OK, so I started this up earlier this year and then let it fade away again. So I’m making a commitment to myself to recognize the cool people that are in my life and the great things they do. So Friend’s Stuff Friday is back.
This week, I’d like to recognize Joe DaCosta, or as the entire motocross industry knows him, Jersey Joe. I first met Joe when he was behind the counter at Action Yamaha, then Somerset County Suzuki with Dave O’Reilly and then his big break at Suzuki as the amateur support mechanic, or something like that.
He’s helped so many racers along the way and this year is his 30th time at Loretta Lynn’s for the amateur nationals.
Joe never forgot his Jersey roots and still runs a NJ Motocross sticker on his trailer and he’s just one of my cool friends.
What is Friends Stuff Friday?Ok. Here’s the deal, I am fortunate to have some incredibly talented friends and acquaintances, and I got to thinking, how can I let the world know about them and what they do? That’s where this post comes in. Each week, I’ll gather up some of the cool stuff people I know have done or are involved with and post it here for everyone to see. If you like what they are doing, give them a follow, drop them a message, and let them know how cool what they are doing is. I have to admit, this isn’t an original idea, I did something on social media a long time ago, I just felt it was the right time to get it going again.
Saturday, June 8th was round #2 of Raceway Park’s new Youth ATV, MX and Pit Bike Series. The Saturday Night Lights series takes place after Saturday practice and begins at about 4 o’clock. The racing was fun and exciting and you can find images from the event at the link below.
As always the images are in alphabetical order by the riders “last name” with all holeshot pictures labeled as “start”.
All images on Lukaitis Photo are keyworded by the last name of each rider and have been since we began in 2005. By searching the site, you will be able to find all images ever taken under that keyword.
Images are available for purchase in print or digital forms for as low as $1.99 each. Please purchase the digital download if you are planning on using the image on your social media accounts. There are several print options available. Anything from a standard print to more art worthy canvas and glass prints.
One of the best video series, The Great Outdoors makes its return this May. Personally, I am really looking forward to this video as Troy and his team always present the sport in it’s truest form.
From the series:
After a 6-year hiatus, the biggest motocross film franchise returns and it’s better than ever. TGO Eleven not only showcases American motocross as it has traditionally but expanded globally, covering races in Canada and Europe making the new TGO revival a story that sprawls the planet.
A Film by Troy Adamitis
Releases May 1st.
Pre-Order it HERE: http://geni.us/TGO11
Starring: Eli Tomac, Jeffrey Herlings, Aaron Plessinger Blake Baggett, Cooper Web, Antonio Cairoli, Jason Anderson, Zach Osborne, Mike Alessi, Dean Wilson, and more.
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There has been a great deal of conversation in the powersports industry lately. Bike sales are down, the average age of motorcyclists is getting older, and people are turning to other forms of recreation with their disposable dollars. It is affecting everyone in the business. From OEM and manufacturers to distributors and right down to the front line, the powersports dealer. All are struggling. There was even an article in the LA Times speaking about the dire straights of the industry.
What happened? Aren’t motorcycles cool any longer?
Many factors caused the decline in attracting new riders from the aging of the current demographics to the switch in the taste of younger generations. Financial issues also play a significant part as the credit crunch eliminated a large number of new buyers. But regardless of the reason, the good news is everyone agrees, and it is fixable. Motorcycles are still cool. We, as the motorcycle industry, need to pitch in and do our part.
OEM’s have changed the mix of bikes they are bringing to market. Each is bringing entry level bikes back into the marketing mix. Harley-Davidson has even publically stated an initiative to bring 2 million new motorcyclists into the sport by 2020. All of the OEM’s are building machines that are less complicated and less intimidating to new and returning riders. Racing organizations are taking time to nurture and bring in new, and beginner riders and dealers are making a concerted effort to make the new bike purchase less intimidating to new buyers.
But is all this enough, what can I do to help?
Well, glad you asked. AMA Hall of Fame member Scot Harden has put forth an initiative he calls Plus 1. It is a challenge for all current motorcyclist to bring in one new participant. Seems simple, right? He’s outlined ten things you can do.
