Monday Kickstart: August 27, 2012

After a stellar 250 career, Dean Wilson will be moving to the 450 ranks for 2013. The 2011 Outdoor National champion has spent the summer on the sidelines due to a shoulder injury, but the buzz around who Wilson would sign with has been one of the bigger stories of the summer. The time has come to end the rumors, as Dean announces his future in this video…

Catching Up With Troy Eckert

Following their “digital first” campaign of 2 Be Continued, Volcom, Vans, Oakley, Thor, and Monster Energy have released the hit biography piece on Ryan Villopoto in a more traditional DVD format. With extended interviews, riding footage, and outtakes, it allows even the most diehard RV fan the chance to dive deeper into the life and personality of one of the sport’s fastest riders. On the heels of this release, we talked with director and editor Troy Eckert on the process that went into making the film.

How did the idea for "2 Be Continued" come up?

The idea started around the time he won his Supercross championship in 2011. I worked for Volcom and am just an avid motocross fan and rider, and it felt like there wasn't anything else going on as far as videos on racers. I had just moved to Hawaii and had taken a step back from what I was doing at Volcom, so I was in a place to shoot it. I talked to Ryan and his management, and they were up for the idea, so we started planning it. While we were planning, he got into the outdoor season and killed it, which made the whole idea even sweeter. When he won the des Nations and the Monster Cup, it all naturally rolled from there.

Ryan has been Volcom's marquee rider for quite some time now, making their involvement much deeper, as they produce gear alongside Thor. Is it because of Ryan that their branching out into moto has gone so well?

Yeah. It is funny, because I ended up meeting him in 2007 at the Budds Creek Motocross des Nations, when he went on a tear on his 250. Nate Hawley, who worked for Vans at the time, introduced me to him and it was one of those things where I knew we had to get him and he was into it. It snowballed from there. Troy Powell, who runs the motocross division at Volcom, has put a lot of hard work into it and it is one of those things that "fit" with Volcom. It has naturally happened, but there has been a lot of hard work put into the program, too. We cater to the riders differently than we do the athletes in skate and snow.

When it came to filming for the video, how long did it take to compile all the archived footage and shoot the original footage that was used?

We were lucky enough to have good relationships with Troy Adamitis of The Great Outdoors, with Feld Motorsports, and Alli Sports. We first got in touch with Troy, which helped catapult the video because the outdoors were huge for Ryan in his early years and along his career. Feld was open to helping us, because we needed Supercross footage from them, and Alli as well for the outdoors. That made up a really good amount of the movie. For the new footage, we flew to Florida and spent three or four days with Ryan, shooting him on his Supercross track and did some of the interviews then. We did other things like paintball and him shooting his guns, B-roll stuff. After that we did another round of filming in February, and that is when we interviewed Jeremy McGrath, Eric Johnson, Mitch Payton, Mike Williamson, and his Dad. There were really only two big shoots that made up our original footage, and everything else was archived. All together it was one big puzzle.

It has a very different feel for a moto movie, a biography piece that focuses on one rider instead of a riding itself. How did you come with the idea?

With Ryan, this was to expose his personality a bit more to the public and his fans. The kid is classic and the big goal for me was to bring it out, which I think we achieved. When we interviewed the people, we were able to get them to open up about his personality and it shows him in a different way; who he is in a different way than just a dominating force on a motorcycle.

In the industry, the video has been very well received, and it was unveiled to the public with a different yet aggressive marketing campaign. How has the public taken to the video?

It has been doing pretty good. The way we rolled it out was a bit new for motocross, because we did the live premier on Facebook and was just an iTunes release at first. Now we have launched the DVD, which is a special edition that has extra interviews and riding. But, at the end of the day, it was not about selling a lot. Of course you want to move units, but it made more just to do it and have it out there. I am stoked, because I wanted people to see it. It was done a non-traditional way in motocross and we did some experimenting, and I am hoping the DVD will give it a bump. I know in the motocross world and the world in general, people are just now warming up to the iTunes download. It is really easy to do, but some people would rather have a hard copy in front of them and it is not disposable.

Now that Volcom has their first video out for the motocross demographic, can we expect more?

Gosh, I don't know (laughs). Right now, we are just trying to maximize this and get it out, but I am not going to say no to others for sure. You never know, but we have no plans right now. We worked on this for a year and a half, so now we take a deep breath and step back.

To purchase the DVD, click here

For many (ourselves included), the tension and excitement of the 250 division has been the only thing keeping us from falling asleep in the sun next to track while at the Nationals. The young, talented racers that make up the class have made this race season unforgettable and as we come to the end of the year, three in particular have a chance to claim the first National titles of their career.

Blake Baggett

436 points / 9 moto wins

With a disappointing Supercross season behind him, Blake Baggett needed to find redemption in the summer months. Pegged as a main contender for the 2012 title following his third place finish in last year's championship, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider showed his cards in the first round of the year when he tracked down and passed Justin Barcia and Ken Roczen for the overall at Hangtown. It has been much the same since then, as Baggett's ability to find unorthodox lines have moved him to the front of the pack more than a few times. With a 24-point advantage coming into the final motos, this is Baggett's championship to lose.

Justin Barcia

412 points / 4 moto wins

2012 is Justin Barcia's final chance to claim a 250 Outdoor title. With a lucrative ride next season at Team Honda Muscle Milk, the two-time East Coast Lites Champion has no worries in terms of a stable future, but the missing trophy on his mantle forces him to ride each moto like it his last chance. The GEICO Powersports Honda rider has led the most laps of anyone in the class, but has not been at the front at the final flag, which is truly the only one that counts. Barcia is not afraid of slamming his way to claim a moto win, and with only four chances left, it may be necessary.

Eli Tomac

408 points / 6 moto wins

Following his splash into the professional ranks, where he swept Hangtown 2010 with 1-1 scores to take the overall in his first ever professional race, Eli Tomac's outdoor career has fallen flat. Until now, that is. Tomac has grabbed six victories this summer and has a chance to swoop in and steal the championship should Baggett and Barcia crack or falter over the next two weekends. While aggressive moves are not his standard strategy, Tomac has shown he can and will park a competitor for the win.

Steel City has seen its share of game-changing moments over its time on the schedule, including Grant Langston's rear wheel exploding and Ryan Hughes' valiant last-lap struggle to push his bike uphill. While one hopes nothing as dramatic will happen to any of the three title contenders, the idea that a massive event can happen is hard to shake from your mind. Though only four rounds remain, this season is far from finished.

With a steady stream of new things being posted onto our site, it is easy to miss any article/video or two. Here is a consolidated rundown of last week.

Christian Craig Resigns With Troy Lee/Lucas Oil/Honda


Vote For Katelynn


The White Shadow: Testing James Stewart’s Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z 450


First Impression: 2013 Honda CRF250R

TransWorld Shadow: Broc Tickle At Unadilla 

Muscle Milk TWMX Race Series Summer Cup Finale

After five rounds, the Muscle Milk TWMX Race Series Summer Cup came to a close at Cahuilla Creek in Anza, CA. Randy Roberts was on hand to capture the day…

The six round Fall Cup schedule was announced last week, with the series beginning at Comp Edge on September 30th.

Muscle Milk TWMX Race Series Fall Cup Schedule

Rd 1. Sept 30  Comp Edge

Rd 2. Oct  7  Pala

Rd 3. Oct  28 Perris

Rd 4. Nov  11  Cahuilla

Rd 5. Dec  1  Glen Helen

Rd 6. Dec  2  Glen Helen