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Wednesday, 04 January 2012 15:13

One Last Ride

 Well with the weather here on the East Coast getting colder and flurries starting to linger on the forecast our riding season has come to a close, a bunch of us suited up and headed to Steve Daling's Birch Hill practice track in Pictou County for the last ride of the season.

Wednesday, 09 November 2011 09:30

The Continuing Story of Todd Kuli

Project bikes are always a big undertaking. After all the e-mails and phone calls to get things organized, there are the hours spent in the garage cleaning parts, rebuilding stuff and assembling the masterpiece. To be honest, this bike has been a large undertaking but it has also been very rewarding on many fronts.

If you read the first installment, you know how this whole ’08 KTM 250XC-F project got off the ground. What started as a simple big bore kit got all ‘Kuli’d’ up in a big hurry. While I do love a pretty bike, I love a solidly built and good performing bike even more. I decided to go for the whole package on this project and couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

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I will begin with the engine since it’s what started the whole project. The modifications include a KTM Hard Parts 280 big bore kit and Bondi Engines head porting. The Hard Parts 280 kit comes complete with the cylinder, piston kit and gaskets. It is a high-quality package that was designed to work with this motor and bolts right on. Bondi Engines is a well-known Ontario-based engine builder who has done motors for some of Canada’s fastest racers. Bondi ported the head to remove any casting flaws and for increased air flow into the cylinder.

To complement the internal work in the engine, I wanted to add an exhaust system. In what can only be described as the biggest stroke of luck in my life, I was offered the new 2011 Akrapovic slip-on exhaust. To say this part was new would be an understatement as it was shipped directly to me from the factory in Slovenia. According to Akrapovic marketing man, Peter Kavcic, this was the first unit in North America. Yes, I felt special!

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Some features of the new exhaust, which took two years to develop, include lower noise emissions (for those who need to use quiet mufflers on MX tracks), removable noise reduction/spark arrester insert, weight reduction of 0.53 kg over stock, reinforced titanium end cap, double-welded brackets and a titanium muffler outer sleeve for durability.

The interesting thing is that this slip-on fits all KTM 4-stroke EXC, SX-F and SM models from 250cc to 530cc. The quality of this piece is second to none. From the machined flange at the head pipe connection to the welds, brackets and overall finish, you will not find a better exhaust available to the public. The fitment was perfect and installation easy.

It is available exclusively through the KTM Power Parts catalogue.

All these modifications worked together to make a strong running 250F much better in all aspects. Gopher Dunes is a true test of horsepower for any bike with its deep sand. The new motor would pull a gear higher on most parts of the track and the clutch use needed to get out of corners was almost non-existent compared to the stock motor. Where you needed the clutch to get the motor spinning before, the increased torque from the increased displacement and head mods got the bike on top and moving. While the 280 could still rev, it was more effective and easier to ride using the bottom end pull to get you calmly down the track with out any rev limiter drama.

In order to get a good idea of what the exhaust offered the package, I swapped between the stock XC-F silencer, a stock SX-F silencer and the Akrapovic both with and without the quiet/spark arrestor tip. I did this portion of the test on a loamy track so I would have consistent conditions and feel for each system. The stock XC-F muffler offered nice smooth power and a quiet exhaust note. This, combined with the motor work, put out similar power to the stock motor with the free-breathing SX-F muffler installed. Using the SX-F muffler with the modified motor, the bike was certainly stronger and faster then before the engine changes. This combination worked well but was understandably louder.

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I then went to the Akrapovic and the ‘grunt monster’ was born! It was a very noticeable increase in power and the sound registered in between the XC-F and SX-F systems. After the insert was installed, the performance dipped to the SX-F mufflers level while the sound was quieter than the XC-F muffler. To keep myself straight, I had a friend ride the bike in all four configurations to get a second opinion. His thoughts and feelings were the same as mine so I felt confident in my findings.

Big power is great but tends to be counterproductive if your bikes suspension isn’t set up to handle it. A bike that kicks and bucks all around the track isn’t going to be very much fun to ride. Since the 250XC-F is considered a cross-country machine, the suspension settings from the factory are a bit of a compromise.

The bike worked well on the motocross track and in the off-road arena but it was never exceptional. The White Power components that come on the KTM are high-quality units, but the internal settings weren’t optimal. My biggest complaint was always the fork. When I got it to pick up the small bumps well, it bottomed like crazy. Inversely, when I got the bottoming under control, the front end was harsh in the little stuff. I figured that I either needed stiffer fork springs or higher oil levels. Enter Joe Skidd from Superior Suspension Setting (SSS).

