ATV Freestyle Shows Off at Steel City
The fans at Steel City are familiar with freestyle ramps. After all, “Mad” Mike Jones has a few ramps still sitting on his property in Delmont, PA, the home of Steel City. For the site of Round 10 in the AMA/Toyota Motocross Championships, though, a new set of freestyle ramps arrived on behalf of H-Bombs Films. These ramps were freestyle quad-specific, and the Bomb Squad showed the fans at Steel City that seeing is believing.
Just two weeks prior to Steel City at the ATV Dirt Days, fans witnessed the Bomb Squad at the final round of the 2007 ATVA ITP/Moose Racing National Motocross Series at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Tennessee.
Complementing the first-ever AMA Pro ATV Open on Saturday August 25, the Bomb Squad broke out on Sunday during Intermission, giving many motocross fans their first-ever look at ATV Freestyle. With rumors of the ATV back flip about, quad and bike fans alike gathered along the hillside to witness this extra-bonus ATV extravaganza.
No one could predict what the Bomb Squad would throw down in front of Steel City. Two brothers, Caleb and Colten Moore of Krum, Texas, with Canada’s Christian Gagnon made up the Bomb Squad.
The riders opened up with technical tricks like a Superman or Stripper, Cliffhanger and Lazy Boy combos before throwing tricks right after the other. Christian crashed here ahead of another rider in succession. Then Caleb Moore rode up the landing ramp to beckon the crowd to cheer on his back flip.
Shock bowled over when nearly four-hundred-pounds of the 450cc machine was four wheels upside down, especially when Caleb landed spot on each time. “It was a lot of fun,” Caleb said after the flip. “We had a good crowd, and it was a lot of fun.”
Not everyone can be trusted to fine-tune the ramp in ATV freestyle. Where the crew dropped the ramp, there was Caleb preparing the positions to his liking—such perfectionist nature had him re-adjusting the ramps and returning back; once he even hauled a broom over to sweep gravel around the take-off area.
Later, Caleb explained his reason for bringing out the broom. “Yeah, we just try to get everything the way we like it and we’re comfortable,” Caleb said. “Traction is a pretty big issue when you commit to the ramps, so I didn’t want anything messing that up. I don’t jump unless I got it the way I want it—unless everything’s pretty much perfect because you can get hurt too easy.”
Caleb certainly finds a happy medium in knowing who did the set up. “We’re not big time yet,” he said. “We have to do it ourselves. From folding out the landing ramps, getting it out here, to putting down the take-off ramp and all that—which in a way, I’d rather do it and know that it’s right, then have somebody else do it and come out and it’s wrong.”
After watching Caleb turn his quad upside-down with ease, any fan of freestyle wonders how he does it on a quad. “I’ve had a lot of time doing it, and I’ve paid my dues,” Caleb said. “I’ve crashed before on it. I got knocked out and messed up my shoulder, but I’ve had a lot of time doing it now, a lot of practice, and it just gets easier and easier.”
Caleb focuses on the future of ATV freestyle and looks to continue pushing the sport . “[The next thing is] back flip variations and more crazy stuff,” he said. “Natural terrain back flip, long distance back flip—just basically catching up with the dirt bikes.”
Still, Caleb has even higher hopes for the four-wheelers as he explains why ATV freestyle is fundamentally different.
“A flat 360 is going to be pretty hard off a normal ramp because you can’t carve a ramp like you can a bike, and you can’t lean it over,” Caleb said, “But I do think we’re going to be doing some tricks they can’t do, because we’re on a quad. It goes both ways,” he concluded.
For more information on the AMA Toyota Motocross Championship, presented by FMF, log on to www.amamotocross.com for live timing and scoring at @theWireLIVE!.