Freestyle Motocross rider, Michael Oyston has joined the Shift MX team and is looking rather stylish flying through the air in the new gear. We joined him at the Jungle Rush FMX compound to chat about the gear and his FMX career. Check it out…
Full name: Michael Oyston
Hometown: Fourways, Gauteng
Years riding: 7 years
Bike: KTM 350 SXF
Sponsors: Jungle Rush FMX, Shift MX, Dragon Energy, DC Shoes, Bounce, Dirt Nurse Cleaning Products, AR Developments, Skullcandy, TRP Distributors, Bridgestone, Ride 100%, Full Throttle and Pump Brand Ideas.
What attracted you to the sport of Freestyle Motocross and when did you realize that this is something you wanted to do?
I’ve been exposed to dirt bikes my whole life and it was Dallan Goldman who introduced me to FMX. I started riding with him at his compound and found I had a knack for jumping bikes and was really comfortable in the air. Once I started learning tricks and progressing I knew it was the sport for me!
What was it like hitting steel for the first time, and how big was the gap?
It was extremely intimidating to jump a ramp for the first time, more because of the fear of the unknown. I had a great bunch of people surrounding me and motivating me, which dmade it a lot easier. I jumped 13 meters for my first time.
How would you best explain the feeling of flying through the sky while doing tricks?
The feeling is indescribable! It’s for those brief few seconds nothing else in the world matters except for you and your bike. It’s definitely a great escape and helps me maintain some sanity, as ironic as it is.
What are your Pro’s and Cons of being an FMX rider?
The Pro’s would be seeing the reactions we get from people at the shows we ride, which makes me feel what we put ourselves through is worth it. Also having an escape from reality and in a sense, freedom of expression, and don’t forget the love from our sponsors.
A Con would be the injuries. It is a dangerous sport and unfortunately, sometimes, you can get badly hurt but that’s where your passion needs to overcome the fear. FMX is both a physical and a mental game.
What have been some of the highlights of your career so far?
Riding in front of 80 000 people in Tanzania. Winning my first Pro Amateur event. Taking 3rd place in a whip competition. Getting to travel around South Africa doing what I love and performing for the crowds.
What preparation goes into being a FMX rider?
Practice, practice, practice. The more saddle time you can get, the better!
What are your goals for 2018?
Ride as many demos and events as possible, and learn bigger and better tricks.
What drives you to ride?
The passion as well as it being a great outlet from the functioning world. There is no better feeling than learning new tricks and seeing all the hard work paying off when doing those tricks for the crowds.
When are we going to see you go upside-down?
I will be looking at getting into a pit during the course of the year and the plan would be to get as comfortable as possible before going to dirt.
How often do you get to ride and train?
Currently I only get to ride and train 1 to 2 times per week due to work commitments but I’d like to get it to a minimum of 3 days a week on the bike.
What advice do you have for anyone keen to get into the sport of FMX?
Most things are worth trying at least once in your life and FMX is definitely worth a try. Start small and work your way up, that’s how most of the great riders did it. If you’re willing to risk it and put in the time, the rewards will be worth it.
You are now riding for Shift MX. Give us some insight into that?
Shift MX has been around since before I got involved in bikes. I was pumped to hear that they were in South Africa and even more pumped to be given the opportunity to represent the brand as the South African FMX rider. The brand has a lot of potential in South Africa and I am really eager to see how far we can take it.
Riding in both the White Label and Black Label gear options, how does it compare to other gear you have worn in the past?
The gear is super comfortable and breathable, which helps a lot with some of the hot South African weather we experience. It’s also flexible, enabling me to do all my tricks comfortably. It’s super stylish gear and always keeps me looking good on the bike.
What are your likes and dislikes of the Jersey, Pants and Gloves?
I love the flexibility and breathability of the gear and of course the great designs. Honestly have no dislikes about the gear.
How do the Shift White Label boots match up to your needs?
For intermediate and up-and-coming riders the boots are amazing. Unfortunately with the level that I am riding at, and due to having a plate and 7 screws in my ankle, I experience some discomfort while riding with boots that don’t have an inner booty.
All-in-all, what is your overall impression of the Shift MX gear?
I love the gear and would recommend it to anyone and everyone. You will not be disappointed!
Any shout- outs?
A massive shout out to Dallan Goldman, Lyle Goldman, Nicholas Oyston and Gary McBirnie. If is was not for these people I would not be where I am in the sport today. To all my sponsors over the years who have helped and supported me. To the fellow riders who always push me to progress and of course my family who have always supported me, and to any fans out there who love the sport.
Shift MX Black Label Mainline Jersey – R799
Multi-panel construction for superior fit and feel. Close, unrestrictive fit, with minimalistic micro-cuffs. Moisture-wicking fabric.
Shift MX Black Label Mainline Pant – R3119
Designed to take a beating while maintaining rider comfort. Laser cut perforations, vented knee panels and breathable rear yoke. Triple-layer knee improves durability.
Shift Black Label Pro and Air Glove – R579 and R539
Pro: Focused on protection and durability. Stretch ripstop for the ideal balance of strength and dexterity. Double layer palm with strategically placed perforations. Stretch mesh finger gussets.
Air: Slip-on design and ultra lightweight construction. 4-way stretch fabric for a superior fit and optimal dexterity. Stretch mesh finger gussets. Perforated single layer palm.
Shift MX White Label Ninety Seven and Tarmac Jersey – R499
Long-lasting, comfortable and stylish. Lightweight, yet durable and featuring wicking properties. Ventilated side panels delivers unreal comfort all season long.
Shift MX White Label Ninety Seven and Tarmac Pant – R1799
Excellent balance of strength and weight. Stretch zones in the waist, back panel, and lower leg allowing pants to move with you without feeling inhibiting. Articulated knees and hip. Padded knee construction increases comfort and durability.
Shift MX White Label Air Glove – R379
4-way stretch nylon for optimal movement and dexterity. Single layer padded palm. Silicone grippers on fingertips.
Shift MX White Label Boot – R4999
Designed and engineered from the ground up to bring exceptional fit, form, and function.