Dani Pedrosa is a better rider than just about anyone you might meet, and his small size was both an asset and a liability to his racing career. He won a lot and he crashed a lot, and when he did crash he got hurt worse than someone with a larger frame would have; that's no my critique, his doctor says it in the movie. On his retirement, Red Bull put together all of his highlights and struggles into one tribute film, which also debuts the Deus Ex Machina Honda CR500 street tracker they commissioned as a going away present. More pictures and details are on their Spanish site.
Standing just five feet, two inches, and weighing not much more than 110 pounds, Pedrosa is built like a jockey, only he choose to race mechanical horses. The documentary features home movies of young Dani on tiny pocket bikes while still in elementary school, and shows him on the minibike he used to finish second in the Spanish minibike championship, when only 9 years old. Spectacular crashes were part of his style, unfortunately, and many of them are here in excruciating slow motion.
Just as interesting, or perhaps more so if you don't like road racing, are the glimpses into Woolie's workshop, in the back room of the converted florist shop know as Deus Ex Machina, Venice Beach. Minimal handmade bodywork, custom chromoly frame shrunk to fit rider and engine, and a tweaked 500cc, 70 horsepower two-stroke open class motocross motor, together create something akin to a rocket powered beach cruiser. For the full details on the bike, check this out. Getting this bike street registered here in California might be a problem, but Red Bull crated it up and shipped it off to Dani in Europe, and he doesn't seem to be too worried about getting a ticket in the video.
I am all for the custom bike world embracing real minimalism, with light weight accessible bikes in street tracker, supermoto, or whatever style. Michael "Woolie" Woolaway has entered the Pikes Peak hillclimb race this summer on a custom Deus Ducati, and we can't wait to see exactly what that bike is.