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Death of Time Keeping?

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The National Enduro Series will run non-time keeping events in 2007. All Enduros will be run with start controls. All check will be know controls. No more time keeping. The AMA (Chuck Weir) hopes to draw new blood into the Enduro Series with this new system.

A new group has formed by the name of NEPG (National Enduro Promotion Group) with Alan Randt as president. Other people on board are Kevin Hines, Allan Gravitt, Mark Hyde and Matt Stavish. Eight time Enduro champ Dick Burleson will be the track coordinator just like Gio Sala is for the WEC. His job is to bring consistency to all aspect of Enduro including course/danger markings and make recommendations to the local club regarding the course and special test.

The NEPG will also provide the clubs with electronic scoring. At this time the NEPG is in advance stage of using transverse transponders for 2007. Riders will have transponders on their bike which gather all the check information. Once the rider finishes, his information can then be downloaded to a main computer.

Sponsors (FMF will be the title sponsor for 2007) are currently approached to help fund the investment to pursue the scoring equipment and have a press person that attend all rounds. Already the response has been very good from the industry according to Alan Randt. Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki have committed to add the National Enduro Series to their contingency program and support this new effort.

A Pro class will be added to the Series with single event dollars provided by most local clubs and an Overall year ending pursue from the NEPG.

A new club in California (not Coalinga), Phoenix and Texas have already submitted an application to the AMA for 2007. One thing that all major manufactories stressed to Randt is that they want a true National Championship, not a regional like the GNCC or WORCS. The plan is to have all rounds count for the Overall Championship, but few a few throughways for all the other classes. Already Kurt Caselli is thinking of attending this 8 round Series.

I got this info off of www.offroadchampions.com

So what do you guys think? Will this bring in new blood to the world of enduro? I for one support this and hope that in the future all events will be run in this format, however on our local forum I seem to be in the minority as many B/C riders want to keep time keeping as it "levels the playing field" whatever that means. So what do you think?

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Wouldn't that just make the enduros into one lap Hare scrambles with checks in the middle?

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I hope it works. I hope it doesn't turn into what the ISDE Ride to Win program did. It killed the ISDE effort in the USA instead of promoting it. The ISDT and ISDE Qualifiers used to be the premier series in the USA with 7 to 9 rounds each year. Now what ? We have 2 to 3 ? The Start Control format isn't that big a deal. We have been using similar rules in the SERA for years. But we still had secret checks. Does this mean no more secret checks in the Nat'l Enduros ? I see this as a compromise between AMA Enduros and FIM enduros. It could work. I just hope it doesn't turn into what the FIM has done to the ISDT / ISDE events. Sadly the prestege is gone in the ISDE events because there is no Nat'l pride. The riders are not even required to wear their Nat'l Colors on their helmets. Rules are too lax on bike repairs too. Well, I hope it works. The event in Michigan that Alan Randt promoted in Harrison , worked pretty good.

Cher'o,

Dwight

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The way it reads, it merely becomes a long distance single loop hare scramble. Why not call it what it is then-a cross country race?

Every time I hear the word "Enduro" I envision roll charts with notations of time at checkpoints, and a wristwatch on the bars. Huh.

Sounds like when the eco-dorks started calling swamps "wetlands" and jungles "rain forests".

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I really think this is a disguised jump straight to FIM rules or Qualifier format enduro. This in and of itself is not a bad thing in my book, as I really enjoy FIM format enduros. As long as it is developed properly with decent course structure...i.e. minimum mileage for loops and maximum number of circuits (like may be used only twice), like Idaho City with one direction one day and the opposite on the second day, etc it will be okay. It will not be a traditional National Enduro Series TimeKeeper, although they have been moving off of that for a while now cleverly.

What I do not enjoy is the disguised fashion of the move by the AMA. As far as I can tell the decision was made to go to FIM rules. Just say it and stand in it. Based upon my analysis, AMA has not stated that this is FIM because they are substituting "points" for "time" between the two rule sets, therefore it is disguised.

