On the Pegs - July 2023

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Contact your nearest Sherco Dealer for more information. Promotion ends June 30th 2023, or while supplies last. Sherco Off-road Motorcycles come ‘Factory’ from the Showroom KYB Suspension | Full Akrapovic Exhaust 4t | AXP Skid Plate | Excel Rims | Galfer Rotors and Pads $2,000 OFF ANY


SHERCOUSA.COM @ SHERCOUSA_OFFICIAL @ SHERCOUSA Showroom Floor. Pads | Brembo Hydraulics | Selle Seat | Coolant Expansion Tank | Radiator Fan Kit | and much more!

Dirt Riders West

Lewisport USA

Balance Trials Supply

Trial Store USA

Aloha Trials

Hawaii Rides

Tom's Toys

TRS Kentucky

Jack's Cycles

Mossy Rock Trials

Competition Wheels

HVC cycle

Moto Works USA

Moto Works USA

Miller Ranch Trials

Adroit Engineering

Gran Prix Cycle

Trials Training Cntr.


Thumbs Up Trials

Frank's Motorbikes


Mike Carlton

Adrian & Mandy Lewis

Bill Haskell

Alex Niederer

Clayton Oshita

Sam Bird

Tom Littlefield

Sam Fastle

Stuart Preston

Dan Larson

James McKenzie

Brad Obidowski

Carl Madsen

Peter McCurdy

Aaron & Andy Miller

Jon Rentschler

Gary & Robyn Byers

Larry or Allison

Tom Batchelor

Steve Davis

Frank Kergil

(602) 370-7546

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AZ, Phoenix

CA, Copperopolis

CO, Arvada

FL, Bradenton

HI, Kapaa

HI, Wahiawa

IL, Roscoe

KY, Louisville

ME, South Berwick

MT, Big Timber

NC, Concord

NE, Lincoln

NM, Albuquerque

NM, Santa Fe

NY, Corning

OH, Chardon

OR, Albany

TN, Sequatchie

TX, Midlothian

UT, Provo

WA, Bellevue

VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 5



DEPARTMENTS World News 12 Local News 13 Product Spotlight 16 On the Horizon 18 10x12 Challenge 22 Seat Time 24 Inside Look - Scorpa 28 CO Tried to Kill Me 86 GNCC - Snowshoe 128 AHRMA - Frackville CC 144
Beta USA's Alex Niederer talks us through his first experience at the Scottish Six Days Trial.
photo by Neil Sturgeon


Steph Vetterly


Steph Vetterly



Abigail Buzzelli

Brian Pierce

Seat Time

Alex Myers

Alex Niederer

Josh Roper

Neil Sturgeon


Logan Densmore

Mack Faint

Kayla Bolton

Ken Hill

Shan Moore

Joshua Schucker

Lorena Walker

the Trials and Enduro community with a single-track mind.

The Mecatecno factory has been producing the Dragonfly electric trials bikes for over a month now with deliveries to many countries. The bikes are working very well, as my test/demo has been since I received it last November. The bike is very light (132 lbs) and easy to ride with the option of three modes of power that will suit the requirements of any rider. The clutch, if needed, is very soft and the battery will provide five hours of moderate speed riding with a 2.5 hour re-charge time. Retail price is $11,299, not including shipping to your destination. The first container of 24 bikes is due to arrive at my warehouse around May 24th. They are almost all sold out, so contact me to order and for any further information.


• The T-18 Dragonfly is direct-drive from the motor to the rear wheel

• An easy-pull diaphragm clutch for maximum control and traction

• New M4 39mm Aluminum AIR FORKS are the lightest on the market

• Linkless Ohlins shock direct to the swing arm

• 5 hour+ quick change and fast charge battery

• Weight 132 pounds

• Seat can be added for trail riding comfort


Husqvarna Factory Racing would like to thank Skyler Howes for his commitment, enthusiasm, and success during his two years racing for the team in both the FIM World Rally-Raid Championship and the prestigious Dakar Rally. Husqvarna Factory Racing wishes Skyler well in his future endeavours.

After thorough discussions, Howes and Husqvarna Factory Racing have mutually agreed to conclude their partnership with immediate effect.

Signing with Husqvarna Factory Racing prior to the 2021 Sonora Rally, Skyler immediately made his presence felt, taking second place in

the overall classification of the rally. Howes would end 2021 strongly, claiming multiple stage wins and overall event podiums.

Following a disappointing retirement in the 2022 Dakar Rally, Skyler bounced back later that season to take victories in both the Sonora Rally and Rallye du Maroc. The 2023 Dakar saw Howes lead the early stages of the event before ultimately securing third in the overall classification - his best Dakar finish to date.

The entire Husqvarna Factory Racing team wishes Skyler all the best in his further career.



The USA Trial des Nations team was announced at the conclusion of the latest rounds of the NATC National Mototrials Championship in Oregon based on the series scores.

This year, the men's team will consist of Will Myers, Alex Myers, and Josh Roper. The women's team will consist of newcomer Hailey Glueck, and TdN veterans Kylee Sweeten and Maddie Hoover.

The 2023 TdN will take place on September 8-10 in Auron, France.

If you would like to help support Team USA, please consider donating at the following GoFundMe link.

VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 13


Central Powersports Distribution (CPD) is proud to announce an agreement with X-Grip of Austria to distribute X-Grip Tires, mousses, and tubes in the United States. The first X-Grip container was already arrived at CPD’s new Texas warehouse and is ready for US distribution effective immediately!

X-Grip’s “stay on track” motto lives and breathes off-road. Actively participating in the biggest and toughest races in the world for many years has given X-Grip the knowledge and real-world experience to produce long-lasting and high-performing tires to suit any offroad terrain. Unlike other brands that make every kind of tire imaginable, X-Grip’s focus is only for the dirt. The first time you try a set of these tires or mousses, you can feel X-Grip’s “For Riders, by Riders” passion!

X-Grip is quickly becoming a force in Europe thanks to their extreme hard enduro and enduro product lines that perform well in all conditions. X-Grip has a wide range of bib mousses to cover all levels of performance, conditions, longevity, and "feel" that racing can bring. In addition, X-Grip also has a

large selection of tubes, tools, and components to fit your individual needs.

CPD’s Mark Berg is pleased with the new partnership, stating:

In my opinion, the US tire market is still missing a good lineup of dedicated OFFROAD-SPECIFC tires. Sure, there are a lot of MX and SX tires out there, but what about something designed from day one for rocks, roots, and logs? X-Grip Tires are the answer to fill this vacant yet in-demand niche. X-Grip continues to push the performance envelope in the off-road tires and mousses based on the needs and desires of enduro riders and racers. X-Grip is a fantastic fit for our growth in the off-road aftermarket segment, and we hope to grow the X- Grip name in the USA in years to come.

CPD currently imports and distributes notable OEM motorcycle brands such as Rieju, Electric


Motion, SWM, and AJP, all while continuing to add more aftermarket off-road-specific brands to their growing portfolio. X-Grip is a great addition to the CPD family of brands already in distribution, including FunnelWeb Filters, S3 Parts, Viral Brand Goggles, and Trick Bits Protection parts.

VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 15



Bullet Proof Designs Yamaha

Radiator guards are tried and tested by some of the top riders in Enduros, Hare Scrambles and Desert Races all over the world. Our new lightweight design does not adversely affect cooling or restrict air flow.

These guards mount to the frame providing top-tier frontal and

side impact protection without interfering with fan kits, and offer easy installation compatible with oversized fuel tanks and both OEM and aftermarket fan kits.

Made in the USA and includes our Lifetime Warranty.

Current Price: $240




Mika Metals sets the industry standard when it comes to the quality of materials used. All our rear sprockets are made out of T6 7075 aluminum, no other company uses a higher-grade aluminum while our front sprockets are made of the highest quality steel to withstand the rigors of off-road racing.

Mika sprockets are extremely light and are designed with self-cleaning grooves to improve sprocket life. The tooth design is unique and increases power transfer.

Designed for use on 50cc-450cc Motorcycles with multiple sprocket sizes to choose from.

Current Price: $74.99 (front) // $34.95 (rear)




Allowing riders to master terrain like never before, Husqvarna Motorcycles’ all-new 2024 TE and FE machines set a new standard for riding offroad. Expertly crafted with new frames, subframes, bodywork, suspension, and brakes, the extended list of shared innovations across the new enduro platform was introduced to further improve overall rideability. With every model continuing to deliver outstanding performance, riders will undoubtedly embrace and benefit from the technical changes made to all seven class-leading machines.

Offering predictable damping, the new, enduro-specific WP suspension allows riders to conquer technical sections in complete confidence and control. The WP XACT Closed Cartridge spring forks incorporate a mid-valve piston for smooth action and consistent performance while a hydrostop in the final 68 mm of travel helps to maintain forward momentum. A redesigned WP XACT shock features a new piston to improve comfort and is 100 g lighter and 15 mm shorter while retaining 300 mm of travel. Both the fork and shock settings can be adjusted by hand for a fast and easy personalized set-up.

For the new generation, the TE 150, TE 250, and TE 300 2-stroke models are now powered by new engines fuelled using Throttle Body Injection (TBI) technology. Introduced to ensure these lightweight machines maintain their best-in-class performance, TBI guarantees a much more consistent and controllable spread of power throughout the rev range, even in the toughest of conditions.

The FE 250 and FE 350 machines benefit from new and much more compact DOHC engines. In addition, both engines are designed to position all major components as centrally as possible for improved handling and to generate maximum torque and power.

All models in the range take the enduro riding experience to new levels thanks to advanced electronics. The EMS allows each machine to offer two pre-set riding maps to suit varying terrain, with each gear selected engaging a tailored power delivery. The 4-stroke models offer additional rider aids including Traction Control and a Quickshifter for positive upshifts, even under heavy load.

VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 19 //



• new frame and subframe to improve anti-squat behavior, enhanced flex characteristics, strength, and durability

• new WP XACT closed cartridge spring forks

• new WP XACT rear shocklighter and developed for enduro

• new 2-stroke engines feature TBI technology

• new 250cc and 350cc DOHC 4-stroke engines

• new BRAKTEC brake system

• new multifunctional map select switch design to control the quickshifter and traction control (4-stroke only)

• new Offroad Control Unit (OCU)

• new ergonomic bodywork



Earlier this year, we introduced a new initiative from Abigail Buzzelli called the 10x12 Challenge, designed to get more people on the pegs, riding motorcycles. We're back to celebrate everyone who completed their second month's challenge - riding at least 10 days in the month of June

Congratulations to the following riders:

Beth Ali

Chris Bankston

Haley Bankston

Tyler Bankston

Keith Bell

Kevin Bobal

Heidi Brenner

Nick Bryant

Lara Burnett

Abigail Buzzelli

Chris Buzzelli

Michael Chrisman

Ellis Daw

Max Dracha

Brad Evans

Karl Faruzel

Norman Foley

Rob Fox

Bradd Fox

John French

Zackary Guelde

Kenny Gwyn

Ash Harrison

Cheyenne Hawkins

Brittney Hoy

Tommy Justice

Caroline Kent

Roman Lomaya

Mike Mazak

Don Mealor

John Montoya

Terry Ottinger

Annsley Owens

Will Owens

Wyatt Owens

Becky Owens

Josh Owens

Al Paradis JR

Hank Paradis

Stevie Paradis

Adam Partin

Toni Profer Roach

Jason Robb

Nicole Robinson

Michelle Robinson

Jimmy Sharpe

Martin Sturla

Tom Trantow

Seth Vorseth

If you don't see your name on the list, visit www.10x12challenge.com to see the challenge rules and get your June swag.

artwork designed by Cheyenne Hawkins
VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 23
Zack Guelde Toni Roach Tom Trantow

The NEPG just released an update to their race format for the upcoming Muddobbers NEPG round. This format evolution could be a game changer for National Enduro Series going forward.

The National Enduro Series is one of the best racing series out there. I find it a great way to ride fun, and different, terrain while also being challenged as a racer. I’m excited to chat with the racers after this round to get their thoughts on the format change.

National Enduro Announces Upcoming Format Change

VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 25

Two Stroke Pipe Dent Removal | You Never Forget Your First Time


While racing the 2023 Cajun Classic 100 Mile Enduro, I smashed my two stroke pipe into a hell of a large stump. I bought a Two Stroke Pipe Repair Kit from eBay and went after blowing out the dents.

The kit I bought was from RJS MFG on eBay. The process is simple, but it can be a bit nerve-racking. You tighten the two pieces of the kit on the two ends of your two stroke pipe. From there, you add air into the pipe. Then you begin to heat around the dents in the pipe, slowly bringing the air pressure up if needed. The

gauge on the kit I bought was very helpful, as I didn’t want to go above 100psi in the pipe. I was very fearful of the exhaust end flying off.

