Sunday, September 10, 2006

goin' really fast...

Good evening Speedsters,
Well, I just got back from The BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials at the Bonneville Salt Flats...WOW is all I can say. Thats it for this post..thanks for reading it...
Ok, just kidding...
Here's the story, about 4-5 years ago a couple of roadracing friends of mine got a wild hair up their fannies and deciced that building a Bonneville Streamliner was something they wanted to do. No problem..they're both engineers, good mechanics and racers. Fast forward to about January 2006...this thing is actually beginning to take shape. Powered by a 920cc Norton engine..going after the 1000cc pushrod motor Streamliner record. Cool huh??!! The frame is pretty well sorted out and is coming together, the motor is ready to go, so let's put it all together. Easier said than done. Build the the controls, outriggers..on and on and on...time is flying by and September is coming up really fast. Originally scheduled to leave on Friday September 8th..still working on the 'liner' Saturday night the 9th till about 11pm...guess we're leaving Sunday. Sunday 8AM we hit the road...13 hours later we roll into the Wendover Nugget Hotel parking lot, 4-5 miles from the Salt Flats. We meet up with our friend Kevin Johnson from Reno Nevada, another former Willow Springs speedster, settle into our rooms, enjoy a bit of Kentucky's finest ( Makers Mark Bourbon..) and talk about the upcoming speed trials.

Monday morning dawns clear and beautiful. A short drive and there we are..the world famous Bonneville Salt Flats. History is made fast can a man go on a motorcycle or in a car?? THIS is where you find out. It's an unbelievable sight..surrounded on three sides by mountains..the salt goes on and on as far as the eye can see. Stark white, like snow but solid. It truly is awe inspiring, even if you're not a motorcycle racer. As was said in Hot Rod Magazine about 40 years's like racing on the moon. A 5 mile drive along the salt and we arrive at the pit area..more like a small city of cars, trucks, vans, trailers An old hand shift Indian, side valve Harley Davidsons, a Bultaco, a couple of vintage Triumphs. a handfull of Vincent Black Shadow's, our Norton's and all accompanied by the appropriate amount of grey hair and beards. And then...

... the modern motorcycles...Hayabusa's abound..well, yeah...they're really fast. A couple of new Kawi ZX14's, Ducati 999's, Honda CBR100RR's..the list goes on and on...but, here's where it gets interesting...
BUB has added a 'Run What Ya Brung' class to the event. You can show up on your daily rider street bike, pay your $100 and take a couple of runs on the salt to see how fast you can go. Full dress Harley's, BMW RT models, a Honda CRF450 dirtbike with Street tyres, a young man with an MV Agusta F4 Agostini replica ( he went somewhere in the vicinity of 175mph!!?? ) too much fun. I took the opportunity to interview some of these riders for my podcast..interesting people and having a lot of fun. Isn't that what it's all about??!!

Another thing that was really interesting about this meet was how many women were there racing!! I interviewed a few of young lady was riding a Honda RS250 roadracer expecting to go somewhere in the vicinity of 160mph..she ended up a bit short of that but still achieved a record speed. I met a lady named Laura from South Dakota on a very custom and highly built Harley Road King...check this out..fairing w/ CD player ( blaring away..) and saddle bags...147MPH!!! Another lady, Valerie Thompson on a bilt to the hilt Harley Davidson pushed past 160mph!! These women are truly awe inspiring.

Another side of this event, and actually any motorcycle racing event, is the family and friends supporting the racers. As I was cruising the pits interviewing racers, it dawned on me that talking to the families would also be very cool. Completely by accident I started talking to Rocky Robinson's, wife, son, brother..Rocky is the pilot of the Ack Attack Streamliner. They broke the exisiting Land Speed Record of 322mph on their first run...347mph! Anyway, that was one of the most fun interviews I had..I'll have it up on the podcast in the next few days.

Now, back to OUR team effort...after waiting and waiting and waiting inline to get on the track ( 5 hours !!!) They closed the course because of wind...damn. Ok..back to our pit and time to drink beer..wind is blowing like crazy so we lower the canopy, huddle inside and wait out the storm. Other racers come by and visit..all in all a fine way to spend the late afternoon. The LSR ( Land Speed Rcing ) family is very special and unique.

Tuesday again dawns beautiful. We get to The Salt Flats earlier and get in line..a few hours later..SEVEN to be exact..we finally put Ken and his old Norton 750 on the course. Within the hour Ken holds the AMA Land Speed Record for 750cc pushrod motorcycles at 126.35mph!! Yeah Baby!! Back to the pit's and start working on getting the 'Liner' ready. Now, here's the deal..Eric, the pilot, has NEVER driven a we spend the late afternoon running up and down the back area of the flats figuring out how to start and steer this thing..a lot of laughs. But, we also discover a few in the really high tech electric shifter doesn't shift. OOPS...designed to shift a Harley drag bike..(does that mean it wears a dress???)'d think it would shift a Norton, right?? Well..uh, no. These old gear boxes take a bit of finessing..not bang/slam. A call to Pingle, a few adjustments and hey, it looks like it works...

Wednesday it's out to the Salt and see if we can get the 'liner' on the course. Here's what I learned about racing at's called 'hurry up and wait' kidding, you wait for hours for your few minutes of glory. Anyway, we finally get the liner out on course Eric goes...for about 100 yards...the motor died. Ok, back to the start line, wait for a few other motorcycles to go and guess what...up comes the breeze and the course is closed to Streamliners. They can close the course anytime the breeze exceeds 3mph. A good safety proceedure I think. Well..back to the pits and drink more beer...thats the other thing about Land Speed Racing..I think it's powered by beer. Ok with me....

Thursday again dawns beautiful. But today, the last day of the meet is going to be short..done by noon. We gotta get out problem. We've got the drill down. Line the bike up pointing a little to the right, leaning on the left skid, start in second gear..good push and away he goes...motor sounds great..go Eric go...
jump in the truck and go chasing after him...tune in the CB to hear course control...something about a 'parachute test' was successful..huh??? the chute popped out a mile 2 and Eric dragged it through the flying mile..speed??? a whopping 65mph!!
Ok..lets see what we can do for the return run..
Line him up...point right, lean left, big push...uh..Eric..the course is over it's over there...ah..there he goes down the course. Back in the van..let's go get him...listen to the radio...through the flying mile at a blazing...108mph! HUH??? The electric shfter failed. Eric couldn't get out of second in second gear??!! Not bad 'eh?!
So, as they say...there is always next year..stay tuned..
oh, one more thing...I'm going to start working a supercharged Honda SL350 for next year...Bonneville does strange things to your mind...
See you on the road..

Saturday, June 10, 2006

New website

Good morning,
Well, through quite a bit of hard work, our new website is up and running. We'll be adding to as the days go by so we hope you'll go there often.
As you know we've been podcasting from the palatial Motoworld Studios here in beautiful Fillmore, Ca. and listenership keeps climbing with each new show. Thank you. We are also part of a group of motorcycle podcasters known as 'The Motorcycle Podcast Group'. and you find links to them through the links page on themotoworld website. Last night we all got together on Skype for a roundtable discussion about things motorcycling..a couple of good topics like, what's the stupidest thing you've ever done on a motorcycle ( there were some dandy's!) and what kind of motorcycles we all have, favorite trips and dream trips. I had a great time with the other podcasters and I'm sure you'll have a great time listening to it as well. We have nearly two hours of gabbing away that will get edited down to about an hour. I'll post here when it's up on the net for your dining and dancing pleasure!
As a former roadracer, I plan my weekend around what races are on TV and we have a group of us racers that get together regularly throughout the season to eat, drink watch the races and what a season MotoGP is turning out to be. The race last week from Mugello was probably the best race I've seen in years..exciting from first lap to last. And I think Valentino Rossi is not going be able to runaway with championship this year. I've always been a fan of Loris Capirossi and it was thrilling to see he and the Ducati put pressure on Vale and... Nicky Hayden!! The Kentucky Kid was rockin'. Even though he's been put in the role of developer by Honda, his racing this season is just spectacular. So come on HRC...give Nicky the 'go-fast' parts! The sad part of this season is poor John Hopkins and his not so reliable and not so fast Suzuki. Hopper is such a talented rider and a very nice young man. I remember when little John was a teenager and hustling a 125 around Willow Springs. I was racing a Honda 500 single back then, he and that little buzzbomb would go inside of me in Turn 8 and 9 with no and my motorbike were pretty slow I guess??!! Anyway, it's been great to watch his career blossom, now if Suzuki could just find him some horsepower.
well, that's it for this week..check out our new website, listen to the podcast and check the motorcycle podcast group. Ride safe, have fun and I'll see you on the road.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Listen to the podcast

