Posts Tagged ‘Leatt’

My first big race back from my accident was this week.  The race at Mammoth Mountain is like a mini Loretta Lynn race, everyone goes to this race…. and this year was the 50th anniversary so it was bigger and better than ever.  We had to drive all the way around this year because roads were still closed from all the snow that we got this year.  We stopped for some fun in the water and snow on the way to and from Mammoth…. it was really cold!

The next day was Father’s Day and my Dad spent the whole day working on my bikes and getting everything ready for the race…. He is the best!

I tested my bike on the road a few times just to make sure we got the jetting the best we could.  The elevation is so high on the mountain we have to change all of our settings from what we run at home.

Practice day went well.  Worked on getting my flow down on the track and fine tuning the motor.  I couldn’t wait to get on the line and race!

I was really lucky to have Josh Boykin with Boykin Suspension spend a few days with my family and I and make sure my bike was ready for each race.  Josh worked with Dom and I before each moto and my bike never felt better.  I really appreciate all your help and hard work Josh!

I had a lot of my sponsors at the event to support me… Thank you Yamaha, 2X Promotions, Fly Gear, Scott Goggles, and so many others that I didn’t get pictures with like Leatt, Dunlop, Mylucasoil, Americoresmx, Addictionindustries, Mika, etc.

The first day of racing I was in the top 3 in every race.  It was really cool to be on the line with so many awesome racers and be able to battle up front with them.  The track was awesome, and I was really happy with my results because I feel like I am still getting back up to speed.  I finished day 1 with Heat race 1st and 2nd and main event 2nd and 3rd place finishes.

Day 2 the track got a little more rough and my lap times got a little faster.  I didn’t have better results but had even better battles than the day before.  Finished the Heat races with two 2nd place finishes.  I finished one main event with a 3rd and the second main event I got the hole shot and was out front but crashed really hard.  I crushed my pipe all the way in and my throttle was totally broken.  I was able to battle back from 26th to 8th place.

After my races my family and I did a video testimonial for Leatt.  They wanted to have myself and my Mom and Dad talk about my accident when I broke my back and how because of the neck brace and chest protector I was able to get back on my bike and ride this race.  I’m not too sure how the video is going to turn out.  I did my part and told them what happened on my bike.  Then when my Mom and Dad told their part, both my parents cried which made all the film crew and Leatt reps cry, which made me cry.  I didn’t realize my parents were so upset about everything.  And my parents said that it was really hard to talk about because they have never told the full story out loud before…. and it has only been two months.  I guess I will have to update you all and let you know how that turns out. lol

I also did a video shoot for Yamaha up in the trees.  I always like to talk about how much I love my bike!

I also want to thank the Vacarello family for letting us share a cabin with you.  Always fun hanging out with friends.

Now it’s time to get ready for Loretta’s!

 

Several months back I did a post about how my Leatt chest protector saved me from getting really burnt during practice.  My bike was stuck on top of me and the pipe was burning my back.  I had to wait for someone to come and help me get my bike off me and my jersey and back brace were all burnt.

Leatt sent me out a new neck brace and chest protector that looked like this.

I wear the back brace under my shirt so this is what it looks like when I am riding.

As you know I was in a bad crash in Texas and I broke my back.  The doctors said if I would have had any more of an impact I would have a lot worse injury and a very different recovery.

After crashing head first into the face of a jump and having my bike land on my back, I am lucky I was wearing my Fly helmet and Leatt neck and back brace.  I did break my back but imagine how bad it would have been with no safety gear.  Very scary!

I am very grateful for the support from Leatt.  The products they provide for our sport is very important and I know it saved me twice already.  I was very happy to do a photo and video shoot for Leatt even before this accident…… I am happy to do anything I can to get the word out and tell people to wear all your safety gear when you put your leg over a dirt bike.

….and all the people at Leatt are awesome!  When I got home they sent me a gift box with shirts, hats and a very nice card with notes from everyone in the company.  Thank you to everyone who wished me a speedy recovery, it was very nice of you all.

