Deus Slidetoberfest


Fun in the Sun with Deus Ex Machina Indonesia

Dustin Humphrey interviewed by Richard O'Shea


For seven years now Deus Ex Machina Indonesia has been hosting a four-day Moto, Surf, Art, Music Festival, by the name of Deus Slidetoberfest. This year’s festival was bigger, better and definitely more pickled than anything they’d done in the past. We asked Dustin Humphrey, International Media Director and President of Deus Ex Machina Indonesia a few questions to get the good oil on everything that went down and why.

 

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What is Slidetoberfest?

 

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It’s a celebration of all the things that are near and dear to us. Family, friends, moto, surf, art and of course music. It’s about mixing all those bits together and making them taste like something inordinate. There really isn’t another event around like this one.

 
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Where did the idea first come from?

 

 

Slidetoberfest actually is our birthday celebration. It marks the opening of the Temple of Enthusiasm here in Bali seven years ago. It was born out of an inkling of inviting people to come and share in what it is we do here. Whether it be going for a surf or riding bikes along the beach. Things we do on a weekly, and daily basis. We have the Deus Gallery here and are presenting art shows throughout the year, this just gives us the perfect opportunity to get an international artist, usually someone who we know and respect, and give him or her exposure to our friends here in Bali. And music, well… not only do we love it, but you just can’t have a party without it can you?

For the first few years the day events consisted of just the surf and the MX. In those days, as it is still today, we were doing the MX on small bore bikes, mainly VMX, and I love the fact that these two core events are still integral in the festival that we put on today.

A few years back we added a Flat Track Beach event we’d have to run at low tide. This year we stepped up our game and actually built a small, but proper, Flat Track in our parking lot.

We also added a fourth day this year with a light hearted enduro style event called the Swank Rally. It’s something our Italian friends thought up. Of course, ours had a thoroughly Indonesian flavour to it. 1.7 miles through stunning tropical forests, along magnificent beaches, before swinging them through a few rivers and inclines until riders ended back from where they started from.

What was really cool about this event is that riders were racing against the clock and not each other, with the fastest time being the winner.

We customized four brand new Honda CRF 250 Rally’s. Two were in the vein of VMX, another scrambler and the last had a touch of the enduro about it. Theoretically, this gave everyone a pretty equal paying field from which to compete.

 

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What was your favorite event at this year's Slidetoberfest?

 

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Besides the great times and the incredible vibes, we got to enjoy all weekend long. The Flat Track Event would have to be, hands down, my favorite.

Together, with our family in California and Italy, we’d been playing around for a while with Flat Track both here and when we’re away. Slidetoberfest provided us with the perfect vehicle within which to drop an event like this. As far as we know, we are the first Flat Track in Indonesia.

 
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So, was this a ‘Run what ya brung’ type of event?

 

 

No, with over 70 people preregistered for the event months out we made a conscious decision to build some actual flat track bikes. Not only that, if we’d allowed the nobbies onto the limestone topped surface, they would have made very short work of the track in under twenty laps.

Only two months before the event we went out and bought, five brand new Kawasaki KLX 150s. Changed the rake, gearing and subframes. Added custom made tanks, seat & tail combos. Wide bars, new exhausts and dropped the front brake off.

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150cc? That doesn’t seem very fast.

 

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We only had so much space in which to build the track so it was quite small and 150 was more than enough power to get your slide on, especially because they were so light and nimble. Not to take anything away from the Hooligan races, but how often do you see those guys using the full power of their bikes? I’d rather go fast on a slow bike, than slow on a fast bike!

 
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A four day festival with a different event every day and night, it must have been a tremendous amount of work for you.

 

 

No, not for me. I just come up with the wacky ideas and the amazing team of people we have at the Temple of Enthusiasm take the ball and run with it. During the event, I get to kick back and throw shakas while the machine that is Deus Indonesia really kicks in. From the managers who hardly got a wink of sleep over the entire time, to the Workshop Boys who built ten bikes and repaired countless others, to the media team who shot hours of video and took thousands of photos, to the retail staff and of course the restaurant and bar staff who kept our blood sugar levels up there. This is a team effort and we have a great team.

 

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Are there winners and losers from the weekend?

 

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I didn’t hear one complaint all weekend long so if that is our litmus test, then there were no losers. We did have a few big crashes but nothing too serious. That is a win in itself.

As for winners, there are of course winners. We have them for each of the four events and then we run a Supercross type scoring system across the lot, allocating 1-25 points to contestants in each event. By day four we can come up with an overall winner for the weekend. For the third time in a row it was Forrest Minchton, and for the girls if was Abbie Lengui.

 
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You had a girls class?

 

 

Yeah of course we had girls, why wouldn’t we? We had kids, older guys… Local guys, internationals. People come from all over. Slidetober, always was and always will be inclusive rather than exclusive it is a fundamental component and central to the remarkable occasion we all got to share in.

 

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ATWYLD


Made For the Modern Woman Who Rides

SHE: Volume 009


 

Atwyld is a women’s motorcycle gear and apparel brand inspired by the void and built for the voyage. Founded by Anya Violet, Jaime Dempsey and Corinne Lan Franco; Atwyld was created to put a layer between you and the road that is both stylish and functional. Driven by a sense of freedom, independence and a bond to the road; Atwyld is not just a passenger on your journey but an integral part of your riding experience. From the mountains to the beach and the deserts to downtown Atwyld gives you the freedom to fly.

The word Atwyld is something that we created to represent the single moment that exists between fear and thrill. It’s that moment when you are on the absolute edge of your comfort zone and your adrenaline is pumping. Riding a motorcycle is, for us, about reaching this Atwyld moment as often as possible.

 

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Terra Incognita
Into the Unknown

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”

 

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Featured in Volume 009

Fearless Leader


The Legend of Evel Knievel

Words by Andrew Campo


 

Several years back, my mother was in my ear about world crisis—preaching her views on government, the conspiracy of the Illuminati, and their role in the impending economic collapse—but I was tuned out, thumbing through a fresh issue of Racer X. I tried to make eye contact, faking my best “Oh, really?” expression every so often, hoping she’d let me get back to the “real issue” at hand. The charade was over; she wasn’t buying it. She could see by the blank stare in my eyes that I was elsewhere. Her voice cut through my thought process like a hatchet:

“All you have thought about since the third grade is motocross; can’t you put down that magazine and give your mom five minutes of focus?”

I knew the answer to her question was no. I did not have five minutes of focus for rantings about global chaos. 

My love affair with motorbikes began when I was 4 years old. Since then it’s grown infinitely, its infectious and inexplicable nature weaving its way into every facet of my life and of those around me. Motorcycles create a special bond and unite the souls of those who ride them. As we started to pull together the pages of this book, I drifted back to my earliest memories of motorcycles and the people who introduced them to my life in an attempt to celebrate it in written word. Tracing the thread back in my mind, I arrived at the memory of me building backyard ramps for a toy that would impact me for decades to come and ultimately help to shape my character.

 

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In 1973, New York–based Ideal Toys created toys based on Butte, Montana’s daredevil son, Robert “Evel” Knievel. This toy changed my life and history was made. I spent countless hours winding up the stunt machine and sending Knievel rocketing to ramps better suited for “Hot Rod”; he jumped anything and everything I could conjure up. Win, lose or draw, I was addicted to those precious seconds between takeoff and touchdown. Those moments when time slows down, life hangs in the balance and one way or another you’re gonna leave saying, “Whew, that was a hell of a ride.” When it was time for bed, I would end the day with a gander through one of my Evel Knievel comic books, and when I woke up and headed to school, you can bet your ass I didn’t forget my Evel Knievel lunchbox. I could care less about football teams, superheroes, any of that. I was on a steady diet of dirtbikes, Farrah Fawcett and AC/DC at an early age when most kids were playing around with Stars Wars figures and Little League.

 

Knievel had become a household name, but to me he was much, much more. American hero, daredevil, death defier and living legend defined his character and created an allure that put him above all on my list of badass dudes. Knievel was a pioneer who would influence my life path for decades to come. From jumping my sisters on my Schwinn Stingray back in ’77 to going over the bars and cartwheeling into the Pacific in February of 2014 to the Whiskey Daredevils tattoo I wear with pride, Knievel has been there as my fearless leader.

 

 

The legend of his death-defying feats came to life at sold-out stadiums across the globe as fans flocked in anticipation of witnessing the baddest man on two wheels hurl his Harley over anything standing in his way. He was a one-man show of enormous stature in a golden era. Through the ever-furrowed brow and piercing stare of his trading card, Knievel challenged me to fight the system and defy the odds. Knievel’s story is best told through the facts below, but not before noting his eminent ingenuity and ability to look forward. His marketing genius not only influenced kids of the era and beyond, but it also opened the door for his son, “Kaptain” Robbie Knievel, and the likes of Travis Pastrana and Robbie Maddison, who continue to keep his daredevil spirit alive. The legend of Evel Knievel will stand the test of time. As an journalist, a fan and a motorcyclist, it is simply an honor to put this to press.

 

Evel Knievel, 1938–2007 

An American Daredevil


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More Facts on the legend, Evel Knievel

 

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After a police chase in 1956 in which he crashed his motorcycle, Knievel was taken to jail on a charge of reckless driving. When the night jailer came around to check the roll, he noted Robert Knievel in one cell and William Knofel in the other. Knofel was well known as “Awful Knofel” (“awful” rhyming with “Knofel”), so Knievel began to be referred to as “Evel Knievel” (“Evel” rhyming with “Knievel”). He chose this misspelling because of his last name and because he didn’t want to be considered “evil.” 

Wanting a new start away from Butte, Knievel moved his family to Moses Lake, Washington. There, he opened a Honda motorcycle dealership and promoted racing. During the early 1960s, it was difficult to promote Japanese imports. People still considered them inferior to American-built motorcycles, and there was lingering resentment from World War II, which had ended less than 20 years earlier. Always the promoter, Knievel offered a $100 discount to anybody who could beat him at arm wrestling.

After the closure of the Moses Lake Honda dealership, Knievel went to work for Don Pomeroy at his motorcycle shop in Sunnyside, Washington. It was there that Jim Pomeroy, a well known motorcycle racer taught Knievel how to do a “wheelie” and ride while standing on the seat of the bike.

While trying to support his family, Knievel recalled the Joie Chitwood show he saw as a boy and decided that he could do something similar using a motorcycle. Promoting the show himself, Knievel rented the venue, wrote the press releases, set up the show, sold the tickets and served as his own master of ceremonies. After enticing the small crowd with a few wheelies, he proceeded to jump a twenty-foot-long box of rattlesnakes and two mountain lions. Despite landing short and having his back wheel hit the box containing the rattlesnakes, releasing the snakes and dispersing the crowd of around 1,000, Knievel managed to land safely.

One of Evel’s qualities was that he had great pride in his core values. Throughout his career (and later life), he would repeatedly talk about the importance of “keeping his word.” He stated that although he knew he may not successfully make a jump or even survive the canyon jump, he followed through with each stunt because he gave his word that he would. 

Knievel would regularly share his anti-drug message, as it was another one of his core values. Knievel would preach an anti-drug message to children and adults before each of his stunts. One organization that Knievel regularly slammed for being drug dealers was the Hells Angels. A near-riot erupted on January 23, 1970, at the Cow Palacein Daly City, California, when a tire iron was thrown at Knievel during his stunt show and Knievel and the spectators fought back, sending the Hells Angels to the hospital.

 

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On the morning of his December 31, 1967, jump at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Knievel stopped in the casino and placed his last $100 on the blackjack table (which he lost), stopped by the bar and had a shot of Wild Turkey and then headed outside, where he was joined by two showgirls. After doing his normal pre-jump show and a few warm-up approaches, Knievel began his real approach. When he hit the takeoff ramp, it was perfect; the landing, however, was a disaster. Knievel came up short, which caused the handlebars to be ripped out of his hands as he tumbled over them onto the pavement, where he skidded into the Dunes parking lot. As a result of the crash, Knievel suffered a crushed pelvis and femur, fractures to his hip, wrist and both ankles, and a concussion that kept him in a coma for 29 days. For certain, it was the most famous motorcycle crash in history.

 

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On October 25, 1975, Knievel successfully jumped 14 Greyhound buses at the Kings Island theme park in Ohio. Although Knievel landed on the safety deck above the 14th bus (the frame of the Harley-Davidson actually broke), his landing was successful and he held the record for jumping the most buses on a Harley-Davidson for 24 years.

