Moto Media
James Stewart

Brandon Tipene goes Kawasaki.

Scott Wilkins, co-owner of MR Motorcycles in Pukekohe with Brandon Tipene and his new Kawasaki KX250F. Photo: Alan H.

Q. Why the Switch ?

A. The main reason being we felt we needed a change of brand to keep the fire burning for Brandon. Brandon had been riding KTM for at least the last 7 years and loves the brand but felt we needed a change. Now we have decided to switch it has brought some new enthusiasm for Brandon to ride a different bike and also be surrounded by some new faces for future racing. This being Scott and Craig from MR Motorcycles and the rest of the team and hopefully some help from Michael Cotter for the big events. Also we tried a number of different bikes and weighed up the support we could receive from each and MR Motorcycles came up with a really good package that would work for both of us.

Q. When does this take effect ?

A. Brandon will ride a Suzuki RM125 (Scott Wilkin's with Pro Circuit bits) at this weekend's Pukekohe Club Day and then at Woodville in the 12-14yr 125cc. Then hopefully the KXF in the 250F Junior Class if we can set it up in time. After Woodville we will then ride mainly a Kawasaki KXF250. Because we will be riding for MR Motorcycles we have a choice of both brands but would have to say 99% of the time will be on the KXF. I'd like to point out this is no free bike deal and thanks to Scotty, Brandon will ride his RM for Woodville and then we will buy the KXF after this. The great thing about the deal is MR Motorcycles has direct contact with Kawasaki NZ through Michael Cotter so it's an excellent base for setting up the bike and info we need.

Q. Where does this leave LA KTM ?

A. Hopefully by the time this report comes out we can get this part sorted. LA KTM is basically a bunch of mates who got together to start a very casual team that was initially supported out of our own wallets and some awesome sponsors. ELF Lubricants, Demon Energy, KTM, Scott, FMF, Pirelli, Watson Racing, Supersprox and Tsubaki Chains. Times have changed and a couple of our riders have moved on. Joel Doeksen is doing a season in Europe MX3 and Harry Hart will be going to Otago University.  Ashton Dennis is doing very limited riding because of a dislocating collarbone injury. LA KTM team members Liam Underwood, Evan Hood, Adrian Dennis and Brandon are the only ones riding at this point. We still want to keep this team rolling so hopefully by the time this comes out we can still run with the same sponsors but with the choice of bike brand. Maybe also a name change to just LA Racing.

Q. Who would you like to thank before changing over ?

A. I'd like to thank the team at KTM New Zealand. Especially to the old owner Paul Ottaway, Lloyd and Morgan from KTM NZ. South Auckland Motors Team Paul and Mike. South Auckland Motors will still be around in a team sense as hopefully they will take on board one of our other members. Our Team sponsors Elf Lubricants, Demon Energy, Pirelli, Thor, Scott, FMF, Supersprox, Tsubaki Chains, Motomuck, ilabb and Brandons personal sponsors, Apex Group, Hygiene Systems, Fliway and Alpha Engineering and of course the other team members Liam Underwood, Evan Hood, Hazza, Ads, Ash, Joel, Jan Junior and Graeme D and H. Hopefully 2011 will bring a new challenge.

Brandon on Scott Wilkins RM125 at Ardmore. Don't be fooled by the Red Bull City Scramble graphics.  Photo: Alan H.