A month before the Parts Canada Walton TransCan, Yamaha Motor Canada announced a brand new award to the event: a Yamaha Factory Ride, which includes a 2012 YZ of the rider’s choice plus a $2500 parts and accessories credit. It would be awarded to the amateur Yamaha rider who scored the most points in their respective classes. After crunching the numbers, it was Coldwater, Ontario’s RJ Marnoch who topped the chart! We caught up with Marnoch shortly after his big results at Canada’s ‘Biggest Dance.’
Four-time Canadian National champion, Dusty Klatt, and RJ Marnoch hanging out at the Yamaha Blackfoot factory rig.
Hello RJ, congratulations on winning the ‘Yamaha Factory Ride’ award at this year’s Walton TransCan!
RJ Marnoch: Thank you.
How many times have you raced the TransCan?
About 5 years now.
Is this your best year as far as results go?
What clicked for you this year at Walton?
Riding the big bike, my YZ250F, helped me out a lot. I’m a little too big for an 85cc, and I feel more comfortable on the 4-stroke.
You raced a 125 2-stroke in the Schoolboy, and a 250F in MX2 Junior. What’s the biggest difference for you between the two bikes?
Probably my corner speed; it’s way easier to roll-on the throttle on the 250F compared to the 125. I only got onto my 250F a few weeks ago, and now I’m wishing I had of been on one sooner.
You’ve had great results all summer. Are you the type of person who sets goals, or do you just go out, ride and let the results come?
I just go into it with my head held high, try my best and take it moto by moto.
Regarding the ‘Yamaha Factory Ride,’ which includes a 2012 YZ of your choice and a $2500 parts and accessories credit, have you given much thought to which bike you’ll choose?
Probably another 250F.
RJ and his father, Roddy, were given a full guided tour of the factory Yamaha Blackfoot racing semi.
How did you get into motocross, RJ?
I started riding when I was 4 years old, when my parents got me a dirt bike for my birthday. A friend down the street was into racing, he was friends with my dad, and we started going with them to the races. We just kept getting a little more serious every year. I’ve been on Yamaha’s since I started racing 80s.
Do you have a certain type of track that you prefer, or that you’re riding style suits best?
I like loam with lots of jumps.
Oh really, so Walton probably isn’t your favourite track but you still won!
Yeah, not really but it’s still a good track to ride. I like Sand Del Lee, and down in the states Area 51 is pretty fun.
Aside from racing, any other hobbies or interests?
I ski in the winter and race in the summer. That’s about it.
I know your dad, Roddy, is very supportive and enthusiastic about racing, and you have many other people helping you out. Who do you want to thank for helping you in 2011?
My whole family, Stouffville Toyota, DMX, Renegade Fuels, Fox Shox, Progressive Lighting, Lime Nine graphics, and everyone else.
Yamaha is planning to bring back the ‘Yamaha Factory Ride’ award to the TransCan and other amateur events in 2012. So keep your results up next year and you could win another Factory Ride!
That’s awesome, thanks!
Spring is here, let’s go riding! You know, I’m not a huge fan of the cold, bitter weather of Canadian winter, but it definitely makes me appreciate these warm, sunny days that much more. All I can think about is calling in sick, loading up the pickup with a YZ and heading out to Gopher Dunes…
On the topic of riding, OFTR’s KenHoeverman was in the office yesterday discussing the going-ons of trail riding in Ontario. Ken is a passionate, intelligent guy who has some really good ideas, many of which are already in action, to promote off-road riding throughout the province.
His main objective is answering the most simplest of questions for new (and even current) riders. Things like, Where can I ride? Do I need a license plate? Do I need insurance? Where can I learn how to ride? Furthering his proactive approach, Ken wrote these questions down on hang-tags, and has sent them to supporting dealerships to place onto bikes.
Makes sense … I’m buying a bike, now tell me where I can ride it. It’s not like it used to be; you can’t just fire up your bike and head out into the great unknown. Well, you can, but it’s not going to help the cause.
Insurance has been a longstanding battle for those wishing to hit the trails without spending a fortune. Fortunately, the wall is starting to crumble. Ken and his group have worked out a deal with Open Skies Insurance. Beginning May 1, 2010, Open Skies is offering a flat rate liability only insurance for trail plated bikes in Ontario. The rate is $160/year for non-members, and OFTR members receive a 25 percent discount on the premium. Not too bad, eh!
Stay tuned to their website, oftr.ca, for more details.
