World champion snowmobile and dirt bike racer Trent Backus is seeking the public’s help in locating two custom dirt bikes that were stolen from his truck on Sept. 12 in Penticton.
Backus, of Backus Back Country Adventures and Backus Racing, finished first in class alongside his brother, Tyler, in the Pro UTV division of the 2018 Baja 1000, an international off-road racing competition. The two hail from Mara, B.C., and both have world champion titles under their belts.
“We were doing inspections on the Kettle Valley Rail (KVR) Trail, so I was in the city for work,” said Trent Backus. “The bikes were chained down in the box of my truck with a locked tailgate, parked where we were staying at the Sandman Hotel. So the thieves bolt cut the locks and dragged (the bikes) over-top the minivan that was parked right beside it, because I was parked between two vehicles really tight.
“One of our workers went outside at about 12:30 a.m. and they were still there, and we all got up at 5:00 a.m. and they were gone.”
Backus said the minivan sustained minor damages, as well as the box of his truck, but he’s more concerned with just getting the bikes back. Since these dirt bikes were custom, they are all the more valuable, and Backus said normally he stores them in a locked trailer but since parking was limited, they couldn’t bring it.
“One of the bikes is a 2016 Yamaha is an FX-R so it’s normally a snow-bike race bike, so it had a track kit on it. So there’s a little different suspension on it and cooling systems, and a full custom rack,” said Backus. “That bike is worth about $25,000 and the other one, 2016 KTM is an SX-F, is worth about $10 or $11,000.”
Backus said he filed a report with the RCMP, who told him five other bikes were stolen that same evening across the city. He said they have had no leads or suspects in relation to the theft, and he went around to all the local businesses but couldn’t find surveillance videos to assist in the case.
The silver lining is that there are still a few months to go before Backus begins racing again, so he said he’s holding off on replacing the bikes as long as possible.
Backus said he’s willing to offer a reward for anyone able to assist in locating the bikes. He can be reached on his cell phone at 250-253-6609.
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