FRIDAY WRAP UP, 9-9-2016

BETA DUAL-SPORT

The Beta 350RR-S is one of four dual-sport bikes built on the same chassis.
The Beta 350RR-S is one of four dual-sport bikes built on the same chassis.

This week was all about dual-sporting. We got both the Beta 350RR-S and the Beta 390RR-S dual-sport bikes at the same time. This year, Beta is placing more emphasis on its dual-sport models and, in fact, the off-road four-strokes have been discontinued. It’s the same story at KTM and Husqvarna. Apparently the requirements for making EPA and CARB certified off-road bikes are so restrictive that it’s almost as easy to make the bikes fully street legal. So what Beta used to call its RR four-strokes (green-sticker approved off-road bikes) have become RR-S dual-sport bikes–basically the same things as last year’s RS line.

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Beta has always offered a number of bikes that appear almost identical. In the dual-sport line, there’s a 350, a 390, a 430 and a 500 all built on the same chassis. The 350 and 390 have the same cylinder and pistons with a 6mm difference in stroke. The 500 and 430 both have a 60.8mm stroke, but a 5mm difference in bore. This week we explored the differences between the 350 and 390, which were certainly interesting. It will all be in the December issue of Dirt Bike.

It was good to have Justin Jones back in the test rider squad. He spent the summer traveling with Davi Milsaps on the Canadian National MX tour.
It was good to have Justin Jones back in the test rider squad. He spent the summer traveling with Davi Millsaps on the Canadian National MX tour.

WORLD ENDURO

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The World Enduro Championship is coming to a close. This weekend is the final round in Cahors, France, and it looks to be the icing on the cake for Aussie Matthew Phillips. He’s been the dominant rider in the E2 class and in the newly formed EnduroGP combined class. The year has been an education for Taylor Robert, who sits in fourth in the E2 class and eighth overall. He sacrificed his season in the U.S. EnduroCross series because of a conflict this weekend. Two weeks ago, he won his first ever National Hare & Hound. That might be a clue for his plans next year.

GUY COOPER, HERO

Over 20 years ago I shot the cover of Dirt Bike at Guy Cooper's ranch in Stillwater.
Over 20 years ago I shot the cover of Dirt Bike at Guy Cooper’s ranch in Stillwater. Can you find the typo on this cover?

Even though I’ve spent enough years in California to eat tofu and like it, my roots are still in Oklahoma, where I was born and I still have family ties. That’s one reason I’ve always felt especially close to 1990 125 National Champion Guy Cooper, who was born and raised in Stillwater. Last week, Guy rolled out the red carpet for my cousin Allen Lawson and his family. They got to check out the Cooper museum and then go riding on the Stillwater  trail network, which is some of the best riding in the midwest. Here are some of the photos they came back with.

Guy Cooper keeps most of his racing memorabilia in his home, including his 1990 RM125.
Guy Cooper keeps most of his racing memorabilia in his home, including his 1990 RM125.
Guy's ISDE career was highlighted by the 1994 event, which was held a short drive from his home. The 1996 RMX250 in the foreground was from his ride in Finland.
Guy’s ISDE career was highlighted by the 1994 event, which was held a short drive from his home. The 1996 RMX250 in the foreground was from his ride in Finland.
Guy's father had an Indian dealership in Stillwater. This vertical twin is one of the bikes that remains.
Guy’s father had an Indian dealership in Stillwater. This vertical twin is one of the bikes that remains.
The Cooper family has a small warehouse of vintage bikes, many of which are in original condition.
The Cooper family has a small warehouse of vintage bicycles and motorcycles, many of which are in original condition.
Guy has a special fondness for Honda S90s
Guy has a special fondness for Honda S90s.
Guy Cooper (red shirt) and the extended Lawson clan.
Guy Cooper (red shirt) and the extended Lawson clan.

GLEN HELEN USGP

Eli Tomac is the main American threat in the MXGP class at Glen Helen.
Eli Tomac is the main American threat in the MXGP class at Glen Helen.

