Rider Profile: Andrew Morris

Andrew Morris isn’t a racer. He’s a showman. Specifically, he’s a freestyle rider who puts on stunt shows around the United States, doing things with his highly-modified 2005 Yamaha YZF-R6 that seem to defy the laws of physics.

Morris has been a freestyle rider for over three years now. Although he lives in Lafayette, Indiana—where he was born and raised—Morris’s first glimpse of stunt riding was in Orlando, Florida. He traveled there in 2006 to watch his older brother ride, and soon followed in his footsteps. Or, rather, tire tracks.

Like many other stunt riders, Morris will soon call Florida home. The large stunt community there, as well as year-round riding and competitions, makes it the perfect spot for honing his skills.

Morris has competed in the Amateur Freestyle Series, which is a proving ground for riders on their way to professional XDL competition. He also attends other competitions, like the Yo Face Stunt Session in Little Rock, Arkansas. That trip, where he placed fourth in the Longest Stoppie category, was a road trip adventure. Morris remembers “staying up for two days straight driving to Little Rock because everyone that I was with passed out and wouldn’t wake up—ever!”

Outside of competing, Morris stays busy by performing stunt shows, doing as many as four shows in one week. “Just imagine loud bikes screaming at you as loud as can be and smoke rolling everywhere,” he describes. “I like to have people think I’m crazy by the way I ride, to think that any second I will crash. That thought keeps everyone interested through the whole show.”

To make sure he has a successful show, Morris has one superstitious habit. “Every time before I go ride, I always put my right glove on first, then the left. Never the other way around,” he says.

When he’s not using his Galfer brakes to do stoppies and burnouts, Morris can be found at his side business, where he does bike and bodywork repair. Otherwise, Morris sticks to riding. “Anyone who wants to come out and ride, just let me know!” he says. “I am always down for some riding sessions, no matter how good or how bad!”

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Galfer Brake Lines for 2012 Yamaha Super Tenere

Complete ABS Kit: includes Front, Clutch and Rear Lines

At Galfer USA things just get better and better. We have been at this game for over 60 years and we still strive for improvement each and every day. And it just goes to show you with our new complete braking system for the Super Tenere. “Braking was consistent, there was no mushiness, it was unbelievable” Andy Lacayo, regarding his new Galfer brake lines, after about a 400 mile ride home.

The Super Tenere was designed around a rider’s comfort and stocked with ABS and a Unified Braking System, it seemed to be begging for us to get a hold of it. A perfect match for Galfer’s high standard performance braking products; an opportunity to offer one of our cleanest ABS brake line kits and a chance to pair our pads and Wave® rotors with Yamaha’s calipers.

Our 2012 Yamaha XT 1200Z Super Tenere brake line kit is a complete 9-line set up and includes the front, clutch and rear for your ABS system. Although we may not recommend the install to a beginner, we do include a detailed list of instructions in every kit. And as always; if you have any concerns with your install, give as a call, we did work on the bike and manufactured the lines in our California facility after all.

Part Numbers for 2012 Yamaha Super XT1200Z Tenere:

Complete ABS Kit (front, clutch, rear): D771-9
Front Pads: FD178
Front Rotors: DF482
Rear Pads: FD295
Rear Rotors: DF496

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First 600 Race Weekend at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway with CVMA

My dad and I drove up Friday morning and we picked up Ryan Matter and Jim Matter on the way because their truck broke down. Then the four of us made it to the track a couple hours later. We pitted with Cycle Mall/Bridgestone, where my new bike was sitting there ready for me to ride. My Cycle Mall sponsored bike looked amazing and I was ecstatic to ride it. I went out for my first session to get a feel for the bike. When I came in we adjusted a few things to get the bike comfortable for me. In the first session my best lap time was a 2:04.xx. At that point I noticed it was going to be hard to get up to pace, the pace was around 1:50.xx on race day. Throughout the day Tige from Cycle Mall and I tuned the suspension and my best time was in my last session. I did a 1:55.xx. I was very happy with my progress, but I still wanted to go faster.

