6D Helmets Rider Appreciation Day, Rally News, Nick Fahringer Update And Much More! - The Weekly Dirt: December 31, 2014

Welcome to Weekly Dirt, your place on the Internet for off-road news from around the world. We're right in the middle of the Christmas holidays this week, and we at Dirt Rider are hoping you and your loved ones had a Merry Christmas. We're wishing you a Happy New Year, as well. This week in Weekly Dirt, we take a look at this weekend's 6D Helmets Rider Appreciation Day courtesy of Chris Denison. Kato brings us more Rally news, and we check in on enduro ace Nick Fahringer. There's plenty to go over, so let's get going.

6D Helmets Rider Appreciation Day

6D had several cool visuals available for the tech presentation, including this cutaway that shows what the “suspension for your head” element of 6D’s technology looks like underneath the helmet’s shell. Photo By Chris Denison
One of 6D’s many youth racers gets a helmet fit clinic from Tyler Wilson. The main thing that 6D looks for when fitting a helmet is a good, snug all around fit with minimal movement during general use. Photo By Chris Denison
Rene Garcia was looking good aboard his ARMA Energy-backed Honda CRF150R. Photo By Chris Denison
Digital Throttle’s Sean Finley displays the eye of the tiger while roosting his KTM two-stroke around Perris’ chocolate loam. Photo By Chris Denison
The entire 6D crew—including head honcho Bob Weber—is made up of riders. Here, Weber takes a break from connecting with customers to enjoy his favorite part of the job. Photo By Chris Denison
It wouldn’t be a ride day without a few pros throwing big whips! Keaton Ward shows how it’s done. Photo By Chris Denison
Off-road ace and 6D supporter Nick Burson came out of the desert to spin some laps aboard his mint-looking Beta race bike. Photo By Chris Denison
6D successfully completed a total takeover of the Perris Raceway facility. It was somewhat trippy and fairly cool seeing a track full of different racers all wearing the same helmets! Photo By Chris Denison
Mini hotshot Ryder DiFrancesco puts out the vibe in the pits. This kid has more swagger than John Wayne, and he’s fast as heck, too! Photo By Chris Denison
The Inland Emperor himself, Brian Deegan, poses with his son Danger Boy during one of the rare moments that the father-son duo wasn’t tearing up the track together. Photo By Chris Denison
Tom White showcased a fun visual history of helmet technology, including some pieces from his personal museum. Lids have come a long way! Photo By Chris Denison
The crowd of riders in attendance included many sponsored 6D athletes but was mainly made up of average customers who believe in what the brand is doing. Photo By Chris Denison
During the lunch break, Weber gave a very heartfelt thank you to all the 6D customers and supporters, whom he credits with being the driving force behind the brand’s popularity. Photo By Chris Denison
The 6D crew, from left to right: Robert Reisinger, Bob Weber, Dominic Vandenberg, Scott Denison, Dale Davis, Tyler Wilson, and Cody Marion. Photo By Chris Denison

Most motocross riders are familiar with 6D’s meteoric rise in popularity since its helmet’s introduction, thanks largely to a highly innovative design and strong support from the industry, along with countless positive endorsements from a wide variety of racers.  But if you ask 6D what the secret to its success is, the answer is clear: they feel that 100% of the credit for the company’s accomplishments goes to the customers. The crew proved this notion at Perris raceway this week, where 6D held its first ever Rider Appreciation Day for a large crowd of enthusiastic 6D owners.

The premise for the Ride Day was simple: a 6D helmet gets you in the gate and allows for access to the immaculately groomed MX track, as well as a free catered lunch, helmet demos, fitment help, a technical seminar, and a chance to hang out with some of 6D’s top athletes. Given that everyone had the day off school due to Christmas break still being in effect, the turnout was massive, particularly among 6D’s youth riders. With perfect weather and a fun track layout, the all-6D-equipped group enjoyed several hours of epic moto practice, broken up by a quick lunch break in which 6D boss Bob Weber formally thanked all in attendance for their support. In the end, the day was a complete blast, and the overall vibe was one of genuine appreciation from a company that is working in earnest to bring increased safety to the moto masses.

Nick Fahringer To Have Surgery

Nick Fahringer will miss the first half of the 2015 season after having surgery to repair his damaged MCL. Photo by Shan Moore

AirGroup Racing’s Nick Fahringer is scheduled to have surgery in January to repair a torn MCL the Husqvarna rider suffered during last year’s National Enduro series. The procedure will force Fahringer to miss four to six months of the 2015 season. “I need to be 100%,” said Fahringer, who tore the ligament in July while practicing for the Pennsylvania round of this year’s Kenda AMA National Enduro Series. The Ohio native was leading the series standings at the time of his injury, and held on to finish out the year fifth overall in the standings, despite the riding with the injury. “Since the injury, I have struggled in training and with my riding. To regain the confidence and inspired riding that brings results, I am taking the time to do it right.”

After suffering the injury, Fahringer tried riding through the pain at the final rounds of the series, but the knee proved to be too unstable.

“At the time of the injury, I felt the only option was to ride through it. The doctors all said it would heal on its own. After the season I gave it adequate time to heal and was released to get back to riding,” said Fahringer. “But while training in California before Christmas I realized I wasn’t where I needed to be physically, so I consulted Dr. Alexander in Murrieta, who treats our sports top riders. His exam of my knee confirmed it needed proactive attention.”

“I drove back east the next day and sought out the best surgeon and made a plan to tackle this head on for a strong recovery.”

