As the invited riders poured in, they parked in amazingly straight lines down the road that leads to the Glen Helen Museum. Photo: Debbi Tamietti


Every year, at this time, MXA and our sister publication Dirt Bike, host a Ride Day at Glen Helen Raceway to thank the companies, test riders and industry personnel that we deal with on a regular basis. It is a chance to hob-nob with each other, share a catered lunch in the Glen Helen Museum, scope out all the new products, offer a selection of new 2023 motocross bikes for the invited guest to try out and have Glen Helen provide one of the best tracks in the world for everyone to play on. Last year the MXA Ride Day was in November, a couple days after the World Vet Champions (this date guaranteed that we’d have the always new World Vet track to ride on). This year, we moved the Ride Day back a month. Of course, the 2022 World Vet track had been torn down to make way for the “Day in the Dirt” GP track and the weekly practice sessions and races.

MXA brought out 16 new 2023 test bikes. The big hits were the Yamaha YZ450F, KTM 300SX two-stroke, Honda CRF250, CRF250RX, GasGas MC350 and Husqvarna FC250. Every bike in the line could be ridden by anyone who ask MXA if it was okay…and it was, once they signed a waiver. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Surprise! Glen Helen rebuilt the World Vet track for this day, which included the charge to Talladega, the big climb to the top of Mount Saint Helen, the whistling fast downhill (with the World Vet’s right-hand turn at the bottom that led to another climb that began under the Yamaha bridge). Once the riders were back at the top, they came down a steep hill and went under the other side of the Yamaha bridge into a tricky sweeping left hand turn that brought them around to the Hip Jump. The Ride Day track did not go over the Saddleback Humps in the Canyon or over to the hill to the REM side of the park, but instead, made a series of short straights and 180-degrees turns to get them to the rolling whoop sand section, over the Log Cabin and back to Talladega to start all over again. It was a thrilling two-minutes per lap. But best of all, the track prep was amazing and everything was designed to be fun, fun, fun all the way around—regardless of your willingness to hang it out or just cruise.

Dirt Bike magazine brought out their test bikes also and we spotted Broc Glover riding their 2023 Yamaha YZ450F. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

MXA and Dirt Bike host this event so that our advertisers, supporters, manufacturers and factory public relation departments get a chance to spend a day at the track hanging out. We provide the track, the bikes, the gas and the technical help to make sure that everyone gets their fill of riding, eating and talking to old friends. We couldn’t do it without the support of Glen Helen founder Bud Feldkamp, track manager Lori Wilson and the amazing work of John Allen on the Cat. The whole crew at Glen Helen is like family to the MXA test riders and the fact that they take such good care of their three motocross tracks, truck track and hundreds of acres of trails is why they are the biggest, fastest, toughest track in the world.

Every invited guest got a free catered lunch, if they were willing to quit riding long enough to sit down in the Glen Helen Museum to eat. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

The MXA Ride Day is by invitation only and is not an open ride days for the public. We keep the actual date secret until two weeks before the event and have Zapata Espinoza guard the front gate to make sure that everyone’s name is on the entry list (or that he recognizes who is trying to come in). This is the only way that we can manage the crowd of riders and provide the best possible conditions for the companies, people and friends in the industry.

This is MXA’s line-up of test bikes from the opposite direction. Photo: Jon Ortner

Luckily, Debbi Tamietti, Jon Ortner and Pat Carrigan brought their cameras to capture as much of the action as possible. Of course, they can’t shoot photos of everyone there, well. they did, be we can’t identify everybody who is enjoying themselves—but here is a sampling of the action, the people and the atmosphere. We hope everybody enjoyed themselves as much as we enjoyed seeing old friends.

