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Old 07-14-2013, 05:32 PM   #1
mknight OP
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ISDE 2013 - Sardegna, Italy

Just over a year ago, our family’s entire summer turned into a whirlwind of activity and preparation, in anticipation of what we were considering at that time to be a “once in a lifetime” opportunity. We were preparing to attend the 2012 ISDE in Germany to support our son, brother, and friend, Josh Knight who was riding as a member of the U.S. Enduro Team.

Taking a family of 6 to a foreign country for over 2 weeks to spectate and participate in an international motorcycle race isn’t what most people would consider a typical family experience. However, for our family, there is hardly a day goes by that we don’t talk about our experience in Germany.

It is now July, 2013. We find ourselves in the fortunate position of trying to find a way to get Josh to Sardegna, Italy to live out his dreams on the international stage once again as a member of Team USA at the 85th running of the ISDE.

For those that are interested, I plan to share our experience again this year. For those coming upon this for the first time, I strongly encourage you to read last year’s story here:

This will give a lot of background and context for this year.

Germany provided us with some incredible experiences. We are trying to leverage our experience, but we also know that things are very different this year. Financially, there is no way we can take the entire family again. However, that does not mean we are not 100% behind Josh in supporting him.

This year I want to tell Josh’s story again, from the perspective of Dad, pit-crew, mechanic, and fan, while sharing Josh’s input from his perspective as the rider. However, as I did last year, I don’t want this to be all about Josh. When we get to Italy, I want to weave in a lot of the side stories and perspectives of all the other riders, especially the club-team riders and make this a source for every ISDE fan out there that is interested in how the entire U.S. Team is doing.

If interested, please subscribe, and enjoy the ride.

To start with I need to catch everyone up some on what we’ve been up to since last year. In simple terms, racing and riding, lots of it. It’s what we love to do, and I love spending every weekend with my boys and my wife and daughter when their schedules permit.

Being in Utah, in the January/February timeframe, when everyone else is skiing or snowboarding, we head south for warmer temps. This year we made several trips to California, Nevada, and Arizona. My boys have participated in many of the National Hare n’ Hounds, and have experienced the good and bad of areas such as Lucerne Valley California. Here Josh picks his line next to Kurt Caselli at one of the early NHHA rounds.

Josh stills thinks it’s cool to line up with and race with guys that he still considers his heros and has their posters on his wall. Here he is at a local race near Lake Powell Utah/Arizona with racer and friend David Pearson.

Picking a line for the bomb runs in California is of the utmost importance. Here, he and good friend Skyler Howes spot their line across the California desert.

Racing in California. Photo credit, Mark Kariya.

His younger brothers also love racing, and youngest brother Benji has enjoyed hitting a few rounds of the newly created Youth National Hare n’ Hound series. It’s great to see the youngsters of the sport.

In April, Josh had a pretty scary experience while racing in California. About 10-15 miles into the first loop at one of the National Hare n’ Hound races in Lucerne Valley, he was the first to come upon his friend Skyler Howes after a bad crash. Both were running in the top 10 at the time. Skyler had gone over the bars at speed and broken his back (neither he nor Josh were aware of this at the time). Josh stayed with him for about an hour until proper medical help arrived after other riders also stopped and then carried on the message to appropriate personnel. The weird part of the entire experience is that factory KTM racer, Toby Price, from Australia, had crashed within a few hundred yards of Skyler just minutes before. Toby was upright on his bike when Josh passed so he didn’t think much of it. Toby ended up riding his bike over to Josh and Skyler. Josh attended to them both and it turns out that Toby had broken his neck and it was later revealed that it was nothing short of a miracle that the break did not sever his spinal column. Watching the entire experience play out on Josh’s Go-Pro was incredibly humbling, and I will say as a father, that his composure, attitude, and perspective on the entire experience was more rewarding and satisfying than any race results will ever provide. I have reminded him that these are not “normal” experiences for a 17 year old. I am happy to report that just this past weekend Skyler was back on the bike and participating in his first race. To my knowledge, Toby Price is on his way to making a full recovery. Here is helmet cam from Skyler’s crash (at 12:40):

Updates on Toby here:

In March (the month before the accident above), we were in the Idaho desert for one of the National Hare n’ Hounds. Josh really enjoyed this race and had a great run going on Loop 1. Here he is 3rd through the banners at the end of the bomb run behind Blais Racing’s Skyler Howes, and Jacob Argubright.

Some video of this same start:

In May, Josh had his best finish at a local Utah round of the Hare n’ Hound series, hosted by the club we love and participate in, the Sage Riders (photo credit, Dave Turner).

As much as Josh loves the desert, he really loves Enduro. In Utah we don’t have any Enduros so to participate in any requires us to travel. There are a few that are top on our list. The Ought Six Enduro in Cascade Montana, put on by the Hamilton family, is one of the best. This year, Josh got to ride with his good friend Reid Brown from Oregon. Reid rode for the U.S. Team last year in Germany and was like a big brother to Josh.

