Hi, I’m Erek Kudla. Owner/Operator of Get-Xtr-Eme (GXE), and I’m involved with more things in off-road then most people know.
– Director of the Get-Xtr-Eme Motorcycle Endurance Series
– Director of the AMA National Youth Hare and Hound Program
– Director of the AMA Western Checkpoint Enduro Championship
– Scoring/Managing the AMA National Hare and Hound Championship
– Scoring the Baja Rally
– On site organizing for the King of the Motos
– Full Time Off-Road Graphic/Web Designer
…. and I still find time to race in there some where. Currently running 2nd 250 A in the West Chec series.
I have my hands in almost every facet of Western Off-Road racing, in one form or another. Being on all sides of the sport like that gives me a certain insight. Seeing things that can be updated, changed, things that work, things that don’t work, things that should work… but this season has hit a wall. There is something missing. Something that needs to be added to the sport to make it grow into the next level.
After hearing rumors of teams backing out, Pro’s and Sportsmen riders alike not exactly satisfied with the quality of Western Off-road racing I started asking everyone what they thought. First I reached out to Antti Kallonen, KTM Off-Road Team Manager, to see what he thought was missing as he has raced, participated in and been around TONS of off-road racing. His biggest points for Western Off-Road was that the series’ need to be more uniform, more professional, there needs to be one point of contact at every race for the racers and team managers and the series needs to connect with the teams directly. Then I reached out to a lot of the riders and they had much the same feelings. Besides there own personal gripes as usual. “The bombs shouldn’t be so long” or “the bomb’s are to short” or “the courses are to easy” then “the courses are to tough”…
Next I reached out to Alan Randt, Director of the National Enduro Championship, as that series has become more successful then most people imagined. In the early 2000’s the series was way way way thin. Barely pulling enough entries to cover costs. Then Randt stepped in, formed the National Enduro Promoters Group, and with a few rule changes and a few years of people getting used to the new series it is the biggest, strongest Enduro series in the US and rightly so.
Alan had some very strong words of wisdom, all imparted in two short sentences “The tricky part is working with the clubs. Its a very fine line to walk before they feel you are stepping on their toes and the trick is to instead of telling them what to do work along side them to accomplish what needs to be done.” That in and of itself embodies basically everything I have been struggling with. How do you host a professional, uniform event without making the club’s feel like you are bullying them or telling them what to do?
Another big issue I’ve been seeing is the lack of ridership in general. It’s definitely something that is perplexing being that the West Coast is the purported HUB of off-road with KTM and Husky both basing operations out of California, all the largest sales happen on the west coast and LA County alone is home to 14 million people and we have the largest single District in the AMA based here. Why are we only pulling 200-400 riders per event? It really makes no sense.
We have been planning a family vacation to Michigan all year. I was supposed to go last time but it didn’t work out. This year I had to go for my Grandpa’s (my last living Grand Parent) 89th B-day. I was originally planning on hitting the Idaho City Qualifier to try and Qualify for E1 but I couldn’t get a 125 or 250f together in time and it would take close to $1000 just to get my bike race ready after the last few months of marking/laying course and working events. So that was out 🙁
Then I was just glancing at the GNCC calendar and saw that the closest event to Michigan just so happens to be the weekend after we arrive… Hit up my buddy Jared Bolton who works with Racer Promotions – and we met through Seat Time – to see what’s up with the event. Then it dawned on me… GNCC is the LARGEST off-road racing series in the entire US. What better way to learn about BIG events then to go to one.
May 29th-June 1st: Drive Across Country in our Motorhome
June 2nd: GRAND PA’S B-DAY!
June 6th: Rent Car – Drive to Lansing Michigan to meet with Alan Randt and visit Enduro Engineering
June 6th-8th: Drive to Millfield, Oh for Round 8 of the GNCC Series
– SPECTATE Friday/Saturday – Meet with Racer Promotions and See how they do what they do
– RACE Sunday AM Race – Sportsmen A Class to see how the event is run from the racer’s standpoint
-WORK SWEEP Sunday Pro Race – Trade off with Jared who will be filming for Racer TV and see how the event is run as a worker.
June 9th: Drive back to Onekama, Mi. Spend the rest of the vacation enjoying the lake, my family and writing a huge synopses of the entire undertaking!
I will be taking in EVERYTHING I can, posting photos, writing this blog deal, taking notes, making a video and will apply all the knowledge acquired to better all of Western Off-Road Racing!
Seat Time w/ Erek Kudla – min: 1:14:00