Kickstart: News, photos and random junk that will make you giggle.

KICKSTART 31

WE ARE NOT USING:

KIC01 — 111 super moped

KIC05 – forks

KIC06 – motor

KIC02

WE SAY MOTO, YOU SAY MOTARD

Troy Lee on New Beginnings

By Steve Bauer

Trying to pin down Troy Lee for an interview can be a lesson in futility. After two days of trying we finally got a call back from the world’s most famous helmet painter, even if it was just a voicemail message. “I’m meeting Jeremy at Perris Raceway at three O’clock to test some SuperMoto stuff. If you want to meet me there that’s fine.”

Pulling up to the converted go-cart track, it was impossible to miss the matching Honda CRF450Rs of Jeff Ward, Jeremy McGrath and Troy Lee, lined up and ready to ride. One couldn’t help but be impressed by every aspect of the team that Lee had assembled in less than two months time: the top-of-the-line motor coach was provided by Giant R.V., with a matching 26 ft Weekend Warrior trailer to be delivered this week. The coach is already emblazoned with the now familiar Troy Lee Designs logo, as well as those from Hot Wheels, Giant R.V., Weekend Warrior, P.P.G., Timex and Parts Unlimited.

Lee looked to be taking his role as a racer quite seriously, easily doing 30 laps around the 35-second mini-motard course. Though not as stylish as McGrath, he was faster than most of the other guys out there. Later we were able to get him to reluctantly agree to answer a few questions within the relatively quiet confines of his motor coach.

Troy Lee is passionate about Super Moto racing; that’s for sure. Whether his excitement is that of a shrewd businessman poised to capitalize on The Next Big Thing, or if he’s another former pro that’s thrilled to be competing on a bike again. Whichever the case, and we suspect the latter, his decision to compete as part of his three-man SuperMoto racing team is the stuff that dreams are made of. “All of us together have a lot of connections and it very much just fell into place,” Lee said, “we’re all having so much fun out there, we come in afterwards and we’re just laughing so hard.”

Several years spent racing the highly competitive blue-grooved tracks of Southern California against the best young talent in the nation had left Troy Lee longing for more.  He’d climbed through the ranks and was one of the fast guys in the CMC Pro ranks, but never quite got over that final hurdle that separates the local pros from the national numbers. Whatever the reason; lack of funds, injuries, or maybe just running out of time…it’s never easy to admit that it’s not gonna happen, at least not for you. Admitting to yourself that you’ll never make it over that last obstacle can be a sobering thought and it’s never easy to know when it’s time to give it up. The decision to abandon one’s dream of motocross stardom and join the rat race exacts a toll on all who ever aspired to racing glory; its true cost can only be determined by the individual at the end of the day.

Each time Troy lines up next to his teammates McGrath and Ward at a SuperMoto race, it’s not unlike a kid who used to collect the balls at the driving range returning 20 years later to tee up against Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus. Except in Troy’s case, he owns them and the country club. You could say that Lee has given himself the ultimate moto-mulligan.

There was virtually no demand for custom painted motocross helmets when a teen-aged Troy Lee began painting helmets for his buddies in his parent’s garage. At that time Bell was the predominant helmet manufacturer, offering solid-color helmets in white, orange, yellow, red or black. The custom-painted helmets given to the factory team riders were awesome looking, but unless you were Bob Hannah or Marty Smith, you probablyore a white Moto 3 with your number stuck on the sides, duct tape across the visor and as many of your sponsor’s stickers that would fit.

On the rare occasion that a rider showed up at a motocross track with a custom-painted helmet it was usually a flat track guy that was either lost or showed up on the wrong night. Before Troy came along, custom painted helmets were always ugly and never cool. Lee’s paint jobs were so innovative and fresh that it wasn’t long until every fast rider or slow editor had to have one. Almost overnight you weren’t cool unless you were sporting a helmet with a $1500 Troy Lee Designs paint job. Troy Lee deserves credit for single handedly creating a market where none previously existed.

