Jarryd McNeil sits atop of the FMX tree. His nine X-Games gold medals and international lifestyle of touring shows proves he is one of the most in demand and talented freestyle riders.
His ability to twist and turn his YZ250 is world renown and seeing his bike fly backwards through the air on 75 foot freestyle jumps is nothing short of mind boggling.
While based in the US, McNeil is undoubtedly Australian and from humble beginnings of riding his dirt bike around the family dairy farm in Victoria to filling out stadiums around the world with the Nitro tour, McNeil is a star of dirt bike riding but continues to work hard at his craft.
With the Nitro tour back on Australia shores, McNeil picked up a new YZ250 and a new YZ450F while here and we took the time to catch up with 26 year old freestyle guru as he prepares to wow crowds and make his YZ250 talk. Back in Australia and back on tour, how many Nitro tours does this make for you and how special is it touring your home country?
"I have done plenty of Nitro tours and it never gets dull or boring. I love what I do. We have seven shows here in Australia on this tour with the Canberra show on the weekend already done. Touring here is a great excuse to come home and see friends and family again as well as get some riding in as well.
"I like it when we go to the smaller towns and venues as you get be a lot closer to the fans and interact with them more. Its more intimate and I like that we can provide a good show for them and hopefully that inspires some of them to buy and ride dirt bikes."
For me, the easiest trick is the whip. Regardless if you are a racer or a freestyler, it is the first trick you learn and it never gets boring. It can get bigger, higher and it still feels awesome when you get it right. How much time goes into preparing for a show like this do the riders have much input into the choreography of the show?
"As riders we have input into the show but its also with the organisers and promoters so it‰Ûªs a group effort. We talk through the tricks and maybe what works best for each rider and what looks good, then its up to the organisers to arrange that into a format that is exciting and entertaining for the crowd." The bike you choose is a YZ250, why?
"I have been on a Yamaha a long time and I love the brand and the people. Even my favourite colour is blue. I ride a 2 stroke because being a smaller guy, the lighter weight bike allows me to throw it around a little more and get the full extension and angles on my tricks."
"I try to ride with a bit of flair and take each trick to the limit and the YZ250 just allows me to do that better than any other bike. The weight, the power and the durability of the bike suits me perfectly. I did grab a new YZ450F last week and they feel pretty good as well so I might bust out a few moves on that and see how it goes."