This is a guide to enduro written by someone some years back.
It still applies but at some point we will update it where necessary and immortalize it somewhere that isn’t a blog post.
An enduro is a race against the clock testing the rider’s ability to negotiate technical terrain and maintain a predetermined time schedule, so an Enduro is a time keeping event more than a race. If you have ever seen an off-road car rally the format is very similar. Most enduro courses are a single loop between 60 and 100 miles long, and, in general, are more challenging and physically demanding than a dual sport. The route consists of a series of test sections that may include a mix of technical single track trail, grass track, or other natural obstacles. Usually there are check points at the beginning (check in) and at the end (check out) of each technical section where the rider’s time is recorded. The competitors attempt to maintain the predetermined schedule and arrive at the check points on time. Every minute a rider is late to the check point counts as a point. The rider with the fewest number of points accumulated through all test sections for the day is the winner. Arrival time is recorded to the second at some check points in order to break ties if rider’s accumulated points for the day are even. The test sections are connected by easier transfer sections composed of any mix of roads, dirt roads, power lines, or two track trails where the predetermined time schedule is easily maintained. Like a Dual Sport the rider is provided a route sheet and the course is clearly marked with directional arrows, wrong way indicators, and caution markers. There are also refueling locations either back at the start area or remote, in which case the sponsoring club will provide a gas truck. Normally remote gas stops are accessible by pit crews. Riders traverse the course in groups of 4 or 5, dictated by the sponsoring club, at one minute intervals. Of course, speed and ability lead to separation in the test sections, but the riders regroup for the transfer to the next test. You may choose to ride with your buddies on the same row (or “minute”) by entering the enduro together.
There are two types of enduros- time keeping and non-time keeping (National Format or Restart). In the time keeping format the riders must maintain the predetermined time schedule throughout the day, even on the transfer section as they can be penalized for being both early and late to a checking station. In order to be competitive in a time keeping enduro the rider will need to be equipped with time keeping equipment which could be as simple and inexpensive as a watch and odometer or as costly as an enduro computer. In the non-time keeping format the riders may arrive early at the check in to a test section with no penalty. In a non time-keeping event the use of a clock/watch is recommended to arrive at check in on time or a bit early. The check personnel will ensure they start the test at the proper time and the penalty points will only be accumulated for lateness at the check-out. The ECEA enduro series features both time keeping and non-time keeping events.
Requirements for enduros may also vary depending on the event and constraints of the sponsoring club. Some enduros are “closed course” and are open to unregistered bikes. Other events which utilize public roads or property may require registered and insured vehicles and a motorcycle driver’s license. Entry fees are usually $45-$50 and you will also need to get an ECEA enduro license which is available at no charge at each event. Specific information regarding event format and requirements is available from the sponsoring clubs or the ECEA web site, www.ecea.org.
A great feature of enduros is the diversity of the entrants. There is a class for every ability, from C (beginner) to AA (pro), just about every age (16 to 70+), and a wide variety of motorcycle (2T, 4T, 200cc, 250cc, Open). At every event you will find serious racers, but just as many casual riders out to enjoy a day in the saddle with their friends. Enduro riding has an etiquette; if a faster rider catches you, make room for them to pass, then you can both continue to enjoy your day of riding at your comfortable speed and desired level of competition. You decide how you treat the event; as a hotly contested race against the clock where every second counts, or as a fun day riding with and laughing at your buddies.
Let’s review some common information that a new comer to riding enduros may benefit from, these tips will serve as a reminder to the racer as well. As explained above an Enduro is a timekeeping event more than a traditional style race. Even the National Format is a set of shorter test sections that you ride against the clock then transverse a trail section to the next test.Generally an enduro rider is as young as 16 years old and should possess a motorcycle driver’s license from his home state. Some states have an 18 year old minimum age. All riders 18 and under must sign appropriate waivers and have a parents consent on site or a notarized form. At ECEA Events we are AMA Sanctioned and AMA Membership is required, this membership is part of our insurance requirements. The ECEA also issues an Enduro Card to its riders, it has been labeled a ECEA license or ECEA Enduro test over the years but it is a Card that you apply for, it is your responsibility to abide by all rules and state laws while riding an Enduro.
When you sign up for an enduro many events will require an endure style bike with a head lamp, tail lamp and license plate, closed course events do not require these so please check the event flyer or with the sponsoring club. Upon arrival to the event you will get a riders packet that will contain your score card and a Rider Number that represents the Row/Minute and a letter (11A, 3B), this number goes on the front number plate. Also there will be a score card that gets taped to your front fender and a route sheet that can be programmed into a computer or transformed into a roll chart to follow. Roll Carts are sometimes supplied by the club with major turns and good info.
At the specified Keytime 8 am or 9 am, 4 riders per row will leave the starting line every minute. As you ride the trail you will match your time and odometer, this is time keeping. You try to ride the pace set in MPH for that section. You will stop at all check points to be scored. Each Check Point will have a marker / signage to show the check line, each marker will have a letter designating the type of check. K Known, S secret, E emergency, O observation etc. Your object here is to be on time, being late, you lose 1 point for every minute late, at an E Check you also have the seconds counted, they are used to break ties. If you are early you lose 2 points for the first minute early. You also have 60 minutes to complete a section, otherwise you hour out and are no longer scored. You can be scored before the marker if you stop forward motion and place a foot down while you are in the sight of the check crew, be careful. Your finish score is calculated by adding up all checks, the lowest score wins. Read up on other articles and the rule book for check point rules. Remember most clubs have Tech inspect before you start the enduro make sure you go to tech. In NJ there are State Racing Rules that on a NON Closed Course where public roads are used, that the Rider and Bike must be Road Legal to ride the event.
If you miss a turn or trail, slowly turn around, stay to the side of the trail and travel back with caution. Sometime you may get stuck on a hill or technical section, try to help another rider so they can help you. If broken down get your bike off the main trail while you try a repair, wait for the trail crew to assist if needed. When you approach a slower rider give a yell to get attention, the slower rider should point or motion to the side you can pass on. Use caution at spectator points and gas stops, pit crews are there to help and it can get congested, watch traffic. Speaking of traffic, laws, you must obey all state and local traffic signs and laws.
New riders to the sport most always start in the C Classes but if you ride in A Class offroad then you ride A Class Enduro. In the ECEA, year-end points and awards are based on club membership so being part or a club will reward you at the banquet but also help us support this great sport. If by chance while riding the event you disagree with the check crew on the points or time called, please as to add a P to your scorecard and to the backup sheet. On the same token at the final scoring, your score card will be hung to be viewed if you see an error please look up the event referee to file a protest.
This covers most common points of the Enduro. We hope you find riding an enduro to be fun and rewarding.