Vital MX Pit Bits: 2017 Red Bull Straight Rhythm 3

Check out some racing action, plus the cool one-off machines and riders we don't usually see out on a straight...Supercross track?

Vital MX Pit Bits - 2017 Red Bull Straight Rhythm

The Red Bull Straight Rhythm stands out as the most unique mainstream event we have on the off-season calendar and they keep it a bit fresh each year. Notably this time around was the the addition of the two-stroke class and the race participation of Ronnie Mac, who kept the fans thoroughly entertained. Scroll on down for this edition of Pit Bits from the Pomona Fairplex.

The TLD crew broke the Steve McQueen look out again for this one-off race, bringing two of their four bikes with the limited-edition Acerbis plastic.

The remaining two bikes were running their normal KTM look.

With three bikes on the track (the fourth, for Jordon Smith, was sidelined after he was injured during practice), there was a lot of TLD-on-TLD action throughout the night.

Chad Reed's YZ250 (CR "Chad Reed" 250 by his words) did share something with his old factory YZ...a clean look. White, simple, and so drool-worthy.

It's been a while since we've seen a cone pipe from Pro Circuit.

But there was a fresh titanium/carbon silencer out back from Pro Circuit.

Another...lower look at the PC cone pipe.

The ol' bell-bottom KYB 50s are back.

It's been a bit since we've seen these rigid forks around!

The works KYB shock almost looks brand new.

Factory fork lugs and works hubs.

Works Yamaha clamps, carbon fiber brake line guide and one clean set of graphics.

Broc Tickle's first two races on his new Red Bull KTM have gone quite well, with a podium at Straight Rhythm. It'll be interesting to see how Broc does with a full off-season training with Musquin and Anderson, plus all the hard work of the KTM team behind him.

Speaking of KTM, things were a bit more locked down this weekend due to the new bike. For more on this bike, check out our Pit Bits feature from the Monster Energy Cup.

Ryan Villopoto didn't have the night we expected, but it honestly didn't seem to bother him. Surprise, but RV is having fun riding and made chrome look pretty darn good.

RV's chrome KX250 at Straight Rhtyhm was the KX250SR that Kawasaki originally gave him (James Stewart's last KX250SR)...albeit it with a makeover.

Works KHI magnesium triple clamps holding onto a set of KYB 50mm AOSS forks. These are a newer design than what's on Reed's machine, and used as late as 2012 on their factory KX450Fs. What's the blue nut do? It adjusts the preload on the pressure spring.

These old KXs sure have short linkages.

Just the minimum with this carbon fiber glideplate.

N-Style whipped up this chrome replica of the regular Pro Circuit team kit, plus a couple tweaks for RV's personal sponsors.

Colton Haaker traded in hopping logs for popping quads. Colton literally had to use one of this off-road 450s with some Supercross suspension to race the event. Respect, Colton.

Kyle Chisholm made it into the show and beat Tyler Bowers to move on a round before being eliminated. Kyle is still working on something for 2018, but it sounds like he has a few things in the works.

Mike Brown actually ended up on a TX 300, as it was all he could find at the last minute. He mentioned the extra torque was good in places, but the off-road style of power it produced made the bike "nose-over" a bit at high RPMs...which wasn't as good in the sand sections.

At 45 years old, it's amazing amazing what Brownie can still do. And his work ethic hasn't changed a bit, as we're pretty sure Mike put in more practice runs than anyone before the races began.

The SR75 Suzuki team made the trip overseas to compete with two rides in the open class.

As we learned from our investigating, no current Showa shock will fit the new Suzuki frame outside of the stock BFRC unit, or a full works billet Showa shock. Because of this, the team has resorted to using a WP shock (which they blacked-out) with a Showa shaft and clevis inside to fit the new bike and return to a more traditional shock.

The team is still running Showa SFF TAC kit forks up front.

Sadly, we didn't get the cleanest shot of it...but Sean Cantrell's scrubs impressed all night...

...and during the day.

Speaking of's Marvin Musquin moving a little bit of dirt.

Josh Hill drew an unlucky first round face-off against Alex Martin, as we honestly thought Hill was going to take the Alta through a round this year. It's amazing how far this bike has come and what Hill can do it on it.

Ex-Honda R&D guru, Dave Arnold, is assisting the ALTA crew these days and as such got his old friend Ross Maeda (Enzo) involved with tuning Hill's Supercross suspension.

As with any bike, heat can be an issue. This fan was used to cool the Alta between rounds.

After seeing this bike a few years ago at the AIMExpo, we would've never had guessed it can do what it's doing on a Supercross-type track.

Alex Ray is still aboard a 2017 model for a couple more weeks until he gets his 2018 Yamaha YZ450F. Look for him to ride full-time for the RockRiver team in 2018. Click play below to take a run with him down the course as well.


Josh Hansen started off his Suzuki racing career well, taking second to the nearly unstoppable Marvin Musquin in the open class final.

One of the top brass at Suzuki, Chris Wheeler, has put together some support for Josh and his personal team for 2018...where he will compete in the 450 class all season in Supercross. For now, Josh is on a '17, but will switch over soon.

Some of that help includes some leftover goodies from the RCH squad, such as works hubs/wheels, rotors, and brake calipers.

As well as pegs, skidplate, shock, etc...

He's also got some works Showa spring forks.

The engine work has been handled by Jamie Ellis from Twisted Development.

The two-stroke class was easily the fan favorite of the evening.

Ronnie Mac was everywhere...

...and he always lets it all hang out...

Rv and Josh Hansen talking jump combos, age, and Just For Men.

We think Ryan Sipes confused the Straight Rhythm for the ISDE, as he lined up more than anyone by racing every class. Dude got in some serious track time.

KTM had two employees on hand, with the "secret weapon" Ryan Morais riding one bike in the two-stroke class...

...and test rider Mike Sleeter on the other KTM two-stroke entry.

It was hard to bet against Musquin, he just had it all night.

Two fist pumps...two different reasons.

Too many good scrubs.

But can you do it in overalls?

Not many riders can say they beat Ryan Villopoto, but Gared Steinke can now add his name to that short list.

Ronnie Mac doesn't get second and doesn't know anything else other then he tossed this second place medal to a kid in the crowd.

On this night, Gared Steinke was number one, although he gave Ronnie Mac his own "number one". This podium moment was all in jest, of course.

Speaking of podium moments, L'il Hanny is all grown up.

Shane and Sean celebrating together.

The all TLD podium in the 250 class, with Shane McElrath, Sean Cantrell, and Alex Martin.


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