A Look Inside an Epic Motorcycle Adventure on Custom-Built Dirt Bikes

Follow along as a crew of off-road enthusiasts partake in some of the most scenic riding the Northwest has to offer.

This story originally appeared on TransWorld Motocross and has been republished with permission. Words by Mike Emery. Photos by Drew Ruiz. For more stories, visit TransWorld Motocross.

Hollister Hills SVRA, CA. | Photo: Ruiz

There’s no denying that we all have a bucket-list trip or two that involves motorcycles, our closest buddies and a few picturesque riding locations. The following photos should lend themselves as an inspiration to pursue these trips and get out for an adventure of your own.

The crew at Answer Racing teamed up with Iron Cobras Fabrication with the goal of building two custom Yamaha WR450s and riding them in multiple locations along their way to The One Moto Show in Portland, Oregon, where they would show them off covered in the mud they collected along the way.

Throw in the WLF Enduro crew along with plenty of blue-collar buddies and you have their "Dirt. Don’t. Hurt." campaign trip. The journey took them from Southern California to the Pacific Northwest and included multiple locations along the way. Best of all? This could be you.

“Seven days, 1,000 miles, two states, three trail spots, two custom bikes, 11 dudes, 10,000,000 gallons of gas, 6,000 photos, a 300-dollar lottery ticket, four broken bones, and a lot of beer. Sometimes you just have to do sh*t that’s fun, makes no sense on paper, and has an irreverence level that only The One Moto Show would be proud of.

“We built some amazing motorcycles, rode the crap out of them, and made a bunch of new friends along the way. We hit some challenges and some rough spots, but pulled ourselves up by our muddy bootstraps and came roaring into Portland dirty, hurt, and happy. These are the memories we shared along the way.” -- Scott Sagud, Creative Director, MAG Apparel Brands

Hollister Hills SVRA, CA

Hollister Hills SVRA, CA

“You come in and there’s a campground spot, and when you set up, there are all these big oak trees that are hanging over [you]. Each one of the trailheads you come to are a lot of doubletrack and sweeping trails. There are these wide-open ridges that you get to at the top, with huge rolling hills that look like The Sound of Music kind of vibe. And the doubletrack you go through leads to single off-chutes that go every which way. It’s crazy green, and fast and flowing.” – Keith Culver

Hollister Hills SVRA, CA

“We started out with six, and by noon on Monday we were down to two people with four in the hospital. I’ve never really been on a ride where someone’s been severely injured. It didn’t really put a damper on the trip, but it kind of toned things down a bit. It was more like, ‘Let’s ride to have fun more than let’s ride to get the shot or whatever. Let’s back it off and get to all of these different spots.'” – Evan Scott

Stonyford, CA

Stonyford, CA. | Photo: Ruiz

“The location at Stonyford is different than anything we have down in Southern California. There are large hill climbs, a lot of ruts and a grip of water crossings. They had these really cool rocky sections that went underneath the trees and kind of dive off the trail. So you’d get a technical rocky section and then it would lead into a wide-open hill climb and that would take you up into another ridge. There was a lot of diversity while we were there. It was really dusty, too, but the water would wash us off. So the regimen would be puddle, dust, mud, repeat.” – Keith Culver

“Whenever we talk about something from a big trip we did or dual-sport adventure, it’s about fixing some bike, forgetting something or just how it always takes way longer than we anticipated. And I think that’s because we stop a lot, bullshit along the way, and it’s just a good time. If I weren’t riding, I don’t know how I would fill that void.” – Chaz Reta

“The cool thing about this trip was that we got to build these bikes and then put them to the test right away. That’s what was really special for me.” – Evan Scott

Jordan Creek and Browns Camp OHV, Tillamook State Forest, OR

Tilamook, OR. | Photo: Ruiz

“We got here to Tillamook, to a place called Browns Camp, and it looked totally fake. It looks like Endor from Star Wars. We were waiting for an Ewok to jump out of the trees. We rode Browns the first day and then we rode the creek the next day. I would be with Evan and he would be like, ‘This is the best place I’ve ever ridden!’ And then the next day he’d be like, ‘This is the best place I’ve ever ridden!’ It was awesome and we had a heck of a time, that’s for sure.” – Keith Culver

