Honda UK is delighted to announce a partnership with Steve Colley, which will see the former trials champion ride the Montesa Cota 300RR in his ‘Showtime’ displays.

Colley’s aptly named ‘Showtime’ exhibition sees him tackle a testing obstacle course reminiscent of a trials stage. Calling on all the skills which saw him amass thirty-plus trials titles over the course of his career, including a hat-trick of British Solo Trials Championships, Colley jumps, drops, and tricks his way around the arena in true freestyle fashion.

Going forward, Colley will perform aboard the flagship Montesa model. Pure-bred for competition, the Cota 300RR boasts a lightweight aluminium frame, which cradles a 288cc, single-cylinder, four-valve engine that has been carefully tuned to offer a tractable yet responsive torque delivery, which is necessary for trials riding.

Marking the announcement, Honda UK Off-Road Sales Manager Graham Foster-Vigors said: “Steve is a fantastic guy and a decorated champion, he’s the perfect brand ambassador, so we couldn’t be happier to see him riding a Honda during his Showtime exhibitions.”

Steve Colley also spoke on the announcement: “I’m delighted to be working with Honda and I’ve had a great time familiarising myself with the Cota 300RR, it really looks the part and I’m in no doubt it’s the perfect motorcycle for the job.”

For more information on Steve Colley’s ‘Showtime’ exhibitions, follow this link:
www.stevecolley.co.uk

Click here to see the Honda Montesa Cota 300RR:
www.honda.co.uk/motorcycles/range/off-road/montesa-cota-300rr/specifications.html

Words and Photos: HondaMoto

Something that is often overlooked when we get on a new bike is the bike’s ergonomics. Making your bike fit you is vital, but how many riders know how to accomplish it?

 

Every rider is a different shape, weight, and height, with different length arms, legs, and even fingers! Look at someone that has just gotten behind the wheel of a new car – they will always adjust the seat and rear-view mirror to suit their size.

That means every bike is going to need to be adjusted slightly differently to fit each individual rider for the best experience. Sure, you can ham-fist a bunch of different bikes if you’re just test-riding them, but if your regular bike isn’t set up perfectly for you, you won’t enjoy it nearly as much as you could.

It’d be like wearing a helmet that doesn’t fit you properly – just plain annoying after a while. And for such a simple (and free!) task, why wouldn’t you do it?

What does it mean?

Simply, making a bike fit you means adjusting the controls so you’re comfortable and can reach everything without straining. The brake and clutch levers, gear shifter, and rear brake pedal should all be set to fit your body type.

Usually, this requires a few pretty simple turns with a spanner, nothing too complicated! Having your bike set up properly can transform the ride, from being difficult and awkward to being easy and enjoyable.

The Basics

First of all, let’s look at the handlebar positioning. When you’re sitting on the bike, with your feet up on the pegs and your hands on the bars (in your normal riding position), there should be a straight line from your forearms, through your wrists, to the back of your hands.

You shouldn’t have any ‘twist’ in your wrist, left or right, to grip the bar naturally. If you do, then the handlebars need either adjusting or replacing with an aftermarket bar.

Dirt bike (single-piece) handlebars are fixed, only offering adjustment by being rotated up or down in the bar risers. Make sure any adjustments you make still clear the fuel tank at full steering lock, as well as any plastics (if your bike has them!) For optimum performance, the rise of the handlebar should be relatively in-line with the angle of the forks, so you’re not putting adverse pressure on the bars when you hit the bigger bumps, that way the forks soak up the hit – not the handlebar.

Different aftermarket bars offer different heights and end grip angles, so you’re not stuck with what the manufacturer has provided.

Lever Positioning

Once you’ve got your handlebars comfortable, now it’s time to adjust your lever height and reach. The mounts for your brake and clutch levers will be bolted to the bars, and by rotating the mount on the bar you can adjust how high the levers sit. In your normal riding position, with your fingers stretched out over the levers, your wrists should again be nice and straight, the same as if you were just gripping the bars without reaching for the levers.

Also, hopefully your levers have an inbuilt adjustment to set how far the lever is from the bar – a good setting is to have the levers at the same length as your knuckle just back from your fingertip on your pointing finger. This allows you the most pull and precision on the lever.

Something to take note of, most riders will have to decide whether they want their levers positioned in a standing or sitting riding position, as their ergonomics change depending on how you ride the bike!

Cables

Throttle and (non-hydraulic) clutch cables can be adjusted as well, and are almost always set very loose from the manufacturer. Some riders prefer to have their cables set fairly tight, to minimize free play, and prevent the throttle being snatchy or jerky.

