that’s the elemental factor. Rickey Gadson is not like everyone else, therefore what befalls him would possibly crush the average man. Gadson chooses victory and triumph over tragedy because of the cloth that he was cut from. It’s what his father would do. It’s what his mother would do... A King does not simply carry on. A King carries upward. SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 179



obody expects me to win. How do you be a champion and be the underdog? I like that. At this point, I don’t have anything to lose with racing. I’m back to having everything to gain.” 180 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM




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f you don’t know him, you better start checking. West coast native and Arizona born freestyle stunt rider, Savage Lin, has always been an intense rider with some flowing style, as you’ll notice in some of these photos. He’s traveled the country multiple times and competed in several types of events throughout the United States. Let’s see what else Savage Lin has been up to.

DS: We know you’ve been involved in the freestyle stunt riding scene since the beginning days. How did you first get involved with motorcycles and how did it turn into stunt riding? SL: In the beginning I was drawn in by two guys doing wheelies up and down the lake in Arizona. After seeing these guys going back and forth on one wheel, it made me want to buy my first sport bike. DS: What was your first bike or stunt bike? SL:I purchased a 2002 Yamaha R6 for my first bike and it was totaled within a week. After a few years, I started stunt riding on a 2004 Honda CBR600 F4I. 186 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM

DS: After seeing the evolution of the sport, what can you say about it in regards to your personal journey as far as riding and where it has taken you? SL:In the beginning the sport was not as established as it is now. My journey over the years has taken me around the country and with XDL competitions that helped build my name through wins. In return, companies such as EBC Brakes, K&N Filters, and Impaktech have joined my side to grow my program. DS: Who were your inspirations? SL: My inspirations in this sport started with the man himself, Darius Khashabi, and his “Servin’ It Up” videos. Now, I’m inspired by Bill Dixon, Ernie Vigil, Nick Apex, Stunter13 and Romain Jeandrot. DS: There are so many different years and models of motorcycles out there as far as making one a complete stunt bike. What is your ideal bike and set up to ride? SL: I have been a fan of the 2003 Kawasaki Ninja 636. I love how the bike runs and rides with all of the new stunt parts that companies have produced for it.


THE REV LIMITER: THE MAIN POINTS “In the beginning I was drawn in by two guys doing wheelies up and down the lake in Arizona...


After seeing these guys going back and forth on one wheel, it made me want to buy my first sport bike.� SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 189


DS: What is a favorite trick or move you have? I know you have quite a few! SL: My favorite trick would have to be the fakie 50/50 jump. I perform it by jumping to 50/50 and tuck my foot through and then back out before hitting the tank to ride off. DS: You recently attended Stunt Wars for the first time in several years. Tell us about your Individual Freestyle run and the Florida based event. SL: My last visit to Stunt Wars was great. I finished in fifth place overall in Individual Freestyle and first place in Team Event. My run was great but I had missed a lot of things that would have helped me place better, such as drifting, that I’m really good at. DS: I’ve noticed that you have an interest in the car scene as well, what other toys do you have or hobbies you like to take part in? 190 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM

SL: Besides my bike life I have an interest in muscle cars. At the moment, my brother and I have bought a 2015 Mustang GT that we are getting ready to turbo and build a monster. I also just started snowboarding and riding motocross. Cross training is also my focus to become a better rider on my sport bike. DS: What’s in store for you and the rest of 2015? SL: Well, I’m sure you have seen my new comeback videos this summer. I have two more videos dropping in the next couple of months; one will be a street video and the other will be another hard hitting lot video. Shout out to my sponsors who help me crank out my work: Empire, EBC Brakes, K&N Filters, Impaktech, Hel, HoHeyDesigns, AZ Custom Coatings, 5th Gear Sprockets, JBseatz, Graveyard Customs, Convertibars, Badass Industries, and Righteous Stunt Metal.


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am by no means an authority on "getting sponsored" but over the years I have learned a thing or two from being in the stunt industry and I constantly get asked this question by upand-coming riders: How do you get sponsored as a motorcycle stunt rider? This answer should be of interest to anyone involved in the stunt riding industry. Where and how the money comes into our sport greatly dictates the future of stunt riding's style, personalities, geography and target demographics. It's a fascinating time for stunt riding, the future is ours and by looking at the big picture we can work to turn stunt riding into something relatable, understandable and able to be enjoyed by a huge and diverse group of people. To begin, you need to think about getting sponsored the same as you would approach


There is an infinite amount of ways to set yourself apart, you just need to creatively think about how to apply your personal skills towards building something of worth.




To make yourself valuable you need to examine the stunt scene and figure out what is missing. For example, how can companies better communicate with riders and audiences? How could a company alter their image towards a certain demographic?

Take a fresh perspective.

Don’t only be unique in your self branding, also think outside the box when it comes to sponsors.

pursuing a new job. A company pays you to get them impressions... eyeballs... test their merchandise and spread the good word about their products or services. Getting sponsored doesn't mean simply "getting paid to ride." There is a whole host of responsibilities that come along with being a sponsored rider, so if you just want to ride your motorcycle, getting sponsored probably isn't a goal you should chase. One of the most important parts of your job as a sponsored rider is communication. Whether it's in person, in front of an audience, online or in pictures and videos; how well you communicate in these situations is crucial. Communication is important in both quality and quantity. You want to grow your reach as wide as you can while staying true to your personal message and core values. This means shows, events, interviews, blogs and social media platforms. Each conversation, comment, like and dislike is important - and you should treat every exchange with professionalism and respect. Task one: make yourself into a brand and get your brand out into the world. Now I'm sorry to say, but killer riding skills and some social media handles are something pretty much anyone can cobble together. To get to the top of the stunt game you need something that sets you apart. Be honest, why would a company pick you? If you can't answer that clearly and concisely, don't fret, but do go back to the drawing board. There are an infinite amount of ways to set yourself apart, you just need to creatively think about how to apply your personal skills towards building something of worth. To make yourself valuable you need to examine the stunt scene and figure out what is missing. For example, how can companies better communicate with riders and audiences? How SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 195

THE REV LIMITER: VIOLET STARS... could a company alter their image towards a certain demographic? Stunt riding as a whole is missing a lot of things including, events, ways for people to get together and learn how to stunt, methods to perform for big audiences, TV shows and competitions, just to name a few. Finding a solution for some of the industry's problems makes you a smart choice for any company to work with. There is certainly no formula to finding a way to ride professionally, but as more and more riders move up the ranks and become full time riders, the playing field intensifies. You need the personal brand, the online and in-person network, you need to do the footwork to get yourself out in front of these companies and most importantly you need a unique reason to make them pay attention to you. The last is the most important, you can do everything else right, but if there is nothing setting you apart from the crowd, well, no one will notice you in the crowd. My last piece of advice is, don't only be unique in your self branding, also think outside the box when it comes to sponsors. Maybe the typical "stunt company" is not right for you. Getting our sport in front of broader audiences and working with new products and services is crucial to stunt riding's growth and if you have success in alternative markets, the core "stunt" companies will start to get interested. Work hard to make yourself unique, valuable and worthy of sponsorship, then the sponsorships will come naturally.


