Welcome to the Weekly Dirt, your one-stop source for all things off-road. With the 2011 race season wrapping up and cooler weather approaching, the off-road race scene is playing host to some amazing year-end battles as all of the various points chases are decided. Let’s jump right in…
Over on the Grand National Cross Country Series, KTM’s Charlie Mullins nailed down his first-ever GNCC XC1 championship at the final stop of the series in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee at Loretta Lynn’s Dude Ranch. The event was a double header-the first in GNCC history-and Mullins began the weekend with some bad luck when a mechanical issue near the end of the first race cut down on his extensive points lead. Paul Whibley, the tough New Zealander and 2009 GNCC champ, was hoping to steal the title from Mullins in the final round on Sunday, but it just wasn’t to be as Mullins once again put in an amazing ride for his sixth GNCC win of the year. Whibs rounded out the final points standings in second with four wins, while defending champ Josh Strang pulled through with a third overall on the season. In the XC2 class, Steward Baylor Jr. grabbed his first championship with an incredible six wins for the series.
Farther west, EnduroCross racers are ramping up for next week’s final round in Las Vegas. Taddy Blazusiak has a commanding points lead, but seeing as the event is a double header format it is still mathematically possible for Mike Brown to take home the title. Be sure to stay tuned to www.endurocross.com and www.dirtrider.com to stay informed on the action, and if you’re looking for an excuse to go to Sin City, buy some tickets and get out there!In other EX news, the 2012 schedule has been announced and it looks completely awesome, with a new round in Sacramento and an open date in Los Angeles to coincide with the X-Games. Oh, and see that opening race date on May 4th? It just so happens to be the Friday before the AMA Supercross finals, so you might want to go ahead and plan one really, really epic weekend getaway. Either way, here’s a look at where the EnduroCross series is going next year:2012 GEICO AMA EnduroCross Schedule
Las Vegas, NV
May 4, 2012
Orleans Arena (Friday during Supercross weekend)Sacramento, CA
June 9, 2012
Power Balance PavilionLos Angeles, CA
September 15, 2012
Citizens Business Bank ArenaDenver, CO
October 6, 2012
National Western ComplexEverett, WA
October 20, 2012
Comcast ArenaBoise, ID
October 27, 2012
Idaho CenterLas Vegas, NV
November 17, 2012
Orleans ArenaAs you may have read this week, there have been some organization changes at Dirt Rider, with longtime editor Jimmy Lewis moving to a new role as the magazine’s Editor at Large. Jimmy will still be providing great content in the form of bike and product tests, but he’s no longer required to sit through boring meetings while daydreaming about dirt bikes. Those responsibilities have been handed off to yours truly, and I can assure you that while there may be some mid-meeting daydreaming that takes place, the Dirt Rider brand is going to remain true to the same off-road-hungry audience that we currently cater to.