Noise (more sound = less ground), who to ride with, training facilities, current stats, and general trail riding responsibility was discussed as well. Probably the biggest hurdle that keeps us dirty dirt bike riders from gaining more ground, is the fact that we’re still looked upon as “bad.” We’re no good. Our bikes our loud, we kick up dust and promote chaos everywhere we go. I don’t mind being considered a badass (chicks dig it!) but this “dirt bikers are bad guys” has got to stop.
Most of those on the trail are reasonable, approachable people, and it’s usually families and kids looking to enjoy our land. Our tainted image won’t be removed overnight, but if we work together, and support clubs and organizations who are taking on “the man,” we’ll get there.
I’m more of a track than trail rider, so my knowledge of trail riding is limited. But I am working on making contact with other regions in Canada, and will do my best to bring the pertinent info to you guys and girls here. Darryl Copithorne of Alberta Society of Off-road Motorcyclists (ASORM) touched base with me today, and appears to be trying to create some structure in his region. I’ve also shared some conversations with Scott Josey, who works with the Nova Scotia Off-Road Riders Association (NSORRA). Those guys should be able to answer any questions in their respective regions.
If you have any suggestions of places to ride, that won’t cause a fuss, feel free to share them with us. Or if you have ideas that could help bring new light to off-road riding, share them also.
Our “My Yamaha Photo Contest” is well underway, with submissions coming in from all over Canada, and in reference to nearly every one of our product lines … still missing some sweet pics of sporty sport boats though.
For those of you who don’t know, the Photo Contest is being run on our Facebook page. It’s easy to enter; all you need to do is become a fan of our page, upload some sweet pics and hit “submit now” on the Contest page …
As I type this, I can hear the carbide choir singing …. “let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…” Winter is officially here as snow is falling faster than Tiger Woods bank account. Zing!
Before we get too far, did you notice the cool new video we incorporated into the Bike Blog header graphic? Neat, eh. A big thanks to our web developer, Emily, and graphic designer, Nick, for making my little dream a reality. I think it brightens this place up.
There’s no business like show business, and there’s no business like motorcycle show business! This weekend marks the first round of the Canadian Motorcycle Shows, which kicks off at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in, you guessed it, downtown Toronto….
Depending upon where you live in this great country, Mother Nature has been very kind to the motorcycling faithful this fall. Especially in Southern Ontario. Just when we thought the riding season was over, the sun came out and temperatures during the day were high enough to extend our riding season. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but winter is coming and it is time to prepare your bike for its winter hibernation.
“Danger” – that’s Johnny’s middle name! Johnny has experience on all forms of motorcycles, and if you keep reading, some wonderful insight on properly storing your bike.
I have owned plenty of bikes over the years, and each fall, I take the time to store them properly so they are ready to go when spring arrives. I’d like to share some advice and tips for winterizing your bike this year. I am not a mechanic, but I am a backyard enthusiast who loves to tinker. I have yet to experience one of my bikes failing to fire-up in the spring … so I must be doing something right. Here is my list of winter motorcycle storage tips:
1. Fill your gas tank with fresh premium fuel that contains no ethanol (Shell premium contains no ethanol … or so says the sign on the pump). I recommend premium because most regular grade fuels contain ethanol and there are a bunch of folks saying it is not the best for power sports applications … especially if you are not using them everyday. More importantly, add the recommended amount of fuel stabilizer. Make sure the tank is completely full for final storage … it will prevent condensation during winter temperature fluctuations.
2. Either take your bike for a short 5 to 10 minute ride or warm your bike up in the driveway and change your oil and filter (this will also insure that the fuel stabilizer has worked its way through the entire fuel system). Refer to your owner’s manual for oil change info. Unless you have recently changed your oil (1,000 kms or less), it is a good idea to store your bike with fresh oil … it will also save you from having to do it next spring when you are itching to go riding. A bike should not be stored with old, well used oil … its acidity levels will be elevated and could harm your engine internals. Start your bike after the oil change for a minute or so to get the fresh oil circulating.
3. Once your bike has completely cooled down, if the float bowl drain screws (on non- fuel-injected bikes) can be accessed, drain the float bowls (it is a bit of extra “insurance”). There is no draining required on fuel injected motorcycles, since it is sealed from the outside air.
4. Wash your motorcycle before storing. A coat of wax on the painted parts is a good idea. Always inspect your bike as you wash it. This is a great time to look for damaged, loose or missing parts. If your bike is being stored in a damp environment, consider using some light oil on the chrome bits … just make sure you remove it prior to starting the bike in the spring.
