Welcome to the Weekly Dirt, the place to go each week to get your off-road fix. With three Supercross rounds in the books, it’s starting to look like we’ve got a race on our hands. Three winners in three rounds is a great sign, not to mention three bike manufacturers on top of the podium as well: Kawasaki, KTM and now Honda. In the meantime, off-road racing kicked off this week, as well, with Hare Scrambles in the east and Hare and Hound in the west. Meanwhile, the opening round of the Rekluse/AMA National Enduro series is this coming Sunday in Sumter, South Carolina. So get ready for the Dirt, there’s a lot to cover.
Well, the big news around Dirt Rider this week is that we have welcomed a new Senior Editor to the staff: Adam Booth, the likable moto-journalist who has called Hi-Torque publications home for the past 14 years, is now a DR guy. You may have seen Boothy’s work in the pages of Dirt Bike magazine, and you’ll see it again soon in our book as we throw him straight into the deep end of snapping photos, testing bikes and burrowing into huge piles of paper inside our palatial Orange County office. In all seriousness, Booth is an incredible addition to the DR team and we welcome him with throttles wide open. Good to have you aboard, Adam!
Of course, a dark cloud followed the AMA Supercross series out of Dodger stadium following the massive crash that took down Trey Canard and Ryan Morais on the opening lap of the 450 main event. You can read more about the specifics on motocross.com’s recap of the event, but the real-time updates are coming from the riders’ families via Twitter and other social media outlets. The latest is that both riders will make a full recovery, but the incident was scary enough to prompt talks within the industry of how to increase rider safety, especially on the hectic first lap of a packed main event.Honestly, the accident in question was exactly that-an accident. The footage of the crash proves that Canard was attempting to safely double the triple (rather than go for the full triple and risk crashing with a hay bale cover attached to his bike), while Morais may not have even seen it coming. While more safety gear may or may not have helped, both of these guys are dedicated, highly conditioned pro racers who simply found themselves in the same place at exactly the wrong time. And while many fans have been quick to chastise the Supercross announcers for trying to keep the crowd revved up while the medics took to the track, it’s good to remember that their intention was to draw attention away from the crash and to get the riders taken care of immediately. In no way was this a good situation, but there are a lot of good people who had and still have Trey’s and Ryan’s best interest in mind, and I know that the entire industry will support these riders as they work to recover.
On a lighter note, you may have noticed that the Weekly Dirt has been appearing on both grindtv.com and motocross.com as a weekly video segment. This breakdown provides even further insight into the weekend’s racing, and we’ve been featuring a different guest each week. To see the show for yourself, check out the home page for the Weekly Grind at www.grindtv.com/weekly, and be sure to let us know if you want to see anything different! -Chris DenisonWhen new goodies come into the shop, we get excited much like you would when you bring home some brand new dirt bike products or swag. From trick looking gas cans to a nice pair of adjustable Scott goggles, we use this stuff and abuse it to give you insight on how the different products work. Keep an eye out on www.dirtrider.com and in Dirt Rider Magazine for these products to appear in product tests or possibly random lifestyle shots. You can find more info on the Scott Tyrant and Hustle goggle in the March 2012 issue of Dirt Rider. -Chris Green
Racing got underway on the east coast with the opening round of the AMA National Hare Scrambles Series this past weekend in Sumter, South Carolina, where KTM’s Charlie Mullins drew first blood, taking the win over a packed Pro class on his new “Dungey Replica” 450. Mullins was primarily in Sumter to make final adjustments to his new ride to get ready for next weekend’s National Enduro opener, which will be one of his main focuses for the coming year. Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn was second in Sumter with RidePG KTM rider Steward Baylor in third. Brad Bakken was fourth riding a two-stroke YZ250 for Obermeyer Yamaha/Raines Riding University/Offroadviking.com, while Jason Raines was fifth. Yes, this was an AMA national championship race, but most of these guys we using it as a warm up for next week’s enduro.
