It looks as though Kawasaki has pulled the plug on its Team Green off-road program.

"The rumors are true," said Team Green Off-Road Manager Jason Smigel. "We'll finish out the year with the remaining four EnduroCross races, but then that will be it."

Budgets and the economy appear to the main culprit in the demise of one of the strongest and largest off-road racing programs in the country, and one that's been around since 1987, when Kawasaki's Team Green Off-Road program really got rolling with riders like Larry Roeseler and Ty Davis coming on board.

Kawasaki still might be involved in off-road racing down the road but nothing has been finalized yet.

"We're still figuring out the exact details," Smigel said. "We're researching some sort of level of involvement, but we don't know what that will be yet. The intent is to have something."

Smigel added that its Team Green Dealer Rebate Racer Program, where off-road racers receive assistances through dealerships, will not be affected.

Kawasaki's Team Green amateur motocross program is "...still going strong," said Smigel.

Some have speculated that the recent signing of Ryan Villopoto to Kawasaki's motocross/supercross team might had something to do with Kawasaki's decision to cut back its off-road program. Even though Kawasaki wouldn't comment on individual contracts, it did say this decision was made independently of any negotiations with other riders.

Kit Palmer | Off-Road Editor

Kit Palmer started his career at Cycle News in 1984 and he’s been testing dirt and streetbikes every since – plus covering any event that uses some form of a knobby tire. He’s also our resident motorcycle mileage man with a commute of 120 miles a day.

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