Monday, April 30, 2007

Hardware: Supermoto Wheels Explained


Supermoto wheels are a big investment, when you factor that your 2-3 year old dirt bike may have a resale value
in dirt form in the $4-5K range, if that. We get calls from guys all the time who say "well, I'm not really racing or nothing, so I'm just looking for the cheapest wheels you have to convert to Supermoto". Well, the real reply there is that there really isn't a cheap way to get into Supermoto unless you're going to go Sportsman about it and ride on knobbies or some type of dual-sport tire. Quality 17-inch supermoto wheels that will last are going to set you back between $800 and $2000 depending on how deep you're going to go at this and whether you want quality and performance or just a good price.


Motostrano is a full scale supermoto specialist and we've been involved in Supermoto since it's re-birth in the United States in 2002. We offer complete supermoto wheels made from the finest materials and built by experience wheel builders. All are made with the best, strongest and lightest aluminum rims and hubs and stainless steel. You won't encounter rim bending, spoke or hub problems for many miles under normal heavy duty wear. We keep wheels in stock and can turn around most wheel orders in less than a week.

It should also be said, that over the course of the past five years, Motostrano has had the opportunity to handle, sell and test, virtually every type of supermoto wheel available. Being so involved in supermoto parts over this time, nothing has escaped us as far as testing and trying out. Our current catalog represents products that have withstood this test of time and endurance. We have learned a lot about durability, availability, parts, construction, fit over the years, both from selling direct to consumers who've had problems with other products, as well as from racers who've given us direct feedback coming directly off the track- and we are talking feedback from both top world and national pro riders like Travis Marks (who also happens to be a salaried Honda Factory Test rider), Gerald Delepine, Micky Dymond and a host of others. It's this knowledge that you the customer get to take advantage of when working with Motostrano. Lastly, we not only offer a huge selection of wheels, we have the largest dedicated supermoto catalog of parts in the world.




The benchmark wheelset is really the Excel rim laced to a Talon hub. Both Talon and Excel have been around for ages in motocross and flat track and set the standard for quality in the spoked MX wheel world. Both have years of experience in metal making and cutting and we've yet to see a failure in any of these products on the street or the track.


The vast majority of wheels rolling out there use Excel rims on Talon hubs. This goes for street and for race. New comer Warp9 Racing, began making wheels about two years ago and has really come on strong in the budget market, producing a wheel package that is approaching Excel/Talon. Warp 9 Supermoto wheels are a good budget oriented package that actually comes with a front 320MM rotor, a rear rotor and rear sprocket so you all you need next is tires and you have a ready set of Supermoto wheels yearning to canyon carve. If you are "not racing or nothin" and just want a barebones kit to get your bike on the street in Supermoto, Warp 9 is an easy choice. The brake rotors and sprockets are nothing to wright home about, but they'll do the job.



The size of your wheels is determined by what kind of riding you do. If you are a budding racer and your bike is a dedicated supermoto race bike, you'll want a 16.5x3.50 front rim and ideally a 5.00x17 rear rim. The 16.5 gives you noticeably quicker turning action and the fat rear gives you the most amount of contact patch at the rear wheel. Once you go the 16.5 front route your only tire choice will be a supermoto slick tire.

For street duty, or for amateur racing, we'll usually recommend a 17x3.50 front and a 4.25x17 rear. This will give you ample choice when it comes to tires and it also minimize any tire rubbing from the chain.

If properly made, your rear wheel shouldn't cause significant chain rub on the tire. Correct offsetting will space out the rim away from the chain in most cases. A little tire rub is ok. A chain bashing your rim is not!

All of our standard wheelsets are built with stainless steel heavy duty spokes either from Buchanan or Bull Dog.

Marchesini has been offering cast wheels for many years and supermoto wheels in the last five years. The Marchesinis are technically the lightest supermoto wheels available. Being cast, they tend to feel more stiff than a spoked wheel and are more difficult to service. I remember the first time I saw a set of Marchesini supermoto wheels five years ago. It was on a factory Vertemati race bike in Italy that was being used for testing purposes. It was very hush-hush at the time. They've since come to be known as one of the top wheels used by pro SM race teams in the US and Europe.

