2018 Schampa King of the Motos Rider Letter #2

King Of The Motos Newsletter To Racers #2 2018



First let me thank you for taking the first step in signing up for the 2018 King Of The Motos race. That will be the easiest thing you will have to do. It will be an accomplishment to get all the CPs and finish. Plus an honor to compete in the toughest extreme course with the best riders in the US.

Our format this year is evolving as well. Everyone will do the Night Race. Everyone starts at the same time.The night race will have a mass start right into rocks and stay very difficult with very little open running similar to last year just a little longer. It could take stragglers up to four hours. There will be no pits, outside assistance or ways to access any help during this course but it will have three VERY GOOD spectator points.

Sunday’s Pro Moto will start at 8:00AM. (We have moved up this start time since the last Newsletter because you will need more time in the afternoon race and we want to give everyone a shot at finishing within time.)  This is a very short (under 5 miles) but extremely technical course that is designed for the top pro riders. It will be marked and have manned CP that the riders pass through. Only Pro riders will be scored in this moto. Amature riders can try and ride this course if they feel the need, but will not be scored. There will be excellent spectating in this event as well, points and positions (and hopefully maps) st the rider’s meeting.

Sunday’s Long Moto is a hard enduro course, 90+/- miles in length where pros will do an additional lap on part of the course to bring their total mileage closer to 150 miles. This is what you have come to expect from KOM, just way longer, more like the first years. The use of the tracker has allowed us to expand where we can go and keep a fair and safe race.  It has some old favorites and some all-new sections that will test you and your line selection. Navigation is as important as your riding skill, just like last year and even before that. There will be spectator areas as well.

For fuel range there will be two remote fuel stops where we will transport a gas can for you. That means you will need two different fuel containers to give us. The way we have it set up is you can basically get gas every 12-15 miles except for one 41 mile long section (as of right now some stuff has never been ridden and may get removed, we’ve already had to take some sections out as they were not possible without assistance.) Containers can not leak and they may not be back in Hammertown till late on Sunday night. The only thing we will transport is Fuel. No parts, wheels or anything else. All riders will pass through the main pit at Hammertown at least once, pros go through twice. Here the rider only can work on the bike along the fence as in year’s past.

I am stressing that the navigation will be more important than ever this year. Past participants have seen how it works–every year we leave more and more up to navigation. I suggest practicing with it. You need to know how to turn on your unit’s backlight for the night race and be aware of power usage if it is not hard wired to the bike. You should understand the scaling of the maps and how that changes what you see. You need to understand that if you are not moving the GPS is confused as to which direction you are pointing, especially if it is moving at all on the handlebar… Knowing how to clear off old track logs (between races) and deciding if you want to have your current track log being shown on the screen are all important. Don’t understand? Learn and practice with it because it will be more important than ever. Our Yellow Brick trackers record your position every second and transmit your location to us every two minutes. This way we can see if you have deviated from the course in real time and then have more accurate back-up data once we have the unit in hand after the race.  The tracker will also signal us when you enter a “geofence” at a CP so we know you are there.

We will announce exactly how we will penalize for missing CPs and how we will determine course cutting at the rider’ s meeting. With that the most important thing is having all of the CPs. So, if a rider gets nine out of ten CPs and finishes across the line first but the fifth rider across the line is the first rider to get ten out of ten, the fifth place rider is the winner. So before the rider with nine CPs is counted in finishing order, all riders with ten CPs finish ahead of that rider. Getting all the CPs takes priority over the position across the line. All CPs will be marked as waypoints on the GPS track log. The CPs will be in positions to eliminate any advantage of course cutting. The track log is in my opinion the fastest and best way to get between the CPs. This will be separate for each moto and not cumulative.

The Pro winner will be the rider with the lowest combined score of finish positions over the three motos. The third race position breaks any ties. For amateur racers it is two moto format with the better Sunday finish breaking any ties.