I believe, just like Dwight stated above, that if they want it to be unique American Enduro...it still can be. The undisclosed or secret checks are the key. They way it sounds is that they will use known check (check ins) for test starts and "AMA new secret checks" on test or "points taking" sections as the check out of the test. This is not a secret check...this is an undisclosed length test for time loss or "points taking" in the disguised AMA new format...It is a test check out period whether disclosed or undisclosed location. I like the secret ending as it encourages all out test or points taking section riding, but to refer to it as a secret check is not accurate.

IF they make the transfer sections with changing speed averages and allow secret checks...then it is unique from FIM enduro. However based upon my interpretation this is NOT the case and that transfer sections will have set speeds and early arrival will not be penalized. They will also be able to utilize resets or restarts in the transfer sections.

The AMA has already decided the format...the key is whether the true American TimeKeeper faithful backlash will be able to modify the FIM format to be unique to American Enduro with true secret check implementation with minimum number of secret checks in transfer sections between tests or "points taking sections".

I also wonder out loud - What becomes of the Qualifiers if the National Enduro Series uses the same format or so close as to nearly be the same??? I was under the apparent false assumption that they were rebuilding the Qualifiers??? Will they have two different ISDE style event series with one being designated as Qualifiers and one as the national enduro series???

This AMA disguise is more confusing and I believe it was meant to do this so all the anger would be focused on speculation, rather than being directly pointed at the AMA for not including the weekend rider/racer who makes up 90% of the AMA membership.

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I was also under the impression that the AMA would be promoting a new qualifier series like they use to. I think the difference between the new enduro series and the qualifier series will be seperate overall champions, as well as the qualifiers being multi day events, compated to day long as the enduros are likely to be. I just hope that the enduros will stay alive and gain more top riders. It would also be nice for the ISDE to become something to be proud of again. It would also be nice if promoters would have one test a day that was spectator friendly. Like many of the world enduros are with their extreme tests. Its hard for riders to promote their sponsors when no one sees them all day, and thus hard for companies to justify backing riders. The more public the series the better in my book, as long as they do not become hare scrambles.

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This may breathe new life into the sport. I would be interested in doing an enduro if I didnt need a roll chart and a watch.

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This may breathe new life into the sport. I would be interested in doing an enduro if I didnt need a roll chart and a watch.

You only needed a roll chart and watch part of the time. Like a Rally Race. I like the game. I don't like a race that is Zeroable but I like an Overall of about 20 points lost.

Dwight

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I'll say what I've said on some other boards.

1) Start controls are fine, no big deal to me.

2) Closed course requirements are a potential disaster. How will you get decent trail milage if you can't string together different pieces of land with road sections?

They are saying that clubs should get "parade permits" so that unlicenced bikes can ride the roads. Most clubs won't be able to do this.

Furthermore, if closed course bikes are entering nationals, local police won't be able to "look the other way" like they have been doing for years.

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I'm a new enduro rider with one season just moving up to the "B" class and I like the current format. I started riding just to finish and once I could do that I found I was burning a few checks so I marked up a roll chart and started watching my watch and was never more than a minute early. I was proud of that. I finally "cheated" and bought a comuter and got my first 1st place in "C".

Anyway I enjoyed the entry level experience and like the fact that the Enduros are different than the hare scrambles and MX. I think the mental component of Enduros are fun and challenging. I'd go so far as suggest that computers should be illegal.

Also, with the secret checks the club can manage the speed and separation of the riders on the course to keep speeds down in sensitive and dangerous areas, something that will be hard to do if time keeping were eliminated. Remember these events are often held on public land and roads.

Anything that has riders riding faster on the open fire roads of our area is not going to be a good thing. The speed averages keep them under control.

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greatest thing since sliced bread!

They (AMA) got the right folks in charge with NEPG, I mean how can you argue with the biggest names in American Enduro running things?

