Trigger Gumm World Record Assault

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All photographs property of Johnny Airtime

On July 24, 2006, Trigger Gumm was scheduled to make an attempt to break Ryan Capes' 310'4" world record and become the 2nd person in history to jump farther than 300 feet. Meet Trigger Gumm.

Hey, it's Trigger Gumm at the Buffalo Run!

Trigger's CRF450 gleams in the golden late afternoon sunlight coming through the window of the hotel's indoor pool.

Bike prep almost complete.

Trigger runs Renthals.

Jeff Laubscher wires up some grips for Trig.

Trigger's footpegs.

The powerplant. The allen wrench adds 1/2 a horsepower.

Trigger's engine is White Brothered out, with FMF influences.

Rear wheel sports a solid billet, red anodized aluminum hub, Excel rim and 45 tooth sprocket.

Front hub is also solid billet aluminum, anodized red.

"Sorry,'s not mine."

Crazy Mike gets all bowed up as Trigger looks on. Mike's shirt says, "Stop midget-on-midget crime." It's such a problem these days, it's nice to see somebody finally standing up to put a stop to it.

Jumping in silt has its problems. The rut got deep quickly.

The Freek Racing rig.

Trigger's launch ramp.

Trigger launches a practice jump. The flattish curvature of the launch ramp caused the suspension to bottom on the tight radius, then the front end topped out on the way up the ramp. The rear stayed 1/2 compressed  the rest of the way up the ramp. This caused the ramp to act somewhat wedgelike with a forgiving radiused lower section. The wedgelike shape robbed Trigger of the distance he could have had if the suspension remained compressed longer on the launch ramp so it could rebound later. As it was, Trigger had very little rebound to give him "free" extra distance.

Here you can see that Trigger's front end is rebounding and the rear end is still over half compressed but on the rebound. Ideally the bike will stay compressed longer up the launch ramp, then rebound off the top. The radius at the lower end of the ramp was a little too quick, the radius on the upper 2/3 of the ramp was a little too gradual.

The launch ramp seems to stick up out of the clouds as Trigger reaches apogee.




Trig talks it over with the boys.

Gumm tends to make every jump very nose heavy, as shown here...

...and here. You might say he's the Un-Knievel. Still, he broke the four stroke world record with a ramp gap of 210 feet and a total jump distance of 273 feet, 11 inches on July 23, 2006. That's over twice as far as Evel Knievel ever jumped.


Trigger looks off into the distance in full Freek Racing gear.


Nothing says "Good Times" like some world record motorcycle jumping. This is Trigger's time to go for the gold. From left, Ryan Smith of Freek Racing, the Freek rig's driver "The Badger", Trigger and Larry Badgewell.

Trigger and friends cut up in the Freek Racing rig. Notice Trigger's grin, which means he's about to rip some serious air. The cherry cabinets in the rig made life seem like a big bowl of cherries.

Trigger's new custom painted helmet.

"Evel Kinevel Forever" proves my theory that sign painters can't spell. The painter took it upon himself to put these words on the helmet. Bad omen?

The top of the helmet.

I have to agree with pro surfer/big wave champion Anthony "Tazzy" Tashnick.

Washington's Joe Dirt has some competition at Trigger's jump. This guy looked like he was going to roll it down the side of the landing ramp. Trigger might be the one behind the wheel. He's a union heavy equipment operator.

Outhouse art.

Trigger's approach.

Halfway to the landing, about 40 feet off the ground.

Another shot, showing Trigger finessing the rear brake.

Another, looking good.

Rocky Neidhardt. This guy makes a Yukon look like a Yugo.

Somehow the pyramids in Egypt don't seem so huge any more. Guys like Trigger build one every time they go for a world record.

Melissa Zavadil, professional photographer. She shot a great motor drive sequence of Trigger's world record attempt.

"Nice Alpines," the animal said. "Thanks," Trigger replied. "It's hard to beat Tech 8s."

Trigger couldn't resist the little feller. "How about some Buffalo Run Casino water?" The raccoon grabbed the bottle and started guzzling. "Don't lip it. Save some for me," said the parched Gumm.

"Oh yeah? How about if I soak my hands in your stinkin' water?" asked the coon. "How do ya like that? Huh? Mess with me and I'll take your boots."

"Now go call Alpinestars and tell them a coon from Oklahoma took your boots," said the furry creature.  "As far as I'm concerned, you can jump Gary Wells style." He was obviously referring to Gary Wells' habit of jumping with tennis shoes.

Trigger tried to get his boots back, but the toothy fur ball laid incisors on him as a warning. "I could have had that finger up to the 2nd knuckle," quoth the coon. "You best be movin' on."

Trigger and his best friend, pro surfer/crossover athlete Nathan Fletcher. This guy would be the ultimate Marlboro Man.

Trigger relaxes, not knowing the midget in the background will soon turn and try to take advantage when a brother's down.

Trigger minds his own business while Crazy Mike comes over to see if he can go 8 seconds on Trigger's shin. Jeff Laubscher wonders what has come over the diminutive Rodeo rider. Rocky Neidhardt is already laughing because he knows Mike is skating on thin ice.

Trigger, about to start working the 220 foot ramp gap.

Ramp and shadow.

This is the owner of Freek Racing, who supplied a $280,000 rig for Trigger and crew to hang out in. Thanks, Freek Racing!

Looking back toward the casino and the interstate from the top of the landing ramp. You can see the 20'5" tall launch ramp and the Freek Racing rig, which is offset from the ramp centerline.

Looking down on the FMX ramps from Trigger's distance landing ramp.

Massive life raft saves lives when riders come up short on the FMX ramps. 

Photo of a phine photog.

The freestyle demo team. Jeff "Ox" Kargola, Robbie "Maddo" Maddison and Ryan "Fluffer" Hagy.

This 15 tooth counter was the right choice.

Trigger's 45 tooth rear sprocket left the bike geared a little low for the ramp shape, final angle and distance goal.

Robbie "Maddo" Maddison, after his freestyle demo. Expect to see him waging distance wars in the future.

Trigger came up short, landing 17 feet, 4 inches before the downside of the landing ramp on a 220 foot ramp gap, for a total of 202 feet, 8 inches. He was pogo-sticking the bike sideways from left to right because the launch ramp wasn't centered on the landing ramp, came in nose-heavy and crossed up, then landed in a depression on the protective apron. The bike bottomed, then rebounded and swapped hard. He was unable to save it and highsided during that swap. He tucked his head and took a big head shot before tumbling like the space shuttle disaster to a stop. This photo was taken after his helmet strap was cut and he eventually got his breath back. Trigger's crash was a heartbreak for everyone there. If distance world records were easy, everybody would be doing it. This yard sale cut Trigger's world record assault short. He will have to come back another day.

Trigger heads to the ambulance.

The ambulance crew and paramedics were staged near the bottom of the landing ramp and responded quickly. Here they lead him to the ambulance door.

Trigger came up 17 feet, 4 inches short of the downside, landing on the protective apron in a depression that made the impact extra hard, like he landed in a hole.

Notice the line marked in the dirt. That's where he landed, 202 feet, 8 inches from the launch ramp.


Gumm is pushed to the waiting Freek Racing rig after being released from the hospital. Now he has to take it easy until the broken vertebrae in his spine can heal.

Trigger will  be back in action before you know it! Remember - overall, he's the 2nd farthest jumper in history, and he's jumped a four stroke farther than anybody in history!


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