Photos by Tanner Yeager | @tanneryeagerphoto
There was a lot going on over the weekend if you’re into motorcycles and good times. We were on hand at the Nitro World Games in Salt Lake City (CLICK HERE FOR THAT), and over in Reno, Nevada the Endurocross series held round three of six where Alta Motors’ Ty Tremaine made history as the first rider to put the bike on the podium at a professional event. We’ve gotten to know Ty well through our travels to the Red Bull Erzberg Rodeo earlier this year, so we cold called him this morning to get his thoughts on the stellar weekend. Read on…
You just made some history in Reno, talk about that.
Yeah! So last year coming off of a third overall in the championship I was on the podium quite often, so coming into this year being on the Alta it's a totally new brand and new program. So I've been trying so hard and training, just working really hard during the week to get better and get the bike better, then last week in Costa Mesa I got fourth and I was way better than I was at round one so I knew I was capable of being up front. Then Saturday night in Reno I just put it all together, and I was actually able to win the bracket racing which was awesome. Then going into the main I felt pretty confident, then got a pretty bad start, but made work of some dudes real quick and got myself into a podium spot and stayed strong. The podium on Saturday night was probably one of my most special podiums, just because it didn't set in until I did it and realized that was the first time that bike has ever been on the podium. It meant a lot more than me just getting third. It was like, "Holy shit." It’s a big deal for Alta and myself.
Congratulations, that's a big accomplishment. Talk about the process of adapting to a new bike like this as their only factory racer.
We figure something new out every time we go out there. Even after round one, the bike I rode the past two weekends has been totally different. We shed ten pounds out of the battery pack, so with that being said it makes the front end of the bike react totally different so I had to stiffen my forks and do a bunch of different things because I'm able to ride the bike way harder and do different things with it. So it's constantly evolving and changing for the better.
Talking about it really puts into perspective the fact that you're basically pioneering racing an electric motorcycle at a professional level. When you look back as an old fart you're going to think about how crazy all of this is.
[Laughs] For sure, dude.
Your starts have been great – I saw you got a holeshot or two this year…
Yeah, I mean it's crazy to even explain the starts because most people always use a holeshot device in the front end. With the Alta, the battery pack sits further up front making the front of the bike 10% heavier than a traditional gas bike. So I've done a ton of practice starts and I get better starts on the Redshift with no holeshot device, sitting further back like you would on a concrete start. So I hold the front brake in, and I give it a little less than a quarter throttle –enough to where it has resistance but it's not going to spin the rear end –and I just literally let go of the front brake and pin it. It's so good!
Explain Endurocrossa to the people that don't understand it – it’s a pretty gnarly looking deal! Watching guys like you, Colton Haaker, and Cody Webb you all sometimes make it look too easy.
It's like, Cody and Colton are pretty much on another level right now –nobody could even argue that right now. And third through seventh, we're all pretty close. It's amazing how all the dudes are able to hit the track hard for a 12 minute main, so we're doing like 15 or more laps every weekend. Then to see Cody and Colton riding stuff, they're 100% pushing and racing the entire time. The amateur guys during the day are stoked to make an entire lap because it's so hard, so seeing the difference is crazy. Even my girlfriend jokes around, and she says there should be different classes within the pro class because the sport has elevated so much that the top guys are so far ahead of everybody else. It's insane.
I trip out on how consistent you'll jump these sketchy log sections. Tell me the truth –do you hit those things thinking, "I hope this is going to work!!"
[Laughs] 100% yes. There are a couple of sections on the track where every lap you're pretty much full send and just hoping it works. Then you have to think about how physically demanding racing dirt bikes is in general, it makes it even more nuts thinking about having arm pump and being tired still trying to send yourself over logs and rocks. It's gnarly…
How many rounds in are we?
Three rounds in, and it's a six round series.
What's the goal finishing it out?
Now with this podium it puts me third in points, so basically just to podium from here on out. If I can do that I'm going to be stoked, so I just want to keep training and stay healthy and even though we have the bike working great we can probably get it working better. So just continuing to dial things in, and consistent top fives will put us in a good championship standing in the end.
Who do you want to thank?
Everybody at Alta, and man I was talking to my mechanic Blake Nicholas at the end of the night thanking him over and over because he never gets enough credit or exposure for what he does. He does so much behind the scenes with that bike that not many people could do, because it's basically a big computer. He's literally an engineer; not just a spinning wrenches kind of dude. He's gnarly. Thanks to all of my sponsors, my girlfriend Jessa, my family, and everyone that supports the movement. There are a lot of haters out there, but there are just as many people that back it and I just appreciate everybody that sees how gnarly and groundbreaking it is racing an electric bike against top factory teams that have been around for a long time.
Keep it up, Ty. Thanks for your time.