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Most know Joe from his work at Blackfoot Racing as the suspension/chassis mastermind. A few years ago he started SSS and is sharing his expertise with the general public. After explaining my situation and complaints with my suspension, Joe was confident he could help.

The following procedures were performed: All friction surfaces are improved for less friction. Bleed circuits are modified for better flow character. Compression and rebound valving changed for better damping response, improved small bump ride, improved resistance to bottoming and improved traction. Oil volume in fork is raised to improve dynamic geometry and aid bottoming resistance. Reservoir/bladder kit is installed to replace the less than reliable free piston on the shock. Bigger gas volume reduces fade. Pro Package KTM jobs are $1,079.00. Any additional parts that need to be replaced, including seals, bushings and springs, are extra. In most cases, the stock springs are adequate.

The first thing I noticed was the new SSS shock reservoir. It is a custom-machined piece that is longer than stock and contains the bladder kit mentioned above. Joe includes an installation instruction sheet with each revalve and it is a good idea to follow it. After installing the suspension, I set the sag on the shock and was out for a ride. On the first lap I could already tell it was worlds better than before. The little bumps that used to rip the handlebars out of my hands simply disappeared beneath my wheels. On bigger jumps or flat landing, the harsh bottoming was gone. The suspension was using full travel but the ‘clunk’ was never felt. The bike had a very settled feel to it and it set up for corners better than ever before. The Moncton track has deep ruts in many corners and the bike steered in and through them with little input and never had that ‘stand-up’ feel in mid corner. It was like riding a different bike and I was able to attack the track with confidence. I have gone on a few trail rides with the new settings and have done nothing more than soften up the compression a little for the slower speeds in the trees. It’s the same great action in either discipline.

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All of the other products I used during the project worked well. The brake rotors and pads from Magnum Distributing offered great feel and are just as strong as the stock KTM brakes. The Magnum sprockets took a lot of abuse and never caused a problem during a few rather muddy rides. Sicass Racing’s stop/start button is great! I love how it cleans up the handlebar area and offers the ability to do both functions on the throttle side of the bar. Other odds and ends include the KTM Hard Parts tubular rad protectors, which mount perfectly and offer a ton of protection. The Tubliss system has worked perfectly since I first put them in. They do tend to draw attention when people ask me why I have a valve cap on my rim lock.

Most of the project has been about the performance of the bike. Now I want to talk about the look. The orange-powder-coated frame and plastic really looked sharp, but what totally set the bike off for me was the graphics kit by Fuze MX in Edmonton, AB (www.fuzemx.com). Curtis went above and beyond to make this graphics kit happen. I phoned him and gave him an idea of what I wanted and he ran with it. Every weekend I would get dozens of people asking me if the bike was a 2011 model or some sort of limited edition KTM. The layout was a little different but that’s what we were going for and it worked.

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The quality of material used in the graphics was incredible and after 15 rides they still look great. A little scratched in some spots but they are still stuck where I put them! And speaking of installation, the material stretches really nicely around curves and corners. Without a doubt the easiest graphics kit I have ever put on.

All the time and effort put into the bike build-up was worth it in the end. What started out as a simple idea got real big in a hurry. The bike is a blast to ride and performs better now than it ever has. It has surpassed all my hopes and I still get a big smile on my face every time I see it in the garage or when someone asks me about it at the track. I certainly need to thank Siert and Greg from Orange Motorsports for spawning the idea in the first place, Chris Bondi for the headwork and jetting advice, Peter Kavcic and Nick Iannitti from Akrapovic, Joe Skidd from Superior Suspension Settings for his magic, Curt Czerniak from Custom Concepts for the powder coat and Curtis Lea from Fuze MX for the graphics and Rick Kotecki from Magnum Distributing. And super-big thanks to everyone who asked about the bike at the track!

Thursday, 03 November 2011 16:50

Getting Over Logs with Jake

If you don’t know the techniques needed to get over a log, the task can seem pretty daunting. All you can think of is that time your buddy told you to just wheelie over it and you ended up on your head.

Most of us have all been there at some point – I know I have! But, if you follow these steps you may end up getting over those logs cleanly and avoid a concussion or two.

