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    Bryan Bosch
    Kirsh Helmets Debuts With CHM-1, the Toughest, Lowest-profile, DOT-certified Half-shell Helmet on the Market
    SCHENECTADY, NY – October 11, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Kirsh Helmetsa member of the Impact Technologies family, both founded by Jason E. Kirshon, are poised to effect a sea of change in the motorsports and other helmet industries. For decades, legacy compression polystyrene technology (aka foam) has been the standard in helmets, from motorsports to football to snowboarding and any number of other impact sports and activities. No longer. “Has been” is the right way to frame it, because Kirsh Helmets, with its patented fluid-displacement-liner (FDL), is about to make foam to helmets what rotary phones are to cellular technology—obsolete.
    “We see Kirsh’s fluid displacement liner as a game changer,” said Donnie DeVito, President and Chief Operating Officer of Kirsh Helmets. “It works better than foam, it’s safer and it’s adaptable to any number of sports and high-speed activities.”

    Kirsh Helmets, Inc., a member of the Impact Technologies family, was formed in late January 2017 to take up the challenge of commercializing the innovative, patented technology invented by Jason Kirshon. Focusing first on solving the problem of unsafe—but popular—novelty half-shell motorcycle helmets, Kirsh’s CHM-1 outperforms “competing” helmets by orders of magnitude in independent testing.
    At one half of an inch thick, the CHM-1 is the lowest-profile half-shell helmet on the market. Made from the highest-quality materials, coupled with the most-advanced impact technology available, it is also Department of Transportation–certified and entirely manufactured in the U.S.A.
    Since their inception, the thinking on helmet design has been “more is better.” More foam equals more protection for the head in the event of impact trauma. The independent testing conducted on the Kirsh CHM-1 proves this is not the case. Foam does little to slow down or prevent the brain from slamming into the skull after impact. And the bulk necessary for foam helmets requires more mass, which, in turn, translates into more torque exerted upon the head and neck in the event of a crash.
    The Kirsh FDL’s silicone and fluid construct mimics the body’s natural protective functions. The brain sits in fluid in the skull. With the FDL, the skull sits in fluid within the helmet. This allows for less mass, reducing impact torque, and a fluid buffer that more effectively protects the skull and brain. And the malleability of the liner ensures that it conforms uniquely to each user’s head, insuring better protection and a custom fit, which means much greater comfort.
    Size and style are key components that influence consumers. Despite overwhelming evidence that helmet use reduces the likelihood of injury for motorcycle riders, many go without. Kirsh is looking to help change that and reduce traumatic brain injury across the board by offering stylish, low-profile helmets that are safer and work better than their larger, bulkier predecessors. Another compelling feature separating the CHM-1 from all other helmets on the market is its ability to sustain multiple impacts without compromising the helmet’s integrity. And the versatility of the FDL allows for application in half-shell and full-shell helmet designs for any sport or activity that requires the use of head protection, meaning its potential goes far beyond motorsports.
    So, a question: What do rotary phones, the Ford Edsel, the answering machine, and the foam helmet have in common? Answer: They’re all obsolete relics. Kirsh Helmets is offering the next generation of helmet technology, today, and, for the motorcycle rider, the world is a safer place because of it.
    About Kirsh Helmets
    Kirsh Helmets, a member of the Impact Technologies family of companies, is an All-American-Made Helmet Company. Our unique technology brings together style, safety, comfort, and improved performance.
    Source: Impact Technologies

    Coach Robb
    Dating back to 1775 and the research completed by a biochemist by the name of Joseph Priestly, it was discovered the importance of oxygen associated with sustaining life.  Ironically, he also discovered the dangers associated with the utilization of oxygen as it related to health and wellness.  As you breathe and your body utilizes stable oxygen (O2) molecules, and converts them to a free radical molecule.  Scientists now associate oxygen free radicals with every major chronic disease, including heart disease and even cancer.  Free radicals play a major role in the gaining process.  It is important to become aware of these potentially harmful substances, what increases their production and how to control them in order to reduce the negative effects on your health, performance and the aging process.  Increases in oxidative stress, whether from too much free-radical production, too little antioxidant activity, or both, speeds up the aging process. 
    According to Dr. Maffetone, different levels of exercise intensity can produce varying amounts of free radicals.  Low intensity aerobic training (according to your personal heart rate zones), produce little or insignificant amounts of free radicals, and the smaller amount is more than likely well controlled through the body’s natural defense system, especially if enough antioxidants are present.  A well-developed aerobic system has its own antioxidant effect.  Fat burning and free radical breakdown occur in the mitochondria contained within aerobic muscle fibers.  With this in mind, people in better aerobic shape are more capable of controlling free radicals compared to those who are out of shape.  Research validates that individuals with a higher percentage of aerobic muscle fibers have more antioxidant production and therefore more antioxidant capabilities.
    However, exercising at high intensity levels (above HR Z4) and lifting weights can have the opposite effect.  Such intense activity produces more oxidative stress – some research indicate as high as 120% over resting levels.  This is the result of physical damage to muscles, lactic-acid production and highter oxygen uptake, which may increase tenfold during activity.  Higher injury rates are also associated with increased free radical production.  Additionally, the development of more anaerobic muscle fibers means less aerobic mitochondria for free radical elimination.
    This is (amongst others) why you will see the majority of your weekly volume based on aerobic effort.  Understanding intensity levels and their influence on your health, wellness and ultimately performance is another tool for Working Smart, Not Hard!
    Yours in sport and health,
    -Coach Robb 

