Loading...
Background

MX

Motocross Mountain: Round 2

Motocross Mountain has quickly become one of my favorite places to go riding. The guy who runs the place isn’t uptight like some places seem to be (with rules and other stuff) – basically, don’t be stupid and you’re fine. We went back, this time repping 2 stroke – a 1998 CR125 and a 2011 YZ125. I would ride the CR125, which I have slowly come to like the look of.

The power difference between the two bikes is a lot, but I think my new mods and slight difference in rider skill make it pretty fair game. We got there Friday afternoon, just to camp and setup. The next day we were keen to ride. However not even after the first lap the brand new YZ had conked out — fowled plug. The mix was obviously too lean, but apparently it was what the service manual says. New plug and she was good to go. After some more riding, we found the wind to be a huge factor.

I have had zero experience with wind so I was a bit apprehensive about jumping the jumps. On the previous trip I was clearing all the jumps except for two – the largest table top and what I call the ‘skyshot’, since all you can see off the face is the sky. The wind was annoying so we stuck to the trails. The trails near the entrance were a lot of fun – nice and sandy soil near the start which was fun to rip on. We periodically went back to the track but the wind was very strong. Only a few good riders were going fast.

The wind was so strong it was starting to destroy our camp area. It had collapsed one area of our shade area, and then later blew away out Yamaha shade tent. Luckily for us some people secured it, as we pulled up. We had everything trying to keep everything stable but it seems like it was gonna give way – but it held. After messing around a lot we decided to hit more trails. Nearing the end of the day, and heading back to camp, the YZ again fowled another plug. Except the shop had no more plugs so cleaning was in order. I went on a few trails by myself which were fun, but I wanted to jump more the ride the trails.

Th next day we awoke pretty early. By the time the track opened we had everything packed away so we could load the bikes and go, if it turned out to be crap. It was still very windy, but today I was willing to take more chances. I headed to the smaller SX track, where the jumps weren’t as exposed to the wind. I could clear the two tabletops on the last straight. So I headed to the MX track and chased Sam from about 1/4 lap down. I felt pretty good, squeezing hard with my legs to control my bike in the air. Everything seemed to be working well. I had passed Sam but he was closely following. On the second tabletop, of the only double tabletop section, I took a tumble. The wind had blown me sideways, or perhaps I came of the face sideways too – probably a combination of both and I landed on a wicked angle.

Mid-air I was thinking “Stick the leg out” but quickly decided against that. The bike pretty much landed, hit the dirt, and I slid on top of it for a while. I ended up sitting on the front wheel. I remember sliding along, with the bike sliding as well causing the front wheel to spin, which was grinding away at my back. I got up pretty much straight away to turn off my bike which was revving out. The glorious 2 stroke took a good 3 seconds shut down, even with me holding the kill-switch down. I picked it up and pushed it to the side. I quickly discovered my front brake was broken (no lever). No biggy I thought, a new lever is $15 or something. On a closer inspection I found the master cylinder bracket had snapped off. I went and searched for (and found) my lever to limit the damage to my wallet. $200 for a new master cylinder as you can only get all of the parts in one.

After banging all my controls back, we headed back. Sam would later tell me he had applied his brakes before he hit the ground – that must have been scary. When we got back my thumb was hurting pretty bad. I couldn’t even grip the bars, pull the clutch or move my thumb. Turns out I sprained it which is lucky considering what good of been. I’m definitely purchasing a Leatt brace and chest protector. All in all it was a fun trip. I wish only more people would come and next time for the wind to be gone – it make the trip colder than expected, especially since I brought no jackets!

Tags:

Parklands MX: The Return!

I recently bought a 1998 CR125. I wanted a 2 stroke for a few reasons but mainly because I wanted to experience what an old(er) bike felt like before no doubtfully getting a 4 stroke in the future. We had originally planned a two day trip to Motocross Mountain again however a few days before the trip, after I had put on my new parts (drive train, plastics and controls – all new), I ran into a problem. My bike seemingly had no 4th, 5th or 6th gear. Not sure what happened but warming up the bike for a few minutes longer fixed it the next day. With possible malfunctions in mind, we went to Parklands instead for a one day trip.