But to make it even better, I got to ride with my two other sons, Kobee and Benji. With as much as it takes to keep 3 racers going, I don’t spend much time on the bike these days, but this was worth it.

We rode the Ought Six as a primer for Idaho City. It was a great way for my younger boys to get their feet wet (figuratively and literally) in the Enduro race format because we all had plans to also ride Idaho City. Josh planned to ride LOI (Letter of Intent) again in the E1 class.

Idaho City is one of the highlights of our year. Based on the information I shared last year, you can better understand how it became to mean so much to me.

Despite being in a very dry year, we were fortunate to have some good rains in the days preceding Idaho in June and had great conditions on Saturday. Here is impound at Idaho City on Friday night.

My son Kobee going through sound check and impounding his bike for his first ever Idaho City.

Little brother Benji does the same thing.

They even let their old man join in on the fun occasionally. (I was riding Josh's 250 XC 2-stroke, while he rode the Kawasaki KX250F he rode last year to qualify in the E1 class).

Josh and friends and younger brothers walking the grass track at Idaho City. Nothing in the world compares to the Idaho City grass track.

Me and my two youngest boys on the start line of the 2013 Idaho City 100.

Josh at the start of Day 1.

Just like last year, we had to have a little “drama” on Day 2 to keep us reminded of the fact that so many things can go wrong in an event like this.
Josh rolled up to the start line on Day 2 after a successful first day. When his minute rolled up, he attempted to start his bike…..nothing. Kick kick kick….nothing. Finally, with about 10 seconds to go before the next minute, he had to push his bike across the white line in front of the start. For those familiar with ISDE rules, you know that the bike has to start under its own power on the start line. If the rider cannot get the bike started, he/she must push the bike across a line about 100 feet in front of the start line. At that point, the rider incurs a 10 point penalty, but is technically on the course and can then continue working on the bike. Josh did this, and after 9 minutes had passed, he finally got the bike started and took off for the day.

However, it wasn’t exactly a comforting feeling knowing that the bike had not started, because that is not normal and I was concerned all day long that he would get to a check, and not get the bike started again. It turns out that at the very last check, he had trouble again, and barely left the check on time. Additionally, the bike was starting to run horribly and it would be nothing short of a miracle if he finished.

Meanwhile, back at the home finish check, we as a family were all anxiously waiting. We knew the exact minute he was to arrive, as well as the riders in front of him. Most of the riders had been coming to checks 10-20 minutes early the entire weekend. As each minute passed that the first rider was due, we knew something was up. It got down to one minute to go, and if a rider did not show up, they were going to be late. Josh’s minute came due, and he had 60 seconds to arrive. With 40 seconds to go, Josh rounded the corner on the gas (first opportunity to visibly see the riders) and crossed the finish line within 30 seconds of his scheduled minute.

That 30 seconds was the difference in going to Italy or not. It turns out many of the LOI riders arrived late to this last check, or some just making it within seconds.

I like this picture taken right after Josh crossed the line. The exasperation on his little sister’s face shows the stress and anxiety everyone was experiencing (not just us, but all the rider family’s) .

Fortunately, the bike made it through the day (although we have not been able to get it started since), and Josh ended up with a successful weekend at Idaho City and received the official invitation from the AMA to be a member of Team USA this year in Italy.

For anyone interested, we invite you to virtually tag along in our experience.

mknight screwed with this post 07-16-2013 at 10:56 PM
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:15 PM   #2
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You're such a great story-teller.

It will be exciting to watch the preparation, and see Josh riding the ISDE once again for Team USA!!!
2006 R1200GS; 2009 Husaberg Rally 570; 2011 Husaberg FE570
"Speak to me of summer, long winters longer than time can remember;
Setting up of other roads, travel on in old accustomed ways."
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:34 PM   #3
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Outstanding! It is so cool to see your whole family involved in this passion. Best wishes for a fantastic ride this year!

"If it doesn't blow smoke and make noise, it isn't a sport!" - radio ad for shop in Bozeman, MT
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:38 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by GalacticGS View Post
You're such a great story-teller.

It will be exciting to watch the preparation, and see Josh riding the ISDE once again for Team USA!!!
In for following and for any support I can offer. Hopefully you are doing shirts again.

Sent from my DROID RAZR
Thank you MX1WEST, Highway Dirt Bikes Lindsay Machine, Smart Performance, SPS for the Support
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Old 07-14-2013, 07:29 PM   #5
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I am So in for this!

Go Josh!!!!
It's the Most F5orite Time of the Year!!!
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:19 PM   #6
on the gas or brakes
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Awesome part DEUX !!!!!!!!!

Go Josh !
Thanks for the 2015 support: BELL HELMETS, SCOTT USA, Kriega USA, SEATCONCEPTS.COM , Galfer USA,, GPR stabilzers, Sidi/Motonation, Masters paint and body, Magura , Motolab , Loctite and Dunlop tires .
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:28 AM   #7
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in for the adventure and great story telling!
I don't know how to ride a bike...yet
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:15 AM   #8
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Mike and Josh.

