Monday Kickstart (Part 2)

Compiled by the staff of TWMX

(This is Part 2 of 2. For Part 1, go here.)

We spotted this pair of all-new Alpinestar Tech 6 boots inside the Mach 1 Yamaha trailer. Sporting an completely redesigned look that includes big, easy-to-operate buckles, the boots felt super light and looked really modern. “They are super comfortable, said Mach 1 rider Eric Nye. “I used to wear the Tech 8, but when they gave me these to try out, I fell in love with them. Look for the new Tech 6 and an overhauled Tech 8 in the very near future. The TWMX crew is slated to visit the head cheese at Alpinestars later this week for a full tech briefing. Stay tuned…

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Check out this humongous header pipe on the Mach 1 Yamaha Y4Z450F of Heath Voss! For the third week in a row, Voss showed up with a new-and-improved GYT-R works exhaust on his thumper. If the header pipe gets any longer, it will have to wrap around to the left side of the bike first, like a two-stroke exhaust! “It makes the bike way easier to ride, said Voss, of the new pipe. “As crazy as it sounds, it slows the bike down a bit and makes it easier to hang on to in Supercross conditions.

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While drooling over Voss’ Tom Wallace-tuned Yamaha YZ450F, we also spotted a couple cables running from the carburetor to the airbox assembly, no doubt to secure the carburetor and to keep it from popping out of the intake. When you’re dealing with the severe impacts in Supercross, you can never be too careful. Word also has it that Voss is using a I-Cat on his race bike; that same product that TWMX gave a glowing product review to several weeks back on the web and in the latest magazine issue.

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Grip tape galore is starting to show up on the factory race bikes… This clear stuff on Chad Reed’s factory Yamaha YZ250 is a lot tricker than the black skateboard grip tape that continues to fail Garth in his outings at our local skate park, and it’s available from the guys at N-Style (661/294-1118). We were actually surprised to see tape on Reedy’s bike, especially considering the fact that he’s modeled his riding style after that of seven-time champ Jeremy McGrath. None of us can ever remember seeing grip tape on MC’s bikes… On another note; check out Reed’s Pro Taper-designed custom digits! As GuyB reported last week, the numbers on the factory Yamahas were actually copied from the custom rider handlebar pads from last season.

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At Anaheim 1, we spotted something pretty trick on Grant Langston‘s factory Red Bull/KTM 250SX, but as soon as we had snapped a photo of it, team manager Larry Brooks asked us to hold off on sharing it with our readers. Anyway, this weekend he said that the secret was out of the bag, so here it is. If you look closely at the photo of GL’s motor, KTM or Honda buffs should notice something immediately: an electronic power valve mechanism. See the two cables? Like the system that comes stock on the Honda CR250R, the power valve on Cool G’s bike is operated by the ignition. “It works great, Langston told us. “That helped the power come on smoother and more controllably, which in turn helped the way the bike handles, as well.

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Bob Smutz of Flyin’ Colors showed up at Edison Field withhis bitchin’ new HJC for Nathan Ramsey. This year, the trendiest new fad in helmet painting is the use of flat clear coat. Helmet manufacturers that are already producing lids with the dull finish include Troy Lee Designs, HLC, and now Fox Racing, who recently introduced a cool Carey Hart Replica.

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With all of the fuss made over last weekend’s Kevin Windham vs. David Vuillemin controversy, not much noise was made about the AMA docking privateer Greg Schnell five seconds in the 125cc final for jumping when the yellow caution lights were flashing. As a result of the penalty, GS dropped from sixth in the main event to seventh. “To be totally honest, I didn’t see the lights until it was way too late, said Schnell. “When you are racing, you come out of the corner charging hard, not looking up at the top of the jump. They need to add more of those lights at the base of the jump. When Swap snapped this shot, Schnell had just realized that he’s lost five seconds of his life!

