Leatt have released their brand new ‘Z-Frame’ Knee Brace, designed to replicate the mechanics of the knee, and deflect or absorb impacts as required. With certified medical endorsements, the top-rated impact protection is being offered to New Zealand now at an incredible price!

The main hinge of the Z-Frame Knee Brace is geared to provide a smooth mechanical motion, constructed to take all the pressure and side-on impacts without distorting or twisting. It can be set to allow 5, 10, 15, or 20-degrees of movement, for hyper-extension and ACL injury reduction.

With an Injected Composite chassis, slim hinges for superior feel, and Aluminium hinge covers, the Z-Frame Knee Brace is made with the experience of riders, for riders. The shin-pad had been specifically designed with a low profile, to allow excellent boot fit. The strapping system is simple to and also low profile, to prevent snagging under riders pants. The Z-Frame Knee Brace is also capable of a completely customised fit, with interchangeable hinge padding sizes.

For exceptional quality, durability, and protection, Leatt have been producing personal protective equipment and ancillary products for all forms of sports, especially action sports. The Leatt-Brace® is an award-winning neck brace system, and is considered the gold standard for neck protection for anyone wearing a crash helmet as a form of protection. The Z-Frame Knee Brace continues their dedication to providing safer and more durable measures against injury for motorcyclists.

Available in sizes Small to Xtra-Large, the all-new Leatt Z-Frame Knee Brace is available now from Whites Powersports.

Price: $549 per pair.

 

 

We’ve always said the Shoei VFX is one of the best dirt bike helmets on the market. The fit, feel, build quality and protection is always superb, which is what you’d expect from a premium helmet that has a premium price tag to match. But for 2018, Shoei did the impossible and made the VFX even better with the release of the VFX-WR.

The design is unique, with the VFX-WR instantly recognisable, especially in the Glaive TC2 graphic which we’ve got. The thick chinbar gives maximum protection from impacts at the front along with making it difficult for anything to enter the front opening when you’ve got goggles in place. And speaking of goggles, the eye port is big enough to accept even the biggest frames. The lining is super-plush (plus removable and washable), with the VFX-WR easily comfortable enough to wear non-stop all day.

But it’s the addition of the M.E.D.S. (Motion Energy Distribution System) which is the big news with the new model. While the main layer of EPS liner absorbs impacts from the outside as usual, an additional centred layer of EPS liner reduces rotational acceleration energy to the head in the event of an accident. Anchored by a larger centre column, the inner layer swings during impact, allowing its three perimeter columns to absorb the energy. The result is a significant reduction of rotational force to the rider’s head along with improved protection from low-speed impacts.

The unique silhouette of the VFX-WR isn’t just for looks, with the shell designed to offer excellent aerodynamics (there’s even a spoiler at the back), combined with allowing for a consistent shell thickness throughout. That shell is made up of a dual-layer, multi density EPS liner that also helps protect from impacts at differing speeds.

Undoubtedly the most comfortable dirt bike helmet I’ve ever worn, I’m hoping I don’t get to test the impact resistance anytime soon. But if I do, I’m happy that I’ve got what I believe to be the best dirt bike helmet money can buy looking after me.

 

Tester: Paul | Distributed by: Whites Powersports | Price: $1049
Check it: www.bits4bikes.co.nz

 

It’s both fun and scary with an unrivaled adrenalin rush, so how do you get your bike to fly without coming crashing down to earth? Ben talks us through the basics.

Probably the most fun, but also most daunting part about riding a dirt bike is jumping. From table tops to triples and doubles, for a lot of people jumping can be very scary and hold you back from either enjoying the feeling or becoming a faster rider. With these tips and a bit of practice, you will have the confidence to conquer whatever jump is in front of you and let you experience that oh-so-good feeling of floating through the air.

#1 Body Position

Probably the most important part to be able to jump safely is your body position. The key is having a nice neutral position to help keep the bike level and not tilting when you’re in the air. In order to keep control while in mid-air, you want to be gripping tightly with your legs against the bike to keep it straight and maintain control. This position is similar to the standing attack position you should be adopting approaching the jump, with strong elbows and your head over the bar pad to keep the bike stable.

#2 Throttle Control

Next is having the right throttle going up and over the jump. Things go wrong when you let the throttle off halfway up a ramp, or come into a jump way too fast and hold the gas on full throttle. After being over the jump a few times and getting a feel for it, you need to determine the entry speed to the face of the jump. Once you reach the up ramp of the jump, you want to hold the throttle wherever it is all the way up the face and until you are in the air. A problem a lot of riders have is that they let the throttle off at the top of the ramp. This causes the rear end to lift up and turn into an endo, which is not how you want to jump. By keeping the same throttle speed all the way up the jump face, it’ll keep the bike balanced and level.

