Embracing the mantra of “run what ya brung,” the HighPipe Scrambler Rally held at China Peak Ski Resort welcomes anything that rolls on two wheels and is self-propelled by an engine or motor. No need to put too fine of a point on the premise—bring a motorcycle, have fun, make friends. That’s it, you don’t need a proper scrambler that is modded and bobbed with chunky tires, nor do you need to be of a certain demographic. Scrambling in the purest sense is riding a streetbike in the dirt, and that is what it’s all about. In its second year HighPipe more than tripled attendance thanks to this.

Just like any motorcycle rally or festival there were activities such as the Honda-sponsored Gromkhana, Rever’s Mob Run to Bald Peak, the Scramble Ramble Scavenger Hunt by Bridgestone Tires, and the Roland Sands Design Hooligan Hill Climb. Of course, no worthwhile motorcycle gathering would be complete without a bike show and demo rides. The Gecko from Geico oversaw the fun from the registration area, representing the title sponsor.

Scrambler line
Ducati Scrambler brought out the full line for demo rides at HighPipe.Jeff Allen

Motorcycle riders always enjoy a little friendly competition, and the Gromkhana fit that bill. Honda furnished five 2018 125 Groms to be used on a short course that consisted of ridiculously tight turns that challenged all skill levels. After two days of laps, Super Hooligan racer Jordan Graham laid down the fastest time grabbing his first trophy of the weekend.

The Ride In Bike Show saw a solid showing of clean machines ranging from vintage trailbikes to Tom Savage’s 1988 Honda 650 Hawk-turned dirt bike. The winner and people’s choice was Mark Ellsworth’s ultra-clean 1967 Yamaha YM2C Big Bear 305.

Yamaha Big Bear 305
This ultra-clean Yamaha Big Bear 305 won the highPipe Ride In Bike Show.Jeff Allen

Bridgestone Tires' Scramble Ramble provided a chance for riders to strike out on their own to hit up to 20 different points. The most points reached would take home a set of Bridgestones. Also, each point earned the riders more raffle tickets for the stack of gifts provided by all the vendors at HighPipe. Erin Crane ended taking home a set of tires for her travels during the event.

Former Cycle World Senior Editor and Rever Marketing Manager Blake Conner led the way on a Friday and Saturday Mob Run to Bald Peak. The ride rolled down the blacktop to a dirt road that increased in difficulty until it reached the stunning viewpoint on Bald Peak. Most made it without a hitch, but there were a few dropped bikes. Mark Maraoka, a design engineer for Zero Motorcycles, dropped his Ducati Hypermotard 796 snapping off the footpeg mount from the Hyper's frame. Not wanting to miss the rest of the fun, Mark and his buds drilled a hole in the frame, inserted a large screwdriver, and safety-wired it into place. He rode the rest of the weekend with a screwdriver handle as his right footpeg!

Mob run
Rever’s Mob Run ended at a lookout tower atop Bald Peak.Jeff Allen

Ducati Scrambler and Honda had a full fleet of bikes for demos. All weekend, extended demo rides filtered in and out of the event area. Whether you wanted to try out an Africa Twin or CFR250L Rally, Honda had it and gave the riders plenty of time to get familiar with its products.

Honda fleet
Honda brought a fleet to sample at HighPipe.Jeff Allen

The Ducati Scrambler demo area was a place to sign up for rides, but also to hang out thanks to the comfy couches, music, and snacks. Every Scrambler was available to ride, but it seemed the Desert Sled was the most popular choice for demo rides.

Desert Sled
The Desert Sled was the most popular machine for demo rides at the Ducati Scrambler area.Jeff Allen

The last big blast for the weekend was the Roland Sands Design Hooligan Hill Climb. Rever handled running the course and the RSD crew sent along some of their hooligans to race alongside anyone brave enough to sign up. Originally the event was meant to be a points race in the RSD Super Hooligans series, but X Games scheduled a qualifier the same weekend and many of the hooligan racers had to bail out to race the qualifier.

Jordan Graham made the drive from the qualifier, and waxed the the field on his Indian Scout 60 racebike. No front brake, a dirt track front tire, and a knobby rear tire made a combo for success, and Graham took two more trophies—one for the fastest overall time and one for the Hooligan class win.

Jordan Graham
Jordan Graham was the fastest up the hill on his Indian Scout 60 hooligan ftlat track race bike. No front brake - no problem.Jeff Allen

Tom Savage put his Honda Hawk dirt bike in front in the Goofball class, Jeff Bro took the 110cc or Less class on a Honda Trail 90, and Joe Tabarracci bested the 111 to 350cc class on a 1982 Honda XL200. Nathon Verdugo blasted up the hill on a Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled for the second fastest overall time and a win in the Scrambler Modern class. Jim Fixel grabbed the trophy for the 350–650cc division on a 1974 Yamaha XS650 while Joe Draper put his 1975 Honda CB750 on the top in the Multi-Cylinder division.

RSD Hooligan Hillclimb
The RSD Hooligan Hillclimb tested the riders, but everyone was smiles at the top.Jeff Allen

After it was all said and done, everyone enjoyed a fun Saturday evening with raffles, awards, a movie, and plenty of benchracing. Smiles were plentiful and laughs were often. The HighPipe Scrambler Rally grew in size but still has feel of a small group of friends getting together for some fun on their bikes. Promises were made to return next year and it’s clear that most will, most likely with more friends in tow.