Things looking a little different? Glad you noticed. SSB's recent paradigm shift has opened some doors for editorial freedom, and we're sure you'll be pleased. Instead of cramming our pages full of fantasy bikes and esoteric racer columns we've opted to take a bit more of a hands-on approach and hopefully let you walk away from the mag each month with something other than a shrug.
Our "Installed and Reviewed" sections go a lot deeper than other mags that are content to run regurgitated press releases and call them "Buyer's Guides." We get the products in, roll them around and install or wear them for a true impression.
Furthermore, building a project bike is all well and good, but pretty useless if you can't actually ride it or see the thing put through its paces-check out our Project Canyon Killer conclusion on page 50 to see what I mean.
Our mission is to show you the latest and greatest gear for you and your bike, but also how to spend your cash to make it work the best for your style (and budget).
Don't think that we're abandoning the wild bikes and hot babes for a minute, but we know you also love the real-world stuff and a lot of you ask us daily how to make your rides faster, lighter and tricker. Keep in mind that bling comes in two forms-chrome and performance-and we want to show you the best of both worlds. Hopefully you'll take it a step further and combine the two on your own rides.
SSB is America's original extreme sportbike mag, and once again is rewriting the rules of what a kick-ass sportbike magazine is all about.
Mr Daytona Returns
It was 2001 and Scott Russell was making a comeback of sorts. His nickname, Mr. Daytona, came from his five Daytona 200 wins at Florida's famous circuit, but he was now on a Ducati after a rather unsuccessful bid campaigning the Harley VR1000 and was desperate for a win.
He had a mission-take back the title that was his and stifle the critics. But tragedy struck. Russell's Ducati stalled on the starting grid and he was involved in a major collision that ended his career. Shortly after, he announced his retirement from professional racing due to injuries (as well as a disability settlement with his insurance company), and his despair was clear for the world to see.
Russell faded from the scene and relegated his time to dirt-biking and the occasional street ride around his Conyers, Georgia, estate. Though the competitive fire had been substantially doused, apparently it was never quite extinguished.
To his and the thousands of Screaming Chief fans around the world's joy, Russell announced his return to professional roadracing earlier this year, but it was with a grassroots effort and a good result looked unlikely.
Though the Jamie James Productions Yamaha R1 that Russell piloted in the AMA Superstock class would be a fantastic road bike, as a competitive force up against the likes of the Team Jordan and M4 EMGO Suzukis it really didn't have a chance.
Russell commented, "We only had two weeks of prep time, and with basically no testing on a bike that was down on power it was clear how it would go down.
"I'm not worried about the result, though. The goal was to have a good time, and we did that. Jamie gave me the chance to get back out there and do what I love, and considering that I'd call it a win."
The Cinderella story might have come up a bit short in terms of a numerical finish, but that doesn't take away the fact that one of the most entertaining racers ever has the green light to get back on track. An agreement was made with his insurance company that permits him to race provided he reimburses a portion of his earnings, and because of this new opportunity Russell and his JJP R1 are scheduled to run more of the East Coast Superstock rounds. Rumor has it he'll also be piloting a Graves Motorsports Yamaha YZ450F in the X Games Supermoto race.