November 7th marks the release of On Any Sunday, The Next Chapter – hitting theaters nation wide. With its highly anticipated debut, Red Bull North America wanted to do something special to promote this iconic movie. Dana Brown and Roland Sands decided it would be cool to build a custom bike that would take us back to the original 1971 classic, On Any Sunday and bring those nostalgic days to modern life. This bike build could have easily taken the path of flat tracker, hill climber or road racer; but with the tragic loss of offroad racer Kurt Caselli last year at the 2013 Baja 1000, we all decided that a “desert sled” build was in order. We contacted KTM North America and they were on board to have us build the bike and help tell Kurt’s story, and raise awareness of the Kurt Caselli Foundation. Click here to bid on this bike!
The online auction bidding for the bike starts today and ends on November 29th, with a live auction at A Day In The Dirt. For more details or to start bidding please head over to Compass Auctions and be part of history.
The Kurt Caselli Foundation was formed in Kurt’s honor, to protect and support the lives of off-road riders through a three-part mission that encompasses safety precautions for riders before, during and after their racing careers. Caselli was one of the most amazing offroad racers in the world and proved it on every level, on and off the track. With a race resume stretching for miles, from dominating local California District 37 races as a kid; to wining 3 consecutive AMA National Hare & Hound Overall Championships, 3 WORCS titles and even earning his stripes at the international level as an 8 time ISDE Top American and 2 time class winner then being a front runner in his first Dakar Rally with 2 stage wins in 2013. Kurt was the real deal, he never let his racing success go to his head, and that was his truest accomplishment. Maybe it was his close family and travelling to races with his dad on a weekly basis that made him the way he was, none of us will ever know. What is known is that Kurt was an amazing person, full of life and forever grateful and appreciative of everyone around him who helped him live his dream.
The best part about building a bike for On Any Sunday, the Next Chapter – is that the bike will be auctioned off, with 100% of the proceeds going to benefit The Kurt Caselli Foundation. Our aim was to take a brand new, 2015 KTM 450 SX-F and turn it into something with modern day performance and reliability but, with the aesthetics and styling of the long-gone bomb runners of yesteryear. Not that new dirtbikes don’t look good, but there’s just something great about the simplistic lines of vintage bikes. The cool thing about customizing modern day motocrossers is that underneath all of the plastics, electric start and fuel injection, the bones really haven’t strayed too far from the original motocross bikes of the past.
Ivan Ramirez (Kurt’s Factory KTM Teammate) rode the bike in honor of Kurt for our photo shoot at Pismo Beach. He said the bike handled just like his 450 race bike. He was comfortable on it and even sent it pretty huge off some big dunes.
The new machines have obviously gotten a lot faster, have way better suspension and are much more reliable; but changing the look was pretty straight forward. We hand fabricated the aluminum gas tank and chromoly subframe first, then made the aluminum side panels and number plates. The aluminum fenders are reproduction versions from a 1974 Husqvarna. All of this was done right on top of the unmodified stock frame and, technically speaking, you could pretend your riding down cow trails alongside Steve McQueen one day then return it back to a stock 2015 KTM and go race Anaheim 1 with it the next, all in just a matter of a couple hours. We incorporated some parts that Kurt was critical about on his race bikes, including his preferred handlebar bend, grips, pegs and wheels, as well as a custom, thinned-out brake lever from Kurt’s long time factory KTM mechanic, Anthony Di Basilio. We think this bike would be set up just how Kurt would have liked it. All of the custom made parts, combined with the modern day aftermarket accessories, almost makes you wonder what year this machine is actually from.
The outpouring of support from the whole motorcycle industry was amazing on this project. Every call we made for parts was immediately followed by companies willing to donate their parts and labor. We will take this as a reflection of Kurt’s reputation and on behalf of RSD, we thank you all. All of these extra details from our partners is greatly appreciated beyond words and helped this bike be even more special. Check out the links below and the tech sheet for specific details on the build.
RK Excel American-Excel A60 rims
Race Tech – Suspension mods
Matrix Concepts – Kurt Caselli Foundation bike stand
Designer: Roland SandsFabricator: Aaron Boss
Mechanic: Scott Dimick
Project Manager: Cameron BrewerPhotos by: Joseph Hitzelberger