Vital MX Forum QNA: Jeff Emig

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12/21/2017 9:36 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/21/2017 9:39 AM


This week's guest in the Vital MX Forum QNA is Jeff Emig. Talk about someone who's seen and done it all in Motocross and Supercross, Jeff has won championships in the 125, 250, and Supercross classes. He's also been a member of three winning Team USA Motocross of Nations efforts. On the other hand, he's seen the lows, with catastrophic injuries...but he's also made some amazing comebacks, like winning the U.S. Open as a privateer.

With his racing days behind him, is he slowing down? Nope. You can still find him doing TV color commentary during each Supercross season, he's part of the new USMCA organization (helping develop coaching standards), is a brand ambassador for Husqvarna, and also has some products of his own, like Emig grips.

Bring your best questions, and he'll be peeking in here this week to answer them. As always, keep it respectful, and ask questions that you would like in a face-to-face meeting.

If you want to see previous Vital MX Forum QNAs, click the Forum QNA tag below the subject line. (Check below to see what it looks like.)



12/21/2017 9:42 AM

Hey Jeff, long time fan here.

Does the back and forth with you and RC go to far or is it all fun and games at the end of the day?


12/21/2017 9:50 AM

Hi, do you have any funny stories from your amateur days, mxdn, or crusty 1?


"If you are going through HELL, keep going."-Winston Churchill
"A man needs a little madness or else he never dares cut the rope and be free"-Zorba
Blur the technicolor

12/21/2017 9:52 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/21/2017 9:53 AM

Steel city. Championship is seperated by 2 points with McGrath.

Can you relive the feelings Of that day From waking up. Practice. Bike setup. Moto 1. Intermission moto 2....the last few laps. Etc. Basically your feelings all day all the way to the podium......always wondered what was going through your head. I was about 8 years old and I think you threw me some gloves or goggles or something at the podium. Blasted my uncle and I with champagne. Was an awesome day!!!

Last thing:Not really a question but I wanted to mention Loretta Lynn’s 1997 talent show.....platform shoes huge fro. Leisure suit and glasses. That was awesome. You’ve always been a great entertainer!


Since 1987

12/21/2017 10:14 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/21/2017 10:15 AM

Big fan. Been watching you since around 1990, yes I'm older than you. Really liked your 125 season on the Yamaha. Who's your pick for 2018 SX champ, and any thoughts on how you think the season will develop.


12/21/2017 10:21 AM

Hey Jeff,

At the 1996 Houston Supercross, McGrath was not looking real sharp. It looked like you and Ryan both had the speed him beat and could have ended his streak. Then Ryan makes a bonehead move early in the race and takes you both out, handing MC another easy win.

What was your thoughts when that happened? I imagine it was pretty heated back at the pits.


12/21/2017 10:24 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/21/2017 10:26 AM


How was it going live for the first time given your history as a young man with a stutter? As somebody who doesn't have a stutter i can tell you that i develop one when nervous speaking in front of a crowd at work or reading from a written paper. So how do you get past that with auto que as i think i'd mess up more worrying if i got it right, or is it just like being auto pilot? because i don't hear you or Ralph ever mess up.

P.s What was the better championship? 92 beating Larocco or 96 McGrath



Never give up on Anyone

12/21/2017 10:25 AM

Hi Jeff

It's alway great to hear you commentating along side Paul Malin for a couple of rounds of the MXGP. Just a few questions if you don't mind.

1 - When it comes to the MXON', do you and Paul still go over that day in 94 or has that run it's course now?

2 - What impresses you the most about the MXGP series?

3 - Finally, are you gonna do some GP's again next season and if so, what one/s?

BTW you was a badass back in the day, style for miles.


12/21/2017 10:32 AM

Jeff, I was at Budds Creek in 1992 when you won your first 125 championship. You were on another level at that point and there wasn't anything Mike Larocco could do to stop you (even though he did have some bad luck). Did you go into that race with the mindset of just 'let it all hang out, I have nothing to lose', or did you just go into that race with that much confidence in yourself?


12/21/2017 10:37 AM

No question, just here to say Hi Jeff sideways


12/21/2017 10:40 AM

As an Euro i really enjoyed the few GP's where you joined the booth, really good job! Hope that'll happen again in 2018 season.

Not much other questions, just wanna say i loved your riding back in the day! Saw you in Bercy SX as a kid and was hyped about USA racers ever since.

Also love the Husky 125 stuff you put out on Instagram!


12/21/2017 10:45 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/21/2017 10:45 AM

Do you have a original MXA Seat cover from 97 I can have or buy for my build? (Farleigh Castle vmxdn 2016 on show far from finished at the time) hahaha

Also, what made Moto great In the 90s? Who was your favourite rider ever?


12/21/2017 10:55 AM

What was your best MX race? The one you felt the most invincible.


