USA Takes ISDE Trophy!
The U.S. World Trophy Team dominated the 2016 International Six Days Enduro, the longest-running team world championship in motorcycling, winning the ISDE World Trophy for the first time and ending the 103-year drought for team USA. Held in Navarra, Spain in October, it was the 91st running of the ISDE since the FIM event was founded in 1913.
The U.S. World Trophy Team defeated runner-up Great Britain by 3 minutes, 38.66 seconds; a lead accumulated over six days of racing. Taylor Robert, who led the team, was also the top individual rider at the event. Robert’s teammates were Kailub Russell, Thad DuVall and Layne Michael.
Often referred to as the Olympics of Motorcycling, the ISDE is a six-day cross-country off road motorcycle race that follows the enduro format where riders follow a set course and have to maintain a set pace. The riders must do all service work to the bikes, and there is strict control over when riders are allowed to work on their bikes.
“We finally got it done,” said U.S. ISDE Team Manager Antti Kallonen. “Not only did we win the world championship, but we also won the individual overall. All of our World Trophy Team guys did exactly as we had hoped. Taylor was phenomenal winning the overall. It’s just as special as last year when Ryan Sipes won the overall, except this year we also won the championship.”
Robert and Russell raced KTM 350EXC-Fs in the E2 class. DuVall raced in the E3 class, and Michael competed in the E1 class. Both rode Husqvarnas.
This year’s ISDE was the first year for the FIM Enduro Vintage Trophy. American Fred Hoess, competing on a 1986 WR250 Husqvarna, won the overall.
“I rode here in Spain in 1985 on basically the same bike as I rode this year, and I’d have to say on Day 5, when we were riding in the mountains and I’d look up at the scenery and smell the two-stroke oil and the burning clutch plates, I’d swear just for a second I was back in Spain and it was 1985 again,” said Hoess, who had competed in 25 ISDEs prior to this year’s special vintage competition.
Minnesota Connection to Snake River Jump
It went off without the hype of Evel Knevel’s attempt 40 years ago, but in September Eddie Braun did what Knevel didn’t. He made it over the Snake River Canyon. Using a steam-powered rocket of the same design as Knevel’s, Braun’s “Evel Spirit” traveled nearly a mile over the canyon, far greater than the 1400 feet needed to reach the opposite side. During the jump the rocket hit and estimated 430 mph and reached an altitude of 2500 feet.
Braun’s feat was aided by the work of Minnesota’s own Ky Michaelson. Better known as “Rocketman”, Michaelson assisted the effort by providing the parachutes for the rocket and overseeing many of the safety aspects of the jump. Michaelson has a string of rocket powered creations including drag cars, motorcycles and a rocket belt.
Michaelson was on hand for the jump and was very confident that Braun would make it safely across. As part of the ground crew they were ready to remotely deploy the parachute or back-up if needed, but Braun was able to do so himself. Michaelson wasn’t surprised that the jump went off smoothly, but did comment the rocket traveled farther than expected. Videos of the jump are available online at www.tr.im/eddie and www.tr.im/eddie2.
AMA Fast Brain Award
Local Flat track racer, Jeremiah Lindberg from Cambridge, MN, has won the 2016 AMA Fast Brain award. He was presented the award at the conclusion of the 2016 Suzuki AMA Dirt Track Grand Championship in July at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds in Du Quoin, Ill. AMA Fast Brain Award recognizes a young racer whose motorcycling talents are matched by classroom performance. “This means a lot to me, because grades have always come first and racing second in my life,” Lindberg said. “So, I am glad that I got an award that recognizes that education is important.” The award includes an educational scholarship that is funded by contributions from AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Bill Werner of Bill Werner Racing, Zanotti Racing’s Dave Zanotti, AMA Life Member Stan Simpson, Tom Seymour of Saddlemen motorcycle accessories, AMA supporter and friend of the AMA David Coovert and other anonymous donors.
BMW unveiled a futuristic concept motorcycle complete with a zero-emissions power plant, self-balancing capabilities, a flexible frame (Like the old Airheads? – MMM Ed.), advanced stability systems and a visor with a display that changes with the rider’s head movements As part of its vision for their next 100 years. They believe that design and technology will make riding both safer and more enjoyable. A master computer would monitor all inputs, then suggest changes to the rider or if you are going to do something really dumb make adjustments itself. The heads up visor could give the rider a rear view, directional information, or vehicle telemetry like speed or lean angle. The visor could even warn the rider of impending collisions. At this point, all the gee-whiz tech is just in the concept phase, but look for versions of this to make its way to production bikes in the future.
Hondama or Yamonda?
Honda and Yamaha have begun talks around combining forces in the production of small displacement scooters for the home market. The talks are in regards to the Class 1 category of scooters, which are electric powered, and 50cc machines. That market has been shrinking in recent years and coupled with increasing safety and emissions standards the companies see this as a way to conserve resources in that part of the market. The plans for collaboration may include development of electric motorcycles and jointly producing 50cc scooters as an original equipment manufacturer. This wouldn’t be the first for Japanese motorcycle makers. Suzuki and Kawasaki joined forces in the mid-2000’s on several models as a way to broaden their offerings without the development costs.