Jarvis Wins King of the Motos - Video

Feb. 09, 2012 By Josh Burns, Video by Josh Burns and Adam Wood
Kurt Caselli leads the pack off the dead-engine start at the first-ever King of the Motos.

The King of the Hammers is known as being a true hard-core off-road race pitting man and machine against everything Johnson Valley can produce in terms of gnarly terrain. Its with this same sentiment that Dirt Rider editor Jimmy Lewis and King of the Hammers very own Dave Cole conjured up the first-ever King of the Motos race.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

The field lined up at the start behind their bike holding to their fenders. Once they fired the bikes to life, they immediately went into a hill climb.

This invite-only race gathered nearly 20 of the best off-road racers to test out the event (consider them moto space monkeys), which was something of a desert race meets trials competition. Lewis said leading up to the race that it would challenge racers and their machines, noting, It is literally a motorcycle survival race.

The racers had maps of the course only a few hours before the start of the race.

Jimmy Lewis addresses the crowd before taking them to the start line to show them where the race will begin.

There were quite a few unique ground rules to this race, as it is truly intended to award the toughest, most well rounded racer. There was no pre-running the course, as racers literally received a map a little more than an hour before the start of the race. GPS units were mounted to their bikes, and they couldnt deviate more than 50 feet off course or theyd be disqualified. Racers also couldnt receive any outside help, be it a support crew or spectator if they did, disqualification. They also had to fill their own bikes at pit stops. It was a brutal 79-mile course blending high-speed desert sections with heavy-duty rock-crawl sections.

Graham Jarvis pulled into the final pit stop just behind Kyle Redmond. Like all of the competitors, he had to fill his own bike.

Although it was his first true desert race in Southern California, English enduro racer Graham Jarvis earned the victory and the big payday aboard his Husaberg.

Graham Jarvis put his enduro skills on display during the King of the Motos race.

In his first real desert race, Graham Jarvis bested a field of other deasert racers to earn the win and 10,000 bucks.

I knew it was going to be fast, because thats what I was told before but it was still a shock to me because Ive never ridden anything like this, Jarvis said at the finish line. So it took a bit of adjusting, and riders were faster than me early on, but I knew it was going to be a long race so I just paced myself and waited for the rocky sections to make up time.

I just tried not to crash and not make many mistakes. I do enjoy the desert racing but at the end of the day I think Id be struggling to keep up with these boys in the desert stuff. Next year Ill give it a go and well see if the event keeps growing. Im sure some riders from all over the world will come here to try it.

Kyle Redmon led the field into Pit 5, just before the climb up Jackhammer. But he was unable to fend off Jarvis and finished second.

Finishing just behind him in second place aboard another Husaberg was Kyle Redmond, who actually entered the final fuel stop at pit five just ahead of Jarvis but had to fiddle with his GPS that wasnt responding and got him mixed up toward the end of the race. 
I thought it was a really good event for the first year. It was really cool. I liked the mixture, he said I actually was making up time in the fast stuff, so I was happy to see that. I was doing ok in the rocks. I mean, Graham is really good in the rocks so he passed me in Jackhammer.

I had a little GPS breakage so I got kind of lost at the end; I think if that hadnt happened I couldve gotten the win, but whatever next year.

Like the early King of the Hammers races, Redmond will be able to take what hes learned from this years race.

I think Ill know how to setup my suspension so I can go faster in the fast sections, like the whoops, just because I know what to expect now.

Destry Abbott had a tough start and went down on the first hill climb.

Destry Abbott earned the final podium spot at the 2012 King of the Motos, though he did have to overcome a few snags, with one being when he crashed on the first hill climb right off the start.

I thought I had it figured out, he said of his line off the start. I was like the first one and Cody Webb was right next to me and I got on my line and there was a rock ledge I tried to jump on but I cased it, caught it a little short, and I just fell back and I think I was 10th to 12th going over at the top and I slammed into a rock with my shifter on my foot peg, so at the bottom of the hill I grabbed a hammer and hammered it back into the rocks.

Destry Abbott rebounded from early struggles to finish third in the race.

But it was a good race. I definitely had some issues here and there, but Im happy, you know, it was a good time. It was extremely tough. Jimmy Lewis and all those guys did a great job. King of the Motos is a true tough race. For my first time getting on the podium its pretty cool, so Im happy.
Kurt Caselli was the first bike up the first hill climb, making the rough start look easy aboard his KTM. Despite this knowledge of the area, the tough course still took its toll.

Kurt Caselli showed his knowledge of the terrain by powering up the first hill climb ahead of the pack. The brutal course finally took its toll on his bike and he was unable to finish the race.

I got a good start, got out front. Its pretty much just like a desert race. Im used to riding out here in the National Hare & Hounds in the same stuff just a little more difficult, Caselli said. I crashed in one of the first downhills, you know, 10-12 miles in and broke my GPS, cracked it, so that kind of threw a wrench in the whole program but I got going fine and was able to still follow the marked trail.

Gas cans were furnished with snacks, goggles and other goodies since only racers were allowed in the pits.

Although Caselli was able to move back into second place near the halfway mark, the course was beginning to take its toll on his bike, especially his clutch.

The course was tough on the bike, so nothing was wrong with the clutch I just was abusing it a little bit and it got hot and the bike just overheated.

It's tough to really grasp the scope of some of the obstacles. This is Jackhammer, and if you look in the middle of the photo you'll see a racer resting for the rest of the ascent.

Although Caselli was unable to finish the King of the Motos, he echoed the sentiments of most every racer we ran into after the event.

It was cool, and Jimmy Lewis did a really good job. Hopefully they have it next year and well come back a little more prepared.

Off-Road.com Newsletter
Join our Weekly Newsletter to get the latest off-road news, reviews, events, and alerts!