Custom painting helmets is a time consuming process, and each one is a labor of love. It can also become a frustrating process of trial and error to achieve the desired result. Troy’s technique of spray painting the helmet in reverse order has been widely copied by the top painters. “Most of the good guys are now learning that way,” said Lee, explaining the process, during which the pinstripes are actually the first coat painted on the helmet. Before long Troy realized that for his company to grow he’d need to delegate much of the painting process to underlings. “There’s hardly any one helmet that I touch from start to finish,” he said, explaining that by limiting his involvement in the painting process to oversight and design he is able to attend to the other projects crowding his plate. Over the years the brand has grown to include driving apparel, race promotion, film and television production, concept cars, riding gear and casual wear. His design work is seen on everything from Mazda trucks to Polaris ATVs.

Troy Lee Designs has outgrown its current 11,000-square foot facility and by the time this goes to print, the company will be housed in a former lumberyard that sits on four acres in downtown Corona. The new digs consist of a 26,000-square foot barn that’s been renovated to accommodate an ever-expanding product line that includes his paint shop, apparel, mountain bike, graphics, body armor and his new SE helmet line.

Just as we were digging into the meat of our time together, Troy made it clear that he was anxious to get back to his preferred job as an elite SuperMoto racer and cut our time short. But who could blame him? It’s not every man that gets a moto-mulligan and a quarter-million dollar motor coach to do it in. Troy Lee is living the life that most of us can only dream of.

KIC06

THERAPY

Word Association with David Vuillemin

MONEY: Earned

HOME: Relaxation

BLUE: Yamaha!

2004: Big expectations

GIRLS: Trouble

HAPPINESS: Charlotte smiling

SATISFACTION: Winning

FUN: Racing

PET: Cobra

SEX: Erica

FOOD: Diet

LOVE: Erica & Charlotte

MUSIC: Radiohead

TRAVEL: Boring

FRIENDS: Joey, Rachel and Ross

TIME: Going by too fast

DANCE: 2 left feet

PAIN: Part of the game

 

KIC04

FROM THE “WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT?” DEPARTMENT

The editors of TransWorld Motocross are constantly trying to come up with invention ideas that will make us all millionaires so that we can stop slaving over our keyboards and behind our cameras, but thus far, have had no luck. Cooley had the bright idea to make three-stroke engines, Garth wanted to mass-produce after-ride cologne, and Swap was sure he’d make a million selling goggles with “Beer” printed on the straps but alas, all three of us are still pecking away at our keyboards. Our friend Bob Morales of ASV Inventions, however, has had much better luck thinking up products for the moto masses. The Rotator Clamp is a perfect example of Morales’ ingenuity. This $25.00 part bolts onto any stock clutch perch or front brake master cylinder, effectively rendering it virtually unbreakable. How? The nylon sleeve insert allows the perch to twist on the handlebar in the event of a crash, reducing the chance of a bent lever or broken perch. Why didn’t we think of that? Call 877/ASV-7000 or visit www.asvusa.com

KIC07

SOUVENIR DREAMS

During a recent visit to the O’gio factory in Salt Lake City, Utah, Garth spotted this demolished Suzuki RM250 on display and snapped a quick shot. This is what’s left of the bike that Travis Pastrana back flipped into Grand Canyon in Greg Godfrey’s MX film, Global Addiction. Though the damage is impressive, we’d like to compare the damage Travis inflicted to this bike to that on any of our test rider Josh “The Hatchet” Stice’s personal bikes. There’s a reason we call him the Hatchet, and it doesn’t involve parachutes, back flips or natural wonders of the world…

KIC9, KIC10, KIC11

COOL G GOES MOPED RACING

PHOTOS: JEFF HAIN

New 125cc National Champion Grant Langston jumped at the chance to try his hand at Super Moto racing during the Return of the Superbikers event at the Del Mar Short Track, and Cool G piloted his big KTM 525SX to a come-from-behind runner-up finish. Super Moto hero Jeff Ward scored an easy win, but we’re convinced that Langston could have made things more interesting if he hadn’t ridden like a chick in the opening laps. Of his Super Moto experience, Langston said, “It was definitely a blast. I am a big fan of all types of motorsports, and Super Moto is no exception.” Us? We think Cool G just liked the fact that he got to wear leather…

KIC04

DIRT GIRL OF THE MONTH

Name: Lisa

Age: 22

Residence: Corona, CA

MX or FMX: Racing!

Favorite Rider: Garth

Why: He has big boots.

