Episode 41, in which we get sideways with Jesse Janisch

If you’ve never seen a flat track motorcycle race, let me give you a tiny taste.

Jesse Janisch competing in an AFT race in Weedsport, NY. Photo by Scott Hunter for American Flat Track.

That photo is actually pretty tame looking – usually the racers aren’t alone in a corner like that. I imagine competing in an American Flat Track race is kind of like being in one of those World War II fighter planes like a P-38 or P-47 (for Singles) or even a P-51 (for Twins). It’s a visceral experience that puts you in touch with the essence of motorcycling at its most basic – and sometimes without the benefit of even one brake caliper anywhere on the bike.

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Chasing the Horizon is sponsored by Dunlop Motorcycle Tires. Dunlop is also the official tire of AFT – its DT3 tires are regulation for AFT use.

My guest in Episode 41 is Jesse Janisch, and he’s been racing AFT Singles for a while. As one of the most senior racers on the circuit – and he’s still almost 20 years younger than I am – he’s got a great perspective on where the sport is and where it’s headed. He was a fantastic guest, too, and I’m sure you’ll be swept up by his passion for racing as you listen to the episode.

You can find Jesse on Twitter (@jjanisch132) and Instagram (@janisch132). Be sure to visit JCS Racing, Jesse’s racing team, and his sponsor, Roof Systems of Dallas, Texas. To see what AFT racing is all about, watch the full Peoria TT race (when Jesse won the Singles Main Event!), embedded here for your viewing pleasure! You’ll be able to see Jesse turn in an amazingly consistent race; he ran lap times between 1:27:733 and 1:27:987 for 13 of 15 laps.

Also be sure to check out American Flat Track on their website, Twitter (@AmericanFlatTrk), Facebook, Instagram (@americanflattrack) and YouTube – AFT has put all the 2018 races on YouTube. Get yourself out to a race in 2019, too – I put a schedule of AFT and MotoAmerica races (plus MotoGP & WSBK) on the website in another post for ease of access, both mine and yours.

Jesse hanging out in the pits with some fans – and possibly future AFT racers!

There are AFT races in 2019 in Daytona Beach, FL; Woodstock, GA; Fort Worth, TX; Chandler, AZ; Perris & Sacramento, CA; Springfield (twice!) & Peoria, IL; Lexington, KY; Laconia, NH; Lima, OH; Weedsport, NY; Sturgis & Rapid City, SD; Mechanicsburg, PA; Shakopee, MN; and East Rutherford, NJ. If one of those cities is within a few hundred miles of you, do yourself a favor and go! It’ll be one of the best Saturdays you have between March and September. Take photos! Tag us on Twitter (@horizonpodcast) or Instagram (@chasingthehorizonpodcast) and let the organizers and racers know you heard about AFT on a podcast. I mean, it’d be great if you told them it was Chasing the Horizon, sure, but as long as you let them know podcasters are paying attention to their sport, that’s what really matters.

The News takes a look at Indian Motorcycle’s newest trademark application, disappointing motorcycle sales numbers for December 2018 in India, BMW Motorrad’s sales in India having a huge proportion of G bikes (which are made in India), and the rumours swirling around about the Himalayan possibly getting an update with the strong 650cc twin Royal Enfield just streeted in the Continental and Interceptor models. If you remember me talking about the Honda PCX Electric scooter recently in Episode 39 (Jenny Morgan), then you’ll be interested to know Honda is back in the news for something both related to and bigger than the PCX – building windmills and THE EXCHANGER – a thing that’s a combo power storage and battery charger. Enjoy just knowing that. THE EXCHANGER!!

Jesse won the 2018 Peoria TT. He’s flanked here by Ryan Wells (left) and Cole Frederickson. Photo by Scott Hunter for AFT.

Beyond that, let’s catch up with a couple of previous guests. Helge Pedersen, the guest on Episode 1, has discovered the joys of sidecaring. Check out his video on YouTube about his rig. Bill Conger was the guest for Episode 22, and he’s back racing in the Dakar Rally again – this time as a car team’s co-driver (I know I said navigator in the episode, that’s obviously a mistake – sorry!). Check out Team Speed’s progress in Car #367 once the race starts on 6 January.

If you live in a part of the world where it’s prudent to store your motorcycle for part of the year, check out this video I made with Five (Plus One) Tips for Long-Term Motorcycle Storage. See you out there somewhere on the road – or off it! Ride safe – and go to the races in 2019!