As I was watching How To videos and searching for more, I couldn’t find a good ‘How To Install’ the two stroke pipe repair kit. So I made sure to go a bit deeper on that portion. As for the dent removal, go slower than you think you need to. There’s no reason to rush this part of the dent removal. You’re heating up pressurized air, it can get dangerous! As you heat up the pipe, the psi in


the pipe also increases, so make sure you watch the gauge as you heat up your dents.

Do I think I could have done a better job fine-tuning some of the dents? Sure, but I really wanted to work on getting the shape of the pipe back, instead of the perfect looking pipe. If you have advice on how to get the smaller ‘sharp’ dents worked out a bit more, drop your comments on the video so we can all take that knowledge moving forward.

VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 27


2023 SCT 300

words and photos STEPH VETTERLY

The Scorpa factory has made some impressive changes to their 2023 model in preparation for the EU's mandate that all bikes be fuelinjected by 2025.

We had a chance to talk with FactoryONE Scorpa's Alex Myers at the latest NATC round in Oregon about some of the changes that you will see with the 2023 model, how that impacts riding, and what you might expect to see in future models.

It should be noted that Alex's bike is one of the pre-production models, so it won't be 100% exactly what you'll be able to buy from dealers.

First off, the biggest, and most obvious, change is the lack of a carburetor. Scorpa decided to jump on the fuel-injection early. With the move to an electronically-controlled system, there's no need to carry an array of jets and go through rigorous testing to find the right air:fuel ratio for the environment you're riding. Riders will be able to have two separate maps preloaded to switch on-the-fly.

One thing you may have noticed if you've attended any of the NATC rounds this year is the amount of work that the FactoryONE team has


been putting in to make sure their machines are ready to race. The bikes have seen an amazing array of various altitudes (Florida being at almost sea level while Colorado was around 6,500 ft), and the team has been working with the factory overseas to make sure they have a map that will accommodate the location.

Per Alex, the ECU was only programmed to go up to 1,700 meters (approx. 5,500 feet), but the factory is re-mapping to allow the bikes to go to much greater heights, projected to be up to 4,000 meters (13,000 feet), which will be available on the production bikes. Once the team was able to get a new map to play with, Alex reported that the bike actually felt pretty similar to sea level when they were up at altitude.

We asked Alex to walk us through some of the differences he noticed in his riding style with the fuelinjected system:

"The biggest change going over to fuel injection is probably just the reaction time and when that hits with your clutch. The first couple days I rode [the bike], I was looping out at times because with a carbureted bike, you have to give it a second to rev up. It revs up pretty quick, but it’s not as fast as a fuel-injected bike. You have to give it a little bit of time because it takes time for the carburetor to draft to start pulling fuel up out

VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 31

of the float bowl. With the fuel injection, it doesn’t need that time; the computer is running so much faster than that carburetor can start moving. [The factory] went from a slide to a butterfly valve, so as soon as that valve starts opening, the computer already knows and it’s already putting fuel into that air. It’s so much faster. That’s something you need to get used to.

As for the motor and the power delivery, it’s really really strong, but I’d have to say it’s now torquier than the old bike. The fuel injection caused it to get torquier. It still has that same top-end, it still feels really good up top, but the torque is just off the charts on the bottom."

The next biggest change Alex noticed was in the rear suspension. The bike now has a single dog bone more similar to the Vertigo and TRS setup, instead of the twin dog bones. This makes the bike feel less nervous trying to go up hill, allowing it to be easier to float the front wheel while still maintaining traction.

The final change we wanted to spotlight was the new frame design. Alex is a rather tall rider, and he says the new frame feels like it fits him better. While the old design felt a little crowded in the riding area, and the footpegs felt closer to the handlebars, the new design feels a bit more spaced out. The footpegs also feel lower, making it easier to find balance, settle the bike, and


stay driven on hills. It's also 11 pounds lighter, helping to make the bike feel more nimble and reducing the amount of effort needed to hop it around. "If you're going out for seven hours at a national, that little bit less energy it takes to hop it once... take that over seven hours, and it's a huge advantage."

Alex's brother, and fellow Pro rider, Will, has tried out the new model and agrees the ergonomics are also comfortable for someone a little shorter than Alex's 6-ft+ frame.

So the big question: is this bike worth upgrading? Alex says yes.

"These bikes are European. The EU is mandating that all bikes go fuel-injected by 2025, and with that in mind, you might as well go with one that’s already spent the time to put the work in instead of getting pushed up against this timeline.

Sherco made the plunge this year, but Beta, TRS, GasGas, they’re all going to have to go fuel-injected at some point, and that process is never a pretty process. There are going to be bumps in the road because trials motors are very sensitive, it seems. I think now we’ve got a process, and we’ve got it set up. Similar to Vertigo in their early years (when Vertigos came out, it wasn’t pretty) – we’re going through that same thing. In this part of the season, I think we’ve got it to a point now where I think it

VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 33

would be a worthwhile investment for sure. I think for the average rider, it’s something new, something fresh. If someone’s feeling dulled out by the bikes on the market, this bike is definitely something new. It’s incredibly light, it’s nimble, and it’s something that’s only going to get better with time. It’s definitely something that would appeal more to the early adopters and someone who wants to try something new. It’s a whole new bike and it is so much fun to ride."

What can we expect for the future of Sherco and Scorpa models?

Alex was present for the unveiling of the new bike in Monza, Italy. Right now, the Sherco and Scorpa are the same bike (but only for the 2023 models), so it comes down to

color preference. Taking the leap from a carbureted system to a fuelinjected one is already a massive undertaking, so the factory wanted to make sure they get it right before diverging the models. Plans were announced to start turning the Scorpa line into a more rider-friendly machine, while keeping the Sherco as the top-of-the-line competition bike.

"Currently, these bikes are made to compete; they're very strong and powerful. For some people, that might not be what they want in a bike. In the next coming years, I think you'll start to see some features and set-up decisions on the Scorpa that benefits more of your lower-class and weekend-warrior rider."



electronic fuel-injection

kick-start system

5-speed sequential primary transmission, chain drive secondary

2.2-liter fuel tank

hydraulic brakes

FRONT SUSPENSION: tech alu fork39mm diamater fork tubes, 165mm stroke with two settings

REAR SUSPENSION: progression system with control linkage (165mm stroke)

WHEEL: 21" front, 19" rear

51.5" wheelbase

13.8" ground clearance

27.7" seat height

AVAILABLE IN 125, 250, 300CC

VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 35




Since the early 1900's, Scotland has been showcasing the sport of trials, hosting the Scottish Six Days Trial, a six-day long event where competitors battle the rough moorland, rocky tracks, and public roads in the best (and worst) weather that the country can throw at them. Many American riders have participated over the years, and this year, NATC Pro riders Alex

Niederer, Josh Roper, and Daniel Blanc-Gonnet got the chance to add their names to the list. For those interested in trying their hand at the Highlands, On the Pegs got a chance to talk with Alex to understand the process of applying for, and participating in, one of the oldest and longest-running trials competitions in the world.



From my experience, it all starts with a will to start to do it. When you decide you want to do it, be very conscious that it is six days, the longest time you’ve ever been on a motorcycle, going across terrain that is simply there to punish you. My opinion – you really need to be a local expert-level rider to 1 –enjoy, and 2 – really have a shot at finishing it.

It all starts in October – they open the entry form. You go online and sign-up to see if you can get an entry. Entry is open about three to four weeks. In the end of November, beginning of December, they do a ballot – they draw names to see who gets an entry. You don’t just automatically get an entry. There are 288 riders.

There are a few that are guaranteed entries, like services (Army); the clubs got some discretion on a couple of riders for guaranteed entry. This year, there were over 600 entries. When the ballot is done, you’ll receive an email that either says “Congratulations, this is your rider number,” or “We’re sorry, but unfortunately you didn’t get an entry. We’ve put you on the waiting list.” Those 288 riders have a certain amount of time to pay the entry fee, which is about £650, so it's not cheap. That entry fee does include a warm meal at lunch every

day, it includes all your fuel for the week, and everything that goes with the event. When you think about it and break it down, it’s only about £110 per day. When you look at where you’re actually riding and the effort that went into put it on, it is a reasonable amount.

If you’re on the waiting list and somebody decides they can’t make the event, you get an email saying “Congratulations, you got a late entry. You’ve got until [insert date] to pay the entry.”


You then contact the AMA to get an FIM license and start the mission. The contact at the AMA is Connie Fleming (cfleming@ama-cycle. org). You contact her. In my case, I contacted her before the British version of the AMA, which is the ACU. They had not yet given the event an international event number, what they call an IMN. Getting the FIM license took a while because we had to wait for them to give us the event number. If the event number is available, Connie usually has the FIM license back to you in a day or two. The AMA is really really good at that.

What that license does is it insures you as a rider that if anything were to go wrong while overseas, the repatriation back to the US goes through the FIM, or in this case,

VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 37

the AMA. They’ll take you back to the states and get you sorted out, medically.

The start permission is required by the club in England, because that is their way to see that the AMA has released you to legally ride this event. That’s about $250 which, for what it actually provides you, is not a whole lot.


Once you receive confirmation that you’ve got a starting spot, that’s when you need to start looking for accommodations immediately. Fort Williams is not that big of a town, and you’ve got 288 riders and you can count at least one support person per rider, on average. Now we’re talking 600 people coming into a relatively small town. There are hotels there, but you may end up 20 minutes away from where the pits are.

We got really lucky – the day we got our entry confirmed, it was Daniel, Josh, and myself from the states, but we were also riding with Tom Fraser, my minder, Tom’s brother, Richard, and one of their mutual friends, Chris Priestman. Tom’s dad was going to be our support – he drove around all week in the van. We all went in together and rented an AirBnB for the week from Sunday to Sunday. Obviously the bill for the AirBnB is very expensive if you’re

doing it by yourself – it was about £3,000. Since there were seven of us, we ended up only paying roughly £350 per person. When you calculate that out by day, it’s super cheap. We cooked our own food most nights; a couple nights we went out to eat.


Are you buying a bike, registering it, getting road tags and MOT, which would be really difficult. A lot of the manufacturers do offer some sort of rental plan. For me, obviously I rode Beta. I contacted Beta UK, John Lampkin, which is Dougie’s cousin. They’ve got a very simple rental form to fill out – what bike do you want, what parts do you want on it, etc.

I chatted with John back and forth, asked his opinion on what he thought I should do to the bike as far as any add-ons to make it work better for me. He recommended gearing the bike up, so instead of a standard 10/42 gearing, we went to an 11/42 so it was a lot faster going down the road, and we just rode every section in first gear, which is perfectly fine with me. I’m completely happy with that because it turned out that first on that bike was just about second gear on my bike, and I ride most of the sections on my bike here in the states in second gear anyways. That worked out really well.


I rented a bone-stock 2023 Beta 300 EVO Standard. I ran it with stock springs, front and rear, because I wanted it soft – you’re in a creek for all 180 sections and you don’t want it to be hard and bouncing off of rocks; you want it as soft as possible to absorb everything. The rental fee was £1500 for the week. That sounds like a lot, but when you think about it, you get a brand-new bike, Beta UK pulls the bike out of the box, they prep the bike, they do a lot of really cool things to the bike to make it ready. They do a couple of mud guards to keep mud from going in to the air filter area, they silicone up a lot of these little holes that are really open for more air, but you’re

not out there reving the bike, so you don’t need all that air. They’ve got a drain tube that they put in the airbox in case you get water in the airbox –it automatically just drains out onto the ground. They do a lot of really cool things. They did all that for me, I didn’t have to worry about it; it’s all included in the rental fee. They then take the bike and go and break it in. They rode the bike for about three or four hours to break it in, do an oil change, get the bike all softened up, get the tires broken in and everything. That was really cool. It’s all included in that rental fee, so when you break the cost down, it’s really not that much.

VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 39

Now, of course, if you were to break a part, that is extra. They take your credit card when you get there. You have to pay the bike rental fee, and if you break any parts, you get an invoice after the event and they charge you for those parts. I didn’t break any parts other than the kill switch. I bent the shifter a little bit. The only parts I got charged for were the kill switch and a rear tire that I changed on Wednesday. Other than that, good to go.

Beta was a really good brand to do this with. They have a massive pit setup. The rental fee also gives you access to their entire pit setup, tools,

and everything. Now, you have to work on the bike yourself, but you’ve got all the expertise there, so if you have any questions, they’re there to answer them. They’ve got all the tools, all the parts. That worked out really well.

The other thing a lot of people talk about is the insurance. You can purchase that from the club on signup day. The one thing that was very strange was that we weren’t able to go and test our bikes before the event because they’re not insured unless it’s an event. The bikes have license plates on them, but there’s no insurance unless the event has started.