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Team MotoWorldRacing.com’s Shae Bentley was on hand in the pits at A2, and Shag Nasty reports that he’s just now begun to ride his bike in preparation for the February 14 Houston Supercross East Coast kickoff. “Basically, I woke up one day and my neck was all swollen, he said. “The doctors figured out that I have had Epstein Barr for a long time, and it had turned into a really serious case of mono. I had to sit back and rest to get better; I couldn’t do anything! I had to monitor my heart rate and make sure that it didn’t get too high, and I had to take scheduled naps all day long. It’s been a long road, but I think I am finally better now. I can’t train in the gym yet, only ride my bike.

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Speaking of the MotoWorldRacing.com squad, Steve Boniface did not qualify for the evening’s program when he did not show up for the start of the daytime last-chance qualifier. Apparently, fourth gear in Boney’s Suzuki RM-Z250 was beginning to go out, and with not enough time to swap engines, he was faced with the decision to race using only first, second and third gear, or to pack it in and call it a day. Boniface chose the latter and reports that he will be mounted aboard a two-stroke RM125 from here on out.

Before the season even started, we heard plenty of reports of pro-caliber riders breaking fourth gear in the Suzuki RM-Z250 and Kawasaki KX250F as they pounded through Supercross whoops sections. Apparently, the on/off tension that whoops put on the transmission gears is too much. So why haven’t Ivan Tedesco and Stephane Roncada suffered any such failures on their machines? The Kawasaki teams run specially made transmission gears from Italy that maintain stock dimensions, but are much stronger and more durable. The dollar amount we heard associated with the trick trannys was astounding…

The MotoworldRacing.com Suzuki team, meanwhile, chose to address the problem with a more affordable cure: having the gears hard anodized by the fellas at Hinson Racing. Apparently, however, the anodizing still isn’t strong enough to endure the stress. Unless you’re racing on honest-to-God Supercross tracks with whoops big enough to swallow small children alive, though, you have absolutely nothing to fear if you are a RM-Z/KX250F rider.

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With Steve Boniface electing to park his RM-Z250, that means that this super trick carbon fiber exhaust system by Bill’s Pipes will just sit there, unused. Hmmm… wonder if Bill and his boys would like to sponsor the world’s fastest Japanese American motocross journalist?

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Speaking of Steve Boniface, the MotoWorldRacing.com rider finally complied and wore a set of Axo boots this weekend like the rest of his teammates, but he still will not give up his non-team issue Shark helmet. While the rest of the squad wears Bell helmets, the finicky Frenchman will not comply. Here, Bell Helmet’s technical support executive managing supervisor vice president Darin Motoda makes some adjustments to Boniface’s visor, in hopes that he will agree to adapt the complete team uniform.

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Though we couldn’t get Brian Gray‘s factory Suzuki mechanic Tim “Tool Time McAdams to tell us what kind of transmission they had in Gray’s RM-Z250, we did get him to admit that the team runs thicker clutch fiber plates in the number 41 machine, thus the reason for the larger billet clutch cover on the bike. Also, check out the laser-cut aluminum bike stand that the guys at Yoshimura made for them. Trick!

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Ahhh, the controversy. In typical internet fashion, web bandits everywhere had a field day on message boards everywhere when we reported that Brian Gray‘s wife was only 16 years old. We ran into Michelle Gray this weekend and fortunately, she was able to laugh about the whole Mototalk explosion. “I printed it all out, she said. “I think it was something like 18 pages long! I can’t believe how some people can be so judgmental. Brian and I are very happy, why can’t they just be happy for us? Well said.

We just got a call from our buddy Mike Jones from Ferodo USA, and he’s looking for help from someone based in Southern California to help him truck two race bikes to the Dealernews International Powersports Expo in Indianapolis, Indiana, this February. If you can help Jonesy out, send him an e mail at jones@ferodousa.com.

Scott Sheak‘s WBR Race Team looked great this weekend, not only on the track, but in the pits as well! “We got our truck back from the painter and we just got our team graphics from the guys at One Industries, said Sheak. “This whole think came together in about 30 days, and I would say we’re doing pretty well! Troy Adams finished a very respectable sixth in the 125cc main aboard his Kawasaki KX250F. Pictured above is Ritchie Owens‘ race bike. Though Owens is quickly adapting to Supercross in his rookie season, his real strength lies outdoors. Expect Ritchie to do some damage in the 125cc Nationals.

