Inside Products - TCX Street Ace Denim Shoes

TCX Street Ace Denim Shoes

MSRP: $239.99

Sizes: Euro 36 to 49 (3.5 to 13 US)

With the exception of motorcycle gear, every pair of shoes that I own would look perfectly at home out at the local skateboarding park. While my short-lived days on a skateboard are several decades behind me, I find this style of shoe to be both comfortable and practical. With this in mind I have been in search of a similarly styled shoe that also meets the safety requirements of motorcycling when riding to and from the office or errands around town. Fortunately, Motovan came to my rescue in this quest and was kind enough to send over a pair of TCX Street Ace Denim shoes to test.

Out of the box the Street Ace shoes look just like any other skater-style shoe and without inspection of the label or actually picking up the shoe it is doubtful that anyone would even know they are designed with motorcycle riding in mind. Despite this casual appearance the Street Ace shoes (also available in waterproof or air-vented versions) include serious protection such as abrasion-resistant denim, DuPont Kevlar and suede leather materials as well as a stiff wear-resistant rubber sole. These CE certified shoes include heel and toe reinforcements as well as impact protection for the malleolus area of your ankle. I would have also liked to see some reflective areas to help keep the rider visible at night as well as a built-in shift pad on the left foot, but so far there has been no sign of excessive wear and there are other options for improving visibility such as a reflective jacket.

For anyone looking for a shoe that provides casual styling without sacrificing protection at a price that won’t break the bank, the Street Ace Denim shoes by TCX are a great option at just $239.99.

Complete product details including sizing are available on the Motovan website

Thursday, 18 June 2020 17:00


Webb Wins Second Wednesday 450SX Class Supercross

Rice-Eccles Stadium provided ideal conditions for great Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship racing at Round 14 Presented by Oakley, with multiple position changes on the track and in the championship points in each class.

Red Bull KTM's Cooper Webb grabbed his tenth career 450SX Class win, his third of the season, after a tight battle that lasted for most of the race; the win moves Webb to second in the points standings. Second place went to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Zach Osborne, matching his personal best finish and netting him his first four-in-a-row top-five finishes. Points leader Monster Energy Kawasaki's Eli Tomac recovered from a bad start to thread his way through a dozen other riders to grab the final podium position.

In the first appearance of the Western Regional 250SX Class in 123 days, Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Austin Forkner returned to his winning ways at Salt Lake City for his third victory of the season.

Team Honda HRC's Ken Roczen grabbed the 450SX Main Event holeshot but Cooper Webb snuck around and into the lead in the second corner. Webb, coming off a near-win at Round 13, and Roczen, who's admitted to struggling with a physical ailment, both had something to prove and points to gain over series leader Tomac, who was buried back in 15th place. Tomac began picking off riders, but not at a desperate pace, which allowed the pack to thin through the opening laps as Webb and Roczen broke free.

Webb was able to anticipate Roczen's passing lines and keep his KTM ahead of the Honda until Roczen made his big push six and half minutes into the 20-minute plus one lap race. Roczen briefly got his bike ahead of Webb's front wheel twice inside the span of a couple dozen seconds. Webb managed to battle back past each time and hold the lead for this tenth career win and also a career-best sixth consecutive season podium. Roczen stayed on Webb's rear fender for a few more laps but fell off the pace at about the race midpoint, and shortly after surrendered the position to Zach Osborne. Meanwhile, Tomac never stopped his steady drive forward and put his Kawasaki into third just as the race clock zeroed out. Roczen finished the race in fifth, which allowed Webb to take second from him in the championship standings.

After the second-ever Wednesday night Monster Energy Supercross, of which Cooper Webb has won both, Webb said, "Every win is awesome. It was a great race. I got a [near] holeshot and led, I think, every lap which is the first time I've been able to do that this year, which is awesome. Man, it was cool. Kenny was really riding well at the beginning. We were putting in some heaters and I just started riding and really hitting my stride. I might've made a few mistakes and he was able to - you know we battled there for a sec - and I kinda regained focus and I was able to ride my laps. I'm not sure what happened but I ended up getting a decent lead and that was nice. It feels like these first three [in Utah] we've been battling all the way until the last lap. So, it was cool to be able to kinda enjoy that one a little bit more, not so stressful."

