If he were still alive, Marty Moates would have turned 62 today. He was best known as the first American ever to win the United States Grand Prix of Motocross in June 1980, when he stunned the entire world and a national television audience by going 1-1 on a privateer LOP Yamaha.
He was also one of the co-founders of the Carlsbad-based No Fear brand that was a giant in the action sports world in the 1990s and early '00s. The Carlsbad win was fitting in that the one and only major win in his career came at what was effectively his hometown race.
Moates was also a cautionary tale. He lived in great pain due to the injuries he incurred over the years. That in turn led to depression. On December 7, 2006, Moates shot himself in his car around the corner from his home in La Costa, not far from Carlsbad. He was 49 years old.
The Motocross Files made a documentary about Marty Moates and that famous day in American motocross history, which you can preview right here:
It's also Earl May's birthday. A lifelong motocross enthusiast, he was a privateer on the AMA circuit for a half-dozen years between the late eighties and early nineties, while also working a full-time job. He's also a longtime friend of Ricky Carmichael and family, his Tallahassee neighbors. And Earl has one unique distinction in the motocross world: he's competed at Loretta Lynn's more than anyone, lining up behind the stating gates at the AMA Amateur Nationals 28 different years! Happy birthday, Earl.
KTM North America, Inc. announced that November retail sales growth figures put them out front as the fastest growing motorcycle company in the U.S. market for the first time. According to the press release, "KTM’s November unit sales rose 49 percent compared to the same month in 2012 and year-to-date numbers at the end of November showed KTM leading growth with a 28.8 percent increase. This sales growth makes KTM the fastest growing motorcycle company in the US for 2013."
“Credit for this amazing performance is due to the excellent new product we have brought to market and to the increased effort for KTM by our dealer network,” said Brad Hagi vice president of sales and marketing for KTM North America. “For the past three years our dealers have risen to every opportunity we have put before them—SXS Mini’s, SX Factory Editions, ISDE Bikes, 990 Adventure Baja Editions, 690 Dukes—and customers have responded well. I can’t wait to see how our dealers perform with the new 1190 Adventure models and the 1290 Super Duke R. To every KTM dealer and their staff—you have my personal thanks for your dedication, energy and effort in making KTM the fastest growing brand in 2013.”