This technique is often referred to as the “The Double Blip”

Step 1– The Set Up

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Like any obstacle, your first step is to pick a nice set-up line. Try to avoid tree roots or rocks that are at the lead up to the log as these could really through you off-line. Obviously, to make things easier you should look for the lowest part of the log. Also try to get your line as straight on to the log (i.e., as perpendicular to the log) as possible. As you approach the log you need to be standing on the pegs in a neutral body position with your elbows and knees slightly bent. Make sure that you have one or two fingers over the clutch and that your right foot is covering the rear brake.

Step 2 – The Wheelie

Once you are about two or three feet away from the log you need to pull a little wheelie. You want the front wheel to come up to about three-quarters of the height of the log. To achieve this, wheelie when the traction on the lead-up is good; you should be able to simply give a quick but controlled release of the clutch as you simultaneously give a slight blip of the throttle (first blip) and move your weight back slightly. If the lead-up is wet and slippery, however, you will need to help the front end spring up using a little more of your body weight. This time, you will want to use more of subtle throttle/ clutch flick. To help the front end spring up, load the front end at about six to eight feet away from the log. This is done by keeping your arms in a slightly bent but solid form and throwing your weight down and forward as you bend at the knees.

To get the spring effect, you now need to unload the front. At the four or five foot mark, abruptly straighten your knees, keep your arms solid, and throw your weight up and to the back of the bike. This quick transition in your body weight will get the maximum

spring out of your forks and help you get the front wheel up without using as much throttle/ clutch, meaning there is less chance of wheel spin.

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Step 3 – The Impact

As the front wheel impacts the log, your forks are going to compress again. As they start to rebound, the weight of the bike and your body is going to be forced into the rear shock. Remember that a bike’s suspension is like a rocking horse; as the front comes up (or rebounds), the rear goes down. When the shock has the total load of the bike and your body weight, you have maximum traction from the rear wheel. So, this is where you need to give the second blip (throttle/clutch). This time, however, depending on the size of the log, it may have to be a much more aggressive blip.

Step 4 – Over the Log

The sudden burst of power delivered by the second blip will slam the rear wheel into the log. As it hits the log, the shock will compress even more and you will have even more traction. The tire should begin to grip on to the log. Next, the shock will rebound really quickly, so make sure you get your weight back. As the shock rebounds, it is throwing the bike up and over the log but keep in mind that you may also be losing traction. This is where you need to roll off the throttle and maybe even engage the clutch. If the log has good traction, keep just enough throttle to prevent the front wheel from dropping. If the log is too slippery, shut the throttle down and slightly pull in the clutch. Bend at the knees and allow the rear of the bike to come up underneath you. The front wheel will now drop over the other side of the log so make sure to keep your weight well back. As the front wheel touches down, try to keep your balance. Let the clutch out smoothly and try to avoid too much wheel spin on the log.

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Step 5 – Roost On!

When the rear wheel touches down, it’s time to get back on the gas.

Keep Riding.

Jake

Friday, 28 October 2011 09:52

In the Beginning - Todd Kuli

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In past versions of the tech tips column I have concentrated on maintenance and repair tips for select areas of the motorcycle. This issue, if I may, I would like to diverge a little from the usual format. Sometimes a little change is a good thing, isn’t it? Call it a project if you like. This instalment will be part one, call it “The Beginning.”

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The whole idea for this “project” started with a simple phone call. The phone rang; I picked it up and said “hello.” The voice on the other end of the line simply said, “Send me your motor.” I thought it was a prank phone call at first but soon realized it was Siert from Orange Motorsports. It seems that Siert had put a KTM Hard Parts 280 big bore kit on his KTM 250-SXF. He figured it was so good that I needed one too. After about three milliseconds of thought I was running for the garage to get my motor out. Within an hour and a half the bike was stripped to the frame and the motor was ready to go out the door.

My bike is an ’08 KTM 250 XC-F with about 45 hours on it. After a few seasons of use and abuse, the old girl was looking a little beat up, although mechanically the bike is still rock solid. I change the oil every ride, the oil filter every other oil change and am very careful with my air filter maintenance. The valve clearance is checked every five hours and they have never needed to be shimmed a single time. While the heart and lungs were still in good shape, the exterior wasn’t as shinny as I would have liked. The paint on the frame was dull, the plastic was scratched, there was a tear in the seat cover and the chain and sprockets were wasted.

