On the Pegs - September 2023

Page 1

SMAGE.I.CAL

adjective:

1. Of or relating to, or describing 14 time AMA Trials Champion Pat Smage

Congratulations to FactoryONE Sherco rider Pat Smage on his 14th Championship aboard his Sherco 300 ST.

Sherco
SHERCOUSA.COM @ SHERCOUSA_OFFICIAL @ SHERCOUSA 2007 2008 2009 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2017 2018 2019 2021 2022 2023 Sherco 300 ST
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 4 WWW.TRSMOTOSUSA.COM

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.

MOTOTRIALSPORT

Thumbs Up Trials

Frank's Motorbikes

USA DEALERS

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

(209) 785-6878

(720) 207-7715

(941) 404-0757

(808) 822-2706

(808) 621-6686

(815) 636-6446

(505) 920-2266

(207) 337-1274

(406) 930-0227

(704) 906-3238

(402) 817-4795

(505) 210-4248

(602) 446-8070

(607) 765-8362

(440) 668-3207

(541) 926-3139

(251) 209-4694

(972) 754-9686

(801) 376-2447

(425) 603-9000

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 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 5

CONTENTS

FEATURED ARTICLES

PG 52 - BIKES OF THE PROS PG 38 - TENNESSEE KNOCKOUT PG 100 - RED BULL OUTLIERS PG 122 - AHRMA SHADY ACRES VINTAGE CROSS COUNTRY PG 90 - ERIC PERONNARD'S ELECTRIC REVOLUTION PG 112 - SPRINT ENDURO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
DEPARTMENTS World News 12 Local News 13 On the Horizon 16 Seat Time with John Short 26 Growing the Next Gen 32 Chatting with Josh Roper 82 Chatting with S. Wilton 96 Chatting with Hallie Marks 98 ON THE COVERFMF/KTM Factory Racing's Trystan Hart takes the win at the 2023 TKO, defending his title.
photo by Steph Vetterly

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

PUBLISHER/EDITOR

Steph Vetterly

ADVERTISING

Steph Vetterly

stephanie@onthepegsmagazine.com

CONTRIBUTORS

Brian Pierce

Seat Time

Brandon Krause

Trials Training Center

Sean Finley

Eric Peronnard

Christian Pondella

Future7Media

Mason Mashon

Shan Moore

Joshua Schucker

Sharon Bean

Hallie Marks

Josh Roper

Cody Riechelderfer

Nigel Parker

Billy Bolt

Andy Brannon

Quinn Wentzel

Robbie Goolsby

Marshall Stewart

Spenser Wilton

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE! IT’S FREE

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.

www.midwestmototrials.com

• 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

2024 FIM ENDUROGP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

Starting a little earlier than this year’s series, the 2024 championship will begin in early April in Spain. One week later, the championship will cross the border into Portugal for round two.

Following what will be a busy two weeks for all involved in the FIM EnduroGP World Championship, one month after the Portuguese event, the series will head to Romania. The last time the championship visited the southeastern European country was back in 2013.

June will see the series head to Italy, and an event that, once completed,

will mark the mid-way point of the championship with eight full days of competition completed.

Round five will take place in Slovakia before a TBA event two weeks later.

At the start of August, the penultimate round of the EnduroGP championship will visit Wales. A long-talked-about location from the 2008 championship, the event will set the series up for the eighth and final round in France on September 13-15.

Location information for all rounds will be announced soon.

2024 SCHEDULE

Round 1 - April 5-7

Round 2 - April 12-14

Round 3 - May 10-12

Round 4 - June 21-23

Round 5 - July 12-14

Round 6 - July 26-28

Round 7 - Aug 2-4

Round 8 - Sept 13-15

Spain

Portugal

Romania

Italy

Slovakia

TBA

Wales/UK

France

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 12
WORLD NEWS

GET READY FOR ENDUROCROSS 2023

of ENDUROCROSS

The first round will take place on October 7th in Everett, Washington and the final round will be in Reno, Nevada on November 18th. (The initial schedule started in Loveland, Colorado on September 23.)

“We are excited about the new additions to the 2023 schedule, plus returning to the places with some of the best EnduroCross fans around” said Tod Hammock, president and founder of Cycle City Promotions. “Last years racing was some of the most exciting and competitive in the history of the sport and we anticipate much of the same

again this year and we’re excited to kick things off in Washington in October.”

2023 SCHEDULE

Round 1 - Oct 7 Washington

Round 2 - Oct 21 Arizona

Round 3 - Oct 27 Idaho

Round 4 - Oct 28 Idaho

Round 5 - Nov 11 Oregon

Round 6 - Nov 18 Nevada

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 13
LOCAL NEWS

TRYSTAN HART RE-SIGNS WITH KTM

courtesy of KTM

FMF KTM Factory Racing is pleased to announce a multi-year contract extension with defending U.S. Hard Enduro Champion Trystan Hart, which will see the pair continue their successful partnership in a longterm commitment together.

The highly-capable Canadian has established himself as the class of hard enduro competition in North America since joining KTM, capturing consecutive U.S. Hard Enduro championships with a perfect 2023 season for the second

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 14 LOCAL NEWS
PHOTO BY RYAN MCCASLAND

year in succession onboard his KTM 300 XC-W.

At 26 years of age, Hart also made it back-to-back victories in the Red Bull Tennessee Knockout (TKO) this past weekend, which doubled as the AMA Extreme Off-Road Grand Championship once again. In 2022, he was named the AMA Athlete of the Year as a result of his outstanding achievements.

Hart's success has also extended to the world stage in recent years, currently ranked second in the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship standings, which will continue this weekend with round four of season 2023 at the Red Bull Outliers event in Canada between August 26-27.

In addition, after finishing runnerup in last year's AMA EnduroCross series with several round wins to his credit, Hart will also be equipped with the KTM 350 XC-F when the opening round of the

2023 series takes place in Everett, Washington, on October 7.

TRYSTAN HART: "I'm super-happy and grateful to extend my partnership with KTM. We've had a successful three years together and hopefully these next few will be even more successful – that would be awesome!"

TIM WEIGAND

FMF KTM Factory Racing Team

Manager: "We are excited to have Trystan as part of the KTM team for the upcoming years. He's elevated his game tremendously these last couple of seasons, so I'm looking forward to seeing his progress and to see where he can take it for the next few years."

ANTTI KALLONEN

Director of Offroad Racing: "We're really pleased to extend our contract with Trystan, who has been the staple hard enduro rider in our team for the last couple of seasons. We are really looking forward to supporting him, and his career, to aim for the highest achievements and to win more championships here in the States with him, but also to aim for that world championship. We look forward to the upcoming years together."

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 15

ON THE HORIZON 2024 KTM 450 RALLY REPLICA

With so many unknowns over 1,000s of kilometers of racing, the Dakar Rally is the pinnacle of rally-raid, and one of the most notoriously difficult events in the world; that’s why using the best equipment developed by the most successful team in rally history makes the KTM 450 RALLY REPLICA an outstanding choice for competitors to rely on.

The Dakar Rally is one of the few events where amateur riders can compete alongside the professionals, and while this gives the opportunity for emerging rally racing talent to showcase their ability, the factory-developed KTM 450 RALLY REPLICA provides racers with similar equipment to their factory counterparts.

There are few differences between this model and the KTM 450 Rally. Equipped with the latest WP XACT Pro Components suspension, riders get a precise feel, consistent performance, and all-important traction, regardless of terrain. KTM has worked to better optimize power delivery thanks to the cutting-edge Keihin Management system and ECU maps that have been refined for the conditions of rally racing.

The 450 Rally Replica will also get

the Pankl transmission, the same as is used by the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team.

With an average of 70% of riders in Dakar's Original By Motul class choosing KTM, it's hard to dispute performance and reliability, and their ability to withstand some of the harshest weather and terrain out there.

“The KTM 450 RALLY REPLICA is an extension of our factory development program, and it has been the choice of countless riders on their quest to either just complete rally races such as the Dakar, or reach results close to the professionals. The bike is READY TO RACE out of the crate, and has all of the needed capabilities for high-level success. Many riders have relied on this motorcycle to help them achieve their rally goals, and it is developed in-line with our Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Dakar Rally winning machine. This model usually sells-out fast, and it’s great to see so many of them battling at the rallies around the world,” said KTM Rally Technical Manager, Stefan Huber.

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 16
VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 17 //

2024 RIEJU AVENTURA 500

A THOUSAND WAYS TO TRAVEL, ONLY ONE WAY TO GO FURTHER

Traveler and lover of ADVENTURE: your time has come, it's time to pack your suitcase and start enjoying yourself! And what better way to do it than traveling and discovering the world on the back of the best travel companion: the new Aventura 500 A motorcycle that will allow you to cover thousands of kilometers, turning a simple journey into an unforgettable experience.

Basically conceived to free you from routine, this new trail suitable machine of 500cc and 47 hp, lands on the market with great equipment, and the word "versatility" tattooed in its DNA. A model that takes riding and comfort to another level, both standing and sitting, both on and off-road, thanks to its riding position, high dome and handlebars, pivoting footpegs and its 21- and 18-inch tubeless tires.

With an energetic 500cc 4-stroke in-line twin-cylinder engine and 6-speed manual transmission, the new Aventura 500 is capable of covering long distances. Its powerto-weight ratio makes it one of the lightest on the market, at only 190kg dry (418.8#), providing a safe ride on any type of terrain.

On the front, the new Aventura has an inverted fork adjustable in extension, compression and preload, as well as a steering damper. At the rear, on an aluminum swingarm with linkage system, a progressive monoshock is installed and fully adjustable in preload, compression and extension, which provides greater grip and allows the driver to modify the suspension setting according to the conditions of each route or trip. In short, a firstclass cycle part that provides great safety and stability. Regarding the brakes, the new Aventura has an advanced front and rear ABS system *disconnectable (*for Off-Road use), mounting a double floating disc of 298mm diameter with double-piston caliper at the front and a 240mm floating disc with single piston caliper at the rear.

In terms of dimensions, it is characterized by a wheelbase of 1.440 mm, a length of 2.200 mm and a maximum width of 860 mm. With a height of 840-850 mm, depending on the preload. But if there is something that we must highlight in it, undoubtedly its 2 tanks -yes, you read that correctly. The new

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 18 ON THE HORIZON
VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 19 //

ON THE HORIZON

Aventura 500 has two independent and selectable fuel tanks that give the overall tank 40 liters (10.5 gallons) of gasoline in total, and a spectacular range - up to 1,000km (621 miles) without stopping to refuel!