12/21/2017 10:57 AM

Fro... I know you have spoken about this before but can you expand on it. Your first 250 Supercross win in Vegas - some riders sat out to make a point. I was there and you raced the supercross without stadium lights. As a fan -- THANK YOU! I also understand why the riders sat it out. Did you get backlash from some of the riders? Do you wish you had sat out to make a point to the promoters? What can the riders do to have a voice with promoters? Trey is trying to be that bridge. Any advise for him?

Second question: Last year Vegas 450F main? Did the video screens make it a challenge for you all see Tomac's cat and mouse game with Dungey? What happened with that anaylsis?

Awesome job.... the analyst job is extremely hard and in my opinion, you kill it. Stay on the gas Fro!!



12/21/2017 11:10 AM

Are they really working on a sequel for Frezno Smooth and are you going to make a cameo appearance?

St. Louis 1996 was my first supercross. I've been a huge fan since then. Your Troy Lee paint jobs and gear were always so bad ass. I just might have to replicate that camo helmet you had to go along with my new Shift Black label gear.


Instagram: vanillaice782
Amateur helmet painter

12/21/2017 11:31 AM

imoto34 wrote:

Hey Jeff, long time fan here.

Does the back and forth with you and RC go to far or is it all fun and games at the end of the ...more

Well, imoto, He's got a serious problem that he never gets over... Since the last time we raced together I beat him at the US Open in 1999. I'd like to think that that defeat disappointed him so bad that it drove him to become the Greatest US rider of all time!!! haha! In all seriousness, he has become one of my closest and dearest friends, however unlikely that might have been back in 1999. Yes, we give each other a lot of shit, on and off the television, but its only because we respect each other and trust that we have a strong bond. As the years pass, we have done tons of business together, along with his manager JH Leale, and we have a great partnership that way, that allows us to travel the world promoting brands and events in the sport that is our life. I love the guy and hope that our friendship continues for a the rest of our lives. Because the longer I live, the longer I get to say that the last time we raced, I won. Haha! Happy holidays!


12/21/2017 11:34 AM

oldblood wrote:

Hi, do you have any funny stories from your amateur days, mxdn, or crusty 1?

Old blood, man that would take a long time to type, like "War and Peace, The MX version!" Crusty 1 was great because it was so "pure"... No way you could pull that off today as a pro rider. The free riding and back yard minibike races were our life. And we had so much fun! Thanks for the question, Happy Holidays!


12/21/2017 11:42 AM

Hi. Seeing your riding that TC125 a lot lately as well as at the dream race. Very cool. On the note of 2 strokes how important do you think it is for them to stick around at the pro and amateur levels ? With the emx125 class being a great hit in Europe do you believe we should have a full time 125 class for the 14-18 year olds that travels the outdoor series for them to show their stuff on a big bike ? Thanks for doing this fro !


12/21/2017 11:57 AM

The good old days at LL Ranch. Back in either 1987 or 1988 I was eating dinner at a place near the highway (I-40). While sitting at the table eating with my brother someone walks by and says "GERRRRR" to the table next to us (which I think you, your dad & maybe your brother) were sitting at. What does this mean?


12/21/2017 12:02 PM

GeorgiePorgie wrote:

Steel city. Championship is seperated by 2 points with McGrath.

Can you relive the feelings Of that day From waking up. ...more

Georgie, I don't remember the talent show, but it sounds possible! The only thing I can say about Steel City 1996, is that I knew in my heart that I was going to win that day. It comes down to desire and execution of that desire. I had been in the same position with LaRocco in 1992 for the 125 title, and I knew the mindset it was going to take to win the Championship. Funny story is, that in 2nd practice I was chasing MC, and I looped out coming out of a turn, and ripped the rear fender off. So I did the ride of shame back to the Kawasaki rig. Then I told Jeremy Albrecht, my mechanic, that the throttle stuck, so the team changed out the entire throttle, cable and carb slide. Then after we won the title later that day J-Bone said I admitted that I made a mistake and it was my fault, not the throttle! Haha. Good memories, Happy Holidays!


12/21/2017 12:08 PM

Hey Jeff . Riders from the 90s have the reputation for not really training hard .Is this true or do you guys just get a bad rap , and how would you compare it to the regimens of today's riders.


12/21/2017 12:11 PM

downard254 wrote:

Big fan. Been watching you since around 1990, yes I'm older than you. Really liked your 125 season on the Yamaha. Who's ...more

Thanks 254! The my 125 Yamaha was epic! We worked hard on making that bike as good as it was, cause the production bike was horrible. I great memories of working with Steve Butler, Bob Oliver, Jon Rosenthal, Keith McCarty and the other team members to build a Championship winning machine, it was a legendary victory for the me, the bike, the team and the brand. Now I'm back on a Husqvarna TC125 (with a 150 kit & FMF pipe) and I absolutely love it!!! Nobody believes me when I tell them its bone stock except for the parts I mentioned. The WP suspension on it is amazing, I haven't even changed a clicker on the forks of shock, true story.

