Desert Storm

Due to forestry restrictions Suzuki Desert Storm trail ride has been postponed until 2019.

Entires are now closed.

On the day entries will be accepted with a $20 late fee.

For event and rider information open the tab below to view and print:


Suzuki Desert Storm is the classic NZ 2 day trail ride in the foothills of Mount Ruapehu.  Featuring over 140km of trail, camping, catering and entertainment.  Trails include forestry, creeks, drops offs, hills climbs and firebreaks.  Plus optional Expert Only single track challenge trails, kids and novice trails and a purpose built enduro x practice course!  This is the biggest Epic Event and attracts 1000 riders and is held at a later date 15th-16th October! 

Desert Storm 2016 is set to be a ripper! 

  • The landscape at Desert Storm is stunning and forever changing, making every year we get to ride there completely unique.
  • DESERT STORM HAS IT ALL... Over 140km of groomed trails, with plenty of variety and expert only sections.
  • AWESOME KIDS TRACKS including a fantastic forest loop and grass track.
  • A confidence building NOVICE TRAIL.
  • New trails to link in with some of the old favourites - That will give you something to smile about!
  • We are cranking up the ENDURO X practice course open all day for you to have a play! 
  • Enduro X Competitions Saturday afternoon!
  • MOTOSR onsite all weekend with 3 mechanics offering advice, assistance and the best value suspension setup for your bike
  • The latest 2016 Dirtbike range out on show from SUZUKI .
  • FREE CAMPING on site, with plenty of delicious food, great coffee, hot showers.....

Suzuki Desert Storm is an annual event and is limited to pre-entry only. If you want to have the ultimate winter trail riding experience Don't miss out...entries are limited Late entries or entries on the day if available will incur a $20 late fee PER RIDER!



If you don't wish to camp, try these options:

Get a great deal close by with a house to rent in Ohakune at:


Offering Desert Storm riders a 15% discount for a two night stay!

Station Lodge offers a wide range of accommodation from budget (Backpackers, studios), to luxury 1& 2 bedroom apartments, with their own private spa pools.

The Lodge has huge off street parking, with all night spotlights on for security.

For further information and details please go to  or phone 06 3858 797


Family owned and operated boutique hotel located in the stunningly beautiful Ruapehu district. The Powderhorn Chateau is offering Desert Storm riders a special nightly rate over a 2 night stay (Friday & Saturday), just ask for the Desert Storm Discount!

The Powderhorn Chateau is a fantastic retreat for all seasons, and for those travelling between Auckland and Wellington or visiting the central plateau it provides the perfect stop-over. As the closest accommodation to Mount Ruapehu’s Turoa ski field it is hard to match the Powderhorn Chateau for its location and facilities.  Positioned on the corner of the Ohakune junction, it becomes a hive of activity during the winter season and a relaxing retreat during the summer months.

Our two restaurants, the Powderkeg and the Matterhorn, offer a high standard of dining, making use of local produce and a wide selection of quality New Zealand wines.  The luxurious Matterhorn Restaurant and Bar offers intimate dining in sumptuous comfort and style. The Powderkeg Restaurant and Bar, or “The Keg” as it’s known locally, is one of the longest standing and best known venues in Ohakune; a favourite for après ski or for relaxing after a day in the outdoors.

[T] +64 6 385 8888
[F] +64 6 385 8925
powderhorn "at"
PO Box 222, Ohakune, New Zealand

Located at the bottom of Mountain Road, Ohaukune.  



See you all at Desert Storm 15-16 October 2016!                         




Once again Suzuki Desert Storm delivered a fun mix of trail riding, entertainment and camping, despite the torrential rain on Saturday night which certainly provided a few technical challenges for riders out on the trails on Sunday. But the trails stood the test and everyone was still having a blast and making the most of this iconic yearly event, ripping it up out there right up till track closure at 3pm!

Saturday afternoons highjump and enduro x competitions provided awesome entertainment. This year course designer Mark DeLatour built an intermediate rider level course, to encourage first timers to have a go - rather than the usual pros grabbing the prizes every year! This was taken away by Taylor Grey, who won a Camelbak and also received an Epic Event season pass for 2015. The winner of the DRD Highjump was Josh Waldie winning a years subscription to DirtRider Downunder. All participants got to take home some well needed Motomuck!

Thanks to everyone for joining us at this stunning location for a fantastic weekend of fun, where we get to meet up with our mates and blast these trails just once a year. 

Check out a photo of you on your bike in action:

Many thanks to our sponsors for helping make Suzuki Desert Storm 2015 happen! Thanks to: Suzuki NZ, DirtRider Downunder, Spectro, Acerbis, MotoSR, Camelbak, Vortex Photography, Motomuck

2014 Desert Storm wrap...

  • Great turnout on the trails
  • Awesome entertainment
  • Nourishing hot food
  • Weather was kind
  • Happy riders, happy campers
  • Fantastic feedback

A big thank you to all who came to Suzuki Desert Storm 2014, and contributed to making the weekend so much fun...we had a ball, and hope to see you all again in 2015! 

