A few years ago, I had the fortune to hop on the Zaeta 530 SE for a quick romp. The eye-catching machine was stupid-fun, as it rattled just about every bone in my body. Beautiful, but completely unrefined, the lithe Zaeta was intriguing to me until I saw its $25,000 price tag. Ouch, on so many levels!
Too rich for my blood, too unpolished for my senses, but still very drool-worthy – the potential here was strong, and the small Italian brand was making strides on fixing some of the machine’s more troublesome gremlins.
The 528cc single-cylinder thumper (and it is a thumper!) is from TM Racing, a unique Italian brand in its own right, but the real highlight of the Zaeta was its CNC’d aluminum chassis, which was just gorgeous.
This made the 266 lbs machine a tough one to forget, so when I saw in my foreign news feed that the fearsome Zaeta was coming to the US for American Flat Track racing, I was quite excited…even more so when I saw that a twin-cylinder machine was also in the works.
Last Tuesday, KTM invited Asphalt & Rubber to Perris, California for the 2019 Red Bull/KTM Factory Racing Flat Track Team Introduction.
A mouthful, yes. But, with a title like that we couldn’t pass it up? Really though, Asphalt & Rubber at a dirt track event? Only later on the drive down would it start to make sense, perhaps a site like A&R is exactly who should be covering this event.
It dawned on me right where the 57 freeway meets the 60 freeway. The weight of what this factory effort in the sport of Flat Track Racing means. It has been years since we’ve seen a full factory team in a dirt track paddock.
JD Beach has won the fifth edition of the Barcelona Superprestigio indoor flat track race. The American passed Toni Elias in the first couple of laps and led for almost the entire 16 laps of the Superprestigio Superfinal.
Beach entered the Superfinal as favorite, having won all three of the Open class final races to face off against the best of the roadracing world in the Superprestigio class.
Briar Bauman, the second American entry, finished in second, not far behind Beach, having fought his way through from fourth in the early laps.
It is with great regret that we report the passing of Barry Boone, the voice of American motorcycle racing for many fans.
Boone’s legendary voice is deeply associated with American Flat Track and his “Talking Motorcycles with Barry Boone” radio show, and he was a longtime fan of motorcycles and motorcycle racing.
Boone passed away yesterday, at the age of 62-years-old. He is survived by the love of his life Colette, sister Sharon Rone, brother-in-law Jack Rone, and his legion of motorcycle fans. His presence and his voice will be deeply missed from motorcycling.
Our man Scott Jones was out at the Arizona Mile recently, with the American Flat Track racing, doing what he does best. Shooting the fourth round of the season, Scott got to document the resurgence we’ve seen in American Flat Track racing.
As usual, his photos are outstanding, and we hope that we will see him at a few more AFT races this year. Above, a pack of AFT Twins riders chase down Brad Baker. Check out the other photos, after the jump. -JB
Dainese/AGV and American Flat Track announced their partnership today, with the Italian apparel brands becoming the official safety and race apparel brand of flat track racing in the United States.
What is more interesting though is that according to the announcement, Dainese and AGV will develop products that are specifically designed with flat track racing in mind.
This should be a huge boon to flat track racers, who often have to compromise and adapt apparel from road racing and dirt disciplines for their unique needs.
Episode 44 of the Two Enthusiasts Podcast is very special, because we have our very first guest on the show, Michael Lock from AMA Pro Racing.
Some of you might know Lock as the man behind the freshly rebranded American Flat Track series, and he has deep roots in the motorcycle industry, leading the US efforts for Ducati and Triumph, as well as working for Honda in the UK and across Europe.
As such, we had a very interesting time picking Lock’s brain about the current state of the US motorcycle industry, what is wrong with road racing, and what he is doing with flat track (with a bevy of side topics along the way, of course).
You will want to grab some provisions before hitting the play button on this show, because this one is super long (two hours) – we just didn’t want to cut out any of Lock’s insights.
Duration aside, we think you will find Lock’s comments and perspective to be very insightful, especially during these uncertain times for the motorcycle industry.
You can listen to the show via the embedded SoundCloud player, after the jump, or you can find the show on iTunes (please leave a review) or this RSS feed. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well. Enjoy the show!
Super Hooligan Racing is officially a thing now, with the big-bike flat track racing event taking-on a nationwide racing series format for 2017.
The brainchild of Roland Sands Design, Super Hooligan racing adds a sort of “production racing” element to flat track racing, with competitors on motorcycles that are 750cc and up, along with stock frames, dirt track tires, and no front brakes.
The first race of the season has already taken place here in Salem, Oregon – tied into the The One Moto Show – and other Super Hooligan events will take place at similar motorcycle festival events throughout the year.
With contingency money and purse prizes going to race winners, and an Indian Scout FTR750 race bike going to the series winner, there is a good incentive here for riders to come out and try wrangling 500+ lbs street bikes around a dirt oval.
As discussed previously on Asphalt & Rubber, flat track racing in the United States will have a comprehensive makeover in 2017. The series will be rebranded as the American Flat Track Series, and the calendar expanded to 18 rounds.
At the Superprestigio in Barcelona last weekend, the CEO of the American Flat Track series, Michael Lock, sat down with Asphalt & Rubber to discuss the reasoning behind the changes.
The expat Englishman came to flat track with a unique perspective; that of an outsider. He was an Englishman abroad, and brought fresh eyes to the problem of trying to grow flat track racing once again.
Episode 43 of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and the show covers this past weekend’s Superprestigio flat track race in Barcelona.
Talking about the Superprestigio and flat track racing in general, Neil Morrison, Steve English, and David Emmett are joined by American freelance motorcycle journalist and photographer Andrea Wilson, who brings her unique insight into the sport of to the podcast.
The show covers first the action-packed day in Spain, where some of the biggest names from multiple two-wheeled racing disciplines competed for the ultimate in bragging rights.
After analyzing Marc Marquez’s victory over Brad Baker, the show takes a turn to talk about flat track racing in the United States, and the changes that the American Flat Track series is seeing for the 2017 season.
Packed with insight, we think you will enjoy this special episode immensely.
As always, be sure to follow the Paddock Pass Podcast on Facebook, Twitter and subscribe to the show on iTunes and SoundCloud – we even have an RSS feed for you. If you like the show, we would really appreciate you giving it a review on iTunes. Thanks for listening!
Asphalt & Rubber is fortunate to publish this outstanding photos by friend and photographer/journalist Steve English. Most motorcycle racing fans will know Steve for his work as a commentator on the World Superbike Championship feed, but thankfully his skills translate to dirt ovals as well. We hope you enjoy his photos. -JB