On the weekend of August 18-20, 2023, many of the world’s top off-road motorcycle riders will face a brutal test of man and machine at the 13th Annual Tennessee Knockout Extreme Enduro (TKO). It will again serve as the AMA Grand Championship for Extreme Off-Road and is expected to attract the top North American and International Hard Enduro racers.
The TKO is the creation of Dan Brown, the owner of the Trials Training Center, which has hosted National and World Championship Trials events, with assistance from Eric Peronnard, the founder of EnduroCross. The event features a multi-round “Knockout” format. Each round is different as the riders race against the clock in some rounds and head-to-head in others and they do so on both short and long courses consisting of extremely difficult terrain. All of the action is designed to be very spectator-friendly with easy viewing access to many of the most challenging sections.
The racing format starts with a Prologue on Friday to set amateur racer starting positions followed by two rounds of amateur racing on Saturday. Sunday’s competition features a multi-round format for the pro riders and the top thirty finishers from Saturday.
The Tennessee Knockout first took place in 2011 and has been hosted at the Trials Training Center in Sequatchie, Tennessee every year since then. The TKO is one of the premier off-road motorcycle races in the US, attracting the top American and International riders. For 2021-22, the event was part of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship (HEWC).
Tennessee Native Mike Brown won the first two events in 2011 and 2012 with Californian, Cody Webb close behind both times. Webb then went on a six-year run of winning TKO, topping many of the best riders in the world in the process. Jonny Walker, Graham Jarvis, Wade Young, Mario Roman and Manuel Lettenbichler all challenged Webb but the American was unbeatable. A knee injury forced Webb to miss the 2019 TKO and Germany’s Lettenbichler became the first international rider to win the event.
In 2020, Canadian Trystan Hart broke through for a win over Webb. In 2021, the UK’s Billy Bolt edged out Lettenbichler for the win. Hart came back to win the TKO in 2022 to take his first FIM Hard Enduro World championship win ahead of Manni Lettenbichler and Mario Roman.