Azusa Canyon OHV Park ‘Obstacle Course’ Grand Opening 7/14/12

The Azusa Canyon OHV Park has been a go-to spot for 4X4 and off road enthusiasts from all around So-Cal for many years. On July 14, 2012 a new edition to the park was finally unveiled. First conceived as far back as 2001 by Mike Bishop, president of Azusa Canyon Off Road Association (ACORA), the 4X4 obstacle course is now open to the public. The 3 acre course presents challenges not only for heavily built rigs but for near stock 4X4’s as well. Work began in the summer 2010 and was near completion by September 2010 when the Forest Service told Mike and the team that a ‘seasonal’ stream cut directly through the site. Nothing was going to stop ACORA at this point. So with some clever revisions, and the help of Falken Tire, not only was the stream protected but a new obstacle was born. With the last hurdle out of the way the final touches were added including a mini ATV track for kids. As part of the grand opening festivities Axial was invited to set up some gate markers and run a demo RC course. Several Axial rigs appeared out of nowhere to participate in the fun. When the demo concluded the announcement was made to gather around the podium so the opening ceremonies could get underway. Among some of the local dignitaries that spoke were the Mayor of Azusa, Joe Rocha, Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, and the Director of LA County Dept. of Parks & Recreation, Russ Guiney. They were all very excited to witness the unveiling and hopeful of its future contribution not only to the local economy but to off road enthusiasts from all around. Alas the ribbon was cut and immediately after all who spoke during the ceremony were practically forced, by Mike Bishop, to go for a ride on the course. Professional drivers were on hand, including Axial’s Randall Davis, giving many their first taste of extreme 4X4 driving. I assure you the smiles were of no shortage from the passengers. Afterwards the course was fair game to anyone that wanted to test the limits of their rig or simply get a tire up on a rock. As the day came to a close CORVA continued to raffle off some awesome prizes including a set of Pro Comp tires courtesy of 4Wheel Parts and an Axial AX10 RTC that was ready to hit the rocks. The Azusa Canyon OHV Park & Obstacle Course is a perfect model, for off roaders anywhere, proving that these types of recreational parks can still exist. The off roading community and government agencies can work together benefiting both. Remember united we stand, divided we fall. Tred lightly fellow off roaders!

For more information on the Azusa Canyon OHV Park take a look at their Facebook page: Azusa Canyon OHV Park Facebook

Azusa Canyon OHV Park Grand Opening
The red carpet ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the obstacle course.

Azusa Canyon OHV Park Grand Opening
You can really see some genuine excitment and jubliation in this shot.

Azusa Canyon OHV Park Grand Opening
Off road enthusiasts from all around attended the grand opening.

Azusa Canyon OHV Park Grand Opening
The Mayor of Azusa, Joe Rocha, and Assemblyman Roger Hernandez heading to the obstacle course just after the opening ceremony.

Azusa Canyon OHV Park Grand Opening
Axial’s Randall Davis taking Tom Sanchez, Azusa Chamber of Commerce BOD, for a ride through the course. Mr. Sanchez later e-mailed us about his experience: “Thank you so much it was a blast and I ‘ve never been to a course such as this and I’m telling you Randall this will not be the last I’ve been spreading the word and will encourage the chamber members to continue to support your efforts in this very exciting sport. I was amazed how these drivers can control the vehicle over these massive boulders without flipping the truck. Thanks you guys for a wonderful experience and remember whatever we as a chamber can do to support you count on us.”

Azusa Canyon OHV Park Grand Opening
Wheeling anyone?

Azusa Canyon OHV Park Grand Opening
We had a chance to throw down some gate markers to give the course the RC seal of approval. The possibilities for course design were endless….

Azusa Canyon OHV Park Grand Opening
The winner of the AX10 raffle who said he would be giving it to his son because he had been wanting an RC crawler.

Azusa Canyon OHV Park Grand Opening
Far right: Axial’s own Randall Davis concentrating on his line.

Azusa Canyon OHV Park Grand Opening
An AX10 making a steep decent down a rockface.

Azusa Canyon OHV Park Grand Opening
An SCX10 doing work! Wouldn’t it be cool if SCX10′s came right out of the box with a Jeep body? One can dream right?

Azusa Canyon OHV Park Grand Opening
A very customized SCX10 Trial Honcho braving the course.

Azusa Canyon OHV Park Grand Opening
A good view of the obstacle course.

Azusa Canyon OHV Park Grand Opening
Rebel Offroad’s Chris Towles taking his JK though the course.

Azusa Canyon OHV Park Grand Opening
A Jeep getting up and over a cement road barrier.

