KTM 50 jumps double at SLC Supercross!

I think it is possible to allow your kids to ride and not allow them to race. Racing a MX is about zillion times more risky than riding them for fun I think... That is what I would do

Anyway, I often find myself at thinking that the most interresting race of the day was the 80s. One day, few years ago, I attempted to a supercross event (outdoor) and the fastest 80s was faster than the fastest 125 beginner. This little 80 was so fast, I still wish I could fly like he was flying on that day.

Now it is confirmed I'm a chicken :)

Sheeeeeit! That blowed up REAL good! Ah, the memories..... building model cars just to torch them with an M80 behind the wheel, watching your buddy lay a bunch of blanks on a cinder block and drop a brick on them, Oh how we laughed watching him pick the shrapnel out of his shins, waiting until your buddy walks by the camp fire to throw an empty gas can into it, the look on his face as he gawked at his hairless lower legs was priceless, the BB gun, rock and fire cracker fights, the look on a mumblypeg loosers face .... Sigh..... :):D

As the father of two young racers, I hope all of this crap about child abuse and such is just in fun. These kids are good. REAL good. Look at that pic and tell me where you have ever seen better form. He is totally confident, doing what he loves, and it shows! (Sky-man thinks he is going to case it a bit on that particular jump, though.)

Each kid is different. Who are we to judge what that young man is capable of? I can see with my own eyes that he is way better than me. Will he ever crash? Of course. Will he get hurt? I doubt it and sincerely hope not. He knows what he is doing.

Sky had to start his first year in the 50cc Senior Class (Sr bikes have longer wheelbase, lots more power, and lots more suspension) on his old Junior bike. It was not a good feeling to send my son out there against his buddies and rivals "outgunned", but the money just wasn't there yet for a new $3,600 King Cobra (which eat KTMs for lunch), and at least it was a Junior Cobra... During practice, he pulls over and talks about it with me. I will never forget that afternoon: "I might be outgunned, Dad, and they might beat me, but I won't let them out-ride me. Do you think I can clear that long double? None of the 65's or 80's have even tried it. The other guys are killing me on the straights, but they are afraid of that jump. I'm not."

Decision time. "Son, the only way you will make that jump is to absolutely make up your mind to give it all you got before you even enter the previous corner. You will have to slingshot out of there with the throttle pegged. If you hesitate or even think about it, you will crash hard and ugly. It is a "do or die" jump. No such thing as "almost". But if you are asking me if I think you and the bike CAN do it; the answer is YES. But don't even try if YOU have the slightest doubt."

The first moto starts and he is switching back and forth with the leader. Sky is taking him in the corners only to lose in the straights. There just aren't enough corners and he is forced into second... On the second lap, he shoots into the corner, throttle WFO... My heart stops!... He launches that little 50 up and over the entire jump AND the lead rider! He did that double 6 more times during that and the second moto. It was freaking the other boy out! The crowd was going nuts! Sky did crash on the last attempt on the last lap (landing spot was getting loose). HARD! UGLY! Heart attack! Before anyone could reach him, he had that bike back up and, in pain and with tears filling his goggles, finished second with his handlebars bent down alongside his tank...

At the finish line, the father of the winner went right past his own son and picked Sky right off the bike in a huge bearhug and told him he had more heart than anyone on that track. They still talk about "the insane little 50 rider" at that track... The crowd got their money's worth. Sky got that feeling of confidence and heart-felt determination which propelled him to the District Championship a year later. Make no mistake: age for age, pound for pound, cc for cc, these little racers are as fiercely competetive and talented as any 250 A riders. I will sell my own bike if necessary to keep him from ever feeling "outgunned" and desperate again, though.

When it comes to personal challenges and goals and responsibilities, I give each of my sons all the freedom and support they want and that I feel they can handle. The father of the little super-star in that photo could never in a million years FORCE that boy to do that jump. That is pure heart and desire you are seeing there. The heart of a champion. :):D Something we seem to lose as we get older...

Look Chaindrive, It would be so long to answer your last post like I would like to that I could spend the day on it. Why? Because I totally agree with some parts of your talk and totally disaggree with some others.

Let's first say that I do think that each parent should stay entirely free regarding the things they allow their kids to do...

My main point is that supercross is a too dangerous sport. That is my very humble opinion. I'll never try to race in those jumps because I find it too dangerous for me. Sending my kid to a race would be exposing him to something that I think is too dangerous to me. What kind of a parent would I be?

On your side, mx racing is acceptable for you and thus acceptable for your kid: I understand perfectly and respect your opinion.

