The Spirit of Riding

I came across this story a few months ago and thought it embodied the spirit of dirt bike riding so well I decided to post it again. You will find more stories like this at

The Places We Travel and People We Meet 

By Dale Spangler @

Now that I'm in my mid-forties I look back with a sense of nostalgia on my past experiences. I feel fortunate that I have been able to spend my life around motorcycles and make a career out of working in the powersports industry. As a result, I've had the opportunity to travel and see so much of this amazing country we live in and even spend a few years in Europe. Along the way, I met many great people, some I'm still connected with to this day, others just memories. Regardless I look back with fondness and feel lucky to have been able to experience so many places and meet so many great people because of motorcycles.

My list of travel memories and people I've met along the way is extensive; and the older I get the more I cherish those experiences. Whether it was a homemade southern recipe fried chicken dinner with a family in Georgia, a crawdad boil with Louisiana natives at a race in Texas, or a birthday lunch in Venice with Italian friends, I've met so many kind and sharing people along the way as a result of motorcycles. As a fellow motorcyclist, I hope you will take the time to enjoy the places you travel and the people you meet along the way as much as I have. For those of you I have met along the way, thank you for the memories and experience.

See more photos and read the rest of Dale's article here ...


Is Reed Ready for Houston?

Further rehab for Reed ahead of Houston supercross

One step closer to race fitness following 15th place at the opener.

Image: Simon Cudby.

Anaheim 1 couldn’t have gone much better for Australian great Chad Reed, limping to 15th position and a reasonable haul of points in the main event despite still recovering from an off-season ankle injury.

Reed, entering his 17th-consecutive season in the US, was satisfied with the result on debut with him low-key Team CR22 program, equipped with Husqvarna machinery and with Mike Gosselaar in his corner.

Opting to remain in California for much of this week to carry out vital rehabilitation on his injury sustained at the Red Bull Straight Rhythm in October, Reed will be aiming to progress this weekend in Houston despite spending minimal time on the bike or training while recovering.

“Right now the priority is not training,” 35-year-old Reed told post-race. “You’re inner demons, the racer self says ‘lets get fit’, but even if I’m fit I’ve still got to be able to take the pain and whatever. I want that pain to go away and I want range of motion to come back, then I’ll go from there.

“You look at the big picture, I’m not going to get any fitter between now and next weekend, but I’m really confident that I can work my ass off on getting my ankle better, so that’s where my effort and my energy is going.”

Reed said that while the 20-minute main event was a challenge, it is the seat time endured throughout practice, qualifying and the heat race that provides the largest of problems on a race weekend. Still, A1 was a decent result all things considered.

“I’m happy making it here,” he added. “Obviously the hard thing is actually practice and qualifying for the main event. Once you get into the main event, it’s like whether you’re in shape or not, it’s a suffer-fest. It’s what it’s about.

“It’s just getting to the main event is just a shit show. It’s like, ‘can we bypass this and go directly to the main?’. I’m really proud and I’m proud of my guys – individually we all worked hard in such different ways. We crushed it.”


America's Toughest Extreme Enduro 

In American off-road racing, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more challenging race than the Tennessee Knockout Extreme Enduro. Set in the hills of Tennessee, the course is littered with sections of slick rock, has its fair share of creek sections and a section full of man-made obstacles pulled straight from an endurocross track. On top of the demanding course, the August date makes the weather a factor as heat and humidity inch the heat index up toward 110 degrees fahrenheit. Each year some of the world’s best enduro riders turn up to the Trials Training Center to chase the TKO championship.


Husqvarna Factory Racing’s USA off team announced

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing is pleased to announce their 2018 offroad team featuring Colton Haaker, Josh Strang, Thad Duvall, and newest member Dalton Shirey.


3 Wheel Yamaha?

Yamaha Purchases Three-Wheeler Patents from Norwegian Firm


Photo courtesy of Rune Baashus @

If the new, high performance NIKEN hasn’t convinced you that Yamaha is serious about leaning three-wheelers, this news should. Yamaha has just completed the purchase of patents from a small Norwegian firm, Brudeli Tech Holding AS, related to leaning three-wheel technologies.

As you can see from the photos, the Brudeli machines can lean at severe angles for aggressive cornering on-road and off. It is not clear from the following press release exactly what unique technology has been acquired by Yamaha, but it is a safe bet that the NIKEN will not be the last high performance three-wheeler from the Japanese firm.

Here is a press release from Brudeli:

Brudeli Tech Holding AS have completed the sale of the patents known from the Leanster vehicles Brudeli 654L and 625L. The buyer is Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., Japan which is a world-class leading motorcycle and powersport manufacturer.

“I see this as an incredible honour that Yamaha have decided to acquire this technology that we started to develop here in Norway” says Geir Brudeli inventor and owner of Brudeli Tech Holding AS. He also states that: “Knowing the competence, knowledge and passion of Yamaha it will be exciting to see their future products.”

Photo courtesy of Rune Baashus @

The history of the Norwegian company Brudeli Tech Holding AS goes all the way back to 2001 and the concept vehicle was unveiled at the EICMA 2005 at a time before this new and growing market of leaning vehicles with two wheels in the front was established.

A very competent group of partners and investors did contribute from the very early years. A large thanks to all of them!

Since 2010 a major part of the day to day business have also been to provide mechanical and mechatronic design consultant services to a major automotive system supplier.

Brudeli Tech is located at Eiker Næringspark (, an industrial estate which is continuously modernised and growing. Eiker Næringspark was founded by entrepreneur Svein Rust who also was a mentor and investor in Brudeli Tech in the start-up phase.