This weekend, the world will revolve around Glen Helen with the conclusion of the FIM world MX championship. Last week’s big winner Eli Tomac will be back, but Charlotte MX2 winner Cooper Webb will sit it out, preparing for the MX of Nations in two weeks. Same goes for his teammates Alex Martin and Jason Anderson. That’s the opposite of what usually happens. Typically the U.S team is burned out from racing and travel at the start of the MXoN, while the Euros are fresh. Eli will probably be all the U.S. needs this weekend. He was in Charlotte.

Austin Forkner had a great run last weekend. He might do even better at Glen Helen.
Austin Forkner had a great run last weekend. He might do even better at Glen Helen.

As for the MX2 class, the U.S. field will be loaded with talent at Glen Helen. The biggest news will be the debut of Jeremy Martin on his new Honda. Justin Hill will be healed up and ready to race. Austin Forkner, Mitch Oldenburg and Chris Aldridge will be there, too. And Glen Helen Regular Justin Hoeft will ride and I think he’s good enough to run up front. Jeff Herlings will be anxious to show why he’s the champ, so it’s going to be good.

 

GNCC RETURNS

The 2016 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, picks back up this weekend, September 10 and 11, after a three-month break over the summer. Unadilla MX will host the world’s fastest off-road racers this weekend for the 12th Annual Parts Unlimited Unadilla GNCC held at the iconic Unadilla MX in New Berlin, New York. With a 15-point lead over his closest competition, FMF/KTM Factory Racing’s Kailub Russell heads into this Sunday with hopes of earning his sixth overall win of the season.

Russell, a three-time National Champion, has shown no signs of slowing down this season where he has only finished off the podium once thus far. With a total of six overall wins, the only thing that hinders Russell is his eleventh place finish just two rounds ago in Odessa, New York. Russell heads into this Sunday with hopes that the second New York round will treat him better, and looks to use his most recent GNCC win as momentum to add another victory to his resume.

Kailub Russell will look to earn his sixth overall win this weekend at Unadilla.  Photo: Ken HillKailub Russell will look to earn his sixth overall win this weekend at Unadilla.
Photo: Ken Hill

Russell’s biggest competition, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing/Bel-Ray’s Josh Strang took the overall win at Unadilla one year ago and will look to repeat his success this Sunday. After a disappointing seventh place finish at the Snowshoe GNCC, Strang has been busy training throughout the summer break, much like Russell and the rest of the field. This Sunday will be the ultimate showcase between Russell and Strang.

Westfield Powersports KTM Presented by Moose Racing’s Jordan Ashburn is long due for an overall win. After struggling to adjust to his new ride, the Tennessee native has put in consistent results at the past few races. Another rider who is still looking to earn his first win of the season is Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/KR4 Arrive-N-Ride Team’s Thad Duvall. Duvall walked away with a podium finish in 2015 and will attempt to break what seems to be a bad luck streak this Sunday.

Josh Strang is hoping to earn an overall win and some valuable points in the championship standings this weekend.  Photo: Ken Hill

Josh Strang is hoping to earn an overall win and some valuable
points in the championship standings this weekend.
Photo: Ken Hill

After missing three rounds due to a back injury, JCR Honda/Lucas Oil/Maxxis/FLY Racing’s Chris Bach will once again be lining up on the first row this weekend. Since being released to ride Bach has spent his days training at his teammate, Trevor Bollinger’s track. Perhaps the extra motocross practice will be beneficial to Bach’s performance this weekend where he will be on track for redemption and the overall win.

Another rider fresh off recovering from an injury is Coastal Racing/Rockstar/Husqvarna’s Ryan Sipes. Although Sipes raced the Snowshoe GNCC his tenth place finish was far off from his normal results. With a full three-months of training and a notable 14th overall just two weeks ago at the Ironman Pro Motocross National, Sipes will be a man-on-a-mission as he continues his quest for an overall win. Sipes’ former professional motocross career may play to his advantage where both Unadilla MX tracks will be incorporated into the 10-mile GNCC course.

Since returning from an injury, Ryan Sipes is hoping to contend for an overall victory in New York this Sunday.  Photo: Ken HillSince returning from an injury, Ryan Sipes is hoping to contend
for an overall victory in New York this Sunday.  

See you next time,

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Ron Lawson

 

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