When Ken Roczen joined the 450 Supercross class for 2014—riding the Red Bull KTM SX-F450 alongside Ryan Dungey —he was an immediate threat. That season he earned the season opener win at Anaheim, followed by a win in Atlanta.
Roczen finished third overall in 2014 SX, but went onto to win the 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. He then switched to RCH Suzuki, earning the 2015 Monster Energy Cup win, and also his second-straight Motocross title (2016).[Visit the Ultimate Motorcycling Supercross/Motocross Page]For 2017, though, Roczen will move to his third manufacturer since joining the premier leagues of AMA Supercross and Motocross racing. The 22-year-old German has signed a three-year contract to ride the Team Honda HRC.He will pilot the all-new 2017 Honda CRF450R alongside new American Honda teammate Cole Seely in both the SX and MX series.“I’m really excited to be a part of Team Honda HRC,” Roczen said. “I’m always looking to improve myself, as well as my surroundings, team and equipment, which is why I decided to make a switch. I want to have the upper hand on every other rider out there, and I think I have that with Honda.“Things are still new, but I’m feeling amazing and blown away by the bike and the atmosphere of the team. I think that when any rider makes a switch to a new team, he doesn’t fully know what to expect, so having such a smooth transition so far has been great. Big changes like this are great opportunities to make a statement, and I think doing an awesome video to announce something so special and big is really unique, especially to our industry.“I’m excited that Honda was on board with the idea. Other sports do things like this, but it’s kind of a first for someone in the motocross industry. Most of the inspiration came from my buddy Ken Block, who always puts out killer videos. I talked to Honda about it and they were super stoked. Everyone worked hard to get it done, and the finished product is great.”Team Manager Dan Betley also commented: “I’m extremely happy to have a rider of Ken’s abilities and accomplishments become a part of our program, and I’m glad we can finally officially share this announcement with our fans.“Ken has proven time and again that he has what it takes to consistently win races and run up front, and I’m confident in his ability to continue doing that aboard the new CRF450R. Together with his teammate Cole Seely, we have what I consider to be one of the strongest two-rider teams heading into 2017.”Besides his two MX titles, Roczen also has secured nine premier-class AMA Supercross victories. Aboard 250cc equipment, he earned the 2013 250SX West title, and prior to coming to the U.S. to race full-time, he won the 2011 MX2 World Championship.
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Motos and Friends, the weekly podcast brought to you by Ultimate Motorcycling. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Motos and Friends is brought to you by Yamaha. You can check out the amazing YZF-R7 at your local Yamaha dealer, or of course at YamahaMotorsports.com. The YZF-R7 is an amazing supersport machine that is comfortable too!
In this week’s first segment, Editor Don Williams takes the smallest BMW ADV bike on an urban adventure in Los Angeles. The BMW G 310 GS is a full size motorcycle with a modest engine, so of course we wonder if it is a little too underpowered and might struggle. Don put it through its paces and gives us his take.
In the second segment, Neale Bayly and Kiran Ridley have returned from the Ukraine to Paris where Kiran is based.
Kiran is an award winning photojournalist, and as an accomplished documentarian, he has covered stories as diverse as drug smuggling around the Mexican border, to the devastation of the Australian Bush Fires, to the tragedy of the Mediterranean migration crisis. Neale and Kiran reminisce about their motorcycle adventure in the Ukraine, and their observations and experiences with the incredibly resilient people of Ukraine, who have been put through such brutal hardship.