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Hello ThumperTalk readers! Been a while, I’m going to go ahead and bring you up to speed on where I’ve been and where I am headed.
After numerous crashes and a bit of luck I managed to gain my Road To Supercross points by making the main events at both the Greensboro and Florence Pro Arenacross races in both the AX and AX Lites classes, as well as top 5 finishes in the 250A class at the Tampa and Atlanta Amateur Supercross rounds, winning the Atlanta round. I have to say that my experience with Arenacross was a bit different than the first time I had jumped into it. While I really only had about a week’s worth of prep in total for my Arenacross races, I at least had a good idea of what the entire day is like and what to expect as far as the track goes, the racing, and the strategy. I definitely was able to be more deliberate about my actions on the track and that allowed me to advance into the main events. Whether it was knowing the spot to get aggressive in an LCQ, or knowing that the two guys in front of me were going to take each other out and where it was going to happen in order to set myself up to pass both of them when they hit. Moral of the story for Arenacross racing, was that I had to be calculated and smart to achieve the outcome that I wanted consistently.
Loretta Lynn's Regional Championship at WW Ranch, photo by Maine Event Photography (MEPMX)
Since getting my Road to Supercross points, the focus has been going through the process of qualifying for Loretta’s… which is something I am way too familiar with at this point! Both of my area qualifiers had something interesting in store for me. For my Southeast region, I had the chance to race against Tony Archer! It was definitely a cool experience, even though I managed to screw up my lead on the last lap by overshooting the inside line with my front tire by just enough to go down and then not being able to catch back up. Definitely learned a bit about being confident in my speed and staying forward-focused to keep me in front of someone that has a lot of experience and a lot of speed. It’s definitely different having someone behind you that is very well-versed with racing at the highest level and has the ability to read someone and their next choices like a book, compared to most amateurs (myself included) that still have a bit of that gusto to just try to use brute force or drag racing someone to the inside line. My Mideast qualifier… well that was a bit muddy to say the least, starting the weekend with a backhoe pulling us into a spot to pit. Having less than an hour of ride time on my 350, as well as about 20-30 minutes of ride time on my Twisted Development 250 created a little bit of uncertainty, but also excitement in the race! I’ll have a review on the performance of my Twisted Development motor up soon.
2018 Loretta Lynn's Regional Championship at Redbud MX, photo by Diffysmooth
Then came the regionals. Feeling like I had a point to prove a point, along with the next level of confidence of being on some very competitive equipment… it didn’t exactly mesh well for me for the conditions of the track. While there was some back luck I could not control in terms of other riders and a freak cross-rut on one of the faster jumps, I was in the positions to qualify, but my problem was that I did not want to settle and could not put my bravado of believing in myself aside to just do what needed to be done. When Redbud came around, however, the mindset had changed. While it rained every single day and at some points it would’ve been better to have a jet ski on the track… I relied on my knowledge of putting myself in a good position and being more mindful of my ability and what the track conditions allowed me to do. Until it was all set and done, I had finished 11-2-2 for 4th overall in Open Pro Sport and 5-3-11 in 250A for 5th overall, both positions that get tickets to the big show! Definitely not going to talk about both of my 11th place finishes… let’s just say it was the kick in the rear I needed to get a set of acorns and not be intimidated by the mud (which also came from a talk from mom).
2018 Loretta Lynn's Regional Championship at WW Ranch, photo by David Lando
From there, it’s on to Loretta’s! From Loretta’s, we’ll see how things shape up. Until next time, keep the dirt churned up. I’ll see you out there. Thanks for reading!
Huge thanks to everyone who sticks behind me. Husqvarna, Xtreme Powersports, Race Tech, MPR Suspension, Boyesen, Fly, X Brand, RoostMX, Acerbis, Dunlop, Twisted Development, Twin Air, Mika Metals, Wiseco, EVS, Tamer Holeshot Hookup
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Today I want to shift gears, open the floor for discussion, and talk about the state of dirt biking as it relates to the bikes we buy, ride, and maintain. In my relatively short existence, a number of things have happened in the industry which has been interesting to see. A few examples, which are not by any means exhaustive of all that has gone on, include the emergence of the four-stroke power plant, electronic fuel injection, improved tire technology, electric bikes, and the development of air forks. On a more micro-level we’ve seen improvements to materials, new manufacturing processes, and coating processes which have allowed ever increasing performance.