On Saturday I got two sessions of practice and qualifying before my races. In the first session I picked up where I left off from the day before and I did a low 1:55. In the second session I went faster and did a 1:54.xx. At that point, I felt like I was flying and I knew it was going to be hard to get further up to pace. The next session was qualifying and I got half a lap in and something went wrong with the bike. I qualified last on the grid for all of my races. We got the bike fixed in time for the first race. I got on the grid on the 3rd row and I got and amazing start from 9th to 6thby T1. Then I got passed by a few people in T3. At that point I was back into 8th place with Lex Hartl right behind me. I battled Hartl for 2 laps and at that point he passed me down the straight. I was then in 9th and followed Hartl up to the next three riders. I eventually got around all of them by lap 4 of 6. Then I had 4th and 5th in sight. I was gaining on them every lap, but I couldn’t quite get to them and pass them. I finished the race in 6th place. My fastest lap in that race was a 1:54.1.

In my next race I was on row 4 in 10th spot. I got a great start and was in 5th by T1 with Andrew Artola right behind me. I was chasing down Rocco Horvath in 4th. As I was catching Rocco, Andrew was catching me and he put a pass on me on the inside in T15. The next lap I fought back and I passed him on the brakes coming into T8 and carried that speed all the way around the outside of Rocco in T9 to make the pass for 4th. I put my head down and made a gap. On lap 4 I started sliding a little and I slowed down. Andrew got by Rocco on that lap and caught up to me. On lap 5 he tried to make a move when I made a mistake into T16 and he was right on my tail. We were then on lap 6, the last lap of the race, and I knew he would attempt a pass in the same corner again, so on that lap I went deep on the brakes and guarded the inside of the turn. I guess I left just a little too much room for his front tire. He went deep on the brakes and showed me and my knee a wheel as he came in and just tapped my knee with his front tire. I got on the gas and pulled back in front of him, then he did the same and I got pushed a little wide. That turn leads onto the straight and I finished 5th just behind Artola. My best lap in that race was on the last lap at a 1:53.9, when I was pushing hard to try and keep Artola behind me.

On Sunday I had one practice, where Ryan Matter towed me around to show me some lines. That helped a lot and I did a 1:54.1 without pushing very hard. I knew right away that Sunday was going to be a success. In my first race of the day I was gridded on the 3rd row in 8th place. I got an amazing start and was in 5th by T1. Then I went around the outside of Brian Short in T3 to make the pass for 4th place. Next in my sight was Loren Black from GPR Stabilizer. I was right on his tail, but couldn’t seem to pass him. On lap 4 he looked back and he saw me right on him. He stepped it up and set a new personal best in that race while gapping me to the finish. I finished in 5th place in that race and set a new personal best lap time at a 1:52.8.

My last race of the weekend put me on the 4th row in 11th spot. I got an outstanding start and I was in 6th by T1. I then passed Brian Short in the same spot as the last race, around the outside in T3. I was in 5th right behind Loren and Rocco. I was chasing them the whole race and I just couldn’t pass Rocco to finish 4th, so I finished in 5th. I was very happy with this race because I ran a 1:51.5. I was only .8 seconds off of Ryan Matter’s fastest lap of that race. My weekend was very successful and I was proud of my results. I couldn’t have done it without all of my sponsors and supporters. I would also like to give a special thanks to GPR Stabilizer for providing me with a damper for this weekend’s races to keep me safe and it worked great. I didn’t get any tank slappers, or any head shake.

Thank you to my current Sponsors:

CM Motorsports
Share A Sale
Concept Five
Fastrack Riders
GPR Stabilizer
Next Moto Champion
Race Tech
Mid Cities Honda
Power Stands Racing
NEXX Helmets
Advanced Motorcycle Gear
Outlaw Racing
BARF Racing
California Superbike School
Shorai Power
Motul Lubricants
Zero Gravity
Lockhart Phillips
Cycle Gear

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Rider Profile: James Barry

When it comes to endurance, roadracer James Barry has it in spades. The Manchester, New Hampshire, racer has been competing off and on for nearly 20 years. He got his start in 1983 before taking time off to have a family.

Throughout his career, Barry has raced in the CCS Mid-Atlantic series, ASRA Team Challenge, and ASRA Superstock. He also spent two years as a team owner in Formula USA.

