Half motorcycle and half
snowtrack, it’s a go-anywhere machine. Here
the Timbersled SX-kitted
Long Track KTM 450SXF
idly sits at 8000 feet in
the Idaho backcountry.
strategy was to attack the corners
with reckless abandon by leaning
over and holding the throttle open.
He also switched from the 450SXF
of the first day to a KTM 300XC
The race format broke down into
four heat races, with each winner
advancing directly to the A Main.
Ecklund had a tough draw in his
heat against defending champion
Brock Hoyer and several other
hot-shoe snow bikers. Daryl was
swallowed up in the start, eating
roost off the churning tracks of the
more powerful 450 four-strokes. He
fought valiantly, making few friends
in the race as he bumped other
riders out of the main lines while
passing. The best he could do was
third, which meant a trip to the
semi was in order.
Fortunately, Lady Luck shone
brightly on Daryl. Again, he was
chewed up by the field off the green-flag start, but that didn’t stop the
charging bull from slamming rivals.
He sliced through a cacophony of
curse words and dodged roost en
route to the win. He accomplished
his first goal, which was to qualify
for the A Main. Maybe it was
northern hospitality or blind luck that
a lynch mob didn’t try to run Daryl
out of town after his aggressive
With the field set for the main
event, Daryl discussed with the
Timbersled crew how much improved
the Mountain Horse snow bike kits
were. I agreed. Although fun before,
the redesigned line of Mountain
Horse kits was far more agile. Even
the Long Track, which is made for
climbing mountains in deep snow,
was maneuverable around tight
sections of the course. Of the three
kits, our favorite was the SX edition.
Unlike the others, it has a narrower
track, slimmer profile and additional
shock for a total of 20 inches of rear
suspension travel. It is the ultimate
tool for snow bike racing and
pounding through rough terrain.
Simply put, it is the motocross
version of a product line otherwise
designed for offroad terrain.
In the A Main, Daryl lined up
against a stacked field of experienced snow bike racers. Even though
he had logged only three days on
a Timbersled-mounted bike in his
whole life and was a sissy when it
came to cold weather, I liked MXA’s
chances of finishing on the podium.
Even after he tangled with other
riders off the start, I didn’t give up
hope. Daryl, the consummate competitor that he is, dove inside the second corner and barreled over track
markers while running off the course.
He cut the corner so badly that a
criminal inspector should have been
called to the scene, yet Daryl cracked
the throttle and bulldozed forward.
Sixth place turned into fifth, and fifth
to fourth as he steamrolled the
innocent and unsuspecting.
Clawing ahead, Daryl had the KTM
300XC singing as he closed up on
third place. Success was only a few
feet away, but making the pass was
another story. Ecklund had come to
the realization that all racers know
too well: the closer you get to the
front, the more difficult it is to pass
the next guy. The guys at the front
know the black art of racing—and
winning—at all costs. Daryl should
have accounted for that rather than
take the approach he did in trying to
make a quick pass for third. He set
the stage for a bar-banging inside
move for third, but arrived too late
at the rider’s front end. His snow
bike missed the mark and instead
he submarined his ski into the spinning track of the other guy. The
force catapulted him off the bike and
into a snow bank. Dejected, Daryl
remounted and salvaged a sixth-place
finish. Meanwhile, Brock Hoyer styled
out front for the crowd, scrubbing
his Yamaha YZ450F over the jumps.
With Reagan Sieg in second and
Jimmy Jarrett rounding out third, it
was an all-Timbersled podium.
With the brightness of the day