Epic Redemption for Last Year’s Fail
The KLIM KING OF THE MOTOS extreme enduro etched a new chapter in the continuing saga which has quickly become North America’s premiere extreme enduro. Jimmy Lewis continues to refine his process as a masochistic course designer who likes to torment riders and even haunt some. New for this 4th year, the morning loop was long in length and the afternoon loop short, but long in time. Lewis needed to build a better mousetrap, something harder for the pros.
#10 Colton Haaker won his first ever extreme enduro and earned the crown battling for 3 hours with the big man, Cory Graffunder as the two exchanged leads and at several points navigation notes. Haaker, who just jumped from JCR Honda to Husqvarna for an Endurocross ride , redeemed himself after a botched effort last year that left him provisionally DQ’d before the start of the 2014 edition. A missed checkpoint in 2014 spoiled his chances for a podium. But this year was better for the rising Endurocross threat on his new 2-stroke Husky, acing the holeshot on the main loop.
Amateur no more, Kevin Murphy #150 complexly embarrassed the other amateurs in the morning, leaving what seemed like an eternity (not that anyone was keeping time) between him and the #2.
The soil was moist and there was virtually no dust as riders pig-dogged up, down and across mountain ridges before getting drained down countless rocky canyons. Some of the virgin hill climbs were unrecognizable after the first lap of heat 2.
The new format for 2015
Morning heat of a 27 mile loop with amateurs starting at 8:00 AM and Pros starting at 9:00. Its expected that pros will catch and pass most of the amateurs in the field. There is no timekeeping in the mooring loop.
Afternoon heat of a 12 mile loop with multiple laps starts at 12 noon. Riders line up and pick starting positions based on finishing order of morning heat. Riders continue to ride laps on the 12 mile course until 3 o’clock.
This improved format was designed to challenge amateurs and also attract the world’s most competent enduro riders. Unfortunately the memo did’t get out. Absent this year was Graham Jarvis, the first ever King of the Motos, and Cody Web, 2-time and defending KOM. Jarvis had complained openly last year about a course that was made too easy for the world’s best. The soft-spoken Jarvis was really saying he could’ve beaten Webb, had the terrain been more grueling. Although, the absence of some of the worlds more noted extreme enduro riders, Lewis and collaborative agent Dave Cole are onto something that will stick. The brutal grit of the terrain, the live show, spectating and appeal that attract riders form all over the US.
Making a revolution and changing the paradigm aren’t overnight occurrences. The organic success of a venture like King of the Motos gets staying power over time. Klim, Ultra 4, Cole and Lewis have created a Superbowl tradition. Let’s hope it continues.