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Janus Motorcycles and Grant Harlan

Devin Biek and Richard Worsham, Co-Owners of Janus Motorcycles talk about their classic, lightweight custom bikes. Then get to know the latest TiLUBE Honda rider Grant Harlan, who finished 5th overall in the 250 Futures class at the 2019 Monster Energy Cup, and is making his professional debut this year!

Follow Janus Motorcycles on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Follow Grant Harlan on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

PJ Doran:
Welcome back to Pit Pass Moto, the show that keeps you up to speed on the latest in motorcycling and brings you the biggest names in motorcycle racing. I'm PJ Doran.

Dave Sulecki:
And I'm Dave Sulecki.

PJ Doran:
This week we have the owners of Janus Motorcycles, Devin Biek and Richard Worsham and Grant Harlan, a very exciting new motorcycle company that if you haven't heard about, can't wait to tell you about. But first, here's the latest news in the industry.

Dave Sulecki:
Big weekend racing again. Supercross Series delivers. Oakland Supercross, just another one for the books. I thought it was just incredible action. What do you think, PJ?

PJ Doran:
I don't want to say I told you so, but my guy Tomek is catching fire. He looked really, really strong. Not to say anything short about Roczen. My God, the guy's on a tear. He looked amazing. And if third place is as bad as he does, everybody else is going to have a hard time catching him for the title.

Dave Sulecki:
Yeah, Roczen goes out and dominates his heat, which was great. That heat race was great because you had a lot of drama within that. Tomek stalls his bike and gets it going again, and Baggett was just hounding him the whole time.

PJ Doran:
Yeah.

Dave Sulecki:
So you had a real battle. And I'm like, save it for the main guys. We want to see some action. But man, it was great. And yeah. Roczen still first in points. He's three up on Tomek, so I think he's going to be fine, but I think he's kind of the beta male now. I think Tomsk's coming.

PJ Doran:
Yeah. And this is as we have discussed previously, like it or lose it, this is how Tomek seems to start his Supercross seasons. It's a little slow, hit or miss, he's got speed but he doesn't put it all together for the first couple of races. Then he's stalking whoever's out front, and right now it's Roczen. So I think it's going to be a great season. It bodes well for us fans because, yeah. Roczen's got the bit between his teeth and how do you not pull for that guy, as a Tomek fan and a long time one at that, he's long overdue in my estimation for winning this title.

Dave Sulecki:
I agree and I don't want to jinx it by saying anything, so I'm going to leave him alone. Because he's my guy and he's riding my bike. So Barsha has a tough heat. He ends up-

PJ Doran:
Oh gosh, yeah.

Dave Sulecki:
Blowing an engine, and rushes the bike back to the pits. They changed the engine in 13 minutes, and get him lined up.

PJ Doran:
Astounding.

Dave Sulecki:
Yeah. Get them lined up for the LCQ, and he goes out and he, as you'd expect, he dominated. Didn't get the whole shot, but by the end of the first lap he was out front and gone, as you'd expect Barsha to be in that crowd. So he gets into the main, he's still in third in points. He's holding strong. I don't know where he's headed. It's hard to tell by watching him on the track. He doesn't seem as, I guess, frisky as he did when the season started. And I honestly think in Supercross it takes five to seven rounds before you really kind of know who's going to gravitate to the top and stay there. And I think two of the guys are there. The third guy that's haunting Tomek and Roczen is Cooper Webb, defending champ.

PJ Doran:
I'm not going to take anything away from Jason Anderson. He is quietly, consistently staying well within reach of all the key players in the standings and at every race. He's had a little bit of bad luck here and there. No more or less than anybody else, but it just feels like he is by no means out of the running.

Dave Sulecki:
He never is. And you can't underestimate a former champ, but boy that get off in his heat race.

PJ Doran:
Oh, gosh.

Dave Sulecki:
He ate a tough block pretty bad, and I don't even think... It kind of looked like Breece moved over on him a little bit and kind of forced him to jump to the left into that corner. And yeah, it was ugly. I mean he got up last.

