Friday, December 23, 2011

Motorcyle History

The Triumph Tiger wasn't my first motorcycle. I grew up around dirt bikes. I learned to ride on a
Honda Trail 70.

My childhood heros were Hurricane Hannah, Marty Smith, and Roger DeCoster.
My first street bike was a Kawasaki EX500 which I used to commute to work.

I soon traded the street bike for a dedicated road race bike: a Yamaha FZR 400 RR-SP with a full race kit which was imported from Japan by Del Amo Yamaha and raced in the late 1980s by Nick Ienatsch, Motorcyclist Magazine editor of 'The Pace' series. I purchased that bike from his tuner: Steve Biganski.

Bitten by the Road Racing bug, I gave up on riding on the street. On my first outing with the Willow Spring Motorcycle Club (WSMC) New Racer school, I crashed coming out of Turn 4 at Willow Springs Raceway. I roadraced Pro-Am with AMA CCS, WERA, GLRRA, and WSMC from 1988 to 2001, and continued to do track days until 2003. To train, I would ride fire roads and race flat-track.

I did extensive 'wrenching', which evolved into a short but successful career as a mechanic and Data Acquisition Enginner 'Geek' (DAG) in IndyCar from 1997 to 2001. But the experience was a distance memory from a different life.

On the journey, I've owned a:
Kawasaki H2 Mach IV

Yamaha XS650
Yamaha Virago XV750 Special
Honda CB125
Maico Adolph Weil AW400 'Coffin Tank'

Yamaha AT-1
Yamaha DT250

Yamaha TT500
Honda XL500S
Honda CBR600F2
Bultaco 250 Alpina

Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom
Ducati M750 Dark

Ducati M900


Honda SL125

Laverda 668 Ghost
and raced Grand Prix/Formula 3 on a Honda RS125 imported from Japan by Rising Sun Cycles and
a Ducati 916 Strada from Motor Cycle Center in Heavyweight and Unlimited Superbike classes.

My son started off with a Yamaha PW50, then traded up to a KTM50Pro Senior and a Husqvarna 50.

My brief experience with BMW was on my friend Dr. Paul's R1200ST which I felt handled odd with a tall seat hight, and the quirks of shaft drive. I gave up on riding motorcycles in 2005 for personal reasons.

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