2005 Yamaha's Pro Racing Team Intro - Feature Review - Dirt Rider Magazine

A beautiful cold day at California's Hungry Valley was host to Yamaha's 2005 Pro Racing introduction. The teams introduced were Supercross, Motocross, Off-Road, Road Racing, ATV Racing, Freestyle and Arenacross. The entire roster of Yamaha Team riders made it out to the event including Ty Davis, Nathan Woods, Barry Hawk and Randy Hawkins. The motocross team included David Vuillamen, Tim Ferry, Heath Voss and even Chad Reed who made a rock-star-worthy entrance via helicopter.Not only was it a good opportunity to rub elbows with some of the best riders in the world, it was a fun day for industry and pros alike to take a spin on their Yamaha of choice. The day's activities included the prepped motocross track, an off-road course, a mini track for the TT-Rs and a dyno-drag strip for the knobby-less crowd. The new Yamaha Rhino was even on hand for some test riding, so after breakfast and the '05 team introduction, everyone headed out for some fun.Yamaha also unveiled their all-new TT-R230 (replacing the TT-R225). The pre-production bike was intended for looking-not-touching, but after working some of his Jimmy Lewis charm, Dirt Rider got to test ride Yamaha's newest playbike.
Click here to see the First Impression of the 2005 Yamaha TT-R230.While lunch was being served, the SX team took advantage of the empty I-5 MX track. Those fortunate enough to catch the action got to witness an amazing moto between Chad Reed, Tim Ferry, David Vuillamen, Kelly Smith, Brett Metcalf, Brock Sellards and Danny Smith. Later in the afternoon, an intense TT-R125 session between Tim Ferry, Randy Hawkins, Barry Hawk, Bill Ballance and Jason Raines broke out on the mini track.We caught up with a few of the riders between motos for a quick chat on the upcoming season, how their training is going and what they think of the `05 blue machines:

_DR: What are you up to in the off-season?_
DV: Just training basically. I had arm pump surgery in September and took a month off, I'm back on the bike since around the US Open. Everything is going good; the new bike is great. Just getting ready for Anaheim._I hear you're a father again?_
Yeah, last Friday. It's a boy so we have a boy and a girl now. They're great, we're really thankful about it. Life is very good._I saw you out at Endurocross last weekend; what did you think of that?_
It's was great! I think it was a good turn out. It was great racing with a lot of suspense. You never knew who was going to win. Even if someone was in the lead or got the holeshot, they could crash at any second. It was fun._Is something you might consider doing next year?_
Yeah! Why not? It's always tough when you're a factory rider to do events like that, but I'm sure I could get the okay for it. If I have time to get ready and do some preparation, I would check it out._Are you feeling prepared for Anaheim?_
It's a little more than a month away so I'm kind of half way in my training. Hopefully I can stay injury-free. The new Yamaha with the aluminum frame is very good and the testing is going well. Everybody on the team likes the new bike . It should be a great season.Tim Ferry

_DR: So you were just moto-ing everything you could get your hands on today._
Ferry: Yeah, we don't ever really get the chance to do that. At home we only have the bikes that we race. I actually didn't even ride the 250 two-stroke today because I always ride that, so I tried to ride all the other bikes._And the ATV also?_
Yeah, I rode the quad a little bit. It's the first time I've done that in a while, actually like ten years. I've never really rode it on a track or anything. I was suprised at how well they really handle and how easy they are to ride. You can really jump them so it was fun. I think it's neat that Bill Ballance was out when we were riding TT-Rs. We all cross over. It's all motorcycle related!_How's your training going?_
Right now it's good. I'm healthy, getting ready to do in Canada, and getting ready for Anaheim. I'm finally healthy. It's been almost a year since I've been really injury-free so it's nice to be back on the bike._It looks like you've rehabilitated well; how are you feeling?_
My thumb's good, my wrist is good, I had that fixed. I had to have the ligaments put back together with all kinds of pins. I've been riding Supercross since September and haven't had any problems with it, so it's good._Do you feel prepared coming in to the '05 season?_
Yeah, the Yamaha team's done a really good job with getting the bikes prepared. The main change is the aluminum frame, but basically all my settings are the same. We've done a little motor stuff that's different, but the bike's real close to the same it was last year._So you don't notice any different handling characteristics?_
No. I guess when Honda came out with theirs, everybody said "It's rigid, it's stiff," but ours is good. I think they've had a lot of time to work on it, they know what not to do, and they did a perfect job the first year out._How about the '05 125 class, do you have any predicions there?_
I'm not sure. Without bubba, it's really kind of up in the air. It's one of those classes where I think probably ten guys could win it. I'm sure Tedesco will be fast. We'll see when the season rolls around.Heath Voss

_DR: How's the off-season going for you?_
Voss: Good. We did a bunch of testing right after Glen Helen and got my all straightened out; the bike is really good. I've just been practicing at home and training to go racing._Looking forward to defending your title in Canada?_
Yep. I think pretty much everyone's going besides Reed and Vuillamen and maybe a couple other guys._How's your training going?_
My trainer and I have changed my program up this year. I'm doing a little less weight lifting - not as intense as it was in the past. I've been doing a lot of running and bicycling, and of course a lot of riding._What do you think of the new Yamaha's?_
The 450 is awesome! The new suspension is a big improvement over anything they had in the past. The motor is very similar to what I use on my race bike—the production bikes are getting closer and closer to what I'm racing. I've been riding a production bike at home here for the last couple of months. I just ride it dead stock; it's a great bike._So you like the new suspension?_
It's a little bit soft on the compression for me, but overall it's really good. I ride it in the woods and it's perfect there, and also on motocross tracks that aren't so rough. It's a really good bike. It's pretty awesome when you can just pull the bike right out of the crate and go ride it. It's a lot more fun because I'd rather ride it than work on it!

Chad Reed arrived in style.
A nervous Yamaha rep looks on as Barry Hawk and Randy Hawkins hop in the Rhino.
Dirt Rider Editor Jimmy Lewis on Yamaha's all-new TT-R230.
Brett Metcalf, the newest member of Yamaha's 2005 SX team.
Reed taking fellow Aussie Brett Metcalf's YZ125 for a few hot laps.