The X-Games roared into town the past month, bringing some world-class athletes and competition to the state. First up were the MMM favorite Harley-Davidson Flat Track Final held at the Mall of America. A dirt track was constructed on the east side of the MOA. At roughly a 1/3 of a mile the racing was close. The event featured Hooligan Class races to warm up the crowd. These are loosely based on the run-what-ya-brung races typically featuring twin cylinder bikes like H-D Sporters and Buells. Local legend Terry Vestal made a good showing for the local talent. For the main event it was all #69 Sammy Halbert who ran away with the win. He got out front early and never looked back to take his first ever gold in the Harley Davidson Flat Track Final. The wild and crazy 29-year-old from Washington state snuck into the lead early and kept it clean and smart throughout the race fending off last years champ Jared Mees and his Indian Factory Team teammate Brad Baker in third. Local rider and Go-Moto envoy Jake Mataya made it to the LCQ round, but didn’t finish well enough to get the transfer to the main. Rumors are he was riding with a broken shoulder on a borrowed bike.
Friday night was the Pacifico Moto X Freestyle Finals where Levi Sherwood rode away with his first gold medal. In a run highlighted by three double backflips including a no-hander to cap it off, the Australian’s daring riding stood apart from the rest of the field earning a score of 92.33. It’s been a long time coming for Sherwood who has been competing in the X Games since 2010 when he was just a teenager. Last years champ Josh Sheehan climbed to second on his final run scoring a 90.66 while fellow Aussie Clinton Moore took Bronze with a 90.00
Saturday the bar was raised, literally, as riders sent it to the sky in the LifeProof Moto X Step Up Final. This event is quite literally a high jump contest for motorcycles. In the end, it was a showdown between Jarryd McNeil and Bryce Hudson, who after eliminating the other four riders, both launched an incredible 43-feet above the ground. With the bar lifted to a staggering 44-feet, Hudson failed to clear the mark nicking the bar with his back tire on both attempts. McNeil however did not, whipping the back of his bike up and over the pole for his second consecutive victory in the event.
In the final event of the weekend, The Real Cost Quarter Pipe Big Air, it was another X Games rookie, Colby Raha, who took home the gold medal. Raha battled it out with Tyler Bereman for the highest air of the day. Needing to clear Beremen’s mark of nearly 28 and a half feet, Raja sent it to the sky off the 18-foot-high Freestyle ramp launching 29 feet 7 inches for the win.
Bike Beef Continues
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told a congressional committee he would not remove motorcycles from a proposed import tariff while negotiations continue in a dispute with the European Union over U.S. beef imports. At issue is a proposed 100 percent tariff (!-ed.) on 51cc to 500cc motorcycles imported to the United States from manufacturers in the European Union. The bikes are included in a long list of products that would be the subject of tariffs as part of the long-running dispute over U.S. beef imports. In his testimony he stated he was “sympathetic” to American motorcyclists, dealerships and others, but he refused to take action. The American Motorcycle Association has continued expressing their extreme concern over the dispute. AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman responded with a statement, “He has chosen the U.S. beef industry over American motorcyclists and Americans who own and operate motorcycle dealerships.”
Marketing or Genius?
Earlier this year Harley-Davidson convinced all the residents of the town of Ryder, ND to become “Riders” for this riding season and is teaching all 84
residents to ride a motorcycle. Ryder, located south of Minot (Why not Minot? – ed.) has agreed to change its name to Riders for the year. In addition to the rider training, Harley-Davidson helped refurbish the town’s water tower, painting it to mirror the design of the famous water tower that sits atop Harley-Davidson headquarters in Milwaukee. MMM will buy a slice of pie to the first rider that returns from Ryder/Riders, ND with picture of their bike at the city limit sign. Two slices if you are doing a smoky burnout.
Guinness World Records has officially recognized Koronadal City, Philippines as the new world record holder for the most motorcycle engines started (3,184) and motorcycle horns sounded simultaneously (3,177), city officials announced recently. Ben Backhouse, head of records management for Asia Pacific of Guinness World Records Ltd., said they have approved the city’s application for the two world records that were set April 29. The record attempts were among the highlights of the city’s ongoing 1st Motorcycle Festival and the 23rd national convention of the National Federation of Motorcycle Clubs in the Philippines. There was plenty of planning including a dry run of the event the day prior. Based on the numbers above, we wonder what happened to the last seven horns?
J&P Founder Honored
City officials in Anamosa, IA honored the founder of the National Motorcycle Museum, founder of J&P Cycles, and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer John Parham, by naming a street after him during the J&P Cycles motorcycle rally held in June. Parham, who founded the aftermarket parts retailer, J&P Cycles, as well as the National Motorcycle Museum, which is located in Anamosa, passed away in April of this year after a long battle with pulmonary fibrosis. He was 62. The dedication included a presentation by Anamosa City Administrator Alan Johnson, the Parham family and a celebratory first ride on Parham Drive featuring 15 motorcycles. Parham was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2015.