Vital MX Forum QNA: Justin Starling

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10/27/2015 10:36 AM



This week's guest in the Vital MX forum QNA is Justin Starling. Justin knows privateer life, having bounced around in the 250 class, but this year (and into next year), he's found a happy home with Traders Racing Kawasaki. You may also remember his short stint with reality TV, and his parents are a constant presence at the race races, whether helping him out, or working behind the scenes.

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.



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10/27/2015 11:59 AM

I remember seeing you on
Tv ,
On wife swap , that was cool

Do you have a favorite bike brand ?
What was your favorite bike that you have had
Of any year ?

I noticed you switched to a Kawi
At the end of last year outdoors
How did that come about ?

Thanks

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10/27/2015 12:00 PM

How comparable is the traders bike to a factory bike?

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10/27/2015 12:21 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/14/2019 1:28 AM

Hey Justin, thanks for stopping in.
First off, what was your experience with wife swap? Did the kids in the other family get to play sports after the show ended? How much of the show is scripted? Would you do the show again if you could?

Secondly, is your sister single? Tell her to add me on Facebook

Lastly, do you like the new Kawi? Seems like you've rode Honda most of your career/life. So did you have to do anything to the Kawi to make it feel more comfortable? Personally I don't like Hondas, feel funny to me. But I grew up riding green. Any changes to the bike that are an absolute must to you (steering damper, fast way pegs, etc)?

Thanks for dealing with my bullshit, and good luck this year!

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10/27/2015 12:44 PM

Tarz483 wrote:

I remember seeing you on
Tv ,
On wife swap , that was cool

Do you have a favorite bike brand ?
What was your favorite bike that you have had
Of any year ?

I noticed you switched to a Kawi
At the end of last year outdoors
How did that come about ?

Thanks

Haha, good ole Wife Swap!

My favorite bike brand would have to be kawasaki. I was able to ride for Team Green my last year as an amateur and I really loved the Kawasaki.. Great power, reliable and fast!

My favorite bike honestly would have to be my Traders Racing Kawasaki 250f from outdoors this year. The team helped me a lot with set up on the bike and i really enjoyed the power and chassis of the bike!

2015 was very interesting to say the least. I started the year on my own team that I created myself to race the East Coast Lites series and I actually chose to ride the Yamaha 250f.. Joey Bray at JGR stepped up and helped me with my Chassis and Bundy at JGR built my motors and I had a solid bike! However, the team I started I was only able to get enough funding for the East Coast Supercross series.. I had then got in touch with Guy Cooper about racing for his team for select outdoor rounds. Crossland Honda was great to me and I really enjoyed my time I spent there... Kenny Day (Team Manager of Traders Racing Kawasaki) got in touch with me and asked me what I had planned for the remainder of the Outdoors and at the time, I was only a fill in guy on Crossland Honda, So I told him nothing, lets go racing! I flew myself up to Maryland and rode their bike one day before Budds Creek, Loved it and ended up having a great rest of the season with them!

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The Administator

10/27/2015 12:47 PM

RCB33 wrote:

How comparable is the traders bike to a factory bike?

That is a really tough question to answer as I have never rode a factory 250f... However, I did holeshot Budds Creek National first moto in the mud... So i believe Motor wise we were very close, if not the same.. and Chassis wise we had the same Triple Chamber PC SFF-AIR suspension as the Pro Circuit team..

If I had to guess, I would say Traders Racing Kawasaki is as close to a Factory Bike as you can get! And I love it!

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The Administator

10/27/2015 12:56 PM

colintrax wrote:

Hey Justin, thanks for stopping in.
First off, what was your experience with wife swap? Did the kids in the other family get to play sports after the show ended? How much of the show is scripted? Would you do the show again if you could?

Secondly, is your sister single? Tell her to add me on Facebook

Lastly, do you like the new Kawi? Seems like you've rode Honda most of your career/life. So did you have to do anything to the Kawi to make it feel more comfortable? Personally I don't like Hondas, feel funny to me. But I grew up riding green. Any changes to the bike that are an absolute must to you (steering damper, fast way pegs, etc)?