In January 1977, Knievel was scheduled for a major jump in Chicago. The jump was inspired by the film Jaws. Knievel was scheduled to jump a tank full of live sharks, and it would be televised live nationally. However, during his rehearsal Knievel lost control of the motorcycle and crashed into a cameraman. Although Knievel broke his arms, he was more distraught over a permanent injury his accident caused the cameraman, who lost his eye. The footage of this crash was so upsetting to Knievel that he did not show the clip for 19 years, until the release of the documentary Absolute Evel: The Evel Knievel Story.

 

After the failed shark jump, Knievel retired from major performances and limited his appearances to speaking only, rather than stunt riding, saying “a professional is supposed to know when he has jumped far enough.”

In one of his last interviews, he told Maxim magazine, “You can’t ask a guy like me why [I performed]. I really wanted to fly through the air. I was a daredevil, a performer. I loved the thrill, the money, the whole macho thing. All those things made me Evel Knievel. Sure, I was scared. You gotta be an ass not to be scared. But I beat the hell out of death.”

 

Knievel died in Clearwater, Florida, November 30, 2007, aged 69.

 

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Story featured in Volume 001

Purchase the entire collection of back issues!

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Lotawana


A New Film Starring Todd Blubaugh

A film by Trevor Hawkins


 

Synopsis

Empty materialism and the constraints of modern culture have pushed the unfulfilled Forrest (Todd Blubaugh) to a voyage of discovery. This resolute young man escapes to nature by living aboard a sailboat on a rural Missouri lake. He is seeking something more, something beautiful, something real.

 

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After setting sail on his journey, he promptly catches wind of the rebellious and free-spirited Everly (Nicola Collie) and their idealistic dreams align. As they let go, they fall head first into the ambitious yet unprepared idea of leaving the old world far behind. Soon reality hits, and it hits hard. Can they survive and rewrite their own rules of modern existence or will they discover that society operates its way for a reason? 


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Acclaimed filmmaker and photographer, Trevor Hawkins of Mammoth, based this personal film around his life at the real Lake Lotawana and then filmed it all in his own back yard. Adventure isn't comfortable. Adventure isn't safe. Balanced between the artifice of filmmaking and capturing genuine real-life moments as they happen, Lotawana takes the viewer on a thrilling and romantic inward journey.  While exploring the unpredictability of life’s ethereal wonder, intimate relationships and overwhelming tragedies, this visceral experience will stay with you long after it’s over. Remember when you had your whole life ahead of you?

 

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Out of Africa


Into Our Hearts: The Story of Tanya Muzinda

Words & photos by David Bulmer


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In the grand scheme of sport, motocross is a tiny blip on the radar. Even now, with the pyrotechnics and the live TV coverage, it pales in comparison to the Goliathan following and consequent media presence of the NFL or NASCAR.

But sometimes it’s the basic and fundamental complexion of motocross and those around it that makes it such a fascinating place to be involved. There’s a real community feeling around the pits, and strangers are treated like friends just because there’s a dirtbike in the back of their truck.

And perhaps the coolest aspect of the motocross community’s kind nature: It is invariably the same, anywhere in the world.

 

 

In the last few years, I’ve been lucky enough to see this in person all around the globe, from Brazil to Belgium, New Mexico to New Zealand. No matter where I’ve been, I’ve always been treated as part of the family, simply because I’m into motocross and so are they. However, it was on my last trip, to Zimbabwe, that I truly appreciated just how awesome this sport is and what an effect it can have on kids, families and, indeed, entire communities.

 

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Zimbabwe isn’t exactly known as a motocross powerhouse, and when I got the call to go down there, I must admit to being slightly shocked and a little bit apprehensive. However, I’m always up for something new, and the fact that I’d be accompanying three-time women’s World MX champion Stefy Bau certainly eased my mind. 

So why were we both flying halfway around the world?

Quite simply, Tanya Muzinda.

 

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Now it’s not as if Africa as a continent hasn’t produced top-quality motocross riders before; I’m sure everyone is familiar with Grant Langston, Greg Albertyn and Tyla Rattray. All of them have been elite competitors in the world motocross and AMA series, but they also share three other similarities: They are all from South Africa, they are all white, and they are all men. Now, without delving too deeply into the mercurial social, economic and cultural climates of the southern end of Africa, to have a 9-year-old black girl like Tanya Muzinda competing in motocross is a rarity. And to then have her actually beating boys her age makes her someone very special indeed — an anomaly well worth seeing in person. Also, even if we weren’t sure about the legitimacy of the trip before we arrived, the fact that we were greeted by the national press as soon as we got through airport customs cemented our belief that this was sure to be an extraordinary experience.

 


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All the journalists, photographers and TV crew gathered to see Bau and Muzinda together and find out why a world champion would take the time and effort to visit a country where motocross is such a small sport compared to soccer and cricket. Bau’s presence was another part of Team Tanya’s strategy to not only highlight Muzinda’s skill and help her develop, but also to promote motocross to the masses, and show that anybody, whatever their background, can still compete. James Stewart once famously said,

“With a helmet on, we all look the same anyway.”

That exact philosophy would come to outline the whole affair:

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like; motocross can be for everybody.

 

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Muzinda is a fairly shy girl, so she was a bit blown away by all the fuss and attention that she received for the duration of our stay, but she handled it well. By the end of our time there, she had no problem speaking to anyone interested in her story. However, while the off-track stuff was certainly refreshing and a change-up from the usual national coverage that our sport receives, it was Muzinda’s ability on the track that was the reason for Bau’s visit, and it’s that ability that will be the deciding factor in how her career will turn out.  

Team Tanya had planned our trip to a T. Our visit coincided with the Zimbabwe Summercross Series, one of the biggest motocross events in southern Africa. Spread over four separate days of racing, it features two evenings of supercross and two days of motocross racing and attracts riders from Zambia, Botswana and South Africa—plus, of course, all the Zimbabwean talent, which meant that each class was relatively stacked.

 

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Muzinda ended up coming in second in her 65cc class, winning a couple of races on both the SX and MX circuits and showing everyone that her talent on the bike is worth all the publicity. It allowed Bau a chance to see her in action and help out with on-track advice as well as pre-race routines and day management, which can sometimes be just as important at that age. Obviously there is room for improvement, which is why Bau has invited Muzinda back to her house in Florida for this year’s Mini O’s, so she can race against different competition in a whole new environment, on a totally different track, and get to see what the standard of competition is like elsewhere in the world.

The tracks of Zimbabwe are not fit to cultivate an international motocross prodigy for long; Muzinda will need to seek out competition elsewhere in the world.

 

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That’s not to say the standard of racing in southern Africa isn’t high: riders there have proven themselves on the highest stages of motocross competition in the world, from the MXGPs to Loretta Lynn’s. The tracks at Donnybrook are pretty decent, and although they could definitely do with a bit of sprucing up, the overall quality of the surfaces was good, even if the supercross landings were a tad on the short side. Perhaps the best aspect was the fans, as herds of them came across the fields to cheer on the Zimbabwean riders. In fact, the coolest (and most shocking) part of the racing was the final MX1 moto, when crowd favorite Jayden Ashwell was cheered on to victory by the throngs of supporters being kept off the track by female wardens hitting fans with sticks if they ventured too close to the action.

It is the fact that fans and riders can interact so closely with one another that makes motocross one of the coolest sports to be a part of, and with a rider like Tanya Muzinda, there is a chance that she can become an important figure to help promote the sport to a whole new audience. This may seem a little premature, given her age, but her dream is to become the first African girl to compete at the highest level. If she remains under the tutelage of Stefy Bau, that dream just might become a reality.

 

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Story featured in Volume 001

Purchase the entire collection of back issues!

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To the Beach!


Roland Sands talks Moto Beach Classic

Interview by Maggie Gulasey


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The team at Roland Sands Design has been dreaming about a beachfront moto event for years and they have finally been given the keys to the kingdom at Bolsa Chica State Beach. Partnering with Sea Legs Live, a legendary concert venue on the sand, to bring a day of reggae with Black Uhuru and Wargirl and a night of punk rock with Lit and Unwritten Law. If that wasn’t enough, they are also taking Super Hooligan Flat Track and motorcycle drag racing to the beach. Throw in a West Coast Board Riders Surf Comp, art show, demo rides and unique vendors, and you have an incredibly entertaining day at the beach with something for everyone. We recently caught up with the man himself, Roland Sands, to pick his brain about the inspiration behind the upcoming event.

 

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Bolsa Chica beach is a distinctly unique venue for this event, particularly for a flat track race.  Why hold this celebration of motorcycle, surf, music, and art at the heart of one of the most heavily frequented corners in Orange County?

 

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I think you just answered that question with a question. Thank you. We want to bring racing to the people. The best way to get new people involved in something is to take it to them where it’s hard to ignore. Plus it’s right down the street from where I grew up and currently live and I could put everything I dig into one event at one place with a bunch of great people. We want to see everyone, kid’s, teens, boys, girls, newbies and pro’s and old vets come and see the event. I think a solid crew of like minded people from all walks of life are going to show up and have a great time and see something new no matter where they’ve been. The majority of motorcycle racing or lifestyle events are either rallies held beyond the confines of major cities and suburbs, or races that take place at outdoor tracks or speedway venues. Those events are great, but the problem is that they largely end up only reaching the core motorcyclists. Right now, we need to find ways to bring the glory of motorcycles and the incredible lifestyle associated with riding to brand new people. That’s why we’re so stoked to have this incredible venue, right in the heart of suburban Southern California where its significantly easier for families to come out and enjoy a totally unique type of event that everyone, from the parents to the kids, can enjoy. It’s exactly why our sponsors like Indian Motorcycle and BMW are excited about this event.

 

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It cannot be an easy task to custom build a flat track next to the surf.  What was the inspiration behind hosting this race beachfront?  

 

It’s a pain in the ass. We had to wedge it into the parking lot there next to sea legs and re route the boardwalk. We’re brining in 20 truck loads of dirt starting Monday for a week long process to build the track. It’s not cheap or easy, but it’s going to be bitchin. People have told me I’m crazy, guys like Brad Oxley who’ve been doing this for years have told me I’m nuts. But with no risk there’s little reward. And no matter what happens were going to have a gas racing next to the beach with all our friends old and new. There’s a shared DNA between surf culture and motorcycle culture. More and more we’re seeing action sports and guys who love to both ride and build custom bikes. It’s all about freedom and taking risk and enjoying life. So that relationship is a big part of it. The other critical aspect is the ability to more easily reach a whole new set of consumers by bringing an event like this to a beach venue, where a far wider range of people are going to be present. 
 

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It seems as though you have been very focused on hosting a handful of one-of-a-kind events recently.  What has motivated you to be on the forefront of the hooligan racing movement?

 

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For me personally it started very organic. Literally showing up on the bike I road to Costa Mesa Speedway and entering Harley night 12 YEARS ago. And having a gas and winning a few races on a stock bikes on street tires. And it’s just grown slowly and consistently from there. More and more people have come out to ride and started building bikes. And everyone has gotten really good. We’ve got stunt riders, motocross guys, road racers, old pro’s, industry guys, creatives, magazine guys and plumbers all riding against each other on bikes many of them built in their garages. It’s literally the everyman class of racing. We’ve just elevated it and partnered with some of the raddest bikes shows in the world. The One Show, Mamma Tried, Wheels and Waves and the pro races with AFT to make it something special. 10 races all over the US, ending at Bolsa Chica with a double points paying round to win a 50K Indian FTR. It’s insane. There’s no better adrenaline rush than when you’re pushing a motorcycle…truly “sending it” and you don’t have to necessarily be a pro to do that. With Hooligan racing, we’re trying to demonstrate the “riding” side of owning a motorcycle and the fun and excitement of getting together with friends and pushing the bike and pushing each other in a manner that’s intense and thrilling, but way less formal that pro racing.

 

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What is the significance of connecting motorcycles with art, music, and other action sports?

 

It all blends doesn’t it. I’ve been watching live music, surfing, going to art shows and creating art, Skating, partying with friends, building bikes, racing and generally finding excuses to have fun my whole life. Throwing that all into one event just makes sense. There are a ton of shared lifestyle elements between motorcycles, art, music and action sports. First and foremost, each of these things is about self-expression. Each of these things were born out of some level of rebellion against the norm and the desire to express your individualism in a totally unique way. Each of these things carries its own brand of “awesome,” whether it’s the adrenaline rush of riding or surfing, the gorgeous beatify of a piece of art, or the power of good music. To bring these things all together in a single event is kind of a perfect storm where everything fuels and feeds of each other. Not to mention, it creates an environment where there’s something for everyone, regardless if your thing is motorcycles, surfing art and or kick-ass live music. It’s not an event I’d want to miss. 

