29 Questions with Zach Osborne

Moser and Zach team up for a quickie.

Photos by: Simon Cudby

Moser:  So I changed a couple tires Sunday, only pinched one tube, so if you need any tips for ISDE I’m your guy.

Osborne:  Laughs…I just changed a mousse off and back on in 1 minute 45 seconds.

Well I finished two beers in the time it took me to do a front and rear tire.

Fair play.

Have you practiced peeing your pants yet?  Or pooping while riding?  I assume you just hang off the back of the bike and let it go.

Laughs…hopefully none of those occur.

Everything I know about ISDE I learned from reading Sarah Whitmores article in RacerX last year.  How long are you on the bike each day?

Basically seven hours each day.

This is for six days?

Yeah but the last day is a one hour motocross race.

I hope you’re the heavy favorite on day six then.  So how are you going to keep your hands from getting trashed?  Change gloves?  Tape your hands?

Dry gloves all the time, tape and glove liners.

Matthes wants to know if you’re scared any jungle animals will attack you?

I’m not scared of any jungle animals.  Nobody knows this but I’m actually the Dos Equis man and they just make me dress up like an old man for the commercials to protect my identity.  I once parallel parked a train.

Just out of frame to the right, is a lion chasing Zach. He was not scared though.

Where is this race is it really in a jungle?

No it’s in Sardinia, a small island off the coast of Italy.  It looks pretty awesome online.  We’re going a whole week early to walk the tests so hopefully there is some beach time in there somewhere. 

Hopefully it’s a topless beach.  Is your trainer taking you to any islands before the race to “train” in the correct elements?

Laughs…no we’re going in stone cold.

Did I mention this is an “interview” and will be posted on PulpMX?

No you sure didn’t mention that!!!!

Hmmmm I’m pretty sure I did you must have missed that text.

What are going to be riding?

I’m riding a CRF250R with an enduro kit.  Head light, tail light horn etc.

Oh man that horn will be so much fun honking at people as you pass them.  What about hand guards or bark busters?

Bark busters are illegal so we will just use normal hand guards.

What else is illegal?

Not much that I know of.  The mechanic can’t do anything except change the oil and fill the gas.

So what type of tuning skills have you been practicing?  You’re already claiming to be a mousse changing pro.  Have you asked Matthes for any wrenching tips?

Matthes is so anti ISDE I wouldn’t ask him for anything.  I used to work at my parents shop when they owned one so I have a good handle on most things.  The main thing has been practicing my tire changes.

So who’s been helping you out with the mousse changing technique?  Without giving away any secrets or advantage what’s the trick to changing a mousse, they seem to intimidate everyone?

I learned a lot about mousse changing when I was in Europe so I owe my technique to a lot of struggling while I was there.  I actually sawed some mousees off there because the tires we ran were so tight!  As for the ISDE the main key to doing it fast is not getting in a hurry or getting frustrated.  As soon as you try to muscle it or over power it you will make mistakes and it slows you down.  There is no trick; just plenty of tire spoons and baby bites.

Excuse my ignorance here but what’s the main difference with riding with a mousse opposed to a tube?  The obvious being a mousse won’t go flat right?

Well if everything goes perfectly wrong the mousse can get crumbly, then it’s the same as having a flat but generally speaking no they don’t go flat.  There is a huge difference in feel between a mousse and a tube.  Mousse has a really dead solid feel and reacts differently than a tube.

Has it been difficult getting used to straddling a larger tank?

Actually for ISDE we use basically the same tank as we used for outdoors.  There are service checks numerous times during the day and we can fill up then.

Do you have that cool quick fill system or just the standard tilting a gas can?  With all these stops there is a lot of potential for gas spillage on your balls.  Has Troll and Phil helped you practice these gas and go stops?

No quick fill stuff for ISDE it’s pretty casual except for the test sections.  I’ve gotten no help from the boys they have been in full moto mode getting ready for the MXDN.

Troll and Filthy won't be in the woods with Zach but they'll be in his heart and mind. #ISDE

What has been your longest race leading up to this?  My ass hurts just thinking about being on the bike for that long.

The longest race I’ve done so far was the GNCC this year in Florida, 3 hours 15 minutes.

I think its badass you’re doing this race but like you mentioned Matthes hates the idea.  What has been the general fan reaction and was Team Geico Honda supportive?

Geico was a little iffy about it at first but they came around to the idea and have been fully on board and supportive, they are awesome to me! 

So besides Matthes is anyone else against you doing the ISDE?

He is the lone hater in this particular case!!!

What was the inspiration behind wanting to do the race?  It’s not like you’re getting rich, I’m guessing it’s actually costing you money.  On that subject how is the fund raising going don’t you have to raise approximately $20,000.00?  If @94mim is reading this how can he donate he loves to spend money #mimlife.

The inspiration is simply to represent the USA!  I had to come up with right at $15,000.00 and all the team sponsors pitched in and helped out along with some local companies and of course @94mim threw some money my way too #mimlife.

Do you have any other off season races planned?  Shorty is racing Bercy so you’re screwed if you’re going to be hitting that race.

The only other race I might do is Geneva.  I’m not going to start testing SX until the beginning of November so Geneva will be the only one possible.

So your skipping Bercy because your scared of Shorty?


Thanks for your time and good luck in Sardinia.


Please send any and all comments to jasonw [at] racerxill [dot] com