We had a great weekend, we arrived in Crooked River early Friday evening, set up camp and then did some socializing. Here is a view of the camp area from the top of the race track;
Walking the track with my best buddy;
Met up with VME Prez Dave Armstrong and got a cool VME sticker for the back fender;
Speaking of Dave, he won his first moto on Sunday, not sure how his second moto went, but he was grinning big time after his win!
On Saturday, it was all about trials. Here is a shot of one of the most talented riders I've seen, riding a home made Hodaka trials bike. In this shot, crew chief Randy is in the foreground filming. We called this rider "the tie guy", the tie would be dorky, if he wasn't such a great rider;
Tom Street riding the trial on his 1947 rigid frame Indian. The number one indicates he is riding only the toughest sections;
Here is Randy with some of the T98 pit chicks, they were pretty impressed with the trials riding;
Speaking of pit chicks, here is the whole group with crew chief and rider;
And a shot with the guys, especially the two great nephews;
Pre race bike prep, note use of precision tools;
As for the racing, well...it was a mixed bag. The chassis was slightly better than I'd hoped, but the jetting was wayyyy off. I had ordered jets from a local cafe racer shop and bought what they had, but the range of jets we were able to get weren't small enough for the altitude (2700 feet), we ended up with the smallest jets we had (160), dropped the needle in the slide and it ran kind of ok in some places but would not launch out of the gate or accelerate out of the corners. I had two of the worst starts of my whole career, but was able to catch the pack and pick off a few riders by diving deeper into the corners and then holding on until the motor would come back to life on the exit. Sometimes it would just spit and sputter and they would go right back by. Argh!
As usual, the Sportsman 500 class was a double gate start and in the first moto, I wheelied big time on the start (not enough power to spin the back tire) and as I caught up to the back of the pack there was a huge crash with a couple of bikes cart wheeling off each side. That area was a yellow flag the rest of the race and we continued on. On about the third lap at the one big jump, an expert on a 360 CZ was passing me from right to left, caught a rock with his back tire and became airborne directly in front of me, and slamming into the rider on my left. It was surreal, just an explosion of dust, bikes and riders and then gone to my left. Weird.
Second moto we had made a few little adjustments and hoped for a better start, but it was actually worse. The bike was actually dying on me and I just nursed it into the first turn, got it going and started passing a few back markers. Ended up passing maybe five bikes and was feelign ok, on the second to last lap came off the big jump and on landing must have jarred the points or wiring on one cylinder, because I was suddenly riding a single cylinder bike. Grrr. Took the white flag at half speed and decided to just gut it out and finish, then a few corners later it started running on two cylinders again until the checkers.
Other than the way the bikes was running, it was a fabulous weekend with great friends and family, I even had moment with Dick Mann (my all time favorite hero). Got to spend some time with Tom Street, Tom and I are old friends and raced togethers as dirt track novice pros in 1973, Tom rode a 350 twin for Powrol and I rode another 350 twin for Woodland Honda. Here I am with Tom, after the races;
On the way home we stopped at Tom's and picked up two more SL350's and headed home. The ride home was eventful, at one point I had to turn around and jack knifed the trailer and bent the motor home's rear bumper and then coming off Mt Hood we blew one of the rear duals!
Home at last! Luckily we had Monday off to unpack, clean up and regroup. Whew! Next up is to decide what our next race is and begin prepping. Among other things we'll be getting in a supply of jets and needles for any situation, as well as a thorough check of the electrical system.
Last but not least, weighed the bike just as it was when unloaded, did't wash it and with about a gallon of gas. Weight was 283 lbs. In 2011 when we unloaded from Chehalis in the same condition it weighed 297, so we've made some good progress on the weight. I think we can still take another five pounds off with a little more work.