The Western Regional 250SX Class Main Event felt like a season opener to many of the racers who had last battled 123 days prior. From the start it was Austin Forkner seizing the lead position, breaking away from the pack, and never contending with a serious challenge for the win. Points leader Monster Energy / Star Yamaha Racing's Dylan Ferrandis landed a top five start but was not able to keep the early pace of Forkner, who raced with a clear track in front of him. Forkner's Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki teammate Cameron Mcadoo was on the move early, putting his Kawasaki into second and what would have been a points buffer for Forkner. But by the race's end, Ferrandis had made his way past and into a second-place finish. Ferrandis' Monster Energy / Star Yamaha Racing teammate, Justin Cooper, was just off the podium in fourth. The points change dropped Cooper to third and moved Forkner into second with only one more Western Regional 250SX Class Main Event and the East/West Showdown left to race in 2020.

Forkner was able keep well ahead of Ferrandis after losing the lead to him in races earlier in the season. When asked after the race what made the difference, Forkner answered, "Robbie Reynard at Reynard Training Complex. He's been working us hard and I think it shows. It's been the hottest race of the season [for the Western Regional 250SX Class] and also at altitude. I think everybody can agree this is probably one of the toughest races of the season. The track was good, though. Whoops were pretty cupped out there. At about the eight to twelve-minute mark I kinda was being too cautious through them. Then at the end, the last lap, I hit 'em super good. I think that's what it was going to take. I knew that I wasn't going to make a mistake other than in the whoops so I just gripped and held on. It was awesome. I gotta give it up to my whole team."

The accelerated-calendar 2020 Monster Energy Supercross season continues with Round 15 taking place this Sunday at 7:00PM ET. The race will provide another chance for Webb to chip further away at Tomac's 27-point lead with only three rounds remaining. Sunday will also mark the final regular-season race of the Western Regional 250SX Class, where the points lead is down to ten and the title looks likely to be determined in the season-finale East/West Showdown. The race will air live on NBCSN and on the NBC Sports Gold app.

450SX Class Results
1. Cooper Webb, Clermont, Fla., KTM
2. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna
3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki
4. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM
5. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda
6. Martin Davalos, Tallahassee, Fla., KTM
7. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna
8. Dean Wilson, Murrieta, Calif., Husqvarna
9. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha
10. Benny Bloss, Oak Grove, Mo., KTM

450SX Class Championship Standings
1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (322)
2. Cooper Webb, Clermont, Fla., KTM (295)
3. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (293)
4. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna (245)
5. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Yamaha (241)
6. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda (199)
7. Dean Wilson, Murrieta, Calif., Husqvarna (191)
8. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (186)
9. Justin Brayton, Charlotte, N.C., Honda (184)
10. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Honda (179)

Western Regional 250SX Class Results
1. Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki
2. Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha
3. Cameron Mcadoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki
4. Justin Cooper, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha
5. Michael Mosiman, Menifee, Calif., Husqvarna
6. Alex Martin, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki
7. Brandon Hartranft, Corona, Calif., KTM
8. Christian Craig, Orange, Calif., Honda
9. Derek Drake, Corona, Calif., KTM
10. Mitchell Oldenburg, Godly, Tex., Honda

Western Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
1. Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha (158)
2. Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki (148)
3. Justin Cooper, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha (147)
4. Brandon Hartranft, Corona, Calif., KTM (126)
5. Alex Martin, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki (115)
6. Michael Mosiman, Menifee, Calif., Husqvarna (100)
7. Luke Clout, Hemet, Calif., Honda (94)
8. Derek Drake, Corona, Calif., KTM (92)
9. Jacob Hayes, Lodi, Calif., Husqvarna (89)
10. Mitchell Oldenburg, Godly, Tex., Honda (85)

