Oregon Steel Stampede 2022

Photodiary: Vintage Dirtbikes Racing in the Dirt

Fox Foto Co
4 min readMay 20, 2022


Start of Race 2, we missed race 1 due to traffic.

A weekend or two ago, fellow photographer Steven ( IG @stevenobrien_photography ) and I went to a local town in Central Oregon to photograph some vintage dirtbikes and motorcycles doing their thing.

Starting launch and first straight

This event is called the “Steel Stampede” and apparently is held every year. Vintage bikes (older than 30 years old is the cut-off I believe) are raced in a free-for-all sorta format.

Jump 1, Turn 3

The winners of each race aren't always on the “fastest” bike, but often win due to skill or simply by not breaking down.

Jump 2, Turn 7

This was a novel event for me because it was also the first time I was able to test out my new-to-me Sigma EF 150–600mm zoom lens “in the field” (not just on my annoyed cat at home).

I actually bought this lens to replace my Canon RF 100–400mm zoom lens. The newer Canon lens is, honestly, hot garbage. The worst modern lens I’ve ever used.

Even on paper the Sigma comes out on top. With a 150–600mm focal length and a max aperture of F5-F6.3, the Sigma easily beats the newer Canon with its 100–400mm range and a pitiful F5.6-F8 max aperture.

Okay the canon isn’t THAT terrible, it just is terrible in comparison to its older competitor. If you don’t want to…