#3 Eyes Open

The third tip is where you should be looking. You want to be looking at the up ramp as soon as possible, scanning ahead to see where the best line for take-off will be. You’ll want to avoid hitting any bumps in the face or possibly the lower line of the ramp to give the bike the smoothest take-off. Once you’re in the air, you then want to be looking where you are wanting to land, and not looking around for other riders or at spectators, as these distractions can cause big accidents. Your control while flying high is limited, so don’t panic if you see a better landing spot than is within your reach, as this too can cause you to come in for a hard landing.

#4 Landing

When it comes to returning to the ground, you want to get your chest and torso as far away from the handlebars as you can. This will make sure you don’t have the wind knocked out of you, meaning you can pin the throttle and head to your next target. Landing the bike itself, you generally don’t want to land with both wheels at the same time (unless you’re doing some serious speed!), as this will send the shock straight to you and probably throw you off. Land slightly on your front wheel if you’re landing on a ramp, or if there is no landing ramp, land on the rear wheel and position your feet with the arch on the footpeg, so that the shock absorber of the bike and your legs take the impact.

Putting It Into Practice

So now you’ve got the basics, the next step is to put it all into practice. So where do you start and what do you do if things start to go sideways?

Start With Table Tops

Tabletops are the best jump to start on, as you can work your way and progress a little further each time until you nail it. They are much safer than hitting a double, where you either jump it or you don’t, usually with quite serious consequences. Tabletops are good for gaining confidence and working your way to jumping bigger and bigger each lap. Once you’ve gained confidence with the safer jumps, you can then progress onto more technical jumps such as doubles or even triples.

If Your Bike Endos

An endo is when the front of the bike is dropping below the rear. Unless you know how to correct this, a lot of the time it ends with a crash which isn’t what you want. But a few quick tips are all you need to stop you from crashing and keep you upright and racing. If you feel the front of the bike dropping, you want to get your weight as far back as soon as possible. Also, twisting the gas full on at the same time and holding it is another trick to get the bike to rotate backwards. This is called a “panic rev” and uses the momentum of the rear wheel to rotate the bike and lift the front upwards mid-air. It’s a technique commonly used by all riders to stop the bike from flipping over the front on landing, and you’ll often hear bikes on their rev limiter at a motocross track as riders try to correct their position mid-jump.

If Your Bike Air Wheelies

A wheelie on the ground is good fun, and sometimes even useful. But if your bike starts lifting the front too high while you are in mid-air, you will quickly find not all wheelies are awesome. If your bike starts to wheelie after you’ve hit a jump, again your body position will need to change, with your weight moving forward as far as possible. At the same time as leaning forward, you need to try and tap the rear brake to help to bring the front wheel down. It sounds ridiculous but it really works, using the opposite of the panic rev to provoke the bike to change its geometry mid-jump.

Jumping is fun and is also a necessary part of racing motocross, so you need to have it sorted. Practice is the key to success when it comes to jumping, with special attention needed on the technique for correcting the trajectory of your machine while in mid-air. Practice a panic rev or dabbing the rear brake and see what happens. You’ll soon discover that these are your most valuable assets when jumping and you want them to become second nature.

 

JGRMX/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing has announced its race teams for the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross series that includes two-time 450 Supercross Champion Chad Reed and Justin Hill.

In addition, Alex Martin will join Jimmy Decotis, Kyle Peters and Enzo Lopes in the 250 class. The four-rider 250 program will race with the all-new 2019 Suzuki RM-Z250.

Weston Peick, a 450 class favourite, will also return to the JGRMX/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing Team for his fifth year. However, due to a serious injury at the Paris Supercross in November, where he suffered multiple facial injuries, Peick will not be competing until he is healthy and ready. Peick is hopeful to return to the track this season. Until then, he will be signing autographs and meeting fans at various Supercross races.

Fourth on the all-time Supercross win list, with 44 main event victories, Reed is easily one of the most popular riders in the paddock, and will contest the 17-round 450 Supercross series on a Suzuki RM-Z450. The 36-year-old had a busy off-season, sweeping the S-X Open in New Zealand and capturing the International FIM Oceania Championship. He looks to carry that success into 2019.