Thursday, 11 June 2020 09:55


First Impression - 2020 BMW F 900 R and F 900 XR

With spring weather continuing to play a game of hide-and-seek here in Canada, an invitation to travel south to the United States last week to test out the latest offerings from BMW Motorrad was just what the doctor ordered. Leaving behind the snow-covered streets of Calgary, I was greeted in California by Santa Barbara’s more predictable temperatures and the opportunity to sample not one, but two all-new motorcycles.

As motorcycle manufacturers continue their quest for a magic formula that will appeal to new riders and attract consumers from competing brands at the same time, the Motorrad division of BMW has enjoyed success on both fronts with their F 800 R model. However, with OEMs actively looking to maintain and grow their slice of an ever-shrinking pie, the pressure is on everyone to keep offerings fresh with the latest in technology and styling. With this in mind it should come as no surprise that BMW has come out with an all-new model in the form of the F 900 R.

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The 2020 BMW F 900 R is available in three colours including San Marino Blue Metallic.

In addition to the increased displacement referenced by the new bike’s name, the F 900 R also features a new frame and ergonomics, increased clearance, full LED lighting, a slipper clutch, larger 43 mm inverted front fork and a slick full-colour 6.5-inch TFT display. Add in selectable ride modes, ABS and traction control as standard equipment on the 2020 F 900 R and it may come a surprise that the starting MSRP ($10,350) is actually lower than its predecessor F 800 R.

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The F 900 R and F 900 XR both come standard equipped with a full-colour 6.5-inch TFT display.

Wasting no time in taking advantage of this new middleweight platform, BMW has also introduced the F 900 XR. Designed to compete in the segment that BMW defines as Adventure Sport, this all-new model joins its larger S 1000 XR sibling in the brand’s stable of motorcycles targeted at sport touring enthusiasts who prefer a more upright adventure-style riding position.

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The F 900 XR is designed to combine sport touring performance with an upright adventure styled riding position.

During the technical briefing session, BMW representatives were clear that while these new models are intended to act as an entry point to their brand, performance and handling were at the forefront of design criteria. With this in mind, Santa Barbara and its surrounding mountain-side roadways had been selected as the ideal location for the assembled North American motorcycle journalists to experience these latest additions to the BMW Motorrad lineup.

An early morning departure and warnings of temperatures nearing five degrees Celsius at the crests of the mountain passes we would cross left me scrambling to add an extra layer of clothing. Heading out on the F 900 XR that I was assigned to for the morning portion of the ride, I have to admit that I was so awestruck by the incredible scenery and roads that I forgot to make any mental notes about the bike’s performance for the first 30 minutes of the ride. I guess the fact that the bike was able to handle some of the tightest twisty roads I have ever ridden on, whilst I daydreamed about the surroundings, speaks volumes in itself about the quality of this new motorcycle. Fortunately, the predicted cool temperatures did not materialize and after 200 kms of literally non-stop twisties it was time for a lunch break and some Vitamin D courtesy of the California sunshine.

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The F 900 XR ate up mile after mile of California twisties.

After lunch it was time to make the trek back to Santa Barbara, this time on the F 900 R. While I had enjoyed the morning with the F 900 XR, I was definitely looking forward to some seat time on its stripped-down partner in crime, and the F 900 R did not disappoint. Having previously tested the most recent iteration of the F 800 R, the revised ergonomics and forward shift of wheel load to 50/50 front/rear distribution was immediately noticeable as the bike railed through corners flicking effortlessly through the seemingly never-ending left-right-left-right sequences the California roads threw our way.

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The F 900 R takes the handling and performance of it predecessor to a new level. 

