[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his is a milestone year for the team at ANSR Racing as the apparel company celebrates 40 years of moto-excellence. First the media was treated to a sneak peek at the 2017 apparel line at the historic Mission Inn in Riverside, California and then the spent the following day riding in the gear at Milestone MX park with ANSR’s pro riders, including Nick Wey, Broc Tickle, Matt Bisceglia and Colt Nichols.
“We spent a lot of time working with our racers to develop the perfect combination of premium fabrics, lightweight construction and multiple ventilation panels to allow rider to perform at the highest standards,” explains former pro racer-turned brand manager Randy Valade. “We wanted the editors to experience 40 years of cutting edge technology and superior styling really means.”
You can see how the editors feel in the mainstream moto media. However, what you can’t see was an impromptu visit by the man who created the brand and the first legend to use Answer Racing products. On the 40th anniversary of Answer, Eddie Cole and his compadre Bob Hannah dropped by the ANSR/ProTaper facility to see the evolution of the brands he created in his garage four decades ago.
In 1976 Eddie Cole realized his days as a pro racer were coming to a close and he says, “I needed to get a real job.” With $100 of his own money and his partner Fred Hoblit who put up another $100, Answer Racing was formed starting with a single swingarm for Bultacos. Everything from handlebars to apparel spun off and Eddie’s claim to fame as Kawasaki’s first-ever factory-sponsored 125 rider was quickly surpassed by his business endeavors.
The serial entrepreneur went on to develop some of the most recognizable brands in the MX and bicycle industries, including ProTaper, Manitou, SIXSIXONE, Tag Metals, Sunline and Filtron. Most recently he has helped his sons Chadd and Cameron Cole with Matrix Concepts and Next Components.
“So what was your favorite brand,” asked current ANSR designer Kris Guillory “That is like asking who is your favorite child, but I really do have a soft spot for Answer Racing since it was the first born,” answered Cole.
He reviewed the 2017 designs with Guillory and fellow designers Josh Pena, Dan Guetter and Steve Behrens, but with Hannah in tow, some epic bench racing somehow became part of the design discussion.
“Eddie started Answer Racing with the goal to provide hardcore motocross enthusiasts with products they could trust,” says Valade. “Fast forward 40 years and we have not lost sight of the original vision. There are many choices, but only one ANSR!”