It’s a new year and we are all still here (despite what the Mayans may say), so we are continuing the Weekly Dirt in full force. If your New Year’s resolution is to get out and spend more time riding, then you are definitely at the right place. Sit back with your new iPad or whatever cool gadgets you got for Christmas and enjoy you’re serving of dirt for the week!
Anaheim. That one little word makes for a wealth of excitement this coming Saturday when the two-wheeled world turns its eager eyes to the opening round of the AMA Supercross series. Will Bubba bust out a win? How will Dungey fair about the new KTM? Can anyone catch Villopoto? These questions-and more-will be answered by the time you read the next Weekly Dirt. You’ll still see a fair share of SX content here on dirtrider.com, but for up-to-the-minute race results and reporting, stay tuned to our sister site www.motocross.com. You can also follow us on Twitter via the @dirtridermag handle. But no matter how or where you get your SX fill, it’s going to be one wild season!
Santa was once again way too generous with me this year, but perhaps the coolest gift that graced my stocking was this sweet limited-edition Troy Lee Designs collector’s Hot Wheels truck, signed by the man himself. The back of the box says “for the adult collector”, but that doesn’t stop the kid in me from being really, really stoked. Thanks guys!
If you’ve been following the Dakar rally, you likely know that Jonah Street announced his withdrawal from the race and-surprisingly-his retirement from rally racing altogether. Here’s the full scoop, straight from Jonah’s mouth:“I’m officially retiring from rally racing,” Street said. “I believe now is an appropriate time to make this announcement in a positive light despite today’s events. The most important reason to do this, for me, is that now is the time people are tuned into Dakar. For my supporters, sponsors, family and friends that work year-round to get the recognition they deserve, expressing my sincere gratitude now is the right thing to do.
“It’s an endless venture to try to find the right race budget as a privateer to do Dakar right. The budget I really need to compete is never there-never has been-and so I am generally broke all year. If I told you that fact didn’t have a lot to do with my decision, I would be lying. I have a great family of supporters behind me that have made my six Dakar starts possible. The RiffRaff members are my #1 monetary sponsor each year and my friends and family are the heart of my team. Yamaha stepped up in a big way the last two years and without their help my last stage win and the start of this rally definitely wouldn’t have happened. These types of efforts are above and beyond. I will never be able to fully repay or thank everyone that has made my career so spectacular. But I’ll keep trying.“If you consider the fact that I’m not 20 years old anymore and the lingering effects of injuries keep me less-than 100% every day, the reality of me competing at the highest level starts to diminish. This is a sport where you need to be 100% in all aspects: Budget, machinery, and health- the whole deal. I can’t be 100% right now and running a top-position pace without being 100% is drastically unsafe.“I’ve raced in 26 countries, I think. I’m one of only three Americans to win multiple stages of Dakar. I’ve met thousands of amazing people. I’ve had a ton of fun and been tremendously lucky. Yes, I’m obviously bummed about today and the way this Dakar has gone but I can honestly say that I am extremely happy with everything I’ve done in rally racing and the great people I’ve worked with. I’m not leaving anything on the table, I’ve worked very hard at this and can walk away content, happy and confident that the last seven years of my life have been the best any motorcyclist could ask for. I wouldn’t change a thing-it’s been a dream-come-true.“Thank you to all my sponsors, past and present, for their tremendous efforts along with everyone that has supported me. I’m truly thankful and hope to speak with you very soon.”Quite a heartfelt and humble announcement, is it not? I for one respect the hell out of Jonah for everything he has done, and I believe that it has been really difficult for him to compete at the level he has been racing at with such limited financial backing and while working so hard to make ends meet. But I find it hard to believe that he is truly done with racing. Only time will tell if Jonah rethinks this decision once he puts some time between himself and Dakar, but I certainly hope that he decides to stay in the game and that he finds the support he needs to continue. Say it ain’t so, Jonah! -Chris DenisonDidn’t get what you wanted for Christmas? Here’s a look at some radical post-holiday products that can still fill the yuletide void:
TLD Knee Brace
Clean and white is the name of the game here. We have been testing these cool new knee braces from Troy Lee Designs and are very impressed with them so far. The four hook-and-loop straps make adjusting the brace easy and provide an accurate fit. If you are looking for knee protection at middle of the road pricing, then here is a good place to start.
Motion Pro PBR Chain Tool
In Motion Pro’s case, the initials PBR stands for Press, Break and Rivet. All with one tool you can basically treat your motorcycle chain to a spa day. Sit down with a Red Bull or two and take care of any problems, chain related or not.
