Suburban Oasis - Dirt Rider Magazine

FeatureJust a stones through away from the Minneapolis/ St. Paul area lay a motocross treasure in the form of Elko raceway. Located a mere twenty minutes south of Minnesota's urban center and most populous area, a rider can enjoy all that our sport has to offer.

No less than twenty years ago the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul used to be a relatively open area, full of tracks and trails for anyone to enjoy. Because of this, many families grew up riding motocross. However, due to the rapid economical growth of the area, much of the prime riding real estate was purchased and developed by housing communities, businesses, and the occasional golf course. Strip malls now lay where starting gates once did. The fast sweepers of yesterday are now drive throughs, and you can now tee of on a par 4 where you used to jump the back double. The rapid expansion of the twin cities led to the demise of available riding areas.With seemingly nowhere left to ride, the motocross community was beginning to suffer. The local newspaper classifieds were filled with bikes for sale and families were contemplating hanging up their leathers. The future was indeed looking bleak for the local riding scene.In 1995, a young motocross entrepreneur by the name of Lee Theis decided something needed to be done. He formulated a plan to invest his entire event promoting proceeds into building a first class motocross facility. That spring, he purchased the back lot of the Elko speedway and dug the first spade of dirt of what would quickly become the twin cities most prominent riding area. With a Bobcat loader and a small group of riders, Theis transformed the back lot into a motocross playground.It didn't take long before the word spread of this hidden treasure. Riders young and old, male and female were coming out to enjoy the dream Theis had built. This motocross sanctuary breathed new life into the local motocross community. It offered riders the chance to get out and ride regularly without having to load up and drive hours to the nearest public track. The Elko motocross facility ushered in a new era of twin cities motocross.The track has grown and improved immensely from its humble beginnings. During the summer months you will find a convoy of pickup tracks, campers, and trailers headed south on I-35 for a day of bar-banging exhilaration. Thursday evenings are now marked on every rider's calendar for open practice. Once a month Theis holds an AMA sanctioned district race here as well as promoting his own series (Motokazie) on the off weekends. In addition to this, there is also a micro track for the little throttle jockeys as well as pit bike races for the "big kids". Theis has also brought in the allure of some big name sponsors (FMF, Answer Racing, MSR, and DRD just to name a few) to donate prizes and contingencies for his events. No longer just a practice track, Elko has grown into the areas premier competition venue.Lee Theis and his Motokazie crew are preparing to close out their tenth year of operation at the Elko facility. There is little doubt that next year will be even bigger and better than the previous. The Elko motocross track may not have single handedly saved the local twin cities motocross community, but it did bring the people closer together while at the same time introducing a whole new era of riders to this great sport. In doing so, Theis has insured a solid future for himself and the entire twin cities motocross community alike.DR Tested****Topar Racing Billet Top ClampThere are more triple clamp manufacturers these days than a rider can shake a stick at. Topar Racing takes a traditional, yet functional, approach to their top triple clamp system. It is a no-frills system that works well and is very durableThe mounting of this set-up on the test bike (a Suzuki RM 250) was a breeze. The forks slid into the clamps buttery smooth without even a hint of binding. The bar mounts are eccentric and the clamp has two different mounting positions, allowing the rider 4 possible bar locations.The quality of the supplied hex head hardware is top notch, although some never-seize on the threads is definitely recommended as the bolts may lock themselves in over time. One minor draw back to this clamp is that the bolts are on the front of the clamp. Although not a major issue, it is still convenient to be able to take your forks off without having to remove your front number plate to access the bolts. The rugged anodized finish still looks like the day it came out of the box. Custom color options and even magnesium clamps are available by special order. The top clamp retails for 159.95 in standard colors, add ten dollars for custom colors. — Mr. Orange