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Old 10-01-2006, 03:31 PM   #1
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Article on Darius Kashabi...

DOING CRAZY TRICKS ON BIG SPEEDY BIKES
Stunt riders perform at the edges of the law. Now they want to go legit for the X Games.
Justin Berton, Chronicle Staff Writer

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The moment Darius Khashabi felt his motorcycle wobble at 80 mph, he knew he was headed toward pavement. He was speeding along Highway 242 near Concord, and it didn't help that he was doing a wheelie in the fast lane while attempting to stand up on his gas tank -- an acrobatic move that required Khashabi's videographer to follow him in a car. On the video -- which is part of Khashabi's popular line of "Servin' It Up" DVDs, a 5-year-old genre of illicit street racing and extreme motorcycle stunts filmed mostly on Bay Area streets -- his feet slip off the gas tank and his front wheel slams down to the asphalt. At the high speed, the bike pitches like an angry bull, throwing Khashabi's body into the next lane of traffic.

"I was so amped on adrenaline, I barely felt it," Khashabi says at his Walnut Creek home as he prepares to leave for a stunt bike contest in Fresno. "I just got up, started running to the edge, and that's when I felt my foot start to burn."

Khashabi had shattered his right wrist, broke bones in his right foot and lost a few layers of skin from his back, thighs, palms, knuckles and kneecaps.

But those were the old days, Khashabi says with a hint of nostalgia. Three years later, the nationally known stunt rider credited with helping to launch the trend of "stunting" is trying to go legit. Khashabi, 32, aims to transform stunt riding from an illegal hobby that has long frustrated police and angered drivers into an internationally sanctioned extreme sport with an eye toward the 2008 X Games. To do so, he has tirelessly promoted his DVDs, which have sold an estimated 100,000 copies at $25 a pop, and over the past year he has appeared in 35 demos and contests, from Sweden to Sydney. His sport has yet to catch the attention of X-Game producers, but Khashabi believes that with the right organizing body and an image makeover, stunting will soon gain acceptance.

Malcolm McCassy, team manager for Alpinestars, an international racing gear company that usually sponsors professional dirt and track riders, recently signed Khashabi to a $30,000 sponsorship deal, a first-of-its kind contract that McCassy said was a tough sell to his bosses. Alpinestars executives, McCassy says, were worried that unsanctioned stunt riders projected a reckless and lawless image. Khashabi wears Alpinestars gear at competitions and appears in a short clip on the company's Web site, in which scenes of city streets are notably absent. "Their image was horrible a few years ago," McCassy says of stunt riders. "They didn't give people anything they could grab onto or like about them. To get big, you've got to put out an image that parents, kids and the X Games can embrace. ... And Darius has that. He's got a look going -- a Vin Diesel thing -- that can attract people to his sport."

Khashabi, whose sculpted physique and bald-headed features do look like an action hero's, was born a speed demon, says his mother, Rosemary Douglass. Scars across his jawline and scalp show the effects of his first major crash at age 15, when he plowed a Datsun car into a tree near their home in Pleasant Hill.

"He has always been attracted to motors," Douglass says. "In high school I'd say, 'Why not study social studies?' And instead, he'd be studying his motor manuals in the garage."

After high school, Khashabi bought his first street motorcycle, a 500-pound rocket built for speed on the open road. Unlike dirt bikes, which are suited for long jumps and easy maneuvering, a street bike can be cumbersome for tricks, but Khashabi treated his street bike like a bicycle. Wheelies begat no-handed wheelies, which begat standing on the tail of the bike, which begat standing on the seat of the bike, hands free. The filming of his stunts soon followed, borrowing traits from extreme-sports cinema -- distorted fish-eye lens, raging soundtrack and gnarly wipe-out clips. Khashabi served as director, editor and star of his videos, which jumped last year from motorcycle shops and online sales to Wal-Mart shelves.

Still, the rider isn't getting movie star treatment yet. Nor is he halting his freeway escapades.

And even though his videos have made him famous among a cabal of riders, he works on his own bikes. The guts of three motorbikes spill across the floor of his garage, leading to the driveway where a tow trailer is plastered with Khashabi's image performing a "spreader" -- legs in a V shape over the handlebars while riding a wheelie.

