By the DR Staff
Welcome to Weekly Dirt, the best place on the Internet for off-road news from around the world. This week we’ve got info about the soon-to-be-released John Penton movie, news that David Knight has signed with Sherco, a sneak peak at the new HJC helmets, some bad Catalina GP news, and a look at KTM’s new PowerWear. Hey, we got a lot to talk about, so let’s get goin’!
CMA Alberta Harescramble Finale
Canadian off-road champion Shane Cuthbertson won the fifth and final round of the CMA Alberta Harescramble Championship held last weekend in the rugged Rocky Mountain range known as Ya-Ha Tinda, in Alberta, Canada, giving him the Pro Championship title. Taking his fifth consecutive overall win, the ‘Moose’ was in top form enjoying the technical course and perfect weather conditions.
“I was extremely focused on putting my best effort forth today to further increase my confidence ahead of my participation in the ISDE in a few weeks,” said Cuthbertson. “This is my eighth regional championship which brings me great satisfaction as I am currently riding better than ever, all the while being able to really enjoy the experience with my young family.”
Penton Film To Have Theatrical Release in 2014
Here’s some cool news: the John Penton movie, PENTON: The John Penton Story (PJPS) is currently in post-production and has a new theatrical distribution partnership with Gathr Films in Los Angeles, which means it will be shown in select theaters around the country. The producers of the film, Pipeline Digital Media, LLC (PDM) are excited to distribute with Gathr Films because of the innovative way Gathr allows communities to pull film content to their local theaters.
According to PDM, PJPS’ loyal followers will use social media and grassroots efforts to spread the word and “evangelize” the screenings in their towns among friends, family, the community and the motorcycle industry to pre-book the local theatre for special screenings of PJPS. Gathr’s CEO, Scott Glosserman has characterized Gathr as “The love child of Netflix and Kickstarter.”
Gathr Films has relationships with theatres all across the United States. This includes the big commercial theatre chains as well as independent art houses. Gathr can also facilitate screenings in a wide array of venues such as libraries or community centers, all you need are seats and digital projection capabilities. It is then up to the fans to spread the word about the event!
“We are excited to have the Penton film as part of our roster,” said Scott Glosserman, CEO of Gathr Films. “The loyalty of the motorcycle industry and this story in particular is what Gathr Films is all about.”
Motorcycle enthusiasts and movie fans alike can simply go to the website to bring the amazing story of John Penton’s passion and influence to their local theatre.
To become a Captain or get notified about screenings near you please visit: https://gathr.us/films/penton
Knighter Goes To Sherco
It looks like we’ll find out how David Knight looks in blue during the 2014 season. After struggling with his privateer Honda program in 2013, the former world and British off-road champ has signed with Sherco for the coming year. Knight will likely contest the FIM SuperEnduro World Championship on a four-stroke and then ride Sherco’s new 300 two-stroke during the Hard Enduro season.
In Search of Akrapovič
Here’s a fun video from stunt rider Chris Pfeiffer and the Akrapovic crew. Even though it’s not dirt, it’s still pretty cool. After all, Pfeiffer did win Erzberg a few times!
Catalina GP cancelled
Given its recent history, it’s no surprise to learn that the Catalina Grand Prix has been cancelled this year, the various government factions unable to come to terms with those who wish to repeat 2010’s resurrected race off the coast of Southern California.
The island’s sole city, Avalon, proposed to put on the 2013 race instead of permitting a private entity/promoter run things. While the city has run other events, of course, dirt bike races are another matter—as the city discovered.
“However, the City of Avalon remains enthusiastically committed to bringing the Grand Prix back to the community, and will continue with the planning process for a series of future Grand Prix events proposed over a five year period,” City Manager Ben Harvey said in a press release. “The City looks forward to working with the state and federal permitting agencies, the Santa Catalina Island Company and the Catalina Conservancy in this endeavor.” So, stay tuned for more news next year.
But while one race seems to be history, another appears on the horizon. SCORE reportedly plans to introduce a new race to the series next year and hold it on this side of the border near El Centro, California. Hare & hound fans will remember the AMA Nationals in the area—some liked it, some didn’t. Tentatively scheduled for April 2014, the race will include all SCORE classes including bikes and ATVs, though those may run on a separate day from the trucks and cars.