I would pilot my CR125 and my mate would ride his 2004 YZ250F. Roughly equal in power so it was a fair match. I had a blast out there. Learning the bike was a slight challenge since gear selection was paramount to go fast but after that I was fine. I ran into an issue when the shifter bend inwards and limited my shifting – at one point I was stuck in neutral. I wasn’t sure why it kept bending in since I never fell but eventually it stayed clear of the crank case and frame. We spent a good 3-4 hour of riding that day. We have to make the most of it since it’s a 3 hours drive each way and costly in fuel.

I had lost all confidence I had gained from Motocross Mountain but by the end of the day I had cleared all the jumps except for one. The first track was easy to master but the 2nd one took a while. We both managed to clear this double section after going around it. It was relatively easy as I just pinned it, held the front end high and hoped for the best, and it worked.

The 3rd (and hardest track) was mainly different by which it had much larger jumps. The only jump I didn’t clear was about 75ft+ at least from my estimates. The shifter caused me issues for the first half of the day so a lot of times I couldn’t select the correct gear and had to stop and bend my shifter out.

Luckily for us, we had minor bike troubles. My rear fender came loose as I thought the bolts for the seat would hold it up, but after it was caked with mud during the morning, the weight was too much and it fell over. 10 minutes of work fixed that. I also had to remove a bracket for the bash plate (which meant there was only 2 of 4 holding it on) so the shifter could easy change down gears. The YZ just needed the chain to be tightened.

My mate had a go on my bike and stopped after one turn – he’s defintely a 4 stroke guy. All in all it was a good day and I look forward to the next!

Motocross Mountain

On my last adventure I checked out Emu Creek. Turns out it was pretty crappy so I found another place which boasted a much better track from the photographs. So that’s where we went for 3 days! Motocross Mountain was 3.5 hrs away which was well worth the drive. We set off at around 5am after some trouble with the tent – it fell off the tray thanks to the stupidity of my two friends Adrian and Nick when they were meeting with me at Sam’s house.

After losing the tent and convincing Nick to still come, we were off. The ride wasn’t so bad in the Freestyle cab, which was barely enough room to sit forwards which led me to sit sideways for most of the journey. On arrival to this place it was very… relaxed. All we did was pay our $90 each for the 3 days and sign a form. No receipt or information on rules. We would later get a map which revealed the Supercross track.

After setting up the 2 man tent (compared to the 12 man we lost) and unloading all of our gear we set off. My experience on a big bike isn’t very much at all. Still, I think I have had enough time on smaller bikes and mountain bikes to be an immediate rider, but even that wasn’t enough to clear the jumps. After a few laps around the track and through a trail we headed back. This was what I wanted – the track was awesome and the trails had a bit of everything.

We did this for a while until sundown where we met some other guys out there. Our camping trips usually have everything. We bought a chainsaw to cut some wood off of the side of the road since you weren’t allowed to get any on site. Returning with a tray load of wood a few guys asked for some. We gave them so much we ended up at their fire for the night – they even bought a case of beer for us to share. After some talking and stories I headed to sleep which would rank  up with the coldest ever. All I had was a sleeping bag, blanket (which I usually don’t bring) and an air mattress). Unbeknownst to me was that in the morning the dew settles on everything, so there is practically a layer of water on anything exposed. Good thing I had my blanket over me but it was still freezing as the others would agree.

Both bikes I would ride were a 2004 YZ250F and a 2010 WR250R. Both have there good and bad sides, the former had a shaved down seat which meant my ass was getting punched by Mike Tyson over bumps and in the corners and the latter just lacked that bottom end power which meant you needed to ride a bit harder. When me and Sam hit the track, him on the YZ and me on the WR we were pretty evenly matched which was a lot of fun. I also found this sand area near the secondary camp ground which was basically a flat area of land to go nuts on in the sand. Was more fun than I expected I must say.

After cruising around on some trails and the track a little more we checked out the supercross track. This track was much tighter and had higher jumps – nothing unexpected. At first I didn’t like it but it grew on my later when I had more confidence. After that we called it a day. We headed back to camp where we cooked another dinner. Our food consisted of Roast Pork. Ribs, Steak, Pork Fillets, Potatoes and Damper – all cooked on a fire. This made our new friends jealous who had left by now.