Although we wouldn't recommend letting color direct your wheel choice, Motostrano does offer custom anodizing of both rims and hubs for an extra cost and wait. Motostrano offers a custom list of common colors and you can even dream up your own.

Our wheels are built to last. They've been tested over the largest Urban metal ramps the folks at All Access can dream up and they've been run on tens of thousands of miles of public roads and trails, over pot-holes and up and down concrete steps.


Visit Motostrano.com now to review prices, information and to order your supermoto wheels.

ITALY: Iddon (2 in S2) and Giraudo (3 in S1) on the Podium


In the first leg of the Italian Supermoto Championships, Christian Iddon earned an S2 podium after finishing 3rd and 2nd in each respective heat. Jerome Giraudo also performed well in the S1, placing 3rd and 6th in both heats and climbing atop the third-place podium. Van Den Bosch, after his withdrawal following a fall in Race 1, finished 3rd in the final heat. The 30 other Aprilia twins in the Italian Championships and Coppa Italia also did well.

The first race of the Supermoto season was a battle against the wind, cold, and rain that fell heavily all day Sunday. A true gamble on the extremely slippery track that forced even those who specialize in such conditions to work hard to maintain control of their bikes. Especially on the dirt stretch of the track that was reduced to a swamp. Yet the extreme conditions didn’t stop Team Aprilia from bringing home important results in the race that took place on the splendid “Daniel Bonara” circuit of Franciacorta.
This Sunday, the best among the official Aprilia captains was the young English rider, Christian Iddon, atop an Aprilia SXV 5.5. He finished in 2nd place overall in the S2 class after coming in 3rd in the first heat and 2nd in the second.
It was a typical race for Jerome Giraudo (Aprilia SXV 4.5) in the S1 class. The Frenchman rode very well, doing his best to control Race 1 in which he finished 3rd. In the final heat, he finished in 6th which was good enough for the day’s third-highest podium.
A decisively unfortunate first heat for the current world-champion in the S1, Thierry Van Den Bosch, as he was forced to withdraw after ending up on the ground due to contact with a competitor. VDB immediately took off again in Race 2 where he battled like a lion to finish in 3rd place.
Also good performances from the 30 Aprilia twins that took part in the seasonal trial; six in the S1 Italian Championships, ten in the S2, and fourteen in the Coppa Italia.
The next engagement of the Italian Supermoto Championships will be on April 22nd in Latina.

Castrezzato (BS) - 1st leg of the Italian and International Supermoto Championships.
S1 Class
Race 1: 1. Eddy Seel (Suzuki); 2. Massimo Beltrami (Honda); 3. Jerome Giraudo (Aprilia SXV 4.5); withdrawn - Thierry Van Den Bosch (Aprilia SXV 4.5).
Race 2: 1. Eddy Seel (Suzuki); 2. Massimo Beltrami (Honda); 3. Thierry Van Den Bosch (Aprilia SXV 4.5); 6. Jerome Giraudo (Aprilia SXV 4.5).
Overall classification for the day: 1. Seel 50 points; 2. Beltrami 44; 3. Giraudo 35.

S2 Class
Race 1: 1. Gerard Delepine (Husqvarna); 2. Graziano Rispoli (Suzuki); 3. Christian Iddon (Aprilia SXV 5.5).
Race 2: 1. Gerard Delepine (Husqvarna); 2. Christian Iddon (Aprilia SXV 5.5); 3. Attilio Pignotti (Ktm).
Overall classification for the day: 1. Delepine 50 points; 2. Iddon 42; 3. Pignotti 36.

Hardware: BMW G450 Enduro - Supermoto Coming to a Theater Near You?


Motorcycle New Daily recently published what it called official photos of the soon to be released BMW G450 enduro. Will we see the beemer in competition next year? We can't wait!

