InSLIDE Line 6...from Cincy with Loveposted Feb 8, 2013
Tags: Racing, General News All Article Tags
Hello, and welcome to the InSlide Line Presented by Bell Helmets. Two weeks in a row, this column is coming to you from Quilt City! It's good to be home as many of our nomadic racers can tell you, but at the same time, I think most of us that participate in our sport possess some sort of traveling gene in our DNA. It seems like just when I get settled in here, I am ready to hit the road all over again. Lucky for me, the crew at Memphis Shades allow me to do just that! The big season kick off is just around the corner so there is plenty to talk about! Let's get started.
As I reported last week, I spent my weekend in Cincinnati at the Easy Rider's V-Twin Expoworking booth 563 like there was no tomorrow. Rocking some new Ecco shoes and an early Valentine's day gift on my wrist, there weren't many people who didn't know what was up in the world of wind management. I may have also held the secret as to where you could purchase chocolate covered Oreo's, but what does that have to do with racing? During my down time, I was at the hotel checking up on things and noticed Bryan Smith posted the photo below on his Facebook page:
Me, being the ever anxious news guy wanna be, didn't jump to conclusions, I leapt at them. The next morning I was rolling around telling everybody I found that looked like they enjoyed dirt track thatByran Smith had a full on semi for the new season! What I failed to notice was the Hoosier car tires behind the trailer, or the fact that Crosley sponsors an A.R.C.A. car, which also happens to wear the number 42. Whoops. Well, way to go Bryan, you got me and maybe a few others. However, even though they don't sponsor the site, I feel like Crosley needs a plug here. They are pouring a great amount of money and energy into our sport right now and are one of the VERY few companies outside of our industry doing so right now. On top of that, they donated a few items to the Aid To Injured Riders golf scramble last year in Springfield and that meant a lot to the charity. They have a lot of cool stuff on their website, crosleyradio.com so check it out.
Ever the maven of Sponsorship, Jared Mees was also cruising around the show floor in Cincinnati and I was able to chat with the champ about a few things inside of our sport. He had his number 1 wearing bike on display in the Race Pro booth for all to see and as you can imagine from theRogers Racing Team, everything looked incredible! Of course things are in the rumor stage on nearly everything right now, but Jared brought on the bad news that Dunlop tires were once again going up in price. $210 for a rear was what he had heard and I'm not the only one taking a stand and saying that this is insane. That is getting to road race tire prices, and the big difference is that road race tires include advances in TECHNOLOGY...ours have been the same for at least the last 15 years outside of what name was on the side. Jared also mentioned that he will no longer be the representative for Dunlop at the races and will not be selling tires at the track this season. After using valuable hauler space for tires, paying shipping costs and the additional hassle of being a dealer on race day, the lack of any profit whatsoever just wasn't worth the trouble to him. I can't blame him there. This means, according to the contract with AMA Pro Racing that a representative from Dunlop will have to be at each round to sell tires to those who need them. Just know this...it's going to cost us all...dearly...if this price hike is true.
This could be the start of something big, but please don't get caught up on this because this is something way down the line. If you look at things, the tire contract with AMA Pro Racing ends in 2015. Could we see a shift? On one side of things, we have an AMA legend who has developed and is now selling his own tires now, Chris Carr. AMA Ohio may have shot down his hopes of being a Spec Tire in one of their sanctioned series, but that hasn't dampened his spirits and at his end of the tire game sales appear to be pretty good right now. I can say this, if the Dunlop price is really $210, the price of the GoldenTyre is going to look like a steal at $165! Before we all get our hopes up, our pitch forks out and our sickles at the ready to charge AMA Pro Racing headquarters, remember this, AMA Pro Racing is tied in DEEP with Dunlop/Goodyear. AMA Pro Racing is DMG, DMG is NASCAR, NASCAR is Goodyear. Even the sanctioning body, AMA Ohio is Dunlop through and through. Supercross, Motocross, Road Racing, Dunlop is the official tire, though maybe not the spec tire, of each series. It is going to be very interesting to see how all of this plays out. In the end, while safety is the highest priority, we have to keep costs somewhat reasonable. Keeping costs down also contributes to safety because if you think about it, about 80% or so of our racers are on a race budget similar to mine. Yes, we get some help from some incredible sponsors, but at the end of the day, our everyday jobs are funding our little habit. I know if I'm paying $210 a tire, I'm not going to be buying new ones. Now, tracks like Hagerstown, you don't want to use a new tire, but many other tracks either eat tires, or to be competitive, you need a new edge each time you are out. More riders aren't going to be able to afford this, racing could suffer, but most of all, racers may use an old, possibly unsafe tire just because they didn't have the money for a new tire. It really is something to think about.