Fly Racing Squad Hoody Buddy
New products in need of testing always show up at Dirt Rider’s front door. However, some of them are very innovative like the Squad Hoody Buddy from Fly Racing. The hood adjuster straps are also headphones! The headphone wire goes through your hood and is routed inside the jacket and pops out the bottom; pretty cool, right? Stay tuned for additional updates on this gadget-laden jacket. -Chris GreenFrom the Large desk that the Editor at Large now operates from. Here are some Points from Jimmy Lewis:Horrible news on the Dakar, America’s top two hopefuls have prematurely finished the world’s most grueling rally. Jonah Street, on a Yamaha YZ450, experienced electrical difficulties that could not be repaired on the stage and retired from the rally. Shortly after that, the likeable privateer retired from racing as mentioned above.Our other contender, Quinn Cody, experienced a horrific crash leaving him with a broken collarbone and a mild concussion. This after a great start in fourth place and then some mechanical issues on his Honda CRF450X based race bike cost him time in the second stage. While charging back up through the pack Cody hit a rock and cartwheeled, showing just how difficult racing these machines and navigating at the same time can be. You can see the video here from a Spanish TV show:
http://www.rtve.es/alacarta/videos/dakar/espectacular-caida-dakar/1286688/This paled in comparison to the death of Argentinean rider Jorge Anders Boero who crashed and suffered cardiac arrest while being transported to the hospital even though the doctors were on scene less than five minutes after the accident.The Dakar is and will always be one of the most dangerous and spectacular races on earth. They say it’s an adventure for those that go, and a dream for those that stay behind. Having competed in it and knowing firsthand the addiction it inspires in motorcycle riders the world over, I understand the draw despite the danger.On a more positive note for motorcycle fans, America has another big hope. It is with Robby Gordon in the Hummer, as his navigator is none other than Johnny Campbell. The 11-time Baja 1000 champion and finisher of the Dakar on a motorcycle back in 2001 is reading the roadbook and telling Gordon where to go. And he is going fast, currently sitting in second overall in the cars. You can read more about Johnny Campbell training for the Dakar here:
http://www.dirtrider.com/features/interviews/141_1112_rally_training_with_johnny_campbell/Back Stateside, America may be getting the extreme enduro it has been in need of since the departure of Last Man Standing. News is just breaking and it’s just an exhibition this year, but King of the Motos may just be what the doctor ordered. Here is the scoop, $10,000 winner take all purse for a one-day event run in conjunction with the King of the Hammers Rock Crawling race. There are no rules on the type or displacement of the bikes and there will be no outside assistance for the riders so it is being called a motorcycle survival race with only 20 riders invited to participate. How do I know? I’m the sadistic bastard who is laying out the course so I suspect less than 10 riders will finish…My KTM 200 is not going to like me for the next few weeks.On another tech note, I’ve been having a lot of issues for the last few years with pilot jets clogging on bikes that are not used on a regular basis. It seems to be from the crappy gas that has more and more ethanol content. But I noticed lately that some of my bikes were not having this problem, mostly the two-strokes. And upon inspection of the carbs, the algae (yes, I’ve been told that is what grows on the brass jets from the water that ethanol attracts) does not seem to grow when there is oil in the mixed gas of the two-strokes. And there are a few four-strokes that I regularly put two-stroke gas in because I had left over gas and they have not plugged the pilot jet either. And no, it does not hurt anything; just don’t put four-stroke gas in a two-stroke dummy. I spoke to a few guys who service a lot of bikes and they have noticed the same thing so I’m reaching out to see if this can be confirmed by anyone in the scientific community or backyard mechanics alike.That’s it from the me; I have some rocks to climb… -Jimmy LewisMy two-cents worth is coming from a cheapo hotel in Moriarty, New Mexico (should be easy to find on Google Maps since there are only two in town). I’m on my way from my home near Tulsa to Anaheim for the big hootenanny this weekend (that’s Okie speak). I’m on the road so much that I’m getting pretty good at driving with my knees while I check out the news on my iPhone. Here’s a few things I scoped out:[WD_1/3_07, photo by Shan Moore]
If you’re in the SoCal area on Thursday, Malcolm Smith Motorsports is offering the chance to meet the top Supercross riders in the industry for a meet and greet between 5:00 P.M. and 7:00 P.M.. Among the riders scheduled to appear are Ryan Villopoto, James Stewart, Ryan Dungey, and Kevin Windham and many more top riders of the 2012 AMA Supercross Championship will be on hand to meet and greet and sign autographs. You can register early for a priority VIP wristband.
Where: Malcolm Smith Motorsports, 7599 Indiana Ave, Riverside, CA 92504
When: Thursday, January 5, 2012 – 5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.
Who: The who’s who of Supercross heroes!
Factory Red Bull KTM: Ryan Dungey, Marvin Musquin, Ken Roczen
Factory Yamaha JGR: James Stewart, Davi Millsaps
Monster Energy Kawasaki: Ryan Villopoto, Jake Weimer
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki: Blake Baggett, Dean Wilson, Broc Tickle, Tyla Rattray, Darren Durham
GEICO Powersports/Factory Connection Honda: Kevin Windham
Yoshimura Suzuki: Brett Metcalfe
Rockstar Suzuki: Jason Anderson, Martin Davalos
Rockstar/Valli/Star Racing Yamaha: Ryan Morais, Nico Izzi, Austin Stroupe, Kyle Cunningham, Gareth Swanepoel
Hart & Huntington Kawasaki: Ivan Tedesco, Josh Hansen, Josh Hill, Kyle Partridge
Rocket Exhaust/On Track School/Malcolm Smith Motorsports Honda: Michael Leib
Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda: Christian Craig, Travis Baker, Cole Seely
Rock River Powersports Yamaha: Alex Millican, Ben Lamay
Tedder/Monster Energy Racing/Malcolm Smith Motorsports Kawasaki?Dakota Tedder, Myles Tedder.
Whew!We all know that getting sponsorship help these days is tougher than ever, and anytime you can find an edge on the competition then more power to ya! It seems that the folks over at realMotocross have developed a resume builder that riders can use to help attract sponsors. Similar to building your own website, you can upload photos and videos, and then answer a few questions and realMotocross does the rest. Riders can use their resume to instantly send applications to any of the companies that currently offer sponsorship through realMotocross or alternatively they can print, email or even post a link to their resume on sites like facebook. And, oh yeah, it’s free!-Shan MooreThat wraps up the first Weekly Dirt for 2012. Stay faithful to your resolutions and get out and ride as much as you can. You know we will be!