Wainuiomata’s Jake Whitaker (KTM) leads the senior field into the forest at round two of the Dirt Guide Series near Tokoroa last month.

Auckland’s Callan May was the runaway winner at round two of the Dirt Guide Cross-country Series near Tokoroa last month and he’ll be hoping he can maintain that momentum right through to the end of racing at the third and final round this Sunday afternoon.

However, May’s performance that cool afternoon in June, impressive though it was, is unlikely to be enough for him win the competition outright.

His win at round two was his only appearance in the series thus far and so the Yamaha rider from Titirangi is actually down in sixth position overall after two of three rounds.

It is instead Ararimu rider Richard Sutton, Cambridge’s Ashton Grey and Whitianga’s Blake Wilkins who are perhaps among the riders most likely to claim the senior trophy on Sunday afternoon.

Sutton is two points ahead of Grey, thanks to his 4-2 score-card thus far.

Grey finished runner-up at round one and placed fifth at round two, while Wilkins, with a 3-8 score-card, occupies third overall in the series standings.

Others expected to feature near the front on Sunday include Te Awamutu’s Rachel Archer and her father, veterans’ class rider Kevin Archer, while round one winner Ethan Harris – the Rotorua rider unfortunately a no-show at round two – could also spring a surprise this weekend.

Venue for Sunday’s two races – a 90-minute junior race, set to start at about 9.30am, and a two-hour senior race that should start at about midday – is on the same forestry land that hosted both rounds one and two, off Ohakuri Road, signposted from State Highway 1, about halfway between Tokoroa and Taupo.

In the junior grade, it could be a great battle on Sunday between Taupo’s Wil Yeoman, Whangaparoa’s Daniel Refoy, Oparau’s Hunter Scott and Cambridge’s Bailey Morgan, to name a few.

Yeoman won round one by less than two minutes from Refoy and he followed that up by also winning round two, again crossing the finish line two minutes ahead of the second-placed rider, and on that occasion it was Scott.

Now into its 10th year and continuing to grow, the secret for the Dirt Guide Series’ success is that it caters for young and old alike and, while it does offer something to tempt the less-experienced intermediate, novice, junior and mini bike riders, it is also a challenge for the more serious and highly-competitive senior racers.

This final round of the Dirt Guide Series doubles up also as the opening round of the parallel-but-separate NZXC cross-country series, that competition piggy-backing onto select major events throughout the North Island.

The Dirt Guide Series is sponsored by Michelin, Bel Ray, Renthal, O’Neal, DRC, Zeta, Kiwi Rider magazine, Oakley, TCX boots, Yoshimura and Forest Trail Events and SatCo Logging Equipment.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan

Repsol Honda Team rider Toni Bou clinched victory in the fifth round of the TrialGP World Championship held this weekend in Auron, France. Takahisa Fujinami posted fifth.

The fifth event of the TrialGP World Championship was battled out this weekend at an altitude of 1700 metres above sea level, in Auron, a French town in the Alps-Maritimes. Despite the grim weather forecast, good weather reigned over both the competition’s main days, the qualifying stage and race day. The course, the usual fifteen sections ridden over two laps, was a fairly selective one, but also one that invited careless mistakes. Rocks formed the prevalent terrain type in most of the route’s sections.

World championship leader Toni Bou started with strength and some dexterous riding skills and, in spite of some negligible errors, was able to finish the first lap in top position, with thirteen penalty points plus one for exceeding the time limit. On the second lap, Bou was able to whittle down the score, securing the win before finishing the course. This is victory number 101 for Bou in top flight competition and thus extends the champion’s lead over Jeroni Fajardo in second overall place to thirteen points.

Bou’s brother-in-arms at Repsol Honda Team, Takahisa Fujinami also found a good rhythm. Thanks to a solid qualification yesterday, he was able to take note from some of the riders who started out in front. The result saw Fujigas holding a provisional podium place at the end of the first lap. The marginal differences between many of the top riders meant that the trial’s final positions were decided on minimal errors and ‘Fujigas’ had to eventually settle for fifth place. The Japanese rider does, however, climb one position in the overall championship standings after the event.

Toni Bou TRIAL: 1st STANDINGS: 1st


It was a very tough trial, we were under a lot of pressure. It was difficult for us to be comfortable since we have fought a lot and we had to make the most of the set-up that we had. It was a trial at altitude, but thanks to the fact that I live and train in the heights of Andorra, we manage it better and better each time. This is a very important victory for the championship.