As a fellow rider and someone who has no bias or stake when it comes to manufacturers and product offerings, I’d like to hear your thoughts as they relate to today’s machines.
- My question to you is a simple one, are your needs as a consumer being met by today’s manufacturers and bikes?
- What aspects of today’s machines do you love and what are pain points for you?
- If you could do things your way, what would you change?
- Are there machine variants that aren’t being offered?
Leave a comment below that addresses these questions or share your historical perspective! I look forward to your responses.
Thanks and have a great week!
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Want one of these cool jerseys? We need your help picking out the best film poster.
My last post highlighted a moto documentary film that will be coming out soon. Its called Never Ride Alone. Make sure to follow the official Facebook movie page at Never Ride Alone Film https://www.facebook.com/neverridealonemovie/ to stay up to speed on the release dates and film festival showings.#neverridealonefilm
As I am in the final stages of putting the finishing touches on the film project. I find myself in a spot where I need some help. So, I thought I would find some good old Thumpertalk advice. Instead of asking for opinions on which is the best oil, guaranteed to bring a thousand opinions, I thought I would ask opinions on movie poster options. What better way to prod you for a response than to make it a contest.
Here goes. I have an official MotoMission Peru jersey to give away to one of the TT members that cast their vote for the movie poster. All of the votes will be taken into account, a list will be made of each person that provides a vote, and one of the names will be randomly drawn. The winner gets a sweet jersey out of the deal, just like the one in the picture above.
Option 1, 2 or 3...Pick your favorite and message me for a chance to win an official MotoMission jersey
The Official Never Ride Alone Film Trailer
I am not sure if you caught my last post, but I shared the official movie trailer with the TT community. Here it is again in case you missed it. It should get you excited for the film. The film is about exploring the Andes mountains of Peru on a dirtbike, and its filmed, directed, and produced by a dirtbiker. I will let the trailer do the rest of the teasing.
As for the film, many have asked about release dates. The film should be finished during the summer of 2018. It will be released in the film festival scene first. From there, it can take a few different paths, but it will be available for purchase after the film festival circuit is complete. Again, make sure to follow the official Facebook movie page at Never Ride Alone Film to stay tuned to festival schedule and showings near you.
I am looking forward to tallying up your votes. Also, stay on the lookout for a sweet movie coming soon.
Until the next one,
Scott Englund is the owner/operator of MotoMission Peru, a social enterprise hard enduro operation nestled in the Andes Mountains of Cusco, Peru. Check out our website at www.motomissionperu.com or find us on Facebook at MotoMission Peru. Feel free to follow along this blog for ride adventures in exotic places, with amazing people, and with some incredible experiences along the way.
Do you struggle with building a nutrition and training program that doesn’t leave you exhausted and flat on race day?
During Podcast #13, Coach Robb walks you through the four stages necessary for optimum strength, speed and endurance specific to anything endurance (triathlon, running, mountain biking, road cycling, adventure racing, long distance open water swimming, hiking and climbing, off road motorcycle racing (2 plus hours like BAJA & GNCC).
Before listening to this podcast, make sure you have a pen and paper to take some notes. Coach Robb outlines the three main components associated with performance then walks you through four stages associated with building the perfect endurance program: Creating an Athlete Performance Profile, Creating an Athlete’s Foundation for Performance, Performance Evaluation and Performance Development. After listening to this podcast, you will have the ultimate template for optimized endurance specific performance.
And as the people’s podcast, Coach Robb answers listeners questions about the benefits of massage, how to control intensity for weight loss and cycling, how to recover from a snowboarding session, benefits of energy gels and blocks during a half marathon and when to review biofeedback indicators.