PJ Doran:
Yeah, speaking of move overs, how about the 250 race? Our man who's on, I don't know, are they calling it probation? It's probation in effect in that they're watching him very closely after his previous issues on track. But there was more drama in that area.

Dave Sulecki:
Yeah, I'm with Ricky Carmichael. I'm okay with that move he made. I don't think he really touched Forkner when he went past him.

PJ Doran:
No, he didn't.

Dave Sulecki:
He just made a tight move and Forkner really kind of had no choice but to go off the track.

PJ Doran:
It was a racing event I would call it. Absolutely. There was no malice there, and neither one of them seemed to be crying about it afterwards, which is a good sign.

Dave Sulecki:
Yeah. So I think Ferrandis, he's now first in points, and Cooper's dropped back a few. He's two points behind him. You've got a 250 series that's again shaping up like the 450 class. It's who's going to win this week, and what kind of drama is going to affect the outcome? You've got Forkner kind of hovering around back there. He's 10 points down. I didn't think two weeks ago that he'd be this close. So give him credit.

PJ Doran:
In both classes it seems everyone, now that we've got some races under our belt, need to somewhat stay focused on not committing the huge mistake that can wipe out your season. Now we're in the heart of the season. Be consistent. If you don't have it to win it that night, don't do anything suicidal, right?

Dave Sulecki:
Yup.

PJ Doran:
I mean that's unfortunately what we see oftentimes about this time of the season.

Dave Sulecki:
Yeah. And it's a little bit of the walking wounded. You've got quite a few riders hurt, so who's left is matriculating to the top. And the guy that really impressed me the whole weekend though, I mean all of that racing in 250, 450 class, the guy that blew me away was Justin Hill. Goes out, hole shots his heat, and wins it. And then finishes eighth in the final. There's a guy I don't think anybody expected. You might, Tony would say this, maybe he didn't even expect he'd be there. But impressive ride for that MCR Honda team.

PJ Doran:
Yeah, absolutely. And Alex Martin looked great in his heat. Ended up the night in fourth. That's guy that Tony has previously talked to us about. This needs to be, feels like it should be, his year to really come out of his shell and show this class what he's got.

Dave Sulecki:
Yeah, you'd hope so. He's hovering around fifth in the class right now. He did hole shot the main, that Suzuki looked good out front again.

PJ Doran:
Yeah, he did.

Dave Sulecki:
Boy, he does that a lot. But here's the thing, he's 131 pounds. I don't know if anybody knows that. He's a tiny guy. He's got power to weight ratio, probably more so than most of the guys in that class. Like Hartranft, who's six foot two, and some of the other big guys. But yeah, nice start again. He's been out front of a lot of races.

PJ Doran:
Well, it was an exciting round and we look forward to yet more of that coming. We don't yet start our eastward run. We've got one more out West, San Diego, this coming weekend. And then we start our trot to the East, which I'm looking forward to so we can see some of these 250 stars, Dave.

Dave Sulecki:
Yeah, me too. It's going to be interesting to see. You've got a whole new mix of riders coming in, and hopefully more excitement and more cool racing. It's been a great season.

PJ Doran:
This week's trivia question here on Pit Pass. The question this week is what year did motorcycles first employ flashing turn signals? We'll come back with that answer after we talk to our guests, Devin Biek and Richard Worsham, the co-owners of Janus Motorcycles here on Pit Pass.

PJ Doran:
We're talking to Devin Biek and Richard Worsham, I hope I didn't butcher your names, gentlemen. They are the co-owners of Janus Motorcycles. Welcome to Pit Pass. Let's talk about your very interesting motorcycles, gentlemen.

Richard Worsham:
Thanks for having us.

PJ Doran:
It's our pleasure. So for our listeners who aren't aware, Janus Motorcycles, how long have you guys been incorporated doing what you're now doing? That being producing 250 class motorcycles of a vintage bend for the retail market?

Devin Biek:
Yeah. We're going on about nine years of business, and we've been manufacturing bikes for about seven of those years.

PJ Doran:
Got you, so were you a just straight up custom builder in the early days?

Devin Biek:
The very early days before we were Janus, yeah. We started out in customs, and then we moved on to forming Janus Motorcycles, which we focus on just production vehicles.