Thanks for dealing with my bullshit, and good luck this year!

No problem! I actually lurk the VitalMX Forums daily

Wife Swap.... It was rather interesting haha... It is all scripted and we have to act out the scenes about 5-10 times till it is "perfect" for the show to use haha... I am not sure on the kids... I never actually spoke to them.. As to doing the show again.. Maybe! But it would cost the show more money than I think they could afford haha!


Haha, Sam I believe is single... If you ever find yourself in the Tallahassee FL Mall, be sure to go by the Vans Store as she is a Manager of the store, and say hello!

I do like the Kawasaki... I really want to try out the new 450 and see how good that bike is! the 250 seems to be the same bike as years past, which I really enjoy!
I did ride Honda for a long time during amateurs and even two years as a professional.. Hondas are very reliable which is great for a privateer.. But it was also one of those thing in amateurs where Honda gave me the most support so we went where I was cared for!

On the Kawasaki, we didn't do a whole lot of changes to fit the bike for me honestly. Blake Baggett gave me a seat with a bump in it that he used while he was on PC and that was the only big thing we changed.. Everything else was basically identical to my teammates bikes Nick Gaines and Tony Archer!

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The Administator

10/27/2015 1:14 PM

Hey Justin

When is this casino trip we are going on? And will your girlfriend be joining us? She is much cooler than you.

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10/27/2015 1:58 PM

Justin, your last few years as an amateur you were a part of a few different programs (Honda, Suzuki, and Kawasaki). What level of support did you receive from each and what did you think of each program?

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10/27/2015 2:15 PM

Hey Justin

If you are a long time lurker on vital then you know there are the classic threads on the following; chest protectors-worthless or essential, neck braces-life saving or dangerous bear traps and then whether certain helmet technology is great or horrible. I know there is no way to end the debate but I was wondering what your feeling was in wearing certain gear and if there is some gear you think would be good to wear but is just not practical riding in for 30 plus 2 in 95 degree heat? I wear everything possible but I also know I am in near heat stroke after 15 minutes in the summer so I don't know that I would do that if I had to race as much as you guys.

Thanks for taking time to answer these questions!

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10/27/2015 2:32 PM

colintrax wrote:

Hey Justin, thanks for stopping in.
First off, what was your experience with wife swap? Did the kids in the other family get to play sports after the show ended? How much of the show is scripted? Would you do the show again if you could?

Secondly, is your sister single? Tell her to add me on Facebook

Lastly, do you like the new Kawi? Seems like you've rode Honda most of your career/life. So did you have to do anything to the Kawi to make it feel more comfortable? Personally I don't like Hondas, feel funny to me. But I grew up riding green. Any changes to the bike that are an absolute must to you (steering damper, fast way pegs, etc)?

Thanks for dealing with my bullshit, and good luck this year!

Justin Starling wrote:

No problem! I actually lurk the VitalMX Forums daily

Wife Swap.... It was rather interesting haha... It is all scripted and we have to act out the scenes about 5-10 times till it is "perfect" for the show to use haha... I am not sure on the kids... I never actually spoke to them.. As to doing the show again.. Maybe! But it would cost the show more money than I think they could afford haha!


Haha, Sam I believe is single... If you ever find yourself in the Tallahassee FL Mall, be sure to go by the Vans Store as she is a Manager of the store, and say hello!

I do like the Kawasaki... I really want to try out the new 450 and see how good that bike is! the 250 seems to be the same bike as years past, which I really enjoy!
I did ride Honda for a long time during amateurs and even two years as a professional.. Hondas are very reliable which is great for a privateer.. But it was also one of those thing in amateurs where Honda gave me the most support so we went where I was cared for!

On the Kawasaki, we didn't do a whole lot of changes to fit the bike for me honestly. Blake Baggett gave me a seat with a bump in it that he used while he was on PC and that was the only big thing we changed.. Everything else was basically identical to my teammates bikes Nick Gaines and Tony Archer!

Your sister is going to kill you!