The next day I was certain I was gonna be faster and go further on the jumps. I was able to clear most of the jumps that had a decent run up as I could gauge my speed easier. I initially had trouble jumping straight out of corners but I got better.  On this day there was 2 major crashes. Since Adrian had sheared the spokes on the rear wheel of his 140cc Pit bike, we had 3 bikes between 4 people, so I brought my camp chair down to the track to watch for a while. As I was enjoying the rest as my ass was bruised like no tomorrow, I hear a bike power up a jump. I look over to find a rider upside down in the air and then he bails and lands on his feet as his bike cartwheels away. He crawled off the track and luckily only had a broken ankle as it looked much worse. The next crash involved a 14 yr old who apparently bailed off his bike mid-flight. Whatever had happened left a 15cm gouge in the track from the handle bars, which was like concrete at this point since it was so hard-packed. This kid wasn’t as lucky as the other guy and did something to his hip. Both crashes didn’t damage the spine I don’t think.

With all that going on, we went to the Supercross track as we waited for the Ambulance to help the kid out. I was able to clear some of the jumps but I hadn’t had as much time on this track compared to the motocross track. It was still a lot of fun. We eventually returned to the tent area for what would be our final meal. Everybody was tired – you could see it on our faces but I still wanted to clear a particular section of the motocross track which was a double table top. All the times I had gone over it, I was a tiny bit short. Everyone else was having a rest so I went for another go around. I did that section alone about 30 times until I got it. I wish I had a little more time but I had a feeling my time was up. I headed back, walked the bike up onto the tray and changed clothes. With all the gear ready to go we headed home. We had packed up in about 30min which was quite quick considering the foot print of our camp site and the amount of stuff we took with us.

Motocross Mountain is by far my favourite camping trip and the place itself was awesome. The tracks and trails weren’t eroded like Emu Creek but there was one issue. The “shower” was simply a garden hose so we didn’t shower for the whole time which meant we had some funky smells going. Can’t wait to go back!

Emu Creek

It isn’t unlike my friends and I to go on impromptu camping trips, and this last trip to Emu Creek is no exception. With less than a few hours on a Friday night I got a message – “Parklands… you in”. Well of course, except there was heavy rain up north (which was why other parks such as BDV were closed). In light of this we changed the route to Emu Creek as it was still the same distance away and there was no rain on the forecast.

After finally getting loaded into the car and trailer we set off at 10, arriving at 1.30pm and followed by another half hour of stuffing around navigating to the office. I’d have to say, a 2WD vehicle would struggle with a trailer and probably wouldn’t make it in wet conditions. Luckily we had 4WD so it was no problem. After setting up camp, which included parking and pulling the bikes out. We geared up quite quickly and attempted to start the YZ250F. It was quite hard to start considering the fuel mixture and idling is not properly set but after some messing with the idle screw it started and idled, however it did backfire – a lot.

We were way to keen to care though. We even found oil around the gasket but figured it was a slow leak and more oil would make it ride-able over the few hours we’d actually ride. After a few tracks we agreed it was a pretty big disappointment, Emu Creek that is. The tracks didn’t look very planned and there seemed to be many short cuts and single line sections – half the time I was wondering if I was going around the track backwards (I wasn’t).

After a few laps I pulled off to get some gloves as I had forgotten them in the excitement of starting the bike – a rookie mistake I will admit. A few more laps down and we returned to go pay the manager who was quite nice it seemed and was very reasonable with the price. We arrived afternoon and said we’d leave by morning so we made it $30 each which is good since he could have been a hard-ass and made us pay $60 for the actual two day trip it was.

We returned to camp for a quick rest. As I lifted the YZ back onto the stand a bolt fell out. After another look we discovered where another bolt had come from too, and another one. Luckily we came prepared, bringing a full bolt kit for the bike and tools. We soon had the bike fixed with more oil as a good amount was on our boots. We went out again. I stacked it twice – once when rolling over the jump which went over a dip, causing me to suddenly stop and then again when I hit mini hill climb in second gear. Nothing bad happened and the bike was alright.