 

 

The New Zealand Supercross Championships wrapped up in the deep south on Saturday with new champions crowned in every class.

Taupo’s Cohen Chase showed that consistency counted most when he wrapped up the premier senior SX1 title, his 2-3-2 score-line at the series opener in Tokoroa a fortnight ago backed up by 3-2-2 results at Saturday evening’s final round at Winton, just outside Invercargill. He finished the series 13 points ahead of Nelson’s Reece Walker, with Dunedin’s Campbell King claiming third overall for the championship. Mount Maunganui’s Josiah Natzke was again in scintillating form at Winton, scoring another hat-trick of wins in the senior SX2 (250cc) class, giving him a clean sweep for the series and he took the title by a massive 34 points from Mangakino’s Maximus Purvis, with Waitakere’s Ethan Martens claiming the third podium spot for the championship.

In the senior SX Lites (125cc) class, the result was declared after the Tokoroa opener, with insufficient numbers entered for this class at Winton. Ohaupo’s Carlin Hedley, therefore, had done enough at Tokoroa to take the title for 2018, ending the championship ahead of Waiuku’s Nate Adams and Upper Hutt’s Brock Sullivan.

In the junior 250 class, Rangiora’s Korban Paget kept up the high work-rate to ease his way to the title. He had a solid lead after Tokoroa and won both of the early races at Winton. Even an out-of-character fifth placing after crashing in the last race of the series could not undo all the good work and he took the title by 13 points from Winton’s Connor Newell, while New Plymouth’s Curtis King completing the junior 250 podium.

In the Junior Lites (85cc) class, the two brothers who had been leading the series after Tokoroa, Hamilton pair Nicholas and Dylan Westgate, were no-shows at Winton, opening it up for Rongotea’s Rhys Jillings to dive right in and take the title. Invercargill’s Jack Symon actually won this class at Winton, his 1-2-1 score-card giving him the edge over Jillings’ 2-1-2 results, but he had to settle for overall runner-up, finishing just four points behind Jillings. Winton’s Jordan Newell claimed the third podium spot for this class.

This South Island round – billed as the “world’s southern-most supercross” – again attracted an impressive crowd of onlookers and the riders didn’t disappoint.

Motueka’s former Kiwi international Josh Coppins actually won all three SX1 class races at Winton but, as was the case with Oropi’s Ben Townley when he won all three SX1 races at Tokoroa, it was the sole supercross outing of the season for these two men and, with incomplete campaigns, they really had no chance of winning the title. In the end, Townley had still done enough to finish sixth overall, the Bay of Plenty rider on identical points to Coppins, although Coppins was awarded fifth overall on the count-back rule.

Motorcycling New Zealand supercross co-ordinator Noel May said he was feeling positive about the sport after this year’s series.

“We had been struggling a bit to get the entries up in supercross over the years, but we are now starting to see good growth,” he said. “We have a strategic plan that, over the next five years, we will be able to rebuild the junior segment to flow through and full the senior ranks. We had 85cc and 65cc support classes and 50cc demo races in the supercross this year, to introduce the sport to the young ones in the early part of their racing careers. Tokoroa has said they would keep their supercross track intact and we plan to have supercross events there during the summer. The same down south in Winton and Timaru, where the tracks there will be used regularly to help to keep the momentum going.”

The Tokoroa event this year, hosted by the South Waikato Motorcycle Club, was supported by Craig Stevens Yamaha and the Winton event, hosted by the Southland Motorcycle Club, was supported by Brent Scammell Honda.

 

Leading final standings in 2018 New Zealand Supercross Championships:

SX1 class: 1. Cohen Chase (Taupo) 98 points; 2. Reece Walker (Nelson) 85; 3. Campbell King (Dunedin) 76.
SX2 class: 1. Josiah Natzke (Mount Maunganui) 137 points; 2. Maximus Purvis (Mangakino) 103; 3. Ethan Martens (Waitakere) 102.
SX Lites: 1. Carlin Hedley (Ohaupo) 60 points; 2. Nate Adams (Waiuku) 47; 3. Brock Sullivan (Upper Hutt) 45.
Junior 250: 1. Korban Paget (Rangiora) 111 points; 2. Connor Newell (Winton) 98; 3. Curtis King (New Plymouth) 84.
Junior Lites: 1. Rhys Jillings (Rongotea) 99 points; 2. Jack Symon (Invercargill) 95; 3. Jordan Newell (Winton) 69.

 

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan