Racing Like a Noob
Joined: May 2007
Four Dudes, a vintage Honda Twin, and the 2012 Mexican 1000
Well, here I go again. Only this time, I’m bringing more help!
Last year I had this crazy idea to race a 1972 Honda SL350 in the Mexican 1000. I did it, but only with the support of some amazing people, and a top-notch chase crew!
To summarize: We probably over-prepared on some things, had no clue on other things, was completely unprepared on yet other things, and got lucky more than once. But we finished, and captured a class win with the oldest bike in the rally. Granted, it was the only bike in that class, but we still finished on the oldest motorcycle to enter the race. Many did not even finish, so to us, it was a true victory.
Here’s a link to last year’s thread….check out the last few pages, and you’ll be caught up to where we are now (make sure to watch the videos).
It’s funny how Baja affects you. I’ve read about it, heard about, but never really understood it. People from Southern California get it, but also find it hard to understand why the rest of us make such a big deal about it. I’ve been thinking about entering the 2012 Mexican 1000 since I pulled my van into the driveway after the 2011 Mexican 1000.
This year, NORRA was a bit slow in confirming dates and whether the race would even happen. They changed the vintage-only aspect of the race, and opened it up to nearly everything but modern trophy trucks. I am looking forward to the expected increase in entrants and the extended 4-day format of this year’s race.
I am also looking forward to enjoying the whole experience more, as we will be running a four-man race team on the SL350, instead of me iron-manning it. We’ve got some familiar faces returning this year, and some new ones stepping up to join this most excellent adventure.
The bike will also see some changes this year, but make no mistake, its vintage soul will not be altered. After finishing the race last year, I mentioned that I would probably make some changes to suspension and braking, just to make the bike safer and a bit more manageable on the roughest sections of the course. It turns out that last year, I pretty much fried the engine, and by all accounts, probably should not have been able to finish the race. Nevermind that I entered several other events with the bike after returning after just giving it an oil change!
Here's a sneak peek from last week's tech day, motor is just a spare for weight purposes, and yes, shocks are on the way...
The motor is being rebuilt. But not “Built.” The M1K is an endurance race for us. We want to finish. To that end, I have rebuilt last years motor adding only 1mm over pistons, and a new cam chain. Reliability is the key, not power. The front end will see some beefier vintage Honda forks and a 25-year-old disc brake. The rear will be sporting new Racetech shocks with about 2 more inches of precious travel. We will detail the bikes make-over in the coming weeks.
By having team riders, I will be able to spend a little more time documenting the journey and we will have our team photographer Allan along this time, to help capture some of the real spirit of the race.
I am excited about the dynamics of having 3 other riders thrash the crap out of a 40-year-old bike, while still keeping themselves and the bike in good enough shape to reach the rider exchange point!
Lonnie and Ray are returning for another season, which means you can expect the bike to be both a beauty in form and function.
Luke and Paul Jr. are also back, this time as riders too!! I trust they will be sporting some serious retro facial hair to help keep the vintage vibe alive and well in the Bivouacs. I just know that Luke could pull off a spot-on Ron Burgandy stache if he felt up to it! I hope he feels up to it.
And what about Jr? What can you say about a man that can shave at 6 am and have first-class mutton-chops by 3 pm that would have fat Elvis crying his way into his Benzo-induced-haze.
And our number one sponsor, Sherry, is also back but this time we’re putting her to work driving the van.
(She hates having her picture taken...lol)
It wasn’t enough for her to sell me the SL350 for some ridiculous fire-sale price….now she’s going to get down and dirty with the rest of the Outta Sight Racing hooligans south of the border!
Dr. "Feelgood" Alex may not be able to return due to his month-long ride to Panama last month, but we sure hope that Larry is able to supervise a tech day or two.
Rick, our newest team member is no stranger to racing SL350’s and he is looking forward to fulfilling his dream of piloting a vintage Honda 350 twin down the Baja Peninsula in a true off road race while sporting a waxed handlebar mustache!
Unfortunately, I doubt his lovely wife will allow any sort of crazy “Mustache Rides” fundraising event in support of Outta Sight Racing. Way to ruin our fun, Jan. Thanks.
And I need to mention my lovely wife Laura. Without her love, encouragement and well-paying nursing job, I would never be allowed to follow my Baja dreams. Thanks babe. And to my daughters, thanks for still pretending to know me even when I act like a goober when I’m with you in public…pretty amazing for teenagers.
This year we will also be teaming up a bit with last year's Buggy number 10 racers Mike and Ted! That is going to get interesting. Last year we had such a great following of ADV'ers...I hope you can all check in from time to time and say hi!
Let the training and prep work begin!
T minus 115 days until the start of the 2012 Mexican 1000!!
oregoncoast screwed with this post 01-11-2012 at 08:53 PM