2020 Kenda AMA National Enduro Series Preview

A look at the venues and teams for this year’s National Enduro series.

The opening round of the 2020 Kenda AMA National Enduro series, presented by Moose Racing, is coming up on February 2 in Sumter, South Carolina, which marks the 51st running of that event. The Kenda AMA National Enduro series consists of 10 rounds, beginning in Sumter and wrapping up with the Gobbler Getter Enduro on November 1 in Stanton, Alabama.

The AMA National Enduro series is the longest-running national off-road series in America, and although enduro events have been around since the early 1900s, the first AMA sanctioned National Enduro series was in 1964, where Bill Baird was the champion. Before that, the AMA National Champion was determined by single events.

This year’s series will see a return to several familiar places which, in addition to Sumter and the Gobbler Getter, include the Cherokee Enduro in Georgia, the Cajun Enduro in Louisiana, the Rattlesnake Enduro in Pennsylvania, the Lead Belt Enduro in Missouri, and the Muddobbers Enduro in Indiana.

A new round to the series will be the Caprock Canyon Enduro in Turkey, Texas. The series also returns to the Grassman Enduro in Ohio and the Huntersville Enduro in Minnesota after a two-year hiatus.

The series has grown so much in popularity that the Sumter round filled up the allotted 780 slots in eight minutes after entries opened up and there are still 60 riders on a waiting list hoping to ride the event. The Sumter race is usually a big indicator of how the season will pan out.

As far as promotions go, the 100% goggle and Sidi boot giveaway will once again be at every round, while Beta USA continues to run its Beta Cup in this year’s championship. This season, the Beta Cup format remains the same as in 2019 with a slight modification; riders now have the opportunity to race a Beta 125 RR or a Beta 200 RR in their respective class. The winner at the end of the 2020 season will have their choice between a Beta 200 RR, 250 RR, or 300 RR. More info on the Beta Cup and the series can be found at nationalenduro.com.

Another new feature is that eight-time AMA National Enduro champion Mike Lafferty will be the track reporter for this year’s wrap-up videos. Sherco is a new series sponsor for 2020, so each round will also feature a pre-ride video sponsored by the French manufacturer. Another new sponsor for the year is Jotagas, which is a relatively new motorcycle manufacturer out of Spain.

Of course, the big news during the off-season was the signing of Steward and Grant Baylor by FactoryONE Sherco. Both South Carolina riders were KTM support riders last year riding for Tely Energy Racing. The move by Sherco forced KTM to return to the series, after skipping it altogether in 2019, with a factory team consisting of Josh Toth and Ben Kelley.

The following is a preview of the teams and riders competing in this year’s Kenda AMA National Enduro series.

FactoryONE Sherco makes its official off-road debut at the opening round of the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series in Sumter, South Carolina, with the top two riders from the 2019 season—Steward and Grant Baylor.
FactoryONE Sherco makes its official off-road debut at the opening round of the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series in Sumter, South Carolina, with the top two riders from the 2019 season—Steward and Grant Baylor.Darrin Chapman

FactoryONE Sherco makes its official off-road debut at the opening round of the Kenda AMA National Enduro series in Sumter, South Carolina, with the top two riders from the 2019 season—Steward and Grant Baylor. The brothers collectively won every round last year with the exception of round 1 in Sumter, which was clinched by five-time National Enduro champ Russell Bobbitt, who came out of retirement to race that event. Steward won the 2019 title while Grant finished second overall. The team comes in with a lot of momentum, having also signed extreme enduro specialist Cody Webb away from KTM during the off-season to compete in the AMA Extreme Off-Road series and AMA EnduroCross series. The brothers seem to be the consensus favorites heading into the Sumter opener. Steward and Grant will ride the new 450 SEF Factory model.

Absent from the Kenda AMA National Enduro series in 2019, FMF KTM Factory Racing returns to the fold with Josh Toth (pictured) and Ben Kelley. The two Connecticut natives will compete on KTM 350 XC-Fs.
Absent from the Kenda AMA National Enduro series in 2019, FMF KTM Factory Racing returns to the fold with Josh Toth (pictured) and Ben Kelley. The two Connecticut natives will compete on KTM 350 XC-Fs.Courtesy of KTM

After skipping it last year, FMF KTM Factory Racing returns to the Kenda AMA National Enduro series with Josh Toth (pictured) and Ben Kelley. Both riders concentrated on the GNCC series in 2019; however, each has enduro experience. Toth finished second overall behind Steward Baylor in the 2018 series and captured a win that year as well, while Kelley was fourth overall. The two riders are originally from Connecticut and excel in rocky conditions, which will be a benefit when the series heads north to Pennsylvania, and both will compete on KTM 350 XC-Fs.

