Photos by Aaron Brimhall | Words by Brett Smith



Carey Hart has a fear of being broke. Yes, one of the most recognizable motorcyclists in the world—who transcended freestyle motocross more than a decade ago, who still collects a paycheck for riding, who owns a chain of high-end tattoo shops, runs a clothing line, and co-owns a team that wins Monster Energy Supercross and Lucas Oil Pro Motocross races—is scared of going belly up.


It’s an esoteric thing for him to say, yet it’s the first comment given when asked where his energy comes from, why his brain spews an unlimited supply of ideas. The fear of an empty bank account is partially what motivates him to finish a 10,000-meter SkiErg workout by 5:30 a.m. and answer emails and messages before the sun rises. There are businesses and deals to keep an eye on—a lot of them. Hart isn’t delicate with his words; he’s pointed, honest, and quick-witted. Sitting on a metal workbench in his 4,000-square-foot garage filled with motorcycles, bicycles, tools, half-built hotrods, guns, skateboards, and a lofted fitness center (yes, a fitness center), Hart needs no prodding. He’s happy to explain how a tattooed scumbag from Las Vegas became way more successful in business than he ever did as a rider and how he’s now winning races in a sport that, two decades ago, didn’t want anything to do with him.

Hart’s actions, however, betray his fears; judging from his history, he seems unafraid to fail, and there’s one action that helped launch Hart’s name well beyond the motorcycle microcosm and proved that he would take big risks in life: the first backflip attempt, at the 2000 Gravity Games in Providence, Rhode Island. He didn’t know if he could do it, no other riders were making the effort to try, and many thought Hart was nuts for even thinking about it. While Hart estimates he spun 600 practice flips on a bicycle under the guidance of friend, roommate, and BMX professional TJ Lavin, nobody was able to truly teach him the physics of inverting a 220-pound Honda CR250 and bringing it back to the rubber. Beyond that, nobody at that point knew the geometry of a proper takeoff ramp. It was all one giant experiment. Hart’s father, Tom, took a loader and carved into the face of one of the freestyle landings, cutting a 12- to 13-foot wall that Hart remembers looking to be 2 degrees away from completely vertical. With a shovel, Hart spent two hours digging and shaping and throwing his hands in the air in animated visualization of what he was soon to attempt.

When Hart dropped in on what was supposed to be a 75-second-long freestyle run, the standing-room-only crowd already knew what was going on. In an unintentional marketing maneuver, he didn’t try to keep his backflip plan a secret.



he says today. But he certainly had the attention of 100 percent of the audience. Hart didn’t come to Providence to win a medal. He hit no other jumps, did no other tricks; it was backflip or bust. After two passes to feel out the makeshift takeoff, he clicked into second gear, repeatedly blipped the throttle on approach, then grabbed a handful through the transition. He shot 30 to 35 feet in the air from the flat bottom, spun slightly more than a complete rotation, brought both tires back to dirt, and crashed; technically, he failed, yet he simultaneously succeeded. Even today he admits everything he did on the jump was wrong, from the ramp angle to the amount of speed he carried into the approach, but he was the first person to prove it was possible. While he didn’t actually land a backflip, he landed himself and the sport into unprecedented media territories; everyone was talking about Carey Hart...





Word by Ben Giese



The turn of the 20th century marked the beginning of an exciting new era.


The Industrial Revolution of the 1800s had kicked humanity’s flair for innovation into overdrive, and the world around us was transforming quicker than ever. The formative years of the early 1900s were packed with groundbreaking discoveries like Einstein’s theory of relativity, the world’s first motion pictures, and the Wright Brothers’ first flight. In the factories, Henry Ford’s Model T would make way for the first production assembly line, revolutionizing industry across the globe and finally making the automobile an affordable commodity. It was a transformative time in history, as new and accessible transportation had given fresh life to the idea of Manifest Destiny. With railway systems connecting cities across the globe, electric trams, and bicycles, people were moving faster than ever. By 1903, with the pioneering spirit the brand has become synonymous with¬, Swedish bicycle company Husqvarna would join the movement, unveiling their first “motorized bicycle” and marking the beginning of a legendary journey as a motorcycle manufacturer.

Throughout the following decades, the motorized bicycle would evolve into a range of motorcycles that were sold for transportation and for military use. Husqvarna’s major breakthrough finally came in 1929, when civil engineer and motorcycle racer Folke Mannerstedt joined the team. Mannerstedt was a pioneer, a visionary with one goal in mind: to develop a four-stroke motorcycle engine suitable for racing. Up until this point, Husqvarna had been using a dated English-style single-cylinder engine. Mannerstedt’s vision was to create a V-twin engine with displacements ranging between 350cc and 1000cc to race in all categories, from the International Six Days Enduro to the infamous Isle of Man TT and everything in between. Mannerstedt’s plan was to further develop the Husqvarna motorcycles through racing and ultimately sell more consumer road bikes. By 1930, he would lead a newly formed race team to the famous TT races in Saxtorp, Sweden, where the Swedish riders would walk away with a respectable third-place finish and Husqvarna’s racing heritage was born.