There is certainly no formula to finding a way to ride professionally, but as more and more riders move up the ranks and become full time riders, the playing field intensifies. You need the personal brand, the online and in person network, you need to do the footwork to get yourself out in front of these companies and most importantly you need a unique reason to make them pay attention to you. SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 197








o you think this bike life is all about the boys? Well, there’s one very talented and ambitious young lady who thinks otherwise and has the skills to prove it. Meet 21 year old, Keyria Doughty, Baltimore’s Wheelie Queen. Intrigued by others that would stunt through the streets of Baltimore such as her mentors, Wheelie Wayne and Chino, and Philly’s Meek Mills, Keyria knew one day she would be part of that bike life. She began riding at the young age of 11 until the untimely passing of her father in 2009 when she took a break from stunting. However, she found solace and peace in riding her Kawasaki KX1750 during this difficult period in her life as a means of handling her father’s death so she pressed forward gaining experience and increasing her skills in the process.




“My parents never wanted me to ride because they were worried this was a boys’ sport,” said Keyria. “But once they saw my passion and skills, they fully supported me,” she said with pride. Realizing the world she lives in has more than its share of challenges with crime and the negative image associated with dirt bikes and ATVs within inner cities, this parental support was and is critical as she wants to be a positive role model for the bike life segment and her city. With steadfast determination, she already has her eyes on the future with the goal of landing sponsorships in order to bring her skills to a larger audience.



And yes, sponsorships are great; however, Baltimore’s Wheelie Queen is the first to make it clear she does this for the simple love and passion of the sport. “I do this because I love it,” she said enthusiastically. “A day without riding is a day of instant-attitude,” she continued laughingly. This is a common-thread we can all appreciate, riding for the pure love and joy of it regardless if you ride a sport bike, cruiser, ATV or dirt bike. Although she has respect for those that stunt on sport bikes, her heart is into stunting dirt bikes as evidenced in the opportunity to share the story and stage of the skillfully crafted 12 O’Clock Boys documentary. This dynamic young lady is ready to keep putting in the time and work to take her skills to a new level of not only opening new doors, but also breaking down doors of stereotypes.



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ad Karma. He’s just one of those riders that has always seemed to just be around. No beginning. No end. It seems fitting because Karma falls somewhat into the category of legend in the street of Philadelphia. He is what you call a rider’s rider. A no bullshit, no nonsense, it is what it is type of rider. He’s intelligent. He’s skilled. He’s fast. He’s dangerous. Dangerous for all the right reasons. His love for motorcycles is deep rooted. As a kid, Karma started off riding ATV’s and dirt bikes in the street and inevitably had situations with law enforcement. Negative interactions with police had a shelf life so when those who were older than Karma began to get into street bikes, it didn’t take long before the fever got a hold of him as well. “To me, being fast isn’t about you going out and buying the latest and greatest sport bike that can do 200 plus miles per hour,” Karma explains. “I tell a lot of people that just because you have a faster bike doesn’t make you a faster rider. Most times I have to do more showing them this truth than telling them.” The blur that a lot of car drivers often speak of that blaze by their doors, carving up traffic at speed as it moves in between whatever vehicles are in its path... The blur that does not just split lanes, it disintegrates them... That ‘s Karma. His uncanny street riding survival skills are self taught, forged over 17 years as he studied his craft and refined his methods. He’s never done a track day nor has he ever completed any formal motorcycle riding training course. To say that he is a natural is one thing. To say that he is gifted is another. Karma is a combination of those elements and then some, a perfect storm. “If you take the time to sharpen your skills and perfect your craft you can beat someone on a faster bike by learning how to turn, braking, body position, understanding tire patch limits, shift points, etc… To me when you ride like you are one with your bike, that is what makes someone fast.” I might even suggest that Karma possesses trace amounts of clairvoyance. His monicker, Bad Karma was chosen not because of its ominous tone. “Bad Karma is something I came up with a long time ago in boot camp. In our make shift war games I use to say what could possibly happen and then it would happen. And after it happened a few times people started to say that I gave



THE LIFE: THE TAO OF BAD KARMA them bad vibes among other things. Ultimately I became known as Bad Karma.” Karma understands the dangers of riding at these speeds in traffic and does not take the perils lightly. He gears up each and every time that he mounts his bike. “Over the years I learned to gear up a lot more as I became a more aggressive.” His kit includes his helmet, chest and spine protector, leather jacket, knee and shin protections, leather jacket, gauntlet gloves, race boots, ninja mask and around his neck, a silver chain with a crucifix. He continues, “When selecting gear its best not to go super cheap, but you don’t have to sign a mortgage either!” Regardless of how you feel about street riders, lane splitters, highway slayers, turnpike assassins, etc... It is undeniable that there is a heightened level of talent and intuition involved with riding at


this level. Riding at his level requires dedication and “practice, practice, practice... I can’t say it enough. Without repetition and constant practice, last second lane changes and braking won’t become second nature. Learning to looking three to five seconds through your turn, plotting out your next move, even anticipating what drivers might do takes awhile to pick up on.” Karma’s toolbox also includes the artful skill of knee dragging. It’s something that he can do at will whether he is riding the on or off ramps of the highway, his favorite round about or even if he is just changing lanes. That’s correct, Karma drags his knee as he moves from the right lane to the left lane... On the street... At will. Thanks to his modified spiked knee pucks, Karma literally makes sparks fly. “I studied a lot of MotoGP action, motorcycle magazines and YouTube videos on proper body positioning, suspension setup, tires, etc. Afterwards I went out and saw what other riders were using to knee drag. I started putting together different gear that was more about me and my riding style. I believe with the proper instructions and instructor just about anybody can do it.” This is where being one with your bike come into play. Karma continues, “You just have to trust your tires and bike. The first time I touched down was amazing. I was coming in hot off the turnpike on an exit turn and at that point I was already committed. My braking was done, my ass was off the seat, entry line picked out and all I had to do was remember what I learned. I leaned my bike over and the rest was history. Your first instinct is to pull your knee in, but once it touches and you’re not burning through your jeans to your knee, you kind of realize that you’re really doing it and the feeling is something you’ll just have to experience for yourself.” He’s had his share of close calls, though. “I’ve taken off a side mirror with my shoulder because someone tried to do a last second lane change, Tank slappers, tire slippage while knee dragging, riders going down around me or taking turns wide, etc… I’ve seen a lot over my 17 years. I’ve went down a few times. That’s why I can’t stress enough for people to wear their gear. Let’s be honest, falling comes with the sport and even the best MotoGP riders are guaranteed to go down once or twice a season. Four years ago, I went down at 150mph while in a turn due to cold tires. Thank god I was able to get up on my own and walk away, but that made me switch back to good ol’ Super Corsa tires. It also pushed me towards hitting the track even more.” SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 213




how me a nice road, a full tank of gas, and some fresh tyres and anything’s possible.” SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 215