PHOTOS - check out Vortex Photos 





Suzuki Desert Storm Delivers Again

Suzuki Desert Storm held on the 26-27 May 2012 proved to be as popular as ever delivering 1000 trail riders over 130km of trail, motorcycle games, evening entertainment, great food and fun fun fun...


The highlights of the weekend included gaining spectacular views of the moutain from high on the top part of the trails, the Expert Only sections which where likened to Erzberg overseas, creek crossings which most trail rides don't have and having to do the hard yards in places which were affected by the weather and of course hanging out in a special place with friends and family doing the thing you love most - riding your bikes.

Suzuki Desert Storm is one of those must do events on the motorcycle calendar and typically has the majority of riders camping at a paddock base beside the Karioi Forest near on the foothills of Mount Ruapehu.  This year there were a few less camping and opting to stay in Ohakune and from what I heard socialising and experiencing Ohakune nightlife to the full.

For those hardy enough to camp, they warmed up with the motorcyle games of high jump and enduro x, either watched the rugby in the designated Suzuki tent or choose to entertain or be entertained by their mates in inflatable sumo suits and with oversized boxing. The braziers and bonfires were then lit where the stories of the day unfolded and much like fishing they were a little bigger than reality.




Desert Storm Update

When the marquee goes up on Wednesday and the workers and hire companies start arriving and the event starts to take shape, the hype and excitement starts to build at home with riders preparing themselves and their bikes for Suzuki Desert Storm.

Suzuki Desert Storm has a staff of just over 50 people including course marshalls, recovery drivers, base workers, secuirty, advanced paramedics to the friendly sign on staff.

The gathering of enthusiastic riders, awesome trails, food, entertainment and camping in a fantastic location  has been the vision of Nick Reader who started the event 11 years ago. Nick was down riding the trails in the weekend and reminiscing on how the event has changed and grown over the years to evolve into it's current form.  The trails used to be cut by hand and would take a huge number of hours, people and effort - to now being created with a D31 Bulldozer and finished off with a small crew of people.


The first time we drove around the forest and got out to walk around what is now the location of some very cool trails up by the Picnic Table and natural terrain motorcross sections and Nick said that this would one day make a fantastic trail ride, how right he was.!


Want to make your trail ride experince that much better? Suzuki make it easy with their selection of demo bikes available for you to try this weekend, including a RMX450 and possibly the RM-Z450L1 and RM-Z450L2 models.

Now all you have to do is your own prep... See you there!

The Epic Team

 The Gathering


Enthusiastic phone calls from Australians who make the annual pilgrimage, conversations with wives who have pressure from their husbands threatening divorce if their entry isn't in, mates wanting to get deals coming from Christchurch, the regulars who come from Kaitaia, there is no doubt that Suzuki Desert Storm is a gathering.

A gathering of like minded motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the place who share a passion for riding, a longing to escape work places and a craving to get into the outdoors and to be a part of the action.

While there is a gathering taking place at the base venue there is still plenty of opportunity to enjoy natures playground with riders well spaced and a variety of trails and terrain to suit all abilities.


I'll leave you with some pearls of wisdom from the MotoSR crew.

Rich, Brandon and Monty. 3 lines of setups this time, to keep the queue's to a minimum and you out smokin the trails, faster, smoother, and safer. And only for $20, which is valid for the 2days.
Ride a loop, test your MotoSR set up, then come back to give us feedback so we can make further changes so your bike is sic! 

For those of you who may have new bikes, even 2012 bikes!! Or have not yet had a setup done by MotoSR or even returning costumers who just want a recheck for the weekend trails. We can do it all. 
People say it's the best thing they have ever done to their bike!......  We have had quite a few customers now, that say they'd spend $300 for the same result!

Remember we also now offer.... 
Trail Parts and Mechnical Repairs MotoSR 
Going hard full time doing puncture & bike repairs. So you can get back out there quick after a breakdown.
With Trail parts available.. tyres, tubes, spark plugs, oil, coolant, nuts and bolts, levers, front sprokets, chain links, brake pads etc... 
Eftpos will be available.
But .. a little tip b4 the event! 
Give your bike some love, do an all over check for loose bolts, parts missing or bits needing greasing. Check your wheel bearings, and suspension linkage bearings!! Wobble the top of the wheel side to side to check for play and also the end of the swing arm up and down with the bike off the ground, checking for play.
This will give you a safer ride, better peace of mind, and save you time & money.

Winter riding in an exclusive forest, once a year beside a volcano, is exactly what you'll get when you come to Suzuki Desert Storm  The terrain is quite different from riding anywhere else with a mixture of forest trails, desert style trails with sandy pumice soil, tussock grasses and some wide open spaces set amongst a majestic backdrop of Mount Ruapehu. Below are some images of the Epic crew enjoying what is on offer at Suzuki Desert Storm.


 There are still patches of snow in the top part of the forest to make your winter trail riding experience that much more real.


Remember we have it all at Desert Storm; Free camping, hot showers, pre-ordered meals, motorcycle games, a TV zone, evening entertainment and a fantastic network of trails.