    MXEditor
    Photo: KTM 300 EXC TPI - Six Days ISDE Edition 
    Two-strokes are still a hot button when it comes to talking about dirt bikes these days. The old "two-stroke vs. four-stroke" debate has been beat to death and many of us are sick of it, but it rages on regardless. 
    OK!! So four-strokes won, the Japanese factories, AMA and EPA got what they wanted and it's over...two-strokes, once the powerhouses of motocross, have now been relegated to the shed, gone out of fashion and not used by any top racing team in MX or SX. 
    But the two-stroke is still gasping for air thanks to KTM and maybe even Honda... who officially stated they'd converted to a four-stroke company years ago, so that's a surprise! 
    Why is it still here?  
    Because it's awesome that's why...two-stroke engines pack more horsepower per pound than four-stroke engines, and even if that statistic was equal, the number of complicated, fragile and expensive parts in a modern four-stroke will always cost more to replace. 
    Granted the replacement interval for four-stroke motorcycle engines has gotten longer and longer but you'll always have the complication and expense factors to think about...and that's good for the manufacturers...a nice balance between reliability and the need to replace worn parts makes for a good bottom line, but that's another discussion. Obviously less moving parts and making more HP/lb are excellent attributes that appeal to motorcyclists and maybe not so much to the manufacturers at large. 
    Three years ago, I wrote an article that talked about advances in two-stroke technologies and the possibility that these technologies (EFI, DFI, TPI) could help the two-stroke gain more market share. One of the conclusions was that EFI using DFI was too expensive, bulky and heavy to be a reality on off-road motorcycles and that has turned out to be the case when looking at how the technology is presenting itself in production form. 
    KTM have been the leaders in two-stroke motorcycle engine design and accompanying technologies so it was only natural that KTM would be the first major motorcycle manufacturer to provide a viable cleaner-burning technology to the two-stroke arena. The first bikes to display this technology are the KTM 250 EXC TPI and the KTM 300 EXC TPI. Honda also has filed a similar patent but has not put any examples into production and looking at the patent drawings, it appears to be an industrial design featuring a pushrod, not suited for high-performance applications.  
    What does this advancement mean, and is this the saving grace technology that two-stroke fans have been waiting for? 
    No. But OK, it's a great advancement in terms of the accomplishment - but how does it impact the market as a whole? It's great if you ride enduro bikes in the EU...but will TPI bring two-strokes back to off-road bikes?  
    Maybe, but motocross only bikes won't be included. Why not?  
    Because the Japanese factories have a lot of time and effort invested in four-stroke technology and it's not going away. They influenced the sanctioning bodies and promoters to implement unfair displacement rules that favor four-strokes. 
    So why did KTM do it? 
    Because a lot of folks ride two-stroke enduro bikes and KTM sells a lot of them both in Europe and here in the USA! Although KTM doesn't make two-stroke streetbikes per se, they do have two-stroke enduros with plates and lights and these enduro models are homologated for use on EU public roads, which means they have to adhere to tough new Euro4 emissions limits, as well as be prepared for the upcoming Euro5 restrictions. 
    I've spent a lot of time in the EU and small bikes matter...in fact small motorcycles are the norm not the exception. You see lots of small two-stroke bikes and scooters...but the EU impose restrictions on emissions so these bikes need to have some kind of emissions/clean air technology if they are to survive and prosper.  

    Photo: New for 2018 KTM TPI Unit
    KTM has come to the conclusion that Transfer Port Injection (TPI) is the EFI delivery system that has won the war against its Direct Fuel Injection (DFI) rival which was the technology explored earlier by KTM. Why? 
    DFI seemed good and had been proven on the street in a few smaller two-stroke applications and a bunch of four-strokes but when all the support hardware and electronics were installed on an off-road machine, things didn't play as well. Weight, expense and complexity all played into KTM abandoning the DFI technology. But they didn't stop looking for a cleaner burning two-stroke solution. TPI wins that war until something better comes along. 
    TPI wins for now because of its unique new design which according to KTM features "two lateral domes, holding the fuel injectors supplying fuel into the rear transfer ports. Thus the loss of unburnt fuel is reduced for less emissions, a more efficient combustion and reduced fuel consumption. A little tube in the back of the cylinder is connected with an intake pressure sensor, which supplies pressure data to the control unit."  
    KTM continued: "The TPI engine is fitted with a newly developed throttle body made by Dell`Orto. It features a diameter of 39mm. The airflow is regulated by a butterfly connected with a twin-cable throttle cam, which is operated by a new handlebar throttle assembly.  A throttle position sensor provides airflow data to the control unit, while a bypass screw allows the regulation of the idle speed. The cold start device also opens a bypass supplying more air. Via an oil intake tube oil supplied from the oil pump is mixed with the incoming air to lubricate crankshaft bearings and cylinder/piston etc." 
    Another great advantage is no more pre-mixing the fuel with oil, there is now an oil tank and metering system controlled by the ECU and this allows a very precise, variable and minimal mixture of oil to be burnt resulting in lower emissions.  

