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Product Review New Blood - DVD

Friday, June 15, 2007
By Bart Madson

What do you get when you build a boardtrack-inspired custom powered by a 200-hp MotoGP engine? That was the question posed and answered by celebrity custom bike builder Roland Sands with his KRV5 Tracker. Now interested fans can get the inside story on the unique build, which brought Sands together with racing legend Kenny Roberts, in the new DVD documentary New Blood: The Story of the V5 Tracker.

I know, I know, why would you be interested in a DVD about a bike that MotorcycleUSA covered to perfection with our own article on the Sands KRV5 Tracker.

New Blood is a feature-length documentary chronicling Roland Sands and his build of the KRV5 Tracker - a boardtrack-inspired design utilizing MotoGP power.
New Blood is a feature-length documentary chronicling Roland Sands and his build of the KRV5 Tracker - a boardtrack-inspired design utilizing MotoGP power.
Okay, well maybe we weren't able to get everything in our Custom Builder article and those interested in the sheer peculiarity of the Tracker project will enjoy the in-depth nature of this film. Produced by Sands himself, the documentary provides the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at how the KRV5 Tracker came together.

The concept originated when Roberts and Sands met, with King Kenny, a former GP champion and owner of the current Team Roberts MotoGP squad, mentioning the possibility of doing something interesting with one of his leftover V-5 GP powerplants. With a background in racing himself, Sands jumped on the opportunity, committing himself to preparing a GP-powered custom before the year was out.

New Blood covers the two months leading up to Roland's deadline, when the Tracker came together in the Roland Sands Design shop. A former AMA road-racing champion, Sands has often incorporated racing styling cues into many of his custom creations and with this unique opportunity he melded the present with the past by surrounding the high-performance engine with a boardtrack-inspired exterior. The film takes you behind every step of the Tracker process, from Sands sketching out an idea on paper to the RSD crew starting the finished product with its thunderous exhaust note announcing a job well done.

Watching the film as the MCUSA writer who penned the KRV5 Tracker article, it was interesting to see with my own eyes how they created the unique design. From fabricating the frame to the trick paint job, seeing the work involved provided greater appreciation for the finished product. One example of this was the KRV5's complex electronics, after seeing the hundred wires coming out of the MotoGP powerplant in disarray, it is an amazing feat that Sands and his crew were able to get the thing started up at all.

An hour-long documentary about just one bike, even one as cool as the Tracker, would get pretty dry, so Sands mixes things up with interesting tangents. We see Sands head off to England to participate in the Goodwood Festival of Speed and then drop by Kenny Roberts' British-based GP headquarters. The tour through the Team Roberts base of operations is fascinating, giving the viewer a peek at the enormity of running a MotoGP team.

Other sidetracks include chats with custom motorcycle legend Arlen Ness, as well as MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden, who is a former racing foe of Sands. We also get to see Sands help his freestyle motocross pal, Trigger Gumm, build a bike aimed at claiming the world-record for longest motorcycle jump.

Production value on New Blood is better than we expected and Sands does a good job marketing himself and his product. Available through Sands' website www.rolandsands.com you'd anticipate New Blood is little more than a promotional video, but it is a legitimate stand-alone documentary. Sands scored a coup getting British actor and motorcycle enthusiast Charlie Boorman, to narrate. (For those unfamiliar, Boorman was Ewan MacGregor's riding buddy during the duo's epic Long Way Round.) Snagging a quality voice as narrator is key for a good documentary and Boorman's British accent lends a bit of sophistication to the whole Tracker endeavor.

Roland Sands  right  took a V-5 GP motor from Kenny Roberts  left  and made something special with the KRV5 Tracker. This new DVD tells the story.
Roland Sands (right) took a V-5 GP motor from Kenny Roberts (left) and made something special with the KRV5 Tracker. This new DVD tells the story.
Director Anthony Gordon should be commended for putting everything together in a coherent manner. Incorporating historic footage from the boardtrack era, the film also shows the progression of Sands' career, from young kid to racer to owner of RSD and designer for his parent's company, Performance Machine. Bottom line, New Blood is an entertaining program. Speed, Discover, or TLC would be crazy not to pick it up as a feature-length special to supplement their motorcycle programming. For folks who watched the now defunct Biker Build-Off program, New Blood is right up their alley. So, for a closer behind-the-scenes look at one of the brightest stars in the world of Custom motorcycles, check it out.

Until someone sees fit to televise it, Sands fans will have to get New Blood straight from the source, with the DVD available to pre-order now from RSD. Ringing in at $24.98 the DVD is scheduled to start shipping on June 19th. New Blood can also be ordered from www.choppertown.com


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