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www.StormLakeHonda.com
Selling Honda and Arctic Cat

10/27/2015 2:41 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/27/2015 2:42 PM

When your parents went on the show "Wife Swap" years ago.........bah nevermind. Already been asked.

Um, what are your 5 year goals you plan to accomplish?

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GP740
Since 1987

10/27/2015 3:46 PM

Renner153 wrote:

Hey Justin

When is this casino trip we are going on? And will your girlfriend be joining us? She is much cooler than you.

Haha! Very soon! And yes of course she will be joining! I know, I try to be as cool as her and it just does not work out haha!

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The Administator

10/27/2015 3:59 PM

ML512 wrote:

Justin, your last few years as an amateur you were a part of a few different programs (Honda, Suzuki, and Kawasaki). What level of support did you receive from each and what did you think of each program?

I was always between Suzuki and Honda from 2003 till around 2009.. In 2010 I was with Honda Of Troy as their amateur guy till their team went away, and at the end of 2010 through 2011 I was on Kawasaki..

It was really cool to have ridden for Suzuki and Honda directly, They both treated me very well.. Honda always went above and beyond for me and did whatever they could... Here ill be a little direct since its the past..

Honda in 2006 gave me 15 bikes, Unlimited parts allowance and double contingency... I received that exact deal in 2006-2007.. In 2008 thats when American Honda started stepping out of their amateur program and we went with American Suzuki... Pretty crazy to think now haha

I rode for American Suzuki in 2003-2004-2005-2008-2009
The Suzuki deal was somewhere between 5K-15K throughout those years, I think it was 7-10 bikes throughout those years, and normal contingency..

At the end of 2009 I won Lorettas in the 450B class and Suzuki showed interest to keep me on their program but Honda Of Troy came to me with a deal to bring me into the professional ranks in 2011 and immediately I took that deal. Unfortunately they folded at the end of 2010 and I did not get to keep going...

I was left with a couple Hondas at the end of 2010, So I decided to switch it up, I went out myself traded my Hondas for two Kawasakis, bought two more and went to Mini O's, I ended up winning 3 championships, One in 250 A and two in Fourstroke going undefeated all week in that class.. And to top it off I won the CTi Iron Man award for the week!

Ryan Holiday approached me at the end of the week and offered me support for 2011 with his Team Green program, I had nothing else so I was pumped! He gave me a parts allowance, Graphics, and 2 race bikes which was awesome to me after doing everything on stock bikes that year!

Out of all three programs, I have to say American Honda was the best program I was involved with!

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The Administator

10/27/2015 4:09 PM

Calihusky wrote:

Hey Justin

If you are a long time lurker on vital then you know there are the classic threads on the following; chest protectors-worthless or essential, neck braces-life saving or dangerous bear traps and then whether certain helmet technology is great or horrible. I know there is no way to end the debate but I was wondering what your feeling was in wearing certain gear and if there is some gear you think would be good to wear but is just not practical riding in for 30 plus 2 in 95 degree heat? I wear everything possible but I also know I am in near heat stroke after 15 minutes in the summer so I don't know that I would do that if I had to race as much as you guys.

Thanks for taking time to answer these questions!

Yep, I have seen it all... But I always keep my mouth shut! haha

I do not wear a Neck Brace.. However, It's not because I don't believe in them, Its because I feel like I lose so much movement that it raises the possibility of a crash.. And obviously a crash is the biggest problem! I have worn the Leatt, Alpinestars and Atlas.. The Atlas was my favorite for sure... I can't say if they work or not, But I did break my collarbone a lot more by wearing them then I did when I did not wear it...

As far as a Chest Protector.. I wear the EVS Revo 4 Roost Guard.. Its light, comfortable, and helps with the roost.. also it isn't hot at all during the summer! Chest protectors do nothing in my opinion except keep the rocks from bruising your chest haha.

As for the Helmet debate.... I wear the Bell Moto-9 Flex. Unreal helmet, Light, Amazing air flow, and well you guys know, its just a great helmet. There are very good helmets out there. I never understand the people that spend $150 on a helmet and expect it to be as safe as a $800 helmet.. You get what you pay for! Don't ever be cheap when it comes to your head! You only have one!


