For the last ten years, the Moto Co. has produced the famed Moto The Movie series, full-length films that showcase the top talent in two-wheel off-road competition. The projects have included past and current champions, young riders on the rise, freestyle stars, and the occasional free spirit that has gained a reputation for having fun on a motorcycle. But after ten consecutive films, the group has decided that their recent release, Moto 10, will be the final installment in the series. Knowing that the legacy of the title needed to be closed out with a wide variety of riders in scenic locations, the film crew put together a solid roster for one last rip around the track. On Tuesday night in Santa Ana, California, the full film was premiered and we took notes of each segment.
The movie starts with Justin Hill, a rider that's becoming known for equal talent on a motorcycle and with musical instruments. Hill's personal studio sets the stage for the segment, as he strums the guitar, plays the drums, and sings in the manner made famous by Seattle in the 90s. Cuts back and forth between Hill in the studio and on a North Carolina track aboard his AutoTrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing bike show the two worlds that Hill is most comfortable in, a refreshing change of pace from the modern era of riders that only seem to know one thing in life.
The setting change from the opening segment to the next is drastic, as it goes to Destry and Cooper Abbott in the desert of the Southwest. Those that follow off-road likely know about the Abbott family's recent run-in with cancer, but the worries of the illness seem far from the father and son's minds as they blast across the sand. Lines from the sit-down interview are dropped in throughout and Destry describes how much Cooper has improved as a rider in a short time. Our biggest takeaway from this scene was how impressive it is to see two talented riders from the same gene pool just inches apart and at full-speed.
Australian FMX riders Jackson Strong and Josh Sheehan each receive their own scenes in the film and both show how dedicated they are to the craft. Each rider has inherited their family's farms in Australia and has turned them into paradises that would be hard to ever leave. Strong's segment shows how much work goes into learning new moves, including the construction of ramps and the process of landing something clean for the first time. Sheehan's part, however, explains how he left a lucrative, albeit rigorous job as a driller in Australia to become one of the top riders in the world. After seeing the spreads of land the riders have, we think anything goes in the outback.
Carson Brown has attained fame via the social media clips he collects at his family's private place in the Pacific Northwest, but his inclusion in the film truly shows how talented he is on a motorcycle. Brown's backyard track is the stuff of dreams, with lush dark dirt, big jumps, and lanes that are just a bit wider than a set of handlebars. Watching the young rider air out every sort of jump and bike imaginable, from a family-built BBR mini machine to a CR250R, one starts to think Brown might be one of the most talented riders to ever swing a leg over a bike. By the way, if we had access to his tracks up north, we might leave SoCal for good.
Since this is the tenth movie in the series, putting the most popular rider with the 10 on his bike was a necessary decision. Justin Brayton had a breakout year in 2018 and his laps around the ClubMX Supercross track show his skill and precision. The detailed shots of JB10 blitzing whoops and launching rhythm lanes are incredible, but when the bike steps out or loses a bit of composure, it doesn't seem to concern Brayton one bit. During our cover feature interview earlier this year, Brayton said there are days that he feels like he is the best rider in the world. This footage backs up that claim.
Sometimes you have to wonder why manufacturers and brands get behind young kids in the amateur ranks and pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into their racing careers, all in hopes that one day the rider makes it big. But then you watch Ryder DiFrancesco at the controls of his Kawasaki SuperMini somewhere in central California and it starts to make sense. The young rider's skill is one of those you see only a few times in generation and he makes it clear that he wants to be one of the best in the world when the time comes, but will have some fun along the way.
The Pacific Northwest was the setting for many of the scenes, but Kevin Rookstool's part showed just how different the terrain is from one place to the next. Rookstool's riding on technical singletrack, through the woods, and around sand washes reminds us that riding isn't always about wins and money, that sometimes it just about the enjoyment of being on a bike. The part is the longest of the entire movie, as it clocks in around nine minutes, and it's very telling of Rookstool's personality and outlook on life.
For the second time in two years, Jimmy Decotis has a segment in the Moto series, but this one is straight to the point with riding. The Rippa is in full effect around a top secret North Carolina practice track that winds up and down valleys and through the woods. When a rider like Decotis is in the zone, nothing seems to slow him down, including the branches from trees that line the track. We might even download Decotis' part and save it to our phones to watch for motivation before every moto.
For many of us motorcycle riding started as a family affair and that connect to father and grandfather is clear in Jimmy Hill's part. Hill's take on motorcycle riding is unlike anyone else, as it's clearly inspired by skate culture and the old ways of motorcycling, but the two cultures collide well in his part. Hill is equally comfortable flat tracking around on an old Yamaha in full leathers, dropping down some of the biggest natural terrain hits in California, and then flipping everything in sight with ease. If the guy was around in the 1960s and 1970s, he could easily have been alongside Malcolm and McQueen in the original On Any Sunday.
Austin Forkner is the final part in the film and his laps around Robbie Reynard's facility in Oklahoma are a pure display of the current era of MX. The Pro Circuit rider maneuvers the bike with a level of intensity that makes the viewer tired, but it all looks calm and in control. Someone at X Games needs to get him in the lineup for a future Best Whip competition.
All in all, Moto 10 is the perfect sendoff to the franchise. The quality of the production is top notch with accurate color correction (bikes are their true color, landscapes look vibrant, there is minimal use of black and white), a nice mix of bike sound and music, and crafty cuts between scenes. This video will certainly be in the rotation of must-watch MX videos for years to come, but most importantly, it turns on the desire for one to swing a leg over a bike and reminds us there is more to moto than just one discipline.
In support of the movie, the premiere tour will run around the country from September through October. Find your city and venue at www.themotoco.com.