 

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If you can’t make it to the event, is there still a way for us to watch the fun from home?  

 

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We’ve got the MotoBeach Classic live feed powered by Valero if you can’t make the show but want to watch it.

You can go to MotoBeachClassic.com or if you follow any of our sponsors you can potentially check the feeds there… or on META’s Instagram & Facebook!

And I before I go, I want to thank all our sponsors:  
Indian Motorcycles, BMW Motorcycles, Baume & Mercier Watches, Redbull, Geico, Ducati Motorcycles, Pacifico, Law Tigers, Hurley, Waves for Water, Dunlop tires, Iron and Air, Motul, Cycle Zombies, Fast Surfboards, Von Zipper, West Coast Board Rides, Sport of Kings, Bell Helmets, K and N filters, Bonnier.

 

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Swedish Army Knife


Gunnar Lindstrom: A Man of Many Tools

Words by Mark Blackwell | Portraits by Sebas Romero


If there were an entry in the dictionary for a Swedish version of the famous red knife, a photo of Gunnar Lindstrom would perhaps be more suitable than one of the tool itself: Both are of the highest quality, multifaceted, at home in any setting, resilient and iconic. His achievements are truly remarkable and should be an inspiration to young motorcycle enthusiasts all over the world.

 

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The Early Years

 

When Gunnar Lindstrom reflects on his early days growing up on his family’s dairy farm in Southern Sweden, he realizes how fortunate he was. Life seemed simple in those days, yet in retrospect, he can see how rich those early experiences were and how they presented many pathways to the chapters of his life.

Gunnar Lindstrom was born in July, 1943, in Eksjö, a small town of around 10,000 people, with farms sprinkled across the mostly flat land between dense forests and myriad small lakes. Gunnar’s father, also named Gunnar, was a rather special individual, even though it wasn’t apparent to the young boy at the time. The Lindstrom patriarch was a leader in the local farm co-op and often hosted other farmers and faculty from nearby agriculture schools during field trips to showcase the Lindstrom Farm. The farm was considered cutting edge in its methods and productivity. In his spare time, the elder Gunnar learned to throw the javelin and went on to represent the Swedish team in two Olympics, holding the world record for a period. He was also an accomplished equestrian competitor, but was tragically killed as a result of a jumping accident when young Gunnar was just 7 years old. 

 

“This was the start of a confusing time for me and the entire family, since I was so young,” Gunnar says. “But as I think back, it probably made me a stronger person.”
 

As the eldest of three boys, Gunnar naturally was expected to help out with farm chores before and after school. In the summer, work days were long, but also filled with chances to drive the tractor and operate other farm equipment. Even at a very early age, Gunnar found himself fascinated by the farm’s machinery, and yet he will never forget the day he first spotted his neighbor powering up their shared dirt road on a motorcycle. 

 

“This shiny new 350cc Royal Enfield came flying by, and had a sound I had never heard before,” he says. “Then it had this small rooster tail shooting off the back wheel as my neighbor powered by. I knew right then and there, this was something I had to experience.”
 
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A Time to Race

 

Fortunately for Gunnar, after buying his first motorcycle – a literal basket case – he looked up the owner of a local motorcycle repair shop, Bengt Kling. In time, Kling took Gunnar under his wing, acting as a personal mentor and teaching him about mechanics, problem-solving and making economical repairs. At 15, Gunnar, with the help of Kling, started building a modest race bike; he was already focused on his 16th birthday, the age required to participate in local races. 

Of course, his mother, Inga Lindstrom, was concerned about her young son’s safety and his determination to begin racing, so she visited with the chairman of the local motorcycle club, SMK Eksjö, who also happened to be Bengt Kling. He provided reassuring advice about the benefit of closed-course, well-supervised racing. Shortly after, with his mother’s reluctant blessing, Gunnar entered his first event, an observed trials. While trials was not his aspiration, it was a start, and Gunnar was finally able to boldly paint a number on his first number plate and tell his schoolmates that he was now “racing motorcycles.”

Military service was mandatory in Sweden at the time, and Gunnar served his required period of roughly one year. Fortunately, he was assigned to the nearest army base, which was actually in the town of Eksjö, so Gunnar remained close to home and also had the comfort and support of being known by many of the officers, some of whom looked out for the teenager. It was a good experience for Gunnar, who spent much of his time riding, maintaining and repairing the Swedish military motorcycles,  at the time Czechoslovakian-made Jawas. 

But it also made Gunnar realize he didn’t like being put into a “small box.” Gunnar was an individual, and he had his own aspirations that didn’t fit the mold the military might have wished. This is a moment that probably forged his determination to go his own way. The death of his mother and younger brother in a tragic car accident around the same time may have further tempered his Swedish determination. 

 

“This was a difficult time for me,” Gunnar explains. “I was alone with my brother and without any real direction in life. The expectation from family and neighbors was for me to continue as a farmer, so I duly entered an agricultural college and spent an entire year there.” 
 

Motorcycle culture was already rich in Sweden, with a long history of legendary riders – including Bill Nilsson and Rolf Tibblin, who dominated races on their large, powerful four-stroke motorcycles across Sweden and also down in Continental Europe. But with World War II ending and economic growth returning to Northern Europe, small motorcycles were becoming increasingly popular – even in rural Sweden – and the motorcycle culture was changing. Not far away from Eksjö, also in Jönköping County, the Husqvarna Factory, founded in 1689 by the King of Sweden, was producing a small, lightweight motorcycle. The Silverpilen was being used for transportation and, increasingly, for sport riding and competition. These small motorcycles were much more affordable than their large, four-stroke predecessors and could be ridden by a significantly wider range of enthusiasts, helping to expand the sales and sport of motorcycling.

 

 

With increasing confidence gained from some early racing successes and the encouragement of his mentor Bengt Kling, Gunnar came into contact with some of the leadership team of the nearby Husqvarna Factory. While there were dozens, if not hundreds, of young riders vying for the attention of the factory bosses, Gunnar’s riding and mechanical skills, his determination, and his tenacity seemed to combine to get Gunnar in front of key leaders on a regular basis.  

 

“But I soon realized that, while there were plenty of riders in Sweden that aspired for a ‘factory ride,’ chief engineer Ruben Helmin let it be known that they were actively looking for engineers who also understood motorcycles,” Gunnar says. “I quickly abandoned ag school and applied at a technical college in a nearby town. It was already late summer, but I was lucky and got in thanks to a last-minute cancellation.”
 

When he did, it seemed to further raise those leaders’ interest in the young Lindstrom. 

This was a special period in the development of the Husqvarna Motorcycle brand and the sport of motocross in Europe. Fellow Swedes like Tibblin and Torsten Hallman were regularly returning from their conquests on the continent with Grand Prix trophies, wreaths and prize money, and vivid stories about their plunders. The stature of these modern-day Vikings soared as their legendsspread, as did the desirability of their factory Husqvarna mounts. But in reality, these bikes were hand-built one-offs, and the most a rider – even one with Gunnar’s connections and growing credibility – could hope to obtain was the occasional hand-me-down cylinder or some other remnant part.

Gunnar continued his studies while spending many weekends traveling down to the heart of Europe to race, often driving all night after school to get to events and returning home again on Sunday evening. “Once I graduated with my engineering degree, I rushed over to the factory expecting to be welcomed with open arms,” Gunnar recalls. “But contrary to my expectations, the welcome was rather cool in typical Swedish tradition, and after some discussion and introductions I was offered a job on a contract basis as a test rider of the Husqvarna military motorcycle [MC 256 A] that was just being prepared to go into production.” He adds,

 

“In the winter/spring of 1966, I would put on all the cold-weather riding gear, including sealskin gloves and with outrigger skis attached, ride the 100km to Rolf Tibblin’s house, have lunch, maybe a short stretch or workout and then ride back to the factory in the afternoon.”
 

This was a very expansive time at Husqvarna, so it did not take long until Gunnar was hired full-time and became involved in development of another project, the new Husqvarna front fork.

 

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Adventuring Abroad

 

Around this time, the larger export markets for Husqvarna Motorcycles were beginning to heat up. While Torsten Hallman was first to race and introduce motocross to North America, Gunnar had the opportunity to travel to New Zealand, and later followed Hallman as one of the first Swedes to race in the U.S. Gunnar was asked by the factory to stay, race, set up dealers, provide technical training and act as an ambassador for the Husqvarna Motorcycle brand. 

It was clear to some of us Americans at the time that, like Hallman, Gunnar Lindstrom was a highly intelligent and talented person with many skill sets – far more than just a motorcycle racer. In his second language, he could easily command the attention of the aspiring young riders, fans, dealer prospects and the press.

 

He could not only prepare his Husqvarna to race and make repairs as needed, he could weld, make prototype parts – even in a small machine shop – and provide valuable product development feedback to the engineers back in Sweden. He could then hop in the Husqvarna van, drive hundreds or even thousands of miles to a new market area, lay out a track, put on a motocross school, set up a new Husqvarna dealer and train the dealer and his staff.
 

Between these activities, Gunnar often found time to provide market-development advice to the Husqvarna management team back in Sweden, and also council the local Husqvarna leaders in the U.S. and Canada, highly valuable contributions for a rapidly developing motorcycle brand in the largest and fastest-growing market on the planet. 

Gunnar also met and developed important relationships with Husqvarna dealers and industry icons like Malcolm Smith. “I had met Gunnar at the factory and was impressed with his thinking on many things we discussed – he was clearly a very special and clever individual,” Smith recalls. 

“I had won a gold medal at the [International Six Days Enduro] in Poland, and the factory rewarded me by gifting that bike and shipping it to my shop in Riverside,” he adds. “Gunnar needed a bike for an upcoming race at Saddleback, and he rode my Six Days bike, lights, license plate and all, and finished on the podium. Gunnar stayed at our home during that time, and I continued to be impressed with his thinking.” That relationship would prove valuable years later.

During the following years, Gunnar spent the majority of his time in the U.S., traveling while living in a motorhome much of the time. But he also went back to Sweden several times per year to maintain relationships at the factory and stay in contact with his family in Eksjö. 

Gunnar later served as Husqvarna Race Team Manager in the U.S. During this period, he began finding it difficult to convince the Husqvarna Motorcycles leaders back in Sweden what was really needed to compete with the increasingly dominant Japanese manufacturers. This frustration ultimately served as one of the catalysts to his decision to leave the employment of Husqvarna Motorcycles – somewhat of a shock to the company and the many young riders who looked up to Gunnar, as well as the Husqvarna dealers and the motorcycle press. But while Gunnar was leaving employment with Husqvarna, his heart and soul would remain connected, and his passion for the marque would resurface years later...

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Read the full story in Volume 009

 

Brooklyn Invitational


Indian Unveils Bobber Trifecta at 2017 Brooklyn Invitational

Words & Photos by Andrew Campo & Indian Motorcycle


 

A few weeks back I was presented with the opportunity to take in the weekend alongside the team at Indian Motorcycle while attending the 9th annual Brooklyn Invitational Custom Motorcycle Show. The invite included a front row seat to the unveiling of three custom Indian Scout Bobber’s from renowned builders Satya Krause, Keino Sasaki, and a collaboration effort from Steve Caballero and Roland Sands. 

A weekend in a Brooklyn soaking in one of the most sought after shows on the calendar for the first time was soon a reality. Life was grande as I settled into my room at the exquisite William Vale Hotel perched high above the bustling Williamsburg neighborhood below. I counted my blessings while sitting on out on my balcony taking in the sea of glistening lights from the Manhattan skyline just across the East River. I reminded myself that night’s like these are few and far between as I began to photograph the streets below and began to feel as tomorrow could not come fast enough.

 

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The following morning was spent in the company of fellow media peers downstairs eating lemon-ricotta pancakes, laughing as Roland entertained us with his stories, and listening to Steve Caballero explain why he does not believe that natural talent exist. You sir, are a wise man. The day could not have started off any better and I was simply honored to be in such good company. Anticipation was building and after the final sips of coffee rolled out of our cups we gathered our gear and headed out and around the corner to the venue at ROOT Studios to experience the the show first hand.

Before the doors opened to the public we were treated to a private introduction with the three commissioned Indian builders and they each walked us through their inspiration, vision and processes as they unveiled their finished creations. This was an impressive and respectableoffering by Indian as they honored the show through a creative offering that allowed each builder the opportunity to work from the one canvas expressing individual genius. Sponsoring an event is one thing, contributing opportunity in addition is another. Well done.

