Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Mx Glory For 'Weekend Warrior' On An Enduro Bike

Taranaki's Renny Johnston (Husqvarna FE350), on his way to winning two New Zealand titles at the weekend. Photo by Andy McGechan,

He may describe himself as a "weekend warrior" these days, but Taranaki motorcycle shop owner Renny Johnston certainly made the most of his Easter Weekend, taking an enduro bike to win two national motocross titles.

The 35-year-old father-of-two had assembled his a Husqvarna FE350 enduro bike just two days before the weekend's racing at the 2021 New Zealand MX TT Nationals at Taupiri, and certainly didn't arrive at the North Waikato venue with any great expectations of winning. He reckons he was "just there for a good time".

What was even more remarkable was that Johnston had taken the bike out of the workshop of his Inglewood business and, with the 2021-model demo bike barely run in, he entered himself in the premier MX1 class at Taupiri.

He knew what was in store for him and his untested new machine, a couple of brutal days of racing against some of the country's most experienced 450cc bike racers – from the motocross, cross-country, enduro scenes and even from the road-racing community as well.

The racing was tight – Rotorua enduro and cross-country ace Ethan Harris had been on top of the MX1 class standings, but just one point clear of Johnston, as the riders lined up for the final MX1 class race of the weekend.

Whomever finished in front of the other in this final showdown would take the glory.

In the end, Johnston finished his weekend with an impressive race victory, his 2-1-4-3-1 score-card in the five MX1 class races giving him the title by six points from Harris, who had suffered his worst result of the weekend, a fourth, in that fateful final race.

Another Rotorua rider, Callum Dudson, rounded out the MX1 podium in third overall.

"I had ridden the same model bike before, so it wasn't as if I didn't know what the bike was like to ride or what it was capable of," said the modest Johnston.

A glutton for punishment, Johnston had also entered with the same bike into the veterans' 35-44 years' class, therefore giving his body and his bike double the gruelling workout endured by many of his rivals.

Johnston won this class too, finishing three points clear of renowned Huntly cross-country racing exponent Michael Vining, Johnston therefore achieving two New Zealand title wins in the same weekend.

Other class winners at the weekend were Te Aroha's Luke van der Lee (MX2 class); Auckland's Damon Nield (senior 125cc class); New Plymouth's Mitch Rowe (veterans' over-45 years and the Classic pre-1996 bikes class); Hamilton’s Mikayla Rowe (women's class and the Classic Pre-2002 bikes class); Rotorua's Ticayla Manson (junior women’s 12-16 years' 150cc & 250cc class); Waimauku's Ruby Leach (junior women’s 8-16 years' 85cc and 150cc class); New Plymouth's Shane Smith (clubmans MX3 class); Te Awamutu's Jack Carmichael (junior 14-16 years', 250cc); Waihi's Luke Maitland (junior 12-16 years', 125cc); Hamilton's Carson Mackie (junior 12-16 years', 85cc); Wairoa's Connor Cavaney (mini 65cc class) and Helensville's Adam Bockett (mini 50cc class).

Credit: Words and photo by Andy McGechan,

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland