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Garage Finds | Cole Seely’s 2014 Troy Lee Designs Helmet


Garage Finds | Cole Seely’s 2014 Troy Lee Designs Helmet

Presented by Backyard Design

In light of Cole Seely’s announcement that he will not return to professional Supercross and Motocross racing following his most recent shoulder injury, I thought it would be cool to share the Troy Lee Designs SE3 helmet that he gave me in 2014, when he was still a member of the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/Honda team. I honestly can’t remember when I first met our sport’s most recently retired racer, but I can remember him on a Suzuki RM125.

Through the years, Cole has always been one of the absolute coolest guys to work with. Many features have been written about how versatile Seely is, as he is far from being a one-dimensional dirt bike racer. Seely is also a great BMXer, mountain biker, golfer, and skater. He both drives and promotes drifting events. He is a skilled photographer and knows how to shoot and edit video. You get the point…there’s definitely life after racing for Seely.

A few weeks ago, Cole told me that the announcement was coming out today, and it made me set back and think about all the fun stuff we’ve done together through the years.

We put Seely on the cover of TransWorld Motocross several times throughout his career, and I think this was his first. Our photo editor at the time Brendan Lutes eventually got a real banger, but this is what I came away with because Seely would only goof off when I was pointing my camera at him.

Cole and Wil in the Sherman Oaks Galleria in fill Pickup Kits. Did they work?

I think the most we ever laughed was when filming for one of our DVD movies…Kickstart 4: The Final Chapter. Jordan Powell and I shot a two-day segment with Seely and Wil Hahn. On day one we went to Wyvern Ranch with Cole’s freestyle BFF Lance Coury, and then we headed north for a private filming day at Zaca Station. After shooting at Wyvern, we stopped by the Sherman Oaks Galleria on the way to Zaca and talked Cole and Wil into walking around the mall trying to pick up on chicks in their race jerseys. Did it work? Let’s just say that may or may not be when Cole met Danielle…


When we finally made it to Buellton and checked into a hotel for the night, the four of us walked to dinner and I told the boys I was taking them to McDonald’s. The photo above was their reaction. Haha! Of course, we walked to the amazing AJ Spurs steakhouse that is a must-have every time I drive up the 101.

In 2016, Honda HRC flew Cole to Japan to race the All Japan National finale at Sugo Sportsland. I was already headed there to watch my good friend Akira Narita win his 11th championship, but I was super stoked that I would get to hang with Cole, too. “Core Seery” was a hit in Japan as he swept both motos and was super popular with the fans. Always the good sport, Cole also agreed to film a pretty funny video with me, eating a bunch of Japanese snack food that I bought for him at the local 7-11.

After the race, I joined the entire Honda squad at the victory dinner to celebrate Narita’s title and Seely’s race win. Things got pretty wild and I’ll never forget when Cole stood on a table and offered a toast, shouting out the only Japanese phrase we taught him, “Ooki opai daisuke!” (I love big boobs) The room went nuts.

Seely loved Japan and especially the automobiles there. I am pretty sure he also got to visit the Twin Ring Motegi circuit. I think I shot this photo of him on a mamachari bicycle after the victory dinner, but I’m not sure. The sake was flowing…

Seely’s last cover of TransWorld Motocross came in 2018, just before he suffered massive injuries at the Tampa SX. Mike Emery snapped the photo while I manned the smoke machine. As always, Cole was willing to do whatever we asked of him, and this shoot took place at the Honda SX track after the sun went down, lit only by Emery’s strobes.

The cover shot Emery got was epic, of course, and after we were done Cole played along for one last photo I wanted to get. Haha!

Congratulations on a rad career, Cole Seely. And thank you for being my friend.

  • Donn


Backyard Designs Graphic Kit of the Week

Custom Graphic Kits Starting At $179.99

Backyard Design was founded in 2010 by two privateer Supercross racers: Jared Hicks from Alabama and Philipp Klakow from Germany. What started off as a project to fund their Supercross racing efforts has now grown into a worldwide graphics manufacturer, with dual headquarters in the United States and Germany. Backyard Design is known for being one of the first custom graphics makers to have a completely interactive website, where customers can design their own kits with a few clicks on a computer mouse.

The 2020 new bike season is in full swing, and it’s an exciting time of year for us media types. Getting to ride all of the new bikes and try virtually anything and everything we can make time for is an honor and privilege that I’ve never taken for granted. The only downfall? When it comes to the 250s and 450s, we need to keep them in stock form until we can conduct each of the class shootouts. That said, when it comes to racing a bike on the weekends, they can’t really be personalized to our individual tastes and needs until around September or October. The two exceptions? The Husqvarna FC 350 and KTM 350 SX-F! I’ve been spending lots of time on the Husky 350 and man is it a blast! I’ve already ordered a few parts to dial it in better for my old-guy pace, and Jared at Backyard Design knocked it out of the park when I asked him to whip up a quick SML graphic kit for me. Last week, we showed you the design as it was on the computer screen, and this week we have the finished product! Badass, right? The fit was excellent and the material was easy to install. Order a kit like this by calling the guys at BYD. And leave the SML logos? I ain’t mad at ya!

Don’t need something this wild? Backyard Design USA’s web site has a wide selection of baseline designs to start with for all brands, which can be customized with your sponsor logos, etc.

Visit www.backyarddesignusa.com to see more!

Donn Maeda

Donn Maeda is a 30-year veteran in moto-journalism, having worked at Cycle News and Dirt Rider before launching MXracer Magazine and TransWorld Motocross Magazine. Maeda is the Editor-In-Chief at Swapmoto Live and you can catch him on a dirt bike or in the saddle of a mountain bike on most days.

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  1. Kyle August 2, 2019

    Nice Career Cole,
    You will be missed!

  2. Tonic August 5, 2019

    These stories have a great ‘human’ feel to them. I imagine the bench racing is deep!