Trevor Stewart (75) was flying. Photo: Pat Carrigan

Doug Dubach (15) owns Glen Helen. He won 26 World Vet titles here and knows every inch of the track—especially the MXA Ride Day track, which was a slightly shortened version of last month’s 38th Annual World Vet track—which was rebuilt for this day. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Val Tamietti and his Maico owned Saddleback Park in the 1980s. Now 65 years old, Val still turns in some respectable laps—and always styles for awhile whenever he see his moto-photog wife Debbi Tamietti standing by the side of the track. Nice wheelie Val! Photo: Debbi Tamietti

N2Dirt’s Jasun Spriggs takes every opportunity to test suspension. Photo: Pat Carrigan

David O’Connor recently had ACL surgery and hasn’t been overly brave about getting back on his bike, but not only did he spin laps at the MXA Ride Day, but he stayed out longer than almost anyone. His knee passed the test. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Darrin Hoeft two-stroked it at the MXA Ride Day. Photo: Pat Carrigan

Destin Deerman (22) is rumored to have ridden all 16 bikes in the MXA inventory on Wednesday at Glen Helen. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Dennis Stapleton (left) and Jody Weisel (right) gave up riding to try to keep all the bikes running—with the aid of MXA test riders Josh  Fout, Marc Crosby (in the background) and Randel Fout. We only had two issues all day, when the chains on the 2023 KX250 and 2023 Honda CRF450 both snapped. Photo: Jon Ortner

Ezra Lewis had to mix a relaxing day of riding for fun with a little work—as he had to do a photo shoot for an upcoming magazine bike test. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Chris Siebs (42) carving an elliptical arc.. Photo: Pat Carrigan

Free cookies? Randy Skinner found the motherlode, but was nice enough to hand the Debbi Tamietti baked goods out to anyone who looked hungry. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Off-road ace Nic Garvin has joined Ron Lawson, Tom Webb and Mark Tilley at Dirt Bike magazine. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Raised in the Pro ranks back home in Michigan, Randell Fout now lives on a boat in Oceanside Harbor. He can still set sail on a bike. Photo: Pat Carrigan

When you are coming through the rolling sand whoops, the Talladega first turn dwarfs the riders below it. You haven’t lived until you’ve hit Glen Helen’s 45-degree banked first turn wide open in fifth gear. It was wide enough to have lines all the way across its 180-degree face. Photo: Jon Ortner

ODI’s Johnny Jump appears to have a red grip on the throttle side and a black grip on the clutch side. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

If it looks like Luc DeLey is towering over this 2023 Honda CRF250, we promise you that is an optical illusion caused by the camera lens. Photo: Jon Ortner

Marc Crosby is the “Dentist to the Stars,” but his high-profile patients may have to wait to get that bad tooth looked at if it happens on Ride Day. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Chris Stangl got out of the MXA advertising offices long enough to put in some serious laps at Glen Helen with his son. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Rob Healy of N-Style fame was at the MXA Ride Day showing off Matrix’s new line of bike stands, including a new updated Matrix version of Rob’s Power Lift electric bike stand. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

The all-new, updated, electric PowerLift stand is now a Matrix Concepts product. Photo: Pat Carrigan

Hollywood stuntman Will Harper carries a quiver of race bikes in his truck—that way he can ride whichever one is working best. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Trevor Nelson (17) is MXA’s resident photographer, but he finally got a chance to be in the front of the camera for a change. His favorite bike is the 2023 Honda CRF250RX. Photo: Jon Ortner

Photographer Rich Stuelke has been nursing a rib injury that is very painful, although not broken. He decided to test it out on the Ride Day. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Josh Fout came down from Big Bear, where the temperature was 25-degrees, to enjoy the 60-degree day at Glen Helen—5000 feet lower. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

John Caper is happy with his 2017 Honda CRF450 and he’s happy with his new knees also. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Jon Ortner (44) has more race laps on MXA’s 2023 YZ450F than anyone else, which is why Jody told him on Wednesday morning not to hog the YZ450F at the Ride Day so that other people could try it. Yet, here he is, captured by Debbi’s camera, doing what we told him not to do. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Ryan Surratt (58) has found success in off-road racing. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Jon Ortner (14) spun some test laps on TBT’s one-off off-road bike. Jon hopes to race it at the “Saturday at the Glen” motocross on Saturday and in Sunday’s SRA GP—if the rain doesn’t ruin Sunday. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Spencer Rathkamp on his artistic red and black Honda CRF250. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Joey Palmer on his white YZ250F. Photo: Debbi Tamietti




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