Throwdown No.106 – Silly Season
What’s this “Throwdown”? It’s a digital home for rumour, fact and innuendo, delivered on a weekly basis. Covering a broad spectrum of the off-road world’s news, the Throwdown will touch on everything from racing to trailriding; from industry tidbits to issues facing the sport. It’s about delivering you timely information all in one place so you don’t have to scour the internet looking for it.The Australian launch for the 2013 Suzuki RM-Z450 took place last week, and while our video-wizard Lachlan Russell is busy putting together a wicked video on the day, we thought we'd get Transmoto Andy Wigan's take on the new 450. "The Suzuki RM-Z450 gets a range of small refinements, as well as the 48mm Type 2 Seperate Function Fork, which translates into a very different machine when compared to the 2012 model," states Transmoto's Editor. "From the outside the bike looks relatively the same, but the Suzuki engineers have made updates to the frame, engine, transmission and fork which, I felt, made the bike better balanced, lighter, more agile and plusher in the front-end. The piston is 13% lighter, which makes the machine a bit snappier and the SFF offers a more progressive action throughout the stroke. It is certainly one of the easier 450s I've ridden." Keep your eyes out for the Suzuki video early next week.---Speaking of Lachlan Russell, we're currently reminiscing the magic from each round of the MX Nats, as our video-wizard spent his weekends working hard to deliver you delicious HD coverage to froth over. Here's Part 1 and Part 2, with Part 3 going online tomorrow.---After scoring J-Star JDR KTM's first podium in the AMA Supercross, you'd have to think Matt Moss would have been the golden child for the American JDR outfit. However, rumours started circulating during the USA motocross season that Mossy's hot and cold results had created strained relations with the team. And there was even speculation at the final MX Nats round a few weeks back at Coolum that he had been suspended. All we knew was that he was expected to have two weeks on the sideline to get surgery on calcium deposits in his side, but he didn't return to racing for the majority of the MX season. We called Moss to substantiate some of these rumours and get to the bottom of things. "I didn't have any injuries; I got sick," said Moss adamantly. "That's why I haven't been riding. I had benign tumours in my side, back, legs and groin and I had to have operations to get them removed. It was scary stuff but it's looking good now. Then I had a blood issue, which laid me low for another month. I'm feeling healthy now and hope to race the supercross in Australia. It's not official yet, and I haven't signed any contracts, but I'm hoping to ride KTM's new 450." With Reardon retiring after the motocross season, it looks like a ride with JDR Australia is certainly in Mossy's reach. But what about rumours of a falling out with Moss and the J-Star JDR Team? "There's nothing to it," said Moss. "I got sick, simple as that. In fact, I've got a supercross only deal with the US JDR team for 2013." Looks like we'll be seeing a lot more of Moss on Speed TV come next season.---Chad Reed was on top of his game earlier this year, heading up the Monster Energy Supercross series in 2nd place, before disaster struck. While battling for first with Villopoto, Chad went over the bars on a triple set breaking two ribs, his T6, tearing an ACL, fracturing his tib/fib, and ending his Supercross season. Now, 6 months later, Reed is back on his bike and gearing up to race again. See the full video from Network A this Friday, September 14.---With Hart & Huntington/Insure My Ride's Dan McCoy departing the team at the end of the motocross season, the young racer announced he'd be riding with CDR Yamaha for the supercross season. He tells us it's a SX only deal and, at this stage, there's no commitment to continue with CDR into 2013. We did manage to pry out of McCoy that while be will be trying to land a fulltime position with CDR for the 2013 season, he's also been in talks with Craig Anderson's Berry Sweet/Lucas Oil/Yamaha team.---New Zealand's Josh Coppins took 12th place in his 2012 debut in the World Motocross Championship at the Grand Prix of Europe last weekend, riding for Monster Energy Yamaha, after being away from the European scene for almost two years. Coppins finished 9th in Moto 1 and 13th in Moto 2, showing incredible speed and stamina throughout the GP.