The way I read it, length of test will still be unknown, ie: the riders won't have the oppurtunity to walk every inch of every special test prior to the event. So physical and mental endurance will no doubt have the oppurtunity for a test at each round, not knowing when the test will come will be the kicker. Not really all that different aside from the fact that it eliminates the "secret check burn" that so many clubs have used to give their local boys a better chance for so many years. I have said for years if you lose the burn and kill the "possibles" game you'll have a RACE until then it is just a game and what factory wants to spend millions of dollars to test their motorcycles in the equivilant of a year long multi state game of Yahtzee?

I'll also dissagree again that the ISDE has lost any prestige in the off-road world, it is still the absolute most important race in the off-road WORLD, the fact that it is not the most important race to most American off-roaders is just plain sad.

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I'm a new enduro rider with one season just moving up to the "B" class and I like the current format. I started riding just to finish and once I could do that I found I was burning a few checks so I marked up a roll chart and started watching my watch and was never more than a minute early. I was proud of that. I finally "cheated" and bought a comuter and got my first 1st place in "C".

Anyway I enjoyed the entry level experience and like the fact that the Enduros are different than the hare scrambles and MX. I think the mental component of Enduros are fun and challenging. I'd go so far as suggest that computers should be illegal.

Also, with the secret checks the club can manage the speed and separation of the riders on the course to keep speeds down in sensitive and dangerous areas, something that will be hard to do if time keeping were eliminated. Remember these events are often held on public land and roads.

Anything that has riders riding faster on the open fire roads of our area is not going to be a good thing. The speed averages keep them under control.

I agree, the enduros I ran in MN had some gravel road sections, and it was explained to me that when they did it like a HS, there was WAY more crashes and injuries due to high speed road racing. The time keeping and check points gave you no incentive to go 80 on the road, unless you had to stop and fertilize a tree! :thumbsup:

But, I'm willing to try one under the new format if there is one run in my neck of the woods, figure give it a try and see what its like.

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I'll also dissagree again that the ISDE has lost any prestige in the off-road world, it is still the absolute most important race in the off-road WORLD, the fact that it is not the most important race to most American off-roaders is just plain sad.

Yes, it is sad. I remember when it was the Olympics of Motorcycling. Country honor and pride was a large part. Now you don't even know what country the riders are from. Sadly the ISDE has lost most of its prestige. I would love to see it back as strong as it was in the 70's and early 80's. It went downhill in the USA when the AMA started hand picking the Trophy and Vase ( Jr. Trophy) teams without making the riders qualify and practice. The USA did the best in World Trophy competition in 1982 when the ISDE was a true survival race. The Czechs lost a rider on day 5 and in the morning, his bike was in impound with his score card checked. We were cheated. We ended up 2nd. 8 out of 36 USA riders finished. I was one of them. I got Hypothermia on day 4 . Blew my right knee ACL out on day 3. It was the hardest event I have ever done.

They need to go back to the rules they had back in the late 70's, early 80's.

Riders had to carry their spares and tools. No one could touch the bike except to air the tires and to pour gas.

I for years wore my blue skunk stripe helmets with pride. Now nobody cares.

Cher'o,

Dwight

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I mean how can you argue with the biggest names in American Enduro running things?

Simple; they are in it for the money. The average rider is in it for fun.

I have said for years if you lose the burn and kill the "possibles" game you'll have a RACE

That's the point. A U.S. enduro is not a race. Even the rule book says that.

While I'm not real excited about this; things do change. Only time will tell if this was a good idea or not.

I've ridden events using the "no timekeeping" rules. While I've had fun at some of them I've never considered them an "enduro". In fact, there is an event coming up in our area at Astoria, IL on August 27 that uses the same basic format. No timekeeping, closed course, etc. I rode it last year and probably will again this year.

I will say that it did bring out some guys that had no idea of what an enduro was but they were having fun racing through the woods.

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Enduro were always a race regardless of the timekeeping. The timekeeping was to make sure that nobody cut the course or went into the sections early. When I first started riding enduros the speed average was a straight 24mph. We would time keep for the first 7-8 miles and then it was a H/S to the end. There were no resets. No bridges across creeks, Bottleneck hills were the rule. You were lucky just to not hour out. I doubt that many want to go back to that kind of race. I say give it a try with the "NEW" rules. I have run the Harrison, Nat'l and it wasn't that much different.