THE LIFE: THE TAO OF BAD KARMA Over the years, Karma has owned more than half a dozen of bikes but has ridden just about all that there is to ride, in terms of sportbikes. In his current stable along with the 2002 Yamaha R1, the 2008 Kawasaki ZX10R and the 2007 Honda CBR 1000RR is a 2007 Yamaha V Star 1100. “That V Star has a lot of sentimental value. It was my older brother’s first bike that I helped him get. He loved that hell out of that bike. He was a member with Twisters Motorcycle Club, the North Philly Chapter. He recently passed away from cancer in 2014 and my parents said that he wanted me to have it. I ride it from time to time, but… Some days are harder than others because of the memories we shared. Memories of us riding together.” Karma’s is hard pressed to put a measurement of time on how long it took him to develop his skill set. “I’m constantly picking up a new skill here and there that I add to my particular riding style. It’s a constant learning curve, not with just riding but knowing the differences between tire compounds and how they perform, tyre pressure, how different road surfaces affect your ride handling, throttle control, lean angles, tyre limits in the wet compared to dry, body positioning, etc… I’m constantly striving to get better in all areas. I won’t say that I’m done with street riding, because that’s where I started and my heart is still in the street, but right now for 2015 I’m leaning more towards the track and taking things to the next level.” A rider as talented, as skilled and as dedicated as Karma understands that in order for him to ascend to the next level he needs to set his eyes on the next goal, the next challenge... the track. Karma has dominated the streets, highways and back roads. He is still hungry. He’s still striving to improve himself as a rider. His thoughts on defining what composes a real rider are very simple. “A real rider is someone that can adjust to all riding conditions. Someone that can move between different motorcycles classes and still be a lethal contender. Someone that has been down before and learned from their mistakes and continues to get back on and ride even harder. Someone that treats this as a lifestyle and not a hobby. Someone who constantly strives to perfect their craft and get better.” Street riding on this level is not for anyone and by no means does Karma represent himself as a role model. However he understands that there will always be someone else on the come up looking to capture their moments of speed. He reminds any and all, “Wear 216 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM


hen you’ve put in all the hard work to perfect your skill, you won’t have to go around saying how good you are, the people that seen you in action will do all the talking for you.” SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 217


your fucking gear as if you plan on falling. Ride your own ride meaning if the group you’re with wants to go faster than you are capable of or comfortable with, then you need to fall back and meet them at the destination. Don’t allow other riders to take you out of your comfort zone before you’re physically or mentally ready. Last but not least, just because the guy in front of you is taking a turn fast doesn’t mean you can too. So slow your fast ass down, Rossi. No one wants to tell your mom why your ass went sliding off the highway following someone on a turnpike exit." 218 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM










is head is clear. Thoughts escape and are left behind like dust in the wind. He defies laws of nature, traveling at earth shattering speeds while remaining still at mind. Away from the hustle and bustle of life, isolated and engaged in the moment, he finds his sanctuary on the streets. Tyson Beckford spent his early childhood living with his mother in Jamaica. He would ride on the back of his mom’s friend’s CB 750, spawning his innate love for the road. "I would see gangs of bikes on the road and knew I wanted to do that when I grew up." The moment he experienced the freedom of the ride, he knew he was born to ride. "I had never felt anything like it, like flying, it's indescribable." Growing up wasn't easy and he could never afford a bike as a kid, but that feeling never left him. Our lives manifest into what we envision or sometimes it ends up becoming something





never expected. Each day has the potential to be filled with life changing events and on a seemingly normal day back in 1993, life changed forever in Tyson's world. Blessed with an exotic blend of Jamaican and Chinese he instantly caught the attention of world renown designer Ralph Lauren. This same year, director Reggie Rock Bythewood cast Tyson as a rough riding, street racer in the hit film Biker Boyz. It was clear that he was a natural and would be a versatile player, possessing the ability to transcend such contrasting worlds. In 1994, in collaboration with American fashion photographer Bruce Weber, Tyson shot his first campaign for Ralph Lauren which immediately rocketed him into the primarily female dominated industry. Pioneering as the first male Super Model, he quickly gained recognition and respect. Tyson admits it was difficult to gain respect in the moto world because of his involvement in a world so opposite as the world of fashion. "Everyone judges by appearances and thinks I’m just a pretty guy." As his career grew, so did his spectrum of riding skills. From streets to tracks, Tyson is always looking to expand his knowledge and ability. He first discovered his love for racing at a Kawasaki track day in 2000. After the ride he was approached by industry professionals who pointed out how natural he was on the bike. Almost as if they were surprised that this "pretty boy" could actually ride. In 2009 Tyson was the center of a collaboration of two top brands, Puma and Ducati. The two came together to create the Ducati experience in Misano, Italy. An intimate session with top riders on the world’s most intricately designed machine. While visiting, he was given an exclusive tour of the Ducati factory where all the magic happens. SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 227




THE LIFE: TYSON BECKFORD Being a part of the film industry for over a decade isn't something everyone can boast about. Dominating key roles in features like Into the Blue with Jessica Alba and Paul Walker, and starring in Hotel California and Kings of the Evening to name a few. The character of Tyson's new film is a bit more laid back as previous roles, but his ride, a Ducati 848 is anything but reserved. Go along for the ride as this sex addicted character is faced with a difficult reality. Addicted is set to release February 2014. Tyson finds inspiration in despair, finds peace in the chaos. Out of tragedy comes triumph, it made aware of the reason for suffering. His depth far reaches the pages of any magazine. His range of talent is just beginning to take flight, from fashion and film to racing and life on the streets. He understands the struggle and realizes how blessed he really is. From nothing he became something. Out of darkness he became enlightened to what is real and important in this world. High speed on two wheels is how he would make his exit: emptying his earnings, donating all his money to those who need it. He would want to be remembered for evoking change in the fight for equality for all people. No man should judge another. Every path may be different but everyone is created equal. Our blood all flows the same. He fears the gain of success and the loss of himself. Reminding himself to always stay grounded. Our roots are what holds us steady. They're our beginning, our reason for existence. He never forgets where he came from, and uses the struggle and those who have ever doubted him as his motivation to "make everyday a better day."









ention his name in any professional racing paddock and wait for the smile to spread across the face of the person to whom you are talking. This is in an industry where your longevity is based upon your ability to persevere not only the ups and downs of the business but of life in general. But it’s not just about persevering, although that is a large part of the equation. The other part resides in your ability to thrive. Eraldo Ferracci at his core is the perfect storm of those two very defining elements... Perseverance and the ability to succeed. A master tuner, engine builder and one hell of a cook, Eraldo’s passion for excellence for himself and those in his company is the strands of a legend. He can be a fiery, explosive, whirlwind of focused energy. But he’s also a humanitarian, husband and father that understands the importance of family. He was 12 years old when he began attending what would be considered vocational school. He would spend half of his days in a classroom and the rest of the day in a motorcycle shop. He capitalized on the opportunity but he also became aware that he was needed just as much as he desired an education. Then, the students could stay later and engage in a kind of mentorship with the factory engineers, assisting them in their projects. It was like an unofficial internship as the factories needed the help and found them in willing and able minded students. Eraldo was one of those students that understood the importance of hands on

training. He feels that today things are different for those attending technical schools. While there is much hands on learning, a great percentage of the curriculum is based on text books. Perhaps that’s the difference between a mechanic, an engineer and a master tuner. It wasn’t just the knowledge that he acquired in his youth. It was how he received it. “One time we developed and we designed the engine. The engineers would come into the shop and sketch right on the floor with the white chalk,”he recalls. From there, they would pull different parts from other engines and motorcycles and part together the bike on the shop floor. No computers. No digital studios. It was different then. It was truly hands on. “It was the opportunity to learn. A big opportunity. I was a little bit fortunate to learn so much and so quick.” Eraldo made the most logical leap in the evolutionary chain by becoming a professional racer. His professional career began in 1958. In his first year of racing, he won the Novice Championship on board a 175cc Ducati. He went on to win several Italian National Championships for the Motobi Benelli team. Then, in 1964 he was offered a different type of role on the team. Without warning, the Benelli team found themselves in need of someone that had all of Eraldo’s knowledge and education as well as experience. They didn’t look much further than turning to Eraldo to ask if he would change roles from being the pilot to being on the SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 235