PJ Doran:
And it is an interesting... Let's start by giving people the website where they can view your bikes, because looking at them is one, a treat, and two, tells the story of what it's all about. It is most certainly different than most of the products in the current motorcycle marketplace.

Richard Worsham:
I'll just add a little bit to what Devin said. Devin ran a vintage two-stroke. It really started off as a repair shop, and then kind of morphed into restoration and eventually custom work. He ran that for what, 10, 12 years?

Devin Biek:
Yeah, that one was 12 years.

Richard Worsham:
Before, and that's how I met him, was I met him when I took an old vintage moped over to get fixed by him. And then over the next couple of years we kind of just really enjoyed working on things. And then in the summer and fall of 2011 we found Janus. But the goal with Janus Motorcycles has always been a production motorcycle company. It was kind of actually an escape from custom work for us, because we were tired of working on other people's designs and we wanted to do something that was wholly and completely original.

Dave Sulecki:
I'm curious and fascinated by the story. And how did you guys identify that niche? I mean, what drove you to come up with the custom configurable approach to selling motorcycles that nobody else seemed to think of or do before that?

Richard Worsham:
Yeah. Well, we did have that custom background. And that is something that was influencing what we were doing. But really when we started it, we didn't do any market research really. It was really just kind of let's build what we want. I don't think that we would have made the Halcyon model based on market research. However, it's turned... It would have been a cafe racer or something, because that's what people you'd think want. But we made that bike and just kind of lucked out, because people really do want a design that is so unique and so iconic-looking as the Halcyon. That's definitely our flagship model. But then as we got into it, it just made sense that we make a modular kind of design that can be turned into different models, and then to have the upgrades be things that... Or I guess we just never wanted to say no for what you could do to the bike.

Richard Worsham:
And so the history of Janus has sort of been a history of us saying, okay, we've got to stop with the upgrade options and custom work. But there's still a lot of things that are available with the bike. And I think that goes back to the fact that we are so interested in custom work and in the actual design and making of the parts. And so we always walk a line of, we call it kind of custom production, because everything that we make comes out of a jig or a fixture and is production. But there's just a lot of different options [crosstalk 00:11:28].

Dave Sulecki:
Yeah. In the industry is known proto-duction.

Richard Worsham:
Yeah.

Dave Sulecki:
Prototype production. So, how's it turned out... I'm really interested to find out, you have a customer base who's kind of gravitated towards you. What's the cross section? What's the demographic? The reason I ask this question, and bear with me a quick second, I recently bought a Royal Enfield 650. So talking to the dealer there, he said you would be surprised how few new riders are buying into that model, and how many longtime riders, 40, 50 year guys and ladies have come out to buy these motorcycles. Because they're fascinated that it's that retro vintage feel and look without the headaches, right?

Richard Worsham:
Yeah. Yeah.

Dave Sulecki:
So with your customer base, have you seen... Hopefully you're bringing new riders into the sport, which is ideal, but are you also getting the glow of the previous riders?

Richard Worsham:
Well, it's funny you say that because our customer base is... Quite a few of them were people that, maybe when they were young, they had like a Trail 70 or whatever light, small bike, and they are kind of going back to that. Many, many of our owners are seasoned riders. They typically have a number of motorcycles, often Harley Davidsons. And yeah, I would concur or validate what you were saying in the sense that if you were to kind of boil down or generalize our customer base, it is older veteran riders that are interested in the story, and in having something that really sets them apart.

Richard Worsham:
That said, we do have new riders. We are bringing people into motorcycling because of the lightweight, easy to manage nature of the bikes. But I think our customer base is pretty typical of the motorcycle industry, where disposable income sort of starts happening and you're, maybe at the 50 year, half a century of your life.

Dave Sulecki:
I would agree.

Richard Worsham:
And so, we are not the cheapest 250 in the world, and that definitely plays into it. I don't think it's just people our age. Devin and I are in our thirties, aren't even buying motorcycles at all. Oftentimes what we say when it comes to young riders is our competition is used bikes.