Bell Helmets was on hand at the Cincinnati show displaying their new 2013 line up. While they were mainly focused on half helmets and such at this show, they had a couple of MX lids on display as well as a LOT of their full face street line up. They have some incredible looking designs that are due out very soon, so give BellHelmets.com a visit to check out the full line up! They are a HUGE supporter of the sport and this site and make the best, most comfortable and safest helmets on the market. You can't go wrong with Bell!
The last thing from the Cincinnati show that I picked up is one that was good for my racing program, as I was able to secure a deal with K&N through the site for the 2013 season. True, last year you may have seen a K&N ad up here and there and thanks to Johnny Jump I was able to run K&N oil filters in my race bikes free of charge, but it was more of a friend thing than a deal thing. This year though, it's legit. You'll begin to see K&N branding around the site and it's something that I am very proud of. K&N has long been involved in our sport and you see their air filters hanging off of nearly every twin in the Expert pits. They are also the go-to place for your personal vehicle, offering replacement air and oil filters for nearly any make and model. Plus, who doesn't want more power and better fuel mileage? As far as their oil filters, they aren't just another drop in replacement under a different name. Nope, the K&N Oil Filter has been specially developed to work with the synthetic oils that we are using in our race equipment. Here's how they put it: "Built to racing specifications, complete with a Synthetic Media that is compatible with premium Synthetic Oils, these filters are ideal for use on track or trail use and on high-performance engines. K&N’s Synthetic Media is specifically designed to withstand the high concentrates of Synthetic Racing Oils while a large filter media provides high-flow rates and outstanding oil filtration. K&N delivers a high-quality oil filter providing performance and confidence you can trust to keep your motor running clean and smooth." I mean, if you think about it, if your oil is the life blood of your engine, isn't your oil filter your kidneys? Yeah, pretty important when you look at it that way. Not a good place to be skimping!
In other site advertiser news, DP Brakes wants to remind everybody that not only racing, but riding season in general will be coming up before you know it. Now is the best time to give your brakes a good look and get them ready for the ride before you have to miss a perfect day of riding because you are wrenching on your ride before you can hit the track or road. DP Brake's sintered technology means that you get the stopping power that you need without the squealing of traditional pads and best of all for your street bike, zero brake dust! DP also makes a HUGE range of clutch kits that include everything you need to replace your worn clutch on your race bike, atv, and even Harley Davidson. As DP put it, "As the only after market manufacturer focusing exclusively on developing and producing sintered metal brake pads, DP Brakes is unique in the industry. DPsintered pads are made of a complex mix of metallic powders (to absorb heat), refractory material (to provide friction), friction modifiers (to alter feel), graphite’s (to minimize rotor wear and eliminate noise), mixed together, pressed to form the shape, then sintered at high temperature and pressure. When consumers demand the best, the answer is DP Brakes." While all that sounds good, how about this, they are working with Zanotti Racing right now to give Jake Johnson the brakes that he needs for the 2013 season. Jake is probably the biggest brake abuser in our sport with only Kenny Coolbeth giving him a run for his money in that department. I have talked to the DP guys about Jake's constant brake abuse and the things that they described that they can build are mind boggling. The Zanotti team is taking their own steps already for a new brake set up on their side of things, but it will be really interesting to see what DP can "cook up" for the team. Maybe accidents like his brake failure on the Indy Mile can be avoided!
