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Kanook 02-22-2012 09:36 PM

My journey to V2R and other racing nonsense
Well i figured with the prodding from a fellow rider, that its about time to start this thread. I'm not usually the type of person who talks about himself or what he has accomplished but i figured what the hell, no better time than now to start. Even though i've spent the majority of my life riding motorcycles and in my youth racing BMX, i never thought i would be actually be living my dream of desert racing. I grew up in the desert of California and always had a dirt bike but for the last 22 years i've lived in Utah and have spent most of my riding hours on the pavement. That is until a little over a year ago when my wife helped me buy an XR650r for my 40th birthday. That next spring i did my first desert race and i was sure i was going to die. I was completely unprepared. Up until that race i had been off road on the BRP maybe 4 times with each ride maybe 20 miles. But even though i left that race with a DNF and pain in every muscle, i stuck with it. I got back in touch with my old friends Frog and Fano, and with their help, I began riding faster and further and did 3 more USRA desert races and the BOR Jackpot 250 where i had a 3rd place finish. I was hooked on this desert thing, and even though the 650R is a great bike it was a lot of bike to throw around, so i sold it and bought a CRF450x.
The 450x i purchased was fortunately pretty well set up and in the past 4 months i've been busy trying to ride as much as possible, get familiar with the bike, and get the suspension dialed in. So with the new year and a more capable bike, and the fact i'm not getting any younger:(:, i've decided to challenge myself and try for a solo V2R run this year and race smaller desert races mixed in starting this coming weekend with the USRA Rhino Rally. A fun little 77 mile race in St.George Utah.
I've also been trying to get as much support as possible. Right now i have the backing of Wrights Motorcycle which is a great local shop here in SLC which offers parts and service for any bike you may have, Lone Peak Packs who make great packs and panniers for the bicycling community but also make really nice durable hydration packs and are always willing to do custom orders, and MX1West who are a leading distributor of Acerbis riding gear and Mefo bibs which i plan on running for my upcoming year.
So thats basically it. Ride more, ride further, finish Vegas to Reno, and have fun. I will try to keep this thread updated with photos, bike prep info, and ride/race reports as much as possible and i welcome any comments or suggestions.
Thanks for reading.

fano 02-23-2012 07:36 AM

Another old fart going racing. :freaky

Genghis Swan 02-23-2012 09:42 AM

Good job kanook, I'm also attempting a solo V2R this year. Should be fun.

Kanook 02-23-2012 11:01 AM


Originally Posted by Genghis Swan (Post 18054979)
Good job kanook, I'm also attempting a solo V2R this year. Should be fun.

Thanks. With all that's required to do a race like V2R I'm afraid that saving enough money is going to be my biggest challenge.

Kanook 02-24-2012 07:57 AM

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All loaded up and ready to head to St. George. The plan is to get down there ASAP and get some riding in before the race tomorrow.

Kanook 02-24-2012 08:13 AM

Had a nice afternoon ride in hurricane with frog and fano. We rode the waterfall trail which is tight and twisted and has a couple spots that put you just a few inches from a very long drop into the canyon below.
Now it's margarita time. :)

Kanook 02-25-2012 07:33 PM

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Had a great race today. Felt great for the first 42 miles picking off rider after rider and came into the pits, took a little fuel, ate half a granola bar and headed of for the second loop which was 32 ish I think. Second loop sent us into the sand. I like the sand. Was able to pick a few more off but was starting to feel the burn. I just kept a comfortable pace and focused on the finish. I had been swapping spots with another rider in my class from about mid way on the first lap and was able to pass him in the sand on the second loop but as soon as it got back into the rocky hard pack he got me back. I knew I was doing good so my main concern was not getting a flat in the rocks and just finishing. I was able to catch my competition in the final sand wash and made my move. I went passed him and jumped out of the wash and could see the pits. I got over the bars and pinned it to the checkered flag.
2nd place in my 40+ amateur class. I couldn't be happier. I rode smooth and had no get offs. Over all postings will be available later.

Kanook 02-27-2012 11:18 AM

Well apparently It was very lucky that I even finished the Rhino Rally. Had it been another 5 miles longer I would have been done. On Sunday the day after the race we all headed back out to the race area to do some more riding. It was steve, fano, frog, and myself. We headed out and was on some fun single track and about 3 miles out I began hearing a noise from my bike. Sounded like a bearing and assumed it was the chain roller but then all of a sudden bam. I felt a clunk and the motor changed pitch so I grabbed the clutch and pulled over. The rear wheel was flopping side to side. Both bearings puked there guts out. I heard the same noise a little after the half way point on the first loop of the race but again thought it was the chain roller bearing going out. How wrong I was. Luckily the wheel made the 40+ miles remaining in the race.
So now my hub is shot and to make matters even worse, when the chain came off it wedged pretty hard between the sprocket and the shifter and must have somehow damaged something on the shift shaft. The bike will go into 1-2nd but to get it into 3-5th you have to push the shifter towards the case with your foot. Hopefully it's something I can fix under the clutch basket otherwise it means I'm splitting the case to either replace forks and/or the shift drum. :(

pilo 02-27-2012 10:59 PM

Hey Kanook. Glad to see you started a thread. I'm excited to watch as you get ready for V2R.

I'm happy to help with the repairs on the 450x if I can. As I said I have the tools to split the cases if required, though I bet it's just the shift shaft that's bungled up.

You can borrow my wheelset and spares box for V2R if you want. I have a nice set of spares from Baja that would be nice to drag along just in case.

Kanook 02-28-2012 06:29 AM

Thanks phil.
You're right it was just the shift shaft. I got it apart last night and you could see it had a bend that was causing it to bind in the case and not let the ratcheting mechanism reset. Not sure if I explained that correctly but I'm sure you know what I mean.
As far as your spares I would love to use them. That is if you are not going to be using them at the same time ;)

M.A.G. 02-28-2012 08:29 AM

We really need to move to Utah. They must put something in the water there that makes all you guys ( and gal ) successful riders / racers. Practically every report that has been based on a Utah rider is a tale of victory in one way or another.

Of course, as soon as I got there, the climate would change or something or they would outlaw dirtbikes, or make the desert an environmentally protected sanctuary or something, protecting the spotted 6 legged hairless chupacabra.

Kanook 02-28-2012 05:08 PM


We really need to move to Utah. They must put something in the water there that makes all you guys ( and gal ) successful riders / racers. Practically every report that has been based on a Utah rider is a tale of victory in one way or another.
Well it's definitely not the air. Most of the time you can chew it.

Kanook 02-28-2012 08:33 PM

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Here is a picture of what my rear hub looks like:eek1

Kanook 02-28-2012 08:34 PM

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And the spacers:puke1

frog 03-02-2012 01:12 PM

I don't see a problem.:lol3 That must have been making one hell of a noise during the Rhino Rally.

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