2013 Rattlesnake National Enduro, Shan Moore photo
I had the opportunity last week to head out to Pennsylvania for the Rattlesnake National Enduro. KTM was doing the introduction for the 2014 model xcw line. On Saturday we got a chance to ride all the new bikes and choose one for the Sunday race. It was a great opportunity for me. Seldom do I get the chance to ride so many models together. It has been a while since I have spent time on a 250 two stroke, it seems like we are always talking about 300’s. So that was my choice for race day.
The club did an excellent job with the course. It was marked well and much of it felt virgin to me, no whoops or old ruts. Alongside GNCC, the enduro series has to be the most popular in the country now. Never the less, I just can’t quite come to grips with it. The idea of riding six special tests with short road sections in between just doesn’t excite me.
The feel has changed drastically. The top riders are really in moto mode all day. Many don’t wear fanny packs or hydration systems any more, they see their chase crew after nearly every test. The endurance aspect is completely gone. Mike Lafferty actually ran different rear wheels in the tests. In two tests he swapped the new Dunlop MX81 for a trials tire.Yes, I miss the old enduros. But it is hard to argue with the success of the series, such is progress.
I have to confess to having a relatively poor finish for the day. I am not exactly sure why, but I am sure I can think of a whole laundry list of reasons. Honestly, I don’t think I am completely recovered from Romania yet. While slow, I did enjoy much of the challenging course. It was slick and had plenty of rocks, challenging in a way that I like. I am just not very fast. In the last test I was thinking how much more fun I would be having just trail riding, I wouldn’t want the day to end.
I am working on putting all the 2014 model information together, so watch for it in a couple of days.