In other news, Maggie Pearson decided to get some race time in on her new Western Designs Racing TM 250 EN two-stroke so she lined up for a local MRAN race in Nevada. Unfortunately, things didn’t go well as she ended up with a broken collarbone, according to Team Manager Woody Taylor. That may prevent her from racing the final round of the AMA Racing/FMF/GPR Hare & Hound National Championship Series when it visits Lucerne Valley, California, on October 12-13. Not that she needs to race it, of course, as she’s already wrapped up the Women A/B championship in this, her first year of Nationals. But she was planning to try out her new 250 instead of the 125 she’d been racing all year.
With temps starting to taper in the dez, more local action took place in SoCal with Purvines Racing Beta’s Nick Burson and Justin Morrow going 1-2 in all three races at an AMA District 37 dual European scrambles and hare scrambles hosted by the Shamrocks Motorcycle Club. While Burson won all three, Morrow led quite a bit, demonstrating he’s getting back in race shape after surgery earlier this year.
After finishing fourth in the main at Saturday night’s EnduroCross, Taylor Robert took a day off then headed to LAX on Monday morning to board his flight to Italy and the ISDE. Like most racers going overseas, he had some last-minute personal-preference items with him as checked luggage, including extra suspension units.
Much to his chagrin, however, TSA agents refused to let the fork legs and shock pass inspection—and Club team rider Ryan Kudla found himself in the same boat. (This wasn’t a problem at O’Hare in Chicago for other members of Team USA.)
Rebuffed in their efforts to take their suspension, Kudla and Robert resorted to having Kudla’s mother drive both sets to TBT Racing (the suspension tuner for both, ironically). TBT’s Travis Flateau then took them to Kawasaki where the crew that Robert works with got them both shipped to their Italian destination via another carrier (and despite the fact that Kudla is on a KTM—but they put brand aside and did it for the team).
Early reports from those who’ve already reconned the special tests on Sardinia say it’s dry, dusty and rocky—very similar to Nevada and Southern California. —Mark Kariya
KTM Unveils 2014 Powerwear Lineup
Riders who bleed orange on the inside can now show it on the outside as well; KTM’s new 2014 Powerwear line is hear, and the Austrian company has done a great job of blending style and performance with branding. Joining forces with the likes of Thor, Oakley and Ogio, KTM’s Powerwear product line offers apparel, boots, helmets and more to the KTM-mounted rider. Just this week, KTM invited Dirt Rider out to sample the new lineup. On a motocross track, the Flux and Phase gear combos—built on popular Thor gear chassis—work every bit as well as we expected them to, and the style on all the products is very cool for the strictly-KTM customer. Recently, we also tested some of KTM’s off-road gear at the KTM Adventure Rally in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, which was extremely wet and cold. The gear performed well there, with the high-altitudes proving to be a great testing ground for the multi-layered jacket. We’ll continue to test this gear but right now, we can tell you that this is both a smart move on KTM’s part and a solid option for fans of the brand who want to look like their favorite racers. —Chris Denison
2013 HJC Helmet Fall Launch: Introducing the FG-X Off-road Helmet
If you only look at the off-road motorcycle scene, HJC Helmets might not even be on your radar as far as helmets go, yet since 1992 HJC has been one of the top helmet brands in the United States. The company has a long and focused history of making helmets at every price point to meet the needs of professional racers and first-timers alike.
The newest helmet in HJC’s off-road line is the FG-X with a $199.99 price tag, placing it firmly in the middle of the market. With features like a Kevlar reinforced fiberglass shell, moisture wicking, anti-bacterial interior fabric, and SNELL/DOT approval, the FG-X is on the nicer end of helmets in the two-bill range.
Yet what sets the FG-X apart, especially from HJC’s previous models, are the four different exterior designs with a combined 12 colorway options. These new looks are primarily the work of Dwayne Vance, formerly of Troy Lee Designs. “I wanted to create an icon,” Vance explained, talking about the new HJC logo seen on the visor, chin guard and back of the new moto lids. This doesn’t replace the time-honored oval logo that the brand has used for decades, but it is more of a badge to inject some new style into brands collective look. Vance explained that he’s been working to create more depth in color and design to appeal to the more aggressive style of off-road riders.
If you’ve over looked HJC helmets in the past because they’ve just seemed out of date or bland, take another look. For a sub-two-hundred-dollar helmet, the FG-X has impressive features and new designs that are hard to ignore. —Sean Klinger
That’s all for this week, be sure to check in next week for more news from the off-road world.