Today is a day I’ll never forget. Today, I got to share the track with 11 of Phoenix’s finest. Today, I got to do epic two-up wheelies with Brianna all over Arizona Motorsports Park next to, past, and in front of the PoPo. Today was fantastic.
The back story is that today was a Champ Day/Champ Street event with the Yamaha Champions Riding School. This was the first time I’ve shot a YCRS date with the police. Honestly, I was a bit skeptical, wondering how the day was going to go…I mean, they’re MOTOR UNITS. I personally think of motor units as being some of the most skilled, most bad ass riders around. The stuff I’ve watched CHP do [to try and catch me…jkjkjk] has been mind boggling. They always have the most amazing control over their mega-giant motorcycles that it simply blows my mind.
I’ve got nothing but respect for these guys and how talented they are. So yeah, I was left wondering this morning “how are they going to benefit from the day?”
It really didn’t take long to find out. Yes, these guys are amazing. But yes, these guys are also human. Their ability to control a motorcycle around the gymkhana style setup in the parking lot was a sight to be seen. They way they dance their 800lbs bikes around so effortlessly, so poised, so graceful…I was envious. I think of myself as being pretty talented and I can do slow speed manuevers better than most people, but watching these guys…wow!
When it came time for them to hit the track—though riddled with artificial cone chicanes and u-turns and stop points mid track—it showed some of their flaws. I’m not saying their riding is BAD at higher speeds. Not by ANY means. I’m saying that some of their techniques are flawed and there are better ways of doing it. YCRS showed them those ways and their overall riding improved dramatically. Apexes were no longer being missed. Their eyes and focus became better throughout the day. Less bodywork and hard parts were being dragged through corners while going even FASTER than they had previously.
For the last hour, after I was finished shooting, Brianna and I went out and spun a bunch of laps with everyone. Since she and I are on comms, she can attest to my non-stop, child-like giggling the entire time we were out there. Sometimes I wish there were other photographers out there besides just me, because I would LOVE to have had that look-back wheelie shot passing a motor unit two up. Hehe.
I’m going to end this blog post with one final thought: While I know I’ve got em covered, I still won’t mess with a motor unit. ;)