AMA Pro Racing issued a technical bulletin this week, and once again it was about coolant containers. This is a topic that I have poked a little fun at in the past, so I read it with a bit of interest. Every Pro and Expert racer should have gotten the email about it, so I will just hit the high points. The biggest thing is that they have lowered the container size from 350cc to 250cc. For those at home not wanting to do the conversion, 355cc is 12oz. Yes, they thought we needed to be able to contain nearly 12oz. of fluid. Our radiators, at least a standard sized set can only hold about a quart, or 32oz. They also must have signed a deal with "Moto Hose" because they were highlighting that you can buy their kit. Moto Hose is offering racer discounts, but I can tell you this, it is a do-it-yourself mounting kit and the retail price is $50, though I don't know what "racer deal" they have for us. They show their kit wire tied to the radiator itself, which I HIGHLY disagree with. Not only does that reduce airflow which is going to make your bike more likely to overheat and puke coolant not to mention the power loss of a hot motor, but over time, the vibrations of your motor with the plastic can on sharp aluminum fins is going to cause a leak. Motion Pro's catch bottle is not only much better looking, but the retail price is much lower and they actually support our sport. I would check outMotionPro.com before you make any rash decisions!
I hate all of the rumor stuff flying around, but when nobody is talking on an official level, it's all I have. I guess I'd rather list what is "going around" than just have a blank column! Right now the entire 450 Pro Singles series is subject to more speculation than the fidelity of a government official. I've heard it all. Here's the thing though, a lot of it is coming from pretty good sources! The first thing I am hearing is that the Pro Singles class will not run on the Springfield Mile this year. Personally, I think this is a GREAT thing. I have long petitioned for something to be done about the racing that happens there. All of the racers hate it, yet, they keep doing it because of their will to win. The 6 wide drafts, the bumping and shoving at nearly 120 miles per hour and the fact that these are 450cc motors singing at their limit nearly all the way around the track make things very unsafe, not to mention the perfect recipe for a very tragic accident that could be avoided. At other miles, either the traction level or track shape forces racers to shut down in the corners and that shut off spot varies greatly depending on rider talent, which spreads the field out quite a bit more. In Springfield however, the wide oval, incredible dirt and great track prep means that at least on a 450 you barely even have to lift. No matter the rider, nearly everybody can go fast in Springfield. Springfield is the most taxing on motors too.
I have also heard that they are bringing back the Pro Twins class which I think would also be great, but not if they do it for the 2013 season. That doesn't give anybody enough time to scramble a twin together. For 2014, I think this would be perfect. I have heard the Kawasaki's would be restricted to only being 650cc's (The experts usually run them from 700-740cc) and the Harley's would run a 27mm (CHOKED!) restrictor and the other brands would also be very choked down. From personal experience, a stock Kawasaki 650 puts out about 65 horsepower and with simple bolt on stuff you can see 75 or a little better. This is before cams and head work get involved. I don't see how a 27mm Harley will be able to compare with that, but hey, that's AMA Pro Racing's call, not mine!AMA Pro Racing would also have to do something about Experts wanting to drop down to the Pro Singles class if they let us ride twins. The Pro Singles is a development class, not a place for cherry pickers. I think the tiny purse in the Pro Singles class keeps a lot of Experts from dropping back down, but it's funny what the glory of thinking you can win can make a person do. What some Experts fail to realize though is that the top kids in the Pro Singles class are capable of making Grand National Main Events and the class isn't a joke, especially since they only take 32 riders to the night show! I'll post it here for you to gather your opinions, but being that you can put a twin on the track much cheaper than some people believe, I think a carefully regulated Pro Twins class would be a really good thing, especially giving the younger races some sort of experience on the big bikes before they go Expert and get thrown into the deep end.
