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What It Takes The godfather of freestyle Moto X plans to soar at the X Games using this hot gear

Aug. 04, 2003
Aug. 04, 2003

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Aug. 4, 2003

Sports Illustrated Bonus Section
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What It Takes The godfather of freestyle Moto X plans to soar at the X Games using this hot gear

Gentlemen, start your wheelies. At next week's X Games IX, Mike
Metzger vows to outdo the backflip to backflip he landed last
year. The 27-year-old daredevil from Menifee, Calif., tells us
what he'll bring to pull off his next big stunt.

This is an article from the Aug. 4, 2003 issue

HELMET
Bell Moto 7 ($349)
www.thebellstore.com
I picked this Troy Lee custom-designed helmet, which features a
flying eyeball, because it reminds me of a gold crown with a
cross. The eye is like a gateway to my soul, and the helmet saves
me from scrambling my brain. After all the concussions I've
suffered over the years, my helmet has been my most important
piece of gear.

MOTORCYCLE
Honda CR250R ($5,899)
www.hondamotorcycles.com
Honda's got the best parts in the biz. I've ridden for other
companies, and their bikes have fallen apart after a couple of
months. Honda's perimeter frames are cut from aluminum, which
makes the bike sturdy and lightweight.

GLOVES
Metzger Freestyle ($35)
www.fuelmotorsports.com
These synthetic-leather seamless mitts are a lot like golf
gloves. I can feel the difference they make in my grip. There's
no stitching in the palm, so my hands don't bunch up. My
trademark gloves also match the artwork on the back of my neck.
(About 40% of my body is tattooed.)

BOOTS
Alpinestars Tech8 Off-Road ($330)
www.alpinestars.com
Riding a motorcycle is one of the most dangerous things you can
do, so it's important to not skimp on your helmet or boots. The
Tech8 is the most protective boot on the market. It's got an
internal ankle brace and a steel heel plate, which are super key
when you're coming off a 100-foot jump.

HEALTH INSURANCE CARD
BlueCross BlueShield
www.bluecross.com
It's a fact of life that you're going to get mangled in this
sport. I can't remember all my injuries, but I know I've
broken my back (three times), both arms and legs (several times
each), and my collarbone. I've also suffered at least a dozen
concussions. I've had BlueCross since I was a kid, so I'm
sticking with what ain't broke.

PERMANENT MARKER
Sharpie Fine Point ($1.15)
www.sanfordcorp.com
After I completed the first backflip to backflip last year, I was
recognized by old ladies in grocery stores. I never leave home
without different colored Sharpies in my backpack, because
everywhere I go, people want my autograph. People used to ask me
to sign their foreheads and breasts, but now I have a strict
policy of not signing skin.

RAMP
Freeride Technology Super Kicker ($2,500)
www.freeridetechnologyramps.com
The guys at Freeride know how to build a ramp that maximizes big
air with a shorter run-up. This full-metal construction helps me
nail those backflips, which I practice daily. I get 30 feet of
air with this ramp, which is one of nine that I use in my
five-acre backyard.

MINIBIKE
Honda XR 50 ($1,099)
www.hondamotorcycles.com
This is a necessity around the pit. All the freestyle guys have
this toy to relax with and socialize around the park. It's four
times smaller than my main ride, but it still does everything I
want on a smaller scale, even BMX jumps.

FUEL
VP C12 ($6.25 per gallon)
www.vpracingfuels.com
This is the 108-motor-octane fuel that I use for freestyle
racing. If you fill up at the local gas station, the best you're
going to get is 91 octane. VP specializes in racing, so it really
knows how to amp the power. The fuel runs a lot cleaner and
faster than regular gas, so my bike really takes off when I go
into a jump.

SHOES
DVS-Ozzy Osbourne Signature Slippers ($30)
www.dvsozzy.com
In between runs I take off my boots and slip into these
supercomfy slippers. I don't watch TV, but I like to catch The
Osbournes now and then. They're the best dysfunctional family
around. I just got a new pair of Ozzies because I wore out my old
ones with my smelly feet.

ELEVEN COLOR PHOTOS: V.J. LOVERO (11)