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Thank you to a specific forum member for giving me the idea to start a thread on this. I'll post a little about what I've done to prepare for this 545 mile race as well as a post race report on how it went.

So... Starting about a year ago I committed to competing in two Best in The Desert (BITD) races. The Silver State 300 and the 545 mile Vegas to Reno, the longest off-road race in the United States. Here's a quick run down of how Silver State went a few months ago.

Silver State 300: I pulled the pole position so I started in front of my class. I'm running in the Ironman Expert class, that means I ride all the races solo. No rider changes or anything. Really the only way to race in the desert IMO. I left the starting line at 6 AM and pushed probably a little too hard but it was my first race so it was to be expected. I passed people left and right until after the 2nd pit I lost my left axle nut around RM80. My whole class and the majority of everyone else (minus 4 wheel vehicles) passed me. Fortunately I found the nut and was able to limp it to pit 3 where it was torqued down properly. I finished the race 5th in my class. My goal was really only to finish but it was a bit disappointing because if I hadn't lost the nut I feel that I would have been able to stay in the pack and have a respectable finish. Not that mine wasn't. For a first timer everyone said I did exceptionally well.

With Silver State under my belt I began to prepare for the Vegas to Reno. Starting about 4 weeks out from race day (August 14th) I tore down the quad for race prep. Everything except the motor was gone through to be sure there will be no surprises on race day. Carrier bearings were replaced, axle inspected, new chromoly tierods, beefed up a-arms, heavier main coils for my shocks, new tires, all EFI wiring gone through, oil change, coolant flush, new radiator guard, new chain w/ staked master link, new sprockets, fresh grease in all joints, the list goes on and on. Everything that was used was replaced with new. If it didn't look or feel right, it was replaced.

My plan for the Vegas to Reno is to set a good pace in the beginning. I'm starting 3rd in my class this time so there will be a few guys in front of me but again, my goal is only to finish. Around RM300 I plan to take a breather. Eat something I can chew and not suck through a straw and just get off the quad and attempt to come back to reality. I know the course from RM440 or so to the finish so I'll know what to expect since it could be dark by then. One thing that is a wild card in this race compared to Silver State is the trophy trucks. They will catch me in the section I know but it's still sketchy. 800 hp trucks with a top speed of over 140 is nothing to joke about when your on a quad or a dirt bike. So I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

I'll get some pictures up in awhile. I have time lapse of race prep but it takes time to compile it all.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Also some insight on my quad itself. In the desert no one runs Raptors. I'm the only 700 other than a 660 that raced in the Silver State. Everyone is running TRX 450s or a YFZ few and far between. I've gone through hell and back trying to make this thing able to compete in the desert with the lighter 450s and so far it has worked out. My 5.5 gallon desert tank I bought off a current BITD pro rider has held up great. Of course he's on a Honda now. I'm running triple rate shocks that Kevin built for me and they've held up great! I did make some changes to the coils to make it more desert friendly but I talked to him and he agreed with my changes. For the motor I'm running a HPS ported head and a +5 Hotrods crank. I know its a hotrods but it's held up this long so I have some faith in it to hold up for at least another 545 miles.
 

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I may be getting older, but I refuse to grow up!
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GOOD LUCK.


Don't worry about the HR crank, it has lots of advantages and is priced right. Mines holding up great as well as many others.
 
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
So after some recuperation, starting school, and buying another Raptor 700, I figure it's time for a post race report.

We woke up at 4 AM and were out at the staging area in Beatty, NV by 5:15. There were over 100 quads and dirt bikes staging so it was pretty crazy. I left the starting line at around 6:45 AM starting 101st and 3rd in my class. The sun had just come up so between that and the dust it was almost impossible to see anything for the first few miles. We finally turned and started heading west and the sun was no longer a problem.

In the first 100 miles I passed quite a few people. Both dirt bikes and quads. I was averaging over 40 mph which is considered around pro speed. (Pro quads average around 45+) The quad was running great! The maxxis tires I had to order days before the race were nice and smooth with no wobble. I hit over 90 mph out on one of the massive lake beds in the beginning of the race. Unfortunately I would side wall both of the Maxxis tires and ended up running my GBCs on the Hiper wheels in the rears for over 300 miles.

The first 300 miles was a walk in the park. 80% of the course so far was pretty smooth (to my standards) and fast. But after pit 10 at Mina RM354 it began to get worse. The trucks began to catch me after that pit so I had to keep an eye out for them. Having 800+ HP going 100+ MPH is nothing to play chicken with. Jason Voss was the first to pass me in a truck and from there on it was game on with the 4 wheel vehicles. The silt beds out of pit 10 were HORRIBLE. There were bikes stuck in it but luckily I held it wide open and was able to get through it with no trouble from the trucks.

After pit 11 in Gabbs at RM 406 the course began to deteriorate because of the intense rain storms we had been getting the weeks prior. Casey even told us at the drivers meeting in Vegas the night before the race that there were people out on bikes trying to remark the course after all of the rain. After Gabbs I had to ride into the sun yet again for 25 miles except this time the sun was setting.