I hope that answers some of your questions!

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The Administator

10/27/2015 4:13 PM

GeorgiePorgie wrote:

When your parents went on the show "Wife Swap" years ago.........bah nevermind. Already been asked.

Um, what are your 5 year goals you plan to accomplish?

It was interesting! haha!

My 5 year goals... I would have to say to get on the podium in a Supercross race for one, and win a heat race as well.
But thats just the little part of it. I think if i can progress each race I race, I am meeting my goals. Every year I just want to be better than the last and get more support and become a well known racer and not that guy that pops in here and there with a great finish! I was 1 of 5 to make every East Coast main event this year and I fully believe that helped me land my Traders Racing Kawasaki ride, Which was A goal of mine for 2015, land a ride!

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The Administator

10/27/2015 4:21 PM

Justin thanks for coming on and doing this. My question is what is like to be a full on privateer ? How much can you spend out of your own pocket for a sx or mx weekend ? And we know the payout sucks at a outdoor but what kind of money can you make doing the whole outdoor series ? That is including what contingency you might actually make.
Good luck next year in 2016 with whoever you end up with.

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10/27/2015 4:36 PM

How was your trip into the woods? Lol

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10/27/2015 5:02 PM

mb60 wrote:

Justin thanks for coming on and doing this. My question is what is like to be a full on privateer ? How much can you spend out of your own pocket for a sx or mx weekend ? And we know the payout sucks at a outdoor but what kind of money can you make doing the whole outdoor series ? That is including what contingency you might actually make.
Good luck next year in 2016 with whoever you end up with.

Not a problem at all!!!

I have done the privateer route just about every way possible.. From going racing with only 1 bike total out of a pick up truck to going out of my dads freightliner....

Going out of the pickup truck with 1 bike was actually very fun.. Me, My best friend Brandon Gettel and Girlfriend traveled all the outdoors in 2013 together.. it was touch, money was very very slim.. But we had a blast!

Then I started my own team in 2014-2015 and had some title sponsors to pay for it and that was awesome as well! But nothing beats flying to the races and racing for Traders!

And to be honest, The payout is not as bad as people think... in Supercross you have one moto to make your money... In outdoors, you have two motos... So if you really think about it, You get paid better than you think or people say..

I believe in outdoors this year, I made around 10-12k. Which is not a lot to most, but is very good for me from where I have came from since turning professional..

Out of my pick up truck, I made maybe 1k after putting all my racing funds back into fuel, hotels, etc.

I hope this answers your questions! I will be returning in 2016 with traders racing!

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The Administator

10/27/2015 5:03 PM

TColuzzi827 wrote:

How was your trip into the woods? Lol

Hahaha! Fast, Painful, and hurt the heart after watching the money just fly away haha! But second moto kind of made up for it haha!

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The Administator

10/27/2015 5:06 PM

Which do you like better, driving yourself to the races in your rig? Or flying to the races?

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10/27/2015 5:12 PM

Renner153 wrote:

Which do you like better, driving yourself to the races in your rig? Or flying to the races?

Hahaha. It all depends.. Flying is great for the fact that its quick and easy. But the stories and memories you make while driving the rig, those are the best!

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The Administator

10/27/2015 5:34 PM

One more, what has been your favorite looking pro bike you've ridden?

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10/27/2015 5:36 PM

Justin Starling wrote:

Hahaha! Fast, Painful, and hurt the heart after watching the money just fly away haha! But second moto kind of made up for it haha!

hahaha! I had to ask since I saw it go down haha but yea you killed it the second moto tho!

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10/27/2015 5:40 PM

Renner153 wrote:

One more, what has been your favorite looking pro bike you've ridden?

I think the Dallas SX 2014 Honda we came up with that had all the white and blue!

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The Administator

10/27/2015 6:25 PM

ML512 wrote:

Justin, your last few years as an amateur you were a part of a few different programs (Honda, Suzuki, and Kawasaki). What level of support did you receive from each and what did you think of each program?