If you didn't know, Johnny Lewis is a talented guy. Not only a national main event winner, multi time podium finisher and former factory KTM Supermoto rider but he is brilliant with video. If you didn't see the video from his European trip to race supermoto against some of the best racers in the world which got over 8,500 views check that HERE. Now he is the star of another video, this one produced by the folks at Built Brand Clothing. It's an awesome piece showcasing not only some of Johnny's antics, but Kenny Coolbeth too at a recent Ride Academy in Florida. Check it out!
After taking a break from the series, Jake Mataya stepped back into the spotlight of the I.C.E. Speedway series in Hampton Virginia. On the outside, Jake made an easy night of things, winning each of his heat races in route to a main event win. However, hustling through the pack during the main event was Pro Singles standout Austin Greenland and by the end of the main event he had Jake in his sights. The series now moves on to the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton New Jersey on February 15th which is a Friday night. For all of the info you need, check outIcespeedway.com
Neil Keen's Birthday Party is taking place on February 9th at Donelson Cycles in St. Ann Missouri which is right in the St. Louis area. This is a big deal each year with stars from today and yesterday making an appearance. This will be Neil's "75th" birthday and if you haven't seen the collection of racing memorabilia inside Donelson Cycles, well, this is one that you don't want to miss. The party kicks off at 10am, the address is 9851 St. Charles Rock Rd. St. Ann Missouri and the phone number is (314) 427-1204.
Mid Carolina Speedway in Neeses South Carolina announced this week that they are holding a Pre-Daytona Practice on March 4th through the 7th from 11am until ?? Rider's fee will be $20. This is an awesome clay 1/4 mile short track and many of the best in the business get their last minute testing done here. Even if you aren't going to ride, I would highly recommend spectating if you are in the area. You never know what or who you might see!
Entry forms are ready for everybody heading to Daytona for rounds 1 and 2 of the AMA Grand National Series. Entry deadline is February 25th, so you still have plenty of time. Don't forget, if you are under 18, you also have to fill out a DIS Minor Release form. All of this can be found atamaproracing.com One great thing about the new forms is that you no longer have to repeat your information over and over. Also, they left a lot more room to list sponsors, so writing tiny is no longer a problem. It doesn't seem like a big deal to most I guess, but it sure was better to fill out the forms on my end! They are asking for your race bike's VIN number on the forms now, so if the bike isn't near you when you are filling it out, yeah, this might be a problem. Just a heads up!
This weekend the Midwest Indoor Series gets back going inside the Southern Illinois Center in DuQuoin Illinois. This is where things get interesting! Daytona is just around the corner and riders are starting to get their bikes together or they have new bikes that they need to test out. Friday night practice is perfect to get comfortable on the bike and with the wide array of classes offered, there is no reason that you can't get used to a bike pretty quickly. Also, with the way the track changes, DuQuoin makes a great place to try new settings. We have seen great Pro turnouts this season and a lot of great action, especially between JD Beach, Jeffrey Carver and Rob Pearson, so come check it out! This weekend though, JD Beach is out on the Western part of the country testing with the Red Bull/Bell Helmets/Road Race Factory road racing team. Who will be stepping up?Jeffrey Carver has looked awesome on the Mack Daddy Racing Honda at the last couple of rounds and Rob Pearson is also getting dialed in with his Weirbach Racing Honda. Brandon Robinson is scheduled to show up on his USC Kawasaki/Hart Racing/Burnette Farms ride and has been making big gains. Will we see JR Addison, Brandon Wilhelm or one of the Gillim Brothers step up? Maybe you should come check it out! For more information, seeStevenaceracing.com
That's all I have for the week. I will be heading to DuQuoin this weekend to catch up on all of the racing action there. Heck, I might even hear a story or two. Thank you for reading and make sure you tune in each week for the next couple of weeks. There are some team situations that are going to "officially" come together at the last minute and I have been promised the scoop on a few of them. Two of these teams are going to be pretty high profile, so it will be worth knowing about going into Daytona! Have a safe weekend!
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Best Bead Seating Technique: Tyler Porter