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Podcast features Motocross Trailblazer Jackson Strong

By General Posts

Monster Energy’s UNLEASHED Podcast Welcomes Motocross Trailblazer Jackson Strong

Episode 36 Gets personal with 30-Year-Old FMX Innovator and Six-Time X Games Gold Medalist

Start your engines! Monster Energy is proud to welcome freestyle motocross innovator and six-time X Games gold medalist Jackson Strong on Episode 36 of the sports and pop culture podcast UNLEASHED with The Dingo and Danny.

This latest one-hour episode released today across Monster Energy’s social media channels and was recorded inside Monster Energy headquarters in Corona, California. A must-listen for all motocross fans, the podcast gets the inside story from the 30-year-old from Lockhart, New South Wales, Australia, who became a professional freestyle motocross rider as a teenager and left his unique mark on the sport ever since.

“I think freestyle motocross is in a bit of a transitional period at this point in time. There are a lot of guys doing a lot more freeride-type stuff, like what Axell [Hodges] is doing is really cool. But I think we’re going to see freestyle move away from being inside small stadiums and moving outside with bigger jumps, longer distances and highest air. But we’ll always have the Best Trick and people learning new tricks,” said Strong.

Fans can now tune in to Episode 36 of UNLEASHED featuring Jackson “Jacko” Strong.
Released today, the new podcast is streaming on all major platforms, including Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube.

Jackson Strong’s career is without parallel in professional freestyle motocross. At age 13, Strong began performing in shows with the Crusty Demons crew and has pushed the limits with never-been-done tricks ever since. He earned his first X Games gold medal in 2011 and has clinched the win in Motocross Best Trick six times since. His X Games record currently stands at 13 medals (6 gold, 4 silver, 3 bronze) and includes one bronze from Snow Bike Best Trick. A fearless innovator and next-level athlete, Strong embodies the action sports mindset like few other riders and keeps the innovations coming in boundary-pushing video parts.

Learn about Strong’s innovative approach to motocross and unparalleled mental resilience in conversation with the two podcast hosts, Australian action sports personality Luke “The Dingo” Trembath and professional snowboarder Danny Kass on Episode 36 of UNLEASHED. Tune in right here.

Born in New South Wales, Australia, to a farming family spanning several generations, Strong discovered dirt bikes at a young age. “For me it all began riding around dirt bikes on the farm. More like a ways of getting around, sort of my transport. It was how I got to school,” said Strong on UNLEASHED. With a penchant for catching air, he soon began building his own jumps and training at abandoned spots near his home. And he got good quick: When he was only 13 years old, Strong began touring with the Crusty Demons of Dirt crew. “I learned all the bad habits of life, early on. Crusty tours were fun,” said Strong.

Ultimately, the young rookie began traveling to the United States and competing in the world’s biggest showcase for action sports: The X Games. In what was only his second X Games appearance, the Australian shook up the established order by claiming gold in Motocross Best Trick with a spectacular front flip. “I’ve been doing this for a long time. That’s eleven years ago now, I was age 19 then,” said Strong.

Over the next few years, Strong began dominating the Best Trick discipline like no other rider before – and kept the trick innovations coming. In 2015, he landed the first-ever double back flip into dirt off a quarter pipe as one of many never-been-done tricks on his resume. “There are so many more tricks that can happen. Moving forward, we are going to see more technicality in the jumps. And when it comes to Best Trick, we’re going to see more air bag landings and things to make the sport safer.”

Before the pandemic, Strong built his own training facility, The Sandbox, to prepare for competitions and film his viral video segments: “I built it because with a busy traveling schedule of doing shows, it was hard trying to find enough time to practice. For me when I’m practicing, I want to go riding two times a day. I want to put in the work and be as current as I can! Freestyle motocross is a very real sport. And that’s why I love it!”

Constantly evolving his skill set, Strong also took his freestyle talent to the snow, competing in the Snow Bike Best Trick event at X Games Aspen 2020, where he won a bronze medal. Not known for resting on his laurels, Strong also likes to get his kicks base jumping from bridges and tall cliffs. “My friends at home who sky dive, fly planes and base jump, I started hanging out with them a lot more because you couldn’t travel as much during the pandemic.”

After dealing with several heavy injuries, Strong began cultivating a resilient mental attitude to fortify himself against doubt and distractions. “There have been lots of injuries and broken bones. But anyone who’s looked at action sports has their fair share of bones and injuries happen. It’s not something I like to pride myself in, because you’ve done something wrong when that happens, but everyone who’s looked at a motor bike had something happen.”

Want to hear it from Monster Energy’s Jackson Strong himself? Visit the landing page to access Episode 36 of the UNLEASHED with The Dingo and Danny Podcast featuring daredevil FMX athlete Jackson Strong.

