Cody Webb Takes The Crown At 2016 KLIM King of the Motos

Factory KTM tops the podium at the 2016 KLIM King of the Motos.

Cody Webb racing at King of the Motos
Cody Webb Takes The Crown At 2016 KLIM King of the MotosPhoto by Kathy Durrett

Red Bull Factory KTM rider Cody Webb rider emerged as the winner and 2016 Champion at the 5th running of the KLIM King of the Motos. A stacked field of the most talented top off-road, trials and enduro riders lined the desert for a chance to be crowned King and to kick off to the annual King of the Hammers week. There were a total of 95 entries while 78 only made it to the afternoon race; which was made up of 22 Pro riders, 51 Sportsman riders and 5 teams.

Navigation is an extra element to add to the technical part of this race that these riders became familiar with early on and were able to fine-tune any issues in the first loop before the three-hour time limit race in the afternoon. Red Bull KTM’s Taylor Robert secured first pick in the afternoon race by being the top finisher of the first loop, followed by Cody Webb.

The afternoon starting line was one of the rockiest sections, with a steep incline, sending the majority of riders tumbling down to restart their climb. KTM riders Cody Webb and Taylor Robert, starting on the opposite sides, came together at the top of the dead-engine start before heading into the 9-mile course. “We were walking our lines at the same time. Since I had first pick, Cody said ‘Well, I don’t want to follow you up this thing, so I’ll pick a different line’ so he made another line and then we literally came to the same line at the top. I wasn’t letting off and I hit his front wheel,” says Robert. It was Colton Haaker who conquered his line flawlessly and gained valuable time on his competitors.

KOH Motos Winner

First lap of the afternoon race saw multiple lead changes as riders were figuring out their controls, the weather and pace of fellow competitors. Now three-time KOM Champion Cody Webb says, “that first lap was just like being in the peloton. We were just pacing and carrying a good momentum. There were like 4 or 5 of us just really pushing it. Colton started taking off on us and really started pushing it on the second lap.”

The weather was an additional factor in the King of the Motos this year with a big storm rolling in high winds, big clouds, and rain during the race. “The wind blowing you off the mountains, the dust, then rain came in… that made everything really slippery for a few laps,” Rockstar Husqvarna rider Colton Haaker recalls. Once the rain settled in, the dirt was prime for KOM hopefuls. Later in the race, while in the lead Haaker finds a rock in the sand sending him cartwheeling through the desert. With a few scrapes, he was able to get back on the bike after a minute or two and no one had passed.

As the race went on, Cody Webb and Taylor Robert moved around the Husqvarna rider. Webb pulled away from the bunch, creating a time gap leading and leaving Robert and Haaker to battle it out for second place with only 4 seconds between the two on Lap 5. The fastest lap of the day was Taylor Robert with a 26-minute and 4 second-loop on Lap 6 attempting to close the gap on Webb. The second fastest lap time of the day belonged to Haaker with a 26-minute and 12 second time on Lap 6, as well. After 7 laps and the three-hour time limit, officials threw the checkered flag for rider Cody Webb making him a three-time King of the Motos Champion. Following Robert and Haaker’s finish line arrival respectively, Cory Graffunder and Kyle Redmond rounded out the top five finishers.

50+ and Crushing It!

The first rider to cross the morning race’s finish line was quite the surprise, representing the Sportsman class when Don Boespflug showed up before any of the pros had arrived. Going for another win in the afternoon race, the over 50-year-old Boespflug went 1-1 for the day. His first race earned him a free entry into the 2017 King of the Motos as race founder and director Jimmy Lewis had promised to any Sportsman rider finishing Loop 1 before the first Pro. Following Boespflug was Jordan Rock of Lake Stevens, Washington and Darrell Collins of Yreka, California.

Tanke returns to King of the Motos

Out of the male dominated field, Morgan Tanke was the only female to take on the 2016 course individually and did a great job of conquering the first loop, yet had a rough start to the second loop and ended up with an unfortunate DNF.

Electric Bikes and a Serious Dose of Determination

An unusual late entry, a King of the Motos attempt by electric Santa Cruz mountain bikes with riders Todd Romano and Doug Dalton. While not successful for the two-part competition, both riders did finish the first loop — an impressive feat in itself.

For more information, visit ultra4racing.com.