Check Out This Ice Road Racing Moto Bonanza

Flat-track champs doing it right on an Italian winter course.

Snow Quake
Vimeo/Deus Italy

You never want to admit that someone—namely, someone other than you—has got this whole Life thing figured out. To do so is to admit a wrong turn, or maybe a turn not taken. To do so is to court the withering glare of Father Time, who never obliges when you ask him a favor. We know because we called him about 30 minutes ago, and he’s yet to put us on a snowy flat track in the Italian Alps, with studded tires under our customized Yamaha and hot coffee in our veins. This is disconcerting.

Sharpening the blow is the knowledge that Marco Belli—Italian and North American flat-track motorcycle champ and all-around rebel rouser—has got Life figured out really, really good. He and fellow riders recently decamped to Riva Valdobbia, in the mountainous Piedmont region of northern Italy, to film an epic little confection called Snow Quake. In it, Belli rides a Yamaha XJR1300, tastefully stripped down by Australia’s favorite customizers-cum-lifestyle-brand Deux Ex Machina. Britain’s Sideburn magazine is also along, and Pirelli provides the Scorpion rubber, which bears spikes that’d make the Legion of Doom wince.

With some of the most seamless drone-filmed sequences we’ve seen, the production takes in the sweep of this shadowy, ice-ringed river valley and positions the viewer above, within and below the flat-track action. It all builds to a wheel-to-wheel motocross, and maybe a winner is crowned, but we can’t be sure. Doesn’t seem to matter, either. The bikes, the frigid beauty of the countryside and the smiles behind the facial hair tell the whole story.