Dave Sulecki:
Good point. And I think you're selling into the club. You're getting people on board and you're personalizing it. And I think that's the hook that none of the bigs or none of the OEMs have really, you might say Harley Davidson to some extent has done that, and maybe a few smaller ones, but nobody's bought into that hook yet where you're personalizing it, you're making it their personal identity by letting them pick a la carte every option on the vehicle. Like you buy a new car, right?

Richard Worsham:
And part of that process for the customer is knowing us. We try and maintain an extremely personal relationship with all of our customers. So when they buy their bike, they call in, and they talk to someone who works here at Janus, and that person will kind of hold their hand through the whole process. They get pictures sent to them of the bike from a bare frame all the way through the build process. They oftentimes will show up and pick up the bike in person, they get to meet everybody. A lot of people get the chain guard on their motorcycle signed by everybody who built the bike. So they can kind of become part of the story and it really is a lot about that story and the identity that... They're pretty rare, and it's a really cool story. You can show up with one of these at a motorcycle show, and I mean last year we just got flooded. People sending pictures of the first places they wanted motorcycle shows because they really catch your eye.

Dave Sulecki:
How awesome is that?

PJ Doran:
That is really cool. And to echo your sentiments, I mean one, you're not the least expensive 250. But honestly you're not out in left field either I would not say. For the level of craftsmanship and personal touches that a potential customer gets, you're not at all off the page in cost. How did you arrive at the 250 as the ideal size? As an owner of multiple 250s and things smaller, I find it interesting that you've, at least at this point in time, put all your eggs in the 250 basket. I'm in no way criticizing, I think it's a wonderful sized machine. It gets you on a most of the roads in this very fair country of ours.

Richard Worsham:
Well, when we set out, we wanted to build an appropriately sized motorcycle. And we kind of undershot the mark when we started off. Because we got into this through old mopeds and two strokes and 50 CCs. And so we started off with a 50CC version of the Halcyon. And that one was good for about 55 miles an hour, and it was a six speed water-cooled two-stroke. It was a thing of beauty, don't get me wrong, they are still amazing bikes, but it was just a lot of work to shift all the gears, and you're just screaming along. And we realized after we built about 43 of those, and that was really where we worked a lot of the kinks out of the build process and our vendor network.

Richard Worsham:
But we realized that first of all, they weren't fast enough, and there was no way we were going to get through EPA California certification emissions testing with a two-stroke. And it wasn't the bike that would do... What we always say is try and get a bike that does like 80% of what you need to do, is what the bike does. It's like most of the time you're on a motorcycle, it's just for fun on the weekends, and you don't want to get on the interstate. Now there are very nice motorcycles that are made for getting on the interstate and riding a thousand miles. Ours are designed for around town, short excursions, all the kind of fun things that you mostly do on a motorcycle anyway.

Richard Worsham:
So the 250, the decision to go with that was really, this is the power that, when it's paired with the weight of our bikes, which are so, so very lightweight, is going to create this kind of recipe for just fun. Not a whole lot of... An 800 pound bike is just, it's a big deal to even get it out of the garage. And this, the whole point is just get rid of all that, get rid of everything that's covering things up. Get rid of the fairings, get rid of all the accessories, all the electronics, all the excess. And just have it be about an engine, two wheels, and, what, a gas tank.

PJ Doran:
Half the suspension as well in the case of your Halcyon, which-

Richard Worsham:
Yeah, you got it.

PJ Doran:
That is startling to me, that a modern day hard tail... Is that your best selling model?

Richard Worsham:
It absolutely is.

Devin Biek:
By far.

Richard Worsham:
We sell so many more of those than anything else.

PJ Doran:
Wow. Wow.

Dave Sulecki:
Wow.

Richard Worsham:
And that's not just because people want the look. Many people, they show up and they go... We have discovery days twice a month where we open the shop and give tours and take everybody out for lunch. It's a real fun Saturday morning. But a lot of people would come in and they say, I'm not going to get that. That Halcyon looks cool, but no way am I riding a hard tail. Let me try the Phoenix or Griffin. And then we say, well, try out the Halcyon and see what you think. And as soon as they ride it, they realize, wow, this thing isn't uncomfortable. It's actually quite comfortable.

