Cory Graffunder is not your average pro-level AMA snow bike racer. Unlike some, he didn’t come from a Snocross or motocross background, rather he is a top-level off-road racer, specializing in pro endurocross, hare scrambles and extreme enduro events. This helps to explain his full-on commitment to line-up at every race and give it 100 percent , and he hasn’t missed a single AMA Snow Bike race this season. Cory is currently sitting in fourth place in points in the men’s pro class, and still has a shot at winning the men’s title.
One of Canada's best off-road racers, Graffunder moved to Southern California a few years ago and in 2012 he turned heads, winning a bronze medal at X Games LA. With two more rounds to go, Cory has driven thousands of miles and put in hundreds of hours becoming a great snow bike racer. I asked him about his enthusiasm and his response speaks volumes. “I have always been interested in this sport, from the first time that I saw a snow bike in British Columbia, Canada, where I am from. So when the series appeared, I just decided to ride my MotoTrax snow bike kit across the whole series to see how I could do. Cory currently lives in Simi Valley, California, which makes getting to many of the venues a pretty long round trip.
What stands out with Cory is his calm and level demeanor on the starting line. He smiles and appears serene, visualizing the course quietly, waiting for the green, start flag to drop. When it does, the racer emerges and Cory’s race face and competitive nature appear, seemingly from out of nowhere. His strategy is to always try to get a great start and push the pace as hard as possible.
When asked, Cory said, “I definitely see a future in snow bike racing as a sport, especially with the AMA recognition this year. I was able to put together a great sponsor line-up with MotoTrax, Rekluse, SRT, O’Neal, Motul, Shoei, Fasst Company, HBD, Shorai, AME, Boyesen, Seehorn Extreme Skidplates, Sidi, IMS, TBT Racing, CTI Kneebraces, GPR Stabilizer, P3Carbon, MotoSeat, TM Designworks, PowerSeal USA, Hammer Nutrition, and 509, and even though I am a one-man show, working on my own bike, I remain confident in my snow bike kit. MotoTrax even let me come to the factory and see them assemble the kit prior to me taking it racing. I learned every aspect of their machine, and I am very pleased with how it has been performing on the track this year.“
There is no off season for many riders like Cory, now that snow bikes have entered the sport of racing. He competes in the national Endurocross Series from August to November every year and then changes out his tires to track and ski and starts racing all winter with his snow bike. And if that’s not enough racing, you can also see him at AMA Hare Scrambles, the Baja, and even competing in far-off places like Peru.
I asked Cory what he would say to anyone who is thinking about trying a snow bike or racing one. He said, “The most important thing is to just get on one, even if you have a friend who will let you on it for a minute, you will be hooked. Just try it. That is all it took for me to be sold on riding and racing in the snow on my bike.”