---Privateer rider, Jake Moss, won the Andrew McFarlane award for being the top-placed privateer rider in the MX1 class this year. Moss got quite emotional, choking back tears while receiving the award from McFarlane's father, Ron, at Coolum. Moss and McFarlane became close friends when he went over to the US to race in 2008. "To win this award means the world to me," said Moss while on the podium. "Andrew and Natalie took me under their wing when I first went to America, so I owe them a lot. This award is the result of a lot of hard work from everyone who's been behind me."---It was announced this week that MX2 Australian Champion, Ford Dale, has re-signed with Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing for 2013, but there's change in the air. The 24-year-old will step it up next year and move into the 450 class to compete beside teammate, Ben Townley. Right now though, the team's focus has shifted to supercross where Dale hopes to ride his motocross success in the SX Lites class.---So what is Dan Reardon's plan now he has retired from professional racing? He's getting in the athlete training business and has started Alter Ego Elite. Using his motocross and supercorss experience, he'll help riders reach their full potential on the track. You can find out more about Reardon's new business via the official Facebook page. ---The final round of the AMA Motocross season took place at Lake Elsinore over the weekend and with the 450cc class already wrapped up by Dungey everyone's eyes were on the 250 riders. While four riders had a chance of claiming the title, it was Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Blake Baggett who emerged victor, claiming his fifth class win and securing his first professional championship. In the Women's class, Ashley Fiolek claimed the title.---Aussie female motocross champ Meghan Rutledge is heading over to Europe tomorrow, to compete in the final round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Germany, September 23. Following successful appearances in the AMA Motocross season this year, the 17-year-old will make here Grand Prix debut at Teutschenthal, looking forward to putting her best up against World Champions. We wish you the best of luck, Megs!---In his debut ride in the AMA Motocross with JDR J-Star KTM, Australian Josh Cachia had two nasty crashes in the very same spot of the track. Luckily the tough-as-nails Cachia walked away uninjured.---The CPW KTM Team just can't catch a break. After announcing Dakar rider, Ruben Faria, would replace the injured American, Quinn Cody, to race in the Australasian Safari on September 21-29, Team Manager Don McGrath has informed us that Faria now won't be in attendance. "We had a verbal commitment with Ruben to race the Safari on the proviso it didn't conflict with any of his Dakar testing," said McGrath. "But as it turns out, he has a tyre test at the end of the month that conflicts with the Safari. I've since contacted Chilean rider, Francisco Lopez, to ride for us but he's in a similar situation to Ruben. So right now we've parked the idea of an international rider racing the 2012 Safari with us and will be concentrating our resources and effort 100% behind Matt Fish to win his first Safari." Looks like the CPW Team has an extra ride handy for anyone who thinks they've got what it takes to win the event...---Enduro great David Knight has withdrawn from the Great Britain International Six Days Enduro Team after doctors identified a low red blood cell count, resulting in lack of oxygen in his blood. Knighter was admitted to hospital after his crash at the Finland EWC round where doctors identified the problem. He's currently undergoing more tests to find the cause of the problem. "I'm absolutely gutted about this," said a disappointed David Knight. "Everything is ready to go for the Six Day and now I'm unable to compete. The ISDE is an event I love, and one in which I've enjoyed a great deal of success." The 2012 ISDE is set to take place in Germany on September 24-29.---Current XC1 series leader and New Zealander, Paul Whibley, is ready to defend his position when the GNCC resumes this weekend after the two-month summer break in the series. Round 10 of the championship will be held at New Berlin in New York, and, with only a six-point lead, Whibley will be all business in the final three rounds to retain his position and, hopefully, the championship title.---The tenth and final round of USA's WORCS series took place at Honolulu Hills in California last weekend. In the Pro class, Australia's Josh Strang took second and finished seventh in the series. The young Aussie battled through injury at the start of the season which affected his Overall result, but posted some impressive top-three finishes over the final five rounds. He'll now turn his attention to the ISDE, where he'll ride on The Aussie Senior Trophy Team.