Beta USA has re-signed multiple riders to its factory team and added a few new faces to its lineup. One of those returning is Cody Barnes (pictured).
Beta USA has re-signed multiple riders to its factory team and added a few new faces to its lineup. One of those returning is Cody Barnes (pictured).Shan Moore

Beta USA has re-signed multiple riders to its factory team, and has added a few new faces to its roster as well, resulting in a powerful team. For the National Enduro series, Cody Barnes (pictured) is back after missing the second half of last year due to injury. Riding in the NE Pro2 division, Barnes turned in an impressive third overall finish at last year’s Cherokee National in Georgia, and is expected to be a favorite in the Pro2 division again in 2020. New to the team is Thorn Devlin, a native of Pennsylvania who finished off last year with impressive performances in the Pro division before getting hurt at Zink Ranch in Oklahoma. Finally, former Women’s US ISDE ace Rachel Gutish was added to battle for the championship in the Women’s Elite division.

XC Gear/Enduro Engineering/Husqvarna will feature Ryder Lafferty (pictured) in the Pro class and Noah Clark in NE Pro2.
XC Gear/Enduro Engineering/Husqvarna will feature Ryder Lafferty (pictured) in the Pro class and Noah Clark in NE Pro2.Shan Moore

XC Gear/Enduro Engineering/Husqvarna will feature Ryder Lafferty in the Pro class and Noah Clark in NE Pro2. Lafferty battled for the overall podium at last year’s finale in Alabama while competing in the NE Pro2 class, but lost his brakes and wound up with fifth overall. Ryder is the nephew of Mike Lafferty. Meanwhile, Clark has been consistently hanging out just inside the top 10 and finished ninth overall in the overall series point standings. He will once again compete for the NE Pro2 title.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thad Duvall (pictured) returns to the series in hopes of avenging a disastrous 2018 season, while his teammate Trevor Bollinger will get a taste of his first full season with the series.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thad Duvall (pictured) returns to the series in hopes of avenging a disastrous 2018 season, while his teammate Trevor Bollinger will get a taste of his first full season with the series.Courtesy of Husqvarna

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thad Duvall (pictured) returns to the series in hopes of avenging a disastrous 2018 season, which saw him score zero points at two rounds. Meanwhile, Duvall’s teammate Trevor Bollinger will get a taste of his first full season with the series.

With the Baylor brothers moving over to Sherco, NE Pro2 rider Liam Draper will carry the Tely Energy Racing banner by himself in 2020.
With the Baylor brothers moving over to Sherco, NE Pro2 rider Liam Draper will carry the Tely Energy Racing banner by himself in 2020.Shan Moore

Returning NE Pro2 rider Liam Draper will carry the Tely Energy Racing banner by himself since the Baylor brothers moved over to Sherco. The New Zealander quickly moved up the ranks since moving to America three years ago and is expected to compete for podiums in 2020.

Coastal Racing Husqvarna is new to the series for 2020 with Ricky Russell at the helm.
Coastal Racing Husqvarna is new to the series for 2020 with Ricky Russell at the helm.Shan Moore

Coastal Racing Husqvarna is new to the series for 2020 with Ricky Russell at the helm. A native of Washington, Russell tested the enduro waters last year when he competed at the Muddobbers Enduro in Indiana and came away with an impressive third overall, giving him the confidence to commit to a full season in 2020.

2014 AMA National Enduro champion Andrew Delong and Jonathon Johnson make up Phoenix Racing Honda’s two-rider effort in the series for 2020.
2014 AMA National Enduro champion Andrew Delong and Jonathon Johnson make up Phoenix Racing Honda’s two-rider effort in the series for 2020.Shan Moore

Phoenix Racing Honda comes into the series with 2014 AMA National Enduro champion Andrew Delong and Jonathon Johnson. Hailing from South Carolina, Johnson was impressive at last year’s Gobbler Getter Enduro in Alabama, finishing a solid sixth overall in his only National Enduro appearance of the year. Meanwhile, Delong will see if he can conjure up some of the magic that brought him the title in ’14.