KTM Off-road Lineup, AMA D-37 Big 6 GP Finale, Tecate Hare Scrambles, Caselli Foundation, Red Bull X-Fighters Schedule, And More! – The Weekly Dirt: December 11, 2013 - Dirt Rider Magazine

KTM Off-road Lineup, AMA D-37 Big 6 GP Finale, Tecate Hare Scrambles, Caselli Foundation, Red Bull X-Fighters Schedule, And More! – The Weekly Dirt: December 11, 2013

By the DR Staff

Welcome to Weekly Dirt, your place on the Internet for off-road news from around the world. This week we take a look at KTM’s 2014 off-road lineup, and the 2014 Beta RR Race Edition. Also, Mark Kariya brings us news from the Tecate Hare Scramble and the AMA D-37 Big 6 GP finale. There’s plenty to talk about, so let’s get to it.

AMA D-37 Big 6 GP finale, Tecate Hare Scrambles, Caselli Foundation

Some of Kurt Caselli’s teammates, friends and family prepare to embark on a tribute lap to the popular fallen racer at Glen Helen last Friday. Thousands showed up for the Kurt Caselli Memorial Ride Day there, a tremendous testament to the respect and love he enjoyed. Photo by Mark Kariya

This view shows the line of those seeking entry to the Kurt Caselli Memorial Ride Day. It likely rivaled the crowd for a National motocross as far as numbers. Photo by Mark Kariya

Get used to this, folks. Longtime Kawasaki racer Taylor Robert will be on KTMs for the next three years; he made his debut at Glen Helen’s Kurt Caselli Memorial Ride Day along with all of the FMF/KTM Factory Off-Road Racing Team. Photo by Mark Kariya

This is still early in the AMA West Coast Grand Prix feature event on Saturday afternoon at Pala Raceway, venue for the eighth and final round of the AMA District 37 Big 6 Grand Prix Series. The day started off dry and dusty, but the clouds kept rolling in until they started dumping as the WCGP was underway. Mark Samuels outlasted and out-rode everyone to win in his only series appearance of the year. Photo by Mark Kariya

After a disappointing WCGP on soggy Saturday, Evan Kelly got back to his winning ways in Sunday’s Heavyweight Expert race. Photo by Mark Kariya

As the clock winds down the year, a lot of dirt riders seem to be getting one last chance to go racing.

First, though, there was a time to honor a racer whose recent passing has shaken the entire motorcycling community. To do so, the Caselli family and longtime sponsors KTM and FMF and several others put together the Kurt Caselli Memorial Ride Day at Glen Helen Raceway Park in San Bernardino, California, last Friday.

It was a fitting tribute.

Thousands of Caselli’s family, friends and fans waited in a miles-long line just to enter the park. Once inside, the camaraderie on display emphasized just how popular he was to not only desert racers but motocrossers, custom bike builders, road racers and everyday trail riders. Glen Helen probably sees this kind of turnout only for the MX National. KTM brought in all of its racers as well as mechanics and many support personnel, and the list of attendees read like a who’s who of the sport: Destry Abbott, Blake Baggett, Dick Burleson, Ty Davis, Jimmy Jarrett, Danny LaPorte, Zach Osborn, Cole Seely and Malcolm Smith, to name just a very few.

The highlight had to be the parade lap led by his KTM and ISDE teammates, three of whom rode double to provide Nancy Caselli (Kurt’s mother), Carolyn Caselli (his sister) and Sarah White (his fiancé) with a low-speed, respectful tribute lap around Glen Helen’s MX track. White preceded the lap with a very emotional speech thanking everyone for their support.

If there’s one good thing to come as a result of Caselli’s accident, it’s the Caselli Foundation. Created by the Caselli family and longtime sponsors KTM and FMF, its goals are two-fold: 1) provide scholarships for high school seniors and encourage them to follow their dreams and 2) fund new technologies that will enhance rider safety in off-road racing.

Nancy Caselli said in a press release, “My son Kurt loved to learn and he loved to race. He was inquisitive and investigative. I’m hopeful that this foundation will initiate learning, inspire others and help raise the bar for increased rider safety.”