Back at the hotel, the reality that the following morning would mean a trip back to the Canadian winter left me wishing for another day in sunny California, but alas all good things need to come to an end. Of course, sooner or later, spring will arrive here at home and bring with it another great riding season, in the interim I will have the memory of taking on some amazing California roads on BMW’s latest middleweight motorcycles.

Watch for a complete comprehensive review the all-new BMW F 900 R and F 900 XR in an upcoming issue of Inside Motorcycles.

Sunday, 08 March 2020 23:28


2020 KTM 1290 Super Duke R – First Impression

Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal – Coming off the final corner with the throttle wide open in fourth gear, you click the bike into fifth as you clear the rise onto the main straight. Part way down the one-kilometre straight with the throttle wide open, you steal a glance at the speedometer as you move into sixth gear – 230 km/h and accelerating hard. There isn’t another opportunity to check the speedometer as the bike rockets towards the downhill braking zone that precedes the fast-right-hand corner 1. Fifteen corners later, you find yourself back on the main straight ready to do it all over again, wondering how in the world life could get any better.

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When KTM was looking for a venue to showcase the all-new 2020 1290 Super Duke R, they chose to bring motorcycle journalists from around the globe to the Algarve Circuit in Portimao, Portugal. Described by KTM Ambassador and MotoGP veteran Jeremy McWilliams as one of the most technically challenging tracks in Europe, the almost five-kilometre circuit offers everything you would want to throw at this motorcycle and a whole lot more. While the reality of owning a motorcycle in our country and the limited availability of racetracks means that the majority of Super Duke Rs sold in Canada may never get to spend time on the track, I can’t imagine a better way to experience the raw power and performance that KTM has built into this latest iteration of the Super Duke R, aptly referred to as the “Beast.”

KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R Launch BTS

Of course, it wouldn’t be adventure without a few unanticipated issues and in this case it was the absence of my gear bag when we touched down in Lisbon, Portugal that created the challenge of participating in the next day’s testing without any gear. Fortunately, the team from KTM managed to pull together enough spare gear so that by the time we were ready to head out onto the street portion of the test the next morning, I was outfitted from head to toe in KTM orange and ready to go.

Riding along the amazing roads of Portugal and eventually making our way to the incredible oceanside scenery, I was left to wonder how anyone gets anything done in this country, knowing that if I lived here, I would spend the entire day out riding motorcycles and drinking espresso by the sea.

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With the morning ride over, it was time to head to the track where we would spend the entire afternoon putting in laps. Over six track sessions – including one on a fully race-prepped version complete with top-of-the-line WP Apex suspension, a full Akrapovic exhaust system and slick tires – the 1290 Super Duke R never failed to impress. Whether your intention would be to ride this bike at 120 km/h on the street or 250 km/h on the track, it’s updated chassis, torque-on-demand powerplant and highly effective, user-friendly electronics package combine to provide one of the most exciting naked sport bikes I have ever ridden.

With testing complete it was, of course, time for my gear bag to finally make an appearance, having spent the last 24 hours making the journey from Newark, NJ to Lisbon and onto the nearby Portimao airport. Oh well, better late than never – in this case just in time for me to drag it along on the 22-hour trip back home the following day. But seriously, this minor inconvenience could never overshadow the absolute thrill of being among the first to ride the all-new 2020 1290 Super Duke R and experience the thrilling adrenalin rush that is the Algarve International Circuit.

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Stay tuned for our in-depth review of the 2020 1290 Super Duke R in an upcoming issue of Inside Motorcycles.

 

Sunday, 09 February 2020 19:34


2020 Calgary Motorcycle Show - Official Show Guide - Free Digital Flipbook

CALGARY, AB - The 2020 Calgary Motorcycle Show runs Friday, January 10th through Sunday, January 12th at Stampede Park's BMO Centre. The show is a fantastic opportunity to see all the new 2020 motorcycles, scooters, ATVs and side-by-sides.