Results TrialGP of France 2018

Pos. Rider Num Nation L1 L2 L3 T3 Points Team Time/Gap
1 BOU Toni 1 SPA 13 7 2 20 Repsol Honda Team 22
2 FAJARDO Jeroni 4 SPA 16 11 2 17 Gas Gas Factory Team 29
3 BUSTO Jaime 69 SPA 26 12 1 15 Gas Gas Factory Team 39
4 RAGA Adam 67 SPA 27 13 1 13 TRS Factory Team 41
5 FUJINAMI Takahisa 5 JPN 25 24 1 11 Repsol Honda Team 50
6 CABESTANY Albert 37 SPA 33 23 1 10 Beta Factory Racing 57
7 GELABERT Miquel 11 SPA 36 23 1 9 Sherco Factory Team 60
8 FERRER Alexandre 29 FRA 42 23 8 Sherco Factory Team 65
9 NOGUERA Oriol 14 SPA 38 29 2 7 Team Jotagas 69
10 PRICE Jack 34 GBR 38 34 6 Gas Gas Factory Team 72
11 CASALES Jorge 33 SPA 45 28 2 5 Vertigo Factory Team

2019 Husqvarna 4-Stroke Motocross Attack

Coming off Supercross championship-winning seasons by Jason Anderson and Zach Osborne, the 2019 Husqvarna FC 450, FC 350, and FC 250 four-strokes get major updates for 2019.

Most of the changes are for all three motocross motorcycles, and there are a few model specific changes worth checking out.

2019 Husqvarna FC 250


1. The 2019 Husqvarna motocrossers get a new frame. With the triple stated goals of “improved rider feedback, energy absorption, and stability,” the hydro-formed laser-cut robot-welded frame gets more rigidity this year. Sections have been redesigned, and the head-stay mounts have been changed. Also, there are now mounting brackets for an optional skidplate.

2. The polyamide/carbon-fiber subframe is also new for the 2019 Husky MXers. A two-piece design replaces the old three-piece subframe, and drops nearly nine ounces in the process. Vertical stiffness has been increased by a claimed 30 percent to complement the stiffer main chassis.

3. Up front, the triple clamp is also stiffer. This falls in line with the frame and triple clamp, and the increased stiffness comes from reshaping the CNC-machined unit. As before, the triple clamp has a rubber damping system to reduce rider fatigue.

4. Bolted to the new triple clamp is a ProTaper handlebar with a new bend. Husqvarna tells us that the new bend is easier on the hands.

2019 Husqvarna FC 450


5. With a stiffer frame, subframe, and triple clamp comes new settings for the WP AER 84 fork. Husqvarna claims “improved damping and performance” from the update settings for the air fork.

6. The WP DCC shock gets a new main piston and settings. Again, this is about adjusting the suspension components to the stiffening of the frame.

7. The 2019 Husqvarna four-stroke motocrossers get updated launch control and traction control setting. Efforts have been made to increase traction on slick tracks using both electronic control features.

8. There are new exhausts on the 2019 Husky MX bikes. The redesigned exhaust system gets an integrated resonance chamber, easier removal allows the shock to stay in place, and a shorter muffler. The aluminum exhaust system also gets a new anodized coating.

9. Pankl now produces the gearboxes. This isn’t a surprise, as the same consortium that owns KTM also owns Pankl Racing Systems.

10. The cooling system has been redesigned. Husqvarna has lowered the mounting position nearly a half-inch to lower the center of gravity of the motorcycles. The radiator protectors have double duty—improved redirection of roost from the radiators, as well as bracing the radiators. Further, there’s a larger center tube flowing coolant through the frame. This reduces pressure in the system, and makes the flow of coolant more consistent.

2019 Husqvarna FC 350 specs


11. The bodywork has been updated to make it easier to move around on the motorcycle. Husqvarna calls it “Swedish-inspired” and the contact points are slimmer and seamless for easier rider repositioning.

12. The 2019 Husqvarna FC 450 gets a new cylinder head. The SOHC top end is now nearly 18 ounces lighter and over a half-inch shorter. Husky also claims improved bottom end power and throttle response due to shorter valve timing from the new camshaft.

13. The 2019 Husqvarna FC 350 and FC 250 get the diaphragm steel clutch already used on the FC 450. The design eliminates coil springs and saves nearly seven ounces, and Husky claims increased durability.

14. The 2019 Husqvarna FC 250 gets new exhaust cam timing. Husky claims “improved power delivery.”


2019 Husqvarna FC 450 price


15. A new lighter cylinder head is used on the 2019 Husqvarna FC 350. The casing has been changed, and that saves just over seven ounces.

16. Plenty of details have been improved for 2019. The new li-ion battery is lighter and more powerful. There are new lower-maintenance spoke nipples. The throttle cable has been rerouted for easier removal. The external fuel line has been tucked in to prevent damage. There is a new seat profile that Husky says offers “superior comfort and control in all situations.”