Yamaha’s NIKEN will be on sale later this year.


A Matthes Report: Anaheim 1

Anaheim Uno has come and gone and, with it, all of the “experts" in the media have talked themselves out of anything and everything to do with the race. That is somewhat true, for sure. The big stories for Houston this weekend are as follows.

Is there something wrong with Eli Tomac and his shoulder? That is about it. Seriously, the #3 Monster Energy Kawasaki rider is going to have his shoulder looked at this week and is hopeful that he can ride after his main event crash. I have been told that he’ll be at 80% if he races and, holy smoke, 2018 is off to a bad start for the title favourite. He was on his way to the win last weekend when he made a mistake on a simple double and just like that, boom, things are in chaos.

In the good news department, he has been there before! 2017 was not exactly easy for Tomac and he came about as close as anyone could to winning the 450SX title. He is gritty and I predict he will tough it out to a good finish.

Eli Tomac is expected to race in Houston, but may not be at his best (Monster Energy Media/Octopi)

– In other news, JGR Suzuki has signed up Malcolm Stewart to fill-in for Justin Bogle. It is on a race-by-race basis, but there is no way it is just for one or two. Bogle must have concussion symptoms pretty bad for the team to take this step. Of course, the team once employed Malcolm’s brother James and that went terribly to the point where James and the team parted in the middle of the supercross season. But, because of that, the team has a relationship with Malcolm and Coy Gibbs, who owns the team, is not around as much anymore, so maybe that is why the team went with Malcolm? Malcolm’s father, James Sr., and Coy did not see eye to eye many times the first time around.

I was ready to write a column on Malcolm and the puzzling choices he has made in his career. From not doing outdoor motocross after winning the 250SX title to skipping races last year, then jumping into the series not 100% ready to refusing to wear any gear other than Seven (that his brother owns) to now not being at Anaheim 1. Frankly, I do not get it.

But, he is on a good team now and has a chance on a bike he is familiar with to do some damage. I hope he is prepared and ready to strike. He was getting some support from Kawasaki, so not sure what happens with that from here on out. Malcolm Stewart is really good at supercross people. This is an interesting team.

Malcolm Stewart has landed a factory fill-in deal with the JGR squad (Sean Ogden)

– Justin Brayton went 14-16-13 to start the supercross season last year. He was new to the MCR Honda team and on a very different motorcycle, as he had been riding a 2016 CRF all off-season in Australia and did not have much time on the all-new 2017. He was nowhere near his usual self pretty much all year and with his age and team he was on, you could understand thinking that he was on the downward spiral.

Well, in Anaheim he almost won a heat and then ran a very respectable seventh in the main event. He looked 48% better this year than he did last year (all percentages are approximate), so maybe Brayton is not done yet?

One thing he changed up is he got settled down in Australia with a 2017 bike he knew (not much different from the 2018) and a practice track he could ride to get prepped like he knows how to. How much did the off-season change help him out? Well, I asked him that same question.

Justin Brayton (10) had a consistent evening, thanks to a solid start (Feld Entertainment)

The biggest thing is just mentally you feel prepared so you are not as stressed," Brayton said. “You’re not as worried. You’re just confident in what you’ve done. You’re confident in the bike. That’s the biggest change. Last year to be quite honest it just wasn’t that much fun to be riding.

I had a couple of decent finishes, but to show up at the race not that confident and I would hope that I would get to a track that would suit my style and I could do okay, whereas I feel like even a track like tonight was kind of my weakness. An easier track with easier whoops and stuff like that. Overall, I feel great. Happy with the seventh, but also looking for more, as everyone is. I feel good about the year so far," Brayton told me afterwards.

He gets some help from Honda, so he is not a total privateer guy by any means but there is also not a full factory bike under him. Keep an eye on Brayton this year, he might just surprise us.

Words: Steve Matthes | Lead Image: Monster Energy Media/Octopi


Dakar Stage 6


Bad weather meant the first part of the special was cancelled, including a pass that would take them as high as 4,700m. After his strong showing yesterday, Antoine Meo rode his KTM to victory on stage six, winning a thrilling and close-fought battle with Kevin Benavides and his KTM team-mate Toby Price. In fact, Meo shares a motorhome with the 2016 champion, which might be awkward on rest day. But the faster sections should suit both KTM riders’s styles.

Toby Price (AUS) of Red Bull KTM Factory Team at the finish line  during stage 5 of Rally Dakar 2018 from San Juan de Marcona to Arequipa, Peru on January 10, 2018

Price crossed the finish line with Benavides © Flavien Duhamel/Red Bull Content Pool


Selected Standings

  • 1. A. Meo (KTM) 01:54:10
  • 2. K. Benavides (Honda) a 00:00:30
  • 3. T. Price (KTM) a 00:00:30
  • 4. D. Duplessis (Honda) a 00:01:13
  • 8. M. Walkner (KTM) a 00:03:06
  • 18. L. Sanz (KTM) a 00:04:55



Nut Buster???





Joan Barreda won the stage, his second of the race so far, by a huge margin. The Spaniard took the overall race lead after Stage 2, but a navigation error the following day dropped him down the overall standings. The Honda rider finished more than 10 minutes clear of his closest challenger, Austrian Matthias Walkner, today though.

Kevin Benavides rounded out the podium and there was an impressive run by Antoine Méo, but it's Yamaha's Adrian Van Beveren who continues to lead the overall standings.

Walkner is just over a minute adrift of the leader