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I figured since the motor was gone for its check-up and displacement augmentation I would make a list of wear items that needed to be changed. The “must do” list wasn’t really that long, but the “want to do” list was much longer. Now, you need to realize, just as this whole project was getting off the ground, KTM had the nerve to release the details and pictures of the 2011 KTM 350 SX. That’s where I lost all self-control and took the program from a “freshen up” to a ground up rebuild. The new 350 has an orange frame, black skid plate and a cool new look. Why not try and make an ’08 look like a modern 2011? It was all over but the spending at this point!
Orange Motorsports technician Greg Smith was in charge of the motor work – the same Greg Smith who was Michael Willard’s mechanic in 2005 when they won the CMRC East Coast National Championship by the way. Greg performed a leak down test and did a thorough inspection of the whole motor. While everything looked good in his opinion, he suggested changing a few parts “just because.” With 45 hours on the motor there was no use risking a catastrophe down the road for a few inexpensive things. A new cam chain, valve springs, valve keeper and valve seals where the only parts replaced in the top end. He also replaced the shift shaft that was bent as a result of a rather goofy crash on my part. Greg set the head down long enough for Siert to grab it and deliver it to Bondi Engines for a little porting work. Can you feel the pain I deal with in a day? After the head work, everything was buttoned up with the new 280 cylinder and piston and then returned to me for install.

While the motor was gone I had some time to map out the rest of the project. The main hurdle was to find a powder coater to do my frame in the KTM orange. After an Internet search I found a company in Detroit called Custom Concepts. I spoke with owner Curt Czerniak at length about what I wanted and the colour I was looking for. Curt knew exactly what I needed and is an ex-motocrosser himself. He explained in detail the preparation and coating procedure. Everything needed to be removed from the frame before handing it over to him. That means bearing races, rubber grommets, bolts and anything else that is attached. The frame goes in an oven and is baked to burn off all the dirt, grease and other contamination. Another benefit of the baking is that the existing paint is charred and cracks apart. After the piece comes out of the oven, it goes to the sandblasting booth to have all the remaining paint removed. Only when the frame is down to its virgin metal does it get coated. As you can see in the photos, the frame turned out incredible. Since I was in the “coating mood” I had my Flatland Racing aluminum skid plate powder coated black.

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The next thing in line was to figure out what parts needed replacing, either because they were worn out or had suffered impact trauma of varying degree. After two seasons the stock o-ring chain and sprockets were in bad shape as well as the brake rotors that had met a few rocks along the trail. Rick Kotecki from Magnum Distributing told me about their line of sprockets, brake rotors and brake pads. The sprockets are aluminum and available in an assortment of colours for all makes and models. The brake parts are made in Europe and the brake pad are available in either semi-metallic for regular conditions and full metallic for extreme mud.

The stock handlebars were still straight after two years on the bike and that is some sort of new record for me. I have never tried Pro-Taper bars so I figured it was as good a time as any to give their new EVO bar a try along with a set of their grips. All the other controls were in good shape and simply needed a good cleaning.

Speaking of cleaning, this has to be the most tedious part of any bike rebuild. There are a lot of little things that need to be cleaned. Triple clamps, shifter, brake pedal and kick-starter all had to be polished. The swing arm needed to have the bearings cleaned and inspected. While I was working with the swing arm I polished it a little with an angle grinder spinning a Scotch-Brite pad. You can spend hours cleaning just bolts if you want to do it right. You need to be patient and take your time because the effort put in at this point of the project will really pay off in the end.

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Since my wheels had seen their share of hard knocks they got a good truing and a new set of All Balls wheel bearings. The All Balls bearing comes with new wheel seals as well so it’s a nice way to freshen up your wheels. KTM Hard Parts offers a special set of hardened wheel spacers that replaced some banged up stockers. I have been running the TUbliss system in my wheels for a while now and honestly can’t say enough good things about them. You can see a full test on them elsewhere in this issue. Since it was time for a new set of tires I went with the Scorpion MX Extra from Pirelli. I had very good luck with the Pirelli XC Mid-Soft I tested last year so I wanted to try a little different compound this time.

Since my bike has electric start, I have a start button on the throttle side of the bars with a kill switch on the left. While the buttons are compact it is sometimes a pain to have wires running up both sides of the bars. Enter Sicass Racing. They make a switch centre that has both the start and the kill button on one small pod. It is mounted on the throttle side of the bars and plugs right into the stock wiring harness.