After what seemed like no riding at all it was time to call it a day. We set up camp and had a fire for about an hour when it started raining. We retreated to the trailer, in which we slept. After possibly the worst sleep of my life, due to the rain making noise on the steel roof of the enclosed trailer we awoke to a new day and it was still raining. We decided to give it a go anyway since we’ve already paid to ride. We suited up with a jumper and I donned a second pair of gloves which worked well. I wasn’t cold at all despite the chilly temperatures with only a slight wind chill on my nose and chin area.

After only about 20-30min I gave up. The heavy rain had ruined the tracks even more and the mini rivers were too risky to ride fast over as they eroded some of the track away. Some places were almost too muddy to ride through and I wasn’t having any fun. We soon had packed up the trailer and left. The good news out of it is we’re not returning for the planned 3 day trip, instead, going to Motocross Mountain which looks to have much better tracks. The bad news is there aren’t many motocross parks nearby (or many tracks at all) so we’ll probably return some time.

Parklands MX

The other day I went to a motocross track… for the first time! Well, I’ve been to tracks before but never actually ridden one because I never really had a chance to. I had a PW80 when I was younger but when my family and I moved away there was no room for it and I had no bike. I rode MTB to fill the gap until I could get another bike. Last year I got a 140cc pit bike which is pretty small but for $300, hey, why not right?

So fast forward to now and my friend Sam and I arrive at this track. I’m probably a little better skilled than him on the bike but he has a WRR 250, so he has the better bike making us roughly the same speed I thought. During the 3.5 hr drive to the track we joked at how novice we would be as he had also never been to a track before.

We roll up and immediately feel outside our comfort zone. I had some issues with my electrical system since I did a crappy wiring job (but am redoing it now) but eventually got going. I had limited traction since my tyres were pretty worn but they would suffice. The get on the track and bikes are flying everywhere! I make it around two corners before going too high on a berm and stalling the bike. I get going again quickly and go a few more laps until taking a break back at our pit area. We were both pretty amp’d and excited but at the same time admittedly scared of how – for lack of a better word – gnarly it was. Kids on 50′s bikes were up against pro racers on 450′s. Previously the guy handling the sign-in window said there were two rules: Respect each other and don’t go fast on the main road – we knew we were gonna get tested.

Eventually after  few more goes around the track my chain comes off. I eventually get the chain off, while tracks side, and push my bike back the pits and see how I can fix it. I prepared earlier by bringing all my tools. All of them! And even some spare parts! I eventually get the chain on again and go back out. All this time we’d been on the intermediate track (although it said novice on the sign, which was confusing since most people stuck to it) however we noticed the full blown motocross track was pretty much empty, while the other track was packed. I go for an attempt on the other track and make it two corners before my chain comes off again. Conveniently it didn’t get wedged anywhere like before but landed in the middle of the track. I still have no idea how the chain came off twice but I again, rolled to the pits and fixed it for good, as I later found out.

The whole time my friend Sam and  had been on our own bikes so after I tested out my chain again we swapped and was his bike so much more softer (probably too soft for the track)! After a few laps we go back for fuel. We both admit my bike is a rough ride and for some reason I never thought to turn the forks to the soft setting – I guess it never crossed my mind.

We got there at 9.30, started riding at 10.15 and by 3.15 I was pretty much done for the day. Sam was still pretty keen, having the more luxurious ride, so I watched him putt around the big motocross track. After a while I realised I had almost forgotten my goal! I wanted to race Sam and try and make a pass!. So I gear up and go out and try to race him. My bike was way too small for the jumps and especially the ruts, I could barely stay upright so I went to the other track and Sam soon followed. By this time most of the people had gone home which was good because the track was freed up a lot. So I chase after Sam and stay on his tail, trying to sneak a pass in here and there. The track was pretty much single line through the corners which was hard because that’s the only place I could pass him I thought. After taking my chances on the inside, where the loose gravel had accumulated I decided to beat him on this triple ski jump section. I’m not sure if it was a ski jump or a triple but I never saw anyone clear it. In any case I made the pass. I then started to rail the corner and really power on and I noticed some girl taking photos of me, which felt pretty bad ass. After 10 or so laps I called it a day and turned my bike off one final time. Sam soon followed and we eventually headed home.

