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Mitch Lewis wins at Margate Beach Race - 07/03/2016

 Arrived at Margate, perched perfectly on the promenade overlooking the beach and the race venue, had a seaside stroll down to Wetherspoons where signing on was taking place. After signing on I was conned into having an omelette whilst watching Dad and my brother pig out on their full English. With full stomachs we returned to the truck to prepare for the first Moto. Practice/qualifying was up where I took poll position. Race 1 was approaching and the rain started to follow. The flag went up and I got an OK start, I was sitting 2nd when I unfortunately crashed. I managed to fight back to third but was a little disappointed. Race 2 was unfortunate where a series of crashes resulted in retirement . Following this race 3, I pulled out a moderate start and managed to bring home a steady third.


Not happy with the suspension and trying to work out what was going wrong! We took the following gamble, As of Sunday morning we dropped the motocross world converted rear shock onto the bike to try and fix some problems which affected my racing on Saturday.
Sunday I qualified 1st, the shock had made a big improvement to the bike and we were ready to race. Race 1 and my 450 Husqvarna racing machine charged down the long beach straight along the seafront to pull the hole shot out of the bag, this set me up for the race and I led start to finish, taking the chequered flag.
After refuelling the bike and myself, we tuned the adjusters on the shock with some settings from MXW. Race 2 saw in another good start, after trying to charge to the lead I accidentally stalled the bike resulting in third position. I kept pushing hard and overtook the leader on the last lap to take the chequered flag for a second time that day. The bike was feeling better and better, although not the best time to be trying changes we had nothing to loose after Saturday's performance and the gamble was paying off,
Race 3 and I got another good start and was into the lead on the first corner. I then lead from start to finish with a big smile within!
Im looking forward to testing the bike during the weeks ahead and hopefully get it even better!
Ready for the opening round of the British Maxxis Championship at Lyng in a couple of weekends time.
Thanks for everything, Mitch

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Mitch Lewis wins at Margate Beach Race - 07/03/2016

 Arrived at Margate, perched perfectly on the promenade overlooking the beach and the race venue, had a seaside stroll down to Wetherspoons where signing on was taking place. After signing on I was conned into having an omelette whilst watching Dad and my brother pig out on their full English. With full stomachs we returned to the truck to prepare for the first Moto. Practice/qualifying was up where I took poll position. Race 1 was approaching and the rain started to follow. The flag went up and I got an OK start, I was sitting 2nd when I unfortunately crashed. I managed to fight back to third but was a little disappointed. Race 2 was unfortunate where a series of crashes resulted in retirement . Following this race 3, I pulled out a moderate start and managed to bring home a steady third.


Not happy with the suspension and trying to work out what was going wrong! We took the following gamble, As of Sunday morning we dropped the motocross world converted rear shock onto the bike to try and fix some problems which affected my racing on Saturday.
Sunday I qualified 1st, the shock had made a big improvement to the bike and we were ready to race. Race 1 and my 450 Husqvarna racing machine charged down the long beach straight along the seafront to pull the hole shot out of the bag, this set me up for the race and I led start to finish, taking the chequered flag.
After refuelling the bike and myself, we tuned the adjusters on the shock with some settings from MXW. Race 2 saw in another good start, after trying to charge to the lead I accidentally stalled the bike resulting in third position. I kept pushing hard and overtook the leader on the last lap to take the chequered flag for a second time that day. The bike was feeling better and better, although not the best time to be trying changes we had nothing to loose after Saturday's performance and the gamble was paying off,
Race 3 and I got another good start and was into the lead on the first corner. I then lead from start to finish with a big smile within!
Im looking forward to testing the bike during the weeks ahead and hopefully get it even better!
Ready for the opening round of the British Maxxis Championship at Lyng in a couple of weekends time.
Thanks for everything, Mitch

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Mitch Lewis wins first time out!- Weymouth Beach Race - 28/02/2016

All set and ready for the journey to Weymouth beach cross with the Husqvarna FC450. A pleasant journey with some lovely scenery on route. The weather was dry, if a little windy.
The set up of the event was impressive and a good job done by the promotors. I couldn't wait to ride the big girl in race conditions!

Did not have the best of starts in race 1. This made a hard race but was fun riding on the fluffy sand. I finished with a second which I was pleased with as I was just getting into my rhythm.

Race 2 was a better start. By lap three I was on the leader and ready to set up the pass when a rookie mistake by me in stalling the engine!
Very frustrated but gained on the leader by the end of the race, we were back and forth on the last lap but his line choice just piped mine and I finished 2nd.