As you can see, there is a lot of work involved in doing a complete bike build up. You need to do a little soul searching before starting a project like this. Is your bike in good enough shape to invest all the time and money into it? If you have a bike with a motor that needs a complete rebuild it might not make sense to go to this much work. You would be better off selling it and getting a new one. Since my bike was in excellent mechanical shape I figured I could build it up the way wanted for less than what it would have cost to buy a new bike. Come back next time to see the completed project and a review on some of the products.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011 10:40

East Coast in Montreal

With the Atlantic race season over it is time to start training and prepping for next season. Thankfully we are still getting some decent weather besides being a little cold allowing my buddies and I to pound some laps at the track. Last week I got my first chance to ride a fuel injected Honda 250F at Miller Meadow MX, and I have to say they are a blast to ride! Within a few laps I felt right at home. The front suspension was a little soft for my liking, but the bike handled great. The motor was strong and made a ton of power up top. After riding a few laps it’s really made me consider getting a 250F to run some Nationals next season. I still don’t think I can part with my YZ250; the 2-stroke is just too much fun.

The weekend after our last race was the Montreal SX and we made the trip to do some reporting for Inside Motocross & Off Road Magazine with Paul Jordan who was going to shoot some photos and cheer on our Atlantic Canada riders. I chose not to ride the SX this year since I missed so much time riding this summer with my injuries. Paul, mom, dad and my girlfriend loaded up my truck Thursday afternoon and started the 13 hour drive to Montreal. We drove all night and landed at our hotel about 7:00am after getting almost no sleep in the truck we all crashed till about 10:00.

Once we were up and had some breakfast the girls wanted to do what they do best and take in some of Montreal’s prime shopping while Paul, dad & I headed to the stadium. When we got there I immediately wanted to check out the track and pits to see who all showed up. There was a great turn out of Atlantic riders at the race including Davey Fraser, Brad Lockhart, Johnny Montes, Damon Baker and David Strang.

I ran into another newly moved in Atlantic rider Tyler Medaglia and was surprised to see him on a Honda CRF450. Tyler and Klatt were both under the same tent however it was not the Blackfoot rig, instead Klatt on his Yamaha and Tyler on his Honda were running out of the Oakley trailer. Talking to Tyler he said he felt right at home on his CRF. We chatted for a little bit and watched the MX2 Class practice. I stayed around to watch all of the first practices and ran into a good friend/sponsor of my race team Marco Dube. Friday night we all went out for supper at Thursday’s in downtown Montreal then hit the beds after a long drive the night before and long day at the track.

When we got to the track Saturday one of the rhythm sections had been changed to a massive Triple-Triple section for those that wanted to try it and really increased the flow around the track. All of the main events had some amazing racing especially the MX2 moto with both 1st and 2nd going down in the last corner and making a mad dash to remount and race to the line for the win. I was super pumped when fellow Atlantic rider Davey Fraser took 5th overall on a borrowed YZ250F!

The ATV riders surprised me throwing there quads around like I do my YZ. One of the best shows of the night had to be the freestyle with all the guys throwing down a huge bag of tricks including Tom Page’s 360 Body Verial.

The Side by Sides proved to be a great crowd pleasing addition to the weekend.  Their main event was exciting to watch with only 4 of them making it out of the first turn cleanly. We left the stadium around 11:00 and headed back to the hotel to unwind. Sunday morning came early so we loaded up at 8:00am hitting the road  for the long drive back to Nova Scotia.

I want to thank everybody that has made Wide Open Racings 2011 season possible, Estabrooks Bracing Solutions, CTi2, Ossur, Kermaxx Performance Accessories, Printwerx.ca, Pro Wheels Racing Components, Inside Motocross & Off Road Magazine, MD Distributions, Forma MX Boots, Deft Family MX Gloves, Pro-Tech Suspension, Pro Cycle, Motovan.com, Fox Eye Wear, CVO

Wednesday, 12 October 2011 10:40

Fall Finale

The Atlantic Region Fall Series came to a close Sept 24th at Riverglade MX Park in New Brunswick. Friday morning we loaded up the trailer and headed to the track for Saturday’s race. The weather was not looking good with rain in the forecast but Mother Nature pulled through and made for an excellent day of racing keeping the track conditions absolutely perfect. The Riverglade crew worked hard and opened up the off camber section before the big spectator triple finish line which was a great track change making for some epic moto finishes in the last race of the season.