 

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The end result being three totally unique custom interpretations of the Scout Bobber, which showcased the versatility of the platform and wide range of creative options each builder had to work with.

 

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Keino’s build seemed to be from another world, it is a work of art and took on a creature-like life form that fit perfectly within the gallery setting.

“It was a great opportunity for me to work with the new Indian Scout Bobber with freedom of creativity and ideas. When I stripped the bike down to its main chassis, I knew it could go beyond its styling originally intended.  I hope this bike showcases the possibilities of the Scout Bobber with little imagination and creativity.”

 

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Kraus presented a performance inspired caged monster that breathed insane notes through its 2-into-1 exhaust while creating curiosity through its unique styling.

“When we build on the foundations laid by tradition we are reminded to learn from the past and push the limits beyond what has been done.  Indian Motorcycle has opened the opportunity to recreate American made quality standards and performance.  Each Indian model platform has unique qualities that offer the aftermarket and consumer opportunities for customizations to easily reflect individual styles and designs.  It has been a complete pleasure to customize and build upon the foundation laid by Indian Motorcycle's engineers.”
 
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The tasteful Caballero inspired Roland Sands street-tracker was oozing with attention to detail and truly resembled the man himself.

“The Indian Scout is a fantastic platform for customizations, and when we decided to customize a Scout Bobber for the Brooklyn Invitational I knew I wanted to work alongside Roland and his team at RSD. As a renowned bike builder, Roland has extended experience with the Scout platform and has a suite of offerings for the street flat tracker look we wanted to achieve.”

 

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The room was alive with energy, it reminded me of a bunch of starry eyed kids in candy factory, all three builds warranted great respect and garnered a lot of attention throughout the show. The opportunity to see, touch, and hear these bikes in a personal setting brought to life a river of conversation that flowed all the way through lunch at the Keg and Lantern where we gathered with the team from Indian to watch their boy Jared Mees clinch the 2017 American Flat Championship. The beers began to pour and it was a treat getting to celebrate such an iconic moment alongside so many that have helped the brand to reach new heights after a 60 year hiatus from flat track racing.

 

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We then returned to Brooklyn Invitational to experience the show and community. A beautiful collection of machines from the likes of Walt Siegl, Toshiyuki Osawa, Jim Garrison, and Nicke Svensson and others were on display thanks to the efforts of Jessica Wertz, Keino Sasaki, and John Copeland the team that curated the space and brought this years event to life. Live music belted out from one room, while ringing tattoo guns drew blood in the other. Everyone was drinking Coors Banquet, and I felt right home even though I was 1,800 miles away in Brooklyn.

 

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The show didn’t stop at ROOT in fact it spilled out for blocks on end in every direction with custom bikes of all makes lining the streets, an impressive party indeed. I wondered around for hours just looking at bikes and making new friends. I fell in love with Brooklyn and the community and for the first time found myself inspired with the thought of riding daily in an urban giant like NYC. We capped off the night at the Westlight rooftop bar taking in one the most beautiful views the city has to offer and once again I found myself counting my blessings while imagining my return. 

 


 

The Builds

 
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CUSTOMIZER: Keino Sasaki

BUILD TIME: 6 Weeks

INSPIRATION: Harkening back to the 1950's, 60’s and 70's, Keino’s custom Scout Bobber was inspired by streamliner trains, airplanes and automobiles.

MODIFICATIONS

  • Aluminum fuel tank
  • Front/rear fender
  • Front fairing
  • Exhaust pipes
  • Beringer inboard brake system
  • Custom spoke wheels
  • Stock Modified rear set foot control
 
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CUSTOMIZER: Satya Kraus / Kraus Motor Co.

BUILD TIME: 4 Weeks

INSPIRATION: Kraus Motor Co. was inspired by a new generation of motorcycle riders looking for quality and performance in their American motorcycle and aftermarket products.

MODIFICATIONS:

  • Inverted Front Suspension with Ohlins Forks
  • Beringer Radial Brake Caliper
  • Beringer Master Cylinders
  • 320mm Brake Tech Rotors
  • Rotobox Carbon Fiber Wheels
  • Pirelli Tires
  • Clearwater LED Headlights
  • Linear Steering Damper
  • Kraus Isolated Risers
  • Moto Style Bars
  • Rizoma Mirror and Lever Guards
  • Custom Seat by Saddlemans
  • Billet Rear Shock Mount / Fender Struts
  • Ohlins Rear Shocks
  • Chain Drive
  • Rear Radial Brake Caliper and Oversize Rotor
  • Foot Controls - Rizoma Components & Beringer Master Cylinder
  • Taylor Schultz Paint Job
  • Stainless Steel 2 Into 1 Exhaust Executed by Fab28 Ind.
 
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CUSTOMIZER: Steve Caballero with Roland Sands Design

BUILD TIME: 3 Weeks

INSPIRATION: Steve Caballero’s custom Indian Scout Bobber was inspired by the style and designs of a street flat tracker.  Utilizing Caballero’s number 360, he worked with Roland Sands to feature a variety of RSD’s premium offerings for a clean and classic look.

MODIFICATIONS:

  • Narrowed Gas Tank 6 Inches
  • RSD Enzo Solo Seat
  • RSD Hand Fabricated Aluminum Oval Number Plates
  • RSD Track Stainless Steel 2-into-1 Prototype Exhaust
  • RSD Custom Stainless Steel Mesh Radiator Guard 
  • RSD Front Belt Guard
  • RSD Pulley Cover
  • RSD Rear Belt Guard
  • Front & Rear Wheel – Indian Spoked Hubs, Re-laced with Excel Rims (Pinstriped by Sonny Boy)
  • Front Tire - Dunlop DT3 Flat Track Race Tire (130/80-19)
  • Rear Tire – Dunlop DT3 Flat Track Race Tire (140/80-19)
  • RSD Traction Grips
  • RSD Radial Master Cylinder 9/16’ bore (custom 1”-to-7/8” reducers)
  • RSD Radial Cable Clutch Perch & Lever (custom 1”-to-7/8” reducers)
  • RSD Mid Controls
  • Barnett Cables & Clutches
  • Renthal FA Tbar Handlebars
  • RSD Pullback Riser 1-1/8”
  • RSD Gauge Relocator
  • Turn Signals Removed with Custom Spacer
  • RSD tracker Fork Brace
  • 12.0” Proressive Suspension 970 Series Reservoir Shocks
  • RSD Verticle Shock-mount Taq Bracket
  • Jesse Davis Pain
  • Sonny Boy Pinstriping & Indian Headdress and 12k Gold Leaf Work
  • Colors – Grigio Telesto with Brushed Silver Sides
  • Powdercoat Work by Specialized Coatings (Huntington Beach, CA) 

 

Man in the Machine


The Art of Albert #004

Words by Mike Mayberry | Photos by Ben Giese


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I spent most of my youth taking things apart just to see how they worked – sometimes managing to put them back together. I welded my first bicycle frame when I was 12 years old.  My father told me when I was young to follow my heart, and the money would follow.  My success and my satisfaction in this life have largely been the result of my continuing quest for new projects and new challenges, and my insatiable curiosity of everything.  I have built my career on following my passion for all things mechanical, beautiful and challenging – so I suppose it was inevitable that I would fall in love with Albert.

Albert is a remake of a 1919 Excelsior OHC boardtracker and is one of ten bikes that will eventually be produced by Paul Brodie in his modest Vancouver shop.  In 2004, Paul was looking for “something big” as a project to sink his teeth into, and while walking a vintage swap meet, he stumbled across an old set of engine cases from a 1910 Indian single.  He was struck with the idea of building a replica racer and set upon researching bikes of that era.  He soon learned that one doesn’t just build a boardtrack replica without stepping on the toes of people who restore and curate the few originals that still exist, and with that realization Paul set his sights on remaking a bike that no longer existed: the Excelsior OHC.

 

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Excelsior had been racing for years but was long the underdog to Harley and Indian. A few people within the company had secretly been working on a new overhead cam engine to beat them both, and this new engine made its first debut at a race in early 1920 at Ascot Park in L.A., California.  Before the race began, engineer and factory rider Bob Perry wanted to show just how potent this new design was, and he set about taking a few hot laps before the race.  To everyone’s amazement, he reached an estimated speed of 95 mph, which was faster than anyone had ever gone around this track.  

What he didn’t realize was that with all the fanfare of showing this new bike, the rear wheel axle had not been properly torqued.  Less than two laps into his run the bike came apart, and Bob slid into the side rail, instantly killing him.  Ignaz Schwinn, the founder of Schwinn Bicycle Company and owner of Excelsior motorcycles, thought of Perry as a brother and was devastated upon hearing of the crash. Ignaz ordered all four race bikes smashed and buried and the race team dissolved.  The OHC was gone almost as quickly as it had emerged, and the Excelsior name would never race again before closing its doors permanently when the Great Depression hit.

After learning of Paul and Albert through a good friend, I made a call to Canada and spoke with the man himself.  It was an awkward and brief conversation, but not long after I found myself the proud new owner of a motorcycle – the last of the first 4 bikes he built.  Little did I know that in acquiring Albert, I was also starting what would become a friendship of like minds and shared ambitions. 

Paul Brodie is a kindred spirit.  He welded his first minibike frame when he was 12.  He is passionate and has an insatiable curiosity for all things mechanical – a true Renaissance man and engineering enigma.  He is a designer, fabricator, artist and racer.  He is both spiritual and mechanically minded.  He is fearless yet patient. His name as a builder of mountain bikes ranks among other pioneers such as Gary Fisher and Joe Breeze.  He has built his own vintage race bikes and competed with them, he has built his own motors from scratch, and he has done all of this with impeccable attention to detail and craft and without the slightest hint of bravado. He’s polite, soft-spoken, and often only speaks when spoken to – or when he sees that you, too, are passionate about something.  You might think that he doesn’t have much to say, until you see his work.  Only then do you appreciate the volumes he speaks.  

Albert is a stunningly beautiful creation.  It is possibly the most beautiful machine I have ever seen.  One must see it in person to truly appreciate the level of detail and care that has gone into every component of this complicated and antiquated artifact.  When you hear the phrase “hand-built motorcycle,” you might think of a bike that has been cut and welded, a custom seat, custom tank and maybe a rebuilt engine with tig-welded headers.  Albert redefines what makes a handmade motorcycle.  With the exception of the tires, rims, spokes, pedals and magneto, every part of Albert has been designed and fabricated, tested and finished by Paul, with the occasional help from a few passionate friends. 

Sitting on a lift in my shop, I have gazed at this bike for years now, and each time I stop to look, I notice something new.  A small hand-turned screw on a throttle linkage, a one-off brass cam on the carburetor body, a perfectly machined castellated nut on the rear hub that firmly holds the pedal sprocket – one of the few vestigial indicators of its origins as a commercial motorcycle.  All of these details amaze me and remind me of just what this bike was built to do – both by its original designer and by its inherited creator – and of just how much thought and passion went into realizing this vision.

 

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Brodie built this bike much in the same manner it would have been made back in 1919.  The creation of bikes of this period were very much driven by – and limited by – manufacturing techniques of the time and the passion of a few guys with unwavering drive.  In a way, re-manufacturing a vintage bike like this is more accessible to a modern builder.  Gravity casting was very common back then and is something you or I can do today with minimal cost.  Just as was done back then, a designer could readily bring an idea to fruition with little more than the desire to make it happen and the skills to know how to do it.  

Paul Brodie made it happen, and he started with the engine cases.  He drew them by hand at full scale and sent those drawings to Pacific Pattern, then over to Globe Foundry where they cast the aluminum parts.  Similar techniques were used for casting the frame lugs and cylinders (cylinders and heads were cast as one piece back then because we hadn’t yet figured out how to make a reliable head gasket).  Other cast parts include the carburetor, fork linkages, control rod linkages, fuel petcock and intake manifold.  All of them impeccable and gorgeous on their own.  Parts that could be made on a mill or lathe were cut from billet, such as the hubs, drive gears, sprockets and all (yes, all) fastening hardware.  You can’t just go buy hardware for a 1919 boardtracker, so Paul made all of the nuts and bolts for this bike by hand, and they are the most beautiful bolts you likely will ever see – each perfectly and consistently cut and chamfered on every edge so as to reflect light perfectly.