Equipped with a host of standard features that will make your ride a real pleasure: tubeless tires, engine defense bars, radiator protector made of stainless steel, reinforced metal handguards, central and side stand, aluminum skid plate,

dual USB sockets and a 7-inch digital display optimized for use on an adventure bike, resistant to dust, mud and vibration, and with a perfect display both day and night. It has an interactive menu through which you can access Carbit ride and Mirror Connect, an app with which you can connect your phone and use your favorite navigation software (Google maps, Waze, etc).

Rieju’s largest displacement and most powerful model to date is here.

//

GASGAS EXPANDS 2024 MODELS

16 NEW BIKES - MOTOCROSS, ENDURO, CROSS COUNTRY

GASGAS is stoked to reveal an all-new generation of motocross, enduro, and cross country bikes for 2024! More red, more awesome, and delivering incredible performance, it’s safe to say that things have well and truly been spiced up, with every model equipped with the latest technology. There's barely a single part on any bike that hasn’t been improved or refined, which just goes to show how new these dirt bikes really are.

ENDURO MODELS

With improved ergonomics and the addition of two big-bore models, big changes are coming to the 2024 line-up. You'll find top-level components, including Braktec brakes, WP suspension, and enduro-specific PANKL transmissions. Each option comes fitted with rear suspension linkage and a new lighter, but more powerful, motor. Not only does the motor now provide better power delivery, but it is being repositioned inside a whole new chassis to help centralize the weight, resulting in better handling.

2024 ENDURO FEATURES

• new frame

• new aluminum subframe

• new forged triple clamps, offering more flex for improved comfort

• new Braktec brakes

• new throttle body injection with separate oil tank for 2-strokes

• new electronic exhaust control 2-strokes, controlling how the exhaust ports open via the new electronic powervalve, improving durability and boosting torque

• new motor and motor position

• WP XPLOR front fork with open cartridge

• WP XACT rear shock with rear linkage

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 22 ON THE HORIZON
AVAILABLE IN EC 250, EC 250F, EC 300, EC 350F, EC450F, EC 500F
VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 23 //

ON THE HORIZON CROSS COUNTRY MODELS

A full line-up of five completely redesigned bikes are designed to run in the tight stuff and the wide-open spaces. Built to the same high standard as our motocross and enduro bikes, the cross country models combine essential parts from our motocross and enduro ranges such as the fuel injection, larger fuel tank, and 18” rear wheels, to make riding cross country more fun than it’s ever been.

2024 CROSS COUNTRY FEATURES

• new frame

• new aluminum subframe

• WP XACT front fork with closed cartridge technology

• WP XACT rear shock

• new forged triple clamps featuring a new steering stem for more flex and improved comfort

• high-performance Braktec

hydraulic clutch system

• new throttle body injection with premix for 2-strokes

• new electronic exhaust control 2-strokes, controlling how the exhaust ports open via the new electronic powervalve, improving durability and boosting torque

• new motor and motor position

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 24
IN EX 250, EX 250F, EX 300, EX 350F, EX 450F
AVAILABLE
VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 25 //

John Short is a Supercross and Motocross racer from Texas. He’s known for many things, but one is certainly his mustache as of late. Recently he became a first-time father and had wrist surgery. So his life is very different than it was just a few months ago.

As we dove into the big topics of this episode, the Rider Triangle was our focus. I’ve heard about the perfect rider triangle for too long these days across social media. I knew it was time to dig in and start a deeper discussion. We also discuss what training, hydration, and nutrition looks like for a professional racer. I was deeply excited about this part of the conversation. We then wrapped up with my traditional Bike/Body/ Mind questions.

EP 23.8 | How to FEEL the Rider Triangle - John Short

John Short is a super cool dude, and very down to earth. I really enjoyed our conversation. I hope his wrist heals well and he’s back on the Supercross track for 2024. I also hope he and I get a chance to create some content together. I know I could learn a lot from him.

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 26
CLICK HERE TO VISIT WWW.SEATTIME.CO CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST
VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 27

Building a DIY Rolling Dirt Bike Stand

words BRIAN PIERCE // SEAT TIME

The dirt bike stand is a must have for most bike repair work. Now that I’m arranging a new garage, I wanted to build my own mobile dirt bike stands for better organization. This is that diy build.

I first saw these wooden bike stands on the Enduro Builds instagram page. I thought they were awesome then, but it didn’t dawn on me to utilize them until we were in a new house. Now that I am needing to fit a few different sports, and tools, in one two car garage, I needed to rethink how I organized said garage.

The build itself is pretty straight

forward. The hard part for me was figuring out the length and angles of the legs for the bike stand. I tried REALLY hard to rethink through some geometry from years past, and I ALMOST got there! I did make a few small mistakes, which I think I see the error now. I’d still love to get your thoughts on how to improve the idea of these mobile wooden dirt bike stand.

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 28
CLICK HERE TO VISIT WWW.SEATTIME.CO
VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 29
Race Bike Power & Agility 2O23 Features Easy Front Axle Pull | Billet Aluminum Adjustable power Valve | Easy Access Closed Cartridge Front Forks | NEW 125 | 200
LEARN MORE AT Aluminum Footpegs | Dual Material Rear Sprocket Access Air Filter Box | Smooth Power Delivery | KYB AOS NEW KYB Rear Shock | Off-Road Light & Meter Package

GROWING THE NEXT GENERATION Stan & Jesus Zavala

words and photos courtesy of HEWC

If a world champion like Manuel Lettenbichler awaits you at the finish line of Red Bull Romaniacs, there has got to be something special. At only 14 years old, Stanislas Zavala finished in Bronze Class at the hardest enduro rally in the world together with his father, Jesus.

We sat down with them to find out more about the father & son hard enduro duo from Mexico.

Stan & Jesus, thanks for taking the time. Your participation at Red Bull Romaniacs was very special. Racing as a father & Son Duo is not something we see every day in this sports. TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOU.

JESUS: I’m 44 years old, from Mexico, and am a KTM and Husqvarna dealer in Valle de Bravo.

STAN: I am 14 years old, half French, half Mexican, and I am in my second year of high school.

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 32
VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 33

HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME INTERESTED IN HARD ENDURO JESUS?

In 2008, I received invitations from KTM to participate in the Erzberg Rodeo, and from Chris Birch to join the Red Bull Romaniacs and Red Bull City Scramble races. This marked my entry into the world of extreme offroad sports. Now, 15 years later, my passion for these events still burns as strong as ever. Stan, it seems like motorcycles have been a central part of your life. WERE YOU MOSTLY RAISED IN THE PADDOCK?

Absolutely, For instance, on the day of my birth, we were actually celebrating a WEC event in my hometown, Valle de Bravo. Ever since I can recall, we've been attending all the races held in México. Jesus, you have been racing a lot of Hard Enduro races already. WHAT WAS YOUR PERSONAL BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT?

Finishing the Iron Giant. Erzbergrodeo is such a special event. Seeing the finish flag at this event is for sure my all-time highlight.

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 34

HAVE YOU EVER DREAMED OF RACING TOGETHER WITH YOUR SON?

The idea just came a year ago when I realized Stan would be 14 just one week before the race, and 14 is our lucky number, so I decided it was a signal.

WHY DID YOU SIGN UP FOR THIS YEAR'S RED BULL ROMANIACS AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE BRONZE CLASS, AS IT IS A VERY TOUGH CLASS?

JESUS: Because it was going to be the 20th anniversary of RBR and I knew it was going to be a good one!

STAN: We decided for bronze because we wanted it to be something doable but challenging for both of us.

YOU RODE TOGETHER AS A FATHER-SON DUO. WHOSE IDEA WAS IT?

Jesus: To be honest, it started out primarily for safety reasons, but as time went on, we realized it could be a really amazing experience. And in the end, that's exactly what it turned out to be.

STAN: We had so much fun racing together, that is something we will not forget.

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 35

HOW DID RIDING TOGETHER GO ALL THOSE FOUR DAYS IN THE FOREST? WHO HAD TO WAIT FOR WHOM?

JESUS: It was amazing! The logistics did get a bit complicated since we didn't start at the same time. At first, I had to wait for him, then on the second day, I had to catch up to him, and on the third day, I had to wait for him again.

STAN: ...and on the fourth day, it took him almost 3 hours to catch me.

ENDURO ATHLETE? ARE THERE ANY PARTICULAR RACES OR ACHIEVEMENTS YOU ARE AIMING FOR IN THE COMING YEARS?

JESUS: At the moment, for me, it’s only important to have fun and attend as many races as I can, but I think I’m not coming alone anymore.

MANUEL LETTENBICHLER (THE CURRENT LEADER IN THE FIM HARD ENDURO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP) WELCOMED YOU AT THE FINISH - DESCRIBE THAT FEELING.

STAN: We definitely didn't expect that, it surprised us, and it was something amazing.

JESUS: It was an incredible gesture from Mani that we will surely remember forever! Maybe we should invite him over for dinner at AvandaRocks.

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS AND ASPIRATIONS AS AN

Considering where it led Andrea Lettenbichler, taking his son to one of the events in the past - yes you will not come alone anymore. STAN, ARE YOU PLANNING TO DO MORE ROUNDS OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP IN THE FUTURE AND SIGN UP FOR THE JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ONE DAY?

Absolutely, I'm eager to take part in more events. My goal is to compete in the Junior World Championship, and I'm hopeful that I can secure strong sponsors to represent me.

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 36
VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 37

HART ON

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 38

ON TOP

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 39

words courtesy TKO photos BRANDON KRAUSE, AND CHRISTIAN PONDELLA - RED BULL CONTENT POOL

For the second year in a row, FMF KTM Factory Racing backed Trystan Hart topped the Red Bull Tennessee Knockout (TKO). This was Hart’s third TKO win in the last four years and the Canadian dominated the 2023 event with wins in three of the four rounds of racing on the rocky and hilly Trials Training Center terrain. The win also earned Hart the AMA Grand Championship for Extreme Off-Road racing to go along with his US Hard Enduro Series championship. Husqvarna Factory Racing backed Billy Bolt was closest to Hart in the main event and finished twenty-three seconds back. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Mani Lettenbichler rounded out the podium.

