If there’s a CZ World Championship, why can’t there be one for Husqvarnas? That was the coffee-shop question that eventually resulted in this weekend’s running of the Inaugural Husky World Championship at Cahuilla Creek MX. There was some nerdy talk of the difference between the prefixes “inaugural” and “first annual,” with the style book saying that there can’t be a first annual until there’s been a second annual, and that’s impossible without time travel. Regardless, promoter Brian Catterson was freely calling this the first annual all-Husky race by the end of the day, thereby promising more to follow.
This was primarily a vintage gathering, with older bikes and older riders, but it allowed brand-new bikes as well. There were classes for age-groups as well as pros. Ben Meza was one of the youngest riders to ride, mostly following the lead of his soon-to-be father-in-law Clark Jones. He rode a 1978 Husky CR250 and was probably the fastest man on the track all day–including the ones on new bikes. Not surprisingly, the bike had a hard time dealing with that kind of pressure. “We didn’t ride that hard when those bikes were new,” said former Husky factory rider Andy Jefferson. “And that bike’s not new.” Meza had a number of problems and ended up winning nothing, but looked great doing it.
The old bikes weren’t the only stars of the show. Husky legends like Gunnar Lindstrom, Mark Blackwell and Andy Jefferson were there to talk about the old days with Master of Ceremonies Tom White. They didn’t ride this time, but desert and ISDE veteran Chip Howell did, and he still goes very fast. He won two classes on bikes he restored just for this race.
Even present day Husqvarna North America President John Hinz attended and rode. He had a 2017 Husky FC250 and finished third in the over-40 class. Everyone at Husqvarna rides. That’s a long-standing tradition.
As it usually is when this many enthusiasts get together, the racing wasn’t the main attraction. It was all about getting together with like-minded people, telling stories and having a good time. For more on the event and plans for the return, go to www.huskywc.com.