Now, at a young 47 years old, Barry is still going strong, racing at East Coast tracks. He prefers endurance racing to sprints, and is competing in ASRA Team Challenge again this year.

“I believe it’s the best way to become a better rider,” Barry says of endurance racing. “If you look at any of the champions now, or in the past, they’ve done endurance. It improves your riding because it forces you to relax. Once you’re relaxed, your ability to absorb more and become a better racer improves.”

After so many years on the track, Barry has applied that technique to continue improving. “I’m riding better than I’ve ever ridden in my life right now. I think when you’re a little older, you appreciate people’s help more, like Galfer. You ride a little smarter and you’re not throwing things away,” he says.

Barry grew up riding dirt bikes. His brother used to race motocross at Loudon, and the track was right next to the roadrace track. “We’d go to the fence and watch the roadracers and say, “Oh, they’re crazy.” Then I bought a street bike and wanted to try it,” Barry says.

Racing is clearly Barry’s favorite sport, but he stops for quieter activities, too. He enjoys sailing and likes taking his kids to the beach.

Those kids are further proof of Barry’s endurance: he’s raised six. In fact, the side of his Yamaha YZF-R1 race bike has each of their initials: KJLJNR. Underneath that are two other letters, representing Barry’s grandchildren.

Barry says, “When you take a racing school, I think 90 percent of those people are hooked for life.” He’s living proof, and for Barry, it just keeps getting better. “I enjoy myself every time. When I’m driving home from a race weekend, I think, ‘This is a good life.’”

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Jake Dolan Race Report – WSMX Championship at Willow Springs

Jake Dolan

After a 16 day break back in Australia to see friends and family, Jake returned to the US recharged and ready to go.

Round 10 of the WSMC Championship saw a return to Willow Springs International Raceway. An American racing icon and National Historical Monument, this circuit built in 1953 is America’s first and oldest permanent motor racing circuit.

In this case, the event was located on the second track, known as “Streets of Willow“. And it was run in a reverse direction. Anyone who has been to Los Angeles will be aware of the bumpy and pot holed streets. We think this was where they got the name for this small circuit.

Very bumpy and run down, it was nevertheless an interesting and technical circuit, but it certainly favors a smaller capacity motorcycle over a 1000cc.

Practice – Saturday 15th

Weather – warm, fine, light breeze, turning to very gusty late afternoon.
All went well in practice, despite a minor low speed spill on the left hand side in the first session. The track was very dusty and there was some loose surface.

Jake made excellent progress and by the time the gusty wind had turned up, was easily one of the 3 fastest bikes on track.
Jake’s times allowed him to be license upgraded from Expert to ‘PRO’ on Saturday afternoon.

Sunday Race Day

Weather was very similar to Saturday. Such is Southern California !

Jake fitted a new set of Pirelli tires for morning warmup. Pirelli have started to acknowledge Jake’s growing performance and we certainly appreciate their much welcome assistance. With the Pirelli’s fitted, Jake managed to beat Saturday’s best time in warmup, despite having only completed 4 laps to scrub them in.

Race 1 – A small field of 10 riders fronted for the start of the Open Superstock event. Jake made a great start, easily 1st into the first corner and from there was never challenged.

In a dominant display of his quick ability to learn a new track and his keenness in finally winning a race on US soil, he crossed the finish line 6 seconds in front of 2nd place after just one lap. Next lap, it was 12 seconds, then 16 seconds, then 21 seconds, then 30 seconds.

Jake won the 8 lap sprint by a country mile, giving him even more points for the title in Open Superstock.

Race 2 – This was always going to be a tough call. Formula One. A small but potent group of riders fronted the starter. They included AMA riders David Anthony on a Suzuki Superbike, Shaun Higbee on a new Buell 1190, Benny Sollis and Bryce Prinz on Supersport 600′s and more.

Add the rules that say all new PRO riders have to start from the back of the grid (14th in Jakes’ case) and he was always going to have his work cut out for him.