1. Share your passion with others. Expose non-motorcycle friends to the sport by inviting them to your house to catch the Sunday game on TV. Entertain in your garage. Use your motorcycle(s) as props to promote discussion about motorcycles. Let them touch, feel, even sit on your bike. I would argue that every motorcyclist started a love affair with motorcycling after first sitting on someone else’s bike.
2. Attend an event. Invite your non-motorcyclist friends to a motorcycle show, race or rally. Take time to explain what is going on, introduce them to your motorcycling friends, and share the experience with them like you would anyone else.
3. Take a friend for a ride. It doesn’t have to be all day. Take them to lunch or for coffee. Let them experience the fun and enjoyment of riding.
4. Teach someone how to ride. I know this raises all sorts of issues, but many enthusiasts—like myself—have enough property and small-displacement bikes to teach people how to ride off-road. Get them over their initial fears. Show them it isn’t as complicated as it looks. Encourage them to take a rider-training course.
5. Invite your non-motorcycle friends for dinner and a movie. I suggest a motorcycle movie, such as “The World’s Fastest Indian,” the “Long Way Around,” “The Motorcycle Diaries,” “On Any Sunday” or “Take it to the Limit.” Anything to inspire them to want to give motorcycling a try.
6. Share the experience. Tell your co-workers about your latest motorcycle trip or adventure. Sure, they probably already know you’re a motorcyclist. But have you ever shared exactly what that means and how it enriches your life? This would work well in any other groups or associations you are already involved in.
7. Invite non-motorcycle friends to go camping with you and experience the outdoors. Find a place where you can all enjoy the surroundings and make sure you have your motorcycle available, as well. My first motorcycle riding experience took place on just such a trip.
8. Visit your local motorcycle dealer and invite your non-motorcycling buddy to tag along. Show off the great product offerings. Make the point that motorcycles exist in all shapes and sizes.
9. Target social media. Share pictures of yourself enjoying the sport. Share posts you come across that are inspiring and show just how much fun motorcycling is.
10. Reach out to millennials. For all you baby boomers out there, make an effort to reach out to your children’s friends and acquaintances. Show an interest in what they are doing. Ask them if they’ve ever thought of going riding. If you can, provide an opportunity for them to experience the sense of freedom, adventure and excitement that motorcycling offers.
In an announcement made public last week Suzuki Motor Corporation confirmed that they were pulling out of MXGP and All Japan Motocross activities. Now, this may come as a surprise to many but the rumor has been floating around out there the last couple of month.
With an all-new RMZ450 for 2018, this announcement seems to come at an odd time. For most OEM’s racing is a large portion of their marketing of the brand. Not only for the specific models but for the brand as a whole. In the old days “Win on Sunday and sell on Monday” was a common marketing plan to get the brand out there, with this action what kind of marketing effort will the OEM put on the new machine in the global market? Without a presence in international racing will they instead rely on the success of the newly announced JGR racing effort to market the machine?
The other question will be in the development of a new RMZ250 and the continued development of the RMZ450. Traditionally the MXGP and All Japan series both allowed for a manufacturer to test and develop new technology away from the United States racing restrictions.
Suzuki Motor Corporation did something very similar several years ago when they got out of MotoGP to allow themselves time to regroup and then return to competition.
I guess time will tell if this is a similar move or a step away from racing.
Read the complete Suzuki announcement below.
SUZUKI MOTOR CORPORATION – MXGP AND ALL JAPAN MX STATEMENT
Suzuki Motor Corporation has decided to suspend the FIM World MXGP Championship and All Japan Motocross activities from 2018.
Suzuki Motor Corporation, having reviewed its Motorcycle operations to focus on the core business functions and restructuring of our motorcycle business, concluded to suspend the MXGP activities from 2018.
Suzuki will continue to produce RM-Z250 and 450 series and support those customers the entire world.
Suzuki expresses its great appreciation to sponsors and fans around the world for their strong support to its activities. The company will continue to provide valued products for its customers by utilizing the experiences earned through the Racing activities.