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Old 11-16-2013, 05:07 PM   #106
Donkey Hotey
De Jo Momma
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Location: 20 Mule Team Trail (Palmdale, Ca)
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I'm not sure how many people realize how big the outpouring has been.

Right now, there are eight individual threads just on this site, talking about this.

Lest anybody think that it's only the internet, I just drove through his neighborhood a few hours ago (a mile from my house). An otherwise quiet, suburban neighborhood is packed with cars and pickup trucks for a block in both directions.

I had my normal Saturday lunch, was flipping through Dirt Rider...and there was Kurt. Damn. I'm reposting below what I posted in Jo Momma so any family and friends who read the comments can see it.

DAMN! This just absolutely sucks. Kurt is a local to me...which is to say, I know where his house is and used to see him around town a few times a year.

Two stories I'll share here since the JM thread will probably get the most traffic.

I think it was 2005 or 2006. I was sitting in the local Baja Fresh with either Dirt Bike or Dirt Rider magazine. I'm just eating my lunch and flipping through the magazine. Two tables away is a group of 20-something guys and one of them keeps looking over at me with this big grin. I can't figure out why this guy keeps looking at me, or maybe he's looking past me...whatever.

As I'm flipping through the magazine, I turn past a page with a huge photo of a guy from the ISDE coverage (pretty sure he was a privateer American that year). The face looks really familiar but, I can't quite place it.

Meanwhile, this guy at the other table keeps looking at me. I swear, I turned past the page and kept going. In a minute or two, my brain finally wires the two realities together and I flip back to that page and read the caption below it. I look up and there is this guy, still smiling--that characteristic Kurt smile. I finally ask, "Is that you?"

He gives an almost child-like nod with the smile. "Yeah!" Man, I was just blown away. I went on and on about what an amazing honor that must have been for him to go to the ISDE and to be part of one of the great motorcycling events. I don't follow much racing but, I knew that getting to compete in the ISDE is a huge deal. We talked for a few minutes, then they left--a genuinely nice guy.

Fast forward 8-9 months. I'm out killing an afternoon and going to some garage sales on my way home from lunch. I get to one and there's not much to see but, there's a giant, KTM box van on the opposite side of the street. The garage door is open and there's a guy working on a couple of KTMs in the garage. I can't resist walking over there and saying hi. Anybody that into KTM has to be somebody I'd get along with.

I walk into the garage and introduce myself (first name only). He introduces himself as Rich. We talk a few minutes. He just got through wrestling a mousse into a rear tire and was remounting the back wheel. "These are pretty nicely setup bikes. You obviously race."

"No, they're my son's bikes. I just work on them." Just as he's saying that, I notice Kurt's name on the back fender."

"AHHH! You're Kurt's dad. Damn, good to meet you."

Anybody who loved motorcycles was instant friends with that family. Kurt was out on a bicycle training ride but, returned a bit later. He remembered me from Baja Fresh.

ISDE coverage just coincidentally was going to be aired that afternoon. They invited me to come in the house and watch it with them. So I sat there the afternoon watching ISDE with Rich and Kurt Caselli.

Afterward, Kurt asked if I collected motorcycle posters. He dug around in the back of their truck and pulled out one of his KTM-issued posters. This time I had the sense to ask him to autograph it. He gave me a handful of euro-market stickers for my 620 Adventure (told him I was going for the Dakar look on it). We spent a bunch of time talking about Dakar, how badly he wanted to go, the loss of Fabrizio Meoni, etc, etc.

As I was leaving, Kurt was planning with one of his friends drive out to the desert to look for old abandoned couches. They were salvaging foam for their foam pit in the backyard. Of course, he needed it to land his CRF50 after practicing "sweet jumps."

Since then, I either saw him in traffic around town or ran into him at the gas station a few times. There was always that smile. His dad, Rich, passed away a few years ago. Now this. Condolences to Kurt's mom...too much loss, too close together for one person to deal with.

You're going to be missed, dude.
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Old 11-16-2013, 05:12 PM   #107
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I just finished my AMA magazine for the month of December. Got it yesterday. How ironic that the write up about his accomplishments and promising future arrive the day of his passing. He will be missed.
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Old 11-16-2013, 05:37 PM   #108
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Farewell Kurt...........