Wels, Austria – July 10, 2018 — At round four of the World Enduro Super Series competitors face Romania’s infamous Red Bull Romaniacs. A truly unique event, the Hard Enduro Rallye features a multi-day format and will feature some of the most breathtaking Enduro riding seen in this year’s championship. From the heart of Sibiu out into the wilderness of the surrounding Carpathian Mountains, a memorable week of world class Enduro riding is promised for the 500 competitors from 53 nations competing. For its 15th edition, the race also features a fresh twist – two overnight bivouacs for competitors. With preparations well underway, Red Bull Romaniacs mastermind Martin Freinademetz explains what riders can expect to find as the race to become this year’s ULTIMATE ENDURO CHAMPION continues…

Martin, with the 15th edition of the Red Bull Romaniacs fast approaching how are preparations going for round four of WESS?

Martin Freinademetz: “Everything is coming together nicely for the 15th edition of the Red Bull Romaniacs. I think we have a lot of nice trails we can use this year and we will also visit some areas we haven’t been to since some of the earliest editions of the race. For our organising team it’s very much a 12-month process preparing for the race and no matter how ready we feel it’s always very busy in the build-up to the race. But things are looking good – everything is falling into place and I’m confident people will really enjoy what’s on offer in Romania.”

With 53 nationalities represented the race is seemingly more popular than ever this year!

“After 15 years the popularity of Red Bull Romaniacs is not fading. This year the entries were completely sold out after one day of opening. We have about 500 riders from 53 nations competing, which makes it the largest Enduro race on the calendar in terms of different nationalities. Again, the United Kingdom is the largest with 86 competitors, but Australia, Germany, Austria and now Russia are strongly represented. There are riders from all continents of the world racing. I believe the reason for this is that the race offers something for everybody regardless of ability. It’s five days on your bike with a lot of beautiful memories to take away from it.”

Part of WESS for 2018, what do you feel Red Bull Romaniacs will add to the championship?

“We’re very proud to be part of the WESS championship for 2018. I feel the nature of Red Bull Romaniacs fits well with the mixed-discipline aspect of the series. We are a Hard Enduro race but the kind of riding we have is not solely Hard Enduro, it covers all types of terrain. Some sections are extreme, but a lot of it is very fast and flowing. Also factoring in the Rallye aspect adds another dimension to our round. It’s very much man and machine out in the wilderness. You have to survive with just the tools you carry and for me that is Enduro.”

Along with organising round four of WESS you also competed in rounds one and three – Extreme XL Lagares and Trèfle Lozérien AMV – did you enjoy it?

“I am a race organiser by trade but I’m an Enduro rider at heart and so I wanted to experience other events I hadn’t ridden before. I really enjoyed both races, especially the Trèfle Lozérien AMV Classic Enduro, which was very new for me. It’s important to push myself like that, while maybe also learning new ways and ideas that can be applied to my own race. I hope to race some more WESS rounds before the year is over.”

How do you prepare the course for four unique days of Enduro riding at Red Bull Romaniacs?

 “As the event has grown over the years so too has the staff and man power required to put on an Enduro race of this scale. Each of the four off road days are at least 160 kilometres long, but we actually mark well over 200 kilometres so riders of all categories have an almost unique route for each day. In the past the Bronze route was the main track, with Gold and Silver loops added on. Now Gold riders will stay to their own course for the majority of the day and this eases the passage of traffic on the terrain. To do this we’ve increased the number of track managers. What was once two track managers has increased to four or sometimes six people. In total the race requires about 20 track managers, plus a foot crew of 10-15 people who help clear tracks or de-mark post event.”

We’ll see the return of the overnight bivouac to this year’s race, why is that?

“We’ve reintroduced the bivouac for 2018 and will spend two nights away from Sibiu. However, unlike previous editions, both nights will be in the same location, which eases the logistics for those following the race. The reason for this is to discover new and fresh trails. There is some real wilderness riding to be found here — untouched with no braking bumps or ruts. Even if you are a seasoned Romaniacs rider these days will be new for you.”

Finally, Sibiu’s City Prologue, which opens the event, is synonymous with Red Bull Romaniacs. What wacky obstacles are being planned for this year?

“The City Prologue is an iconic part of Red Bull Romaniacs. In terms of the overall results it’s not so important, but it is something that’s very special to us. Although a lot of people are now coming out into the mountains to watch the real enduro action, it’s good to bring the sport to the people in the city who can’t. My good friend Andy Fazekas is the mastermind behind it and every year he surprises me with his creations. With this being the 15th edition of the race he’s got some wacky ideas in store, so we’ll have to wait until prologue day to see what he’s got planned this time around.”

