THE LOOK OF MODERN
Having been out of the sport
for a few years (military), I am
shocked to see how much the look
of motocross bikes has changed.
Which brand started this pointy,
segmented, multifaceted look first?
About 14 years ago, Husqvarna
started overlapping panels,
infusing edge styling and incorporating pointy number plates and
fenders. Although most motocross
racers made fun of Husqvarna’s
odd styling, the product managers
at the “Big Five” began borrowing
design cues from the Huskys. So
if you are looking for someone to
blame, it is Husqvarna.
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TAKING THE STRAIGHT
OUT OF RHYTHM
I watched every video of the
Straight Rhythm race and thought
that it looked cool. Is this the future
of the sport?
Let’s hope not. On video, with
cameras positioned all the way
along the course, Straight Rhythm
looks exciting, but it is different in
person. No matter where you sat
in the stands, you could only see a
small portion of the race and, for
the first two-thirds of the course,
the riders looked like ants. Imagine
watching the Pomona Winternationals
Top Fuel drag races by standing
at the far end of the drag strip or
watching Anaheim I from a half-
mile away. For Straight Rhythm to
be more fan-friendly, they need to
shorten the course, put a 180-degree
turn at the midway point and have
the riders finish where they started.
For more on the Red Bull Straight
Rhythm race, turn to page 74.
WHAT HAPPENED TO
A few years ago every rider
worth his salt was angling to get a
Supercross-only contract. Now, they
have disappeared. Why?
The recession killed the golden
goose for the riders. The manufactur-
ers couldn’t justify paying a rider
millions of dollars to work half a
year while laying employees off and
cutting benefits. Budget cuts stopped
the free-spending days of the 1990s.
There are only two types of riders
who are eligible for Supercross-only
deals: (1) Superstar riders who can
leverage their talent to desperate
teams that need to win something.
( 2) Slower riders who can’t get a
The precursor of
modern bike design.