Ernie "E-Dub" Vigil and Nick "Apex" Brocha are quickly becoming the stunt-riding ambassadors for the United States. The dynamic duo has performed across the globe together since 2005, including multiple visits to Europe, Asia and South America. When TuningSV.com, a Latin American online car club, wanted to put on an American-style motorsports show in El Salvador, they called upon the pair to perform alongside some of the best drift-car drivers from the U.S. The "Super Car Show" event was sponsored in part by Latin America Pepsi and packed the grandstands with 10,000 screaming fans.
Brocha explained how it all went down: "We combined drift racing and street freestyle the best way possible-with maximum danger. We played chicken with drifting cars while doing headstands and wheelied at the Nissans as they drifted right to left across the narrow track, missing us by less than 3 feet. In other words, this was not your lame kickstand burnout show, this was what our sport should be. We almost killed ourselves and people were roaring, I loved it!"
While performing in front of a huge crowd might be enough to unnerve most riders, there was another distraction that made concentration difficult. Vigil detailed why: "If you lined up 10 of the women, eight were smoking hot. We were stuck in a sea of the world's best-looking women. A few I would kill for. All I kept thinking was, 'We're getting paid to do this.'"
The crowd loved the crazy style of the riding and driving imported from the United States. Brocha tried to explain the vibe of the mostly English-speaking crowd: "The fever for motorsports in Central America is unmatched, in my eyes. The general public takes great interest in anything with a motor and extends its arms to the athletes who pilot them. This allows the promoters (and us) to get away with murder!"
Slug OutDuring the AMA Superbike off-season, teams conduct extensive winter testing that will carry them through the following year. Off-season is also the time to get riders acclimated to the new models and secure sponsorship deals.
The annual Daytona tire tests determine which tires will be raced later that year. Each year the two major players in the AMA, Dunlop and Pirelli, go head to head for bragging rights and the advertising profits associated with winning America's most famous motorcycle race, the Daytona 200.
Nowhere are tires more crucial than the fabled high banks of the Daytona International Speedway with its famous 33-degree banking that pushes both man and machine to their breaking point. The newly designed infield road course combined with the oval banking produce extremely high speeds that create huge g-forces that drive the tires into the asphalt at massive speeds.
But how often do you go 200 mph for 200 miles? In the end consumers, racers and street riders benefit from all the research as the technology trickles down to the street with better tires that are designed to keep the rubber side down.
We were invited to Pirelli's private sessions and watched as Team Roadracingworld.com's Robertino Pietri was the fastest rider aboard his GSX-R1000 Superstock bike. The season kicks off in March at Daytona, so the wise might put their bets on Pietri.