We wanted to kick this section of the website off with a bang, and I'm not sure anybody in the southern california motorcycle racing scene, could be heard over the roar this guy's engine makes as it re-arranges the desert landscape. SLR Honda race team is famous for setting records in the SCORE series down in Baja (mexico) with Justin and team owner Mark Samuels on the bike, but before SLR was born the rivalry/distant friendship of these guys goes almost a decade back. What else do you get when the 2 fastest guys to possibly race a dirtbike 1000 miles end up sharing a bike? Yeah, perfection.
It's a little bit of a funny concept walking through life not really knowing who the people around you are. The guy you just cut off on the 8 was the chargers old linebacker, or the guy pouring drinks at your favorite bar in OB is an ex punk rock star who got screwed over by the unfavorable music culture this country has adopted. Justin Morgan kind of falls into that category as a farmer. Cranking out the hours on a ranch growing avocados and running around chasing steer might sound like the 21st century male's worst nightmare, but that guy is and will be remembered as one of the fastest racers to ever throw a leg over a bike in off-road racing. Imagine having a job hardcore enough to were other then some solid mountain biking rides a few days a week keeps you in good enough shape to be a professional racer. Of course we see it on a more local or average level with guys in construction and other trade work that come out for your weekend series but we are talking about 2 very different calibers of fitness and intensity on the bike.
After a few years of keeping his head down on social media and really focusing on winning baja races, 2021 brought Justin out to party at several of the well known race series in the Southwestern United States. I actually ran into him at a WORCS race in Peoria, AZ at the start of the year and got to see him send a Honda 450x around the GP course like it was as agile as a typical MX bike. With Bobby at San Diego Powerhouse working overtime to keep his equipment ready to go, it's been awesome to see appearances at D38/D37/WORCS, and other stuff at Glen Helen this year. With 2021 being only half over Justin and the SLR Honda crew will be out in full force bringing the heat to finish the NHHA racing series and everything else you can think of going on around here. Sweat Shields is a proud supporter of #403 and all his endeavors, if you happen to be at a race with him make sure you give him ol thumbs as you ride by the pits because in reality there aren't too many dudes out there with the same humble, charismatic personality Justin brings the events every weekend.
Check out Justin on Instagram @jmorgan403
As everyone knows 2020-2021 was a year of surprise success in the motorcycle industry and with that came an insanely inflated used bike market and an expensive "no deals" new bike market. Several events led up to the purchasing of this new GASGAS but who cares lets talk about the bike.
As a 6'2 240lb off road B rider, I was stuck in a loop trying to figure out which 4 stroke would fit me the best, coming off a TX300 and not owning one in almost 4 years had clouded my mind. A few emails back in forth with Kris Keefer and riding a handful of friends bike I found myself driving to San Diego for a new GASGAS 350. With racing southern western US GP's in mind, a bike that was friendly into a solid 1 hour moto was the goal.
With the soft, yet still torquey low end power and the solid mid end hit that pulls for 15 days before you hit the rev limiter, its a rad bike. Think 250 2 stroke personality in a 4 stroke motor with some engine decel thrown in, you do have to work for the serious power, but it never lacks in that category nor will it bog off the face of a jump like your 2009 craigslist yz250 you got for 2200$ PRE COVID. Really happy with this bike so far around 10 hours in on it, as more time comes I'm sure more tweaks will come but KTM aka GASGAS nailed these bikes and its no surprise everyone is fighting in the dealer parking lots for them.