King of the Hammers has transformed quickly in the past six years into one of the premier off-road 4×4 events in the country. For 2012 the organizers added a class for motorcycles which made for perhaps the most extreme two-wheeled desert race in history. A group of invitational racers blasted across the Johnson Valley OHV terrain before funneling into boulder fields usually reserved for custom-built four-wheeled crawlers. Out of 21 starters, only six would complete the 65-mile course.
King of the Motos race used an open format with no restrictions on the bikes and riders were not able to receive support from a pit crew. The race blasted off at Means Dry Lake at 11 a.m. on February 9. Kurt Caselli led the field off the start aboard his factory KTM as it funneled immediately into challenging rocky terrain. Roughly 10 miles of the course were strewn boulder fields which claimed many top riders, Caselli being one of them. The course had very few markings and the riders were each equipped with Trail Tech Voyager Computer Kit using GPS to show a track log. Each had to follow the electronic guidance and use their own navigating skills to work through the obstacles.
Cody Webb, top, led temporarily following trouble for KTM’s Kurt Caselli. The KTM rider nailed the holeshot and was fast in the open terrain but suffered an eventual DNF.
At the first gas stop it was Motorcycle-Superstore.com team rider Cody Webb leading on his factory Beta after Caselli experienced crashes and his KTM 450 was suffering. He retired soon after, but Webb was also unable to hold the lead position. He battled with Kyle Redmond but eventually punctured a radiator and fell back to fifth.
Graham Jarvis has been steamrolling the extreme enduro scene in the past year, but he’s typically known for putting his trials skills to use on slippery terrain. Regardless of his successful rain-soaked career, Jarvis rode his Husaberg TE300 2-stroke to the win and collected the $10,000 winner-take-all purse. Behind him was fellow Husaberg pilot Redmond and longtime Kawasaki desert ace Destry Abbott. Only three other riders managed to finish the grueling event. Mike Slawson just missed the podium followed by the determined Webb. Despite his East Coast background in the GNCC and OMA series, Geico Honda’s Jimmy Jarrett soldiered through as the final finisher.
2012 King of Motos Results:
1. Graham Jarvis (Husaberg)
2. Kyle Redmond (Husaberg)
3. Destry Abbott (Kawasaki)
4. Mike Slawson (KTM)
5. Cody Webb (Beta)
6. Jimmy Jarrett (Honda)
Below is a video courtesy of Ultra4Racing via YouTube.
Here’s another courtesy of inmotionmx via YouTube.