Team USA’s Taylor Robert. Photo by Brandon Krause.

America just finished its best ISDE ever. Taylor Robert and Kailub Russell went 1-2 in the E2 (450cc) class, Ryan Sipes was second in the E1 (250cc) class and Steward Baylor was third in the E3 (500cc) class. Together, they topped the World Trophy competition for only the second time in U.S. history. On top of that, Rebecca Sheets, Brandy Richards and Tarah Gieger won the Woman’s Trophy for the U.S. The top club team was Ricky Russell, Dante Oliveira and Austin Walton, also for the U.S. And the Junior Trophy team (for riders 23 years old and younger) of Grant Baylor, Ben Kelley and Josh Toth was second.

Team USA’s Dante Oliveira. Photo by Brandon Krause.

I come from an era where the U.S. ISDE team was usually around fifth place, year after year. In that same period, the Motocross des Nations team was unbeatable. Times have changed. There are a number of different reasons for the rise of the Americans at the Six-Days. The biggest single reason is a change of format in off-road racing over here. All our races used to be endurance runs like the GNCC series, whereas sprint speed was critical at the ISDE. Now, with events like the Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series and even the reformatted National Enduro Series, our guys can sprint with the best in the world. On the Euro side, we have seen a decline in the importance of the Enduro GP series, which also favors sprint speed. It’s also interesting that the second best showing came from the Aussies. They used to be our off-the-podium brothers, now they are incredible. Australians Trophy rider Daniel Sanders was the individual overall winner this year.


The EICMA show has wrapped up in Milan, Italy, and as usual, there were a number of concept bikes and previews. Some were shown in the Wrap last week, and there a few others worthy of attention. The Harley Davidson adventure bike rematerialized as the Pan America, and Harley is now saying it will be a production bike in 2021.

The Pan America motor is a liquid-cooled, 1250cc, DOHC V-twin with unit construction. It definitely isn’t your traditional Harley, but the designers tried very hard to keep a certain amount of Harley styling intact.

Ducati had a fun V-Twin concept called the Desert X that is clearly inspired by the Dakar Rally. It was built from the 1100 Scrambler, but has very little outward resemblance to that bike. It is powered by an air-cooled, 1.1-liter two-cylinder engine.

If you’ve been around long enough, you might see a little Elefant in the Desert X. That was a Cagiva model from the late ’80s. It was a very cool bike.

We recently got to sample some very interesting motorcycles that will be coming to the U.S. this year from Kayo. The T2 pictured above has an air-cooled 250cc motor in a full sized chassis and it will be priced less than many pit bikes. There’s also a liquid-cooled 250 in what appears to be a KTM-style chassis. We will have more on the Kayo line in the near future.


2020 Yamaha YZ125X

I spent almost all of this week in Union, South Carolina with Mark Tilley and Travis Fant riding the 2020 Yamaha off-road racers. This year, the YZ250FX is new, based on the current YZ250 motocross bike. And Yamaha just released its first-ever off-road 125. The 2020 YZ125X is, of course, based on the YZ125 motocross bike, but has a different power delivery, off-road suspension, a kickstand and an 18-inch rear wheel. This bike was shown in Two-Stroke Tuesday this week.

2020 Yamaha YZ250FX

Yamaha asked us not to post riding impressions until November 20th, so look for a review of the two bikes at that time.

Our host of the ride was seven-time National Enduro Champion Randy Hawkins, who owns a riding reserve in South Carolina for the Ampro racing team. He also invited us into his home where he keeps some of his original race bikes. This one is the first of the production Suzuki RMX250s, (actually frame number 2), which is still in the same shape it was at the end of the 1989 season. Look for more on this bike in an upcoming edition of Two-Stroke Tuesday.


The AMA has opened its awards for public voting. The deadline ins Sunday night. Here are some of the nominees.

Votes for the AMA awards can be cast here.

AMA Athlete of the Year: National Championship Series
Jacob Argubright — Champion, AMA National Hare & Hound Championship Series
Steward Baylor — Champion, AMA National Enduro Championship Series
Walker Fowler — Champion, AMA Grand National Cross Country ATV Series
Jett Lawrence — Champion, Supercross Futures 250 Futures Class
Kailub Russell — Champion, AMA Grand National Cross Country Series
Patrick Smage — Champion, AMA/NATC MotoTrials National Championship Series
AMA Athlete of the Year: Grand Championships
Trevor Brunner — Nicky Hayden AMA Flat Track Horizon Award Winner
Blake Davis — Nicky Hayden AMA Road Race Horizon Award Winner
Ryder LeBlond — Amateur Champion, AMA Extreme Off-Road Grand Championship
Jalek Swoll — Nicky Hayden AMA Motocross Horizon Award Winner
AMA Veteran/Senior Racer of the Year
Russell Bobbitt — AMA National Enduro Championship Series
Mike Brown — AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship
Sam Forrester — AMA Grand National Cross Country Series
Martin Howell — AMA National Enduro Championship Series
Paul Krause — AMA National Enduro Championship Series
Sam Markley — AMA Senior Off-Road Vintage Grand Champion
J.R. Schnabel — AMA Ice Race National Championship
AMA Youth Racer of the Year
Joseph R. Cunningham — AMA Grand National Cross Country Series
A.J. Engnes — AMA Hillclimb Grand Championship
Will Myers — AMA/NATC East Youth Trials Championship; AMA/NATC West Youth Trials Championship
Mikayla Nielsen — AMA Grand Prix National Championship Series
Lake Plowman — AMA National Enduro Championship Series
Maxiumus Vohland — AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship
AMA Female Racer of the Year
Jazzmyn Canfield — AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship
Tayla Jones — AMA Grand National Cross Country Series
Mikayla Nielsen — AMA Grand Prix National Championship Series
Traci Pickens — AMA Grand National Cross Country Series
Brandy Richards — AMA Hare & Hound National Championship Series
Mackenzie Tricker — AMA National Enduro Championship Series
AMA Motocross Organizer of the Year
2X Promotions, Porterville, Calif.
Group Effort Events, Jacksonville, Fla.
Motosports Enterprises LTD (Byron Motorsports Park), Byron, Ill.
AMA Off-Road Organizer of the Year
Arizona Motorcycle Riders Association, Mesa, Ariz.
Florida Trail Riders, Debary, Fla.
Full Gas Sprint Enduro, Granite Falls, N.C.
AMA Recreational Off-Road Organizer of the Year
Central Coast MC Association, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
K T Riders, Hopkinsville, Ky.
Touratech USA, Seattle, Wash.
AMA Club of the Year
Hi-Winders, Millville, Minn.
Square Deal Riders, Port Crane, N.Y.
Walden MX, Kingston, N.Y.
2019 AMA Volunteer Award Nominees
AMA Volunteer of the Year — Rights
Matt Bucher, Swanton, Ohio
Tom Cowher, Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Paul Slavik, Huntington Beach, Calif.
AMA Volunteer of the Year — Riding
Matt Bucher, Swanton, Ohio
Kent Fyfe, Etiwanda, Calif.
Kory Young, Hebron, Ohio
AMA Volunteer of the Year — Racing
Ryan Knapp, Columbia, Md.
Christopher Kirk, Hutchinson, Kan.
Kory Young, Hebron, Ohio


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That’s it for this week,

–Ron Lawson


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