I had a race in Texas so we left on Thursday and headed to Los Angeles to race the Loretta Lynn qualifier on our way.  We had practice on Friday and raced Saturday.  The race was at 333MX and the track was very different from what I am used to racing.  I was able to finish out the day with two 1st place trophies.

As soon as the race was over my family got into the van and drove 24 hours to Texas.  My parents took turns driving and I slept most of the way.  We were all very happy when we got to Texas and arrived at the Freestone track.

We had a day to get settled, sign in and walk the track.  I also did a photo shoot and video for Leatt.  (I will have a separate post about Leatt later and how wearing a neck and back brace saved me again)

We got a really good nights sleep and I was ready for practice on Tuesday.  My bike was looking awesome with the new graphics, Fly hooked me up with new gear, and I was ready to go.

My first practice was great.  I was getting used to the track and put down some great laps.  In my second practice things did not go as well.  On the second lap my bike didn’t seem like it was running very well.  I thought it would clear out and I kept riding.  When I was going through the rollers my bike bogged and I didn’t clear the jump.  I went head first into the face of the jump and my bike hit me in my back.  I immediately knew that I was pretty hurt, but I wasn’t sure what was wrong.

After going to the hospital, getting advice from some great friends and some new friends, I got transported to a Children’s Hospital.

I was strapped down and they did a lot of tests.  I had and MRI, CT Scan, and X-rays.

The doctors found I had a fractured T1, T2, T3 and T4 vertebrae, a broken T5 vertebrae and pulled ligaments in my neck….. along with a lot of cuts and bruises.  The doctors said I was very lucky that my break did not move any farther at all.  I am so lucky that I was wearing my safety gear.

After a couple of days they finally let me sit up but I still couldn’t get out of bed or walk.  The doctors did more and more tests to make figure out what they needed to do to make sure my back and neck were stable.  Donnie from Yamaha drove for hours just to come and check on me which was very awesome!

The next day I finally got to get out of bed and move around a little.  I was able to go sit in the team room and play video games.

The doctors finally released me to head back to California.  My parents took turns driving but we had to make a few stops along the way for me to rest a little.  I really want to thank everyone for all the get well wishes.  So many people reached out to myself and my parents and it meant a lot to all of us.

Now I am in a back brace and I have to meet with my doctors in California so I can figure out what is next for me.

This past week was a lot of traveling, and lot of racing.  We left last week and drove to Kern County for the SW Loretta Lynn qualifier race.  It was a fun weekend with some friends and one of my sponsors 51 Fifty Energy came out to support the race.  Skye came out to give away free products and prizes.

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I was able to talk with he announcer about the track, my racing, and let everyone know they could come and see Skye from 51 Fifty.

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2X Promotion was putting on the race and they had another great event.  2X Promotions offered all the racers a FREE extra race to run for fun.  Everyone was very excited to be able to race an additional class and they even gave out trophies.

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I was able to win all my races on Saturday.  On Sunday I won my morning races and in the afternoon my race bike that I was getting ready for Texas stopped running.  My Dad had to work on it and he tried everything to figure out the problem and get the bike ready for the next race.  We stayed at the track late and finally got the bike running.  We got in the van for our 24 hour road trip to Texas.

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We had to drive all night to get to Freestone Raceway in time to do the track walk on Monday afternoon.  My parents took turns driving and I slept through the night and when we got to Texas I was ready to go.

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We had thought we were ready for the race but had several problems throughout the week.  During the timed practice sessions on Tuesday my bike stopped running again.  After working on the bike more, we took the bike to Yamaha to work on it and see if they could find why it wasn’t working.

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Again it looked like the bike was working fine and again it stopped working.  That was the problem….sometimes it worked and then sometimes it didn’t.  Because it was so inconsistent we parked the bike and decided to ride our practice bike.  It was very disappointing because I was not able to use my race motor and we had the race bike all set the way I liked it.  Half way through my first race my clutch went out on my bike.  My Dad put in a new clutch for my second race and again the clutch stopped working.  The bike went to Yamaha and they found that the new part we put in the bike was bad and fixed it.