By 1931, Mannerstedt had been further improving and developing the factory machines, and the team went on to collect more than 180 victories that year. The factory road-race team was led by veteran Gunnar Kalén, a superstar personality with a successful past in motorcycle racing. Kalén’s teammate was a young gun by the name of Ragnar Sunnqvist. Sunnqvist’s career in racing began at the age of 16, when he stole his parents’ checkbook and bought his first motorcycle. His wild riding style gave him a daredevil persona, and his “win or bust” approach often left him either standing at the top of the podium or getting carried off the track. From 1932 to 1934, the Husqvarna riders established themselves as the world’s greatest race team, and the brand’s international clout followed suit as the Swedish riders continued to dominate over the legendary British teams on the European circuit. The superstar duo of Kalén and Sunnqvist seemed to be unstoppable.

But the trouble with reaching the tip-top is that there is nowhere to go but down. Murphy’s law came into play on a disastrous day at the 1934 German Grand Prix, a day that will live in infamy forever for Husqvarna. The unfortunate events began in practice, when Sunnqvist hit a patch of oil on the tarmac, slamming him to the ground and earning him a trip to the hospital. The doctor insisted that he withdraw from the race, but of course that simply wasn’t an option for the die-hard Sunnqvist. The race started as Sunnqvist took the early lead with teammate Kalén close in tow. Veteran Kalén would soon work his way around Sunnqvist, but shortly after taking the lead, he made an uncharacteristic mistake that caused him to go down in a devastating crash. Kalén’s injuries were catastrophic, and he passed away in the wreck. The incident made conditions extremely difficult for Sunnqvist to carry on, but he charged onward, racing in honor of his fallen teammate—only to have his motorcycle die 150 meters before the finish line. In a race where only four out of 30 riders finished, Sunnqvist pushed his broken motorcycle down the final stretch. Overcome with exhaustion, he passed out just moments after crossing the finish line. Following the tragic events in Germany, the board of directors at Husqvarna decided to pull the plug on the factory road-race program. Mannerstedt eventually left the factory, marking the end of an era.

The dominance of Mannerstedt’s road-race team was reminiscent of the fighting spirit the Husqvarna brand was founded on more than 200 years prior as a weapons manufacturer. Following the events of 1934, motorcycle sales plummeted in the midst of the Great Depression, and the subsequent outbreak of World War II saw consumer sales of motorcycles drop even further. But it’s that fighting spirit that pushed Husqvarna through the trying decade, and the brand was once again revived by a spark of pioneering innovation. Following the war, Husqvarna hit another turning point with the release of the iconic “Silverpilen”: a small, lightweight machine that would help trigger the sport of off-road racing. “Scrambles” became popular across Europe and England, a cultural revolution that eventually arrived in America with the sport of motocross.

The 1960s and 1970s were the golden era of motocross, an exciting time for Husqvarna that was highlighted by Mannerstedt’s triumphant return. The racing heritage that was founded in 1929 with the road-race team would see the next chapter unfold as Mannerstedt developed an all-new 500cc four-stroke engine. This new design was the beginning of the brand’s most successful motocross era and led to many prosperous decades as a leader and pioneer in off-road racing.

Throughout the following years, the brand’s street heritage would be overshadowed by enormous success in the off-road market, but after 113 years of development, the future vision is clear. That pioneering spirit instilled by Mannerstedt and his elite road-race team is coming back with a vengeance as new boundaries are broken and the next chapter unfolds with a bold return to street. The next generation of Husqvarna motorcycles is a resounding success, with minimal and progressive engineering designed for a more honest and thrilling riding experience. After witnessing prototypes of the 401 Vitpilen and Svartpilen models, and watching the award-winning Vitpilen 701 come to life in front of us, it’s clear: Perfection is not about more or less, but about precisely enough.

There is a fine line between too much and too little, and with the newline of Husqvarna street bikes, you can finally ride that line.





Photo by Brin Morris | Words by Brett Smith



At 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 10, 1960, 16-year-old Eddie Mulder was sitting in a Lucerne Valley, California, outhouse when he heard the sound of 764 motorcycle engines erupt from silence and move away. His father, Al, a motorcycle dealer in Lancaster, California, was impatiently standing outside the makeshift structure near the start of the toughest off-road race in California: the Big Bear Run, 150 miles of torture that most riders signed up for only to say they did it, even if only 25 percent of them actually finished. As the 1-mile-wide pack roared toward the smoke bomb, young Mulder, wearing the familiar black-and-white-checked Checkers Motorcycle Club jacket and helmet, bolted out of the bathroom and smashed down on the kick-starter of his No. 249 Royal Enfield 500.

Bud Ekins, already an off-road icon and the future stunt double for Steve McQueen, led the race at the first checkpoint; he was gunning for his fourth career Big Bear win and was aware of the Mulder kid. The previous season, Mulder beat Ekins at the Mojave Hare Scramble. But Ekins broke down at Big Bear, and after four hours and 21 minutes of racing, the first of the 207 finishers was the plucky Mulder. The outhouse anecdote doesn’t appear in the coverage from Cycle or American Motorcycling, despite Mulder landing both covers. Still, the day the kid soon to be known as “The Squirrel” stamped it that he was the next big thing was nearly two years before he was legally able to register as a professional. Shortly after his Big Bear win, Mulder was scooped into the Triumph family (through an assist from his godfather, racing legend Ed Kretz, and an impressed Ekins), and 56 years later he’s still a Triumph man.



