GLORY DAYS- Carl Cranke

By Carl Ribaudo and Mike Webb


Carl Cranke at the infamous Hopetown mud hole.

In California much of the focus was on riders from the South, but Northern California had its share of incredibly competitive racers. Guys like Bob and Bill Grossi, Danny ‘Magoo’ Chandler, Brad Lackey, Charles Halcomb and perhaps the best all around rider Carl Cranke. Carl was one of those very rare racers that no matter where he showed up be it an enduro, a motocross, a hare and hound, Hopetown or Hangtown he was likely going to win his class. Carl who grew up just outside of Sacramento in Fair Oaks grew up racing dirt track but because of the expense shifted his efforts to anything off-road. After an incredible performance in a Trans AM race Carl began a long relationships with Penton motorcycles,  the marque he was most associated with. Carl not only raced Pentons’ but was intimately involved in the development of the Penton line. How good was Carl? Very good. Carl represented  the United States in ten International Six Days and in the process won 9 medals, 7 golds and 2 silvers. No matter what class he rode, he was known to ride in the 100, 125 and 250 class, if he showed up on the starting line he was favored to win. In addition to his racing career Carl was also the West Coast service manager for Penton. Many of us were lucky enough to be decent at one discipline of racing, it’s incredibly rare to be really good at everything. Carl Cranke was great at everything he raced and everywhere he raced. Rare indeed.

Carl Cranke matting the throttle during an ISDT special tests- the drag race. Skunk helmet, tee shirt, Hallman desert leathers and Hi Points highlight one of the heroes and characters from the wild west days of off-road racing.




Considered one of the top trail rides in So Cal, get in your entry to Soboba, the ride is on February 23!





Jonny Walker, fast all night, but crashes held him back. He finished 3rd


DeCoster on the Factory Suzuki slogging through the goop.








Protects the front of your radiator from an impact or flying debris. Also increases side impact protection. It’s made from 6061 aluminum,  no brace is needed and is black anodized for a factory look and easy clean up. Price is $219.95


Extreme Skid Plates are made for  Hard Enduro type Terrain. They extend higher than the Standard Skid Plates, offering a larger protection area covering vital areas of the motorcycle such as water pumps, oil filters, engine cases and Covers. The feature side tabs that come up to protect the Frame Rails and Footpeg mounts. They sell for  $119.95-134.95


Moose Racing Premium Shock Rebuild Kit, Premium Fork Service Kit, and Premium Fork Dust & Oil Seal Kit
Moose Racing offer OE-quality suspension components to rebuild your fork and shock. These quality NOK service components included in the new Moose Racing PremiumShock Rebuild Kit, Premium Fork Service Kit, and Premium Fork Dust & OilSeal Kit are equal in performance to what OEM’s offer. The Shock RebuildKit and Fork Service Kit include everything needed to rebuild your shock orfork while the Fork Dust and Oil Seal Kit include what is needed to fix aleaky fork seal. Premium Shock Rebuild Kit Suggested Retail: $128.95.Premium Fork Service Kit Suggested Retail: $78.95. Premium Fork Dust andOil Seal Kit Suggested Retail: $49.95.



A much more svelte Twebb testing the factory Honda TT machine at Indian Dunes, 1981. Love the shot, but the truth is I can’t slide to save my life and somehow Paul Clipper managed to catch me when it kicked out. The machine was fast, hugely uncomfortable and felt like it was sized for a fifth grader.

Comments are closed.