Race 3 and I got a 4th place start. I went to the lead by lap 4 taking my time. Not wanting to make life hard for myself again as had eaten enough sand already today! Went to the lead and stayed there for the victory, it was a close finish with traffic and a bit of bad luck, but I had won and taken overall 1st, and first time out on the standard Husqvarna FC450. What a machine!
Loving the new Klim kit colours and the Pro Grip rip and roll goggle system worked faultlessly, even down the fast straight while getting blown of the rear of the bike pulling a roll of. Think I would like to try a step seat!
Big thanks to Freestyle and everybody who is helping to make my dreams coming true.

Margate Beach Cross next week, keep you posted!

alestrum

Ben Wibberley at Alestrem, Extreme Enduro - 31/01/2016

The 23rd-24th January was the date of my first international Extreme Enduro of 2016, at Alestrem in Alès, South of France. This was only Alestrem’s second year of running and after the huge success of 2015 and the good feedback I had heard, I thought it would be a good event to participate in. 

My dad couldn’t make this event so I joined Mark Kirby who is a regular SE expert rider and has ridden most of the extreme events on the calander. Together with his wife Kirsty, we caught a boat on Thursday afternoon, followed by 700 miles of driving across France. Driving through the night, we only stopped for a few hours sleep and arrived in a sunny Alès at about 10am on Friday morning. Although still a bit cold, it was a nice change not to be in the English rain!

Friday was the day of technical control and the paddock was at the race track, Pôle Méchanique. A few track cars and some Caterhams were testing on the Friday which was pretty good to watch. Seeing as we had no idea what was going on and didn’t know what time to sign on/scrutineer, we set off to walk the prologue. This was just a special test with a few small extreme bits in, but nothing too severe - ending over big tractor tyres, logs and concrete steps. However, the next day this proved difficult to a lot of the entry. At about 3pm we signed on and were sorted for the next day, although the process did seem very thorough and there was no room for leniency. If you didn’t have all your paperwork, driving licence, medical, insurance and V5 then they weren’t letting you through! In the end, not too much drama and the bike was in the paddock ready for Saturday. We went off to find the hotel, a quick steak and an early night as we were all shattered from the travelling.

Saturday and we were up early as the first rider was away for the 1st of 2 runs in the prologue. A steady 1st run saw me complete it in 15 minutes after I got tangled on a hill and lost a good minute or so. Mark also lost a lot of time on the tyres and was about 17 minutes so we both needed a better second run. Thankfully, that happened and I had an improvement of 12.46. This left me lying 43rd out of the 400 entrants, with Mark at about 15 minutes. This was only the first part of qualifying though! Stage 2 was a long obstacle course of more logs, tyres and pretty much what you see on the TV in Endurocross, but in Alès town. As there were so many riders to get through, the races started at 3pm with 20 riders per race. I wasn't due to set off until 6pm at which point it was dark - brilliant!! There were two rows of 10 riders and I was on the front row, with drop gates MX-style. I was a little nervous as I have never started like this with proper gates and when the 15-second board was up, the adrenaline was pumping. After a great start, I got the holeshot. A nice steady race, feet up trials-style and I won the heat. This now promoted me to the Amateur Final. The final was not for at least two hours, with other riders still doing their heats. This is where the organisers hadn't thought of what is very important (especially to me): when do we eat!?! I had been planning on having a steak in a restaurant by this time! Feeling some sort of food was a necessity and it being close by, we had to have a kebab... Hardly race food, filled with carbs like pasta, but it had to do!! I then had my final at about 8.30pm. The gates dropped again and the standard was much higher. I was 2nd into the first set of tyres, battling with a French guy on a Sherco. We chopped and changed several times in the race. On the final stretch back, he was just ahead. My arms were screaming but I went for it with only a couple of turns left and four logs. He had no reply and I won the final. Just when I thought the night had finished, I now had to race in a 'Super Final' along with the top 10 pros. Jonny Walker, Jarvis, Mario Roman and Gómez among the top flight and I lined up for one last race at 9.30pm!!! The final wasn't great. A good start but someone fell off in the tyres in front of me and it killed me. You couldn't stop in the tyres and get going very easily and it was very slippery with so much oil and fuel on the ground from previous races where people had crashed. In the end, I finished 10th, so mid-pack and I was pretty happy with this. This put me 19th away for the main race day, so after finally getting back to parc fermé at half 10 at night it was definitely time for bed.