Mulder says while puffing on a cigar in his garage. Eddie Mulder is everything you want in a racer today but will probably never see again. Assertive, brash, cocky, diverse, ebullient, fearless, callous—describing Mulder’s personality could go all the way to zany and start over again with audacious. He was the kind of guy who would turn around and flip the bird to second place as he crossed the line, or stop in the middle of the race to take a bite of a hot dog. He once ran over the starter’s foot on purpose; he punched out a race promoter; in 1967, he “borrowed” Torsten Hallman’s spare Husqvarna and actually beat the reigning FIM World Motocross champion in a TT exhibition. He’s doubled for Clint Eastwood, ridden with Steve McQueen, and been the fastest man to the top of Pike’s Peak eight times...





Words by Andy Taylor



Everyone who watched Jeff Emig race a motorcycle in the early ’80s could see he had the flow


—a natural control. Head up. Eyes forward. Back straight. He was poetry in motion when he was on a motocross track, touted from his early teen years as something special. He had “it.”

Though it didn’t necessarily come easy. Emig’s ability on the bike was more the result of being able to summon a singular focus. Champions have a unique power to quiet the outside world at the moment everything is on the line. Like his motorcycle, when Emig rode, he screamed: “Race me.” “Push me.” “Tell me I can’t.” On the bike, everything made sense. His world was simple, and he the master of it.

Off the bike, Emig struggled with expressing himself. The idea of speaking in front of a stranger was daunting, a terrifying endeavor. Imagine being a natural-born champion, yet privately fighting something most of society takes as everyday routine.

Today, Jeff Emig can be seen in broadcasts every weekend throughout the winter as the voice of supercross. Thirty-five years ago, he was a simple Kansas City kid who hauled ass on a dirtbike, but who also secretly struggled with the demons of a speech impediment. Staring down at the gate was nothing compared to the logistics of a basic conversation. Emig had a stuttering problem. He couldn’t get the words out, while on the inside his frustrated mind was always going as fast as his Supermini. In his youth, it was easier for Emig to choose silence rather than face the snowballing humiliation of tripping over his words again and again.

Imagine lining up for a supercross main event as a top contender. Fifty thousand fans are on their feet, shouting waves of electric energy. Blazing pyrotechnics cut through the damp night sky. Heart rates accelerate. Your entire life has been pointed toward this moment—toward this race. And all that fills your mind is the dread of that approaching microphone.

In Emig’s days as a professional, the trackside commentator would walk down the line and have each rider introduce himself to the crowd. The closer the microphone got, the more Emig’s spirit sank. There he was, trying to do his job and race a motorcycle, with a black hole growing in his stomach at the idea of speaking into a microphone. He had a secret disdain for the announcer holding the mic and coming ever closer to his spot on the line. Emig always made it through just fine, but shifting his mind back to the business at hand wasn’t easy, and it took its toll.

For years, it was difficult for Emig to comprehend how this distraction affected his racing. For him, there was speaking and there was racing; the two did not intersect. But, over time, he realized confidence was being ripped from him—and on the stage where he needed it most. Professional motocross is a level of top-tier competition, a mental battlefield, and Emig often started his bike on the gate with his confidence at a devastating low, all because of his relentless struggle with that microphone.

As Emig entered the peak of his career, he made a decision: It was time to face this thing down. On the motorcycle, he was a champion. He learned to gain strength from failure, and understood the force and wherewithal it took to reach a transcendent moment. It was time to use unstoppable will to find his words.

If you would have walked up to someone at the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur National in the mid-’80s and told them Jeff Emig would be the voice of our sport in the future, they would have laugh-spewed sweet tea in your face. But it’s only because most people don’t have the thing in them, the thing that would rather die than quit, nor do they understand it...





Photos by Aaron Brimhall | Words by Brett Smith



“At one level he’s a simple study in proportions, but at another he’s the expression of an ideal: a human figure whose body is the world, whose mind is its spirit, and whose being represents the power and order of the heavens brought down to Earth.


His spread-eagled figure haunts the circular layout of Roman temples and cities, the full span of the globe, even the cosmos itself.” —Toby Lester on Vitruvian Man from his book Da Vinci’s Ghost

Even the Vitruvian Man wasn’t perfect. Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic drawing is accepted today as a credible image of the ideal proportions of the human body. Based on the work of the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius, Vitruvian Man—a 13.5 x 10-inch pen-and-ink drawing circa 1490—represents the measure of all things. Da Vinci showed that a well-built man with arms and legs fully extended fits perfectly into a circle and a square. But da Vinci had to manipulate the shapes to make him fit. The center of the circle is positioned at his navel, while the center of the square is lower.

One spring day in 1996, the ideal man of supercross fell short of perfection, and the rest of the world won’t let him forget it...





