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Between the Motos: Regis Harrington

A former factory KTM rider, Regis still knows the fast lines around the motocross track.

Motocross fans and industry friends know Regis Harrington well. He's a jack-of-all-trades. Andy, as he is sometimes called, has been a professional motocross racer, a Hollywood stunt double (he's always the chick in movies like Disney's Motocrossed and Charlie's Angels Full Throttle) and now he's a tireless worker for Ready Filters and a virtual entrepreneur with his new MXinsiders.com...hell, he's even a quad riding compound-bow shooting great outdoorsman! Besides all of that he even finds time to be an X Games judge – which is a thankless job if there ever was one. This weekend though, he's hosting a big cookout at the San Diego Supercross, and you're invited! So where to begin with Regis "Andy" Harrington? We'll start with his real job...

Racer X: Andy, how are things going at Ready Filter?

Regis Harrington: Things are awesome here - we’re jamming! The product has definitely caught on and it’s flying off the shelf here, so it’s hard to keep up. In the beginning I think people saw the price and were kind of leary with it being $9.95 for an air filter, but it has caught on like wild fire and everywhere we go we’re seeing the product and people are loving it.

How many different bikes do you offer filters for?

We have like 45 different part numbers, so we offer pretty much everything for the newer bikes. We don’t get too much into the older bikes – I’d say probably ’98 and up. We also offer some quad filters as well.

Whether it has two or four wheels, Regis will still race it!

You’re also a professional quadcycle racer/archer. I’m sure some of our readers will recall your story from the Great Outdoor Games. Do you do a lot of quad riding now?

No, actually I didn’t pick it up. I borrowed and rode the four-wheeler just one time before the event and rode it during the event. But I’ve heard some rumblings of a series happening with that, so I’m definitely keeping my eye open because it was a good time. It’s not like something you do in the backyard with your family at a picnic. If there is a series I might do a couple rounds of that.

How about compound bow shooting? Any archery on the horizon?

No, that was another thing. When I did that I found an archery range right here in town and went into the store and picked up a crossbow and brought it to the counter and said I was shooting a compound bow and they laughed at me. They took that back to the shelf and showed me what a real compound bow was. I never shot a compound bow, but I think that whole event I was 95 percent lucky, but sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

Was that the wildest event you’ve ever been involved in? I remember you telling me a story about a motocross race in Mexico that was border line twilight zone.

The Mexico thing was definitely wilder. Chris Wheeler and I went down there and yeah, that was a race that when we came back across the border I kissed the dirt in Tucson.

You’ll have to tell that story in the magazine one day. And talking about stories, how is the new website going?

The website is awesome. I’m just one of those Motoboard junkies. I cruise all the websites and it just really intrigued me and I just wanted to start my own message board and chat room, and have some photos. And MXinsiders.com is something I thought of. I worked on it for about six months and it went live in January and it’s gaining and getting a lot of traffic.

If you sign up for MXInsiders right now you will receive two free David Bailey posters. The posters are 24" x 36".

What type of features are on www.mxinsiders.com?

You get your message board, which is a fresh, new one. There are not a whole lot of members yet, but there are some pretty hardcore bench racers on there, so it’s going pretty good. During the events there is a chat room called the “war room,” so you’re more than welcome to log in during an event so you can listen to the audio that supercross.cc.com offers. Throughout the week we throw up some different stuff. We have Michael Sleeter doing a little bit of work for us by writing a little column. Just anything we want to share with people we put up there.

Have you found that you’re spending exponentially more time on the computer now that you have your own site to oversee?

Definitely. I kind of thought that this thing would kind of run itself with the message board and stuff, but it’s crazy how much work it opened up. It wasn’t something that I was used to, so I have to really buckle down now.

Do people have to purchase a membership?

It’s $11.95 for a year, and the reason I do that is just because it kind of helps control the message board. When you have a free message board I find that some people just get on there and type away and don’t take it too seriously. It’s not something I want people to take so seriously that they’re worried, but for $11.95 it kind of makes people more serious about it.

I know how that goes. We never got into much of a board over here because of the exact same thing. You end up spending a lot of time monitoring and keeping the lunatics from running the asylum.

