Dirt Rider's After School Program

Three Friends, Good Grades, 6 hours, and The Little Bike That Could!

Editors Note: We recently got an inquisition inquiring from three young men about racing our 2015 KTM 200 XC-W long haul machine at the John Burr Six Hours of Glen Helen. After careful thought we decided we would let the young men race the KTM, on a couple of conditions; that they had good grades at school (and kept those good grades) going into the event and that they did a written report on their experiences about the race. Here are their written reports as told by each one of them.

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Garrett Dicus

Age 14 (freshman)

6’0/Husky (not the bike)

Skill Level - Motocross, Novice

I always wanted to race the John Burr Endurance Series, especially the Six Hours of Glen Helen.  My Dad raced the series a couple of times and I remembered him talking about how much fun it was.  I thought I had chance when one of my friends invited me to be on his team, but later they had a family commitment and decided not to race. Still wanting to race, I called a couple of my riding buddies, Gavin and Anthony, and asked them if they wanted to team up. I knew they would say yes.  I spoke with my Dad and he agreed to pay the entry fee but told me we had to find additional sponsorship to cover a bike, the gas, tires, and spare parts.

I had a couple of ideas so I called on the Dirt Rider Family to see if they had a bike they needed some to put some time on.  I also called a good friend, Ed Wilson the owner of Fire/Police Motocross (FPMX) and asked for professional guidance.

After a few phone calls Chris Denison, Kris Keefer, and Greg Loup agreed to hook the team up with a 2015 KTM 200 XCW as long as we had good grades. Fortunately for my friends and me our grades are good at school.   I have known Kris Keefer since I was little guy.  Years ago he gave me one of his jerseys at the track and he has been my favorite pro rider ever since.  Kris always treated me like I was the most important guy on the track, he would give me pointers, and he treats every rider he meets that way.  My Dad says Kris feels things on a motorcycle that mere mortals will never experience, (whatever that means).

Ed Wilson, hooked us up with all of the fuel for the race, and Amsoil- (syntheticsonly.com) hooked us up with oil, tires, and spare parts.  So now my buds and me had a bike, gas, tires, parts, and were ready to race.

During the 2014 season I raced my 2013 KTM 450 XCF in the four-stroke novice class at the SRA GP series. Being a loyal orange rider I was excited to ride the KTM 200 XC-W.  I knew it would be a great bike for the single track and would have enough power to pull a big kid like me around the track. It was light and easy to move around on, and has more than enough power to climb Mt. St. Helens and builds more torque than you would expect from a 200cc bike. The 2015 KTM 200 XCW is the most forgiving bike that I have ever ridden. The 200 has the best brakes on the planet, it handled well, and even the suspension worked for a big guy like me.  This is the best all-around bike for any type of racing, my friends and I all wish we had one in the garage.  Hey Dad! Ummmm?

During the race we had no bike problems, however I went down in a flat turn, broke the clutch lever, and messed up my knee.  Even with my crash Gavin and Anthony were able to keep us in the race and win the 125-251cc Novice Class.  Thanks to Dirt Rider, Amsoil, and Ed Wilson (FPMX) without them we would not have been able to race and have a great time with my friends and family. This is one experience I will never forget!

Gavin Jahn

Age 14 (freshman)

5’10/140 pounds

Skill Level-Novice Motocross / Off-Road     

​I was introduced to doing this team race by my good friend Garrett. He called me up and asked if I wanted to ride on the team. I said yes as fast as I could. The next day we were going riding so we had some time to talk about it and what we would have to bring. I talked to my dad and he told us we could use his bike as our back up bike to put in impound. That was our best outcome considering we would be using two 2-stroke KTM's, My Dad's and Dirt Rider's 2015 KTM 200 XCW.

We practiced on the 200 before the race which was a big deal to us because we wanted to make sure we could ride for the right amount of time we were each assigned to (which was two hours each). I had been practicing on my Dad’s KTM and am really comfortable with that bike so I had high hopes for this race being on a team with my riding buddies.

The day of the race we all got ready and loaded by 5:30 am, and headed out by 6 am. When we arrived at Glen Helen Raceway it was about 6:30 so we got an awesome parking spot right at the front of the pit row. While we were unloading and setting up the pits our third rider, Anthony showed up and it was official that we were going to race. As we were walking up to sign ups I could tell we were all so excited yet nervous! I was the starter for the race so I quickly got geared up and ready to go to the riders meeting. The riders meeting was at 8:00AM and we all were informed that the course had some tight turns inside the single track and the laps were going to take about 30 minutes per lap.

After the riders meeting it was time to head to the line. I was lined up on the third row at the very outside. Everybody warmed up their bikes before we had to kill them for the dead engine start. I was pretty confident with the start considering I had an electric start. Once the green flag waved we all started our bikes and took off. My team was out front for the start and almost pulled the holeshot when I jumped inside and slid but kept the bike up right to go head to head for the lead. We all quickly got spread out and my team had a comfortable lead at about 30 seconds on the first lap.

The bikes power was incredible pulling wheelies almost everywhere which made it fun. But the stock suspension was definitely not stiff enough for race pace. For doing hard enduros definitely that suspension would be perfect but for a track like Glen Helen with jumps and big breaking bumps going up and down the hills it was a little to soft for my comfort but on the single track it was perfect. During the race the suspension was giving me mixed feedback but I definitely love the chassis and motor. The motor pulled me up any hill and over any obstacle I needed it to and it being a KTM had amazing brakes. The experience of the race was awesome. Being able to represent Dirt Rider and put the KTM at the top spot of the class was a highlight for my friends and I. A big thanks goes out to Dirt Rider for letting us use one of their bikes, to Fire and Police Motocross, and Amsoil, without them we wouldn't be able to do this.

Anthony Reed        

Age 14 (freshman)

6’0/150 pounds

Skill Level-Novice Motocross/Off-road

Since my buddies wrote a race report I wanted to try and do something different and give the Dirt Rider readers an evaluation on the bike that we raced.

I recently just had the opportunity to race this KTM machine and take a win in our class! Being that the bike was only a 200cc machine I did not think it would have much power. Let me tell you what, I was wrong! When you get on this bike all it’s going to want to do is go fast. If you're a desert type rider that likes to go fast or even on the track than this bike is definitely made for you. The 2015 KTM 200 XC-W has great top and bottom end with lots of torque. The 200cc orange machine took on some of the gnarliest hills at Glen Helen raceway without a struggle. The gears on the bike shift very smooth at every part of the course. Being that the bike loves to go fast I was worried about having harsh suspension when you came to the gnarliest breaking bumps. The front and rear suspension works very well and felt comfortable through the bumps. You will be able to rip through the bumps wherever you are with no problem! I am 6’0/150 pounds and this bike had no problems getting me through some of the deepest and longest of ruts. The front suspension had no problem getting you into the rut and the rear suspension worked great getting you out of the rut really smooth! The KTM200 XC-W is definitely a bike you should look into no matter what type of riding you do.