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 40
trystan
credit brandon krause
hart, photo
VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 41

The pro racing kicked off on Saturday afternoon with a HotLap on the approximately twomile “short course” and Rockstar Husqvarna’s Ryder LeBlond set the fastest time of five minutes and fifty-two seconds. Trystan Hart finished second, a little over six seconds behind. Lettenbichler finished third, just a second behind Hart. FactoryONE Sherco’s Cody Webb was fourth and Bolt rounded out the top five.

The top sixteen pro riders wrapped up the Saturday racing with a Straight Rhythm bracket-race prologue to entertain the fans and Bolt topped Lettenbichler for the win while Hart beat out Beta’s Jonny Walker to finish third.

Sunday’s format consisted of three rounds of racing for the fifty-six riders that earned a spot and it started with Knockout round one on the eleven mile “long course”. Hart set the fastest time with a time of forty-seven minutes and seventeen seconds. The relatively dry conditions provided a lot more traction than normal on the rocks and that contributed to quicker times than normal. 2022 GNCC

Champion Jordan Ashburn turned some heads with a second-place time of forty-eight minutes and twenty-nine seconds on his Magna 1 Husqvarna to finish second. Lettenbichler was third in a time of forty-eight minutes and fiftyfour seconds. RPM KTM rider Will

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 42

Riordan put in a strong ride to finish fourth with a time of forty-nine minutes and two seconds. Cody Webb rounded out the top five with a time of forty-nine minutes and thirteen seconds. Bolt, LeBlond, South Africa’s Matthew Green, Walker and Alfredo Gomez finished sixth through tenth respectively.

There was a last-chance qualification race on the straight rhythm course among the four riders that just missed the top thirty and pro Hillclimb racer Logan Cipala took that spot to be the last rider to make it to the second round.

The second-round changes format to place the thirty-one riders into five groups that race head-tohead. Four of those groups include six riders while the fifth group has seven riders including the LCQ winner. The riders take on the long loop with another mile of extremely difficult sections added. The top four finishers from each group earn spots in the twenty-rider main event with the winners of each group earning front row starting positions.

Hart won group one over Bolt after a back forth battle. Fourteen-time US Trials Champion Pat Smage and James Flynn finished third and fourth to get into the main event.

LeBlond won group two in a tight battle with Ashburn. Colton Haaker and Gauge Logan-Key also earned tickets to the main.

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 43
cody webb, photo credit christian pondella jonny walker, photo credit christian pondella

Lettenbichler dominated group three. Green finished second and Rieju’s Quinn Wentzel and Beta’s Tim Apolle finished third and fourth respectively.

Group four was won by the UK’s Walker. Riordan finished second. Sherco rider Logan Bolopue and Beta’s Daniel Lewis took the last two spots in this group.

Webb won group four over Spain’s Gomez. Multi-time Erzberg winner David Knight finished third and Mason George earned the final spot in the main event in his first ever TKO. George was the only rider from the thirty riders that qualified into the Sunday program via the Saturday races to qualify for the main event.

The main event moves back to the short course for a 35-minute plus one lap race, which ended up taking forty-four minutes and thirty-four seconds for Hart to complete.

Lettenbichler took the lead heading into the woods with Hart and Bolt close behind. Hart and Bolt found a way past Lettenbichler before hitting the critical Red Bull Ravine hill climb, which proved to be pivotal as Bolt lost momentum at the top and Lettenbichler hit his rear wheel and flipped over backwards. The German rider lost several positions when his bike tumbled down the hill. Hart made a quick break from the field and had a twelve second gap on Bolt as they started the second lap. The

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 44
billy bolt, photo credit christian pondella
VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 45

KTM rider methodically opened that up to as much as forty-five seconds before backing off on the final lap to win by twenty-four seconds.

Bolt held second place throughout the race but had pressure from Walker for several laps and then Lettenbichler, who recovered from his crash. Bolt, Lettenbichler and Walker started the final lap separated by less than ten seconds, which is not safe with the difficult obstacles but the order remained the same to the finish.

Webb had a strong ride to finish fifth. LeBlond got held up on the first lap behind the carnage of the Lettenbichler tumble on the hill climb but recovered for a sixth-place finish. Riordan was the last rider on the lead lap in seventh.

Gomez finished eighth on his Rieju. Ashburn finished ninth after recovering from a first turn crash with Green. Smage rounded out the top ten in his first Hard Enduro event of the season after wrapping up the US Trials championship.

Hart said, “On lap two, I threw my bike up the Kenda waterfall and luckily no one was behind me and I just picked up the bike and went on my way but that was a little scare. From that point on, I just chilled out and nailed the hill climb and water fall every lap and just cruised on and maintained the gap which was really good.”

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 46

Bolt said, “It’s awesome, the crowd was insane the whole way around the track and you could barely hear the bike out there so that was pretty sick to see so many people out here supporting the race. As far as the race went, it was a struggle, I felt the pressure from behind just about the whole race to be honest. Jonny and Mani were on my wheel and that made it hard to concentrate and not make any mistakes. Trystan was nearly mistake free and opened a gap early on and I could not make it back to him.”

Lettenbichler said, “Billy made a small mistake at the top of the hill climb on the first lap and I could not avoid him so I was back to sixth and had to work hard to move back to third, so I am really stocked on that. It was crazy good thanks to the fans cheering so loud in the woods and I didn’t expect that. Now I am glad that we are finished so we can get out of the heat.”

The Women’s pro class competed along with the top amateurs on the more difficult Saturday race two and South Africa’s Kirsten Landman took the win riding a KTM over American Rachel Gutish, who was racing a GasGas. Nikki Russell rounded out the podium on a Husqvarna. Landman took the AMA Grand Championship number one plate and finished fortieth overall among all the amateur riders.

In addition to the pro racing, the Red

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 47
kirsten landman, photo credit brandon krause

Bull Tennessee Knockout crowned amateur champions in several classes. Saturday included two rounds of amateur racing with race two serving as the championshipdeciding race. During that second race, Hawaii’s Kamakana Waiwaiole earned the number one spot with a winning time of forty-six minutes and forty-four seconds on his rented GasGas. Mason George finished just two seconds behind and Maverik Thaxton rounded out the top three. The top thirty riders also earned the opportunity to compete with the twenty-six pre-qualified pro riders, which kicked off their racing on Saturday afternoon followed by three rounds of racing on Sunday.

Other Saturday class winners among nearly 500 participants included Jared Kuehnhold in Amateur B, Leiber Adrian Ponce in Amateur C, Will Presson in Vet 40+, Travis

Wilson in 45+ Vet and Coran Calvert in Youth Lites 12-15.

For the first time, the ECR eMoto class was recognized for an AMA Grand Championship and the riders completed three rounds of racing over three days. Thirty-four electric motorcycle racers took on the course and the top eleven earned a spot in the championship deciding Sunday final, which was on course with the pro riders. Seven riders completed the difficult course. Spenser Wilton took the ECR eMoto AMA Grand Championship number one plate riding an Electric Motion with a time of one-hour and four minutes. Joseph Van Roekel finished second on a KTM about twelve minutes behind and Bridger Greenman rounded out the podium riding another KTM about eighteen minutes behind the leader.

RESULTS - TKO MAIN

1. Trystan Hart (KTM)

2. Billy Bolt (HSQ)

3. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM)

4. Jonny Walker (BET)

5. Cody Webb (SHR)

6. Ryder LeBlond (HSQ)

7. Will Riordan (KTM)

8. Alfredo Gomez (REJ)

9. Jordan Ashburn (HSQ)

RESULTS - WOMEN

1. Kirsten Landman (KTM)

2. Rachel Gutish (GG)

3. Nikki Russell (HSQ)

4. Hallie Marks (SHR)

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 48
10. Pat Smage (SHR)

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!

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 51
-Ryan

A WINNING COMBINATION

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 52

COMBINATION

words and photos STEPH VETTERLY

Ever wonder how the Pro riders set up their bikes? What parts they use? Well, we got a chance to chat with them and their mechanics at the Tennessee Knockout Enduro to see what's up.

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 53

2 - Cody Webb

Mechanic - Cody Richelderfer

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 54
VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 55

2 - Cody Webb

Mechanic - Cody Richelderfer

Speaking with Cody Richelderfer

[Cody’s bike] isn’t much different from stock. These guys can ride a stock bike; the only thing we do is make it more durable, mostly for the rocks and the crashes. There are some things that we swap out for heavier, more solid pieces, contrary to what you would do to a race bike, but it’s worth it.

Our throttle, for example, is a T-rex big billet throttle housing; it’s basically indestructible. We cover all the switches, all the wiring, so if you crash into a tree, it doesn’t rip all your wiring out. Cody’s wrists aren’t that great, so we do use XC Gear handlebar mounts, which offer a lot more movement and less impact on the wrists. ODI bars just for durability - a bent handlebar can ruin your race. Other than that, the lower half of the bike takes all the abuse - so many rocks - so lots of rotor guards, we run P3 front rotor guard, we run a Bulletproof rear rotor guard, we run BRP chain block, which is way heavier duty so you never derail your chain. Rekluse clutch cover and Rekluse manual clutch. The clutch cover is obviously so you don’t put a rock through your clutch cover.

We’ve had a good record with all of our stuff; it’s really durable. Foot

pegs, we only use Fastway foot pegs, and we’ve never had any foot peg issues; that’s nice just to have the piece of mind. Performancewise, it’s pretty standard. We play with different heads every now and again, but the bikes run good stock. More power isn’t really what we’re looking for.

IS THERE ANYTHING SET UP SPECIFICALLY FOR TKO AS COMPARED TO SOME OF THE OTHER ENDUROS / HARD ENDUROS?

No, I wouldn’t say so. Gearing is maybe a little different, but a rock’s a rock. It doesn’t seem to really matter much from race to race. We just do a little fine-tuning. We run a Smart Carb, so the jetting isn’t an issue anymore. It used to be we’d run different jetting based on humidity. It’s really the same setup we use all year. In fact, Cody’s race bike today is actually Cooper Abbott’s race bike from the rest of the season. Nick Fahringer raced this bike at Silver Kings. So it’s actually the exact same bike, we just prepped it for Cody. The few things they run differently - like handlebars and stuff like that - we change, but we have a good setup that most guys like just the way it is. They’re not picky about it, so that makes it easy on us for sure.

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 56

WHAT GEARING IS HE RUNNING THIS WEEKEND?