---One of NSW's biggest trailbike rallies of the year is on this weekend. The Sunny Corner Trail Bike Rally, held in the Sunny Corner State Forest (between Bathurst and Lithgow), is set for September 16 with two 60 and 80km loops that caters to all riders abilities. Loops open at 8:30am on the Sunday. For more information head to the official website.---Join off-road star, AJ Roberts, for our brand new web-exclusive fortnightly column: AJ's Line, offering you an insight into what's happening on the off-road scene. In our latest instalment, we're talking ISDE.---The Red Bull X Fighters Jam Session will be coming to the 'Fat As Butter' music festival in Newcastle on September 22. One of Sydney's most historic pubs, The Mean Fiddler situated at Rouse Hill, will play host to the next jam session for Aussie up-and-comers on September 29. The car park of The Fiddler will be transformed into an FMX playground with a number of aspiring FMX professionals competing. Take a look at last year's Jam.---At this year's Monster Energy Cup, to be held on October 20, FMX stars, Nate Adams, Blake Williams, Adam Jones and Taka Higashino will throw down their moves at the MEC's Party in the Pits - the pre-event entertainment area.---Australian female FMX star, Emma McFerran, has signed with the Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing team under a multi-year agreement, that will see the 24-year-old assume a full program of events over the coming months. Click for the full story.---Legendary motocross film maker Jay Schweitzer (the Director of the 'On The Pipe' FMX series), is currently editing his latest documentary, which looks at the history of long distance jumping.---Jackson 'Jacko' Strong has announced that he will move off the two-stroke and see how a four-stroke handles 'flying high'. Imagine seeing a Front Flip on a 450?!---The JC FMX team has re-signed Pete Anderson, Tyrone Gilks, Joe Sheppard and Jim Bartle for the 2013 season. Team rider, Tyrone Gilks, has also returned from knee surgery and has already learnt a couple of new flip tricks in his first few rides back on the bike.------Performance engineering company, F1 Moto, have been appointed Australian Distributor for the Xceldyne Valvetrain range of products. Steel and titanium valves, springs, valve seats, retainers and cotters are available for most popular makes and models. Head to the website for more details.--- Queensland-based motorcycle shop, Andrew's Motorcycle Products, has taken over as the official distributor of TM motorcycles in Australia. Shop owner Andrew Franklin says he's always been a fan of TM and looks forward to promoting the brand. "I like the brand," said Franklin. "It's a high quality built bike and I think they have a big future in Australia." Franklin then went on to discuss the 2013 models and when we're likely to see them in Australia. "All 2013 TM models should be here by late October/early November and we'll be unifying the range by putting 48mm KYB Fork and TM Racing Shock on all models (replacing the Marzocchi fork and Sachs shock on the four-strokes, and the Marzocchi Forks and TM Shocks on the two-strokes). Plus, we've got Nick Geck lined up to race the 2013 TM 450Fi in the Australian Supercross, and hopefully Sam Liekefett on a 250, but that isn't locked in at this stage."---ONE Industries have released their all-new Interceptor chest deflector. It can be worn with the front and back protection, or just with the front plate as a roost guard. No bulky shoulder guard means you can wear it under, or over your jersey. One size fits all. Retailing at $149.95, the Interceptor chest deflector is available in white, red or black.Speaking of ONE Industries, they just released this wicked film showcasing their 2013 gear, set to arrive mid-October. Check it out!
Dragon has an all-new goggle on the market that we guarantee you’ve never seen before in the off-road motorcycle world. So what’s so special about these goggles? The all-new Dragon NFX Goggle uses the company’s patented frameless technology, which is claimed to make them lighter and create a better fit. There’s no word on an Australian retail price just yet, but we’re planning to get our hands on a few pairs and give them a thorough testing, so stay tuned. We might even have a pair to give away.
Transmoto hit 18,000 likes on Facebook this week, solidifying our position as social-media leaders in the Australian off-road motorcycle industry online. Not following the Facebook action? Get on there and see what you’re missing out on.