For sign-up, you go to the Ben Nevis Centre, which is a big community hall in Fort William. You’ve got to bring with you a copy of your start permission and a copy of your driver’s license because you need to be legally able to ride a motorcycle on the road. I had to get my motorcycle endorsement before going to Scotland because I didn’t have one; never needed one.

They also send you an email with the start form; you just fill it out, sign it, and bring it with you. It helps make the process quicker. You then do the signing-on, you pay the £76 for the event insurance, which covers the motorcycle and rider to


ride on the road during the explicit instruction of the Clerk of the Course as the event is going on.

You then go and tech your bike. They seal your bike with paint, and it goes into the infamous Parc Ferme “trials bike jail” and you’re no longer allowed to touch your bike unless it’s during the event. At 2:30, all 288 riders piled into Parc Ferme; you get your bike and you ride the parade. That was the first time I’d ever ridden a trials bike down the road, which was a rather interesting experience, especially being on the left side of the road. You ride up the main street of Fort William past what felt like everyone in the entire town had come out to watch. That was a really cool experience. It was quite cold and a little drizzly, but I heard it was actually one of the betterweather days for the parade, so I was quite happy about that.

After the parade, you go back to Parc Ferme and you don’t see your bike until Monday morning.


Our start time on Monday was around 8:45, so not super early. We went over to Parc Ferme – you’re allowed in 20 minutes before your start time to do anything to your bike that you need to do. That is every day of the event, not just the first day. Then they call your number up, they give you your route

card. On the route card, it shows you the number of sections, which is 30 every day, and the number of groups. There may be two sections in a group, one section, three, four, five, etc.

The big thing with the route card is that it shows your mileage between sections, so it gives you a good idea how to gauge how far it is between groups and how long you’re going to be riding. It also tells you where your fuel stops are and your lunch stop. The most important thing is it tells you your time. I took a wristwatch and put it on my handlebars. I started a timer each morning when I left the pit on my minute. You have to make it back from Time Control within a certain time; it’s usually

VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 41

quite manageable, but the other thing is you’re not allowed to go back into the pits early because they don’t want you speeding down the road.

The only time you can actually work on your bike that evening in the pit is if you get to Time Control in less than those seven hours 45 minutes. The 20 minutes I got to work on my bike in the morning, I couldn’t work on it in the Beta tent; I had to work on it in Parc Ferme with whatever tools I could carry with me. Of course, once I leave Parc Ferme with my timecard and my running time has started, I can still pull into the

pits if I need to, but it’s just costing me time for the day.

That’s basically how every day runs.


Everybody rides the identical section, [meaning there aren't separate lines]. Some of the sections are super easy. Some of the sections are not easy, some of them are very hard. If you do not attempt a section, you actually get a ten. If you miss a section, you get 50. If you miss a whole group, you get disqualified. The penalties are quite harsh. It is no stop, which is a bit challenging at


times, but the way the sections are, it makes sense just to keep rolling because if you stop, you're kind of going to get yourself in a pickle. Most of the observers are. They get it. Sometimes you need to just have a quick pause. As long as it's a quick pause, most of them will let you get away with it.

Riders are broken up into groups of 48. The first day, the start position is 1 – 288; the second day, the first rider is going to be 49 and the last rider will be 48. Everybody cycles, everybody has an early day and a late day. I was start number 60, so my early day was Tuesday. We’ve got a running joke in our group now that Tuesday was a miserable day because it was a very long day and it was the day with the longest moor crossing – 13 miles from end-ofroad to beginning-of-road across meadows with holes disguised as puddles. You’re just hanging off the back of the bike just going as fast as you can trying not to go over the bars. It was a very challenging, very exhausting day. It was also a bad day for points for me.

Wednesday came around and things got a lot better; Wednesday was our late day. I only had 11 points on the day, so I was very happy about that. As the week went on, I got a lot better at looking at what lines to ride, following and watching the right people do it ahead of me. I got a lot better with my time

management – I’d get to the section, park my bike, walk up the section with my backpack on, drop the backpack, walk the identical line back down, get on my bike and go. There was no messing about. If you stand at a section one minute longer each time, you’ve lost 30 minutes for the day, and that’s probably going to cost you a time penalty. There’s no time to screw around. It’s a long day with a lot of miles, somewhere between 70-110 miles a day, and you really just have to stay on it, keep moving, and finish on time.

Then Saturday's really cool. The last section is in the middle of town, probably one of the most famous trial sections there is. It's called Town Hall Brae. Load of spectators.


SSDT Entry Fee £650 (~$845)

FIM License Fee $250 (~$325) Airbnb £3,000 (~$3,900)

Bike Rental £1,500 (~1,950)

Hotel Rooms £200 (~$260)

Event Insurance £76 (~$100)

TOTAL ~$7,380+

VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 43

And then you just go back to the pits right across the finish line and I took my bike back to Beta. I took my bars off, my foot pegs off, put stock stuff back on.

And John and I had a conversation, chatted, and he asked me if I was going to do it again, told him I definitely would, and I walked away. We then went to the restaurant and celebrated a little bit. I had some dinner and then the awards started at 10:30 because they were still tallying up points.

We finally got done with awards at 12:30 at night. I went to bed at one and we left again the next morning at 6 a.m. to go back to the airport because Josh was flying back to the States. Daniel and I both flew to Austria for work, so not a lot of sleep was had there, but what an experience!!


I was following Josh one day coming across the moors and it went down into this little g-out and he had a he had a rut and it just pitched him and he just went sailing off the side of the bike. We're just standing there crying laughing because it was so funny. Daniel has to take the crown as king of going over the bars during the SSDT out of our group. I think Tuesday he went over the bars five or six times. One time he actually went over the bar

so violently the bike came after him and got his head and arm wedged between the air box and tire.

We have no idea how he did it. And if Josh wouldn't have been there, he probably would still be laying on the moor with his head and arm wedged between the air box and tire. But if Josh wouldn't have seen it, nobody would have believed it. I can't quite figure out how it happened. Tuesday was a bad day for all of us.


1. Dougie Lampkin - 6pts

2. Billy Green - 8pts

3. Michael Brown - 10pts

4. Jack Peace - 15pts

5. Tom Minta - 24pts

38. Josh Roper - 100pts

62. Daniel Blanc-Gonnet - 156pts

77. Alex Niederer - 183pts

82. Richard Fraser - 195pts

129. Tom Fraser - 285pts

242. Chris Priestman - 1,383pts

VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 45


» Black Morad Wheels

» New Gold Front Forks

» Progressive Rear

Suspension Linkage

» Magnesium Crankcase with Black Finish

» BrakeTec Brake and Clutch Master Cylinders

» Galfer Racing Brake Discs

» Map Switch with Two Different Ignition Settings for Rain or Shine


2-Stroke - 125 / 200 / 250 / 300

FACTORY Moto Trials




analog tire pressure gauge

Alex Niederer shares what equipment he took with him to tackle six grueling days of trials competition at the 2023 edition of the Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT).

Me, personally, I use the analog one because it’s smaller and fits in the bag a little easier. I do use the one with the tube. For Scotland, I actually think the one with the metal, short, stubby tube might have been better instead of the rubber hose, just because it’s even smaller and you have an awful amount of stuff in your backpack.

10 function multi-tool

This is a great product to have because you have all the Allen keys, you have a couple different wrenches on there, flat-head screwdriver, Phillips-head screwdriver. There are a lot of tools in a very small, compact-weight setting, so you’re not carrying a massive bag of different tools around. There are a couple of other tools that I carried that weren’t on there, mostly because I wanted to have every tool I thought I might need if I broke something out on the loop. Sometimes you’re ten miles from the nearest house or the nearest road. If something goes wrong out there, there’s no phone

service; you’re reliant on someone to go to the next checkpoint and say “hey, he’s done up there, you need to go get him.” It might be hours by the time you get there, so not a bad idea to have a little bit of food and water because it might be a long time until someone comes to help you.

VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 49

jitsie omnia backpack and fanny pack

I actually put the fanny pack inside of the backpack because it was just easier. The weight is the same whether it’s around my waist or on my back. The fanny pack is where I kept all of my tools and my spare parts. Everything was neatly contained and wasn’t rattling around, because if you’re going down the trail and all you can hear is stuff clanging in your backpack, it’ll drive you nuts.

water bottles

Jitsie sells 0.75L clear, see-through water bottles. I carried two of those with me, which, with the temperatures and lack of time you have for the event, was plenty. You get a bottle of drink of your choice at the lunch stop anyways, so you end up getting plenty of liquids throughout the day. Those bottles are designed to fit perfectly in the backpack without falling out. They’re easy-access on the outside of the backpack, so that was really nice


jitsie goggles

Going down the road in the morning, or basically anytime you go on the road, you put on the goggles because the last thing you want is a bug or a rock coming off another bike or anything to hit you in the eyes.

jitsie helmet

jitsie quick-adjuster

I use these on all my levers, so I could adjust on the fly if something has changed, or as the day goes on; levers move, you get air in something, etc.


jitsie hopper pants

The nice thing about the Hopper pants is that the lower part of the leg is actually removeable, so you can wear them as a waterproof short, which is what I did most days. The first day was our coldest day, so I wore the entire pant. From that day onward, I was just wearing waterproof shorts. They went down to my knees, then from my knees down was just the normal riding gear.

jitsie hopper jacket knee pads


back protector

I was wearing the back protector the first two days, but then decided to not wear it because the backpack banging on the back protector was bruising my back. There was nothing wrong with the back protector, it was just the weight of the backpack. The sections weren’t very dangerous, so I wasn’t concerned about not wearing a back protector. I usually wear it all the time, I love it. I would’ve worn it all week, but right where the back protector ended was where the heavy part of my backpack was hitting my back, which is the only reason I didn’t wear it the rest of the week.

jitsie signal jacket

I was wearing this as another layer of warmth and also wind protection.


jitsie neoprean cold-weather gloves

One day in the week, you’re starting at 7:30/7:45 in the morning, and it may be raining; it could possibly be snowing. The warmest weather we saw was low 50’s all week, so I just wore those gloves all week. I never wore a normal, traditional set of riding gloves; I always wore the neoprean ones just to keep the wind off my hands and keep my hands nice and warm. Those were really really nice to have. They still have a thin palm, so it feels like you’re wearing a normal glove, but they’ve

jitsie titanium ratio footpegs

I use these all the time. I use them here in the states for competition, and then I used them in Scotland. I love the foot peg. I have one set now that’s a year and a half old, and they look like they’re brand new, other than the scratches; they’re just as sharp now as they were when they came out of the box. I’m really really happy with those.

got more protection on the outside without having the bulky, plastic that some of the enduro gloves have.


jitsie race bar ends

Just in case I tipped the bike over, I wasn’t going to tear the end of the grip and fill it with dirt and water, and to keep the grip from spinning.

jitsie micro air pump

To help pump up the tires – super important. This was used multiple times per day because the air pressure on the tire rises like crazy when you’re going down the road. The second you put the bike back in the water, the tire pressure falls again because it cools down so much, so you’re constantly airgauge in, air-gauge out, checking pressure, airing up the tires


A front tube. But because I was with a group of people, we had decided that I would carry these parts and someone else would carry those instead of everyone carrying everything. If I was to do it on my own without a group of my friends around me, I would definitely take a front tube. Other than that, I had everything with me that I was gonna

need, no matter what happened. The backpack was heavy, but it was worth having. I didn’t need a single part out of it, but if I did break something, I would’ve at least had every chance to get myself going again.

Every single product that I used and had with me got used.


2023 Ryan Young Training Schedule @ TTC

April 22-23

June 24-25

July 15-16

September 9-10

October 7-8

November 11-12

Trials have always been my passion and my livelihood. Throughout the years I have learned so much and I became a 6x National Champion and then a Teacher, I love sharing all of my Knowledge, Techniques and experiences as well as riding trials and meeting new people to encourage and help them become a better rider whether you ride a Trials Motorcycle, Enduro motorcycle or any type of motorcycle. I just enjoy supporting the motorcycle community and their Clubs. I have been perfecting my trials schools over the past 35 Years teaching all around North America. My Trial Schools cover every Trials Technique needed to become a CHAMPION, I will be covering over 20 Techniques that are extremely well broken down, methodically taught, instructed and demonstrated. It is a step by step process working your way from the basics to the most advanced techniques. I will watch you perform each Technique taught and critique you so you get a better understanding of the technique and performance. Ryan Young's Trials schools have produced many National Champions in many different classes over the years. I'm looking forward to teaching the next champion! -Ryan

VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 57



2023 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship Round 2 Austria June

11, 2023

The Lettenbichler family added another Erzbergrodeo win to the resume, as Manuel Lettenbichler secured a victory at the 2023 edition of one of the world’s oldest hard enduro races, his second win in a row.

