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What happens when you take 5 riders on $500 motorcycles through 5 Miles of Hell?

Well, you’re about to find out.

5 Miles of Hell is a notoriously treacherous trail in the San Rafael Swell in Southern Utah. It’s every challenging obstacle you’ve ever encountered – all in one place. Rough, rocky, and relentless, the route has a way of making novices out of experts. On a modern, reliable dirt bike, a skilled rider can spend anywhere from 2-4 hours navigating the trail.

That’s what’s got us thinking: A few of our veteran riders here at Rocky Mountain ATV/MC have braved 5 Miles of Hell before, but would they have made it through on $500 project bikes? We decided it was time to take the trail to the next level and send our team back as part of one crazy challenge. The rules are simple:

    • Each rider gets only $500 to buy their bike
    • An additional $200 budget can be used to fix the bike
    • Scrounging and fabrication are allowed so long as they’re approved by the other riders and done individually
    • Each rider and bike must finish 5 Miles of Hell
    • Extra points will be awarded for speed and style

Not so simple, though, is actually getting through the trail. It’s going to be a wild ride from start to finish, so buckle up and tune into all six episodes of the 5 Miles of Hell Motorcycle Challenge.

Episode 1: The Search

With the ragtag team assembled and the rules nailed down, the search is on for a bike with enough potential to make it through 5 Miles of Hell. It’s a tall order, but with a good eye, some mechanical know-how, and a little resource-exploitation the team may just find their diamonds in the rough of the classifieds…maybe.

Episode 2: The Inspection

Now that everyone has their bikes, it’s time to pull them apart and see what needs to be fixed for 5 Miles of Hell. The team has a month until they hit the trail, but some of them might be second guessing their decisions already…

Episode 3: The Fix

Two weeks into repairs and there are two goals: have the bike ready to test ride in a week, and don’t go over budget. With 5 Miles of Hell two weeks out, it’s time to get working, get creative, and hope there aren’t any surprise problems with the bikes. By the end of this episode, we’ll find out whose bikes are ready to ride and whose are in trouble.

Episode 4: The Final Prep

It’s final prep time, and that means testing the bikes out, fabricating some skid plates, and adding a few finishing touches before the big ride. The bikes have to be ready for 5 Miles of Hell in just a week, and with an animal skull, a blanket, some personalized stickers, and a few zip ties, they just might all be.

Episode 5: The Challenge

The bikes are ready, the team is excited, and the trail is waiting – it’s finally time to tackle 5 Miles of Hell! With the grueling terrain and a few challenges along the way to keep things interesting, we’re finally going to see which bikes and which riders are going to make it through and go home with the bragging rights.

Episode 6: The Finale

For the riders left on the trail, it’s a race against the sun to make it through and back to the van in time. After that, the team regroups in the studio to give out awards, talk over the trail, break down the bikes, discuss what they’d change, share what they’ve learned, and more.

5 Miles of Hell Gallery:

What Did We Learn?

If the winners of the challenge could give an acceptance speech (or anyone on the team for that matter), they’d have to give credit to RMATVMC’s massive inventory, the website’s helpful OEM parts finder, and the Power Plant’s state-of-the-art machinery. Resources like these were invaluable when it came to fixing up the bikes. In fact, you can shop some of the parts we used on our 5 Miles of Hell Extreme Riding Essentials page.

Navigating 5 Miles of Hell on a $500 motorcycle wasn’t easy, but boy was it fun. Working on the beat-up bikes, wrenching with our buddies, and taking the finished product through the paces really reminded us of why we got into this business in the first place. If you’re looking for a new way to experience riding or to just guarantee a fun experience with your buddies, this is the way to do it. Buying the bikes, working on them, riding the trail, and all the smack talking in between is just plain fun from start to finish. Don’t question if you’re up to the challenge, just get out and ride.

So, while you may not see Ray on an old XR anytime soon, you’ll definitely see more of this again. Subscribe to our YouTube channel so that you don’t miss a thing, and stay tuned for the next series.

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