Who am I to judge the ability of my young kid is not the question. I agree with you that the jumper above is evidently talented and has not been forced to do it. But affirming that "it is the heart of a champion" has to be temperated by the fact that this kid does not know what he is doing. I mean, I'm sorry, but you can't ask an 8 years old kid to understand what could be the consequences of this jump :). That is why parents are responsible of their kids. YOU have to judge for him what is an acceptable risk ( and we can disaggree on what is an acceptable risk, of course:cool:) It is not that the kid is not brilliant, it is just that he has not enough life experience, knowledge...to judge.

Do we loose our "heart of a champion" or "appetite for the victory" as we get older? Naaaahhh! :D :D We are just more conscient that the risk we will have to take to get that victory might have bad consequences. That what drives our decision of giving less throttle and that is what the kid on the pic is not conscient of... That is why he has parents to judge for him. That is reality against dreams.

So, I think that the kid that wants victory effectively has the heart of a champion because of its will to win. But for him, jumpin it is not has crazy as for us... The champion knows what the risks are and decides to go hard even so.

I see a champion when the guy goes through its fear to win in perfect knowlege of what the consequences might be.

Some of the kids will get older and become champions :D

Take care

P.S. This talk is becoming very interesting

Hi Math,

You make a great argument. There are many factors involved in parental decisions. How a dad determines what his son can handle and what is just too dangerous... It depends on the individual kid. Sky's little brother, Wyatt, is a good example. He is now as old as Sky was when he did that big double, but there is no way I would let him try it; nor would he want to. They are very different boys, but each knows his own limits. So do I. I also know their's.

A lot depends on what a parent considers dangerous. We will be at my club's Supercross track in a couple of hours to kick off our '03 season. I don't race on that track because it is too hard for me and my woods-suspension WR. The boys love it. While I will cheer my sons on at high speed and altitude on the SX track, I will not allow them to ride their bicycles the 1 1/2 miles into our small town. The road here goes to a couple of lakes and campgrounds, etc. and is just too dangerous with all the weekend warrior traffic. Hills and curves and motorhomes and boat trailers... So there you have it: 50mph on a SX track is OK; but 15mph on a bicycle is not. But it is not their skills that keep me from letting them pedal to town to see their buddies; it is the other people on that road.

Part of learning to ride and race is learning to crash. Proper gear is an absolute must. I have pulled Skyler from the track on more than one occassion when I judged him to be in the wrong frame of mind or just too tired. That is when it is most dangerous. He sometimes has friends come to watch. He can get as distracted as any kid. I won't let him race if his mind is not 100% on what he is doing. If I see fear or hesitation or fatigue (poor jump timing and sloppy landings are the early signs), we put the bike away. Riding scared or distracted or tired is a no-no. Kids are just like us: They will find their own comfort zone on a track. Push the edge of that a little and call it an improvement. But don't hold them back. Often, a difficult section is actually easier if we just twist the throttle more. My brain has trouble with that concept when I am on the bike, the good racers can overcome that.

I used to always explain to him that if he wasn't crashing in practice; he wasn't learning and improving. I'm not so sure about that these days. He has an uncanny ability to somehow stay on that doggone bike and regain control long after those of us watching have already started running towards the "crash site".

He has his share of troubles: We were practicing at a friends track last weekend and there was a set of triple-doubles Dewayne had just built coming up out of a dry wash. Sky tried to triple/triple right off the bat and cased/crashed hard. He spent the next several laps 'spooked' on that section while my buddy's kids sailed them as a double-double-double series. I tried to show him that it was purely a rhythm and timing series, but to no avail. So did his buddies. Nothing worked until his hero, A Class rider extrordinaire Curt McCabe, showed up. "Follow me and do what I do, Sky-man"... (he would follow Curt anywhere). Now it is his favorite section. Air-time is not speed in many cases. Watch Pastrana. He jumps low and long when racing though we all know what he can do aerobatically if he wants to.

The kid in that photo was winning by half a lap? Then he did that jump simply because he CAN and it was THERE... If I were his dad and it was a really big race, I would counsel him not to unless it was very routine for him. I am guessing that was the case for that extrordinary young rider, too. What shrivels our scrotums just lights his fire... I admire that :D:). It was probably easier for him to clear it than to cut back on the throttle and plunge to the bottom and do it as two singles. Riders like that 'forget' how to ride slow...

Watch his career: he will go places. :D

My kids are gettin' real good at makin' them pipe bombs!