Ever heard of Enduro Illustrated? It’s basically a big, glossy, photo annual magazine put out by our English pal and industry-leading photographer Jonty Edmunds, and it’s packed with great photos from across the pond. Check out www.enduro-illustrated.com to see more and order a copy of Jonty’s newest and most awesome coffee-table book yet.Did you see the massive collection of videos that posted this week on www.dirtrider.com? From Kyle Chisholm to Bob Hannah and the World Vet MX Championship to the new Atlas brace, there’s something for everyone over on our home page. Check ‘em out!Finally, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of freestyle motocross rider Jim McNeil, who was killed this week in a practice accident at Texas Motor Speedway. One of the most humble freestylers to ever swing a leg over a bike, McNeil had a solid fan base but never once let the fame or exposure get to his head. A staple performer on the Nuclear Cowboyz tour, the young Arizonian was known for his easygoing personality and smooth, fluid riding style. Early on in his long career Jim was regarded as an innovator with one of the biggest double-grab hart attacks in the business, a trick he often used to his wow the crowd at IFMA contests and monster truck demos. As a multi-time X Games competitor, McNeil brought massive backflip combos to the contest scene and remained a consistent competitor with a passion for progression. He was also a member of the Boost Mobile Freestyle team and traveled the nation extensively performing at various exhibitions, including those at NASCAR events. He will be sorely missed.See you next week!-Chris Denison
If you haven’t made that trip to the dealership in search of the 250 four-stroke MXer of your choice, then wait just a little bit longer. The testing unit here at Dirt Rider is wrapping up the 2012 250F Shootout and we are putting a special spin on things. Use this photo to help you figure out what we are doing different and let us help you make that difficult choice once again. Which 2012 250F is right for you? The March issue of Dirt Rider can help you decide. -Chris GreenIt has been a tough week for OHV interests on the political front, mostly on bills and actions of our beloved (and you voted for them) elected officials. So harness that anger and please make sure you vote for the right guys the next time you are given the chance. Because they are about to abolish the Recreational Trails Program and after supposedly taking your input on outdoor recreation in the US, the Department of the Interior never mentioned motorized recreation at all in the report:
From Don Amador who runs the Trail Political Action Committee:
The Trail Political Action Committee (TPAC) wanted to comment on the recent publication by the Department of Interior (DOI) of its final 50 State Report on Conservation and Outdoor Recreation.
This is the last in a series of reports and studies by DOI as part of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative (AGO). As many of you know, OHV recreation was purposely ignored for political purposes by proponents of AGO. OHV was willfully scrubbed on all AGO-related videos, reports, and other publications.
Our motto at TPAC is All Trail Decisions are Political Decisions. By scrubbing OHV recreation from the AGO program, anti-motorized trail advocates have made the best argument for why OHVers (that means YOU) must get involved in the election process.
TPAC is working hard on your behalf to build its resources so it can challenge anti-OHV PACs such as the League of Conservation Voters. Pro-trail candidates running for federal office will no longer have to ask where is the OHV community when I need them most. With your donations, TPAC will be there to support those pro-trail candidates in tough election fights.
Watch for more commentary, action items, and media outreach from TPAC as we enter the 2012 election cycle.
To donate to TPAC go to:
www.thetrailpac.comThis from the AMA:
A U.S. Senate committee has unveiled a draft proposal that would end the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), which provides money to states to develop and maintain trails, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.
On Nov. 4, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee released its proposed transportation funding authorization bill for the next two years, entitled “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” (MAP-21). The bill specifies what transportation programs are approved for federal funding. The panel is expected to vote on the bill on Nov. 9 before sending it to the full Senate for approval. If it clears the Senate, then it would go to the House for further consideration.
The RTP, which became law in 1991 as part of a federal transportation funding authorization bill, is considered to be one of the most important and beneficial laws for off-highway vehicle (OHV) riders ever passed by Congress. The RTP provides funds to the states to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail uses. The RTP is an assistance program of the U.S. Transportation Department’s Federal Highway Administration. The RTP program benefits hiking, bicycling, in-line skating, equestrian use, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, off-road motorcycling, ATV riding, four-wheel driving, or using other off-road motorized vehicles. The easiest way to contact lawmakers is by going to AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Rights > Issues & Legislation.Want to do something even more powerful? Well think about this when it is time to donate as well:
An important note from BlueRibbon’s Executive Director
I believe in the BlueRibbon Coalition. I have since the day I joined and with good reasons. Even the most cursory look around our website gives you a picture of all we are accomplishing as an organization.
I believe in the purpose and in the mission, vision, and values. Thinking of all that has been accomplished through the efforts of this organization, I cannot help but ask where recreation would be today had the BlueRibbon Coalition not stepped into the gap nearly 25 years ago and said, “Enough is enough.” Likewise, with every new assault on recreational access today, I cannot imagine where we would end up if BRC was not there tomorrow…
I believe in the professionals we have on staff and in our contractors and volunteer consultants. Their mission is clear and the commitment and experience they bring to their work on your behalf is unparalleled. I know when their 40 hours has long been exceeded week after week. I see the late night and weekend emails and calls. I know their dedication firsthand. They believe in what they are doing. I am proud of them and proud to be associated with them.