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Mechanics try to keep their riders motivated in many different ways. We spotted this set-up on Nick Wey‘s factory Suzuki RM250. “Today U.R. Money, it says. We don’t know about you, but a $100 bill would motivate us a lot more than a stinkin’ single! What is this, some sort of strip club? And now, a quote from the movie Swingers: “You’re so money, and you don’t even know it…

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Meanwhile, on the other side of the Suzuki pits… Sean Hamblin has this motivational message on his crossbar pad: “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up! Having known our buddy Hamy for quite some time now, perhaps the words, “Shopping Spree would be more effective. Just kidding, Hambone… Get better, too!

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Check out the titanium cone section on Nathan Ramsey‘s factory White Brothers CRF250R exhaust. While the header pipe and carbon fiber muffler look exactly like the unit WB offers for sale, the hand-welded cone mid-pipe caught our eyes immediately. “We tried a bunch of different variations, and this is the one Nate likes best, said John “Bundy Mitchell. “It sure looks cool, doesn’t it? You don’t see full-on cone pipes that often, anymore, and it’s really unexpected on a four stroke!

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Mach 1 Yamaha’s Ezra Lusk showed up at Anaheim 2 with the same factory Kayaba bell bottom forks that factory riders Chad Reed, David Vuillemin and Tim Ferry have been using since the season opener. “I was really happy with the forks I initially tested and was content to stay with those, but Ross Maeda from Enzo told me that the bell bottoms wof the squad wears Bell helmets, the finicky Frenchman will not comply. Here, Bell Helmet’s technical support executive managing supervisor vice president Darin Motoda makes some adjustments to Boniface’s visor, in hopes that he will agree to adapt the complete team uniform.

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Though we couldn’t get Brian Gray‘s factory Suzuki mechanic Tim “Tool Time McAdams to tell us what kind of transmission they had in Gray’s RM-Z250, we did get him to admit that the team runs thicker clutch fiber plates in the number 41 machine, thus the reason for the larger billet clutch cover on the bike. Also, check out the laser-cut aluminum bike stand that the guys at Yoshimura made for them. Trick!

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Ahhh, the controversy. In typical internet fashion, web bandits everywhere had a field day on message boards everywhere when we reported that Brian Gray‘s wife was only 16 years old. We ran into Michelle Gray this weekend and fortunately, she was able to laugh about the whole Mototalk explosion. “I printed it all out, she said. “I think it was something like 18 pages long! I can’t believe how some people can be so judgmental. Brian and I are very happy, why can’t they just be happy for us? Well said.

We just got a call from our buddy Mike Jones from Ferodo USA, and he’s looking for help from someone based in Southern California to help him truck two race bikes to the Dealernews International Powersports Expo in Indianapolis, Indiana, this February. If you can help Jonesy out, send him an e mail at jones@ferodousa.com.

Scott Sheak‘s WBR Race Team looked great this weekend, not only on the track, but in the pits as well! “We got our truck back from the painter and we just got our team graphics from the guys at One Industries, said Sheak. “This whole think came together in about 30 days, and I would say we’re doing pretty well! Troy Adams finished a very respectable sixth in the 125cc main aboard his Kawasaki KX250F. Pictured above is Ritchie Owens‘ race bike. Though Owens is quickly adapting to Supercross in his rookie season, his real strength lies outdoors. Expect Ritchie to do some damage in the 125cc Nationals.

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Mechanics try to keep their riders motivated in many different ways. We spotted this set-up on Nick Wey‘s factory Suzuki RM250. “Today U.R. Money, it says. We don’t know about you, but a $100 bill would motivate us a lot more than a stinkin’ single! What is this, some sort of strip club? And now, a quote from the movie Swingers: “You’re so money, and you don’t even know it…

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Meanwhile, on the other side of the Suzuki pits… Sean Hamblin has this motivational message on his crossbar pad: “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up! Having known our buddy Hamy for quite some time now, perhaps the words, “Shopping Spree would be more effective. Just kidding, Hambone… Get better, too!