Much like the founders of Harley, Indian and Excelsior, Paul has accumulated substantial experience in the design and fabrication of lug-brazed bicycle frames – and so building a lug-brazed motorcycle frame was a natural evolution, if not an unavoidable eventuality, for him.  In addition to drafting the frame layout and bending the main tubes, Paul also carved the patterns for the lugs.  The lugs are the business ends of the frame and include the head tube that carries the fork bearings, the bottom bracket for pedal crank bearings, the dropouts that the rear hub is bolted to, and every other point at which one frame tube joins another.  Tig-welding didn’t exist in 1919, so lug-brazing was the most common and most reliable technique for building steel-tubed frames.  It works well and is still used today.

Working from just a few old photos – and only of the right side of the bike – Paul had a lot of guessing, experimentation and reverse-engineering to do.  He could calculate the angle between the engine cylinders, but he couldn’t see what was going on inside the engine – or on the other side of the entire bike.  Through trial and error and hours of research, he had to work out cam gear angles, oil circuits, ignition timing, carburation and every other aspect of what makes a great engine – albeit a 98-year-old design.  The cylinder heads alone took months to decipher, and Paul used Bondo and scrap metal to craft models of the cylinder head layout just so he could get his own head around how best to arrange all the parts that had to live in that small space. 

 

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As if this wasn’t challenge enough, Paul was working with 100-year-old technology. There were no exploded views of this bike, no jetting charts and no shop manual with tips on what angles to cut the valve seats at, or what the ideal compression ratio is.  Albert has a carburetor that looks and operates like nothing else you’ve seen.  Nothing else on the bike is ordinary, either.

 “Let’s go back in time and take a peek at a motorcycle racing era that was so unique there is no chance of it ever happening again...” – Paul Brodie

After staring at this bike for three years, Paul realized that the time had come for it to be started and ridden.  Forever dedicated to his creation, Paul had promised to come to Denver to help start Albert for the first time whenever I was ready.  So after a morning of test and tune at the shop and fixing a sticky float valve, we drove two hours to a dirt track outside of Castle Rock, Colorado, for some laps.  The experience was amazing and exhilarating, but the realization of just what this bike is – and of what a boardtrack race must have been like – became more real than ever for me, and was overwhelming.

On the track the bike is a handful.  It demands all of your attention.  With a good push from a few friends, Albert comes alive and pops off down the track like a big string of firecrackers just lit.  The gearing is so tall that the first few seconds havethe motor turning at a speed so slow you can count the RPM on one hand – crack … crack … crack – eventually building to a growl, and then a 1000cc bark will catch you off guard if you aren’t ready for it.  Where today there would be invisible electronic ignition, there is instead a magneto that must be manually advanced by a left-hand twist grip – all while still also working the right-hand throttle.  Where you would normally find a clutch and brake lever, there is nothing.  There are no brakes, no clutch, no transmission, no starter, no speedo and no kill switch. The bike is either on or it’s not.  You have a control via a throttle that is akin to reins on a pair of runaway horses. That’s it.  

There is a ring on the carb that needs turning to adjust air mixture once you’re up to race pace, and there is an oiling plunger that needs an occasional push to keep the engine from seizing under wide-open throttle.  The original OHC likely had a total-loss oil system, which meant that all the oil that circulated in the engine eventually got spit out the top end, and the oil tank would eventually run dry just like the fuel tank.  This expelled oil went everywhere – including onto the track, and is just one more reason why boardtrack racing was so deadly for so many.  

Back at the shop, Albert again rests peacefully on his lift.  Wiped clean of dust, debris and spent oil, all evidence of the track experience is now gone.  What remains is pure form-follows-function design.  It is machine aesthetic in its most honest form.  There is nothing on this bike that doesn’t serve a purpose, no plastic covers or chrome bits or fancy paint. And yet every component – every bolt – is inarguably beautiful both on its own and as a whole.  This bike’s timeless beauty and lasting appeal comes from it painstakingly perfect fabrication, and from its pureness in being designed and built to do a specific job – and do it beautifully.  We are lucky to have builders like Paul Brodie to carry on this craft, creating masterpieces like Albert, and through his work and that of other kindred spirits, this passion will continue for another 100 years – we can only hope.

 

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Featured in Volume 009

 

Terra Incognita - BTS


Behind The Scenes

Words by Daniel Fickle | Photos by Aaron Brimhall


 

Ben Giese and Maggie Gulasey came to us with the idea of producing the film Terra Incognita and our response was an immediate "fuck yes". From that initial conversation, the entire process was organic and collaborative.  We captured this film over the course of a week. Driving almost 2,000 miles across southern Colorado and New Mexico to six different film locations the days consisted mostly of driving/riding and only shooting during the last couple hours before the sun disappeared.  Because we sought out to capture this otherworldly vibe shooting during golden hour and magic hour only made sense.  The only exception to this  was White Sands because that place looked like another planet regardless of what time of day it was. 

 

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From about 6pm until dark, we had a very short window to shoot at each location, so as soon as the light was right we began rolling camera and Maggie followed her instincts. I have this theory that Maggie is tapped in with a network of extra terrestrial life, so it was no surprise that she nailed the performance. 

 

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With an everlasting positive vibe from Ben, there was never a dull moment on the trip. You know you are with a great group of people when you can spend 7 days on the road and not once was there a disagreement or any negative vibes. It really says a lot about the characters of the people you are working with and it's refreshing to be on a project where everyone is on the same page. Sure, not everything went according to plan; one day it was too windy to fly the drone, another day the stabilizer wouldn't connect, and we even had a scary moment when I clipped the Ronin stabilizer on the asphalt while filming out of the back of the car. But thanks to everyones optimistic nature, no shitty moments lingered. 

 

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I must admit, I felt like a bit of a poser going on this trip because my partner, Ben McKinney and I don't ride motorcycles. I'm obviously all for it, but skateboarding has always captivated my time and interest. Aaron Brimhall, Ben McKinney and myself were packed in a car following Maggie and Ben on their BMW’s.  Aaron is a mad man, telling us tales of climbing sky scrapers in Hong Kong and cliff diving at his local spot in Utah.  And after countless conversations in the car with Aaron about the freedom and excitement riding, Ben McKinney and I were already hooked. At one point driving down a long stretch of highway, Ben and Maggie must have passed 8 or 9 cars on at once hitting speeds well over 120 mph.  All of us in the car felt pretty left out at that point. Needless to say, we and I got our motorcycle endorsements a couple weeks after returning from the trip and the rest is history. They say making movies is a magical experience. Well, riding motorcycle definitely has some of that same shit. 

 

 
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Featured in Volume 009

 

Danny Laporte


A Life Less Ordinary

Words by Davey Coombs | Photos by Drew Ruiz | Video by FMF


 

Danny LaPorte’s motorcycling odyssey has taken him across the globe and back many times.

“I'LL NEVER FORGET THE DAY MY DAD PULLED UP IN FRONT OF OUR HOUSE WITH A BULTACO IN THE BACK OF HIS TRUCK,” BEGINS LAPORTE, LOOKING BACK ON A LIFE IN MOTORCYCLING. “I JUST SAW THAT BIKE AND THOUGHT, `WOW. THAT IS SO COOL!' I WAS MAYBE NINE YEARS OLD, AND IT BLEW MY MIND.”

 

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LaPorte grew up in Torrance, California, west of Los Angeles, not Yucca Valley, as it says in the AMA record books. 

“Yucca Valley was my parents’ second home, and that’s where we built some tracks once I started racing for Suzuki in ’76,” he explains. “Roger (DeCoster) was with Suzuki, and when he was in the country to race he went out there with a dozer and built some tracks. A lot of teams and racers tested there after that.” 

There were also lots of tracks in the area, which gave LaPorte and everyone else the chance to race two or three times a week at hotspots like Ascot Park, Indian Dunes, Perris Raceway, Carlsbad, Saddleback Park and more.

 

“THAT WAS A REALLY FUN TIME BECAUSE EVERYONE WAS STILL EXPERIMENTING AND LEARNING, AND THE BIKES WERE GOING THROUGH A LOT OF DEVELOPMENT,” HE RECALLS. “NO ONE REALLY THOUGHT MUCH ABOUT THE MONEY—MY FIRST CONTRACT WAS LIKE FIFTEEN OR TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS, AND I THOUGHT I WAS RICH!”
 

LaPorte rose quickly through the ranks, though his parents made him stay in school so he would have options. He worked with his father, an electrician, after school and during the summer. He wanted to keep his options open, not knowing whether a career as a pro motocrosser would ever pay the bills. And when Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki decided to go all-in in 1976 on their shared goal of knocking off mighty Team Honda rider Marty Smith, LaPorte was in the perfect place.

“There were all of these fast SoCal guys, like (Bob) Hannah, myself, Broc Glover, Jeff Jennings, Danny Turner and more, and the other factories all wanted to beat Marty and his Honda. One day phone rings and it’s Tosh Koyama from Suzuki,” LaPorte says. “He told me that his factory wanted to pay me to go race the 125 Nationals. I said, ‘Okay, but I need to ask my parents first!’” 

LaPorte woundup driving down to Suzuki and negotiating the contract himself. He was 18 years old and still in high school.

“We all knew Marty, and we really looked up to him—he was a SoCal guy who made it, and we all wanted to be just like him,” adds LaPorte. “He really opened the doors for all of us.”

That didn’t stop LaPorte and the others from wanting to beat him. And at the first round of the ’76 AMA 125cc National Championships at Hangtown, someone did beat Smith, but it wasn’t LaPorte. “Hurricane” Hannah erupted that day, reestablishing the American motocross hierarchy in two blindingly fast motos. Smith and LaPorte each had bike troubles in one moto, though they were no match for Hannah in the other. 

How popular had motocross become by that time in California? At the Hangtown 125cc National opener, nine of the ten top finishers hailed from the Golden State. Only eighth-place Steve Wise wasn’t a Californian—Kawasaki had hired him from Texas. 

“Practically the whole industry was in California by that point,” explains LaPorte. “The OEMs were there, the magazines, the aftermarket companies, and there were endless places to ride. Even though we lived in the city, I could just go down the street and ride in any dirt lot. That was why a whole bunch of us in California just kind of emerged all at once.”

By the end of the ’76 series Hannah had dethroned Smith as champion, and LaPorte finished just one point behind Smith in the final rankings—and he won the last two rounds.  

One year later, LaPorte was in position to take the title from Hannah, but at the now infamous finale in San Antonio, team Yamaha’s pit board ordered Hannah to “Let Brock Bye.”

 

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Overlooking both the grammatical errors, the Hurricane grudgingly did, leading to tie in the final championship standings at 240 points each for LaPorte and Hannah’s teammate Broc Glover. Based on tie-breakers, Glover was declared champion. 

“It was a bad deal, though I actually think it was worse for the other guys,” offers the ever-gracious LaPorte. “They didn’t want to do it, but the company wanted to win the title badly and had invested a lot of money. It was just normal team stuff. Suzuki didn’t want to get into a big protest or anything, and neither did I. To me, I lost the championship at some other point. I had won both motos at the opener and had some really good races, but some bad ones, too.

 

“IT SHOULD NOT HAVE COME DOWN TO THAT LAST MOTO, BUT IT DID. I JUST MOVED ON TO THE NEXT THING, WHICH IS WHAT I'VE DONE MY WHOLE LIFE—I NEVER LET THINGS HOLD ME BACK.”      

 

Indeed, within two years, LaPorte had his own AMA National Championship, albeit in the 500cc Class. That’s the same class his hero and sometime mentor Roger DeCoster was dominant in, only DeCoster’s five titles were FIM World Championships over in Europe. As a kid LaPorte watched DeCoster on ABC’s Wide World of Sports when they featured the annual 500cc U.S. Grand Prix from Carlsbad, and soon he and his friends were calling every good wheelie or cross-up they could pull on their bicycles a “DeCoster” in his honor. And when DeCoster retired at the end of the 1980 season and went to work at American Honda, LaPorte immediately switched teams to ride for The Man.

Unfortunately, LaPorte had an injury-riddled ’81 season, but it culminated with a life-changing event—two of them, actually. DeCoster talked Honda into sending four of his American riders to Europe to compete in the Trophee and Motocross des Nations, which are basically the Olympics of motocross. The young Americans shocked the world at both races, first on 250cc motorcycles (Trophee) and then 500cc bikes (Motocross), winning each event for the first time ever. It might not have happened if not for a special request DeCoster made of LaPorte.

“The Trophee race was in Lommel, Belgium, which was a sand track, and the week before the race Roger said, ‘I’m not sure our fuel tanks we use in America hold enough gas for 45-minute motos here,’ so he asked me to go out and do a full moto at race speed,” explains LaPorte. “I did it, and sure enough, the bike ran out of gas on me. So, we all switched to our bigger 500cc tanks. If not for that, all of us would have ran out of gas at the end of the race!”