Round two of the 2023 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship (HEWC) returned to Erzbergrodeo, in Austria, aptly known as the Iron Giant, for the 27th showing of one of the hardest and most grueling races on the schedule. Because the venue serves as an active mine throughout the year, the terrain and sections throughout the course are everchanging; no two years are exactly the same. Two new changes were also in effect – no rider preview and no outside help. In years past, riders were allowed a certain amount of time to walk specific sections of the course, allowing them to evaluate how the area had changed since the prior year, and get an idea of the best line through the section. This year, however, they were afforded no such opportunity; every rider saw the course for the first time on race day.

500 riders for main event

A new rule also went into effect which disallowed riders from getting outside help throughout the race. Traditionally, crew members (or fans) would help carry parts or supplies for their rider(s) and station themselves throughout the course; they would also help pick out lines or help direct riders through the best part of the course. Riders would now incur a time penalty if caught accepting supplies from the other side of the course ribbon. Furthermore, there would be no ropes for staff/fans to help pull riders up/through difficult terrain. Riders could still help one another, but this year’s Erzbergrodeo would be a true test of man and machine versus the mountain.

Over 1,500 riders took to the Prologue, in hopes of earning a spot among the 500 who would race the main event. The Prologue consisted of a short, 15-kilometer sprint up a windy mountain road. Not only would this serve to qualify for the main event and determine a rider’s starting row, but it also provided a chance for those riding in the FIM HEWC series to earn a few extra championship points.

GasGas Factory Racing’s Andrea Verona set the fastest time on the Iron Road Prologue, finishing in just over 10 minutes (10:06), followed by RPM KTM Racing Team’s Will Riordan (10:20) and MSC Moto

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Trystan Hart with the holeshot

Center’s Sonny Goggia (10:22). As none of these riders were vying for an FIM championship, the first championship points (3) went to Sherco’s Wade Young, who finished fourth-fastest overall with a time of 10:25.095, followed by Husqvarna Factory Racing’s, and the 2021 Erzbergrodeo champion, Billy Bolt (fifth-fastest with 10:25.204, earning 2 points) and Manny Lettenbichler (seventh-fastest with 10:26, earning 1 point).

With the 500-rider roster secured, racing for the main event would start at high noon the following day. The first row of 50 riders took off like bullets from a gun. Thankfully, rain from the night prior kept the dust to a minimum, with great visibility for the challenges ahead. Traditionally, the opening hill climb would claim a fair number of riders, causing nothing but chaos for the four-hour time limit. The promoters wanted to get more riders into the meat of the course, so the hillclimb was eased slightly, although not to say it was easy.

KTM’s Trystan Hart took the holeshot with Lettenbichler hot on his heels. Bolt crashed off the bike just at the bottom of the hill climb, bending his foot pegs in the process, and burning a lot of time getting turned back around and finishing the climb. Very quickly, the two KTM riders put distance between themselves and the rest of the racers on their row. About

VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 63

20 minutes into the course through a rocky forest section, however, Lettenbichler made his move for the lead over Hart, who had been out front since the start. Seemingly out of nowhere, Bolt also made his move, pushing past Hart and biting at Lettenbichler’s heels, the two riders jockeying for position for a significant portion of the remaining race.

Checkpoint 18, Udo’s Playground, served as a significant turning point. The section included a steep, rocky climb with big ledges and steep drops. The fastest line through the section was to ride down to the lower ribbon, then follow the ribbon out and up the exit hill. Because riders hadn’t had a chance to survey the section prior to the race, they were forced to make snap decisions. Lettenbichler dismounted his bike to take a slower, more methodical approach to the downhill entry. He also decided to take a chance and go back up the hill in the middle of this section, he quickly found this to be the wrong choice. Bolt made his move, not only making up time on Lettenbichler by staying on his bike during the downhill entry, but also following the ribbon and making the pass on the defending champion. Beta’s Jonny Walker, three-time Erzbergrodeo champ in his own right, also found this section to be in his favor, overtaking Hart for third place, a position that the two riders would continue to trade for

Cody Webb
VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 65
Jonny Walker

quite a few checkpoints. Hart ended up making the same line choice as Lettenbichler, and also had to double-back to get back on course, losing precious time in the process.

Lettenbichler kept hot on Bolt’s tail for the remainder of the checkpoints, waiting for the perfect time to overtake. The opportunity came in checkpoint 22: Motorex Highway. Nestled in the forest, the section included a hillclimb that was still damp from the rain. Bolt made his move first but found himself spinning and unable to push the remainder of the way up the hill. Lettenbichler took a different line, taking a more off-camber approach to the hill, then passing across and just below Bolt and moving out front for the lead. He was able to put a three-kilometer gap between himself and Bolt, one that he would keep for the remainder of the race.

Lettenbichler and his 300 EXC would dross the finish line a full 10 minutes ahead of Bolt for a total track time of 2:31:15, setting the fastest time at the venue and taking his second win. Bolt would cross next, with Hart rounding out the podium 15 minutes later.

“I can’t believe it!” exclaimed Lettenbichler. “After the start, I was following Trystan, just conserving my energy a little, but then Billy passed me and looked really strong. He opened up a bit of a gap, but I knew I had to stay focused and ride

VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 67

my own race. When we got into the dirt of the hills, I knew I’d be able to make up some time, and thankfully it all came good. I was able to get back into the lead. After that, I just continued to maintain that solid pace and brought it home at the end. The new bike was incredible. We worked a lot over the winter, and it seems to have paid off as it felt perfect out there today.”

“That was a hectic one!” said Bolt. “I’m pretty chuffed to finally get a Red Bull Erzbergrodeo podium. After getting a great jump off the start line, I crashed on the first climb. I couldn’t believe my luck. The next 10 minutes were a blur trying to pass so many people before we hit the first forest section. I caught up

to Mani and we rode together. But I put a dent in my exhaust pipe and lost some power. In Carl’s Dinner I knew that was my best chance to try and pull a gap, so I pushed hard. But when I got to MOTOREX Highway I struggled on the climb, and kinda hit the wall. Mani got passed again and I couldn’t go with him. I wanted to win, and I gave it everything I had today!”

“Taking back-to-back podiums is great, and a lot of people would be happy with that,” explained Hart. “I’m a little disappointed as I really wanted to finish a little higher this year. I put myself into a really good position early on and was leading for the first 20 minutes or so. I made a few mistakes after that, even taking

the wrong route and having to turn around – it’s all those little things that really sap your energy. It was a tough race and overall, I’m happy with my riding, but my goal is to be here fighting for the wins with Mani and Billy, so I still need to work on some things and hopefully elevate things a little higher.”


1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM)

2. Billy Bolt (HSQ)

3. Trystan Hart (KTM)

4. Jonny Walker (BET)

5. Wade Young (SHR)

6. Graham Jarvis (GSQ)

7. Michael Walkner (GG)

8. Alfredo Gomez Cantero (RIE)

9. Teodor Kabakchiev (KTM)

10. Cody Webb (SHR)


1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM)

2. Trystan Hart (KTM)

3. Billy Bold (HSQ)

4. Teodor Kabakchiev (KTM)

5. Graham Jarvis (HSQ)

5. Michael Walkner (GG)

7. Alfredo Gomez Cantero (RIE)

8. Mario Roman Serrano (SHR)

9. Wade Young (SHR)

10. David Cyprian (KTM)

VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 69


Lying second overall in the FIM Hard Enduro Junior World Championship supported by KLIM, TTR Squade Corse’s Mitch Brightmore is fast becoming a rider to watch out for.

The young Brit caught everyone’s attention earlier this year when he won the FIM SuperEnduro Junior World Championship indoors, and now he’s hoping to add an outdoor title to his tally.

At the series opener in Serbia, he battled all the way with Rigo Racing’s Matthew Green to take a well-deserved second place. Now,

with another runner-up result at round two – Red Bull Erzbergrodeo – he sits just five points behind in the championship chase.

One of the 17 finishers in this year’s Red Bull Erzbergrodeo, the TTR Squade Corse rider came home in 16th overall, squeezing inside the four-hour time limit with just over one minute to spare. For his debut finish in just his second visit to the Iron Giant, it was a memorable ride for Mitch.

“It was an unreal feeling to see the finish,” tells Mitch. “Red Bull


Erzbergrodeo is such a big race, so to cross that finish line for the first time with only 16 other people out of the 500 starters is unbelievable.”

As with most Red Bull Erzbergrodeo stories, his was one filled with many memorable moments…

“Exiting Carl’s Dinner, I knew I had only 40 minutes to spare. I felt that it was going to be tight, but I was riding well enough to finish. But then I snapped my rear brake caliper off and that made life super hard.

“All I could do was chip away at each section and try my best. People at the side of the track kept telling me how long was left and I knew I was getting closer and closer to the end. To get to the finish line with just one minute to spare was wild.

“Overall, I made a big step forward over last year. I’m happy with how I rode Carls Dinner too. I think I was much stronger there this time. I didn’t have to stop too much, really only stopping for water or if my line was blocked.”

Riding for the experienced TTR Squade Corse team, Mitch is enjoying being part of the Italian family. Long-time regulars in Hard Enduro, they are able to keep focused on helping Mitch grow as a rider.

“The guys in TTR Squade Corse are great,” he says. “They are super professional and are strong

people to be around. From a rider’s perspective I don’t have to think about too much. They have my bike working great and everything organised. I just need to ride it as hard as I can!”

While not a race in the FIM Hard Enduro Junior World Championship supported by KLIM, round three at Red Bull Romaniacs is next on the young Brit’s to-do list. Eager to gain as much experience as he can, spending a week in the formidable Carpathian Mountains should prove invaluable.

“I really want to do Red Bull Romaniacs next. It’ll be my first time too. I enjoyed Xross a lot and this will be similar, but maybe even harder. I seem to enjoy the rally style races and spending long days on my bike.”

So, with the Junior title set to go down to the wire at the season finale at the 24MX GetzenRodeo, can Mitch win indoors and out in the same year?

“It would be unbelievable to win the SuperEnduro and Hard Enduro Junior world titles in the same year. Right now, I’m second in the championship and chasing Matt Green. He’s five points ahead, so it’s still pretty tight.”

The FIM Hard Enduro World Championship continues with round three at Red Bull Romaniacs on July 25-29.



KTM is no stranger to winning premier cross country championship titles. The 2024 KTM 350 XC-F features an all-new WP XACT Closed Cartridge spring fork that provides improved feel and comfort over long offroad races so you can keep pushing while the competition fades.


Photo: F. Montero KISKA.COM Please make no attempt to imitate the illustrated riding scenes, always wear protective clothing and observe the applicable provisions of the road traffic regulations. The illustrated vehicles may vary in selected details from the production models and some illustrations feature optional equipment available at additional cost.



words and photos STEPH VETTERLY

Rounds 5 & 6

Tillamook, OR

June 3-4, 2023

FactoryONE Sherco's Pat Smage and GasGas's Josh Roper tied and once again split wins at the latest rounds of the 2023 NATC National Mototrials Championship Series, presented by TrialStoreUSA.com.

Hosted by the Columbia Observed Trials Association (COTA), riders were greeted to a beautiful weekend in the Tillamook Forest, where the terrain was almost at sea level, and the shade was actually cool (unlike Colorado, where the shade is just darker sun).

Starting out Saturday, Smage, Roper, and FactoryONE Scorpa's Alex Myers were clean up to section 6. This section turned out to be the deciding factor for the day's podium finish. Riders started out over a gentle rock, turned halfway through the section, then had to navigate a steep hillclimb, complete with a turn and a rocky obstacle at the pinacle. Smage was able to keep traction throughout, cleaning the section with ease. Roper found the

terrain to be a little looser than he was expecting, taking a dab on the hillclimb, and putting him at a single point. Myers made the hillclimb, but failed to navigate the obstacle at the top, giving him an unfortunate five points. With another point in the following section, the three riders would hold their standings for the remainder of the day.

In the second loop, Smage would take a single dab in section 5, putting him tied with Roper. He would finish the day with just a single point, same as Roper. Since Roper took the first point, it was Smage who took the top step of the podium.

Myers would drop six points on his second loop, tying his opening loop score, but improving on section six, and by the final loop, he had that section under his belt, finishing his day with a single point. With a final score of only 13 points, he would take the final step.

