Here’s a report from Jack Field whose been in California competing at one of the World’s toughest extreme Enduro’s – The King Of the Motos.
On friday I took the new KTM 350SXF out to pre run the course at Hammertown, but quickly found out that the extreme hill climbs and massive boulder filled valleys that we had to ride up caused the bike to over heat and was close to blowing up.
I picked up my stock standard GAS GAS 280 trials bike on saturday and grabbed a 3ltr auxiliary tank from the bike shop to chuck on the front and headed back to King of the Motos. I got a quick 30min ride in before I had to make the decision what bike I was going to ride and have it at the scrutineering tent.I decided to race 260kms of America’s toughest motorcycle endurance race on the trials bike.
Sunday morning came round and was time to race, I got off to a decent start but about 1hr in my GPS broke off my bike and I got lost for 30min before I found my way back to the track and waited for a rider behind me to come along so I could follow them until we hit the salt flats. The GAS GAS was cruising at 60mph/100kph for about 15min while the rest of the bikes flew by.
I made up a heap of time in the tricky sections but then ran out of fuel just before the pit stop causing me to lose more time. I finally got going again and finished the first 80mile lap.
Second lap was slightly different start and you would think after having 60bikes ride the course the track would be well cut in, but it wasn’t. I got lost in the sand again, with no GPS, and everything looking the same in the dessert. I had to wait for a rider to come along again so I could follow.
I was making good time once we got onto the tricky sections and managed my way up to 6th place when my gear lever came loose and fell off some where in one of the massive boulder filled gullies. I spent 15-20min riding up and down looking for it while riders passed me by. I finally gave up and decided to make the 25km trek stuck in third back to the remote pits where I had a pair of pliers.
I used the pliers to stick the bike in 6th gear and just slipped the clutch to get going, it was good motivation for me to keep it pinned cause if I slowed down to much I would have to stop pull the pliers out and try and get it into a lower gear to get up the sand dunes and rocky gullies.
I made my way back to 7th place and held onto it until the end of the race.
Besides the gear lever the bike ran faultless over the 260km race that I completed in around 7hrs. My average speed was just under 40kph with a top speed of 115kph on 100% stock standard straight out the crate GAS GAS 280 Pro Trials bike.
This was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done and with how sore I am today, don’t plan on ever riding that far on a trials bike again! However it was a whole lot of fun and I can’t wait to get myself the right enduro bike and come back and have another crack at it next year.
The KOM production crew streamed live to net all day and made this highlight vid moments after the race ended.
Thanks to Gas Gas Australia and Gas Gas USA, UNIT Clothing, Serco and Tucker Rocky for the Answer and Pro Taper products.