    Photo: KTM 2-Stroke TPI Engine for 2018
    Smaller niche companies that make two-stroke off-road machines in the same niche could be expected to follow this trend, possibly by licensing the technology from KTM or creating their own variants. This could include brands like Sherco, Ossa, Beta, TM, Gas Gas and the KTM-owned Husqvarna brand. 
    So more cool bikes in Europe but what does it mean for riders in the USA? 
    It could mean a little or a lot. Could this mean that KTM will be able to certify two-strokes with an emissions label indicating for "on-highway use"? This would be the hurdle to cross...once they've passed emission in places like Californis, the whole pie is up for grabs – here is what the California regulation says now: 
    "Off-highway motorcycles must have an emission label affixed to the vehicle indicating certification by the manufacturer for on-highway use when converting to on-highway or dual registration. Registration guidelines for off-highway motorcycles converting to on-highway or dual registration require verification of the emission label." 
    For KTM two-stroke riders, this technology would make sense to scale to the whole two-stroke lineup from EXC to SX. Imagine a version of the 250 EXC with lights that's legal for the streets here...and you ride it to work like the ultimate hooligan, or just be able to get a street plate to ride to your favorite riding destination. 
    In conclusion, most people thought two-stroke was dead but maybe, just maybe, technology like TPI will make it feasable for KTM to expand their offerings using this technology. The first step it seems would be the ability to pass emissions both in the EU and USA, then maybe apply it to US market machines.  
    If that happens we'll be first in line to try them. 
    __________________________
    ThumperTalk wants Your Comments On This Article:
    Is this a stopgap or a technological step forward?
    Would you ride a two-stroke street bike?
    Aren't those Six Day graphics awesome?
    Tell us what you think below!!
    Bryan Bosch
    DANNY LAPORTE: WORLDWIDE OPEN

    Always following his heart, never having the desire to repeat accomplishments, constantly looking for new, seemingly impossible challenges…few racing careers compare to the epic moto journey of Danny Laporte. Danny is and will always be part of our FMF family. Take a dive into the life of one of the most interesting personalities ever to race on two wheels.

    Video courtesy of FMF Racing - Uncle Donnie's Flying Machine Stories


     
    Bryan Bosch
    September 20, 2017 Motor Sports Newswire

    PICKERINGTON, OH – September 20, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) –  The American Motorcyclist Association has announced the professional competition numbers for pro-licensed riders competing in Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, and the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship for the 2018 season.
    All riders use the assigned professional number for competition. In addition, the current champion runs the No. 1 plate instead of an assigned professional number when competing in the class or region in which the No. 1 plate was earned. When competing in a class other than the class where the championship was earned, the rider must use the assigned professional number.
    2018 Top 100 and Career Pro Numbers for AMA Supercross and Motocross
    * Career Numbers
    ** New Career Number for 2018
     


     
    About the American Motorcyclist Association
    Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders’ interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com.
    Not a member? Join the AMA today.
    Source: American Motorcyclist Association

    FMFRacing73
    STACYC, the innovator of the 12” &16” eDrive Electric Balance Bikes is ready to launch it’s Rider Creation Program to dealers in the US. The brand has successfully tested the market for this amazing new product by selling direct to the consumer since Christmas. The response from STACYC riders and their parents has proven that the “idea” was more than just one dads quest to build the ultimate training tool for his two year old son, it’s a movement that will change the way kids learn to ride their first bicycle or motorcycle. STACYC has been able to help parents Share the Love of Riding with their kids earlier and safer than ever before.
    “We’ve engineered an electric balance bike that has redefined the process of getting kids Proficient on two wheels. The days of adding training wheels to a mini-moto or bicycle for the 2 – 5 year old are over. Our new bikes will engage kids in riding more often. The STACYC can be ridden in the backyard, the cul-de-sac or in the dirt anywhere they would ride a pedal bike. Waiting for the weekend for dad to get off work and take them to the off road park is not necessary any longer. Our vision is to help develop young riders earlier and safer than ever before. The seat time possible on a STACYC is the key. With hours of riding each week, kids begin to challenge themselves often and improve their riding almost instinctually. The skills
    they learn on their STACYC translate directly to bicycle and motorcycle riding, in turn giving them more confidence in their riding and better chance at pursuing a lifelong, lifestyle on two wheels.” – Ryan Ragland Co-Founder & CTO
    Checkout the video: https://vimeo.com/223400194
    Mike Dettmers, Director of Sales, STACYC, Inc.: "At STACYC we believe that we can help combat the trend that seems to be the hot topic industry-wide. The lack of new blood coming into both the motorcycle and bike industry is not something to take lightly. At STACYC we are a group of parents that are dedicated and passionate about bringing the two-wheeled lifestyle to our kids and others around the nation. Our goal is to bring these new riders and their parents into their local bike and motorcycle dealerships so that they can become part of a community that supports their new passion for riding.“

