Jesse James has been coming to the world’s largest motorcycle rally in Sturgis, S.D., for nearly 30 years. Since then, his name has become synonymous with custom motorcycles through incredible craftsmanship, eventually leading into an empire he built called West Coast Choppers.
But on Aug. 5-6 at The Legendary Buffalo Chip in Sturgis, S.D., James will trade two wheels for four and compete in the nation’s premiere off-road truck racing series, TORC: The Off-Road Championship Presented by AMSOIL.
James is no stranger to off-road racing and has competed in both desert and short-course off-road racing. He feels TORC is building the foundation for something very special in Sturgis by bringing the series to race at The Chip during the Rally.
“I feel like I have a pretty good pulse on that place (Sturgis) and no one’s ever done anything like what TORC is doing,” he said. “Everybody else is like ‘How are we going to make money off the bikers? How are we going to take their money? But TORC is coming in with ‘How are we going to entertain these dudes?’ Short-course off-road racing is full-out entertainment. You get a lot for your money. I think it’s going to go over well. I’m excited about it.
“For the last decade,” he continued, “I’ve been driving trophy trucks, but driving a PRO 2WD in the TORC Series is an all-out battle. We’re bumpin’ and bangin’, tearing doors off and hoods off from contact. These trucks jump 200 feet in the air at speeds over 100MPH. It’ll be some of the best racing these people have ever seen.”
James will race a 900 Horsepower PRO 2WD race truck prepared by Troy Retclaff at his Green Bay, Wis., shop. A former bike builder himself, Retclaff is looking forward to working with James at Sturgis.
“I used to build custom motorcycles and have been a big fan of his (James),” Retclaff said. “I know there’s going to be a lot going on because of who he is, but I’m comfortable with that. I’m simply focused on providing a competitive truck that he can win with.”
Kurt Greaves, brother of PRO 4WD TORC Champion Johnny Greaves, will act as crew chief.
James will face off against CJ Greaves, Chad Hord, Jarit Johnson, Arie Luyendyk Jr., and a very competitive PRO 2WD TORC field at the inaugural ‘Battle At The Chip.’ CJ, the current PRO 2 points leader, is ready to see what James brings to the track.
“I’m looking forward to it for sure,” Greaves said. “He has driven a lot of stuff in his life so it will be awesome to see what he’s made of in a TORC truck.”
TORC President BJ Birtwell said James’ involvement in the inaugural race at The Chip is a positive start for what will be a permanent off-road racing facility there. “The addition of Jesse James to our PRO 2WD field is certainly going to stir up some conversation and be a great way to kick off TORC Racing in Sturgis. His background as a desert and short course off road racer mixed with his passion for building some of the world’s most recognized custom motorcycles, makes this a natural opportunity.”
The inaugural Battle at The Chip in Sturgis, S.D., will take place at The Legendary Buffalo Chip on Aug. 5-6. For ticket information, visit TORCSeries.com and to follow the series on social media, visit Facebook.com/TORC and on Twitter and Instagram at @TORCOffRoad.