Photos by Matthew Jones | Words by Leticia Cline



The morning air was crisp, each inhale serving as a brisk wakeup call, stinging the lungs. I awoke with a knot in my stomach from yesterday’s decision to rent a motorcycle and set out on a 400-mile ride. It had been six years since I had been on a bike, and the rapid beating in my chest reminded me of that with every thump. I sat on my porch and my thoughts turned to my father, who taught me to ride and, up until his death, had been my steadfast road-trip partner. I was afraid. I was alone. But this was something that was bigger than just me and a motorcycle.

A lot had changed in six years. The women’s movement in motorcycling was something that I was not well familiar with. I’d never ridden with girls, and really did not even surround myself with them in regular life. I had a couple of women friends at that time and even they acted more like men than most men I know. For the first time in my life, I was nervously yearning to be accepted, even though I wasn’t yet sure why.

Having become familiar with the massive population of female motorcyclists through social media, I found myself wanting to do more than just connect with women online; I wanted to actually meet, to hear their stories in person and ride with them. For so long, we women have been labeled as “catty” and “emotionally unstable,” and even though I am a woman, I generally tended to agree—up until I discovered this subculture of women who actually encouraged one another. Maybe it’s because they are a subculture and by nature that comes with the territory; those in the minority tend to look out for each other.

It’s no secret that women have been riding motorcycles for a long time. What’s changing now is that women are no longer encouraging only other women to ride, but men as well. We have become pop culture, showing up in ads for anything from purses to mascara to feature films, riding away into the sunset at the handlebars, not feebly sitting on the hero’s backseat. Today, one in four motorcyclists is a woman; there are nearly seven million female riders worldwide, a 45 percent increase since 2003.

Every day, a new women’s motorcycle club or woman rider is born, and the world is taking notice. The American Motorcyclist Association’s #getwomenriding hashtag demonstrates an understanding for the movement and, more importantly, support. They even highlighted female influencers in the industry, including Ducati rider and blogger Alicia Elfving (The Moto Lady) and East Side Moto Babes member and racer Stacie B. London (Triple Nickel 555). Microsoft even highlighted woman rider, racer, and builder Jessi Combs in their #DoMore campaign...





Words by Brett Smith




“It is a commentary on American Standards that we take pains to prohibit prize fighting and horse racing in many States, and hold up our hands in horror at the suggestion of bullfights as a national sport, and yet flock in thousands to see reckless young men riding madly around a track sloping at a 50 percent angle glorifying in the thinness of the thread that divides life from death."


They saw it coming. They must have. With six motorcycles racing together at more than 90 miles per hour on wooden circle tracks with steep banks, the consequences of board-track racing could not have been a surprise. But the thrills were magnificent. The fascination with seeing and feeling speed was so new in the first 20 years of the 20th century that it led crowds of 10,000 to climb above the courses where only a thin rail made of pine or spruce separated them from the motorcycles that raced counterclockwise on the wooden track below. So scant was the partition between onlookers and racers that young boys often stuck their heads through the opening beneath the guard to be closer to the machines, which were getting faster with every new model.

In the spirit of putting the action in front of the audience, where the entire race could be seen in one spot—much like the original idea behind supercross—early board-track races were held in small stadiums nicknamed “saucers” and “pie pans,” the latter moniker because of their round shape and continuous steep banks. They were little more than beefed-up bicycle velodromes. In 1908—the same year the first Model T was produced, General Motors was founded, and Jack Johnson became the first black heavyweight boxing champion of the world—the excitement factor of watching a motorcycle do a mile a minute was still very fresh.

On July 5, match races were held at the Clifton course in Paterson, New Jersey, on a “six-lap track, brand new, of wood, fresh from the sawmill and the carpenter’s hand,” according a five-page account in the July 15, 1908, Motorcycle Illustrated. The course, built by former bicycle racing champion and British expat John Shillington Prince, was one-sixth of a mile. After his own two-wheeled racing career ended in the late 1880s, Prince moved on to building and promoting velodrome races. On the velodromes, high-banked 1/6th- and 1/10th-mile courses, motorcycles were originally employed to pace bicyclists for races and in training. Interest in the possibility of what a motorized machine could do on the planks grew and Prince used his velodrome designs to build what became known as motordromes.

In Clifton, because of the tightness of the course and potential for tragedy, only two riders competed at a time. Nothing tragic happened that day in 1908. Jake DeRosier, the Canadian-born, Massachusetts-raised racer who became America’s first motorcycle superstar, hit more than a dozen speed milestones on a prototype Indian, including the 1-mile record, which he set at 56 seconds (64 mph). Despite the 5,000 open-mouthed and applauding spectators, as Motorcycle Illustrated described the crowd, the magazine wasn’t on board.

“Of course, this is not motorcycle racing,” a separate editorial pontificated. “It takes three to make a race and four are better. But neither three nor four will probably ever be raced together on the Clifton Saucer. To permit it would be criminal.”