I would still like to have some secret checks though. Just to keep it interesting.

IMHO,

Dwight

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Oh I remember all that DR. 1972 was about when I started riding enduros. Dang I'm getting old. :ride:

I just hate to see all timekeeping go away and that is what will eventually happen. Not this year or next at a local level, but this is just the start.

There have been lots of good changes and you brought up one of the best which was resets. I remember riding wide open for miles on roads trying to get back on time. I'm surprised more of us didn't get killed. :applause:

And the rule book does say that "speed is not a factor" which we all knew was total bs. :thumbsup:

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I agree with both of Dwights posts above. Plus add that there are more than a few of us who still care! I have had several Cycle News papers from the late 70's early 80's in my possesion until recently that I was useing to research an article I was writing, the way the press in the USA aproached the ISDE then vs: now is amazing, Cycle News devoted the majority of at least one issue a year to the ISDE effort! Every name, what they were riding for who ect... The Qualifiers were IT! You want to be a tough guy you rode the qualifiers and represented your country. I think the AMA and other national level orginizations get a lot of flack for shutting down the qualifiers and dilluting the Enduro scene (granted the hand picking was a huge no-no) when the majority of the blame should go directly back the local promotors and such, these are the orginization who held the riders captive and kept any hope of chasing the ISDE not much more than an UN-FUNDED dream and cosequently forcing the AMA to pick riders by hand in the interest of fielding the best team. Granted the local promotors wouldn't be sucsseful if they didn't take away from the AMA series BUT The GNCC explosion and the proliferation of "regional" off-road racing orginizations are the root of the death of the "tough race" It is a very competitive market and one tough mud race or heated up dust fest is all it takes to lose your return customers (racers) these days. Don't believe it? Look at the attendance at the Moose run or better yet a race like the Last Man Standing event Red Bull promoted in Texas last fall, they invited 200 riders (actually many more invitations went out than even that) and depending on your source roughly 100 even had the balls to show up and this event was FREE to the riders! I have even heard it suggested that an un-named orginization is toughening up its races as a way to CONTROL the number of racers showing up and help minimize trail damge ect. Todays racers as a whole ... and i'll be a little over the top but not much in saying this, are sissyfied to the point of needing someone else to actually ride for them! i see it all the time in my racing and I am by no means a "real" tough guy but I am SO much tougher than the folks I race against on a regular basis that a 10 degree varience in normal weather conditions almost gurantees me a higher overall finish it is almost funny it is so predictable.

A worthy rant I'm sure but it still remains to be seen how the NEPG will address the "tough race" issue, they will have many options available to them but I doubt they will dive in the first year and wear everybody down too much.

Oh yeah, layton i totally agree that the modern version of the time-keeper is NOT a race but a game BUT as DR pointed out timekeeping was NEVER intended to turn the race into a game but only served to control the race as a means to increase safety, and as I have over heard from various old-timers to keep the Harleys competitive for a few more years but I don't suspect that has been at play for a while now huh?

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Don't know! There were no Harleys competing when I started riding. Hey I said I was old but not that old.

The enduros are no where near as tough as they use to be but some of that has been brought on by environmental concerns. The amount of damage done to the land is unbelievable when a simple bridge over a nasty V ditch will solve the problem. And maybe I'm as guilty as some of the others but I don't want to drag my bike out of muddy ditches anymore.

I will say that I learned to ride in Illinois where it does get muddy when it rains. I mean the bottomless mud that will suck a bike in so far that you will not get it out by yourself. Bill Gussie (OMA promoter) use to put on some tough events and it taught a lot of us how to keep going no matter what.

Here is an interesting question that maybe some of the European members can answer.

Does the ISDE still have the prestige in Europe that it use to have??? For all we in the U.S. know, the interest has dropped off there too.

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i believe that we shouldnt worry about the changes and encourage changes this will make for interesting results in races :thumbsup:

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Yeah, they can change some timekeeping rules around, but closed course still means way less trail mileage. That sucks. :thumbsup:

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