Monday, 06 January 2020 12:58


Riding the Ganaraska Forest with Lee Martin and Chris Birch - Part 4

With winter weather blanketing the country, most of us are left to rely on memories of riding seasons past to keep the two-wheeled side of our brains occupied. Fortunately Inside Motorcycles contributor Lee Martin has offered up some footage from his Rally Connex library to help keep us entertained. Here in the final instalment of this four part video series, Lee and off-road guru Chris Birch take on the Ganaraska Forest. Enjoy and don't forget to check back for more entertaining videos and all the latest news from the world of motosports. - Ed.

Thursday, 05 December 2019 10:46


Riding the Ganaraska Forest with Lee Martin and Chris Birch - Part 3

With winter weather blanketing the country, most of us are left to rely on memories of riding seasons past to keep the two-wheeled side of our brains occupied. Fortunately Inside Motorcycles contributor Lee Martin has offered up some footage from his Rally Connex library to help keep us entertained. Here in part three of this video series, Lee and off-road guru Chris Birch take on the Ganaraska Forest. Enjoy and don't forget to check back next week for part four. - Ed.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019 10:23


Five Questions with Pro Street Drag Racer Ethan Barkley

Outside of travelling in an airplane, very few of us will ever have the experience of hitting 200 mph, let alone accomplishing this feat within a quarter mile from a standing start. For Canadian Pro Street motorcycle drag racer Ethan Barkley, this milestone became a reality in August when he officially joined the “six-second club” running a series of quarter-mile passes in under seven-seconds, with a best time of 6.847 seconds at 206.99 mph, on his turbocharged Suzuki GSX-R1000 Pro Street drag bike. Anxious to find out what motivates Barkley and his plans to top an amazing 2019 season, Inside Motorcycles posed five questions to the 18-time Canadian Motorcycle Drag Racing Association champion.

Inside Motorcycles: What led you start drag racing motorcycles?

Ethan Barkley: Back in the mid ‘90s I was racing my car at the Friday Night Street Legal events at Race City Speedway. I was going pretty fast but then a Yamaha V-Max spanked me pretty good. It was at that point I started getting into bikes. There was no turning back as the speed for dollar spent ratio was night and day. Half the wheels…twice the fun!

IM: Of the 18 Canadian Motorcycle Drag Racing Association (CMDRA) championships that you have won, which one stands out in your memory and why?

EB: That’s a tough question but I’d have to say the 2011 season is one that sticks out. It was my last year racing for Suzuki Canada in two classes (Pro Street & Street) and wanted to go out on a high. That year I had a particularly good season in both classes with my Turbocharged GSX-R1000 Eleanor setting records and running deep into the 7s in Pro Street and my Hayabusa “Snow White” running consistent mid 9s in Street. Jumping from a heads-up bike to a bracket bike is no easy feat but I just loved to race and felt super comfortable on both bikes. I won my 11th and 12th Championships that season which elevated me to have achieved the most CMDRA titles in history. Believe it or not this was a goal I set for myself years before and I was thrilled to have done it in only my 9th full season with the CMDRA. It was at that point I decided to retire from the Street class and focus solely on Pro Street with Eleanor.

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IM: You have been drag racing motorcycles for more than two decades, what is it about drag racing that keeps you engaged?

EB: It’s a few things. Firstly, I love the challenge of pushing the envelope of speed and acceleration. Feeling the g-force is pretty addictive. Secondly, I love the technical aspect of the Pro Street class, it’s an ideal mix of electronic and mechanical engineering at its finest. Lastly, I have met some amazing people throughout the world all thanks to racing.

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IM: In addition to being the most successful motorcycle drag racer in Canada, you have raced in the UK and Australia, as well as the US where you recently became the first Canadian to run a quarter mile in the 6s on a Pro Street bike. How do tracks and racing in Canada compare to other parts of the world?