FIM: Pignotti and VDB star at World Supermoto opener

By: Garry Morrow

Posted: Monday, 30th April, 2007 : 12:59 PM -

It was an incredible start today for the FIM Supermoto World Championship at Castelletto di Branduzzo, Italy last Sunday.

A massive crowd of 8000 spectators head to the Motodromo to experience a sunny and hot Sunday, and watch Thierry Van Den Bosch and Attilio Pignotti win the Grand Prix of Europe in the two premier classes.

In the big bore S1 class former champion Thierry Van Den Bosch scored maximum points after the Frenchman took the chequered flag first in both moto's. Thierry Van Den Bosch took the holeshot in moto 1 and the Aprilia Factory rider was never troubled in his first victory. In the second moto he had to over come a fast starting Thomas Chareyre, a feat that took six laps to achieve, but once again he then had clear vision all the way to his second win.

Husqvarna backed Adrien Chareyre took out the day's runner up spot with a pair of seconds whilst his brother Thomas Chareyre made it a family double on the podium.

Some of the big names found the going tough with former champions Eddy Seel (Suzuki) riding injured and only managing tenth while S1 debutant and another former champion in Bernd Hiemer crashing out in moto 1. The German KTM rider did rebound in moto two for fourth but ended the day a lowly 7th place and with half the points of the championship leader. One of the winningest riders in the history of the sport in Boris Chambon has made the switch to Kawasaki but struggled and finished in 10th overall.

In the S2 class 37 year old Attilio Pignotti and KTM Italian Team Miglio celebrated the Italian's first GP victory; Pignotti did not win a moto, but clinched two solid second places. TM's Davide Gozzini was impressive in moto one, but had a flat tyre in moto two and scored no points. Belgian Gerald Delepine of the CH Husqvarna Azzalin Team was more consistent and finished second overall. Aprilia Off Road's Christian Iddon clinched his first moto victory, and completed the podium, ahead of Motoracing's Slovenian Ales Hlad, fourth. Italian Lorenzo Mariani of MRC Racing ended the top five.

There is less than a month break, then the FIM and the UEM Supermoto series will restart from Torino. The FIM Supermoto Grand Prix of Torino will be held at night time at the Oval Lingotto, on May 26.

Main Photo: S2 GP winner Attilio Pignotti was using Bernd Hiemer's 2006 KTM

Motostrano: A Word From the President


A Word From the President

What makes Motostrano different than other moto stores?

When I started Motostrano back in 2002, one of the main motivating factors (besides actually creating a job for myself) was that I didn't like the types of moto retail companies I had in my surrounding home area. Poor service, poor attitude, poor selection, poor product. Being heavily involved in e-commerce and online marketing at the time, I also looked online for sources of parts and gear that suited my needs and I didn't find much there either. I'm primarily a street rider and I personally gravitate to things that are a little more on the esoteric side of life, you might say. The stuff in the bigger e-tailers catalogs out there just didn't fit the bill. I knew that there would be a collection of manufacturers out there that produced high quality unique products for bike and for rider- so why not start with this idea and see where it lands?

So, with my background in customer service and business management and marketing, I decided to make a local company that offered local riders a great shop- while very unique - with good products backed by a really good attitude from the employees that served up the company to customers. At the same time, this company would have a killer web site, with online shopping, a back end system to handle the fulfillment of orders and sales people who rode what they sold.

So, with a barebones web site, I set out to accomplish the kind of company I personally would want to shop with.

At Motostrano we try to focus.... well- that's the first thing we try to do: FOCUS. You won't find everything at Motostrano, by design- not in our retail outlet, nor our online store. We try not to sell the basic garbage you can get at your neighborhood Cyclegear- staffed by half-wit kids who don't know what a Maico is. Our catalog is cherry picked to carry specific products that are generally not found in your local store. And if they are found in your local store, then we try to do a better job of carrying them.