To get your own TransWorld Motocross Dirt Girl T-Shirt, check www.transworldmx.com/shop

KIC08

HITTIN’ THE PIPE

The Godfather is always up to something new these days, and his latest business venture is producing a line of Metzger signature exhaust pipes. Dubbed the Metzger Motorsports Super Stock pipe, the system is available for Honda CR250Rs for $149.95, and is the exact same pipe that Mike Metzger uses on his factory Hondas. Call 909/657-7870 or visit www.mikemetzger.com

KIC03

BOOKWORM

Our buddy Simon Cudby just dropped off a copy of his new book, American Motocross Illustrated, Volume 2, and we must say that we are quite impressed. Packed with 178 pages of all-color photos, the second edition is even better than the first. If you’re looking for that perfect gift to get the motocrosser in your life this holiday season, this is definitely one that will stand the test of time. At $29.95, it’s also a gift that won’t break your bank account! Call 888/Fox-Race or visit www.foxracing.com

 

STAFF INFECTION

Donn Maeda

Editor

Meat. Glorious Meat.

A few weeks ago, my boy Garth was informed by his doctor that he is allergic to meat. Yes, that’s right: allergic to meat. Since then, the Milan Rouge has sworn himself to a life of Vegan living. Hell, it used to be fun taking trips to the Taco Factory with my best friend for a big, fat carne asada burrito, but now all that lies ahead are trips to the Sizzler salad bar. Damn the luck.

Sgt. Blake Richardsonwe think of that? Call 877/ASV-7000 or visit www.asvusa.com

KIC07

SOUVENIR DREAMS

During a recent visit to the O’gio factory in Salt Lake City, Utah, Garth spotted this demolished Suzuki RM250 on display and snapped a quick shot. This is what’s left of the bike that Travis Pastrana back flipped into Grand Canyon in Greg Godfrey’s MX film, Global Addiction. Though the damage is impressive, we’d like to compare the damage Travis inflicted to this bike to that on any of our test rider Josh “The Hatchet” Stice’s personal bikes. There’s a reason we call him the Hatchet, and it doesn’t involve parachutes, back flips or natural wonders of the world…

KIC9, KIC10, KIC11

COOL G GOES MOPED RACING

PHOTOS: JEFF HAIN

New 125cc National Champion Grant Langston jumped at the chance to try his hand at Super Moto racing during the Return of the Superbikers event at the Del Mar Short Track, and Cool G piloted his big KTM 525SX to a come-from-behind runner-up finish. Super Moto hero Jeff Ward scored an easy win, but we’re convinced that Langston could have made things more interesting if he hadn’t ridden like a chick in the opening laps. Of his Super Moto experience, Langston said, “It was definitely a blast. I am a big fan of all types of motorsports, and Super Moto is no exception.” Us? We think Cool G just liked the fact that he got to wear leather…

KIC04

DIRT GIRL OF THE MONTH

Name: Lisa

Age: 22

Residence: Corona, CA

MX or FMX: Racing!

Favorite Rider: Garth

Why: He has big boots.

To get your own TransWorld Motocross Dirt Girl T-Shirt, check www.transworldmx.com/shop

KIC08

HITTIN’ THE PIPE

The Godfather is always up to something new these days, and his latest business venture is producing a line of Metzger signature exhaust pipes. Dubbed the Metzger Motorsports Super Stock pipe, the system is available for Honda CR250Rs for $149.95, and is the exact same pipe that Mike Metzger uses on his factory Hondas. Call 909/657-7870 or visit www.mikemetzger.com

KIC03

BOOKWORM

Our buddy Simon Cudby just dropped off a copy of his new book, American Motocross Illustrated, Volume 2, and we must say that we are quite impressed. Packed with 178 pages of all-color photos, the second edition is even better than the first. If you’re looking for that perfect gift to get the motocrosser in your life this holiday season, this is definitely one that will stand the test of time. At $29.95, it’s also a gift that won’t break your bank account! Call 888/Fox-Race or visit www.foxracing.com

 

STAFF INFECTION

Donn Maeda

Editor

Meat. Glorious Meat.