Click the play button below to to listen to the podcast. If you want to be notified of future podcasts & blog entries, be sure to tap the "Follow" button right here on ThumperTalk.
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Had a great day of riding Saturday with my buddy @Bryan Bosch in the Withlacoochee National Forrest just north of Dade City, Fl. It's still pretty wet from the summer rains and Hurricane Irma didn't help! But, like always, the 701 took everything in stride, even with worn Continental TKC80 tires. Well, "almost" everything...
Unfortunately, the trail riding portion of the day got cut short because of a little mishap that resulted in my clutch perch letting go of the handlebars...
As we left the sandy trails, turning onto a damp, hard-packed clay road, just a tiny little goose of the throttle caused the bike to walk sideways into an unrecoverable low-speed drop...
Since the fall seemed so minor, I was surprised to see that the pinch bolt for the clutch perch had pulled out the threads! Uhhhhh, this is the "Enduro" model, not the wimpy SM version or even more girly-man KTM 690 Enduro R! IT'S a HUSKY!!!!!
Fortunately my riding partner is a zip tie junkie, so we patched things up enough to get 'er home.
When I got it home, I noticed that the threads went quite a bit deeper than the factory installed bolt was taking advantage of, so I was able to thread it back together using a longer bolt. Clearly this is a bit of a weak spot on the big girl, so I'll be installing REAL hand guards shortly.
What hand guards do you guys like? Hit me up in the comments section below and don't be afraid to share your pictures. I'd love your help in picking out a pair of hand guards. Time to replace the stock wannbe "bug guards" er, huh... "hand guards".
Moto the big girls? Thought about it!!!! - Dade City MX park on the way home. At least the KTM comes with full wrap around hand guards.
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Tired of your ride and want to try something new? Bike too big or too small and think you need a size adjustment? Here are a few pointers on how to trade what you have now for that perfect bike you’ve been dreaming of at little to no cost! If you are thinking of swapping dirt bikes there are a few strategies that you must be familiar with to be successful.
The first strategy and the hardest part of trading off road motorcycles is getting one in the first place if you do not already have one. Riders do like to swap bikes, however it is uncommon that they want to trade it for something other than another dirt bike. The only people who are usually looking to get out of the sport are those that either have been injured or those who have a new family and no longer have the time to ride. In either case both those types of people are usually looking to maximize their profits to help out with their respective causes. If you do not already have a bike I found that there are two main items people usually swap one for. The first are ATV’s. People who have dirt bikes tend to be hooked to off road riding, though some find dirt bikes too hard to too risky. These are the types of people that want to swap for an ATV. It’s been my experience that most people prefer 4X4 ATV’s instead of the race ATV. I find this I mostly due to again race ATVs being too fast and higher risk. Also some people prefer them because you can have a passenger and is cheaper to ride 2 up on an ATV then have 2 bikes. If you don’t have an ATV to trade the second most popular trade item sought are boats. The most popular boats accepted as trades seem to be bow riders. After contacting a few of these people, it seems that they no longer have the time for both their fishing and biking past times and they chose fishing as their primary activity. Lastly if you have neither an ATV nor boat to trade you can try household items such as riding lawn mowers, snow blowers, hunting equipment etc. I was able to secure a 1984 Honda CR 125 by trading some camping equipment I had just sitting in my basement. I did have to drive over 6 hours but seeing as how I was looking for trades for a few months at that point I jumped at the chance.
The second strategy of trading is if you have a two stroke then trade it for a four stroke or vice versa. We all know the two vs four stroke debate. Some people just prefer to ride the one style vs another. This is your opportunity to profit by finding someone who just rode their buddy’s horse from a different pasture and trading with them. Nobody likes to lose out in a deal but you can turn that feeling of joy they felt in riding the other style bike into value in your bike. What I mean is people will trade their newer bikes for ones a few years older simply because they feel that style is better for them. This may take some convincing by reminding them how great that snappy responsive two stroke is vs their heavy slow four stroke, or how much smoother and more neighbor friendly your four stroke is vs their two stroke. The main point here is find out why are coveting their neighbor’s goods and play on that. Most of the time people are willing to sacrifice to trade for your bike that’s a few model years older to get what they want.