Episodes of UNLEASHED are filmed on a special set inside Studio M at Monster Energy headquarters in Corona, California. The podcast is hosted by the dynamic duo of Australian action sports personality Luke “The Dingo” Trembath and professional snowboarder Danny Kass. Known for their deep roots in action sports culture, the two starred in the beloved cult TV show ‘The Adventures of Danny and The Dingo’ on Fuel TV for five action-packed seasons in the early 2010s. Both hosts have walked the walk as pro snowboarders and possess the interview skills to find common ground with guests from any type of background – sports and pop culture. Always look out for new episodes dropping bi-weekly on Mondays.

The UNLEASHED with The Dingo and Danny Podcast is here to celebrate the personalities behind the Monster Energy lifestyle.

For more on Monster Energy and the UNLEASHED Podcast, visit www.monsterenergy.com.

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Harley-Davidson Hits the Slopes with Street Rod Snow Bikes

By General Posts

by Jason Marker from https://www.rideapart.com

Harley-Davidson and Suicide Machine Company built a pair of extremely rad Street Rod-based snow bikes for the X Games.

What do you get when you cross a Street Rod 750, a snow track kit, and the know-how of a couple of ace fabricators? Well, you get a pair of killer Street Rod-based snow bikes like these two beauties right here. Now, I hear you. I hear you asking, “But Jason, why?” The short answer is, “Why not?” The long answer is that the X-Games are coming up and Harley wants to go play in the snow with the cool kids.

A week or so ago, we told you about Harley’s new Snow Hill Climb event at the 2018 X Games out in Aspen, CO. Apparently that wasn’t the only thing The Motor Company had up its sleeve for the event, as I found out earlier this week when I got to talk with Scott Beck, Harley-Davidson’s director of marketing. Along with the customized Sportsters taking part in the hill climb, Harley hired known hooligans and all-around cool guys Aaron and Shaun Guardado from Suicide Machine Company to build the Street Rod Snow Bikes to haul athletes around between events. That’s… that’s pretty rad, Harley.

One of the first things I asked Beck was, “Why the X Games?” I’ll be honest, when I think Harleys I think more about lonesome highways and open roads rather than, say, snowboarding and energy drinks. Beck told me that the hill climb event and the snow bikes are all part of Harley’s efforts to attract more people to motorcycling via the power of awesomeness.

“For 115 years H-D riders from all walks of life have expressed their freedom from the seat of America’s favorite motorcycle, so it’s natural for us to continue to blaze trails – this time off the road and in the snow,” Beck told me. “We’ve raced the ice and climbed virtually every kind of hill, and the Harley-Davidson Snow Hill Climb is another way for us to grow the sport of motorcycling. We know our riders, and X Games fans and athletes alike share a passion for adrenaline and speed.”

That’s great and all, but what you guys really want to know about is the bikes themselves, right? Lucky for you I also talked to Aaron Guardado of Suicide Machine about the build to find out how these things were built and what makes them tick.

The bikes started off as bone stock XG750 Street Rods, which the brothers received from Harley just before Christmas. That kicked off a frantic search for track conversion kits, a search complicated by the fact that these things are so popular that they’re sold out just about everywhere and Christmas was in a few days. After a flurry of phone calls, they finally tracked down two Camso DTS-129 kits at a dealership in Salt Lake City, Utah, on December 23. The track conversion kits arrived at Suicide Machine’s Long Beach shop on Christmas Eve, delivered by the SLC dealer himself in his wife’s Jeep, but that was just the beginning.

If you don’t know – and I didn’t know until Aaron told me – track conversion kits like the Camso units are built specifically for dirt bikes, not street bikes. This meant that both the bike and the track unit itself would have to be modified to make the project work. The guys started by removing the Street Rods’ swingarm, rear tire, and shocks. They then fabricated a pair of struts with quick-release hardware to connect the track unit to the bikes themselves. This was complicated by the fact that the track unit was just a hair narrower than the bike, which threw off the chain allignment. With the help of a machinist friend, the Guardados built a handful of spacers and other adapters to get the drive chain aligned with the bike’s primary drive. Thankfully, since the track has its own integral suspension, they didn’t have to deal with finding a way to spring it as well as mount it.

Up front, they removed the front wheel and fender to mount the conversion kit’s ski. Using the stock Street Rod axle, forks, and triple trees and some custom machined spacers, they were able to mount the ski with much less drama than the track. It still wasn’t quite right though. See, the skis only come in white, which just wasn’t going to cut it. Since, as we all know, black is the coolest color, the guys had the skis ceracoated black. This improved not only their aesthetics, but added an additional layer of protection to keep the skis safe from any debris or obstacles lurking in the snow.