Race day and the start was at 10am, in rows of 10 and at two-minute intervals. It was a 10 metre Le Mans-type start but unfortunately my bike didn't want to start straight away. This never happens and the Husky is normally awesome, but being out in the cold all night it was just one of those things. I had a bit of ground to make up now. The race was scheduled for 4 laps with each lap getting harder and harder. The theory behind it is that 80% finish lap one, 50% do 2 laps and only a small percentage do the next lap, with the elite making it all the way to the end.

Lap 1 was quite a fast pace and although there were technical bits in, nothing was majorly extreme. The second lap was much tougher with a slightly longer loop and several bits that were just put in to grind you down and drain your energy. I completed 2 laps in about 4 hrs and headed out onto lap 3. I still felt fit and I knew this is where I could make up some time and the trials experience would come in handy.

The first extreme section was a massive step up from lap 2 and this proved the same for the rest of the lap. It was brutal and the toughest race I have done to date. Huge rock gardens and long ravines that seem to go on forever. Put in a few long steep climbs and you are half way there to imagining what it was like. I overtook about 8 riders in the boulder section that was similar to Karl’s Diner in Erzberg and pulled away from them. I had huge cramp in my arm come the end of it and luckily I finished just before dark at 5pm. Seven hours on the bike but it felt awesome to finish and I came 2nd in class and 18th overall. Mark Kirby unfortunately ran out of fuel on the last lap after completing all the hard parts and had to come back by road, being pushed by two swiss guys, but an awesome effort and he finished 14th in class and in the top 50.

A great event even if it doesn't sound like it but a good start to the extreme year. Next race is Eddy’s Extreme for Round 2 of the British on the 7th Feb. Big thank you to Mark Kirby for an awesome trip and to all my sponsors. The bike was mint all day and no problems at all.

snow yamaha

Its cold out there! -Be prepared - 17/01/2016

So the cold weather is upon us and now the snow is coming down. But that doesnt mean it has to spoil your fun!

If you prefer to snuggle up in front of the fire for a movie day no one is going to blame you. But if you want to take advantage of the conditions here are some tips to make sure you make the most of it!

 

1. Wrap up warm. As you can imagine the cold will feel unbearable to start with, but once your body gets going you will probably find yourself wanting to shed those extra layers. We recommend bringing a backpack with you to stowaway that jacket once you get too hot.

2. Your bike needs to be prepared too. The coolant that keeps your bike from overheating in the summer now needs to be anti-freeze. If your coolant doesnt have anti-freeze properties you'll need to change the fluid.

3. Studded tyres? There are 3 ways you can do this: Buy actual studded tyres, get special screws to screw into your existing tyres. Or go the rough-and-ready route and screw in screws you might already have in the shed. If you choose to do this, make sure they are not so long that they puncture the tube inside, and also nails and screws are not the same. Nails will be pushed further in and will most likely end up puncturing the tube. Once you have the right screws, they literally screw into the thick knob part of the tyre.

4. Gloves. Most people will wear gloves anyway but the cold air will make going anything more than 10mph almost intolerable on your hands. You may even want to consider heated grips as well as a balaclava to protect the areas of your face not covered by your helmet or goggles.

5. If your bike is left outside for a period of time while the snow is falling, beware of the snow accumulated on the radiator. Once the engine cools down and the freezing temperatures take over, this will freeze, and you wont get far the next day.

6. Snow is wet. Consider some water-proof clothing over the top of your riding gear. Once the dirt starts to fly or perhaps you hit the deck a couple of times you will be covered and that will soon melt into your clothes and you'll soon be regretting your decision to not stay indoors. We highly recommend the Klim Stowaway jacket which packs away neatly into its own pocket and is guaranteed to keep you dry.

7. Dont forget water. Hypothermia and dehydration can creep up on you in these conditions. Its important to bring water with you just as you would in hot weather and take breaks to get a feel of how you body is handling the cold.

8. Take 5. Before you ride off, allow your bike to warm up for 5 mins after you start it. Just like a car it sometimes needs to allow the heat to travel all through the machine so it can perform to its best ability. 

9. If you want to get really extreme you can get conversion kits to attach a ski and tracks to your bike and transform it into even more fun. It takes a couple of hours to make the change over, but it is essentually replacing the front and rear wheels with snowmobile parts. They will cost you about as much as a new bike though, so if you have deep pockets and enjoy your snowdays maybe its for you!

Other than that go have fun! And send us lots of pictures of you all on your bikes to post to our social pages!

croatia1

Joe Wootton practicing in Spain - 16/01/2016

Freestyle rider Joe Wootton has had a busy couple of weeks out in Spain practicing at the Red Sand track in Spain.

