Luke “Duke” Emmons and Aaron Twite have been battling for five episodes in Ducati’s Game of Hype. We checked in with the XDL Champion to get the behind the scenes take on filming the series.
StuntBums: How long did the filming take – and which was the most CHALLENGING challenge and why?
Luke: Once we got to LA we had to nail down the areas to ride. The only people that knew what could be done at a possible film scene are Aaron and I. Some of the potential areas available would have looked really cool, but the surfaces were either too far gone or polished etc. Also we had to invent 14 tricks that we could do with props and we hadn't been on the bikes yet. Those issues turned out to be tiddlywinks compared to dealing with Aaron’s shenanigans. All in all these challenges dragged the whole trip out to about ten days.
StuntBums: Which location was the most fun to ride at and which location was the most challenging?
Luke: The abandoned freeway that we filmed the wheelie challenge at was by far the most fun to ride. It was a mile long and has a perfect surface. It is also the place where we were able to dial into the bikes, get to know them, love them, cherish them. The container yard was probably the most difficult due to the surface prep involved. I think that cycle world should have back charged them for us cleaning an inch of debris out of there!
StuntBums: Tell us about the bikes, they look fairly stock, how did the handle and what were their strong points?
Luke: Aaron and I busted our behinds to get these bikes setup. We were told that we got the gig on a Tuesday night at nine. We flew out that weekend with filming scheduled to start the following Tuesday. Moto Heaven came through for us in a big way! We got seven up sprockets (that they had never done for this bike) complete and shipped to cali for Monday. Aaron sourced masters with a tap-in for handbrakes and I had a couple maguras lying around and we got the bikes set-up on Monday. The suspension is really amazing on the Ducatis these bikes have a huge stroke in the forks and make for plush stoppies.
StuntBums: Was the game rigged!?!?! Or were the challenge outcomes true (who won/lost)?
Luke: If I win it wasn't rigged but if Aaron wins then it was rigged.
StuntBums: In terms of the sport’s evolution, what can you say about brands like Ducati taking an interest in using the technical side of stunt riding to promote their machines?
Luke: Look at any non-stunt motorcycle magazine. Somewhere in between the front cover and back cover someone will be doing a wheelie! I think much of the non-stunt industry are understanding that stunt riding is badass and takes a lot if skill. Top stunt riders have more bike control than any other riding discipline period! More and more companies are seeing our ability to move product and that means good things for guys pushing the sport and are barely able to hang on financially.
StuntBums: It was good to see both of you – what have you been up to in this “XDL-less” summer?
Luke: I have been working on a serious show program, booking open houses, racetracks, and anywhere else I can push to start. Thanks to XDL building my reputation as a top rider, I am able to gain credibility when I cold call a venue. Nicole and I celebrated our one year anniversary in wedded bliss, and all of my spots are scouted and ready to drag a big buck out of.
StuntBums: .Did Aaron really eat McDonalds?
Luke: At some point in his life Aaron has eaten a burger at McDonalds I think.
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