So excited you guys are doing this adventure again. You'll be getting support again from my fam.

Thanks for taking us along.

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Old 07-16-2013, 07:49 AM   #9
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In! Put me to front of Tshirt list please!!!
On the plains of hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who at the dawn of victory lay down to rest, and in resting died.

Go forth and be a force of the awesome!
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:07 PM   #10
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Let’s talk a little about the bike now. This year Josh will be riding a 2013 KTM 250 XC-F. Most people know this, but at the ISDE, you have to ride in the displacement class that you attempted to qualify.

Here’s a quick ISDE 101 lesson. At the actual ISDE, there are three “classes” E1 (125 2-stroke, 250 four-stroke), E2 (250 2-stroke, 450 4-stroke), and E3 (250+ 2-stroke, 450+ four-stroke).

Many people think that displacement (E1, E2, or E3) is somehow an indicator of skill level. This is not the case. All riders, regardless of displacement class ride on the same course schedule and are competing as a whole against one another, although scores and individual medals are awarded based on respective classes.

Last year Josh rode a KTM 250 XCF-W. As a testament to the durability of that bike, his younger brother Kobee now rides and races it and it has over 100 hours with nothing but regular preventative maintenance.

Thanks to ADS Motorsports of Ogden, they were able to find us an XC-F which is what we were looking for this year. The XC-F is basically an SX (motocross version) with an 18” rear wheel, kickstand, larger tank, and slightly different gearing and suspension specs.

Josh has ridden the bike a little at our local MX track and I rode it for a few minutes as well. The bike rips, especially for a 250F. This thing revs to the moon and is a super fun bike. Everything we plan to do to the bike is purely to improve the odds of preventing a mechanical failure. Other than suspension mods, we will do nothing to the motor.

Here she is getting ready for a makeover.

The great thing about having been through this once already, we both have a better feel for what works and what doesn’t work. In seeking out sponsors and support his year, we only targeted products that we 100% believed in and know that they will offer an improvement from stock.

Here Josh is installing a set of Dirt Tricks sprockets front and rear along with zinc coated Dirt Tricks rotors front and rear. I may sound like a commercial, but these things wear like iron. His younger brother still has the exact set of sprockets used last year in Germany with over 100 hours on them, and we have no intention of changing them out any time soon. They were coupled with the highest quality Regina chain we could buy.

Another product and sponsor that we firmly believe in is TurnTech Battery. The 2013 XCF is electric start only! A reliable and quality battery is of the utmost importance. Not only are these batteries stronger, they are soooo much lighter than the stock battery and the bike lights up in an instant with it.

Josh is hard on brakes. With exception to using OEM brake pads, he’ll easily go through a set of pads in a race and he is constantly boiling his rear brakes. The best thing we’ve found to try and avert this is swapping out fluid with high quality 5.1 brake fluid, adjusting his pedal slightly down to avoid too much “drag”, and using OEM brake pads. This year we’re going to try an inline caliper cooler as well as shown in the picture. They also sell one for the master cylinder that increases capacity to help prevent boiling but we tried one last year and couldn’t get it to fit between the top of the master cylinder and the four-stroke exhaust (it looks like it would work on a 2-stroke). If anyone knows of one that will fit the 4-stroke, we’d like the increased insurance.

The bike is currently torn down and we’ve got lots more to install to get it ready.

Our big hangup right now is getting lights installed on the bike. Trail Tech has provided us with some awesome stuff to make it happen, and I’ll post more when that is ready. But, in the meantime, if anyone knows how to get a headlight to fit with the new 2013 front fender design, let us know. Enduro Engineering sells a small conversion kit, but they’re out of stock.

The UPS guy has pretty much been making a daily delivery at our house. He just chuckles when he comes to the door. Much more to come on the bike setup.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:51 PM   #11
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:12 PM   #12
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San Francisco Motorcycle Club

Thank you: MX1West, Renazco Racing, KTM Twins, Rally Management Services
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:18 PM   #13
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try for a lighting kit.
I don't know how to ride a bike...yet
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:26 PM   #14
mknight OP
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Originally Posted by dmaxmike View Post
try for a lighting kit.
Thanks for the recommendation. Others suggested the same as well. I called them today and they were very helpful. Unfortunately, they do not have a KTM kit that will fit a 2013 SX or XC either, however they did recommend a Polisport MMX aftermarket light. It has the rubber-straps similar to OEM, but somehow tucks in under the 2013 fender in a pretty sano way. There is a picture of one on a 2013 front fender on their website.

They wire it with KTM OEM style connectors before sending it, so I went ahead and purchased one. We already have an OEM light and a Trail Tech X2 light, but neither will fit on the 2013 fender.
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:31 AM   #15
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huh I wouldn't figure the SX/XC fenders would be different from the XC-W/EXC fenders. that's strange for KTM as a lot of there stuff crosses over from model line to model line. oh well you got one on order so that's all that matters.

is the only reason you guys went for the XC is the suspension? is Josh going to miss the six speed from last years XC-W? and are you doing T-shirts this year as well?
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