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

Tire Cutting 101

When it comes to scale trail runs, mud bogging, competition crawling and racing, tires are one of the most important aspects of your vehicle. Without proper traction it can be tough to hold your intended line in the rocks or around the track. Having multiple sets of tires in your arsenal is always a good idea in order to be prepared for any and all conditions. But, for the budget crawler, basher and racer having numerous sets of tires and wheels isn’t always a feasible option. There are ways to improve your existing tires and wheels though, and all it requires is a little time at the work bench. For this tire cutting article we will show you a few ways to get more traction out of your stock or existing tires, with little to no money out of your pocket. There are numerous ways to cut tires for better performance. Siping, read cutting, tires is a technology used in the 1:1 off-road world for everything from rock crawling to baja, mud bogging and even full size monster trucks. Tire cutting can be used to get better forward bite, better lateral bite, and even help to avoid mud from packing into certain tread patterns. You can also cut the side wall lugs to soften up the overall feel of the tires carcass as well. There are many aspects to this technology/art form.

A good example to start with for the scale crawlers is the stock R40 compound Axial Ripsaw tires that are original equipment on the RTR Wraith and new RTR Ridgecrest. These tires have a great tread pattern with aggressive lugs for hardcore off road terrain. But, the compound on these is quite a bit harder than the softer R35 Axial Ripsaw tires. Here are a few different methods you can use to get the most out of your stock RTR Ripsaw tires. Only tools needed are a good pair of small wire cutters, a Dremel with a cutoff wheel and a little bit of your time.

Wire cutters used.


Dremel and cutoff wheel used.


A stock uncut tire before we get started.


First thing I wanted to improve upon was forward bite, and the ability to clean sticky mud out of the tire lugs. The tires I am using for this article will be bolted up to a 2.2 scaler/rock racer which will see a wide variety of terrain. I started by cutting the smaller rows of lugs completely out of the tires for a super aggressive tread pattern that will have the ability to shed mud and wet dirt, using a small pair of wire cutters. This cut will also soften the carcass up and allow for more forward bite in technical rock sections, similar to airing a 1:1 tire down for more grip and better ride. If your wire cutters are too small to span the entire lug you are trying to remove, you can cut half of the lug and slide the cutters along the base of the lug for a second cut as needed. I had to use this method on the biggest lugs.




Next cut the smaller center lugs out on the same row.



Here is how that same tire looks when the first round of cutting is complete.


A profile shot after the first round with the wire cutters.


A photo of all the lugs removed from the 4 tires.


Next I want to improve the tires performance on the rocks in off camber situations. To do this I will use my Dremel and cut the existing tire grooves in the center lugs down to the tire’s carcass. Here you can see it grooves before I modify them.


Position the Dremel over the lug to be cut and follow the existing groove to make it deeper.


Keep your RPMs on the Dremel high enough to cut the lug without bogging the motor down. Gently apply pressure until the cutoff wheel cuts the full depth of the lug. Be careful not to go too deep and cut all the way through the tire, take your time and be patient. You can also do this to the outer lugs if you find you need more bite, or sidewall flex. Another way to get more flex out of your tires is to open up the breather holes in the wheels. I drilled out the existing breather holes in these wheels to twice the stock diameter.


Finished tire


Here’s a few shots to show the overall look on my “Project Backyard Basher Ridgecrest.” These tires really give it a lot more aggressive look, similar to what you would see on the “Rock Bouncers” from down in the southeast.



Following these tips will improve overall performance on the stock RTR Ripsaw tires as well as other tires on the market, especially if they are molded in a firm rubber compound.