Well, I just dropped it down - we run a 12 front and I just put a 49 on the rear. We’re gonna try it. Normally we run a 50/51 in the rear. I think

maybe because there’s some more trails connecting the sections, he wants a little bit longer gearing to be able to stretch it out and not shift as much. We’ll see how it works in the first race, we might go back to a 50, who knows.

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 57

5 - Quinn Wentzel

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 58
VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 59

5 - Quinn Wentzel

2023 Rieju MR 300 Pro

Speaking with Quinn Wentzel

Biggest thing for hard enduro is suspension. We have a KYB A-kit on here from Stillwell Performance; we softened the suspension up and made the rebound more springy. Aside form that, we like to try and tame the motor down a bit with an S3 Extreme Head; that’ll help make the bottom end a little bit stronger. We don’t necessarily want them to be super powerful on the top end, the opposite of a motocross bike. We’ll take the stock carb off and replace it with a 38mm Smart Carb, which helps with bottom end and fuel economy.

We will take the stock clutch components out, replace them all with manual Rekluse clutch components, replace all the radiator hoses with better, high-temperature, silicone hoses. We take the OEM rads off and replace them with little bit bigger, high flow, stronger radiators to keep the bike cool. Other than that, we just add some protection parts, SXS skid plate with the linkage cover, better foot pegs with better grip. We replace the stock bar mounts with XC Gear bar mounts to make them softer and just have less rigid feel.

It’s not anything that the public can’t really get - it’s all just bolt-on parts. Disc guard and seat cover. Pretty much just try to replace any weak-link parts that might break under hitting a rock or something and replace it with a higher-end part. We have some lift straps on there for lifting the bike out of tough situations. I have a foldable brake tip so if you hit a rock, it’ll fold rather than break, so that’s nice.

These bikes come stock with a fan; we take it off the thermostat and change it to a switch - just stuff to help keep the bike cooler and run better. Most bikes don’t come with a fan, so if you don’t have a fan, you’ve got to add a fan.

We take the tubes out of the tires and put soft mousses in; we want the rear to be really soft and plush, and also run a gummy tire for enduro. These mousses are soft compound AND they’re drilled.

WHAT GEAR RATIO ARE YOU RUNNING?

12/49

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 60
VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 61

22 - Jonny Walker

Mechanic - Andy Brannon

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 62
VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 63

22 - Jonny Walker

Mechanic - Andy Brannon

Speaking with Andy Brannon

Pretty much, we stay with everything relatively stock - stock frame, stock tank, stock seat, and then we start from the motor out. We do in-house mods that Jonny likes to the motor - he likes a really mellow buildable power. That’s not to say that the 300’s power isn’t like that normally, but he likes a little different of a feel. We run the stock air exhaust, but he has an Akrapovic exhaust on it. He likes the feel of it, and likes really really smooth power.

That also goes back to he’s very very particular, in a good way, of jetting the bike. We’re one of the last carbureted two-strokes, everyone else is fuel-injected. We spent a few good hours yesterday, just him going out and testing it, making sure it’s jetted for here, and then we would come back, Jonny did most of it himself. The jetting is very important because of the power delivery; it sounds very different on the stand when you rev it up to when you ride the bike. Jonny’s very good at figuring out what he wants out on the course and how that correlates to the sound on the stand.

Jonny has a sponsor for his wheels, SM Pro Wheels. He runs Michelin tires, so he has different tires than we do. AS3 helps him with protective parts. They do clutch

master cylinder cover, rear disc guard - the great thing about this is, most don’t have it, this has bolts so you can replace this piece without having to take the whole wheel off, which is very handy.

Other than that, some specific things that he likes - the Race edition of these bikes comes with KYB fork and shock; Jonny prefers a different style shock. We run the shocks that came on the bikes last year, a Sachs shock [per Beta USA website: Aluminum Body Sachs shock with adjustable rebound and high/low speed compression]; he likes the feel of it, says it feels more planted than the KYB [per Beta USA website, the 2023 Race Edition comes with a KYB 45mm body with adjustable rebound and high/low speed on compression adjustment]. Once again, rider preference. Being as established a rider as he is and knowing what he knows, he knows what he wants.

He also really likes to run this style headlight, which they have to do for the world events like Romaniacs.

He uses Galfer brake pads and rotors, front and back. He uses ZF sprockets. He uses Raptor foot pegs; they’re extremely aggressive. The teeth on them will literally cut your fingers if you touch them too much.

Jonny rides very light on the bike compared to some; he doesn’t slam

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 64

into things, he’s really smooth on all his technique. He lofts the front end a lot, so that grip is very important for him to have on the bike.

WHAT GEAR RATIO IS HE RUNNING THIS WEEKEND?

We usually run 13/49, but he wants to go to a 13/48. We break it down to the ratio itself - why is 12/50 the same as 13/52 (not exactly right), but it’s a 4. Some guys like less inertia by having a smaller front

sprocket and a bigger back, and other guys like a bigger front and smaller back. It just depends on the riding style and how they want the bike’s power delivered. Danny prefers a smaller front so the bike will light faster; he only weighs like 40 pounds on the bike [laughs], so it’s like a feather on the back of the motorcycle. He likes that “light” feel so he can hop the bike around, where Jonny’s more calculated and likes to drive over stuff.

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 65
2023 Beta 300 RR Race Edition, 2-stroke

57 - Billy Bolt

Mechanic - Bubba Johnson

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 66
VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 67

57 - Billy Bolt

Mechanic - Bubba Johnson

Speaking with Billy Bolt

It’s a bike that’s been shipped from Europe as a complete bike. It’s the same as what I would ride normally. It’s a factory bike, but it’s built to the same specs as what I would ride normally.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO CHANGE ON YOUR BIKE FROM THE STOCK BIKE? [laughs] everything.

Before I start, this bike has been shipped from Europe. Last time we rode this race [in 2021], we rode American bikes and just brought out European parts, and we had some problems with parts not arriving, so we decided to just ship complete bikes, so it’s a little bit more like home and like I’m used to.

Main changes from stock, for me, I run a high seat - my seat’s 20mm higher - my foot pegs are lower, to just make the bike feel a little bigger in general. 10mm lower footpegs, 20mm higher seat, lower handlebars, soft suspension, soft mousses, soft tires, all pretty standard for hard enduro.

Obviously it’s a factory bike, so it’s got a few special bits which you can’t buy and you can’t know about, but it is actually pretty close to what you would buy.

WHAT KIND OF GEARING ARE YOU RUNNING FOR THIS RACE?

12/49 with the standard gearbox. In the past, I’ve used different gearbox ratios, but for this year, I’ve gone back to the standard gearbox and 12/49.

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU SET UP SPECIFICALLY FOR TKO AS COMPARED TO SOME OF THE OTHER EVENTS YOU DO?

No, to be honest, not really. The nice thing about TKO is we have three races, so I’ll probably make a few small adjustments after the first two - just a few clicks of the suspension. Like I said, it’s actually a completely new bike, so this little test run I’ve just had is the first time I’ve rode it. As I go through the day on Sunday, I’ll probably make a few small adjustments, like one or two clicks of the suspension, but no real big changes just for this race.

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 68
VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 69

84 - Trystan Hart

Mechanic - Robbie Goolsby

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 70
VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 71

84 - Trystan Hart

Mechanic - Robbie Goolsby

Speaking with Robbie Goolsby

We run stock hubs with stock heavyduty spokes with Excel Takasago rims, outfitted with Dunlop tires - 33 front, then we run a Dunlop EM 91 EX which is the gummy version of our Six Day tire.

From the front, attached, is the WP cone valve 48mil forks. They’re set up for Trystan in his own way for hard enduro; really plush, but at the same time needs to have a little bit of hold up on some of the bigger hits that they do take. We move up to the triple clamps, which are PowerParts triple clamps from KTM, at a 22mil offset. One thing Trystan runs that a lot of people don’t run is the solidmount Xtrig bar mounts. Most of our riders run PHDS ones. The bars Trystan runs are the Renthal Fatbar 821 with a special Renthal grip that we cut out for Trystan’s likings.

Stock levers, stock brakes, we run a Moto-Master Flame front disc, normal size (not oversize or anything).

We do run a fan on all of our extreme models, just for the super-tight creek sections, we don’t want the bike to overheat. So we’ll run a fan. The bike’s outfitted with an FMF Factory Fatty exhaust and PowerCore 2 silencer that’s designed for our specs and needs.

We work with FMF to make the power that we want.

We have Hinson clutch components for all our clutch stuff internal to the motor. Standard clutch systemHinson manual clutch.

We run a Selle Dalla Valle ribbed seat cover. Trystan likes a little more grip, especially when climbing hills or having to stop and zig zag hills; he doesn’t slide off the bike at all.

Going to the rear shock, we run a WP Factory rear shock, so it’s a little bit different than the production one. It’s just a little more feel and comfort feeling for the riders. Manny [Lettenbichler] runs it on his bike over in Europe, too.

Chains and sprockets - RK chains, Renthal sprockets - 12/49 gearing ratio.

Rear disc protector is a Hunt Racing

rear disc protector with a MotoMaster rear disc. The disc guard is a little thicker and beefier for hard enduro, so it doesn’t get bent into the disc as easily.

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 72
VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 73
2024 KTM 300 XC-W

513 - Ryder LeBlond

Mechanic - Marshall Stewart

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 74

Husqvarna TE 300i still on the 2022 frame

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 75

513 - Ryder LeBlond

Speaking with Marshall Stewart

The biggest change for him is definitely to soften the rear end, and then a set of bars. He’s running the ProTaper Team FCR bars. We’re running the Galfer USA brake rotors; we are on a stock rotor size up on the front, so we’re not running anything oversized. For tires, we’re running Dunlop, the EM 91 on the rear and then the MX 53 preferred on the front. We have gone back and forth from the MX 33, but he’s most comfortable in the rocks and mud and everywhere else with the 53 because that’s what he’s been running for many years now.

For ProTaper, that is our gearing and handlebar sponsorship. Gearing, we’re running a 13/52.

We have the short IMS foot pegs. Ryder just wants that clearance to be able to go between the rocks. He doesn’t want the drag.

For the seat, we have a stock foam, but I shave it down about 10mm; that way it gives him just a little bit of clearance to be able to put his legs down.

Front suspension is going to be a bit softer than stock, to his specs. We’re running on the third line, which gives a shorter wheelbase instead of dropping it down to the first ring and having a longer wheelbase.