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Check out the titanium cone section on Nathan Ramsey‘s factory White Brothers CRF250R exhaust. While the header pipe and carbon fiber muffler look exactly like the unit WB offers for sale, the hand-welded cone mid-pipe caught our eyes immediately. “We tried a bunch of different variations, and this is the one Nate likes best, said John “Bundy Mitchell. “It sure looks cool, doesn’t it? You don’t see full-on cone pipes that often, anymore, and it’s really unexpected on a four stroke!

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Mach 1 Yamaha’s Ezra Lusk showed up at Anaheim 2 with the same factory Kayaba bell bottom forks that factory riders Chad Reed, David Vuillemin and Tim Ferry have been using since the season opener. “I was really happy with the forks I initially tested and was content to stay with those, but Ross Maeda from Enzo told me that the bell bottoms would actually be better in Supercross so I tested them and ended up liking them better, said Lusk.

In his heat race at Anaheim, Ezra Lusk suffered a scary crash that saw him lying still on the track for several seconds while other riders actually jumped over him. Though it looked as if he may have been rendered unconscious, Lusk reports that he had felt a strange movement in his leg on impact, and was initially afraid to move. Yogi came back to win his semi in convincing fashion, but another crash in the main that broke his throttle tube forced him to retire. Lusk checked in with us today from Disneyland, where he and his family are celebrating their son Hayden’s first birthday. “I’m certainly fine, and I will be at San Diego ready to race, he said. “I had some bike problems on Saturday night, and I just needed to take a day off to chill with my family today. Happy birthday, Hayden!

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We’ve been running into Englishman James Dobb and his beautiful wife Naomi everywhere lately. Each winter, the former 125cc World Champion comes to SoCal to train for the upcoming World Championship Series, and he is a regular fixture at our local tracks. In 2004, Dobb will contest the 125cc series aboard a Honda CRF250R as a member of Team RWJ Honda. “The bike is amazing, said Dobb. “I am excited to be returning to the 125cc class, where I have won the championship before, and the bike is absolutely the best I have ever ridden.

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Dobb has been flying incognito with no name on his jersey and no numbers on his bike, and a couple weeks ago we were wondering who the No Fear-wearing CRF rider was, as he reeled in Doug Dubach at Perris Raceway. “I’ve figured out that if I am incognito, I have a more peaceful training session, said Dobb. “If I have my name on my jersey, it seems like there is always some local hot shot that wants to get out there and cut in front of you. Dobb is set to join the TWMX crew for a private day of riding at Cahuilla Creek MX Park this week, so stay tuned for a video of the worlds fastest Englishman in action soon…

The KTM Jr. Supercross race had the fans on their feet cheering once again in Anaheim. But all eyes were on the #1 bike. Kinser Edicott doubled off the triple jump all three laps. During his last jump he threw a huge no-footer! It was unbelievable!

Tissott watches is a new sponsor for supercross this year and this weekend they stepped it up. They are now giving away a $350 watch to the rider with the fastest heat time of the night in both classes. This weekend Chad Reed and Nathan Ramsey both took home the honors.

James Povolny took home the Racer X Gas Card for $750 and Jesse Casillas won the Asterisk Medic Card for $250.

If you live in the SoCal area, keep your eyes peeled at local tracks around the area for the prototype Suzuki RM-Z450. Word on the streets is that the engineers from Japan are back in town with the exotic one-off for some more Stateside testing. Our buddy and photographer extraordinaire Naoyuki Shibata reports that a completely separate Kawasaki KX450F is also in the works, and is set to make its competition debut at the All Japan National Championship MX Series opener later this year.

Did anyone notice number 160 in the 125cc class on Saturday?! The triple-digit rider was none other than Ryan Morais, the new addition to the already injury-riddled KTM 125cc team. Morais was flying on his orange machine in the 125cc main, eventually settling into seventh position and turning a lot of heads in the process. If you remember correctly, Morais showed up to Anaheim 1 aboard a Motoworld Suzuki, though he was just getting parts help from the satellite team. Well, KTM stepped up big after their team began crumbling from injury, and th