"Today went well overall in the end," said Smage. "Obviously, it was very low-scoring, so there wasn’t much room to work with. Josh [Roper] rode awesome and only had one point. I did see him take [the point] on the first loop, and I was hoping that wasn’t going to be the decisionmaker. I just tried to continue on and clean the first loop. I had a one on the second loop and didn’t really feel all that great on the first two loops, just with confidence and

Alex Myers

timing and certain things weren’t all clicking. I don’t think I was able to warm up enough this morning, so it took a bit to get going. The third loop I finally felt like I rode like myself and everything was more on point and felt good. I had a feeling I needed to clean it to have a chance at winning, which definitely put some pressure on. I was also riding nearly last, which isn’t normal for me. I was feeling the pressure at the end and was happy to be able to withstand that. I had no room for error, so I’m happy I was able to keep it together."

"Today actually went pretty good," explained Myers. "I started out going section by section like always, just having fun on the bike. The bike worked really well. On the first loop, I just had a couple of bobbles.

The sections were really technical, and you just had to really be on your marks. On my second loop, I went in and made a few mistakes where I previously hadn’t but improved in some other sections. On the last loop, I just went section by section and had fun. My brother and I ended up being side-by-side the whole last loop; we rode together, and both came through with some pretty good last loops. I’m really happy with the day. Gotta give up to the team and everybody who’s got us out here, and a big thanks to my minder, Lewie [Bolopue]."

FactoryONE Sherco's Will Myers would finish close behind his brother, ending the day with only 17 points. GasGas's Daniel BlancGonnet had a good day on home soil, but a few unfortunate mistakes

VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 77

took him out of the running for the podium.

"The sections were actually really fun," said Blanc-Gonnet. "I think they suited my style really well. I’m from here, so this is kind of where I grew up riding. I was riding pretty good, but made one really costly mistake that ended up costing me third place... It was nice to have my family here to watch and Brian Stull did a great job minding, running all over the hills. The dust was pretty gnarly, but the bike still performed incredibly well, so I was excited about that. I haven’t ridden in Oregon since the last national here in 2019. It took me a little while to remember how to ride this terrain; the first couple sections I was a little wobbly."

Beta USA's Alex Niederer would finish only a few points behind Blanc-Gonnet in sixth.

Starting a fresh day, a few sections were re-used, but rearranged, a few splits were tightened up to give riders a bit more of a challenge. This seems to be the running trend for the series this year - a nice, easy Saturday to start the weekend, then mix it up for a nice high-points end.

This time, things didn't start off quite so well for Roper. Taking a five right out of the gate on the first section, he was the only rider to not complete it, and dropped to last place. Obviously not happy with his opening performance, he would tae another five points in section four, climbing only a few places in the leaderboard. Things turned around

Will Myers

for him, as he was able to clean the next few sections, while others took points. He quickly climbed to first place before the end of the first loop. All he had to do was get his head straight and focusedwhich was exactly what he did. The second and third loops were a vast improvement, dropping only a total of seven points between them. But it was enough to secure a first-place finish, his second victory in the Pro class.

"It was a nerve-wracking day," exclaimed Roper, clearly excited for the win. "Thankfully, I was able to keep the nerves somewhat under control. Today was a lot harder than yesterday, so that was really nice. We had some tricky stuff. I think both Pat [Smage] and I had a weird

number of mistakes, but then we also had some really good rides.

In the end, we both tied with 21 points. I had 30 cleans and he had 27, so I ended up winning today. It was awesome, and a great feeling. It was a great day, sections were really good, and I’m really happy to end this break with a win. Then we go on to Rhode Island. I couldn’t have done this without my minder, Nigel Parker. It was unbelievable the amount of effort he puts in. Huge thank you to him and everybody on the whole GasGas team as well. It’s been a whole team role to get here, so we’ll keep pushing."

Smage's first-loop set him two points behind Roper, but like Josh, found his lines, cleaning his rides up to drop only five additional points

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Daniel Blanc-Gonnet with fiancé, Mimi Seeley, in foreground

for the remaining competition. But unfortunately, it wasn't quite enough. Tied on Roper for overall points, his 27 cleans on the day found him in second place. Despite seeing a couple silver awards this season, Smage still sits as leader overall for the 2023 season, with a total of 180 championship points to Roper's 166.

Alex and Will Myers also traded places, with Will besting his brother by only a single point, finishing the day with 45 points to Alex's 46.

"My riding the first lap was awesome," said Will. "I felt like I found my groove right off the bat, and I rode that groove the whole first loop. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was running second after the first

loop, which was really good, which is a big confidence booster for me because I knew I was riding good. Second loop rolled around and I was just making some dumb errors. The third loop, I kind of just let it all hang out and put it together for a ninepoint lap. I didn’t really expect that to ever happen, but I’m really happy we were able to pull that through. Bike ran great the whole weekend. I can’t give enough thanks to the two Rons and all the Sherco guys; they’re putting in all their efforts to help us succeed and I’m glad I was able to represent their hard work this weekend."

Alex Niederer would feel very happy with his riding for the weekend, but the scores weren't on his side. He would take fifth place on the day

Maddie Hoover

with 54 points. Daniel Blanc-Gonnet would finish the Pro class with 56 points for a sixth-place finish.

"All in all, it was kind of like yesterday – good riding, but the score just wasn’t where I thought it was going to be, to be honest," explained Niederer. "I’m happy with fifth [place]. I got really unlucky in a couple of sections and ended up with 23 on the first loop. I knew I could do better than that, then had a big crash in section 11, the first loop. I tried a different line from everybody else because I wasn't comfortable with the line they were doing. Ended up landing the splatter on my front wheel, crashing off the rock, breaking off the clutch master cylinder and destroying the rear

fender and the air box lid. We had 20 minutes before we had to finish our first loop and I had no clutch to ride section 12, so we had to swap the clutch master cylinder out in the woods, which was rather interesting. With a 13 point [last] loop, I knew I had done what I was capable of today, really, really happy with my riding... this is the best riding I've had all season, and for some reason, my results this weekend have just been not good, which is a little frustrating. Looking forward to a little bit of time off. I’ve got a lot of work to do between now and Rhode Island. It's plenty hot in Florida, so conditioning won't be a problem. And then go to Rhode Island and finish this season strong."

Alex Niederer with minder Tom Fraser

GasGas's Maddie Hoover had a great weekend, taking not only the win both days in the Women's Pro class against Trials Superstore's Kylee Sweeten, but also besting the boys in the Expert Sportsman line (taking a 13-point lead on Saturday over Reid Davis, and a three-point lead on Sunday over Beta USA's Sherman Smith III).

"Today went well," Hoover explained on Sunday. "It started off a bit rough this morning with a big five, but I was able to pull it back together and come up with two better laps after that. I ended up being the best rider on the ES line, which was pretty exciting. The

sections were a lot different than yesterday, quite a bit tougher, so quite a bit more points and I think it suited my style, but I think I was a little worn out from yesterday and it showed."

Beta USA's Cole Cullins was still recovering from his issues from Colorado - heat stroke, dehydration, and elevation sickness - so he decided to stay and help his team in the pits.

The series will continue on July 29, as competition returns to Exeter, Rhode Island, for the final two rounds of the 2023 season.



1. Pat Smage (1pt/35cl)

2. Josh Roper (1pt/35cl)

3. Alex Myers (13pt/30cl)

4. Will Myers (17pt/27cl)

5. Daniel Blanc-Gonnet (18pt/28cl)

6. Alex Niederer (23pt/24cl)

7. Cole Cullins (DNS)


1. Josh Roper (21pt/30cl)

2. Pat Smage (21pt/27cl)

3. Will Myers (45pt/18cl)

4. ALex Myers (46pt/21cl)

5. Alex Niederer (54pt/20cl)

6. Daniel Blanc-Gonnet (56pt/13cl)

7. Cole Cullins (DNS)


1. Pat Smage (180)

2. Josh Roper (166)

3. Alex Myers (117)

4. Will Myers (108)

5. Daniel Blanc-Gonnet (98)

6. Alex Niederer (97)

7. Cole Cullins (28) CLICK HERE TO VISIT


VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 83
Store & AMA/NATC Present

Present the

2023 MotoTrials Series Schedule

Eastern Series – Rounds 1 & 2 March 25 & 26

Webster, FL www.floridatrials.net

Western Series – Rounds 1 & 2 May 27 & 28

Canon City, CO www.rockymountaintrials.org

Western Series – Rounds 3 & 4 June 3 & 4

Tillamook, OR www.cotatrials.com

Eastern – Rounds 3 & 4 July 29 & 30

Exeter, RI www.ritrialsclub.com

Next Gen Youth Trials Fri & Sat at each event presented by OSET


Western Youth Nationals, Kingman AZ (CAT), June 16‐18

Eastern Youth Nationals, Trials Training Center, June 30 - July 2

Store USA.com

Ok, so I’ll admit right out of the gate that Colorado didn’t exactly try to kill me, but it definitely wasn’t out to help make a very pleasant trip for me.

This was estimated to be a 5,600mile road trip to Colorado and Oregon for back-to-back NATC National Mototrials Championship Series events, my longest trip to date (both in distance and time). After upgrading my ride from what was quickly becoming an unreliable and anxiety-inducing Ford Transit van to a much more rugged Subaru Forester, I knew I would at least have one less thing to worry about.

That Time Colorado Tried to Kill Me

words and photos STEPH VETTERLY

I packed the car with my camera gear, clothes, and some food, and headed out bright and early Monday morning. The next four days were rather uneventful but filled with lots of road time. I had stops in Casey, Illinois, where I got to enjoy a tour of the “World’s Largest ___” which included everything from a mailbox the size of an apartment to a rocking chair fit for a giant. I continued on through Kansas, and finally arrived in Colorado. Here, I made the first mistake of my trip.

On the backside of Pike’s Peak lay what’s touted as the World’s Highest KOA at 10,000 feet above sea level

Garden of the Gods

– Cripple Creek KOA. I arrived to freezing temperatures (I was in shorts and a tank top, what with just leaving Kansas in the 80-degree realm) and the start of some snow/ sleet fall. The KOA had just opened for the season, so I was one of only a handful of crazy individuals on site. I had a tent spot because I was camping in the Subaru to help keep costs low. The folks working the KOA were amazing, and the pizza that I ordered from them was not only delicious but delivered to my site. I have nothing but great things to say about the location. Because last year’s NATC event in Colorado had been cancelled due to a freak snow storm, I was smart enough to remember to pack my winter jacket. Surviving the night, I continued on my journey, making another stop to enjoy the Garden of the Gods – which looked much smaller on paper! – and then continued on to the trials site.

Some of you already know my process of “working” a trials event,

but for those of you who don’t, I’ll give you a quick idea. I try to arrive on site on Thursday. By this time, the sections are already set up, and the loop is already marked or in the process of being marked. Because there’s no competition, I’m not missing out on any photos. I walk the entire loop, stopping at every section. In case you read that quickly, let me repeat – I walk the entire loop… on foot. Sometimes this means I signed up for an eightmile hike up some difficult terrain, other times it’s a nice leisurely walk. I never know what I’m getting into,

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Cripple Creek KOA Casey, IL

but it comes with the cost of doing business. Because my riding skills aren’t up to par, I don’t trust that I could ride the course without issue and without making things more difficult on myself, so I pack water, some snacks, a camera (Sony a9 with my default 24-70mm lens) and I’m off. I stop at each section, checking out the lines and the obstacles to see which sections would give me the shots I want. I do this before the event starts so I don’t have to stress on competition day that I’m missing something awesome at the next section. Luckily, Colorado was a short loop – only three miles for Saturday. The loop markers for Sunday weren’t fully set up as promoters didn’t want riders taking a wrong turn, so I would be going into Sunday’s competition a little blind. No worries – Saturday is usually the stressful day for me, as I have a certain list of shots that I’m trying to get.

After shooting some shots of the youth competition and tech

inspection on Friday, it was showtime! I went out Saturday, loaded with three bottles of water and electrolytes in my Camelbak, some snacks, two cameras, and some extra lenses. Everything went well, photos were made, good time was had. The temperatures were a little hot, and, being from Pennsylvania, I found it frustrating that the Colorado shade wasn’t actually cool. What little shade I could find amongst the scrub bushes and cacti felt the same as if I stood directly in the sun… not a good sign.

After about 10 hours being out running around like a chicken with its head chopped off, I got back to the Airbnb I was sharing with the Myers family, spent the next couple of hours transferring photos, editing, and transcribing interviews. Sunday started out very much the same. Despite not knowing where the loop was going to take me, or what sections lay ahead, I made very careful decisions, and only went so far as section six before back tracking. Every trail looked the same, so I wasn’t confident I could take shortcuts back to the pits. On my walk back, I started getting more winded than normal; I was very warm, but just overall felt rundown. I contributed this to the high elevation and temperatures. I skipped out on a few sections on the way back, choosing to head to the Beta/Team STRA pits for some water, snacks,

on the road... again

and shade. I caught up with Pro Cole Cullins, who had spent the previous night in the hospital after coming down with a severe case of dehydration, heat stroke, and elevation sickness. I finished my day as usual and went back to the Airbnb to continue working.