Even though it was terrifying, both of us having close calls, it was probably the most fun I’ve had in years and I can’t wait to go again and try it on a bigger bike!

Parklands MX

This was a double section. I was never able to clear it as I was not able to get the drive out of the corner. Next time I might be more game. Also note this photo was taken early in the day, when we had little idea on what we were doing!

Tags:

SX: Indianapolis

This race was pretty awesome. It’s always nice to see Kevin Windham up there racing the rookies after all those years. What is dissapointing is when punks like Jason Lawrence think they have the right to ruin the chances of future stars of the sport like Ryan Dungey and (a few back) Ryan Villopoto. Everybody remembers when Jason Lawrence annoyed Villopoto during their lites days to the point in which Lawrence was stopping Villopoto on turns.

Well it seems Lawrence hasn’t changed. Apparently during practice he kept blocking and slowly Dungey so he couldn’t get any good lap times. It is easy to see Ryan Dungey won’t need to worry, he isn’t the one who was/is in jail. It is pretty sad for a non-points contender to try and affect the championship of a former rival. Not only did he get Ryan and himself last gate pick in the heats, he also started insulting Dungey himself calling him “mentally messed up”. Let’s go check the stats and we’ll see that Lawrence hasn’t won anything.

Not to worry though, Dungey make the most of his bad start coming in 2nd behind Windham in his heat. Villopoto got the top spot in his heat. The main was pretty exciting but the track looks horrible. One of the whoops section was one line, which is kind of annoying since you know there won’t be any passes there. Windham looked like he had the win after passing Davi Milsaps but eventually Villopoto and Dungey passed him too. Windham was now getting harassed by Villopoto and eventually gave it to him and within a lap Dungey was past him too.

Now Dungey and Villopoto were finally about to duel. Dungey was gonna start a charge until these two riders hit some lappers. Villopoto passed Kyle Chisholm but Chisholm wouldn’t move out of the way of Dungey even with blue flags being waved for at least a lap. Even though Dungey probably wouldn’t have passed Villopoto, he could have made a chance.

So in the end it was Villopoto, Dungy, Windham and Milsaps. For the record, Jason Lawrence was 10th. Now Villopoto and Dungey go into the next round tied for the lead and Josh Hill is now 10 points behind from the leaders.

SX Phoenix '10

I like the first races of every season because you just don’t know who will be better or worse after a few months off. Last week I was surprised at how fast Ryan Dungey was, a fvourite rider of mine. Usually rookies take a year or two to adjust to the fast pace from Reed or Stewart but he grabbed second. Stewart probably could have passed him as soon as he hit second but I think he was just having a play.

Fast forward to this week and I was hoping Chad Reed would step up and win, he had to. Lucky for every other ride, James Stewart collided mid air with another rider. It’s funny when people try to pin the blame on others but there is much time to try and correct your flight path on those small supercross doubles or triples especially when there is 4 or 5 other riders right next to you during the start. I think it was just back luck for both riders. The good news for stewart was he aced the LCQ and was in the main.

Read More

Tags:

Nitro Circus: Country Fried Review

Two words: Slow Motion! Well, high speed cameras to be exact because you will be saturated with them in this Nitro Circus flick. Back to their roots? Not really. Yes there is more motocross but not the fast action we’ve seen in the early films, instead, slow, high speed shots that left me wondering when the film would end and I only do that when a film is boring me, the biggest Nitro and Pastrana fan.

A good thing however is that they didn’t just replay footage from the TV series (unlike the opposite done by MTV), instead there was some cool new things like the TP7 and the McGrath and Reed segments. I still think however they don’t include the right footage. Two Cameras angles is good, 3 is perfect, 4 is pushing it and eventually I zoned out.

For me, I’d rather hear the screaming RM125 TP rides AND some music or just that chainsaw getting shreaded. I also think raw footage is awesome, but segments such as the minivan roll over were terrible – yes, I bought Country Fried to see the Nitro Circus not Crum even though he technically apart of the Nitro Circus but c’mon, pushing a minivan down a hill? Was Godfrey that desparate?

What the film really needed was more Motocross with Travis, Jolene and other well known riders doing cool stuff. The tandem bike was cool, for about 5 seconds, now flip it. It wasn’t very exciting nor entertaining to see someone riding in circles. I’m sure Godfrey has hours, probably days of footage of Travis house, throw in some stuff we actually want.