    The first dealers creating new riders in their local community are –
    Malcom Smith Motorsports – Riverside, CA Berts Mega Mall – Covina, CA Escondido Cycle Center - Escondido, CA Incycle Bicycles – 4 locations in Southern CA AD Farrow Co. Harley Davidson – Columbus, OH WMR Competition Performance – Stuart, FL PH Extreme – Miami, FL Cycle Barn – Marysville, WA Innovation Cycles – Derby, KS
       
    For more information about STACYC visit our website and social media channels
    www.stacyc.com and @ridestacyc on Instagram and Facebook.  
    For Dealer Inquiries reach out to miked@stacyc.com 



    Chris Cooksey
    Last year during the Red Bull Straight Rhythm, Alta Motors unveiled their Redshift motocross bike proving to critics the electric bike is no longer a novelty.  Recently, I had the opportunity to test ride the Redshift bike and tour Alta Motors.  I was blown away by the power of the bike and thought if someone replaced my gas powered bike (KTM350SX) with the Redshift I would not miss a beat.  The Redshift is comparable to any modern gas powered 250cc four stroke motorcycle, minus the noise pollution and emission of exhaust, but this article is not about the breakdown or the technical aspects of the bike.  
    There are quite a few articles out there that already do an exceptional job of reviewing the Redshift, you can find the information at www.altamotors.com.  Having a competitive Electric Motorcycle that offers comparable or superior performance to a gas powered machine can open new opportunities to the Motocross world and ultimately expand the industry, key word expand not replace.  Electric motorcycles are the future, opening doors to new riding areas and attracting a fresh generation of enthusiasts.

    Ripping in the city, causing no disruption.

    As city populations grow, riding areas and racing facilities continue to decline. Racing facilities are coming under fire for noise pollution, and in some cases are pressured to close or relocate to a further distance.  This problem began with 2 Stroke motors but 4 Stroke motors have significantly amplified the issue.  Electric bikes are not completely silent, but they are quiet enough to ride in highly populated areas without disturbing neighbors.  Anyone with land can have their own track, it doesn't matter if it's next to a library, the bikes does not cause noise disruptions.  With quiet motors and no exhaust, indoor riding facilities become a possibility.  Earplugs and giant industrial sized fans will no longer be required to make an indoor facility bearable.  
    Having fun while not bothering anyone.

    This is not to say electric bikes will not encounter their own challenges, run time was my main concern.  With that said, I hammered the Redshift (as fast as a 42 year old B rider can) on a motocross track for a solid 45 minutes and 18.9 miles before the battery was done.  It takes 2.5 hours to recharge, so if I had plugged the motorcycle in during my water break (about 30 min) I could have added approximately a quarter of charge back to the bike.  If I had charged the motorcycle it would have outlasted my fitness.  Alta Motors explained the bike would decrease power as the battery ran down, but I hardly noticed the difference.  The Redshift is the first generation of Alta Motors and motorcycle performance, and battery life will only improve from here.  With simple updates to your motorcycle’s software Alta motorcycle owners are constantly receiving the latest upgraded technology.  Rather than rebuilding your ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) motor, you can install an update.
    A look inside the Redshift motor

    I often ask people at motorcycle dealerships their opinion of electric and I receive instant resistance that is eerily similar to the past when motorcycles changed from 2 Stroke to 4 Stroke.  I remember the first 4 Stroke motorcycle I owned, it was a 2001 YZ426 and after 4 months I decided I was done with Motocross.  It was hard to start, it flamed out and handled like a bread truck. As gearheads we sometimes struggle with accepting change. For example, how much attention does any 2 Stroke event receive these days?  In 2004 after a few years of not riding, I was convinced to try a Honda CRF450 and to my surprise it started easy, had trackable power and handled like a motorcycle. I was back riding and hooked on motocross again!  If electric follows a similar development curve, bikes in the next few years are going to rapidly improve as the starting point is further developed than 4 Stroke motorcycles were in 2001.  Electric motors are simple and leave opportunities for manufacturers to create a plethora of bikes to suit all rider’s needs and budgets.  
    The guys hard at work in the assembly line.
     
