A wide open, dusty, straightaway. A Ducati V-Twin at full throttle, going as fast as it will agree to. These are some things that both Magpul and professional Desert Sled racer Jordan Graham can fully embrace. Magpul has been involved in the off-road racing scene since its early days, and Jordan’s approach to this high-speed competition caught our eye. We partnered with Jordan earlier this year as he started his AMA National Hare & Hound season, and we’ve followed along with him as he’s taken a commanding lead in the Hooligan Open Class. Before we get into the gearhead or podium talk, we wanted to find out what makes Jordan itch to ride, and what has helped carry him this far along in the competition. Turns out, racing a 500-pound motorcycle through the desert isn’t the only thing he’s good at.
Jordan’s passion for motor vehicles started at an early age. At three, his dad sat him on top of a mini-bike, and the first few feet of riding career began with him crashing through the neighbor’s fence and into their dog. Years later when he was thirteen, he was inspired by the older generation of hot-rodders and their fast and loud custom-fabricated cars in California. Weed-whacking for money, Jordan saved up enough for a 1931 Ford Model-A body and built his first car at the age of fourteen. Since then, fabrication has become a skill and an education he absorbed from his father. For Jordan, the “built not bought” mantra has guided his life with vehicles.
Having been brought up in the country, Jordan also spent a lot of his time running through the hills with his dog, hunting squirrels, and looking for targets to shoot. He considers that time spent outdoors and around guns as the formative time that grew him into the red-blooded American he is today. His outlook on firearms is no different from his passion for racing and fabrication; it’s all out or nothing. Proof of that lies in the fact that Jordan does all of the gunsmithing for his builds. He’s especially fond of old-school lever guns, which he likes to restore and add modern tweaks to enhance what they can be in today’s world.
At the moment, Jordan has five different car projects underway. Between that, keeping his bikes race ready, and the many other of the side projects he has going on all at once, the work never stops. For Jordan, it all comes full circle on the Flat Track bike that he built with his own two hands. When it carries him across the finish line in first place, that sense of gratification makes all the hard work worthwhile.
Jordan and His Teammate Tony
Jordan’s upbringing, hands on approach, and need to constantly do the best possible job has translated into his racing career. He’s been racing the Super Hooligan Series for five years now, which is a mashup of Flat Track and outlaw street racing using heavy bikes (750cc, 400lbs and up). And he has been a dominant force there; he’s a regular on the podium.
Fast-forward to March 2020 at the Mint 400. The Mint 400 is the oldest and most prestigious off-road race in America, and 2020 was the inaugural year for the Hooligan class. He took his Ducati Desert-Sled off-road competitively for the first time and came in ahead of second place by 45 minutes. Riding his 500-lb V-Twin, he went head-to-head with much lighter and more nimble dirt bikes (230lbs) and left them far behind. Leaning heavily on skills he developed on Flat Track, Jordan surprised the race world, catching the attention of the AMA National Hare & Hound and earning their invite to continue racing through 2020 out in the desert.
“I definitely don’t want to be out there by myself carrying the torch. I like seeing a whole new generation of guys getting into it. I think the Hooligan V-Twin, adventure stuff off-road is a huge thing right now.”
Jordan Getting Some Air
A Hooligan with Hangtime
Wheelie Through the Woods
Jordan’s win at the Mint 400 has helped propel the Hooligan class to tremendous growth. Off-road racing started out on V-Twins before transitioning towards the British bikes in the 60’s. Right now, we’re seeing a return to the roots of racing, with OEM manufactures getting behind these racers and pushing the class even further. Jordan has found more and more people buying V-Twins and coming to him for tips on parts and looking for a push in the right direction. Being able to help people get into desert racing is a dream come true for Jordan, and it all starts with hopping on your bike and getting out there.
With a recent first place finish at the 2021 Silver State Trail Blazers Hare & Hound race in Panaca, Nevada, Jordan holds a six-win lead in the 2021 National Hare & Hound series and he’s on track to become the first ever AMA National Hare and Hound Hooligan Open class champion and carry the national #1 plate into 2022. Right behind him in standings is his Allied Racing teammate Tony Parent. This was the last big race standing between them and a repeat in the desert outside of Las Vegas.
The legendary Mint 400 is steeped in atmosphere as the oldest and most prestigious off-road race in America. The racers drive down Fremont street in Old Vegas to kick off the event in a nod to tradition. Combine that tradition with massive spectator crowds, the Mint 400 is the main stage of the year and always delivers the excitement. We’ve been riding with him and watching his continued success, and we’re going to follow him out to the desert again later this year. In the first week of this December, we’ll all be able to catch the 2021 Mint 400 action and see how the house-crashing, build-your-own-obsessed Jordan performs. Afterwards, check back in here at Magpul COMMS the up-close, insider look at the big bike off-road racing action with Jordan kicking up dust from out in front.