research and development department for the race team. They offered him the same pay with plenty of new perks. It was a rather difficult decision for him to make. “It was a breaking of my heart and my family, too, especially my father. He wanted me to continue racing. In those days, you had to race against Agostini and the other top guys. It was like now. Sometimes when you were trying to qualify, you would crash and get hurt. It was tough.” Eraldo mulled over his decision for a week before he broke the news to his family that he wasn’t going to race anymore. As a member of the research and development team, Eraldo still got plenty of seat time. Over the next three years, Eraldo would spend the off seasons developing new motorcycles. He would ride the prototypes the equivalent of 217 miles every day while testing, regardless of the weather. Three years later, he was asked by Benelli to be part of a team to explore the motorcycle retail market in the United States as well as sort out several distribution issues they were having at the time. It was 1967 and Eraldo had only $160, a pregnant wife and his job with Benelli. A week after their arrival in the States, his oldest son, Larry, was born. It was here in the U.S., the spark that would become Fast by Ferracci was ignited. Fast forward to 1985. Eraldo had made a name for himself in the drag racing circuit. Most notably, he was known for getting his engines to produce 236 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM

an amazing and often intimidating amount of power. He was racing and he was winning on bikes that he was building. His knowledge, education and experiences as an engineer and mechanic were beginning to earn acknowledgement from his peers. They wanted to be fast, just like Ferracci. It wasn’t long before Eraldo found his way back to his first love, road racing. He was now manufacturing parts and building engines for racers. In 1986, he was contracted by a privateer team that was racing in North America to build their engines and motorcycles. With Eraldo’s hand in the game, the team went on to dominate their season and Eraldo’s name continued to spread across the U.S. and he was the “go to” guy if you wanted to go fast. Perhaps the news of Eraldo’s success traveled back to his home country because shortly after that dominating season with the privateer team that won championships in three classes, Ducati reached out to him to develop bikes for them. For the next few years, Eraldo’s engines would continue to be elemental for many racers’ successes in American road racing and on the international grid. This is where his skills and know how as a master tuner are highly reflected. There was nothing shady or corrupt about what Eraldo was doing... the point is that he just knew what he was doing. Eraldo’s contribution to road racing are best described as a leap in the evolutionary process with concepts like adding electronic shifting, slipper clutches, titanium connecting rods, etc.



f you want be a champion, you have to be on the limiter. One hundred percent. You gotta stay on top.”




And that has always been the difference. If the factory parts did not produce the results that Eraldo was looking for, he would make a part that did. He understood the relationship between potential and actual, often pushing the realms of reality just to see what he could get away with. If he didn’t ask for it, how would he have known what he could or could not have had? Eraldo was years ahead of his competitors. Eraldo feels that road racing today is different because of the advanced technology in the bikes. This may be in part due to his doings. Eraldo’s use of electronic components, slipper clutches, data logging could be referenced as the tipping point. Riders today have so much technology available to them; many only need to know how to communicate the feedback from their bike to their crew who can make necessary adjustments. In Eraldo’s day, riding the bike meant really riding the bike. You were the computer and you had to be able to directly translate whatever the bike was telling you and you had to do it on the fly. “Now, the rider has to be a little smarter than before... and less gutsy,but still be able to take chances and be on the limiter.” Eraldo continues, “If you want be a champion, you have to be on the limiter. One hundred percent. You gotta stay on top.” Eraldo’s decades in the motorcycle and racing industry have gifted him with a keen sense of recognizing talent. He can tell by observing a rider within a few laps if they are dialed in with their bike or if they should consider a career change. At the highest level, Eraldo references Jorge

Lorenzo. “I like Lorenzo because he never looks like he’s in trouble with the bike. He’s really smooth all the time.” He mentions a few others, like Marquez and Iannone, that are on his list of riders that he enjoys watching compete. Acknowledging Valentino Rossi’s massive track of success but also hinting that it may be time to pass the reigns, Eraldo laughs, “What he does comes from a lot of experience. But now he has a lot of money to spend. He should one day start a team and enjoy racing that way.” After several years of competing in various series and classes, Eraldo made the transition from the race paddock to showroom and shop with his Fast by Ferracci. The dealership, located just outside of Philadelphia, is where you’ll find Eraldo these days. He’s typically the first in the door and the last one to leave. Specializing in sales and service of the Ducati, Mv Agusta and Moto Guzzi brands, Eraldo still manufactures performance components. His focus is now on making his customers fast. His components include exhausts, piston kits and other items that he’s noticed the consumer market needs to maximize performance from their motorcycle. In today’s climate, Eraldo understands the importance of adjusting and making efforts to not only embrace the global community but to also be embraced. He says that he is happy with his empire and content with his place in the racing history books. But his eyes tell a different story. In his eyes, there lies the fire of a competitor that is still looking for another first place finish on the podium. Another championship to show the world just what he has done.




IN A SPORT WHERE SPEED IS EVERYTHING, D-AIR® TECHNOLOGY IS UNBEATABLE. THE D-AIR® SYSTEM CAN DETECT A CRASH IN AS FAST AS 15 MS AND INFLATE COMPLETELY IN 30 MS * DAINESE D-AIR® RACING: 15 YEARS OF UNRIVALED RESEARCH INDUSTRY-LEADING PROTECTION IS OUR #1 PRIORITY In a crash, D-air® Racing’s high-pressure airbag protects the collarbone, limits neck oscillation and reduces shoulder-impact forces by 85% compared to traditional body armor. The system utilizes a GPS, three accelerometers, three gyroscopes and a sophisticated triggering algorithm†, and includes a built-in telemetry system that allows the rider to track performance. D-air® Racing is the protection benchmark in the road racing world and is used by top riders including Valentino Rossi, Stefan Bradl, Pol Espargaró, Nicky Hayden, Tom Sykes, Leon Haslam.

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D-air®, D-air® Racing and D-air® Street are all registered trademarks of Dainese S.p.A. D-air® Racing’s triggering algorithm is intended for track use only. *Measured in accordance with European Standard EN 1621.1. Crash detection and deployment conditions explained in further detail in the user manual.






ony and Sam share an unbreakable bond. Double stitched and threaded by music and motorcycles, the word friendship doesn't cover it and the term bromance cheapens it. Their friendship and understanding of one another is richer and deeper than that. Both men share a passion for motorcycles as Tony is the Tony Prust of Analog Motorcycles. Equally shared is their passion for music, as Sam is Sam Loeffler of the music group Chevelle in which he is the drummer. I was introduced to Chevelle's music in 2002, at a time when MTV2 still played music consistently. The song was entitled "The Red", a strategic flow of moody waves crashing into and over your auditory system. The video itself was an extension of what the ears where hearing, portraying the members of the group engaged in anger management. I got it. It was clever and insightful. I went to see Chevelle perform live on their tour that year and was not disappointed. In fact, I haven't missed a Philly region show of theirs since. They're just that damn good. About two years ago, my buddy Ben Bostrom put me on to Analog Motorcycles as he was filming Cafe Racer at the time and was riding one of Tony's builds in the episode. Tony’s bikes were every bit an homage to the anti digital age as his company's namesake would suggest. His lines are clean, effective, aggressive in the non traditional manner. They were not pretty bikes. They were handsome








with strong jawlines... They were designed and built to be ridden while portraying a manly ruggedness. And again, I got it.