Justin Starling wrote:

I was always between Suzuki and Honda from 2003 till around 2009.. In 2010 I was with Honda Of Troy as their amateur guy till their team went away, and at the end of 2010 through 2011 I was on Kawasaki..

It was really cool to have ridden for Suzuki and Honda directly, They both treated me very well.. Honda always went above and beyond for me and did whatever they could... Here ill be a little direct since its the past..

Honda in 2006 gave me 15 bikes, Unlimited parts allowance and double contingency... I received that exact deal in 2006-2007.. In 2008 thats when American Honda started stepping out of their amateur program and we went with American Suzuki... Pretty crazy to think now haha

I rode for American Suzuki in 2003-2004-2005-2008-2009
The Suzuki deal was somewhere between 5K-15K throughout those years, I think it was 7-10 bikes throughout those years, and normal contingency..

At the end of 2009 I won Lorettas in the 450B class and Suzuki showed interest to keep me on their program but Honda Of Troy came to me with a deal to bring me into the professional ranks in 2011 and immediately I took that deal. Unfortunately they folded at the end of 2010 and I did not get to keep going...

I was left with a couple Hondas at the end of 2010, So I decided to switch it up, I went out myself traded my Hondas for two Kawasakis, bought two more and went to Mini O's, I ended up winning 3 championships, One in 250 A and two in Fourstroke going undefeated all week in that class.. And to top it off I won the CTi Iron Man award for the week!

Ryan Holiday approached me at the end of the week and offered me support for 2011 with his Team Green program, I had nothing else so I was pumped! He gave me a parts allowance, Graphics, and 2 race bikes which was awesome to me after doing everything on stock bikes that year!

Out of all three programs, I have to say American Honda was the best program I was involved with!

Thanks for sharing that. Do you think it's "fair" that Honda would give all that to you as a amateur (up to ten bikes) but then latter as a pro you were happy to just get two bikes? How many races were you "expected" to go to as a amateur for that level of support?
Thanks for your time, Go Big

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10/27/2015 7:14 PM

Hey Justin. Will be thinking about you at the GNCC Ironman this weekend. Do you think you will ever get a weekend to come participate in it? You know your favorite fans in Crawfordsville would love it. We are celebrating Ken's birthday with a big pre-Ironman party Thursday night in their warehouse . Thinking you better call and wish Ken a happy birthday Thursday evening! Signed. The newspaper guy.

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10/27/2015 7:22 PM

yak651 wrote:

Thanks for sharing that. Do you think it's "fair" that Honda would give all that to you as a amateur (up to ten bikes) but then latter as a pro you were happy to just get two bikes? How many races were you "expected" to go to as a amateur for that level of support?
Thanks for your time, Go Big

You know, In amateurs and in the pro ranks, you deal with different people.. The guy controlling the support in amateurs could be your best friend and bend over backwards to help you, but the Pro ranks guy, could have no idea who you are... So in a way it sucks, but its also just the way it is!


And in amateurs, we had to be at, Mini O's, Lake Whitney, Oak Hill, World Mini's, Ponca City, Loretta Lynn's.. But we also had results we had to meet at those races!

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The Administator

10/27/2015 7:23 PM

Paceecolt99 wrote:

Hey Justin. Will be thinking about you at the GNCC Ironman this weekend. Do you think you will ever get a weekend to come participate in it? You know your favorite fans in Crawfordsville would love it. We are celebrating Ken's birthday with a big pre-Ironman party Thursday night in their warehouse . Thinking you better call and wish Ken a happy birthday Thursday evening! Signed. The newspaper guy.

Is that this weekend?? Wish I could get up there! And I am not sure to be honest... We will see how next year goes!

And for sure! I talked to him a couple weeks back!

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The Administator

10/28/2015 4:18 AM

So I see that you have told us about the Japanese MFG's, but what were your thoughts about the KTM when you raced it? How different is the Euro-made bikes compared to the japanese when it's equipped with pro suspension, engine etc?


And what gear will you be running in 2016?

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