LaPorte, who always had an eye on one day racing Europe, used the unexpected results as a bargaining chip to get him a deal in Europe. DeCoster and Honda had nothing to offer, but Yamaha did, so LaPorte lined up for the 1982 FIM 250cc World Championship in Europe riding a white-works YZ250. 

What transpired over the course of that summer was even more earth-shaking. While LaPorte battled the elegant Belgian legend Georges Jobe for the 250cc title, “Bad” Brad Lackey’s decade-long crusade to win the 500cc world title finally reached a successful conclusion. Yet another Californian, speedway ace Bruce Penhall, was on his way to the FIM World Championship. And DeCoster returned with his American Honda riders to sweep the Trophee and Motocross des Nations again, which meant neither of America’s first world champions, Brad Lackey and Danny LaPorte, were on the team. No matter: The balance of global motocross power has shifted from Europe to the U.S.

 

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The following year LaPorte battled the late Jobe again for the 250cc world crown, but this time the Belgian Suzuki rider got the better of the American Yamaha rider. LaPorte did one more year in Europe, this time in the 500cc class, but by that point Yamaha was in financial trouble. Their bikes had fallen well behind Honda’s exotic-works bikes, and that had a profound effect on LaPorte’s results. He would return to the States at the end of the 1984 season, but even with his diverse resume, he found it hard to get proper support. He didn’t even race until that summer’s 500cc Nationals. LaPorte’s last-ever pro motocross race would be the Six Flags National in Georgia, in which he finished a remarkable fourth overall. What made it so remarkable was the fact that he was on Husqvarna, then a fading Swedish brand on the brink of bankruptcy. That would stand as Husqvarna’s best AMA Motocross finish until the 2015 Hangtown National, when Jason Anderson finished third for the revitalized brand, now owned by Austrian juggernaut KTM.  

LaPorte was done with motocross, but not racing in general. Many top European stars, like Gaston Rahier and Andre Malherbe, transitioned into endurance and desert racing following their MX days, in part because the money transfused into the sport by cigarette brands like Marlboro, Lucky and Gauloises made it more lucrative than racing Grand Prix motocross. LaPorte wanted in, despite the news that Malberbe, a three-time world champion, had suffered a broken neck in a Tunisian race. He was advised by his friend Jean-Claude Olivier of Yamaha France to try U.S. desert racing first, which he did. He teamed up with Kawasaki legend Larry Roeseler. Three Baja 1000 and three Baja 500 wins later, he was ready for even bigger races, like the Paris-Dakar Rally and the Pharaohs race across Egypt. 

“That was a great way to round out my career because that’s how I grew up, going out to the desert and riding with my family,” says LaPorte. Unfortunately, he suffered a big crash of his own in Niger, resulting in a heart contusion.

 

“I NEARLY DIED. IT WAS TWELVE DAYS OF MY LIFE WHERE I DON'T REMEMBER ANYTHING, EXCEPT FOR THE FACT THAT MY LUNGS WERE SO FULL OF BLOOD THAT THEY STABBED A TUBE IN MY CHEST SO I COULD BREATHE.”     
 

But he did recover, and he would go on to win the Pharaohs Rally as well as finish second in the Paris-Dakar, holding the highest finish for an American to this day. It was enough to allow him closure, and he soon retired altogether from professional racing. In 1997 he was offered a job at FMF Racing by lifelong friend Donny Emler, and he still rides “at least a couple of times a week” as part of his role in research and development.   

It was while racing in Europe that LaPorte met his future wife Georgia, a lovely woman from Paris he was introduced to by Gabriele Mazzarola, of Alpinestars fame. Danny and Georgia have two children: Shane, who lives in Norway, and Estelle, who was in London but now works in Florida with the World Tennis Association. 

 

MOTORCYCLING HAS HAD A PROFOUND EFFECT ON DANNY LAPORTE'S LIFE. IN TURN, LAPORTE HAS HAD A PROFOUND EFFECT ON MOTORCYCLING IN GENERAL.  
 

“I feel extremely fortunate to have lived the life I have so far,” says LaPorte, still rakishly young at the age of 60. “I got to travel, I got to meet wonderful people along the way, and my world is just so large because of all that. And I still get to ride motorcycles pretty much whenever I want. It’s a good living.”

Absolutely. Not to mention a life less ordinary.

 

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Featured in Volume 009

 

America Long Gone


Return to Hallowed Ground

Photos by Jimmy Bowron | Words by Andrew Campo


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Sitting just above the stars on The Great Seal of the State of Kansas reads “ad astra per aspera,” a Latin term chosen as the state motto that in translation means “to the stars through difficulties.”
 

An unusual May storm that produced an abnormal amount of snow had been hammering Denver, Colorado, for days and was now beginning to push east toward Kansas. It was early evening and snow was still falling to the north and to the south of the city, leaving us only two options: get some sleep and head out in the morning like a normal person, or throw on our helmets and hope for the best as we tempted fate and rode east into the unforgiving night. Although covered by clouds, we of course chose to run to the stars, and the word difficult as mentioned in the Kansas state motto would become a bit of an understatement in this case. The snow had turned to rain, and all I could see was a glimpse of red illuminating from the taillight in front of me. We were on a mission, and regardless of the weather, there was simply no turning back. Three hours later, we found ourselves drenched and nearly frozen stiff as we piled into a roadside motel like a pack of drowned rats. 

Fingers slowly thawed and the laughter began to flow as we talked about the many things that could have gone wrong. Distinct and fitting guitar and harmonica offerings soon filled the room, echoed by the voices of Jimbo Darville and Paul Tamburello, who made up the traveling band duo I had pulled together for the ride. Our like-minded crew was in search of the same thing – escaping the urban landscape and daily grind that we know so well and embracing the lonesome road and soul-cleansing wide-open places unique to the Great Plains region. Although brutal and scary as hell, our journey had begun in memorable fashion. With Mother Nature dictating our unknown path the following day, we eventually drifted off to sleep knowing only the destination: Comanche Road.

 

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In an attempt to honor Indian’s brand history, we had set our sights on venturing through the back roads of Kansas en route to hallowed ground, where race history was stamped into the record books by way of Glen Boyd over a century ago. In 1914 Boyd earned the honor of winning the inaugural Dodge City 300 aboard his Hendee Indian in front of a crowd of spectators who had traveled from around the world. The event attendance was estimated to be nearly twenty thousand strong, five times larger than the population of Dodge City at the time. The two-mile dirt oval track just north of Dodge City would later become recognized as home to one of the largest and most iconic races steeped in motorcycle history. 

Morning light was soon upon us, and as we traded turns drying our boots with a hair dryer, I recalled a quote from Kansas author Cheryl Unruh that reads

 

“We who live on the prairie love our sky. It is as much a part of the landscape as the land itself. While the earth gives us roots … the sky gives us flight, imagination ….”

 

I had discovered this quote while doing a little research on Kansas leading into this feature. As we faced the new day, her words would be my inspiration, my simple reminder to live in the now with my eyes wide open. 

We were in search of America long gone and for all the right reasons. The opportunity to be confronted with a glimpse into a simpler life coupled with the ability to escape and somewhat journey back in time was ours for the taking. Small towns can be beautiful that way. They can make you believe that things are simple, things make sense, and remind you that anything is possible. The people can inspire one easily. A simple wave is common; everybody wants to know your story and to tell you theirs. Genuine would best describe most roadside encounters in these parts.

 

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As the day unfolded we ventured south along the Colorado-Kansas border, stopping often along the way to appreciate and explore nearly every town we rolled into. We were in search of aban-doned barns in hopes of discovering fragments of motorcycle history along the way. While resting lakeside under shade trees, friendship bonds were strengthened and memories unique to this ride were etched within the spirit of all of us.  As dusk approached, we found a deserving watering hole just south of Syracuse, Kansas, and decided to tempt our fate with the locals. Outside was a collection of weathered farm trucks, and as we approached the front door we all looked at each other and agreed that we might be in for a good, old-fashioned ass-kicking. 

As we stepped up to the bar, the voices under the looming tall hats among us began to fade to an awkward silence, and wisdom told me that it was time to buy a round for the locals. Spirits were lifted, and we had found what we were looking for: the opportunity to share the gift of music and tales of adventures with strangers. Jimbo fired up “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground” on the six-string, and Paul soon joined in with some elevated harmonica riffs. You can’t go wrong with a Willie Nelson offering, and that solidified us as legendary strangers with the good ol’ boys in no time. We couldn’t stay long, as promise of a wild night in Dodge City was only a few hours away. The music soon died, we said goodbye to our newfound friends, and once again pushed east and into the night.

Dodge City is best known for its rich frontier history from the days of the Wild West and is recognized by locals as The Wicked Little City.

 

Originally a stop on the Santa Fe Trail, Dodge City was once home to legendary deputies Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp and a long list of outlaws and gunslingers. The lore of the city runs deep.

 

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After enjoying a proper cowtown breakfast and taking in a bit of culture at the Boot Hill Museum, we had finally arrived. The sky had a cold but calming tint to it as we stood along the side of Comanche Road. In the near distance a roadside history marker had been placed in honor of the Dodge City 300. The field was empty, and only a few dilapidated yet beautiful structures remained. One of the buildings had a little side window that looked to be where race entry sign-up might have taken place. I locked eyes with that window and let my imagination fly. As I walkedaimlessly through the field, my mind was filled with images and sounds of period-correct recollection. Racers, including William Harley, Walter Davidson, Bill Brier, Carl Gowdy and Glen Boyd, had gone to battle on this very ground. Exemplary machines brought to life by the Indian, Flying Merkel, Thor, Pope, Harley Davidson and Excelsior manufacturers had once shaken the soil beneath me. The thought of a sea of people traveling across the world in 1914 to witness this race and the mountain of stories their adventured birthed simply overwhelmed me. The thought of twenty thousand spectators roaming this field over one hundred years ago truly made me believe that anything is possible. Monumental in grandeur and influence, this ground was powerful, meaningful, and nearly unfathomable. 

A bit of chill came over me, the kind that comes from inside when moved by something compelling; history had given me goosebumps. I picked up a little rock. It was flat, smooth and perfect for rubbing between your fingers. I played with the rock for a minute or so as I pondered back in time. After putting the rock in my pocket as a keepsake, I turned and glanced over at the Indian parked under the historic marker and smiled as I felt a sense of pride knowing that we had brought her home. We were here to honor the spirit of those who were instrumental in bringing to life the quintessential motorcycle racing history that marked this hallowed ground. In that surreal moment, I felt complete and as if I belonged.

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Featured in Volume 009

 

Lagarto Negro


META x British Customs Scrambler

THE BLACK LIZARD - CREATURE OF THE DESERT

Words by Ben Giese


 

When teaming up with British Customs to build a custom Triumph Scrambler we took inspiration from the desert racers of the 1960’s & 70’s. We wanted this motorcycle to be clean and stripped down, without looking too chopped up or taking away from the existing lines of the Scrambler. The idea was to maintain the timeless and classic Triumph look while simplifying  just enough to accentuate its natural beauty. By removing a lot of unnecessary components and replacing them with more stylish British Customs products we were able to easily and seamlessly create a tougher, more minimal and refined look. Not to mention save a lot of weight and add tons of horsepower!

This British Customs "Weekend Project" was an absolute pleasure to work on. You don't need to be a master technician or fabricator to install these products, and that’s the beauty of British Customs. I was blown away by how easy it was and I truly believe that anyone with half a brain and a few basic tools can turn their motorcycle into a full on custom machine.

Self-expression has never been so easy! 

 
 

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Before & After

A few small changes can go a long way.  British Customs makes it easy.

 

 

BUILD YOUR OWN "Lagarto Negro"

Below you can see all the parts I chose to use for this motorcycle. So if you are feeling inspired to customize your Triumph Scrambler, with a solid weekend’s work you can easily build your very own “Lagarto Negro”. 

 
Black Slammer Seat

Black Slammer Seat

Retro Tail Light

Retro Tail Light

Retro Turn Signal Kit

Retro Turn Signal Kit

Shotgun Exhaust

Shotgun Exhaust

Scrambler 900 Air Box Removal Kit

Scrambler 900 Air Box Removal Kit

Air Injection Removal Kit

Air Injection Removal Kit

Direct Mount Resivoir

Direct Mount Resivoir

1" Moto Handlebars

1" Moto Handlebars

Flat Cap Bar Ends

Flat Cap Bar Ends

Offload Foot Peg Package

Offload Foot Peg Package

Headlamp Grill

Headlamp Grill

Single Gauge Bracket, Headlight Ears & Ignition Mount

Single Gauge Bracket, Headlight Ears & Ignition Mount

 

 

Photo Gallery

Photos by Maggie Gulasey

 
 

Create your own British Customs WEEKEND PROJECT!