Round four of the World Enduro Super Series takes place at Red Bull Romaniacs in Sibiu, Romania on July 24-28.

Red Bull Romaniacs Fast Facts

189. Bronze class finishers for 2017
86. United Kingdom is the largest nation represented for 2018
32. Graham Jarvis’ 2017 winning time in hours
27. Gold class competitors entered for the 15th edition
20. Track managers preparing the four off road days
12. Wacky obstacles planned for City Prologue in Sibiu
6. Wins held by Graham Jarvis, the event’s most successful rider
2. Overnight bivouacs for 2018

Red Bull Romaniacs 2017 Podium 

1. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 2. Mario Roman (Sherco) 3. Paul Bolton (KTM)

Red Bull Romaniacs Past Winners

2017: Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna)
2016: Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna)
2015: Jonny Walker (KTM)
2014: Jonny Walker (KTM)
2013: Graham Jarvis (Husaberg)
2012: Graham Jarvis (Husaberg)
2011: Graham Jarvis (Husaberg)
2010: Chris Birch (KTM)
2009: Andreas Lettenbichler (BMW)
2008: Graham Jarvis (Sherco)
2007: Cyril Despres (KTM)
2006: Michel Gau (KTM)
2005: Cyril Despres (KTM)
2004: Cyril Despres (KTM) 

Red Bull Romaniacs Event Information 

Website: www.redbullromaniacs.com
Facebook: Red Bull Romaniacs
Instagram: @redbullromaniacs
Twitter: @RedBullRomaniac

Photo credit: Extreme XL Lagares, Future7Media, Hila Tiberiu/Red Bull Content Pool, Mihai Stetcu/Red Bull Content Pool

Website: iRideWESS.com
Red Bull TV: redbull.tv/WESS
Instagram: instagram.com/iRideWESS
Facebook: facebook.com/iRideWESS
Twitter: twitter.com/iRideWESS


Rnd 1. Extreme XL Lagares (Portugal) May 11-13
Rnd 2. Erzbergrodeo (Austria) May 31-June 3
Rnd 3. Trèfle Lozérien AMV (France) June 8-10
Rnd 4. Red Bull Romaniacs (Romania) July 24-28
Rnd 5. Red Bull 111 Megawatt (Poland) September 8-9
Rnd 6. Hawkstone Park Cross-Country (England) September 22-23
Rnd 7. Gotland Grand National (Sweden) October 26-27
Rnd 8. Red Bull Knock Out (The Netherlands) November 10


After six months off, Kaukapakapa motocross rider Josh Jack took out the opening round of the Woodhill Two-man Series a week ago.

The popular Woodhill Two-man encourages two riders to tag-team for the event, taking it in turns to race a lap of the forestry course. For this opening round of the three-round series, 19-year-old Jack (Colemans BikesportNZ.com Suzuki RM-Z250) teamed up with the son of his boss, 15-year-old Luke Mobberly (Yamaha YZ125), to create the NZFX Builders Team.

A builder by trade, Jack had not had time to train or race in recent months, but none of that was obvious when he shot off the start line, rocketing from the third row of the grid and into the leading bunch.”We got into the lead on about the third lap when race leader Chris Power had mechanical problems,” Jack says. “I pushed pretty hard, because I thought there were other riders close behind, and opened up a good gap.”The NZFX Builders Team was the only pairing to complete seven laps in the three hours. Jack and Mobberly crossed the line ahead of Auckland pair Sean Fogarty and Aiden Kiff, with fellow Aucklander Callan May joining Northland’s Mitchell Nield to take third place overall in the opener, a competition sponsored by Spectrum Motorcycles.

Meanwhile, Mokau’s Adrian Smith was one of several key riders who did not split the workload with anyone and virtually did the job of two men as he finished fourth overall to win the solo section of the race. The 27-year-old sheep and beef farmer made only a last-minute decision to race at Woodhill and he lined up on the 11th row of the start grid determined to tackle it as an ironman on his Blackwood BikesportNZ.com Yamaha YZ250. He soon made up ground on the riders who set off ahead of him. The three-time national cross-country champion battled hard on the sandy, tree root-covered course and said he knew, once he had caught up to fellow Yamaha ace Adam Reeves, of Palmerston North, he had probably done enough to win his class. Smith was credited with a time of 3h 4.09m while Reeves’ time was 3h 5.08m, finishing fifth overall and making it a Yamaha double at the head of the solo class. Sixth overall and third best solo rider was Hamilton’s Sam Brown (Gas Gas EC300).

“It was hard work in the trees and I must have passed 30 or 40 riders from my row 11 start spot,” said Smith. “Just as well the solo riders were scored separately from the two-man squads.”

Round two is on August 25 and the third and final on September 29.