Prior to Ryan Villopoto's impressive victory in his 450 Class debut at Glen Helen Raceway this past Saturday, Thor Motocross and Parts Unlimited was busy giving back to the motorcycle community with a pair of special events showing the dedication and presence of the companies both in and out of the racing industry.
"Semper Ride" Premier**
Just a short drive from the Thor headquarters in El Cajon, Calif., both Parts Unlimited and Thor Motocross headed to Miramar Marine Corps Air Station to take part in the premier event of "Semper Ride" and the accompanying Bike Fest on May 18.
"Semper Ride: Motorcycling the Right Way" is a stellar motorcycle oriented film that promotes safe, responsible riding. Through instructional material and peer to peer guidance from some of the motorcycle industry's most talented riders, "Semper Ride" supplements the Marine Corps' motorcycle training program and helps encourage enthusiasts to participate in performance-related riding activities in controlled settings like dirt areas or paved racetracks rather than public roads.
To celebrate the occasion, the Semper Ride Bike Fest welcomed over 4,000 service men and women to check out the latest in safety equipment and watch the excitement of freestyle motocross and freestyle street riding demonstrations.
Parts Unlimited and Thor, along with the premier street bike brand Icon, were present at the Bike Fest to showcase the state of the art apparel and accessories each brand has to offer America's service men and women. With open display settings, the Marines in attendance were free to peruse the various options Thor and Icon have available as well as ask questions, all in an effort to engage them in promoting rider safety through peer to peer and rider to rider interactions.
Many of the Marines, as well as naval aviators at the Semper Ride Bike Fest were impressed with the attention to detail in Parts Unlimited, Thor, and Icon's products. Icon's Phil Davy spent much of his time discussing the brand's helmets and their fit and function while Steve Benson and Thor's Dave Gowland talked about riding equipment and apparel. In what was a great day for all participants, Parts Unlimited showed that We Support the SportÂ® as well as our troops.
Thor and Parts Unlimited's presence was also felt at the annual WMXF MotoBowl at Lake Elsinore, Calif.'s Trevi Lanes on May 21.
Just prior to the official kickoff of the 2009 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship on Saturday, over 20 riders from the series' 250, 450, and Women's classes came out to support the Women's Motocross and Supercross Foundation (WMXF). The WMFX is a non-profit organization created to provide support for any rider or crew member injured in a professional motocross/supercross event or any member of the community that suffers serious misfortune not directly related to competition. The group also provides financial backing for any generous organizations that support the sport of motocross/supercross and serves a female support group that contributes to the well-being of families in the motocross/supercross community.
"(MotoBowl) is all about charity," explained seven-time supercross champion Jeremy McGrath. "This is the reason why we're all here. This location is great and it allows all of us to get a chance to give back and that's what it's all about. It's not about us (tonite) it's about people who are hurt or who are in need of money and support."
Thor Motocross served as one of the primary supporters of MotoBowl and was well represented in the lanes with its riders like McGrath, Nico Izzi, Austin Stroupe, Ryan Morais, Sara Price, Robbie Maddison and Jeremy "Twitch" Stenberg.
I'm having a ball," exclaimed Maddison. "This is my first time at MotoBowl. I've only been in the U.S. for about four years so there is still a lot of things that I've yet to be a part of. I heard about it a month ago and learned it was a charity event so I'm stoked to be a part of something like this and raising money for a good cause."
A large slate of motocross memorabilia was being auctioned off in an effort to raise money for WMXF, including several sets of riding gear from Thor Motocross stars. Fans also had the chance to give back by bidding for spots to bowl with their favorite riders.
"This is my first time at MotoBowl and it's just awesome to be here," said Price. "We're here for a good cause and get to hang out with a lot of top pros and it's just a lot of fun."
Thor and Parts Unlimited return to the track this weekend with the 41st Annual Hangtown Motocross Classic in Sacramento, Calif. on Saturday, May 30.