SXS helps us protect our bikes, both in hard enduro and EnduroCross. The biggest takeaways with the SXS skid plates is going to be the linkage protection; we can’t get this level of linkage protection from anybody else, so that’s why we run the best.

He’s running the Arc folding skinny levers; it’s been reliable for many years now - knock on wood, we’ve never broken any. We’re running just the stock Xtrig triple clamps that you can buy from any dealership - he’s on a 22mm offset. Standard PDHS soft bar mounts.

We DO have a manual Rekluse clutch in it. Just preferred on the feel for the riders in different scenarios.

We map the ECUs to the specs that we need for reliability. We run 93 pump gas; it’s what’s most reliable. That’s really what we’re trying to get out of these bikes, reliability. We don’t need all the power in the world, we just need them to withstand possibly running out of coolant if you put a hole in the radiator.

Everything on this bike, you can literally buy over-the-counter, besides one or two things in the motor, which isn’t a whole lot. Overall, it’s just a really good bike. It’s just a matter of getting it to withstand upwards of six hours through grueling rock gardens, and tumbling down hills. It’s all about protecting the bike.

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 76

Husqvarna TE 300i still on the 2022 frame

IS THERE ANYTHING SET UP SPECIFICALLY FOR TKO?

No. We’re actually not changing anything. This is my first experience with TKO; the prep coming into it hasn’t been any different. It’s just been a bit more excitement because it’s a big race. We’ve got a lot of guys from overseas coming over, so there’s some bragging rights with

[Ryder] on our land [laughs]. But it’s all about having fun.

Part of the protection we have on these bikes is going to be the Hunt products. It’s what we use for the rear brake guard. It’s been proven for us to protect the rear brake rotor, and it’s one of those sponsorship products that we rely on every single race.

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 77

559 - Josh Roper

Mechanic - Nigel Parker

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 78

2023 GasGas EX-300

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 79

559 - Josh Roper

Speaking with Nigel Parker

Josh is obviously a trials rider, he doesn’t ride many big bikes. This is his first-ever hard enduro. He raced two EnduroCross events last year, so he’s still very very new to this. [Because of that,] we’re trying to make the bike feel somewhat similar to his trials bike. We softened the suspension up for him. We’re running the soft Renthal grip and we’re stretching it as well, so it’s the same as his trials bike. He likes the Renthal fatbar bend on the handlebars, so we’re running that.

We have his levers set up like a trials bike. We run stock levers; he likes the feel of those, not the bulky, aftermarket ones. We’re running the Dunlop AT81EX tires; we drilled out the mousse to help get good traction. Josh is a trials rider, so we haven’t changed too much on this bike - on a trials bike, you don’t change too much, either. He’s pretty easy going as compared to some of the hard enduro guys I’ve heard of. Anything we’ve done for Josh, he’s been like “yeah, that feels good.”

He’s not picky at all. He doesn’t have too many expectations for this weekend; he just wants to try it out. We’ll see how it goes.

WHAT GEARING DO YOU GUYS HAVE SET UP FOR THIS WEEKEND?

For this weekend, we’re running a 13/52. That’s what he likes. That’s what he’s been running with for a little while. Honestly, Josh rode [the NATC National Trials in] Rhode Island just a few weeks ago, so he’s only ridden the big bike for a week, same as Pat [Smage]. They’re both in the same boat - they’re fairly underprepared - but we’re just here to have fun.

Since it’s hard enduro, they’re bashing through rocks all day, this bike has linkage so we’re running a big SXS skid plate with the big linkage guard; those guys actually helped Josh out for a skid plate for this year, which was really cool of them. And obviously, since we’re bashing through rocks all the time, we’re running a lot of parts from Bullet Proof Designs - radiator guards, chain block guard, rotor guards. We’re running all of that because they’re bashing through rocks all day; it’s not always a clean line. Josh, he’s a trials rider, he’s going to try and pick clean lines, but once you get tired and arm pump, Jesus kind of takes the wheel [laughs]. We run the IMS foot pegs; they’re a lot bulkier and sharper, and way sturdier than the stock pegs. There’s less chance of bending

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 80

them. We run an Enduro Engineering titanium brake pedal; it’s a lot sturdier, and it’ll just bend instead of breaking off. The stock ones will just break off, then you have no rear brake pedal.

The other thing Josh doesn’t really like, but we have to run for hard enduros, is we run the hand guards. He thinks he feels a little “goony” with hand guards because we never run them in trials bikes, but in hard enduro they don’t always cut the trails, and you’re bashing through the trees, so you have to save your hands. That’s new to him, for sure.

We actually run the Xtrig bar mounts, so there’s no rubber or anything like that, once again trying to get it to feel like a trials bike. In a trials bike, we don’t do bar risers, or put any rubber in there, because you want everything you feel from the ground up you want to be feeling in your hands, too. You don’t want to be feeling the bike moving under you, as well. So we’re trying to, not replicate, but make it feel more like his trials bike to make him feel more comfortable.

Motor and everything else, we keep completely stock; we didn’t touch a single thing.

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 81
2023 GasGas EX-300

Chatting with josh roper

words and photos STEPH VETTERLY

Watching a trials rider try their hand at enduros is not new. Over the years, many Pro riders have switched disciplines - among them, Cody Webb, Logan Bolopue, Quinn Wentzel, Pat Smage. So it wasn't a huge surprise for us to see GasGas's Josh Roper don a full-face helmet and goggles, and jump on a big bike.

Because Josh has his AMA Pro card, he was able to skip Friday's amateur hot-lap, and Saturday's TKO1 & TKO2, and go directly to the Pro Hot

Lap. Placing 17th on the hot lap put him in a good starting position for Sunday's TKO1, which he finished 19th and moved on to TKO2.

Starting in group 4, he barely missed out on qualifying for the main race by six minutes (the top four riders from each group move on to the TKO Main).

We had a chance to chat with Josh and get his thoughts on his firstever hard enduro race.

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 82

WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO TRY A HARD ENDURO?

I've always wanted to try a hard enduro. It's just that none of the trials schedules and hard enduro schedules have lined up; finally, this event was after our trials season. I figured I might as well give the TKO a shot. It’s a really popular event, and I know it's pretty hard. Typically, it's known for a little bit faster-style racing, so it's not as “trials” technical, but this year was actually pretty technical in TKO2

I've always been fascinated by the hard enduro stuff and always wanted to race Erzberg and do all those cool

events. I figured this was a perfect way to start and lead into it.

It’s a different kind of physical fitness when you go into a hard enduro as well, compared to a trials event. Because in trials events, you only go 90 seconds in the section and then you can take a break.

But the hard enduros, you're out there for multiple hours going and your heart rate's maxed at 180 the whole entire time. So that part kind of beat me down. And I think the thing is, I now know what to expect for another future hard enduro, so I can adjust my training regimen a little bit different.

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 83

HOW DID YOURPRE-GAME PLAN CHANGE FROM HOW YOU PREP FOR TRIALS TO HOW YOU PREP FOR TKO?

For me, it was just getting time on the bike and trying to get comfortable with the bike. That was my biggest thing because transitioning from the trials bike to the big bike is always a little different. It takes me like a day or two to get kind of comfortable on it. For me, it was just spending the most amount of time on the bike as possible.

BECAUSE YOU HAVE YOUR AMA PRO CARD, YOU WERE PREQUALIFIED INTO SUNDAY’S RACES. IN HINDSIGHT, DO YOU THINK

IT WAS A GOOD THING TO SKIP SATURDAY’S EVENTS OR DO YOU THINK YOU COULD’VE USED A LITTLE BIT MORE TRACK TIME?

Yes and no. It's a good thing that I didn't have to race until Sunday because I was able to save all my energy and put it all into Sunday versus racing all day Saturday and then all day Sunday as well. I probably would have been really, really tired by the time the races came around. The good thing is you would have known a lot of the track. They ran most of it the same except for the Pro course, there were a few different hard bits added on and those hard bits were pretty difficult I'd say.

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 84

I talked to Trystan [Hart] a little bit, and he said that was probably one of the harder TKO2 races that they've had in a really long time. So to make it through that was a win.

YOU’RE OBVIOUSLY VERY, VERY FAMILIAR WITH TTC, HAVING RIDDEN TRIALS THERE SO MUCH; YOU'RE VERY FAMILIAR WITH THE TERRAIN. DO YOU FEEL LIKE HAVING A GOOD UNDERSTANDING OF THE TERRAIN OF TTC HELPED YOU NAVIGATE THE COURSES A LITTLE BIT BETTER?

Oh, for sure. The whole entire time, I knew exactly where I was on the property. That was kind of cool. Whenever we came up on something, I knew what to expect. And even if something was a surprise to me, I was like, “Oh, I've already been here before. I've already done that.”

But being able to know the property and know the type of rocks and the terrain was a pretty big advantage for me. That was the other thing drawing me in to also wanting to race TKO –I’ve been coming to TTC since I was about ten years old.

HOW DIFFERENT WAS IT FEELING THOSE ROCKS ON A BIG BIKE WITH DIFFERENT SUSPENSION AND A BIGGER/HEAVIER BIKE?

It was super nice for doing all the trail-riding type stuff, but I wanted my trials bike for when it got hard [laughs]. But my trials bike goes through the creeks and mud a lot better than the enduro bike. But it was all still really fun. The enduro bike, you're just able to flow along the trails a bit better because of the bigger suspension. One of the big things is just tire set up and

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 85

making sure you have a really soft, gummy rear tire so that you're able to maximize your traction.

WALK ME THROUGH SATURDAY’S PROLOGUE.

The prologue was really short. The biggest thing was just keeping a smooth run in the whole entire time. They take the top 16 qualified times; if you qualify top 16, then you were able to race in the straight rhythm competition. I qualified 17; Quinn Wentzel and I tied on time and I missed out on 16th place by 0.1 seconds. Not even one second but 0.1 seconds; I think my time was like 7 minutes and 44 seconds. He had like 0.2 and I had 0.3, so I just barely missed out on the straight rhythm.

That was like one of my goals to try

and make it through there, but I just had a couple little hiccups along the way. Unfortunately, that messed up my time. I had one little crash after coming down the Red Bull Ravine. That lost me 3 to 5 seconds easy.

That was the difference between 16th and 17th; 15th was only three seconds ahead of me. It was just crazy to think how fast it can change like that.

LET'S TALK ABOUT SUNDAY'S RACES.