    Today's kids are not riding motorcycles because they have iPads, Drones, Xbox and many other electronics to compete for their attention. If electric motorcycles create more urban riding areas and motorcycles with less bike maintenance, electric has potential to grab hold of the next generation.  My kids enjoy riding but don’t like the extremely loud sounds of 4 Stroke motorcycles and the 1-2 hour commute to our nearest track.  They would rather commute 10 minutes to the nearest BMX or skate park.  Imagine if parks could convert into an electric motocross track, far more kids would try motocross.  We need to involve younger kids in the sport we love or risk losing it.  I would love to see motorcross as a high school sport. Electric motorcycles will not take over all aspects of motocross, the electric motorcycle’s battery life may not be suited for sand tracks or long rides for quite some time.  There is definitely room for both electric and gas motors to coexist.  Motocross riders, myself included typically have more than one bike.  I would love to ride an electric track in town during the week and then hit the Sand Dunes on the weekend with an ICE bike.  Both can exist and compliment the industry and lifestyle.
    I got the guys to smile for a pic, then right back to work.

    I am a gear-head at heart and love the smell of burnt 2 Stroke oil, the vibration of an ICE motor and the sound of a full gate of motorcycles wide open waiting for the gate to drop.  These sounds and smells will never be replaced for me because they invoke memories that make up my entire life.  While electric bikes do not offer the sound or smell stimulations as and ICE bike they will open up new opportunities.  Have you ever wondered what Supercross riders say to each other after a dirty block pass?  With Electric bikes there is a good chance you will hear the conversation.  Will the electric generation of racers use trash talk?  No more need for pit boards, just yell!  The same joy I receive from the smell of 2 Stroke oil or hearing a bike roar will be what the electric generation receives from a buzzing sound similar to an RC car along with the sound of tires spinning.  Yes, I said the sound of the tires on the dirt.  About 5 minutes into my Redshift ride I stopped and checked to see if I had a flat.  Chad at Alta Motors erupted into laughter as almost everyone who rides the bike assumes the same.  Dirt Bike tires make a lot of noise, but the motorcycle usually drowns out the sound.  Hearing your tires might lead to advancements in tire performance, who knows?
    Chad from Alta showing his Endurocross prowess.
     
    The team at Alta Motors received homologation for FIM North America competition in the 250 class.  This unlocks Canada and propels them halfway closer to AMA Supercross, where they really want to race.  They have big plans this offseason.  Alta Motors is returning to Red Bull Straight Rhythm and including additional European Supercross events.  While racing with gas bikes proves they are not a novelty, attention should be focused on an electric only event too.  If the Electric bike is as fast as or faster than an ICE motorcycle the sport could expand to unthinkable territory.   All the major manufacturers have purchased Alta Redshift motorcycles to study and dissect.  They see the future and it’s ELECTRIC!
    Another shot of Chad.
     
    Here are some other articles and podcasts out there with information about the Alta Redshift:
    https://www.altamotors.co/redshiftmx#redshift-mx https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/rocky-mountain-atv-mc-keefer-tested-podcast/id1245516386?mt=2&i=1000391436611 http://www.cycleworld.com/alta-motors-redshift-mx-electric-motocross-bike-full-test-review#page-3 http://motocross.transworld.net/videos/first-impression-2017-alta-redshift-mx/#eiydtZMiphJBuSgs.97  
     

    Chris Cooksey
    Ken Roczen is riding again!  Since his historic crash in Anaheim, Roczen’s career has been in limbo with only hints and speculations by industry insiders of his return.  Ken continued to fuel hints via social media by documenting his surgeries and sharing with his fans his road to recovery since the horrific crash that severely damaged his left arm.  To date he has endured twelve surgeries on his left arm leading many to question his future riding ability.  Today at Mesquite Motocross Park while burning some Pre-Labor Day BBQ calories I noticed a clean looking Honda 450 with the number #94 plate.  I had stumbled across the HOLY GRAIL, Ken Roczen on a motocross track! While he was clearly cruising and getting comfortable, his talent is undeniable in case anyone is wondering.  
    Ken did two Moto’s roughly 30 minutes in length.  Until today I wondered if he would ever be the same rider he was before the accident.  After watching him ride I am confident we will see a dominant champion return.  I had the opportunity to chat with Ken, and while he did not want to answer any questions about his return, my guess is he will be ready for Anaheim 1.  
     