A good start saw Jake enter turn 1 having made up 2 places, but such was the fierce competition, there was close contact and he was pushed back to last exiting turn 1. (there is a $1000 first prize, paying back to 10th)

Dust rose from the back of the circuit, the yellow flags came out and the announcer provided the news, Jake was down around the back of the circuit. Thanks again to R&G’s awesome products, the bike was saved from any major damage, but it was bad enough to halt the day, as we did not have time to make repairs before the final race, Open Modified Production.

So now the big clean up happens and Jake will be back for the next event, which is thankfully on the International circuit at Willow Springs, where Jake went so well about a month ago.

With a few small improvements, we hope to keep the winning happening there.

–Written by: Dale Schmidtchen


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Chris “Teach” McNeil – September 2011 Update

The summer is winding down but the TeachTrix program is going strong, even past the ever delightful Indian summer phase. The month of September saw me at a different location every weekend, staying pretty consistent with how my year has been all along.

We started down at the Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix in Baltimore, MD. While I didn’t get to actually perform, I signed a lot of autographs and met a lot of people. It was great to be at a world class car event and not only have a lot of interest in the Superbike, but also be recognized for my abilities on that bike – in a car crowd environment. I did manage to get the S1000RR out on the course for a parade lap and we are confident that we will be back next year and laying some rubber down.

Baltimore Grand Prix: Baltimore, MD

After the GP, we trekked down the highway a bit to Charlotte, NC for the Grand Opening celebration at BMW Motorcycles of Charlotte. The show was awesome and the turnout was even better, with hundreds of fans and customers cycling through as the day progressed. The folks down there were terrific and the facility was as nice as any I’ve seen. I included two videos, along with a couple pictures from my show at the dealership below.

Charlotte of BMW: Charlotte, NC

BMW of Charlotte Videos: Charlotte, NC

Two Semper Ride events closed out the month with the first coming in New Orleans, LA and the second taking place a week later in San Diego, CA. Besides the usual display of madness on the one wheel, as the official Semper Ride spokesperson, I was able to instruct individual riders as well as groups alongside the Total Control Riding School. We are currently developing our own training techniques to reach the young Marines in a way that traditional programs cannot. It was a great opportunity to not only entertain some of our service men and women, but get some hands on training as well.

Semper Ride: New Orleans, LA

Semper Ride: San Diego, CA

These updates are generally about events that I appear at and oftentimes I forget to share the entire wide array of promotional opportunities that come my way; so I decided to share the Spectro Oils ad that has been running all year in various magazines. Much love to those guys as they keep my bikes running smooth. Opportunities to co-brand are always welcome and really help to push the product and attach a face that customers can recognize and relate to.

Spectro Oils Ad

As always, thanks for all that you do. I literally cannot do it without each and every one of you guys. Next month stays as busy as ever as I travel to CA a couple more times to enjoy the Fall weather and make some wheelies!

Get Some!

www.TeachTrix.com / http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1050183180 / http://twitter.com/teachmcneil
Booking, appearances, media: Josh Berman – 866-390-3453; JBerman@EEandE.com

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Cole Crowley’s Race Report Lodi Cycle Bowl 10-8-11 & 10-9-11

Hello everyone, on October 8th and 9th, 2011 I raced a double header race at Lodi Cycle Bowl. That means that there was a race at Lodi on Saturday night and on the very next morning on Sunday.

On Saturday we were racing the TT track at night under the lights. The track was looking pretty good and the turn out at the track was pretty good because it was one of the last races of the season. I was ready for the first  practice but had new tires on the front and the rear so I knew that it was going to be really sketchy at first. I went out for my first practice and it was really slick because of the new tires. I didn’t know what to do to adjust the bike because I couldn’t tell what the bike was doing wrong because of how slick the tires were. So I just rode the bike as hard as I could to try to break in the tires. On the second practice the bike was still pretty slick and the tires still needed to be broken in. But after the 3rd practice the tires were broken in and I was able to make some adjustments to hopefully better the traction and handling of the bike.