Yeah, I got like 16 other jobs I do, so I don’t have the time to sit there and look at the message board all day long. With the pay membership, it’s $11.95, so it's like a buck a month.

One of your jobs on the side is judging the X Games, and I’ve done that job and that sucks! No matter what, a bunch of guys are going to go home mad, but at the X Games, Mike Metzger was particularly mad, wasn’t he?

Yeah, Mike had a whole new deal going this year and unfortunately he just didn’t get the score that he thought he deserved, and he was very mad. He definitely voiced his concern about it to me and the rest of the judges. I kind of understand it, because there are two really big events that come around each year, and it’s such a subjective sport to judge, almost like judging surfing or something like that. Everybody sees something a little bit different and it’s always hard to get it completely right and you never do. There’s really only one guy that is completely happy at the end of the night and he’s the one standing with the gold medal.

It’s not limited to your sport, though. Look what happened at the Super Bowl. The Seahawks fans are still up in arms over a few questionable things, but when you really get down and look at the rulebook and look at some of the things that went wrong, they were right on a few things, but a couple other things they really mucked up. It comes with the territory when you wear the striped shirt - just ask Steve Whitelock about that.

Yeah, I definitely have a whole new respect for anybody in that type of position, especially Steve Whitelock. I sat out here on my side of the fence and questioned some of his calls, but after dealing with what I’ve dealt with, there’s a whole different side of it. Nobody is up there trying to rob anybody of anything. You just have to try and be as fair as possible, set guidelines and abide by them. It’s a clean slate for everybody every time they take off for that jump. With all the backflip variations we’re seeing now, it’s really hard to determine what is harder, so we have to look at a lot of the technical aspects of it, like the landings, etc. There’s a whole bunch of stuff that goes into judging, not just the craziest thing you see.

Has the backflip really begun to max out freestyle motocross? Is the tail wagging the dog now? Is it all about the backflip?

It surely looks that way. You go the X Games and it’s the backflip games. Personally, standing up in the booth at Winter X, Mike Mason did a jump that wasn’t a backflip…

I saw that! It was the best trick that I've seen.

Yeah, it was an awesome jump and he got the loudest crowd response of the whole weekend.

So why didn’t he win?

Well, basically the backflip is still in the driver’s seat. It’s the most dangerous jump out there. What Mike did was a jump that’s been around the block for awhile and we’ve seen it a lot of times. Just slipping on ice and getting the bike upside down is still holding the top spot because it’s just something that everybody imagined doing for all these years and now people are finally doing it. I definitely see the other jumps becoming more and more popular now. I definitely think it’s coming full circle and we’ll start seeing a lot more combinations on top of the bike that will start scoring in the realm of the backflip.

A couple weeks ago Eric Johnson and I were talking  and he had a great idea. When you watch the downhill Boardercross or the Downhill Skier X, wouldn’t it be cool if they had a race to the top of the hill and right back down on dirt bikes with just studded tires? Like a mile up and down and that’s the race.

Yeah, that’d be awesome. I know they did something with snowmobiles for a couple years with the race up, but coming back down would be pretty crazy on a dirt bike!

With the Supermoto in the Summer X Games, which I know Eric had a hand in, it really kind of taken over.

Trust me, anything with a finish line and a checkered flag I’m all for! You know what is my favorite competition for being a judge for at the X Games? Step up, because you either make the bar or you don’t! But Supermoto was awesome and I actually got the chance to announce the race last year and I got to watch every lap of everything they did, and that is pretty much taking over X Games. It had a sold-out stadium and on TV it looks phenomenal, and the star power is just unreal.

Well, I’m looking at www.mxinsiders.com right now and someone posted that they should call the judging tower at Winter X “Brokeback Freestyle.” Is that true?

[Laughs] That’s great!

You're invited to the Carne Asada Cookout in San Diego
Well, I wish you luck with the next contest you judge or the next archery or four-wheeler contest, or oiling air filters.

Okay, Davey. Thanks a lot! We’re going to have a Carne Asada thing behind the pits at San Diego at section N3, so everyone is welcome to come by and get a drink and have some good Carne Asada San Diego tacos!

 


 

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