Beware though, if you set your cables too tight, you may get unintentional throttle pull or clutch activation when you turn the bars to full lock and pull the cables tight against the bike’s frame. Make sure you leave a small amount of slackness in the cables to prevent this. The benefits of having your cables set nicely, apart from better feel, is that the mechanism will operate (either throttle or clutch) as soon as you start to work the controls – useful for when you’re trying to get back on the power as you exit a turn or need to change gear in a hurry!

Foot Controls

As every rider has different length legs, the rear brake pedal and gear shift lever on each bike needs to be adjusted to suit its rider. Riders with shorter legs will have a shallower angle of their ankle and foot position compared to riders with longer legs.

As such, the placement of the rear brake pedal and gear shift lever needs to be adjusted to suit each rider’s style. Even changing footwear can affect where you need your foot controls to be. Thicker racing style boots might mean you need to lift your gear shift lever (so you can still get your toes under the lever to upshift), compared to less ‘chunky’ style riding footwear.

Different makes and models of bikes will have different ways of adjusting the gearshift lever and rear brake pedal up and down, to suit each different rider.

Much better!

Getting your bike setup correct for your riding position will make riding more enjoyable, less of a strain on your arms and wrists, and make you much more comfortable on your bike. Take the time to work out where you need your bars, levers, and pedals to be for you and your riding style. In effect, making your bike more ergonomic will make you safer on the road as well, being less distracted by a bike that isn’t awkward to control. Making your bike ‘user-friendly’ should be the very first thing you do to it!

Round 15 of Monster Energy® AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship returned to the mile high city of Denver for the first time since 1996. Home-state hero, Monster Energy® Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo both captured victories at Broncos Stadium at Mile High in their respective classes, each earning their fifth win of the 2019 season.

With frigid temperatures and snow flurries throughout the day, Tomac kicked the day off by pushing through the snow and qualifying with the fastest lap time while his teammate Joey Savatgy was close behind in third. The Kawasaki teammates came out in front of the pack in 450SX Heat 2 with Savatgy in second and Tomac in fourth. Tomac challenged his title contender as they raced side-by-side for multiple laps until finally the No. 3 KX™450 of Tomac made a clean pass and continued making his move to the front. By Lap 7, Tomac was able to catch Savatgy and pass him for second, where he would go on to cross the finish line. Savatgy fell back to finish fourth.

As the gate dropped on the 450SX Main Event, Savatgy launched out of the gate to another second position start, while Tomac was not far behind in fifth. Similar to the heat race, there were great battles going on up front where Savatgy held a top-3 position before being passed by his teammate and two others, but still earning another impressive top-5 finish. Meanwhile, the crowd came to life as the Colorado native was riding with confidence, resulting in a dominant performance; nearly three minutes into the race, Tomac had blasted by each rider in front of him and began checking out from the rest of the field. Tomac went on to lead the remaining 23 laps and crossed the finish line with nearly an eight-second margin of victory.

Despite the roller coaster weather, over 50,000 Colorado fans filled the stadium and made sure to extend their warm welcome back to the city as they stood on their feet all night chanting “Tomac!” With the encouragement from the crowd, Tomac was able to gain some valuable points and now sits in second place, 18 points out of the top spot in the 450SX Rider Point Standings with two rounds remaining.

Eli Tomac – Monster Energy Kawasaki

“Wow, tonight was like something I dreamed of; this was the loudest crowd I have ever heard and it was so special for me to kind of repay them with this win. It has been such a great weekend and I mean, it wouldn’t be Colorado without some snow! I’m thankful for my entire Monster Energy Kawasaki crew and proud of all the progress we’ve made throughout the season. We’ll continue to work hard and keep pushing to close the gap on the title for the next two rounds, it’s not over yet!”

Joey Savatgy – Monster Energy Kawasaki

“I wasn’t sure how this weekend was going to go after hurting my shoulder last weekend, but I was determined to get back out there and give it my all. It wasn’t easy, but overall I’m proud to put Kawasaki up front again and thankful for my team’s support. I got more experience running up front with the top contenders and I’m still shooting for a podium finish, but another top-5 is good, especially given the circumstances. I’m looking forward to a weekend off and allowing myself to rest up and get ready for New Jersey.”

In the 250SX class, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders also rode great in qualifying with Cianciarulo clocking the fastest lap time and Garrett Marchbanks with eighth position. Cianciarulo carried that speed into Heat 2 as he started in third, quickly took over the lead by Lap 4 and then went on to take the checkers.

The 250SX Main Event saw Cianciarulo running in second, stalking the leader and strategically maneuvering his KX250 to find his way around. He played cat and mouse for a few laps before making the pass stick and going on to lead the remaining 15 laps. Cianciarulo secured his fifth win of the season and extending his lead in the 250SX Western Region Rider Point Standings with only the East/West Shootout in Las Vegas remaining in the series.

