Alpinestars Bionic 2 Protector BNS Jacket frontRecently I had a brief email exchange with Ken Smith, editor of Australia-based VMX Magazine regarding the problems neck brace wearers have integrating other forms of protective gear. As Ken pointed out, everything from the bottom profile of your helmet to the shape of your chest protector/body armor can affect the way the neck brace works. Or doesn’t work.

Alpinestars Bionic 2 Jacket rear viewMany of us who have opted to wear a neck device have had to hack up our body armor or settle for a skimpy chest protector. That’s a choice I don’t want to have to make. This morning I was browsing the magazine rack at the local Barnes & Noble store and just happened to pickup the 10APR2010 issue of UK-based MotoX magazine. While thumbing through the pages I saw a blurb about some new AlpineStars body armor designed specifically to integrate with the AlpineStars Bionic Neck Support (BNS) and other neck devices. Continue reading

PT50_Banner_21John Nicholas of Project Two50 is working hard with his team to prepare a top-notch two-stroke 250cc bike to compete in six of the AMA outdoor Motocross Nationals this year.

Because the team got a late start on the project they missed the budget planning process for lots of potential sponsors, so they’re looking for support anywhere they can get it. John says they’ll have some t-shirts and other swag available for sale soon. So if you’re a two-stroke fan consider buying a shirt or two for a good cause.

If you’re a business that wants to reach race fans, two-stroke or otherwise, contact John directly via the site. You know the bike is going to get some attention at the races!

Diamond_Don_PosterBoard_2010Disclaimer: I only attended on Saturday. Anything here about events on Friday or Sunday was collected from various sources – from other attendees who posted on the Cousin Weedy Yahoo! group or people I spoke to at the event. Please post corrections and additions in the comments. Thanks – twf :end:

Have a look at my flickr album for a few more photos. Here are a few amateurish video clips.

Weather: The weather was excellent on Friday and most of Saturday. It was partly cloudy and breezy – got hot for about an hour on Friday, and about an hour Saturday morning, but otherwise it was great. Saturday afternoon the rain began to come in. Slight drizzle started about 3:30 or so Sat. The drizzle didn’t go well with the black-clay track surface and made for some slick racing for the last two motos of the day.

969_0234Attendance: I don’t have official attendance stats, but the camping areas were pretty full — as full as I’ve seen them in the 4 times I’ve been there. It was good to see so many folks camping and having a good time. The infield and entry-road camping was completely packed. There were still some open areas way in the back, across the train track, but it was really full. Continue reading

Snortin-Norton-1This Cheney-framed 750 Norton twin received the Coolest Bike award at the 2010 Diamond Don’s Riverport National. The bike was hand-crafted by Bob McNamara of Dallas over 2 1/2 years. Everything on the bike that could be machined, was. Every bolt had a dished head for weight savings. That huge primary cover? It was machined from a solid block of aluminum and weighs only 2.2 lbs! That cover, by the way, hides a belt-driven primary setup to replace the original chain.

The wheels are vintage CZ hubs (magnesium) laced to shouldered Akront rims with custom-machined spacers and axles to get the alignment right.  The rear backing plate and chain guide are also custom-fab units. The in-line axle forks are off a ’70s-era Can-Am. Everything about this bike is as sano as I have ever seen.

Snortin-Norton-2The exhaust was custom-built by D & D Performance Exhaust of Fort Worth, TX. Like everything else on the bike, it’s a work of art. I believe this was Bob’s first race on the bike. He had a minor teething problem with the ignition after the first moto, but his crew worked on the bike in the pits and got him going for Moto 2, where he took 1st in class.

The bike looked like it was a blast to ride, and seemed to handle the rough Gran Prix-style course with ease. These big, booming 4-strokes from the ’60s just sound different than today’s 450F bikes — different and better. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s my memories of watching John Banks man-handle a big, booming CCM BSA around the Lake Whitney national track in the mid-’70s.

All-original '72 Honda SL 70Check out this excellent ’72 Honda SL 70 my friend Ronnie Welch picked up at the 2010 Diamond Don’s Riverport National. This bike looks totally original — fenders, speedo, pegs, everything. Only one slight dent in the right side of the tank. Even the seat is in excellent condition! It’s amazing. And it runs. The best part? He paid a whopping $350 for the whole thing. I’ve seen seat pans alone go for nearly that much on ePay.

Ryan Villopoto sent out a tweet earlier today saying he will be on Sunday’s (11APR2010) Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain for a live interview. I’m a big fan of Despain. Even though Wind Tunnel is 80% NASCAR, Despain does his best to get the moto guys on the show. As Dave said a couple of years ago… “Of course there’s too ?*^!$^% much NASCAR on the network. There’s too $!?*#&% many NASCAR fans. And whose fault is that? It sure as hell isn’t mine.”

Someone posted this Joel Robert and Torsten Hallman around 1966 or soclassic picture on FaceBook — Joel Robert and Torsten Hallman duking it out in the mid-’60s. I looked all over for it but can’t find the thread to save my life. My friend Rick from SoCal sent me the photo.

I’m pretty sure it was either Vintage Factory or Classix50MX, both of whom have killer vintage MX photo collections, that posted it. But since I can’t find the thread I don’t know the date or location.

If you know when and where this photo was taken post it in the comments. Thanks.

My brother David in 1974 jumping the SL 70 off a bank on an unnamed junior high school campus

Update: This story has been updated to reflect the facts. Check the comments for details. :end:

A while back Mitch Boehm of Moto Retro contacted me about some old SL 70 stories. I don’t know if he used any of them or not as I haven’t gotten around to subscribing yet. But here’s one I didn’t send him.

After I “outgrew” my SL 70 I sold it to my younger brother. The top photo on the left is my brother jumping the SL 70 off a hill on some unnamed junior high campus. We were such scofflaws.

Anyway, back in the early ’70s there was a big vacant lot, probably a couple of acres, right off of 5th street and Palmer, just behind the Tyler Junior College campus.  TJC has a big football practice field there now, but back in the day it was just a wooded lot with a creek running through the back. Continue reading

Tonight, 06 APR 2010, Pit Pass Radio will have an interview with Al Youngwerth, the founder of Rekluse Motor Sports Inc. If you’ve watched any of the recent Supercross races and wondered how some of the riders manage to keep the engine running when they fall off the bike, it’s because they’re using a Rekluse centrifugal clutch.

I’ve never had the chance to ride with one of these things, and they’re only available for modern bikes, but I’m told they are the shizznit — the cat’s pajamas, the real deal, the best thing since sliced bread, etc. One of my buddies — Bill Ramsey of Motorcycle Accessory Shop in Mesa, AZ (2319 West Main Street, Mesa, AZ 85201-6839 (480) 835-6228) — says he tried to talk Al into giving him some parts to use to get one working on a vintage bike, but didn’t have any luck.

That’s too bad, because the new Core EXP clutch kit is, relatively, affordable at $800 — at least compared to the $2,000 these things cost originally. Now I know all you vintage guys are out there going, “What!? 800-freakin’ dollars!? I’ve bought entire bikes for less than that!” But from what I’ve been told these things are worth at least two CDI ignition upgrades and, if you’re on an old points-based ignition system that’s $450 per.

I admit, there’s probably only a tiny, tiny fraction of VMX riders who would shell out for something like this, but it would be nice to have the opportunity. I’m told if you ever ride with one you’ll never go back.

So tune in and see what Al has to say.