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The next race my clutch was working and I was late off the start.  I was racing to the front and when I was making the past for second place I crashed.  I went down really hard and destroyed my bike and my body was pretty bruised up.

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This was how my week kept going….  I had bike problems in the beginning of the week, mistakes by me in the later races and not able to use my race motor.  Throughout the week I had so much support and help from the entire Yamaha team!

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I didn’t have the results I expected but I did share an energy drink with my friend Wes Kain.

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My family and I enjoyed the FAMOUS Big Al’s track side Texas burgers.

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I got my new Leatt neck brace and chest protector.  They are great!  More about them later…..

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With my new Leatt chest protector I wear it under my jersey and everyone can now see my Fly Gear and all my sponsors.

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I also did a photo shoot with Yamaha.

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Then it was time for the 24 hour drive back home.  Now its time to get myself and my bike ready for the next big race!

Throughout this year I will be bringing some of the hottest and coolest products to your attention.  I am going to try to give you the best information about the products as well as the things that work and don’t work for me.  Those of you who know me, know that I don’t like change.  I love what currently works for me and I have a hard time trying new products……with this in mind I will be reviewing new products and giving you my opinions.  These are only my opinions, and even if things don’t work for me…..you will have the information you need to see if they would be a good fit for you.  Hope you enjoy!

The first product review I am doing is actually two things in one.  I am doing both the Leatt Neck Brace and Chest Protector at the same time because ideally these products are designed to work together.  In the past I have used a different kind of Leatt neck brace and a bull riding chest protector, but these new products go together to distribute an impact more evenly throughout your body.  With the way they fit together, a neck impact force is felt in the chest and taken away from the shoulders.

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LEATT GPX PRO NECK BRACE

I have chosen the Leatt GPX Pro Neck Brace.  This brace is a fully ventilated carbon-fiber chassis with a completely redesigned, open-cell padding.  It has anodized CNC spring loaded aluminium hinges, alternative load path technology, collarbone cutout, and unique one piece rear support designed to break away in a severe impact.  The GPX Pro brace is advertised to be the lightest, most ventilated and most comfortable brace ever made.

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The second I put this neck brace on I could see a complete difference.  The biggest difference is the weight of this brace versus the one I usually use.  This brace is really very light and it was also very comfortable.  I think I really liked it because I couldn’t even feel like I had it on.  Even though it is very light, the metal hinges are really strong and secure I really love everything about this neck brace.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  The GPX Pro and the GPX Pro Light are the same brace with a couple of differences.  The Pro Light has plastic side clasps and the Pro has metal clasps.  The Pro also comes with a very nice carrying case.  At the time of this post Leatt is running a special and the Leatt GPX Pro is being sold at a huge discount and is the same price as the Leatt Pro Light.

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LEATT BODY VEST LITE JUNIOR

The second part of this is the Leatt Body Vest Lite Junior.  This chest protector is designed for kids and works with any Leatt brace.  The chest protector has straps on the shoulders to hold the neck brace and the chest protector together, but allows for easy movement.

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Wearing this chest protector after wearing a bull riding vest was like night and day for me.  This chest protector is way lighter and smaller than what I am used to, it almost felt like I wasn’t wearing anything.  I loved wearing both the neck brace and the chest protector and they were extremely easy to wear when I was riding.  I did have one problem….I crashed during practice and took a handlebar to the chest.  I didn’t feel anything in my chest at all and the chest protector absorbed the impact excellent  but with this chest protector being shorter and harder than the vest I usually wear and the bottom of this brace hurt my gut.  With this brace having harder edges than I am used to, I didn’t like how it felt when I crashed.  I did go back to my old chest protector after the crash….I know that the new one will take some getting used to, I am sure I will like it when I do.

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Both of these products are very well made and are so important to our safety when we ride dirt bikes.  Make sure you go to http://www.leatt-brace.com to find the right products that works for you.

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When you ride, make sure you are protected!

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http://www.leatt-brace.com

RIDE HARD AND BE SAFE WITH LEATT