Azusa Canyon OHV Park Grand Opening
Road Race Motorsports John Rocha and his old school Willy’s. I overheard a few people chatting about how top heavy this rig must be and how it must not wheel very well. They were silenced quickly after watching him take some challenging lines through the course. The Willy’s will amaze!

Axial’s Randall Davis assess’s the situation. “Well there’s your problem!?”, he says.

If you get enough wheelers together, pushing the limits of their rigs, there is bound to be roll over which provides a good chance to practice recovery technics.

Some video footage of the various action taking place on the course. It’s like a big playground for 4X4′s!

Azusa Canyon OHV Park Grand Opening
What happens when you lay a V8 powered TJ on the front driveshaft? It’s gets slightly tweaked!

I’ve see this super clean and capable Toyota at quite a few off roading events. It reminds me alot of a SCX10 Trail Honcho. The owner and I got to talking and this beast even has a TRD supercharged V6. The cab is so clean that it’s hard to believe the paint job was only $400!?

Azusa Canyon OHV Park Grand Opening
4Wheel Parts was on site and even raffled off a set of Pro Comp tires.

Azusa Canyon OHV Park Grand Opening
Road///Race Motorsports had a nice display including their 2007-2012 Jeep JK Power Packages. For more information visit their online store:
Road///Race Motorsports Store

Azusa Canyon OHV Park Grand Opening
Raceline Wheels had an awesome array of rims. From bling bling to beadlocks they have what you want. Raceline also donated some rims to the raffle. For a complete look at their products visit their website: Raceline Wheels

For a complete look at all the pics taken please visit Axial’s Flicker profile: Axial’s Flicker

Axial also visited the Azusa Canyon OHV Park ‘Obstacle Course’ several times before it’s grand opening to the public. See the links below for details and pics:

Axial visits Azusa Canyon Off-Road Park

Axial attends RC Truckfest and ACORA BBQ

Bender’s AX10 Ridgecrest Project Backyard Basher

Now that Axial’s new Ridgecrest is readily available I wanted to show one of the Ridgecrest projects I have been working on. For this project I just wanted to build a do it all trail runner/crawler/basher. The Ridgecrest is the perfect platform for this type of build in my opinion, because of the stout AR60 axles and the well tuned suspension geometry. The purpose of this build is to have a rig that can handle a lot of various situations from sandy hills, to rocks and roots, a little water, and possibly some urban bashing. This project will also probably be a loaner vehicle on occasion as well, so I want it to work decent in all situations. Here’s a rundown of what I changed, and why.

A couple shots with the body removed. I swapped the electronics and battery trays around so the battery now sits in front for better weight distribution.




Swapping the two trays around was easy, the only thing required was a servo extension wire. The steering servo wire lead on this rig was a bit too short for me to reach the receiver after swapping the two trays around. Servo extensions can be found at most hobby shops and online retailers for less than $5, so it is a cheap and easy solution.


Here you can see the junction where the servo wire and the servo extension meet. I used the stock wire guide to keep the wires out of harm’s way. Also notice I moved the on/off switch to the opposite side of the chassis, just to keep wires cleanly tucked away.


I stretched the wheelbase on this Ridgecrest to help on big rock obstacles, and hill climbs. A longer wheelbase usually helps a rig’s capabilities in these situations. So, I installed our 106mm grey links, part number AX30516, to replace the old stock plastic lower links. Then, I used our grey machined high clearance links, part number AX30469, to replace the stock upper links. In order to stretch the wheelbase as much as possible I used our long curved XR10 rod ends on all the suspension links, part number AX80057. You will need 4 of the rod end parts trees total to complete the conversion, as well as M3 threaded studs to secure the rod ends to the links, part number AXA0187. You will need two packages of the threaded studs to complete the conversion. My wheelbase now sits at 13 1/2″.


A shot of the link set-up.


Here you can see I also installed our new AR60 machined link mounts, part number AX30830, on the axles as well. These link mounts are cool because they have multiple mounting points, which will help you fine tune wheelbase, ride height and shock angles as needed.


Another modification that I made was the jump to XR10 beadlock wheels, part number AX08061, and R35 Ripsaw tires, part number AX12015. This mod is one of the best you can make, the difference in traction between the stock RTR Ripsaw tires and the better R35 compound tires is night and day.


Last thing I changed was the springs on the shocks. The stock springs were a bit too stiff for my liking, so I swapped them out for our purple comp springs, part number AX30224.


A few shots with the newly cut body.



So far these few mods have really transformed this vehicle into a super capable basher/trail runner, that is extremely fun to drive. Keep an eye out for my next few Ridgecrest installments covering how to convert your Ridgecrest into a capable comp crawler.