TKO1 – we went out based on our qualifying times on the Prolog. I started 17th. They take the top 30 qualifying times and put them into groups for TKO2. [For TKO1] I think the fastest guy did it in about 40

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 86

minutes and I did mine in just under an hour. It was about a ten-mile ride, so it wasn't too far. They had a couple hard bits; each race gets a little bit harder. Overall, it went pretty smooth. I just paced myself and made sure I was in the top 30 based off my time and just tried to conserve energy for TKO2.

NOW I KNOW SOME GUYS RUN A WATCH ON THEIR HANDLEBARS. WERE YOU WATCHING TIME OR WERE YOU JUST TRYING TO JUDGE BASED OFF YOUR OWN PACE?

A little bit of both. I have a watch on my wrist that I started. You can kind of judge your pace off of riders in front of you and riders behind you.

LET’S TALK TKO2. SINCE YOU'VE ALREADY DONE ENDUROCROSS, YOU'VE ALREADY HAD EXPERIENCE ON THE START LINE WITH A BUNCH OF RIDERS NEXT TO YOU. BUT HOW DIFFERENT IS THAT COMPARED TO STARTING AT A TRIALS EVENT?

Yeah, that's a little different. It wasn't as nerve wracking as EnduroCross because in EnduroCross, there are more people on the line. You actually have a starting gate; this is just a dead engine start. It wasn't too bad for me because there's only six people.

TKO2 was significantly harder than TKO1. The hard bits were way more technical and way longer. Like there were two really, really hard bits. One

called “Easy Creek” took me a while to get through because by the time I got there, I was in the fourth group out of six groups. By the time I got to all the hard bits, they were really chewed up and they were just really nasty, super slippery, so that was a little unfortunate. I also had a pretty stacked group. I had some really top riders, so I really had to push it to try and get into the top four. The last hard bit was called Green Cabin. That was completely new; nobody had touched it yet. This was the final hard bit before a 10-15 minute ride back to the finish line. At that point, that's when my body decided to shut down.

I wish I’d had more nutritional stuff with me. It had never been a problem in the past about cramping and having my body shut down. But by the time I got there, my forearms and my hands were cramping so bad I could barely even ride the bike. At that point, I was like “Oh, man, this is going to be a struggle.” I knew it was the last bit before the end, so I had to just fight through the pain and get through it. It was a real struggle fest to get through that spot.

It was probably only 50 yards or so, and it was just really nasty green moss and slippery rocks; everybody had been through there. Everything's getting chewed up. There were tons of riders everywhere and they were just spinning their tires. I was already pretty tired at this point, so I knew was going to be a struggle. I

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 87

eventually got through. I never was able to catch fourth place because he had already exited by the time I was about halfway through. So that was a little bit of a bummer. I was never able to pass him, so I never made it into the main, but nonetheless, it was still a really good learning experience. One thing that I would have changed differently was my nutrition for that race. I wasn't anticipating it to be that brutal. I've done some pretty hard events, but nothing like that to where it was that significant and had my body hurt that bad before.

I just want to give a thank you to the whole GasGas and KTM teams. I also want to give a big thanks to Robbie Goolsby, Trystan's mechanic. He and Nigel were a huge help getting all this organized, getting the bike set up properly, and the nutrition. My parents helped support this as well, so a big thanks to them.

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 88

SPICE IT UP

/GASGAS ’24/CROSS COUNTRY RANGE/GET ON THE GAS

Ride wide open with an all-new cross country dirt bike from GASGAS! Bringing our high-revving 2-strokes bang up to date, they’re now fueled using Throttle Body Injection to really spice up their performance. Across the board, every 2024 model boasts a new frame, subframe, and swingarm, which improves comfort during the longest days in the saddle. GASGAS cross country bikes are vibrant, distinctive, reliable, and an absolute blast to ride.

#GetOnTheGas

Photos:
KISKA, 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. www.gasgas. com @gasgasusa @gasgasnorthamerica CHECK IT OUT!

Eric Peronnard's Electric Revolution

words and photos STEPH VETTERLY

Eric Peronnard has been at the forefront of so many projects and concepts in the racing community, many that have become household names - EnduroCross and the TKO just to name a few.

But now, his passion project is focused on electric bikes. Love them or hate them, electric motorcycles are coming. Involved

in the E-Xplorer FIM World Cup, the new all-terrain motorcycle racing series that seeks to test the capabilities and limitations of this new technology.

Last year's TKO introduced the ECR eMoto class, where electric bikes would take to the same course as the gas bikes. This year, entries almost doubled, with 49 riders

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 90

across various brands tried their hand at the unforgiving Tennessee terrain. Among them were riders like David Knight on the Stark, Jojo Toole on the Xtreme Electric XE4, and Spenser Wilton on the prototype Electric Motion Escape X.

We had a chance to sit down with Eric to get some background on his interest in electric motorcycles, how they fit into today's model of off-road racing, and what the future holds.

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT HOW YOU GOT INVOLVED WITH ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLES.

I've been behind the e-bike phenomenon/craze for 15 years. I organized the first electric motocross in Las Vegas in 2008 inside the

Orleans Arena with Zero motorcycle and another Swiss brand which is no longer in business. It was fun, but it was totally too early. That was the first attempt in the electric world. Then I joined Alta and worked with them. I was the one behind Ty Tremaine doing Erzberg and the Straight Rhythm with Josh Hill.

So that was two really breaking points. Then, unfortunately, Alta went out of business. I joined STARK as an advisor from the early beginning. I stayed two years with them, and in the middle, I started to feel like the the electric bikes were really adapted to hard enduro because the best results ever, ever made was Ty Tremaine on a podium of a Pro class in Reno 2018.

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 91
j effrey husted (280), d ustin l angston (377)

That was the first time an electric bike got on the podium among the gas bike. Two years ago, I started to think we should have an electric bike class. It's kind of my hobby and passion. Last year [at the TKO] we did it with 25 bikes; this year we almost had 50. At the end of the day, it's going to happen. Like it or not, we'll need electric bike to keep on riding. It's not a crusade. I've got 2-strokes, 4-strokes, electric bikes; they all have their positives and negatives. It's just a really good motorcycle. I invite everybody to ride one; just try one and you'll be surprised.

So, I keep on pushing. It's helpful for the sports. Here [at TKO], we are in a competition mode. The noise is really exciting and we all appreciate the the sweet sound of 2-strokes, but it doesn't work everywhere. We've been experiencing that a lot. I’m involved in the world championship World Cup of electric bikes, E-Xplorer, which Spenser has been riding. It's really what could help us maintain land.

We need to be open-minded. We need to have the electric bike on our side. The results today, seeing Spenser Wilson going to the semifinal on an electric bike is basically a sign that it's competitive, it works. He finished 28th on the first TKO, which is good.

IT'S NICE TO SEE THAT THE EMOTO CLASS ISN'T ITS OWN SEPARATE RACE.

It's a separate race at first, then it blends in. You have to be open

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 92
damon vilardo

minded and open arms; if you start making it too complicated, then you're creating too many rules. I think we will have an open electric bike class. The format of the race is really good; you race for the electric bike, but quickly you meet the gas bike - you're going to get passed by gas bikes and you're going to pass some gas bikes. People are very receptive to it; it's really interesting to see.

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HOW THE BATTERY CAPACITIES OF THE ELECTRIC BIKES IMPACT THE RACE FORMAT.

We started the electric bike championship in a race that is perfect for electric bikes; I don’t think GNCCs can take the electric bikes [laughs], it's not going to be pretty. A couple years ago, I brought my Electric Motion and tested it out; I realized we had enough range to to do to do laps here. That’s it. You have to adapt. EnduroCross is awesome, trials is awesome, hard enduro is awesome; after that, there's some negatives about the electric bikes, so let's stay where we belong. People want to race motocross GP with them like you can't do that. You can't go at the speed of a motocross GP with the actual capacity of a battery. A top rider today is like maybe 25-30 minutes. You cannot finish a moto.

SEEING SPENSER [WILTON] RIDING OUT ON THE TRAIL IS VERY

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 93

REMINISCENT OF WATCHING A TRIALS BIKE. IT'S VERY NIMBLE, IT'S A VERY NARROW BIKE. IT SEEMS VERY LIGHTWEIGHT, ALTHOUGH I HEARD IT'S NOT QUITE AS LIGHT AS A TRIALS BIKE.

It's heavier than a trials bike. But the original the [Electric Motion] ePure is maybe five pounds off the best trials bike. When you put in the big battery and everything, you are maybe at 180 pounds, which is pretty light for an off-road motorcycle. I can do most of the lap on my Electric Motion which I couldn't do on my 300 KTM. It’s almost like cheating at that point.

Last year we went to a section with a bunch of top riders and I was the only one to make it to the top. It was in the ugliest fashion ever, but the bike got to the top. And with me barely on it!

ANY BIG HAPPENINGS OR CHANGES TO TKO IN THE FUTURE?

I think fine tuning constantly. I really would like to do a team race where you go two [riders] and you have to finish together, just to help each other and to encourage people to go with somebody stronger that can help them, but it's just brainstorming [right now].

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 94
d avid k night

RESULTS

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 95
1. Spenser Wilton 2. Joseph Van Roekel 3. Nathan Bilbrey 4. Bridger Greenman 5. Jesse Ziegler 6. Tucker Neary 7. Brett Baldwin 8. Jared Scheurer 9. DJ Osborne
s eth h aley s penser wilton c hristjen j ohnson (105), j ared s cheurer (224), n ate w eaver (442)
10. Nate Weaver

Chatting with Spenser Wilton

words and photos STEPH VETTERLY

Going up against the TKO is no easy feat. Spenser Wilton not only took the win in the ECR eMoto class for TKO1 on his prototype EM Escape X a full 2:28 faster than his competition, but the overall win in TKO1 as well, finishing 21 seconds ahead of second place (Hayden Mosa).

HERE'S WHAT HE HAD TO SAY.

TKO was a pretty cool event this year with the new eMoto class being a national championship. It was pretty cool to race against the gas bikes. I even battled with some of the gas dudes in TKO2, which is cool because no eBike has ever raced that before. It was a good day for me. Bike ran good. In between the motos, I didn't

get to charge my battery fully enough, so I went out in the final moto with my battery not fully charged, so I kind of knew I was going to run out, but it was still cool just to go out there and battle against those gas bikes.

DID THE HEAT OR HUMIDITY PLAY A FACTOR IN HOW THE BIKE HANDLED AT ALL?