Prince traveled around the country, convincing residents and city halls to allow him to build a motordrome in their towns. His design changed to courses one-third of a mile in length, and one of the first he built at that spec was the Los Angeles Coliseum Motordrome, in 1909, which was three and a half laps to the mile. From 1909 through 1914, 21 motordromes one-third of a mile or less were constructed across North America (not all by Prince), from Springfield, Massachusetts, to Brighton Beach, New York; Vailsburg, New Jersey; St. Louis; Detroit; Atlanta; Milwaukee; Denver; Los Angeles; and others. Prince was churning out the stadiums in just a few weeks. The Brighton Beach (Brooklyn) course held its first event on June 29, 1912. The New York Times announced the project on May 7 and said, “An army of men will rush the construction.” The project cost $30,000 and was made with 1.5 million feet of lumber, mostly 16-foot lengths of 2x4s, with the 2-inch face up. The length was one-third of a mile, the angle 53 degrees, and the capacity was 10,000 in the grandstands.

The motorcycles were developing as quickly as the courses were being built. They had one gear, no brakes, no clutch, no suspension, and the carburetors were set wide open. The engines were total loss, meaning the oil wasn’t pressure fed. An oil tank fed the engine what it needed to consume. Instead of recirculating back into the engine, the used oil was expelled into the air in the form of smoke.

“They hadn’t yet realized they needed to figure out how to cycle the oil down to the motor and pump it back up,” says Matt Walksler of Wheels Through Time. When riders crashed, oil leaked onto the course, which led to more crashing. Performance was entirely by experimentation, and the 61-cubic-inch (1,000 cc) engines were nearing 90 mph in 1911. And that was at only 7 horsepower.

Dozens of manufacturers competed for market share in the United States: Excelsior, Indian, Thor, Cyclone, The Flying Merkel, NSU, and many more. Absent from the results columns was Harley-Davidson, which did not officially field racing teams until 1914. Arthur Davidson was staunchly against racing. In a 1912 editorial in The Harley Dealer, he said, “Any dealer who contemplates hooking up with a promoter in the ‘murderdrome’ business, I have found it to be my experience, has nothing to gain and everything to lose. The board track game will work out its own destiny in a mighty big hurry.”

Murderdromes. Arthur Davidson saw it coming. Engineers were quickly learning how to wring more out of the internal-combustion engines. On Dec. 30, 1912, on a 1-mile board track in Playa del Rey, California, riding a big-valved Excelsior, Lee Humiston tucked into his handlebars to record a 36-second lap. He became the first rider to officially set the record for 100 mph (146.7 feet per second) on a motorcycle. Two years later, J.A. McNeil went 111.1 mph on a Cyclone. The bike used overhead-cam technology, new at the time, and put out 45 horsepower at 5,000 rpm. Unfortunately, the Federation of American Motorcyclists refused to recognize the feat on the grounds that the speed could possibly be 10 percent above the existing record. The increase in speed and power and the steepening angle of the courses, which was hitting 60 degrees and producing enough centrifugal force to shoot riders and machines out of the circle, also increased the potential for catastrophe...





Words by Russ Koza



“Life is a rodeo.” Yee-haw.


I’ve been checking my watch every couple of minutes for more than an hour now. We’re on location, ready to begin another photo shoot, but one thing is missing: our photographer. Suddenly, I see it. Barreling down the road in our direction is The Boogie Van. Behind a miniature Eiffel Tower sitting atop the dashboard, our lensman, Dimitri Coste, steadfastly navigates behind the wheel.

The Boogie, or Le Boogie, is a late-’80s full-size Dodge van that Coste has used to transport everything he needs to work and exist when he’s staying in Southern California. The van is Coste’s transportation, sometimes his home, and very much a symbol of his love for American culture and the SoCal lifestyle. It’s not unusual for Coste to fly from Paris to LAX, take a cab to the closest In-N-Out, and then hitch a ride two hours south to San Diego, where The Boogie is usually parked, before he’d ever think of renting a car. The Boogie has been the mode of transportation for Coste’s treasure chest of photo equipment, motorcycles, and even some of the most beautiful models the world has to offer. As it sits now, with the usual assortment of crumpled burger wrappers, empty packs of Marlboros, and photo equipment propping up his prized 1967 Triumph, Le Boogie is exactly the type of vessel that a guy like Coste should be captaining.

After the usual greeting of high-fives, hugs, and “Where the fuck have you been?” it’s time to get to work. But we’re not in the clear yet; there’s always that period of time before the camera starts clicking that Coste takes a few minutes to formulate his plan for the shoot and get in the proverbial zone. As everyone is arranging the final placement of lighting, battery packs, and the set, Coste will often disappear off to the side somewhere. I’ll find him sitting quietly with a cigarette dangling from his mouth, playing out the shoot in his head and finding that creative flow. Although we’re way behind schedule, I’ve learned over the years to leave him alone during this time. It used to stress me out, as I would think, “Why is he just sitting there smoking when we’ve got so much to get done today?”

But people as creative as Coste don’t function in the same manner that normal people function; they do things differently. This alternative way of operating may not seem to be the most professional by regular standards, but Coste is one of the most creative and talented photographers out there, so it’s best to let him work the way that he wants to work...