Our retail outlet, which is really a kind of cost-co shopping experience- perhaps only worse- because we rarely stick a price tag on anything- is FILLED with more product than you've ever seen in any moto store. Unfortunately we just don't have the time to price stuff in our store due to price fluctuations and fast moving inventory. We'll get there some day, but not yet. In the meantime, not only do we likely actually have the item you want in stock for you to take home that day, every customer who pushes our door open can expect hands on customer service from some one who actually rides a motorcycle and who quite willingly will spend an hour or two with them, going over in great detail the products that interest them. Most of the time, our staff uses the same product, has even crash tested it, or tested it at the race track, if not on the street.

As with our retail store, our web catalog is very focused. In the age of the Internet- it's real easy for companies to upload entire databases of products and images fresh from a distributor's product CD and slap them on a web site, tricking you, the customer, into thinking the company on the other end is gynormous, with an equally gynormous inventory, while in all likely hood they're a rinky dink shop with a single jacket hanging on the wall as their inventory. Motostrano tries really hard to focus on just a few sectors of the industry and within that just a few brands and a few product lines. This allows us to stock it for you, as well as to know it for you.

If you call or email us about a product, we can go over to our inventory, pick it up, try it on and tell you about it. We can also usually get it out the same day. Those other companies that have every brand and every item from the major distributors on their web site (and none of it in their warehouse) rely on "just in time" shipments for just about every order. 75% of our orders are shipped from in stock inventory that we keep on hand.

A big focus of ours has no comparison to anything else we do. Our focus on supermoto started 4 years ago when Supermoto in the USA was small time. I remember going to the first AMA pro supermoto race at Laguna Seca at the time and Motostrano was already selling aftermarket parts, as well as complete supermoto bikes, race ready. We were dealing with top European pro racers and we subsequently led the way in supermoto parts and accessories in the USA. It is to the point now that Supermoto is one of the core elements of our business and one we hope we are identified with by the consumer at large. It's our passion and we like it.

Motostrano staff ride and race supermoto bikes. We sponsor pro and am racers. We attend race events and sponsor local and pro events. We build wheels in-house and we carry in stock a huge array of supermoto parts.

That, in a few paragraphs, is what I think Motostrano is about and what makes us different.

Joe Witherspoon, President Motostrano LLC.

Supermoto Gear of the Pros


Supermoto Gear of the Pros

We put a lot into our pro-Supermoto racing efforts. Over the past 4 years, Motostrano has been involved with Supermoto racers ranging from #1 World S1 Supermoto pros like Max Manzo, Gerald Delepine and Max Gazzarrata, to young budding amateurs like Chad Cose, George Deguzeman, Chuck Patterson and others.

This year Motostrano has partnered as Sponsor for the Rockstar, Hart & Huntington AMA pro team. The Stateline Supermoto event last month was our first true race test session.

The bikes of the Rockstar/ H&H team are a mix of Honda, Suzuki and KTM. This team will more than likely be the top privateer team for 2007. The bikes are equiped with parts sold by Motostrano to the general public. "We race what we sell" - is our Moto. Team bikes are equipped with Motomaster Race Brake kits or Magura full race set-ups on the KTMs. Team bikes are going to run the Alpina Tubeless System Supermoto Wheels with Dunlop Tires all season. Leo Vince powers the exhaust systems and Galfersteel brake lines are used. Most of the Hondas are equipped with Tag metals triple clamps and Handlebars. All bikes are equipped with STM Slipper clutches and Acerbis Plastic - including the new supermoto specific Acerbis Handguardsand front fenders.

We race what we sell. We get constant feedback from our riders when they race the stuff we sell. We also do a lot of post-race analysis on the parts used to guage wear. We find this the best way to know what's going on with these parts.

AMA: Rockstar, Hart & Huntington Tattoo Co. Motostrano Race Report


Rockstar, Hart & Huntington Tattoo Co. Motostrano Race Report

Over 900 riders competed against each other at the Stateline Challenge in Primm, NV and we gave them a run for their money! We definitely had an exciting (if hazardous!) weekend on the hard-to-pass track.

We managed to wrangle Tyler Evans, a Motocross hero, into riding with us this weekend and he tore it up! Keeping the pressure on the leaders and finishing fifth in his qualifying race and 15th overall in the 450 class. He also did great in the Open class, finishing 14th (not bad for a newbie!).