Khashabi takes a break from his work, lights a cigarette and within 10 minutes mentions three friends who have died in street accidents, including one whose ashes he carries in his riding jacket. Another rider, who worked for one of his distributors, was pulling a wheelie on a freeway exit when he died, Khashabi says, and the distributor, upset with the influence of Khashabi's videos, cleared shelves of the merchandise.

Khashabi has heard the complaints before. Every so often a local television station wants to interview him about stunting, he says, and he always declines because he expects to be vilified.

"People watch NASCAR," Khashabi says, "and maybe it makes them go out into the parking lot and speed on their way home? I don't know."

To appease the angered distributor, Khashabi filmed "Servin' It Up 4" entirely free of controversial street footage. Instead of Bay Bridge and S.F. street shots, the filmmaker filled screen time with contest performances in empty parking lots.

The controlled environment, he says, lacked the hairiness fans crave.

"I tried to make it positive," Khashabi says, "but without the street footage, it just doesn't seem to sell."

At the second-annual Motorcycle Mayhem in Fresno on Saturday, Khashabi was greeted more like an elder statesman than a scofflaw.

Aaron Colton, a lanky 14-year-old rider from Shakopee, Minn., says he's grown up watching Khashabi's videos. Colton still isn't licensed to ride a motorbike on the street, but says he practices moves like Khashabi's signature spreader in parking lots and racetracks in the summer.

Aaron's father, Sean Colton, says his son is part of the fledging sport's newer, cleaner image, and hopes stunt riding will "squeak into" the X Games in a few years. Not long ago, riders used trashy bikes and wore dingy clothing. But Aaron, taking a cue from Khashabi and other riders at contests, customized his paint job, bought fresh gear and recently set up a Web site to promote himself. Because so few stunt riders exist, his father says Aaron catapulted himself to the top ranks even though he's only been at it for a year and a half.

At stunt events, riders need only a 40-yard strip of asphalt to perform. Unlike a motocross course, which is rippled with jumps and obstacles, stunt riders use only a flat patch of concrete. On each pass, they perform a new trick for a panel of judges, and earn scores the way ice skaters do. This year, with a dozen riders competing, judges tried to implement a compulsory routine, but too few riders could complete the standards.

"One of the problems we have," Khashabi says at the Motorcycle Mayhem, "is that not enough riders know all these tricks." He estimates it will be three more years before the usual handful of riders enters the competitions.

In his first pass, Khashabi attempts a stoppie -- leaning forward on his bike's front wheel, forcing the back wheel in the air to a complete stop -- but falls over the handlebars. The bike tumbles over, too, and just misses Khashabi, landing upside down, wheels up, seemingly defiant.

Other riders stay on their bikes longer. Colton, the 14-year-old, rides in a straight line, lifts his legs and spins 180 degrees in the seat until he faces the back wheel. As his bike speeds across the pavement, he lifts his arms at the judge's table and the crowd cheers. Then he spins back around and grabs the handlebars.

Since stunt routines are so new, many of the crowd-pleasing tricks get repeated, like the high chair, in which the rider hangs both feet over the handlebars. To do a barrel roll, the performer does a somersault on the seat while the bike moves forward.

Other tricks are attempts to break new ground, even if they're not as flashy. In one, Khashabi parks the bike in the center of the lot, puts the kickstand down and revs the engine until the back wheel burns a cloud of white smoke. Then he stands on the seat of the bike for a few seconds and jumps off, doing a little twirl on the way down. Another rider named Kaneone does the same trick, but instead of standing on the seat, he does a headstand.

"Our sport doesn't have a lot of eye candy, like a guy doing back flips in the air," Khashabi says, a reference to motocross, which has become a big draw at the X Games in the past three years. "But it's still new. People are doing new variations on things all the time."

Khashabi ultimately takes second place to a rider from New England, but cashes in $7,000 in prize money and appearance fees.
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So is refusing to give it up.

If you keep looking in the pantry and finding out its empty, eventually you go to a restaurant.
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Old 10-01-2006, 04:25 PM   #2
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darius is cold as ice.
i enjoy his Vids
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Old 10-01-2006, 04:26 PM   #3
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So is refusing to give it up.

If you keep looking in the pantry and finding out its empty, eventually you go to a restaurant.
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Old 10-01-2006, 04:53 PM   #4
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and thats exactly the godd publicity they need to make it a sanctioned sport or enter it into the exgames. excellent job.
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Old 10-01-2006, 04:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
in one, Khashabi parks the bike in the center of the lot, puts the kickstand down and revs the engine until the back wheel burns a cloud of white smoke. Then he stands on the seat of the bike for a few seconds and jumps off, doing a little twirl on the way down.
Ok, im not really sure how that is a trick. If thats the kind of stuff your gonna bring in your game to try and make stunting mainstream, then you need a new bag of tricks, or just give up on trying to get anywhere but illegal.
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Old 10-01-2006, 04:56 PM   #6
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iove seen clips of it, its more to it than just what the article says, no justice in just writing...
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Old 10-01-2006, 04:56 PM   #7
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Can you do it? If so pics/vids or BANHAMMER!!!!!!
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Old 10-01-2006, 04:59 PM   #8
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so he does a burn out, then stops, stands on the bike and then gets off?

oh oh wait, he TWIRLS off the bike.


yes. someone find a video of this trick. I need to see it in person cause it sounds lame on paper.
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Old 10-01-2006, 05:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Del
Can you do it? If so pics/vids or BANHAMMER!!!!!!

tried it on the fiddy once, near landed in the hospital :laughing6
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Old 10-01-2006, 05:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrapp
so he does a burn out, then stops, stands on the bike and then gets off?

oh oh wait, he TWIRLS off the bike.


yes. someone find a video of this trick. I need to see it in person cause it sounds lame on paper.

just do a google video search for sidestand burnout twirllie trick :laughing6


J/k :icon_bigg
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Old 10-01-2006, 05:03 PM   #11
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I meant you scrapp. let's see pics/vids of you doing that, with the twirl I might add, then my fine feathered friend we will see if it is "easy"
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Old 10-01-2006, 08:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrapp
Ok, im not really sure how that is a trick. If thats the kind of stuff your gonna bring in your game to try and make stunting mainstream, then you need a new bag of tricks, or just give up on trying to get anywhere but illegal.
in other words...he's doin a burn out while standing on the tank jackass
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please if it wasnt for me neither of yall would be stunntin yall would still be doing power woolies in 1rst gear haha....
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Old 10-01-2006, 09:29 PM   #13
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the artical does a poor job of relaying that.
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Old 10-01-2006, 09:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrapp
Ok, im not really sure how that is a trick. If thats the kind of stuff your gonna bring in your game to try and make stunting mainstream, then you need a new bag of tricks, or just give up on trying to get anywhere but illegal.
obviously you don't have a clue about darius or the stuff we can do on our bikes. Anyone that knows Darius knows what he and most of the other top pros in the country are capable of.

PawPaw
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Old 10-01-2006, 09:37 PM   #15
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if this is the darius240, then yes, I know who he is. One of my 240z friends is real close with him.
I allready said the artical was really crappy in explaining what exactally the trick was.
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Old 10-01-2006, 09:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrapp
if this is the darius240, then yes, I know who he is. One of my 240z friends is real close with him.
I allready said the artical was really crappy in explaining what exactally the trick was.
your right . You did say that. I just always hear people talkin ...and kinda jumped on the defensive. lol sorry.

PawPaw

ps...I'm friends with Darius too.lol
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Old 10-01-2006, 09:54 PM   #17
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im far from talking . he has worked hard to get where he is, I mean, his name is almost "housebrand" to anyone in the car or bike community. the articals explaination of what he was doing didnt make sense.
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Old 10-02-2006, 12:07 AM   #18
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ps...I swing from Darius's too.lol




:laughing6 Had to do it
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Old 10-02-2006, 02:56 AM   #19
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Hahah^^^ leave the alone please!
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Old 10-02-2006, 07:32 AM   #20
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:laughing6 Had to do it
your a and your wheelies are GAAABBBAGe! ....***! lol
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