Photos by Sebas Romero | Words by Andrew Campo & Ben Giese



On this day, life had treated us very well,


and as the sun beamed off the fields of yellow rapeseed flowers outside the Hotel Gyllene Uttern banquet-hall window and onto Sweden’s Vättern Lake in the near distance, our minds began to drift. The room was grand: tables dressed with fresh-cut flowers, warming candlelight, whitefish roe, Arctic char, and Swedish cheese curd. Laughter and smiles swept the room as Husqvarna ambassadors from around the world shared stories and smiles. A sense of obligation had swept over us as we pondered how we would take this experience and share with you the extraordinary brand heritage that we have experienced along this journey. We continued to drift off in thought while watching the wake from the Visingsö ferry flow into the calming fog that was slowly blanketing the second-largest lake in Sweden.

Metal gently chimed against crystal and the room silenced. Standing center was Anders Sarbäcken, the managing director of Husqvarna Scandinavia, and in a commanding tone that represented three centuries, the words “This feels like revenge” echoed through the hall. We got chills that were instantly followed by a sigh of relief. The room exploded again, this time in celebration, and we sat smiling simply because it all made sense and we had found what we were looking for.





Words by Andy Bell



“My life is 100 percent about competition,”


says Travis Pastrana, sort of yelling above the sounds of the raucous Nitro Circus Live crew partying around him deep in some bar in Nagano, Japan. It’s 5 a.m. my time and something like 11 p.m. his time. I’m sober as can be driving up the 405 freeway, headed to LAX to catch an early-morning flight, and his scene—at least for the people he’s surrounded by—is for sure on the exact opposite end of the spectrum right now. I can hear in his voice that it’s been a long couple weeks’ worth of partying—something that happens a lot for the riders with the Circus, a nightly celebration after succeeding in not killing yourself while trying to one-up the top athletes and gnarliest kids on the tour. I’m not sure if “meat hucking” is a real term or not, but if it isn’t, I’m coining it now as the explanation for what happens every day of the Pastrana-led freak show that is the travelling Nitro Circus Live tour.

“You know me better than probably anyone on the face of the Earth,” he says to me when I ask him for some insight into his life lately and what keeps him ticking even after just having his second daughter. “Besides my wife,” he quickly adds. He is so damn competitive that he probably had to have another daughter because I had one, and he wanted to beat me at that as well. “When I’m around Bilko, all I want to do is compete with him at go-carts; when I’m around Kenny Bartram, all I want to do is beat him at foosball; and when I’m around you, all I want to do is try to drink more beer than you,” he says—his reasoning behind what pushes him in his life. Adding daughter Bristol to his already girl-filled family of wife/skateboard phenom Lyn-z and almost 2-year-old first baby Addy has actually fueled his drive to live and act more passionately—no, not the 50 Shades of Grey kind of passion, but the passion to live life to the fullest, to push the sports that he is involved in to the absolute and total limit (and beyond, most of the time).

Outsiders usually see this kind of behavior as a death wish, or as coming from someone who is playing with fire—a practice many would say is reckless or not conducive to being a father. But Pastrana sees it as the opposite: He sees it as a way to teach his girls passion and competitiveness, two traits that he values more than anything else. He brings up Shane McConkey as we discuss this—a top skier, BASE jumper, and Red Bull teammate who was a huge inspiration to Pastrana (and myself), tragically killed living his passion for ski BASE jumping. Many people can find fault with McConkey for risking his life and paying the ultimate price for following his passion while having a wife and young daughter at home, but not Pastrana; for him, McConkey was the kind of man and father that Pastrana wants to be (and is). Holding back and not following what you believe in is more detrimental to your family than the slight possibility of paying the ultimate price...





Photos by Brandon Harmon | Words by Donny Emler Jr.



Perhaps the only thing typical about Roland Sands is the passion he has for riding motorcycles. But Sands is certainly not typical;


in fact, the best way to describe him would be “a fucking loose cannon with a knack for designing some pretty amazing shit.” He sees the world through his own unique perspective, and his creative nature allows him to do incredible things with that.

I met Sands about 10 years ago, and even though I was from the off-road industry and Sands worked more on the street side of the spectrum, our love for motorcycles and shared enjoyment of cold adult refreshments made for an instant bond between us. After our first Daytona Bike Week—where he continuously abused my rental car and slept in my hotel room because of some complications with his own room (he got kicked out)—I realized that this could be the start to a great friendship. When Sands joined in on our annual FMF Baja Bonanza ride, I was excited because I knew he would add some fun flavor to the already awesome group of guys. That was until I remembered how reckless he could be—one broken leg later (from attempting to follow Jeremy McGrath off of a rock jump at the beach), his inaugural Baja Bonanza had come to a screeching halt.

Hanging out with Sands is like riding a roller coaster that you have never ridden before: It’s all fun and games until that coaster ratchets all the way to the top and then you see just how high that first drop is. Before you have a chance to back down, you are whirling down the coaster with your head spinning, but when it’s over, you’re ready to do it all over again...





