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 a look at the AIMExpo, good news about the Glen Helen MX, a look at the Morocco rally, and 2014 EnduroCross and MotoTrials schedules! Hey, we got a lot to talk about, so let’s get with it.
Glen Helen Is Back!
Although MX Sports has yet to officially announce it, it appears that Glen Helen is back on the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross schedule for 2014, which will delight all you Glen Helen fans. It’s been four years since a national was held at the track and the rumor is the track is back on the schedule for multiple years.
2014 EnduroCross Schedule Announced
It’s that time of the year when the new schedules are coming out and the latest to hit the streets is the 2014 GEICO AMA Endurocross schedule. The series will visit two new cities in 2014. The Gwinnett Center, just outside of Atlanta will provide a heavily requested East Coast swing for the series and the Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City will also join the series for the first time. Las Vegas will again host the opening round on Friday, May 2nd during the Monster Energy Supercross finals weekend but the traditional finals in November will instead be held in Ontario, California on November 22nd. The X Games Enduro X event in Austin Texas will also likely be included as a points paying event for the GEICO AMA EnduroCross championship. So the series will expand from seven venues in 2013 to nine for 2014.
|2014 EnduroCross Schedule|
|5/2||(Rnd 1) Las Vegas, Nevada||Orleans Arena|
|5/15-18||(Rnd 2) Austin, Texas (TBC)||X Games – Circuit of the America’s|
|6/21||(Rnd 3) Sacramento, California (TBC)||Sleep Train Arena|
|8/23||(Rnd 4) Atlanta, Georgia (TBC)||Gwinnett Center|
|10/4||(Rnd 5) Denver, Colorado||National Western Complex|
|10/11||(Rnd 6) Salt Lake City, Utah||Energy Solutions Arena|
|10/18||(Rnd 7) Everett, Washington||Comcast Arena|
|11/15||(Rnd 8) Boise, Idaho||Idaho Center|
|11/22||(Rnd 9) Ontario, California||Citizens Business Bank Arena|
|* (TBC) To be confirmed|
2014 MotoTrials Schedule Announced
Speaking of schedules, at its annual end-of-the-year meeting in Columbus, Ohio, the North American Trials Council announced the 2014 MotoTrials AMA National Trials schedule which features eight rounds over four weekends starting on May 24 & 25 at Texas Creek, Colorado and ending up at the Trials Training Center in Sequatchie, Tennessee. In between, the series will visit Sedan, Kansas and Tremont, Pennsylvania.
|2014 MotoTrials AMA National Schedule|
|5/24-25||Texas Creek, Colorado|
Major “non-national” events for next year include the 44th Annual El Trial de Espana on April 5-6, and the 43rd Annual UTE Cup on August 16-17. For more on the MotoTrials AMA National Series visit www.mototrials.com. —Shan Moore
A Look At The AIMExpo
For many years, Indy has been the center of new product releases in the motorcycle world, that is, until this year’s inaugural AIM Expo in Orlando, Florida. I was fortunate enough to tag along with the Dirt Rider crew to check out this new and exciting event.
From my eyes it seemed like it was extremely successful, with packed isles and companies from all over the globe. Unit Clothing based out of Australia released their prototype carbon-fiber freestyle purpose bike. I must admit I was not the most excited about it at first, but when I got to take a closer look you could really see all of the time and work that had gone into the machine. Carbon fiber was used everywhere possible: frame, wheels and other miscellaneous parts to get the machine to under 170 lbs. To say the machine was interesting is most definitely an understatement.
UFO Plastics was there, as well, showing off a YZ250 with the restyled plastics they released last year, but now with an 80’s yellow throwback color scheme. Looking at the machine took me back to my first bike, a 1984 YZ50!
Winter is on its way and every one knows it’s by far the BEST time to ride, but there’s one problem that arises: frozen hands on long rides. With Novik Gloves’ new ‘ColdWar” model this is no longer an issue, with features like rubberized palm and a pocket on the back of the hand for glove warmer packets.