Richard Worsham:
I always argue that it's our most comfortable model. I've done some really long distance rides across the country in six days. A lot of earned rides, thousand miles in 24 hours. And I always choose the Halcyon. And I attribute that to the fact that prior to 1950, motorcycles weighed less than 500 pounds, and they put out less than 50 horsepower for the most part. And that combination means that you aren't getting hit in the back with a very, very, very heavy motorcycle. It's like riding a bicycle. We always joke to Harley riders, say, get ready, this is closer to a bicycle than your Harley Davidson. And that combination, it's just like a motorcycle from an earlier period where it didn't need rear suspension. And these are, they're just, they're comfortable. You can hit a big pothole, you're going to feel it. We don't pretend to say that rear suspension isn't valuable, but for what they're used for, they're fantastic.

PJ Doran:
I would imagine. It is an inappropriate size motor leads to inappropriate speed for that type of suspension or lack thereof.

Richard Worsham:
And I could be just blowing smoke, but we always tell people, try one out, come to one of our discovery days. Many of the people that have bought the bike and then make it the most popular model have ridden it. Talk to an owner, and they'll tell you their experience. So that's a big part of it as well.

Dave Sulecki:
It's a great way to sell motorcycles for sure. I agree. And your website's awesome by the way too. Loaded with content. The how to videos I think are a great idea. Again, I think you've done things that even the bigs haven't thought of or just aren't expending the effort to do. But you've done those touch points that make sense. How to winterize your motorcycle, here's a short video, as an example. So, well done both of you guys. I think you've guys have struck a chord. And I really was fascinated reading your story and now hearing you guys live talk about it. It's really what this industry needs is people who think like this, have that working out of your garage mentality to the market, and aren't forcing models down people's throats as far as what the offering and the product line is. So really, really well done.

Devin Biek:
Thank you.

Richard Worsham:
Thank you.

PJ Doran:
Well thank you gentlemen for joining us on Pit Pass. Sadly our time is coming to a close. It is janusmotorcycles.com, correct? That's the best way to get the whole story on what you guys are doing, right?

Richard Worsham:
Check out the website, and if you have any more questions, we're here. Give us a call.

Dave Sulecki:
I got to make a discovery day. I think that's in my future.

Richard Worsham:
Sounds good.

PJ Doran:
We look forward to talking to you guys again, and thanks for talking with us today. We'll be back on Pit Pass.

Richard Worsham:
Thanks for having us.

Devin Biek:
Thank you guys.

Dave Sulecki:
We'd like to thank the fellows from Janus Motorcycles. It was an interesting conversation, and check them out at janusmotorcycles.com. Just really, really enthusiastic group of guys and an interesting product.

Dave Sulecki:
So, moving forward, this week's Pit Pass trivia question of the week was what year did motorcycles first employ flashing turn signals? And the answer is 1939. Amazing. I would have thought it was much later.

PJ Doran:
I would have too. Cars still had semaphore type flashers in those years in certain markets.

Dave Sulecki:
Didn't they have oil lamps for headlights back then, I think? Let me ask you, PJ, do you know your motorcycle hand signals?

PJ Doran:
I absolutely do.

Dave Sulecki:
Okay, good. I still use them even when I use my flashers.

PJ Doran:
I use them all the time. I own a dual sport that routinely doesn't have turn signals on it, but it is street legal. So you've got to know them or you're going to get stopped and talked to.

Dave Sulecki:
Well I have a retro modern street bike, so it doesn't have self canceling turn signals. So I'm that old guy in the left lane with my turn signal-

PJ Doran:
Your right turn signal on for an hour and a half, got you.

Dave Sulecki:
But I always try to do the hand signals because I ride offensively and defensively at the same time. Always looking out because you never know.

PJ Doran:
Yup, that is appropriate. Who we got next, Dave?

Dave Sulecki:
Okay, coming up we've got an interesting interview with an upcoming rider, Grant Harlan, who was recently signed to Tilube Honda. So look forward to talking to Grant.

