Moses Ludel’s 4WD Mechanix Magazine – Jesse Williamson: Double Amputee Racing 2013 Baja 1000 on a Motorcycle
Lucas Off-Road Expo, October 5, 2013—On Friday, October 4th, the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame hosted its annual banquet. Among the inductees, motorcycle legend Larry Bergquist stood out. Malcolm Smith, J.N. Roberts and Larry Bergquist dominated the early Mexican (Baja) 1000 races on motorcycles and set the stage for Larry Roeseler, Johnny Campbell, Steve Hengeveld, Mouse McCoy and many others…Each of these riders would understand the ambitions of U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran Jesse Williamson and the Warrior Built crew.
Jesse Williamson shares his plans for riding the 2013 Baja 1000 Race on a Honda CRF450X motorcycle. At right, the Race for the Wounded organization displayed this CRF450X Honda at the 2013 Lucas Off-Road Expo. The motorcycle has typical equipment needed for running the Baja1000. (See the video for details.)
Equipment for Baja 1000 includes special fork work, steering damper, oversized “desert” fuel tank, KC Lights and hand guards. Custom tuning, suspension upgrades and chassis work are essential.
“The Baja 1000 requires a team effort, and Jesse’s immediate support team included Nick Hamm (above left), Tim Read and Jacob De La Garza. Nick is president of the Warrior Built organization and active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps. Randy Simonson, Allan Chadwick, Adrian Chavira, Ben Faler, Dave Mitchell and Juan Mendez formed the pit crews. At right is Brett Robinson, President of the Race for the Wounded organization. Race for the Wounded partnered with Warrior Built on this venture.”
“Jesse and Nick trained hard with Ryan Hughes and competed in the 2013 Baja 1000 on the Honda CRF450X motorcycle. Their determination and commitment clearly suggest the stuff of Baja riders—and Jesse Williamson took this one step further. He became the first double amputee to compete on a motorcycle in the Baja 1000. Williamson’s intention was to set an example for other combat veterans with service-related injuries.”
“Jesse Williamson, Nick Hamm, Brett Robinson, John Graves and Patrick Ditson made up the motorcycle riding team, each was race-ready for saddle time during the Baja 1000. When Brett Robinson is not straddling a motorcycle on dirt, he heads up the Race for the Wounded organization”.
Tim Read and Jacob De La Garza (in photo at left) rode for 300 miles as passengers in Hassim Mendez’s Engage Off-Road Toyota truck. Metal Mulisha driver Brian Deegan supplied the fire suits. At right, the Warrior Built crew gathers for a photo. In addition to Jesse Williamson and Nick Hamm on the CRF450X motorcycle, the project’s aim was to get a number of combat vets into the Toyota truck during the race. (Two photos courtesy of Warrior Built)
“At left, the Warrior Built team gets briefed on the Baja 1000 Race course logistics. This is a highly competitive form of off-road racing, and the 2013 Baja 1000 is now regarded by the world’s best off-road racers as the toughest route to date. To compete is a major accomplishment for anyone. To ride a Honda CRF450X as a double-amputee is a milestone! (Two photos courtesy of the Warrior Built team and Nick Hamm)
U.S. Marine Corps 1st Sergeant Nick Hamm (right in photo) founded the Warrior Built Foundation. Wounded in Iraq in 2005, Nick went back to fight in 2007. Jesse Williamson and Nick Hamm met after Jesse’s combat injuries at Afghanistan. Jesse helps Nick run the Warrior Built foundation, and their common ground includes dirt motorcycle racing. At Mexico, the 2013 Baja 1000 and the CRF450X motorcycle were their focus! (These two morning of the race photos courtesy of Warrior Built.)
Jesse Williamson received new, custom-built prosthetic devices for the Baja 1000 race, benefitting from the same technology used in the XGames. Jesse is the first double amputee to compete at the Baja 1000. Nick Hamm and Jesse Williamson trained hard for this race, including on-bike coaching from Ryan Hughes! (Two photos courtesy of the Warrior Built team and Nick Hamm.)
