Blacked-out may be a bit Mad Max for the Honda red faithful and the Geico-logo-emblazed sidepanels might take you aback as a No. 14 fan, but the future can be seen clearly in the look and marketability of the “commercial” bikes. In 2009, the outdoor nationals will forgo side number requirements and the marketable real estate will continue to grow as sponsors demand more bang for their buck. Rumor has it as of press time that the Geico team was requesting to run replicas of these bikes under the lights as soon as possible, if it is allowed.Dusk to dawn. Well, almost. Both riders arrived around 6:30 a.m. and were heading off to Anaheim 2 autograph sessions at about 5:00 p.m. Canard blitzed whoops and whipped his CRF250R like a man possessed while still shaking off his Phoenix-induced concussion symptoms. And Windham, well…he just looked radical on the bike like he always does. This time he did it for 101/2 hours.Behind the camera and inside the truck was the playback screen. The slow-motion replays were so cool; I could have had the whip shot loop over for eternity and been completely happy.
Shot number two was whip-city. This super-huge step-up was the location for some of the best side-by-side whips I’ve ever seen. The good thing about being at a commercial shoot is they have to do a lot of takes. For me, that meant witnessing mad whips over and over and over and over.Loving a good whip is inherent in our sport. Here, Geico Powersports Honda wrench Matt “Scrappy” Taylor holds up the whip scorecard. Windham’s van followed the camera crew around loaded with mechanics Scrappy and Mike “Schnikey” Tomlin, Windham’s wife and Factory Connection boss Rick “Ziggy” Zielfelder. After each whip, everyone got a score: a guaranteed 8 or 10 since the card was only two-sided.
How much do you love riding? Kevin Windham and Trey Canard love it at least as much. This wasn’t for the commercial. It’s just two guys looking for fun with motocross bikes and an empty lot.For a supercross fan, it was cool to see how much attention was given to the bikes as well as the riders. The guys behind the camera did a great job paying attention to all aspects of the sport. And it was kept ultra-real. The bikes get hammered in whip-heavy sessions and supercross-whoop shots. But when it came time for their 360-degree close-up spin shots, the commercial crew said, “Hands off!” They wanted them to look used-like a real dirt bike.Eventually, the camera crew and riders covered nearly all of Rynoland’s vast acreage. From the early morning roost to the evening supercross track jump shots, they worked hard to get every possible angle framed in the right way. I honestly thought magazine photo shoots were complicated before I witnessed the Geico commercial production. This was organized chaos. Really cool organized chaos.