Dave Sulecki:
Okay. Our next interview is with upcoming racer from Tilube Honda racing team. We have Grant Harlan on the line. Grant, how's your season looking, buddy?

Grant Harlan:
It's looking good. Heading to MTF right now to get some testing done with the team. Buddy Brooks and Jordan. Get some time on the race bikes and then going to head back to Oklahoma and put some laps in before Tampa.

PJ Doran:
Tampa's right around the corner Grant. Congratulations on your new signing. How long was this deal in the works? I'm always curious for a young, obviously fast rider, how long does that take when you're getting your first deal going?

Grant Harlan:
I mean in terms of getting the contract and everything it didn't take too long, but I would say it's been in the works since the beginning of last year actually.

PJ Doran:
You were dealing with the principals there at Tilube?

Grant Harlan:
Yeah. Well it's kind of like getting used to the team and seeing how it would work out for Supercross this year, my last year as an amateur. I would say it went really well, and got signed for the Supercross team. So, that's super cool.

Dave Sulecki:
So you came out of Loretta's in 2018 and then that's when that dialogue starts with the race team started kind of asking are you available, do you want to come to us? Is that how that worked?

Grant Harlan:
Yeah. Yeah, it really got started around Mini O's in 2018. I got a title there in the 450 pro sport class. And then I went to Supercross futures and got my points, and unfortunately broke my hand. But that was when I made the switch to the Honda.

Dave Sulecki:
And you've also had some Arenacross experience since then. I see you've done the Hoosier Arenacross series, which is out in Oklahoma and Missouri. How'd that go for you?

Grant Harlan:
Yeah, I've been doing a little bit of the Hoosier Arenacross and I've also done the [inaudible 00:25:24] Arenacross, which is the AMA's official series this year, which has been really good. Got to battle a lot of fast guys, like Michael Hicks and Cole Bush are some big names that have been doing the Hoosier ones. And then Jace Owen, Kyle Peters, Bitterman, Stank Dog, and The Kicker, so it's been good experience I would say racing those guys.

Dave Sulecki:
For sure. That's the series where you really learn how to keep those elbows up and protecting yourself, right?

Grant Harlan:
Yeah, for sure.

Dave Sulecki:
I know there's a lot of pushing and shoving that goes on. Jace Owen's talked about it in the past, where you get into that 450 class and there's big guys that want to move you over.

Grant Harlan:
Yeah, it's definitely tight, aggressive racing, but I say that's a good practice before Supercross.

PJ Doran:
And where are you based out of Grant?

Grant Harlan:
I live in Texas, but I train up in Oklahoma with Gregg Albertson.

PJ Doran:
Gotcha. So you're going to be staying central during the East Coast leg of the 250 series you're now involved in?

Grant Harlan:
Yeah.

PJ Doran:
So where are you going testing that? Did you say Georgia?

Grant Harlan:
Yeah, I'm heading to MTF right now.

Dave Sulecki:
Now does the rest of the team go down to Millsaps or is it just yourself? You're going there to train by yourself?

Grant Harlan:
No, Jordan Bailey, who's going to be my teammate this year, trains at MTF. And the weather's a little bit nicer down here right now. So that's why I'm heading here. And the team's going to come down too.

Dave Sulecki:
And that's always a plus. You want to have good weather to train in. Now it's a training session. You're also testing the bikes? Are you getting things dialed in for suspension and get your engine package the way you want?

Grant Harlan:
Yeah, we're going to be riding the race bikes and breaking those things in and making a few tweaks with the suspension.

PJ Doran:
You got a lot on your plate. How old are you now Grant? I mean clearly you've been racing for quite a while, but what's your age currently?

Grant Harlan:
I'm 18 now.

PJ Doran:
Gotcha. Wow. 18 with a-

Dave Sulecki:
18 years young and going into the deep end of the pool in Tampa. That's-

PJ Doran:
Yeah, he got a pro contract.

Dave Sulecki:
Yeah, for sure. I mean, in the Arenacross series really, you mentioned a few names that you've gone up against. Now when you get into the Supercross series, how many guys from your past... I mean you came from a fast area of the country, you're talking Texas, Oklahoma. That's a real talented group of people that you had to come up through and race with.