 

Aperture


Dylan Gordon

Words & photography by Dylan Gordon


 

As a photographer, i am constantly looking into the lives of my subjects. Looking with everything i have lived, my knowledge, experience and total involvment, enabling me to relate to my subjects. Understanding this allows me to share these relationships with the world.

Creating is my love and passion. I'm driven by something given to me by my father that I cannot manage to articulate; My mind is constantly driven by new concepts, ideas and visions of what I can create, achieve and do. I work to spend my life exploring and experiencing everything this life can give me, everywhere and anywhere I can. Meeting and telling the stories of the people that fill my life. Family and Friends are everything to me, without them I would likely be a shadow of the person I am today. 

Living life behind the lense is my muse. I am forever infatuated by where my camera will take me and the things I will capture with this amazing tool. 

 

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SEE MORE OF DYLAN'S PHOTOGRAPHY FEATURED IN VOLUME 009

 

FLY SUMMER CAMP


FLY RACING SUMMER CAMP in idaho

Words by Andrew Campo


 

A lot of parents pack up their troubles and send them off to summer camp, but for me that was never the case. Forty some odd years had passed and although grown, this kid at heart finally got the opportunity to experience summer camp thanks to our friends at FLY Racing. Upon returning from work one day, I opened a package that was sitting on my front porch. Inside I found a duffle bag packed full of camp essentials; sunscreen, bug spray, compass, pocket knife, trail mix, swim trunks and an invite to Summer Camp in Idaho.

 
 

Needless to say, out of nowhere I suddenly had something to look forward to, a summertime experience certain to be worthy of many memories. FLY Racing had decided to take a non traditional approach to the 2018 gear launch and had invited the who’s who of motocross media to Idaho to not only preview the new gear gear line, but to experience the brand and the state in which their roots are firmly planted.

Established in 1998 FLY Racing has grown to be an industry brand leader and has done so while being positioned outside of Southern California, a truly lofty task seeing that the majority of the industry and athletes call California home. It was time for FLY to throw out the welcome mat and bring us inside their world, an effort that truly humanized the brand.

Upon arrival we were treated to a group lunch at The Ram Brewery that allowed us time to settle in after our flights and get introduced to the FLY family and other media teams that had made the journey. Bringing us all together in this environment allowed us the opportunity to get to know each other on a different level. Lunch was great and I soon found myself sharing laughs with Donn Maeda of Transworld Motocross, Andy MacDonald of Vital MX, Chris Keefer, and FLY Racing’s Andrew Short to name a few. This opportunity was long overdue, much appreciated, and it did not take long for new friendships to begin to unfold. That is what summer camp is all about.

Later that evening we were treated to an impressive dinner overlooking Boise atop the Zion Bank building that was followed by the introduction of the 2018 gear line. The cameras came to life, the whiskey poured like the chocolate fountain in the corner, and we had the opportunity to get in depth information from the design team as we explored our way through the collection.

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Shortly after it was time to settle in at The Grove Hotel for some needed rest. Our itinerary had us up early in effort to get some time in house at FLY Racing / WPS before putting in some laps on their moto track and then heading north to Tamarack Resort. A stable of prepped bikes and a mountain of personalized gear bags were waiting upon our arrival and it’s safe to say that working at WPS has its benefits. The track sits right outside the door of the offices and employees get to frequent the track during the work week and weekends alike. During our tour it was clear that the team at FLY was truly made up of riders who actually live and breath the sport. The end result being the brands success in my opinion.

 

DAY 1 - FLY HQ Ride Day

Gallery by Ben Giese

 

Laps were pounded and we then set our sights on the mountains of Northern Idaho and I can’t begin to express just how truly beautiful the landscape is. Our adventures took us to Loon Lake for some single track riding where on January 29, 1943, a B-23 named the "Dragon Bomber" crash landed on the frozen lake with eight men aboard. All of them had survived, but three men had hiked for fourteen days and approximately 42 miles through waist deep snow before being rescued. The crash site was halfway through our trail ride and we had to wade through chest high bitter cold water and then hike a mile or so through tree marshland to the find the wreckage.

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DAY 2 - TRAIL RIDE

Gallery by Simon Cudby

 

We were experiencing summer camp at its finest and doing so with Andrew Short who was leading the ride. Life was good, very good, and for those who have not experienced Idaho trail riding I strongly suggest you add it to your bucket list.

Campfire shenanigans rounded out the day and we were then faced with the sad realization of camp coming to an end as we prepared to head home and back into the real world the next mroning. But there was a sense of peace brought on by the fact that FLY can’t expect this to be a one and done deal. This experience was something that left of us all wanting more, it gave us something to look forward to for years to come.

Until next time.

 
 

VIEW THE ENTIRE 2018 FLY RACING RACEWEAR COLLECTION

 

TERRA INCOGNITA


INTO THE UNKNOWN

Words by Maggie Gulasey | Photos by Aaron Brimhall


 

PRELUDE

Whether it is dreaming of the mystifying heavenly bodies looming above, experiencing otherworldly terrain here on Earth, or revealing the inner demons hiding deep within oneself, seeking the undiscovered is not for the faint of heart. Delving into those varying degrees of the unexplored, a lone traveler embarks on a quest accompanied only by her motorcycle and imagination. This terrestrial rocketeer will look, listen, and touch in order to obtain a more profound perspective on her place in the universe as she embarks on a personal adventure into the unknown.

 

 

CHAPTER 01 - OPTUEOR

Carving through the utter darkness aboard my earthbound craft, I detect only the glittering freckles populating the black canvas above and the rolling pavement streaking below.  No city lights or headlights impede my perception of the world as it rapidly flashes by.  Though more of a soul ship, my motorcycle is a rocket granting me freedom to navigate through the mysterious landscapes, becoming one with the elements as they whoosh past me.  My eyes focus their gaze on the path ahead as my mind ponders the uncharted far beyond the planet’s gravitational embrace.  A theoretical physicist born precisely 300 years after Galileo’s death and about 75 years before my terrestrial exploration advised, “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”  I will take Stephen Hawking’s guidance and look up.  

However, what if someone was looking down on Earth on July 16th, 1945?  If anything happened to be meandering through the Milky Way on that day, there is a chance it might have witnessed a deadly mushroom cloud emanating from the world’s first atomic bomb detonation, a sort of calling card to the rest of the Universe announcing our presence unlike anything prior had.  As I ride past the White Sands Missile Range, where the initial A-bomb reared its ugly head, I question how this event impacted the space far beyond our current scope of cosmic knowledge and the unforeseen consequences it had or still has.  While we are looking up and pondering, maybe someone or something is looking down and cautiously observing.

   

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After several hours on the road with my head getting lost in space-dweller dreams, I finally dock my motorcycle in the midst of soaring sand drifts glistening so brilliantly I am nearly blinded by the radiant fragments.  I can see endless dunes luring me with the seduction of isolation; for miles upon miles, Iam the lone explorer. My footsteps are the only thing disrupting the blank white canvas ahead of me as I venture outward to investigate what other terrestrial life forms this sandy region might host.  

Aside from a scurrying beetle and an erratic lizard making its way up the rippled slope, I am alone.  Whether on the motorcycle or secluded in solidarity amongst a blizzard of sand, I am confronted with what I see and what I think; there is no running from my environment or myself. I am forced to look.  Or maybe it is those things we simply cannot view that should secure a greater portion of our attention.  The unobservable corners of our universe, black holes, dark matter, gravity, parallel universes, and our deeply buried thoughts are all just waiting to be observed; our eyes are not the only apparatus with which to see.  

It is time to board my motorcycle before these dunes and my thoughts swallow me whole.

 

 

CHAPTER 02 - AUSCULTO

Have you ever experienced a silence so potent that it is nearly deafening?  I am adrift somewhere in the New Mexico desert feeling overwhelmed by the eerily quiet backdrop as the sun begins its breathtaking farewell dance over the horizon.  Helmet and bike off, I listen for any signs of life other than my own biological pulses that quicken the more I acknowledge my desolation.  Back on my motorcycle, the only heartbeat I discern other than my own emanates from the four-stroke flat twin engine rhythmically animating my energetic vessel; her gentle roar provides comfort and grants the illusion that I am not entirely alone.    

I admit that it would be challenging to feel true confinement in the broader extension, even as a solo seeker in an empty desert, when there are more than 7.5 billion Homo sapiens swarming planet Earth.  However, imagining we are the only intelligent life form in an endless universe can be somewhat of a disconcerting contemplation.  Unwilling to accept such a lonely thought, our species continually searches for any possible signs of life hiding among the myriad nameless stars.  One way we theorize to accomplish this is to listen.

 

 

Disrupting the constant form of the vast San Agustin landscape is the impressive sight of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Very Large Array (VLA), our ginormous ear to the cosmos.  I feel infinitely small as I ride up to the spread of 27 radio antennas, each reaching 82 feet in diameter. Utilized by astronomers worldwide for varying objectives, the VLA’s massive structures work together to simulate the resolution of a single antenna stretching 22 miles across.  This satellite array acts as one of our most powerful tools for listening to the songs of our solar system.     

I circle around the observatory on my motorcycle to take in the full breadth of the incredible arrangement.  The antennae are aligned identically and periodically shifting in unison; I speculate about which point they are fixated on in the universe. They could be observing remnants from a supernova, mapping out a potential black hole, or monitoring gamma ray bursts.  Maybe the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is taking over this evening in hopes of identifying radio waves sent from intelligent life forms located billions of light years away; whether they are or not, I am certainly glad someone is listening.

 

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CHAPTER 03 - TACTUS

With spring is still in its infancy, the stubborn winter cold has not yet surrendered its icy grip.  I feel the cold air viciously biting at any exposed skin it can sink its teeth into.  I am grateful for the ATWYLD Voyager Suit accompanying me on this adventure, triumphantly shielding me from this harsh environment.  Though I am riding on the edge of my comfort zone, the morning’s icy touch cannot thwart my personal voyage into the unknown.  

Although I was born nearly three decades after the launch of Sputnik, I am still touched by the era that kidnapped the world’s imagination and dared people to dream about the mysteries that lurk beyond our own skies.  Saturated in danger and uncertainty but also optimism and pride, almost a half-century ago we launched ourselves into the great Space Age.   I often fantasize about time traveling back to July 20, 1969, and eagerly watching Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin proudly sporting their cumbersome spacesuits ­— a thin veil cushioning them from the severe conditions in space – as Apollo 11 approaches the patient moon awaiting human contact.  These courageous astronauts were fully aware of the risks and were willing to give their lives to pursue going where no human had gone before.   

Arguably one of the most compelling moments of the 20th century, our connection with the moon was not only significant for having physically touched the lunar surface, but also for the way it touched the hearts and souls of the millions breathlessly watching as Armstrong took his first steps across the cosmically scarred surface.  If we can sail humans to our closest celestial body, it is not so farfetched to envision landing a person on the Red Planet in the not-too-distant future.     

 

 

I feel a distinct flutter of excitement as I approach a hidden gem.  The Paint Mines Interpretive Park is what I imagine the surface of Mars might look like ­— dry, barren, rocky and undeniably beautiful.  As I lightly graze the chalky clay, I pretend I am an astronaut exploring our neighboring planet for the first time.  Searching for signs of alien life, I could almost envision strange Martians hiding in the endless cracks and crevices weaving through the rocks.  

Though we currently have robots collecting data on the surface of the Red Planet, we are expecting to send humans to Mars around 2030.  Maybe I do not have to yearn for a time machine to transport me back to the golden era of the Space Age, when I can just patiently wait for the next chapter of groundbreaking space exploration.  As we continue to expand our boundaries into the unknown, I wonder what sorts of mysteries we will solve or conceive.   

As I take off from these Mars-like grounds, I am in awe of the distance brave humans have traveled and will travel to make physical contact with far-off celestial bodies.  I am equally impressed with the enthusiasm we have exhibited in support of such lofty endeavors – a testament to the innate desire most of us have to explore and understand more about the great mystery that is the Universe.