Sigh …. opportunities to ride your two wheeler are few and far between now. Unless, of course, you have some studs! (And no, I don’t mean in the Chip ‘n’ Dale sense ….)
5. Lube your chain (if applicable) after you have washed and dried your bike. Once again, it is not a bad idea to adjust your chain at the same time … it will save from you having to do it next spring. Please note, chains are not tightened, they are adjusted to a specific tension spec which will be outlined in your owner’s manual.
6. Find a safe, secure spot to store your bike. If your bike has a centre stand, it is best to put it on this stand in order to get as much weight off the wheels and suspension as possible. If you own a sport bike, there are various types of stands available that can raise the wheels off the ground. If not, the side stand will have to do. Remember to store your bike in a well ventilated area away from open flames, sparks, electric motors, etc. (as high ozone levels will degrade the rubber in tires). While talking of tires, the very soft compounds used for high performance sport bikes become easily damaged when the ambient temperatures get really cold. Even a gentle bump down a curb can crack the surface of the tire.
7. Remove the battery, and if applicable, check the electrolyte level and top it up to the correct level with distilled water. Put the battery on charge and fully charge it. The battery should then be stored in a warm, dry place. Never store your battery directly on a concrete floor … this could damage or permantely kill the battery. You can use a 2×4 to keep it up off the concrete. The battery should be charged every 4 to 6 weeks while in storage. [Note: Some MF (maintenance free) batteries require a special charger. There are some very good chargers that can be left connected to the battery for the whole storage period. Perfect if you want to connect and forget it until spring.]
8. Since you have warmed the bike up to change the oil, double check to see if the gas tank needs to be topped up again. If so, make sure you use stabilized premium fuel … this will help prevent condensation and corrosion in the tank. If your bike has a fuel petcock, make sure it is in the off position during storage.
9. Cover your bike with a breathable cover to help protect it and keep it clean. Careful of using a non-breathable cover (plastic tarp etc.) which could cause condensation and corrosion.
10. Depending on where your bike is being stored, if vermin are a concern, take the time to tape up the intake opening and exhaust outlet and put some moth balls under the cover … this will help keep the critters away. (I have also been told that dryer sheets do the same thing … keep vermin away … but have never tried them.) Make sure you remove them before starting in the spring.
11. Some folks go the extra step and remove spark plugs, put a small amount of oil (about a teaspoon) into each cylinder and then rotate the engine a few times to prevent rusting. I have never done this, but some folks feel it is very important. If you are storing your bike for more than just the winter this could be a good idea. [Note: Be careful … removing spark plugs can be a tough job on the newer high-tech bikes, and do not put too much oil into the cylinders.]
12. If you are storing a race bike that has water or water wetter in the cooling system, (read: road race bikes) make sure you drain the water from the cooling system and replace it with proper coolant to prevent freezing and a very costly engine repair.
Finally, remember that thieves don’t go away in the winter. Keep your bike locked up at all times and out of view if possible.
[Note: Lots of riders get an itch to go for a ride on that beautiful mid winter day … if you do this, remember to go through most of the storage procedure again. Also, be aware that if you ride through a puddle or wet area you may have just sprayed your bike with salty water … do not put it away without thoroughly washing it again. Otherwise you will be in for a surprise when you pull the cover off it in the spring … the salt will not only corrode your chrome but may also pit any aluminum parts too.]
Thanks for reading! If you have some tips of your own, feel free to share!
Ben Spies and his YAMAHA Italia Team celebrate their first ever World Superbike Championship.
It’s a question that has troubled experts and bench racers alike since the beginning of motorcycle racing: is it the rider or the bike?
Anyone with some racing background and experience, obviously says it’s the rider who ultimately determines the results. Sure, equipment is important – you need reliability, performance and confidence – but a good bike can only take you so far. A team is a valuable asset as well, but at the end of the day, it’s the rider turning the throttle.
There is no doubt that James Stewart is the best motocross rider ever. Period. The Floridian has taken speed to a new level on outdoor and indoor tracks, and he never ceases to amaze fans with his insane “Bubba scrubs” or upside down whips. The Yamaha rider’s latest jaw-dropping move came on the last lap of Friday’s practice last weekend at the US Open of SX in Vegas (where he won both main events, no doubt). Watch the video below and pay close to attention to the last lap – that’s one and only time anyone (including James) even tried these impossible jumps. DanBro