EB: Luckily, I’ve been able to race on some of the best tracks in the world which set a very high bar in terms of surface quality and grip. For example, when I race in the US spinning the tire moves down on the list of things to be concerned with which allows me to focus on how to go as quick as possible. This season I was able to drop nearly half a second off of my previous best pass in Canada in a matter of a dozen runs due to grip not really being a factor to worry about. Canada has a few really good track surfaces but with the lower vehicle counts and short season they’re just not able to provide the same amount of traction. The level of enthusiasm of racing in Canada is extra special in my opinion. Since we have such a short season, we truly appreciate summer weather and the opportunity to get on the track.

IM: What are your plans for 2020 and beyond?

EB: If you asked me this question last a couple of years ago I would have had a much different answer, but my success last season re-ignited my love of the sport. A big thanks goes out to TS Signs Printing & Promo who will be back on board as my title sponsor for 2020. Their support will allow me to acquire some new parts and put fuel in the transporter in order to compete throughout North America. My primary goal for 2020 is to be the first to run a 6 second E.T. as well as 200+ mph on a Pro Street Bike on Canadian soil. Secondly, I’ll shoot for a 19th CMDRA championship. South of the border I intend to compete at specific events in both the NHDRO Series based in Indianapolis and the XDA series which runs in Maryland and Virginia where I hope to run in the mid 6s at 210+ mph.

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Thursday, 07 November 2019 17:59


First Impression - 2020 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S

The return of the Low Rider S moniker to the Harley-Davidson stable represents another step along the company’s ‘More Roads to Harley-Davidson’ initiative and the introduction of 100 new models during the decade ending 2027. A comprehensive review of this latest HD offering is scheduled for an upcoming issue of Inside Motorcycles, but we simply couldn’t wait to bring you these initial thoughts. – Ed.

San Diego, California may be known for its miles of beaches, warm weather and world-famous zoo, but all it takes is one ride on the roadways along nearby Palomar Mountain to leave you counting the days until you can return. Fortunately, an invitation from Harley-Davidson Canada to test out their all-new 2020 Low Rider S brought with it the chance to once again experience these roads, which are among some of the best in North America.

Walking across the street from our downtown hotel on the first morning of the trip, the assembled group of moto-journalists caught our first glimpse of the 2020 Low Rider S. As the 11th model in the brand’s re-imagined Softail lineup, certain similarities are obvious, but at the same time this new model also stands apart from the crowd.

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With a seat height of just 673 mm (26.5 in) the Low Rider S is built close to the ground. A beefy inverted front fork, combines with raised handlebar and a mini speed screen to provide a front-end look that foreshadows the aggressive intentions of this new model. Blacked-out finishes offset by unique matte bronze wheels (19-inch front, 16-inch rear) round out the overall visual feel.

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A look at the remaining specifications of the Low Rider S, confirms that this motorcycle has been designed with performance in mind, starting with the 1,868 cc Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-twin engine producing a claimed 119 ft-lb of torque that promises to propel the 308 kg (679 lb) Low Rider S with authority. A reduced rake of 28 degrees is incorporated to improve handling while dual front disc brakes and ABS provide stopping power.

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A quick stretch of freeway heading out of downtown San Diego was the perfect place to experience the acceleration of the Low Rider S and it did not disappoint as I found myself thankful for the shape of the solo seat which prevents the rider from sliding off the back. While the mid controls place the rider in a position that may feel odd for riders who are used to forward controls, the overall comfort of the ‘Harley-esque’ ergonomics is all-day comfortable.

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Moving into the seemingly endless series of corners that make this area a rider’s dream, the Low Rider S made it easy to pick up the pace as it responded willingly to inputs allowing itself to be easily maneuvered from side to side, then holding solidly on the selected line.

At the end of the day, back in San Diego, a ride along the ocean, provided the opportunity for that moment when you can’t help smile in your helmet. Based on the number of heads that turned to check out the Low Rider S as we rode by, this new model is destined to create a lot more smiles.