Now it was time for the heat race. I was feeling good and was ready to go give it my all. I had second pick on the front row which put me pretty much right in the groove, so I had a good shot at getting the hole shot. Off the start I got the hole shot and was ready to protect the lead if I had to. After 2 laps I already had a nice sized gap and new that as long as I didn’t fall that my position was safe. But I still pushed as hard as I could for 2 more laps to get a pretty big gap. Then for the last 2 laps I just took it kind of easy to make sure I didn’t fall but mainly to save my tires for the dash for cash and for the main event. I won the race with a good size gap and was ready for the dash for cash.

In the dash for cash I had 3rd pick on the front row. I was kind of in the dust and was worried about getting a bad start. On the start I spun really bad and I ended up dead last and was kind of mad. I ended up playing follow the leader for 2 out of the 4 laps and then made a move on 5th place. Then on the last lap going into the second right hander I threw it in hard on 4th place and took over 4th spot. I got right behind 3rd and tried to make a pass but ran out of time and took 4th place in the dash for cash.

Now it was time for the main event. I had 3rd pick on the front row. Off the start I was 5th going into turn 1. I passed a guy on the inside and moved up to 4th. I passed another guy going into the hair pin and was now in 3rd place. I was trying to catch 2nd place but then 2 laps later the leader slides out into the fence and they red flag the race for a restart. After the restart I was in 4th place and couldn’t pass 3rd place. No matter what I tried I couldn’t pass him. I followed him around until the last lap and ran it in on him in the hair pin turn and passed him to take over the 3rd position. I held the 3rd spot and took 3rd place in the main event.

On Sunday was the short track. It was in the morning so the traction of the track is always a little different then it is when you race at night. This is the last rave at lodi for the season so I had to make sure that I could have the most fun I could. In practice the track was really slick as usual and had to be broken in before everyone would start getting traction. After practice was over I felt that the bike was working pretty good.

In my heat I had 2nd pick for the starting line. I always try to pick the spot where the most rubber is layed down on the track, because that’s where the most traction is for the best start. I got in the spot I wanted in the groove. The light turned green and I got the hole shot. My bike was hooking up pretty good and I was feeling comfortable on my bike. I got passed going into turn 3 because the track was dangerously slick. I started trying different lines in turn 3 and 4 so it wouldn’t be so slick but couldn’t prevent it. I went into turn 3 in the 5th lap and almost lost the front end and came in 3rd place.

Now for the main event. I was in the dust for the start because of my 3rd place finish. I got a bad start and was about 8th going into turn 3. Everyone was playing follow the leader and nobody could gain any ground on each other. I crept up the inside of 7th place coming out of turn 4. But all of a sudden he almost high sides and his tire whips back and hits my front tire. I started getting head shake and I got popped up to where my stomach was flat on my handle bars, which put my wrists in an awkward position and made me pin the throttle. I was headed straight for the huge bank of the track. As I headed for the bank I tried to reach my foot to the break pedal but ran out of time and hit the bank in 3rd gear wide open. As I launched into the air the bike got tangled in the fence. I kept soaring in the air and got some good air time. As I was flying in the air I thought I was a dead man so I decided to enjoy my time in the air and enjoy it as a once in a Lifetime experience. I ended up landing in the side of a truck bed and flipped over into the truck bed. I ended up messing up my pelvic bone pretty bad. I was able to walk away and felt like the luckiest man in the world for being able to do so. Also I had so much adrenaline that I decided to continue racing. I had to start in the back of a staggered line. I passed one guy right off the start and wanted to make up the ground that I had lost. I ended up picking off a few more riders with out even being able to touch my foot on the ground because of the pain.

Overall it was another fun race weekend. I cant wait for race season to start back up again. I’m so very grateful that I am still here after my crazy crash, and also grateful that I can still walk. Thanks a bunch to all of my sponsors for all of you’re help and support.

More articles by Cole Crowley:

Ben Smith’s Race Report – ISDE 2011 Kotka-Hamina, Finland

by Ben Smith

I have been preparing for this race for the past few months and finally it was time to leave. My girlfriend and mom went with me for support.

