Motorcycles

#RideOnKentuckyKid


Nicky Hayden on...

MotoGP™ Legend on riding, winning, competing, and much more

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A 2016 interview with Nicky Hayden. Words of the 2006 MotoGP™ World Champion on:

…his first memory on a bike:

Nicky Hayden: “I get that question a lot and I really don’t remember because I don’t remember life before bikes. From the time I literally crawled, I was around a motorcycle. My dad raced, even my mom raced because my dad—the story goes—he needed a fast girl because he wanted to make fast babies. He’d come from Kentucky, where horse racing is so popular, and the bloodline is so important. So my mom and dad both raced, my older brother was racing, and from the time literally I could crawl, I was already with the bikes.”

…the world of racing:

NH69: “Racing motorcycles is just a way of life for me. It’s what I know, it’s what I’ve always done, my family does it, my friends do it, and it really is more than just a job. It’s a passion. Bikes are a way of life for me.”

Nicky Hayden

…dirt track beginnings:

NH69: “Yeah, I started in dirt track. That’s what my father knew best and we started with dirt track, but the thing was, at that time in America, there wasn’t a lot of opportunities for dirt track riders. There was not a lot of guys getting paid, there was only two factory riders, and my dad’s hero was always Kenny Roberts. Kenny Roberts was one that went from dirt track to road race and seeing that, seeing the future he had, we thought we should try it to open more doors, get more support, and get more people behind us. And we gave it a try. I love dirt track but immediately, I loved road racing even more because the tracks were longer, there were more variables, it was uphill, downhill, right hand corners. One of the things I liked most too was the rain. In dirt track, when it rained, you didn’t get to race, and as a kid I hated rainouts. You would be so excited and having to turn around and drive home was like torture. So I love this about road racing and immediately I liked the speed.”

…childhood memories:

NH69: “Yeah, as a kid, I really had a big desire. That’s all I ever wanted. I never said, ‘When I get older, I’d like to be an astronaut or the president.’ I never had these crazy dreams as a kid. I wanted to be a GP racer. And people sometimes would ask my dad, ‘Did you have to make him practice and train?’ They laugh because, ‘No, I had to make him do his homework or make him brush his teeth, but never to ride with a motorcycle.’ It was just a love for it and I still love it.”

…the secret to speed:

NH69: “Wow. I don’t really know if there’s just one secret to riding these bikes at a high level. Of course it takes some talent but it takes some mentality to have to want to push and go to the edge. As I’ve learned, as I get older in life, it’s not just about the rider and what you do on the track. It’s about having the right team behind you, the right equipment, and being able to have the engineers help you and give those people the feedback to help you do your job. So there’s a lot more that goes into it behind the scenes than some people see.”

…the rider and the bike becoming one:

NH69: “I think it’s very true. It’s like dancing. You have to work together, dance together, and if you’re fighting the bike constantly and going against it, you’re not going to go fast. When you’re really going fast, you’re moving with the bike and it’s all one motion. I would say when you’re going fast on a motorcycle, you’re in a zone. Because when you’re doing speeds of 220MPH, a lot of it has to be habit, be natural, be instinct, be reflexes, because you can’t think about it. At that speed, if you have to think about what you need to do, it’s too late. You’ve already missed your brake point, your throttle point, where you need to shift, and I think that’s where starting young helps riders because when you start young, you create those things like people say, riding a bike: it just comes natural, it comes easy.”

Hayden, Australia, 2003

…moving into MotoGP™:

NH69: “My jump to MotoGP was huge. I went from AMA and I came from a big family, from Kentucky, a small town. I grew up sharing a room with my brother and I look back now because at times I was so lost. I was just a kid who was really still a dirt tracker at heart, and got thrown into a very deep end, and I had a lot to learn. And if I’m completely honest, the step was bigger than I thought it was going to be. Not only did I have to learn a new bike, and the team, and the racing, but I had to learn the whole culture, the travel, and it was deep water and not easy in the beginning. But luckily I had a good bike—that really helps—and I was able to get good results and justify it. I was able to win Rookie of the Year that year, in 2003, and beat out (Troy) Bayliss and Colin (Edwards) and good riders to get that award. It was a steep learning curve, but I learned to swim just quick enough to stay on.