With some serious interval training amongst the Husqvarna Factory riders, he thinks he has improved his pace the coming season. "They are machines. Not quite up there with speed yet but I think I have closed the gap through the week!"

He was also witness to a Husqvarna photo shoot where the boys pulled out the big whips for the camera! Unfortunately he was too busy trying to copy to take pictures for us!

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Ben Wibberley at the 1st Round of the Extreme British Championship! - 14/01/2016

"January 10th saw the 1st round of the Extreme British Championship, held by Fast Eddy Racing at Tong, near Bradford. My Dad, my girlfriend Steph and I set off early Saturday morning at 7.30am, as we needed to be there around lunch time in order to walk the track. It was yet again another miserable day of weather but luckily the rain held off for the track inspection. It was a long walk round and after three hours I had sorted my lines and was feeling excited for Sunday’s race.

Sunday morning came and just in case the rocky streams, the infamous waterfall and the muddy hills weren't quite hard enough, Saturday night it rained the entire night -just to make things a little more interesting! We watched the Veteran/Sportsman/Youth race at 10am and had a chilled out morning as my race didn’t start until 12.30pm.

Start time crept up and as expected I was nervous. After a quick riders briefing, we had the 1 minute warning before the flag dropped. This is when the adrenaline starts flowing as everyone knows a good start is important - especially when you are on a line of 40 other Experts, all of very good ability. The flag dropped and the Husky turned over first kick, which to be honest it normally does. I was 5th into the first corner and by corner 3 I was filled in with mud, the roll-offs were working overtime. I soon settled into a good rhythm and the waterfall was the first 'extreme' section. Being a trials rider I was up on the pegs and this didn’t bother me - I actually overtook someone going down it. The track continued all the way down a stream before a few steep rutty climbs which proved more and more difficult as the day progressed. The track was actually very fast-going and less technical than in previous years. There was more mud and water than can be imagined and I knew it would be a long slog of a race. I was lying in about 4th on the first lap but after a slight slip on a rock, my shoulder popped out. NOT ideal! I had to convince a marshal to man up and after a couple of minutes he popped it back in for me and I was away. Unfortunately I had lost a lot of places here and was now playing catch up. I felt good even after this and halfway round I made a quick pit stop, with Dad on fuel and Steph handing me dry, clean gloves. A few people were already beaten by this point with some retirements, but the harder the going gets the more I like it. Bit weird I know, but you need to feel the pain!! I had made up a lot of places throughout the day and finally finished 8th. I felt good even at the end of the race and think I could have done another half an hour.

Steady championship points and the next race is Alestrem on the 24th January in France. This will be televised on 30th January on Motors TV. Round 2 of Eddy’s Extreme is the 7th February.

A massive thanks to a great pit crew of Steph and Dad (best in the business), Freestyle and all of my other sponsors. The bike was mint and didn’t miss a beat."

 

By Ben Wibberley

ISDE 7

What a Great 2015! - 31/12/2015

So it is the last day of 2015 and what a year it has been! There has been ups and downs, victories and injuries and so many delighted customers taking home their new bikes!

This year we have taken on a new brand of bike, Yamaha, which has proved already to be a huge success. In the last month we have even announced where the next store will be opening. 

Our riders have had some fantastic wins as well as some devastating times. Both Joe Wootton and Rhian George have taken home British Enduro titles despite both having injuries which did not allow them to ride the final rounds. Joe had a terrible accident at the ISDE where he had been chosen as a Welsh team member, breaking his leg in multiple places. He was gutted he was not able to finish the event but having accumulated enough points in previous rounds of the BEC he still held the lead after missing the final round. 

Rhian had a lot of misfortune this year with a number of injuries including concussion, disc damage in her neck and back, nose bleeds and finally a torn ligament in her knee which culminated in her unfortunately being unable to compete in the final round of the BEC at the Natterjack. Her biggest competition however finished second which was not enough for her to over take so Rhian took the title!

Our extreme rider Ben Wibberley had an unfortunate season as well when a horrific accident due to poor visability at the Erzberg Rodeo in Austria caused him to break his pelvis among other injuries. He spent a number of weeks in an Austrian hospital where they were unable to decide whether they wanted to operate or not. They eventually carried out the operation and he was then on a long road of physiotherapy. He has since healed and is back on the back getting himself fit again for a new season.

Mitch Lewis had an incredible season of racing, travelling the country, winning here there an everywhere in between nipping across the channel to practice at Dunkirk.

Many of our lesser known riders as well as our Trials riders have had some great successes this year and we will be releasing information on our riders for 2016 very soon. The newest addition of which will be Josh Peters who will be riding his 85 in motocross series across the country.