The third way to trade up bikes is to trade one in perfect running condition for one that is not. The purpose for this would be to trade from an older model of either stroke to a newer one. For this you will need some mechanical prowess and a few dollars depending on what needs to be done. I wouldn’t really recommend trading a fully functional bike for a nonfunctioning one unless the nonfunctioning one is significantly newer. One of the main points here is that the newer bike should have a greater value when running then your old bike plus the amount of money you’re going to sink into the new one to get it running. This is how I was able to get from my 1984 Honda CR125 to a 2005 Yamaha 250F. The owner could not start it and just wanted a bike that ran. As it turns out all the bike needed was a valve shim (At this point in my riding career I was just starting to work on bikes and made a fatal error in placing the new shim causing a catastrophic failure but none the less the bike was able to start and run. Had I done the work correctly I would have been well ahead but more on this in a later blog) Beware of people who claim it just needs a carb clean, as this is almost never the reason it’s not running. Be prepared to replace the whole valve train.
Another way of trading and the fourth on this list is trading from a motocross style bike to a trail riding model or vice versa. Often times a racer will want to give up on the motocross scene and get into the relaxed world of trail riding. This may be your opportunity to trade your slightly older comfortable Cadillac cruising trail bike for their newer high revving beast. On the contrary others may opt to want to get into the fast paced world of mx racing and give up their newer modded trail riding pony for your motocross bike. I personally traded my 2005 Yamaha 250F for a 2004 Yamaha WR250F for the reasons stated above. The race bike was all I could trade for at the time, but it gave me leverage to get into the WR. A fellow in my town build a new mx track so I was able to capitalize on someone trading in their trail bike to get onto the track. Most people are wary to get a bike that has been raced, but if you’ve taken care of it, have a log of the work that’s been done and can show receipts of work you will have a much easier time. I tend to trust racers who know their bikes inside and out more than I do the backyard trail riders who have never checked their shims or cleaned their oil screen. There are however some racers who bag the crap out of their bikes then dump them, and trail riders who meticulously care for their princesses so you have to ask the questions. What have you done, when and how many hours.
Lastly the fifth method of trading is for power. There are plenty of people out there who bite off more than they can chew and are looking to trade their 450 four stroke or 250 two stroke for the next smaller size down. This also works in reverse for people who have outgrown their bikes and are looking to trade up. Many times they are willing to sacrifice a couple of model years to achieve this, or go from a more expensive brand to a less expensive brand to get what they want.
Some other points when it comes to trading are to be patient. Frequent all of the different online used sites. Some people include a willingness to trade in their ad, others don’t, I would ask everyone who has an online ad regardless on if they say they will trade or not as often times they have just never thought of it. Never trust anyone at their word on what the bike needs to be repaired unless it’s backed up by a repair shops written opinion. Be willing to travel and check your neighboring town’s ads as well. Its rare, but you may also benefit by trading your bike for something not necessarily what you wanted, but something that is more trade-able or more desirable then what you have as a mid-step to trade for what you want.
Do you have a good trade story? Share it in the comments below!
In this training video I cover cornering line selection on the motocross track and the advantages & disadvantages of each. As always, if you have any questions, hit me up in the comments section below. I look forward to hearing from you.
Garrahan Off-Road Training
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Sure, it's fun to put some laps in on a motocross track. But, you'll fall short of your potential if you're not using this key practice law of practicing important techniques separately. This is true for motocross cornering skills as well as motocross jumping skills. Did you know that riding really well requires mastering as many as 55 separate techniques, all laced seamlessly together? Find them all in the popular Motocross Practice Manual!
If you'd like more of my riding tips, browse my blog here on ThumperTalk or my website. If you'd like to be notified when I post new riding tips, subscribe by clicking the "follow" button (upper right).
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