     
     
    Coach Robb
    The mindset of “No Pain, No Gain” is frequently found with athletes and racers who train too hard and/or too long and find themselves actually getting slower, frequently injured and experience feeling of burn out (tired, not interested in riding, suppressed appetite, etc.).  By breaking down the year into specific training “cycles”, the body is provided the correct combination of work and rest which creates a faster and stronger racer.  Once this delicate balance is obtained, and speeds are improving on the track, racers now have to endure something called “Pain or discomfort” to break through to new levels of speed consistently. 
    Humans by nature will take the pass of least resistance when it comes to survival; however, when you look at past champions (at any level of racing), they have learned how to deal with pain and discomfort as they address any physical limitations keeping them from being dominate.  For example, many people think that Adam Cianciarulo is fast because of his motors and suspension; however, I can tell you that when I was working with Adam Cianciarulo (Note: I lost working with him due to his professional contract with Pro Circuit) he is one of the most dedicated and hardest working racers I have ever had the privilege of working with. 
    During my time with AC, he had Zack Freeburg living & training with him and AC would literally look at Zack and tell him “you might as well quit, because I won’t” and guess what, he didn’t.  Ten years later, AC’s hard work, dedication and acclimation to pain and discomfort is what makes him the future of our sport (not that the bike Mitch has built for him is slowing him down at all!). 
    In addition to developing your strength, endurance & sprint speed, you must be able to handle though times in racing when racing simply hurt, it is the single limiting factor on race day.  It is what happens within your mind when you face pain and your body begins to rebel and your mind wanders into the area of self doubt and insecurity that will dictate just how fast and how well you will race.  Let’s take a look at a few things you can do to improve your “pain tolerance”.
    Here are 7 Rules for an improving your pain tolerance:
    Rule #1: Identify your Goals & Objectives
    When the training and racing becomes difficult it is easy to become mentally distracted by the pain and ultimately become afraid or intimidated to continue.  With all of our riders, we have them establish 3, 6 and 12-month goals, and then outline 3-5 objectives that must be completed to make the overall goal a reality.  The most difficult part of this exercise is that many people say that they want to be successful, but fail to identify what work needs to be done to make the goal a reality.  For example, a goal like “I want to be fast” is not measureable.  Saying that you want to “Increase my consistency to 1 second over a 10-lap race” is measurable and trainable.  If you haven’t received my MotoE Goals & Objectives module, please email me directly. 
    Rule #2: Identify your Physical Limiters by testing yourself every 5 to 6 weeks
    The best athletes & racers test themselves regularly to evaluate what their physical & mental weaknesses are (both on and off of the track).  If you are not good at opening lap sprinting (i.e. you come on strong the second half of the moto) you probably don’t complete many interval workouts on the Concept 2 Rower or 2 lap sprints at the track.  Why: because you don’t like them!  However, the quickest way to improve your sprint speed is to train the energy system specific to sprinting (i.e. lactate tolerance).  By testing yourself every 5 – 6 weeks (depending on the time of the season), both on and off the track, you are able to evaluate if what you have been doing over the last four to five weeks is actually moving you closer to your overall goals (see above).  Though this sounds obvious, think about when you last tested your sprint speed, muscular endurance, strength levels, flexibility and sweat rate?  If you would like a testing assessment (both on and off of the track) for all of these performance variables, please email me directly.
    Rule #3: Train to remove your Physical Limiters
    After you identify your physical limiters (see Rule #2), each workout needs to address your physical limiter.  As mentioned in Rule #1, as humans, we train what we are good at and avoid what we don’t like (and not good at).  Too frequently I see dedicated riders heading to the track, gym, jumping on a Concept 2 rower or the open road on their road bike without any focus; if you don’t begin a workout with a specific mental focus on the physical change associated with the workout (i.e. improved sprint speed, enhanced endurance or consistency); you miss the opportunity to eliminate the gap between your mental goals and your physical ability. 
    Rule #4: Build Pain Tolerance with Difficult Workouts
    When building workouts for my clients, every 10 days I introduce a workout that is not only difficult, but also, scary!  These key workouts are designed to be more difficult than an actual race (both in duration and intensity).  By learning how to adapt and overcome pain and discomfort translates into race day confidence knowing that the race is actually “easier” than training during the week.  For example, with our riders I will ask them what kind of conditions do they hate riding in: dry and blue groove or wet and sloppy?  If they say that they hate dry and blue groove, we go out of our way to find tracks to ride that force the rider to “learn to adapt” to the skills necessary to ride dry, blue groove tracks.  Though it isn’t always convenient, it built both the physical skill set along with the mental confidence knowing that there isn’t a condition that the rider can’t ride well in.     
    Rule #5: Create Race Day Simulation
    Again, this rule is a little difficult to implement, but yields huge dividends on race day.  By identifying the specific aspects of the race that are mentally and physically demanding, you will become more familiar of what you need to put in place to address an distressing situations (upset stomach, riding tight, etc.).  As you begin to eliminate the negative effects with a specific plan, you have a “blueprint” that you can implement the morning of high priority races to race to your fullest potential.  Within our MotoE Mental Blueprint Program, we refer to this as the familiarity principle where your race day strategy has been tried and proven to create the desired results on race day - this eliminates the situation where one race goes well and another goes less than ideal.
    Rule #6: Train & Race Prepared
    In addition to starting each workout understanding the purpose of the workout and the physical limiter that is being addressed, maximize your training efforts by being well hydrated, fed, and rested (as indicated by your resting heart rate).  When you bring all of these elements into a workout, you are now in a position to elevate your intensity, push your duration and the mental focus to implement the skills and drills to handle higher rates of speed.  Think about the first time you were able to clear an intimidating double or blitz the whoops in third gear, completing the challenge the first time was intimidating, but trying it a second time is even more intimidating.  If you are tired, hungry and thirsty, your chances of success are minimal.  If you are still struggling with what to eat and how much to drink, please email me directly.  and I will send you some tools to eliminate the guess work. 
    Rule #7: Learn From Every Race
    After a high-quality training session or race, sit down with a blank piece of paper and outline the race in three steps.
    Step 1: What went well and why?
    Step 2: What didn’t go well and why?
    Step 3: Of the elements that didn’t go well, what can you control, what can’t you control?
    Reviewing step three is where you have the opportunity to “learn” from your weekend.  For example, you may note that it wasn’t a good race because it rained.  You can’t control the rain; however, you can train in wet and muddy conditions to improve both your skills and confidence.  If you didn’t like a particular element of the track, say deep ruts, you now realize what you should be working on the next time you head to the track – deep ruts.  By improving your skills associated with deep ruts, eliminates the self-inflicted pain and intimidation of deep ruts which results in faster lap times.  Though it may sound like a cliché, I preach to my riders all the time – Work Smart, Not Hard!
    If you have any questions or need anything clarified, please feel free to email me directly at Robb@CoachRobb.com. 
     