Some companies were real creative with their limited space but Von Zipper had by far the coolest booth around, filled with an unreal amount of detail with old school props, Wil Hahn signing posters, and tons of give cool give-aways.
The outdoor section of the expo had a lot to offer, both on and off-road tests with Yamaha, Suzuki, Kymco and Massimo. Unfortunately without my M1 license I was limited to what I could test, but that didn’t stop me driving a few side-by-sides. Yamaha’s Viking had the best suspension by far but the Massimo 800 had a far superior engine.
All in all, my trip was an unbelievable experience. I got to see a lot of new products and meet tons of great people. I will never be able to thank Dirt Rider and the Bonnier Motorcycle Group enough for the once in a lifetime opportunity. Anyways, thanks again you guys/gals I had an absolute blast! —Cody Marion
Honda’s Goncalves And New CRF450 Rally Win Plus Robert Rides Extreme Enduro In Ecuador
Last week, we reported on the first two days of the OiLibya Rally of Morocco, the worldwide debut of new works rally bikes from both Honda and KTM as well as Kurt Caselli’s first African rally.
It appears that Honda’s first dedicated rally bike in many years hit the mark perfectly. Days three, four and five belonged to the new CRF450 Rally with Joan Barreda and Paulo Goncalves swapping stage wins. It wasn’t until the sixth and final day that KTM loosened Honda’s stranglehold on the top spot, though it wasn’t Red Bull KTM Factory Rally Team star Marc Coma but KTM Australia’s Ben Grabham being fastest on the day. After a navigation error in the stage, Coma ended up sixth on the final day behind Grabham, Team HRC’s Helder Rodrigues, Caselli (his best result of the race), Speedbrain-mounted Jeremias Israel and Goncalves.
The final overall results saw Goncalves on top for the second time in this year’s FIM Cross-country Rallies World Championship, his margin over runner-up Coma three minutes and 44 seconds. That gave the Speedbrain Honda rider from Portugal enough points to move him past Coma to claim his first world championship, Coma having led by a slim three points going into Morocco thanks to three wins, a second and a third in the previous five rounds.
Barreda rounded out the podium in Morocco with Caselli moving to seventh as he gets better acquainted with rally navigation, of which there was much in Morocco.
“Since Brazil we have been able to win the last two races and the title,” Goncalves said. “I want to also thank Joan Barreda who has really helped me. Without his help, it would have been really hard to win this title.”
Immediately after his third-place finish at round four of the GEICO AMA EnduroCross Series in Denver, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Taylor Robert hopped aboard another plane, this time for a flight to Ecuador and the Ukupacha Extreme Enduro there. He won the prologue, but his GPS reportedly broke during the race and he lost much valuable time trying to find his way through the countryside.
The organizers of the event succeeded in making it unrideable. The factory Husaberg duo of Alfredo Gomez and Graham Jarvis had to team up in order to reach the finish, and they crossed the finish line together with the promoters deeming both worthy of a joint triumph. You know it’s unrideable if Jarvis has to have help!
New Zealand’s Chris Birch managed to make it in next with Jesus Zavala and hometown favorite Wilson Malo, Jr., teaming up for joint third on the podium. Robert managed to find his way to the finish and was unofficially credited with fourth, the final Pro to complete the course. Early leader Jonny Walker DNFed with a mechanical issue.
Now, it’s back to the States for Robert and the EnduroCross near Seattle on Saturday night. —Mark Kariya
Danny Hamel Inducted
Last Friday night Danny Hamel was inducted to AMA Hall of Fame. Coming from a family who raced off-road Danny was one of my heroes growing up. I remember riding my BMX bike around the house when I was nine years old pretending I was him coming to through the finish (which was my porch) in first place. He always had time to high five me at the races and never was “too cool” for his fans. This induction video I thought really showed just who he was and wanted to share with you all. Welcome to the Hall of Fame Danny, it’s where you belong! —Kris Keefer
That’s all for this week, be sure to check in next week for more news from the off-road world.