Photos by Evan Klanfer | Words by Eric Shirk



"Once it’s in the blood, it never leaves you—no matter what.”


When we as humans think of the word “addiction,” we tend to have a bad habit of immediately making a correlation to the abuse of potentially destructive substances such as drugs and alcohol. However, for a select few individuals in this world, addiction will be encountered in a form that could never be bought or sold. For these risk takers, soul seekers, life livers, or whatever you’d like to call them, the mundane is not an option. Maybe at one time they could have easily walked slowly and carefully toward their own demise, but not now. No way. That’s no longer an option. Because these select individuals are now hook, line, and sinker on what is possibly the most pwerful drug of all: the pursuit of radness.





I have a daily commute. It takes about 15 seconds from the back patio of my house out to the small, modernist cabin thing that I call my studio.


Most days it takes at least two cups of coffee before I can do it. The journey can be made with shoes or barefoot, depending on the weather. The space is filled with a good amount of natural light and it’s just about large enough to park two cars if the glass garage door that faces the yard were actually used for vehicles. I also have a storage room that was labeled “motorcycle garage” on the architectural plans; this was my architect’s clever idea so that the zoning department would allow more square footage. I only have one old Vespa that doesn’t run, and it sits outside under a tarp.

Every day, I’m glad to be in my studio no matter how much work I have ahead of me or how stressed out I happen to feel. This is my place and mine alone—my cave, my island, my mini-empire—and I’m thankful to have it. I have two small dogs and a collection of vinyl to keep me company through the day, and that’s about all I need. My favorite days are ones when I’m starting a new piece of work first thing. I put on some mellow music and stare at the blank wooden panel or sheet of paper lying on my worktable. At this stage the art is perfect, genius, full of potential; by the evening it will all have changed. Nothing is ever quite as good as I imagine, but it’s important to start with a vision and a positive attitude.

Looking at one of my drawings is sort of like looking in the mirror: I can’t get away from how my work looks any more than I can get away from the appearance of my own face. Sometimes this is fine; sometimes it bothers me. I’ve always felt that art, at least the good stuff, is a natural extension of the person who makes it. Inventing a style of art is like inventing a personality for yourself: It comes across as less than genuine. I just have to let it happen, even if what happens sometimes makes me feel weird about who I am or what kind of message my work conveys.

I’m the kind of person who likes materials, things you can put your hands on and appreciate how they look and feel. Weight, texture, mass. I like to hold a record, set it on the turntable and drop the needle on it. I like to load film into my camera and wait three weeks before I get my pictures back. I like the look of quality paper, just plain paper all by itself. The smell of sawdust and paint thinner. I feel good about the dry, cracked skin on my hands, stained from ink and seeming like it will never get clean again, like some sort of naturally occurring tattoo that marks me as an artist. Sometimes I like art more in the making of it than in the finished product. The way a vivid streak of paint glides onto the paper and dries to a perfectly even surface. A pool of watercolor drying slowly in the air, leaving a mark that no technology could well replicate. My books and magazines are the worlds I get lost in, studying a drawing that someone did a hundred years ago that I could never hope to match. It feels like everything has already been done, but I have to make my little contribution too, just have to; the things inside my head would make me crazy unless I had some way of making them into marks on a surface.

By the end of the day, the light is fading in my studio and I feel tired but good. I would never want to tell someone like a construction worker that what I do all day is difficult, but somehow it is. It’s difficult because I care. It’s personal and it’s nobody’s business when I’m making it, but then I know it will be seen and judged by other people sooner or later, which is confusing at times. It takes a lot of thought and often involves some frustration, all of which drains me, so at the end of the day I do feel tired, even though I mostly have been sitting and moving paintbrushes around.
About this time I may grab a beer out of the mini-fridge in my studio and study what I’ve accomplished for the day. The things I tell myself are usually too extreme, like “You’re an idiot” or “Damn, you really nailed it.” I know that real truth is somewhere in between. Eventually this thing will disappear from my studio and, with any luck, be replaced by a check from a gallery, which in turn will be replaced by things like food and car payments, all of which I’m grateful for. It always seems like some sort of clever trick I’ve pulled off. I’ll miss the work all the same and I’ll be excited to get to the studio to do it all over again.





Words by Brett Smith



Everybody reacted differently. Some of the sunbaked spectators were slow to process what had just happened. Others were quick to respond, but clearly unsure what exactly they were supposed to do; one shirtless man, holding an aluminum can wrapped in a koozie in his right hand, ran from out of the camera’s view, hurdled the fence like a horse in a steeplechase, and stood near the rider’s feet. Some spectators just stood there, slumped over the fence, motionless; others slowly raised their disposable cameras to their eyes and snapped a photo. Many pointed back up the hill as if they were still trying to convince themselves of what they just saw and where it came from...





Photos by Mike Emery | Words by Eli Moore



“J-Law was one of the last of a dying breed:


the guys who seriously could not give a fuck what you thought about them. He is a dude who would rather head-butt a studded tire than behave in a manner that is ‘safer’ or ‘more consumer friendly.’” I wrote those words in 2012, in a little blog that I managed in my spare time. I worshipped Jason Lawrence even then, two years after his unexpected departure from professional motocross. Whether people felt similarly or hated his very soul, it is an indisputable truth that J-Law impacted this sport in a way that no one in the modern era has matched...