    MotoTribology
    If you are unfamiliar with the topic, it is worthwhile for you to read my article about Base Fluid Types. Knowing the basics beforehand will help you understand this article more easily.
    I often see or hear the statement about how “full synthetic” oils are not really synthetic and they are actually highly refined group III (Grp III) petroleum oils instead. While it is certainly common these days for “full synthetic” oils to be made using Grp III base oils, it is not always the case. There are brands making full synthetic products utilizing group IV (PAO) base oils as implied by the “full synthetic” moniker still. I refer to these products as “true synthetics”.
    Group V (ester) base fluids are another type of synthetic but they are uniquely different from both Grp III and PAO oils. Grp III and PAO are extremely similar in how they are utilized in lubricating oils. They can often be directly substituted for one another without major formulation concerns. So the comparison of those two is where I am focusing this article. Most synthetic oils use some amount of esters in them regardless of whether they use Grp III or PAO as the main base oil, but I’m not going to go in too much depth about esters in this article.
    The Differences
    The big difference that most people focus on is the price and rightly so. True synthetics are just plain expensive. No matter which company makes it or how it’s made, PAO and ester base fluids can be 1.5 to 4 times more costly than Grp III oils. True synthetics just cannot compete on price with Grp III oils and even with the economies of scale, that can’t be helped.
    As refining technology has improved, Grp III oils are now extremely close to PAO oils in many performance categories. However, Grp III base oils can only approach the performance of PAO base oils so much because refining processes can only change the molecules so much. Since no process is perfect, there will always be some unstable molecules in the refined oils. This instability is mostly caused by unsaturated bonds in the molecules, which are openings for oxidationto occur. PAO synthetic molecules have fully saturated molecules making them less prone to oxidation.
    Although viscosity modifiers contribute heavily to low and high temperature viscosity performance, the natural viscometric stability of PAO is better than Grp III. So after being used for several hundred miles, the polymers may be sheared to a point that the natural viscosity characteristics of the base oil have a big effect on performance. When that is the case, PAO has an advantage over Grp III.
    There are two performance advantages that typical Grp III has over PAO that are not widely known. The first is most additives have better solubility in petroleum oils like Grp III so they mix more easily than they do in PAO. That is one reason why esters are so commonly used in synthetic formulations because the ester base fluids increase the overall additive compatibility. So it is rarely an issue in either type of oil, but the Grp III does have a better natural ability to keep additives from separating.
    The second advantage Grp III has is its sludge handling properties and it is a bit more complicated than the additive compatibility issue. Sludge is produced as an oxidation byproduct. So Grp III actually produces more sludge than PAO does. However, Grp III keeps that sludge from separating for the same reasons it keeps additives from separating. This dissolved sludge increases the viscosity of the oil but resists separating. PAO, on the other hand, does not dissolve sludge as easily. So even though PAO produces less sludge through oxidation, the sludge that does form has a higher tendency to separate from the oil. Similar to the additive solution, ester base fluids blended with the PAO can stop this from happening, but still, Grp III* has the natural advantage in this property.
    *As a matter of fact, it is actually the “impurities” of the Grp III base oil that help in this regard, so the less refined an oil is, the better this ability can be. A Group I or a Group II oil could actually outperform a Group III in sludge tests if the antioxidant performance is adequately high.
    One additional difference that true synthetics have compared to Grp III is the drain interval. Most PAO based full synthetics tout extended drain intervals that make the upfront cost more reasonable. By the time the extended interval has elapsed, it can be double the mileage in some cases; and having to buy oil (and do oil changes) half as often is a valuable consideration for many people.
    Which One to Choose
    On one hand, “close enough” is good enough for many riders, and taking that stance is unlikely to result in any problems for most people. The performance benefits of true synthetics are there, but most real world motorcycle applications rarely stress the oil enough to fully realize those benefits. Racing applications or extreme environments, like snow riding, mudders, or desert riding, will push the oil to its limits, but the average riding situation won’t be brutal enough to necessitate a true synthetic.
    On the other hand, some people just want the “real thing” and want to get what they pay for, which I can absolutely relate to. Since Grp III is much cheaper than PAO, that cost difference should show in the retail price. So if I were buying a Grp III oil, I would expect the price to be much less than a comparable true synthetic product.
