Historic partnership in the 1970s makes a big impact
Kevin R. Jenkins, firstname.lastname@example.org
This year marks the 50th anniversary of two local off-road racing legends from the Farmington area.
Jim Simmons and Stan Rubottom started their quest to compete in the International Six Day Trials (ISDT) back in 1973, when they were selected to the first-year Rokon race team.
St. Genevieve author Keith Geisner, whose book, “Discovering Six Days,” tells Simmons’ and Rubottom’s story, recalled the pair’s history-making experience in the world of off-road racing.
“Rokon was an American-made motorcycle out of Keene, New Hampshire, that used a 340cc Sachs motor, a torque converter belt drive system and front/rear disc brakes making it the first off-road competitive motorcycle to do so,” Geisner said. “Jim and Stan began their competitive off-road racing careers around 1970 when they traveled the United States competing in the National Enduro circuit.”
Their performance caught the eye of Tom Clark from Potosi, Missouri, who was over Rokon’s off-road motorcycle development. In the fall of 1972, a meeting was held over dinner at the Hotel Ste. Genevieve to make Jim and Stan a part of the 1973 Rokon race team.
“To qualify for the ISDT, one must perform well at several two-day qualifiers held throughout the United States,” Geisner said. “The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) would then select the top 40 riders to represent the USA.
“The ISDT was held once a year at competing countries across the globe. The ISDT was a six-day race where the rider was responsible for maintaining their motorcycle and finishing on time every day, all while riding over 200 miles a day in some of the worst conditions possible.”
According to Geisner, Simmons and Rubottom would go on to compete in two-day qualifiers between the years 1973 and 1978.
“Jim would qualify for the ISDT in 1973, ‘75, ‘76 and ‘78, while Stan would qualify in 1975 and ’76,” he said. “They both started racing with Rokon in 1973 and ended racing for Yamaha in 1978.”
Last November, Geisner met Simmons and Rubottom where the story began.
“I had the honor of celebrating Jim and Stan’s 50th anniversary of signing with team Rokon over lunch at the same location they did 50 years earlier, at the Hotel Ste. Genevieve, now called Audubon’s,” Geisner said. “It was ironic that our waitress, Kelly Jett, was wearing a Fort Hood T-shirt in honor of her son and Veteran’s Day, because in 1973, Fort Hood hosted the first two-day qualifier team Rokon competed in.”
For more about Jim and Stan’s racing career pick up a copy of Geisner’s book, “Discovering Six Days,” which is available for purchase at any online major book distributor.