Last week, we talked to Racer X contributor Ryan Sipes about his plans to race a 125 in the 250 Class at Muddy Creek. "I realize I’m probably going to get smoked, but I’m gonna break the throttle cables trying not to. At the very least, I’ll have a ton of fun and make the day more audibly appealing," he said.
After placing 23rd overall with 25-21 moto finishes, we asked Sipes about his day, his bike setup, and more.
1. So, how did it go?
Ryan Sipes: Not as good as I’d hoped, to be honest. I forgot how hard 125s are to ride! It’s not just that they aren’t as fast as a 250F. The hardest part is how narrow the powerband is. If I shifted just a half second too early, I bogged and got passed. If I waited too long, it topped out and I got passed. Needless to say, I got passed a lot. I think I rode okay, but definitely could have used more practice on the bike beforehand. You just have to ride a 125 so much different than a 250F—or any four-stroke, for that matter. For a 125, it’s an amazing bike; it’s just not a 250F. My goal was top fifteen and I fell short, but I was close in the second moto before I fell. Oh well. It was fun.
2. What was your bike setup?
For as quick as we put the bike together, the whole package was really good. I used my GNCC suspension off my 350 and it was close right off the bat. Tyler Nowlin from Powerband Racing who does my suspension came over and helped me dial it in even better. Engine-wise, yes, it was a 125, not a 150. Tear me down, bro. Twisted Development did the work on it and I think it turned out good. I didn’t have the money for the full factory package, but what I got was still pretty quick. I did get to run Maxxis’ new MXST moto tires, though. Those things were incredible. I rode the prototype a while back and have been anxious to finally get some. And, as always, the FMF pipe and Shorty silencer were the cherry on top. Even back there in 21st, my bike sounded awesome!
3. Saw your dad wrenching. He’s been at this forever. Give us some dad stories.
And he will never quit. He just loves dirt bikes and racing. Every weekend, he takes off work early to go with me and help out with driving and mechanic stuff. He’s good with setup and can point out stuff on the track that I don’t see, like lines or where I can go faster. And I know my bike will always be solid when he’s working on it. We have a lot of fun going to races together and I’m really blessed to have him there after all these years.
I guess my “dad” story would be from one year at Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Nationals. He had two boys racing, so his super-sweet fanny pack was always overflowing with tools and parts. I’m on the starting gate, bike running, ready to go, but there was a holdup because apparently someone’s bike quit. I turn around to get a drink of water from dad and he’s gone! I look way down the line and there he is, frantically ripping everything out of his fanny pack to find that spark plug or whatever the guy needed to get him going. Complete stranger, not his kid, didn’t matter. Dad fixes stuff, always has.