Most importantly, I believe in our members and member organizations, who are the reason we are here. I am proud to be associated with you. You make this all happen. Together we ARE making a difference.
Certainly, our work is not done. There is much more to do. That is why I am asking you to make the BlueRibbon Coalition one of your top year-end priorities. Help BRC finish this year on budget and solidly positioned to hit the ground running in 2012.
Make a lasting difference. Please make your tax deductible donation to support the BlueRibbon Coalition now. Simply click this secure online link: https://www.sharetrails.org/donate
Thank you for your faithful support.
BlueRibbon CoalitionSo back to the riding world and Zero released their line of new models at the big motorcycle show in Italy. They have a new battery pack that will power the bikes to a longer range on a charge, claimed over 100-miles on the street and the $9495 Zero MX also received more power and offers riders the ability to accelerate harder and hit higher top speeds. “The 2012 model line is truly game changing. It marks the first time in history that riders can actually own an electric motorcycle that is capable of exceeding 100 miles of range on a single charge,” said Scot Harden, VP of Global Marketing of Zero Motorcycles. “Every model in the lineup goes faster, further and is more fun than ever before. These are not concepts. In less than three months, riders can see and purchase 2012 models at authorized Zero Motorcycles dealers.” Learn more at: www.zeromotorcycles.com
The Los Ancianos Motorcycle Club has announced that the Tecate Hare Scrambles is on for December 3rd, 2011. Here is a link to the entry form: www.losancianos.com/HareScrambles
I will most likely not be attending because some motorcycle journalist complained that the enduro was too easy last year and I hear that the course this year will be payback for that comment. So I suspect it is going to be too much fun and I wouldn’t enjoy some of the best trails in Mexico that only get used one time a year.
This is the information I was passed via a Mexican carrier pigeon:
For 2011, Tommy “Trailhazard” Thrailkill was designated loop captain and he happens to be the club’s premier trials rider. Tommy has created plenty of new singletrack and riding possibilities. We have taken to heart some of the magazine writers’ comments about last year’s Enduro course being less challenging than advertised. The afternoon loop will fully address that concern. No worries, the course is up to usual Anciano standards with little risk of bottlenecks, yet, is poised to provide lots of technical riding. For example, it will have a large amount of right turns, matched with an equal amount of left turns, plus, all that goes up must also come down, and what you care not capable of riding your bike over, you can probably walk or drag it over, so this leaves a well-balanced course finishing right where it started. The big difference will be that cold Tecate in each racer’s hand just past the finish line.
Mathew Dalton dropped us a line to let us know that Factory Backing is now selling Autism MX Graphic Kits on their web site!: http://www.factorybacking.com/augrkit1KTM announced who their factory riders will be next year. The team will feature reigning AMA National Enduro Champion Russell Bobbitt; reigning AMA National Hare & Hound Champion Kurt Caselli; current GNCC XC1 points leader Charlie Mullins; former 125cc Motocross National Champion Mike Brown; 2-time GNCC XC2 Lites Champion Kailub Russell and multi-time amateur GNCC Champion Cory Buttrick.Three-time AMA National Enduro Champion Russell Bobbitt will contest the 2012 AMA National Enduro Series to defend his crown against teammates Charlie Mullins, Cory Buttrick and the rest of the field. Mullins and Buttrick will also compete in the 2012 GNCC Series along with Kailub Russell.The real surprise in all of this, Kurt Caselli will not be doing the WORCS series he just won, he will focus on building a team to win the Baja 1000 in 2012.Want to see an all-wheel drive motorcycle that is not a Christini? http://www.flickr.com/photos/20633716@N07/6202425226/
And hot off the wire from Italy, Ossa dropped this bomb of a two-stroke revolution. We’ll get you more info soon! -Jimmy Lewis