The current-gen Yamaha YZ450F might hasn't found favor with everyone, but Kyle Chisholm, who rode it in 2010 and 2011, has never been one of its detractors. In fact, he likes the YZF so much that he even asked the Yamaha guys if there were any teams out there that could use him, because he very specifically wanted to get back on the blue bike. His wish has come true with a deal with a new team, Velocity3 Racing. Right now, Kyle is just recovering from an injury suffered at Bercy, but he's back on the bike. Matthes caught up with him at the Yamaha test track.
Racer X: Kyle Chisholm, you're just getting back into it.
Kyle Chisholm: Yeah, just got back on the bike and did some outdoors yesterday, and then some supercross today. Second day back on the Yamaha, and second day back since my ankle injury at Bercy.
So, just a warm up really?
Pretty much. I'm just getting back into riding supercross, and also back on the Yamaha. I did ride the Yamaha in 2010 and 2011, so I'm short on time testing and stuff, but at least I know, for the most part, the settings that I like.
So is it literally no adjustment for you, since you'd ridden the Yamaha before?
It's different just because the bike is different from what I was riding. And I had to get used to the Kawi when I got on that, too. All the bikes are good, but they each do some things better than others. People complain about how the Yamaha turns, by I've always liked it. One thing I worked on today, was stuff they didn't have when I last rode it—they have the different brackets for the engine, and a way to lower the radiators. And I tried that stuff, and I ended up going back to the stock stuff. Everyone swears by it, and my teammate Bobby definitely likes it way better with the different mounts and stuff. So it's definitely something I'll try again as I get up to speed, but right now I like the feel of the stock bike.
Kyle Chisholm has signed with Velocity 3 Racing for 2013.
I said that to Kiniry, he rode the Yamaha last year, and you have experience with it. The guys on the Ti-Lube/N-Fab team, like Blose, he hasn't ever raced the Yamaha before. So you're further along already than some guys who are new to it.
Yeah, I'm further along. I know what I want, like triple clamps, and linkage, and fortunately we're using Ross from Enzo again, who did the suspension the last time I rode a Yamaha, so I have those settings, too. And we're using GYT-R motors, which is what I used before. So for me, it's just starting with the same setting. For me, I'm pumped on the bike.
The foot injury from Bercy, are you looking at two more weeks before really motoing down?
I've been able to train, be on the rode bike and be in the gym, but I've only been off crutches for two weeks now. They said it would be four to six weeks, and it's been four, so it's not quite 100 percent yet. I don't want this injury to be nagging, so I want to let it heal right.
When you came to the track for the first time up here at Yamaha, did you get lost?
I drove straight! I was so used to going to the Jeff Ward track!
Being out in California, there are so many guys riding out here. Do you like that? Is it good to ride with so many guys, or would you rather maybe just be at Chad Reed's place just riding with one other guy or two?
It's a little of both.
That's exactly what Trey Canard said!
Yeah that's because we're both right! [Laughs] It is good and bad. The bad is a time like right now, I'm coming off of an injury and just getting used to a new bike, and these guys have been motoing down for awhile now. It kind of can be frustrating if you let it, you see these guys running circles around you. So I just have to block that out, for me right now with the season so close, it made more sense to be out here on the new bike, with Ross [Meada] and everyone to work with. Ideally, I would have had two weeks in Florida to be getting back on the bike, and I know Chad [Reed] is pretty lonely down there right now, because I'm not there, Byrner is still not riding, and JT is retired. And Chad's just been motoing by himself. I need to get back down there soon.
So you'll maybe go back home for a few days for Christmas, but you'll be out here for the West Coast races?
Yeah. I'll probably go home for Christmas, and it depends on if they get my Florida bike ready or not if I'll be able to ride when I'm there. But I'll come back out here and stay here for all the West Coast races.
Chisholm has been out in Cali testing.
Steve Matthes photo
This new team, with Brian Berry and Kenny Germain. They were factory mechanics from my era. Did you know them at all?
Brian, a little bit, I remember seeing him on TV just being a fan. Then the last few years I saw him here and there when he was doing the Active8 deal. Kenny G, I knew him from when I raced the Canadian Series—see, I threw in Canada for you. Not best friends, but I've talked to him. They're two guys who, just like you, Matthes have a lot of experience and have been around a lot of good riders. You know, when riders were good, not like us riders today!
[Laughs] Okay well in one sense it has to work just because they've been around top riders and teams, and maybe they understand some things some others don't. They know you have to keep the rider happy, first.
Yeah that's a good thing. They've been at the top of the sport [Berry wrenched for John Dowd, Germain for Ernesto Fonseca] and have won races and championships, so they know what they're doing.
What I'm talking about is, there are other teams that will take on a product just because they're getting sponsored and need to pull in that extra money.
Yeah I know what you mean. But these guys have been open to anything, and I don't think the bike is going to be an excuse.