Like everyone else, I had heard it was a booby trap, which made me sick to my stomach.
Speed is reporting the team has recovered the bike and it looks like
he may have hit a small animal.
A terrible tragedy no mater what the cause.
"If you can't be handsome, be handy": Red Green

Current Bike: 2002 BMW R1150GS
Ghosts of motorcycles past: Super Tenere, KLR 650, DRZ-400, KTM 200EXC
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Old 11-16-2013, 05:40 PM   #109
I look lived in.....
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I am utterly in shock...I am glad that it was not a man made obstacle.
The massive Raider Nation is beyond doubt the sleaziest and rudest and most sinister mob of thugs and wackos ever assembled. Hunter S. Thompson

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Old 11-16-2013, 05:50 PM   #110
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Location: Albuquerque, not New, not Mexico.......
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Originally Posted by Gitana View Post
From Taylor Robert's FB page:

"I want to make something very clear and stop the rumors. Kurt Caselli did not crash because of a man made booby trap, a spectator, or any other nonsense that people are saying about his accident. My teammate Ricky Brabec was the fist person to Kurt which was in a very secluded area with no Spectators. Ivan Ramirez showed up shortly after Ricky. They decided Ricky would go get help while Ivan stayed with Kurt. Even though the news didn't come out until the night time the accident happened while there was still daylight, and didn't have anything to do with racing at night. This was merely a racing accident and had nothing to do with booby traps, spectators, or another vehicle so please stop spreading rumors."

Thanks, Git.

Godspeed, Kurt.
Work hard. Play hard.
Team Dead End. The drinking team with a Trials problem.
2-Time winner of the coveted "Best Shenanigans" award at Capt. Rick's annual BBQ.

Brewtus screwed with this post 11-16-2013 at 05:53 PM Reason: Damn. Buffoonery has no meaning when good folks die. Godspeed...
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Old 11-16-2013, 05:57 PM   #111
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3 months ago

Kurt at the KTM Adv.Rally @ Steamboat 9/15/13
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If you're not the lead dog the view is always the same!
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:05 PM   #112
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1 more

Steamboat KTM Adv. Rally

Just numb......
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If you're not the lead dog the view is always the same!
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:18 PM   #113
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Steamboat 9/13/13
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:53 PM   #114
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:58 PM   #115
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I'm so sad.. I don't know what else to say...
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Old 11-16-2013, 07:06 PM   #116
Donkey Hotey
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Kurt's dad Rich passed away back in 2008. In looking up some of that history, I found this little tidbit. It's not only a glimpse into what Rich was like but, also what kind of guy Kurt was:

Originally Posted by Kurt Caselli
It is with great sorrow that I am writing this letter on behalf of myself and my family. With the loss of my father, things are definitely different in my life and in so many others. It wasn't until now that I realized how many people and hearts my dad has touched. He was a loving father on and off the track and a true enthusiast of motorcycle racing. I lived by his side listening and learning only to dream of being the man and father he was to my sister and I. My mother is the strength that held all of us together, and in her loss, I am stepping in to try and fill the shoes my dad has left.

The past few months, though sick, my dad was working on getting this year's ISDE team up to par and supported to its fullest. In his memory and his dreams I am doing what he couldn't finish. Although he won't be able to be by my side at this year's ISDE, myself and my teammates will hold our country's flag proudly, and I hope my father's name will be held in the hearts that he has touched.
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Old 11-16-2013, 07:08 PM   #117
The Griz
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Originally Posted by crillyiv View Post
I'm glad to hear from those who are there that it wasn't a trap. The loss is obviously no less, but somehow it still matters.

me entristece

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Old 11-16-2013, 07:17 PM   #118
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Straight from KTM. Kurt Caselli, a great racer, a fine person RIP
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Old 11-16-2013, 07:23 PM   #119
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Old 11-16-2013, 07:40 PM   #120
Inspired by Trevor W
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I didn't know him, but was greatly looking forward to seeing him compete in the Dakar this year on a KTM. May the outpouring of support help his family in this tough time.
DR650 Adventure Bike / Supermoto (Build thread here)
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