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KTM 450XCF: OFF-ROAD 450 VIDEO SERIES (February 23, 2017 10:09 pm)


December 30, 2016
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We shoot a lot of photos each year. Most of the images are of test bikes, and we do more of that than anyone. We test MX bikes, off-road bikes, dual-sport bikes, adventure bikes and some bikes that defy classification. At the end of the year, it’s fun to look back at all the pictures, which turns out to be like a journal. For the most part, I shoot photos of Mark Tilley. We don’t plan it that way, but it’s just easier than arranging for riders who might not have the right gear or even have time off from work. Most of the shoots we do start with a 4:30 a.m. wake up, so we can be ready at sunrise. Here are some of the images that stand out.


I enjoyed working with Mike Alessi earlier in the year when we tested his RM250 two-stroke. He's actually one of the nicest guys in the Pro MX scene.
I enjoyed working with Mike Alessi earlier in the year when we tested his RM250 two-stroke. He’s actually one of the nicest guys in the Pro MX scene.
When I said that some bikes defy classification, I was thinking of the Lawson AWD bikes. These were fascinating exercises in engineering. Here, Mark Tilley and Jeff Rambo try to figure them out.
For our website’s home page, I get to get in touch with my creative side making thumbnails out of photos. It’s just trashy click bait, but very fun to do.
There are a lot of very talented photographers at races across the country, so it makes very little sense for me to travel around and shoot myself. Still, I enjoy doing it when the opportunity arises. Here’s Tony Cairoli at the Glen Helen USGP.
With time constraints what they are, I end up shootout at Glen Helen even for some off-road bikes and projects. Here’s Sean Foos on a Honda two-stroke rebuild.
This is classic Tilley on the KTM 450 Factory Edition.
About half of the tests we do are of project bikes. This is Mark Tilley on his personal 2003 Kawasaki KX250, which he calls the Green Goblin.
Pete Murray is another one of my favorite subjects. He’s certainly not a kid anymore, but he still knows how to get the most out of nothing. Here, he’s just spinning circles, feet up.
We sometimes get a hard time for shooting adventure bikes in ways and places that “people don’t ride them.” The thing is, We DO ride them like that.
Justin Jones is another guy I love to use as a subject. Here, he’s riding my personal 1988 Kawasaki KDX200 project. He always looks good, but in this case, the sunset was the star of the show.
We have a number of secret locations that don’t look like Southern California. Here’s Mark Tilley riding a KTM 300.
This is from a story exploring the difference between PDS and linkage suspension on KTMs. Mark Tilley and Jeff Rambo were in perfect sync. That doesn’t happen too often.
We actually have dozens of photos like this because our shoots often start so early. Pete Murray is working in a turn while we wait for a little more daylight.
I set up the Glen Helen 6, 12 and 24 hour race courses each year, and usually shoot a few photos before passing out. Morgan Tanke really impressed me by riding solo this year at the 6-hour.
For a token first turn shot, a really like this photo of Blayne Thompson getting the holeshot at Adelanto.
Anywhere you point a camera at the Last Dog Standing, you get a great scene. Here’s Troy Vanscourt getting a little help.
Sean Lipanovich is another great rider who’s easy to shoot. He’s not an off-road guy, but he looks good doing anything.
Troy Vanscourt again, this time at Adelanto. This is just an interesting angle in the EnduroCross section..
Jared Hicks moved back to Alabama this year, and I really miss using him as as test rider and photo subject. He was another guy who could look good doing anything.
This is Glen Helen, believe it or not. Pete Murray doesn’t look like himself, either.
When the WORCS series went to the South Pointe resort in Vegas, it made for some interesting shots. Here’s Eric Yorba.
Pete and I always fight over who gets to ride the YZ125 test bike each year. I’m willing to share.
Robbie Wageman replaced his brother RJ on our test rider rotation this year when RJ got hurt this year. He looked great and provided good input.

See you next year