Ask Ping!Friday, November 18, 2011 | 9:35 AM
Wondering if you could help me clarify something about some recent team developments, namely James Stewart. I was under the impression that he bought controlling interest of L&M Racing last year, which led to the whole Larry Brooks booting out. And now he signs with JGR, which could possibly be really great or really bad. So what happened to L&M? I listened to some of the Stewart podcast with Matthes, but he wouldn't talk about it. Big surprise. I know Brooks is now paired with McGrath again, which could also be really could too. Any insight?
I don’t want to get into trouble over this but here is the way things went down, as I understand it. L&M Racing was owned by Larry Brooks and Mike Kranyak. James wanted to buy the team, as you suggested, but it never actually happened. Somehow, and in some manner, Larry was released from his position mid-season but at the end of the year James backed out of buying the team. This left Mike Kranyak in a tough spot since he had a race team with no manager and no riders. He has since partnered with Jeff Ward and they have signed Josh Grant and Kyle Chisholm for next year. There is also talk that they will add Ben Townley for the nationals but Ward himself has said that adding a third rider for half the year is a difficult proposition financially. The team will be on Kawasakis and with a great crew already assembled they should be a successful squad right out of the gate. James probably realized that running his own team would be much more expensive than just riding for a good team and he chose the JGR camp.
Brooks and McGrath have joined up to form their own as-of-yet unnamed race team. Team Jerry McBrooks is the current nickname that I like. They have Andrew Short and possibly Kyle Regal for the year on Factory Honda equipment. Larry is awesome at keeping things a secret so not a word has leaked about whom the team sponsors are or what the outfit will look like. With MC and Brooks behind it though I’m sure it will be immaculate and well run. The interesting thing about all of this is the direction that things are heading in terms of factory support. I’ve been predicting for a while that race teams will eventually do what Yamaha did and disband their own factory team while expanding support to multiple privately run organizations. Honda is now supporting TwoTwo Motorsports, Windham at GEICO and Team Jerry McBrooks with Factory bikes. Suzuki has farmed their effort out to Yoshimura and Kawasaki is testing the waters with Wardy’s team and one 450 rider under the Pro Circuit truck. It just makes sense.
Well this one might be too dumb.
I got tired of wrecking on the tracks, even at relatively slow speeds and squatting over jumps, so I quit riding for about a year. Of course that can’t last so I’m ready to go again. My question is this: If I decide to start riding in sand dunes will that put a lot of extra wear and tear on my bike parts. I know chain and sprockets won’t like it but they were going to get covered in winter mud anyway. I’ve heard some people say bad things about riding in the sand. I’m as poor as I am hefty, so I don’t want to abuse my poor little 2 stroke any more than I already do. It seems like my landings would be less painful in the sand.
Yes, riding in the sand would beat the crap out of your bike, regardless of engine type. Riding in the sand dunes regularly would be like eating a handful of small glass shards every day. You might be able to digest it for a few days but eventually your bowels are going to grenade and things are going to get messy. How about just taking it easy instead of charging until your hit the deck? It is possible to ride without crashing. Here’s my suggestion: Lose twenty pounds, buy more protective gear, ride in soft dirt [not the sand dunes] and ride within your ability level. Trust me… it still hurts to go headfirst into the sand.
I got your Motocross 101 video a few months back and its great. The riding stuff really helped me on the track and I’ve watched it several times already. My problem is that I suck at working on my bike and you didn’t really go over much of that in the video. You mentioned basic service and tire pressure and stuff like that but I guess I need help with more than that. What is the trick to getting better and working on my bike? I paid $7000 for it and I want to take care of it!
Eldo in Reno
I wish I could help you more on this one. I can keep my bike going for about a year but past that I’m useless. I could rebuild a two-stroke but I wouldn’t have a clue what to do with all the chains and springs and ball bearings that fall out when you open a thumper motor up. I change my oil and filter, keep a clean air filter and tighten my spokes and bolts. Anything past that and it goes to a mechanic. I like to keep things really simple, Eldo. I’ve often found this flow chart to be helpful when I have a question on my bikes. After all, you can fix almost anything with a can of multi-purpose lube and a roll of hillbilly chrome.
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The James Stewart Freestone AMA Spring Classic in Texas has quickly earned a place on the list of must-attend springtime amateur events. Page 182.