On the performance side, the Guardados chose to give the bikes a light tune and fancy-pants new clutches. Each one got a Screamin’ Eagle pro street tuner, Screamin’ Eagle intake, and Screamin’ Eagle exhaust. The latter needed a bit of fiddling to get it to fit since the stock mounts were removed when the track was installed. To improve power delivery and make these frankenbikes easier to manage, the brothers switched out the stock clutches for Radius X auto-clutches from Rekluse. These things consist of an auto-clutch assembly and a custom clutch pack and allow a rider to start, stop, and shift without ever touching the clutch lever. Aaron told me that the Rekluse clutches make the Street Rods respond to throttle input more like something with a CV transmission than a standard gearbox, therefore making them easier to control in the snow.

Once all the machining and fiddling and finessing was done, it was time for the Guardados to test their new creations. Sadly, there was no snow because, you know, California, so the bikes were just fired up on the bench and tested in the shop. Everything looked okay, so the bikes were loaded up and shipped out to Aspen for their shakedowns. Once the bikes were in the snow, they really showed off their potential. The Street Rods proved surprisingly well suited for the snow bike conversion, and with the engine tune and Rekluse clutch they powered through the drifts like they were built for it. At one point during all the screwing around in the snow serious testing, Olympic snowboarder Ben Ferguson showed up with fellow snowboarder Jack Mitrani. After oohing and aahing over the bikes for a bit, they snagged one and started towing each other through the snow while kicking up serious rooster tails. This was, without a doubt, the perfect way to test them.

During our conversation, Aaron told me that despite the stresses of building these bikes over the holidays with such a tight deadline, that he was really proud of how they came out. He felt that the project stretched the boundaries of not just the brothers’ skills as builders and fabricators, but the capabilities of the Street Rod as well.

I gotta say, these snow bikes are extremely rad. They’re such a departure from the usual Harley-based customs, and they really show off the versatility of the Street Rod platform. I mean, who ever would have thought making a Street Rod into a snow bike? If you’re going to be in Aspen this weekend, or are just enjoying the X Games from the comfort of your warm living room, keep an eye out for them zipping around the event grounds.

See Harley-Davidson’s XG750R Flat Tracker Bikes At Events in 2017

By General Posts

The liquid-cooled Harley-Davidson XG750R motorcycle will be the only bike raced by the Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Racing Team in 2017. The new flat-tracker will replace the Harley-Davidson XR750.
The Harley-Davidson Factory Team will contest the 2017 American Flat Track (ATF) racing series and ESPN’s X Games Minneapolis Harley-Davidson Flat Track Racing event exclusively aboard the XG750R bikes. The racing season opens during Daytona Bike Week at the March 16 ATF Daytona TT on a new circuit featuring a jump to be constructed inside Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.

“There is extraordinary energy building behind the new American Flat Track series and after decades of XR750 dominance, it’s time to bring a new level of performance and technology to the track with the Harley-Davidson XG750R,” said Harley-Davidson Vice President and Managing Director U.S. Mike Kennedy. “The new Daytona TT promises to be a thrilling event. If you are in Daytona for Bike Week, ride to the race and help the Factory Team kick off an exciting season.”

With a custom chassis purpose-built for flat track racing, the XG750R flat tracker is powered by a race-modified, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 750cc Revolution X™ V-Twin engine.

“Unlike our competitors, we are going flat track racing behind an American-made production engine,” said Kennedy. “The XG750R is a purebred racing motorcycle, but its modified engine is based on the same Revolution X V-Twin anyone can buy from a Harley-Davidson dealer in a Street 750 motorcycle, an engine designed by Harley-Davidson engineers and assembled at Harley-Davidson Vehicle and Powertrain Operations in Kansas City. There’s a direct link from the Street 750 to the XG750R flat tracker the Factory Team will be racing for a championship, and that link is our passion for performance.”

The XG750R raced through a development season in 2016 alongside the air-cooled Harley-Davidson Factory Team XR750 motorcycles. The XR750 has carried racers to countless victories and 37 AMA Grand National championships in 44 seasons of competition. That winning DNA is the foundation of the XG750R, an evolutionary step into the future of flat-track racing. Its race-tuned Revolution X engine and racing chassis were developed in collaboration with Vance & Hines Motorsports. The XG750R flat tracker motorcycle is not a production model. The 750cc XG Revolution X V-Twin engine is for sale through Harley-Davidson dealers today and can be modified for racing use by aspiring dealers and privateers.

The 2017 Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team will be revealed during live ABC network coverage of ESPN’s X Games Aspen on Saturday, January 28 at 2:44 p.m. ET.