So, I spent all weekend at Infineon Raceway for AFM’s round 5 or something-or-another. Your typical hodge-podge of petrol powered, 160+ bhp screaming monsters for bikes with loud exhausts, greasy engines, and greenhouse gasses up the wazoo.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved every second of it. :)

A little over a year ago, I wrote a blog entitled “Electric Bikes: This is it?” It was about my dismay at the progress being made and all the hoopla that seemed to be surrounding the electric bike market.

Lots of talk, very little awesomeness.

I’m really starting to think that may be changing…and it appears as though the “little guys” are paving the way…

Little talk, LOTS of awesomeness!

For starters, Brammo, a small company out of Oregon, was at Thunderhill Raceway yesterday with their Empulse RR race bike. Steve Atlas was at the helm, piloting it around Thunderhill’s 15 corners. I was there taking pictures.

brammo empulse rr thunderhill steve atlas
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Another photographer I know recently sent me a message, angry about people stealing his photos and asking how I deal with it… It made me remember about a thread I’d started on BARF about a year ago. I’m constantly catching people taking pictures with their cell phones of my laptops; i.e., a snapshot of a picture of themself riding.

“Yo dawg, I heard you like taking pictures of pictures…”
xibit yo dawg
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Though I have only been doing motorcycle film and photography for a couple years, I am often asked, “How do you get into the business?” Rather than giving an answer, I ask them, “what makes you want to get into the business?”

ducati naked

The answers are usually the same, ranging from love of motorcycles, to wanting to make money with their camera and doing what they love to do; taking photos and video. Though, there is a dark side that can’t really be explained until you actually DO it and experience it for yourself, but I’ll try.

Most folks see the end result of our work. Fancy photos posted up, or a new video of some bikes ripping it up on a track, engines screaming to a rockin soundtrack. Seems simple and fun.

Fun? ABSOLUTELY. Simple? Absolutely not.
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The sun is out, and the thaw has begun. Its time to dust off your leathers, question the condition of the tires that sat all winter, change your oil, and for some…time to put their engines together again, and back in the frame.

I myself have plans. Big plans. For most of those that know me know that I have not had proper fairings on my motorcycle for a long long time. Not since I had discovered the joy… the ecstasy of riding a superbike with motocross handlebars (THANKS JOE!). Fun is as fun does, and fun got in the way of fairings; wouldn’t let me turn the bars all the way.

This is all changing this season. The bike—my bike—that silly little R1 that I have decided is too much hooligan for the street, is getting new-used custom painted fairings.

I can’t wait.

PaintPlans
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After having augered myself into the pavement in turn 5 at Reno Fernley Racetrack some months ago in October, the gixxer was left slightly bent and battered. Considering the violent nature of highsides and their natural propensity to destroy motorcycles, the gixxer faired pretty damned well in that crash.

Rory was behind me running a GoPro HD when I crashed, and here’s the video he made of it. Thanks Rory!

I broke the bleeder nipple off of the master cylinder. I slightly bent the right stock rearset, popped off the right side tail section, cracked my throttle tube, and smashed up some of the plastics on the right side. Oh, and I put a small hole in the frame from where the bar end stabbed it. That’s IT. I RODE the bike from the crash site to the infield, and would have ridden it all the way in, except that I didn’t want to carry leaking brake fluid across the front straight of the track.
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Hey everyone. I just wanted to post a quick update on a few changes for 2011. I’ve been getting a lot of email and phone calls and texts and the likes asking me “ZOMG, IS IT TEH TRUES!@!>?”

Yes, it’s true.

4theriders is no longer shooting for Zoom Zoom. Why? Simply put: we’ve just got different ideas and are headed in different directions. :) We’re still friends. There’s no bad blood. Dito of GotBlueMilk will be shooting for Z2 instead.

Also, something I’ve not yet announced publicly until now: 4theriders will be the official photography company for Reno Fernley Racetrack! Whooooo hooooooo!! For those of you that know me, you know that I freggin LOVE RFR. It’s my favorite track!

And as icing on the cake, RFR has told me that they’re making some big changes to their infrastructure! I hear that there’s going to be new pavement in sections and some other goodies that everyone will love. I don’t have “official word” on what’s been done yet, but I’ll definitely keep you guys posted when I know. :D *STOKED!!*

How about a 24 shot panoramic view of RFR as seen from the bowl? Click for the big picture…I mean BIG!

reno fernley raceway racetrack panoramic
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This video was created as a “Thank you” to everyone in the AFM, as well as a “thank you” to the early adopters of our video services this year. Without them, this video wouldn’t be what it is. We appreciate all of your support over the years. :)

This film is free and will not be for sale.

If you want to show your support for the time it’s taken to make this video…buy some pictures! Or sign up to have a personal video made for you at a future AFM round! If you want a hard copy of it, shoot us an email.

Thanks again, everyone! Here’s to 2011! :)

This non-profit film was put together for the awards banquet for the 2010 AFM racing season.

Inspirational speech by John Doman and Versus TV
Music by Apocalyptica and Explosions in the Sky

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Everyone else is doing it…I guess that means I gotta do it too. ‘Cept…I’mma do it in typical Joe-Fashion, and totally OVER do it. I’m not just gonna pick my top 10 images from the year. I’m gonna go through the year and pick whatever the hell I think represents 2010. Anything memorable; From our zany adventures around the Western United States to our unspeakable acts in other countries. *shhh!*

So hide yo kids, hide yo wife, cause I posted up at least thirty seven thousand pictures up in here.

“Whoo hoo! to 2010. The good times, the bad. The ups and downs. Whoo hoo, I say! Whoo hoo!”
4theriders
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I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t even a little bit depressed.

This weekend was a lot of fun. Back to back trackdays with SBK775 up at RFR where I got in a lot of kickass riding with fast guys and good friends. Sunday ended up being some great racing…especially watching the first timers go out and battle each other. Watching Mike morph from a C-group-panty-waist into a full fledged A-group racer-boi was pretty awesome.

It’s weekends like that that I cherish and don’t forget…This weekend won’t be muddled up and lost in memory as so many of my weekends do given that I’m at the track so much. Toe even got a few shots of me that are now my favorite pics ever!

joe reno fernley gsxr fast

But Monday… Monday had awesomeness written all over it until I had to go and be the dumbass I sometimes regret being… Toe, Han, Kyle, Rob, and myself decided to go shred the gnar in downtown Sacramento on bicycles. I kinda led them around to a few places where Matt and I like to get jukie wit’ it… but since it was only about 6pm and not the usual midnight runs that Matt and I take, we kept getting kicked out of places… finally, we end up by the Pyramid Building where we haul ass down a steep hill and try and drift at the bottom.

Toe set a pretty impressive mark… so I tried to top it… and I did… with about a 25mph highside onto my scaphoid bone wearing only dirtbike gloves for “protection.”. *sigh*

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Over the last few years, there’s been lots of talk about electric motorcycles and the TTXGP and “electric racing” and “way of the future,” et cetera…frankly, I’m not yet impressed.

With price tags being as high as $60,000 to buy one of your own, I simply do not see how this is the way of the future. At least, not yet. Even electric and hybrid cars are still not cost efficient. I’ve seen a few electric bikes up close and personal so far. I’ve chatted it up with a few designers, engineers, and riders of these electric bikes.

Most recently was this yellow thing that is to be raced in this years TTXGP. I’m not even sure what it’s called…but “thing” seems to fit the bill quite nicely.

garrett willis electric bike ttxgp

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