Carey Hart raced hard in the first race of the season finishing 24th in the 450 class. He took a tough spill on Sunday in the Open qualifier, snapping his wrist and tearing himself up pretty badly, ending his weekend. He's hoping to get back on the track in time for the season opener.

Despite having some bad luck, Doni Wanat came back and finished 22nd on Saturday. He started out great on Sunday finishing 4th in his qualifier and although getting up close and personal with the pavement, he still finished the Open Pro 29th . He's looking good this year and we know we'll see some great results from him.

Travis went down in the qualifiers for the 450 class on Saturday and got bruised up pretty badly, but by the time the Open pro came around on Sunday he was good to go finishing 2nd in his qualifier getting a 2nd row start for the main and snagging a 10th place finish! He's definitely going to be challenging for podium positions this season.

The guys looked fast and ready out there and we're looking forward to a great season!

Scott Sheak will unfortunately not be joining us for the remainder of the season and we wish him the best of luck.

We would like to thank our sponsors for all their support, especially; Rockstar, Hart & Huntington Tattoo Co., Carter Powersports, Motostrano.com-JsTRacing, Leo Vince, Weekend Warrior, FOX, Parts Unlimited, DVS Shoes, TAG Metals, Alpina Wheels, Dunlop Tires, MotionPro, Works Connection, Factory Effex, MB1 Suspension, Hinson, ACERBIS,. Pinit
Motorsports, Magura, and Moto-Master.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Hardware: Supermoto Gear of the Pros

We put a lot into our pro-Supermoto racing efforts. Over the past 4 years, Motostrano has been involved with Supermoto racers ranging from #1 World S1 Supermoto pros like Max Manzo, Gerald Delepine and Max Gazzarrata, to young budding amateurs like Chad Cose, George Deguzeman, Chuck Patterson and others. All of the champions in their own right.

This year Motostrano has partnered as Sponsor for the Rockstar, Hart & Huntington AMA pro team, while also helping pro riders like Micky Dymond. The Stateline Supermoto event last month was our first true race test session. It was a hoot. Cary Hart, Tyler Evans, Travis Marks and Donny Wanat will pilot their machines to the podium and all the while bang bars with the top US and World Supermoto riders, all of them using product out of the Motostrano workshops.

The bikes of the Rockstar/ H&H team are a mix of Honda, Suzuki and KTM. This team will more than likely be the top privateer team for 2007. The bikes are equiped with parts sold by Motostrano to the general public. "We race what we sell" - is our Moto. Team bikes are equipped with Motomaster Race Brake kits or Magura full race set-ups on the KTMs. Team bikes are going to run the Alpina Tubeless System Supermoto Wheels with Dunlop Tires all season. Leo Vince powers the exhaust systems and Galfersteel brake lines are used. Most of the Hondas are equipped with Tag metals triple clamps and Handlebars. All bikes are equipped with STM Slipper clutches and Acerbis Plastic - including the new supermoto specific Acerbis Handguardsand front fenders. Most of the riders will be wearing FOX MX gear for all Supermoto events.

We race what we sell. We get constant feedback from our riders when they race the stuff we sell. We also do a lot of post-race analysis on the parts used to guage wear. We find this the best way to know what's going on with these parts and this info is translated both directly to our web catalog and also to our sales staff where it gets out to our customers like white lightening.

Ok- enough of the blogomercial- show me how this really happens?

At Stateline, Micky Dymond's mechanic came over to our tent looking for a catch can to use in the race. We had two kinds to offer him. He took both and played with each of them before sending one of them back and using the other. This info goes to our sales staff. Or, last year, one of our riders was using a product that provided some special tape to tape up spoked rims to create a pseudo tube-less rim. The tubeless system failed, albeit on some pretty heavy jumps during one of the events and this product was dropped from our catalog completely the day after the race. We may also hear direct feedback about which exhaust is pumping out the most power on what bike, which is the lightest, etc. All this info comes to us direct from the rider, from the pits and to our sales department and out to you.