I have heard of some complaints about the cost of this event. Simply put, this is what it costs. I hate to increase any costs and because of the need of the tracker I have made the offer that I will pay a racer back personally (after the event, after the deal is met) for your tracker cost if you bring me a hard working volunteer who works for the whole MOTOs event (I still owe one rider from last year, please remind me if it is you). One person per tracker and it has to be a new volunteer as I have already had racers tell me that they are bringing a guy who has worked with me for a few years. We need more help, that is the point here. If you don’t believe me, work an off-road race event at a checkpoint or a road crossing and then tell me you are complaining about cost. You are paying for lots of things you do not see and if it wasn’t for volunteer help it would be even more outrageously expensive. This race has a  live show, live tracking, NBCSports coverage a massive law enforcement presence, medical staff, helicopters and requires more permits than you can imagine.

As far as regulations for the bikes go, it is pretty simple. Run what ya brung. You’ll need a safe motorcycle that has a spark arrestor and meets the 96 dB requirement to be ridden off-road. Proper OHV sticker (CA or other state OK). A working headlight for night and some sort of tail light (red–can be attached to rider, in fact we prefer that). Each rider will need to carry a flashlight during the night as well. We will provide the front numberplate sticker (and likely a fender one for the night as it will serve as your score card as well. There is no outside assistance from anyone other than other racers still in the race for the entirety of the race and no spare parts can be delivered at any time. You will not have to impound your bike after the night race.

The course is set up so that one man (or lady,) on one bike can make it around by himself (herself). By race time I will have done it (maybe not the pro Moto 2) on a 2014 KTM 200XC with a stock gas tank. For night I ran an Baja Designs Squadron headlight but remember I know where I’m going and that sometimes helps. There are places where there will be only one track until race day. Johnston Valley OHV area is open to legal riding at any time and there is no restriction on where you can go within the legal riding area right up until the race. We go out of our way to keep the course hidden–take markings you see with a grain of salt. Only with a GPS track will the course make any sense. Please remind your friends and family attending to watch out when near the course and abide by any course marshals advice or suggestions. It is for your safety. We are getting permission to use the Marine’s section to put in something that we thought we would never get back. It is really special and you will be honored to go to this location only in this race.

I am constantly being asked what can I do to prepare and hope to finish. I will give you some advice. Be in really good shape. Know how to eat and drink while being stressed on the bike to maintain energy. Don’t ride anything that has not been tested in KOM-like conditions. Don’t put yourself at a disadvantage with your machinery. Bikes with snappy power, improper gearing, lack of battery power or cooling capability when not moving (did I just describe a motocross bike?) will not help anyone. Know how to navigate a track log even if you have no intention of winning–it is just as easy to follow someone the wrong way as the right way. Have a good attitude and enjoy the pain.

In Hammertown we will have a very limited area available on a first come basis. It is in a new location this year and when we have more information we will pass it along to you. You will be packed in tight with little room to spread out. Everyone will be required to purchase a pass to get into Hammertown but since there is no actual pit crew in the pit areas (rider only), riders will not need any special passes. If you have some sort of special need (and I mean special as you should have already made arrangements with Ultra 4 if you are special) contact me and I will see if there is anything we can do within our limited area. It is mostly spoken for by all the volunteers who make this even possible. And speaking of that we can use motorcycle volunteers to help with crowd control during the rest of the week. Contact volunteers@ultra4racing.com and Jess will be glad to put you to work.

Here is a tentative schedule for the weekend. I will send out a newsletter the week leading up to the event with updated information and if there are any changes you need to know about I will send out that information to all who are signed up immediately if it is important.

The tentative schedule for KOM is as follows:
 Friday February 2nd, 2018
o   Registration Opens – Means Dry Lake Bed
 Saturday February 3rd 2018
o    9 AM- 3 PM  KOM Tech
o    3:00 PM  Registration Closes
o    4:00 PM Mandatory King of the Motos Riders Meeting
o    6:00 PM King of the Motos Race 1
Sunday February 4th, 2018
o   9:00 AM – King of the Motos Race 2
o   10:30 AM – King of the Motos Race 3
o   5:00 PM  KOM Awards Ceremony
Here is the first newsletter for those new riders that signed up after it was sent out. 

See you on the lakebed,