WA Hard Enduro – It Is All About Perspective

Author: Mitch Ladyman


Photo from the WA Hard Enduro
This is Ben Walling. He is quite a normal young man. I know, I have met him. Though he can do some abnormal things aboard his Husky. His dad, Frank, took this pic. He is quite normal too.

Campbell Town Crusher. Where is Campbell Town? It is NOT in Western Australia.

Toodyay Terror. I am certain that WAS in Toodyay, which IS in Western Australia.

Mildwood. Is this a type of cheese?

Enduro X. Super Enduro. Hard Enduro.

Gold Class. Silver Class. Bronze Class.

Is there a ‘No Class’? I am pretty sure I’d be in that class?

Mousse Inserts. These are not hair care products.

And a Chubby Front is NOT what you think it is.

Were you ready for Hard Enduro in Western Australia? Because I wasn’t!

I thought I would be. I had heard about it. The seeds – being planted a couple of years back. Then the informal events of more recent times to sort out the inevitable teething problems. The…..how to run an event; how to lay out a track to satisfy the broadest spectrum of riding abilities; how to overcome the bottlenecks and breakdowns; how to deal with incidents and injuries.

The Pandora’s Box of issues that were always going to be opened when even the most amazing people try to bring a new motorsport series to fruition.

But they did it! They actually did it! And now, proudly they have screamed, from atop the podium, that the WA Hard Enduro Series is a fully incorporated not-for-profit organisation; one that can run fully sanctioned events. Not just events; but a Series. And in less than three months since the announcement, they are already three events in!

Event 1, the Campbell Town Crusher, was won by Moto Dynamics (motod.com.au) rider Darren Rudling on the Beta, and the Toodyay Terror (Event 2) was taken out by Trials and Enduro Skills (trialandenduroskills.com) legend Neil Price on the Gasser.

And whilst the cats were away (Darren and Neil both left W.A. for the weekend to compete in Round 2 of the Grassroots Enduro Ironstone Extreme (www.grassrootsenduro.com.au)), the mice came out to play at Mildwood.

Photo from the WA Hard Enduro
Can we build it – yes we can! Should we build it? Of course, we should!

Mildwood. How ironic! This event was anything but mild. It’s a bit like calling the Erzeberg Rodeo the Erzeberg Pony Ride. It is amazing what a couple of Fitters and Turners, Boiler Makers and Plant Operators can do with a small patch of dirt. I have that Bob the Builder tune circulating in my head: Can we build it – Errrrrrrrrrrrr…….YES, they did.

So, who made good in the mud of Mildwood? Tyrone Turner on a Sherco. That makes three different winners on three different brands over the three events. What a series this is going to be; in its inaugural year, no less.

Yes! Hard Enduro in Western Australia has exploded out of the gate in a technicoloured frenzy of flashy fluro and two-stroke smoke.

Were you ready? Because I wasn’t!

To the average rider, like me, it seemed that if you weren’t aboard a 300 SE Factory or RR Race Edition you were going to get left in the fumes. So, I did what I suspect a few other relatively seasoned off-road riders did: I sat back and let the big boys and girls go for the ‘hole shot’. Clearly, this was their gravel pit to play in: not mine.

But now I realise I had it all wrong. My perception of Hard Enduro had been ‘youtubed’ out of all proportion. Now that the two-stroke haze is thinning a little, it is easier to get some perspective on what this (relatively) new dirt bike discipline is all about.

WHES riders are not freaks of nature. They are not incarnations of the Suicide Squad.

They are, in fact, quite normal riders. They are all the same guys and girls that we bash bars with on any other weekend. Out on the Power Line track, at Metro Road or out at Julimar. They are the same guys and girls that are competing in Trials events with Pathfinders and AJS. They are the same guys and girls that are doing Natural Terrain Motocross and Trail and Enduro. The only difference is that they have changed up their gearing, stripped off a few superfluous layers of body armour and dumped a few litres of water out of their camel packs.

Hard Enduro does not appear to be what I first thought it was. My perspective was all wrong.

It is not about a race to the finish, it is about a race to finish. The WHES guys write “Contrary to popular belief, Hard Enduro isn’t about mindlessly throwing a bike at obstacles, or gnarly dismounts and its not always about the win”.

So, if you are stalled on the wrong side of the starting gate, maybe change your perspective like I changed mine. Search WHES on Facebook to follow all the action in W.A.

I’m keen! Are you? That is provided they start a new class called ‘No Class’.

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