We left Newark, NJ Monday evening. The flight was delayed about an hour due to weather conditions. It was an uneventful flight. When we landed in Amsterdam on Tuesday I had no idea how big that airport was. It took us 25min to walk to our connecting flight gate. Since our plane was delayed in Newark we almost missed the flight. However our bags did miss the flight. When we landed in Helsinki, Finland our luggage wasn’t there. So I filed the claim with KLM airlines and picked up our rental cars and we drove an hour to the Hotel without our luggage.  We checked into the hotel, which was a decent place; my room even had a sauna! After we got settled we left to drive around the small city of Kotka, where the parc ferme and padock were located.  Then we went to a City Market (Finland’s answer to Walmart) to purchase what we needed until our luggage arrived. That was an exhausting day.

The next few days were long days spent working on my bike and walking special tests. I rode a new 2012 KTM 250 EXC-f.  The first and last test we ride on days 1,2, and 3 features a rock garden that would rival the worst rock gardens in Pennsylvania. And it was about 1/3 of the test. After two days we finally get our luggage and I was able to finish preparing my bike. On Thursday I finally get my bike together and was able to ride it for a few hours. The only place I was able to test the bike was at the motocross track where the final moto will be held. The bike seems awesome, I set it up a little better at the track and I am ready to race.

Friday was spent walking tests and putting the final touches on my bike until we had to go to admin inspection (sign up) and through tech inspection.  They were pretty strict on sound this year which they tested at full throttle. A lot of riders were having problems making the strict sound requirements, which was 112db. Luckily my rental bike with oem quiet exhaust had no problems passing.  Once you pass sound you push the bike through the rest of tech inspection where they mark certain parts on the bike and then you push it right in to the parc ferme (impound) and then you can’t touch the bike until your 10 minute work period on day one.

Somewhere during the past few days my lower back started to bother me, and I was getting pains in my legs. It wasn’t too bad but I could tell it was getting worse.

The weekend was spent walking the remainder of the special tests which range from deep sand to technical rocks. They all look very fun to ride; it is just making me more excited for the race to start. The weather has been gorgeous all week so far in the mid to upper 70’s and sunny, but the forcast for Monday doesn’t look so good.

Day 1- I woke up early but couldn’t sleep well. I’m not sure if it was because of my back pain or from the excitement. I think it was probably both. I have had back problems for a few years. It usually gets better when I get on the bike. It was raining, but I was still excited to ride. I was very stiff walking my bike out of the impound area. I just kept telling myself it will get better. Well the first test was the most difficult and by the time I got there, there was no more dirt between the rocks. I just tried to be smooth and not make mistakes. I had a good test time.  I had a long day in front of me. My back pain kept getting worse as the day progressed. I have never ridden in so much pain. At each check I had problems getting off and on the bike. I kept trying to stretch it out but nothing made me feel better. The team doctor was at one special test and he helped me try and stretch it out. He gave me some Motrin and I just tried not to lose any more time. By this time I was about 35 minutes late. I just couldn’t ride, the pain was too great. I just kept telling myself to keep going and that I know I can keep going. I worked too hard to get here to quit now.  At the end of the day I was 45 minutes late and struggled to push through the pain to change my rear tire and impound the bike.

Day 2- Another rainy day.  I met up with the team doctor in the morning and he gave me a shot of Toradol which is an anti inflammatory/ pain reliever. Which after about a half hour I felt half normal again. I was able to ride much better today. I started in the back up the pack because of my poor day one. I had a few good tests and didn’t lose any trail points. This was a good day. I changed both tires at the end of the day and impounded.

Day 3- A totally new course with some new special tests, but it is raining yet again. I went from being about the last USA club rider starting to being the second, this is closer to where I should be. The one test was on a ski area. Walking it earlier in the week I was very excited to ride this one.  Unfortunately with the rain, this test was completely destroyed by the time I got there.  I was probably one of the last riders to be able to make it up the very steep hill on the first try in that test. Which had become a game of criss cross crash with the bikes scattered on the hill and the riders coming back down it. The course today was a lot of road riding, but it was raining and I was very wet and very cold. My back was worse today than yesterday and I was having a difficult time riding the ruts and whoops because I couldn’t be in the right riding position. Overall it was a good day.

