Supermotard racing-a sick hybrid of road racing and motocross-has gained mainstream acceptance much faster than streetbike freestyle and has even already landed a spot as part of the vaunted X Games, no doubt due to high-profile support from X Game regulars like Mike Metzger, Travis Pastrana and Jeremy McGarth. After attending an event like Troy Lee's "Duel at the Docks" AMA Supermoto Championship that took place this past November at the Queen Mary hotel complex in Long Beach, California, we can see why this has become such a popular spectator event in such a short time.
Helped along by perfect weather and a star-studded grid featuring names like McGrath, Metzger, Jeff Ward, Doug Henry and even Troy Lee himself, the racing action promised to be top-notch. But it wasn't only bar-to-bar action on one of the craziest race courses ever designed (including a tunnel, plenty of dirt jumps and whoops and, of course, the Supermoto-signature "Urban Cross" steel ramps) that brought the spectators streaming through the gates-there were plenty of other entertainment options worked into the weekend program, including a street stunt exhibition by Jason Britton and his No Limit teammate Eric Hoenshell, complete with a special guest appearance by Ryan Moore riding his one-of-a-kind CRF450 Supermoto stuntbike.
Moore is not only the manufacturer of stunt-related parts under 50 Stunt (www.50stunt.com) for minibikes and ESD Manufacturing (www.esd-mfg.com) for sportbikes, he is an avid streetbike, motocross, mini and stunt rider. Britton had the fans screaming with a stunt routine as flawless as his Suzuki GSX-R stuntbike (now with Performance Machine Judge Wheels, hlins Forks and Brembo brakes!). Hoenshell kept it a bit rawer with standstill burnouts spinning so slow the teeth could be counted on his signature-edition rear sprocket. When Moore wasn't hitting no-hander jumps off the start-finish ramp, he was busy doing combo circles and 180 endos.
s soon as the next stunt competition can come close to matching Duel at the Docks for the sheer entertainment value and variety, maybe then we'll be looking at X Games success. Oh, yeah, and it was Jeff Ward who won the premier championship at Long Beach!
USBW Invitational - Filmmaker Drew Stone Brings Together The Best Stunters In The Northeast And Squares Them Off
Though it has fallen off the map somewhat recently in light of high-profile events in Florida and the West Coast, the northeast was once a mecca of streetbike stunt riding and home to many of the original pioneers of the sport. One of the guys who remembers those good-old days and wants to bring them back is veteran filmmaker Drew Stone, and he hosted the first-annual Urban Street-Bike Warriors New England Invitational Competition this past fall to do just that. Teaming up with local promoter/stunter Ray Ray Zalneraitis of Xclusive Freestyle Riderz (XFR), the two created a competition expressly to showcase the (often-underrated) talent from the New England region, and give the next generation of Northeast stunters some well-deserved attention.
This inaugural year of competition consisted of three rounds held over the course of the summer, with only riders living within New England allowed to throw their hats into the mix. Scoring was according to established XSBA rules, and the first weekend event was held in front of packed grandstands at series sponsor, Excalibur Powersports in Plainfield, Connecticut. Riders from all over New England came out for this event ready to hang it out for pride and glory, displaying not only some very entertaining riding for the crowd, but busting out the most difficult technical tricks the sport has to offer, including combo coasters, high chair circles and some very creative acrobatic moves. In the end it was Brad "Korno" Conley coming out on top, ahead of "Ill" Bill Knight and "Beaver" Bob LeLievre in second and third, respectively.
Round 2 found the competitors gathering at Thompson Speedway in Thompson, Connecticut. Despite difficult circumstances (a quad rider was killed in a tragic practice crash), the riders and organizational staff maintained their professional composure throughout the entire event and once again wowed the crowd with an array of tricks from all four major stunt groups: wheelies, stoppies, burnouts and acrobatics. Coming out on top with a jaw-dropping run was Gerry Owerka from Barely Legal, with Beaver Bob and Korno rounding out the podium spots. So impressive was the display of riding that Excalibur Powersports threw in an additional $500 to the top finisher of the day, giving Owerka an extra-fat wad of $100 bills to go out drinking!
The third and final round of the competition saw three riders-Ill Bill, Beaver Bob and Korno-all within striking distance of the coveted New England championship crown. With only four points separating the top three riders, the stage was set for a battle royale, and each rider knew that if they wanted bragging rights for the year they were going to have to put on their best performance possible. Beaver Bob was limited by a new and unfamiliar bike with no handbrake and finished seventh, knocking him out of championship contention. The surprise of the day (but only to those who didn't know...) was Dan Herz putting on a spectacularly well-rounded run, finishing third after not even qualifying for the finals in round one-keep an eye out for this guy in 2007! In the end, it was too close to call, and the judging panel declared a tie between Ill Bill and Korno. Always the showman, Korno suggested a battle with Bill-old-school street style! The two riders mounted their bikes and were given three minutes on the track at the same time to see who would come out victorious. Despite the excitement of the "street battle," the crowd, judges and riders themselves were still unable to determine a winner. Stone then stepped in and, after agreement from everyone, flipped a quarter to determine the winner. Korno had lady luck on his shoulder that day and took home not only the first place prize money for round three, but the overall championship money and bragging rights as well to keep him warm throughout the long winter!