DAKAR RALLY | BAJA 1000 | DIRT RIDER EDITOR | TEQUILA CONNOISSEUR a real man’s man. Jimmy Lewis needs Little introduction as he is widely known throughout the Off-Road community as a living legend.
Over the next four days I would be chasing the JL dust trail through the desert, accompanied by Spencer Hill editor at large, and Elias Rubel owner of KTM Twins. My job was simple “Get the Shots.” I was there to ride, but I got the opportunity because of my ability to create engaging media content, so with 35 pounds of camera equipment strapped to my back, I let the lens tell the story of my time in THE MOJAVE.
Through the window of a Boeing aircraft, I watched the pastures and row crop fields of the Midwest fade to the rough and tough landscape of the WEST, relishing in the thought of the adventure that lies ahead. Twenty-Six years, 19 motorcycles, 13 states, and six broken bones have led me to this point. The point where passion becomes creation and creation becomes marketable. The idea of the adventure ahead was surreal, never would I have thought in a million years that I would be the guy chasing a Dakar Rally Podium finisher, but there I was. Half a dozen KTM Dirt bikes sit outside of a newly constructed building, and Jimmy is circling an obstacle course trailed by a student. The place smelled like two-stroke and new tires. Motorcycle parts, and relics of the past set the tone for what would be an EPIC 4 days in the Mojave.
M O J A V E
Creosote bush and Joshua Trees dot the landscape of a dry and arid countryside. A place where flat valleys meet mountainous walls of rock and the dust filled air adds to the light show at dusk. This is the great WIDE-OPEN space known as the Mojave Desert.
“Nevada begins where the pavement ends” – Matt Brown
Recognized as Americas most ecologically significant desert landscape, the Mojave occupies swaths of land, 30 million acres to be precise. This majestic territory stretches from the Sierra Nevada range to the Colorado Plateau, with elevations ranging between 279 feet below sea level up to 11,918 feet atop Charleston Peak. A mecca for Off-Road life.
“From here we have 360 degrees of Riding” – Jimmy Lewis
Eeny, Meeny, Miny Moe Catch a Tiger by a Toe runs through my head as JL say’s “Pick a bike and let’s go for a ride.” Lucky for me they’re all KTM’s machines of choice. I chose a 500 EXC, a big bore thumping machine, and desert perfecto. Equipped with a Rekluse Clutch, FMF Exhaust, and Fasst CO Flexx Bars I was right at home. The sound of tires hitting the rocky desert floor was music to my ears. I am in the zone, one with the machine like a needle and thread carving my way through a dust filled trail. For most, it’s the rush. For me, it’s the calm, I have a busy mind and motorcycles have a way of slowing me down. Therapy so to speak.
"Slow is Fast" – Jimmy Lewis
Every time we stopped was an opportunity for Jimmy to give us a lesson on Balance, Braking, or Throttle Control. Elias being the least experienced rider in our group I was able to watch him develop skills over the 4 day period that made him not only a better rider but a safer rider. Jimmy was quick to slap you on the wrist if you were not doing it correctly.
Watching JL ride was an incredibly rewarding experience. The level of skill that he displays and confidence in his ability to execute the most difficult of lines was a sight to be seen. Humble for all that he has accomplished, yet boastful during instruction, he has all the makings of a Legend.
With JL’s Off-Road Racing career behind him, his focus has turned to instructional riding techniques. Running an Off-Road Riding Scholl out of Pahrump, NV where he teaches safe motorcycle riding skills to riders of all abilities on all types of bikes. Find them on Instagram: @jimmy_lewis_offrod When he is not teaching you can find him pushing the limits of test bikes, off-road motorcycle related parts and gear. As an owner of DBT (Dirt Bike Test), JL puts his passion to work to bring the end user a non-biased report. Find them on Instagram: @dirtbiketest
To see the parts used on Jimmy's bikes follow the links below:
Bonus: Check out this edit from our time spent riding with Jimmy!
#KTMTwins #RoadToDirt #TeamTwins