Day 4- Another new course, more rain, and more new special tests. I had a good starting position again today, but my back was getting worse. Not nearly as bad as day one but it was definitely slowing me down.  The sand tests were about the worst with my back having trouble in the sandy corners and the whoops. I pushed through the pain. The ski slope test was nearly un-passable today due to the extremely deep ruts and deep mud. I ended up getting stuck in it the second time through, but luckily I was able to get it out without losing too much time. I changed both tires at the end of the day and impounded on time.

Day 5- It was the same course as day 4 but they decided to cancel the ski slope test which I was dreading having to ride again since it was almost impassable the last time I rode it. Luckily there was no rain today. My spirits were up and  I was feeling good. I received another shot of toradol in the morning and I felt good all day. I did crash a couple times in the tests but I was still happy.  I had a mile on my face all day. I came in at the end of the day and scraped some mud off my bike and went over it before impounding.

Day 6- Today was just a short ride to the final motocross test. I was in the first moto of the day, so I started pretty early.  We were able to ride around the track one time before racing on it. It was a fun track and all of the jumps were safe. I didn’t get the greatest start but I pushed my way up to a decent moto finish. We impound the bikes at the track after our moto’s. And then the grueling race is over and you just need to ride back to the paddock to tear the bike down and return it. On the ride back to the paddock I couldn’t think of anything else but going for a trail ride.  I cleaned up the bike and took my parts off of it packed up all my stuff and kissed my bike goodbye as I returned it.

The ISDE is like Christmas for me. There is so much anticipation leading up to the event and then it is here and gone in the blink of an eye. This year was extremely difficult. Not just because I rode 1696km or 1053.84 miles of the most difficult beat up terrain. Also because of my back pain, I have never ridden in that much pain before. I am very happy with my silver metal. It is always an extremely fulfilling experience, not only for the riding experience but for the life experience also. I always look forward to going back and doing it again.

When I got home I went to a back specialist and got an mri of my lower back and they found that I had 2 severely herniated discs pressing on my spinal cord. I have since stopped riding temporarily to let my back heal and I have surgery scheduled for Oct 19 to fix the discs. I will be back on the bike before I know it.

More articles by Ben Smith:

    Bike Nights at Cycle Gear in Palmdale, CA

    “Our last count was 175 bikes tonight,”  said Ken Connor, manager of Cycle Gear Palmdale. “Things are really picking up steam here.”

    Cycle Gear has 95 stores across the U.S. and each store holds 6 bike nights per year. Do the math and that’s a heck of a lot of bike nights. One thing is for certain – on our first trip to the Palmdale Cycle Gear bike night on October 6, 2011 we saw first hand just how much steam the bike night in Palmdale is picking up.

    We pulled the Galfer van into the parking lot a couple hours before the bike night kicked off. As we set up the tent and laid the brake rotors, brake lines, and brake pads out on the table we saw some racing lanes being set up on the blacktop. Things were getting interesting.

    Riders getting ready to start the Slow Race

    Turns out the team at Palmdale Cycle Gear holds a popular Slow Race series during their bike nights that draws people from as far away as Orange County (about 100 miles) who come up to watch, cheer, and compete in the contest where speed is your enemy. In the Slow Race you must rely on balance, clutch and brake control – something we’re pretty well versed in here at Galfer. In the initial heat, the first two riders across the finish line lose and the slower riders advance to the next round. Put your feet down and you’re automatically out of the race. Later heats see only one rider advance until there is only one winner – and at this bike night that winner got to ride home with a brand new Speed & Strength jacket along with their trophy.

    It’s not just the Slow Race that brings folks from hundreds of miles away, it’s the atmosphere & great vibe that Ken and the Cycle Gear Palmdale team create at the event. We saw a lot of riders rolling in 2-up on their bikes and those who didn’t brave the chilly night on two wheels still showed up in their cars. A lot of great folks who love motorcycles are gathering in Palmdale for bike nights. We’ll see you there!

