There might not be an off-road racer going into the 2011 season with a hungrier attitude than Husaberg factory off-road racer Nick Fahringer. “Ringer” is the kind of guy who travels the country all by himself, going from race to race in his van. When he’s not racing, he’s riding and training any place he can find, which usually takes him to some interesting places. Last year, Nick spent more time in his van than he did his home in Ohio. In 2011, he’ll be racing the Rekluse/AMA National Enduro Series on a full time basis, and filling in with the GNCC and OMA series when the schedule permits.For years, Nick could be seen driving his ’96 Econoline van to the races. However, his home on wheels finally gave up the ghost last week with over 200,000 miles on it, forcing Nick to fly to California for this latest trip. Dirt Rider checked in with Ringer, who headed west to beat the snow that is currently blasting the Midwest and southern parts of the country.Dirt Rider: Hey Nick, what’s up?
Nick Fahringer: I’m just out in northern California, getting in some riding so I can get ready for the season. Last winter I headed south from Ohio and there was unusually cold temperatures and just all around bad weather. I don’t think anybody back east got much riding in last winter. This winter was looking like it wasn’t going to be much better so I decided to head west. I came out here after New Years and I’ve pretty much been riding five days a week – training and all that.DR: Where have you been riding?NF: I’m in northern California and I’ve been going to some motocross tracks in the area and I’ve been going to some riding parks and some private off-road areas. Like there’s a ranch I’ve been going to where they have some really good single-track. Some of the riding parks are okay for riding, but that just mixes things up.DR: What happened to the van?
NF: I was on the way to North Carolina to do some suspension testing with Bart Hayes before I came out west and the transmission blew out again. The replacement tranny was going to cost more than the van is worth so I actually just made a call before I talked to you to make arrangements to buy a new van when I get back east.DR: So tell us what events you’ll be racing this year.NF: I’ll be riding the whole enduro series and I’ll be riding most of the GNCC series and some OMAs as well.DR: What GNCC races will you be doing?NF: I’m planning on skipping the first two, because those tend to be the most brutal and that’s just after the Enduro series starts. So I will pick up the GNCC series at the third round and ride all the rest of them after that.DR: You had some great rides in 2010, what are your thoughts on this year?NF: I think this year will be a strong year for me, because of my fitness and all the riding I’m getting in. Of course, every year I’m more and more mentally prepared, which is a huge part of it for me. I’m confident I can improve on the results I’ve already had and I know the competition is going to be even tougher this year, so it’s hard to say what’s going to happen. But I think I will do better, for sure.DR: Who is helping you this year?
NF: Well, I’m factory Husaberg this year. And the Husaberg effort is largely based on the KTM program. But for suspension, we don’t get the factory in-house support, so we can do our own deals as far as suspension and I’m working with Bart Hayes of WP. I try to do what I can as far as testing, but Bart really helps me a lot in that area.DR: Okay, I know you have a lot of funny stories about traveling in the old van. Give us a good one.NF: Well, a few years ago, it was the first year I was with Husaberg and I wasn’t getting much support. So I was traveling with two other guys to save money and we were going to Louisiana, and on the way down there when we got into Alabama, and we started hearing a funny noise and it ended up being a wheel bearing that was starting to burn out on the front end. I didn’t actually know what it was until the bearing actually disintegrated and the wheel started going loose on us. I think the only thing holding the wheel on we the brake rotor and one of my buddies was driving and I told him not to hit the brakes. Well, then we decided he needed to pump the brakes! (laughs). Anyway, we made it a long way like that, without hitting the brakes, until we found an exit.So, long story short, we ended up rolling off the exit and I tore things apart it was about three a.m. when we figured out we needed parts. The next day it was raining and we had to run three or four miles to find an auto parts store. And then we had to pay a guy $20 to cut the old race off the wheel spindle. We finally got it together and made it to the races.Things like that seemed to be a regular occurrence on that van.DR: All right, Nick. Hopefully you won’t have any problems with the new one. Good luck this year.NF: Thanks.