Coming into this round there was some real championship battles in a majority of the classes and it definitely showed with everyone on the track bringing their “A” game and riding with a make it or break it attitude. In the 85cc 7 to 11 class Justin Leger who has had an amazing fall series stepping up his riding to challenge one of the hardest kids to beat on a 85cc bike in Atlantic Canada Brett Young. At the end of the day Justin and Brett swapped wins in their two motos giving Brett the 1st overall in the Championship and Justin Leger finishing a close 6 Points behind in 2nd.

In the MX1 Intermediate class Patrick Reid had the points lead by 9 points and after suffering a huge crash in practice resulting in 8 stitches and some bruised kidneys, Patrick showed he is a true racer continuing to ride in all of his motos to take home the MX1 Intermediate Fall Series Championship

The battle of the day had to be in the MX2 Intermediate Class. David Strang ran away with the championship but #778 TJ Martin and #777 Curtis Doucet were tied in 2nd coming into the last round making tensions high and the anticipation for the moto start off the charts! In Moto one TJ and Curtis battled almost the entire moto with only a max of two bike lengths between each rider until Curtis made a slight bobble causing him to drop back and TJ get the advantage going into moto two.  In moto two TJ and Curtis met on the track once again pushing each other to their limits, the finish of this moto would show true heart and determination by TJ making a last lap last corner pass grabbing a handful of throttle exiting the new off camber section and drag racing Curtis to the checkers edging him out by a wheel length and taking 2nd overall in the series!.

Once again Wide Open Racing came with their minds set on the Podium. Chelsey Hall just missed out on getting the hole shot in both her motos and went 4 and 4  for 4th overall on the day claiming 2nd place overall the Ladies Championship. The youngest member of the team Logan Gallant was the star of the day taking 3 out of 4 moto hole shots finishing on the podium in 3 of 4 motos and moving himself to 3rd overall in the MX2 Junior and Schoolboy Championship. Johnny Gallant had a full day of racing running both the Vet Junior and MX1 Junior. He finished strong in Vet Junior, breaking into the top 5 overall on the day after battling from dead last to 7th in moto following a turn 2 crash. In MX1 Junior Johnny rode two strong motos in the highly competitive class finishing in the top 10 overall for the day and taking 8th Place overall in MX1 Junior for the Fall Series. I myself had a strong day of motos taking 4th overall and the highlight being getting the hole shot on my 250 two-stroke.   

I want to thank everybody that has made Wide Open Racings 2011 season possible: Estabrooks Bracing Solutions, CTi2, Ossur, Kermaxx Performance Accessories, Printwerx.ca, Pro Wheels Racing Components, Inside Motocross & Off Road Magazine, MD Distributions, Forma MX Boots, Deft Family MX Gloves, Pro-Tech Suspension, Pro Cycle, Motovan.com, Fox Eye Wear, CVO. Thanks again to everyone.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011 10:20

Riverglade MX

Well it’s been three weeks since I got back on my bike, and it feels great to be back out pounding laps on my YZ250.

August 27th brought the Maritimes sunny weather once again for the 3rd last race of the Atlantic CMRC fall series, held at Riverglade MX in Moncton NB- home to one of the CMRC Nationals. The track was groomed to perfection and ready for the races on Sunday. Once again all of the Atlantic riders came out swinging and put on a show for the fans with some amazing racing. It felt great to get back behind the gate and ride a moto for the first time in 10 weeks. I missed both hole shots by about a tire length which is a great feeling when you know you are the only 250 2-stroke out there.

Once again the Wide Open Racing team had a good race finish strong in their classes. Logan Gallant pulled 2 hole shots and a 2nd place start in his motos and finished strong putting his WOR KTM150 amongst the top of his classes once again before suffering a flat.

Johnny Gallant had good solid moto starts and rode strong; he finished 14th in the ever growing MX1 Junior Class despite some bad luck.

Chelsey Hall is getting faster every race weekend and had a two amazing starts in her Ladies motos, finishing strong to keep herself in the championship points chase for the CMRC Atlantic Ladies Fall Series Championships.

One of the big stories of the weekend is the 7 to 12 85cc Class with the young Justin Leger from Shediac, NB, continuing to challenge the ever hard to beat Brett Young by swapping 1st and 2nd in the 2 motos keeping the Championship points chase separated by only a few points.

