A Rat Tale (As featured in Transmoto)
The Rat – fast, cunning, stealthy, dirty, sly and annoying. Does it remind you of something? In the ’80s, a large percentage of Australia’s best motocross racers fronted the starting line with the Rat symbol stamped proudly on their jerseys, pants, and gloves. They were fast, cunning, stealthy in their approach, lived for the dirt and, on the whole, annoying.
The gear they wore was custom-designed, visually creative and cutting-edge, and to many the Rat era symbolised an epic era in Australian motocross when the riders’ names were big enough to push football stars off the back pages of major newspapers.
Today, most riders under the age of 30 won’t know much about this iconic Australian brand. But for the older-gen motocrosser, the mere mention of Go The Rat will invariably prompt a gushing of memories from what many still consider the golden age of Aussie motocross.
These days, you’ll still see the occasional faded Rat jersey worn by an old trail dog, or by a weekend warrior cutting laps on his clapped-out machine at Appin in Sydney’s southwest. Yes, the Rat legend still hangs on by a thread. So before it fades away for good, we decided to set its tale in stone – its birth, rise and fall, the champions who wore it – so the rodent can live on in peace, knowing its contribution to sport of motocross will never be forgotten.
Josh Coppins ... Just Another Kink In THe Road
With six rounds to go of the 2007 MX1 World Motocross Championship series Kiwi Josh Lizard Coppins held a healthy 107 point lead and felt confident it was his year to take the title. He was the only rider to beat 2006 champion Stefan Everts on his way to a 10th crown the previous year, and filling Everts shoes in the Rinaldi Yamaha Team he was odds-on favourite to do the job.
Caption: Josh gave it his all at the British GP in his final attempt to retain the 2008 crown.
The Pioneer Of Australian MX ... Jeff Leisk
To many motocross racing enthusiasts the name Jeff Leisk signals memories of He was one of the greats, A motocross racing legend, A great pioneer of the sport, The first Aussie to win a round of the world motocross championship.
The name Jeff Leisk nowadays is more commonly associated with the man whos driving KTM motorcycles in Australia a very humble man who goes about his work in a quiet, but determined manner. A man youd never know the extent of his past if you werent already familiar with his background.
I recently spoke to Jeff Leisk asking him about his racing career, how it started, the highs and lows he experienced, competing overseas, the state of the sport in Australia, and how he has adapted to life after a successful racing career that spanned close to three decades.
Brett Metcalf's Will To Win
If a true champion is measured by his ability to pick himself up after being knocked down to then forge on and succeed at the pinnacle of his chosen sport then Australian Brett Metcalf is one true champion. Unlike Reed or MacFarlane, Metcalf left our shores for Europe and then to America without a championship to his credit. He has fought through injury after injury and faced fear square in the eye when told he was to lose his leg from infection. He is very determined and focused. He is a battler who has a strong willpower to succeed at all costs, and midway through his best American motocross season ever we caught up with the hard charger from South Oz to delve into his story, and to find out whether weve seen the best from this kid, or if theres still more to come.
THE TROY CARROLL STORY
TOP CAT Can you think of any other rider in the world who has turned his back on a successful racing career to ride freestyle, and then decided it wasnt for him, and then turn things around again to become one of