Proceeds from the Kurt Caselli Memorial Ride Day are being used to get the Caselli Foundation off the ground, as are the memorial T-shirts and stickers sold by FMF. Those who wish to donate directly to the cause may send funds to Kurt Caselli Foundation c/o KTM North America, 38429 Innovation Ct., Murrieta, CA 92563. The foundation’s directors are currently working through legal channels to set it up so any donations are tax-deductible.

Racers in the western part of the country had their choice of three different races over the weekend, two of them series finales and a one-off special.

Let’s go from north to south and start with Best in the Desert’s American Off-Road Racing Series finale, the Henderson 250 near Jean, Nevada. The fifth of five rounds, it’s always chilly and fast, but this time a little rain and snow also added to the fun.

Ricky Brabec decided to solo this one on his Precision Concepts Kawasaki KX450F and no one could stay with him. The win gave him the series championship.

Purvines Racing Beta’s Nick Burson and Justin Morrow teamed up for second on their 498 RR over five minutes back with defending series champs Robby Bell and David Pearson third on their THR Motorsports/Monster Energy/Precision Concepts KX450F.

At the eighth and last round in the AMA District 37 Big 6 Grand Prix Series, conditions were a little more varied in Pala, California. The two-day event started out on the dry and dusty side, and by the afternoon when the AMA West Coast Grand Prix feature race started, things started getting wetter and wetter when the predicted storm finally rolled in.

The conditions made it something of a survival run with Mark Samuels doing it best on his Red I Honda CRF450X, taking over from early leader Evan Kelly after Kelly stopped to fix the skid plate on his Johnny Campbell Racing Honda-supported CRF450X. Kelly would salvage fourth in the Pro class and fifth overall behind Samuels, visiting Italian motocrosser Nico Gobbi, Vet Pro winner Rowan Trefz and Nicoll Racing CRF450X-mounted Ian Young.

That was it for the rain so the Pala course tacked up nicely on Sunday with Kelly getting a clean run for the Heavyweight Expert win in the final race of the weekend--and the Big 6 season. Husqvarna’s Jamie Lanza rebounded from a broken spark plug on Saturday to win the 200cc Expert class and finish second overall followed by Heavyweight Expert Junior Delgado, 250cc Expert winner Zach Teno and 200cc Expert runner-up Dalton Shirey.

South of the border, the Los Ancianos Motorcycle Club hosted another edition of their always-popular Tecate Hare Scrambles. When it rains, the riding is always epic in the Tecate area, though the cold front swept down to Baja as well, making it a damp 42 degrees.

FMF/KTM Factory Off-Road Racing Team’s Ivan Ramirez, the defending race champ, got the $300 Desmond McDonald Holeshot Award but had his hands full with KTM-mounted Gary Sutherlin for the entire 25-mile-long loop.

Those two continued to hammer on each other until Ramirez fell a few miles from the finish, Sutherlin taking advantage and earning the $1000 prize. Ramirez scrambled in for second followed by RPM Racing KTM’s Eric Yorba.

KR4’s Arrive-N-Ride program is offering a holiday special for those who sign up by December 31, 2013. KR4, of course, offers a unique service that’s the next best thing to being a factory rider. When you sign up, all you have to do is show up at the GNCC of your choosing with your riding gear and they’ll handle everything else from bike to pit support and more.

The single-event holiday special is $1250, which is $250 off the normal price while the full season package is $14,000, meaning you save $1000. Payment in full is required by the December 31 deadline.

In addition, KR4 wants to know how much interest people have this type of program for those racing the AMA Rekluse National Enduro Championship Series, Presented by Moose Racing. Find out more by going to http://www.kr4performance.com/Sub-Sections/Arrive_n_Ride. —Mark Kariya

2014 Beta RR Race Editions

Photo Courtesy American Beta

Photo Courtesy American Beta

American Beta has just announced the release of their limited production RR Race Editions. These models are based off the standard RR models but with added features that will appeal to both the serious racer as well as the play rider.

The bikes come in four displacements for 2014 including 250 and 300 two strokes as well as 450 and 498 four strokes. The first shipment will be arriving later this month with additional shipments through January and February.

Race Editions can be purchased through a local Beta Dealer or through Beta's exclusive BYOB (Build Your Own Beta) program.

