Photos by Max Mandell
In the pits, Graham Jarvis is a fairly unassuming person; calm, humble and collected, he seems more like a casual fan of the sport than a hardcore racer. But put a Klim helmet on the guy and Jarvis becomes one of the fiercest, most tenacious racers you have ever seen. After a disappointing run at the 2012 Erzberg Rodeo (Graham was disqualified for missing a check, the third time he has been DQed from the race) followed by a crushing victory at the Red Bull Romaniacs Hard Enduro (Jarvis was untouchable and won with a massive gap on second), Jarvis has come to America to try his hand at the X Games. Dirt Rider sat down with the talented ex-trials rider at a Golden Tyre intro at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, California just days before X Games to talk about his expectations for the event, his plans for the future and some of his favorite sponsors.
Graham, you’ve had a busy couple of weeks with Erzberg, Romaniacs and now X Games. Where’s your head at right now?
Well, it’s certainly an experience just to be involved in X Games! Just to be a part of it and get the publicity is great. I’m really looking forward to racing in the States again.
You’ve been to Las Vegas to race EnduroCross before, and even have a heat race win under your belt. How do you feel about the upcoming Enduro-X event?
I’ve never had much luck at EnduroCross in the States. The first time I came was Vegas a few years ago, and my chain came off in the main event. Then, at the last one in Everett [Washington], I got a bit tangled up with a few riders. So, I think I need a bit of luck on this one! I’ve not been doing anything specific as far as training, because I’ve been so focused on Erzberg and Romaniacs. I want to progress on my last results, I think my best is like a fifth here so if I can get in the top five and hopefully on the podium, it’ll be fantastic.
How big of a deal is the X Games back home in the U.K?
People are definitely following what’s going on over here, the full EnduroCross series as well as X Games, and it all makes for massive publicity around the world. That’s why I am here!
You’ve got a Husaberg two-stroke lined up for X Games. Do you think that’s a disadvantage against some of the big four-strokes?
Not at all. I’ve got a 250 for this event and I normally ride a 300, but a 250 is all that Husaberg had. I’ve got an Italian team here helping me out and getting the bike prepared, I brought some parts and bits over so I don’t think I’ll have any excuses about the bike!
Talking about one of your sponsors for a minute, you’ve really been making a name for Klim as the top hard enduro athlete to be wearing their gear. What does it mean for you to pump up a company like that and bring them into the racing spotlight?
It’s really good to have a company like Klim involved in my program and helping me out. The gear is based around what I do and is made for the tough stuff I ride, so it’s a really good fit. I’m proud to be representing them on the world stage and getting good results not only for Klim but all of my sponsors.
Tell us about Golden Tyre as well. They are a major sponsor for you, but not only that they’ve produced a pretty crazy EnduroCross tire that is actually made from a trials compound. How big of a game changer was that for Romaniacs?
Yeah, when it gets slippery and in the rocks, that’s where it’s a really big advantage to have something other than a traditional tire. Golden Tyre works really hard to always be producing, and it’s a massive help in the tough stuff that I do. I’m excited to be racing with their tires under me.
So what are your plans for the rest of the year?
I am hoping to come over for more EnduroCross, and maybe the Kenda Tennessee Knockout if I can get it organized. I don’t have any set plans but if the opportunities are there, I’ll take them. I love coming over here to race and want to do more races if I am able to.
What would it mean to you to get an X Games medal?
Well, I’ve won a lot of the outdoor events, so to get some success indoors would be a fantastic result for me. I think it’s more difficult to just do the indoor events. A lot of guys over here, that’s all they do—train for and race EnduroCross—and obviously Taddy [Blazusiak] has gone that way as well, so it’s not going to be easy.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Big thanks to Golden Tyre, Husaberg and Klim. I’m going to go out there and give it everything!
Stay tuned to www.dirtrider.com for more on Jarvis, X Games, EnduroCross and Golden Tyre’s all-new hard enduro tire.