Our attention is drawn to those magnetic.


Athletes... but with soul; artists with outward aggression whose masterpieces have yet to be painted or finished. Sculpted into the Eastern European foothills we found paradise - and came back again to rediscover it on our home turf. Our roster is stacked deep with talent, but more importantly, they’re brimming with heart. From savage mini riders all the way to the sports’ elite, they lay tracks on pristine landscapes worldwide with an intensity matched by the 12,000 heartbeats per minute of their motorcycle. This film is raw. It’s passionate and aggressive. We set out to leave no stone unturned, no night of rest exchanged for a lost opportunity to dig deeper and shoot somewhere new.


Directed, filmed & edited by Wes Williams

Produced by Andrew Campo, Leslie Williams & the team at Vurbmoto

Creative direction & title design by Ben Giese

Music: "Indian Run" by Spindrift


War Machines is available for purchase on iTunes



5 MONTHS, 25,000 MILES

Words by Jordan Hufnagel



In the fall of 2013, after an intense couple of years working toward this dream, James Crowe and I took off on a motorcycle journey that would see us from Whistler, British Columbia, to Ushuaia, Argentina, to the southern tip of South America and beyond. What followed was a beautiful shit-show, two friends constantly throwing themselves in over their heads and making it all work out.

On our way down, we rode a large portion of the Baja 1000 course, fully loaded with all of our gear. This happened a week after the race had run and immediately after some large storms had swept through. It was the most challenging riding I could conceive of, and consequently I became a hundred times the motorcycle rider I was before. Early in the journey, we realized that our dumb asses didn’t get the paperwork we needed for the ferry tomainland of Mexico, so we found ourselves backtracking 1,000 miles to the Mexican border. After that life lesson, we were sufficiently prepared for every border crossing and qualified experts on the ins and outs of border paperwork.

We dove off cliffs and bridges in Guatemala just a day after I broke two ribs on the ride, because I was decidedly against allowing any non-life-threatening injury to quell this once-in-a-lifetime trip. We tried sailing for a couple of days on open seas on our way to Colombia, with mixed results; suffice it to say that seasickness is no joke. We took off on a renegade six-day backpacking trip by ourselves, hardly a week’s worth of backpacking experience between the two of us, and were welcomed by some of the most beautiful and remote mountains either of us had ever seen. Luckily we hooked up with an incredible and experienced couple while riding the rural milk truck to the beginning of the trek and got schooled in more ways than one by our new friends as we shared the journey together. An hour into a hike bound for one of South America’s most badass waterfalls, James found out that he is extremely allergic to ant bites, which resulted in a frantic rush back to our bikes to get him stabbed with an EpiPen. After that we never left on a hike without the EpiPen, and we also developed some new relaxation methods to help fight off serious allergic reactions—yet another life lesson for the mental folder. We changed countless flat tires in the middle of nowhere and now have a dialed quick-fix kit and method. We rode through snow at 14,000 feet several times with every layer we could possibly dig up, and while we were physically miserable and possibly delirious from incredibly long days in the saddle, I am challenged to recall landscapes as beautiful as the ones up there.

We logged more than 25,000 miles in five months on our way to the southern tip of the Americas, taking every step we could to spend the majority of the trip off pavement and in the most remote areas. Help, directions, a place to stay: They were all just a simple interaction away due to the amazing kindness of all the people we met.

When I reminisce about this trip, it’s all the harebrained ideas, struggles, and lessons that I remember most fondly. I feel lucky to have a friend who is constantly willing to push limits and learn as we go. And the best part is, there is so much more to come.





Illustration by Bohdan Burenko | Words by Andrew Campo





It is with these words that Jason Anderson candidly describes sitting atop one of Glen Helen Raceway’s massive uphill climbs, helplessly willing his lifeless motorcycle to start. He’d suffered a mechanical DNF while running in third place with only two laps to go during the second moto of the opening round of the 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships. To the casual reader, this statement could be mistaken for a canned line by a frustrated factory racer. But to those who know his story, it defines a special character in Anderson that has helped him to rise through the ranks on his own terms.

There’s a universal binding code among those who push the envelope: Stand alone and continue driving forward into the unknown. Somewhere along the line, a strand of DNA activates, altering the electrical patterns of their brains every time their two-wheeled machines come to life. Then and only then are they truly living, in revolutions per minute, redlined with a grip full of tomorrow that will lead them that much closer to realizing a dream.

Like most of today’s racing prodigies, by the time he was 3 years old Jason Anderson was already obsessed with the genius of a dirtbike. Admittedly, the young New Mexico native’s first day of riding was marked by a trail of tears and a cold engine as his father pushed him back and forth in the driveway, more than a little terrified when it actually came time to twist the throttle. Soon the fear melted away, replaced by the exuberant joy that only a child can experience—pure ecstasy. His road to tomorrow became clearly defined at an age when most kids are shaking in their shoes to ride the bus for the first time...