The Motostik
By Tim Crytser

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Nick McClintock - Huntington Beach California
This year at the Indy Dealer Trade show as I was walking around admiring all of the incredible bikes, toys and equipment, when I came across a booth with a product that I had seen advertised in magazines.  It was the Motostik and I have always wondered if the Motostik was a serious training tool or just a fun toy to play with.  If you are not familiar with this product, it is a pogo stick hopped up on steroids.  This is definitely not your typical pogo stick that you might have envisioned from when you were a kid. This stick is modern and looks very moto.  They come in red, yellow, green, blue and of course KTM orange.  It even has a number plate.  Very cool indeed.  But again, was it a serious training tool or just a shiny new toy with a moto flavor?  I stopped by the booth and was greeted by the owners Marc and Laura Matson and introduced myself to them and told them about the Virtual Trainer website.  Not long after talking to them they had me up on one of the sticks and away I went.  Honestly, at the trade show I was still up in the air as to whether this product could be used in a serious training program.

Once I got home from the show, I surfed on over to the Motostik website   and started clicking around.   They have a nice website, simple to navigate and full of tons of pics and videos of kids doing some pretty cool stuff on the Motostik.  I was intrigued and decided to investigate further as to whether the stick could be used for training.  I called Marc and Laura to tell them I wanted to review the Motostik and post it on the web.  I made no promises as to the outcome of the test, other than I would tell people what I thought.  They agreed and a few days later my Orange KTM colored Motostik was sitting on my front porch ready for action.
A Little History
The legend of the pogo stick dates back to just before World War I, when a German traveler stopped at a small village in Burma, where he sought lodging with a poor farmer. The farmer told his visitor that his daughter, Pogo, wanted to go to temple each day to pray, but couldn't because she had no slippers to walk through the mud and rocks. Unable to buy his daughter shoes, the poor farmer fashioned a crude jumping stick, by attaching a short stick to the bottom of a longer pole. After practicing on the stick for days, Pogo became proficient enough to hop the stones and mud puddles on the path to the temple. 

The German, returning to his country, attached a spring to the wooden stick to improve the bounce. In 1919, Gimbel Bros. Department Store imported a shipload of German pogo sticks to the United States, only to find that humidity had warped the wood and made them useless. Gimbel then asked Hansburg, a baby furniture and toy designer living in Illinois, to come up with a better pogo stick. 

He came up with an all-metal, enclosed-spring pogo, painted it and began producing it himself in a factory in Elmhurst, N.Y. The Pogo stick is still around today and much like rowing there is a whole world of Pogo fanatics in the world.

The Test
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Yours Truly the first time on a Pogo Stick! 
The first thing I noticed when I opened the contents of the package was that my new Motostik looked as cool this time as it did in Indy.  Within 5 minutes I had the stick unpacked with the handle bars mounted and was ready to start jumping.  At first, it took a little getting used to but after about 15 minutes of figuring it out I was ready to strap on my heart rate monitor and see where this thing would take me.  Would I be able to effectively achieve and maintain a good heart rate or would this prove to be just another shiny new toy to play with?  To achieve a good heart rate and call this toy a training tool I was shooting for a heart rate between 130 to 155.  130 is my lower Zone 2 (60-70% max heart rate) and 155 puts me at the top of my Zone 3 (70-80% max heart rate).  If I could achieve those numbers plus get a good total body workout, I would call the Motostik a training tool and not a toy.

Balance and Coordination
It was abundantly clear once I got going that this was harder than it looked. I could immediately see the cross over benefits of training with the Motostik for motocross.  Balance is very important not only in motocross but just about any sport.  The Motostik requires tremendous balance and I could easily see how this tool could develop that area of fitness.  If nothing else the Motostik is worth its weight in gold for developing coordination and balance.  Another area that I thought was unique to this product was the use of timing.  Jumping up and down is one thing, but getting the timing down to really soar was tough and moving forward would have to wait until I logged a few more hours.  I could see this helping on the track in times you need to pre-load before a jump or coordinate your body in the right position through a whoop section.  Timing and coordination are two areas that are seriously overlooked in most training protocols.

As I passed the 5 minute mark my heart rate was definitely climbing.  At first I was a little disappointed that it was only in the 120's, but as I got better and started to string more jumps together, my heart rate started to climb. Within the first 15 minutes I was able to achieve and maintain a heart rate of 152.  As I was jumping, I noticed another great benefit unique to the Motostik.  I was getting an upper body feeling of work that I normally only feel when I am riding.  No other piece of equipment I have used has more closely mimicked what I feel while on the bike.  My hands, forearms, and back were definitely getting a workout.  I suspect my legs will get a better workout as my ability on the Motostik improves.
Incorporating the MotoStik into Your Routine
It didn't take me long to start formulating possible workouts in my mind.  I could envision placing cones on the floor to maneuver around, pogoing up and down the street at various speeds, and trying to jump as high as possible developing explosive power in my legs.  During my 45 minutes session I combined jumping with some pushups and core work and quickly developed a total body workout that would be beneficial to any rider.  I can see how the Motostik will be beneficial especially in the pre and in-season periods.

The Pogo World
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Jeff Emig checking out the Motostik!
Since this was the first Pogo I had ever been on I was curious to see what the Pogo world had to say about it.  I found a review on and was not surprised to see that they love it.  Read some of the other reviews and you will see that these guys don't pull any punches when it comes to reviews.  This is what they had to say:

System: It has an internal set of springs. You can adjust the spring tension with a knob on top to optimize it for the weight of the jumper. Because the spring chamber is enclosed, it also has a small amount of pneumatic pressure to help with the jump. This is also, without a doubt, the quietest stick I've ever used.
Strengths: Lots of strengths on this stick. It is very, very durably built. Bent shafts and other problems that occur often on other sticks aren't a worry with the Motostik. It's adjustable. The construction allows for easy modifications and addition of after market accessories. It gets a little bit more air than the Gravity Games stick .
Weaknesses: The handle bars are very wide. For freestyle jumping you'll probably want to cut the handle bars down about 4 inches on either side. The straight stick design and the fact that it's directional (has a front and back) also limits trick versatility a little bit.

I guess it is safe to say that the Motostik is well received in the Pogo World.

Now I'm Hooked
I highly recommend the Motostik and give it a rating of wide open.  The possibilities and combinations of routines that can be put together are limitless.  I also think this would be a fantastic tool for warming up at the races.  I have been told by several riders that the main reason they don't warm up at the track is because they feel silly doing pushups, calisthenics, and running in place.  Well with the Motostik, people will just think you are playing around when in fact you are doing the most important thing before any race; warming up.  In the 45 minutes that I tried the Motostik, 3 of my neighbors and a bunch of neighborhood kids congregated in my driveway. They all tried the Motostik and had a great time until the sun went down. 
Incorporating the Motostik into your workout will improve your coordination, balance, timing and cardio conditioning as well as put a huge smile on your face.  A lot of times the workouts that are the most beneficial are the most boring. Not the case here. Visit the Motostik website to purchase your next piece of training equipment.  Jump, Jump, Jump...... Jump Around!

Check out this Very Cool Video .

That's it for now, so until next time, good luck with your training and, as always, VT can be reached anytime at . In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section , your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness.

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