“I’ve been dreaming of coming up here. We pretty much were smiling ear to ear going through the woods the whole time.” – Luke Takahashi

“I’ve never been up here. And honestly, I was worried about getting the time off from work. I just pretty much told them that I’m not coming in. It was dirt bike paradise–tall trees, ferns, epic dirt, and no dust. What else can you ask for? All singletrack.” – Michael Smith

“It is like gold. I don’t even know how to explain it. It’s like off-road heaven. It’s just amazing.” –Greg Schlentz

“If you were to compare it to the surf world, I would say Oregon trail riding is like the Pipeline or Indonesia of surfing. It’s a pretty unbelievable landscape, and the trails are tight, flowing, and fun, and it’s also wet up here, so there is no dust. We spent two days in Tillamook, and I think we only scratched the surface.” –Chaz Reta

The Bikes: Two 2017 Yamaha WR450Rs, built by Iron Cobras Fabrication

Built to ride. | Photo: Ruiz

Custom bike builder Evan Scott was the man behind the two machines and was excited at the opportunity to make these machines come to life. The idea was simple, and that was to build one retro-inspired bike and one modern Dakar-styled bike.

“We pulled inspiration from a lot of different vintage bikes between the early Dakar efforts. This bike is solely based on this. The reason it’s called the ‘1981’ is because we really pulled a lot of inspiration from Yamaha’s factory Dakar effort in 1981,” Scott said of the retro-inspired build that featured a beautifully crafted custom white tank.

“It’s an all-aluminum, handmade, custom gas tank. We did that to incorporate that vintage look, but yet hide some of the modern things like radiators that come on a modern dirt bike. With the Yamaha WR450R, the forward-facing air filter was something we had to work around, but I feel that we got the look pretty damn good for what we started with and where we ended up.”

“The Ghost” is the identical WR450R chassis to the “1981” but built out completely different. “Basically, it’s stock bodywork aside from the whole front section, which is custom made to look more like a modern Dakar rally bike–like what you’d find in 2017 or 2018.

The One Moto Show, OR. | Photo: Ruiz

It’s got the navigation tower, and it’s all fully functional. Both bikes actually run full-fledged rally computers, and this modern-inspired bike has a full roll chart, too. These bikes are fully capable, and even though the white bike looks vintage, they both have all of the amenities of a brand-new WR450R”

The photos don’t do them justice, and the kicker to the entire plan was Scott’s idea to display them dirty at the show. “That was kind of a conflict of interest,” Scott said. “I wanted the bikes to look clean, but I feel like just from social media and talking to people, everyone’s really stoked to see that these bikes are dirty at the show.

They’re not just show queens that people build to show and barely ride. These bikes were ridden hard before we got here and they held up. It was a dream come true getting two brand-new bikes to build into rally bikes.”

Looking back at the whole opportunity, he summarized the passion with a smile, “We all ride dirt and we love to watch racing; we’re inspired by that. We want to start doing more rally racing or long-distance riding. Both of these bikes are fully capable of doing that, so I was really stoked to get the opportunity to do that and do this trip.”

The Warriors

What began as a group of working-class, hardcore off-road enthusiasts, the WLF Endure gang has connected with the common rider worldwide.

With close to 50 thousand Instagram followers, the WLF crew has grown exponentially and promotes the enjoyment of any trail ride, off-road adventure and everything in between with a smile. Give them a follow on Instagram to see what they have cooking up. @wlfenduro

Greg Schlentz | Yorba Linda, CA | Living Operations Manager

Keith Culver | Orange County, CA | Sales and Marketing Professional

Jacob Smith | Orange County, CA | Business Owner

Luke Takahashi | Brea, CA | Creative/3D Animator

Michael Smith | Yorba Linda, CA | Construction Worker

Evan Scott | Running Springs, California | Motorcycle Fabricator

Chaz Reta | Fullerton, CA | High School Teacher

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