Greetings all,
I just got back from a family visit to my girfriends hometown in Goshen, New York. A small village in the Hudson River Valley about 90 miles north of NYC. An incredibly beautiful area. Forrests, rivers, lakes, ponds, the Catskill Mountains, West Pont Military Academy and, unfortunately...Orange County know, the totally dysfunctional family that builds choppers on TV..when you've got really talented people like Billy Lane, Indian Larry (RIP) and others, why glorify these examples that are proof positive that Darwin was right!!?? My Father-un-law asked if I wanted to go thank you. Actually, in hindsight, it might have been a really interesting interview for my podcast...but I just don't think I could have stomached those people...even if they would have seen me.
I hope you'll take the time to listen to my or check out our website
I've been having a lot of fun with them both. The website is still a work in progress and the podcast keeps changing a bit but it keeps growing like crazy. We've almost 4000 downloads so far for just the 12 shows that are up!!?? This week I'll be interviewing Glen Heggstadt. He wrote the book 'Two Wheels Through Terror''s a diary of his trip from Palm Springs California to the tip of South America and's an unbelievable story! I read the book in 2 can get the book from and My interview with Glen will up on the net by the end of this tune in.
It's been raining here in Fillmore for a couple of days now so I think I'll head up the Sespe River Canyon and see if any of the waterfalls are running...

Monday, March 13, 2006

back in the saddle again,

Good morning all,
It's been quite a long while sine I posted anything and I admit, I miss it! My magazine job and my podcast have really taken up my time. The podcast...The going great. With only 6 shows up on the net, we've shot past 1000 listeners!! To those of you who found out about from here and tuned in ..Thank you! Our podcast is family friendly and workplace acceptable, it's just simple stuff. A segment called MotoNews, stuff happening in the business of motorcycling, some racing, and maybe a few oddities. A travel story, either my travels or someones elses. Each week we have an interview, this week I'm interviewing a former motorcycle the past I have interviews with a Long Distance Lunatic, the 'McGyver of motorcycling' on how to rig up a video camera setup on your bike, a friend who rode solo to Alaska, a woman who got into to motorcycling in her 40's and is now doing track days, RacerMom!!. Coming up soon is an interview with a contributor to Motorcyclist Magazine and one of the editors, two men building a Bonneville Streamliner, a former factory Ducati roadracer and a man who built the largest Vintage Ducati internet business in the United States...lots of things going on..oh yeah, and a guy that was a very successful club roadracer that is now getting back into it with his nine year old roadracing! And then some sort of product, bike or even movie review. All in about 30 minutes, So, if you'd like to check out the podcast, go to I hope you'll like it.
Now changing gears here..I live about 50 miles north of Los Angeles and we have had some crazy weather of late..over the weekend the snow level was down to 1000'!! No kidding, Saturday I went to Motorcycle dealership Open House down below Palm Springs California..the desert!! and there was snow just about down to the freeway and despite, rain, hail and snow this place was jumpin', I hope my new friend Bob Greene of Desert Cities Honda had a great day. If you ever find yourself near Palm Springs, stop by and say Hi..Bob and his brother Mike are really cool guys. Anyway, back to weather stuff, Just up from where I live is the California Condor Preserve in the Los Padres National Forrest. It's a beautiful mountain area that with all this rain we've had has waterfalls and small lakes all over the place. A beautiful ride just a few minutes from here on my trusty old Yamaha TDM 850. Last year we had major floods, this year..snow..who says Global Warming isn't changing everything??!!
Well, thats it for today..just getting back into writing..the next post will be better and more cohesive. Check out the Podcast, get a copy of Friction Zone magazine, go for a ride and send me an
See you on the road..

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

now hear this....

Good Tuesday to everyone,
I've posted a new podcast, I hope you'll check it
Also in the news today...If you're in the Western States Area..I'm sure you've seen Friction Zone Magazine at your local motorcycle dealer / shop, accessory store or eating establishment that caters to motorcyclists....if not..tell them to get on the stick and get the mag in there. Tell them to go to and request the magazine. IT'S FREE!!! Anyway..I'm now the new Southern California Advertising Sales Manager. Damn..less riding and more work!! Ah well....
Well, thats all for today..check out the podcast, get a copy of Friction Zone Magazine and go for a ride today!
See you on the road,