Archive for December 4th, 2008

Arctic Cat, Tucker Rocky Do The Baja 1000

December 4, 2008

A couple of weeks ago I posted news that Johnny Campbell set a new record by winning his 11th Baja 1000 arcticcatbaja1000 atop a motorcycle. Well, news keeps trickling out from various sources about other “firsts”. The latest news comes from Arctic Cat and Tucker Rocky Distributing.

The other day I received an e-mail from Arctic Cat announcing that a pair of stock Arctic Cat Prowlers beat the brutal conditions to finish first and second place in the world’s longest, continuous off-road race. It was the first time in race history a side-by-side UTV vehicle finished what is widely regarded as the most grueling off-road race in the world.

Finishing first in the 634-mile race with a time of 27 hours and 57 minutes was a stock 2009 Prowler XTZ 1000 driven by Bi-Polar team co-owner and driver Jim Creagan and co-pilot Tim Wagner for the first 409 miles, followed by driver/co-driver Chris Fallon and Aaron Bahner for the remainder of the course.

Taking second place at 28 hours and 13 minutes was a 2009 Prowler XTX 700 EFI driven by three driver/co-driver combinations: Shane Morgan and Tabor Cresap, Scott Sorenson and Justin Serface, and Casey Squires and Mike Connors.

It was just the second attempt at the Baja 1000 for the Bi-Polar/Arctic Cat team. In 2007 they made it to mile-810 before succumbing to a broken suspension bolt. They returned this year, ready to prove the Prowler’s durability and to support their sponsors: Arctic Cat, Wired Energy Drink, Vision X Lighting, GBC Motorsports, TrailReady Beadlock Rims and King Shocks.

The 2008 Baja 1000 also served as the first time a U.S.-based distributor has taken an active role in the race.

The TR-sponsored race team (from left to right) included Brent Durfee, Brandon Baldwin, Lance Kerr, Tim Pritchard, Dave Cullinan and Brian Cornelius.

The TR-sponsored race team (from left to right) included Brent Durfee, Brandon Baldwin, Lance Kerr, Tim Pritchard, Dave Cullinan and Brian Cornelius.

Tucker Rocky teamed up with Dunlop, Motion Pro, Two Brothers Racing, and Motorex to race the Baja 1000 this year. Each company fielded a rider, which is the first time a group of key industry companies and personnel have teamed up for such a race.

The team consisted of Dunlop’s West Coast Sales Manager Brent Durfee, Motion Pro’s Director of Sales and Marketing Brandon Baldwin, Two Brothers Racing Director of Business Development Dave Cullinan, Motorex/Paragon Powersports Brian Cornelius, Tucker Rocky’s VP of Sales and Marketing Tim Pritchard, and Tucker Rocky’s Offroad Sales Specialist Lance Kerr. The crew chief for the team was Jimmy Sones from Malcolm Smith Adventures and the chase team was staffed by Tucker Rocky’s Director of Sales Del Munoz and Sales Rep’s Mike Schmahl and Malcolm Bottorff as well as Montclair Yamaha’s Vadime Miline.

The industry team finished 6th in the Sportsman class which was a great accomplishment but with a logistical error (they missed a pit and ran out of gas but fortunately the Mexican Police department picked up the rider an hour later and took him to the closest pit for fuel) and some damage to the sprocket and chain (the sprocket was severely bent and chain derailed) the team still finished within two hours and 39 minutes behind first place. The total time down from the gas and sprocket incidents was over three hours. Till that time (less than 80 miles left in the race) the team was poised for an incredibly strong finish.

The team was sponsored by Dunlop, Motion Pro, Two Bros, Motorex, Yuasa, Gaerne, EVS, MSR, Pro Taper and Tucker Rocky. The bike was a race prepped Honda CRF450x which performed great for the entire race (at least when it had gas in it). The JCR Honda pit crew did a great job as well. The team also thanks it’s sponsors as well as Malcolm Smith for his help and participation.

Preparations Begin for 2010 ISDE in Mexico

December 4, 2008

Preparations have begun for the 2010 International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) to be held in Mexico.

