***Sumter National Enduro 2016***
We had a blast to say the least.....
This past weekend we went to the 2016 Sumter National Enduro, which is Round #1 of the #NEPG Series. With rain and cold temperatures in the forecast. We had the right gear packed, but still had our hopes set high.
Packed and loaded we left the Dillsburg Pa area around 2am Saturday morning. The plan? Drive Straight through, beat traffic and end up at Battery Park Off-Road in SC, for a little pre-race shake down on Saturday. The drive went drive went without a glitch and put us at Battery Park at 12pm.
As we stepped out of the truck, onto this foreign sandy soil, we were met by overcast skies and a cool almost northern feeling air. The temperature was right around were they predicted, 41 degrees. Cool for the area, but still.... we needed some seat time. This weekend was going to be the first time I(Jared) rode the new '16 Beta 300rr Race Edition. I had only done a break in period around the shop and my house. So this weekend would be the first test for this years model.
We only put a handful of laps around the property in. We were met countless times by high water and blocked off trails caused by all the rain early that week. With more rain in the forecast and low cold temperatures for Saturday night. We had a quick realization that we had our work cut out for us on Sunday. We cut our ride day pretty short, and headed for Sumter.
After a quick stop at the Event to register, and a bite to eat, we finally made it to our hotel. Spent time going through what time we needed to be up and when we would heading out. Our plan to call it an early night went PERFECT ;) almost without even trying haha
Race Day, We've all been there... Stepping out of the Hotel or Camper just to look up at the sky. Confirming if the weather men were right or not. Despite the forecast, it hardly rained at all, and the temperature was about 12 degrees warmer then what they anticipated. Arriving at the event, prepping bikes and loading the chase truck, we were ready and waiting for the 86th minute(our row).
Test 1- The soil was PERFECT, against everything we had thought. The clay based sand, locked together with the rain from the week. It was probably the best southern soil I had rode. The section was fast, yet had enough spots were you had to "lock to lock" the bars and weave your way through. A couple good little uphills and G-outs made for a very good well rounded start to our day. Ended up passing many guys who turned on the heat(speed) too soon and ended up off the trail in pile of sand and pine needles. I made my mind up before the event o keep my sections smooth and clean. Try to keep my bike upright and moving forward.
Test 2- I really started to pay attention to the new Beta through this test. Nerves leveled off and I really started to push. The dual map switch is unbelievably good! Coming into a fast open section you click into the "hot" setting and the power deliver is insane. The hit is very pronounced, making your front end light, which is exactly the key when fighting deep sand and big dug out whoops! On the other hand flipping it to the "cold" or "soft" setting when entering a bar twisting switch back section make it seem like your riding a completely different bike. The power delivery is SMOOTH almost non-existent. The best of both worlds linked together by a toggle switch.
Test 3- Roots, roots and more ROOTS! At row 86, we had less of a "smooth trail" this section and more of a "pick your line, gas it and hold on" trail. :) The thought that you could squeeze your bike with your legs and fight it, quickly faded. Realizing that you had to let your bike do the work, trust those tires, focus on throttle control and just look ahead. This test was the longest of them all, putting your conditioning and ability to pace yourself to the test.
Test 4- SWAMP SECTION- You know when I talked early about how we were worried about the wet....and the mud? This was ten times worse then I thought it was going to be! The middle 2 1/2 miles of this test was a MESS. I never realized how much thick sandy clay based mud robs powers, even from the biggest four strokes. That is until I saw a dozen of them stuck engine case deep in South Carolina Mud! Somehow, I made it through this section clean......SO TO SPEAK!(haha) I can tell you this much, my hand didn't leave the WOT position much.
Finally making it to the chase truck at the end of the section. I grabbed a water bottle, a fresh pair of googles and gloves. Needless to say, I was ready... Ready to be back at truck with a cold beer in hand :) but I re-focused. I pulled it all together and lined up to wait for that 86th minute on the clock....
Test 5- I remembered this section from the year before.....Loomy pines, sapling fields and whoops for miles. As I started the shortest, and last section I regained focus. Just long enough, then washed my front end out half way through coming out of tight turn, I could feel fatigue setting in. I collected myself, stayed focused on my breathing and just keeping it smooth. I made quick work of the remainder of the course, and our race day was complete.
I ended up finishing 11th in my class. No big victory by any means, but I had a blast! Great event and good course lay out.
Surrounded by great company and making great memories, that's what its all about. That's why I ride and that's why the Motorcycle Industry is our HOME. Till next ride, event or adventure.... like always
~Go Ride Something~