Scot Harden used his extensive rally experience with a vision to create an American Dakar Rally team. With his long time affiliation with KTM and Red Bull, he was the driving force behind the creation of the USA Red Bull KTM effort for the Dakar rally that lasted until 2007. He served as manager and rider of the American KTM Red Bull Dakar rally team. Scot developed the team in hopes to put an American on the podium of the Paris to Dakar rally. Which it did with Chris Blais finishing 3rd in 2007. In the 2005 Dakar Rally (at age 48) he finished 17th out of 250 motorcycle competitors (with some help from Doc Edwards).
If you want to read a funny story of how Scot got Doc Edwards to go to the Dakar Rally, read this post.
Scot was also successful in launching a reality television show about selecting riders for the Dakar Rally called the Red Bull KTM Dakar Rally Rider Search. The team designed a challenging five-day Dakar-style racing challenge near Primm, Nevada and Death Valley, California. Temperatures rose to 120 degrees at times. Six riders tested their skills against navigation exercises, a simulated 500 mile Rally Stage, and a ninety minute Grand Prix of Dumont Dunes. Kellon Walch and Chris Blais were the chosen winners and competed in 2006 Dakar Rally. The judging panel included the legendary Malcolm Smith, Danny LaPorte, Jimmy Lewis, and Joe Barker.
Some of Scot’s palmares:
Racing in the Americas, Europe, and Africa, he has won many titles including: two-time Baja 1000 overall winner; three-time overall Baja 500 winner; three-time overall SCORE Champion; four-time overall Best in the Desert Champion; three-time International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) medalist (Gold: Italy, 1981; Silver: France, 1980; Bronze: Czechoslovakia, 1982). 1987 Djerba 500 Rally Tunisia (winner); The 1987 Rally de Atlas Morocco (winner); 3rdplace in the 1988 1,900 mile Incas Rally in Peru, and in the 2,500 mile Rallye de Atlas in Morocco, finishing second overall. He has also helped develop the careers of other off-road champions, including Dan Smith, Danny Hamel, Russ Pearson, and Chris Blais to name a few.
Scot and I have worked together for much of our careers in motorcycle racing. We even published a book, called Chasing Dakar together in 2006. It is a rally guide but also contains many photos of the Dakar Rally when it was in Africa. Scot recently launched a new website www.harden-offroad.com. Harden Offroad is a powersports consulting, marketing, event management, product development, m/c industry career and rider training company serving the powersports industry and motorcycle enthusiasts since 1987.
Follow Scot Harden on Social Media