Grant Harlan:
Yeah.

Dave Sulecki:
Who do you expect to see on the track when you debut in Tampa?

Grant Harlan:
I would mostly expect a lot of the guys that I've been racing with last year, like Cole Bush and Halpain I know are two guys that I raced at Loretta's this year that are going to be on the East Coast. And hoping to be seeing a lot of the factory guys around me.

Dave Sulecki:
How about some of the guys that had been there a few years that have come from that area like Oldenburg? Have you raced against any of those guys?

Grant Harlan:
I've raced against a few of them at some of the local races, some of the money races. I know John Short, Ryder Floyd, Chase Marquier, are a few names that I'll be seeing on the East Coast, so it'll be cool battling with those guys.

Dave Sulecki:
Yeah, for sure. Now you guys are prepping for this series coming up. Have you ever ridden inside any of the big stadiums yet?

Grant Harlan:
I raced at The Futures last year, the Monster Cup as well, so I have little bit of experience.

Dave Sulecki:
Yeah, and you did really, really well there. You got a fifth in the 250 futures class. So how was that track and experience compared to your past with the Kicker series or the Hoosier series?

Grant Harlan:
It was definitely different. I wasn't too sure what to expect. I really only had like three or four days on a Supercross track prior to that race. So it was kind of just going in and seeing what happens. And I would say for the most part I felt pretty comfortable on the track. Starts weren't great, but we've been working on that. So hopefully those are a little bit better here in two weekends.

Dave Sulecki:
Yeah. As we know in Supercross, starts are really a lot of the race. It really kind of determines the pecking order. Now when they run the Futures program at the Supercross events now, they usually tame the track down quite a bit for the Futures group. Did they do that at the Las Vegas stadium?

Grant Harlan:
The Futures races last year I would say the tracks were fairly tame. They look like they're keeping them a little bit more technical this year, which I think is super cool. But Monster Cup was, I mean it was the same track the pros raced. So it was still pretty technical with that one rhythm section in the middle. Everything else was pretty easy I would say.

Dave Sulecki:
So thinking ahead into the summertime, you get through the Supercross season, are you targeting the outdoor series also?

Grant Harlan:
Yeah, I definitely want to race all 12 outdoors. Kind of going to see what happens with the first few rounds of Supercross, and see if we can get some plan in the works for that.

Dave Sulecki:
I do remember seeing you at Loretta's in 2018, and you were really flying. It seems like you really like the outdoor venues and the outdoor surfaces. You really look very natural out there.

Grant Harlan:
I mean I just enjoy riding my dirt bike, man. Whether it be Supercross or Motocross.

PJ Doran:
And how big of a deal is it, most guys your age that are coming from where you're coming from, that being the amateur ranks, the very fast amateur ranks, they have a quite a bit of family involvement in their race program. Has that been the case for you as well? Dad being a mechanic, mom involved, any of that stuff?

Grant Harlan:
The family's a huge part of it, really. Couldn't really do it without them. I mean my dad has been a rider mechanic I mean since I started really, so it's definitely cool to still be doing it with him.

PJ Doran:
And he's getting a bit of a breather now that you've joined the next level, bigger organization team. Now he gets to just be a spectator. Is he looking forward to that?

Grant Harlan:
Yeah, I think he enjoys a little bit not being too stressed out on what's happened. Got a team behind me that knows what to do.

PJ Doran:
Well we're looking forward to how things go for you as we begin the... You're only, what, a week and a half, almost two weeks, not quite two weeks out from beginning this 250 East series. 250 West has been quite a battle. I imagine the talent level is going to be every bit as deep in the East series. Is there anybody you can't wait to line up against? Any old scores to settle?

Grant Harlan:
Not really. Kind of hoping to come in with a fresh start as a rookie. Amateur pro ranks are a little bit different, I think. There's a bigger respect to be had with the professional level.

Dave Sulecki:
So, thinking about that even further, what are your expectations going into this, realistic expectations going into the East? Your goal is to qualify every night?