Marchbanks struggled throughout the night and was forced to compete in the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) after not being able to finish his heat race. He went on to lead every lap and get the job done in the LCQ. Despite a poor gate pick for the Main Event, Marchbanks rocketed off the start and nearly grabbed the holeshot, but unfortunately collided with another rider mid-air before the first lap was complete causing an early end to his night.

Cianciarulo and Tomac’s win in both 250SX and 450SX classes in Denver give Kawasaki their fifth event sweep of the season.

Adam Cianciarulo – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki

“I am so pumped to get this win! I felt so good all day and just synced with my KX250 perfectly tonight, so it ended up being such a good race. Plus, the energy of this crowd here in Denver was incredible throughout the race. I love this type of racing where we’re all throwing it out on the line and the crowd is going crazy, especially since we’re close in points. Now I just have to get the job done in Vegas.”

Garrett Marchbanks – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki

“I’m thankful I’m not badly injured and I’ve got a great team that will help me get back to where I need to be. I know where I belong out there and we’ve made a lot of progress this season. I’ve learned a lot, so I’m looking forward to finishing out the season in Las Vegas in a few weeks.”

Words and Photos: Kawasaki Racing

Repsol Honda Team rider Toni Bou will be one of the two riders taking part for the Spanish team in the X-Trial des Nations. This will be Bou’s eighth participation in the competition, having scooped a clean sweep of victories in every edition he has entered.

Bou, the Repsol Honda Team rider has been chosen by the Real Federación Española de Motociclismo as one of the duo of riders to represent Spain in the X-Trial des Nations which gets underway this weekend in the French town of Vendée.

Bou will line up in the Federación Española squad alongside Jaime Busto. In addition to Spain, four other countries will compete in the team competition: France, Great Britain, Italy and Norway.

Toni Bou has seven X-Trial des Nations titles already under belt; on one previous occasion in Pau in 2017, there was a full podium of Repsol Honda Team riders, which also featured former team-mate Jaime Busto. Bou won in 2006, 2007, 2008 with three-member teams as well as in the revamped championship in 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2018, which had the chosen national teams represented by just two riders apiece.

Toni Bou 

The X-Trial des Nations is a different race and I like to compete in it because it is a very tactical competition. It forces you to have to empathize very well with your partner and, in this case, I think it can work as we know each so well. However, the sections tend to be easy and it will be difficult to mark any differences.

Words and Photos: Honda Racing Corporation

After injuring his right ankle and fibula at last weekend’s MXGP of Trentino, Team HRC’s Calvin Vlaanderen underwent surgery to repair the damage, with the procedure going extremely well.

During the timed practice on Saturday afternoon, Vlaanderen twisted his ankle whilst on his hotlap and even though he was still able to set the fastest lap of the session, he had to retire immediately back to the truck. After attempting to race the qualifying race it was apparent after one lap, the pain was too much and he sought on-site medical advice at the track. Scans showed he had a fractured fibula and a severe ankle sprain, with the advice being to go and get the surgery done straight away.

On Monday morning, Vlaanderen had the successful operation performed by the highly-regarded Dr Claes and is now already in the initial signs of recovery. With a cast on right now to protect the area, Vlaanderen will hope to start physio in a couple of weeks, with the goal of making a comeback at the next round of the championship on May 11-12 at the Mantova track in Italy.

Calvin Vlaanderen   10

Obviously I’m extremely disappointed to have this happen to me at the weekend. I was feeling really good on the bike and was in the process of setting the fastest lap when I just twisted my ankle. I didn’t crash or anything so it was a real shock to see the x-ray show that I fractured my fibula.
Thankfully, with the support of the team and the excellent Dr Claes, I have since had the surgery which went extremely well. I hope to have the cast off in less than a couple of weeks and begin physio and cycling shortly after that, with the goal of being fit and ready to go for the fifth round of the MX2 championship in Mantova on May 11-12.
Thanks for all the support I have received since the news broke, it is really nice to see so many fans reach out with their messages and it gives me even greater motivation to comeback stronger than ever. I also wish to say congratulations to my Team HRC teammate Tim Gajser for his amazing performance in winning the MXGP of Trentino. He rode really well and he fully deserved that victory.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas

HRC General Manager – MXGP

It was a real shame for Calvin to injure himself last weekend, but we are extremely happy with the news that the surgery went well and that he hopes to be ready for the next round of the MX2 series. That event takes place in five weeks’ time and everyone at Team HRC will do everything to support Calvin with his recovery and make sure he is fully prepared and feeling back to his best when the next gate drops.

Words and Photos: Honda Racing Corporation