of the bike industry, I would catch a grin or a disguised smile as it ran across his face... I should mention, that Tony is not a smiler. Nor am I. Tony has a serious and sincere look of It wasn’t until I had a conversation with my observation about him at all times... So I was friend Emily at Alpinestars did I make the surprised when he would crack a grin, albeit connection that there was a connection to be short lived. As the conversation continued, I made. Emily informed me that Sam was not realized that Tony is not a mechanic. He is only an enthusiast, but a hell of a rider with not a wrench. I'd go as far to say that Tony is several bikes in his stable... mostly built by Tony not a builder. If I had to put him in a box, I'd at Analog. Emily, knowing I was a fan of the had to say that he is a creator... an artist. He group arranged for me to meet Sam at their embodies all the oddities and qualities that next gig in Atlantic City. When I met Sam, artists are known to posess. His laser like focus, Dean and Pete, I also met Tony who was on passion and determination could easily be tour with them as road manager for the group. displaced as arrogance or elitism. The reality Talk about killing two birds with one bullet. about artists like Tony is that they exist in this Backstage, we talked bikes, MotoGP, music... world while dealing with the creative process Specifically the song, El Diablo which Sam that is ever present, ever working within their has promised will return to the band’s concert minds... It is the world's greatest balancing playlist... Then I heard, "Allan, you should come act. His eyes rattled with perception, joy and to Chicago and ride some bikes with us..." I pride as he walked me through the garage as honestly do not remember who offered the invite a painter would walk a patron through their but you don’t have to ask me twice. Come to studio, showing their new work. Then Sam think of it, I may have only heard that in my arrived... head and just invited myself! So... Sam walks into the garage and the mood is I arrived in Chicago and headed to Analog immediately transformed. Sam is the unofficial Motorcycles which in essence, is Tony's garage spokesman for Analog Motorcycles and part behind his house. This is where it all started time test rider. Tony builds bikes and then to make sense. Tony gave the quick tour of Sam rides them. I could only sit back as Sam the inner workings of Analog, showcasing a hopped on just about every bike that had a few new projects as well as some top secret, clear seat available like a kid hopping on classified items that he was in the middle of horses on a merry go round before the ride producing. As I watched him and listened to started. For a moment, I'm the fly on the wall as him discussing his thoughts on the current state Sam and Tony catch up with each other as if SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 251




THE LIFE: THE DRUMMER & THE BUILDER it had been months since they had seen each other. However, I'm pretty sure that it may have only been a few hours. Yet, there they were... The drummer and the builder. We geared up and then hit the streets of Gurnee, a suburb north of Chicago. I had the joy of riding Sam's 2005 Ducati Monster S2R 800 while Sam rode his 1996 Bimota DB3 Mantra. Tony was on board his trusty 2007 KTM Superduke. The plan was simple, just to get out for a ride with no real point or destination. Just to ride, grab some lunch and do a bit of Benny Hill action at stop lights to swap bikes. The Monster S2R 800 was a true street machine. Loud, rowdy and looked like a bat straight out of hell. Tony had really done his work on this bike as he took it from the early stages of a custom build to its finished form that it is today. One of the first things that I noticed on the bike was the Cycle Cat rearsets. If you are a fan of the Monster or have ever owned one, you understand how the Cycle Cat rearsets are comparable to the Holy Grail since the company that manufactured them are now defunct. They are just really great looking and well made rearsets for a bike that didn't have a lot of aftermarket rearset options. The Monster is very quick with explosive bursts of power paired with a snappy throttle response that gets up and goes. The front end suspension is borrowed from a Suzuki GSXR so the handling takes a little getting used to as the feedback is not as clear as it could be. Then there is the exhaust system. The pipes are custom made, open stainless steel that rumble at idle. When the throttle is opened, the pipes audibly explode with an intimidating thunderous crackling. The KTM Superduke is Tony's long hauler and 254 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM

every day rider. The bike is a bull with broad shoulders and a dominating appearance. It growls but quickly converts to rhythmic roar when the throttle is opened and its full Akrapovic exhuast system in harmony with its air intake set up reminds you why the sound of a motorcycle is a large part of its DNA. The Superduke's power is paired with a comfortable riding position. You're somewhere between sitting on and sitting in the bike, at a higher level. It's easier to keep your head on a swivel because you are sitting up but not upright,

relieving stress and pressure from your lower back. After a few moments on the KTM, it made perfect sense to me why Tony loved this bike so much. The Bimota DB3 Mantra was cut from a different cloth. This bike should have maximum weight and height restrictions. Of the three machines that were ridden that day, this one was custom built and fitted for Sam. Everything about the Mantra breathed “one of a kind.� From its handling, power and performance right SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 255




THE LIFE: THE DRUMMER & THE BUILDER compact yet powerful and commanding. It is a combination of American retro, Euro cool with a proper salute to modern moto tech. The three of us made our way from Gurnee to Waukesha, taking a bit of back roads, high ways, rural and suburban roads. We stopped to eat, talk, listen... We got back to Tony's garage in the late afternoon. There, we debriefed one another on our individual experiences from the day, what bit of road we liked best and which of the bikes was a better fit for which rider. Even though I was technically on the clock, this day reminded me why I love what I do. I've learned over time that sometimes the best interviews aren't really interviews at all. They are mostly engaged conversations between interested parties. I've also learned that most builders and musicians have already been asked the same questions in various formats by a multitude of people. A great journalist is a great listener especially when you are in the company of individuals or groups that truly have something to say. And sometimes, there is nothing to say. Sometimes, it’s just about the ride. Sam and Tony exemplify the relationship that exists between music and motorcycles. They represent the bridge. Music pushes us, drives us, unites us and inspires us. Motorcycles, in kind, are the vehicle upon which we take that journey. Tony is currently on the social media press junket for Analog Motorcycles' newest build, a custom Indian Scout. Sam is now on tour with Pete and Dean supporting Chevelle's new album, La Gargola. Individually and collectively, they are brothers of the bike, brothers beyond blood. Spending a day of serious seat time with Sam and Tony is a reminder of what being a rider is really all about. There are no such things as perfect days. But that day was pretty damn close. 258 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM





















hile attending MotoGP at Circuit of the America's last year I had the privilege of chatting with Mr. Andrew Wheeler, arguably one of the top motorcycle racing photographers to date. Having a personal vested interest in photography and motorcycles myself, I was extremely eager and excited to speak with Andrew. There's plenty of good photographers out there, people that can capture the motorcycle in action and get "the required shot". However, Andrew's photography has something more to it, his shots take on a personality, a soul and are something you can read into. Andrew told me that you shouldn't have to explain your shot, and it certainly shows. His shots posses a sense of emotion, action and humanity. He's very observant and quick whited, not to mention laid back and quite comical, all of which made me just want to engross myself in his stories. I think saying Andrew's photos have a personality as colorful as the man himself is pretty accurate. Because Andrew takes such passionate photos of riders and their machines, I had to know if there was a passion he himself felt for the metal beasts. And to my surprise it turns out that the man himself was actually almost born on a motorcycle! Andrew's parents both rode and met on motorcycles. Later on when his mother went into labor she was driven to the hospital on the back of a BSA Bantam. It would seem that fate had bestowed the love of motorcycling upon this human. Since motorcycles were always around in his family, Andrew started riding around the age of 11. Living in the UK, Andrew commuted daily on his motorcycle and even taught classes on how to ride. Since then he's owned 7 motorcycles and has had numerous accidents, all not so pleasant and one which he was hospitalized for. “I spent from June 22, 1977 through to March 262 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM

3, 1978 in hospital. The first three months of that were in ICU, where I went from being nearly dead, to nearly losing both legs, then losing only one leg until they plated everything. I was in pelvic traction for at least 4 months as well.” I think Andrew’s understanding of riding after so many years and experiencing the dangers of a motorcycle has given him an unspoken appreciation and respect for this two wheeled machine. I believe that it's this deep understanding that lets Andrew capture so many rare and beautiful moments. Andrew has been shooting MotoGP since 2010, so I asked him how he keeps it interesting--it must be hard to come back to the same track and try to get "new" and creative shots. He tells me: “I try not to go to the same corners, or if I do, I try to do something other than what I have done before. Ultimately I will not bother at all, and force myself to dig

deep and find another location to shoot from.” With that said, there are requirements. Andrew points out that there are shots he needs to obtain and do so first, in case any unforeseen

accident happens. He has a plan and a strict regime he sticks to. “One rule I always adhere to is my 10 minute rule. Which is, when everything starts, I start




eople ask me how do I feel if I miss a shot, and I usually say that it’s hard to miss a shot if you weren’t there. Better to have a new viewpoint than completely bore yourself mindless in one place.” Andrew Wheeler



THE LIFE: ANDREW WHEELER a stopwatch, and when 10 minutes are up, I walk or go to a new spot regardless of what I have. It’s essential to keep the discipline as it works. People ask me how do I feel if I miss a shot, and I usually say that it’s hard to miss a shot if you weren’t there. Better to have a new viewpoint than completely bore yourself mindless in one place.” The key thing Andrew told me was to always remember to be happy with what you do. Sure there are expectations, but you shouldn't let them completely control what and how you shoot. At the end of each session Andrew takes the time to shoot what his heart desires. While Andrew may not have a set shot in mind, there are some details that he always pays attention to. Weather is a big factor. Also, every track has it's own challenges and personality, but Andrew doesn't seem to focus on the negative. Instead he is able to take a track's uniqueness and expose it's beauty. For example some of my favorite shots are from Qatar's nighttime races. Shooting at night already poses it's own challenges, however Andrew seems to use them to his advantage. He uses a low shutter speed, the lack of landscape and the gleam of floodlights in the distance to his advantage. In turn it creates a very unique racing shot as races usually take place in the daytime. Another aspect Andrew focuses on is how the rider interacts with his machine. He says that 266 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM

unlike photographing cars, motorcycle racing has a very humanistic quality because you do in fact see the bond between rider and machine. I think that Andrew's past history of photographing horses may have had some influence. Perhaps shooting a graceful horse and a motorcycle is very similar in the aspect that there is a visible living breathing being involved. And lastly Andrew always keeps a watchful

and observant eye on what’s happening. He shoots everything from the motorcycles, to the environment, to the animals and people that create the amazing atmosphere at the MotoGP tracks and garages. Nothing is off limits and you never know when an opportunity for a brilliant shot may arise. When you look at his vast collection of photos you most certainly get a sense of involvement and a story. His shots are like a painting where anyone can get lost and daydream. I believe that this is what makes a great capture, when the viewer can

put themselves within the image and feel the excitement… That is true engagement through a photographer's eye. I asked Andrew what he personally looks for in a shot that makes him feel satisfied: “If it has told a story. For me, I like to feel I can allow the viewer to step into the image and see things. I try to leave a weekend with at least one shot that says to me, that was the weekend at... insert race track name here.”











t was after the 2014 Indy MotoGP race that my dear friend, Sheila Paul, began to heavily hint that I should make the trek out to Montgomery, Texas to attend the Texas Tornado Bootcamp (TTBC). I remember specifically, as it was an emotional weekend for Colin Edward as he was retiring from MotoGP.That weekend was his last home Grand Prix. I had heard of Colin’s camp before from other friends and it was always in the back of mind that I needed to sort out my uber hectic schedule and make the trip. But there was something very serious about the way Sheila was approaching it. She made it seem that my life would be forever changed if I came to camp. My line of work allows me


to do a lot of really cool stuff but Sheila was convinced that four days at the TTBC would top them all. A few months later, Shea Fouchek contacted me about my availability for the 2015 season. Shea is one of the instructors at the camp and also handles the press and media. He gave me the rundown of dates and it made the most sense to attend the camp just before the Austin MotoGP race in April. Shea, in harmony with Sheila, was convinced that these four days would change my life. Let me back up here for a moment. I have never ridden a dirt bike before, let alone rode a dirt bike in the dirt. And



leaves for when nature calls. The campus is very simple but most importantly, it’s accommodating. I asked Sheila what I should pack other than my personal items. Her suggestions were to simply When you get down to it, the world’s top riders bring some comfortable apparel to change into for when we were not riding. Everything else all have a rich history in the dirt and actively ride dirt in the off season to keep their skills is provided and I do mean everything. Towels, soap, food, helmets, gear, armor and of course, sharp, to train or just for recreation. My life the bikes. The chosen stead for the camp is the has been focused on track and street riding. Yamaha TTR125. It’s lightweight yet tough. It’s My thoughts on dirt riding were that it would extremely nimble and very user friendly, which make me a more educated rider and give me more tools to have in my skill set. My lack of is a great selection for the total newbie like experience in the dirt was never for not wanting. myself yet still super fun for the experienced It was always of question of air and opportunity. dirt rider. While it was my very first time at the camp and the first time in the dirt, several of my camp mates were repeat campers. It didn’t take I arrived at camp on Saturday afternoon where long to understand why. After checking in and I met my other camp mates. It is important to signing the appropriate waivers, I was assigned note that the word “camp” in this regard does not imply the use of tents, sleeping outdoors, a bunk and went to try on my provided gear. keeping an eye out for small or large woodland As the remaining riders arrived and we creatures or procuring a stack of not so rough I made it clear to both Sheila and Shea that this was a brave new world for me. Their level of excitement for me was almost palpable.


assembled at the Tornado Hotel, essentially base camp for everything, there was an easing sense of familiarity and family among the camp instructors and the campers that were there for a return visit. We all met in the dining hall for a quick orientation given by Colin where he introduced his team and gave an overview of the next few days. He discussed the drills that we would be practicing, the daily Super Pole competition, the gun competition and the consumption of adult beverages. The latter of which indicated that you were done with both bikes and guns for the day. Bikes, bullets, and beer! If this wasn’t the most Texas thing I’ve ever been involved with then I don’t know what would be! Suited and booted, we went out to get familiar with the bikes along with our camp instructors. It’s important to note that Colin’s instructors are all highly skilled with their own riding accolades

of which to boast. Mike Myers, multiple WERA championships; Joe Prussiano, 2006 Texas Flat Track series Open Pro Champion as well as other multiple WERA Championships; Jake Johnson, two time AMA Flat Track Grand National Champion; Cory West, five National Championships under his belt. Sheila Paul, Shea Fouchek and Steve Bodak round out a great team of qualified and motivated instructors. From the gate, it is clear this is going to one of the best times of my life. I was beginning to understand why Sheila and Shea kept saying that my life was going to change during these four days... And I hadn’t even thrown a leg over the bike yet! The campus consists of three tracks: A covered arena TT track, an open TT track and a dirt oval track. There is plenty of freedom to just ride and get used to the mechanics of the bike. For a sportbike or cruiser rider, sure, it’s simple to just







hop on the bike, twist the throttle and go, but that’s missing the point and opportunity before you. There is technique. The instructors want you be an educated rider to employ the proper technique. Shea would consistently remind us that riding dirt is comparable to mogul skiing, illustrating the motions so that we would pick up on the bikes’ movements and the feedback that the bike would give and how to adjust. For me, the adjustment took a little time but not much. The instructors are very hands on and one on 278 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM

one attention is aplenty. Over the next four days, I participated in a curriculum that was designed to be fun and progressive;Meaning that you would noticeably see your own improvements throughout the day. You could actually feel yourself getting better with real time results. The best evidence of that is the Super Pole. The first Super Pole is held on Saturday evening just before dinner. Its goal is to set a foundation or benchmark regarding your


IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS: T.T.B.C. lap time. All three tracks are linked together and you leave the line underneath the Arena TT track, crossing over to the Open TT before completing the lap with the Dirt Oval. The next three runs are to measure your abilities based on the instruction given and adhered to throughout the day. You are only in competition with your own time from your previous Super Pole lap. Although you are really only supposed to be in competition with yourself but seriously, you get a group of riders together talking about lap times, you are bound to engage in a little friendly “I’m faster than you are” competition. It’s all in good fun. The camaraderie among my fellow camp goers grew rapidly. We were all rooting for one another, helping one another and supporting one another. My camp mates were a Rogues Gallery of riders from all over the world... Male and female, from the U.K., Germany, Switzerland, young, old... All passionate riders with a deep desire to increase their level of skill and have a great time while doing so. In the evening, after dinner, some took advantage of the free time under the lights of the Arena track, others sat around the fire pit with Colin enjoying adult beverages. Did I mention that the adult beverages were provided as well? Amidst the crackling embers and the Texas night sky, Colin talked with, answered and asked questions of the camp goers making genuine connections and providing one of the many reasons why so many attendees come back for return visits. After the second day, I had already decided that I was coming back next year. And here’s why... The camp’s curriculum is designed to hold your affinity for learning, growing and riding in an infinite loop, regardless if you are a seasoned vet, new comer, male or female. There are a number of drills that you participate in, led by instructors that essentially break down the technique and skills utilized to be proficient in the dirt; The 90 degree drill, braking drills, 280 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM

static throttle, to name a few. All elements came together as I started my way around the tracks. I was partial to the Arena track. For me, there was a speed and flow that I found encouraging. The TT track is technical with several corners where you must slow down, adjust and overcome. The Oval is just flat out balls to the wall with its massive sweeping left hander that slingshots you into a tight left hander before flicking into an equally tight right hander. While I will say that the camp easily ranks in the top five of the coolest things that I have done in my life and that it indeed is a life changing experience, by no means can I claim that I was proficient or even good at it. Keep in mind that I had never been on a dirt bike on a dirt track before, ever. Nor had I crashed as much in my life, ever. However this is a telling factor of the climate of the camp’s culture... No matter how many times I fell, I got my ass back up and in the saddle because I wanted to and I could. The camp offers the safest environment for you to fall and get back up on it. You are geared head to toe with the same items that Colin wears as he occasionally blasts by you, innocently reminding you what fast in the dirt truly means. The bikes are designed to take a beating and keep going. From the moment you step foot on the grounds, Colin and his team set you up for success. It’s personal for Colin and you can see it in his eyes. This is not about collecting a check from students. This is about Colin actively expanding his riding family. This is about Colin contributing to the global riding community and making generous deposits into the wealth of the culture of motorcyclists. There’s good reason why so many make return visits to the camp. There are plenty of reasons why you should make plans to attend yourself... The education, the opportunity, the riding, the camaraderie and of course, the Barrett .50 caliber rifle. But that’s perhaps a story best experienced firsthand.




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or almost two decades, Nick Ienatsch has been teaching riders how to go faster and safer. An accomplished racer with several accolades and books that he wrote on his shelf, Nick has developed a program that consist of years of experience and serious seat time. Equipped with a fleet of 2015 Yamaha YZF R6's and a team of committed instructors, Nick's curriculum is set on the goal of teaching his students how to improve their riding ability every time that they throw a leg over the bike. So if you are looking to ride like a champion... Well, there’s a school for that and this is it. For the last year or so, Nick’s Yamaha Champions Riding School has been


IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS: RIDE LIKE A CHAMPION headquartered at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, New Jersey. Aided by long time buddy Ken Hill who fills the position of Lead Instructor, Nick has put together an all star team of coaches. The roster is compiled of a few notable professional racers... Kyle Wyman, Chris Peris, C.J. Laroche, Mark Schellinger, to name a few. During the two day class that I attended, we had the privilege of having Mr. Daytona himself, Scott Russell as the guest instructor. Over two days, students spend a majority of their time outside of the classroom engaging in a series of exercises and drills that bookend track sessions. The number of students per class are kept relatively small so that the ratio of coach to students remains more than reasonable. At the beginning of each track session, before you can roll onto the front straight, a coach will ask his student, "What is your plan?" It’s a great brain exercise that makes you mentally check in for the session. This has real life application. Every time that you throw your leg over your bike, you need to have a plan, a goal, a purpose. This mentally connects you to your motorcycle at the start of your ride and that connection will hopefully remain with you for the duration. On the first day of class, the students fill up a few vans for a track "drive". This serves several points with the first being the understanding of the track layout along with corner entry points, apexes and exits. Stops are made along the way to discuss and display key notes and characteristics of the course. While exploring the track, students also experience the power of braking and its affects on direction and speed. The coaches will barrel into a turn displaying both proper and improper braking techniques, then explain the difference of the two. Regardless of the vehicle... Bike, car or van, better braking control results in better control of 288 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM







SCOTT RUSSELL your vehicle. While that is an exhilarating way to discover track layout, taking a two up ride with Scott Russell is unlike any other experience and was a major highlight to me during the school. Don't think that Scott is taking any easy laps. He's coming in hot, nailing his apexes in full lean before blazing out of the corner with the throttle pinned. The opportunity to have one on one time with a true national icon and racing champion like Russel is priceless. His openness and frankness about his approach to riding is remarkable. It should be noted that the entire staff is more than accommodating. They want you to succeed and to improve your skills as 292 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM



IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS: RIDE LIKE A CHAMPION a motorcyclist whether you have aspirations to compete or you just want to be faster and better than your buddies. Throughout the course, the fundamentals of body position are deconstructed. You learn to focus on where your head should be, how your arm should come in contact with the fuel tank and the manner in which you push the inside of your ankle forward creating a “triangle of light”. Understanding how the percentages of contact patches when leaning the bike over relates to the manner of how the bike handles, brakes and accelerates is broken down into an applied science. The method of teaching by example and with visual aids aided in translating the theory into technique. The theory is quite simply, control your speed through braking. If you know that you are going to use your brakes, you can then go faster, safely and with confidence because you are going to apply the brakes to control your speed. You then aim or steer your bike in the direction desired. Once you have direction, you can then open the throttle. If the throttle is closed, you should be braking even in the slightest of contact of pads to rotor. Often, just enough to activate the rear brake light. Here's an example: You are coming down the front straight, approaching a right handed corner. Instead of braking hard quickly before releasing the brakes then tipping the bike in at the entry point... You brake lighter and longer, trail braking into the corner. As you pass the apex you should have your exit point well in sight and should steer your bike in that direction. Once you have that direction, you can roll on the throttle and thunder on to the next corner. You can then measure and control your speed through proper brake management. Brake management is transferable regardless of the bike being ridden and for the most part, where it is being ridden. On the track, the 294 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM

back roads or the street, this technique has application. Brake management is a massive factor when it comes to controlling your motorcycle. What the Yamaha Champions Riding School offers you is the opportunity and environment to learn. The program is designed to get you to think differently as a rider. That's where the real improvement begins. Riding faster and safer is a by product of becoming a more mentally involved rider. Thinking ahead. Looking ahead. Planning ahead. The elements of evolving from an average rider into a rider with purpose are laid out for you to absorb. It's up to you to be the sponge.