And that’s where the fun really started.

Not too long after dinner, I started feeling sick to my stomach, and I could feel a headache starting. I went to bed early (about 2am) with some of my work unfinished, hoping that some rest would take care of whatever was going on. Not so lucky. I woke the next morning worse – more nauseous, a bigger headache, feeling very drained. I tried to take some Tums to help with the stomach issues, and drink water, but nothing helped. I munched on some cereal as I tried getting my belongings packed, but things continued to get worse, to the point where I considered calling the rest of the trip off (I was already 20+ hours away from home and would be continuing further from home). After a much-welcomed ride to the nearest Urgent Care center (thanks very much to Will Myers for driving me), I was diagnosed with elevation sickness and given a prescription for anti-nausea meds, which helped a treat!

A little worse for wear, but doing better, I decided to stick with the

plan and continue my journey to Oregon for the next round. When I say that I could feel the slightest change in elevation, I’m not joking. Every time the road wound up a mountain or down a valley, my headache would raise its ugly head; Monarch Pass in Colorado was the worst part, with an elevation of almost 12,000 feet. Continuing through Colorado into Utah, I met up with some of the Beta folks at the next KOA stop – the Lonsdales, Niederers and Tom Fraser, and Saums. After hearing that I wasn’t feeling well, they insisted they had enough people to give me a driver for the next day so I could rest. Bright and early the next morning, Mika Lonsdale and I headed out in the Subaru. We had a lovely drive to Oregon, stopping at a Cheesecake Factory along the way for some lunch, and met up with the crew at the next KOA in Oregon.

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sooo many windmills out west

This is where things got worse.

I hung out at the Lonsdale’s camper for the rest of the night, and when Johnathan Lonsdale and I were chatting later, I started to have trouble remembering names of people and places he had just mentioned. I thought maybe I just needed some food, so I decided to head to the nearest Subway, about four minutes away, for something to eat. When I pulled into the restaurant, I immediately had issues remembering where I had just come from… not a fun experience, especially for someone who is already anxious about travelling. Luckily, I had a second of clarity and put the address into my phone before I forgot again. After getting back to the camper, having some food and water, things weren’t getting any better. I asked Johnathan how Cole had been acting before they decided to take him to the hospital, and after hearing

what I was experiencing, he insisted we do the same. So Johnathan, Mika, and I piled into the Subaru and drove to the nearest hospital, thankfully only about 15 minutes away. Johnathan kept me company as the staff determined I was dehydrated and hooked me up to an IV full of fluids. We didn’t get out of the hospital until late into the night, somewhere around 1-2am, and it was obvious that I needed to rest. Mika got some more experience driving a new Subaru as I took up the passenger seat in Johnathan’s truck and took a much-needed nap as we continued through Idaho into Oregon.

The next week-and-a-half was grueling. I felt fantastic for Saturday’s competition in Oregon, and decided to take it easy by staying in a small cluster of sections so I could get photos. I think I ruined whatever progress my body had been making towards feeling better, because Sunday was back to feeling terrible. I started drinking Pedialyte and had food when I could stomach it, but ended up spending the day sleeping in Johnathan’s camper in the dark and air-conditioning. My trip home was supposed to be more KOAs, but I made the decision to use up some points and get hotel rooms for the air conditioning and comfort – this turned out to be a good choice. the view from the

Oregon Airbnb

I drank my body weight in Pedialyte, stopping every hour-and-a-half for restroom breaks, the entire way home. I’m honestly not even sure I had three full meals throughout the four-day drive from Oregon to Pennsylvania. Even after I got home, it was still another week of drinking electrolytes before I started to feel normal.

Lesson learned: water and electrolytes are very important when going somewhere high in elevation! I realized when I got back to the pits on Sunday in Colorado that I still had a very full Camelbak; of the three bottles of water/electrolytes in there, I had may drank only one bottle. Electrolytes only work when you drink them!

I can’t say thank you enough to the Lonsdales for taking such good care of me and going above and beyond the call of duty during the trip. Thank you to the Niederers and Saums who checked in on me

countless times, making sure I had everything I needed. Thank you to the Myers who offered me a place to stay during the events (with muchneeded fun and company). Thank you to my boyfriend, Eric Olmstead, for keeping my head on straight. Thank you to the entire trials community for offering help and supplies during the entire Oregon national. And thank you to Abigail Buzzelli, Kelly Calvert, Michele Myers, and Johnathan Lonsdale who insisted on having a group chat so they could keep track of where I was on the way home in case something happened and I needed help. You all remind me how precious this community is, and how much I love being a part of this sport.

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Reminder – DRINK FLUIDS!!!
drive back home!
who says no to giant hotel tub?



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Round 5

Greensboro, GA

June 11, 2023

For what is typically a hot and humid race by past history of the event was met this year with cooler temperatures and dry conditions. The cooler temperatures were from the imminent rain and thunderstorms that the forecasts were predicting mid day. The 57th annual Cherokee National Enduro was dedicated to the longest serving member of the Cherokee Enduro Riders club, James Bransford, who passed away last fall. James put in a lot of hours in the woods of Greensboro, GA making many of the Cherokee Enduros possible. The Cherokee Enduro Riders put out

2023 Magna1 Motorsports AMA National Enduro Series presented by Moose Racing words LOGAN DENSMORE photos by MACK FAINT Josh Toth
VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 95
Liam Draper

a bounty to the 3 Pro Classes for anyone to win all sections raced that day. Grant Baylor was able to put in a near flawless race on his Babbits Racing/Monster Energy Kawasaki and win all 5 sections in the NE PRO1 class after the 6th section was cancelled due to lightning and heavy rain and take home an extra $1000 in James’ name.

Grant Baylor who is the defending National Enduro Champion and currently the 2023 points leader in the Magna 1 AMA National Enduro Series Presented by Moose Racing, started the day of strong and putting himself in the position to be the only rider to be able to claim the bounty. Baylor said “I won all seven tests here in the past when they ran seven tests so I knew if there was any chance for me to win all of the tests it would be here at the Cherokee. I’ve always had good results here in the past.” The rain started in the second test and Baylor said “I was hoping for some dryer conditions and the second test got really slimy towards the end but then section three it soaked in and was pretty good until it really opened up in the final test of the day and it was pretty hairy.” Grant was able to stay out of trouble for the most part and was able to grab the overall win over 2nd Overall and NE PRO2 Class winner Liam Draper.

AM PRO Yamaha rider Liam Draper got off to a mediocre start to the day

before the rain came down. Draper said “Test 1 was kinda slow for me but when the rain came down, I don’t know what it is about this place but when it is super muddy I just love it. From then on it was a super fun day.” Liam was able to grab an overall test win in test 4 to propel him into contention for that overall podium from the NE PRO2 class. A consistent 5th overall in test 5 was enough to seal the deal for Draper to get second overall on the day and win the NE PRO2 class.

Second in NE PRO1 and third overall was Enduro Engineering GasGas rider Josh Toth. Josh is in the hunt with Grant for getting his first ever National Enduro Championship. A second place finish at the mid point of the season helps Josh continue to be in the hunt for the championship. Toth said “I was hoping for some rain, and I got it for sure. We got a bit more than I hoped, vision was a key factor and it was challenging, but I felt good and conditions were fun.”

Finding the podium for the first time this year is not usual for Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Tely Energy’s Steward Baylor Jr in the 5th round of the season. Steward said “National Enduros have been home for the last 10-12 years and this is the longest I’ve ever gone in my career without a podium. I just rode a consistent race and tried to ride the edges and find some smooth lines where I could. I

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didn’t feel like I was pushing but this is one of those tracks where you can over push for sure.”

Second in the NE PRO2 class and 6th Overall was Bonecutter Offroad GasGas rider Thorn Devlin. Liam Draper and Thorn seem to be swapping wins in the NE PRO2 all season long. Thorn started the day off hot with a third overall and first in NE PRO2 for the first test. Devlin said “my first test was good but that was about where I left it though. It was a good day, I didn’t ride good but I didn’t ride bad just rode consistent and stayed off the ground."

Third in NE PRO2 was Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Tely Energy’s Nathaniel Tasha. Consistency was key for podium finishes in the NE PRO2 class. Tasha said “you can’t complain when you end up on the box, just went out there and tried to be consistent and it paid off in the end."

The top woman for the day in the Women’s Elite class was Enduro Engineering GasGas rider Mackenzie Tricker. She got off to a bit of a rough start when she said she ‘gooned it’ over a log and ended up in a ravine trapped under her bike, but luckily Mark Hyde happened to be there to help her and save her race. Tricker said “going into the last test I knew I was down and needed like 45 on Rachel and I ended up having a really good test and getting

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Mackenzie Tricker

the win which was awesome.” Mackenzie was able to squeak out a win over Rachel Gutish by just 22 seconds.

Over and Out GasGas rider Rachel Gutish was able to land on the podium in Womens Elite in the second position. Gutish said “I had a blast all day, whether it was dry or wet, I thought we actually had pretty good traction. My bike seemed to hooking up good and I was just out there having fun.”

After some food poisoning earlier in the week survival was the key for Trail Jester KTM rider Korie Steede. Korie survived the day by finishing on the box in the third position in

Womens Elite. Steede said “I woke up Thursday with a gnarly case of food poisoning so I’ve been on the couch all week. It was a long day for me out there just trying to get through the tests. I think I won one so that actually felt really good."

The top Amateur rider at the Cherokee National Enduro was Gavin Sievenpiper in seventeenth OA and first AA.

The Series continues next month in Pennsylvania for the Rattlesnake National Enduro on July 23rd.



1. Grant Baylor (KAW)

2. Josh Toth (GG)

3. Steward Baylor Jr (KTM)

4. Craig Delong (HSQ)

5. Ryder Lafferty (GG)

6. Trevor Bollinger (HSQ)

7. Evan Smith (BET)

8. Ricky Russell (YAM)


1. Mackenzie Tricker (GG)

2. Rachel Gutish (GG)

3. Korie Steede (KTM)

4. Brooke Cosner (GG)

5. Sheryl Hunter (HSQ)

6. Tayler Bonecutter (GG)



Round 8 - Hoosier

June 5, 2023


Mount Morris, PA

The Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, (GNCC Racing) continued on with the Parts Unlimited Mason-Dixon GNCC, round 8 of the 2023 season. The event saw its first repeat winner of the season as Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Craig Delong came through to take the overall win.

Delong would get out front early on in the race, setting the pace and trying to put a gap on the rest of the field. Delong would have company halfway through the race as GASGAS/FXR/Scott Goggle’s Layne Michael was behind him in second. Michael would push Delong and eventually make the pass for the lead while out on the third lap of the race. Delong would make the pass back around Michael and continue to lead until the checkered flag was waving. Delong crossed the line first, making him the first repeat winner of the 2023 season. Michael would hold on for second overall on the day.

AmPro Yamaha’s Ricky Russell would have a mid-pack start to the day as he came through sixth on the

Tyler Palmer
VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 105

first couple of laps. Russell would continue to push towards the front, eventually making his way to third overall as the checkered flag flew.

Magna 1 Motorsports/Husqvarna’s Jordan Ashburn would find himself inside the top three early on in the race, but he would be unable to hold off Russell as he came through to take that third spot away. Ashburn would continue to push, finishing fourth overall at the eighth round of racing.

Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/ Kawasaki Team Green’s Grant Baylor steadily made his way into fifth overall by the end of the race. Baylor would push through the first

part of the race, as he made his way up from a seventh place starting position. FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Ben Kelley was able to make a last lap charge to earn sixth overall on the day after a rough race with dry and dusty conditions.

FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Jonathan Girroir also had a rough day as he came through seventh in the XC1 Open Pro class. Rocky Mountain/Tely Energy/KTM Racing’s Steward Baylor would finish behind Girroir in eighth, ninth overall.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Trevor Bollinger made his return to racing after some lingering injuries earlier this season. Bollinger would finish ninth in XC1 and 11th


overall. Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green’s Josh Strang rounded out the top 10 finishers in the XC1 Open Pro class, but he would come through 14th overall on the day.

AmPro Yamaha’s Liam Draper battled throughout the race, coming through to earn his first XC2 250 Pro class win of the season. Draper would start his day third on the opening lap with FMF RPM KTM Racing’s Angus Riordan leading the way. Draper would soon make the pass on Riordan and continue to push at the front of the pack. With two laps remaining, Draper continued to hold the lead, and would take the checkered flag first.

Riordan would hold on for second in the XC2 class, while Phoenix Racing Honda’s Ruy Barbosa had worked his way up to third in the class after a ninth place start to his day.