    Next bike night: October 27, 2011 – Starts at 6:00 p.m.
    Cycle Gear
    550 W. Rancho Vista Blvd, Suite B
    Palmdale, CA 93551

    (661) 273-6113
    See the event info on Facebook

    See more photos from the October 6, 2011 bike night

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    Jason Aguilar returns to Mini Racing on his 15th birthday

    Jason riding with a new style he learned at Colin Edwards’ Texas Tornado Boot Camp

    By Bob Aguilar

    During the 2008 season, Next Moto Champion President, Jon Boucher, raced a 2008 Thumpstar 125 TDX in the SCminiGP Thumpstar GP class. Wanting to focus more on his son, Brad Boucher, Jon arranged a trade with Jason Aguilar. Jon agreed to let Jason start riding his Thumpstar, and Jason would give Brad his Blata 6.2 Pocketbike for the 2009 season at the end of the 2008 season. The trade worked out perfectly. After winning the 2008 SCminiGP Semi-Pro Junior Championship, Jason gave his pocketbike to Brad Boucher. Jason told Brad, “If I give you this bike, you have to win the Championship next year”. Brad responded by winning the 2009 SCminiGP Semi-Pro Junior Championship. Jason adapted quickly to the Thumpstar by finishing second in Thumpstar GP the first time he ever rode the bike, and then reeling off 11 straight wins to finish the 2008 season and take the 2009 Thumpstar GP title.

    After that, the Thumpstar became Jason’s pitbike for WERA, AFM, CVMA, Track Daz, and Fastrack Riders track days, where it has been ridden countless hours by virtually all the young racers at those events. The bike has been extremely reliable and still has all the same engine parts from when Jon Boucher raced it.

    For Jason’s 15th birthday, he asked if he could go to the M1GP Race at Grange Motor Circuit. M1GP specializes in NSR50 racing and has other classes as well. Jason tried to line up a NSR50 to race but could not find one to borrow. He decided to race his Thumpstar instead. “I know I will probably finish last, but I think it would be fun to race the Thumpstar”, Jason explained. We replaced Jason’s 2009 race tires with fresh tires and added a set of Galfer front brake pads, safety wired the bike, and went to the track. In 2009, Jason was 3-4 seconds slower on his Thumpstar than he was on his NSR50s. He expected to be a back marker. Jason changed his style and was now riding the Thumpstar supermoto style instead of road race style as he had in 2009. The change came from attending Colin Edwards’ Texas Tornado Boot Camp earlier this year as a prize for winning the Next Moto Champion award. After learning to ride a dirt bike for the first time at the Boot Camp, Jason was now more comfortable riding a supermoto style where his foot is out and forward going through the turns instead of on the footpeg. In the early practice sessions, Jason was able to hang with the fast guys. After some suspension adjustments, Jason was lapping faster than the NSR50s. When qualifying was over, Jason was the top qualifying small bike with a time of 1:10.14. This was over 2 seconds faster than his 2009 race times at Grange.

    Jason’s Thumpstar looking dirty after sliding off track on the first lap

    Jason knew he would still have a challenge from Gabriel Hernandez III once the races started. Gabe was one of Jason’s toughest competitors from SCminiGP Blata Cup and MiniGP classes back in 2007 and 2008. Gabe is now the runaway points leader in M1GP, with a history of really stepping up his performance on race day.

    Jason entered the 65 GP Expert class and Formula 100 class. He was also entered in the Open GP/Open Motard class race even though he had nowhere near the power of the 150cc Honda CRF150R powered competitors. In Open GP/Open Motard, Jason was pushing hard to maintain contact with Alan Mortenson when he pushed a little too hard and tucked the front sliding off the track. After getting restarted, and pounding the clutch lever back into place with his fist as he rode up the main straightaway, Jason settled for 3rd place in the Open class.

    Jason leading Gabe Hernandez III

    In 65 GP Expert, Jason battled Gabe Hernandez III to the first corner and then gradually extended his lead to take his first mini win since taking the SCminiGP Pro GP Championship last year. In the Formula 100 class, Gabe stuck with Jason for the first 2 laps. In the process, Gabe ran a personal best on his NSR50. But, Jason put the hammer down with a series of 1:10 laps to create some space between him and Gabe. Jason then eased up in the final lap to take his second unexpected victory of the day. “It was really fun to come back and see a lot of my old friends and race on a mini track again. I did a lot better than I expected.” Jason stated after the race.

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