Another race weekend down and only one to go in two weeks time, Strangs MX race this past weekend went off without a hitch, all of the Atlantic racers could not have asked for nicer weather or a better prepared track that Richard Strang and his entire crew had ready for the race day.

My WOR team had an amazing day with Logan Gallant getting two hole shots finishing 3rd overall in the School Boy Class and taking home a solid top 5 in the MX2 Junior.

Chelsey Hall not only got her first ever hole shot but hole shotted both her motos to bring home 3rd place overall in her class.

Johnny Gallant had two solid starts and ran top 10 in the closely packed MX1 Junior Class, battling the entire length of both motos, looking to move into the top 5 overall in points.

I had a solid day of racing myself being the first full day of racing back following my injuries with 4th place finishes in all of my MX Pro GP motos and just missing out on the hole shot in my last moto of the day.

MD Distributions, Marco Dubé, one of the team’s sponsors was down from Quebec for the race weekend. Marco hung out in our pits for most of the afternoon getting to know the entire team. All the riders on Wide Open Racing were excited to get to meet and chat one on one with a two time Canadian Champion and meet one of the sponsors that help us out.

Marco was in NB promoting the new Delft Family MX Gloves which the entire Wide Open Racing team is now wearing and absolutely loves. If anyone has the opportunity to try a set out I highly suggest you do. 

I want to thank everyone that makes the teams race season possible: Estabrooks Bracing Solutions, CTi2, Ossur, Kermaxx Performance Accessories, Printwerx.ca, Pro Wheels Racing Components, Inside Motocross & Off Road Magazine, MD Distributions, Forma MX Boots, Deft Family MX Gloves, Pro-Tech Suspension, Pro Cycle, Motovan.com, Fox Eye Wear, CVO.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011 10:19

Pleasant Valley MX Weekend

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Well it has been a busy 2 weeks for me here on the East Coast after the nationals getting everything cleaned up and ready for our next CMRC Atlantic Region round at Pleasant Valley MX. If there is one thing the Maritimes brought to the 2011 riding season this year it would be rain; it seems for every hot and sunny day we get it is followed by 3 or 4 days of rain. That said, we could not have asked for better weather this weekend.

It rained all week but Friday turned hot sunny, and the good weather stayed for the entire weekend. 25+ degrees and a track that required no watering do to the rain early in the week. Robbie Cooke owner of PVMX opened the track up on Saturday for an open practice to allow riders to get the feel for it and make for some awesome racing on Sunday.

Sunday morning came quick with the sun in the sky as the smell of race gas filled the air as everyone prepped for what was sure to be an awesome day. My Wide Open Racing team was on the gas again with Logan Gallant taking top 5 overhaul finishes in both the MX2 Junior and the School Boy Class, Chelsey Hall took 4th overall in the Ladies and had a very strong ride in the last moto of the day despite a last lap upset which allowed the rider behind her to get right on her heels, thankfully Chelsey did not stall her 250F for we know how 4 strokes can be to start! Johnny Gallant finished just outside the top 5 in the MX1 Junior despite some tough luck getting pushed over a berm in the 2nd moto and a bad start in the 1st moto.

Congratulations to everyone and thanks to all of our sponsors that make my team and racing possible.

It's been 9 weeks since my crash this spring and after ordering my new Leatt Brace the last week has been the longest. I was finally able to throw my leg over the bike again and ride some laps this past Thursday at Miller Meadow MX Park. I loaded up around lunch time on Thursday and headed out to Logan’s to pick him and his bike up before heading to the track.

I got my gear on and started my bike up for the 1st time in weeks. Nervous was an understatement; I felt as if I was on the line at a AMA Pro National all that was going through my head was “Is my neck healed? Is my shoulder going to re-separate if I land the wrong way?” After a few slow laps to get the feel of the bike underneath me everything started flowing back, I was railing the corners and nailing all the jumps, after a 10 minute moto I realized that I am defiantly down on conditioning but after not doing anything for nearly 9 weeks it felt great!

On Sunday the entire team loaded up and headed to Mount Thom MX Park. This place is the definition of a riding facility with a huge GP style track, big jumps, awesome soil and elevation changes. This is one track that could hold a National tomorrow with no problems. It was a great day with everyone putting in some good hard motos and getting ready for the race this coming weekend at Riverglade MX in Moncton NB.