Kids "not forced to ride hard"?? "the father of the winner walked right past his own son and picked up my son and gave him a big bear hug...Yada..Yada..." Sounds like the winner made the decision not to try the jump and was rewarded by a heapin' helpin' of the ol' "slap in the puss" by dear old Dad. How do you think the winner felt? I bet the next time he'll win Daddy's affection or (God forbid) die trying. Kids die every day trying to please their parents. "Not forced", what a hoot!! :D:):D

Spoken like a man with no kids. Kids are killed every day by "predators who feed off carcasses",too. So kiss my carcass, Lon. :) He in no way belittled his own son's performance. He was just very moved by another's courageous attempt. You must think "Warriors" are bred from wussies. You oughta change your b.s. tag line. :D

I have FOUR kids chaindrive. They are the most important things in my life. I would NEVER sacrifice their well being for my own self indulgence. Motorcyclists are a minority in this country. Dirt bikers are a minority in the minority. Child racers are probably the smallest group in the dirt rider minority. What do you think WILL happen when somebody's aspiring little supercross star eats it BIG TIME (and dies) on national T.V.? We'll see it on 20/20,cnn, and every other news channel, over, and over, and over. Then we'll see video of the "racer Dads", on the track, belittling their kids for not trying harder, don't say it doesn't happen, I've been to the tracks and seen it firsthand. There will be the usual public outcry, the safetycrats will come out of the woodwork with even more ammunition, and support from John Q. They are already trying to stop Mini racing in some states. the only thing that prevents it's dissapearence is apathy from the general public. Change that to outrage and Peewee racing will be history. I raced PeeWee as a kid and I was never required to risk my own relative safety and that of the other racers by doing something stupid (jumping OVER another racer). By the way, the tag line that seems to offend you so, means basically, someone has to defend the defenceless, most notably, CHILDREN. I'm FAR from defenceless. So go ahead, attack the opinions of mine and others if it makes you feel better. I'm sure your remarks offend us much less than our "opinions" offend you. The tag line will remain, even if it offends you. :)

Here is how I saw it:

1st Place - Reed dumping RC :)

2nd Place - KTM 8yr old taking a douple better than me. :D

3rd Place - Ferry having his moment leading the finals before RC took him out 4Stroke :D

This was one of the best SuperCross events that I was able to witness.

Hey lon13, What makes you such a warrior? Your talk about pipe bombs?

This kid has alot of saddle time under his belt. He also has more skill and talent than 99.9% of us will ever have.

If you guys don't want you kids riding like that, don't let them. But this kid has the desire and the ABILITY to do it. Many more kids are injured by not getting the proper training and or supervision than kids racing at this level.

But pipe bombs are ok, Lon? You know as well as I do that more kids die or get hurt from doing stupid stuff (with their "racing is too dangerous" parents' blessing) such as riding 4 wheelers (NOT racing) without helmets, playing football, riding skateboards, bicycles, etc. The racers wear protective gear and learn to appreciate it quickly. They ARE directly supervised. They ARE taught how to ride and race safely.

I think you just have a problem with the fact that there really are 8 year old Warriors out there who have more courage than you and who can actually whip you on a MX or SX track with a 50cc. Don't feel so ashamed, they can whip me, too.

We are taking it real easy this summer as far as racing goes. Our phone has been ringing alot with "Hey, where's Skyman and Wyatt? Haven't seen you guys at the track.". Well, Skyman and Wyatt and family are going to spend a lot more time in the boat fishing this year. We will still race, but only at our two favorite tracks. Believe it or not, we do it for FUN. Taking a break for a summer is my idea, not the boys'. There IS more to being a kid and a dad, though both boys want to race every weekend. Did you catch that, Lon?: "WANT TO RACE". They dream about it all winter.

We have spent the spring turkey hunting (I suppose 8 year olds with 20 gauges offend you, too?)and are definitely going to hook some fish and the boys will learn to water ski this summer. Baseball is OK, but since they MX and wrestle in the off-season (individual sports), they do have a little trouble with the "lose as a team" thing. They don't like relying on the skills and (lack of) commitment and goals of other kids their ages. I think they need to learn about that, too, I guess, though I hope it doesn't rub off. I don't like playing team sports either. Life is not a team sport. My sons, and most all mini racers, are self reliant winners. They are driven and groove to individual challenges and goals set by themselves.

I have had to listen to their protests about the cutback in racing. They love racing, and that is where their real friends are. They remind me that I always said we would stop racing when it stopped being fun. Well, it still IS fun, so why are we even cutting back? I tell them the truth: There are more things I want to do together and we can't do it all at once.