The Rekluse/AMA National Enduro Series also kicks off this coming Sunday in Sumter, South Carolina, and there will be several new teams and riders filling the Pro rows. The big news is that American Honda is getting involved through the backing of Team Shenandoah Honda/Offroadchampions’ Thad DuVall. DuVall, who finished seventh in last year’s series, will ride a CFR450R or CRF250R, depending on the terrain. Another new team is the Obermeyer Yamaha/Raines Riding University/Offroadviking.com effort, which has enlisted Brad Bakken to ride a YZ250 two-stroke. American Beta will also be represented, with GNCC ace Chris Bach riding a Beta 450 RR. And not to be ignored is the FAR Husqvarna effort, with Andrew DeLong and Jason Thomas riding the new TXC 310. There’s anyone of five or six guys who can win a round on any given day in this series, so it should be a great year! Stay tuned to the Weekly Dirt for updates throughout the year.
Out west, FMF/KTM rider Kurt Caselli got off to a great start at the opening round of the AMA Kenda National Hare & Hound Series taking a dominating win over the rest of the field. Caselli, the reigning Hare & Hound Champion, will forego the WORCS series this year to concentrate on the H&H series on his KTM 450 SX-F. Caselli got a good jump off the line and jumped into the lead early, where he was able to avoid the dust. After two 40-mile loops, Caselli finished with a three-minute cushion over David Pearson on a THR Motorsports Kawasaki, while JCR’s David Kamo rounded out the podium in third. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Destry Abbott was fourth and Justin was Morrow fifth. -Shan Moore
Tires have been a lot of the talk at Supercross (and a lot of behind the scenes action, too) but Pirelli was anxious to get us out to try the new Scorpion Mid-Hard MX 554. The all-new tire is designed for, you guessed it, harder conditions but with still decent performance in intermediate terrain as well as have higher durability. We met up with the Pirelli team based out of the JGR Toyota rig at Milestone MX park only to also be greeted with rain falling from the sky. I still suited up and spun some laps on the quickly deteriorating course to try and get a feel for the tires but it was not what I would call proper conditions for a harder terrain tire. Just an excuse to go ride another day and get back to you with a better evaluation.
You may have heard peeps about a crazy motorcycle race in the California Desert called King Of The Motos but here is what is really going on. It is basically an invitational race where 20 or so of the top riders from all over the world will compete to see who is the best all-around dirt bike rider. The 85-mile course has fast sections that rival Baja and rock sections that will make Erzburg seem tame. Billed as a motorcycle survival race, it is a winner take all $10,000 purse. How tough will it be? As the course designer, I know exactly how tough it is and I suspect only half of the riders will finish. Just take a look at the pictures that were shot in some of the easier “rock” sections.
Some of the riders who have accepted the challenge include Kurt Caselli, Destry Abbott, Graham Jarvis, Mike Brown, Cody Webb, Cory Graffunder, Kyle Redmond, Kendall Norman and Chris Ridgeway. It all takes place Thursday February 9th in Lucerne Valley California. It is run in conjunction with the Ultra 4 Rockcrawling race during a weeklong event that sees over 20,000 spectators. There will be a lot of video content coming from the event and possibly even some same-day coverage on Thursday evening over at www.kingofthehammers.com. And if you are anywhere local and want to see the gnarliest off-road racing ever, check out the web site for spectator information as well. And yes, the race is on Thursday! -Jimmy Lewis
GoPro has put together another cool video, this one from this weekend’s LA Supercross. So if you ever wanted to know what it’s like to charge off the gate inside a stadium, get passed by Chad Reed, stuff Jake Weimer, of just be a spectator with amazing track acces and hyperactive arms, check out www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWMd8Y3ewUk.Whoops!… I mean “Yea!”
Someone, and I’m not going to say who, put the wrong price for the EVS Sports SV1R Vest in the March issue’s Gear Bag section. The actual price of the cold-weather chest protector is $250, but we ran it at $159. What are we going to do about it?… Get EVS to do something about it! They have agreed to honor the misprinted price for 30 days if you mention “The Dirt Rider discount.” Now that’s a cool company! My blunder is your savings! You can check out the vest at www.evs-sports.com then call them at 888.873.8423. -Pete PetersonThat’s all for now, check back next week and we’ll size up off the weekend’s action.