What was seen in previous films that has basically disspeared was the X Games segments. Yes, there was one but it show cased 3 riders from Best Trick and didn’t even show the winner. I really believe this film is a step back, there wasn’t really anything keeping me engrossed in motocross action. I’m not sure if this is scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to content but there is a segment dedicated to some street race through some country in Europe. From the intro I was thinking “Yeah, Travis will be racing a road bike! This will be awesome” which then faded to “What the hell is this” when I was watching people I have never heard of crash. Entertaining?… somewhat, something a simple YouTube search would find me, most defintely!

I still rate Nitro Circus 3 and Lock ‘n’ Load as the best films by far. The editing was good, the songs were good, the content was good. Now all we are left with is slow motion shots, random segments that make no sense and long drawn out scenes which are boring. Also those long slow motion shots would be perfect, I’m talking the best thing I could think of… for a commercial for Thor or something, because that’s what I honestly thought I was watching.

I rate it 3.5 out of 5, mainly because of the exclusive footage, at least that was worth the money. Oh, and I also got some cool stickers which added worth to the purchase, a RedBull/TP, Nitro Circus and EVS stickers to be precise.

Perhaps Godfrey should get me into the editing room because, between you and me, I could have make some sick sections, not to talk myself up or anything. :P On a serious note about my videos, I might make a few new ones, but I want to find a good site to host my videos, a similar one to YouTube that won’t boot me off. Vimeo, Revver and YouTube aren’t really suitable since 100% of my videos infringe coprights.

But thanks to you guys that still watch my videos.

P.S. I need to proofread this.

Tags:

Spooky X Games?

Well the X Games was a bit of a let down. Even though Travis competed in Best Trick it still wasn’t that exciting since everyone crashed! And Bilko was once again robbed! Kyle Loza should have got 2nd since Best Trick is innovation. A 360 Downside Indy is far more technical than an Electric Doom in my opinion. Anyways to the point of this post…

I was thinking about the results of x Games MotoX Best Trick and Freestyle and everything comes in 3′s. Have a look at this; In 2007 Adam Jones got Gold in FMX and Silver in Best Trick, in 2008 Jeremy Lusk got the same thing and this year Bilko does the same thing! Also, the past 3 years in Best Trick Kyle Loza always got Gold and Todd Potter always got Bronze! Pretty cool aye?

I still haven’t seen FMX or Rally yet so I can’t really comment but the Step Up competition was quite exciting. Ricky Carmichael again proves he is Pro Everything taking Gold with Ronnie Renner.

Motocross!

Well like most people who watch my videos – well probably the people who watch the supercross ones know, the 2009 season of AMA Motocross is kind of boring yet exciting at the same time. Stewart, Alessi, Villopoto and Windham are not even racing and it’s only been 4 rounds.

Good news is though, Chad Reed will likely grab his first AMA Motocross Championship title, I don’t think he won any in the 125cc class, especially against Stewart all those years ago. For those people who say Chad only entered because James wasn’t I bet you didn’t know Stewart never signed the contract for a motocross season. The only reason, and a stupid one at that, Kawasaki didn’t give Stewart a moto ride for 2009 was because they preferred Ryan Villopoto since he crashes less often. Looks like their plan didn’t work out, Ryan was out in round 2 I believe.

What I don’t understand is why they didn’t sign both riders, I’m sure they’d be happy with a 1st and 2nd for the series. I also thought it was pretty cool that James has been Kawasaki his whole life, hardly any riders do that the only ones I know of are Travis Pastrana and Ryan Dungey, both Suzuki riders.

Back to the Motocross and I have to say NBC is the worst when it comes to broadcasting Motocross. No joke, half the show was talk about the first moto, when they could have shown it. Also the commentary is boring, I prefer Jeff and Ralph since they know what they’re talking about.

Since I’m a Suzuki/Reed fan, I hope he wins the series and hope he gets the next Supercross season as well.

I’ve also been watching the 2007 Lites Motocross season, it’s also very exciting to see Grant, Villopoto and Lawrence battle.

Tags:

1 2