Bottom line is you can build pipe bombs with your kids or "let the village raise them" but I will raise mine. And MX and SX teach the kids AND the parents a lot about life. Have I ever berated my kid at the track? Yup. Never for losing, but I won't tolerate distraction. I don't want them hurt. "You can RIDE at home. You can screw around at home. This is a RACE. Get your mind on what you're doing or put the bike away." I don't have to do that very much, but will at the first indication of lack of focus. The pain of crashing or losing is it's own unloving teacher, it is my job to see it doesn't come to that. It is a learning process for me, too. I see what gets other kids and adults hurt. Mine never have been. Proper gear, practice, and focus are the keys. All of which are meaningless without the dicipline to use them.

Yelling at a kid will not make them a better rider, but it might keep them safe if they are doing something stupid. That goes for everything else they do as well. I AM a strict taskmaster of a father when it comes to responsibility. And they must shoulder their share if they want the rewards that come with the liberty to race motorcycles or handle firearms. Those sports require 100% mental focus. It is my responsibility to teach them how to stay focused and aware. It is also my responsibility to let them set their goals and follow their dreams and to support them in any way I can with the same 100% commitment I expect from them.

As for parents who yell at their kids for simply finishing "poorly", the solution is real simple: Throw their lard ass on a bike and send them out there. :D I have offered my bike a couple times when a dad or even a mom thinks their kid isn't good enough. I know racing humbles me and puts things in perspective. It is TOUGH out there! It is also FUN out there!

You will probably never see a parent who actually races "pushing" their kid like you and I have both seen, (and it doesn't really matter whether it is T-ball or MX). I can't remember a one. Many tracks, like ours, have opened +30B and +40B classes just for that reason. Ride and race together. You will both learn and grow. The kid will learn more in one season of racing than in an entire youth spent "riding" and very soon they will not need your permission to mix it up for keeps on the highways of the real world. Make sure they are prepared. Teach them young to respect, but not fear, the bike or the gun and their parents and themselves. :)

Gee where do I start. The pipe bomb comment was a JOKE, get it everyone? But, there are probably parents out there that could care less (or even brag about it). I would never let my kids build a pipe bomb. I am not ashamed that a kid can outrun me on an MX track, I've ridden alot of tracks with alot of kids that were extremely fast, and I had nothing but admiration for them, plus, Ive learned some pretty cool lines from some of them :D. I chose to stop racing because it stopped being fun. Girls, Street bikes and Boxing were more interesting. I Don't care much for team sports for the same reasons chaindrive stated. As far as the 20 guage goes, my Stepdad gave me an old single shot 12 when I was 10, and I'm teaching my oldest daughter how to shoot a pistol. I think kids should learn to respect guns at an early age, it may keep their curiosity from blowing away one of their buddies. What makes me a warrior? Though I never said I was one, my best response is that the fact that I would take a bullet for YOUR kid. I spent 9 years in the military and the only time I was ever shot at was in my own neighborhood before I went in. Alot of fun barfights though! I'm not telling anyone that they should not let their kids race. The point I'm trying to make is that there are parents out there the will sacrifice their children just to have some sort of demented bragging right. Do you really want your kids on the track with their children? All I'm asking is that, we, as parents should do our best to keep the sport reasonably safe. We CAN build tracks that are challenging, fun and relatively safe. One of the tracks I ride at has MASSIVE tabletops instead of doubles and triples. You can get as much airtime as you want without the worry of coming up short and ending up in the E.R. Yes you can still hurt yourself, But, the danger is lessened considerably. There are alot of kids that ride there, and I love to watch them ride. Will my kids race? I can't answer that. My boys are too young right now, they are more interested in Rescue Hero's than their XR50 (Which isn't all bad because that thing is a blast to ride :D), And my youngest daughter is only interested in Pug puppies and ponies. If an adult wants to do something dangerous (by adult, I mean someone who can make responsible decisions and accept the consiquences) more power to them. They can sit in a corner and shoot up smack untill they are dead for all I care (natural selection?). But some CHILDREN need intervention. If not to protect them, to protect those who are near them. Have you ever seen a car crash where a child was critically injured or killed because their parents were too lazy to restrain them? I have, it leaves a profound impression. Especially if you have children. Recently, a local stepfather was arrested for child endangerment for video taping his 16 year old and his friends "Wrasslin'" in their back yard. They used gasoline to set a card table on fire and the kid was tossed onto the table on his back. Of course most of us know that if you put your body on top of burning gas, some of it will soak your clothes and you will go up like a match. The result? Serious burns over much of his body. The kid was not forced to do this, he was 16, in my opinion old enough to know better. Was it the stepfathers fault? I don't think so. The kids' a dumbass. But Dad was arrested. How outraged do you think the public would have been if the kid was 8? :)

Definitly, very interesting....