 

 
 
 

featured in Volume 009

 

AUGUST 1, 1982


THE DARKEST DAY IN MOTOCROSS

Words by Brett Smith


 

Memories fade. They get foggy or faint; sometimes they fizzle and can be fickle or fleeting. Too often they simply fail. While everyone remembers where they were in a highly emotional occurrence (say, September 11, 2001, or JFK’s assassination), the details surrounding an event can warp over time – even when one was directly involved. There are over a dozen types of memory errors, from false memory to bias, intrusion, misinformation, absentmindedness and transience (forgetting over time). When a memory isn’t periodically reinforced, it gets boxed up, packed away and sent into a mental black hole. 

For those who attended the 1982 NMA Grand National Motocross Championships in Ponca City, Oklahoma, the afternoon of Sunday, August 1, is one of the most unforgettable of their lives. Yet, everyone remembers what happened a little bit differently. Some wildly differently. Nobody at the four-day event witnessed the accident that happened one mile east of the racetrack, which took the lives of three of the sport’s best youth motocross racers: Bruce Bunch (16) Rick Hemme (16) and Kyle Fleming (13). The legend and the rumors about what happened in the Mercury Lynx wagon driven by Oakley’s Dana Duke have grown, and when people discuss it today, it sounds like they think they witnessed… something. With the advent of the internet and social media, those beliefs have only spread. 

What we know for sure is that four exceptional lives were affected at 4:43 pm on August 1. Bunch and Fleming were killed instantly. Hemme died in the hospital nine days later, and Duke spent two months in a coma with slim chances of survival. He lived, but 35 years later is still undergoing surgeries and suffering complications. It’s arguably the darkest day in the history of motocross, and even though these teenagers seem to have become faster with the passing of time, for many there’s no doubt that the motocross record books of the 1980s and 1990s are missing three names: Bruce Bunch, Rick Hemme and Kyle Fleming.

This is the untold story of their lives and deaths.

 

RICK HEMME, LARRY BROOKS & BRUCE BUNCH | Ponca City, 1982 | Photo courtesy Larry Brooks

RICK HEMME, LARRY BROOKS & BRUCE BUNCH | Ponca City, 1982 | Photo courtesy Larry Brooks

BRUCE BUNCH | Saddleback, 1982 | Photo courtesy Tom Corley

BRUCE BUNCH | Saddleback, 1982 | Photo courtesy Tom Corley

KYLE FLEMING | Photo courtesy Fleming family

KYLE FLEMING | Photo courtesy Fleming family

KYLE FLEMING | Ponca City, 1982 | Photo courtesy Fleming family

KYLE FLEMING | Ponca City, 1982 | Photo courtesy Fleming family

RICK HEMME | Quartz Hill, California | Photo courtesy Tom Corley

RICK HEMME | Quartz Hill, California | Photo courtesy Tom Corley

 

Excerpt from the Author

"The idea for this story was brought to me by the team at META and once I dug into it, I could tell it was one that people wanted to know more about. For many people, the deaths of Bruce Bunch, Kyle Fleming and Rick Hemme is still a very fresh memory, 35 years later.  Last October I started the journey of trying to tell the story of what happened in Ponca City, OK on August 1, 1982. 

Maybe my work will only lead to more questions but the promise I made to the Bunch, Fleming and Hemme families was that everyone would know who their boys were and who they wanted to be.

Over 6 months of reporting went into this article, involving interviews with 50 different individuals, which ended up being 8,000 words, an unheard of length in motorcycle magazines. It was a complicated process and not every detail was able to get to print. I also ran into the issue of one person's account completely contradicting the account of another person's and I knew I could only report the stories that was I able to corroborate from multiple sources. 

The family trusted me with this story and that's a very high honor. Word has started to leak about this article's release and I've been getting phone calls from complete strangers, men who were friends of the boys and just wanted to talk about them. I've also been getting messages from young men who are only in their 20s but they want to know more. It let me know that their memory is still very strong and now a younger generation will know who they were as well."

 

Read the Story in Volume 009

 

PAPERCUT LOUNGE


AGENDA LONG BEACH, 2017

WE LOVE PRINT & KNOW YOU DO TOO.


 

Papercut is a celebration of print. From photocopied punk zines to the largest traditional book companies, Papercut is a showcase of the most influential publishing companies in the world.

We were honored to be one of the featured publications in the Papercut Lounge during Agenda Long Beach, 2017 – the most diverse and creative lifestyle fashion trade show in the world featuring over 1,000 exhibitors and 45,000 attendees connecting brands, publishers, retailers and consumers

 

 

Join us again in the Papercut Lounge at ComplexCon, the world’s largest gathering of like-minded pop culture enthusiasts for a weekend of fashion, art, music, food, and more on November 4 – 5.

 

 

Learn more about the Papercut Lounge

 

South of the Wall


El Mexico Real

For Volume 008 Stephen Smith went south of the border for an unforgettable adventure through the heart of Mexico with newfound friends, Miguel Lerdo of Concept Racer and director, Sinuhe Xavier aboard a collection of BMW R nineT Scramblers.


 

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

– Mark Twain

 

 

Words & photography by Stephen Smith featured in Volume 008

"I was in the city of Oaxaca working on a film shoot about the magical powers of mezcal when I met Miguel Lerdo, the owner of Concept Racer, a boutique motorcycle shop in the La Roma neighborhood of Mexico City. Our film had a scene where this gringo is riding a motorcycle through the valleys of Oaxaca looking for something real, something to wake him up from his midlife lethargy. Miguel brought down a beautiful Triumph Scrambler for our film hero to ride. If you know about working on set, you know there is a tremendous amount of downtime, be it waiting for the sun to set or the cameras to get set up. There is no better way to kill time than putting the hurt on an off-road motorcycle. Miguel and I flew down the dirt roads of rural Oaxaca, putting just the right amount of grit on the bike to make it look legit. 

We also had lots of time to talk. Miguel Lerdo is a lawyer. He has traveled around the globe via motorcycle and greets every situation with a smile and positive attitude. We later discovered that we must have missed each other by hours in some South American towns while we were both traveling on solo rides around the continent in 2010. During our first day hanging out in Oaxaca, he told me of some very special places northeast of Mexico City where the desert meets the jungle, leading to a surrealist castle built in the 1940s by the largest collector of Salvador Dalí at the time. He enthusiastically described waterfalls, colorful vegetation, delicious food, and kind people deep in the canyons dropping from Mexico’s central plateau toward the Gulf of Mexico. 

Shifting gears, he suggested we make it to the altiplano of the state of San Luis Potosí, to a mountain village by the name of Real de Catorce, where the streets are covered in cobblestone and the nearby desert is the home of the infamous peyote cactus buttons. I was sold." 

 

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Read the Story in Volume 008

 

NEW NOSTALGIA


2018 Husqvarna TE 250i Intro

Words by Forrest Minchinton


 

Our friends at Husqvarna Motorcycles understand people like you and I.  Old souls that love two strokes, not just because of the the nostalgia of premix, but for the love of that feeling you get when you crack the throttle of a finely tuned two stroke machine. It was in the 1930’s when Husqvarna first embraced the two stroke engine and it was then that they saw the potential of the lightweight design and have continued to develop two stroke technology into the modern era.

 

 

The continued improvements over the years have now resulted in the most advanced design to date.  A pioneering effort that has resulted in a solution with clear and effective advantages for both the environment and us riders.  You can forget about premixing fuel and you can leave your jetting kits at home and just focus on riding.

 

 

Simply twist the throttle and the bike’s ECU efficiently mixes air with the optimal amount of oil based on multiple sensors into the crankcase. It then travels through the transfer port where fuel is injected in before it travels to combustion, resulting in the ever so beautiful two stroke melody that is its exhaust note. Culminating in a far more fuel efficient design than its predecessors. The future of two strokes is now fuel injected with Husqvarna’s 2018 TE 250i

 

 

 We were flown out to beautiful British Colombia, Canada to experience the new 2018 TE 250i in its element.  A ski resort with close to 6000 ft in elevation change and tight single track through the trees that had been beaten into submission the weekend prior bya local enduro race.  With Husqvarna’s Colton Haaker as our guide up the mountain, it was no easy Sunday trail ride, but straight to the deep end. A true testament to the bike’s enduro prowess. With a push of a button the two stroke came to life, a real luxury that everyone can appreciate, which of course was followed by an ear to ear grin. 

 

 

The first blip of the throttle resulted in a giggle, its hard to contain that type of excitement. We raced off the base of the ski resort with the dormant ski lift at our right looking eerily still in the summer heat.  We left behind clouds of dust, but little to no two stroke exhaust smoke, something that most of us are accustomed to seeing when riding carbureted two strokes. The deeper and steeper the trail got the more the nimble two stroke shined.  Its linear and smooth power delivery coupled with the plush WP suspension gives it unrivaled traction and the ability to lug the motor a gear high much like a 4 stroke.

 

 

As we climbed out of the trees and into the open space of what would become the race to the summit, it was apparent that we were high in elevation.  A point of elevation that would have left a conventional carbureted bike sputtering. We were short of breath and the air was crisp, but our machines didn't miss a beat as we sized up our final climb.  It would be a 1000 ft, throttle wide open and a smile from ear to ear.

 

Road to 2-Stroke Fuel Injection

Enjoying over 100 years of uninterrupted manufacturing while developing some of the world’s first offroad production machines, Husqvarna are true enduro pioneers. A dominant force in international competition since the late ‘60s, Husqvarna has always been a great advocate of 2-stroke technology.

Adding to their long list of ground-breaking innovations, for model year 2018 Husqvarna Motorcycles introduce their next generation fuel-injected 2-stroke TE 250i and TE 300i machines. Together with an extended list of refinements designed to further improve the performance of all TE models, the all-new 2-strokes feature revolutionary technology in the offroad competition segment. 

This pioneering electronic fuel injection system offers unprecedented advantages in terms of performance, rideability, fuel consumption and ease of use. The introduction of this new technology by Husqvarna Motorcycles is a bold new step into the future of offroad motorcycling. 

 

 

2-Stroke Electronic Fuel Injection System

 

ENGINE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (EMS)

The EMS features a new electronic control unit (ECU) that is responsible for a number of functions. Gathering information from the throttle position sensor, the ambient air and intake pressure sensors and the crankcase pressure and water temperature sensors, it automatically compensates for temperature and altitude changes eliminating the need to modify  carburettor jetting. A standard map select switch allows riders to customise power characteristics according to personal preference or in varying conditions.

 

THROTTLE BODY

Both models feature a 39 mm Dell´ Orto throttle body that is linked to the new dual cable handlebar throttle assembly. With a new throttle position sensor (TPS) res optimal air, fuel and oil mixture. Additionally, the system features a bypass screw for idling speed regulation, with a cold start device providing more air for cold starts.

 

 

CYLINDER

For MY18 two inlet positions are located on the transfer ports at the rear of the cylinder where pair of fuel injectors are mounted. The injectors deliver the fuel downwards into the transfer ports, which guarantees excellent atomisation with the air travelling upward to the combustion chamber. This ensures a mor burn of the air/fuel mixture resulting in reduced fuel consumption and emissions.

 

OIL TANK & OIL PUMP

Vital for crankshaft, cylinder and piston lubrication, the 2-stroke oil is stored in a separate tank that together with an electronic oil pump eliminate the need for pre-mixing. Wough the upper frame, the 0.7 litrolled by the EMS, the oil pump delivers the ideal amount of oil according to the current RPM and engine load reducing waste as well as excessive smoke from the exhaust. The average ratio achieved for fuel/oil is 80:1.FUEL TANK The two models feature a fuel tank made of translucent plastic so the fuel level can be checked quickly  and easily. The fuel tank has a 9.25 litre capacity and houses an integrated fuel pump and fuel level sensor.

 

2-STROKE ELECTRONIC FUEL INJECTION – HIGHLIGHTS

+ Fuel injectors at the transfer ports – ideal amount of fuel in all conditions

+ Oil pump & oil tank – convenient, eliminates pre-mix

+ 39 mm throttle body – r, TPS relays airflow data

+ New EMS – modern engine management, no need for jetting changes

+ Standard map select – customise power characteristics

+ Frame integrated Oil Filler Cap - Simple refills

+ Translucent fuel tank – large capacity, fuel pump integrated

 

 

Always Pioneering

Ideally combining the most advanced engine technology with na Motorcycles’ engineers have ensured that the all-new TE 250i/300i and all other 2-stroke and 4-stroke machines will continue setting the benchmark in terms of handling, power, weight and aesthetics.

 

TECHNICAL DETAILS

 

ENGINE

 

CHASSIS

 
 

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE 2018 HUSQVARNA TE 250i