Prices are as follows:

250 RR Race $8699.00

300 RR Race $8699.00

450 RR Race $9899.00

498 RR Race $9999.00

These new models feature:

Two-stroke

-48mm Marzocchi Closed Cartridge factory fork

-Billet aluminum foot pegs

-Red aluminum chain adjuster blocks and oil filler plug

-Front axle pull

-Dual map CDI ignition for dry and wet riding

-Black shifter and rear brake pedal

-Hand guards

-Special graphics molded into the radiator shrouds

-Handlebar pad

-Special cylinder and head on 300 cc model for added torque

Four-stroke

-48mm Marzocchi Closed Cartridge factory fork

-Billet aluminum foot pegs

-Red aluminum chain adjuster blocks and oil filler plug

-Front axle pull

-Black shifter and rear brake pedal

-Hand guards

-Handlebar pad

-Special graphics molded into the radiator shrouds

KTM Announces 2014 Off-road Team

Taylor Robert is a new member of the factory KTM off-road effort. Photo Courtesy KTM

After sitting all of 2013 out with an injury, Steward Baylor returns to ride the national enduro series. Photo Courtesy KTM

Mike Lafferty returns to KTM for his final year of racing. Photo Courtesy KTM

KTM Motorsports recently announced the 2014 team line-up for its Factory FMF/KTM Off-road Racing Team, and this year’s team is made up of Steward Baylor, Mike Lafferty, Kacy Martinez, Charlie Mullins, Kailub Russell, Ivan Ramirez and Taylor Robert.

The seven-rider team will contest multiple national off-road series, including national enduro, GNCC, OMA, EnduroCross and ISDE.

The newest member of the team, Taylor Robert, will compete in the 2014 GEICO EnduroCross series, plus next year’s ISDE in Argentina. “It is an honor to race for the KTM team,” said Robert. “I know they have a history of winning offroad championships and I am hoping to give them some more. I am thankful for the opportunity and excited to showcase the product in the EnduroCross Series and in the ISDE next season.”

Robert will ride a 350 XC-F in the EnduroCross series.

Baylor, who sat out most of the 2013 season healing from a wrist injury, will return to the AMA National Enduro and GNCC Series for 2014. Baylor is seeking his second national championship in the National Enduro Series and will be competing in his first full-season in the GNCC XC1 class.

Meanwhile, Lafferty will return to the Factory FMF/KTM Team for his final year of racing. 2014 will mark Lafferty’s 20th year racing professionally and he has announced that it will be his final year racing full-time. The 8-time National Enduro Champion is currently tied with Dick Burleson for the record amount of National Enduro championships and he will be looking to break that record in his final season.

Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour Announced

If you’re into freestyle you might be interested to know that the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour is revving up for another epic and spectacular season, with Frenchman Thomas Pagès preparing to defend his championship title in a five-leg tour. Over 200,000 spectators will witness the freestyle motocross elite in action, as the tour covers four continents in 2014. In addition to returning stops in Mexico City, Osaka and Madrid, this year Red Bull X-Fighters will bring the best in FMX to Africa and Germany, two countries where FMX and the high-octane, star-studded Red Bull X-Fighters has become extraordinarily popular in recent years.

Entering its 14th season, the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour will first dazzle crowds in Mexico City (14 March) for a legendary season opener in the thin high altitude air before returning to Asia with a stop in the land of the rising sun in Osaka, Japan (25 May). The tour will then move on to the celebrated Las Ventas bullring in Madrid (27 June) and Munich, Germany (19 July) before climaxing with a first-ever African World Tour final, in Pretoria, South Africa (23 August).

Here’s the 2014 Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour schedule

3/14 - Mexico City, Mexico

5/25 - Osaka, Japan

6/27 - Madrid, Spain

7/19 - Munich, Germany

8/23 - Pretoria, South Africa

More information on the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour is available at www.redbullxfighters.com.

2014 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Trailer

The start of the 2014 Supercross season is just around the corner. If you aren’t revved up about it, here’s a cool video that will get you revved up.

—Shan Moore

That’s all for this week, be sure to check in next week for more news from the off-road world.