Warrior Built and Race for the Wounded teamed up to put Nick Hamm and Jesse Williamson on a Honda CRF450X motorcycle in the 2013 Baja 1000 Race. In this video from the pits, Nick Hamm dismounts and hands off the motorcycle to Jesse Williamson as the pit crew fuels the cycle for the next section—with Jesse Williamson on the saddle! The two raced for 220 miles of the Baja 1000! (Video courtesy of Warrior Built.)
Jesse Williamson comments, “I am so thankful for having the opportunity to race the Baja 1000 this year. I was able to do a lot of pre-running of my section with the Race for the Wounded organization, and that gave me the confidence to ride as fast as I could during the race. Monster Energy came through for us and we got tons of support from them, and I appreciate everything they’re doing to help us!
“This was a big race for me, and it was pretty cool to know I was making history as the first double leg amputee to race a dirt bike at the Baja 1000. Once Nick popped up over the hill and rode the bike into our pit area, I was ready to get on and just ride! I had a lot support there with our foundation Warrior Built and Race for the Wounded, so I felt good.
“I had a lot of high speed sections with pavement and fire roads that I would be 5th gear tapped on just blazing through the desert. I had another small section where I hit some of the silt beds and that sucked! I want to thank Ryan Hughes for training me and getting me prepared mentally and physically for this tough race. He got me in shape, and my body felt good taking his Ryno Power supplements.
“Our bike ended up having electrical issues around mile 700 or so, and we were unable to finish the race, but I’m just happy I got to ride, and I appreciate the hard work the Race for the Wounded organization put into getting us to race the Baja 1000 this year.
“Nick and I are now talking about racing the 250, 500 and the 1000 in 2014, so keep an eye out for us, and thanks for everyone’s support!”
Nick Hamm adds, “Racing the Baja 1000 this year was an experience of a lifetime, and we appreciate everyone who helped us compete in this race. Monster Energy was our biggest supporter/sponsor, and without their help we couldn’t have competed. We also owe a big ‘Thanks!’ to Race for the Wounded for giving us the opportunity to be a part of their team and to ride the Honda CRF450X that they put a lot of hours into building…It was a great bike to ride, and I just remember being so motivated and thankful as I was riding as fast I could through miles and miles of the San Felipe dreaded whoops…I had 50 miles of straight whoops through the sand, hard pack and in the rocks in some areas.
“If it wasn’t for Ryan Hughes training us so hard and taking his Ryno Power Supplements, I know without a doubt that I couldn’t have raced that section as fast as I did! Ryan kept telling us that ‘I’m pushing you guys hard now so that when race day comes it will be easy!’ All of that hard work paid off because I was able get the bike to Jesse faster than anyone thought I could! That was my only goal, and I focused hard on ensuring I was picking the right lines and not riding over my head because I had to get this bike to Jesse so he could experience the thrill of racing the Baja 1000.
“The Warrior Built Foundation that Jesse and I operate is looking to do more races in 2014 and we hope to get even more combat veterans to race the San Felipe 250, Baja 500 and Baja 1000. Thanks to all the great Americans and companies out there who support us, I know we can make this happen. We are also talking about racing in some of the off-road events here in the United States and even building an off road vehicle to race in as well. If anyone would like to help us, please contact me at Nick@warriorbuilt.org.”
Nick Hamm off, Jesse Williamson on, the remote pit stop and rider change…All’s going well at this point, as Jesse receives the Honda CRF450X from Nick, quickly mounts up, and hurtles down the desolate Mexican highway into remote desert and onto the fire roads ahead! The 2013 Baja 1000 has now been dubbed the 883 most challenging miles ever for this Mexican race. (Photos courtesy of Warrior Built)
Supported by Warrior Built crew members and combat vets who participated (above), Jesse Williamson and Nick Hamm rode hard and completed 220 grueling miles of the intense 883 mile 2013 Baja 1000 Race course. 4WD Mechanix Magazine and HD Video Network applauds the team’s effort and hard work—gratitude to Warrior Built and the Race for the Wounded organizations for promoting this ground breaking effort! (Two photos courtesy of Warrior Built)
For more details on how to become a sponsor, supporter or participant, visit the sites for Warrior Built and Race for the Wounded:
Current List of Race Sponsors
The Texas Tornado Boot Camp
TRD Toyota Motorsports
DEFT family gloves
Ryno Power Supplements
Replay XD Cameras
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