I rode in the dark from RM 432 all the way to the finish at RM 545. I got stuck in some really bad silt beds within sight of pit 13 at Top Gun raceway. First I was stuck in a massive rain wash (with trucks coming up behind me in the dark) Then once I got out of that not 30 seconds later I buried it in 3 feet of silt. I actually got a trophy truck stuck after they saw me stuck and had to slow down. Completely out of energy I flagged down another ironman rider on a bike and between him, me, and the co driver in the truck, we were able to pull it out of the silt.

The last 20 miles of the course was beyond what any of you can imagine. After riding over 500 miles solo I could barley stand but I couldn't sit either. For 20 miles I pushed through rocks, rocks, and more rocks. The first UTVs actually caught me. Surprising Johnny Angel in the new UTV INC Turbo RZR was able to finish. They built the car in 12 days! I finished at 1:30 in the morning with a time of 18:46:32.

I saw my share of carnage and broken bones. I saw one expert team rider roll his quad sideways over a burm when he slid into it. I saw one of thr pro riders who broke his collar bone. It also could have been the rider who broke his back. Not sure. I saw one expert team rider with a tie rod that came apart on the side of the course. And another expert rider who lost his motor around RM 300 or so. There were trucks and buggys littered all over the place. The TSCO truck had ripped off the entire control arm just before Gabbs. And Pistol Pete taco'ed his truck in a MASSIVE rain wash early in the race. The finishing rate was only a hair over 50% for both MC/Quad and Car/Truck. I'm happy to say I had no mechanical issues. Only 2 flat tires and a few nuts and bolts loosen up. But we caught them before they became a problem.

I'd like to thank Kevin for getting my shocks setup right. They ran great the whole race and I never had to think about them. I also want to thank Fuel Customs for hooking me up with and extra filter and outerware for free! I couldn't have done it without my parents and our friends Jeff and Cherie in the pits! They made the 545 miles a lot easier since I didn't have to worry about how the bike was holding up.



















 

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Great job!!

no doubt you felt the bumps for days on end. This was a very thorough write up, well done...
 

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I want to know how many days it took for you to walk right after that long *** run! Lol! I have been a few 2+ hour hair scramblers and a few back to back MX races, and could barely walk for like 2 days!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Great job!!

no doubt you felt the bumps for days on end. This was a very thorough write up, well done...
Thanks! It was an experience for sure!

I want to know how many days it took for you to walk right after that long *** run! Lol! I have been a few 2+ hour hair scramblers and a few back to back MX races, and could barely walk for like 2 days!
Funny thing is, I went to sleep at 2 AM after riding the 545 miles solo but I was up at 8 AM haha. When I was at pit 13 after the silt beds I swore that I could sleep for a day or two straight haha. The physical aftermath were some pretty chapped lips, burned leg, sore butt, and sore hands.
 

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Thats frickin awesome man! I'd like to try something like this (not to this extent, I'm a old man now :lol:), but love the fact that there are enthusiasts like yourself still doing things like this. PROPS to you!
 

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Congrats on the accomplishment!! Hell of a write up and thanks for sharing.

I'm in Dayton Nevada I've actually been contemplating doing this as well, no racing experience going to try to make Henderson BITD my first? I have an 06 Raptor that is almost stock spends a lot of in the dunes. I don't know if its worth throwing a lot of money on the raptor when I can buy something else that is setup already for the desert and I don't know what other machines to look at?

I just want to finish Vegas to Reno.

Also why did you participate in Expert class, and not the amateur class?

Did you use the Baja Pits or did u have your family?

Thanks for any assistance you can provide me?
 

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Congrats on the accomplishment!! Hell of a write up and thanks for sharing.

I'm in Dayton Nevada I've actually been contemplating doing this as well, no racing experience going to try to make Henderson BITD my first? I have an 06 Raptor that is almost stock spends a lot of in the dunes. I don't know if its worth throwing a lot of money on the raptor when I can buy something else that is setup already for the desert and I don't know what other machines to look at?

I just want to finish Vegas to Reno.

Also why did you participate in Expert class, and not the amateur class?

Did you use the Baja Pits or did u have your family?

Thanks for any assistance you can provide me?
Henderson would be a great first race. I've never done it but it is short and lets you get a feel for how tech and everything works. The SS300 was my first race.

Yea everyone is primary on Hondas. That's where most of the desert parts are these days. There's no way I'd do it on a stock bike though. You NEED at least some suspension work, a steering stabilizer, and the bigger 23/22 tires.

The Expert class starts ahead of the amateur class. The closer to the front the better. Other than that there is no difference in the two classes.

I used Baja pits for Rawhide even though I didn't need gas. They work very well if you only have a few crew members like myself. For V2R we had 2 chase vehicles and it worked great. They just leap fogged up the course going to every pit. Until Mina, then they had to split up.
 

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I may be getting older, but I refuse to grow up!
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Great job. Thats a big accomplishment. I agree with you as well those trophy trucks flying by must have been insane. Great write up to!! I have an off-road radio show called the Muddy Microphone. My listeners would love to hear about your experience. Contact me through my website if your interested. www.muddyymicpodcast.com


Link didn't work for me.
 

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Definitely post it up!
 

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