January 20, 2020

New club looking for motocross enthusiasts

By TORIE ROTH

PHOTO SUBMITTED Keith Fowler, an office admin teacher at Conestoga College, is passionate about supermoto racing. Here he is shown competing at the Shannonville track.

Do you have a motocross bike? Do you want to meet others in the sport, and try racing?
If so, Supermoto Ontario is for you.
Supermoto Ontario is a new club, as of November 2011, which is focused on promoting supermoto racing in Ontario. The club is a non-profit organization and is made up of a board of directors who are passionate riders. And it’s only $40 to join.
Jerret Bellamy is the president and person who came up with the idea of starting a club.
“He was looking for volunteers to help out so I jumped in right away and it’s the most fun I’ve ever had,” said Keith Fowler, secretary-treasurer and office admin teacher at Conestoga College.
Fowler was really into mountain biking with friends, when one of them suggested he go out for a track day. He has been hooked ever since.
It is a safe and friendly atmosphere where people can meet with other riders. Supermoto Ontario hopes to get more people involved to keep it cheap and have a larger turnout at upcoming races.
It is a lot safer than regular motocross racing because there aren’t any big jumps or tall table tops. Supermoto has toned it down in hopes of recruiting retired motocross racers and young people who don’t want to risk injury.
You can still fall off of your bike, but you’re going very slowly so you won’t have to worry about any broken bones or sprains.
The tracks are usually 70 per cent pavement and 30 per cent dirt.
There will be no damage to a bike, even if you do fall, because the bike is already close to the ground. It is an easy level for people to get into, even if you’ve never been on a motorcycle.
The bikes are motocross bikes with street wheels and slicks. Slicks are tires that don’t have treads on them.
Slicks are to help the bike slide when it falls so that no damage will occur, which means that you don’t need to pay for bike repairs.
Motocross protective gear is the minimum, in terms of clothing.
The only preparation you have to do for your bike is to wire the front brake and get a catch can, which will catch any fuel that might fall onto the track. It is necessary for the safety of other riders so that they don’t slip on it. You can buy a catch can, or make it yourself by simply using a pop can.
Track days are held once or twice a month from October until June in Drumbo, Bracebridge and Innisfil, Ont.
“The Drumbo truck stop has dedicated their section to us,” said Fowler. “Whenever we want to do a setup, we give them one week notice.”
The 2012 Canadian Supermoto Racing Series will be held on May 12-13 at La Tuque in Quebec, and the X Fest will be held at Mecaglisse Quebec, which is the largest track in North America, on July 14-15.
“We are looking at bringing the races to the riders,” Fowler said. “It is easier for them to get to a local track  than to drive elsewhere.”
Members need to get their own bikes to the track locations, but many members have trailers or trucks and are willing to help out.
It’s not only adults who ride. Supermoto also has a mini category with smaller bikes, wheels and smaller riders. Children 12 years and under can join.
Even adults are starting to ride these smaller bikes, however, children and adults are never on the track at the same time.
“We even have pro-level racers who come out and give free lessons to members so they can learn everything they wanted to learn by an actual professional,” Fowler said.
At races, you can receive medals or trophies. Last year, Fowler received rookie of the year. He also won the CAN/AM series overall title and placed second at the provincials and third at nationals.
Only professionals can receive cash prizes, but members can receive smaller prizes such as a new tire or hand grips for their bike.
So far, 20 members are involved and there is no maximum for how many people can join.
For $60 you can pick up a family membership.
“Even if you have 12 brothers and sisters, as long as you’re all living under the same roof, it’s only $60,” said Fowler.
Supermoto Ontario is recognized as an official organization. With it, members can race anywhere.
To join, go to www.supermotoontario.com, print out the application form, fill it out and send it to the address listed on the form with a cheque to “Supermoto Ontario Club Inc.”