5 minutes…Danny McCanney – buying his own Beta, joinery and old CR250s at VMXdN
Enduro21 catches five minutes with Danny McCanney during his tea-break from his new day job to talk about life after EnduroGP, buying his own bikes, getting back into joinery and why old CR250 two-strokes will take him to the Vintage MX des Nations this summer.
Since retiring from the EnduroGP World Championship at the end of 2022, Danny McCanney has been pretty busy. A little boy at home in the Isle of Man is getting more attention from his dad and taking the step away from the pressures of being a professional enduro rider means finally getting into the swing of the job he’s qualified for, joinery as you’re asking.
That and the small matter of buying and building his own bike to race the 2023 ACU British Enduro Championship and the small matter of representing a Manx team at the Vintage MX des Nations.
But mainly, the former Junior Enduro and SuperEnduro World Champion tells Enduro21, life is better because he looks forward to riding his bike(s) again at the weekends.
Hi Danny, this is the first year in a decade or so you haven’t been racing in the world championship. How does that feel?
Danny McCanney: “Yeah it feels good. I don’t miss it at all. It was more or less a decade of being a professional rider, my first year was 2012 in the GPs, and it feels like I did my time.
“I really don’t feel like I’m missing anything, even looking at the first GP in Italy and the results and everything, I’m not getting the blues about not being there. It proves I really was over it.
“Now I look forward to riding at the weekends and since the days are longer I’m getting out at nights for an hour or so when I can. I have a nearly four-year-old son and I’m spending more time with him.
“But the buzz of riding a bike is back rather than it being a job. I always said it is pointless if you’re not enjoying it and I wasn’t, but now I am.”
You’re back to doing an actual job then, can you remember how to do it?
“Yeah, I’m actually a qualified joiner so I’m back doing that but with it being such a long time I’m having to learn again, it’s like being back at school!
“Like I said, riding now is something I look forward to and though I’m not as fit as I was when I could train all week, I felt that at the first British Enduro, I have to tell myself to stand back and remember that’s why I stopped. To not have that pressure to be 100% my best all the time feels good.
“At the first British round Brad [Freeman] and Jed [Etchells] were ahead of me on the podium but they are both leading their classes in the world championship, Brad overall, so I can’t complain to be third to those guys.”
If the EnduroGP world championship does come to Britain in 2024 I’ll work towards that
McCanney has struck up a deal with Beta UK, Apico Factory Racing and a few parts suppliers to build his own Beta RR 300. It’s a bike which enduro21 was surprised to learn Danny had bought (though not a surprise if you know John Boy at Beta UK…).
“It’s the bike I wanted simply. I won my Junior World Championship on one and always had a soft spot for them basically. I called Beta UK and with the help of Apico, it was pretty easy to do a deal but I did buy it. This is my bike.”
The 2014 Junior World Championship winning rider in action on the Boano Beta RR 300...
What is the plan for 23 then?
“The British Enduro Championship and the Vintage MX des Nations at Foxhills are the main events basically. I have a deal with Beta for the enduro championship but I said from the start, when I knew I was going to do the VMX des Nations, I wanted to be able to ride my own bikes away from enduro so…”
When you say bikes, which bikes?
“I have a thing about old two-stroke Hondas so I’m doing it on one of those. I use them in a few motocross races and practice days locally but I’m probably doing the VdN on a 2002 Honda CR250 two-stroke. I’ve built up quite a collection of them.”
So no other big events, any one-off races at international level?
“It’s nice not to have that stress to be honest. If some of the boys back home are planning to do a British Sprint Enduro or something and we can get in the van, I might do those. But otherwise being properly prepared for the BEC rounds and doing some Manx events is more than enough.
“The only thing would be if the EnduroGP World Championship does come to Britain in 2024 I’ll work towards that. But other than that, the goal is to enjoy my riding and try and win the British Enduro title again.”
Photo Credit: Vision Off Road Media + Enduro21 Archive | Future7Media