As for the Freetsyle brand, we have redesigned our website and added some new features. Our webstore has taken off and with the addition of Yamaha, bike sales are always through the roof. With the constant emphasis on quality and customer service, we ensure every customer walks away happy and enjoying their experience with us whether they are purchasing new gear or just looking for some advise on what oil to use or how to ride corners more effectively.

Our Wales branch is also taking off and continues the ethos of the brand up into the hills of the Welsh countryside where off-road motorcycling is such a huge sport. They conduct trail riding trips up and around the hills and valleys led by 9 times British Enduro Champion Wyn Hughes. Wyn also helps run th shop alongside his wife, Tracy so if you are ever in the area of Newtown, Powys, stop in there for a sandwich and a coffee and chat about bikes with the true enduro expert.

It is always onwards and upwards for Freestyle and with new ventures on the horizons all the time it is only going to get better.

We would like to thank all our sponsors, riders, customers and supporters who have been such a huge influence to our success in 2015 and we hope we will see you all very soon in the new year. 

We hope you had a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for news and photos on our riders, updates about the stores and Freestyle in general, and offers on our webstore and online.

@FreestyleBikes

ChichesterHondaShowromweb

Theres a new Freestyle coming soon... - 29/12/2015

So its official.

A new Freestyle is in the making in Chichester. Taking over the previous premises of Chichester Honda, we will be dealing in both road and off-road motorcycles, parts, accessories, clothing and everything else. There will be top spec workshop facilities, a professional sales team and the whole operation will continue the ethos of the Freestyle lifestyle. With the hopes of opening by the middle of Febuary, it is all hands on deck to get the premises rebranded and a new coffee shop built.

We will also be looking for staff in the New Year so if you have experience in sales, admin and/or mechanics and have a passion for bikes get in touch with our HQ in Sussex with your CV. 

BEC final

Joe Wootton Wins the BEC despite broken leg! - 14/10/2015

"It has been an awesome year, especially as it was my first year in Championship class. I became E3 Champion and battled with the top 5 Championship class riders throughout the year, which was great. 

The year started off with an injury, where I dislocated my shoulder training on the bike, which meant I was out for 6 weeks resting it. I was given the OK by the doctors just 2 weeks before the season started, so after the slow start, I scored just outside the top 10 at the opening rounds of BEC. I wasn't expecting a great result because of so little time on the bike leading up to it, but through the year I upped my pace and I continually improved my results.

Round 3 and 4 of the European Enduro, in Croatia, was my greatest highlight of the year. The track was dry, dusty, soil based and had a good variation of woodland, rocky hillsides, fields and jumps. I came 1st on both days, which was fantastic. It was a great bit of racing with the pressure on, where I won by only 1 second on the first day and 10 seconds on day two.

This years Welsh 2 day was the driest seen for a while, where the grass was slippery and hard packed, the forest roads were dusty and the sun was shining, on occasion. The result for me was awesome. I had a 2nd on the first day, but on day two I was leading by 2 seconds over Steve Holcombe, going into the last test. It was the most pressure I had to deal with all year. I did the best lap I could, no mistakes, smooth and fast and in the last test I beat Steve by 1 second, which meant I had won the day by as little as 3 seconds.

After a long break of races in July, it all kicked off again at round 5 and 6 of the British Enduro at Knighton. This was my best British result of 2015, because I finished 4th on both days, and on day one I was only 2 tenths of a second behind David Knight, who was in 3rd. This was the first British Enduro event of the year that both tests were on grass, which I feel most comfortable on and love to ride. 

After a good run of results this year, I was chosen to ride for the British Trophy Enduro team in the ISDE. It was a great privilege to be able to ride for my country and in a sport I enjoy so much. We were there as a team walking all the tracks for a week leading up to the race and everyone was very helpful to one another, if they were struggling with anything. It was a great, new experience, where all through the year you're competing against the other riders, but at the ISDE you work as a team instead of an individual. But starting day one, on the first test, I made a small mistake and collided with a tree and I broke both my tibia and fibula. I was gutted that I couldn't complete the race, but I really appreciated the support from my fellow riders, everyone at the ACU and my family. After deciding to have surgery back in the UK, I flew home the next morning, which was an experience I never want to repeat. The surgery went well and they have pinned and screwed my tibia and with no cast I am hoping to be back riding by the end of the year.

I am going to miss the remaining round this year but fortunately, I had gathered enough points through the year to come away with the E3 title in Championship class. 

Thank you to all my sponsors throughout 2015, I am grateful for your support and I look forward to a successful year in 2016."

By Joe Wootton

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