Charlie Mullins will be back to defend his enduro number-one plate.
The 2014 Kenda AMA National Enduro Series is quickly approaching and this season is shaping up to be a breakout year for the series. Over the past few years, the series has grown in both entries and in industry participation, and this year’s list of top riders and factory entries is unprecedented.
Perhaps the most formidable team returning for 2014 is the FMF/KTM team, which will feature Charlie Mullins, Mike Lafferty and Steward Baylor. Lafferty rode for factory Husaberg the past few years, but made the switch back to KTM for his 20th and final season with hopes of scoring an unprecedented ninth National Enduro title.
Mullins will be going for a third title while defending the number-one plate in the process.
Baylor won the 2011 championship but missed all of last year due to injury and is hoping to regain his speed and domination of two years ago.
Husqvarna is back and fielding a two-man team - new member Russell Bobbitt and returning Andrew DeLong, both will be aboard 350 four-strokes. Bobbitt is a four-time champion and is looking to get the Husky name back on the enduro map.
Husqvarna’s Mike Brown is scheduled to ride one or two rounds in addition to his usual full-time EnduroCross schedule.
Beta will have a factory effort, as well, with former enduro winner Cory Buttrick returning to action after an injury-filled hiatus. Justin Sode will be the second rider on the team.
Among the satellite teams signed up is AirGroup Racing, which will be running Husqvarna this year. Nick Fahringer finished second overall in last year’s series standings riding a Husaberg for the team, and “Ringer” will be back this year, hoping to move one more step up the ladder. The team also brought on newcomer Ryder Lafferty, Mike Lafferty’s nephew, to back up Fahringer.
Randy Hawkin’s Am Pro Yamaha squad will also be back and be represented by Brad Bakken on the all-new YZ250F.
Jesse Groemm, the top rookie two years ago, will be riding a KTM two-stroke for Shane Watt’s DirtWise.com team.
KR4 will be offering its “Arrive and Ride” program to the series, managed by Freddie Andrews. Coloradoan Ian Blythe will be among the riders taking advantage of this unique program, which transports rider’s bikes to the enduros.
Finally, Obermeyer Suzuki, a long-time supporter of the series, will have Nick Davis riding the Pro division in Suzuki’s return to the series.
In addition to the teams, there will be a lot of aftermarket companies on hand to help with product and promote the series. Kenda is now the title sponsor of the series and will have staff on hand to answer questions along with offering tire sales and installation.
Moose Racing will also be on hand. They will have their semi with product on display at the first round in South Carolina, as well as the Virginia round and the series finale in Indiana. It will be staffed by eight-time champ Dick Burleson.
BonJoe’s Cycle Sport from New York will be at each round supporting their racers and will be offering all riders items that they may have forgotten to bring with them to the races. If pre-arranged, they will also transport parts you order to the enduros so you can save on shipping cost.
All Balls Racing joins the series as a sponsor in 2014, while showcasing their large selection of bearing kits. And Wiseco Pistons and E-Line Accessories will continue their long history with the series.
As usual, FMF will continue their support of the series with their FMF Tech Inspection Station.
Russell Bobbitt has his sight set on giving Husky its first enduro title in many years.
Bike Graphix will be supplying rider numbers through out the season.
The purse program will be stronger than ever in 2014. Enduro Engineering is the Pro Purse sponsor for 2014 and will also have a support vehicle and staff at most of the events, displaying their products, along with Rekluse products.
Rekluse is the purse sponsor of the new Expert-AA class, also offering a $1,000 bonus for the series winner of that class if they use Rekluse products. To earn the $1,000 Cash Bonus payout from Rekluse, the Expert-AA Class Champion must run Rekluse Clutch Components and a Rekluse Clutch Cover in their NEPG race bike during NEPG events. (The following Rekluse Clutch Components are eligible for the program: Core EXP, Core Manual, Core Manual with TorqDrive, z-Start Pro, Clutch Basket, and Clutch Cover. Any Expert-AA Class Championship contender may register with Rekluse Rider Support anytime throughout the year. Contact Patrick Koether (Rekluse/NEPG rider representative) by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 866-REK-LUSE (x702) to get hooked up.)
In addition, Airgroup will bring back their bounty program at the three new venues Virginia, Colorado and Union, South Carolina.
You can also try out new bikes during the events. KTM and Sherco will have demo rides at the series opener, while Yamaha and Beta will have demos at select events.
This year’s series will see two brand new venues on the 10-round schedule, going to Arrington, Virginia, on June 1 and then traveling to Grand Junction, Colorado, on August 10th. In addition, after a short hiatus, the series will return to old favorites such as the Covered Bridge in Matthews, Indiana, and the Missouri Mudders’ race in Park Hills, Missouri.
The series kicks off on March 2 in Pelion, South Carolina, with the Sandlapper National Enduro and finishes up on September 14 at the Matthews Covered Bridge event. The NEPG year-end awards banquet will also take place at the pavilion near the covered bridge right after the final round.
For up to the minute results, sign up for the Motion Pro results text alerts at http://www.moto-tally.com/NEPG/ResultsNotification.aspx.
March 2, 2014
Pelion, South Carolina
Columbia Enduro Riders
Entries Open 12-18-13
March 23, 2014
Ross Creek Trail Riders
Entries Open 1-8-14
Entries Open 1-22-14
Park Hills, Missouri
Entries Open 3-5-14
April Fools Promotions
Entries Open 3-19-14
Entries Open 4-16-14
Cross Fork, Pennsylvania
Brandywine Enduro Riders
Entries Open 5-14-14
Grand Junction, Colorado
Bookcliff Rattlers MC
Entries Open 5-28-14
Union, South Carolina
Greenville Enduro Riders
Entries Open 6-18-14
Entries Open 7-2-14