Franco Acerbis, founder and president of Acerbis S.p.A., recently met with the Mexican government and other interested parties to start preparations of the event. Acerbis met Luis Otero, from the Mexican Motorbike Federation, Alfredo del Mazo Maza, Mexican Secretary of Tourism and Alejandrina Becerril Monroy, General Director of Tourism, to discuss the possible venue for the event.

The selection has been narrowed to Guadalajara, capital city of the Mexican state of Jalisco; Toluca, a city located in the center of the country and a very important commercial site; or Tequila, a town, also in the state of Jalisco and famous for giving its name to the well-known drink. The venue decision will be made in February 2009.

2010 will be a very important year in Mexico, as the country celebrates the bicentenary of its independence. The 2010 ISDE, to be held Sept. 27-Oct. 2, will be the first time Mexico organizes the event, and the first time that Cuba will be able to participate as a team.

The ISDE is the oldest off-road motorcycle event on the FIM calendar. Over the six days and upwards of 1250 miles a rider must contend with strict rules about time allowances and restrictions on mechanical replacements, carrying out his or her own track-side repairs.

Titled the International Six Day Trial until 1980, the ISDE was first held in 1913 at Carlisle, England. The contest was always held in Europe until traveling to the United States in 1973.

Only two men’s teams from the U.S. have achieved trophy status during the past 20 years. In 1991, the four-man team of Steve Hatch, Jimmy Lewis, David Rhodes and Chris Smith took home the Junior Trophy following the event in Czechoslovakia. In 2006, the four-man team of Kurt Caselli, Ricky Dietrick, Russell Bobbitt and David Pearson took home the Junior Trophy following the event in New Zealand.

In 2007, the first-ever ISDE Women’s World Cup was won by Team USA. The team included riders Amanda Mastin, Nicole Bradford and Lacy Jones.

Kurt Caselli wrangles his KTM through the 2006 ISDE.

Kurt Caselli wrangles his KTM through the 2006 ISDE.

Johnson Valley OHV — What’s Next?

December 4, 2008

Looks like there’s another issue brewing for Southern California OHV enthusiasts, this time in the high desert east of Los Angeles. Read more about it here.dn-_e5i9890

At stake is a plan by the United States Marine Corps to takeover about 189,000 acres inside the Johnson Valley OHV Area. The parcel is part of 366,000 acres the Department of the Navy has proposed acquiring in order to expand the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif.

The proposal brings up a unique dilemma that pits enthusiasts and off-road business associations against Marine Corps supporters. Many folks are caught somewhere in-between as the battle over public lands has heated up over the past few years — a time when support for the military has also grown. And then there are the dealers caught in the middle, forced to reckon their long-standing support for the military with a potential drop in sales they could face should the OHV lands be turned over for military use.

A pair of open meetings are planned to discuss the proposal. They will be held at the following locations:

  • Dec. 4 – Hilton Garden Inn on Mariposa Road in Victorville, Calif.; 5 to 9 p.m.
  • Dec. 5 – Ontario Convention Center in Ontario, Calif.; 5 to 9 p.m

AMA District 37 is paying close attention to this issue. For an update on what they’re talking about on the district’s Web forums, click here.

Moonshine — A Forgotten Profit Center?

December 4, 2008

Sure all of you dealer principals out there keep a close eye on your various departments, but have you yet considered the jugmoonshinepossibility of MOONSHINE? The Dothan Eagle out of Dothan, Ala., is reporting that the owner of a local motorcycle business was arrested and charged with felony possession of illegal hooch in addition to some OTC booze.

From the story by writer Matt Elofson:

Geneva County Sheriff Greg Ward said deputies arrested Donald Lashley, 34, of Hartford, and seized more than 3 gallons of moonshine, along with what Ward described as case after case of beer and numerous bottles of whiskey. Deputies charged Lashley with felony possession of manufactured alcohol, the moonshine, and misdemeanor violation of the prohibition law for all the beer and whiskey.

Ward said investigators found the illegal alcohol in a room concealed behind a door past the purchase counter inside the business.

Further down in the story, is a quote from an investigator that seems like the real kicker to me. “Over in the corner they had a dance pole with some mirrors,” says Geneva County Sheriff Greg Ward.

Is it possible that regular old customer lounges with TVs and coffee makers just don’t cut it any more?