I didn’t really start this site to write about specific races or do race reports, but I watched the last two SX races – Anaheim II and San Francisco – and noticed something. Anaheim II was the retro night, with a track modeled after the ’86 track where Bailey and Johnson battled.

The track was far more technical than today’s tracks. The jumps were steeper, causing the riders to slow down, and the result was the riders stayed on the ground more. Amazingly, the racing was actually better with the riders on the track instead of flying through the air for 60% of the lap, seeing who could soar the farthest as if it was a jumping contest.

San Fran was a mud bath and the track deteriorated to the point that almost no one could do the triples. And those who did only cleared one triple per lap. Again, the racing on the ground was much better. The crashes were more frequent but less severe. The racing was actually pretty good, with numerous lead changes and lots of battles.

I’m sure the Powers-That-Be will put the DirtWorks crews back to the normal space-shuttle style tracks for the rest of the season but, for my money, we’d be a lot better off if they’d go back to the technical tracks of the ’80s and let the riders actually race instead of play Evel Knievel all night.

Got a call from old-school CZ builder Gary Davis today. A little over a year ago I visited Gary up at his home/shop in North Carolina. I left him several boxes that constituted my CZ380 motor. Back in the day Gary was known for his over-bored, reed-valved CZ motors and his inverted stinger expansion chambers.

Back in ’06 I contacted Gary to see if he was interested in building such a motor for me. I drove up and we did an initial tear-down and inspection on my motor, which had cratered a transmission earlier in the year. I left there around mid-December of ’06 with a list of stuff I needed to source for the rebuild. I went to work on it but weeks turned into months and before I knew it a year had passed. I have all the needed parts now. I Just need to get them together.

But as I said earlier, I think 2008 is going to be a CZ year. So over the holiday I started trying to get in touch with Gary. Finally heard from him today and we’re going to get together in Feb. to start the rebuild.

The motor will cc out at about 408 cc displacement, running a Yamaha 400 piston (I think). Gary also has a dyno in his shop so when we get it together we’ll dyno it and see what it does. Should be fun.

99792628_1f3328383c_mThe first motorcycle I ever bought with my own money was a red 1972 Honda SL70. The picture is my younger brother David jumping the bike across the football field at Moore Jr. High when we were kids. Can you imagine trying that now?

I think I sold the bike to David, but I can’t really remember. I think this picture was before that because at one point I welded (well, my Dad welded) some reinforcement plates on the swingarm and we moved the lower shock mounts forward. This pic looks like the shocks are still in the stock location. But I know it was eventually sold off to someone else and disappeared. Like so many aging MXers, I’m now trying to recreate my childhood by getting my old bikes back. A few months back my long-time friend Ronnie found a bunch of SL70 and CT70 parts up in Dallas somewhere and got them for me, and my plan is to recreate my old bike.

To that end, I just got off the phone with Lyle Mirski, founder and chief bottle-washer at CHP Products. CHP is one of the top pitbike companies in the country and, even though Lyle and I never met, we graduated the same year from the same high school. Net-net, Lyle is going to rebuild my SL70 motor to kick-start my restoration project. He’s pretty busy right now with the big Indy Show and racing season coming up, but by early summer the SL70 project should be well underway. Stay tuned!

Man, it’s Sunday night and tomorrow I have to go back to work. I haven’t had two weeks off in years. Now I know why. It’s too damn hard to get back to work! But it’s been a great two weeks. Christmas was great, and I spent the extra time getting my little Suzuki TM100 project underway. But now I have to put it all away, get some sleep, and head to the airport tomorrow. Bummer.

tm100_crankcase_hole_smallI had a bit of a disappointment tonight as I was cleaning up the little Suzuki motor to ship off to the engine builder. Upon turning it upside down to clean the gunk I discovered a hole along the centerline of the engine cases. “Uh oh, this can’t be good.” It’s an odd little hole, sort of square. It’s located in a place where someone may have tried to pry the cases apart with a screw driver, but it’s not broken like that would be. There’s a bigger picture here. The bike wasn’t leaking gear oil, and it wasn’t empty because I drained several hundred CCs out of it before I pulled it from the frame. That means it must be under the crankshaft – which could explain why the engine ran so poorly, but the cylinder shows no sign of sucking dirt. It’s weird. But anytime there is a hole in the motor it means my repair bill could be significantly higher. We’ll just have to see.

dualsport_trailer_interiorHere’s another very nice example of a rider-modified trailer. This one by the owner of the DualSport.info web site. It’s a little Wells Cargo flat nose, looks to be about a 6’x10′ or maybe 6’x12′, he doesn’t say. He started out to make it camping trailer because he didn’t even own a bike when he bought it. Later he got into dual sport riding and converted it to haul bikes. But he did some really neat mods, including:

  • deep-cycle battery powered electrical system
  • custom-built cabinet with refrigerator and microwave
  • 1,000 watt DC/AC inverter
  • Solar Power
  • custom stereo

One of the great things about motorcycling, whether it be off-road or on, is that you can forget about the world around you and just focus on the terrain, the ride, the wind, and the experience. It’s like the rest of the world just doesn’t exist when you’re out there riding. Sadly, the rest of the world does exist, and it’s taking an ever greater toll on our passion.

Today ESPN is reporting that the Dakar Rally has been canceled due to threats by al-Qaida-linked terrorist groups in north Africa.

[…] But the threat of an al-Qaida-linked attack pushed the element of risk to levels organizers deemed unacceptable. They canceled the epic race on Friday, meaning terrorists have ensured there will be no spectacular images this year of dune buggies throwing up clouds of dust and lone motorcycle riders spinning their wheels in Saharan sands.

It was the first time that the 30-year-old rally, one of the biggest competitions in automobile racing, has been called off. The Dakar is one of the most prominent public events to be canceled since the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, when many sports events in the United States were canceled or postponed — some as a result of airport closings or in mourning for the victims. […]

We like to think that racing is immune from such things, but the stone-age cretins of islam are bent on attacking everything that is Western Civilization, including our sporting events. It is a sad day for motorsports.

kreem_comboI have a very nice, low-hour 1974 Yamaha TY250 trials bike. I bought it last year and it’s in good shape but has two issues I need to fix – it leaks oil from the bottom of the motor somewhere, and the fuel tank is full of crap that keeps clogging the petcock. We’re going to have seven trials events within a 2-hour drive of the ATL this year so I want to get it ready to ride.

The problem with the fuel tank is two-fold:

  1. it’s full of rust that is sluffing off
  2. the rust is underneath a very bad KREEM sealer job that has detached from the metal and is actually making things way worse.

After digging around for a few weeks trying to figure what to do with it I pretty much decided to just buy a Sammy Miller fiberglass tank/seat combo, as I need to replace my trail kit seat with a trials unit anyway. But those SM units are over $400 here in the US, and you still need to coat the inside of them with POR-15 or something to keep the alcohol in our gas away from the resin. Anyway…

That spending $500 thing made me go back and look at the original tank again and I finally found a phone number for KREEM Products Inc in Somis, CA. I gave them a call and the tech there told me that if I fill the tank with acetone or MEK the KREEM sealer will go back to liquid. Of course, MEK and acetone will also eat the paint off the tank. Sadly, the tank has a very nice, resto paint job that someone paid pretty good money for. And was one of the reasons I paid a little more than I should have for the bike. And there’s no way I’m going to be able to get the crap out of the tank without messing it up. I don’t think.

Still, I thought I’d post the tech info here, in case someone else needs to undo a really bad KREEM job in the future.