Tomac Ready For A1

Eli Tomac is among a handful of riders vying for the 2015 Monster Energy AMA Supercross series title, which kicks off on January 3 in Anaheim, California. Photo Courtesy GEICO Honda

In less than a week, the 2015 AMA Supercross season will kick off with the season opener in Anaheim’s Angel Stadium. In the meantime, GEICO Honda rider Eli Tomac's has been working hard in pursuit of his first 450cc championship.

With the recently announcement of five-time Supercross champion Ryan Villapoto leaving the U.S. circuit for the FIM Motocross World Championship in Europe, the opportunity for a new AMA Supercross champion to be crowned in 2015 is inevitable.

"There is a spot open now to take the title," Tomac said. "Not saying that Villapoto would have gone on to win every single race and the championship this season, but this gives a lot of hope for the upcoming season to the other racers.

"This year I feel like I'm in a much better spot heading into the season. I feel like I have an even better shot of being in the title-fight at the end of the year."

With talk swirling of who will take over after Villapoto's incredible reign, Tomac's name is among a short list of riders seen as the biggest contenders for the 2015 title.

"It's cool to be seen as a one of the riders to beat for the championship," Tomac said, "but it's also kind of expected in my mind. You put a lot of work in during the off-season to be able to be in the position of title-contender. That's where I want to be, the rider on everyone's mind."

Wanting to ensure that his chase for the championship is a success, Tomac's time off has been spent preparing mentally and physically for anything he may endure, including stacking his talent against the world's best overseas.

"The off-season has been good so far," Tomac said. "Everything just seems to be going better than before, including the motorcycle and me physically.

"I had a couple off-season races in Italy and France so far and I won both those events. Those extra races really help put into perspective where I'm at as a rider and what I need to work on more before the season kicks off in a few weeks.

"From what I've seen so far, I think we're in a good spot right now as one to beat every race."—Shan Moore

More Rally News

The upcoming Dakar Rally will see Johnny Campbell in the right seat of Robby Gordon’s Hummer once again, the pair probably the strongest American contenders. Photo By Mark Kariya

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Due to growing interest in the sport of rally raids in North America, Baja Rally LLC and Rally Playero Entertainment have joined forces to launch what they hope will eventually be a series of multinational rallies.

For now, they’re starting with just a two-round Mexican National Cross-Country Championship comprised of the Baja Rally (September 28 to October 2, 2015, in Baja California and the finale in Mexico’s southern state of Oaxaca in December 2015.

Baja and Dakar veteran Andy Grider has been named Competition Director for Baja Rally LLC, and he sees a bright future for rallies in North America: “I’ve seen what they’re doing in Greece, Tunisia, Mongolia and South America. Rally is a global sport and North America is the last to catch on. There’s no place to go but up!”

To download the rulebook and find out more, visit http://www.bajarallymoto.com/championship.html.

On the subject of rallies, 11-time Baja 1000 champion Johnny Campbell boarded his flight to Buenos Aires on Monday. The head honcho of the Rockstar Energy/Lucas Oil/JCR Honda GNCC team won’t be riding one of the special CRF450 Rally bikes he had a hand in developing, however. He’ll be riding shotgun and navigating for Robby Gordon once again in the number 308 Hummer.

Privateer Tony Gera who earned his slot by winning the SCORE Ironman championship will be one of two Americans entered in the bike category on the number 119 KTM. Antonio Narino is the other, riding the number 164 Husqvarna.

With Campbell off to Argentina, his GNCC rider, Chris Bach, will remain in the U.S. and continue to train for the series opener in Florida in March. Unlike many GNCC racers, however, Bach isn’t in Florida or another southern state to train. Well, maybe he could be considered headed south as he’s in Southern California where he plans to include the Adelanto Grand Prix into his training. That race on Saturday is the opening round of the AMA District 37/MSR Big 6 Grand Prix Series with its featured $2000 AMA West Coast Grand Prix Series. Among the competitors he’s likely to face is AMA Hare & Hound Champ Ricky Brabec, who won his first Big 6 race this year and insists he’ll ride Adelanto aboard a restored KX500!

The Kenda/SRT AMA Hare & Hound National Championship Series kicks off in less than a month, and former factory rider David Kamo is reportedly planning to return to the series full-time as part of a privateer TBT Racing effort. TBT’s Travis Flateau is trying to acquire Yamaha’s new YZ450F, but those are scarce right now so Kamo may be racing the first round or two aboard his own KTM 450 XC-F that he picked up earlier this year just to have something to ride.

Among the many stories at the Baja 1000 last month, we just learned that it marked the final race for Chris Haines. He was part of the Class 30-winning team that included Rider of Record Francisco Arredondo, Chris Brown, Ryan Dudek, Shane Esposito and Jay Rabjohn aboard a CRF450X prepared by Jimmy Holley.

The former mechanic for Team Honda motocrosser Mickey Dymond and others early in his career, Haines amassed a record of 15 class victories in 33 years of competing at the 1000. This was the second year in a row his team’s been on the overall motorcycle podium; they were more than three hours ahead of the fourth bike after vaulting into third early on.

“After competing in the Baja 1000 for 33 years, it was time for me to hang up my helmet and what better way to go out than up on the podium with my teammates one last time? I was fortunate to be a part of the Arredondo-Bremen team who provided me with this chance to finish on top thanks to their tremendous efforts. I’m honored to have raced with this great group of guys. It sure has been an amazing run,” he said.

But don't think Haines is retiring from riding in Baja. He'll continue to operate Chris Haines Motorcycle Adventures, guiding off-road rides in California, Nevada and, of course, Baja aboard his fleet on Hondas. He pioneered that industry, and if you'd like more information, go to www.chrishaines.com. —Mark Kariya

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