When: January 25, 2015
Where: Adrian, MO
Weather: Hoodie and Flannel elements - 41 Degrees, Dark overcast skies, wind 20-25 mph
Ease of Access: Kansas City – 53 min; Columbia, MO – 2hr. 24min; Springfield – 2hr. 5min
When you pull into KCMOTO pit area for the first time, you unpack more than your dirtbike: you unload your inner beast. KCMOTO has a lot to offer thanks to visions of track builder, Tracy Freeman of MX343, and track owner, Geremiah Gilliland, who can tell you they have built it to be one of the top tracks in the Midwest.
It’s the kind of moto-passion, the “giving back to the riders” mindset that you expect from the industry that got KCMOTO started. “We are in it for the love of the sport,” admits Gilliland. “We do what the riders want. So, every time we just go back to the drawing board and think about the motocross riders, because at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.”
The most recognizable feature, at least at first sight is the size of the track. It’s a “beast,” that consciously tests multi-time Monster Energy Cup Supermini winners like Austin Forkner, a frequenter from Missouri that mesmerizes our imagination with sick whips and speed aboard his Kawasaki 250F.
“It has super good dirt, super long, big wide open outdoor track, fun jumps and a great track, said the well-spoken future superstar. “Most tracks (in Missouri) are skinny and short, like this could be a national track. It has the good dirt, it has big jumps, it’s wide. It gets rough and rutted so it’s a good track.”
It’s also a track that sustains the inner beast, unapologetic obstacles, wide sweeping turns, and dirt unconventional for the region. Their claim to fame is that the track is 30-40 feet wide everywhere. Gilliland describes the dirt as a blessing compared the to the natural clay Missouri motocross riders are accustomed to riding. The grounded material comes from a local logging company and is shamelessly expensive.
There are no permanent facilities or electric hookups and furnishings are minimal but that will all change with time as Gilliland admits they have been working off a tight budget. He hopes to partner with sponsors to help with costs in return for advertising at the track. Their first priority is to erect infield fencing to make the facility safe and inviting for spectators. Electricity is also high on the priority list followed by transponder scoring.
“It’s not perfect right now, but literally everything we are doing is not for the money. It’s strictly for the love and passion for the sport.”
Carter Stephenson, an A rider from Missouri loves a good track and drove across the state of Missouri to see what all the hype was about. For most, the ultimate care involves the track – somewhere to twist the throttle and dig in as oppose to the amenities. The track was all that Stephenson could talk about on this cold winter day.
“The track was sick when I first got here,” said Stephenson. It looks pretty big. It’s got a big layout. It’s really fast. it’s got a lot of big sweeping turns. It’s got some fun obstacles on it; it’s got some triples and tabletops that you can throw pretty big over. It looks like the dirt will give you some pretty big ruts and be able to rail some out there. “
If you still don’t believe the hype, and are ignoring the words of Forkner and Stephenson, then maybe you can trust the presence of many riders of all skill levels who showed up in 40 degree temperatures with 20 mph winds for a few hours of practice.
Whether or not KCMOTO lives up to its hype that just about everyone who has been there are publicizing, it has already had a huge impact on the MX industry, schedule wise. In April, they will host the Vintage Motocross Series. Following that, Shannon Niday will host a MX School in May. The Missouri State Motocross Championship Series round 3 will take place on May 16-17. And an AMA three day event with a $5000 pro purse is planned for this year too. Gilliland said they are also working on hosting a Loretta Lynn Qualifier for 2016.