…being an American road racer:

NH69: “Well, I don’t want to say Americans have it any harder. Of course, at times, being American helps—you catch a few breaks. But I think anybody outside—it’s easier for Europeans, for sure. People outside, Americans, Australians, different people, have it harder at times because it’s farther from home, it’s more you have to learn. It’s not just learning new tracks, it was a completely different style of tracks. The tracks we have in America were a lot more built for cars. Some of them are inside ovals, like Daytona, and they were more narrow, and the curves you couldn’t use. So it was more than I just have to learn this layout; I have to learn this whole style of track.”

…his first MotoGP™ win:

NH69: “Laguna 2005 was like a dream for me because everything worked perfect. In racing, it doesn’t always go like a dream. Normally on the weekend, you work, you try something with a bike. It’s maybe a little bit better on braking, but it’s worse on corner exit and it’s a compromise, but that week, everything was perfect. The bike, from the first practice, was working well. Every change we made was only better. Every time the lap time come and I remember being here in the lead in the race, and my mind wondering, coming out of that corner, that turn 3, I remember looking up at the tower during the race, when I’m leading the race and I should only be focused. My mind was relaxed. I was looking to see who was in second, third place, who else was doing what. I got the pole position, I got the fastest lap, win the race. National anthem, I ride with my dad, and it was just a fairy tale. On that day, I felt unbeatable.”

…his title winning year:

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NH69: “Well, speaking of 2006, the race in Laguna that year was completely the opposite. Everything that race weekend was really difficult, I felt a lot of pressure, I qualified sixth, it was really hot, that year was record highs, and I couldn’t have done that race a half-a-tenth faster. Whereas the race in 2005, I think I could have done it maybe 3, or 4, or 5 seconds faster if I needed to, but 2006 was much more difficult. What I remember that year was coming out of the last corner of Valencia and realising my dream of being World Champion at the highest level was coming true and that was very special.”

Nicky Hayden

…beating Valentino Rossi. Did it make it even more special?

NH69: “Absolutely. I mean that in a good way. I have a ton of respect for Valentino Rossi, as we know, he’s the goat. He’s the one, in my opinion, who has done so much, in our lifetime, for MotoGP, and put it at the level that it is. To be the guy that beat him that year—it wasn’t easy, I had a couple of breaks, everything went my way. And to be able to beat him certainly made it extra special.”

…gearing up for Valencia in 2006:

NH69: “Well, for sure, in Portugal, that moment in the gravel trap, that thought of being World Champion just slipped through my hands. You never know how many times you’re going to be in that opportunity in life, but I gathered myself up, and after the race, maybe one hour after, I started to think of only Valencia. I looked at the points and realised I still had a chance. I know Valencia is a small track, many guys go fast there—maybe it’s not the best track for Valentino at that time. And I somehow, as crazy as it sounds—people ask me now—from about an hour after that race, I always believed I was still going to be World Champion. Going into the last race, I think 11 points down on arguably the greatest rider of all time, with all the momentum on his side, an injured shoulder. Not many people outside of my team and family gave me a chance, and for whatever reason, that whole season I believed it was going to be my year. And that’s what I said all along, is this is my year and I still think when they let off the yellow fireworks, I laughed, and I’ve seen the pictures because I guess I like being the underdog. I did have to chuckle and being on the podium and seeing the yellow fireworks was just something that was incredible for me. I would say that moment for me was what I lived all my life for and not just me, it wasn’t like a goal I felt I won. I felt my family won it, like we won it together, because my parents, and my sisters, and my brothers, they sacrificed so much to give us this opportunity at a young age and I felt like we won it.”

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MotoGP 2017 is coming!

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Spring is upon on us, which means muthafuckin MotoGP.  I'm like one of three people that I know that actually cares about this, but the rest of you are uncool as hell so yeah,.. you're not cool. Typically during the seasons I side with individual riders, last year it was Valentino Rossi. Gonna try something different this year an me pick a team. 

MY TEAM IS DUCATI. 

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Rider Jorge Lorenzo joins Andrea Davizioso on the Ducati squad which is dope because both riders finished in the top 5 riders in 2016. We may actually see a team place two riders on the podium. Which of be a great statement for the team and brand.  

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The brand's short offseason saw new radical designs in built in, aerodynamic fairings due to the banned winglets, rider shuffle, and new tire talk one the racing front. It also saw the introduction of 5 new bike models ( Scrambler Desert Sled, Scrambler Cafe Racer, Monster 797, a new XDiavel, and the insane Superleggera.)  I'm hoping all of this newness equals championships.

