For those who missed it, we’re going racing again very, very soon. Johnny is taking a pair of Triumph Tiger 800s on a pair of epic off-road racing adventures. Starting first with the Mexican 1000 (Baja) in May, then the Alcan 5000 soon after, these Tiger 800s will get pushed to the limit. Thankfully, they’re being hand-built for just such a purpose.

Yet we’re not going it alone. Besides partnering with Mark Vanscourt on all the race prep and bike modifications, it’s perhaps the worst-kept secret in racing that our little Tiger 800s have some particularly rockin’ sponsors. We’ve got the backing of an all-star short list of major brands and we’re really stoked about what their involvement means.

Not really a huge surprise here, since we’re putting their Tiger 800s through the race wringer, but we’re still excited that Triumph has been involved pretty much from the start. Sure, we’re Triumph fans and a Triumph dealer, but it has to be said that more so than any other motorcycle brand on our radar, Triumph is out there on the road with their fans in a way the other brands just don’t bother to engage. Go to any major bike festival or even the IMS and you’ll notice that Triumph is a lot more in-touch with its grass roots fan base than any of the other manufacturers. What’s more, they support racing efforts like ours, and even larger-scale operations like AMA Flat Track racing, AMA Pro Road racing, and land speed record efforts out at the Bonneville salt flats — the namesake of Triumph’s most iconic model.

For our efforts in these two races, Triumph has provided not just the bikes, but all the spares and accessories we’ve needed to outfit them, and also what we’ll need in terms of race repairs.

Portland-based Icon is a name we all know. Yet what you think you know about Icon may depend on the last time you checked in with them. They’ve been re-imagining themselves and along with that, helping to change the landscape of what motorcycle riding gear can be. Take a look at their ICON 1000 line and it’s obvious that this is not the same old crotch rocket gear that Icon used to sell. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still taking care of those guys too, but their expansion into more fashionable options for safe riding gear is part of a growing wave of products on the market that have realized that there are other worthwhile spots on the Power Ranger to Biker Gang continuum.

In that vein, Icon is involved in our run on both the Mexican 1000 and the Alcan 5000. They’re providing us with riding gear, safety equipment, and even doing some serious style makeovers on our racing Tigers. That’s going on as I type this, with the final versions of the bikes hopefully unveiled very soon. Yet we won’t just be wearing their gear for the sake of sponsorship. These two races will see Johnny actually helping Icon do some serious, in-the-field product testing on brand new gear to be named later. Right now, even the product line name is top secret, but I can tell you that if you’re looking for some serious adventure riding equipment, Icon will have you covered very, very shortly.

Icon has also been doing some amazing video work. If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve probably seen one of their videos before. We’re big fans of that work and we’re thrilled to announce (admit?) that we’ve been hatching secret plans with Icon to not just document these two epic riding adventures across North America, but to let these two races be the canvas of upcoming video masterpieces. Want a little flavor of what we’re expecting? Check out one of their previous works below:

To say we’re excited is a serious understatement.

The Sponsorship Short List:
• Motoworks Chicago
• Triumph
• Icon
• GE Capital
• Ohlins Suspension
• Rally Raid Products
• Continental Tires

As we get closer and closer to race day, the energy in the shop gets turned up higher and higher. Add that to spring finally deciding to show up, and we’re the best kind of busy right now. Stay tuned as bike prep wraps up and we finally reveal these two off-road racing machines. We couldn’t have done it alone, and thanks to some killer sponsorship, we didn’t have to.