My pick for the Monster Energy Supercross title in 2018??? WOW, how can anyone pic right now??? Tomac? Musquin? All I know is that people close to Roczen are telling me not to count him out! So we will see... Happy Holidays!


12/21/2017 12:15 PM

Rockinar wrote:

Hey Jeff,

At the 1996 Houston Supercross, McGrath was not looking real sharp. It looked like you and Ryan both had the speed ...more

Rocknar, Yes we both were pissed!!! F*$#!!! Certainly it was one that got away.... But Ryan Hughes and I were both working our asses off to try and win a race for Kawasaki, and the fact that it would stop the win streak that MC was on was a bonus. Trust me, there were some frustrating Saturday nights that season, and Houston was at the top of the list. Thanks for bringing up that memory... Now Im gonna have to go back to my therapist to try and deal with forgetting about it again, haha! Happy Holidays!


12/21/2017 12:30 PM

Hi Jeff,

Of all the teams you rode for which bike was your favorite during your career and why?

Oh and Dungey might of landed on the Wheaties box but this guy...


"Sorry Goose, but it's time to buzz the tower."

12/21/2017 12:34 PM

travis-grant wrote:


How was it going live for the first time given your history as a young man with a stutter? As somebody who doesn't have ...more

Yo Travis.

Ill start with the P.S. Man both of those victories meant so much to me, and equally an important. It actually gives me chills thinking about those days... At the time your so in the moment, that you think those will always happen, then as you get older and life progresses, you realize that those moments in your life are short and should be cherished. And yes, there was an adversary that you were racing against, but really it becomes all about you and pushing the limits of yourself and what you are capable of. I have learned to appreciate those battles more as I get older, because not everyone is as blessed I was to be in the position to live that. Not sure if you have caught the specials on Magic vs Bird, or McEnroe vs Borg? After watching those, I realized that without an arch rival that is so great, its hard to find your own greatness. And I got my ass kicked by MC and The Rock many times and it sucked, but it also drove me to find my own limits, and for that I am grateful. I loved being in that state of mind, and its one thing that I miss about racing.

As far as the stutter, I have been blessed to have a great mentor and coach with my broadcasting by the name of Arthur Joseph. His help along with Ralph, Bondo, and our people from Feld and the networks, helped my learn the craft of live broadcasting. For sure I was nervous as HELL going on the air live, and still get a little bit every show. But after about 7 years I finally started feeling comfortable. And for the record we mess up all the time! And Like Ralphie likes to say at the end of every show, " well, we faked our way through another one!"

Happy Holidays!

PS, if anyone has questions about stuttering, public speaking, etc, just message me.


12/21/2017 12:50 PM

Fro Daddy, to this day you are my favorite rider. I'm a 40 year old Jeff Emig super fan, and I buy the new GI Fro camo gear each year. I know you've talked about it some before, but describe the mindset you had when you famously wore the all black Shift jersey at Troy in 97' when it was a million degrees out and you smoked everyone. And how does a super fan like myself get a signed circa 97' Emig #1 jersey? That is the crown jewel of collectibles for me.


12/21/2017 12:52 PM
Edited Date/Time: 12/21/2017 12:54 PM

Jeff... thanks for stopping in!

One of my favorites photos!!

Pure badassery!!


12/21/2017 12:59 PM

yo fro, if i start out every morning with a fat bowl will it make me faster?



12/21/2017 12:59 PM

Hey Jeff,

You may or may not remember but I was the guy you saw after the MXdN in Maggiora in the pits with the original blue with white mesh Shift T-shirt. I should of asked you to sign it but I had too much booze to consider it and no pen.

Still looks good, it must be 20 years old, they don't make 'em like they used to.

Must be a sweet part of your legacy, the whole Shift deal and it's continued sucess after you were the original shifter.

Thanks for the memories Jeff, and the t's.


12/21/2017 1:27 PM

Hi Jeff. My question takes us back to the 1994 San Jose SX. You and MC were dicing and it looked like MC brake checked you causing you both to lay it down in the left hand turn after the finish line jump. Also, there was a jump immediately after the first triple that allowed you guys to clear a small table top as if it wasn't there. The gap was quite large and the landing was a large single that led into a 90 degree left. I remember watching you guys huck that and it appeared you all came up short purposely to scrub speed for the turn. At first I was thinking you guys were coming up short and I cringed until I figured out what I "think" you guys were doing. Can you confirm the alleged brake check and how you attacked the section after the triple? Thanks for the memories Jeff.

You can relive highlights of all the 1994 races at the following link. The San Jose race starts around the 53 minute mark, brake check and large jump included. Even though the large jump doesn't get any justice from the video. Here's the link...


My son was born in September 1990 and his name is also Jeff. His name is not random. I chose the name because of the quantity of successful MX Jeffs at the time (I also liked the name). The list included yourself, Stanton, Ward, Mataisevich. Little did I know I should have named him Ryan...

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