The Blue Shark

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What do you do when you receive a new Ducati Panigale 1299 R? If your answer was drive it.. you're wrong AF! You strip it down, make is it a naked café racer.. one that's insanely fast. Throw some 2mm aluminum on the shit, covert from LED lighting to an old yellow retro light from the 60s, and mold a soft, rich leather saddle to keep your ass comfortable.

When you look at a sports bike you see a sleek, sporty shell around the the bike hiding off the view of the workings of the engine. People often strip them and make naked bikes, but this is a SUPERBIKE. Built for the track but baaaaaaarely street legal. To strip a $35,000 Limited number Ducati is insane. I'm not sure what's crazier.. stripping the bike, or the gorgeous contrast of brass and brushed aluminum of the engine.

Everything on this build is neat, precise, and super polished. The modern electronics of the dash remains but the dated headlight and micro wind shield quickly remind you..  CAFE RACER. Looking closely, the wires are tucked away so well, you almost wonder if the bike is just for show. I also questioned the one mirror also. I'm a man of symmetry but then I looked at the gas cap being opposite of the mirror and found the evenness, still doesn't explain one mirror though.

 

I'm not a super big fan of this The Panigale R exhaust system. It's plenty loud and has a sinister growl, but the double muffler shit in the back is ugly to me. This feature is on the production/showroom version on the bike. It ugly there too. It's a tribute to bikes past that I don't think was needed, but I'm not on the design team, so my opinion doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. If I were to buy the bike.. it would be the first thing changed.  

Lastly, I'm a huge fan of the single side swing arm and the spoke wheels. That is. The combo is dope. 

Cool bike bro. 

Check out more pics and the full story of the bike HERE

Stripped down - UMC 038 Hyper Scrambler

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Upon visiting my blog anyone could pick up on my love for Ducati. Their are no storage of cool bikes if you take a scroll. This post will be no different. A few days ago I started seeing this super load, extremely stripped down bike. At first glance I could put my finger on the original base the bole was built on. I found a few detailed pictures and the signature Trellis Frame was he dead giveaway. My search for the builder went dead but then the bike emerged on Jay Leno's Garage. The builder was able to break down the process of the build, the inspiration for the color, and specs of the bike.

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By using previous model Ducati and cool Italian aftermarket parts the bike came to life, and came to life 85 pounds lighter. With the lighter weight and some tweaks to the computer system on board, power was increased by 10%. 

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The Ducati Superleggera red made the frame big the bike the focal point. The loud Red/Orange was also applied to a blocked section of the rims, allowing your eye to start and either end of the bike and flow through the design. One of my favorite features is the vertical LED headlight. Much cooler than that big ass stock bell  looking light.

 

Click the video above high

-blaq

Moto Gp Starts tomorrow! Recap to the greatest race finish EVER!

Glory!! Moto GP is upon us! This Sunday kicks off the GP Race schedule. I grew up watching all forms of automotive racing, from NHRA Drag racing, to NASCAR, but my favorite it Moto GP and AMA Super Bike. Something about the precision and speed makes watching an incredible experience. The GP returns with 18 rounds of excitement. This year's schedule is missing Indy. Kinda sucks the US went from 3 races Indy, Laguna Seca, & Circuit of The America's in Austin to JUST Circuit of The America's. Hadnt thoroughly read into why the tracks were cute from the schedules. Above is the greatest final laps in Moto GP history.. Rossi v. Lorenzo. Below is the 2016 schedule. I'll keep a look out for a good stream link.

Moto GP race schedule

Brand New Scrambler with Customization or Used Stock Monster?

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Every time I think I make my mind up about which Ducati bike I want to purchase, someone shows off their customization of their motorcycle, or Ducati releases something totally insane. When the Scrambler was released last year.. Wasn't feeling it. They people added creativity to something I felt was eh and now I want one.

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And then there's the Monster. It's just bad ass. Sounds beastly. Looks cool, has all the top of the line features. Etc etc. Still my top pick in the Ducati family. It just cost more than the Scrambler and I'm poor. 

Only difference is... The Scrambler needs some dopeness added.. The Monster stands as is..badass. Would you rather make something uniquely you, or have the perfect bad ass ? Sighhhhhhhhhhh.. 

Guess the decision could be much harder if you threw in the new Xdiavel Cruiser.

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Whatever Ducati. Disstewmuch.