ZUMA JACKET / WWW.ROLANDSANDS.COM This jacket was not designed for the timid or faint-at-heart. Introducing the Zuma. With rotated, pre-curved sleeves, stretch nylon panel sleeve inserts, a dropped back and relaxed collar opening, the Zuma fits right in to the RSD family with its aggressive riding fit and features. And aggression is something that the Zuma has in aces. Made with topgrain Buffalo leather the Zuma offers extensive protection, increased two-fold by the include foam back protector and SAS-TEC certified Level 2 shoulder and elbow armor.


THE NEW ISH ICON MOTOSPORTS • LADIES PDX 2 WATERPROOF JACKET For those ladies that ride when the weather is less than optimal, the level 3 waterproof PDX 2 jacket is for you. Designed to be worn over your normal riding jacket, the PDX 2 features a waterproof PU coated nylon outer shell, a mesh lining and a roll top hood at the neck. Enhanced with screen printed graphics and silkscreen reflective hits, the PDX 2 will keep you dryer and safer when out in the wet. Colors: Pink, Black Sizes: S - XXL Price: $125.00 Contact:

VOODOO INDUSTRIES • SHORTY EXHAUST FOR THE YAMAHA R3 Add some grunt and style with this new Shorty Exhaust slip on for the 2015 and 2016 R3. This exhaust is formed via the mandrel bending process that keeps the diameter even throughout the length of the pipe, allowing for greater horsepower, when compared to traditional pipe bending methods. A full stainless steel construction that is available in either a matte black or show polish finish. Ships with all necessary hardware for a stress free install, as well as a matte black heat shield.

LIGHTECH RACING • ADJUSTABLE LICENSE PLATE BRACKETS FOR THE YAMAHA R1M Lightech has released their line up of accessories for the 2015/2016 Yamaha R1 and R1M. Most notable of the bolt on components is the Adjustable License Plate Bracket that really cleans up the rear end of the bike, compared to the stock mud flapper. Lightweight and durable, the plate bracket includes the reflector and LED plate light as well as the necessary hardware needed for install. Price: $199.95 Contact: 298 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM

Colors: Matte Black, Show Polish Price: $699.00 - $849.00 Contact:


Made from billet aluminum and anodized in a gold finish, these hooks make it simple to get your bike’s rear end lifted on a spool race stand. They feature a three point mounting system with black anodized brackets and stainless steel bolts. Price: $240.00 Contact:

FORCEFIELD BODY ARMOR • GRID KNEE PROTECTORS Add a layer of protection underneath your riding pants or suit. Lightweight and only 9mm thick, the protectors are highly flexible. Equipped with CE level 2 approved armor, they have twin retaining straps and an abrasion resistant outer shell with mesh windows for air flow and breathability. Sizes: S - XL Price: $189.00 Contact: SCORPION • SERKET TAPER TITANIUM SLIP ON EXHAUST FOR THE BMW S1000RR

One of the most impressive exhaust upgrades in the price range, the Serket slip on pipe for the S100RR is a solid option. With a titanium construction, the pipe is straight plug and play with no need to reprogram or flash the bike’s ECU. Weight saving, improved throatier sound and a sexy tapered design, there is no need to repack this pipe and it comes with a lifetime warranty. To top it off, Scorpion offers a crash damage guarantee for which they will repair the pipe in the event of a crash.. Price: $399.95 Contact: SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM | 299

THE NEW ISH WOODCRAFT CFM • CRANKSHAFT COVER FOR THE BMW S1000RR Now available for the BMW S1000RR, the two piece right hand side engine cover is designed to protect the crankshaft cover in the event of a crash or tip over. Machined from 6061 billet aluminum for strength and durability, the cover comes with a replaceable skid plate, available in a selection of colors, that allows for product longevity. This means that if you do have a tip over or crash, you may need only replace the skid plate instead of the entire cover, depending on the severity of the impact. The kit does require use of liquid gasket that must purchased separately. Price: $144.99 Contact:


The Max X is the latest line of performance chains from RK Excel. Available in three pitches and a variety of link lengths and colors, the Max X is a RX ring sealed with a tensile strength ranging from 9,000 through 9,700 pounds and has applications for most late model sport bikes.


Providing protection in the front and back in a slim profile vest, the Track Vest is applicable on the track as well as the street. The combination of CE certified back armor and PE foam padding makes this is more than just a back protector. Housed in a technical stretch net construction, the Track Vest is accompanied by an adjustable and removable kidney belt. Sizes: XS - XL Price: $199.95 Contact: 300 | SPORTBIKESINCMAG.COM

Sizes: 520, 525, 530 (pitch) Colors: Natural, Gold, Chrome, Black/Gold, Black/Chrome, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Pink Price: $80.97 - $139.10 Contact:

SPRINT FILTER • WASHABLE FILTER FOR THE KAWASAKI H2 Improve air flow, increase horsepower and save money in the long run with this washable air filter from Sprint for the Kawasaki H2. Made from a polyester material that optimizes airflow, power and filtration, the filter can be cleaned simply with compressed air. This filter is dry and does not use any oils or lubricants. A straight OEM replacement, the filter comes with a 1 year warranty. Price: $109.95 Contact: DAINESE • LAGUNA SECA TEX JACKET A stylish and sporty textile jacket, the Laguna Seca Tex made with a Duratex fabric shell and is packed with features that make it a top selection for riding apparel. Protection is provided by removable composite armor in the shoulders and elbows while an inner back pocket is ready for a Dainese G1 or G2 back protector. The Laguna Tex has a removable thermal liner and air vents on the sleeves. Other features include a trouser fastening system, reflective inserts and adjustable fittings for the waist, neck and wrists. Sizes: 42 - 64 (Euro) Colors: Red/Black/White, Black/White/Red, Black/Reflex Price: $279.95 Contact: CORBIN SEATS • PILOT LEATHER SEAT FOR THE YAMAHA R1

Brand new for the 2015 and 2016 Yamaha R1, the Pilot leather seat from Corbin is designed to balance your body weight across the entire seat to maximize comfort, especially on longer rides. The weight distribution and the high density Comfort Cell foam reduces fatigue and encourages proper body position by reducing the tendency to slide forward. Mounts in the same manner as the sick seat. Available in a selection of color combinations. Prices: $292.00 Contact:



For some riders in the Continental Northeast of the U.S., the season of warm weather rider is coming to a close. That doesn’t mean that you have to tuck your bike away until next spring. With proper preparation and apparel, you can extend your riding season well into the colder weather months. The Burners from Joe Rocket should be a heavy consideration for your fall and winter riding kit. They offer wireless heat via a stainless core heating element on the back of the hand and fingers. Control three levels of heat with the temperature control button that is located on the cuff of the glove for easy access. The gloves are powered by two rechargeable lithium ion batteries that will provide up to four hours of heat. There are optional power packs that can be used to extend that four hours for longer rides. The gloves are made with high grade leather and house knuckle armor and high density padding in the fingers. The Burners are waterproof, windproof and feature touchscreen friendly finger tips to access phones and tablets. Additional features include an integrated thumb wiper that helps you clear your helmet’s face shield in the rain, reflective panels and oversized adjustable cuff closures. The Burners come with a carry case that also holds the multi port LED indicator charging system that allows for charging of both batteries at the same time. Sizes: S - XXL Price: $199.99 Contact: