The Rekluse team caught up with multi-time GNCC, NEPG, and ISDE champion Tayla Jones to discuss how she got her start racing, how her season is going, and what she likes about running Rekluse products.
Rekluse: We appreciate you taking the time with us today. First of all, congrats on the [GNCC] podium finish [at the Big Buck round].
Tayla: Thank you! It wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t the best race, but I’m happy to get the podium.
When did you get your start racing?
I started riding dirt bikes when I was 3 then I started racing when I was 4. I started doing dirt track and motocross when I was a kid.
When did you start racing off-road?
I moved to off-road when I turned 16.
What is your favorite part about racing?
My favorite part is probably the traveling. Getting to meet new people and see new places. It’s fun to be able to do that side of things.
Do you have a favorite place you’ve traveled? A favorite place to ride?
Honestly, not really. Everywhere I go is different, but it’s all fun in a different kind of way. I love racing in America. You can drive to a different state an hour away and the dirt will be different from the next.
That’s probably pretty different than down in Australia
Yeah, for sure!
What is your favorite racing or riding memory?
There’s so many of them. Probably my favorite racing memory is winning my first [International Six Days Enduro] world title with Team Australia in Italy in 2013.
What advice would you give any up-and-coming racers or riders?
Probably the biggest advice is give anything a go. Nothing is impossible, you just have to do it and see.
Do you have any pre-race superstitions or rituals?
Not really. Usually I wear the same pair of socks [laughs]. I’ll win in a pair of socks, then I have to wear the same socks next time I race.
You wash them though right?
[laughs] Of course, I do wash them between races
Changing gears a bit, you took 2nd at the first GNCC round. Walk us through how the race went.
It started off pretty good. I got the holeshot, which was awesome, I haven’t had one of those in a while. It went downhill from there. I ended up crashing with some lappers, then I was catching back up and I ran into a tree pretty hard. It busted up my bike a bit and I hit my hand, but it’s nothing too bad. It should be fine by next weekend. It kind of slowed down my race. I ended up 2nd, which is good for a bad day, but not where I wanted to be.
But you’re coming out healthy – or as healthy as you can after running into a tree.
You won your third consecutive GNCC championship last year and picked up another Sprint Enduro championship. How do you stay on top of your game so consistently?
The consistency part is the hardest, trying not to get hurt for a whole season. There’s a lot of races that happen. Quite a lot goes into my training and what I do in the offseason to get me ready for the race season. That way I don’t have to work as hard during the race season because of what I do in the offseason, which helps a lot. But still, anything can happen at a race. I’ve been lucky. Last year I ended up breaking all my fingers, so that wasn’t the best way to end my summer. I missed a few races, which made it a lot harder to get the championship.
You mentioned your offseason program, what does that normally look like?
Usually we have a few weeks off to recover from the race season, because it’s pretty long. Then we get back into strength building – you want to build up as much strength as possible and get as much fitness as you can, then taper down when you start racing again.
You’re with the Husqvarna program going on 4 years now. How is it working with them?
It’s been great, they’re a good team. Timmy, the manager, he’s really awesome to work with. He makes sure I have everything I need, which is great. I’m not actually under the factory Husqvarna tent, I’m just a support rider, but really anything I need, they help me out. It makes my life a lot easier knowing that I don’t have to worry about it.
You won AMA Female Racer of the Year back in 2017. How did that feel?
2017 was my first year in America, so that was pretty awesome. I came over here and ended up winning 3 AMA titles and the [ISDE] World Title, so that was probably my best year to date. Everything went perfectly, I had no issues at all. I won 9 out of 10 races that I entered for GNCC. It was pretty much a perfect season. I’m Australian, so to be able to win American rider of the year was pretty special.
Of your 6 ISDE titles, other than the 2013 title in Italy you mentioned, is there one that stands out for you?
Probably Slovakia, I won the outright as well as the team world titles. That was pretty awesome. I was able to win the overall, which was definitely a bonus to winning the team championship, being the fastest woman in the world that year.
How did you get your start with Rekluse? Was it with the Husqvarna program here or back in Australia?
Back in Australia I used Rekluse [clutches] when I started off-road racing. I was new to off-road and didn’t know what to expect, so I had an auto clutch back then, which really helped me get into it. Then when I moved to America, the KR4 [Husqvarna] team was running Rekluse, so I was able to start using them again. Since then, I really wouldn’t choose any other clutch to use.
What did you like about running an auto clutch?
I’m pretty short, so if I stall the bike, I fall over generally. [laughs] Especially when I started racing, I would stall the bike all the time. As soon as I would stall, I would fall over. I wasn’t very skilled through the trees and stuff. I liked that no matter what I did, I wasn’t going to stall my bike. Then I didn’t have to get the kickstarter out. Short people problems is really an issue [laughs].
[laughs] I like it. You’re running our Core Manual clutch system now. What do you like about it? Any differences between Core Manual and OEM that you can feel?
[Core Manual] hooks up a lot better and lasts longer [than OEM]. I’m able to do about half of a season on one clutch. Usually [clutches] wear out a lot faster than that. The way [Core Manual] hooks up, especially on starts and stuff, is great. I like it a whole lot better.
Anyone you’d like to thank?
I want to thank all of my sponsors, really. All of the Rockstar Husky team, everyone in my corner. You guys as well, you’ve been with me for about 4 years now and it’s been awesome. I’m looking forward to continuing with you guys and winning some more races!