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Tuesday, 05 November 2019 10:04


Five Questions with Road Racer Jonathan Finn

To many of us, motorcycle road racer Jonathan Finn is living the dream. Living in Europe and competing on racetracks that have played host to the best racers in the world, it can hard not to be a little envious. Add in the fact that he is only 16 years old and you may find yourself lamenting some of your early life choices. With an amazing resume, and an impressive trophy collection to match, Jonathan was a perfect candidate for the latest instalment of Inside Motorcycles' Five Questions. 

Inside Motorcycles: Can you give us some background on your road racing career?

Jonathan Finn: Started my career in mini road racing with the Prairie Sport Riders Association (PSRA) in Regina and throughout Western Canada. That first year I was 6 years old and was dragging knee by the end of the season as well as earning the National CMA Youth Championship. Throughout my mini road racing career in Canada I competed in various Spec and Formula classes earning a total of 4 National CMA Championships. I was consistently on the podium so we looked outside our Canadian National series and travelled to California to compete and see if I could compete with riders in the US. That weekend I was able to podium in 4 out of the 5 races I raced in. It was at that point that I wanted to push myself and see how far I could go in my road racing career.

IM: What is the most important element of your race preparation?

JF: There are two very important things when I prepare for a race. First is physical fitness. I am always training to better my endurance. But usually about two weeks prior to a race weekend I increase my intensity as well as fine tune my diet. This allows me to be in optimum physical condition while cutting weight with my diet to be as competitive as possible. The second element is the mental preparation. I practice different techniques to keep focused for my regular training but also during the week leading up to a race weekend. I have also been working with a Sports Psychologist that specializes in motorsports. This has really helped me with my mental preparation.

IM: You have been racing in Europe for the several seasons. What are some of the main differences between racing in North America and Europe?

JF: 2019 is my fourth year racing in Europe. I first started racing MiniGP in Italy and transitioned to the Spanish National series a year later. This year is my third year in the Campeonato de España Cetelem de Superbike racing the Pre-Moto3 series. The three big differences racing in Europe are:

1) The atmosphere in the paddock. Motorcycles are a much more mainstream part of society so everyone has experience riding, that means there is a much larger fan base for two wheeled motorsports. The Campeonato de España Cetelem de Superbike (Spanish National Championship) is comparable to a Motogp paddock where each venue is free for spectators and spectators have full access throughout the paddock. It is very inviting to grow a fan base.

2) Aggressiveness of the riders. The Pre-Moto3 series is a stepping-stone to the Moto3 Junior World Championship, so everyone on the grid is out to prove themselves to make opportunity to further their careers. Because of that, there’s bumping and elbows just like you see on a feisty Moto3 race on television. Its just part of how we race over here.

3) Overall Professionalism. The paddock like I mentioned before is comparable to the MotoGP paddock. The Campeonato de España Cetelem de Superbike (Spanish National Championship) is a stepping stone to the Junior World Championship and ultimately the MotoGP and WSBK championships. Because of this, everyone from the race director, race stewards, to the corner workers are very professional and expect the same from every team and competitor.

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IM: What are your plans for the 2020 season and beyond?

JF: Right now, my plans for the 2020 season are still being considered. Ideally I would like to graduate to the Moto3 Junior World Championship. I am confident in my ability but securing the right financial backing to support that commitment is proving difficult to find. Stay tuned!

IM: What advice can you provide to aspiring motorcycle road racers?

JF: The advice I would give to an aspiring road racer is to follow your dreams. It’s a rewarding but very hard career path. Expect that sacrifices have to be made to create opportunity. Those sacrifices are a) financial, this sport is costly and without financial support the level you can attain will be limited. b) family, for the last five years, I've lived away from my family, my dad has had to work abroad to help support my racing program. c) personal, I'm 16 years old, I am enrolled in an online high school that allows flexibility so that I can complete high school and still train and race. I don't have many friends outside the paddock. These are just a few examples of the sacrifices that have been made for me to pursue my career dreams and aspiring road racers need to fully understand the level of commitment and sacrifice so that you make the most of the opportunity.

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Monday, 28 October 2019 17:47


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