In the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am Class it was Beaver Creek Cycles/Bells Electric/Wossner Piston’s Toby Cleveland earning his fifth win of the season and continuing to further his points lead in the Championship Standings. Hall’s Cycles/Enduro Engineering/Moose Racing’s Jhak Walker would hold second for the duration of the race as he came through 16 seconds behind Cleveland. Liqui Moly Beta Factory Racing’s Jason Lipscomb rounded out the top three in the FMF XC3 class.

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Liam Draper earned his first XC2 250 Pro class win of the season Ben Kelley

Top Amateur honors went to Cooper Jones who finished 21st overall and first in the 250 A class. Joseph Cunningham and Lane Whitmer would round out the top three Top Amateurs in the race as they came through 23rd and 24th overall on the day.

In the youth bike race, it was Ryan Amancio coming away with the overall win and YXC1 Super Mini Sr. (14-15) class win on Sunday morning. Canyon Richards would battle throughout the race, coming

through to earn second overall on the day, while Brody Amos came through third overall and in the YXC1 class.

Caleb Wood would come through fourth overall in the race as he took the YXC2 Super Mini Jr. (12-13) class win. Brayden Baisley and Michael Meyer would come through second and third in the class, rounding out the top three YXC2 finishers. Addison Harris battled back to take the Girls Super Mini (12-16) class win in Pennsylvania.



1. Craig Delong (HSQ)

2. Layne Michael (GG)

3. Ricky Russell (YAM)

4. Jordan Ashburn (HSQ)

5. Grant Baylor (KAW)

6. Ben Kelley (KTM)

7. Jonathan Girroir (KTM)

8. Steward Baylor (KTM)

9. Trevor Bollinger (HSQ)

10. Josh Strang (KAW)


1. Craig Delong (168)

2. Steward Baylor JR (160)

3. Ben Kelley (144)

4. Jordan Ashburn (128)

5. Grant Baylor (114)

6. Ricky Russell (113)

7. Josh Strang (104)

8. Jonathan Girroir (103)

9. Ruy Barbosa (90)

10. Cody Barnes (85)

Grant Baylor

words from press release courtesy of ALLIE SPURGEON photos KEN HILL

Round eight of The Grand National CrossCountrySeries presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, took place in scenic Mount Morris, Pennsylvania for the Parts Unlimited Mason-Dixon. Transitioning from the epic mud of The John Penton to the sundrenched dust at round eight, the female athletes of GNCC faced a real test of skill and adaptability. Let's dive into how things shook out!

Racking up the Trail Jesters WXC

Holeshots in 2023, Korie Steede launched off the line and raced into the woods with the lead. After a small mistake from Steede on her Trail Jesters KTM, AmPro Yamaha's Rachael Archer was able to take

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Korie Steede (444) and Rachael Archer (1)

Rachel Gutish (417)


over the lead with Steede in second, and GasGas/OveranOuts's Gutish settling into third. For the next two laps, the top two stayed within 15 seconds of each other and began working their way through lapped traffic. Towards the end of the third lap, Archer had a run in with a lapper and Steede was able to make the pass. As they took the white flag, just under 10 seconds separated them. In a final lap charge, Steede was able to hold the lead and see the checkered flag with 5 seconds to spare and take the WXC win. Archer made her best effort to reel her in, but would take second, and Rachel Gutish third after a consistent race. Fly Racing Prestin Raines was able to catch back up to Kayla O'neil after a third lap crash to make the pass for fourth. O'neil would finish fifth on her V3 CDR/Garrison Tree Service/ Focus X Gear/Enduro Engineering Kawasaki just one second behind Raines.

Korie Steede with her third win of the season said, "It was a really weird week for me. I had a really gnarly burn on my hand last Sunday and I didn't ride all week. I kind of just said around praying I'd feel decent enough to hold on. I got off to a really great holeshot. I lost the front end and Archer got around me. I saw pit boards saying around 12 seconds and I was just staying that steady gap and waiting to make a good pass. With the lappers out there it was gnarly, we were just

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kind of playing yo-yo back and forth. Luckily I was able to hold her off until the finish line."

"With a lap and a half to go I was leading, and a lapper cut into my line, and we ended up going down," said Rachael Archer. "My bike got wedged in a tree and I was upside down and Korie got passed. I had a pit board saying I was 20 seconds down, so I charged that last lap and started picking time off. I was able to catch her at the end but didn't have enough time to have a battle. Good ride for Korie and we're still in the points lead so I'm happy with second."

After unfortunate mechanicals the prior two rounds, Gutish was excited to be back on the box and said, "It's such a relief to actually see the checkered flag and be up here. After bad luck the last two rounds I'm just stoked to be back on the box. I actually wish we could go back to the mud! I know most people won't agree with me. I didn't have the heart to do the rain dance today. I know everyone's been suffering a lot, so I figured I'd let them have a dry one for once. I struggled with finding traction. I didn't feel exceptionally great, but I still feel like I put in a solid ride and I'm happy to be here."



1. Korie Steede (KTM)

2. Rachael Archer (YAM)

3. Rachel Gutish (GG)

4. Prestin Raines (YAM)

5. Kayla O'Neill (KAW)

6. Kaitlyn Lindsey (KSQ)

7. Sheryl Hunter (HSQ)

8. Elizabeth Perez (HSQ)


1. Rachael Archer (225)

2. Korie Steede (195)

3. Rachel Gutish (171)

4. Prestin Raines (139)

5. Kayla O'Neill (123)

6. Elizabeth Perez (110)

7. Kaitlyn Lindsey (95)

8. Shelby Turner (75)

9. Sheryl Hunter (60)

10. Megan Barnes (36)



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words and photos SHAN MOORE

Round 8

June 17-18, 2023

Bristol, VA

FMF/KTM’s Johnny Girroir claimed his seventh overall victory in eight rounds at this weekend’s Harleywood US Sprint Enduro in Bristol, Virginia, the eighth and final round of the US Sprint Enduro Series Championship Presented by Moose Racing, over Father’s Day weekend.

Girroir battled it out all weekend with Pro 2 rider Angus Riordan, beating the RPM Racing KTM rider by 22.4 seconds after two days of racing. In all, Girroir won seven of the 12 tests, with Riordan winning the remaining five.

“I felt like I had the woods figured out yesterday and Gus from Pro 2 was getting me out in the Cross test on day one,” said Girroir. “Then day two kind of started off opposite. I got him in the Cross test and he caught me in the woods. It was just good battling all weekend long. Close battling. Within ten seconds or so at the end of today. So, it’s awesome.”

Angus Riordan
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Not only was Riordan in contention for the overall for the weekend but he was also in a do or die battle with Phoenix Honda Racing’s Cody Barnes for the Pro 2 championship. Riordan needed to win both days of the class to take the Pro 2 championship, and he did just that.

“It feels unreal. It feels good,” said Riordan. “A bit of a comeback from the start of the season, but it feels unreal. First half of the season was pretty rough, and then second half of the season I was slowly getting back in the championship points, so it was worth it. I needed to win both days to win the title, plain and simple. I tried not to think about the championship. I just wanted to win. Just day by day. I had one crash yesterday which got me a bit worried. Test one in the woods. But other than that, it was pretty good.”

Barnes, the defending Pro 2 champion, came up 25.755 seconds short of the title by finishing third overall behind Riordan.

“Angus and even Ruy, they were both on it all year,” said Barnes. “I started out strong this year and won the first two rounds. Won both days and it was looking promising. Then those guys just started going fast. We were all pushing the limit. I had days where I won days and stuff, but Angus was just on it at the end of the season. Even yesterday and today, he out-rode me. I was maybe pushing a little bit too hard and

Cody Barnes
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made a couple mistakes out there today, both in the enduro test. Kind of tucked the front in one of the slick spots. Then in the final test, just hit a loose rock with the rear and slid the rear out over a berm. So, I don't know even with that not happening, if I wouldn’t have beat Angus in the overall with the time for the day.”

Magna1 Racing Husqvarna’s Jason Tino won the Pro-Am class with a fourth overall, topping Precision Husqvarna’s Dominick Morse by three seconds after two days of racing.

“My weekend went really well,” said Tino. “I left day one with a day win. I was riding really well, and then day two I got the first cross test win. Then Dominic (Morse) started closing in on all the rest of the tests. I had aa big cushion going into day two and I used all that cushion. You only got to win by a second, so I was able to do that and get the last enduro test win. I got the last one by one second, and I had maybe four seconds on him going into the last test. But we rode hard up there with the pro two guys. It was a good weekend.”

Morse was second overall in the Pro-Am class and fifth overall, but he wrapped up the Pro-Am championship with the finish.

“It feels really good to win the ProAm title,” said Morse. “It’s definitely a surreal feeling. Definitely all the

Jason Tino

hard work paid off. The weekend was rough at first. I started off super slow. Not really sure why, but I picked it up a lot near the end of the weekend. I was able to run some Pro 2 times for most of today.”

Sixth overall went to Trail Jesters Racing KTM’s Mason Semmens, who also finished second in the Pro 1 class.

“Second in Pro 1 probably looks good, but my riding wasn’t really too flash, to be honest,” said Semmens. “I just struggled a little bit with the track. Just trying to get used to racing again. It feels good to get back. It’s been a long time since I’ve done a US sprint. Last time I left with a broken collarbone, so it’s good to get back.”

Henry Symanski came in seventh, which rounded out the Pro 1 podium.

“Yesterday started off kind of rough,” said Symanski. “I was struggling in the Cross test, and then definitely was picking up a lot more time in the woods. At the end of the day, I ended up falling a couple times in what I thought was a good cross test. But then luckily today, I managed to stay off the ground most of the day. I caught a rock in that last enduro test, so kind of tossed me off but got back up and put the time back down. But overall, I had one of my best rides.”

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Rachael Archer

Eighth overall and top amateur was Levi Elliott on a GasGas, while former top Pro Jason Thomas (Hon) was top Vet A rider and ninth overall.

Peyton Feather (KTM) rounded out the top 10 overall and took first in the 250A division.

Am Pro Yamaha’s Rachel Archer totally dominated the Women’s Pro division, winning all 12 tests and topping Over and Out KTM’s Rachel Gutish by nearly four minutes.

“It was really good,” said Archer. "I went 12 for 12, so first time I’ve done that all year so it was cool. Loved the track. It was really cool to wrap up the championship. Good weekend.”

Canadian Motocrosser, sponsored by FXR, Brittany Gagne (Yam), was third overall.

For more information on the series go to www.ussprintenduro.com. The US Sprint Enduro Series will host a three-day ISDE Qualifier at High Voltage Raceway in Dilliner, Pennsylvania on September 2-4.

VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 125


1. Johnny Girroir (KTM)

2. Angus Riordan (KTM)

3. Cody Barnes (HON)

4. Jason Tino (HSQ)

5. Dominick Morse (HSQ)

6. Mawson Semmens

7. Henry Symanski (YAM)

8. Levi Elliot (GG)

9. Jason Thomas (HON)

10. Petyon Feather (KTM)



Liam Draper

words courtesy of KAYLA BOLTON

photos KEN HILL

Round 9

June 25, 2023


Snowshoe, WV

The Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, (GNCC Racing) concluded its ninth round of racing, Yamaha Racing Snowshoe, on Sunday, June 25, atop Cheat Mountain in Snowshoe, West Virginia. Some sunshine made an appearance after rainy conditions were presented to the area throughout the week, it was clear that the tradition of the old Blackwater 100, known as “America’s Toughest Race,” was still alive.

As row one took off, the Snowshoe GNCC event pays tribute to the Blackwater heritage as the race starts “in town” with riders lined up in groups of five or seven on the main road. They start live-engine ever 10 seconds, and are time adjusted based off of what row they begin on. The early lead would go to AmPro Yamaha’s Ricky Russell as they came through on lap one.

However, as they came through on lap two it would be Rocky Mountain/ Tely Energy/KTM’s Steward Baylor Jr. leading the way. Not far behind them FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s

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Ben Kelley was making the necessary moves towards the front of the pack, and he would move into the lead position by the time they came around to the finish line on lap three. Kelley would continue to hold the lead and push forward for the next two laps. When the checkered flag came out, Kelley would come through with over a minute lead to earn his second win of the season.

Magna1 Motorsports/Husqvarna’s Jordan Ashburn would have a consistent race at Snowshoe as he held the number two position for the majority of the race. Ashburn would battle for the lead but would be unable to make a pass stick. He would hold onto second overall at round nine. FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Jonathan Girroir would also have a good race as he continued to battle in the third overall position for the duration of the race. Girroir would come through to round out the podium before summer break.

After briefly holding the lead, Baylor Jr. would have to make a long pit stop to have a rear tire changed. He could get back out on the track and continue to charge, making his way up to fourth overall for the day. Baylor Jr. now sits tied in the points standings for the National Championship. Babbitt’s Online/ Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green’s Grant Baylor would round out the top five overall finishers on the day as he worked his way up from seventh.

Ricky Russell (212, L), Steward Baylor Jr (514, R)
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Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Craig DeLong, who is now tied with Baylor in the points standings for first, did not have the race he hoped for at Snowshoe as he came through sixth in XC1 and 11th overall on the day. His teammate, Trevor Bollinger would come through in seventh with a 15th overall finishing position.

Battling back after running outside the top 10 for the majority of the day was Babbitt’s Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green’s Josh Strang. As he came through to the finish, he would cross the line eighth in the XC1 Open Pro class.

GASGAS/FXR Moto/Scott Goggle’s Layne Michael would come through behind Strang to earn ninth in the class, while Enduro Engineering/ GASGAS’ Joshua Toth made an appearance at the GNCC event to round out the top 10 in XC1. Unfortunately for Russell he would only be able to complete three laps before having to retire from the race.

AmPro Yamaha’s Liam Draper earned his second-straight XC2 250 Pro class win of the season atop Snowshoe Mountain Resort. However, Draper would battle throughout the day with Phoenix Racing Honda’s Ruy Barbosa as they swapped the lead position for a brief period. Draper would soon regain the lead and come through to earn the win, while Barbosa would hold onto second in the class when the


checkered flag flew. FMF/RPM KTM Racing’s Angus Riordan would find himself in podium contention once again after working his way up from a seventh place start to the day. Riordan would make the pass for third on the last lap and hold onto until he reached the checkered flag.

In the FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class it was Bonecutter Off-Road/Steel City Mens Clinic/XC Gear’s Thorn Devlin returning to the GNCC races and earning the class win after leading all five laps of the race. Carolina XC/ Moose Racing/KTM’s Zack Hayes would work his way up to second in the class after a fourth place start to the day. Osburn Off-Road/JDP Suspension/Bell Helmet’s Jayce Knopp would steadily work his way up through the pack and round out the FMF XC3 podium with a third place finish on the day.

Earning the Snowshoe GNCC Top Amateur Honors was Nicholas Defeo of the 4-Stroke A Lites class as he earned the class win and came through 14th overall on the day. Cooper Jones would come through to earn second Top Amateur as he earned the 250 A class win and finished 18th overall. Michael Delosa finished second in the 250 A class and 22nd overall, earning himself the final spot atop the Top Amateur podium.

In the Youth Race it was Ryan Amancio coming away with the overall win at Snowshoe, followed

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Jenkins and Canyon Richards rounding out the top three overall finishers. All three also completed the YXC1 Super Mini Sr. (14-15) class podium.

Doc Smith would come through to earn the YXC2 Super Mini Jr. (1213) class win, while Ethan Harwell and Brayden Baisley rounded out the YXC2 top three finishers. Ryder Sigety claimed the 85 Big Wheel (1115) class win, Ryder Reick earned the 85 (12-13) class win, Brody Boland would earn the 85 (7-11) class win, Tucker Aldrich brought

home the 65 (10-11) class win, Jace Mitchell claimed the 65 (9) class win and Tripp Lewis earned the 65 (7-8) class win. Addison Harris clinched the Girls Super Mini (12-16) class win, Sahara Robinson would earn the Girls 85 (7-13) class win, Aubrey Tsakanikas would take home the Girls 65 (7-11) class win while Peyton Robinson earned the Trail Rider (7-15) class win.

GNCC racing will continue in September with round 10, The Mountaineer, in West Virginia.



1. Ben Kelley (KTM)

2. Jordan Ashburn (HSQ)

3. Jonathan Girroir (KTM)

4. Steward Baylor Jr (KTM)

5. Grant Baylor (KAW)

6. Craig Delong (HSQ)

7. Trevor Bollinger 9HSQ)

8. Josh Strang (KAW)

9. Layne Michael (GG)

10. Josh Toth (GG)


1. Steward Baylor Jr (178)

2. Craig Delong (178)

3. Ben Kelley (174)

4. Jordan Ashburn (153)

5. Grant Baylor (130)

6. Jonathan Girroir (124)

7. Ricky Russell (113)

8. Josh Strang (109)

9. Ruy Barbosa (104)

10. Angus Riordan (98)


words from press release courtesy of ALLIE SPURGEON photos KEN HILL

It was another remarkable weekend for the women in racing at round nine of Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Specialized, and AMA National Championship. A pinnacle event for the series, the Yamaha Racing Snowshoe took place on Cheat Mountain at elevation 4848'. The female athletes were met with foggy skies and intermittent showers after natures' water truck had already visited a few times during the week! They all lined up to brave the difficult conditions in true Snowshoe fashion, let's dive into how the women of GNCC finished.

By the time Sunday's 10am race rolled around, the sun was out

but the mud still remained. On row one of the WXC Bike lineup, veteran and mud lover Rachel Gutish dominated the picturesque Snowshoe start to lead the way on her GasGas/OverandOutMoto 350. As they neared Howard's Hole, defending champion and points leader Rachael Archer maneuvered her Ampro Yamaha through a faster line to make a pass for the lead and start building her gap. As the gap from first through third spread, our attention moved to the battle for the final podium spot between Trail Jester's Korie Steede and Fly Racing/BluCru's Prestin Raines.

Battling back and forth multiple times each lap, by the final lap, a young Prestin was able to solidify the pass and move into third. But that wasn't the end of the excitement! Gutish, who had built her gap in second place, began experiencing bike issues in the final lap. Finally able to get her bike fired, she had to nurse it all the way to the checkered flag. Prestin was able to catch her and move into the second place position as they raced together just a few seconds apart. Waiting eagerly at the finish line, we saw Raines emerge first from the woods with Gutish on her tail. In the final straight before the checkered flag, Raines found herself stuck in a line behind a lapper and Gutish launched around the final turn to salvage her second place position. Rachael Archer dominated the race

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Rachael Archer

with over ten minutes to spare to continue building her points lead. Here's what the fastest females on the mountain had to say about their Snowshoe race:

"It was really good," said Rachael Archer. "I was in third off the start and then I passed Gutish in Howard's Hole and never looked back. I had a pretty clean couple laps, I crashed twice, and then just rode a good race. I kept building the gap and pulled off another win!"

Rachael Gutish, now in the triple digits of Pro Podium finishes said, "Well I was off to a really good start, and then I'll be honest when I got to Howard's Hole there were so many lines I just panicked. I ended up losing Archer there, but I was

still riding strong and smooth and was happy with it. The very last lap at the end of Howard's Hole my bike started experiencing the same electrical symptoms as it did at The Penton and The Hoosier. I was expecting to not finish at that point. I stalled the bike and couldn't get it to light. After a while it finally did, so then I rode that whole last lap terrified because I knew if I so much as stalled it I was getting towed in again. I managed to make it through, Prestin and I came through neck and neck. Super proud of how she rode here and stoked to see her on the box. Just a very stressful end of the race for me!"

An ecstatic Prestin Raines on a breakthrough race said, "It finally clicked! This is the first time I've

Prestin Raines

really enjoyed Snowshoe. I got off to a pretty good start, I was following the top girls for a little bit. Some girls from behind caught me and then I stayed with her for a bit. I just stayed smooth all day and wasn't really pushing too hard. About the second lap I got a bit of a lead from 5th and was battling back and forth for third. I always do pretty well in Howard's Hole, so I made it through there every lap clean, that was my goal. Just tried to stay off the ground. It was good, it wasn't easy, but we made it work!"

The WXC classes aren't the end of the females in our sport, there's a place for everyone to prove their talents from youth girls to veteran women.

In the Girls Supermini bike class, Addison Harris grabbed her eighth win of the season in the Snowshoe mud to solidify her second championship in class! Zoey Kimble and Jalee Coen had an intense battle all race long up to the checkers. Kimble was able to use her strengths on the straightaways to take second and Coen third.

Ellie Winland who's been on the podium every single round in her first "big bike" season took her first win of the year in the Women's Bike class. Jessica Jacobs made her 2023 season debut race one to celebrate taking second place. Annelisa McAlinney took third.

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Rachel Gutish


1. Rachael Archer (YAM)

2. Rachel Gutish (GG)

3. Prestin Raines (YAM)

4. Korie Steede (KTM)

5. Jocelyn Barnes (HSQ)

6. Kayla O'Neill (KAW)

7. Elizabeth Perez (HSQ)

8. Kaitlyn Lindsey (HSQ)


1. Rachael Archer (255)

2. Korie Steede (213)

3. Rachel Gutish (196)

4. Prestin Raines (160)

5. Kayla O'Neill (138)

6. Elizabeth Perez (138)

7. Kaitlyn Lindsey (124)

8. Shelby Turner (108)

9. Sheryl Hunter (75)

10. Megan Barnes (60)


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VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 143
ON THE GAS! www.gasgas.com Photos: Sebas Romeo, Mitterbauer H. Please make no attempt to imitate the illustrated riding scenes, always wear protective clothing and observe the applicable provisions of the road traffic regulations! The illustrated vehicles may vary in selected details from the production models and some illustrations feature optional equipment available at additional cost.


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As racing seasons pass and the memories and experiences begin to file themselves in an encyclopedic fashion in your head, the cadence and character of recurring venues become ingrained knowledge. The more times the series returns to a particular location, its place on the calendar becomes familiar, comfortable, even natural. Your mind reaches into its dirt bike encyclopedia and begins to flood you with anticipation for things like “cool uphill”, “great flow”, “fast”, “technical”, or even “excellent pizza shop nearby”. Each stop on the schedule gains its own general overall impression based on this collage of memories. In the case of AHRMA’s Mid-Atlantic Region, and its recent expeditions into the forested remnants of a coal mine in Eastern Pennsylvania, that general impression trends toward, as Springsteen says, “Tougher Than the Rest”.

Not to say that the courses laid out by host club, South Penn Enduro Riders (SPER), are overtly tough, but the terrain afforded to the club in this section of the state is peppered with rocks in a spectacular array of shapes and sizes. SPER does a remarkable job in uncovering the best sections of their property just

VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 147

east of Frackville to accommodate a weekend of fun for the vintage cross-country crowd. While there are certainly rocks and roots, and some technical bits, the club has plenty of gnarly areas that it is able to bypass quite effectively. While the rock content and overall technical difficulty may exceed some other locations on the schedule, there is a certain authentic East Coast enduro feel to the lovingly crafted trails in these woods.

Being the first cross-country double header of the ’23 season, SPER proudly works hard to prepare a nearly unique circuit for each day of the weekend. With the scoring tent and the starting area remaining in place throughout the events, there is some obvious overlap as the first and last half mile or so cover the same ground. From the start, the pack heads into a section of pines, where well-worn lines carve their way around the perimeter of the camping/pit area. Beyond that, the Saturday course diverts to the north side of the property to tackle some recognizable trails from the previous year mixed with a bunch of new stuff. A one-word descriptor for this day’s route…flow. Sure, there are rocks some places, but the majority of the five-mile trail here is singletrack through the woods and was just downright fun as it zigged and zagged in a curly ribbon through the picturesque undergrowth. Add in a few sidehill elevations changes


on the overburden piles nearby to create a rollercoaster thrill ride feel.

Sunday tuned down the thrill ride feel for a more tactical approach on the south end of the plot. While there were still some areas where the flow dial could be wicked to eleven, the trail tended to cut and thrust through much tighter areas while testing riders with a few rock garden sections and tricky twists through small ravines. The SPER folks added an extra mile or so of challenging singletrack, off camber, and rocks to the middle of the lap for the post vintage and disc brake races, while the vintage bikes were re-routed in respect for the lower ground clearance. In keeping with the authentic enduro vibe, the club once again included its love-it-or-hate-it “stick farm” section from last year where riders are channeled through a stand of sapling birch trees. Run in reverse this year, be assured that the trees were still just as (too) close together as you may remember. A totally different experience from the day prior, this course rewarded good bike control, forward momentum, and narrow handlebars.

Apart from some unavoidable dust, the weekend event was executed perfectly by the South Penn Enduro Riders as has come to be expected with this experienced club. Trail preparation, arrows, and ribbon were all top-notch and sweep and patrol riders were always visible and willing

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to help. The club’s commitment and passion for the sport, challenging terrain, and organization mixed with the well-oiled Mid-Atlantic volunteer’s actions makes for an enjoyable, unique experience each season, and this time was no different. Keep doing what you’re doing SPER! Many thanks to all the members of SPER, including MidAtlantic regulars Bowman, Hummel, and Quickel, as well as all the other volunteers that pitch in to get the green flag waving. As always, please support the generous sponsors of the series: Potomac Vintage Riders, Preston Petty Products, Stainless Cycle, Grove Printing, KMI Printing, Horizon Homes, and M3One.


VOL. 8 ISSUE 7 - JULY 2023 // PAGE 151
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