Grant Harlan:
Yeah, I mean I would love to make every main event this year for sure. I'm trying not to hold myself to too high of expectations. I want to focus on writing to the best of my ability and not be worried about finishing in a certain spot. Just kind of let the results come to me.

Dave Sulecki:
And that's a smart move. I think a lot of riders overestimate the difficulty of Supercross and sometimes expect too much of themselves. And really your goal is to survive the first season so that you can build on it and go into the next season.

Grant Harlan:
Yeah, for sure. I think staying healthy for the first season is huge.

Dave Sulecki:
And I couldn't agree more.

PJ Doran:
Grant, we've really enjoyed talking to you. Thanks for taking the time to join us. Please carry on safely to your destination. Are there any special people, we want to give you a chance before we wrap up your interview, sponsors and people you want to thank?

Grant Harlan:
Yeah, I want to give a big thanks to Buddy Brooks with the Tilube team for giving me the shot to attempt Supercross with some good help behind me. Stormlake Honda, [inaudible 00:32:57] Gregg Robertson for getting me ready. Kind of helping me prepare for this first season. Yoshimura [inaudible 00:33:04], Renthol. Hoosier Tire for getting me maximum traction. Factory Connection and all the other guys that help the team out. Thank you.

PJ Doran:
That's awesome Grant. Thanks again for taking the time to join us on Pit Pass. We look forward to how you go in this upcoming series. Again, thanks for joining us. We'll talk to you again soon on Pit Pass.

Grant Harlan:
Yeah, thank you.

Dave Sulecki:
We'd like to thank Grant Harland for coming on with us today. Great interview, an upcoming racer. Check him out at Tampa for the start of Supercross East. Pit Pass Moto racing. Coming up, we've got Supercross round six in San Diego coming up this weekend, February 8th, that's Saturday. And we've also got Kicker Arenacross in Reno, Nevada, which starts on Friday, February 7th and also on Saturday, February 8th.

PJ Doran:
Yeah, I'm looking forward to those races. We're still six weeks out from what I will call the beginning of my love affair with motorcycles for the season, that being the Daytona Bike Week. Led off of course on Saturday the 7th with the Supercross, followed up a week later with the Daytona 200 on Saturday the 14th, and also the AFT round, the Daytona round, where they'll be racing American flat track inside the Daytona Motor Speedway. Looking forward to that. I'm looking forward to the entire season of road racing and flat track. Those are my big deals. It's about time.

PJ Doran:
The weather has got me itching. I got to ride my scooter yesterday, Dave, so I'm a happy camper. Even though it was Super Bowl Sunday, still managed to get my scooter out of the garage.

Dave Sulecki:
I can't wax my motorcycle any more.

PJ Doran:
Yeah, it's as shiny as it's going to get.

Dave Sulecki:
It's as shiny and clean as it's ever going to be. I need spring to get here now.

PJ Doran:
Yeah, and we've just been blanketed with snow as I'm sure you guys have in the Cleveland area ,and then the last three days has just been a massive melt off, so everything's wet and sandy here. Nonetheless, I did get my scooter out. I'm going to brag about it. I think I got to ride it on new year's as well.

PJ Doran:
We want to thank again our guests today, Devin Biek and Richard Worsham of Janus Motorcycles. New product all the time coming from them and it's just really interesting. We enjoyed talking to them. Grant Harlan, the upcoming Tilube racer. And we want to thank you of course for being with us today. If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to subscribe to us on your favorite podcast app, where you'll get alerts when the new episodes drop, that being Thursday mornings when they're uploaded. Of course make sure you're following us also on Twitter and Facebook and pitpassmoto.com.

PJ Doran:
This has been a production of the Evergreen Podcast Network. A special thank you to Ed [inaudible 00:36:01], social media contributors Chris Bishop and Tommy Boy [inaudible 00:36:05], our producer Lea [inaudible 00:00:36:06], and of course our audio engineers Sean [inaudible 00:36:09] Hoffman and Eric [inaudible 00:36:11]. I'm PJ.

Dave Sulecki:
And I'm Dave.

PJ Doran:
And we're going to see you next week on Pit Pass. Thank you for listening.

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