I want to thank all my sponsors that make this possible: Ossur, CTi2, Kermaxx Performance Accessories, Printwerx.ca, Estabrooks Bracing Solutions, Pro Wheels Racing, Pro Cycle, Pro-Tech Suspension, Forma MX Boots, Fox Eyewear, Motovan, and IMX magazine.

Saturday, 08 October 2011 08:53

Moncton Race Weekend

I hit the road Friday morning at 7am, on route to Riverglade MX park for the Moncton Nationals; it was a gorgeous day and shaping up for a great weekend. My team got our pit area set up and all the Wide Open Racing bikes under the tents. I want to thank IMX photoman Paul Jordan for supplying myself and family with a camper since the U2 concert was in town and had every hotel booked for miles! Everything was looking great until the clouds rolled in later that night.

Saturday’s Amateur Day was battle of survival. The rain started at 5am and didn't let up until evening. Despite the weather every rider I talked to was having the time of their life riding the track! Great decision by the track promoters not to till up the soil but left it hard packed creating a 4 inch deep watery mud bath that was more then passable and fun to ride. Thanks to everyone on the Riverglade staff for a great day of racing. Even with the never-ending down pour the racing on the track was second to none. Lap scorers had their work cut out for them as riders and bikes we one color only – brown!

The MX2 Intermediate class was the 2nd Moto of the day and finished with #193 Kolton Russell showing heart and determination squaring off the last turn and making a pass for 2nd place on the last lap just as he crossed the finish line.

I could not of asked more from my Wide Open Racing team; #96 Logan Gallant took 3rd in School Boy, and 4th in the MX2 Junior. New additions to the team for the Moncton National weekend represented the Wide Open Racing sponsors well with #161 Chelsey Hall despite getting tied up with a downed rider on the 1st lap battled back for 5th in the ladies class, and #717 Johnny Gallant rode hard for a 3rd place finish in his MX1 Junior debut.

Saturday night kicked off showing true MX culture with over 65 people including riders, parents, and promoters getting together for a huge national weekend pot lock. You could not of asked for a better group of people all getting together as one big family. Huge thanks goes out to Lynn Russell and Danita Blakeney for organizing this annual tradition and bringing everyone together.

Sunday morning we were greeted with sunshine and warm temperatures. The Riverglade track crew worked feverishly through the night and the track was in A1 condition for Pro Race Day. As the practices went on I wished more and more that I was cleared to ride from a crash earlier in the season. The new rhythm section added to the track this year was the place to watch for getting through it cleanly was the biggest advantage on the track. I was pumped to see the local riders finishing well amongst the top pros especially Davey Fraser taking 12th in the 2nd MX1 Moto.

I'd like to thank everyone that makes it possible for me and my team to race each and every weekend: Kermaxx Performance Accessories, CTi, Estabrooks Bracing Solutions, Printwerx.ca Graphics, Pro Cycle, Pro Wheels racing components, Forma MX Boots, Motovan, and CVO.

- #218 David Estabrooks

Wednesday, 24 August 2011 15:14

Fly Evolution Gear

The progression of gear in the motocross industry is never ending. Every year companies find ways to refine and improve their products. Fly Racing is no exception to this ever changing gear landscape of gear change. The motocross market is extremely competitive and it takes those constant refinements to stay on top of the game.
Fly Racing did step up their game with the 2011 Evolution gear and they made a few necessary adjustments to the pants to aid in comfort of the rider. Most noticeable to me was the increase in space around the knee of the pant, the 2010 model was tricky to fit some knee braces under and the 2011s had ample room and made them much more comfortable.
Many of the other features remained the same, such as the leather heat shields on the knees, dual waist belts, sure-lock fly and dual snap waist. A new feature that has been added to the Evolution pant is the stealth zippered vents on the leg just above the knee. These vents work well with the other venting materials to keep the air moving and when you throw in the well vented knees you have an idea hot-weather pant.
The Evolution Jersey follows the same trend of venting as the pant. Fly achieved this by integrating the mesh panels into the areas that they felt were key to dissipating heat. Comfort is of the utmost importance and the lycra, tagless collar did wonders for the fit and offered a high level of comfort. The cuff-less sleeves fit well but were a touch short for someone with longer than average arms, but that is something I have always had to deal with.
Both the pant and the jersey have sublimated graphics that are resistant to fading and the jersey has a silicone tail section to ensure that it stays tucked in. If you are a Fly racing fan you should love this set and if you haven't tried Fly before the Evolution gear is well worth a look.
Reviewed by Jeff Morgan

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