I don't think the heat and humidity played a factor on how the bike handled, but it was definitely taking a toll on myself and the other riders. I could see a lot of riders taking their helmets off and just literally looked like they were lifeless out there. It was nice to not have it slippery this year, but next year hopefully we get some rain and it's a little more slippery and not so hot.

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 96
VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 97

Chatting with hallie marks

words and photos STEPH VETTERLY

Eighteen-year-old FactoryONE Sherco's Hallie Marks secured the win in this year's US Hard Enduro Series. We got a chance to talk with her at TKO to get an inside look at this talented young woman.

TELL US A LITTLE BIT OF YOUR BACKGROUND WITH MOTORCYCLES AND RACING?

I started riding when I was 6. I was born and raised on my family’s ranch in Clancy, Montana. I’ve always loved off-road; that’s what I started riding when I was little and it just took me to here.

I started racing around the age of 6, actually. My family put on a race and that’s how I got introduced to racing. It was an off-road race on my family’s ranch. I did that for quite a few years; there’s also a local series, so I started doing that. I got noticed, and that’s where my first sponsor, CSC Enduro, came from. I was able to go down to the Red Bull Override when I was 16 or 17; that was my first REAL hard enduro - three hours in the dark and three hours in the day. I just fell in love with it and started going to bigger races.

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 98

WHY ENDURO RACING, AND NOT MOTOCROSS OR CROSS COUNTRY?

I like the challenge, getting my heart rate up. I like being out there with the guys. It’s pretty fun. I’ve never liked jumping a lot, so the obstacles and pushing myself pretty hard - I guess I like the pain of it [laughs].

CONGRATULATIONS ON TAKING THE SERIES WIN THIS YEAR! CAN YOU TELL US HOW YOUR SEASON WENT?

Thanks! I’m super stoked about that, especially since it’s my first year actually racing the full series. I’m pretty stoked to come away with the overall.

There were three premiere races on the west coast and three premiere races on the east coast. It was really good. I’ve done the west coast series a couple times now, so I’m familiar with more of the terrain I’m riding. I was actually on the east coast for a month training and working for the hard enduros. It was quite a bit different. I’m definitely more of a west coast person because I’m from there, but it was a good experience. The terrain’s definitely different; it took some getting used to, and I’m still not used to it, but I have some good things I can practice on and take away from those races.

Sherco’s been a huge sponsor to me, along with Inside Enduro; they’ve been great, along with Hammer Nutrition, P3 Carbon, Astra Offroad, XC Gear, Smart Carb’s been a big one, SXS slide plates. I have a lot more people who’ve been behind me - my family, my friends, especially my parents for coming with me to all the races and my dad for being my mechanic. I want to thank everyone who’s been behind me this entire year.

WE'RE HERE AT THE TKO. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR BIKE AND HOW YOU'VE SET IT UP FOR YOUR RIDING STYLE?

I’m currently on a 2023 Sherco 250 2-stroke. I haven’t done too many major modifications to it. Only thing is the Smart Carb. I love having my Smart Carb in there - it’s so convenient for when I’m riding. I like the power distribution, it’s great. The only other thing is I have a Rekluse Core manual clutch; it’s a manual version of the Rekluse clutch. I really like that a lot. We decided to go with 13/50 for gearing.

This is my first TKO. I’ve never ridden this property before. I did the whole US Hard Enduro east coast series, so I’m a little familiar with the terrain, but I’ve never ridden in this spot. I’m interested to see how it’ll go.

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 99

LETTENBICHLER GOES 4 FOR 4 IN CANADA

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 102
PHOTO BY MARIAH LACY PHOTOGRAPHY

words courtesy of HEWC photos by RED BULL CONTENT POOL - FUTURE7MEDIA AND MASON MASHON

Round four of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship saw Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Manuel Lettenbichler claim his fourth consecutive victory of the season. Capping off a perfect weekend in Canada, Lettenbichler won the Red Bull Outliers.Following a race-long battle, Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt took second, with FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Trystan Hart closing out the podium for third.

After an exciting urban prologue in Calgary, Canada, round four of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship headed to the iconic Badlands in Steveville for the final day of racing at Red Bull Outliers. A multi-lap Hard

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 103

Enduro race, the course featured a mix of steep, slippery clay climbs to navigate. After three laps, a final

an early lead as the field of riders headed out deep into the Badlands. Bolt was quick to join him as the duo

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 104

buried deep in the pack. A heroic charge from the Spaniard saw him carve his way through the field on lap one to make it a three-way battle for the lead. Roman was pushing the pace, but time would tell if that lap one effort would prove too much in the searing heat.

After two laps, it was Lettenbichler, Bolt, and Roman holding down the top three. Following a slow start, Hart had regrouped and was closing in. The Canadian was hungry for podium pie on home soil and was ready to put on a charge on the final lap.

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 105
PHOTO BY MARIAH LACY PHOTOGRAPHY

Keeping control of the race, Lettenbichler managed well the attacks from Bolt, who was also under pressure from Roman. Despite a crash on the penultimate climb that damaged his handlebars, the German kept his cool to cross the finish line as the race winner. The victory marked his fourth consecutive win in 2023.

Losing the wheel of Lettenbichler, Bolt was unable to make a final challenge for victory. And with Roman making a mistake of his own on the final climbs, he could settle for a well-earned runner-up result.

In a toss up for third, Hart capitalised on a fallen Roman. Clearing the final section without error, the Canadian rode on to the podium. Putting in arguably one of the most exciting rides of the day, Roman’s luck ran out at the final hurdle. The Spaniard slipped back to fourth, finishing just seven seconds behind Hart.

Crossing the finish line over 12 minutes behind the top four, Wade Young (Sherco) completed the top five, with ECONT Bulgaria’s Teodor Kabakchiev coming home in

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 106
PHOTO BY MARIAH LACY PHOTOGRAPHY

Racing’s Matthew Green saw him take seventh.

Alfredo Gómez rode well through the course, riding with a group of four riders and was in ninth position, until he reached the last tricky climbs of the course, where he crashed and some falls made him suffer more than expected, losing a lot of time. Alfredo finished the race in 12th place, with a penalty.

MANUEL LETTENBICHLER (KTM): “I’m speechless, four wins in a row is incredible. With this course, in this heat, I knew today was going to be tough. I focused on getting up every climb as good as I good, saving energy. On the second last uphill I bent my handlebars but managed to get across the finish line. What a day!”

BILLY BOLT (HUSQVARNA): “I had a good start with Mani and we rode together early on. On the final lap I had one big mistake that allowed Mario to close the gap to me, but I managed to recover and get some breathing room coming into the final big section. I got onto Mani’s wheel there, but had pushed a bit hard and just didn’t have an answer to him at the end.”

TRYSTAN HART (KTM): “I felt I rode bad early on and didn’t clear the hills as good as the other guys. I got into a better flow on the final lap and turned it around to get third. I’m pumped about that with a podium result on home soil.”

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 107

MARIO ROMAN (SHERCO): “I’m a bit gutted to lose the podium at the end. The start was a bit crazy and I had a crash and lost a lot of places. But during the first lap I rode hard and recovered well to get onto the wheels of Billy and Mani. I rode with Billy for most of the race, but on the final section I made one mistake and lost out on the podium to Trystan.”

ALFREDO GÓMEZ (RIEJU): "On Saturday we started very well in the prologue. I was second and third in qualifying and in the final I started quite well, but I had a crash with Johnny Walker and fell back to eighth, although I was able to come back to fourth, close to a podium. On Sunday in the race I started quite well and

nothing, I was in a group of four riders, in the last ramps the clutch didn't grip and I had a few crashes trying to climb several times, so I lost up to three positions. But well, I'm happy, on Saturday I was very good, on Sunday not so much, but I think we're continuing to develop the bike and we'll see if we can make some more progress in the next race."

After an exciting stop in Canada, the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship moves on to Spain and the 24MX Hixpania Hard Enduro for the fifth and penultimate round of the season on October 12-15.

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 108
PHOTO BY MARIAH LACY PHOTOGRAPHY

RESULTS:

1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM)

2. Billy Bolt (HSQ)

3. Trystan Hart (KTM)

4. Mario Roman (SHR)

5. Wade Young (SHR)

6. Teodor Kabakchiev (KTM)

7. Matthew Green (KTM)

8. Will Riordan (KTM)

9. Jonny Walker (BET)

10. Michael Walkner (GG)

SERIES STANDINGS:

1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM)

2. Billy Bolt (HSQ)

3. Trystan Hart (KTM)

4. Teodor Kabakchiev (KTM)

5. Mario Roman Serrano (SHR)

6. Michael Walkner (GG)

7. Wade Young (SHR)

8. Graham Jarvis (HSQ)

9. Matthew Green (KTM)

10. Alfredo GÓmez Cantero (REJ)

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 109 CLICK HERE FOR WWW.IRIDEHARDENDURO.COM

RESET THE

We challenged our development team to take a winning formula and redesign it from the ground up. The result is simply insane! A highly capable offroad package ready to take you places you’ve never gone before. Challenge accepted?

SEE MORE AT KTM.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.
KISKA.COM
Photo: F. Montero
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 112

SPRINT ENDURO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 113

words and photos

SHAN MOORE

Sprint Enduro World Championship

Dilliner, Pennsylvania

Sept. 2-3-4, 2023

Some of the top sprint racers in the world, including 2016 Individual Overall ISDE Champion, Taylor Robert, former World Enduro Champion, Jack Edmondson, and Pro 2 rider, Jay Baxendale of the UK, showed up to battle it out at the Sprint Enduro World Championship held at High Voltage Raceway in Dilliner, Pennsylvania. The format included four runs daily on two tests (a beautiful grass track and a rugged enduro test) over the three-day Labor Day weekend.

After three days of racing, FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s KTM’s Johnny Girroir emerged the winner, topping FXR/KTM’s Layne Michael by just 15 seconds after completing 24 tests.

FMF/KTM Factory racer Dante Oliveira kicked off the event by taking a six-second win over Girroir in the opening cross test. Michael was five seconds back in third, with Enduro Engineering/GasGas’ Josh Toth another second back. The battle for the win between these four riders would last all three days.