A few weeks ago, my boy Garth was informed by his doctor that he is allergic to meat. Yes, that’s right: allergic to meat. Since then, the Milan Rouge has sworn himself to a life of Vegan living. Hell, it used to be fun taking trips to the Taco Factory with my best friend for a big, fat carne asada burrito, but now all that lies ahead are trips to the Sizzler salad bar. Damn the luck.

Sgt. Blake Richardson

A few months ago, I received a letter from a Marine Sergeant who wrote that our magazine helps get him through the tough times. I sent him a care package full of TransWorld swag, and he thanked me with this photo of himself in Kuwait. Is that cool, or what? Thanks, Blake!

 

Garth Milan

Photo Editor/Associate Editor

Park City Helicopters

When I jumped into the helicopter at O’gio during the final filming of our new movie Crush, I had no idea that I was also getting into a chopper piloted by a two-year subscriber to TransWorld MX! My buddy Tony Fizer not only provided me with what was quite possibly the smoothest helicopter flight I have ever received, but also subscribes to my favorite mag–what a small world! Thanks for the flight, Tony.

Superstition, CA

I’m writing this paragraph just hours after visiting one of the coolest new freeride spots I’ve been to in quite awhile. My good buddy Dane Herron took me, Doug Parsons, Sean Hamblin, Wes Burrr and a bunch of other friends to a little spot near the border of Mexico called Superstition, and you’ll undoubtedly see the results of the freestyle nirvana in a future spread of Scan. Going to a new spot right under our own noses in Cali is quite possibly one of the coolest rushes the sport has to offer. My point? Get off your butt, grab a shovel and go ride!

Steve “GuyB” Giberson

Web Master/Assistant Editor

Respect for Ricky

Over at the MXdN, Ricky Carmichael got plenty of love from the European fans while en route to his individual win. So how come he can’t get the same from fans in the U.S? Is there such a thing as winning “too much,” or being “too good?” I’d guess that RC will get the same love here…right about the time he announces that he’s retiring and people realize that the countdown’s on for remaining chances to see him ride.

Manual vs. Automatic

It’s weird how an injury can make you aware of stuff that you normally take for granted. Because of my recently broken left leg, the doc ordered me to not put any weight on it for 12 weeks. That means my trusty Toyota (with its manual transmission) has been sitting idle in the TWMX parking lot since then. I can predict with 100 percent certainty that my next truck will be equipped with an automatic transmission.

 

on

A few months ago, I received a letter from a Marine Sergeant who wrote that our magazine helps get him through the tough times. I sent him a care package full of TransWorld swag, and he thanked me with this photo of himself in Kuwait. Is that cool, or what? Thanks, Blake!

 

Garth Milan

Photo Editor/Associate Editor

Park City Helicopters

When I jumped into the helicopter at O’gio during the final filming of our new movie Crush, I had no idea that I was also getting into a chopper piloted by a two-year subscriber to TransWorld MX! My buddy Tony Fizer not only provided me with what was quite possibly the smoothest helicopter flight I have ever received, but also subscribes to my favorite mag–what a small world! Thanks for the flight, Tony.

Superstition, CA

I’m writing this paragraph just hours after visiting one of the coolest new freeride spots I’ve been to in quite awhile. My good buddy Dane Herron took me, Doug Parsons, Sean Hamblin, Wes Burrr and a bunch of other friends to a little spot near the border of Mexico called Superstition, and you’ll undoubtedly see the results of the freestyle nirvana in a future spread of Scan. Going to a new spot right under our own noses in Cali is quite possibly one of the coolest rushes the sport has to offer. My point? Get off your butt, grab a shovel and go ride!

Steve “GuyB” Giberson

Web Master/Assistant Editor

Respect for Ricky

Over at the MXdN, Ricky Carmichael got plenty of love from the European fans while en route to his individual win. So how come he can’t get the same from fans in the U.S? Is there such a thing as winning “too much,” or being “too good?” I’d guess that RC will get the same love here…right about the time he announces that he’s retiring and people realize that the countdown’s on for remaining chances to see him ride.

Manual vs. Automatic

It’s weird how an injury can make you aware of stuff that you normally take for granted. Because of my recently broken left leg, the doc ordered me to not put any weight on it for 12 weeks. That means my trusty Toyota (with its manual transmission) has been sitting idle in the TWMX parking lot since then. I can predict with 100 percent certainty that my next truck will be equipped with an automatic transmission.