Orion on the Road at the Circuit of the Americas

By Nelz Carpentier

This past weekend, I got the epic chance to visit with Danny Walker, Jeremy Latrasse and many of the other Roadrace Factory team members at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas. It was the weekend’s last day of racing for the MotoGPand MotoAmerica series.

Though I’ve been riding motorcycles for about 10 years now, I’d never really gotten into watching racing. Maybe that’s a good thing — the younger me probably didn’t need any motivation to go any faster! But this visit gave me a new perspective. Racing is so much more than a bunch of bikes racing in circles. There’s a massive amount of work going on behind the scenes that all comes together on race day.

The Roadrace Factory guys did an amazing job of showing me around their paddock and showcasing all of the tech they get to use. I had no idea that there was such a diversity of rules and limitations in each of the different classes of motorcycle racing. Moto3 bikes are limited to 250cc. Moto2 bikes all run on the same exact Honda engine, but each team has to build its own chassis. Superstock 1000bikes are mostly “off the shelf” with very few modifications. MotoGP bikes are extremely custom and may even have a requirement that over 80%of the parts on the bike are prototypes.

These racing professionals (both riders and crew) are all at the top of their game. The technologies that come out of these series are what trickle down to people (like me!) in the consumer market, and it was very cool to get a look into the crucible wherein my future motorcycles are forged.

Unfortunately, I had to catch a flight back to San Francisco before the Superstock 1000. Once I landed, though, I was psyched to hear that Jake and the Roadrace Factory team grabbed first place in their race! At Orion, we love seeing great people coming together to make magic happen — and that’s just what they did! Congrats, folks, and thanks for showing me around!