    Some people simply want the very best product they can get; even if the benefits of it are hard to see or quantify. Peace of mind can be a powerful thing, and the peace of mind that comes from knowing you are using the best possible type of product can make it worth the added cost. A more tangible possibility is that the performance benefits of true synthetics may be the difference between an ugly failure and business as usual in a critical situation.
    Is a failure like that probable? No, but that isn’t to say it doesn’t happen.
    I’ve heard enough stories from customers and other riders about bikes running on the ragged edge, which kept going long enough to get into the shop before catastrophe struck to convince me that it does happen. So those extreme circumstance mentioned above (racing, desert riding, mudders, and snow riding) can definitely warrant the use of a true synthetic and sometimes a worn machine that is over-stressed can push the oil to its limits.
    It would be impossible to truly attribute the differences between Grp III and PAO base oil as the cause or demise of an engine in the case of a failure, but I would be surprised if it hasn’t been the case in more than a few engine failures and near misses.
    How to Tell the Difference:
    So how do you tell if a company uses “true” or Grp III synthetic base oils to make their product? One way is looking up the safety data sheet (SDS) for the product. SDS’s can be a bit cryptic and some companies just don’t include as much information in theirs as other do, but often you can gain some information from them. There are two areas of an SDS that can give you some clues, sections 3 and 15. Section 3 of most SDS’s is the composition section and section 15 is the regulatory section. Section 3 will often give you a clue as to the type of base oils are being used. If section 3 is too unclear, section 15 may have additional information.
    Here is a list of the commonly used words for the different types of base fluids in SDS documents:
    Petroleum (non-synthetic):
    Mineral oil Petroleum oils Petroleum distillates Hydrotreated Hydrocracked Naphthenic Paraffinic Naphthalene Severely refined Solvent refined Synthetic:
    Decene Dodecene Ester Polyalphaolefin Polyolefin Diester Polyolester Ambiguous (Maybe PAO or ester but possibly Grp III):
    Synthetic oils A good thing about most true synthetic base oils is that they are not often considered hazardous. That is great for our health and the environment, but it also means they are typically excluded from SDS’s since the document is meant to illustrate potential hazards. So they are not always listed on the SDS. However, petroleum base oils are rarely excluded so the lack of any base oils on the list tends to point to at least some true synthetic content.
    SDS’s can usually be found on either the manufacturer’s website or through a quick internet search using the name of the product and either “SDS” or “MSDS” (~product name here~ sds or ~product name here~ msds)
    There is another way to find out information about the composition of the products you are buying. This method should result in you knowing exactly what you are buying and answer all of your questions. Call the manufacturer! Call the technical service department for the brand you are curious about and ask them direct questions. Some companies may be guarded with their information and be reluctant to tell you anything, but I’d bet a fair share of them will be very forthright and answer your questions. The trick is to ask questions with yes or no answers or questions that require very direct answers. Questions like:
    Do your full synthetic products use group III base oils? Do your full synthetic products use Group IV or Group V (PAO or ester) base fluids? What types of base fluids are used in your synthetic products? If the responses you get don’t really answer your questions and you have people telling you about “synthetic performance” rather than synthetic content, you can be pretty sure that they are not using true synthetic base oils. Regardless, you will have learned something about the products and gained some knowledge, so it is worth the phone call either way.
    So Does it Really Matter?
    Grp III base oils have extremely good performance and really do compare well against PAO in a lot of performance categories. They are much more stable than their group I and II counterparts in the range of petroleum oils. They lubricate well and are very versatile for formulators to use due to better additive compatibility and lower costs compared to PAO. The performance benefits of PAO over Grp III mentioned earlier in the article are real and quantifiable in lab tests. However in a real world situation such as a motorcycle engine, those benefits are much harder to quantify and likely imperceptible to most riders.
    If you were hoping to have a clear and definitive answer by the end of this article, I’m sorry to disappoint you. From a technical standpoint a true synthetic is the better option. From a consumer standpoint, the added cost of true synthetics might not be worth it for the average rider. For racers and people riding in extreme conditions, I think true synthetics are the way to go.
    In the end, the only person who can decide what is right for you, is you; but I hope now you can make that decision with a better understanding of what you are choosing.
    This and more technical articles can be found at www.mototribology.com. If you have questions about this or any other lubrication related topics, feel free to PM me your inquiries.
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