Surviving the Glen Helen 24 Hour

2020 Glen Helen 24 Hour

The 24 Hour Endurance Race at Glen Helen Raceway is anything but easy. The course features part of the motocross track, REM track, truck track, pavement, and trail system that Glen Helen offers. Our test riders grouped together last minute to race in the Industry Class. Sean Lipanovich, RJ Wageman, Travis Fant, Jared Hicks, and Sean Foos worked as a team from Friday to Sunday to make things happen. The team rushed around to Walmart, Autozone, gas stations, hardware store, and made phone calls to put together a package that would last 24 hours on some of the toughest terrain in Southern California.  No mechanic, no spare parts…just a bike and 5 riders. Photos by Travis Fant and Sean Renshaw (@fullthrottlephoto_usa)

We aren’t 100% about what we’re about to say but we have a sneaky suspicion Editor Ron Lawson wouldn’t give us a final answer on what bike we were riding until the last minute to test the team on their coordination and effort. RJ Wageman and Jared Hicks working on the bike as Russ Wageman in the background prepping bikes for Day in the Dirt.

Our 2020 Industry Class CRF450RX. We didn’t go full tilt. Just the basics here. A Baja Designs Squadron Pro Led Light was installed up front. RJ Wageman race prepped the bike while Jared Hicks worked on the graphics and Travis Fant designed an odd looking front number plate.

Attention to detail or lack there of. A hand drawn front number plate to top off the last minute decision to race.

One last look over in the pits before racing begins with RJ Wageman making final adjustments to accommodate all our riders which range in size/weight.

RJ and Sean Foos making adjustment prior to the race.

Test Rider Sean Foos probably wondering if we have enough gas to even finish the race. The Coyotes weren’t even sure if there were spare bolts lying around.

The Coyotes. Jared Hicks, Sean Lipanovich, RJ Wageman, Travis Fant, and Sean Foos . A brief team meeting consisted of a lot of goofing around and a little bit of planning.

Sean Lipanovich was the first rider out. Here is a view as teams were put in rows by class.

Sean Lipanovich ready to go and on the line with RJ Wageman eyeing the competion. Sean Foos held the bike and helped on the line as our group took off.

Sean Foos held the bike as Sean Lipanovich did a warm up and listened closely to the Glen Helen staff as they gave instruction on how the race would begin.

Sean Lipanovich racing through the deep rocks on our CRF450RX. Sean was first out and got a smooth track with a mid pack start. Smooth doesn’t mean easy. Most of the ridge lines and course didn’t have any ruts or bumps to bank off of which made traction less than spectacular.

RJ Wageman, Travis Fant, and Sean Foos making their rounds to watch Sean L get some laps in. RJ brought a mini bike to have transportation at the race. We don’t think he had this set up in mind though.

Sean Lipanovich racing around the REM portion of the course.

Test Rider Sean Foos using his long legs to soak up the steep jumps after the rocky trails just behind him.

Jared Hicks flew from his home in Alabama to come race the 24 hour with his friends. Jared raced on the Dirt Bike team back in 2015 and wanted a chance to better his scores from last time.

Jared Hicks raced the 24 hour just 4 months after ACL surgery on his right knee. He didn’t put his foot down the entire time.

Our Video expert Travis Fant on the hard charge on one of the steep Glen Helen hills.

RJ Wageman navigating through the rutted and rough terrain mid day. RJ was doing double duty as a rider and lead wrench for the the team.

RJ looks relaxed because he was. Team strategy was never to push it. We wanted to have smooth and consistent laps. Going a little slower kept the bike in better shape and avoided problems.

Jared Hicks climbing up the ridges. You can see how rocky it got during the race.

Travis Fant finishing up the long LA Sleeve hill toward the back portion of the track. This was one of the more dreadful parts of the track. It was square edged, hard, and extremely slick.

Jared Hicks getting the most out of the CRF450RX in the dusk. Light didn’t last long this year as the 24 hour was pushed closer into the latter part of November.

As the sun started to set the team installed the Baja Designs light for ultimate visibility. We ran the regular number plate during the day time to avoid the light getting hit with rocks or taken out before we really needed it.

RJ entering the pits section and getting instructions from the team briefly before doing another lap. The team did 3 laps per rider to keep everyone fresh and allow everyone to keep the bike in good shape. Each rider had a dedicated task as the bike rolled into the pits.

Sean Foos setting up lights as the sun went down by 5pm on Saturday night.

Jared Hicks using his Walmart $10 light he purchased the day before on his helmet and the Baja Designs set up that was provided

Travis Fant did have some light issues around the 12am mark. The helmet light got caught on a branch and disconnected. It was extra dark for Travis for a few laps. The Baja Designs light led Travis back to the pits for a quick adjustment and more racing.

Travis dropping into the deep rocky part of the course .

Jared decided to remount his Walmart light on the jaw piece. It was shining down at the handlebars during his laps at 2am. He didn’t seem to mind too much but did mention it wasn’t as bright as the last go around.

Travis getting ready for another 3 laps in the middle of the night. Smiling on the outside but crying on the inside. The course kept getting rougher and rougher. The team keeping an eye on 2nd place as they slowly faded back with mechanical issues. This allowed for the Dirt Bike team relax. During the day program times were close and no one was making it easy to stay in 1st place.

RJ Wageman was cool, calm, and collected through the night. RJ was able to post some very quick times for the team and help out with the wrenching. The team only flatted once and RJ was there to save the day when it happened. He also helped dump the oil at the 12 hour mark of the race.

Sean Lipanovich in the deep canyon

Sean Foos crouching under the deep brush to avoid being taken out by a branch

Sean Lipanovich wide open on the course

RJ full steam ahead as the sun slowly started to creep over the mountains and provide more light.

Jared Hicks doing his final laps of the race at 7am on Sunday morning.

Sean Foos nearing his last lap for the team and making sure it was a good one.

When the dust settled the Dirt Bike Magazine Industry team was able to capture the win. Travis Fant brought it home with the final 3 laps of the race. We had a good lead but 2nd place wasn’t backing down and made sure we stayed honest until the checkered flag was waving.

The band of misfits celebrating their win at Glen Helen Raceway. 1 bike, 5 riders, no mechanic, no back up parts, and memories to last a life time. Congrats to Jared Hicks, Sean Foos, Sean Lipanovich, Travis Fant and RJ Wageman!

Award Ceremony minus RJ. RJ went home early to wash the bike and clean everything up….and to take a hard earned nap.



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