I may sound a little bit bizarre :) but I often think that such abilities, once developped, might lead to less risk of car crashes on the road....I mean, this kid has something to send its energy into (which should prevent him to be part of a stupid Honda civic races on the highway such the one that killed a 19yrs old girl here last night) plus, what is driving a car when you have developped the abilities to jump a 32 footer on a 50cc?

Tell me when this kid is going to have his first car accident, I won't believe it.

Math, I whole heartedly agree. Kids need an outlet for all of that energy (and in boys, agression). If more parents would spend the time guiding their children towards something constructive, less kids would be doing the dumbass things we see every night on the news. I recently watched a story on street racing (the same punk cars you mentioned) and they were interveiwing a mother who was actually BRAGGING about her son racing the family Astro van in the same area that several kids had been killed during a race. The next time we see her, she will probably be blubbering on T.V. about the police not doing anything to prevent her little dumbass from killing himself in a race!

Maybe we aren't so far apart on this, Lon. My club just rebuilt our SX track to eliminate some of the "do-or-die" jumps because each crop of young riders is getting more daring and capable. We put in some massive tabletops so the big dudes can still strut their stuff for the crowd in the stands and so can the little guys---SAFELY. Many of our members are parents of racers as well as racers themselves, and we are deeply concerned with their safety. Our track is in constant evolution for that very reason.

The rest of the tracks in D-22 took their cue from us when they adopted our policy of "no parents on the track" this year. I objected to our plan at first last year, having been to such tracks where the jerks would let a 5 yr old lay under a hot bike when he crashed and couldn't it off himself and offer him no help, or force the kid to lose because he was unable to restart his own bike. We do it far differently: We station club members with 50cc experience (50cc bikes can be REAL temperamental; far tougher to start than any 65 or bigger) all around the track. We move quickly to help every kid. Either to re-start his bike if he can't or to get him out of harms way. His choice. Our main function is to make sure he or she is safe and unharmed.

We had more wrecks caused by parents running back and forth across the track when we allowed 50cc parents out there. We can get there faster without running into other riders. The kid will be back in the race very quickly since they are seldom hurt. Crying maybe; but not hurt. Nine out of ten will dry their eyes and get back on their bike because they want to. Often, their's are tears of frustration rather than pain. It is totally up to the kid, though. If the kid has had enough, we help him off the track. No pressure from parents. We will happily take the heat if the parent disagrees. The kid comes first! Our policy works fantastic! We have had zero 50 riders hurt since implementing this.

MX and SX is not for everyone. If it were, it wouldn't be worthwhile. :)

Oh, maybe I am too proud of my boys. Seeing the hell some of my friends are going through with out-of-control teenagers, I fervently hope that never changes. My life revolves entirely around them. I only get one shot at this "Dad" thing. Having never had one of my own, I am never sure if I'm doing it right. I try to do it the way I always wished for when I was a kid. Doing everything I can to stay close and tight is the only hope, I believe... :D

Chain, you and I are much more alike than you know. I also know what it is like to grow up fatherless. Without getting too sappy, I never really knew him and he commited suicide when I was 17. "mom" was married four times by the time I was 10. It sounds like your racing club has things well in hand. I stopped going to the PeeWee races a while back because of the Dads (and Moms) screaming at their kids and the other parents. The only reason I went to the races was to watch the kids. This was long before I had my boys. I get the biggest kick out of watching someone blast by with impeccable form, wearing a helmet that looks bigger than the riders upper torso! Like you,I want to spend as much time as possible with my kids, I can't remember the last time I worked a fourty hour week. Sometimes 8 hours is just too long to be away from them. I honestly hope your boys do well. I hope that you race club isn't a rarity when it comes to trying to control the parents behavior. I just might go to a race this weekend and check it out. I miss seeing the little guys (and gals) race. :)

As far as "half the kids doing the double next year" goes, the promotors will probably step in and tell the participants "no doubles". The challenge is the only race I really watch. I like the fact that most of the kids are beginners. You can tell the kids are thrilled just to be on the track. I'd hate to see it get nixed because of pressure from outside groups. Plus, I don't think anyone really wants to see one of these kids get hurt. :)

Taken from: Cycle News, May 7 edition, page 19.


Eight-year old Caden Hadley, who won the KTM Jr. Supercorss Challange, actually doubled one of the triples every lap on the way to winning the exibition. It was the first time ever that any rider doubled the triples on one of the KTM 50 SX's. "It was good," he said. "I had to learn the double, and it was really fun out there. My coach Nick, he was helping me do doubles, even though I didn't want to do them, but then I did it, and I just got used to jumping them." Klay Stephenson and Zac Magnum rounded out the top three."

How much would anyone like to wager his "coach" is a fat guy who wouldn't do that double if his life depended on it.

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