Dante went on to win two of the final three cross tests on day one, but lost time to his competitors in the enduro tests, while Girroir made up the difference with dominating wins in three of the four enduro tests to pull out the day-one win by five seconds over a fast and consistent Michael, winner of the second cross test.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Craig DeLong was a consistent third for the day, with Dante, Toth (who won the final enduro test), and FMF/KTM Factory

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 114
Craig DeLong
VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 115
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 116
Trevor Bollinger

racer, Mateo Oliveira, rounding out the top six to complete the first-day results.

The UK’s Jack Edmondson (Tely Racing KTM) was the top Pro 2 rider in 11th overall, while first in the Pro-Am class went to Magna1 Husqvarna’s Jason Tino in eighth overall.

Though he won just two tests on day two (Sunday), Girroir remained on top of the standings, while Michael and Dante Oliveira showed their prowess on the cross test, with each winning two of the four for the day. Dante was also consistently one of the fastest on the cross test (in fact, he posted the fastest times of the weekend) but fell in the second cross test.

Toth also improved his status, moving up to third overall after two days of racing by winning two of the enduro Tests.

Edmondson maintained first in the Pro 2 class while improving to seventh overall. Tino was once again the top Pro-Am rider in eighth overall.

Day three would see Dante win all four cross tests, although a crash in the first enduro test cost him nearly two minutes. Michael also topped Girroir in all four cross tests, however, Girroir would make up the difference in the enduro test, ending the three days with a 15-second

advantage over Michael with Toth in third.

“I felt at home in the woods, as I always do,” said Girroir. “I kept it consistent and was lucky enough to keep it on two wheels all weekend. I definitely need to clean it up in the cross test. I just wasn’t happy out there. I had a couple good times but nothing crazy. So, I definitely want to work on that a little bit. I had fun. Layne and Dante were flying out in the cross test and Josh laid down a couple of heater enduro tests. Just I guess consistency paid off and I kept it on two wheels.”

Michael definitely showed his speed in the cross test, winning three of the 12, but just couldn’t catch Girroir in the enduro test.

“Honestly, it came down to I had one crash in the enduro test yesterday and that’s where I lost the bulk of my time,” said Michael. “Other than that, we were kind of back and forth. I was beating him in the cross test by four or five seconds, but he was beating me by six or seven in the enduro. I got a little close at times, but overall I just couldn’t consistently stay close there.”

This was only the second sprint race Toth had raced all year, but he managed to get up to speed by the second day.

“It was a blast,” said Toth. “I only did the first round so I was a little

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 117

rusty and just pushing the edge and crashing too much on day one. I dug myself out of the hole yesterday and just tried to survive the tests today. Rode pretty well, but they were getting nasty and these guys were shredding.”

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Craig DeLong had a consistent weekend for fourth.

“I really enjoyed the first day,” said DeLong. “Not so much the cross test. It’s fun, but it’s not my strong point. I really enjoyed the enduro test. I was happy to get through it, honestly, the first day. I knew the next two days were going to be tough because Josh was finding his groove and so was everybody else. I was a little bit off the pace there the last two days.”

Coastal Racing GasGas’ Ryder Lafferty was getting up to speed, as well, and rounded out the top five.

“I haven’t done one of these in over year,” said Lafferty. “So, not my best format but I feel like I got better, like I always do with these races. You start out Saturday a little rusty and then by Sunday you figure it out. That’s how this weekend was. Actually, it went pretty quick. I felt like I had some good times on Saturday. Same thing Sunday, and then today as well. Today was a little sketchy. Just the enduro test was really rough. It got chewed up pretty good.”

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 118

Dante Oliveira had a good shot at the overall win had it not been for a crash in the enduro test that cost him almost two minutes.

“It wasn’t that bad of a crash; it was just the way I went down,” said Dante. “I jammed my hand into the ground. My brother was actually on the ground the same time as me because he took off fifteen seconds before. So then I got up there and I saw his back and then I smashed the ground right away. Just hit a root a little bit in the dust.”

Seventh went to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Trevor Bollinger, who just last week had been cleared to ride after breaking his heel.

Mateo Oliveira was eighth overall, with Taylor Robert just behind, having spent very little time on the bike this year due to injuries.

Tenth overall and top Pro 2 rider was Jack Edmondson of the UK.

The top Pro-Am rider was Tino in 11th, while the top Amateur was Levi Elliott in 15th.

Brandy Richards (FMF/KTM) won the Pro Women’s division ahead of Am-Pro Yamaha’s Rachel Archer and Over and Out’s Rachel Gutish (KTM). Richards was eight seconds short of winning by a minute.

"The cross test was incredible,” said Richards. “It’s very similar to the west coast, so I felt a little more

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 119
Josh Toth
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 120
Brandy Richards

comfortable out there. The enduro test, not so much. I haven’t ridden the woods for quite some time. But it was nice to get back out there and kind of get back into it. Rachel (Archer) was ripping the enduro test. I couldn’t catch her.”

Archer struggled a bit on the first day.

“I was struggling a little bit on day one,” said Archer. “I went down twice and then I just spent the whole weekend trying to play catch-up, basically. I’d beat Brandy over here, and then she’d get me over here. It was fun. I enjoyed it.”

OVERALL:

1. Johnny Girroir (KTM)

2. Layne Michale (GG)

3. Josh Toth (GG)

4. Craig DeLong (HSQ)

5. Ryder Lafferty (GG)

6. Dante Oliveira (KTM)

7. Trevor Bollinger (HSQ)

8. Mateo Oliveira (KTM)

9. Taylor Robert (KTM)

10. Jack Edmondson (KTM)

OVERALL (PRO WOMEN):

1. Brandy Richards (KTM)

2. Rachael Archer (YAM)

3. Rachel Gutish (GG)

4. Korie Steede (KTM)

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 121
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 122

SHADY ACRES VINTAGE CROSS COUNTRY

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 123

If there is a single word that describes the reason Becky Hayes once again pegged Shady Acres Motocross Park for a mid-summer stop on her 2023 Cross Country Coordinator Farewell Tour, it would be “TRUST”. Trust that proprietors Tim and Paula Thomas would work diligently to prepare the course and amenities to proper AHRMA standards, trust that Tim would not rest on his laurels of past success and would certainly have a new, exciting addition to this year’s event, and trust that those past successes, picturesque destination, and accommodating hosts would be sure to draw an admirable number of competitors. This level of trust has been well-earned and is built on a foundation of several years of AHRMA’s National CC series settling into the former Thomas family farm in the rolling mountains of scenic Western Maryland.

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 124
Chris Knorr (5K)
VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 125

The Thomas’, Tim in particular, are quite keen on vintage dirt bike racing, so this weekend is often a highlight of the Shady Acres season. With a locale just north of the resort town of McHenry on Deep Creek Lake, and terrain that has just the right mix of not-too-hard and nottoo-easy, the vintage dirt bike racers are pretty fond of Shady Acres as well. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Western Maryland is situated within a few hours of several successful AHRMA regional CC programs. Of course, the race loop has to be a worthy endeavor for the arsenal of vintage off road weaponry of the National series participants. As always, Shady Acres did not disappoint. In fact, some have been overheard proclaiming 2023 was the best iteration of this facility’s circuit yet! In the broadest sense, the course follows a similar path each year, with some minor tweaks of course. The layout of the property provides a little bit of everything one would expect in a cross country race. Things are spread out over a fairly large geographical footprint where variety comes in spades due to multiple transitions between field and forest, fence row and grass track, dirt road and single track, or bark buster scrapping and WFO.

Come here enough times and the sections all begin to become familiar and gain their own unique reputation. The large patch of woods east of the MX track is

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 126

always a master class in traditional woods riding with great elevation change, tons of flow in a mix of single and double track, plenty of roots, and Tim is sure to sneak in a challenging uphill or downhill or both. A remarkable amount of great trail is contained in these trees as the riders are often jumping out into a fence row or field edge to attack it from multiple directions. Often accessed by a mix of MX track and farm lane, the wooded section on the western edge of the property is more technical in nature. Here the pace slows as competitors negotiate tight quarters through trees, turns, more abrupt elevation shifts, and a vein of large bedrock that pierces the area. Things get a bit rough through the valley to the south where loose rocks tend to unearth themselves in this former pasture area. A wide cut path moves through a variety of terrain that skirts and crosses a small creek running through the low land area. Adjacent to this area, in a previously unused sloped hay field below the camping area, Tim worked his magical twist into this year’s course by cutting a ridiculously fun and flowing grass track into the hillside. And, of course, there’s the barn. It’s there each year, and no matter how many times you ride through the center of a dairy barn during a race, it is still a smileinducing, unique, and memorable experience.

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 127
ON THE PEGS // PAGE 128
Ted Bratton (187), Torey Trout (16T)

Saturday’s weather was terrific, and the race action was a match with great flow and heavenly traction. Competition was top-notch with memorable performances such as the race long battle between reigning AHRMA Women’s champ Laci Horvath and former champ, and ISDE legend, Suzy Moody. Suzy bested Laci by mere seconds at the checkers. Sunday started off in similar fashion with great conditions in the morning race where Jacob Ritorto hustled his gentle giant BSA to the overall. Gentle enough to start bare-footed (seriously, watch him do it sometime, it’s a remarkable “feet” of strength) and a giant roost factory when thundering on the gas. Dark clouds were looming as the weekend’s last race lined up and sure enough the skies opened up shortly after the green flag went up. After three races of pummeling knobbies, the course didn’t stand a chance in the face of the tremendous downpour that followed. The often-challenging uphill section described earlier became downright treacherous, but the majority of riders toughed it out to the finish. The sloppy conditions did not hamper the battle for the overall between the Yamaha ITs of John Brandt and Dave Smeal as they hammered out lap times within seconds of each other with Brandt ultimately prevailing.

Much appreciation goes to the

VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 129

Thomas’ for sharing their wonderful facility and for doing so with joy and enthusiasm. Also, thanks to the National series volunteers under the tutelage of Ms. Hayes, and the Mid-Atlantic regional team’s Jessi Reichart, Dave Kutskel, and others for providing boots on the ground manpower and coordination for the event. Please support Bridgestone Tires for their commitment to sponsoring the AHRMA National Cross Country Series in 2023. The upcoming national event schedule, full event results, and national series point standings can be found at www.ahrma.org/schedules-results/.

CLICK

ON THE PEGS // PAGE 130
HERE TO VISIT AHRMA NORTHEAST
TO VISIT AHRMA MID-ATLANTIC
CLICK HERE
Laci Horvath (1W)
VOL. 8 ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER 2023 // PAGE 131

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.