It had been awhile since we had seen the multi-time Arenacross champion, but Tyler Bowers made his presence known in his first appearance of the summer. After competing in some local races, Bowers went out and won the 2017 Thursday Night Motocross race. With some cash in his pocket, he lined up for the 2017 Washougal MX and kept the momentum rolling with an eighteenth overall finish. We wanted to know what Tyler Bowers has been up to, and what lies ahead, so we talked to him about that very topic.
Before we jump into things, you put in a pretty good ride at the Thursday Night Motocross pro race at Portland International Raceway, tell me more about how that went.
It was good. The track was a lot of fun. I've been up here in the Pacific Northwest, in Camas, Washington, actually, staying with some friends since Saturday of the week before. I did a money race at Mountain View MX Park and then went to PIR. I've really just been enjoying myself up here this week. It's been a lot of fun enjoying the Northwest with all of the trees. It's a different world up here compared to where I've been staying in Southern California. Things have been really laid back. Practice got off to a decent start, I felt good and confident. Then going into the race, it's all about the start at Thursday Night Motocross. Unfortunately, I'm not the best starter so I gave some guys a head start. I was able to move through the pack pretty quickly on the first lap. That's always been one of my strengths – being able to pass a lot of guys on the first lap. I got into the lead early on and put it in cruise control from there on out.
We haven't seen you racing so far this summer, but you came back for the 2017 Washougal MX, what was the reason behind this round in particular?
This was the closest one to Southern California. I had a Supercross only deal this year, so after Supercross was over I was basically on the couch looking for a bike. I was basically sitting on the couch looking for a bike. I would have loved to do the first few rounds like Glen Helen, but I literally didn't have a bike to ride. I worked my connections a little bit and was able to get a bike from Kawasaki and some help from them. They're great guys over there. They put a bike together and I've been riding it for a little over a month now. This was really the closest race for me. I did some local races in Southern California and then there were a couple of money races this week, so I came up here to make some money, then hit the National.
These next three rounds are much further away, being that they're on the East Coast, do you plan to hit any of those?
No, I'd love to hit the rest, but I'm literally in the back of my pickup truck that I drove up from California with my bike in the back. This is a full pickup truck ordeal. Going back to the East Coast, like Unadilla and Budds, is just out of the question. If I get some help from a team or something then, of course, I'd love to race, but at this point, I'm not able to do it on my own dime.
You mentioned that Kawasaki is helping you, but has anyone else been giving you a hand?
Showa suspension has been doing a lot of work with me and they've helped me out a lot. AHM Factory Services have been doing my engines and they're working great. Pro Circuit, DT1 Filters, VP Racing Fuels, XTRIG Clamps, Dunlop, Braking, and Works Connection have all been behind me too. It's been great, I've met so many people in my career, mostly through Arenacross, and a lot of those sponsors came back together to make this program happen and help me out. It's been a dream come true for me. It's not the biggest budget, but everyone's putting their two cents in and we've made something good here.
What are your plans for the rest of the year? Will we see you at the Monster Energy Cup or any other races?
Yeah, my sights are set on Monster Energy Cup and Red Bull Straight Rhythm. I'd like to do that TransWorld Motocross SLAM Festival race too. I might do some things overseas too. Other than that, I'll just be looking forward to Supercross.
As far as Supercross goes…
I have no clue right now. I'm looking around and I'd like to get something done. I'd like to ride a 250, I think I'm still plenty good on that bike and I'd like to win a championship in that class. I'm open to ride a 450 too, I feel really good on a 450. I'm open to that.
That being said, what went into the decision to race a 450 as opposed to a 250 at Washougal?
Absolutely, it's a privateer effort and the 450 was the easiest to make go fast. I'm not the lightest dirt bike rider on the planet so for me the 450 needed a little bit of top end work and it was good for me. It's more reliable too for practicing on during the week. I can put a little bit of money into it and make it fast and handle well to come out and do good.